Daily news roundups

Back to Clearwater, Union Academy wins final East Regional GA game, USWNT routs Puerto Rico, more

Philadelphia Union

The Union are scheduled to fly back to Clearwater this morning for the second phase of the preseason in Florida. After a training session this afternoon, the team faces DC in their Suncoast Invitational opener on Wednesday at 4 pm (Tampa Bay Rowdies YouTube channel).

At the Union website, Union Insider Marisa Pilla has a behind the scenes look at last week’s preseason camp in Florida. And selfies.

Fancy cooking? The Union is holding a fan food contest in which the winner’s recipe will be a featured food item at Talen Energy Stadium for the 2016 season.

Bethlehem Steel FC

Lehigh Valley Noise Nation looks at how the Union loaned players to Harrisburg City Islanders in an attempt to understand how they might do so with Bethlehem Steel.

Union Academy

Scoreless after the first half against Orlando City in their final game at the Generation adidas Cup East Regionals in Florida, the Union Academy subbed in Anthony Fontana. In the 52nd minute, Fontana put the Union ahead 1-0 with his third goal of the weekend. In the 65th minute Darius Lewis scored after Kalil ElMedkhar hit the post but the goal was called back for offside. ElMedkhar would hit the post again before Orlando equalized in the 73rd minute after a foul from Fontana outside the box. The game remained at 1-1 after the final whistle and penalty kicks followed. Union goalkeeper Tomas Romero would save two of Orlando’s PK attempts for the win. Recaps at Orlando City and Brotherly Game.

Having failed in their quest to qualify for the Championship Division of the tournament finals in Frisco, March 18-26, the Union will travel to Texas to compete in the Premier Division.


Season and single game tickets for Harrisburg City Islanders 2016 USL campaign are now on sale.

Turf wars in the Pine Barrens: when soccer is in the middle of commerce and preservation.


Didier Drogba is expected to join Montreal Impact today at their preseason camp in St. Petersburg.

The Denver Post talks to former Union man Zach Pfeffer, now with Colorado Rapids.

Seattle Times on the gut punch to the Sounders and its supporters that is the loss of Obafemi Martins to Shanghai Shenhua. Incidentally, Former NYRB midfielder Tim Cahill’s contract with Shanghai Shenhua has been terminated. The corner flag boxer signed a new contract with the Chinese club in November.

At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle examines what the ambitions (and deep pockets) of the Chinese Super League might mean to MLS.

The BBC and The Guardian report Miami Beckham United is in talks with Qatar Sports Investment, the principal owner of Paris Saint-Germain, to buy a stake in the proposed Miami franchise. The Guardian reports, “MBU insists a partnership deal was always planned, with PSG among a mixture of foreign clubs and business people who have entered negotiations. They could be concluded within a matter of weeks. Beckham will remain as the focal point of the club, regardless of what now seems an inevitable share sale.” More from ESPN, International Business Times, and Press Association.

Atlanta United president Darren Eales backs continued MLS expansion.

Ad Week on the league’s new “Stand as one” tagline.


The USWNT closed group play at the Olympic qualifiers in Texas with a 10-0 win over Puerto Rico. Crystal Dunn scored five of the goals, tying the national team record. Next up is the tournament semifinals on Friday in Houston, with the opponent being determined by the outcome of tonight’s match between Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago (Guyana needs a win or a tie to advance, Trinidad and Tobago needs to win). Recaps at US Soccer, CONCACAF, Dallas Morning NewsPro Soccer Talk (video), ESPNW, Fox SoccerCBS SportsSoccer America, and SI.

Costa Rica finished second in Group A behind the US after defeating Mexico, 2-1, and will face Canada in the semifinals. Penn State’s Raquel Rodriguez, 2015’s Hermann Trophy winner, scored both goals for Costa Rica.

The U-17 GNT defeated Japan 2-1 on Monday to win the NTC Invitational in Carson, Calif.

In case you missed it (I did), the Obama administration announced on Friday a multi-agency study will look into the possible health risks of artificial turf.


Reuters reports: “CONCACAF, the corruption-plagued soccer organization for North and Central America and the Caribbean, could face dramatic consequences, including being disbanded, if it fails to reform, the organization’s lawyers have told its members.”

From Reuters: “Banned FIFA president Sepp Blatter was at the headquarters of soccer’s governing body on Tuesday for a hearing to appeal against his eight-year suspension from the sport.” More from PA Sport.

Michel Platini’s appeal was heard on Monday. The former UEFA president was upbeat after the hearing: “It’s been a very good hearing, very well conducted, with people who have been sincere. I am quite happy with the way it has gone. I hope to work again as soon as possible, go back to the office as soon as the decision has been given by the Appeal Committee and then prepare the Euro (tournament).” More from the AP.

Sporting Intelligence reviews the latest from the FIFA presidential election race.

The AP reports, “Suspended FIFA member federations Kuwait and Indonesia will have their voting rights assessed next week, two days before the FIFA presidential election.”

From the AP: “Brazilian authorities have moved to block assets of Barcelona star Neymar, including a yacht, a jet and several properties in his home nation. The Sao Paulo federal court has started issuing warrants to freeze the assets worth 192 million reals (almost $50 million).” Neymar was found guilty of tax evasion last year.

From the Guardian: “Police in Argentina are searching for a footballer who is said to have shot and killed a referee after being sent off in a match played in the Córdoba province.”


  1. Now we begin to get a picture for opening kick. Hopefully the picture has good resolution.

    • Yes, I’m excited about the fan food contest as well. My mini tuna casseroles are gonna crush it.

      • Yeah…you’re gonna have an uphill battle with that one. Where’s the meat and fat?!? It’s a game…gimme something bad for me!

      • Aw, come on. Nothing beats a good tuna casserole at a tailgate. 😉

      • Yours may taste absolutely wonderful. I’m just immediately adverse to anything labeled a “casserole” or “surprise”.

      • I don’t know, I could go for something called “Spring Surprise”…covered in dark, velvety chocolate, when you pop it in your mouth, stainless steel bolts spring out and plunge through both cheeks…On second thought, maybe I’ll just stick with the crunchy frog.

      • For the record, I’ve never made tuna casserole in my life. It’s a dish that is totally incompatible with a sporting event.

      • Awe Zizou, you gave up the farce too early. It’s a slow news day (again), and we could have stretched this out till tomorrow. 😉

      • This could be the perfect window to introduce 18,000 people to Cliff of Union Despair cookies.

      • I’m not sure listing the ingredients: despair, angst, distrust, disbelief, and anger; would go over to well with management. Sure, they could find plenty of those ingredients in the stands, but I’d hate to be the person to collect them all. 😉
        Btw, someone please submit the cookies and ingredients to the contest. That would be hilarious.

      • I’d love it if they started selling them, as an ironic (hopefully) nod to the fans.

      • sounds like a tuna casserole cookie … put it on a stick and its gotta be a winner with that name.

      • Last time I was at the C.U.D. they chocolate chip cookies… Can you put chips in a casserole of tuna??

      • I’d buy that for a dollar!!

      • Cliff of Union Despair says:

        We here at the Cliff of Union Despair would like to acknowledge your request for us to share our recipe for our world famous cookies.

        Although there have been leaks… (Allf4U will be dealt with severely a la Nowak iced flip flop torture) we regret to inform you that we will be holding true to our Sakiewiczian policies where we do not divulge the exact ingredients of our cookies or goalkeeper selections.

        We do hope that you will visit the CUD soon, where our motto always is “We don’t make sense, because we don’t care.”

      • Great response! That makes sense to protect the recipe.

      • neatherprovidencepops says:

        Sign me the F up

  2. It’s about time there was a comprehensive study on the affects of crumb rubber as artificial turf. Maybe, for once, peoples’ health will take precedence over money. Imagine that.

  3. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Reference the Chinese Super League, I recall if my memory is accurate, that before Didier Drogba’s return to Chelseas as a player the second time, he spent a brief period with a side in that league but left under allegations that he was not being paid.
    Historically, China’s roots in the Confucian tradition are different from western civilization’s roots in Roman Law.
    in traditional China, Confucian teaching placed a great deal of confidence in the rule of morally superior individuals, while Rome placed it in consistently enforced, therefore predictable, law. As a result in the nineteenth century when the West “opened” China, Chinese law was judged immature and Westerners were exempted from it, at first in the enclaves of the treaty ports but fairly quickly thereafter wherever they were in China under a principle called “extraterritoriality”. That principle was finally eliminated for the last remaining western nationalities holding it in 1943 at Casablanca as a gesture of solidarity with Nationalist China.
    It will be interesting to see How Martins big money move in fact plays out. Drogba claims he did not get his money and that that fact made his contract inapplicable.
    Caveat Emptor.

    • I’d be curious to see the average length of stay, internationals have in the league. I can’t imagine playing a sport in the kind of smog China has, is any good for a player’s health. Regardless of how much money they pay, I think being able to breath is more important.

  4. Could be the Chinese are building their league similarly to NASL I. I don’t know enough of anything about anything… but one wonders at the foundation…
    Does China have a strong youth system? Kinda sound a bit like what is happening with professional futsal here.
    Has the Chinese Association been building a strong culture. One thing I am sure about is the Chinese take their superiority in athletics very seriously… my guess is little eight year old Xing/Fu or whomever and his/her parents aren’t going to complaint a whole bunch about practice 3 or 4 times a week. ONe thing I also am fairly certain of is the Chinese like structure so a haberdashery of futbol like in the Melting Pot is not likely.
    Either the Chinese are a step ahead of us or we will watch from afar at the frailty of a team or two built on Pele’s and Beckenbauer… while the rest of the league staggers… and give thanks for our own the bass-ackward model compared to theirs.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Certainly they used to be, when “orthodox” Marxist-Leninst-Stalinist- Mao-Xedong-Thought advocates were running the government and every relatioship with the capitalists that was not a war was a referendum on the superiority of “socialism.” I have not noticed the same dedication recently in all sports.

    • wait wait… not sure I mean my last comment… need to think on this a bit

    • I was similarly curious, so I did a little digging and found a few articles that may answer some of your questions. These are a few years old, so they don’t talk about the recent spending spree, but they do investigate the business and finance behind the league, corruption, the supporters culture, the role of government in Chinese football, the national team, youth academies, etc.
      My favorite excerpt: “Chinese football fandom has its idiosyncrasies – the supporters throwing paper airplanes and shouting “cow c*nt” (slang for awesome) each time there’s a goal.”

      • How is that slang for “awesome?” It’s hysterical…but I’m having trouble making the connection…

    • water seeks an outlet wherever it is and finds a way … in contemporary China, money is like water. it finds its way to shiny cars, ridiculously expensive real estate, and now, footballers. players are not going there for the high caliber play or the idyllic living conditions, nor for the positive youth development programs; they are a vessel, shiny and notable for their Chinese owners to display in the window and bask in the status. eventually, the water finds a way out.

  5. So, for a slow news day, here’s an interesting topic that could be transferred across the pond:
    Local players
    This all sounds simple, but they are guidelines that seem to be often ignored in many places. EPL, for example, can spend money, but they don’t prioritize youth (Spurs excluded) or recruit locally, and they have own their players, not relying on loans and free transfers.
    I doubt this can be a 1-for-1 transfer to MLS, given our financial restrictions, but it is a good blueprint to aim to emulate.

  6. Am I correct that the second leg of preseason is with a much more streamlined squad (after some cuts and trialiats signed or told “thanks, but no thanks)? If so, I’d love to hear who made the trip. Would also love to know if Edu is ready for games yet. Union will need (a committed to his responsibilities) Edu to pull off the ‘split the CBs wide’ tactic, or we’ll see a lot more games like the Chicago one. Well, I guess we’ll get some answers starting tomorrow.

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