Daily news roundups

Union bits, Vieira named head coach of NYCFC, ban on headers, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

At The Daily Athenaeum, Ray Gaddis talks about the impact WVU head coach Marlon LeBlanc has had on him.

At Brotherly Game, Nick Youngstein makes the case for Jim Curtin.

Union Academy

It was a positive weekend for the Union Academy. On Saturday, the U-16s defeated DC United 1-0 with a goal from Kalil El Medkhar. Derrick Jones Amaniampong scored in the 63rd minute for the U-18s after the team conceded in the 19th minute for a 1-1 draw. On Sunday, the Union U-14s defeated Lehigh Valley United 3-0. Jason Aoyama scored a brace with Matthew Myers adding the third goal. Also on Sunday, the U-12s defeated Vereinigung Erzgebirge Gunners, 6-1.

Five Union Academy players were called up for U-15 BNT Festival in Florida, which began last week: Carlos Dos Santos (Philadelphia, Pa.), defenders Rayshaun McGann (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Nykolas Sessock (Holland, Pa.), midfielders Brenden Aaronson (Medford, N.J.) and Seth Kuhn (Wyomissing, Pa.), and forward Issa Rayyan (West Chester, Pa.). You can view match reports from games at the festival here.


At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald talks to Lehigh Valley native Gina Lewandowski, who has extensive experience playing in Germany for the likes of Frankfurt and Bayern Munich and recently got her first USWNT call-up at the age of 30.


It’s official: Patrick Vieira is the new head coach of NYCFC.

Reaction to the announcement was understandably all over the place. Yahoo Sports says Vieira has long odds to succeed. One Goal.com post says Vieira and NYCFC are a perfect match, while another wonders if Vieira is a better option than the recently fired Jason Kreis. SI says, from Vieira’s perspective, taking the job is a calculated step. The Guardian says his hire is a two-way risk. The New York Post says Vieira is due for a rude awakening. Big Apple Soccer says Vieira faces so many challenges that they don’t even know where to start. Forbes talks about why the league needs Vieira to succeed.

It seems former Union assistant coach Rob Vartughian will be taking a larger role at NYCFC after the Vieira hiring. Empire of Soccer reports,

[Y]ou can expect holdover Rob Vartughian, who was once Technical Director at the Philadelphia Union before taking on the goalkeeping duties at NYCFC, to play a more pronounced role within the club, particularly when it comes to the nuanced roster decisions of the team within the parameters of MLS.

In the more immediate future, the club will rely on Vartughian to lead NYCFC practices over the next several weeks leading up to the club’s friendly against Puerto Rico next month — where he is expected to man the touchline. Vieira will be on hand for part of that trip, but will not play a part in the friendly.

Soccer America looks at how the 2015 Conference finals involve some of the league’s lowest spending teams.

SI has an early look at the Conference finals matchups.

Sigi wants to stay in Seattle.

Will interim manager Mauro Biello be named head coach of Montreal? Biello says, “We’ll see.”

Colorado Rapids midfielder Dillon Powers is on a two-week trial with Championship side Reading.

Orlando City have signed 18-year-old goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar to a homegrown contract.

Local10.com reports a day care center in Miami may be holding up negotiations to secure land for a stadium for David Beckham’s Miami team: “According to Miami-Dade County property appraiser records, the property was assessed in 2015 for $368,000. But the owner is demanding a whopping $30 million.”

KTSA reports, “Bexar County Commissioners deciding today whether or not to spend $9M to team with the City of San Antonio to buy Toyota Field.” Buying the field is part of the push that also involves the owners of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs to bring an MLS team to San Antonio. Still no word on whether the San Antonio Scorpions will continue in the NASL.

NewsOK reports the NASL will announce today a new franchise in Oklahoma City backed by La Liga side Rayo Vallecano. You will recall plans to launch a NASL Oklahoma City team fell through two years ago with the launch of USL side Oklahoma City Energy.

Meanwhile, NASL commissioner Bill Peterson says the league still has not reached a decision about the future of the Atlanta Silverbacks, which has been under league ownership since the end of last year.

At the USL site, an article on how strong local owners is the key to that league’s success. Interestingly, given the NASL Oklahoma City news, representatives from each of the USL’s 30 teams are meeting in Tulsa this week.


US Soccer announced on Monday new youth soccer protocols that ban headers for players aged 10 years and younger, with heading limited in practice for players between 11 and 13. The protocols, which are part of a new Player Safety Initiative, are required for clubs within the US Soccer Development Academy system and are recommended for “US Soccer’s youth members” because “some of the youth members do not have direct authority at the local level to require the adoption of the rules.” New rules for substitutions in Development Academy games to allow for the evaluation of players who have suffered a head injury during play are also being adopted.

The announcement comes with the resolution of a concussion lawsuit against US Soccer, the United States Youth Soccer Association, the American Youth Soccer Organization, US Club Soccer, and the California Youth Soccer Association. Reports and reaction at the New York Times, Yahoo Sports, ESPNThe Independent, Deadspin, and the AP.

U-23 MNT head coach Andi Herzog has called up 19 players for two friendlies against Brazil in Recife (Nov. 11) and Belém (Nov. 15). Among those on the roster are John Brooks, Julian Green, and Gedion Zelalem, as well as nine MLS players.

The Miami Herald has a report from the USMNT camp in Miami ahead of Friday’s World Cup qualifier against St. Vincent and the Grenadines in St. Louis. Apparently, Jurgen Klinsmann says he “totally accepts” criticism leveled at him following the team’s recent run of poor performances. More at MLSsoccer.com.

At ESPN, a rising/falling analysis of the current USMNT roster.

A Chicago-based investment group has purchased a 25 percent share in Premier League side Bournemouth.


From the BBC: “The president of the German Football Association (DFB) has resigned over a FIFA payment that has resulted in a tax evasion investigation. Wolfgang Niersbach said he was taking “political responsibility” for a 6.7m euro (£4.9m) payment to FIFA.” More from Reuters.

Meanwhile, pressure is growing on Franz Beckenbauer, who was head of Germany’s bid to host the 2006 World Cup, to explain why his signature is on an agreement with disgraced former CONCACAF president and well known crook Jack Warner “promising favors shortly before the vote on the hosts of the 2006 World Cup.”

Eurosport reports, “FIFA executive committee member Vitaly Mutko, the man in charge of the 2018 World Cup, ‘knew what was going on’ in Russia’s extensive doping programme, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency.” The Guardian says, “FIFA’s ethics committee is to examine the World Anti-Doping Agency report into drug misuse in Russian athletics for potential misconduct by the country’s sports minister, Vitaly Mutko, a FIFA executive committee member who was heavily criticised at the report’s launch.” More from the AP.

Inside World Football reports, “The Dutch FA KNVB is considering possible legal steps against FIFA after Sepp Blatter’s controversial revelation that Russia was awarded the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a fixed agreement. The KNVB have contacted their Belgian counterparts for consultation.” You will recall the Netherlands and Belgium had a joint bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

 The AP reports, “The World Cup could be expanded by eight teams to 40 if Gianni Infantino is elected as the FIFA president.” ESPN reports, “Infantino says he has the support of Michel Platini and has indicated that he would not run against the UEFA president if his suspension were lifted.”



  1. Boy…. no question the intentions for NYCFC now… at least IMO.
    Suck balls MLS….. you reap what you sow on this one.
    What a shame for Kries…. probably just as well he got out of that deal anyway.
    All that just to say… hey congrats to Oklahoma City for getting a team backed by Rayo Vallecano.
    Is this a double standard? hmm… I’m confused. Either way to hell with NYCFC… but congrats to Rob V (very nice gentleman)…. I think. Shit. I can’t figure this all out. Anyway to hell with NYCFC. Rot. and MLS for looking a more than bit DUMB on this one…
    …kind of like the kid in school doing his best to ACT cool so the real COOL kids will like him when in actuality the REAL cool kids are just using him for smokes and a ride everywhere poking fun at him behind his back.

    • I think NYCFC is indeed a farce, but part of me thinks it just might succeed. One thing Vieira will have going for him is he won’t be taken lightly by Villa, Lampard, Pirlo or whatever other guys CFG plan to pay in semi-retirement. I didn’t watch a ton of NYC games this season, but recall one in which David Villa just mouthed off to Kreis. It was not a show of respect for the coach. Maybe that won’t make a bit of difference. And I doubt Vieira would or will make that big a difference. But I doubt NYC will be a laughing stock for long. They’ll get it right. And we can enjoy hating the hell out of them. Kreis will be working again soon if he wants to. Seattle seems perfect.

      • It won’t make a difference until those players view MLS as the real league it is becoming. Ronaldo’s quote the other day saying he’d like to live and play here for one year (emphasis on live) says so much about the way some players still view MLS, which is now an unfair assessment. Ironically, those players could actually come over and increase the respect of integrity of the league, but their actions and antics actually do it harm.
        I personally would rather be a second-rate league with respectable players supporting the Giovincos, Valeris, Nogueiras and Kamaras of the world than be a joke or “retirement” league full of Villas, Lampards and Gerrards.

      • 100%.
        Giovinco. Dos Santos types: yes.
        Lampard. Pirlo. Ronaldo. Zlatan types: No.
        Drogba too…though he seems to be a good value add.

      • Drogba gets the superstar treatment, all the calls etc, but he seems to play hard. His skill is still there, he doesn’t look old when he plays. Gerrard, Lampard, they look spent. America is a great place to live, and the league is growing, but it doesn’t need those names to sell anymore. It needs respect and integrity, especially domestically.

      • Drogba showed up to play on both sides of the ball. Great signing for the Impact and for the league. He embarrassed Lampard, Gerrard, and Pirlo.

      • Agree, but I think the bigger question isn’t how the players see the league — it’s how the owners see the league. The fact that CGF got bent out of shape that they lost seems to indicate a desire to compete, but the fact that they didn’t care a whole lot about how that roster was constructed demonstrates that they do not see the league as a serious enterprise. There’s a Sakiewiczian dynamic (yes that’s thing) at work here — a disregard for an MLS club as an organic institution that must be nurtured.

    • James Lockerbie says:

      Can’t buy me love

  2. “According to Miami-Dade County property appraiser records, the property was assessed in 2015 for $368,000. But the owner is demanding a whopping $30 million.”
    I’ve been quietly rooting for Beckham’s Miami bid to fail as spectacularly as possible (Hey – I never claimed to be a good person), but… $30 million? That’s freakin’ ridiculous!

    • I’m betting the owner is valuing his property based on future earnings. It is a Daycare center after all. Good for them. Maybe it was their dream to own a daycare. Why is David Beckham’s dream more important than a local business person? Beckham can rot in a Seminole swamp for all I care.

      • Sieve!¡!¡! says:

        It’s a dangerous game they are playing if the govt intercedes and eminent domains the property (morally and leagly unjustifiable but it does happen) the owners could get next to nothing.

      • They are offering 3 times market value. It’s not like they’re taking them to the cleaners.
        If this is their dream, they can easily take that money and pay for a new building in a new location and own it outright.
        This is a cash-grab, that’s all. And in the end, they’ll end up getting nothing.

      • Yeah I agree. I heard the Miami partners were saying they were willing to over pay, but not be embarrassed. Just take the money and run. Greed will get you in the end.

      • $30 million seems like a lot, 3 times the assessment does not. my house assessed 2 times less than I bought it for but that was the market. You also have to factor in moving costs plus the fact that the land is clearly in demand for a different purpose so how accurate is the assessment. It’s not like they were looking to sell this land before either and they have their price. I have a hard time ever feeling bad for the land owner when the rich try to strong arm them.

      • Yeah, this. Exactly this. $30 million is over the top. And Sieve is exactly right – if they aren’t careful here they’ll get it taken away via eminent domain and get far, far less. (Though I do believe eminent domain laws require fair compensation – which would, I guess, be the assessed market value of the land.)
        I’d bet $2-3 million gets this purchase done in the end.
        I still want to see Beckham Miami United crash and burn…

      • Not to be a jerk but I think you mean “3-fold” not “3 times”.
        $368,000 x 3 = $1,104,000
        $30,000,000 / $368,000 = ~81.5 times as much, which is a ridiculous price.
        Chances are that they know they are the last land to sell thats needed for the project and are just hard-balling until the deadline to try to maximize their profit.

      • It certainly seems like a pretty sweet deal for the owner of Candy House Day Care…HEY, HEY!!

        Sorry, I’m just trying to keep up with the nicely done pun at the beginning of the article.

      • Your acting like closing down a business and moving it to another location is no big deal. Not even including the fact they lose their clientele, and then have to create a new one. And what if they old clientele doesn’t want to travel the distance to the new location? Then they are screwed. Sorry, not gonna side with Becks on this one.

      • Yeah, plus this isn’t a cut and dry eminent domain case. This is a private business not that government taking this land for the betterment of society. I agree they will probably settle but they have all the leverage here especially if they really don’t want to move.

  3. No headers…no brainer.

    • ….agreed, yes…… and then they should institute a no punting from goalkeeper as well…..
      It is an unfinished mandate IMO.

    • Don’t like this header rule. While I completely understand the concept of traumatic brain injuries having studied them there are other issues. For example you are limiting the knowledge that young soccer players will learn. There are correct ways to head a ball and incorrect. With banning it or limiting it as they say, but then having it in higher level play you then have a span of young adults who are still developing from a growth standpoint and then all of a sudden this will be in the game and they won’t know how to properly head the ball creating more injuries. There are other ways to go about this to protect players not so sure this is the right way to go about it. Although, I can’t say I’ve read the data on impact of soccer ball causing concussions (there could be a lot I am not sure). Ultimately I think there would need to be research done on it and other alternatives thought of to protect players.

      • I wouldn’t be surprised if heading is outlawed from the game as this generation grows up. I’m not seeing evidence of soccer players developing mild cognitive impairment, depression, etc. like we’re seeing for NFL players, but sometimes people make CYA decisions before the evidence comes in b/c they don’t want to deal with the risk.

      • I tend to agree… it is my feeling that kids don’t head the ball until they are actually able to cross it in the first place…which means kids need to be a certain age to even accomplish the header relative to kicking it in the air from the ground… an age when the heading skill can pretty easily be learned through some repetition and proper teaching.
        My problem with heading the ball is coaches and their goal keepers at 9 and 10 and 11 years old who punt the ball and kids who raise their shoulders scrunch their eyes and use the top of their head. This is the problem IMO.
        The ban should be on punting the ball….not using the head. How many 8, 9, 10 year olds do you see heading a ball…
        It is my point that US Soccer needs to add a mandate that outlaws punting the ball until a certain age… the ancillary benefit of this is keepers learn how to roll and overhand throw the ball with more precision and teams then learn how to play the ball from the back.
        Thank you. This has been a public service message.

      • this is a pretty good idea that I haven’t hear anyone bring up before

      • I can get on board with the no punting, but heading is part of the game as are many things that happen causing concussions in football the thing should be to find ways to make protection better i.e. helmets, protective gear, and gaining knowledge about how and why these things happen. I mean more concussions happen from head to head contact and head to turf contact than in heading a soccer ball. Maybe instead of flailing arms and jumping into players people should be penalized as their suppose to be for raising their arms up or jumping into players.

      • I don’t have a problem with the new guidelines. As was mentioned elsewhere, 9 times out of 10 in this age group the head is not done properly and to no real game effect than to keep the ball in the air. As for banning punting, one of my pet peeves is how many times have you seen a goalie punt the ball and it goes to a defender from the opposite team that head the ball back to really nobody. I would much rather see a player take the ball off there chest or foot and do a controlled pass to someone. That is a skill set many American need to develop and one that maybe has a chance if younger players have to learn to do something other than head the ball to no one.

  4. FIFA – an organization so corrupt that they actually had contracts and agreements to outline all of their illegal activities. Amazing.

  5. Old Soccer Coach says:

    A thought on Paunovich. Getting him into the organization in some capacity might get some contacts into some southeastern European players.

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