Daily news roundups

More on Edu’s injury, Barnetta update and other Union bits, Morgan stunner as US top Germany, more

Photo: Daniel Studio

Philadelphia Union

On Wednesday, Jim Curtin announced in his weekly press conference (full transcript here at PSP) that Maurice Edu has a stress fracture in his left leg and will be out at a minimum of three months. An announcement on the Union website puts the time missed as 3-4 months.

Curtin described the loss of Edu as “a big blow to a lot of the foundation of what we planned to do this year in terms of having him in the No. 6 role.” He added, “But, having said that, Mo hasn’t been with us in the preseason. He’s a big part of what we want to do, he’s a big leader. But, at the same time, it’ll be a next guy has to step up. We’ve been without him for a long time in the preseason and guys have performed well. So, we’ll expect more of the same…it’s a tough blow but, at the same time, I have a good group of players that I believe in that will step up and in his absence, and we’ll be OK.”

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead has more detail:

The fracture is believed to be in the shinbone above his ankle. The location of the break is important, as some spots tend to heal faster than others.

Doctors have five grades for this type of injury, and the stress reaction is grade one. Grade three is a broken bone that remains in place. Grade five is called a “fracture with non-union,” where the bone fails to show signs of healing.

In this case, Edu’s injury would be probably be considered a grade two on the medical scale, where the bone first shows signs of cracking or breaking.

Edu will be restricted to a walking boot and crutches, and cannot take part in weight-bearing exercises. The injury generally limits athletes to a stationary bike, the swimming pool, or other cardio-based routines.

Curtin said the fact that Edu has not played with the team since last September’s US Open Cup final, nor trained with the team since then, means healing from the injury is only the first step in the Union captain’s return. Observing “fitness is not the same that you get in a swimming pool as it is chasing around Castillo and Mauro Diaz,” Curtin said, “He has to get back with our group on the field before we can even talk about Mo again contributing to the group.”

Brian Carroll, who along with Warren Creavalle and Vincent Nogueira, is one of the players who will be continuing in the No. 6 role in Edu’s absence, said,

You never want one of your teammates to hear news like that. I know that he’ll take his time and do things in the right way to be back on the field as fast as he can and in the best way possible…

The only way we’re going to improve and have a good season is if we all stick together on both sides of the ball, through good times and not good times. It’s having the confidence if things aren’t going the way we planned to continue to play out of pressure and continue to play the style we worked on all preseason. We didn’t necessarily succeed in sticking to that through the ups and down of [Sunday’s] game. And that’s what we need to learn as a group, no matter if you played 20 years in the league or if this is your first game. It’s just about the group coming together on this journey and sticking together no matter what.

More on the Edu news at PSP, Philadelphia Union, MLSsoccer.com (report, story), Philly.com, Delco Times, CSN PhillyPhilly Voice, Press of Atlantic CityPhilly Soccer News, Brotherly Game (report, analysis), VavelESPN, Fox Soccer, Pro Soccer TalkSoccer America, SBIGoal.com, The Score, and Read US Soccer.

In his press conference, Curtin also gave an update on the injury status of Tranquillo Barnetta: “He’s running. Again, he’ll be kind of a week-to-week situation but, at the same time, we have to be smart with his knee. He knows his body well. Our doctors do a great job, our rehab people do a great job, and we’ll assess it. I’ll talk with Tranquillo every day and continue to see what’s best for that situation.” Kevin Kinkead tweeted Barnetta did “some light fitness and ball work off to the side” during Wednesday morning’s training session.

Curtin said after the season opening loss to Dallas that Ray Gaddis and Richie Marquez did not start because they had missed time in the preseason due to injury, as did Roland Alberg because he had to return to the Netherlands for visa paperwork. Curtin said on Wednesday, “They’re close, they’re pushing, they’re knocking on the door.”

More from the press conference at Philly Voice,

Andre Blake came in at No. 10 in the first edition of the Audi Player Index, which has replaced the Castrol Index as the league’s commercially-sponsored player-ranking discussion starter.

Brotherly Game compares fan-generated player ratings for the loss in Dallas to those from PSP and WhoScored.com.

The Union will officially unveil the new Talen Energy signage at its stadium on Monday morning.

Bethlehem Steel

Bethlehem Steel FC is having a fan vote on Twitter today to name the club’s weekly TV show on Service Electric TV 2. Fans can choose between Steel Soccer 360, Steel FC Soccer Weekly or Bethlehem Steel Soccer Weekly. Voting via the team’s Twitter account (@BSteelFC) begins at 10 am today and runs until 10 am on Friday.

Bethlehem Steel FC Managing Director Rich Searls said, “The fans played such a vital role and showed sound judgment in determining our team name and we are excited to involve them in this process as well. As we get closer to our home opener, the momentum is building and this soon-to-be-named show is a pivotal piece of the puzzle.”

More on the vote at Noise Nation.

Philadelphia Union Academy

Villanova has announced four new players. Among them are two Union Academy alums, the brothers Conor and Shane Bradley.


The league has released the counts on the number of US, Canadian, and Other rostered players at the start of the 2016 season. While the number of US players is at an all-time high at 265, in only one year (2012 at 49.2 percent) has the percentage of US players in the league been lower than the current 49.8 percent.

Portland has acquired midfielder/defender Jack Barmby on loan from Leicester City as a Discovery Signing “with an option to retain long-term.”

It’s official: Heart of Midlothian has announced the signing of former DC United midfield and Marfan sparring partner Perry Kitchen.

Former Union man Cristian Maidana seems to be settling in Houston nicely. He wants to score more goals: “I’m not one to score goals but all my teammates and my friends in soccer tell me that I have to take more chances in the box and take shots on goal.”

Jermaine Jones is happy to be closer to his family in Los Angeles after signing with Colorado and is looking forward to the challenge of helping to improve the team. Jones also said, “It’s the whole package what I got here. It’s close to home in LA. But then you have a real soccer stadium with a main focus on soccer.” Zing!

Soccer America on the league’s plans to test video replay: “A league spokesperson on Wednesday confirmed that the league is merely waiting for official parameters and guidelines to be issued by the International Football Association Board (IFAB).” The report notes, “The IFAB outlined four situations in which video review can be applied: the scoring of a goal; penalty-kick decisions; issuing of yellow and red cards; and possible cases of mistaken identity regarding cards.”

KSTP reports a trademark filing from the league on February 18 indicated the expected Minnesota United name change means the team will play as Minnesota FC.

It seems if Tampa Bay Rowdies owner Bill Edwards wants his team to make the move to MLS, they’ll have to get the OK from Orlando City, which has “the MLS rights throughout central and north Florida.”

St. Louis Business Journal has more on a possible location for a MLS stadium in that city.


The US came from behind to defeat Germany, 2-1, in the final game of the SheBelieves tournament on Wednesday night. The equalizing goal came in the form of this brilliant bit of skill from Alex Morgan:

And so, the USWNT defeated Germany (No. 2 in the world), France (No. 3), and England (No. 5) in eight days, with No. 4 Japan still so shocked from their World Cup defeat to the US that the team failed to qualify for the Olympics. More on Wednesday’s win at US Soccer, Sun SentinelMiami Herald, Washington Post, The GuardianUSA Today, CBS SportsPro Soccer Talk, Goal.comFourFourTwo, Yahoo SportsStars and Stripes FCVavel, and the AP.

Landon Donovan on the importance of the US men qualifying for the Olympics: “At this point in our history, any tournament we don’t qualify for is a failure. We should be, in this region, we should either be the best or very close to the best team in the region, so it’s important for us. It’s important for us to continue qualifying for these events. We have to.”

On Gedion Zelalem’s struggles on loan with Rangers.


From the Press Association: “Sepp Blatter expected his work at FIFA to receive greater praise at last month’s presidential elections and says he wants due recognition in the future.” Blatter said,

I had expected that at the least something about my work would have been said by the congress leader at the beginning or the end. “Not even a bye-bye,’ wrote a journalist aptly. Yes, two candidates mentioned me – one who withdrew [Tokyo Sexwale] and another who had few votes [Jérôme Champagne]…I don’t have to have a big finish. My only wish – if my business is done that I am recognised at the next congress or the one after that or the congress in 20 years. How I go down in history, time has to decide.

I’m pretty sure it’s already been decided, Sepp.

While Blatter says he’s surprised Swiss authorities searched French Football Federation offices on Wednesday, FFF president Noel Le Graet says the federation was not the target of the search. “The searches carried out in our premises related to the relations between the FFF and FIFA with Michel Platini in the middle…At that time, the FFF was paying for the rent of a building in which Platini and two other people were working, before being reimbursed by FIFA to the last cent. The investigators made photocopies of the documents in question and didn’t take anything else. The FFF is not at all targeted in this case.”


  1. pragmatist says:

    This Alex Morgan might have a nice future in the game. I’m gonna keep an eye on this one…

    • Superb! Art in motion.

      • The Union could use a striker…

      • pragmatist says:

        I’m convinced she could hold her own against a lot of MLS players. Just like Mia Hamm could have had a level of success 10 years ago.
        (*expects blowback on that concept)

      • Solo vs M’bolhi? Or McCarthy, even? I know my pick!
        Morgan and Lloyd are a stretch for MLS, but would probably hold their own at least in USL.
        Didn’t they try something like this at the Sounders several years ago? Seem to recall they had 2-3 players from USWNT play with the team for a preseason or non-league game or two as publicity stunt.


      • pragmatist says:

        I’d be afraid to tell Hope she wasn’t allowed to play. She’s terrifying!

    • that is a slick goal by Alex Morgan. She may have the skill to play in MLS, but no way she could handle the physical play. Look at how badly Fernando got pushed around last year.

      • pragmatist says:

        I agree, to a point.
        Allow me to REALLY stretch an analogy (to the extreme):
        Wayne Gretzky weighed about 120 (exaggeration…can’t help myself today) pounds soaking wet. The theory was, “If you hit him, you can take him out of the game.” But no one could catch him. Hence, he has a chapters of the records books dedicated to him.
        Physicality can neutralize slow players. But fast/quick players can survive just fine.
        Again…very extreme analogy. But it would be interesting to see how she does against the men.

      • Then maybe the better comparator is Hoppenot. He was smaller and faster and still got pushed around alot. But maybe MLS refs would be a little more protective of a girl. It would be very interesting. I also think Megan Rapinoe could be a better CAM than anyone on the Union

      • She is a woman.

  2. This team’s luck, man. But I really hope Curtin can come up with better then Brian Carroll in the #6 role.

    • The better should already be on the team. Edu was out the last 3 games of last season and I’m curious when this “new” injury occurred. Curtain should have signed another quality DM on the team this offseason for just this instance. It’s not bad luck; It’s bad coaching and managing.

      • I agree, but this can’t all be on Curtin. I can’t imagine this news came as a complete shock to Stewart.

  3. Mickey Goldmill says:

    Maybe our Union should consult with our Phillies about the possible recurrence of Chase Utley knee for Tranquillo Barnetta.
    Boy my response was an emotional one yesterday… all patched up and put back together. Trot BC out for 3 months defend yourself. Pun intended.
    Yes Tampa Bay…make sure it’s okay with Orlando for you to play in the highest league in the country… and while your at it ask your daddy if you can come out to play. Come on!!!! Really? Jucking Foke.

    • While I agree it’s stupid, so are the endless sports teams in Florida that get terrible attendance. It’s just not a pro sports area, plus the country is so big with many other markets untapped. Just saying for the growth of the league you probably don’t want too much overlap, especially since it’s still not that popular (and by popular I’m talking TV ratings because that’s where the money is).

      • Mickey Goldmill says:

        Florida is irrelevant. That’s not the point. This is more important than that.
        The TV argument is hollow too…. I need to reference some sources I’ve read about how to deal with the tv contracts but it has something todo with public television .
        I know I know I said I would stay focused once the season kicked off but Ed keeps writing about the stuff and I lose my mind…

      • The problem is you look at it as a fan not as a businessman. Unfortunately, the businessmen are running the show.

      • That’s it, blame Ed. I’m pretty sure he’s responsible for world hunger too! (and he would have invented the internet if Al Gore hadn’t beaten him to it)

      • .
        I hope you realize it is all in good fun….when I blame Ed. I think he knows so.
        by the way…I blame Canada.

    • Mickey Goldmill says:

      Totally indefensible these contractual rights to “property”and thereby the opportunity to play. What a joke. So upsetting this is how we set the game up here and dont give me this soccer is new in America bullshit. We blew it 100 years ago and we’re still fellating it today.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Orlando protected itself for the future when the paid their entry fee of however close it was to the $100,000,000 that Arthur Blank forked over for Atlanta later. MLS loves its expansion fees. Blank’s money would have funded ten years of TAM, if my memory and math are correct, which are both somewhat improbable assumptions.
      Tampa Bay will be allowed in, should they want, they’ll just have to pay Orlando millions to get Orlando’s exclusivity agreement modified. Stump up enough money and capitalism will always find a way. Tampa might get to buy Orlando its new stadium, for example.

  4. This is debatable: “Our doctors do a great job, our rehab people do a great job…”

  5. Tomorrow’s headline: “X Rays reveal Barnetta missing left leg.”

  6. “Expect more of the same.” Poor choice of words?

  7. OneManWolfpack says:

    I am fairly certain there has never been a game in the history of the Union, where I have felt as if they are going to win. Like, ever. That certainly goes for this weekend. With these injuries, and Curtain’s lack of managerial skill, this is already shaping up for an 0-2 start, with another solid team looming next week. I am trying my hardest to be optimistic, but it is just so F’n hard.
    I will say one thing though… the Union don’t usually leave the suspense and let down till the end, a la Flyers and Eagles. They get right to disappointing you.
    Yeah, today is negative Thursday for me.

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