Daily news roundups

Union grades, previews, and pre-season power rankings, Copa kickoff times at the Linc, more

Photo: Daniel Studio

Philadelphia Union

At Philly Voice, CBS 3 producer and PSP contributor Kevin Kinkead grades the Union’s offseason moves by position: A+ for the midfield, A for goalkeepers, B for defense, and an F for forwards: “Maybe it would have made more sense to put some cash into the forward spot instead of overstocking the midfield, but I think Stewart knows something that we don’t…I think we’re all assuming that the front office will pursue a DP striker this summer.”

At the Union website, Chris Winkler reviews the team’s options on the wing and at forward.

The Guardian pre-season power rankings has the Union at No. 19 in the league: “They might not be leading the stakes (such an indignity probably goes to Toronto FC), but the Philadelphia Union have a strong claim as MLS’s most tediously tragic club. That’s not to say that the Chester franchise haven’t tried their best…Philadelphia will most likely find themselves fighting beneath the play-off line, but at least there is a hope that they might [not] be so tediously tragic any longer.”

At ASN, the Union are at No. 8 in the East: “[T]here is little margin for error. The team will be looking to right the ship, establish a solid core, and look for success down the road.”

Andre Blake is one of ten picked to be a potential breakout player in MLS Fantasy Soccer Manager this season.

The Brotherly Game staff has “hot takes” ahead of the start of the 2016 season.

Philadelphia Union Academy

The University of Maryland men’s team has announced Union Academy goalkeeper Justin Bajek as part of its 2016 recruiting class.


The start times for the Copa America Centenario games at the Linc have been announced:

Thursday, June 9 at 7:30 pm: Uruguay vs. Venezuela (Group C)
Saturday, June 11 at 7 pm: USA vs. Paraguay (Group A)
Tuesday, June 14 at 8 pm: Chile vs. Panama (Group D)

Click here to purchase tickets.

The La Salle Athletics website notes alum Joe Farrell (Blue Bell, Pa.) has signed with USL side Rochester Rhinos.

Looks like Eagles tight-end Zach Ertz and USWNT defender Julie Johnston are getting hitched.


It’s Roster Compliance Day. Here are the latest player moves:

  • Chicago has signed Dutch midfielder John Goossens “to a two-year deal with a club option for the third year.”
  • NYRB has waived midfielder Mael Corboz, who was signed to a Homegrown contract with the club in December.
  • The Galaxy has waived local lad Dan Gargan and forward Ignacio Maganto.
  • Houston has waived Nigerian midfielder Rasheed Olabiyi.
  • Dallas has signed two SuperDraft picks, goalkeeper Ryan Herman and midfielder Timo Pitter.
  • No official announcement yet, but the Washington Post reports DC has signed US U-23 MNT goalkeeper Charlie Horton, who was with Leeds United before leaving the club for family reasons last fall. The report says “United acquired his league rights from the New England Revolution…The trade details…likely involved a draft pick or allocation money.”

The second leg of CONCACAF Champions League play begins tonight. DC, who lost 2-0 on the road to Queretaro in the first leg, host the Liga MX team tonight at 8 pm (FS2, Univision Deportes). The Galaxy, who played Santos Laguna to 0-0 draw in the first leg, are on the road to face them at 10 pm (FS2).

The Washington Post reports smart phones and some cash belonging to several DC players and staff was stolen from their locker room during the first leg of their quarterfinal pairing with Queretaro. Head coach Ben Olsen said,

It’s upsetting that stuff like that still goes down in CONCACAF. I’ve been going down to Central America for almost two decades, and stuff happens. It’s part of CONCACAF. It goes into the lore of this great CONCACAF exploration.

No one likes to get their phone stolen. It’s a huge part of your lives now. It’s like someone stole your dog.

Queretaro has offered to replace the stolen items.

Incidentally, Robbie Keane believes MLS is now level with Liga MX in terms of quality. Keane also says interest in the league from European players is growing: “Players I’ve played with are calling me up now from England and Spain and are really, really desperate to come over here because they can see how much the league has grown and because of the lifestyle as well.”

SI has a profile piece on former Union man, and now Chicago head coach, Veljko Paunovic.

Pirlo. Enough said.

Tornoto’s new away kit includes some blue meant to reference the city’s flag as well as Toronto Metros-Croatia, the NASL team that won the league championship in 1976.


Along with the new US Soccer crest comes a new typeface.


Gianni Infantino says the bidding process to host the 2026 World Cup should begin in the next couple of months, probably before the next FIFA congress, which will take place in Mexico City in May. Soccer America on why awarding the hosting rights to the 2026 World Cup is an urgent priority for FIFA.

Reuters notes one of Infantino’s first jobs as president will be to appoint a new secretary general to run the federation’s day-to-day business. Infantino has said the position to go to someone from outside of Europe. Could US Soccer president Sunil Gulati be a candidate for the position?

Infantino also said the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will go on as planned: “Concerning Qatar and Russia, the decisions were taken in 2010 by the executive committee, but since 2010 there has been speculation and allegations and noise. It’s now necessary to organize the best World Cup in history in Russia in 2018 and in 2022 in Qatar.”

Infantino said he does not know how much he’ll be paid as FIFA president.

Bloomberg reports interim FIFA president Issa Hayatou “had a six-figure incentive to push through sweeping organizational reforms.”


  1. Based on the grades by Kevin Kinkhead and the well planned moves we have seen thus far– I think it is safe to say the Sporting Director may know something we don’t and therefore an F is a bit rough– D maybe… failure though? Signed Sapong to an extension drafted a kid who can play the position.
    “Tediously Tragic” …Your picking on my little brother so I’d fight you on principal then walk away knowing the fight was on principal only as the Guardian is right…about my kin…. “Tediously Tragic” franchise…. A stubbed toe (on the white brimming laundry basket you’ve asked your wife to not lay on the bedroom floor a thousand times)… in the dead of night- blinding bathroom light 03:30 first piss on the back of the toilet seat type of tedium…. It’s going to get better…that is the good news. I am certain. My goal this season is NOT to be the league laughingstock.
    I used to smoke this pot as a kid…called Cecil Bud… 16th generation shit that you had to wrap in aluminum foil, then two baggies then a sock just to keep your car or bedroom from reeking… one or two hits & stoned out of your mind unable to move pot… Best HG shit I ever smoked till I turned 30 and got a bit paranoid and quit the stuff altogether.… that’s what Robbie Keane is smoking… Cecil Bud.
    …stick to what you know Robbie…scoring goals at the twilight of your career. There is no earthly way MLS plays with the sophistication of Liga MX… I watch a lot of futbol… You watch Cruz Azul Robbie? Pumas? Tigres? Club America? I do Robbie… MLS doesn’t yet hold a top Mexican league stinking sock…closer but not on terms yet… so just stop. How many of our HG players are abroad making wavies in top leagues? Exactly.
    That photo of Pirlo…so cool. Dude is righteous. Wish I was Pirlo.

    • You would look pretty cool in those clothes, too. Not as cool as Pirlo. Who would? As for me, my clothes shopping will continue to be at Costco until the kids are out of college. Oops, gotta go – they’re done switching out the snow tires…

    • I think most are underestimating E.S.’s mantra of positional flexibility. While you can say, and I mostly agree, that the forward position seems to have gotten the least attention, there are players crammed in the mid-field that can take up that role if need be. Pontius, Le Toux, and even Alberg could fit. I also feel Herbers will make a real contribution this year. I’m not as concerned about the forward position as maybe I should be. If E.S. can make that DP summer signing then I’m good with what we have.

    • An F is a little brutal, but really is there a meaningful difference between F and D? The U scored the 5th least amount of goals last year, with 8 coming from Nando/Casey, along with 15 assists from Chaco. Personally, I like Sapong and think Herbers looks like he’ll be just fine, but we lost Casey/Nando and Seba is now 32, which doesn’t bode well for someone who’s best asset is endurance. I think the Forward situation has (so far anyway) not been addressed well enough. The hope, of course, will be that the new crop of attacking mids can step up and help fill some goal scoring gaps.

    • If this was 30 years ago I’d want to know more about that Cecil Bud!!!!

  2. pragmatist says:

    I don’t give the forwards an F, because I think there was no need to overspend on players they didn’t rate highly. I believe that Earnie is waiting to find a special, or potentially special player to sign. Maybe an Aron Johnansson, or Rubio Rubin. Someone we can get relatively inexpensively, but will be a good partner for CJ.
    Also, keep in mind that Pontius is on a 1-year deal. Part of the “Bridge” season.
    Robbie Keane and Pirlo highlight one of the great lures on playing in MLS for foreign players. Aside from the increasing level of play, these guys LOVE that they can walk around the city where they play, and very few people recognize them. There is a welcomed anonymity for a lot of the upper-echelon players. I would expect this to continue. There are only a handful of players that are recognizable to the general American population (Ronaldo, Messi…anyone else?) That is an exploitable appeal.

    • Mickey Goldmill says:

      Yeah…. probably a bit like those all inclusive homogeneous advanced middle age to senior citizen cities in Florida where there is plenty to do and you can be totally anonymous. Pirlo in the blazer rummaging through SoHo like he was in….. well…America. Spot on sir. From the cauldron of vpersonality to the bath water of just being.

  3. Does anyone here play Fantasy Soccer Manager? Is there a PSP league, or a Union fans league? I enjoy playing but my usual league has thinned out so I’m looking for one with more people.

    • pragmatist says:

      There are groups for The Brotherly Game, C’Mon The U, and Phila U Discussion Group (the last 2 are Facebook groups).

  4. I think an F is only fair if you assume that the Forward position was a must to upgrade. Perhaps it’s reasonable to assume that Sapong is not suddenly going to go and score 15 goals. That said, I’d be inclined to give the U and Incomplete. The smarts of the moves — or lack thereof — remain to be seen.
    More unfair, I think is the Guardian’s assessment. I don’t disagree that the Union haven’t earned a high ranking, but I have a hard time believing we deserve to be less than the Rapids.

  5. Does anyone know whether single game tickets for Copa America can be purchased or sold? Or is it only the “Venue Pass”?

  6. B is generous for the defense in my opinion.

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