Daily news roundups

Local USOC qualifier on Sunday, key offseason dates, US begins WCQ campaign, more


US Open Cup qualifier

On Sunday, West Chester United hosts Salone FC in the second round of local Open Division qualification for the 2016 US Open Cup. Kickoff is at 5 pm. Look for an article on West Chester United here at PSP later this morning.

Philadelphia Union

On Thursday, MLS announced key offseason dates. The player movement fun will begin on Dec. 8:

MLS 2015-16 Offseason Dates

You can watch Andre Blake and Jamaica host Panama in a World Cup qualifier tonight at 8:50 pm on beIN Sports.

Brotherly Game’s season review series continues with a look at Richie Marquez, Steven Vitoria, and Ethan White.


Grant Wahl presents his case for why local lass Carli Lloyd should be SI’s Sportsman [sic] of the Year.

Pittsburgh Riverhounds come from behind 6-5 win over Harrisburg City Islanders — Pittsburgh scored three goals in stoppage time — is one of the USL’s Best Moments of 2015.

At Brotherly Game, Matt Ralph looks at six area schools that have earned berths in the NCAA Division III championship tournament. For the first time in 18 years, ten-time national champ Messiah isn’t one of them.


At SI, Grant Wahl mentions, “I’m also told there’s a pretty good chance MLS owners will change the rules and bring more TAM money into the system for next season.” TAM, that’s Targeted Acquisition Money to you and me.

DC United have re-signed midfielder Matt Deleon to a contract extension.

Vancouver Whitecaps have re-signed midfielder Matías Laba to a “multi-year” contract extension.

Patrick Vieira on becoming head coach of NYCFC:

Of course, I still have a lot to learn about the MLS. But what was important to me was to have the right people around me who can help me to understand how things work in the MLS. But at the end of the day, these are football matches. It is 11 against 11, the size of the goals are the same from here to Europe. It’s just to be clear about the philosophy, about the way I want to play, and I will adapt myself — I don’t have any doubt about it…

I think my philosophy is quite really clear,” Vieira said. “I want to play really attractive football, really offensive football. I would like to create chances, to score goals. This is the way that I grew up as a player, and as manager this is the philosophy I will try to push the team to do.

You can watch video of Vieira’s interview here.

Looks like Sigi Schmid will remain head coach of Seattle Sounders in 2016.

The Seattle Times reports Adrian Hanauer is the new majority owner of the Sounders, with previous majority owner Joe Roth will remain as a minority owner. An update at Sounder at Heart says Hanauer now has a plurality of shares rather than a majority.

Four MLS stadiums made FourFourTwo’s list of the 100 greatest soccer stadiums in the world.

The Miami Herald has posted a letter from Tim Leiweke outlining Miami Beckham United’s vision for the team and how it will benefit the Little Havana neighborhood where it hopes to build a stadium, the city’s school district, to which it will transfer ownership of the stadium, and the city at large.

Miami Herald reports David Beckham met with the superintendent of the Miami-Dade school district on Wednesday. Alberto Carvalho said, “I came away feeling very comfortable about the decency of this guy…He told me this is the one place in the world where he wants to have his name associated with a a soccer team.” The report says approval of the plan by the school board “is considered a certainty.” Nevertheless, purchase of land from property owners at the proposed stadium site remain an obstacle, with the final hurdle being a referendum on March 15, the same day as the presidential primary in Florida.

San Antonio Business Journal reports, “San Antonio’s City Council has cleared the path for a joint city-county purchase of Toyota Field involving Spurs Sports & Entertainment. With a unanimous vote on Thursday, Council members have authorized city staff to negotiate the terms and conditions of a purchase agreement for the soccer stadium with Gordon Hartman and his nonprofit group SOAR (Sports Outdoor and Recreation).” San Antonio Express-News endorses the deal. More at KTSA.


The US qualification campaign for the 2018 World Cup begins tonight in St. Louis against St. Vincent and the Grenadines (and, yes, I would buy records from a band with that name). Needless to say, anything from the US other than a right royal a$$ whooping will not be acceptable. Oh, and that the game is being played in a baseball stadium is plainly ridiculous. (Here’s an idea: If your city doesn’t have a suitable soccer stadium, or an American football stadium that can be used for a World Cup qualifier — without that obnoxious gridiron striping, of course, — your city doesn’t get to host the game. Pretty simple, really.) Coverage of the game starts at 6:30 pm at ESPN2, Watch ESPN, UniMas, and Univision Deportes.

ESPN reports Tim Howard will start tonight ahead of Brad Guzan.

Previews and such at PSPWashington Post, LA Times, Fox SportsSI, Goal.com (US, SVG), Soccer America, and US Soccer Players.

Here’s Landon Donovan’s take on what’s wrong with the US team:

I think what’s probably happened is there’s a little too much inconsistency within the team and the players in terms of who’s playing. When you come from your club team you play one way and when you come to a national team, it’s inevitable that you’re going to play a different way based on what the coach thinks or based on other players you’re playing with, so you need some semblance of continuity and the ability to get to know the people around you. I think there’s just been a little too much mixing and matching of players and positions. Our players are definitely good enough and they know they’re good enough but I think they need to be put in positions to succeed and then have some time to jell together.

Donovan also disagrees with the decision to leave Clint Dempsey off the team for the opening round of World Cup qualifiers and says he’s starting to get the itch to coach.

MLSsoccer.com and St. Louis Post-Dispatch have reports on Klinsmann’s thoughts on national team newcomers Darlington Nagbe and Matt Miazga. More on Nagbe via Eight by Eight at The Guardian.

In an article at ESPN on concerns about Klinsmann’s options in identifying and integrating the next generation of young players into the senior team, Taylor Twellman is quoted: “A lot of the players coming through the system lack personality and character on the field. When I call MLS games and just watch these games, I feel like I’m watching a bunch of clones. I feel like the players 21 and under are all the same.”

At Yahoo Sports, Leander Schaerlaeckens on why expecting Klinsmann to quickly duplicate the German national team’s success with the US team was unrealistic.

ASN reviews the US U-23s loss to Brazil on Wednesday. The teams play again on Sunday (3 pm: FS2, Fox Sports Go, Fox Sports Go).

The Daily Mail reports comments from FIFA’s chief medical officer, Jiri Dvorak, on the new US Soccer policy banning headers for players aged ten years and younger:

To our very best knowledge there is currently no true evidence of the negative effect of heading or other sub-concussive blows.

Results from studies on active and former professional football players in relation to brain function are inconclusive.

When comparing recreational and professional football players, there is no doubt that the latter group was and is more exposed to all football activities including heading from early childhood than recreational players.

Fortunately, football does not belong to the high-risk sports for brain and head injuries.

Hmm…”no true evidence” seems a bit, I don’t know, off.

CNN talks to former USWNT player Cindy Parlow Cone about how concussions ended her career.


The World Cup qualifier between Argentina and Brazil that was scheduled to be played on Thursday night was postponed because of heavy rain. It’s been rescheduled for today and you can watch it live on beIN Sports and beIN Sports en Español at 7 pm. If you hate America, that is.

For more on this week’s upcoming games on TV, online, and on satellite radio, check out the latest Footy on the Telly.

The Press Association reports, “Spain’s UEFA vice-president Ángel Villar Llona has been fined 25,000 Swiss francs (£16,000) for failing to cooperate with an investigation into the 2018 World Cup bidding process. Villar Llona, the senior vice-president in UEFA, has also been warned by FIFA’s ethics committee but has escaped a ban.” More from the AP.

Well known crook Jack Warner denies he had any agreement with the German football federation ahead of the vote for the hosting rights for the 2006 World Cup. Warner said in an email,

Sirs, if I have said it one time I have said it 1000 times and that is that I have no intention of talking or writing to anyone about my 30 year sojourn in the FIFA. Nor do I have any intention of joining the international media circus whose only objective seems to be to demean and to denigrate.

Suffice it to say however that I have never ever had any agreement of any kind with anyone on Germany’s hosting of the 2006 WOrld Cup.



  1. “Here’s an idea: If your city doesn’t have a suitable soccer stadium, or an American football stadium that can be used for a World Cup qualifier — without that obnoxious gridiron striping, of course, — your city doesn’t get to host the game. Pretty simple, really.”
    Can a brother get an Amen? Preach on, Ed. Preach on!

  2. Oh, and…
    At SI, Grant Wahl mentions, “I’m also told there’s a pretty good chance MLS owners will change the rules and bring more TAM money into the system for next season.” TAM, that’s Targeted Acquisition Money to you and me.
    It’s so nice that the owners are willing to bend the rules to help that poor, struggling team out in LA so they can keep their players. Way to step it up and help out the little guy, MLS!

    • this doesn’t even bother me as long as everyone is getting more tam. la can feel free to blow all of it on a stagnant omar gonzalez while other teams use it to pick up real difference makers

      • +1

        If all teams are given access to the same amounts then its reasonable. Up to the team to decide how to effectively use it.

      • On the other hand, I imagine it’s likely that some teams acted as though they would only have a total of $500,000 and budgeted accordingly, while LA opted to blow their whole load. Now that LA needs more the league is once again ready to change the rules to help out one of their Darlings.
        Yes, everybody gets the money. But this rule change is being done, it seems, to help one team because they decided to shoot their whole load in the first year and then cried that they can’t keep all their DPs.
        I think the deal stinks to high heaven. If this were Philadelphia or Houston or Colorado (and so on) in this position, there’s no chance the league would be finding more TAM money to distribute. But because it’s one of LA-Seattle-NY, suddenly there’s more money.

  3. May be beating a dead horse, and seems like Sugarman and Stewart have already made up their minds to keep Curtin, but Paunovic is 100x better coach. He conceived of a 3 year plan for Serbian U20 team and executed it. Curtin isn’t capable of 3 year plans. A year ago, he claimed he wanted to win a lot of games 1-0 by being Philly tough. Now, with Stewart’s hiring, he says, “And I want to play a certain way and much more attack-minded… We weren’t quite ready to play the high-pressure system we wanted, so we tweaked things a little.” Huh?!? Which is it, Jim? (By the way, the team failed abjectly if the goal was to win games 1-0. The Union gave up more than 1.6 goals per game.)

  4. el Pachyderm says:

    Is it me or every time the USNT plays somebody is running to hear what Landon Donovan has to say.
    A bunch of drone players…. well sure when all you do is drill drill drill and don’t allow academy kids to just play and have fun.
    See in the rest of the world the academy is able to be nothing but business because kids get plenty of time playing for fun when they grow up… here it’s travel here travel there PlayStation and IPads instead of pick up games.
    More chaos of free play in the academy please… less seriousness of the same drill with a little foot volley on Tuesdays. The academy has to provide creativity outlet until the culture catches up. This is NOT rocket science. Only those in charge seem to think it is.
    You can’t teach and drill the culture of clever.
    You can’t teach World Class. Someday maybe but not yet. World Class is rooted in PLAY. Deep deep play.
    Union. Figure this out. More PLAY in the Academy.
    Tab and Jurgen and Sunil. Figure this out.

    • You’re correct in theory, but until academies are able to get the best athletes I just don’t know how we can ever get to that point. In the U.S. basketball is the game of choice for urban children, and you can see the types of things you talk about at the NBA level. So until there is constant exposure (i.e. Lebron, Curry are EVERYWHERE), loads of money for endorsements and actual places to play (mini pitch in Chester is a good start), it’s just not reasonable to think those great athletes will gravitate to soccer.
      Doesn’t mean it can’t be taught, and I agree 100% that the approach to coaching needs to be changed, but I think there is much less talent available to start with, so the learning curve is steeper and goals are harder to reach. And the perceived solution to that problem is to coach fundamentals – and then more fundamentals – and then more fundamentals – until that’s all the player knows how to do. Kick, trap, run. Repeat!

      • I hear you and I recognize the athlete box as one we tend to stand on…. to me it’s just an excuse. The real problem is our federation only thinks it wants to be great. We have huge swaths of research on how to build a program… Das Reboot, Horst Wein ect ect ect.
        A century of leagues inside nations around the globe that are successful yet we continue to try to re-invent the wheel here….
        This is not about best athletes. And talent. We have 300 million people in this country. Uruguay and Chile have what 10x less… yet they are infinitely better.
        The CAM for Chile, Valdivia is likely the third last person you would pick to play any american playground game yet the guy is a genius and total football specific agile freak.
        Anyway…. our athletes are already too athletic in soccer. Athleticism is the least of our problems. Football agility is a different argument. If anything we need less linearly athletic players… and more spatially quick players. Sure DeAndre Yedlin is fast. So what…he has no idea that moving three feet to the right is the necessary idea in any given moment… Why is that? Cause he’s been ingrained to see only what is right in front of him.
        And Soccer as we call it is not basketball. So while I agree we marginalize a huge portion of our population relative to pay to play and inner city shortcomings for the game… we have plenty plenty athletes in the academy. What we don’t have is IQ and hunger for the game that is insatiable. The IQ follows the appetite.
        What we don’t have is a key ring or master key to unlock defenses. What we don’t have is enough fun…. the game in this country is SO serious…from travel at 8 years old and driving to Maryland at 10 and terrified to make mistakes which leeches the appetite right out of our kids before they even hit puberty….on and on and on and on I could go..but I digress….
        You can’t teach a team how to unlock a defense in final third. Only the subconscious can do that from hours and hours and hours of fucking around with your buddies. It has been our achilles heel forever and until the culture changes (which it is glacially) or the system we have addresses the issue properly (which it is trying but still archaic) the changes will drag on and on and on and we will continue to think that actually advancing from the group stage in a major event is some kind of sign of success or advancement when in actuality by now it should be a passé metric.
        My best advice…. shut down ALL formal activities next summer… send out the best and brightest this Soccer Federation has all over the east and west coast and WATCH the local enclaves and how they react to the Copa being in America… watch how the latins, the mexicans, the turks, the bolivians, the serbs, the africans handle the greatest football spectacle in the world…right here in our backyard.
        Just get out of the way and observe and learn.

    • btw. Not attributing the drone quote to the old number 10.

  5. Patrick Vieira on becoming head coach of NYCFC:

    Of course, I still have a lot to learn about the MLS. But what was important to me was to have the right people around me who can help me to understand how things work in the MLS. But at the end of the day, these are football matches. It is 11 against 11, the size of the goals are the same from here to Europe…

    At Yankee stadium, the goals being the same size as Europe is about where it ends Mr. Vieira. Good luck.

  6. FIFA says there’s no true evidence of negative effects from heading the ball. Case closed. Who would trust scientific evidence from the medical community over FIFA?

    • I think the FIFA argument for head injury is relative to collisions and tackling during games and they suggest no clear evidence shows that actually heading the ball is the problem…
      ….I’ve seen in other news sources, the rest of europe tends to agree.

  7. Off Topic- My 9 YO daughter just described a player on her team as like Andrew Wegner. Lots of talent, just needs to get out of her own head – the girls has great skills but will do an extra pullback or step over to get the perfect shot rather then taking a 90% shot. And my daughter is Andrew Wegner’s superfan, we stayed after the Orlando game to get his autograph – so she is hoping the best for both of them.

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