Daily news roundups

News and such

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

At the Union website, Andre Blake talks about his recent callup with the Jamaica national team, which included him keeping a clean sheet in Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Haiti after remaining on the bench for the game for the 2-0 loss to Panama last Friday. “I thought I was going to play in the first game but for whatever reason the coach didn’t play me. I kept myself mentally prepared so when my number was called for the game against Haiti, I was up and ready to play…The games that seem quiet are sometimes the hardest games to stay focused in so for me, the game wasn’t easy at all. I had to make sure I was ready and found different ways to keep myself in the game.”

Brotherly Game has a season review for Andrew Wenger and a “blueprint for overhauling the Union” that begins with several tBG contributors replacing key staff at the club.

More on the new professional rugby league that reports have said will include a Philadelphia team with PPL Park as its home.

Oh, Freddy.

Bethlehem Steel FC

A reminder that the Bethlehem Steel FC open tryout is on Sunday. After check-ins start at 8:30 am, the tryout begins at 10:00am at the Kaufman Soccer Fields on the campus of Lehigh University. Registration information is available here. Only registered players can participate.

Local

At the Inquirer, a report on CB East’s 2-1 win over Conestoga in the state semifinals. The team faces Seneca Valley in the PIAA Class AAA title game at 6:30 pm Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium.

MLS

At ESPN, Graham Parker considers the effect the international break could have on the MLS conference finals.

A quote from Sigi Schmid about a possible league-wide trend in the offseason may resonate with Union fans:

This is probably going to be the most eventful offseason in MLS history. This is gonna be the toughest year for players. I think more of the middle-income players are going to be squeezed out on various teams, and with a lot of teams, there’s going to be a group of players, and they’ll be supported by a lot of young players underneath…

A juggler sometimes has three or four balls in the air, I think we’ve probably got about 10 in the air right now. Once one of those balls hits the ground, that might determine what the next one is. But at this stage, a lot of things are up in the air.

In related news, an article on the Sounders website says, “Seattle Sounders General Manager and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey confirmed Wednesday that the club has offered the richest Homegrown Player contract in MLS history to Jordan Morris, in hopes that he’ll join the club after wrapping up his college career at Stanford University.”

Houston Chronicle reports, “Three years after a sale fell through in the final stages, Phil Anschutz’s Anschutz Entertainment Group appears close to selling its 50 percent share in the Dynamo. According to a person close to the negotiations, the sale of AEG’s 50 percent stake in the Dynamo is in the final stages ‘but not imminent.'” You will recall AEG also owns LA Galaxy.

Landon Donovan says,

You’d be surprised. The amount of emails I get – my agent gets emails from billionaire businessmen who now want to get involved because when you see franchise values of sports teams in America they skyrocket quickly.

So Major League Soccer is still very relatively cheap to get into and they see there is a possibility not only to have a good business venture but to continue to help build something special. I’m surprised how many billionaires there are.

Orlando Sentinel reports the Orlando Citrus Bowl, as confirmed by Central Florida Sports Commission President and CEO John Bisignano, will host “at least two pool games and a third game that will be either a pool game or potentially a knockout-round game” in the Copa Centenario. The report says, “Orlando would likely be a top candidate to host Brazil and Colombia. Central Florida is one of the top tourist destinations for both countries, and Orlando City’s unique connection to Brazil through team owner Flávio Augusto da Silva and star midfielder Kaká make the Citrus Bowl a common-sense selection to host that squad.”

Football Italia reports, “Antalyaspor President Gultekin Gencer says he has New York City FC’s ‘Andrea Pirlo’s green light’ for a transfer alongside Ronaldinho.” (Don’t cry those tears, Union Hulk.) The Turkish club will reportedly pay Pirlo €2 million — or about $2,135,800 — for only eight games. Another report says he could go on loan to Inter.

Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote to New England Revolution?

The league has announced a new partnership with Fox Sports to broadcast games in sub-Saharan Africa (Abu Dhabi Media carries MLS in North Africa). “With this partnership, the league’s eighth international broadcast deal, MLS will be distributed to nearly 140 countries and territories around the world.”

US

Michael Bradley on the performance of the USMNT in 2015: “We play to win big games and on that end, we have to call a spade a spade: We came up short this year…Look, there’s nothing we can do about it now. We have to use it all as experiences to move ourselves forward. Next year is another big year.”

At Soccer America, Mike Woitalla says replacing Jurgen Klinsmann now is a low-risk move, writing of Tuesday’s road draw against Trinidad and Tobago: “For anyone to feel confident that keeping faith in Klinsmann is the right course, something exciting needed to come from his team. Instead, this performance deserved the most dreaded of descriptions for a soccer game: boring…But most importantly, the display didn’t reveal any signs that this is a team on the upswing.”

At Soccer Wire, Charles Boehm disagrees with Klinsmann’s recent assertion that US NTs have made big strides.

At ASN, John Halloran says the problem for the US in 2015 was in the attacking third. “When added up over the course of 2015, the U.S. has averaged a 52% advantage in possession over its opponents, but has been outshot 291-206.”

More viewers watched the Spanish language broadcast of Tuesday’s game on NBC Universo (289,000) than the English language broadcast on beIN Sports (182,000). While the beIN Sports numbers — the lowest for an English language broadcast of a USMNT in 2015 — are surely related to the fact that the network is not widely available on cable providers across the country, the team’s recent poor form must also be a factor in the low numbers overall. Soccer America notes, for example, “Friday’s USA-St. Vincent & the Grenadines opener averaged 491,000 viewers on ESPN2. Three years ago, the USA’s opening qualifier against Antigua & Barbuda averaged 899,000 viewers on ESPN.”

In related access news, Variety reports, “Hispanic media giant Univision Communications is going over-the-top with the launch of Univision Now, a direct-to-consumer Internet video service priced at $5.99 per month.”

Elsewhere

Over the next three matches, all Paris Saint-Germain teams will wear jerseys with the words “Je suis Paris” — I am Paris — under the team crest to honor the victims of last week’s terrorist attacks.

The AP reports, “Spanish officials are promising unprecedented security measures for Saturday’s soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona following the attacks in Paris.”

At ESPN, Simon Kuper wonders if we are witnessing the beginning of a new age of stadium terrorism.

ESPN reports, “Michel Platini’s legal team believe the UEFA president has not been treated fairly but are still confident that he will have his ban lifted in time for next year’s FIFA election.” Of FIFA’s decision to reject Platini’s appeal, one member of his legal team said, “It’s a kind of grand slam of violations of all the principles of a fair trial. I’ve never seen that, even in totalitarian countries. It’s outrageous.” Platini says he will appeal FIFA’s decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Sepp Blatter’s lawyers issued a statement saying the FIFA president is “disappointed” his appeal of the provisional ban against him was rejected but he remains “committed to clearing his name.”

The AP reports, “FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein has said he will support holding the World Cups in Russia and Qatar despite the allegations of malpractice surrounding their bids.” Asked specifically about allegations of corruption with Qatar winning the the right to host the 2022 World Cup, Prince Ali said, “That’s the big issue out there in the media — at the same time I do believe they have right to host it and we do need to have the celebration in our part of the world. But we have to look at it and make sure that nothing in the future happens as it has in the past.” So principled.

Another AP report says, “Violence should not force teams to play matches outside their home countries, FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali bin al-Hussein said Wednesday.”

Reuters reports, “FIFA presidential candidate Tokyo Sexwale says he wants national teams to be able to wear sponsors’ names on their shirts at an expanded World Cup tournament.” Sigh.

The AP reports, “Too many FIFA member federations are secretive about what they do and how they spend money, according to an anti-corruption monitor’s study. A total of 168 of the 209 FIFA members fail to make financial reports publicly available,Transparency International said in research published Thursday.” You can read a summary of the report here (link to full report here).

More reports say the head of Chile’s FA is in the US as an informant for the investigation into FIFA corruption.

15 Comments

  1. and don’t miss The Guardian’s report on CS Lebowski

  2. el Pachyderm says:

    I could slap Simon Kuper.
    .
    Obvious Mike Woitalla is over the Klinsman Experience.
    .
    That game was a snooze fest. God I’d rather watch the NFL than that slop for 65 minutes and that’s saying something.

    • Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

      Curious, what is your issue with Kuper’s article? Seems like a decent first person account of what happened in the Stade de France and some reasonable conclusions drawn from past and current situations.

      • Allow me to rephrase…. I have no issue at all with commentary regarding first hand experience of the event…. what I have issue with is espn/Kuper drawing attention to the article with a shitty title…. that is sensationalism IMO. ESPN is notorious for this… so maybe my comment is directed wrongly and for that I accept responsibility.
        .
        It is a real tenuous tenuous time right now and part of me feels… “no shit” — stadiums could become a target…. but do you have to say it….and you certainly don’t have to give this faction any more ideas then they already have; for me this no different when I get on an airplane the dread of wrong place wrong time… and I don’t need someone telling me this could be the new reality. Isn’t it obvious?
        .
        Tell me about the horror of your experience..fine… tell me I have to pucker my ass cheeks when I walk into stadiums forever…when I already know it…. now I’m annoyed.
        .
        “Terrorism is made for TV” and to this I whole-heartedly agree. We feed the flame and give this acts whether domestic or international the exact attention the perpetrators crave. The rise of the media age and the rise of terror were joined together.

      • from my limited experience, it’s pretty rare for the journalist to write his or her own headline.

      • Fair point John.
        .
        I may have missed the mark and wish I would have pointed the bitch slap at ESPN, who is historically egregious in their article titles. Salty about the whole thing I guess… and clouded the call from me.
        .
        Mea culpa.

      • And headlines are only getting worse, thanks (not!) to Buzzfeed and their ilk.

  3. Oh how far you have fallen Freddy…

  4. I stopped reading the Brotherly Game article when I got to “Maurice Edu to Norwich for Gary Hooper.”

  5. Really hoping Tokyo Sexwale didn’t just put his entire candidacy at risk with the national team jersey sponsor idea.

  6. If your looking for me summer 2016 Centenario….. I’ll be down The Linc … hope you are too…
    .
    that said…. hosting a final on a field with ‘fake grass’ sodden over well…. fake grass just seems a bit off to me… can you imagine Messi kicking the turf because the gyroscope of his hips and legs lose the ball on a gnikcuf seam or dead patch…. mumbling mumbling mumbling something about ass crack and savage in his native tongue.
    .
    The solution to the final… the latin and south american Copa final is clearly southern california.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

%d bloggers like this: