Daily news roundups

News bits

Photo: Daniel Studio

Philadelphia Union

Two former Union forwards have new homes. Danny Mwanga has signed with NASL side Tampa Bay Rowdies, while Chandler Hoffman has signed with USL side Louisville City.

Bethlehem Steel

The unveiling of Bethlehem Steel FC’s name and logo in October makes the Allentown Morning Call’s list of the top Lehigh Valley Sports stories of 2015.

Local

In an interview at the USL website, new Harrisburg City Islanders president Roy Mehl says, “I am excited about the plans for the club, the footprint, getting more fans from the Lancaster area and the York area…We have two venues that we’ll be playing in, which is much better than our current Skyline [Sports Complex]. We had great success down in Lancaster at the Barnstormers’ stadium – great crowds there. It makes for a completely different experience for our fans.”

US Youth Soccer National League U-18 Blue Division play at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando on Monday, first place Lehigh Valley United 97 (5-0-1) came from behind to draw 3-3 with third place FC Dallas 98 Premier (2-2-2). The team faces second place Arlington Impact Red (4-1-1) today.

In U-17 Red Division Play, fourth place Penn Fusion 98 (2-1-3) drew 0-0 with third place CESA 98 Premier (3-0-3). Penn Fusion faces second place Loudoun 98 Red (3-0-3) today.

MLS

San Jose have signed free agent forward Chad Barrett.

At the Los Angeles Times, Kevin Baxter reports a deal to sign Ashley Cole to the Galaxy is close and “could be reached even before European transfer windows begin to open on Saturday.”

At Goal.com, Ives Galarcep on why the recent moves by high profile players from MLS to Liga MX is a sign of progress rather than a cause for concern.

Appointed only two months ago, Orlando City’s Chief Soccer Officer, former Benfica executive Armando Carneiro, has stepped down, “citing personal reasons.” Club president Phil Rawlins will take over Carneiro’s duties while a replacement is found.

At ASN, Brian Sciaretta talks to former Union man and new Chicago Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic about his plans for the club.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports former Padres owner John Moores is exploring the possibility of a MLS franchise in San Diego. You will recall that Moores is leading the investment group working to finalize the purchase of Everton.

Waking the Red on what a national professional league could mean for soccer in Canada.

At MLSsoccer.com, the best controversies of 2015. What, only three?

US

In a voting mood? You can cast your vote in a wide variety of “Best of” categories at the US Soccer website.

Elsewhere

Reuters reports: “Banned FIFA president Sepp Blatter feels ‘abandoned’ by the global soccer body and will now focus on clearing his name, the 79-year-old Swiss told German magazine Bunte.” Blatter said, “I now no longer fight for FIFA. They abandoned me. I am now only fighting for myself and my honor.”

The AP on “soccer’s dark year.”

This: “Spain’s top sports court has dismissed Real Madrid’s appeal against their exclusion from the Copa Del Rey for fielding an ineligible player.”

3 Comments

  1. Lucky Striker says:

    Best of luck to Mwanga and Hoff. Hope they find their games and make it back to the league some day.

  2. So the Harrisburg City Islanders are going to shuttle between minor league baseball stadiums in Lancaster and York? I really hope that’s a temporary situation because soccer should never be played in baseball stadiums. Regardless of better amenities, the sitelines are terrible for soccer with too many seats too far from the pitch.
    *****
    Speaking of the pitch, will adding some corporate suites really offset the cost of moving sod around every match? I know the team drew reasonably well for their two matches in Lancaster last season, but one was the (formerly) annual Union friendly. Once the novelty factor wears off, will those markets support the team and replace the fans who might not drive 25-40 miles from Harrisburg to see the City Islanders?
    *****
    I really love and respect the franchise, but I wonder if the end is nigh for the City Islanders. Bethlehem Steel has assembled an impressive coaching staff and quality USL roster, they have a larger market and the Union affiliation, whereas the City Islanders have no permanent home, lost a bunch of quality players this off-season, feature dated branding, and a stadium plan reliant on state funding. The USL is evolving into MLS2 so maybe HCI is better off going the PDL route, after all, they were in the USL-2 before the two divisions merged into USL-PRO in 2011. I just don’t know if they have the market size and resources to contend in the rapidly-changing league.

    • The future does not look bright for Harrisburg. USL is moving towards Division II status which will have stadium requirements that the current situation just doesn’t meet and the club does not appear to be able to resolve.

      They were unable to come to terms with the Union on a potential partnership and the Union went their own way with Bethlehem.

      Harrisburg is definitely on an island right now (pun intended)

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