Daily news roundups

Union face DC today, other Union bits and league bobs, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union face DC United today at 4 pm in their opening game at the Suncoast Invitational tournament. The game will be streamed via the Tampa Bay Rowdies YouTube channel. Previews at Philadelphia Union and Brotherly Game.

Looks like Ilsinho is still trialing with the Union. Looking forward to seeing him get more minutes today.

At the Union website, Chris Winkler talks to Ray Gaddis about assuming a leadership role now that he’s the longest-tenured player on the Union’s backline.

At Brotherly Game, Chick Booth reviews the Union center backs.

Kenny Cooper is no longer on trial with NYRB. Would he make sense for the Union in a Conor Casey kind of way?

Are the Union interested in Panamanian winger Alberto Quintero (crappy Google translation here)?

A “Seven Things to Know About Ethan White” post at the NYCFC website says of the former Union defender, “In 2013, White helped lead the Philadelphia Union to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.” Really? A pretty mean feat considering he didn’t join the Union until 2014.

Speaking of Ethan White, the player the Union sent to DC in exchange for White, local lad Jeff Parke, has been named Director of Boys Soccer at NXTsoccer, the Philadelphia-based academy started by Jeremiah White (no relation). Jeremiah White and Parke are childhood friends who played together at FC Delco.


Ocean City Nor’easters has announced a summer academy for U-8, U-10, U-12, and U-14 boys and girls.


Player moves:

At SI, Grant Wahl reports Shanghai Shenhua will pay a $2 million transfer fee to acquire Obafemi Martins from Seattle with a transfer announcement coming as soon as Thursday. More at Seattle Times and Sounder at Heart.

Former Red Bull Tim Cahill wants to stay in China rather than move to Australia’s A-League after his contract was terminated by Shanghai Shenhua to make space for Martins. And why wouldn’t he, he was apparently making $10 million a year in Shanghai.

Pro Soccer Talk climbs aboard the “Should MLS be worried about China” train.

Houston Dynamo defeated its U-18 team, 3-1, in a scrimmage on Tuesday. Former Union man Cristian Maidana scored for the second consecutive game, this time from the penalty spot. Former Union men Andrew Wenger and Sheanon Williams were rested for the scrimmage.

DC United has extended its partnership with USL-side Richmond Kickers through 2017.

At Soapbox Cincinnati, FC Cincinnati president Jeff Berding discusses his team’s MLS aspirations: “Berding thinks the MLS will eventually grow to 32 teams, putting it on equal footing with North America’s four other pro sports leagues.”

At SBI, Peter Wilt talks about the efforts to start a NASL team in Chicago.


The USWNT will face Trinidad and Tobago on Friday in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Olympic qualification tournament in Houston. T&T defeated Guyana 5-1 on Tuesday to finish second behind Canada (who will face Costa Rica in the semifinals) in their group.

The USWNT will begin its spring schedule at Pratt & Whitney Stadium in East Hartford on April 6 when it hosts Colombia (7 pm, FS1).

At Fox Soccer, Laura Vecsey has a profile piece on Mallory Pugh, the 17-year-old high school senior who scored her first goal for the senior USWNT in January’s 5-0 win over Ireland and started in Monday’s 10-0 win over Puerto Rico, so becoming the youngest American to ever play for the national team in Olympic qualifying.

The US U-23 WNT will be in Croatia for the Istria Cup, March 2-7. Princeton’s Tyler Lussi is on the roster.

The US U-20 WNT will be in Spain for the 2016 Under-23 La Manga Tournament, March 2-6. Ocean Township’s Taylor Racioppi is on the roster, as are five Penn State players, and one Princeton player.

The US U-15 GNT will have a training camp in Carson, Calif., Feb. 27 through March 5. Midfielder Julia Burnell (Penn Fusion; Glen Mills, Pa.) is among the players called up for the camp.

Soccer America on how the soon to be launched US Soccer Development Academy system for girls will go forward without input and collaboration from the Elite Clubs National League which, since its launch in 2009, “in many ways served the U.S. national team program (and college scouts) the way the DA has for the boys.”


At SI: “FIFA election is about reform, but do voters want change?”

The Australian on dirty tricks going on in the lead up to next week’s FIFA presidential election.

Unlike Michel Platini, Sepp Blatter did not speak to reporters after presenting his appeal on Tuesday of the eight-year ban handed out to him by FIFA’s ethics committee. The AP reports, “FIFA would not comment on when appeal verdicts are expected. Platini has suggested Thursday or Friday, just one week before the Feb. 26 election when FIFA member federations are scheduled to choose the next president in a five-man contest.”

The AP reports, “Franz Beckenbauer has been fined and warned by FIFA’s ethics committee for refusing to cooperate with Michael Garcia’s investigation of World Cup bidding.”

ESPN The Magazine details the five-year long US investigation into FIFA corruption. Good read.

Reuters reports on questions about the 20-year-long lock Miami-based broadcaster Futbol de Primera has had on U.S. Spanish-language radio broadcasting rights for the World Cup.

At the Toronto Sun, Kurtis Larson talks to Canadian Soccer Association president Victor Montagliani about his bid to be elected president of CONCACAF: “A source within CONCACAF recently confirmed to the Sun that the U.S. and Mexico will back the Canadian’s candidacy.”

Reuters reports: “UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Lokomotiv Moscow midfielder Dmitri Tarasov for wearing a T-shirt praising Russian President Vladimir Putin after a Europa League match in Turkey.” What a moron.

Something about the Copa Del Rey final location “controversy” being solved — partially anyway — by Bruce Springsteen. He is the Boss, after all.


  1. Signs the apocalypse is nigh … 1: Donald Trump possibly becoming president (who incidentally I think would bring good business sense to the economy but is a stark raving lunatic all the same 2: Tim Cahill making $10 million dollars.
    Glad the USDA is reaching out to female players… in an ideal world, someday in the future, the parent MLS organization will also have a daughter league providing the necessary financial clout to remain viable.

    • Donald Trump is not getting anywhere near the White House. Even if he were nominated, it would be a bloodbath for him.

    • Of course, in an ideal world, the ‘daughter league’ would be viable on its own.

      • The economy is not a business and the government is also not a business.

      • Furthermore, his companies have filed for bankruptcy four times – most recently only 6 years ago (beginning with his ill-advised foray into Atlantic City casinos) – and, in each case because he overborrowed at high rates and failed to repay his lenders. All despite inheriting a considerable real estate fortune his father made. He’s a successful reality TV star and self-promoter. As a businessman, he could be justly called a repeated failure.
        And now, back to futbol.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Excellent public service announcement.

      • The thing is, his supporters don’t care. They accept his blatant lies and half-truths. In his mind the unemployment rate is between 25-40%. When the actual number is 4%. Hate over-rules facts and common sense in his case.

      • The unemployment rate isn’t really what matters, its the participation rate – which I believe is the lowest since the late 70’s.

      • The important thing for me, Jim, is the acceptance of blatant lies. If they accept these now, what will they accept if he becomes president? Shall we be thrown into another invalid war and create even more enemies to the State for no good reason other than to make military companies richer? We already have one ex-president that should be brought up on war crimes. Do we really need another?

      • War crimes is a little harsh. Speak to some guys that have served in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. I’m talking CIBs. They can provide some perspective.

      • Starting an unjustified war that has had repercussions for millions of people and has basically been the starting point for ISIS and caused the greatest migration of people since the second world war is absolutely grounds for being brought up on war crimes. Just because someone took a shot at his daddy doesn’t mean the whole world should be turned upside down. It would have been nice if our president and his family weren’t in bed with the nation that had all but one of the 9/11 attackers from it. And amazingly when the rest of the country was grounded the Saudi royal family was allowed to flee our country. Someone should have explained to him Iraq isn’t Saudi Arabia.

      • If even an iota of that was the root of the problem, those charges would have been filed in Switzerland long ago. I’m not specifically defending a war or a President, but your view is misguided and childish.

      • We need that preseason stream to start you guys can remember who the REAL enemy is … DC United!

      • Their new crest does have a certain third reich feel to it…

      • Sure the comment about his daddy and his inability to read a map are a bit snarky, but the fact remains that this country entered an unjustified war on his coercion. They never found those WMD’s that were used to justify invading Iraq. Had we not upset the power balance there wouldn’t be the situation there is now. With A, there is no b,c,d and e. There’s nothing childish about that.

      • plus he at best tied the market with his inheritance, meaning if he had just invested it and done nothing, he would have done the same (or worse). so, don’t see any value-add from his efforts.

      • If I remember correctly, he failed to out perform the S&P 500, but then you also have to toss in the added value of jobs, operations mgmt, etc. There is other qualitative value there.

      • other qualitative harm, as well, I suppose. and while there may be lots of reasons why LFPR is down, it would seem the aging bommers might be a big part of it. but I am not an economist, I just play one in blog posts.

      • And qualitative harm as well, yes. For the most part, it probably would’ve been best if he had dumped it all into index funds

    • Look what I have wrought.

      • I sentence you to one kick in your nether region by Corben ‘Bonesaw’ Bone for starting a political conversation on a soccer website.

      • I apologize to everyone, including Jim, for taking it so far. As I said yesterday I have become that angry old man. Being truthful and doing right was so ingrained in me at a very young age I’ve had a hard time letting it go. My apologies.

      • Dude…no worries…. I think it is great.
        I’m the guy who walks around my hospital like The Joker… ‘Why so serious.’

      • Thanks. But it is a soccer website. We come here for fun and to share our common passion. You know how much I love it here. I would never want to cause something that would ruin that fun.
        So where’s that post game recap to get me out of this hole.

      • I was never mad about it. I don’t disagree with some of your sentiments, but war crimes is a very serious charge that shouldn’t be tossed around lightly. Enjoy your day!

  2. Beth Steel formally announce loan deal for Jamaican forward Cory Burke, which they had announced and then redacted and have now announced again. Prolific scorer in Jamaican league, the team is shaping up nicely. Kudos to Union/Steel for posting the updated roster at the end of the press release. They’re really doing a good job of providing the information fans want about rosters, player contracts, etc.

  3. I’d be intrigued by Kenny Cooper. But 2 caveats: 1) (as usual), at the right price, and 2) he seems emblematic of the old Union. It’s kind of a gut feeling, but would he really offer enough of an ROI?
    I’d like to see a veteran target forward brought in, just as a sub/spot-starter. At a very reduced rate, maybe he’s the answer.

    • Plus, Cooper isn’t really a target guy even though he’s built like one. He likes to drift wide into space and is probably more of a poacher type than anything else.

      All that said, it would be nice to see the “twins” reunited (Cooper and LeToux).

    • Interesting. My first inclination was that he’d be a nice veteran presence as a third option to Sapong and Herbers. But your point about being the “old Union” has brought images of Casey and lumping the ball forward, followed by cross after cross into the box. Not very appealing I must say. Although I think Cooper has a bit more to offer than Casey, I think the Union should keep moving in another direction. I’d much rather have a speedy forward that offered something different. Maybe that option becomes Alberg.

      • agreed.

      • ditto. play the kids.

      • Lumping the ball forward to Casey saved the Union’s bacon away against San Jose last season.
        Not pretty but a good attacking option to have.

      • I won’t argue they didn’t use Casey to good effect. They did. His heading ability was amazing. I just want to move away from that kind of thing. It reeks of desperation and lack of ability. If they are truly trying to change the culture and playing style, then they need to move away from this.

      • I agree 100% that the team should move away from playing so direct.
        But I disagree with moving away from it all together. Any team should have a backup plan of playing Route 1 in my mind. Every team, no matter how talented, has times of desperation where playing direct is the only real option.
        Say, down a goal and a man with 20mins left…Route 1 is the usual play and set pieces a great equalizer. I’d bet on Cooper holding up the ball and getting on the end of a corner/cross/set piece over Herbers or Alberg.
        Edit: Plus this is a team in transition, having a bit of the old to fall back on if the new is not working is a good thing to eek out a W. At his age, Cooper would likely be up for signing a 1-2 year contract anyway so it is not something that could cause problems during the rebuild. Short term fix.

      • CPfeif, you make absolutely valid points. But I’d rather have them fail trying to work the ball into the box creatively, than succeed by going route one, and reverting to the old way. It may not be logical, but it’s how I feel. I want them to figure things out, rather than resort to desperation. Even if the difference would mean missing the playoffs vs. making it.

      • I understand your stance All4U and it is absolutely logical from a long term perspective.
        I just worry about balancing the short term and long term goals. Earnie himself said something along the lines of “building for the future but also understanding that you have to win now”.
        You can’t take a step forward without leaving one foot behind to push off of.

      • I’ll take the one gol loss…
        unless the Route 1 ball is because Sapong purposely had the forethought to dummy the RCB into following him thereby opening up the channel that Noguiera threads a flat ball through from 40 M to a streaking Pontius or Alberg—one touch & keenly deposit with inside of the foot to the inside of the netting as Thierry Henry did nearly 300 times for Arsenal.
        Any permutation of this would be acceptable…

    • I would take Cooper in a second (as long as the money is reasonable of course).
      He is not coming in to be the starter. Heck, Stoke has been moving toward playing more expansive soccer, but when you are down a goal with 10-20mins left, it is nice to be able to bring on Crouch and use Route 1. Who cares if it is “old Union” or “old MLS”? Sure, its not beautiful, but its effective and gives the team something different in attack.

  4. Looks like China is overpaying for MLS level talent.
    If they can sustain it it will send the entire pay structure of Soccer will be out of whack for a while. If they can’t It looks like there is going to be an influx of talent to the leagues that sell to China. Seeing they can replenish 2 players for what they sold one player for.
    I don’t think this is sustainable tho it reminds me of how every so often KHL tries to compete with the NHL and starts poaching players. It never lasts and players start drifting back into the NHL.

    • Not just MLS talent. They signed Lavezzi, Ramirez and Martinez. The only MLS player that can compare to them is Giovinco. When the teams are run by state owned companies it’s easy to over-pay. At least until their market crashes. Building 13 cities with no one living in them, is bound to cause a market crash eventually. If we thought our housing market crash was bad, China’s will be epic.

      • +1.
        The Chinese economy, in general, can’t support this. They are trying to buy relevancy, and it is completely unsustainable.
        Let me reference…

      • VICE, HBO’s investigative news show, had a segment where the reporter walked through an empty city in which most of the buildings were half built. The agent they got to walk them around, said he had over 900 units up for sale, while only having sold three in a building across the street. Though, at the time (night), there were only two apartments with lights on. This didn’t even include the replicas of New York and Paris that they had built, which have become destinations for married couples on their honeymoons.

      • http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/18/world/asia/once-prized-tibetan-mastiffs-are-discarded-as-fad-ends-in-china.html?_r=0
        Soccer is the new Tibetan Mastiff.
        That society flies through fads faster than a Los Angeles High School.
        They will lose interest in soccer soon enough.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Bar none… top billing today.
        Well done sir.

      • That was a great Vice doc. Really amazing.

      • They do a really good job reporting. It’s a shame that real news has to come from a pay channel. Besides VICE, the only other option is the BBC. And their news is summed up in half an hour. Not the all day, WWE grandstanding, we accept for news in this country. It’s funny that FOX is banned from broadcasting inside Canada. Apparently Canada doesn’t accept their news agencies spreading lies.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Al Jazeera is a quality source of news IMO.

      • I can’t argue that Al Jazeera does a bad job. But their reporting during the Gulf War(s) was distasteful to the American public. And thus put them behind the eight-ball in getting a footing broadcasting in America. Which can be seen by the fact they are shutting down their American broadcasting as of April 30th.

  5. Also is it me or has almost all the enthusiasm for the upcoming Union season evaporated?

    • There hasn’t been any news for a while. It’s wait and see mode, which is never terribly fun.

    • Also, I doubt this is a playoff-caliber team as it stands. I mean, Earnie is moving us in the right direction, but it takes time, and I didn’t expect it to be fixed in one season.

      • I don’t know if the Union think they are rebuilding or not. Or more to the point it is easy to rebuild in the MLS it is kind of pointless to bring in all of these foreign players without having an eye on being competitive, especially in the MLS east.
        What interests me is that these players are being brought in with a purpose. And I’m am curious as to how that purpose will play out tactically during the season. Especially if they opt to bring in Ilsinho over a high priced striker.

    • I think the interminable length of the Union’s off-season has something to do with this. We’re still 2.5 weeks away from First Kick.

    • ah mom…you know I’m not like other guys…I’m nervous and my socks are too loose…/… Sit Down Waldo.
      cue the break beat drums and searing guitar riff… and me in the back of the bus hands on the window screaming can we just start playing already.
      I can’t take how long the layoff is… OH YEAHHHHHH.
      If it wasn’t for the woman on the cover of SI this week… I just don’t know what I’d do…. got it bad got it bad got it bad…. just start the season… so bad… just start the season.
      Ah man I think the clock is slow.
      How’s that Sieve! Better?

    • I’m still excited — hell, I just rescheduled a work trip to Columbus for March so I could go to the Union game up there. I’m just internalizing it, I guess.

    • The reaction to the last game got a ton of comments and I assume the one today will too, just a break in player signing and training camp activity I think has led to a lull.

      • Totally agree. We could talk about how bad the google translation was for Quintero. “He added that another U.S. soccer team interested in the steering wheel 28”. My other favorite was “At that time you bid”.

    • i think it was the combination of the warm day and the sun being up later and higher in the sky- yesterday as i was getting ready to leave work my mind drifted to the past and the song they play when the players walk onto the field and i got extremely excited

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Sun is shining. The weather is warm. To the rescue. Here I am. Cause I want you to know.just where I stand.
        One good thing about music… when it hits you you feel no pain.
        So ready for this team to play…

    • wait, was there any enthusiasm for the upcoming Union season condensed? and if so, where were the cans stored and can we get some on a discount?

    • STH package arrived today! That helps a bit.

      • Will I have a new scarf when I get home?

      • You’ll have a new scarf when you get home Andy. Pretty cool design, though not sure how I feel about that lighter, polyester type material. Most importantly, ticket cards and parking passes are in hand.

      • Hopefully they’ll come tomorrow (or the UPS guy will come knocking). They weren’t in my mailbox today. Doesn’t sound good with the scarfs. I wear mine for warmth at work where the office is usually FREEZING and I hate to be out of fashion with last year’s version 🙂

  6. Interesting note about the USWNT. In 2012 they outscored their opponents in Olympic Qualifying 31-0 in the group stage and 38-0 overall. Here it was just 16-0 in the group stage (and a couple of the PK’s they got were questionable). Is the rest of the region starting to catch up at least a little?

    • My take is it’s two main things:
      1) That team had a roster full of stars mostly in their prime. The roster playing right now is replacing Wambach, Holiday, LeRoux, Boxx, Amy Rodriguez, and several other older players with a lot of younger, less experienced players. Add in no Megan Rapinoe for a while, and it’s a really different mix of players now, save for Lloyd and Morgan.
      2) I do think the rest of the region (and World really) are catching up a bit.

  7. Lucky Striker says:

    Cooper made sense years ago. Vet presence could be helpful-but they want the ability to high press. Pass………

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