Daily news roundups

Union schedule, Restrepo report, no USOC for BSFC, WCU USOC date, more news

Photo: Courtesy of National Lacrosse League

Philadelphia Union

The Union’s 2016 schedule was released on Thursday. Some analysis of the schedule —  for example, the utterly brutal start to the season, four games in 13 days at the end of May followed by three games in eight days after the break for the Copa America, Red Bulls twice in the last three games of the season, scant national TV broadcasts (three in 2016 compared to eight in 2015) — at the Union website, Philly.com, Delco Times/Union Tally, and Sons of Penn.

A post at MLSsoccer.com analyzing strength of schedule calculates the Union have the seventh toughest schedule.

Following tweets from Kevin Kinkead on Wednesday, Empire of Soccer reports midfielder Walter Restrepo has signed with the Union from the New York Cosmos on “a one-year deal, with a club option for year two.” The report adds, “In return, sources tell EoS that the Union will pay a transfer fee for Restrepo and will also send an unnamed player to the Cosmos on a season-long loan.” The report backs up a tweet from Kinkead that the deal does not involve Leo Fernandes, who was on loan to the Cosmos in 2015. Stay tuned.

At the Union website, a look at Brandon Vincent, the left back every mock draft I’ve seen has the team selecting. On Thursday, Vincent was signed by the league ahead of next week’s SuperDraft. Pro Soccer Talk thinks Chicago could use their No. 1 pick on Vincent if he shows well in this weekend’s combine, which begins today.

MLS Multiplex says the Union “are the perfect fit for a player like Vincent.” (Though the Union finished next to last in the Eastern Conference, thank you very much.)

Central midfielder Jack Harrison, selected at No. 3 by the Union in SBI’s mock draft, and attacking midfielder Richie Larye, selected at No. 6 by the Union in Top Drawer Soccer’s mock draft, were both announced as members of the 2016 Generation adidas class.

More reports from the recently released Peter Nowak lawsuit documents:

  •  At Union Tally, an overview and analysis of key elements.
  • At Top Drawer Soccer: Did John Hackworth and Rob Vartughian videotape the hazing of rookie players, as Nowak claims?
  • At ESPN (video), Alejandro Moreno, who was coached by Nowak at the Union in 2010, discusses what he saw and how Nowak is at the center of the team’s subsequent struggles.
  • At Brotherly Game, “three of the biggest, juiciest pieces of information” in the documents.

Regarding concerns about what Hackworth and Vartughian did regarding Nowak’s treatment of players, former Union man Zac MacMath tweeted this on Friday morning:


At the Union website, a report on how a $25,000 donation from the Philadelphia Union Foundation helped the nonprofit Fare & Square grocery store, the only grocery store in Chester, purchase new freezers and other upgrades. Well done. More on the story at Delco Times.

The Union announced on Friday its holiday toy drive meant more than 400 toys were donated to children in the Chester area, surpassing its goal of 300. Well done.

It’s official: Nick Sakiewicz is the new commissioner of the National Lacrosse League. Atlanta Business Chronicle has a Q&A with Sakiewicz about his plans for the league.

Bethlehem Steel

As expected, US Soccer confirmed on Thursday that lower division professional teams that are owned by a higher division professional team cannot participate in the US Open Cup. That means the Union-owned Bethlehem Steel USL team cannot participate in the tournament that its legendary namesake won five times.


West Chester United will host Southie FC from Massachusetts in the third round of the US Open Cup on April 2.


At MLSsoccer.com, an interesting interview with Brad Pursel, MLS’ vice president of club services and scheduling, on how the schedule is put together. Pursel says about 50 percent of the schedule is manually assembled, and 50 percent is assembled by “a proprietary scheduling program.”

More on the release of the 2016 schedule: The Rivalry Week(s); the national TV schedule; from ESPN, SI, and MLSsoccer.com, games not to miss. That the final games of the season will all kick off at 4 pm ET on Oct. 23 is very cool.

Player moves:

  • Kansas City have acquired Brad Davis from Houston “in exchange for a natural second-round pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, a natural third-round pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft and future considerations.”
  • Vancouver have signed Cristian Techera to a multi-year contract in a deal that involved Targeted Acquisition Money. The Uruguayan midfielder first arrived on loan to the Whitecaps last year from Club Atlético River Plate Montevideo.
  • No official announcement yet but The Providence confirms Central American reports that the Whitecaps have signed Costa Rican international winger and two-time World Cup veteran Christian Bolaños from Saprissa.
  • San Jose have signed forward Quincy Amarikwa and defender Jordan Stewart to new contracts.
  • Former Sounders midfielder and Mexico international Gonzalo Pineda has retired.

Aston Villa’s Joleon Lescott to LA Galaxy?

AC Milan’s Nigel De Jong to LA Galaxy?

LAFC crestLAFC unveiled their crest on Thursday. Not bad. The big news, though, is that Will Ferrell was also unveiled as part of the team’s ownership group.

At MLSsoccer.com, Bobby Warshaw has an interesting take on the MLS Combine from a player’s perspective.

The new USL franchise in San Antonio that is being backed by Spurs Sports & Entertainment was officially unveiled on Thursday. The team, which will begin play in 2016 and will be coached by Darren Powell, is the league’s 31st franchise.

Meanwhile, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reports, “USL executive Tom Veit said the league has received a “very positive” response from interested buyers since news broke Tuesday that the Rochester Rhinos soccer team will need a new owner for one of its oldest and tradition-rich teams. While measured in how much information he disclosed, Veit said finding local ownership is the USL’s preference.”

More on plans to build a soccer-specific stadium in Louisville at Louisville Courier-Journal and WDRB. The WDRB report notes the USL is requiring all of its teams to have a soccer-specific stadium by 2020.


The US remains at No. 32 in the latest FIFA rankings. Mexico drops one spot to No. 23.

Oh, Jesse. Oh, well.


From the AP: “Video technology is set to arrive in soccer this year with trials to assist referees who find it harder to keep up with the faster, modern game when the financial stakes are so high. The International Football Association Board on Thursday ‘overwhelmingly supported’ progressing with experiments and the body’s full annual meeting is expected to approve them in March.”

Michel Platini has withdrawn his candidacy for the FIFA presidency: “Platini told The Associated Press on Thursday that he remains determined to overturn the eight-year ban he was handed by FIFA’s ethics committee last month, but that the deadline for the Feb. 26 election is too short and renders his candidacy impossible.” More at Reuters.

ESPN reports, “Suspended UEFA president Michel Platini believes FIFA officials feared he would sack them if he became head of the governing body.”

Reuters reports, Héctor Trujillo, the Guatemalan judge and former arrested on a Disney cruise ship as part of the investigation into FIFA corruption, has been released on a $4 million bond. Trujillo will live in New Jersey while awaiting trial and “will be subject to home confinement and electronic monitoring.” More at the New York Times, which includes this brilliant quote from Judge Robert M. Levy: “I think you all need to get to Citibank.”

From the AP: “Paraguayan authorities raided the headquarters of the South American soccer confederation Thursday in connection to the sprawling FIFA probe being led by U.S. and Swiss prosecutors…A statement from the Public Ministry said investigators were combing the headquarters in search of documents or information on computer hard drives related to the FIFA case.” Soccer America on why the raid “bodes badly” for CONMEBOL.

From the AP: “FIFA will not give the presidential award traditionally chosen by Sepp Blatter at the Ballon d’Or gala on Monday due to fallout from its corruption crisis. FIFA says the award is on hold for one year ‘due to the transitional phase which FIFA is currently in.'”

Blatter’s ex-wife says Switzerland should be grateful for his service. “When Sepp Blatter was suspended for eight years for acts that still must be proved, he should also have been given a bonus of 20 years for all the good he did for football. That means: 20 minus eight years. He should be allowed to stay in office for another 12 years. Really, he would deserve even more years, but given his advanced age 12 is realistic.”


  1. Could be I’m in day 2 of a sugar detox and surly….but…now here I have to ask why?
    Why Sakiewicz this morning?
    How about a photo of Brandon Vincent with a superimposed Union jersey.
    A photo of Mr. Sugarman in the cornflower blue tie… Earnie Stewart sipping a latte.
    Something. Anything.
    Between the Nowak crud and this photo… it’s all dirty pool…
    If this is a fishing scheme… you win today PSP.

    • To keep the fire going, of course. Burn baby, burn.

    • to celebrate each day his continuing absence. no heart grows fonder thing here, more like this:

      “Memories shared serve each one differently.”
      The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002) – Robert Evans

      • el Pachyderm says:

        So I’m supposed to feel relief when I see him holding the lacrosse stick is what your saying. Okay. Okay.
        Let me try….
        Deep bellows breath…. Leon Bridges, Smooth Sailin’, it’s all going to be okay, David Bowie’s, BlackStar, ‘I AM the great I am.’
        I tried. Didn’t work. Thanks for the insight though R3er.
        It’s the old wooden see saw from elementary I keep flipping over the handle on cause the other guy is getting a kick out of tossing me.

      • try this – the imagery is helpful:

        Rat in a drain ditch, caught on a limb, you know better but I know him.
        Like I told you, what I said, Steal your face right off your head.

        Now he’s gone, now he’s gone, Lord he’s gone, he’s gone.
        Like a steam locomotive, rollin’ down the track
        He’s gone, gone, nothin’s gonna bring him back…He’s gone.

        Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride, hot as a pistol but cool inside.
        Cat on a tin roof, dogs in a pile,
        Nothin’ left to do but smile, smile, smile!!!!

        Now he’s gone, now he’s gone Lord he’s gone, he’s gone.
        Like a steam locomotive, rollin’ down the track
        He’s gone, gone, nothin’s gonna bring him back…He’s gone.

        Goin’ where the wind don’t blow so strange,
        Maybe off on some high cold mountain chain.
        Lost one round but the price wasn’t anything,
        A knife in the back and more of the same.

        Same old, rat in a drain ditch, caught on a limb,
        You know better but I know him.
        Like I told you, what I said,
        Steal your face right off your head.

        Now he’s gone, now he’s gone Lord he’s gone, he’s gone.
        Like a steam locomotive, rollin’ down the track
        He’s gone, gone, nothin’s gonna bring him back…He’s gone.

        Ooh, nothin’s gonna bring him back.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Like a steam locomotive rollin down the track…. I hear you. I hear Jerry.
        Excellent stuff.

      • Nice!

      • The Little Fish says:

        The bus came by and I got on that’s where it all began!

      • Kinda sucks for the sport of lacrosse, though.

    • I’ll give the photo this: It is compelling. It is a photo for which the old saw “worth 1,000 words” is most definitely true. If I was editing PSP, I couldn’t resist running that photo.

      • Can’t help but think it’s a Back to the Future style photo where he’s made the NLL logo next to him disappear through his missteps…

      • Haha. I was going to say that there must be some artsy reason I don’t know about as to why he’s standing way over to the right. I liked your explanation better.

  2. Moreno: “…and I did witness some things that, perhaps, people would not be comfortable with.”
    Interesting, though, that he seems fine with everything that went on when he was with the team saying “…kind of file that as Peter being Peter Nowak…”.
    I know with the case not closed yet he can’t really say much, but I would have expected a little more emotion behind it, especially the safety stuff like concussions and dehydration.

    • It is interesting….. regarding “file that as Peter being Peter”
      Bobby Knight couldn’t exist as a coach in today’s sports landscape… John Chaney possibly not really exist in today’s landscape either. The world has changed. Cameras. iPhones, entitled players, dare I say soft….. tread carefully – I know and I will… I don’t necessarily agree with any of his actions I am just certain times have changed regarding what is acceptable and what is not acceptable.
      My guess is…. Peter Nowak really couldn’t exist in this sports world as a coach anymore…less you are on some tiny remote island in the Atlantic.
      Maybe Moreno is biting his tongue.. maybe Moreno is old enough that this stuff just doesn’t register for him too much…. the coach was a royal sum-bitch asshole with strange ways and means…

      • Not sure it’s just some tiny island.
        Sadly I think anywhere outside the US and Canada he wouldn’t be under as much scrutiny. I mean you’ve got leagues in Russia & Ukraine where any player with dark skinned is routinely verbally abused with no punishment. It even happens in Serie A and The English Leagues. Biting people is frowned upon . . . only if you do it more than once. People shoot at cars of players in Turkey. Knife fights between clubs in Argentina. Players don’t get paid for years in Africa. It’s some messed up s**t out there in the soccer world

      • Both Knight and Chaney are a$$holes in any era. I was always amazed that they demanded discipline & self-control from their players, yet neither of them could practice what they preached.

        The sports world is a better place without these two (and Nowak as well).

        Is the world softer today? Perhaps, but it’s also a lot more competitive in every aspect of life. Also, people have more choices so there is no need to tolerate bullies with their Daddy issues like Nowak had.

      • +1
        The world is competitive as ever, but now a coach or any other leader is required to compete and succeed based on things like communication and true leadership skills. Fear, intimidation, and bullying have been rightfully banished (for the most part).

    • CPeif, first let me say I agree with you. It would have been nice for Moreno to take a stand. But, big but here, ESPN FC is a half hour show with commercials. So call it 22-24 mins. of actual show time. Even during the MLS season, they spend more time talking about the game abroad then they do in the states. Even in Thursday’s show they spent more time talking about Burley’s apology to Pelegrini (for Burley calling him Pelegrino) than the Nowak story. The fact that they talked about it at all is still kind of amazing to me. There was no mention of it on Wednesday when the story broke. And they had plenty of time to get something together to do so. ESPN is all about entertainment. Actual sports comes second. And taking a stand on something comes dead last. What’s even more telling is that they avoided the panel with Burley and I believe Stevie Nichol(could have been Hislop). I assume they did this because they were afraid of what they might say. ESPN FC is more or less a joke. It’s entertainment. Taking stands on things is not their forte.

      • Agreed. Nowadays, ESPN is to sports what MTV is to music.
        But with the Concussion movie recently out and all the new evidence on CTE as well as the water breaks at the last World Cup and all the talk of possible dehydration issues for the WC in Qatar I would think it would a hotter topic, especially for someone who was involved.

      • Oh, I agree. They even had TT on Wednesday’s show, the ‘face’ of soccer concussions. He could have easily made comments or taken a stand. Yet he did not. Or was not allowed to. Lawyers maybe? Don’t want to take a position where they could be caught with their pants down.

      • ESPN FC would rather endlessly debate who’s going to finish in the top four of the EPL every night of the week than discuss anything else.

        I had high hopes for that show when it first started, but it’s clear by their choice of panelists and format, it’s fluff all of the way.

      • It’s entertaining. I’ll give it that. But I gave up on ESPN years ago. I can’t stand Sportscenter in the least. Can’t tell you the last time I watched it. As CPfeif (dammit I misspelled it above) said, it is the MTV of sports

    • I thought it was great that Moreno was interviewed the way they did it and to hear what he had to say. Sure they could have spent more time on it, etc. etc. Also well done for posting the Q&A on the website.
      Anyone hear Tannenwald on SiriusXM? I could only listen for 5 minutes but sounded also fascinating what he had to say.

      • Tried to listen to him on Soccer Morning, but he’s a tough person to interview. Had phone problems and is all over the place with his thoughts. The host was really struggling to get some structure and proper pacing to the discussion.

      • Listened to that too. Not really any more details then what was in the article he wrote at philly.com.

  3. The new LAFC crest looks like a logo for a luxury chocolate bar.
    Not crazy about it.

  4. Of course, the main reason the Union’s strength-of-schedule is so high is because we don’t get to play us.

  5. Section 114 (Formerly) says:

    Congratulations to the Union on the acquisition of a NLL Chester franchise. No truth to the rumor that they will play a day before every Union game to prepare the field\.

  6. If the Union get a home game in the 4th or 5th round of the open cup (first 2 rounds they play), they should seriously consider playing a game in Bethlehem.

    • I think you may have written that wrong: What happens “when” they take the GA goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell with the 6th pick?

    • They should’ve been doing this all along. Or play at a nice college or high school field with grass, or up in Reading, or Lancaster or in Jersey or Delaware. I love the Union, and I love the FREE Open Cup games, but the attendance is usually dreadful, and the atmosphere is weak on a Tuesday night. Take it somewhere they can draw well, spread the brand and draw more fans in. I’ve been the Reading and Harrisburg friendlies and they always drew really well, I can’t imagine a competitive match would be any different.

  7. This is the best tweet I saw all day about the LAFC crest (which I happen to like myself).

  8. I never thought he’d come to MLS but I’ve always wanted Nigel deJong on the Union. Can’t be anymore “Philly tough”! I’d love to see him deliver a flying karate kick to Benny Feilhaber. Hell, if you asked him he’d probably take out that whining Peter Vermes too as he’s escorted off the field.

  9. Has anybody else noticed U.S. Soccer’s rule about lower division teams that are owned by higher division teams not being allowed into the US Open Cup seems to have a gaping loophole in it?
    Rio Grande Valley FC (Houston’s USL team): The Houston Dynamo doesn’t own the team, the ownership of the NBA D-League Rio Grande Valley Vipers does instead. It’s what they’re calling a “hybrid affiliation,” though, meaning that the Houston Dynamo will supply all of the players and coaching staff while the Vipers ownership handles the business end of things, and from the looks of the U.S. Soccer release and the way the rule is worded, it looks like RGVFC gets to play in the cup.

  10. Darth Harvey says:

    Sakiewicz continues to fail upwards…He isn’t just destroying teams now, he is actually setting his sights on ruining entire leagues! He’s growing in power and influence like Voldemort! Once he tanks lacrosse, he will take over Roger Goodell’s spot at the NFL!

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