Daily news roundups

US plays at Linc in Copa America Centenario on June 11, Union pass again on Re-Entry Draft, more

Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Copa America Centenario

The dates for matches in the Copa America Centenario were announced on Thursday and things are looking very nice for Philadelphia soccer fans. The US will face an as yet unnamed opponent in their final group game at the Linc on Saturday, June 11. Before that, a Group C match will be played at the Linc on Thursday, June 9 and, after the US game, a Group D match will be played there on Tuesday, June 14. So far, the US is the only named team to be playing at the Linc. The Linc will not be hosting any of the knockout round games. (You can view the tournament dates by clicking here.)

The US begins play in the tournament opener at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Ca. before Soldier Field in Chicago on June 7, and the Linc on June 11.

The initial seeding of the tournament’s four groups, each made up of four teams, was also announced, with the US seeded into Group A, Brazil into Group B, Mexico into Group C, and Argentina into Group D. The Group C and D matches at the Linc will not feature Mexico or Argentina. A public draw “in early 2016” will determine which of the groups the remaining 12 teams that will make up the tournament field will be placed in.

An announcement from the Union notes,

Current Union and Eagles Season Ticket Members will be eligible to have preferred access to purchase tickets for Copa America Centenario. Tickets for in-market games will go on sale in January and will only be available to STMs. Tickets for out-of-market games will go on sale to Union and Eagles STMs prior to public sales.

After the preferred access window, fans can visit www.CA2016.com for tickets once they are available to the public. Fans are urged to register early to guarantee access to information as it becomes available due to the expected high demand for this premium soccer tournament.

The CA2016 site says tickets will be available to the general public in February.

Philadelphia Union

The Union passed on making a selection in Stage Two of the Re-Entry draft on Thursday. Personally, I feel like this just made the potential that the Union’s offseason is going to be a whole lot of fun that much greater.

Earnie Stewart was a guest on Greg and Eli got to him first. You can also read a transcript of Stewart’s introductory press conference last week here at PSP.

At Potomac Soccer Wire, Charles Boehm has some insight on why the Union’s homegrown claim on Keegan Rosenberry was denied. Describing that “clubs are expected to document the number of ‘training units’ a player has accumulated in their system – from adolescence all the way thru PDL play and offseason practice stints – before gaining the right to sign the player to a pro contract,” Boehm explains not only does criteria nevertheless remain unclear, but rival clubs can also challenge another club’s homegrown claim on a player, and that’s what happened with the Union’s claim on Rosenberry. Unfortunately, the club that challenged the Union’s claim is not named.

Says Brian Wiese, Rosenberry’s coach at Georgetown, “I think he would’ve loved to have played for the Union, and that got challenged. He’ll show terrifically well at the Combine and I would expect him to be a pretty high first-round pick. He’s got a lot of clubs that really like him.”

Former Union trialist James McFadden has signed with Motherwell. Just to keep Union speculation interesting, a statement on the Motherwell website says the signing is for a short-term deal “which will expire at the end of January.”

The Christian Science Monitor reports on the work Mike Lahoud and Kei Kamara have done with Schools for Salone.

This year’s holiday video from the Union is a season review in Lego form.

Given the Union’s roster culling, I suppose it made no sense to tape holiday footage from the players before they dispersed for the offseason since any group shots might include players no longer on the roster.

Local

The Daily Princetonian on the invitation forward Thomas Sanner received to participate in next month’s MLS Combine.

At the Temple Athletics website, a review of the men’s team’s 2015 season. It sure started brightly.

MLS

Only two players were selected in Stage Two of the Re-Entry Draft on Thursday. Orlando selected former New England defender Kevin Alston, and Portland selected former Houston defender Jermaine Taylor.

More player moves:

St. Kitts & Nevis Observer reports on the MLS Caribbean Combine that took place earlier this week.

At a town hall meeting in Miami, Beckham United’s Tim Leiweke pitched the plan to build a soccer stadium to residents of the city’s Overtown neighborhood. The Miami Herald reports the meeting “drew some soccer fans but also a string of skeptical questions from residents of Overtown, one of Miami’s poorest neighborhoods, and stern opposition from people living in Spring Garden, the more affluent neighborhood next door.”

The San Antonio city council unanimously approved the plan to purchase Toyota Field as part of efforts in that city to land a MLS franchise. $9 million in funds from the city will be matched by $9 million in funds from Bexar County, with Spurs Sports and Entertainment leasing the stadium from the city. WOAI reports, “Now that the final approval has been granted, things will move quickly.  City Facilities Director Michael Sawaya said the plan is to have the papers drawn up by Christmas for the new City/County/Spurs partnership that will manage Toyota Field.”

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff noted, “This (city/county deal) doesn’t preclude an MLS franchise from coming in and building a stadium somewhere else…[SSE] are not the only group that could bring an MLS team to San Antonio. But as far as Toyota Field, they are protected.” More on the news from San Antonio at San Antonio Express-NewsSan Antonio Business Journal, San Antonio Current, San Antonio ExaminerKSATWOAI, Texas Public Radio, and MLSsoccer.com.

MLS Live will be back for the 2016 season. A special is being run now through Feb. 22 on a year’s subscription to the streaming service at $69.99.

US

Reactions from current and former national team players to Abby Wambach’s comments on how she disagrees with the use of foreign-born players on the USMNT are emerging. Mixx Diskerud posted an open letter to Wambach on Instagram that read in part, “Think about who you try to disenfranchise…you and I share something not unique, but constitutionally earned, a birthright to defend this nation as an American.”

Speaking on SiriusXM FC, Landon Donovan was sympathetic to Wambach’s comments:

I’ll share something I shared with Jurgen when I got left off the team. I said, “Jurgen, I understand you’re allowed to make your choice and your decision, but there’s at least a few players that are on your World Cup roster that are going that don’t care in the same way I do. I grew up as a part of this whole system, and I feel like it is a part of me, and I think there’s players in that locker room who, if you go three-and-out in the World Cup, they’ll go back to their clubs teams and won’t even blink twice. Whereas, if we go three and out, I’ll be devastated.” …

I wouldn’t feel as good about it if we had a team full of players that didn’t really grow up or really identify as being American. It’s nothing against them. I mean, Fabian Johnson is as good of a player maybe in the Bundesliga right now, and I love him and he’s a nice kid. I love Jermaine (Jones)…and they’re good teammates. I like having them on the team, but if we had a team full of players like that, it just wouldn’t feel the same as if we developed a team that then went on and won a World Cup.

More on the comments from Diskerud and Donovan at Washington Post, Fox Soccer, and MLSsoccer.com.

Wambach says she’s surprised her “foreign guys” comment caused such an uproar. “I was asked a simple question. I’m going to have a lot of time on my hands moving forward. Maybe Sunil will ask me to be the men’s coach. That’s a joke, people.”

At The Guardian, Caitlin Murray on what was learned from the USWNT’s World Cup Victory Tour. ASN’s John D Halloran looks ahead to the 2016 for the USWNT.

From Soccer America: “Wednesday’s USA-China women’s match, which marked the final game of Abby Wambach’s soccer career, attracted 709,000 viewers on Fox Sports 1, making it the most-watched non-World Cup women’s match in the network’s history.

Elsewhere

The AP reports Sepp Blatter’s hearing in front of the FIFA ethics committee on Thursday lasted nearly eight hours. After the hearing, Blatter lawyer Richard Cullen said, “The evidence demonstrates that President Blatter behaved properly and certainly did not violate FIFA’s Code of Ethics. This investigation should be closed and the suspension lifted.”

Michel Platini’s hearing takes place today but Platini announced he would not attend. A verdict on both cases is expected next week.

The BBC reports 50 bank accounts in Switzerland, suspected of being involved in the transfer of funds connected to the ongoing FIFA corruption scandal, have been frozen. The accounts reportedly contain $50 million and $100 million.

FIFPro reports that players union officials believe the $200 million misappropriated by FIFA officials as part of the corruption scandal should be put back into the game. MLS Players Union Executive Director Bob Foose said that “all money that has been misappropriated needs to be returned and put to its proper purpose.”

PA Sports reports, “FIFA’s interim leaders have called on the organisation’s 209 member associations to embrace change after the ‘crisis that has shaken global football governance to its core.”’

59 Comments

  1. Beitashour to TFC. Ashe to Columbus, days after Klute was dealt to Portland. Union missed out on 3 quality outside backs…

    • For what it’s worth we may be drafting a pretty good one in Brandon Vincent if he’s available at #3.

      • Yes. I’ve mentioned that a few times as well. I really hope the Union can snap him up at 6. But I don’t know if he will even fall that far.

      • Curious, who are you be hoping to pick up at #3? Yaro seems to be the consensus #1 so assuming he’s gone, would you want Danladi? Herbers?

      • Lucky Striker says:

        Going to assume Yaro /Danladi 1 & 2 in some order unless they opt out.

        Vincent at three, Harrison at 6 might make sense in that scenario.

      • I don’t think Vincent will fall to pick 6. I would be very surprised if he did. But Danladi, Herbers, or Yaro. One of those three if Vincent isn’t on the board.

      • At least as it stands now, I’d be tempted to go LB and RB at picks 3 and 6. Bring in more cultured, experienced talent for the attack. Seems like outside backs are pretty highly regarded in this draft.

  2. Boy it irritates me for some reason that current Eagles season ticket holders have preferred access to Copa tickets…. makes no sense to me just because the stadium is hosting games…. whatever.
    .
    Hopefully most of these people have no idea one of the great spectacles in the world is about to befall them…and they will go on ignoring futbol in the name of their precious football.
    .
    I’m surly this morning.

    • Don’t sweat it. Most of those Eagles fans won’t be heading to a Copa match.

      • James Lockerbie says:

        My co-worker at the office has season tickets for the Eagles. I told her that I wanted first dibs! for the soccer game. She said, sure no problem

    • Philly is a great sports town, and the Linc is a great stadium. There are Eagles fans who appreciate soccer, but more importantly will support the USMNT, and I hope the Linc is packed that night. The Center City watch parties for the World Cup were awesome, so don’t assume because they like football they can’t or won’t support soccer.

      • Great point.
        .
        Most important thing is filling the stadium up to support the USMNT and to show that Philly can be a soccer hub.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        That’s not my point. There are a finite number of spaces available and I recognize a Union STH should have right of first refusal but not an Eagles season ticket holder just because it is in Jeffrey Laurie’s stadium.
        .
        This isn’t just about the USMNT for me… could be Brazil plays Uruguay or Argentina plays Colombia and I’m telling you tickets to a game like that are going to be nearly impossible to get.
        .

      • Union STH’s are clearly fans of soccer but they pay toward the facilities of a different stadium.
        .
        Eagles STH’s may not be fans of the same sport but they pay toward the facilities of the stadium the event is taking place in.
        .
        .
        I get the reasoning behind it and I think it is fair. But then again, as someone who is planning to attend at least the US game, I certainly will be angry if I can only find marked-up tickets on the secondary market.

      • If you’re a Union STH you don’t need to worry about the secondary market.

      • I’m not. I work too many weekends so I just get tickets game-by-game.

      • I’m a Union STH I’d be more than happy to reserve you tickets when the window opens.

      • There are 70,000 seats to fill. There are about 10,000 (at most) Union STH. Math/finances dictate that they get as many asses in the seats as possible, and marketing dictates that you make them available, under threat of sell-out, to the larger STH base, as well.

    • Many of those people paid for seat licences when the stadium was built. I think it’s fair they get presale access. It’s not like they’re getting free tickets.

      • Damn. Good point. Damn.

      • I wonder then…if these same seat license holders get first dibs when The Boss comes to town.
        .
        I would be very curious to know because if it is just for this then I go back to my original point. Otherwise I concede to you sir.

      • They probably do. I’m pretty sure Union STH get first dibs for other events at PPL.

      • Yes, they do. All concerts that come through the Linc open up pre-sale to Eagles STH. They get first shot at all the events held there.

      • I must say, el Pachy, I notice that while you are very passionate and quite opinionated, you are always willing to grant someone who opposes your view when they make a good point. Respect.

      • ..so many other fractals of never ending wonderment to pass light through…mine can’t be the only one.
        .
        life is discernment. peace scottso.

      • +1

      • Exactly. It’s not a free or discounted tickets – just a chance to snag tickets early. I have a family friend who is an Eagles STH and enjoys watching International soccer. He’ll probably grab some seats as well.

    • It actually works out great for me. My dad (who has since passed) was a big football guy and we kept the family tickets when the team moved from the Vet to the link. I’m also a premium Union season tix holder, so I got nice ticket options all the way around. Gonna see if I can swap my Eagles-linked Copa tickets for someone else’s Meadowland tix so I can go to all 6 games. That would be a helluva June…

  3. I am beginning to think the Union are going to bring in 80 dudes to training camp and just kind of sort them into the Union and The Steel….

  4. Maybe I’m a bit delirious at work this morning, but I can’t stop laughing after watching Lego John McCarthy stop a PK and toss his Lego head gear off. Well done Union marketing team.

    • The Union really really really want Barnetta to be the face of the team. The Lego inclusion of his one fairly unspectacular goal in a meaningless game really brings that home.

      • To be fair, I doubt they were going to select anything involving players that have been moved which really narrows things down considering there are only 13 players currently on the roster for 2016.

      • I would pick an Ayuk goal. they were way more fun and A Lego scowl on Curtins face after Ayuk does 80 backflips would truly make the holidays for me.

      • +1

      • I Lold at the McCarthy one two. The close up replay makes it even funnier.
        .
        I would have added the Ayuk from Nogueira Red Bulls goal

      • +1! Hopefully, someone from the marketing dept is reading this and can squeeze in a late edit.

      • It was Barnetta’s first in MLS, was it not? Anyway, we finished like next to last… can’t imagine we had that many high lights. Ha
        .
        I agree about McCarthy and the Lego hair/helmet toss. That was hysterical and awesome all at the same time.

    • That JMac bit was pretty awesome.. Pretty close representation of the video of the match.

  5. Could just be an error but the MLS transaction tracker does not include Fernando Aristeguieta as a “player out”.
    .
    http://www.mlssoccer.com/transactions/2016

  6. That Soccer Wire article makes my blood boil.
    .
    I agree with a salary cap to promote intelligent spending and parity. I agree with a restriction on the number of international players a team can have. I can understand being a single-entity to control league growth. I can deal with all the crazy mechanisms of player movement – allocation money, targeted allocation money, etc.
    .
    But I cannot, for one second, stand or comprehend the lack of transparency or clarity in the rules and rule enforcement by the MLS league office.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Consider why the organization chose the label “Major League” as part of its name.
      .
      When Alexander Hamilton was working to sell the country on replacing the Articles of Confedration with the Philadelphia convention’s new proposal for a strong central government to replace the weakfish confederation of strong state governments, he pre-emptied criticism of the idea by calling the Constitution’s advocates “federalists,” forcing opponents to become “anti-federalists.”
      .
      Similarly, Major League Soccer protects itself from the label “bush league” and “sandlot”. The wealthy teams own the league. The league dare no offend them. Did anybody ever see the coin that was flipped for Jermaine Jones? Wasn’t Robert Kraft’s head on both sides of the coin? 🙂 !!

  7. Interesting to note that around the 25 minute of the ExtraTime Radion podcast, Stewart is criticized an MLS rule regarding time-off during the off season. Sounds like he wants his players already conditioning and working year-end. That’s his expectation.

  8. Seems strange that Argentina and Brazil are on the same side of the bracket (assuming they win their groups).
    .
    I’m hoping we know the participants in each game before the tickets go on sale. I’d much rather see say Colombia-Peru rather than US-Jamaica.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      By having Argentina and Brazil meet in one Semi Final, you are hoping that the winner’s opponent in the final will be either Mexico or the U.S. The point is not good soccer, the point is to sell out the stadium and make a profit.
      .
      Got a “better” idea. Host the next available UEFA European Championship outside UEFA in this country. Remember how much money FIFA made in ’94?

      • I’m thinking one of the semifinals will be the two teams out of Columbia, Chile, Uruguay, and Ecuador that don’t end up in Brazil or Argentina’s group (assuming seeded pots for the draw). I think they’d be more likely to sell out Brazil-Argentina than Ecuador-Argentina.

  9. The U keep churning out some great and very original videos. The Year in Review… in LEGOS! Love it! 😀

  10. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Fifteen of twenty-eight lockers are empty, to say nothing of the twenty-four (?) below them.
    .
    Feels like a start over.

    • I’m getting a daily rub down for open tryouts.
      .
      I got my long sleeve baggy Zidane jersey circa 98 … and an old white Cosmos one with the broad collar just in case I can’t wear dark on the day of play in. Sorber knows me… he’s seen the Cosmos kit.
      .
      My game is too good to even consider the open try out for BSFC in November… when I play with the other 40 year olds in my league I’m at least half a step faster… I see passes before anyone else— in a strange blur of near sightedness or is it far sightedness. Or is it general myopia. The bunion on the left foot causes a problem and limp after play sometimes mid game on those damp days… but I’m a go. I can play.
      .
      Just waiting for word from Union HQ and Earnie. I can play.

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