Daily news roundups

Union bits, more news

Photo: Paul Ruddderow

Philadelphia Union

Looks like Leo Fernandes will not be returning to New York Cosmos now that his season-long loan has expired. Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said, “As everybody knows already, [Fernandes] was a player with Philadelphia Union. He was on loan with us. We definitely had conversations with Philadelphia in order to converse and figure out if there might any opportunities for us to bring him in, but at the moment everything seems to be heading in the direction of Leo going back to Philadelphia.”

Diego Forlan to MLS? In case you’re wondering, Kevin Kinkead tweeted on Monday there was “Brief Union interest last year” in Forlan, adding, “Union interest in Forlan was basically the Meulensteen connection and some front office talks, never that serious.”

In Analytics FC’s analysis of the effectiveness of draft picks between 2007 and 2014, the Union come in slightly above average.

CJ Sapong and Eric Ayuk are included in a highlight reel at MLSsocer.com of the best backflips of 2015.


Player moves:

  • Orlando have acquired goalkeeper Joe Bendik from Toronto in exchange for a conditional fourth round selection in the 2017 SuperDraft.
  • New York Red Bulls have signed Derrick Etienne and Brandon Allen as Homegrown Players. The team now has seven homegrown players on its roster.
  • Seattle Sounders have signed Seattle Sounders 2 goalkeeper Tyler Miller to a first-team contract and re-signed forward Andy Craven. Miller is a native of Woodbury, NJ and played for Ocean City Nor’easters in 2012.

At Goal.com, Ives Galarcep wonders if yet another offseason of head-turning moves will finally result in postseason success for Toronto.

NYCFC’s Andrea Pirlo comes in at No. 42, and TFC’s Sebastian Giovinco comes in at No. 94 in the Guardian’s rankings of the top 100 players in the world in 2015.

At Forbes, Darren Heitner talks to Gary Stevenson, president and managing director of MLS, on how the league is closing the gap with the “Big Four.”

Bexar County commissioners have joined the San Antonio city council in approving funding to purchase and then lease Toyota Field to Spurs Sports and Entertainment with the aim of securing a MLS franchise.

The move apparently signals the end of NASL side San Antonio Scorpions, with SS&E reportedly preparing to launch a USL team that will call the stadium its home. San Antonio Express-News reports, “It’s unclear what will transpire with the Scorpions franchise of the North American Soccer League. However, [Spurs vice president Bobby] Perez, [Bexar County Judge Nelson] Wolff, Scorpions owner Gordon Hartman and others scheduled an open-to-the-public event at the stadium at 10 a.m. today, when a ‘major announcement regarding the future of soccer in San Antonio’ is planned, possibly involving the United Soccer League.”

KTSP in Minneapolis is reporting Hennepin County leaders “are developing a plan to obtain the new professional soccer stadium from St. Paul” that is to be the home of MLS expansion team Minnesota United. The report explains, “Sources have also told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Hennepin County officials think St. Paul will have a difficult time getting the money it will need approved by the Legislature to help build the stadium for a MLS franchise. St. Paul city leaders have not spelled out how much money they will need for infrastructure costs and they also have to get approval from the Legislature to keep the land where the stadium will be built property tax exempt as part of the preliminary agreement with the ownership group headed by Bill McGuire.”

More local opposition to the proposal from Miami Beckham United to build a soccer stadium in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood. This time the opposition is coming the residents in the nearby Spring Garden neighborhood.


Carli Lloyd has won the Goal USA Award, given to “the most influential figure in American soccer this year.” Lloyd is also one of three finalists for The Associated Press 2015 Female Athlete of the Year award. Also nominated are Serena Williams and Ronda Rousey. The winner will be announced on Friday.

SI has a review of the USWNT in 2015.

Soccer America reviews the turmoil currently surrounding the Guatemala national team, the USMNT’s opponent in two World Cup qualifiers in March.

Youth teams in Santa Clara are getting screwed by by local government officials and the NFL, who are turning the Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park into a “media village” for the 6,000 members of the press that will cover the Super Bowl. The park will be unavailable to the Santa Clara Youth Soccer League from Jan. 4 through March 2, affecting some 250 scheduled games.


At ESPN, Mark Rodden reports Michel Platini lawyer Thomas Clay says the banned UEFA president still hopes to stand in the FIFA presidential election if his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is successful. Clay says,

The schedule is tight but it only needs the CAS to give their verdict around January 15-20 — which is quite possible in the state of proceedings — so that Michel Platini might be authorised to compete…

He hasn’t given up on his schedule at all. That he wants to be cleared is obviously a major concern for him but that doesn’t mean that he has given up on his FIFA candidacy.

The AP reports, “France’s sports minister says he supports Michel Platini and regrets his eight-year ban from world soccer.”

The BBC reports FIFA presidential candidate Tokyo Sexwale appeared before a grand jury in New York on Dec. 17. Sexwale “was questioned in relation to an alleged $10m corrupt payment from South Africa to ex-Fifa vice president Jack Warner.”

At The Guardian, Dan Roberts reviews the career of US attorney general Loretta Lynch before the arrests for FIFA corruption, concluding, “FIFA may have long seen itself outside the reach of national law enforcement authorities but the wave of prosecutions that led to the downfall of Blatter shows it may have finally met its match.”

Also at The Guardian, David Conn writes FIFA’s internal reforms are meant “to reshape FIFA along the lines of a modern corporation, with basic governance structures glaringly absent all these years. The “most significant proposed reform is to split the governing executive committee, in effect the FIFA board, along the lines of German and Swiss corporations.”

Inside World Football reports FIFA is withholding 2014 World Cup legacy funds from Brazil until the Brazilian football federation “meets additional requirements for reports and audits.” The $100 million fund was setup “to help develop Brazilian football” following protests before the 2014 World Cup over what many viewed as excessive spending related to hosting the tournament. So far, only $8.7 million has been dispersed from the fund.


  1. el Pachyderm says:

    While Diego Forlan is easily one of my favorite badass players… I will pass on him. Thank you very much.
    Bring Leo back to Philadelphia is unquestionably a wise play… my guess I his game has grown and he would fit in here pretty well. Good to hear. Give him minutes.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Pretty sure in short order Andrea Pirlo is no longer a top 100 best player in the world. Maybe. And I’m a big Pirlo fan.

    • I’m all about signing the 2004 version of Forlan. But I think he’ll still be looking for a job at this time next year.

  2. at this point, we must assume you have “Tokyo Sexwale” on autotext. and let’s hope the McFadden interest “was never that serious” either.

  3. ATTN: Eli Pearlman-Storch
    RE: Leo Fernandes
    Message: I told you so.

  4. Lucky Striker says:

    So happy to “apparently” have Leo back. I can only offer a hopeful prayer that the Union keep him central. Always one of my favorites, it’s great to see his game has improved-but I’m not sure pace is something you can really work on in your time away……..

    • do you think they’ll hold a press conference and have a big to do when he comes back to the team?
      that worked out so well with Valdes.

      • Haha- he may have the same look on his face as Valdes did. The “keep smiling and half-heartedly try not to look like I don’t want to be here” look.

  5. Stephen O'Malley says:

    I want Diego Forlan but u guess you guys don’t I think he has drgoba/mls potential

  6. Union’s website has an updated roster on it. It has 19 players listed.
    Interesting items:
    1) Aristeguieta is on it and it does not say “on loan”.
    2) Vitoria is not on it.
    3) Fernandes is on it but noted as “loaned out”.
    4) Pontius is included.
    5) Sylvestre is on it and it does not say “on loan”.
    6) Creavalle and Carroll are on it.

    • I haven’t looked at that roster list on the website in quite a while. Crazy how short it is!

      • It is interesting because according to the MLS website, only 13 players are under contract for the Union for 2016.
        Since the Union website was updated to remove players like Vitoria, Cruz, Casey, etc.
        It implies:
        Aristeguieta was purchased.
        Vitoria was not purchased.
        Sylvestre was purchased.
        Creavalle was resigned.
        Carroll was resigned.
        Fabinho was resigned.
        Lahoud was resigned.
        Though no official moves were announced (yet?).

      • It is a full on inter battle. Whose interns are more on the ball The Union or The MLS.

  7. So who is 100% not corrupt in world football?


  8. Oh and in case I forgot… Hey NFL, “Suck on my balls”… your product is shiit, the quality is becoming more terrible with each passing season and shame on you and Santa Clara for taking away those fields that a bunch of kids play actual football on. “Suck on my balls,” the most tasteless thing I can think to say how I feel about you.
    Here’s to irrefutable proof that someday proves my unquestioned belief… it is YOU, the NFL – behind this bullshit heading/concussion ban – because you know the dying days of your sport are on the horizon and you’re deflecting to the emergence of the once and final true sporting king… “Kneel before Zod,” Roger.
    Once it was baseball. Now it is your time. Enjoy.
    Soon you will become an after thought too.
    Football is coming… Maybe not my lifetime but its coming…you know it… I know it…. we all know it.
    Read between the lines above and the three fingers and you will see…. the middle one is for you.

  9. Is Joe Bendik really worth so little?

  10. As for all the corruption with FIFA,I find it interesting that ESPN has been fascinated and committed in doing a whole story and out putting news about the corruption but yet, barely put forth the good in soccer and rarely set out to promote and enlighten ppl about the sport. One could speculate that they only want to show the corruption with the sport. Maybe they have done the same with sports in the US? I’m not an expert on that. I also find it interesting that the US govt is glad to bare down on FIFA and outside investigations , but find it hard to do the same with situations within our own country sometimes. I could be totally wrong on this. Just my opinion on the situation.

  11. Union first 3 games have been announced!

    3/6 – at Dallas
    3/12 – at Columbus
    3/20 – home opener vs. New England (no Jermaine Jones)

    • Interesting discussion on the radio yesterday about Jermaine Jones. Seems NE only offered him 20% of last year’s wages. Unlikely Jermaine will accept that. Could be that he’ll play elsewhere.

  12. OneManWolfpack says:

    So you’re telling me Tokyo Sexwale was in NY, and no one told me?!? How the hell am I supposed to get my autograph, dammit!!
    PS – Our opening set of games is brutal

  13. I was just reading that Michu (of Swansea fame) is playing on a Spanish 4th division side — gotta think a finisher like that would be ideal for the Union, no? I know he’s had ankle issues lately, but if reasonably fit, he’d fill a dire need for the U.

    • I’d take Michu in a heartbeat.

    • I’d be concerned that he’s a bit like Forlan. If he’s in the Spanish 4th Division, how far has his game fallen? It’s been a few years since his heyday at Swansea, and it seems odd that they would simply release him if there wasn’t more to the story.
      In principle, yeah, I agree. But something doesn’t smell right about his career arc…

      • Here ya about something being amiss… but the guy’s got 3 good goal scoring years yet at 29 while Forlan’s at 36… I watched Michu play pretty often and he just had a right place right time knack… pair that with Barnetta service and, ‘Boom,’ could have a 20 goal scorer which is something this team needs in the worst way imaginable.
        Redact…. (absolute) worst way imaginable.

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