Daily news roundups

Restrepo in-Lahoud loaned out, pre-draft news, Nowak, more

Photo: Courtesy of Lechia Gdansk

Philadelphia Union

Restrepo in, Lahoud loaned out

It had been rumored since last week and on Tuesday came the official announcement: The Union have acquired winger Walter Restrepo from New York Cosmos. As part of the deal, the Union have loaned Michael Lahoud to the Cosmos for the season in what SBI describes as “a season-long loan deal with limited recall.”

Earnie Stewart said of the transaction, “Part of our ongoing assessment has been to build quality depth in certain areas and we strongly believe Walter can give us the kind of speed and attacking ability on the wing that we’re looking for. We know Michael will represent our club in a professional manner and we wish him the best of luck on a successful season.”

Lahoud, always a classy man, tweeted after the news, “I have nothing but love for this city and the fans who have made my time here special,” adding, “Thanks to each and every person who has supported me during my time in Philadelphia.”

Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said the deal: “Walter came to us with an opportunity to go to the Union. We are committed to helping our players on and off the field and we wish Walter the best of luck in Philadelphia.” He also said, “From the beginning of the year, we have been in touch with (Restrepo) and he expressed his desire to have a different experience, so we helped him to be able accomplish that. Not only that, we were able to make a very good deal for us and get something that all parties are content with. We’re getting a very good player from the Philadelphia Union as well.”

Savarese on Lahoud: “Michael is a very experienced player and his quality will be very important to us as we look to strengthen ourselves in the central midfield positions.”

More from PSP, Philadelphia Union, Delco Times, CSN Philly, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly GameVavel, MLSsoccer.comNew York Cosmos, SBIBig Apple Soccer, Empire of Soccer, and Twice a Cosmo.

Player news


Patience, dear reader, patience.

Later, Kinkead tweeted, “Union is still in contract talks with Fabinho, sides were originally far apart, not sure what’s up right now,” adding, “So they want him back, it’s just a matter of ‘agreeing a deal,’ as they say in England”.

Andre Blake is one of ten candidates for CONCACAF Male Goalkeeper of the Year. You can place your vote here.


The latest mock draft at MLSsoccer.com from Armchair Analyst Matthew Doyle has the Union selecting Jack Harrison with their first choice, No. 3 overall, and Keegan Rosenberry with their second pick, No. 6 overall. The Rosenberry pick comes with this proviso:

I’ve heard they’re absolutely not going to take Rosenberry — whose Homegrown rights they had, then lost — with this pick. But he makes a ton of sense and addresses a position of need in a big way.

If Holness or Campbell are available here, Philly might prefer one of them instead.

As is the case with the latest SBI mock draft, left back Brandon Vincent is projected by Doyle to be selected by Colorado. More on Vincent at ASN. At MLSsoccer.com, Doyle also has a “he plays like (fill in the blank)” comparison post for the top prospects in the draft. For example, Jack Harrison plays like LA Galaxy’s Sebastian Lletget. Keegan Rosenberry plays like RSL’s Tony Beltran. And so on.

A mock draft at SB Nation has the Union selecting Vincent and No. 3, and Omar Holness at No. 6. SBN projects defender Liam Doyle to be the Union’s second round pick.

From the Vancouver Sun on the Whitecaps possibly trading for a draft pick: “As for potential trading partners, the Philadelphia Union have the No. 3 and No. 6 selections and may be willing to trade out of the lower position, particularly if they get left back Brandon Vincent with the third selection.”

here at PSP.

Philly Sports Network has four “sleepers” Union fans should look out for in the draft.

Brotherly Game has a primer on how the SuperDraft works.


From Courthouse News Service: “An arbitration ruling upholding the firing of Major League Soccer coach Piotr Nowak will stand, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.” US District Judge Mark Kearney wrote in his opinion, “Arbitrator Brogan’s conclusion Nowak [sic] threatened Philadelphia Union players’ health and safety by these acts is adequately supported by ample record evidence,” adding, “To our continuing surprise, intelligent and worldly parties often sign agreements to arbitrate future disputes and limit their fulsome due process citizen rights to a federal court and jury believing they will obtain a quicker answer with less costs.” Intelligent and worldly, eh?

Anyway, you can read the judge’s opinion (download PDF) and order (download PDF) in full by clicking the download links. More at Philly.com and Brotherly Game.

By the way, Nowak was announced today as head coach of Polish first division side Lechia Gdansk (crappy Google translation here). Apparently, Nowak does not have all of the necessary qualifications and has approval from the Polish FA to coach the team only through June 30: “Until then coach Peter Nowak needs to complete the necessary qualifications to allow him to continue working as coach of the club.” He’s got a lot of legal fees and loans from the Union to pay off…


Hershey, Pa.’s Christian Pulisic got his first assist with the Borussia Dortmund first team on Tuesday. A second assist was called back.

Speaking after she was named FIFA’s Women’s World Player of the Year, Carli Lloyd told the AP, “Last night was the moment where I said to myself that I can remain one of the best players in the world for the next five years.” Lloyd is 33.

Reading United are looking for interns for the 2016 season.


Is Chicago looking to trade their No. 1 pick in Thursday’s draft? More trade talk at Goal.com.

At Soccer Wire, Charles Boehm on the large numbers of international players available in this year’s draft.

At Top Drawer Soccer, Will Parchman says it is time to replace the draft with “a college signing window that runs from January 1-July 31.”

Soccer America on why the fact that the SuperDraft will not be broadcast isn’t a big deal.

Player moves:

  • Portland have acquired Lancaster, Pa. born defender Zarek Valentin from the Montreal Impact in exchange for an international roster slot for the 2016 season.
  • Portland also signed free agent midfielder Ned Grabavoy.
  • LAG have re-signed defender Robbie Rogers, midfielder Rafael Garcia, and forward Jose Villarreal to new contracts.
  • DC have signed goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra to a new contract.
  • Kansas City have signed 19-year-old forward Daniel Salloi to a Homegrown contract.
  • Salt Lake are loaning Sebastian Saucedo to Veracruz for the 2016 season.

Nemanja Vidic to MLS?

Orlando City have announced that, due to construction delays with their new stadium, the team will call the Citrus Bowl home for the entire 2016 season.

You will recall the news that the Santa Clara Youth Soccer League in California would be unable to use its 11-acre soccer park for two months because local officials had loaned them to the NFL in order to build a “media village” for coverage of this year’s Super Bowl. Well, San Jose Mercury reports the Earthquakes have stepped up and will open two fields at Avaya Stadium, including “its main field and a practice pitch” for the youth league to use. The team is waiving rental fees and is “charging the city only for maintenance and the cost of turning on the lights — about $100 per hour.” Well done.

Miami Today notes that formal negotiations between Miami officials and Miami Beckham United over the latest proposed stadium site still have not begun.

With the St, Louis Rams now officially moving to Inglewood, Ca., St. Louis Today wonders, “Is it time to move on from the gridiron and pursue something new, like Major League Soccer?” St. Louis Public Radio says, “It’s possible that policymakers may turn their attention to luring Major League Soccer here, especially given the sports’ popularity within high schools and with a growing Bosnian population.” Now, that’s what I call enthusiasm!

Is Landon Donovan part of the ownership group that includes Fox soccer commentator Warren Barton looking to bring a USL — and eventually, a MLS team — to San Diego?

Does US Soccer have to do more to rein in the “predatory practices” of rival professional leagues?


Former NYCFC and RSL head coach Jason Kreis is reportedly joining Jurgen Klinsmann’s staff for the January USMNT camp. More at SI and MLSsoccer.com.

Sean Johnson is replacing Bill Hamid, who suffered a knee injury, at the USMNT camp. Hamid is waiting to see if the injury, which occurred before the start of the camp, will require surgery.

Injury-cursed Stuart Holden is a guest player at the US camp.

At ASN, a look at how the USMNT’s problems in 2015 came down to possession and final third passing.

It’s official: The USWNT will host “an elite, four-team international tournament” — including the US, France, and Germany — called the SheBelieves Cup, “to be held from March 3-9 at three venues in the southeastern United States.”

The Washington Post on how the USWNT’s warm-up games for the Olympics will be played on grass.


Inside World Football reports the televised debate proposed by ESPN between the five candidates for the FIFA presidency has been called off because scheduling conflicts meant only two of the candidates could participate.

FIFA has fired provisionally banned general secretary Jérôme Valcke. More from Reutersthe AP, PA Sport, Sky Sports, and The Guardian.

Also from FIFA: “FIFA can today confirm sanctions imposed on several football associations for unsporting conduct of fans in relation to insulting and discriminatory chants during 2018 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying matches.” Argentina, Chile, Honduras, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay are the countries that were fined: “All of the proceedings relate to homophobic chants by the respective team’s fans, with the FIFA Disciplinary Committee finding the associations to have violated article 67 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC).” Well done. Now, about Russia…

From Reuters: “Guatemalan police on Tuesday arrested fugitive former national soccer federation president Brayan Jimenez in connection with a corruption probe into the sport’s world governing body FIFA.”

From Sky Sports: “FIFA presidential candidate Tokyo Sexwale says Qatar will not host the 2022 World Cup if bribes were used in the bidding process.”

The AP reports, “Vandals in Portugal have painted Lionel Messi’s name on a Cristiano Ronaldo statue in Portugal.”


  1. Well done San Jose Earthquakes. Respect.
    Christian Pulisic with a simple and lovely layoff to Shinji Kagawa in an friendly… maybe the first of many. Seventeen my friends. Seventeen. He’s ours… not some kid from SoCal. Not some kid from Long Island. Not some kid from Cascadia. Born and bred right here. Land of the Quakers… and morsels of chocolate.
    Meanwhile “we” here in america consider 22 young… that is going to need to change. Bigtime.
    Pulisic is a 3 Sigma Outlier I give you…but the MLS age issue is going to hopefully change in due time.

    • well, ok, but who are the other 4 (or so) outliers (assuming a 1,000 player sample)?

      • el Pachyderm says:

        I’m u sure what you mean… 3 Sigma is the 3rd standard deviation from the mean… He’s just a special special player is what I mean and I realize that not every 17 year old plays in the first league in Europe but they vet their youth and MLS needs to do a better job of vetting its youth… we consider 22 young and it’s not in football years.

      • normal distribution of outliers in 1000 sample size would expect about 5 outliers.

      • My underlying point is….I just think we need our youth (18-22) playing in MLS and not the youth that is 22 and a college graduate but the youth that is not going to college and hoping to make a career out of professional football. Pulisic decided a long time ago college was not his path and now he is training with BVB… hopefully more and more kids decide the same and MLS will begin giving these career footballers the chance to shine at younger ages like we see in germany, italy, france, spain.
        I hope this become the trajectory and the paradigm shifts…the faster the better IMO.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        I hope somehow those individuals who should develop their minds more fully will be encouraged to do so. Your reference to 3 Sigma outliers above illustrates my point, as the ability understand basic concepts in statistics is now necessary to survive any trip to a doctor’s office, or to an ER.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        OSC… while I do not disagree with you even opening a garage door comes with an algorithm now… which takes a great deal of critical thinking out of life. Our entire civilization is basically run by them.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        El P, those algorithms never cover everything, putting an even greater pressure on the ability to solve emergency problems.
        I once substitute taught long-term in a public HS, where I was advised never to demand what education calls higher order thinking skills (aka analysis, synthesis, problem-solving and creation) when testing my students. You have already inferred t hat I ignored the advice.
        The more the algorithms take over the less we can afford to lose our capacity to think for ourselves (see: Union Cliff of Despair and lemmings!)

  2. Is it Thursday yet?

  3. Unfortunate for Hamid. This was his chance to really shine as the veteran keeper at the camp. Guzan is benched at Villa and Howard was boo’d by some Everton fans for his struggles. Hamid had a really opportunity.
    Question: If Colorado might be looking at Vincent at #2 and Chicago is looking to trade #1, should the Union look to trade up?

    • I had that thought about trading up myself. It’s a good question. Here’s one to add to it…What would the Union give away? Do they have to give up #3 and #6? If so I’m not sure that trade would be worth it. As we all have lamented the rosters are still bare. The draft this year is supposedly deep till #9-#10. I think I’d be more inclined to keep them both. Now, if the Union only had to give up one and some allocation money, or anything else but a player, I’d definitely have to listen and weigh that. If they wanted an international spot, then NO. Big no.

      • The Union swapped the #2 pick and AM for the #1 pick when they drafted Blake.
        I would imagine that they would only have to give up the #3 and more AM/TAM to get the #1, especially if Chicago is already open to moving back.
        My thought is that if it is really believed that either Yaro and Vincent could come in and be Day 1 starters you go for it considering the lack of defensive starters on the roster right now. Maybe draft Vincent then look for a CB abroad?

      • I having a feeling the CB will be found abroad. I have no proof to back it up. It’s just a feeling. If the deal would be, as you say, #3 and AM/TAM, we get to keep #6, I’d be fine with that.

      • If you believe that he could be the LB for your team for the next 5~8 years than I would trade up for him too. There haven’t been ANY true top LBs in the draft for so long. I believe when they moved up for Blake it cost them $75K in AM. To me it’s a no brainer. But The Union have never seemed to value that position so we’ll see if it is any different under Stewart.
        Only downside to Vincent (from a Union perspective) is he’s not GA.

    • I don’t follow NCAA soccer much, but from everything I’ve read, Vincent sounds like one of only 2-3 who could potentially start out of the gate. If it took 3&6 to go get him at #1, that still seems worthwhile to me if 3 & AM doesn’t get the job done.

      • I do not trade up to 1 cause a lot of teams are looking at Harrison at 1 from what I hear. This means if someone jumps over to #1 and takes Harrison. At 2 the choice is Yaro or Vincent. Which means at 3 the Union could still get top tier talent and if Colorado takes Vincent you can take Yaro or even Campbell if you don’t trust Yaro. In what I have heard from this draft I would only move back to gain money and or solid depth to the roster. I mean it seems like at the late 6-10 you could still get Herbers,Rosenberry,Holness, Buescher, Fischer, Laryea (Maybe)

      • Agreed, Doc. I would stand pat at 3 & 6 knowing that no matter what happens, I’ll get two good players which is what you need right now as opposed to moving up to just end up with one as we’ll likely have to include the #6 pick in the trade.

        We need to fill out a roster after gutting it this offseason. If our roster was more finely tuned, you could definitely make the case for targeting a specific player by trading up. There’s a good chance that Vincent will still be there at #3.

  4. Psp continues to be my one stop shop for Tokyo Sexwale news. Kudos.

  5. Wow, I always scroll to the bottom of the page to see what he said as well!!!! I hope he wins so we can hear his name announced on the nightly news!!!!! Tokyo Sexwale!!!!!

  6. Two interesting things of note in the CONCACAF voting. None of the 10 choices for male referee of the year were from MLS. And former Union player Gabriel Gomez is on the list for top midfielder.

  7. It’s ridiculous to me that this battle for occupied markets continues between NASL and MLS. The two can co-exist, especially in a 1-2 tier system, and they – and USSF – should be focused on building the game, not trampling on each other’s territory. If NASL can’t keep San Antonio, with that stadium and support, and Atlanta in the league, there’s no way they can be a top tier league. And if the Silverbacks were not moving up to MLS, then MLS should’ve looked elsewhere to keep that team alive. ANY chance of pro-rel HAS relies on to financially and competitive stable leagues, not one where the two compete for markets and one whose teams can’t survive year-to-year. It would be more beneficial to everyone involved if MLS goes to 24 teams, then NASL looks at 16-20 teams in markets (or areas, i.e. the Brooklyn or Long Island for the Cosmos) that are not currently occupied by MLS. There are plenty available, including some that have went the route of USL: Miami, St. Louis, San Diego, San Antonio, OKC, New Orleans, Detroit, Carolinas, Austin, Nebraska/Kansas, Las Vegas. Let’s build the game, not compete.

    • You make too much sense and therefore it most likely will never happen. This is America. It is a free-market system. Where everyone and anyone are free to try and make their own way. It is not communism, where it’s all for all (in theory anyway). Would it be nice for them to work together? Absolutely. But there is too much “me” and not enough “we” to go around.

    • MLS don’t want to build the game, that is the WHOLE problem. They want their insular little perfect franchise model… that makes money for the investors in a market that guarantees increasing worth for each team.
      3four3 most recent article is pretty much about this…

    • It doesn’t have to be a “all for one” type of system. I don’t even mind the competition, it’s good for business, but if I look at the NASL right now I see two teams that just folded, one only entering in the fall, and others struggling to find stadium solutions, not to mention Miami coming into a market that is already occupied by another NASL team (Ft. Lauderdale). So it’s not even really about growing the game per se, it’s about either league seizing an opportunity that the other is not and tapping into unmarked territory, which the USL is doing very well.
      Despite what it wants to believe and what it preaches, NASL is not a strong league. It’s not even close to being a top tier league, both financially and competitively. The MLS system is flawed and draconian at times, but at least it creates a level playing field. Clearly it has worked, as attendance is up, the tv deals are improving and the visibility is growing. The idea was to build the league slowly and keep finances in check. I think they’ve reached that goal and should loosen the strings, while the NASL has taken a broader approach. Their beloved Cosmos averaged only 5,062 fans last year, which was surpassed by 3 USL teams. No NASL team averaged more than 10,000, and both Louisville FC and Sacramento of the USL averaged more than 8 NASL teams per game.
      Those could’ve been NASL teams. Instead of the turf war with MLS, they could’ve been looking at Sacramento (11,323), Louisville (6,765), or St. Louis (4,885) among other cities. Same with MLS. Nashville, Chatanooga have a good little following. I’m not invested in either league so it’s not my money, but if I was a partner in NASL I would look around at the landscape, see teams folding and USL teams averaging more than NASL teams, and wonder what the business plan is, besides trying desperately to prove they can be better than MLS, despite falling well short.

      • The only thing I disagree with is the idea of MLS being a level playing field. It may be a small bone to pick, but it is all to evident that MLS is not a level playing field. Just look at the way MLS declined the Union’s homegrown applications. There’s the LA Galaxy and Seattle on one level, and the remaining teams on another. What Garber decides he wants, is good for MLS. The rest be damned. Until this changes and MLS becomes less secretive than the KGB, there won’t be a level playing field.

      • You raise a good point, I can’t disagree, but I was really referring to the on-the-field product. Clearly that’s not the case, but my point was that I think the league’s actions imply the goal of a level playing field in theory, while in practice it doesn’t come close to achieving that. The hard cap in the NFL and non-guaranteed contracts (which allows them to sign high-priced deals then back out) creates a lot of parity, while the high guaranteed contracts of the MLB and max deals of the NBA create a situation where there’s a financial and often competitive gap between the upper tier and lower tier teams. I think that’s opening in the NASL as well, as the Cosmos are willing and able to spend while others are not.

    • WOW. I hope he can find peace within himself and recover quickly. Does anyone have a clue to what he alluded to in his tweet about being judged?

      • I hope Mondragon recovers as he was one of the best professionals this team has seen in aspect of play and how to carry yourself as a leader. This is just sad news. He can come back to Philly anytime he wants if you ask me.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        He would be a superb coach in the aspect of motivation and communication, superb. I wonder that he is not the honorary international chairman of the Sons of Ben.
        The public personas we fans see are never the complete person. What we did see makes us want to hold him in the Light, as they say in the Religious Society of Friends.

  8. There should be a mandatory Tokyo Sexwale update every day. Just sayin…
    Terrible news about Mondragon. Hope everything turns out well.
    With no signings and really no rumors, I sure hope the draft lives up to its potential for our U tomorrow. Give me something dammit!! 🙂

  9. Looks like the Union have their CB to put next to Marquez.

  10. Faryd….those demons that tell you you’re less than… don’t believe them… you are God’s perfect expression of wholeness…imperfections and all. Ramble On.

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