Daily news roundups

New Union GK, preseason win over US U-17s, USWNT in Olympic qualifier tonight, more

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

The Union announced the acquisition on loan of goalkeeper Matt Jones on Tuesday from Portuguese Primeira Liga side Belenenses through the end of 2016. With No. 1 goalkeeper Andre Blake expected to miss significant time for the Copa America Centenario and World Cup qualifiers on national team duty with Jamaica, Jones’ arrival is a shrewd bit of business, with the English-born goalkeeper arriving with both a green card and extensive European first division experience. More on Jones’ arrival at PSP, Philadelphia Union, MLSsoccer.comPhiladelphia Inquirer, Delco Times, CSN Philly, Philly Soccer News, and Brotherly Game.

The Union scrimmaged the US U-17s on Tuesday, defeating them, 5-0. Warren Creavalle opened the scoring, followed by Sebastien Le Toux, CJ Sapong, Le Toux again (from the penalty spot), and Leo Fernandes. New goalkeeper signing Matt Jones played the second half. Here are the lineups:

First half: McCarthy, Washington, Marquez, Tribbett, Rosenberry, Creavalle, Barnetta (c), Nogueira, Ayuk, Herbers, Pontius

Second half: Jones, Fabinho, Yaro, Anderson, Gaddis, Le Toux, Akinyode, Ilsinho, Restrepo, Fernandes, Sapong

Charlotte Muscroft has a recap of the scrimmage at the Union website. Next up for the Union is Chicago Fire on Thursday at 4 pm. The game will be streamed on the Union website.

Sons of Penn on last weekend’s preseason loss to Jacksonville.

SI’s series on efforts underway to improve player and coaching development continues with a look at the partnership with the French Football Federation, through which academy coaches can earn the Elite Formation Coaching License. The report says a week of training was held in Philadelphia last fall (through YSC?) and the photograph that leads the article includes some one in Union garb.

Bethlehem Steel FC

Bethlehem Steel announced its preseason match schedule on Tuesday and the schedule includes two games at the Union training center next to Talen Energy Stadium that are free and open to the public. On Saturday, March 6 — the same day the Union opens the 2016 on the road in Dallas — Bethlehem hosts Syracuse at 12 pm. On Sunday, March 20 — the same day as the Union’s home opener against New England — Bethlehem hosts Georgetown at 11:30 am. Parking will be free for the first preseason game but you will have to pay for parking because of the Union game for the second. Another way to look at it is that Union fans can take in two games for the price of one parking spot on March 20.

Sons of Ben

The Sons of Ben will be holding an election beginning at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 16 to fill the Social Media Director position so admirably filled by Jeffrey Mitchell over the past few years. At the SoB website, a Q&A with the candidates


Harrisburg City Islanders head coach Bill Becher is now also the team’s general manager.

The 2015 Philly Soccer 6 season awards banquet was held on Tuesday night. You can view a list of the winners here.

At US Soccer, a roundup of college commitments from US Soccer Development Academy teams notes 11 players from Continental FC Delco have committed to college teams, and ten from PA Classics. Not sure why the Union Academy is not included in the list.

Pulisic! (Mind the tennis balls!)


Player moves:

Preseason games:

  • LAG drew 0-0 with Tijuana’s second team.
  • San Jose defeated South Korean first division side Seongnam, 1-0.
  • Seattle lost 2-1 to Mexican second division side Celaya FC.
  • Vancouver defeated Houston, 2-0, for their third-straight preseason win.

Orlando Sentinel reports Orlando is in talks with DC to acquire the discovery rights to AC Milan midfielder Antonio Nocerino.

At the 91st minute, an interesting read on how the league will look to close loopholes in its 2016 roster rules that might allow teams with USL affiliates to get around salary cap issues related to transfer fees.

Orlando has a new away kit.

The Miami Herald reports,

David Beckham plans to be the face and chairman of the proposed Miami Major League Soccer team, but he might not wind up being the majority owner.

Beckham has spent the past six months spanning the globe in search of deep-pocketed equity partners to help shoulder the estimated $300 million it will cost to construct a new stadium, establish a front office and acquire high-quality players.

According to sources close to the negotiations, there has been “vast interest’’ from serious investors, including Russian business tycoon Roman Abramovich, the owner of English Premier League giant Chelsea; a Chinese group; a few Americans; and a couple of groups from the Middle East, including Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), which owns the top soccer team in the French league, Paris Saint Germain (PSG), for which Beckham played in 2013.

The report says Beckham United hopes to complete the deal to build a stadium in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood by the end of February, with lead negotiator, Tim Leiweke, scheduled to meet local officials today.

The Guardian on the upcoming NASL season.


The USWNT begins its Olympic qualification campaign today when it faces Costa Rica in Dallas at 8:30 pm (NBC Sports Live Extra). Carli Lloyd says the team is focused on taking the CONCACAF qualification tournament one game at a time. More on the Olympic qualifiers at Los Angeles Times, Fox Soccer, Soccer AmericaYahoo Sports,

ASN has a profile piece on Lindsey Horan.

In view of the ongoing Zika virus outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control has issued a travel advisory for women who may become pregnant, or are pregnant, and planning to travel to South America, as well as for men who are sexual partners of pregnant women or are planning to become fathers (men can transmit the infection via sexual contact). Speaking of concerns about the effect the Zika infection can have on the children of pregnant women, and the impact this could have on female athletes participating in the Summer Olympics, Hope Solo tells SI, “If I had to make the choice today, I wouldn’t go.”

Acknowledging she and her husband Jerramy Stevens are not planning on a pregnancy, Solo explained,

I would never take the risk of having an unhealthy child. I don’t know when that day will come for Jerramy and me, but I personally reserve my right to have a healthy baby. No athlete competing in Rio should be faced with this dilemma. Female professional athletes already face many different considerations and have to make choices that male professional athletes don’t.

We accept these particular choices as part of being a woman, but I do not accept being forced into making the decision between competing for my country and sacrificing the potential health of a child, or staying home and giving up my dreams and goals as an athlete. Competing in the Olympics should be a safe environment for every athlete, male and female alike. Female athletes should not be forced to make a decision that could sacrifice the health of a child.

The SI report notes, “Unlike other Olympic events, which will take place in the Rio de Janeiro area, Olympic soccer will be held in cities outside Rio—Manaus, Salvador, Brasília, Belo Horizonte and São Paulo—some of which have higher rates than Rio of mosquito-borne viruses like Zika, dengue, chikungunya and malaria.” The AP reports the USWNT was to be briefed about the virus on Tuesday night.

The AP reports, “A status conference is scheduled for March 3 in the lawsuit brought by the U.S. Soccer Federation against the union for the World-Cup winning U.S. national team over the existence and validity of a collective bargaining agreement.” More at Soccer America and OTF Soccer.

At Goal.com, Ives Galarcep considers who will make up the US U-23 MNT roster that will face Columbia in the home and away Olympic qualification playoff series in March.

At US Soccer, part one of a Q&A with Jurgen Klinsmann discussing the USMNT’s January camp. Also at US Soccer, the January camp by the numbers.

Fox Soccer on the January camp. More roster forecasting from Pro Soccer Talk.


FS1 will over six hours of live coverage of the FIFA presidential election on Friday, Feb. 26. “FS1’s wall-to-wall coverage begins on Thursday, Feb. 25 with a one-hour pre-election special at 6:00 PM ET. Hosted by Rob Stone, the program features exclusive sit-down interviews with each of the five candidates…In the early morning hours on Friday in the U.S. (3:00-9:00 AM ET), Stone anchors more than six hours of live coverage from the FOX Network Center in Los Angeles as the process to elect a new FIFA president plays out…Expanded coverage continues post 9:00 AM on FS2.” The coverage will also be available on Fox Sports Go and Fox Soccer 2Go.

In an interview with the AP, FIFA presidential candidate Sheikh Salman displays a rather curious view of democracy, calling on national federations to “persuade” voters to unite behind a single candidate before the election. “If we go to election there will be losers and maybe sometimes you need to avoid that result…we have a clear indication on who will be elected.” Well, maybe his view isn’t so curious when one considers Salman is part of the ruling family of a constitutional monarchy whose parliament lacks power, has no independent judiciary, and regularly detains, tortures, and kills pro-democracy activists. More on Salman’s comments at Soccer America.

Reuters reports the European Club Association has backed Gianni Infantino’s FIFA presidential bid.

We noted in Tuesday’s roundup that Canadian Soccer Association president Victor Montagliani and Caribbean Football Union president Gordon Derrick have announced their bids for the CONCACAF presidency. Bermuda’s Larry Mussenden and Guyana’s Mark Rodrigues had previously announced they are in the running.

How’s former CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb’s house arrest going? Cayman News Service reports it is apparently quite the party:

As his old friend and business partner began settling into his new life in jail this weekend, former CIFA president and FIFA VP, Jeffrey Webb, was enjoying a lavish party at his Georgia mansion. Still under house arrest, Webb hosted a celebration for his wife’s 40th birthday at their home in Loganville, just outside Atlanta, which, according to evidence in the recent CarePay trial, was paid for by the people of the Cayman Islands through his criminal conspiracy with Canover Watson.

You will recall from Monday’s roundup that Watson was sentenced to seven years in prison after being found guilty of fraud charges related to his time in charge of the Cayman Islands’ Health Service Authority. Webb has also been charged but not tried due to his house arrest in the US on FIFA corruption charges.

The Premier League has released a new logo and related visual identity marks. League Managing Director, Richard Masters also said in a release, “From next season we will move away from title sponsorship and the competition will be known simply as the Premier League, a decision which provided the opportunity to consider how we wanted to present ourselves as an organisation and competition.” So, no more Barclays Premier League, then.

In related Premier League news, Manchester United’s share prices continue a three-month slide and have hit a three-year low, below their initial offering price.


  1. Orlando jerseys… Meh.
    Great piece of business with the Matt Jones deal. Nice to beat up on an opponent, regardless of who it was, and refreshing to know there’s a little competition for some spots this year. Does anyone have an update on where the roster sits?

  2. Question regarding the Cruz signing from yesterday, since he left MLS without a transfer fee, are his MLS rights still held by the Union should he still be in Minnesota when they join MLS?

    • From the MLS Roster Rules:

      When a player’s contract expires, the player does not count against the roster or budget of the club in question. Subject to the Re-Entry and Free Agent rules, a club retains the rights to the player indefinitely following the expiration of a contract provided attempts were made to re-sign the player. ”
      So unless the Union attempted to resign him (which I doubt) he is free to sign with anyone.

  3. Wrote this late last night and yanked over here for today’s discussion… …. anyway…
    “In Belgium, Double PASS’s home country with which it has worked closely since 2003, the results have been nothing short of astounding. The nation of 11 million is the world’s top-ranked team after a quarterfinal finish at the World Cup, after failing to qualify for five successive World Cups and European Championships. RSC Anderlecht went from finding 8% of its first-team squad in its own academy in 2004 to 52% in 2014.”
    …from the si.com article. This is nothing to sneeze at. .
    Liviu Bird has written a 3 part piece and it is excellent work. He is a good follow on Twitter.
    Today he released Part II :: on how French Academies are informing and molding MLS Academies and helping raise the level of education of our coaches as requirement.
    I’ve listened to quite a few coaches who have studied abroad and each one has talked extensively how becoming a coach abroad is more difficult than college… almost the equivalent of Master’s degree study.
    This is the model… and apparently we are at least aware of this stateside and it speaks, in my POV, to one of the reasons why we still have a recreation mindset versus a professional mindset… but are slowly moving to a professional mindset which is necessary and good.
    Once the education requirements of coaches rise to these levels the entire structure of soccer in America will change too… the culture will change, the paradigm will change, the game will change.. resemble something more than what it is…..that’s for sure. Resemble a truly professional development model.
    This is all about developing World Class talent — as it should be… and even though I am uncertain the current closed MLS model will allow it … at least the education will help affect the correct trajectory for change in quality of individual and team play.
    So – -all this leads me to one VERY important place:
    Who on the Union has talked with Double Pass…have they talked with Double Pass? and what coaches from the Union Academy are working towards the Elite Formation Coaching License that is underpinning Academy growth across the MLS. Is anybody in the Youth Academy being educated thusly to help raise the level of the other coaches within the organization? Very important stuff.
    I’ve Tweeted KK about this… and would love him to press the brass to get an answer…. far as I’m concerned… this will really tell us which direction the club is going to go in for the next 10-15 years.
    I’ve written often about concerns with our youth development model matching the sporting director’s Vision Plan and Philosophy and would be pretty comfortable with the current structure if I knew coaching education was on top of this….
    Really important information today. I suggest anyone who loves the game to clue in and read.

    • I read that DoublePASS article very closely as well EP. As a leadership/org effectiveness consulant, this stuff always gets my attention. It’s very in line “continuous improvement” processes applied by effective businesses.
      I read that the Union are one of the teams that has been DoublePASS evaluated. The whole change in language, communication, and personnel (both on and off the field) in the last several months would certainly be in line with that kind of effort. I think if the Union (and league as a whole) commits, (really commits), to this it will be huge leap forward.
      Thanks for the Twitter tip!
      Only concern is the rumbling of “Well, we’re a bit “different” here in the US, so…”.
      I hear this in meeting rooms everywhere, and it’s almost always a “cop-out” that needs to be bludgeoned to death….Like a snake…With a golf club.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        I am inclined to agree regarding the communication and how to run a more effective club. There is certainly a change and maybe Double Pass helped to inform that.
        Interesting to read some of the comments under the article too.
        My great question revolves around the education… I knew French academies were helping MLS clubs but had no idea to what extent and that it appears to be well enmeshed within certain MLS clubs and it is really important to me that Union have been proactive on this and who has been involved. I guess what I’m really toe tapping around is whether Mr Wilson and the Academy he leads has been involved yet of intends to do so.
        I tried to reach out to the author and while he responded to my initial inquiry, when pressed on which clubs are in the Elite Formation Licensing course he opted for radio silence.
        This is SO important I cannot even coherently speak to it. It is interesting at 13:30 you are the only r sponsor thus far… everything and I mean EVERYthing the SD wants to accomplish is dependent on progressive understanding about how to teach this game to our youth. EVERYthing.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Turns out the author did respond. Me and Twitter are uncomfortable bed mates yet.
        MLS is paying for one coach from each a academy. This is a start.

  4. I’m probably not smart enough to understand this, but how can DC United have a “discovery” claim on a 30 year old player who has been playing in a top-tier division (Serie A) and has played for Juve, Palermo and Milan? What did they “discover” – how to turn on the TV and watch him??

    • “Discovery claims” are purely an MLS league thing, nothing to do with development or anything like that.
      It is pretty much calling “first dibs” on a player that had no previous connection to the league.

      • So, you can basically file a “discovery claim” on any young international star, hoping that they would come MLS when they got older? Is there any limit on the number of claims?

      • I answered my own question — “A club may have up to seven unsigned players on its Discovery List at any time and may remove or add players at any time.”

      • Good find. I didn’t know the limit was 7 players.

    • Yeah, I recently read a good explanation of the MLS discovery lists. Basically, it makes sense for a single-entity league but it’s just a really dumb-a#s name. Like CPfeif said if they called it “First priority in negotiation list” or something it would make more sense. Seems unfortunate I had to read that good explanation in a comment section of a website, but that points to the long-standing MLS problem of being opaque on their rules. MLS seems to be (slowly) improving with this, so that’s a good thing.

  5. neatherprovidencepops says:

    2016 Philadelphia Union

    Hey whatever, we have zero striker depth after CJ but damn we schooled those U-17 kids. This year could hurt

  6. Third article released by Liviu Bird this morning. A good read.
    “We’re not going to have better players until we have better coaches.”
    Pretty much.

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