Daily news roundups

PPL Park now Talen Energy Stadium, Academy’s Dos Santos and McGann get US U-17 callup, more

Photo: Garen M

Philadelphia Union

Talen Energy Stadium it is, then.

Union Chief Revenue Officer and Executive Vice President Dave Rowan said in a press release on Tuesday morning, “We look forward to continuing a strategic and great partnership with Talen Energy and are truly excited for the stadium to have a new look come 2016. While the name will be changing, we remain solely devoted to bringing our loyal fans the best possible game-day experience and we welcome this change as a recommitment to our values.” (The release notes Talen Energy “was formed June 1 by spinning off PPL Corporation’s competitive energy business and combining it with generation assets owned by Riverstone Holdings. The company’s diverse generating fleet operates in well-developed, structured wholesale power markets.”)

The new name, first reported by Allentown Morning Call on July 2, doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it? Will we all call it simply “Talen” or will it be “the Talen”? Who will be the first to make a “Talon” Energy Stadium graphic?

The annual Top 10 moments of the season vote has begun at the Union website. First up is Zach Pfeffer’s stoppage time game winner against DC on May 17 versus Sebastien Le Toux’s late winner against Chicago in August’s US Open Cup semifinal.

Stony Brook University student newspaper The Statesman on the success alum Leo Fernandes found on loan from Philadelphia Union to the New York Cosmos. The article describes, “Fernandes now strives for another chance in the top league.” Fernandes says, “I feel like I’ve grown so much as a player this year. When you’re young, you need to get games in. That was the most important thing for me this year. I’ve played over 25 games this year and that’s going to help me so much in the future.”

Remember when there used to be several Union players on the ASN Top 100 of US players? In the final edition for 2015, Maurice Edu is the lone Union player on the rankings. Former Union man Jack McInerney, now with Columbus, is at No. 81, and a Union jersey wearing Amobi Okugo, now with Kansas City after being traded from Orlando, is at No. 89.

Edu is also one of 16 nominees for the league’s Most Social MLS Player award.

Philly Sports Cave reviews Edu’s 2015 season.

Brotherly Game looks at what happened to the 2010 Union’s goalkeepers.

Union Academy

Union Academy goalkeeper Carlos Dos Santos, and defender Rayshaun McGann, have been called up for the US U-17 MNT that will be playing in the Nike International Friendlies, which begin on Wednesday. Also called up is forward Tonny Temple (IMG Academy; Millville, Pa.).

MLSsoccer.com notes, “Former Philadelphia Union and US U-17 coach John Hackworth will take charge of the team for the tournament. US Soccer has not publicly issued a statement regarding the future of Richie Williams, who coached the last two cycles of U-17 national teams.” Since his departure from the Union, Hackworth has been head coach of the US U-15 BNT.

The US U-17s face England on Wednesday, Netherlands on Friday, and Brazil on Sunday. Kick off for all of the games, which can be viewed live on the US Soccer YouTube channel, is at 6 pm.

On Saturday at 3 pm you can watch the Union U-15/16s take on LA Galaxy U-15/16s in the Development Academy Showcase that is taking place along with the Nike International Friendlies tournament.


Shane Rineer, head coach of the Haverford College men’s team, has been named the NSCAA Division III Mid Atlantic Region Coach of the Year.

Sydney Zandi (Penn Fusion; West Chester, Pa.) has been called up for the final US U-17 WNT training camp of the year, taking place Dec. 5-12 in Sunrise, Fla.


Tickets for this Sunday’s MLS Cup final in Columbus between the Crew and Portland Timbers sold out Monday morning. Coverage of the game begins at 4 pm on Sunday (ESPN, UniMás).

At ESPN, Graham Parker says NYRB and Dallas will return stronger next year after losing out in the conference finals.

From The Nutmeg News:

Timbers fans across the United States have reportedly stated that they can’t wait to become the most insufferable fanbase in the league if they win the 2015 Major League Soccer Cup on Sunday December 6th.

“If we win it is going to be the most obnoxious and copious amount of circle jerking that you have ever seen in your life” said Timbers fan Kelly Sanders. “We are going to flood every form of social media with our self proclaimed greatness and it is going to make our current constant circle jerk over our crowd and passion seem like child’s play.”…

TNN reporters also spoke with Harold Dubois of Gresham about this phenomenon and he had the following to say, “For 40 years we have only ever had the greatness of our crowd and fans to talk about. Now just imagine adding in a trophy and having the best team in the league. My god. The blowback from this will be amazing. Our tifo celebrating our self will be epic. The 107ist already invited Major League Soccer to make a video about our bureaucracy that leads to our tifo displays with the video crew planning on making a long form documentary about the planning committee talking to the design committee about making a financial appropriation that leads to a tifo display. Expect this 30 minute documentary to be shot in 4k standard and available to download with the proceeds being donated to a local charity that helps children cope with the loss of their pets. We also have a reporter from the Guardian writing a column on the charity and the film and the tifo, as well, giving us four way coverage of the whole affair.”

Made me laugh.

Interesting quote from Orlando City owner Flávio Augusto da Silva to Brazilian news outlet UOL (crappy Google translation here) regarding the fees MLS is earning from TV deals:

Five years ago, [MLS] paid to [be on television]. In 2010, it was paid $68 million, a small sum but better than paying. In 2015, between national and international [rights], they surpassed $1 billion. In 2022, we’re talking about $6 billion-$7 million. At this time, we can buy any player in the world. MLS can buy anyone. What brings quality is money.

Toronto FC has re-signed defender Justin Morrow to “a multi-year deal.”

NYRB have announced they will pick up the option on Dax McCarty.

Chicago has declined the options on nine players, including Chestnut Hill Academy alum Jeff Larentowicz (who is eligible to become a free agent) and Council Rock alum Greg Cochrane, as well as Adailton, Jon Busch, Razvan Cocis, Jason Johnson, Alec Kann, Lovel Palmer, and Chris Ritter. Three players — Ty Harden, Mike Magee, and Matthew Watson — are out of contract.

Houston Dynamo has declined the options on seven players: goalkeeper Michael Lisch, defenders AJ Cochran and Jermaine Taylor, midfielders Luis Garrido, Alexander Lopez and Nathan Sturgis, and forward — and former Union man — Chandler Hoffman.

Real Salt Lake has signed Jamison Olave to a new deal while also picking up the options on seven other players. The options for four players –midfielder Pecka and defenders Phanuel Kavita, Demar Phillips, and Elias Vasquez  — were not picked up. Out of contract are defender Chris Schuler and midfielders Luis Gil and Luis Silva. The team’s roster currently stands at 21 players.

FourFourTwo on how Sebastian Giovinco’s impressive debut season with Toronto, which has “helped MLS to take the next step.”

At USA Today, the untold story of Charlie Davies.

Iker Casillas to MLS? “Why not?”

NYCFC owners City Football Group “has announced a $400m (£265m) investment from a Chinese consortium that buys it a 13% stake and values CFG at $3bn, with Khaldoon Al Mubarak, the chairman, stating this will ‘leverage the incredible potential that exists in China.'”

From The Sacramento Bee: “The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday will consider allocating $100,000 in hotel tax revenue for technical services the city would require if it pursues a privately funded stadium project for major league soccer.” More at KCRA.

The Beckham United group issued a statement on Monday acknowledging efforts to secure deals with private property owners in the footprint of the proposed Little Havana location for a stadium are at an impasse: “While Miami Beckham United is still hopeful we can secure the necessary private properties adjacent to the Marlins Park site, we are faced with the fact that some owners are not interested in selling or are seeking completely unreasonable prices.” (Reports suggest that the owner of a daycare in Little Havana “wanted at least $18 million.”)

Miami mayor Tomas Regalado disputed reports on Monday that the city had removed the Little Havana plan from a Dec. 10 city council vote that would be necessary to get the proposal on the ballot for a referendum in April’s elections, saying, “Of course it’s not true. I don’t know who started all this shit.”

The statement from the Beckham Group also said “Fortunately, we have been receiving interest from a number of private land owners with sites across Miami-Dade County and we are now in the process of evaluating those alternatives.” Miami New Times reported last week that Overtown, “Miami’s most historical African-American neighborhood,” was rumored to be a location under consideration. NBC Miami reported on Monday a site near Miami International Airport might also be considered. More at South Florida Business Journal and The Real Deal.

Interesting read about the efforts of NPSL side Detroit City FC to raise $750,000 to refurbish WPA-era Keyworth Stadium, the team’s new home after rising attendance — an average of more than 3,500 spectators per game last season — outgrew the team’s previous home.


Americans sure do buy a lot of tickets for games in Europe.


The New York Times on how the leadership vacuum at FIFA comes at a time when “Now, more than ever, sports need to be sure-footed in their dealings with governments.”

On Wednesday it will be five years since the FIFA vote that awarded Russia and Qatar the hosting rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, respectively. The AFP looks at what has happened to the executive committee members who voted in 2010: “Sixteen of the 24 executive members have been suspended, arrested for bribery, or banned. Others have faced questions about their record.”

The Guardian reports, “On the eve of the fifth anniversary of Qatar winning the right to host the 2022 World Cup, Amnesty International has warned it has done too little to address “rampant migrant labour abuse” and warned that fans will be benefiting from the blood of migrant workers if nothing changes.”

The AP reports, “Former Brazilian football federation president Jose Maria Marin is having trouble coming up with the $1 million he is to post as part of his bond on federal corruption charges.” Marin, one of 14 arrested in Zurich in May as part of the US investigation into FIFA corruption, was extradited to the US on Nov. 4.

More Brazil news from the AP: “The embattled president of the Brazilian football confederation is under investigation for marketing deals with a major carmaker. The office of former Barcelona star Romario, now a federal senator, confirmed the contract probe involving Marco Polo del Nero on Monday. It is part of an ongoing senate investigation looking into how the sport is run by the Brazilian football body.”

Agencia EFE reports, “15 members of Venezuela’s national soccer team said Monday that they would not continue representing their country in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers unless the coaching staff and directors of the Venezuelan Football Federation were replaced.” The report notes, “Venezuela sits in last place in the South American qualifiers, with zero points from four matches.”


  1. Section 114 (Formerly) says:

    The stadium is now Tessie. The Delaware River Monster.
    The sister of Nessie the Loch Ness monster, only more fierce.

  2. Talen Energy STADIUM? Geez Louise, why can’t they just keep Park in the name? Honestly, why? Talen Energy Park or Field sound just dandy. I prefer Chester Park, but that un-corporate name wasn’t happening. Darnit.

  3. Dear Soccer Gods(edit: Football Gods), Please don’t let Portland win the Cup. If Caleb Porter was insufferable before, he would be 100 times worse after.
    Thank You,
    . Sadfaced Union fan

    • And he’d still have a long way to go to get as insufferable as Arena or Sigi.

    • Couldn’t disagree more on this one.
      Two reasons:
      I used to live in Portland so they are my adopted team.
      We need US born and bred coaches to succeed.. even the insufferable ones. Our game depends on the matriculation of ideas to the youth… and the growing sophistication of our young coaches.

    • Is Porter really “insufferable”, I heard a long interview with him on SI Futbol Pod and he came off pretty good. Very honest about the reasons why he and Portland had failed in their last playoff appearance. Seemed pretty genuine to me.

      BTW – That Nutmeg News piece is very well done.

    • Could not disagree more. Porter is an excellent coach – if not the best in MLS. He’s one of the few aside from Vermes, Berhalter, Pareja and Marsch who look to play fast-paced, on the deck football without dumping tons and tons of money into DPs.
      Sidenote: How excellent is it that not one “big spending” team made it to the conference finals? Instead teams with a well-developed young core and game plan dominated the playoffs.

      • Completely agree. I love watching Columbus play, and Portland’s not bad viewing either. Well assembled teams.

      • Columbus [Berhalter really] are playing the modern fullback/dmid game that just puts so much pressure in the middle third of the field. Even teams noted for outstanding midfields all season long [NYRB] could not cope with it. Portland just needed to unleash Nagbe – which I’ve said for years that he is the most underrated player in the league.

    • I have to join the chorus disagreeing with this. I’d be fine with Columbus winning- that’s a quality team. But no fanbase in the league is more obnoxious than Seattle. No one else is even in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th place- Seatlle holds all 4 spots somehow. In fact, I’d wager that Nutmeg News report originated in Seattle which is hilariously ironic, or possibly ironically hilarious. Portland having an MLS Cup to lord over the Seattle fanbase for (hopefully) several decades sounds good to me.

  4. If the club is smart they will take a very close look at Leo Fernandes again. I saw moments of brilliance from him amidst the moments of uneasiness and trying to find his way and being shuttled around the field. I am likely to think he is the kind of player to add clever to our game.
    Please. Look closely at him.

    • I like Fernandes but could he lock down a starting spot? Probably not. But if he’s willing to stay as a role player/sub for under $100k, I would be fine with that.

  5. Lucky Striker says:

    TES-la la, la la.

    Talen : they got.

    TalenT ? May well be another matter entirely………

    • Good one LS…. please see my above comment regarding TalenT.

      • Lucky Striker says:

        If you’re referencing Cosmo Loaner, I’d love to see him back-but he’s position specific for me.

        Union love the square peg…. still; if Chaco is gonzo ‘quillo needs a back-up.

        Nice guy, but don’t understand the Nando retention at all. Can’t keep up. Formation change? Believed when seen.

        Pontius is helpful if his acquisition signals ( at the very least) the end of Alves. Wasn’t kidding when I said they need an enema.

        Trade requester? Candidates are endless:

        Berry- if Albright is staying…..
        Wenger- just cause : Just ’cause he can’t play.
        Maidana -fit
        Nog-tired of losing
        EDU- if not back at DM……
        Sapong-may feel career at crossroads if real help doesn’t arrive.

    • Any old Star Blazers fans here? For a second I thought you were doing the “Desslok” chant!

  6. kevin kinkead is breaking roster news on twitter. imo the biggest piece of news is fernando staying for next year

    • I think Nando is a very good player. Yes he’s slow, but he works and works and works, and now knows to expect to be beat on in this league. He’s big and strong, has a great attitude, and I think he will show his finishing touch is better than Sapong’s. Nando and CJ will compliment each other well, with Seba as third ST with a change of pace. Let’s sort out Mo and the defense and get another winger in here.

    • Thanks!
      Who do you think requested the trade? My initial hunch is Wenger.

  7. know this: Talen was not the preferred option. naming was shopped around for months and was the “oh well, no one bit the line.”

    my co was in in the running for name change. price too high for limited ROI value. can’t see it like the sports complex stadia, called out the organization for no investment in the area and team.

  8. Did our new sporting director pull the strings on this trade? Is he stateside yet? Would love to know.
    Unsure how I feel about this. Can anyone here argue either side.

    • Pontius is a talented midfielder, but has had some injury problems as of late. 2015 Guaranteed Salary was listed at just under $400k. Overall, [assuming he stays healthy] this is a decent signing. Most likely will be a spot-starter or sub playing out wide on the left wing. Price seems high, but given that salaries will be dumped this season and that the trade was for allocation money, I can live with it.

      • Hmm I thought he was a striker. He certainly brings an edge when he plays as best I can remember. I guess we just watch the other pieces put together and the puzzle will show itself over time.
        I imagine this is not JC and CA but ES making the call.

      • As far as who makes the call, I wouldn’t know. If I was betting, then probably Curtin. The Union have made a bid for him before.
        Pontius can also play as a second striker/CF, CAM, or even a wide forward in a 4-3-3 set-up. So assuming that Stewart wants to stick with a 4-5-1 or a 4-3-3, I imagine Pontius would play on the left side of the midfield. He isn’t a target striker, which is pretty much required for those formations.

      • Put another way: Assuming that Barnetta is playing centrally and that either 1. Maidana leaves or 2. play as a winger AND that Stewart has the team playing a 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 [essentially two sides of the same coin], the only real place for Pontius is outside on the left or right. He isn’t an 8 like Nogs, definitely not a 6, and doesn’t have the frame and skill set to play as a big, target forward that’s required for those specific formations [think Kamara, Adi, Abang, Drogba]

      • Goff reported the salary is roughly $420k and that the Union are willing to pay that. Supposedly, DCU were attempting to negotiate down.

    • If Pontius frees us from Edu, thunbs up.
      If not, we already have an oft-injured mid who was also runner up in assists despite playing with The Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight for half the price.
      Plus our rival gets allocation money for a DP signing we likely couldn’t afford. Helps us how?

      • I don’t really think Edu is going anywhere. I can’t imagine him garnering much interest for his current salary. Home or abroad.

      • I agree: we’ll continue to suffer the personnel missteps of Sak well beyond his tenure. But Mo might take something less to play closer to home? Quakes could use him.

      • That’s true! I didn’t really consider that, but again I can’t imagine his contract having more than 2 years left, so either he stays, plays, and contributes or we bitch for another season.

  9. I know I am constantly lauding the 3four3 methodology for thinking and coaching but I wanted to pass along another site and blog that I wormholed into… guy knows what he is talking about as evidenced by the match footage and also studied at La Masia along the way. An Oregonian too.
    The more coaches we have in America that have learned first hand or second hand about the spanish way…the better IMO… even if the style of play is not directly or unable to be directly adopted.
    At this point it is kinda like my son’s Gracie Jiu Jitsu teacher who trained being submitted by Rorion… as the style waters down a bit the general understanding improves across the whole nation along the way.
    Nothing replaces learning like learning from the masters themselves though.

  10. el Pachyderm says:

    I would like to nominate Mo Edu for MIPK award.
    That would be – Missing Important Penalty Kick.

  11. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you really understand what you are talking approximately!
    Bookmarked. Please additionally talk over with my website =).
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