Daily news roundups

Union draw with DC, other Union bits, BSFC acquires forward, league news, more

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

The Union began play in the Suncoast Invitational preseason tournament on Wednesday with a 1-1 draw against DC United. Sebastien Le Toux opened the scoring 7th minute with DC equalizing from the penalty spot in the 56th minute after a Chris Pontius foul. Brazilian trialist Ilsinho remains with the Union and entered the match at the start of the second half. Recaps at PSP, Philadelphia Union (roster, recap), CSN PhillyPhilly Soccer News, Brotherly GameVavelDC UnitedWashington Post, Black and Red United. USA Today has a photo gallery from the game.

Next up for the Union is the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday at 7 pm (YouTube).

The Washington Post report on Wednesday’s draw notes former Union goalkeeper Chris Konopka, who had been trialing with DC, has been cut.

At the Union website, a “mic’d up” video that includes footage from training and last week’s game against Chicago (I love these things). One theme of the video might be veteran leadership.

At Chicago Fire Confidential, Guillermo Rivera reports the Fire are targeting Dutch attacker Michael de Leeuw. Why is this in the Union section of today’s roundup? Because the report says the Union own de Leeuw’s Discovery Rights. The MLS roster rules say, “If a club wants to sign a player on the Discovery List of another team, it may offer the team $50,000 in Allocation Money in exchange for the right to sign the player.”

Backpage Football praises the hiring of Earnie Stewart, and Chicago hiring former Union man Veljko Paunovic as head coach: “The moves of Paunović and Stewart might not be the sexy moves MLS supporters are used to in the past, but they are possibly more important.”

Bethlehem Steel

Bethlehem has announced the acquisition of Jamaican forward Corey Burke via loan from Rivoli United of the Red Stripe Premier League.

The Bethlehem roster now looks like this:

Goalkeeper (1): Samir Badr
Defenders (5): Nick Bibbs, Michael Daly, Raymond Lee, Ryan Richter, Ken Tribbett
Midfielders (5): Boluwatife Akinyode, James Chambers, Gabe Gissie, Josh Heard, Derrick Jones
Forwards (3): Amoy Brown, Corey Burke, Seku Conneh

More on Burke’s arrival at PSP, Philly Soccer News, and USLsoccer.com.


Player moves:

Lots of preseason games on Wednesday:

  • Philadelphia drew 11 with DC.
  • Columbus drew 22 with Kansas City.
  • Orlando defeated NYRB, 32.
  • Toronto lost 10 to Orlando City B.
  • NYCFC defeated Montreal, 10.
  • New England drew 33 with Salt Lake.
  • Seattle defeated LAG, 40.
  • San Jose defeated Sonoma County Sol, 3-1.
  • Colorado lost 31 to Swope Park Rangers.

Didier Drogba joined up with his Montreal Impact teammates in Florida on Wednesday, though he did not play in the loss to NYCFC. More at Montreal Gazette.

At SI, Brian Straus reports Minnesota United is likely to begin MLS play in 2017. He also reports they may do so under a new name because the league doesn’t like the idea of three Uniteds playing in the league, let alone two Uniteds — Atlanta and Minnesota — making their league debuts in the same 2017 season. Naturally, many fans are calling BS on the possibility that Minnesota could be forced to change its name, which it has played under since 2013. More at Northern Pitch.

A group of local business leaders, led by St. Louis Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III and St. Louis Blues CEO Chris Zimmerman, has formed to help bring a MLS team to the Mound City. More at St. Louis Business Journal, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (report, commentary), Belleville News-Democrat, KMOV, KSDKKTRSSt. Louis Public RadioMLSsoccer.com, Fox Sports, and Soccer America.

Seattle has unveiled its new home and third kit. Meh.

Houston has unveiled its new away kit. Chevrony.

The Guardian on Rayo Vallecano backing NASL-side Rayo OKC.


The pots for the Copa America Centenario have been announced. The draw will take place Sunday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 pm (Univision).

SBI Looks at what the draw might look like for the US.


From the AP: “The Asian Football Confederation has urged its member countries to unite behind the body’s current chief Sheikh Salman in next week’s election for the FIFA presidency.”

England’s FA has announced it is backing Gianni Infantino for the FIFA presidency.

From Reuters: “Mobile phones and cameras will be banned from polling booths at next week’s FIFA presidential election to ensure each vote remains secret, one of the candidates said on Wednesday.”

Soccer America has a useful roundup of the latest FIFA presidential election news.

Also from Reuters: “A judge in Argentina on Wednesday ordered the release of a former top South American soccer official who has been charged by U.S. justice officials with involvement in a FIFA bribery racket. However, the extradition of Jose Meiszner to the United States will go ahead, Meiszner’s lawyer said.” Meiszner is the former secretary general of CONMEBOL.

From PA Sport: “FIFA’s Ethics Committee has recommended life bans from football for former CONMEBOL vice-presidents Luis Bedoya and Sergio Jadue.” More from Goal.com and Reuters.

ESPN reviews some of the unspoken Laws of the Game.


  1. I’m pleased to find out the Union actually went and claimed Discovery Rights on someone, and that we might benefit. Just wondering if this was a leftover from the Sak era, or if Stewart just called ‘dibs’ on every Dutch guy he could think of.

  2. The Okugo news is very surprising.
    Not sure he would want to come back but if SKC cut him I believe he would need to clear waivers before being able to sign freely.

    • Not for me, but I’m in the minority.

    • I love Amobi…but I think he may be overpriced at this point.

    • Only surprising if you still think of him as a young guy with tons of potential. For a veteran player with a “meh” career to date, it’s not that surprising.

      Not saying it’s not a shame, or that his story is over, just saying it’s not a surprise.

      • Still only 24 and has plenty of MLS minutes at both CDM and CB. Not saying he is a star but still, he plays efficiently and does his job.
        pragmatist made a good point above tho – his salary did grow after he left the Union to a level that could make it hard to justify.
        I rescind my “very surprising” and provide a “mildly surprising” now.

    • I think it’s surprising that he has fallen this far. He was most certainly a solid contributor to the Union, at a minimum. And to think that there were people (most notably El Pachyderm) who thought the guy would be heading to Europe. I mean, maybe he will now, but to a third-tier league.

      He is a talented player, though. I hope he is able to get a chance to put it together.

  3. “…Stewart might not be the sexy moves..” it’s damn sexy to me.

  4. This whole ‘United’ stuff is awful…. one more thing that makes me want to “vomit…gucci little piggy.”
    “when I am king”… MLS would “be first against the wall.”
    or if your not into Radiohead and prefer Rush…
    now the Solar Federation gets to decide who carries what name…ARE YOU 4UCKING KIDDING ME. absolute total joke of a system… that’s it Minnesota… cow-tow… make sure the fry machine and the soda dispenser are exactly where they want it… “I’m Lovin’ it.”

  5. Amobi. In football limbo. Damn.

    • Joining a growing list of former Union “building blocks.”
      These guys must get together and burn Sak in effigy on a regular basis for helping to destroy their careers.

      • All anyone has to do is read this last 3four3 post to realize it is just as much about The Gatekeepers and the system where they find themselves as it is about the quality of the individual player.
        With the current construct of quality midfielders having a destroyer who plays simple with one or two touch passing would be ideal, as it is– we are all hoping and wondering and commenting whether Maurice Edu has the chops and discipline to HOLD that very important Midfield role … well… Okugo did. Period. The end.

      • there are many good players at every level. getting picked is always the issue for most. PR, nepotism, past shine always distort the selecao process.

    • Section 114 (Formerly) says:

      Hey, Earnie, do us all a solid and offer Amobi $150K to come back. We all want him, and that solidifies our CDM and CB immediately. Please!

  6. Bedoy and Jadue must be devastated by the FIFA life bans, especially after their racketeering and wire fraud guilty pleas.
    Re St. Louis, the MLS’ pursuit of a quasi-Stalinized/quasi-oligarch/quasi-Adam Smith NFL model is more “let’s bring US know-how to something that isn’t broken” thinking. I feel badly for Villa fans, but Lerner has driven them into a tar pit and relegation provides the impetus for rebuilding quickly. Some US sports teams rebuild for decades, have a brief flurry of success, then rebuild again … like our MLB team. Even the “Guardian of Forever” could not alter the Phillies’ fortunes. Let’s have some real risk.

    • “Let’s have some real risk.”
      Love it.

    • I get it, but, rebuild quickly? How many teams rebuild quickly after a relegation?

      • It’s irrelevant. Some do, some don’t, some slip to 4th tier of professional football because this is what they have wrought… through whatever decisions, finances, choices the club has made.
        Want to find out how many people truly love the Union… let’s watch them flounder like they have, be rightly relegated then play against the Tampa Bay Rowdies in one tier or SanFrancisco FC in a lower tier… find out who shows up to support their beloved club.
        The Union should be fighting with everything they have to EARN the right to play against the best teams in the highest league.
        And somehow another topic has turned to an open system… wonder why. It’s good discussion. It’s important… so long as that one poster doesn’t come along and say, “Shut Up” about it.

      • about 1 in 4 rebound in year 1, 1 in 3 in year 2. good management should matter. an annual succession of 5 year rebuilding plans is something other than good management.

  7. Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

    On a different note, I watched some of the game yesterday, and while pre season is just pre season, I liked what I saw and you can see a discernible difference in the way they are playing the game. More emphasis on possession in the back, playing to feet, transitioning into attack very quickly through the wings and more men then ever in the box on the offensive end.

    Defensively, you can see that they are pressing further up the field in stead of dropping deep and waiting for a long counter. Also, more importantly, they are defending in swarms, there always seemed to be 2 defenders on the ball, high up the field. And when you win back the ball higher up the field, it allows you to play wide and transition into attack much quicker.

    I’m not saying they are going to win the cup this year, but it is nice to see somewhat attractive, aggressive soccer being played for maybe the first time ever. At the very least it is pleasing to the eye.

    • Preach.
      This is what most of the rational base is hoping to see: Progress towards a sustainable and productive aesthetic.

  8. So the US Copa America game at the Linc will be against Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, or Venezuela. Maybe it will be Fernando’s triumphant return to town!

  9. If the league thinks there are to many “United’s” maybe Atlanta should change its name to the Confederates. THAT would be a natural rival for the Union!
    (Needless to say, I took a trip to Gettysburg last weekend and it’s still on my mind.)

  10. Just a comment on the Micd Up series. I love it. It’s so cool hearing these side conversations with the players and coaches. It’s really cool hearing things about how a “positive first touch” impacts the players around you, how confidence is instilled, and how plays are thought of in real time.

    • I second this. It was great hear Seba and BC as the field generals. Nice to see Curtain encouraging Yaro to be more vocal. Would like to hear everyone being more vocal. Maybe some weren’t heard because they weren’t mic’d but that means they need to be louder. Awesome video.

      • I loved Curtin’s and Stewart’s devious chortles about crushing the players with fitness work. Coaches are the same SOBs all over.

      • Stewart’s smile was machiavellian. I’d love to have that clip playing on a constant loop.

      • Remember, this is the guy who complained about players having too many required days off (via the CBA).

      • Oh I know. I think most of us were paying attention to that comment. I could hear el P applauding two counties away before he even commented. 😉
        I should add I loved his smile, and his comment.

      • i think its because they both played long careers … just giving back … to the game.

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