Daily news roundups

Union preseason training opens today, signing news, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

The start of preseason training, scheduled to begin on Sunday, was postponed after Saturday’s snow storm. So, the official start of “Name That Trialist” season is today.

The Union announced the re-signing of two players. On Friday, came the the announcement that, as expected, Fabinho had re-signed with the team. On Saturday came the news that Warren Creavalle would be back.

With the Creavalle announcement, 20 of 28 spots are filled on the Union roster, which now looks like this:

GK (2): Andre Blake (GA), John McCarthy
DEF (6): Anderson Conceicao (INT’L), Fabinho, Raymon Gaddis, Richie Marquez, Keegan Rosenberry, Joshua Yaro (GA/INT’L)
MID (10): Eric Ayuk (INT’L), Tranquillo Barnetta (INT’L), Brian Carroll, Warren Creavalle, Maurice Edu (DP), Leo Fernandes, Sebastien Le Toux, Vincent Nogueira (INT’L), Chris Pontius, Walter Restrepo
FWD (2): Fabian Herbers (GA/INT’L), C.J. Sapong

INT’L ROSTER SPOTS FILLED (INT’L): 6 (Blake, Fabinho, and Le Toux have green cards)
UNSIGNED DRAFT PICKS (3): Taylor Washington (No. 23), Mitchell Lurie (No. 44), Cole Missimo (No. 64) 

More on the signings at PSP (Fabinho, Creavalle), CSN Philly (Fabinho, Creavalle), Philly Soccer News (Fabinho, Creavalle), Brotherly Game (Fabinho, Creavalle), Vavel (Creavalle), and Sons of Penn.

At Delco Times, Matthew De George has some storylines to think about as preseason training begins. Chief among them is this: The Union have “just one out-and-out forward under contract (CJ Sapong) and substantially the same midfield contingent as last season, only minus the creativity of Cristian Maidana.” We are all waiting for news of new additions.

Preseason match schedule update: The game against NYRB but was not included on the Union announcement last week on key preseason dates, is now listed on the league website as taking place on Wednesday, Feb. 24 in Clearwater at 7 pm.

At the Union website, Marissa Pilla joined players for a look at the renovations underway at the 16,000 square-foot building that will be the team’s new training facility. Pilla reports, “The team hopes to have renovations completed for when the players return from Florida for spring training.” Among the players visible in the photo gallery that accompanies the report are Maurice Edu, Tranquillo Barnetta, Chris Pontius, Sebastien Le Toux, Ray Gaddis, Fabinho, and Brian Carroll.

You will recall Santiago Dittborn, the Chilean attacking midfielder who trialed with the Union last season. He’s on DC United’s preseason training roster, along with former Union goalkeeper Chris Konopka, who was recently released by Toronto.

Former Union man Steven Vitoria has been called up by Canada for the friendly against the US on Feb. 5.

Philadelphia Union Academy

Auston Trusty has been named to the US U-19 23-player roster for the Copa de Athletico tournament in the Canary Islands, Jan. 27- Feb. 6. Also called up was Bethlehem, Pa.’s Kevin Silva (PDA). This is the first tournament for Brad Friedel since being named head coach of the team.

More on recent call-ups to US youth national teams — seven players across four teams — at the Union website.


More on new Harrisburg City Islanders investors Susquehanna Capital Corp. at Central Penn Business Journal.



Player moves:

ESPN reports, “Everton manager Roberto Martinez said the club have received no contact from Major League Soccer side Colorado Rapids about a reported move for Tim Howard.”

ESPN also reports, “Manchester City are ready to loan more players to sister club New York City FC after Patrick Vieira took charge of the Major League Soccer side.”

The possibility that Minnesota United could begin play in 2017 before their stadium is built by calling the Minnesota Twins’ Target Field their temporary home seems buttressed by remarks from Twins President Dave St. Peter in a Q&A at Minneapolis Star Tribune:

We’ve met with United and MLS and discussed that possibility. There’s a model there, the Yankee Stadium model where they’re hosting an MLS team now, so there are lessons to be learned from that. One reason I’m positive about this is because our groundskeeper, Larry DiVito, worked in an MLS/MLB combination at RFK Stadium as a groundskeeper for the Nationals. He’s lived through the soccer/baseball experiment and has given me comfort.

The Washington Post on some of the welcome, and not so welcome, changes to the design of DC United’s new stadium as revealed by the recent release of new renderings.

At Brotherly Game, Matt Ralph has an early look at some prospects in the 2017 SuperDraft.

San Francisco Shuriken? Terrible.

You will recall the interview we linked to last week at Empire of Soccer with NASL commissioner Bill Peterson on league expansion. Last week, the group behind a bid to put a team in San Francisco released an image of the team’s logo, and it is terrible. EOS reports, “An official announcement on the San Francisco group’s admittance into the NASL could come as early as February.”


A day after she was named CONCACAF’s Female Player of the Year, Carli Lloyd scored a hat trick as the USWNT defeated Ireland 5-0 in a friendly on Saturday. More on the win at ASN, Goal.com,

In her first cap with the senior squad, 17-year-old Mallory Pugh scored her first goal. Fox Soccer has more on what Pugh’s future holds.

Other CONCACAF awardees include Tim Howard and Hope Solo for Male and Female Goalkeeper of the Year, and Jill Ellis for Female Coach of the Year. Howard and Michael Bradley were named to the Male Best XI, Lloyd, Solo, Alex Morgan, and Becky Sauerbrunn to the Female Best XI.

Interviews with Jurgen “I’m totally cool with every decision I made” Klinsmann at Goal.com and ESPN.

The US U-17 BNT was defeated 3-1 by Turkey in the Aegean Cup final on Saturday.

Beyond Sport on the one million pieces of soccer equipment that have been redistributed through the US Soccer Foundation’s Passback Project.


News from UEFA:

  • Goal-line technology will be used at Euro 2016 and in the next Champions League season. Additional assistant referees “will continue to monitor all activity in and around the penalty area.” The goal-line technology supplier will be announced at a later date.
  • The UEFA executive committee has unanimously endorsed UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino for the FIFA presidency.
  • No elections will be held to replace banned UEFA president Michel Platini until after the appeal process has been completed.

From the AP: “German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports the FBI has opened a corruption investigation into the awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany.”

The AP reports, “Prince Ali of Jordan is confident he can win the FIFA presidential election and turn around what he says is a critical situation facing football’s governing body.


  1. You must have done some digging to get news today, since action has been buried in snow!

  2. It will be very very very interesting to see how NYCFC…. I mean ManCity Norte America fair in MLS.
    Any body who is totally cool with every decision they make is either really arrogant, smug, ignorant or hiding a bit of insecurity… IDK…
    I do my best to Stop, Think, Act, Review in the workplace as much as possible and in my parenting or relationships and I can assure you that no matter what – – I am never ‘totally cool’ with every decision I’ve made… it is a troubling aspect of professional coaches who are totally unwilling to be forthcoming… last I checked the only perfect person to grace the face of the earth was some gentleman named Jesus the Christ…. and there are many many who would even argue that.

    • To be fair, saying “I’m totally cool with every decision I made” is not like saying “I’m totally correct with every decision I made”.
      It could be seen as just accepting of the outcome, good or bad, with each decision.

  3. How long will it be before we could hope to see Pulisic score FOR the Union, instead of against them?

    • I would say thats a never. You don’t go from Dortmund first team to the Union it does not make career or logical sense.

    • Imagine a world of (1) crippling economic stagnation in Europe as establishment austerians continue to drive the EU economy into a slow, agonizing death spiral; and (2) a general slowdown in the world economy in particular the BRIC nations as their resource and industrial production based economies face hard times from a lack of global demand and OPEC’s continuing self-immolation due to political and market-share driven beliefs.

      Out of this malaise exists the US, diversified and strong, rowing against the tide to maintain some semblance of economic development, growth and innovation.

      Now read Soccernomics – players go play where the money, security and quality of life exists.

      Its absolutely possible. Let Europe have NFL teams – we’ll take their futbol players, and pay them handsomely. I’m not talking about the Drogba/Lampard/Gerrard types – the real current ones (too many to name). Of course, MLS will have to ease its grip on keeping their workers share of revenues down …

      • Only on Philly Soccer Page. Magic.

      • While I can see your point I believe Germany was just listed as the best country to live in currently. So unless things fall apart in a few years there will be no Pulisic scoring for the Union. Unless there is a brother, father, uncle, cousin playing for the Union that can score.

      • .. best until it is overrun by the non-German EU citizens and war-immigrants flocking there, as well as by the continuing EU doldrums that Germany cannot avoid as a member of the “single currency”. also, its mainly abut the salaries – only Bayern pays super high. MLS needs to get into the MLB mindset” “left hander, .500 record, starter for 3 years? ok, 4 years at $14M per year oughta do it.”

      • The MLB mindset would be a little easier if MLS teams could get some MLB local TV contracts

  4. The pessimist in me feels like this year is a lot like the last…Creavalle, Fabinho, Carroll, no Chaco. Just feels the same…especially with training camp starting.

    But the optimist feels that there are still eight spots to fill!! Come on Ern…I need something!!!! Especially after the weather!!!

    • There are 13 players from last year on a 28 man roster. And that includes Barnetta and Creavalle who did not start last year on the team. This team will not look anything like last year by the time they are done. If they will be better is another question…

  5. With the reinforcements on the wing, I think it’s fair to say LeToux can count as an outright forward. He probably should be playing there anyway. Still need one more big guy and that would give you: DP, Sapong, LeToux with Herbers and Pontious as other possibilities.

    • I really think that Curtin and probably Stewart see both Le Toux and Pontius as wingers

      • I don’t know much of Pontius, only read that he has played as a 2nd striker at times. I’d rather see LeToux up top, but my vote doesn’t count. He wasn’t bad on the wing, but you’re right it’s mostly Curtin’s call and he’s the one who moved him to wing in the first place.

    • his hold up play will be ______ (fill in your own words here) to watch. my words: “irritable bowel syndrome causing”

  6. Section 114 (Formerly) says:

    I want to come back now that Sak has been purged. But it certainly seems to me that the tight-fisted ways continue. They can have my money when they start putting it on the field, instead of in Sugarman’s pocket.
    And I’m not talking about one or two signings, but a changed philosophy of putting the team’s dollars onto the pitch. Warren Creavalle and Fabinho are backwards steps towards 2015-Beta, not a winning 2016. As is every roster move this club has made this offseason.
    Compared to the end of year team, right now the current team is:
    identical at GK
    identical at FB
    worse at CB
    improved at CDM (the team’s already best position)
    comparable at wings
    identical at CAM
    weaker at striker
    identical coaching
    with less depth.
    In Earnie I trust. In Sugarman I don’t.

    • You are going to be waiting…and waiting…and waiting. Especially since Sugarman has said that he wasn’t going to spend like the LA Galaxy. So….

    • … sort of an economic/spending version of fair weatherism? a bit unusual, but if it happens let’s pray they are not like one of those overspending MLB clubs that still manages to finish last like … our MLB club, thereby halving game attendance in just 3 years. be careful for the economic action demands. “Let’s just get the right guys this year” is an apt mantra. The KC Royals didn’t seem to spend big, although they had a good GM who used to be with … our MLB club (sigh).

    • I agree with a lot of what you said regarding the first team. My only counterpoint to this is that the Union started from absolutely nothing (no USL/NASL team to build off from an infrastructure or learning perspective). They’ve been learning as they went and have obviously made a number of mistakes as an organization.

      They’re clearly investing the money in infrastructure now with BSFC and the training facility to go along with the practice fields from last year and the high school. In my opinion, all of this should have been priority number 1 from the very beginning, but the club decided to devote their limited resources to the first team rather than lay the ground work to build in the future. I know it doesn’t seem like they tried, but they went out and spent money on Freddy. It failed miserably and they’ve been hesitant to spend ever since. It also tough to attract talent when you’re practicing in a public park.

      I accept your position of frustration, but I guess I have a bit more patience with the club because I view all these as long term plays to attract & retain the Tranquillo Barnetta’s and Vincent Nogueira’s of the world. I’d rather 5-6 of players in that range than one Clint Dempsey. The way the Union do that is by building this infrastructure. While I want desperately for the team to win immediately, I can accept that they may struggle this year.

      Having said all that, my expectation is for marked improvement in the style of play from prior year. I’m very high on Tranquillo as a replacement for Maidana and expect big things from our midfield. I expect the Union to be in the playoff hunt all year (it is not difficult in MLS to remain in the playoff discussion) and while I don’t expect them to make the playoffs, I hope that they do. That is my expectation based on the current roster and moves that the club has made. Throw in a DP striker and some additional depth moves combined with the development of Ayuk and I will be expecting more.

      • Yours is like a warm chamomile with lemon… easy on the stomach and relaxing.
        I love when pragmatic well reasoned optimism reigns….

      • +1

        I don’t need (or want) to see Steinbrenner-like behaviour here.
        If you don’t want to come in and have fun at the party (’cause somebody didn’t spend enough on the band), quit crowding the door and complaining that it doesn’t suit you.

    • I am holding my faith that Ernie will still get some talent and that there is still a week left in the January transfer window to do it.

  7. Union had 24 guys signed at the start of preseason camp last year. 7 of those guys were gone before the end of last season. 8 more have been moved in the offseason. The “leftover 9”: Blake, Fabinho, Marquez, Gaddis, Carroll, Edu, Le Toux, Nogueira, Sapong. McCarthy was also there as a trialist. It’s worth noting that Aristeguieta and Vitoria came in later, didn’t get a full camp in, then struggled to assimilate and struggled with fitness. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
    To those 10, we’ve added Anderson, Ayuk, Barnetta, Creavalle, Fernandes, Pontius, Restrepo, and a handful of rookies. We need to replace 145 appearances (101 starts). It’s reasonable to expect Barnetta to cover 15-17 of those above what he did last year, but I would be shocked if Ayuk played more than he did last year. Are we comfortable with Anderson, Pontius, and the rest of those guys to cover 130 appearances/85 starts? That’s a tough ask. Basically asking a handful of lower level players and rookies to be MLS quality right out of the gate. I don’t think that ends particularly well.
    I’m going to take a break from my relentless (realism/pessimism, pick which you feel better describes it) and say that I hope this year is like last year, and the Union bring in three guys who can come in and play a little bit. I know Aristeguieta, Vitoria, and Ayuk didn’t provide a ton last year, but it is certainly notable that they spent money to bring in guys after this point. Let’s just get the right guys this year!

    • Realism actually takes into account the positives as well as the negatives so…

    • To me your final point is well taken… I agree completely…’Let’s just get the right guys this year’ and it is feasible and within the realm (from my POV) … and it may take awhile for us to see it play out in points on the table whether this year or even next…
      I know you and I have gone round and round and ultimately your position is sound… so much depends on wether they have hired the right guy to direct the ship – all the while we need to observe on the job training as it continues for our manager, our keeper, our new back line…. ect ect… it is a tall order of faith… and certainly comes back to… You are wary – I am enamored… We both need the same thing… results.
      …’let’s just get the right guys’ to institute the Plan and Philosophy of play the SD and head coach have been telling us they have talked extensively about.
      This is a total rebuild…. I just hope beyond hope it isn’t a rebuild like Johnny Cash’s… One Piece at a Time- Cadillac… it was a 49,50,51,52,53…….

    • Well it sounds like they are trying to bring a striker in who will at least be equal to Sapong hopefully better, so that’s 1 upgrade right there. I am still hopeful they bring in guys who will realistically push for starts at winger and LB along with the other required depth.
      At this point I have to trust Earnie that Anderson will be better than Vitoria and new striker will be better than Fernando. I don’t love Pontius but he has to be better than Wenger was last year too.

  8. Kensington bluebeller says:

    Jelavic just released,open the purse strings.

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