Daily news roundups

Paris, West Chester United wins USOC qualifier, report says Linc a Copa Centenario venue, more

“Peace for Paris” illustration by Jean Jullien 

Paris

When doing last Friday’s roundup I came across reports from Paris that a bomb threat had forced the evacuation of the hotel where the German national team was staying ahead of the France-Germany friendly at Stade de France later that day. That’s a little over the top for a friendly, I thought, and I chose not to include links to the roundup.

Later on Friday during the France-Germany friendly, a series of three loud bangs were heard, the first occurring in the 20th minute of play.

We now know the first bang came when a terrorist who was trying to enter the stadium was stopped from doing so by stadium security when, in frisking him, they discovered he was wearing a vest “loaded with explosives and bolts” which he then detonated “While attempting to back away from security.” The Wall Street Journal reported “police suspect the attacker aimed to detonate his vest inside the stadium in order to provoke a deadly stampede.”

About three minutes later, a second attacker blew himself up outside the stadium with a third doing the same at a nearby McDonald’s soon after. The explosions outside the Stade de France marked the start of a series despicable and cowardly attacks in Paris that have left 129 dead and more than 300 wounded.

Meanwhile, as the France-Germany game continued, journalists and fans inside the stadium began to receive word of the attacks. Some began to leave the game early. At halftime, officials and coaches on both teams were informed attacks were underway. The New York Times reported,

Both coaches kept the information to themselves. Mr. Deschamps seriously considered telling the French players, according to a high-ranking official with the French soccer federation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, but ultimately decided against it because, at that time, the extent of the violence was unknown. Mr. Löw did the same…

As soon as the match ended, however — around 10:50 p.m. — the gravity of the events quickly became clear. Several German players stopped in the tunnel leading to the locker rooms, rooted in front of televisions that were showing news updates. In the French locker room, Thierry Braillard, France’s secretary of state for sport, gave an impromptu address to the players, informing them of the tragedy unfolding, an official who was present said.

While French midfielder/forward Antoine Griezmann frantically tried to contact his sister Maude, who was attending the concert at the Bataclan music venue that was the location of greatest carnage from the attack, fans who had been unable to leave the stadium gathered on the pitch. Others leaving the stadium’s crowded exit tunnels sang La Marseillaise, the French national anthem.

French authorities informed both teams that, because their safety could not be guaranteed, they would have to remain in the stadium. The French team was able to leave around 3 am for their training center, located around 40 miles outside of Paris. The German team was finally able to leave around 7 am and were taken to the airport to be flown back to Germany.

Griezmann tweeted on Saturday that his sister was able to escape the concert unharmed. Tragically, Asta Diakité, the cousin of French midfielder Lassana Diarra, was among those killed in the attacks. Diarra said in a statement, “In this climate of terror, it is important for all of us who represent our country and its diversity to stay united against a horror which has no colour, no religion. Stand together for love, respect and peace.”

In the immediate aftermath of the attacks there was some speculation that Tuesday’s England-France friendly at Wembley Stadium in London would be cancelled. While one report says all 23-players on the French team rejected an offer to cancel the match, which will take place on Tuesday at 3 pm (FS1, Fox Soccer 2Go, Fox Sports Go, Fox Deportes, SiriusXM FC), later reports say the decision to proceed with the match was not made in consultation with the players. Diarra and Griezmann will both be with the French team.

Wembley Stadium will be illuminated in the red, white, and blue colors of the French flag, with France’s national motto — Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité — also on display, as has been the case since Friday night’s attack. Fans attending the game are being urged to demonstrate their solidarity by singing La Marseillaise before the start of the game. A petition has also been launched calling on England’s FA to donate the profits from the match the the French Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. Germany will play Holland on Tuesday as scheduled.

Meanwhile, questions about the security precautions that will necessarily be amplified for Euro 2016, to be staged in France this summer, will grow. Jacques Lambert, head of the tournament’s organizing committee, said, “We all need to assess and decide over the coming weeks what is best for the safety of spectators at the Euros. We have worked for three years on safety measures with the Interior Ministry and the prefectures in each of the host cities. We have not finished the job, but we still have seven months to refine, tweak, adjust. It is obvious that lessons are being learned and will be drawn from what has happened in Paris. There will be additional and different things planned. Security is the major challenge in organising this event.”

Back in the US, The Wall Street Journal reports, “Major League Soccer officials in the U.S. are upgrading security for upcoming playoff matches after the Paris attacks, a spokesman said. He said the league had allowed clubs to set their own protocols but that everyone would now be brought up to a single standard that will include bag checks for all fans and other security measures at next weekend’s playoff matches.”

Philadelphia Union

A post at the Union website notes the success Leo Fernandes has had on loan with New York Cosmos.

At Brotherly Game, two brothers debate whether Jim Curtin should be head coach.

Brotherly Game reviews the 2015 season of Warren Creavalle and Raymond Lee. Philly Sports Cave reviews Richie Marquez’s 2015 season.

Local

West Chester United Predators defeated Salone FC on Sunday 3-0 to advance to the final round of Open Division qualifiers for the US Open Cup, which will take place in April. check out our profile from Friday.

A report at ESPN says, “according to a source,” Lincoln Financial Field is “locked in” to be one of the hosts of the Copa Centenario 2016.

Star News Online has an oral history of the USL that includes comments from Harrisburg City Islanders head coach Bill Becher.

MLS

Interim no more: Montreal Impact announced on Friday Mauro Biello has been named head coach and director of player personnel.

Didier Drogba, will you return to Chelsea during the MLS offseason? “To train, why not? It’s something we have to discuss with the club here. I belong to the Montreal Impact. To stay in shape, why not? To play, I’m really not too hot on that idea. I need to rest well and to be ready for this league.”

Sebastian Giovinco is not going on loan, either,

Orlando City lost its friendly with Flamengo on Sunday at the Maracana in Brazil, 1-0. Win or lose, it will have been a special game for former Union man Pedro Ribeiro.

Don Garber says the first league MLS must surpass on its quest to become one of the world’s dominant leagues is Mexico’s Liga MX. “It takes us from where we  are today, to spending about three times more money that we’re spending now, that’s just to be able to beat the Mexicans on a regular basis. It’s not getting our top teams to spend more, it’s getting our middle teams to spend more so that we’re competitive against these clubs on a day to day basis. And once we get Mexico, then we’ll go to the next level, go to the next level.”

ASN says wages are still the best predictor of performance.

Gastón Cellerino scored a hat trick as New York Cosmos defeated Ottawa Fury 3-2 on Sunday to claim the 2015 NASL championship.

In a Q&A at ESPN, NASL commissioner Bill Peterson says the league’s “still interested” in pro/rel. He also says North America is big enough for more than one top league and maybe one day MLS and NASL will play each other: “It’s just like baseball. The American League and the National League competed against each other for decades. And they were smart enough to play each other at the end, right? So maybe we’ll be smart like that one day.”

US

PSPUS Soccer, CONCACAF, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Washington Post, MLssoccer.com (recap, analysis), ASN (recap, analysis),  SI (recap, analysis), Soccer America, Goal.com (recap, analysis), SBI,   The Guardian,

Player ratings at Soccer America, ESPN,  ASNMLSsoccer.com,

Praise for Fabian Johnson (ASN, ESPN), and the central defence pairing of Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron.

Nice to see Darlington “It was definitely complete happiness” Nagbe and Matt Miazga get their first caps for the US.

At US Soccer.com, part 1 and 2 of a Q&A with Jurgen Klinsmann discussing the start of the qualification cycle.

At SI, Brian Straus says it is time for Klinsmann to reclaim CONCACAF.

At ESPN, Noah Davis says if the US is going to fire Klinsmann, now is the time.

Speaking to reporters before Friday night’s game, US Soccer president Sunil Gulati spoke to reporters on a number of topics, from Jurgen Klinsmann’s job security (safe for now), FIFA corruption (a culture change is needed at FIFA), to why he did not appear before the recent congressional panel on FIFA corruption (it’s complicated), and promotion/relegation (extremely unlikely).  More at Washington Post, SI, ESPN (Klinsmann, need for culture change at FIFA, pro/rel), Fox Sports (Klinsmann, congressional hearing), MLSsoccer.com, and Goal.com.

The US U-23s were crushed 5-1 on Sunday in their second friendly with Brazil, part of its preparations for the two-game series of playoffs against Colombia to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics. More at SBI.

Following the announcement from US Soccer last week of the federation’s new policy on heading the ball in youth soccer, SI has a Q&A with Dr. Robert Cantu, “one of the U.S.’s leading experts on concussions in sports.”

New York Times and Philly.com on BlazerCon.

Nice:

Elsewhere

The AP reports, “The Bahraini sheikh [Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa] running for FIFA president hit back at human rights groups who have accused him of helping authorities arrest footballers for protesting against the country’s ruling monarchy, calling the allegations ‘dirty tricks and dirty lies.'”

Reuters reports, “World soccer body FIFA announced on Monday it had banned two officials from Nepal and Laos for taking cash during FIFA elections, extending moves to root out corruption that has shaken the international game.” Ganesh Thapa, president of the All-Nepal Football Association, was banned for 10 years, while Viphet Sihachakr, president of the Laotian Football Federation, received a two-year ban.

The Guardian reports, “Migrant labourers in Qatar say they are being paid to fill empty seats at football matches featuring the Spanish star Xavi Hernández, who was signed to boost local interest in the game before the Gulf state hosts the 2022 World Cup.”

9 Comments

  1. The Aoyama brothers are killing it! The youngest for the Delco U14’s and the eldest for the West Chester United Predators; congrats to them!

  2. el Pachyderm says:

    Quiet. The only thing I can think to do. Be well friends.

  3. Security personnel stopped the one bomber from entering the stadium with a frisk, so although he still caused damage it could’ve been much worse. Great work by the security personnel, as they saved many lives and more damage by doing their job. Hopefully I don’t hear anyone complain about getting patted down or going through a metal detector at a game anymore.

  4. BlazerCon…meh.

  5. Great news about The Linc (apparently) being a host for next year’s Copa. Should be a great time.
    .
    Sad for France. Peace be with everyone who has been affected.

  6. Great article how Iceland became a powerhouse: http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/30012357
    Gudjohnson to Philly?

  7. Garber’s comments confuse me all the more as to why they didn’t raise the salary cap more during the last CBA. That and quotes by Robert Kraft of all people saying that he wants to increase the salary cap as well. Why did it not happen?!?

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