Daily news roundups

News from the Combine and other Union bits, Lloyd named USWNT co-captain, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Brandon Vincent, perhaps the player most linked to the Union in mock drafts ahead of Thursday’s SuperDraft, was added to the roster for the USMNT January training camp on Friday. The left back, who participated in U-23 MNT College Identification Training Camp in August, is understandably very excited about the call up and hopes to make the US Olympic team. The USMNT camp opens today in Carson, Ca., which means he won’t be in Baltimore when he is selected in the draft.

Praise for Vincent from coaches at the combine.

At MLSsoccer.com, a “get to know the player” post on attacking midfielder Richie Laryea, the Union’s second pick in this week’s draft in Top Drawer Soccer’s mock draft.

Vincent (vertical jump) and Laryea (speed test), along with other Union-linked players Darius Madison (speed test, vertical jump), Keegan Rosenberry (agility test, vertical jump), and Omar Holness (speed test) did well in various aspects of the physical tests at the start of the combine. (Holness, along with Fabian Herbers, have been added to this year’s Generation adidas class.)

At MLSsoccer.com, Jim Curtin on the player interviews at the combine:

I ask if they follow MLS, are they a guy who’s dialed in to what the heck they’re getting into. You’d be shocked how many kids don’t watch the league. For me, that’s kind of a little bit of a turnoff. You’re here at a Combine for MLS, you should know the players in the league, the players at the position you play, who you’re going to be competing with. If you have no idea who plays center midfield for the Philadelphia Union and you’ve never heard of Mo Edu, it puts up a little bit of, not of a red flag, but it’s something that you weigh in.

So, this year Edu is playing center midfield rather than center back, then?

Also at MLSsoccer.com, Curtin uses the example of Richie Marquez to talk about how the physical tests can provide information on players for whom there may be little data before the start of the combine.

Armchair Analyst Matthew Doyle has stock up, stock down reports following Day 1 and Day 2 of the combine. Rosenberry’s stock was “up” after Day 1. More Day 1 observations at Goal.com.

At the Union website, a profile on Jack Harrison, the Wake Forrest midfielder/winger, tabbed by SBI in their mock draft to be selected by the Union with their first pick.

Comments on Harrison, Laryea, and Holness from MLS coaches and GMs at the combine.

Philadelphia Sports Nation previews Thursday’s draft and has the Union selecting Brandon Vincent and then Keegan Rosenberry in the first round. MLS Multiplex expects Rosenberry to go elsewhere, perhaps Toronto or Vancouver.

When players at the combine were asked to name their favorite MLS player, not a single Union player was mentioned. PPL Park got three votes for favorite MLS stadium, though.

Soccer Wire on questions about what recently announced US U-17 head coach John Hackworth knew about the hazing of young players when Peter Nowak was head coach. “[U]ntil he speaks out with his own account of that period in his career, parents of the young players he’s been chosen to guide over the upcoming U-17 World Cup cycle will simply have to trust that he – and his supervisors at the federation – are committed to putting the safety and welfare of those kids first and foremost.”

More on Nowak commentary at Brotherly Game.

Also at Brotherly Game, a look at the Union’s 2016 schedule, and why it is time to love the Union again.

Philly Sports Cave reviews Sebastien Le Toux’s 2015 season.

Union Academy

At the US U-20 camp in Florida, Sebastian Elney scored a goal, and Yosef Samuel had an assist, in the 3-0 win over SIMI Monteverde on Friday. Abu Winter played 45 second-half minutes in the 3-0 win over Weston Select.


New York Red Bulls have signed Dax McCarty and Felipe to multi-year contract extensions and have also signed defender Damien Perrinelle, whose option was not picked up after the 2015 season.

Ethan Finlay has signed a contract extension with Columbus.

Alan Gordon says he’s re-signed with the Galaxy.

At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle reports former Union man Jack McInerney, out of contract with Columbus, is headed to Portland. An announcement could come today.

Ned Grabavoy and local lad Zarek Valentin to Portland Timbers?

No official announcement yet but Salt Lake Tribune is reporting Yura Movsisyan is returning to Real Salt Lake.

ESPN on LAFC’s ambitions.

More on Louisville FC’s MLS aspirations.


Carli Lloyd has been named co-captain of the USWNT along with Becky Sauerbrunn. The Los Angeles Times talks to Lloyd about the next stage of her career.

Jordan Morris won the Hermann Trophy for male players. Penn State’s Raquel Rodriguez won for female players.

Heather O’Reilly talks to ASN.

Panama and Haiti have won the final two CONCACAF berths for the Copa America Centenario.


At the AP, Rob Harris talks to David Elleray, the International Football Association Board member who oversaw the comprehensive review of the Laws of the Game that approved by the IFAB last week and are expected to be ratified in March. The overhaul, aimed at addressing inconsistencies in soccer’s rules while also making them more easy to understand, reduced the number of words in the Laws of the Game from 22,000 to 12,000.

Also from the AP: “Paraguayan prosecutors say they have started going through the documents seized during a raid of the headquarters of the South American football confederation and will send them to the U.S., which is leading a probe on corruption in football.”

Sepp Blatter’s lawyer has confirmed the former FIFA president will appeal his eight-year ban. More at ESPN.


  1. Alejandro Bedoya – “Philly Tough”.
    Also, reports are saying Brad Guzan and Joleon Lescott had a gum spitting contest during Villa’s 1-1 draw with Wycombe in the FA Cup. When fans of the team expressed their displeasure with the two goofing off considering the poor season the team is having, Guzan reportedly told them to “f*** off”.

  2. Cliff of Union Despair says:

    We here at the CUD would like to extend a special limited-time offer of supremely discounted rock rentals of up to 75% off!

    This exclusive deal will remain in effect until the Union make a major signing.

    We look forward to your stay here at the Cliff of Union Despair, where procrastination isn’t just our strategy, it’s all we know…

    • I’m not sure how anyone tops this one today.
      (Wiping coffee off of keyboard…)

    • Still have cookies?

      • Cliff of Union Despair says:

        Since we have lost Monsieur M’Bohli’s residence at the CUD, we now have an overabundance of cookies!

        Plenty of cookies, just no signings…

    • Is it possible that they are waiting till after the draft to see what holes they can fill there? If this is what they are doing, it’s not something I’m in favor of. I.E. if they plan on drafting Vincent and are penciling him in at LB. It seems to much of an ask for your draftees to immediately come in and be starters. You hope they can. But you can’t count on it. And where’s Earnie? Anybody hear from him lately?

      • Darth Harvey says:

        Does this not feel familiar to anyone else?

        Wasn’t this the same flow we followed last year?

        Wait until the draft to see who we get…then when we don’t get a Michael Jordan we look to the open market and *gasp* everyone already got signed because we waited too long!

        I’m giving Earnie the benefit of the doubt, but I having a hard time fighting the feeling that it might be Deja Union all over again

        I don’t want to be a pessimist this early, but the dark side is seducing me…

      • I see your point…but who has been signed already? Has anyone made a really big splash so far in the league?
        It could be that there aren’t any big names yet. It could be that we’re waiting for the MLS International Window to open (in February).
        I get the feeling things will move quickly after the draft.

      • Teams around the league have been making signings daily. Larentowicz, who was rumored by some as having interest by the Union has also been signed. From what I’ve seen it’s mostly been MLS players on the move or resigning with their teams at a lower price. But it has been happening.

      • But people aren’t asking for us to re-sign our own players. We’re hearing the usual calls for the “big name” signings, or “big impact” signings. There have been none. JL is a good player, but at his age, is he a game-changer? And is he the future of your franchise?
        I get the need to see the roster. But it feels like panic has set in among the fans, when there is no reason for it. Nothing has shaken out yet. I’ve said it before, if we’re at this point at the end of January, everyone can feel free to grab a seat on the CUD. Until then, I’m trusting the new guy, and the fact that the old guy is no longer here.

      • +1
        the mood has taken an uncomfortable turn from excited jocular impatience to nervous panic

      • Well put, pragmatist

      • Prag, I don’t think anyone is in panic mode yet. At least I hope so. I’m not anyway. And as I’ve said a few days ago, most of my concern is due to my own impatience. But as the days keep ticking away, the concern grows incrementally. Should we light the torches and stoke the bonfires? Hardly. I think most thought change would be coming quicker than it has. Also hearing from Earnie at the combine, instead of Curtain would have provided some comfort.

      • Stewart spoke today. Go check Twitter. Kinkead, Tannewald (kinda), and others have quotes from both of them.
        As you read through, the one thing I get from both is a sense of calm. They are projecting a comfort level that I don’t remember before with this franchise. I think Earnie has brought that with him.
        Let’s see how the week plays out. We’ll have draft picks We’ll have news on who’s going to the Cosmos. I’m guessing we’ll have some additional signings.
        The big question, really, is, “What do you want?” (Not you, per se, but the general fan asking for activity.)
        Are we all just impatient for something? Anything? And if so, it’s probably best that we’re not in charge.
        What would make people happy, aside from announcing we just signed Harry Kane to paid with Sapong.

      • *pair (not “paid”)

      • Well the one thing I would like to hear that would help pacify is simply that Earnie was traveling to see different players. Or he was in talk with so and so players. Or something like the team is looking in X country or Y league. That type of a thing. I don’t think that’s asking a whole lot. Like I said the other day, it may be that because there aren’t leagues of reporters covering the team (i.e. like in England or Spain, or here as with the other 4 major sports) we just don’t get to hear rumors and such.
        And I will go check Twitter. Thanks, I’m not a twitter-ite so that stuff usually passes me by unless noted by PSP.

      • In all fairness, there isn’t a library of quotes from today’s conference call with Curtin and Stewart, but it’s something.
        And I get the need for some information. I just think they may not feel the need to let everyone know about every step. And the lack of journos following is definitely part of the problem. Our guys do a good job, but there simply aren’t enough (or enough of a demand to pay them).

      • Oh yes. I definitely want to make it clear, that in no way do I think that PSP or Kinkhead/Tannewald are lacking in any sense. They do one hell of a job considering. As with anything though, with more eyes and ears on hand, the more information would get out to the general public.

      • If you are counting on the MLS draft to fix the needs of your 10-7-17 team . . . then you are not qualified to be an MLS Sporting Director.

    • a reliable source tells me they will be making a couple signings on thursday…

      • Cliff of Union Despair says:

        Book Now!

        Don’t wait!

        Disclaimer: SuperDraft and BSFC signings do not apply to our discount…neither does resigning Hoppenot

      • Oh this is so good. The Cliff is on fire today! Any chance there’s a burning bush next to the edge of the Cliff?

      • Cliff of Union Despair says:

        Do not worry noble patrons of the CUD.

        Despite reports of the Cliff being on fire today…our rocks are 100% fireproof

        as for a burning bush, besides the tuft that sits upon Curtin’s head… the theologians are awaiting just a bit more divine information

      • Tears. I’m in tears of laughter.

      • “Resigning Hoppenot” made me laugh. Well done, Cliff.

      • Will those be Union signings or Cliff of Union Despair signings?

      • I would like to know when the open tryouts are for the Cliff of Union Despair?
        If I don’t cut it with them I’m sure I’d be a valuable asset on the Cliff of Steel Despair.

      • From your key board to the soccer god’s ear. I’m getting a little antsy waiting for some good news.

      • It would make sense for the Union to delay any potential signings until AFTER the draft. No need to tip your hand one way or the other in regard to potential needs at the Superdraft.

      • That’s somewhat my thinking as well. If you sign, lets say, a few attacking players most teams can probably reasonably guess that you won’t pick up another in the draft.

      • They have the 3rd and 6th pick. Should they really be worried about tipping their hand to 4 other teams? And if you are the other teams, should you base what your team will do on what the Union are doing? It seems a bit unlikely. And bad strategy either way.

      • don’t forget teams can trade up

      • True, true. I’ll lean a bit more the other way. Still not totally convinced it’s the right way to go about things.

  3. Given all the coverage, and the Union’s reasons for terminating Nowak, it would seem extremely unlikely they would also retain Hack and Rob V. if they were “willing participants” in the “hazing”. The public questioning of Hack now is predictably superficial.

    • Do you mean the U.S. U-17’s with Hack? And NyCFC with Vartughian? Or the Union when they kept them both after getting rid of Nowak?
      Hack may lose his job with the U-17’s. It seems odd that he hasn’t come out with a response yet. A good agent would have been all over this with spin.
      As for Vartughian, I’d imagine he’s pretty safe. Being lowest on the totem pole at the time would seem to have some advantages. I don’t know how much he will be held as “responsible” or complicit in Nowak’s actions. Even if he was video taping.
      If you were talking about the Union keeping them both, remember that Sak wasn’t all that upset by it. He didn’t come down hard on Nowak. And it wasn’t until the league stepped in that he fired Nowak, days after the league asked him to. And after a second email from the league.

      • Keep in mind that while the league asked for the firing, they were not responsible for Nowak’s salary. The Union did not want to be in a position to pay out the remainder of Nowak’s contract as is traditional when coaches of underperforming teams are terminated.

        In seeking a termination on grounds of material breach of contract with no monies owed, a lot of things needed to be put in place with their lawyers. They knew they would be challenged in court and needed to have their ducks in a row. The fact that the Union won in court and had their legal fees recovered as well shows the delay in termination was probably time well spent.

      • talking about the Union, so the bar is admittedly low as you point out. so wouldn’t they clean all guilty parties out? or is your thesis that the league only knew about Nowak, but not about other culpable parties? would not jibe with a full report to the league and players union of bad things going on. if it was a complete culture of bullying and shame, and not just a crazy king, wouldn’t that be the only course of action for the league? wouldn’t it have continued in other ways if Hack and Rob were part of the problem?

      • Well, here’s another question…How pro-active can MLS be considered when it had hearings on Nowak doing the same kind of things when he was in D.C.? Years before he was coaching the Union. Maybe there isn’t video of that, but what about their assistant coaches etc.? For me, a good bit of blame should be applied to MLS. They knew what Nowak was like, yet they still allowed him to coach another team.
        As far as a thesis goes, I hesitate to really make one. I don’t know enough of the facts. I wasn’t there. Is there blame to be shared by all parties? Yes, I’d say so. It goes in descending order for me, MLS, Union (Sak), Nowak, Hack and Vartughian. MLS first, because they knew. Union (Sak) because they didn’t do their due diligence and took a le se faire attitude towards the whole thing. Nowak third, because as Moreno said it was Piotr being Piotr. And the coaches last because of being in a position where they probably also felt threatened.

      • Nowak has to be at the top of the “blame list.” Move him up to #1 and leave everything else the same, in my opinion: Nowak, MLS, Union / Sak, Hackworth, Vartighian.

      • Well, if MLS did something about the known in Nowak, the rest doesn’t happen. If the Union did their due diligence, Nowak doesn’t happen. Should Nowak be held responsible for what happened? Absolutely. Should he get off easy? Absolutely not. He is what he is. But In no way was I trying to excuse his actions.

      • you are correct, a great deal of blame goes to MLS and USSoccer. MLS is a single entity, full stop. all the recitations of rules and other stuff are nonsense. Also, what if Hack/Rob took the video and shared it with MLS and USSoccer? Given the ongoing litigation, they would not be free to come out publicly and say they did, nor would it be in their interest. But if MLS knew they did, then USSoccer knew they did – before they hired Hack -which surely must be the case. there are not that many people involved. What’s criminal is the league did not feel it appropriate to tell Sugarman he needed to can Sak.

      • The one thing that bothers me about the video(s), because it seems like there are three of them 10′, 11′, and 12′, is that there are three of them. Maybe Hack/Rob took them totally intending on exposing what was happening. But then that brings in the question of why there might be 3 years worth. How did this play out? When did the videos come to the attention of MLS? After the first time in 2010? OR in 2012 when action was taken? As before, there are still so many variables we don’t know, having an accurate thesis is nearly impossible at this point.

      • Given the culture that seemed to be in place during the Nowak era, were Hack and Vartughian able to speak up or raise concerns without very real fear of losing their jobs? Were either among the ones who spoke out under conditions of anonymity? Important question to figure out though, particularly with Hack managing a US youth team now.

  4. Please excuse some of my numbers, as these are an educated(?) guess.
    Union Roster Number – 28 players. We currently have, according to the website, 20 players on the roster. This number includes the likes of Fabinho, Nando, Restrapo, Silvestre, who all may not be on the team or may be in Bethlehem to start the year.
    Steel FC Roster – Approx 28 players (I couldn’t find if it was still 26 or 30). There are only 6 players signed as of now that I could find, as well as 2 rumored. So let’s use 8.
    These numbers mean that between the two teams, we need to find and sign 26 players by the time camp rolls around in February. And that is just to fill the rosters, not including extra guys who might not make the team.
    The Union have 5 Superdraft picks, meaning we still need to find at least 21 players.
    I know there are a million different factors and things I may be missing, but this is a little disconcerting to say the least.

    • I think Burke said the Steel roster would be lighter . . . I would think somewhere in the neighborhood of 20~22 might be more accurate

      • Yeah there will be some variance either way, but my point really is that 20 players in a month seems like a ton to have to pick up.

    • Does anyone know if there are international player roster limits at the USL level? It is a little worrying in that it’s not just a matter (for the first team at least) to go out worldwide and sign 8-10 guys as they only have about 4 International slots for this year available. So they are going to have to find at minimum 5 or 6 Americans for the first team roster (that assumes signing Carroll, Creavalle, Lahoud, and Fabinho). And it could be even more than that if there are USL international limits, too. I’m still in the “trust Earnie knows what he’s doing” camp though.

  5. if anyone is looking to get irritated they should read what jonathan tannenwald just tweeted about rosenberry. apparently he really wanted to be a homegrown player and he petitioned the league but they denied him because one summer he chose to stay at georgetown to try to finish his degree rather than traveling back to philly to train with the union

    • Gotta love the league de-prioritizing (is that a word?) an education. That’s a good signal to send out.

      • Absolutely pathetic. Let’s force young people to make a distinct choice between playing in MLS or getting an education. It’s not like the kid was sitting on his ass on beach somewhere. Absolutely pathetic decision.

      • For further clarification on the idiocy of this…it’s a Georgetown degree. It’s not like he’s going to Podunk State and majoring in Basket Weaving.
        That said, I don’t care where you go or what your major is, that should be your priority, since most of these guys will need to use that degree within about 10 years, if that long.

      • Hey that kid can do whatever he wants to protect his future. He is definitely not to blame. Good for him for doing whats right for himself.

      • Amen. He was totally in the right. He just got screwed by a league that appears to have an absolute disregard for its employees.

      • It’s sad. Because you are punishing a kid for getting an education and preventing him from playing on his hometown team. What kind of message does that send to other young kids?

      • totally pathetic of the league to do this. also very disappointing and disheartening. its also another instance where the league’s total opacity is so frustrating- there aren’t any avenues for criticism because everything is so ‘behind closed doors’

    • This is part of the league’s problem, almost no one really fully understands all the weird rules and moving parts.

    • If Rosenberry wants to be part of the Union why can’t he just withdraw from the draft and sign anyway. Can’t players not be at the combine and draft and still be signed by teams? I don’t know if this is true just wondering.

    • Yes this does make me angry.

    • I’d really like to know which MLS team challenged the Union HG claim on Rosenberry, and if that had anything to do with the denial. I’m always looking for a reason to hate another team.

      • NYRB. Then they (somehow) put in a claim, which was also denied.

      • Really? Thanks. Well, I never need extra reasons to hate NY teams, bummer. Interesting, I saw over the weekend Jesse Marsch called Georgetown “NYRB South”.

  6. I think it more likely that a lot of people understand the league’s rules and moving parts. NE got JJ, Columbus got Kamara, etc. And some teams, like LA, can manipulate and invent those rules.

    It’s mostly the Union that don’t understand the rules.

  7. Do any of you share Jim Curtin’s concerns about prospective draft picks who don’t watch MLS games or aren’t familiar with the Union roster?
    Those seem like very minor issues to me.

    • I understand what Curtin is saying, but I don’t know how much he weighs it in the end. He was careful to say he doesn’t see it as a red flag. He wants MLS to grow, and if the league’s future players aren’t even watching the games, it’s probably something that just annoys him. Curtin has shown himself to be honest to a fault and he ended up sharing a pet peeve.

    • Is it disappointing? A bit. Is it a major concern, or a reason (at all) to not pick a player? Let’s hope not. Most of these guys are basically kids, right? I would think/hope, that they spend a majority of their time playing soccer instead of watching it. And their off time is spent towards academics in whatever form that takes. Then they do need to eat/sleep. With what little time of the day is left, are they going to watch MLS or EPL. I’d rather them watch EPL.

    • It’s surprising to me, but hardly a deal breaker if someone is talented, has good character, etc. That said, anyone in the working world would do due diligence on potential employers or industries of interest. It does seem surprising that players good enough to go to the MLS combine would have limited to no knowledge of MLS. Even in that favorite player poll, four picked Landon Donovan…who retired the a year ago.

      • Your key words being “working world”. “Kids” in the 18 to 23-25 year range doing due diligence? How many of us did due diligence at that age? There are exceptions of course. I’d say these guys are on par with others at their age.

  8. Section 114 (Formerly) says:

    Apparently none of us follow MLS. Sure looked to me like Mo was playing CB. At least when he wasn’t surveying his plot atop the Cliff of Union Despair.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *