Daily news roundups

“Take the training wheels off”: Curtin excited by changes at the Union, Lloyd a Puskas Award finalist, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin has more on how excited Union head coach Jim Curtin is about the changes going on at the club, namely the hiring of Earnie Stewart and Brendan Burke.

It’s a really exciting time in the club’s history. Everyone had a bad taste in their mouth of how the season went. Obviously the [US] Open Cup final was a big disappointment. But since then, there’s been a lot of positivity around the organization – a lot of strong moves and moves that show a commitment to myself, improving things and moving the bar in the right direction.

Curtin says Earnie Stewart speaks “a lot of the same language that [minority owner Richie Graham] speaks, that Jay speaks, identifying players and the process he has for that,” adding, “He has connections all over Europe and the world, and we’ll tap into that.”

Noting the Union have remove to maneuver in the offseason because not a lot of money is tied up in guaranteed contracts, Zeitlin writes “Curtin hopes the club can find the right ‘blend’ of ‘American players that fit the league’ with ‘foreign players that can come in and leave an impact.'” Areas of focus include the need “to bolster…speed on the flanks, get defensive help and find a potentially game-changing striker.”

Following the theme of his comments quoted in the Delco Times article from Matthew De George we linked to earlier in the week, Curtin also said,

One thing about myself I would stress is I am a guy who wants to play young players. And I want to play a certain way and much more attack-minded than we’ve been able to do. With the personnel we have, we’ve had to make some adjustments and maybe play a little differently. We weren’t quite ready to play the high-pressure system we wanted, so we tweaked things a little.

And now we want to take the training wheels off. With the addition of an Earnie and with the addition of a Brendan, it’s time to really make this push in the right direction in 2016.

Make it so.

At the USL website, a profile piece on Ken Tribbett the Harrisburg City Islanders defender — and Drexel and Ocean City Nor’easters alum — who trained with the Union at the end of the season. You will recall Curtin has spoken positively of Tribbett’s performance in training.

We Follow Football reviews the Union’s 2015 season.

Local

Undaunted by Frisco being named the new home of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, the backers of the effort to make the Poconos the Hall’s home say they hope to form a partnership with the NHOF and are also are working with the World Football Hall of Fame in Manchester, England to possibly open a museum on the site, as well as New York Cosmos.

Soccer moms and dads, soccer players young and old, in case you missed this:

MLS

The second leg games of the conference semifinals will be played on Sunday. Here’s the schedule:

ASN previews the games.

Is Houston looking to trade Brad Davis to Kansas City?

Is the league considering taking a break during the Copa America Centenario?

Is Tab Ramos the leading candidate to become the new coach of Chicago Fire?

The Guardian on whether “MLS-style” playoffs could ever make it in Europe.

LAFC gained approval on Wednesday from the California Science Center and Exposition Park Commission for their plans to build a new stadium where the LA Sports Arena is currently located. The announcement says, “The proposed stadium approvals are next slated to go before the City of Los Angeles Planning Commission in December 2015 and then go before the Los Angeles City Council for the final stage of approvals.”

Interesting read at SI on design trends in the latest wave of soccer-specific stadiums.

In an interview with Miami Herald, Tim Leiweke, “Miami Beckham United’s point man on stadium negotiations in Miami,” expressed concerns about property negotiations for a stadium deal. The Herald reports Leiweke said progress is being made in negotiations with local officials but “parallel negotiations to purchase six private parcels on the proposed stadium footprint have stalled as landowners haggle for unreasonable prices.” Leiweke explained,

They know what we’re doing and unfortunately they’ve let that create an absolutely unrealistic conversation. They can absolutely blow this deal up, and they probably will blow this deal up. We’re willing to overpay. We just don’t want to be the stupidest guys on the face of the earth.

Leiweke says the league expects the Beckham group to have deal in place in time for the meeting of the league’s board of governors in December. “If we don’t have a deal by that MLS board meeting it’s up to the commissioner and the board to decide what happens to this option. But I am worried. It’s been a long time since this has been discussed and we’ve been unable to come to them with a viable plan that works. If at the end of the day, whether it be the politics or the greed of the situation we’re facing makes this unable to happen … then I’ll let the commissioner decide. But I don’t like those odds and it makes me very nervous about MLS in Miami.”

At Fox Soccer, a roundup of the latest expansion-related news.

At Soccer America, an interesting interview with David Nathanson, the head of business operation at Fox Sports, about the network’s long term commitment to growing MLS, and soccer in general. Nathanson said, “That growth and that exposure to the broader audience takes time in any sport. And we firmly believe that MLS not only has the potential, it will grow exponentially over the next eight years.”

NWSL

From the Vancouver Sun: “The overwhelming success of the FIFA 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada should lead to the country getting at least one, and possibly two, franchises in the U.S.-based women’s pro league in the next couple of years, Canada Soccer said Thursday.”

US

Carli Lloyd’s long range goal in the Women’s World Cup final is up for FIFA’s Puskas Award for goal of the year. She is the only woman among the ten nominees.

Looks like Darlington Nagbe will be called up by Jurgen Klinsmann for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Former USMNT player David Wagner has been named head coach of English Championship side Huddersfield. Wagner joins the club after managing Borussia Dortmund II.

Reports say Bob Bradley has a verbal agreement to become the new manager of Ligue 2 side Le Havre in France. The AP talks to Bradley as he finishes his time with Norwegian side Stabaek. More quotes from the interview here.

The US Olympic Committee has named the World Champion USWNT as a finalist for this year’s Team USA Team of the Year award.

Elsewhere

FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali bin al-Hussein says a CONCACAF country should host the 2026 World Cup. He also wants to expand the tournament from 32 to 36 teams.

Reuters reports, “Former FIFA vice president Eugenio Figueredo is willing to collaborate with the judiciary of his native Uruguay in its investigation into corruption in soccer in order to avoid his extradition to the United States, his lawyer said on Thursday.”

At the Guardian, a review of the top six “hipster” clubs.

Check out the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of live soccer on TV, online, and on satellite radio for the upcoming week.

26 Comments

  1. i really hope they don’t complete that miami deal. it isn’t a great sports town and the city seems resistant to it. there are plenty of other cities that are clamoring for teams- i’d rather see sacramento or indianapolis get a team first

    • I agree. Let’s kill this idea already and move on to a place that actually wants a team…

    • Market size trumps interest is the conventional wisdom in these matters. Alas.

      • Miami has proven to be a loser, time and time again. Not just for soccer, but for baseball, hockey and football as well. Only the Heat has had any form Of consistent success and time will tell if that holds should the team fall into mediocrity.

        Beckhams involvement is the only reason MLS has not shut this down already.

      • Yeah but Yeah but Yeah but … the girls are so hot.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        and yeah, but Beckham, and you know, Beckham… and his money… and Beckham…

    • MLS should put Beckham in charge of NYCFC. Becks needs glitz. Only other cities he can get that are NY and LA.

      • disagree. miami is a great spot for him and MLS. don’t know if he’s got a Plan B though. Garber has pretty much given a hard deadline. if Dec passes with no stadium breakthrough, Miami gets the pause button.

    • but…Ronaldinho! Anyway, the deal isn’t in trouble. This is obviously Leiweke using the media to influence the negotiations with the landowners.

    • I agree that Miami is a lousy sports town, but that doesn’t mean a soccer team wouldn’t do well there. I mean, LA is an awful sports town, but we’re going to have 2 soccer clubs there, one of which is one of the league’s marquee franchises. Miami, like LA, has a humongous Latino population, and it’s hard to imagine they wouldn’t be interested in an MLS team — especially if you pack it with players from Central America and the Carribean.

      • Which begs the question: Should there be 2 clubs in the LA area?

        The Galaxy will likely do more to appeal to Orange county/Anaheim and southward once LAFC comes into play.

  2. Interesting that Darlington Nagbe is finally getting a USNT wiff.
    .
    I can name two or three other players that are overdue for a look see .. in order to vector the USMNT into correct trajectory.
    .
    Yes… JK…. let’s start thinking outside the box with our player pool. Young. Fast. Technical. There are a bevy of early 20’s players making a difference in this league that are better than the slop you’ve been allowing to where the US colors. So help me God if I see Brek Shea or Timmy Chandler or Danny Williams again…. EVER.
    .
    Well….I will hand Union head coach credit… he is telling me the right things about the system he hopes to employ. Time will tell. But at least the talk is right….. Time will tell.
    .
    I commented on another post about the changes that need to be made to institute a club wide philosophy and whether the SD will feel comfortable with the current coaching structure across the academy to implement. Everyone should be served notice — I hope.
    .
    The Culture of Clever… which not incidentally I just recently heard CR7 speaking about in an interview. It was the FIRST trait he highlighted when speaking about certain players and their skill set. CLEVER. This cannot be learned by 5/6 of the drills I see run over and over and over for the youth. The Culture lot Clever comes from more and more free play… even within the Academy. Let the kids divide out and spend 15 – 20 minutes in small sided games with lots of laughing and ball busting… I hardly ever see this… they play a bunch of foot volley but that’s it. CLEVER comes from spontaneity. MORE PLEASE.
    .
    The football has to be beautiful or resembling what we can safely and legitimately consider beautiful at this young MLS juncture ….otherwise why the hell play. Why the hell even play the game.

    • Oh and another thing…. it is good to hear the league is at least considering taking a break during the Copa 16…. clearly somebody at MLS is reading this site… and the ideas that hatch from it.
      .
      This is a NO BRAINER… shut down the mom and pop operation and get out of the way Don Garber…. trust me on this one… this is a no brainer.
      .
      Sincerely,
      .
      el Pachyderm in la sala

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Didn’t Nagbe just become USMNT eligible? Thought I had heard that was the reason he hadn’t been called in yet.

  3. Looks like no Dempsey on the USMNT squad. I believe Hamid, Nagbe, and Miazga (also making his debut) are the only ones on teams still in the MLS playoffs.
    .
    Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, England), Bill Hamid (D.C.), Tim Howard (Everton, England)
    .
    Defenders: Ventura Alvarado (America, Mexico), Matt Besler (Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke, England), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach, Germany), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Michael Orozco (Tijuana, Mexico), Tim Ream (Fulham, England), Brek Shea (Orlando City)
    .
    Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto), Mix Diskerud (New York City), Miguel Ibarra (Leon, Mexico), Jermaine Jones (New England), Darlington Nagbe (Portland), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland, England).
    .
    Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Toronto), Alan Gordon (Los Angeles), Jordan Morris (Stanford), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin, Germany), Gyasi Zardes (Los Angeles).

  4. Watch the U17 WC final on Sunday at 5! These boys know how to play!

  5. despite my national pride in Lloyd, as well as my belief at the time that it was goal of the year, i’d have to give it to the 2 Argentines: Messi, Tevez then her. that is some exceptional company she’s in.

  6. 2 days of news with no Tokyo Sexwhale news?

    How many of Cruz, Leo, McLaughlin and McMath do we expect to be on our roster next season??

    • McLaughlin will be with BSFC I bet.
      .
      Leo not sure since I heard the Cosmos want to keep him; depends on if Curtin and co if they see him fitting in the first team and what the Cosmos are willing to pay for him.
      .
      MacMath is almost certainly gone – pretty sure his contract is up and I doubt he will want to come back to a team that pushed him out the door.
      .
      Cruz not sure but leaning towards gone – I think Curtin sees him as “one of Hack’s guys” based on that he was one of the more outspoken players that had his back before his firing.

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