Daily news roundups

Union bits, BSFC supporters group, Celtic-Dundee in Philly talk, Fire name Pauno head coach, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin talks to new Sons of Ben president Ami Rivera, who understands it’s “been a rough couple of years” for the team and the Sons of Ben, with the protest against Nick Sakiewicz in May “probably the hardest I remember having it.” Rivera remains optimistic, though. “It really is a labor of love. If you love this organization and you love what you do with it, it just becomes a part of your overall life. And it’s become such an integral part of mine.”

Zeitlin writes, “[I]n the few weeks since she’s taken over as president, Rivera has already talked to as many past and current members as possible about the best ways to boost morale, improve the tailgates and gameday atmosphere, and stay true to the organization’s principles of giving back to the community through charity projects.”

Michael Lahoud is on the latest ExtraTime Radio pod.

Bethlehem Steel FC

A Bethlehem Steel FC supporters group has been forming on Facebook. Philly Sports Network says a vote for the group’s name will be taking place at the end of the month.

Union Academy

The Union Academy U-15/16 game against LA Galaxy at the Development Academy Showcase in Florida on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 3 pm will be streamed live on US Soccer’s YouTube channel.


In the final USA Today/NSCAA High School Boys Soccer National Poll of 2015, undefeated newly crowned PIAA Class AAA state champions CB East (26-0-0) come in at No. 9. Yes, I agree, just how a team can be dropped one spot from the previous week’s poll after winning a state championship is a good question.

In the final poll for Region III, CB East comes in at No. 2. Delbarton School (Morristown, N.J.) is at No. 3, Washington Township (Sewell, N.J.) at No. 4, Haverford School (Haverford, Pa.) at No. 5, Conestoga (Berwyn, Pa.) at No. 6, and Springfield Delco (Springfield, Pa.) at No. 13. Father Judge (Philadelphia, Pa.) received votes but did not make the Top 15.

In the final Region III girls soccer poll, CB East came in at No. 7, Immaculate Heart Academy (Township of Washington, N.J.) at No. 8, Cumberland Valley (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) at No. 9, Shawnee (Medford, N.J.) at No. 12, Eastern (Voorhees Township, N.J.) at No. 14, and Villa Joseph Marie (Southampton, Pa.) at No. 15.

In the final Region IV boys soccer poll, Salesianum School (Wilmington, Del.) came in at No. 3, Charter School of Wilmington (Wilmington, Del.) at No. 11, and Appoquinimink (Bear, Del.) at No. 12.

Celtic vs. Dundee in Philly?

STV and the BBC report Celtic and Dundee “are in advanced talks” to play a Scottish Premier League game in the US next season and Philadelphia, along with Boston, is a possible site for the game. A statement on the Dundee website confirms “initial discussions” have taken place with Celtic: “The proposal is very much is in its early stages and of course the relevant approvals would be sought from the SPFL Board at the appropriate time.”

While a SPFL spokesperson tells STV the league “has not received any application from any member club for any games to be played overseas,” the BBC reports, “A formal proposal is set to be put before the SPFL in the next few weeks.”

Meanwhile, PA Sports reports, “FIFA has warned Dundee and Celtic it might have the final say on their plans to host a Ladbrokes Premiership clash in the United States.” The report says UEFA “also warned both clubs they would face hurdles before they could start planning to cross the Atlantic.”

The PA Sports report quotes John Joe Devlin, chairman of the Philadelphia Celtic Supporters Club: “If the NFL can take games to London I don’t see why the SPFL can’t allow a game to take place in the States.”

Kris Boyd, who you will recall played for Portland Timbers in 2012 and is most associated with Kilmarnock and Rangers, tells the BBC he’s against the idea. “I think there are avenues for the Scottish game to tap into if you look at the American model. But, for our teams to go there to play, I don’t think it’s right…It’s not for me. With the two of them being Scottish clubs, it’s right that they play in Scotland. It’s obviously a big market for Celtic with them being a worldwide club and because Dundee’s owners are American, that’s why they’ll be trying to explore it…But the majority of Dundee fans will be from Dundee. I don’t imagine there’ll be a lot in America. With Celtic, there will be. That comes with the size of the club.”

At the Daily Record, Dundee supporter Gary Cocker thinks the idea of playing a SPFL game in the US could work. I certainly like the idea of “pehs” being on sale at the Linc.

If the game takes place in Philadelphia, it will be the sixth time Celtic has played in the city: First against Philly all-star teams in 1931 and 1951, against Manchester United in 2003, against the Union in 2010, and against Real Madrid in 2012. Dundee played Ukrainian Nationals in Philly in 1967, winning 1-0.


Chicago Fire have named former Union man Veljko Paunovic their new head coach. Fire general manager Nelson Rodríguez described Paunovic as “our first choice.” Paunovic describes the Fire as “a hurt lion ready to unleash all its power.” The Daily Herald calls the hire a “bold but risky choice.” More on the hire from Chicago Sun-TimesCSN Chicago, Chicago Fire ConfidentialHot Time in Old Town, MLSsoccer.com (report, analysis), Soccer America, and Goal.com.

Jesse Marsch has been voted MLS Coach of the Year.

Ahead of the second-leg games of the conference finals on Sunday, ESPN has a list of the all-time greatest MLS playoff comebacks.

At SI, Grant Wahl has a look at the kinds of bonuses that are available in player contracts.

Michael Bradley says he’d consider an offseason return to Serie A.

A Bradley Wright-Phillips offseason loan to Bournemouth?

At ASN, Brian Sciaretta has more on the youth development system at FC Dallas.

Preseason participants in the Desert Friendlies and FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup Tournament have been announced.

Minnesota United have named the firm Populous as designer of its stadium. More on the news at Pioneer Press, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, and Finance & Commerce.

Miami Herald reports the plan to build the Beckham United stadium in the Little Havana section of Miami is in jeopardy, with negotiations with small private property owners the main sticking point. Miami Beckham United partner Tim Leiweke tells CNBC, “I think we have found a site. It’s probably different than what people think we’re doing, but we’re going to know in the next several days.” (Leiweke’s comments on Miami happen at the end of the clip around the 3-minute mark.)

On the Cosmos stadium front, Newsday reported on Monday, “After bids languished for nearly three years, the Cuomo administration has contacted developers about revamping proposals for Belmont Park and informed them that one significant parcel is no longer on the table.” A report at Empire of Soccer breaks down what the latest developments could mean for the Cosmos’ proposed $400 million project.

In another EOS report, Cosmos COO Erik Stover says he’s encouraged by the new movement from the state, even if one of the parcels of land is no longer on the table. Meanwhile, the team continues to explore other options. “You have to because we haven’t gotten anywhere yet,” Stover admits. “We have a very short window to reaffirm our interest to the state so we have to focus on that through the holidays and hopefully get an answer but we haven’t thrown out any of our other options yet. If we have to continue looking at them, we will.

It’s official: Tony Meola is the new head coach of NASL side Jacksonville Armada.

On MLS hopefuls in Cincinnati and Calgary.


The USWNT roster for the final World Cup Victory Tour games has been announced. It is Abby Wambach’s last call-up. The roster includes eight players who were not on the World Cup-winning team, with NWSL Rookie of the Year Danielle Colaprico, and University of Wisconsin junior Rose Lavelle, getting their first call-ups with the senior squad.

CNN with a late entry into the Most Laughable Headline of the Year Award with “BlazerCon: How Two Men In Blazers brought soccer to US.


A must read from Wright Thompson at ESPN The Magazine on the Paris attacks.

From the AP: “French and Russian authorities plan to increase security at fan zones at next year’s European Championship and the 2018 World Cup following the attacks in Paris.”

At The Guardian, Owen Gibson reports, “Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter are facing life bans from football, with the Fifa ethics committee charging them with corruption related to a £1.35m payment to the Frenchman in 2011.”

Sky Sports reports, “Sepp Blatter is challenging FIFA’s ethics committee’s powers to remove him as president of football’s world governing body, according to his adviser…The 79-year-old outgoing FIFA president is also considering an attempt to go over the head of the ethics committee.”

According to Jacques Vendroux, a friend of Platini and head of sport at Radio France, the suspended UEFA president is being treated like he is “worse than Al Capone.”

From Soccer America:

The pushback from Blatter since the arrest of seven FIFA officials in May at the the Baur au Lac Hotel in Zurich and Platini takes attention away from a more pressing issue: FIFA can’t sign new sponsors, revenues are suffering and cuts will have to be made. “It is not a forgone conclusion that the company [FIFA] will survive,” a senior person close to FIFA told the Financial Times. “It is up in the air.”

An air of unreality hangs over FIFA as lawyers work to keep the world governing body afloat. The ongoing investigations by U.S. and Swiss investigators are expected to reveal many more cases of corruption. As the FT was told, some FIFA bosses still “think this will go away. Most of the executive committee are in denial. Only a small group understands.”

Also from the AP: “A Singaporean man [Tan Seet Eng] detained for more than two years under suspicion of being the mastermind behind a global football match-fixing syndicate is to be released after the court of appeal ruled he was being held unlawfully.”

From The Guardian: “St Pauli have won back the lucrative marketing rights to their famous skull and crossbones logo, after a five-year legal battle with their merchandising partners.”


  1. I wish my team was a hurt lion ready to unleash all of its power.
    The Union always seemed like a still sedated puppy wondering what happened to its balls and thwarted from investigated by a large plastic cone.

  2. And here we are stuck with Curtin…

    • Hold up Rude Boy. As much as I like Pauno he is very much an unproven commodity.

      • And I was under the impression that coaching was not the problem in Chicago, but rather the front office.

      • They cleaned house there too. At least on the soccer side. If Internet-commenting Fire fans are accurate, all that’s left is a new PR department, new stadium location, and new owner…er, investor-operator. They’re making progress!

      • Winning this little tournament with the U20s is light years ahead of Curtins track record. Which is … what again?

      • Philly tough.

      • So. Still not a pro coach in a salary capped league. Youth Coaches have a hard time adjusting to coaching grown ass men. This isn’t a comparison to Curtin per se this is putting Pauno on a pedestal on a really thin coaching CV.

  3. Celtic is coming back to play in Philly? Good, it’s been a while since we had a fire in the PPL Park stands.

  4. Men in Blazers had a 1/2 hr BlazerCon special last night on NBCSports. Quite impressive the folks they got to come (the guys in charge of the MLS, German and English leagues), Martino, couple English & MLS owners, couple girls from the WC team, and Charlie the Red. Also impressive they sold 1,300 tickets at min. $225 a pop. They also had good beer and pies. Thinking of going next year.

  5. I’ll add to the news that Carli Lloyd will be the grand marshal of the Thanksgiving parade in Philly tomorrow.
    Happy Turkey Day to all!

  6. Bethlehem supporters name suggestion – Men of Steel. At the start of every home game the supporters rip off their shirts to show the Superman S underneath

  7. OneManWolfpack says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone at PSP and everyone who comments!!

  8. James lockerbie says:

    And a happy thanksgiving to you

  9. Best wishes to everyone for a great and safe holiday! See you all on Monday!… Maybe!

  10. Happy Turkey Day all!

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