Daily news roundups

Dutch report says Alberg has signed 2-year deal with Union, BSFC adds staff, US Soccer sues USWNT union, more

Photo: Daniel Studio

Philadelphia Union

No official announcement yet from the Union, but Dutch news outlet Omroepwest.nl reports Roland Alberg has signed a two-year deal with the Union for an unknown transfer fee, adding “the 25-year-old playmaker is currently awaiting a work permit.”

CBS Philly’s Kevin Kinkead tweeted on Wednesday Alberg’s signing “could be announced by Saturday at the earliest,” adding, “There is a small chance Alberg is able to play in Saturday’s preseason game. Wouldn’t bet on it but we’ll see.”

Club Call says ADO Den Haag “are happy to let Alberg leave, the midfielder having fallen out of favour under coach Henk Fraser while the club added Kyle Ebecilio to their ranks during the January transfer window.”

You can check out highlight reels of Alberg at YouTube and Vimeo.

More on Alberg and the reported deal at Brotherly Game, Vavel, and The Blue and Gold Blog.

Philly Soccer News on Maurice Edu’s recovery from sports hernia surgery. Edu says, “I think I’m on schedule.”

Vavel on Andre Blake as the Union’s No. 1 goalkeeper.

At the Union website, a photo gallery of offseason activities from Blake, Fabinho, and Sebastien Le Toux. Congratulations on getting married, Andre.

Completephillycoverage.com on Chris Pontius being with the Union. Or free bets, I’m not sure.

Bethlehem Steel

Bethlehem’s technical staff continues to take shape with the announcement on Wednesday of five new staff. Among them are Stephen Hogan, who was also recently announced as the new head coach of Reading United, and Jeff Cook, the coach of the Union Academy U-16s since 2013. More at Philadelphia Union, PSP, Allentown Morning CallPhilly Soccer News, and Brotherly Game.

Scratching the Pitch reports Delaware native, FC Delco alum, and goalkeeper Keasel Broome is training with BSFC in hopes of signing with the team. Broome will be familiar with much of the coaching staff after having formerly played for Reading United.

Philadelphia Union Academy

Auston Trusty went the full 90 in the US U-19’s 1-0 loss to Spain’s U-18s at the Copa del Atlantico tournament in the Canary Islands on Tuesday. The team faced France on Wednesday, with Trusty again going the distance, losing 5-0. Next up is Canary Islands on Friday.

The Union Academy announced on Wednesday ten players who have signed national letters of intent with college teams. They are: Goalkeepers Andrew Verdi (Michigan University) and Justin Bajek (University of Maryland); defenders Shane Bradley (Villanova University), Robert Campbell (Clemson University), Joseph DeZart (Wake Forest University) and Auston Trusty (University of North Carolina); midfielder Conor Bradley (Villanova University); and forwards Tiger Graham (Dartmouth College), Jerren Nixon (University of Virginia) and Raheem Taylor-Parkes (University of Virginia). More at CSN Philly.


As reported here at PSP, West Chester United have qualified for the First Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. An email was sent on Tuesday to clubs that were to participate in the Third Round of Open Division local qualifiers informing them they had been given a berth in the First Round proper of the Open Cup as a result of one of the professional leagues not fielding as many teams in the tournament as originally planned. West Chester United was scheduled to host Southie FC (Tyngsboro, MA) on April 2 in the third round of local qualifiers.

Several Reading United, Ocean City Nor’easters, and Lehigh Valley United games make a list at the PDL website of notable games in the upcoming season.

Pulisic! He’s been added to Borussia Dortmund’s Europa League squad.


Player moves:

  • Official: LA Galaxy have acquired Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong using Targeted Allocation Money.
  • Official: Columbus has acquired Egyptian defender Amro Tarek on loan for 2016 from Real Betis. Tarek, born in Los Angeles, is eligible for both Egypt and the US.
  • Columbus also signed midfielder Rodrigo Saravia, the club’s first round pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft (19th overall). He will occupy an international roster spot.
  • Chicago has acquired defender Rodrigo Ramos on a one-year loan from Brazilian Série A side Coritiba.
  • San Jose have loaned midfielder Leandro Barrera to Club Atlético San Martín of the Argentine first division through the end of the year.

A deal is in the works that would see former FC Dallas striker Blas Pérez sign with Vancouver “in exchange for the rights to midfielder Mauro Rosales.” More at Vancouver Whitecaps and MLSsoccer.com.

Preseason games:

  • Toronto defeated Ventura County Fusion, 3-0.
  • New England defeated San Jose, 2-0.
  • Vancouver defeated Seattle, 2-1.
  • Portland and Houston drew, 1-1.

At the Sporting KC website, a Q&A with former Union man Justin Mapp.

Former Red Bull Matt Miazga has been included on Chelsea’s Champions League roster.

An update on ongoing renovations at Toronto’s BMO Field.


Fearing a strike before the start of the Olympic qualifying tournament on Feb. 10, US Soccer on Wednesday sued the union representing the USWNT. The AP reports,

In a complaint filed in federal court in Chicago, the USSF said Richard Nichols, who became executive director of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Players Association in late 2014, has refused to acknowledge a Dec. 31 expiration date contained in a memorandum of understanding agreed to by the governing body and the union in March 2013. The memorandum listed changes agreed to from the previous collective bargaining agreement.

The USSF claimed Nichols informed it on Dec. 23 that the deal will end on Feb. 24 and at a meeting Wednesday refused to agree that the union would not strike before Dec. 31. The USSF asked the court to determine the CBA exists and has an expiration of Dec. 31.

In an interview with SI, Nichols denies he made any threat to strike as soon as Feb. 24.

The most recent CBA expired in 2012. US Soccer argues the March 2013 memorandum of agreement constitutes a new CBA that expires at the end of this year.

More on the story at New York TimesPhilly.comWall Street JournalThe GuardianFox Soccer, SI, ESPNThe Equalizer, Soccer America, CBS SportsPro Soccer Talk, Goal.comDeadspin, Vice Sports, and Stars and Stripes FC.

Sports Day on the USWNT’s concerns about the Zika virus if they, as expected, qualify for a berth in the Summer Olympics in Brazil.

Ahead of Friday’s friendly against Canada, Soccer America on how the game underscores Jurgen Klinsmann’s preparations for the U-23s ahead of the Olympic qualifying series against Colombia in March.

Stuart Holden officially announces his retirement.

The US remains at No. 32 in the latest FIFA rankings. Mexico moves up one spot to No. 22. Belgium remains No. 1.


From Reuters: “FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan has criticised the global body’s decision to cut off funding to corruption hit Americas confederations, calling it ‘collective punishment.'”

Donald Trump. Soccer player.


  1. el Pachyderm says:

    Nothing says progress like a 6 nothing aggregate loss to a French team and Spanish team one year younger.
    Come on. Are you kidding me? What’s the punchline to the joke? Somebody please help me understand.
    In other news … at least my new favorite player in the world could see some European action. I loved hearing the announcers introduce Pulisic against Ingolstadt.. “Coming on to make his debut for Dortmund is 17 year old Christian Pulisic from Hershey, Pennsylvania”… then some comment about chocolate… then some cheeky pass from him, then some dribbling to end line, then dispossessed, then a light cross but right idea then, then another cheeky pass that opened the defense and led to a direct scoring chance then a lovely run to pull a defender out of position… you get the idea.

  2. Best wishes to Holden moving on past playing and congrats on becoming a father.
    It is easy to think about what could have been with his talent, but I would rather point to his handling of how his career ended up working out.
    It would have been easy to quit after the first or second injury. It would have been easy to be angry or bitter. It would have been easy to withdraw and feel sorry for himself.
    The man took it all on the chin, took it as far as he could go, and had a smile on his face the whole time.

  3. The Alberg signing seems very promising. Of course we don’t know until we see him play, but it could be a shrewd Moneybag move by ES.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Yeah it’s the exact type of signing we all assumed Stewart would pull off… so nice to see he can deliver.

      • To be fair Nogueira, Maidana, and even Barnetta kinda fit that idea too, and we don’t even know how much Alberg cost. I don’t think it’s really a difficult thing to spot, I mean we can find players like that too. My hope is that Earnie knows how to get players who fit together better because that has always been a major problem.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        I suppose that was my angle, I just didn’t make it too clear. All the guys you mentioned were money ball type signings, but I am hoping there is more to signing a guy like Alberg, because there is an actual plan in place and a place for him to play… instead of grabbing a guy cause he’s cheap or undervalued.

      • I’ve read your position enough to have assumed that was the underlying point.
        That sir, is called benefit of the doubt.

    • Indeed. Highlights here. Check out strike at 1:19. http://youtu.be/6VL1JKy1Blo

      • Dayum. That’s almost as good as Vardy’s strike for Leicester City against Liverpool last weekend.

  4. This tweet from Tannenwald could be informative about Josh Heard being drafted by the Whitecaps but chosing to sign with BSFC. He likely declined an offered contract so the Whitecaps own his MLS rights until December 31st, 2017. I’m assuming this because if he was not offered a contract, the Whitecaps would be with them until after the first regular season game and them be placed on waivers.

  5. Also, jersey number changes and new player numbers announced along with the new home kit today.
    Barnetta has changed from #85 to #10. McCarthy has gone from #55 to #27.
    Pontius #13. Restrepo #20. Anderson #23. Herbers #11. Rosenberry #12. Yaro #15.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      “Real numbers” = TRUE member of the team. Unless you choose a crazy high number for a reason. Just my crazy opinion. Always thought a crazy number meant you were just here for a cup of coffee

      • Barnetta chose #85 because he was born in 1985.
        He previously worn #7, #16, and #27 but when he was first signed all those numbers were taken. Carroll is #7, Marquez is #16, and Pfeffer was #27. Of course, Maidana was #10 at the time too.

      • James Lockerbie says:


  6. Jeremy Lane says:

    Herbers at 11? That’s a vote of confidence from the staff, I must say.

  7. Is it time to take a stab at the current 2-deep? I can’t help myself:

    GK- Blake-McCarthy
    LB- Fabinho-Washington
    LCB- Anderson-Marquez?
    RCB- Marquez-Yaro
    RB- Gaddis-Rosenberry
    DM- Noguiera-Edu?
    DM- Edu-Carroll
    LM- Pontius-Restrepo
    AM- Barnetta-Fernandes
    RM- Albers-LeToux
    FWD- Sapong-Herbers

    It’s coming along. This doesn’t include guys like Ayuk or Creavalle, and ignores some of these guys are comfortable playing multiple positions. Still some holes, but the U has never built a more logical roster before. Usually we had like 3 positions that had no back-up and a couple more where plan B was more “hope and pray” than legitimate strategy. Would love to get an answer on OSC’s original question on player movement between U and BSFC, so some of these young guys can get regular playing time.

    • The lack of defensive depth scares me. It’s literally all rookies.

      • I agree with your reluctance to rely on rookies, but at this point it looks like they will be leaning on a number of them, good or bad. A veteran MLS-er to serve as 3rd CB is almost a necessity. Plus I don’t even like the Nogs-Edu DM pairing, and they are gruel thin behind them.

      • James Lockerbie says:

        You list your concerns well, and they are true concerns. Having said that, The most encouraging points in your observations, the apparent logic used to form the current roster as it currently stands.

        There is a plan behind this roster, which as you have already pointed out it is a major improvement from years past under the previous F.O

      • .
        Assuming the manager can manage to the temperament of the SD… assuming a rocky start to the season (which is logical but not necessarily indicative of a poorly constructed team) assuming again the manager can manage in game and out and is a quick study, assuming some key players remain ‘rather’ healthy…
        …I see this team hitting its stride in mid to late summer and either making a move up the table that secures postseason birth or not. From the beginning, its been all about sustainable quality and I feel we are certainly on the threshold of it, if not from empirical evidence as Adam S needs, but a more qualitative viewpoint.
        One way or another…I expect the finished product of 2016 to be a far far cry from the closing product of 2015 and opening product of this season.
        To be true… I almost hope the club does not come out of the gate too quickly thereby insecurely raising hope and expectation…
        One way or the other…can we get on with it already… this offseason has been at once exciting, exhausting and a wrapping of the fingers on the desk…and nervous right foot never coming to rest…fingers foot fingers foot.

      • Agreed. I mean, one of these guys (Yaro?) might prove to be MLS-ready in his rookie season. But all 3 certainly will not. And defenders pick up cards and get suspended. (To say nothing of the usual injuries.) They for sure need another CB, at least as a backup. I suppose they are counting on Creavalle as an option at FB, though that makes me uneasy.

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