Daily news roundups

Crew up, Academy derby, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

It’s been a tough week for Union fans, with the team losing its season opener to Dallas and then the news that Maurice Edu will be out at least three months with a stress fracture in his left leg. The tough start to the season doesn’t get any easier as the team travels to face MLS Cup finalists Columbus Crew on Saturday (7:30 pm: Live Well Network, MLS Live. Live Well Network on Comcast: DE/NJ/PA- channels 245, 246, 790; DE-791. On FiOS: DE/NJ/PA- channels 465, 466). As was the case with Dallas (in league play), the Union has never won in Columbus, with only one point to show from seven games there. Fans will be forgiven for not expecting a win on Saturday, but if the Union don’t put in an improved performance the grumbling will only continue ahead of the home opener against New England on March 20.

Previews of Saturday’s game at PSP, Philadelphia Union, CSN Philly, and Sports Chat Place.

A post at the Union website on how Brian Carroll will be seeing more playing time because Maurice Edu is is injured notes Carroll is only five games away from having 350 MLS appearances, something only five other players have accomplished in the history of the league.

Brotherly Game on the good, the bad, and the ugly in last Sunday’s season opening loss to Dallas.

At Delco Times and CBS Philly, reports on the expansion of the Philadelphia Union Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program in the Chester Upland School District.

Philadelphia Union Academy

Fancy some local derby action? The Union Academy journeys to The Proving Grounds in Conshohocken on Saturday to face Continental FC Delco. The U-14s and U-18s play at noon, with the U-16s playing at 2:30 pm. At Brotherly Game, Matt Ralph has more on how the teams have fared in past meetings.

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders was defeated 2-1 by Lehigh University in a preseason game on Thursday evening.

Soccer Cincinnati has USL Eastern Conference previews that includes Bethlehem Steel and Harrisburg City Islanders.

Penn97 has more info on the facilities at FNB Park, home of minor league baseball club Harrisburg Senators, where the City Islanders will play ten of their 15 home games this season.

Penn has announced five new players for the 2016 season.

USASA Region I has announced Phoenix Majors will face a yet to be determined team from Western New York in the quarterfinals of the USASA Amateur Cup on April 3. The team will face a yet to be determined team Metro DC-Virginia in the quarterfinals of the Werner Fricker Open Cup on April 10.

MLS

The league’s disciplinary committee has given one-game suspensions to New York Red Bulls defender Ronald Zubar and Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Christian Bolaños, both for serious foul play. The committee also overturned the suspension of Houston head coach Owen Coyle after he was ejected in second half stoppage time on Sunday.

Toronto has acquired Right of First Refusal for US youth international forward Ben Spencer from Real Salt Lake in exchange for Targeted Allocation Money.

Vancouver center back Christian Dean is out three to four months after undergoing successful surgery on his left foot.

Frank Lampard on the responsibility of high profile international players to help improve and grow MLS: “As a player now you come to America to play but also you have a responsibility to improve the brand of football, which means taking the MLS to bigger levels…When you come here you to take that on your shoulders.” Lampard added, “I think you’ll see more [foreign] players come here as the league improves. It’s not just the foreign designated players coming here. I think the overall standard of the league has improved and that’s what’s making the fanbase improve.”

Picking up on a recent appearance by Tim Vickery on World Soccer Talk Radio, Your Soccer News reports on concerns in Brazil about the rise of MLS. Vickery says, “The business-minded people here in Brazil are beginning to become very concerned about the rise of Major League Soccer. Amir Somoggi, who’s perhaps the leading specialist in [soccer] finance, published an article earlier [last] week saying that it’s not going to take very long before our Brazilian clubs are overtaken in financial terms by MLS, and have been overtaken in terms of international importance.”

You will recall the report we linked to in Thursday’s roundup on speculation about NASL side Tampa Bay Rowdies’ MLS aspirations. The team’s owner, Bill Edwards, issued a statement saying, “With respect to the Tampa Bay Times blog post about the MLS, that discussion is premature and not part of the Rowdies present plans.” More at SaintPetersBlog and The Unused Substitutes.

It’s official: USL side Rochester Rhinos have new owners, local real estate developers David and Wendy Dworkin, who are also minority owners of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. The Rhinos also have a new CBO.

US

Footy Headlines has more leaked images of the new USNT home kit:

It's still terrible.

It’s still terrible.

So, which was better: This or this?

Elsewhere

CONCACAF has announced the hiring of two executive search firms – Korn Ferry and Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA) – to oversee its search for a General Secretary and Chief Legal/Compliance Officer. More at Soccer America.

Reuters reports Rafael Esquivel, the former head of the Venzuela FA who was extradited to the US earlier this week from Switzerland as part of the ongoing FIFA corruption investigation, has been released on a $7 million bond: “He will be subject to home confinement and electronic monitoring.”

Also from Reuters: “Triple World Cup soccer winner Pele is putting some 2,000 items up for auction, including his three World Cup medals and a one-of-a-kind Jules Rimet trophy that could fetch up to $1 million, auctioneers said Thursday.”

Brilliant (and a little terrifying):

Check out the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of live soccer on TV, online, and on satellite radio for the upcoming week.

40 Comments

  1. “Pele is like the Marilyn Monroe of the sports world. He is such an icon and a great ambassador for soccer,” said someone who is really, really awful at analogies.

  2. Brilliant (and a little terrifying):
    .
    Holy shit, that’s awesome!

    • Jeremy Lane says:

      Is their field just straight dirt?

      • Scott of Nazareth says:

        Thought the same thing at first, but guessing that since its in Norway, they take the turf out during the winter months?

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        I love the moment that the guys on the ground realize how fast the ball is coming in… “Got it. Got it. DON’T GOT IT! DON’T GOT IT!”

  3. Why do high profile international players feel it is their responsibility to help MLS grow?
    .
    If these players were being offered $200,00 a year would that still be Frank Lampard’s position.
    .
    You want MLS to grow and get better and have academy players MAKE first teams how about actually paying the players like professionals.
    .
    Come on Frank Lampard… I’m not a fanboy.
    .
    .
    surly and cantakerous. That’s me.

    • I think that’s a fair statement from Lampard. Players of his age and reputation are being brought into MLS not so much for their on field ability, which is usually in decline, but for their name recognition and ability to draw eyeballs. It seems to me that Lampard has a pretty solid understanding of what’s expected of him.

    • Zizouisgod says:

      Umm, don’t you know it’s THE MLS?

    • John P O'Donnell says:

      I always find it interesting when someone says pay them more. How does that make them any better? If Messi and Ronaldo’s salary was cut in half today, would they suddenly be half the player they were?

  4. According to Wikipedia, whoever wrote the article on Carroll is a little challenged at counting. There are 7 players with 350 games (Hartman, Rimando, Beckerman, Ralston, Davis, Cunningham, and Arnaud). Maybe they meant 5 outfield players (or they just don’t consider a keeper to be a player).

  5. According to Wikipedia, whoever wrote the article on Carroll is a little challenged at counting. There are 7 players with 350 games (Hartman, Rimando, Beckerman, Ralston, Davis, Cunningham, and Arnaud). Maybe they meant 5 outfield players (or they just don’t consider a keeper to be a player).

  6. Jim Presti says:

    Live Well network. Nice…

  7. Just Rob f/k/a Rob127 says:

    Since you asked, I like the Press goal better than Morgan’s. Morgan’s was beautiful, make no mistake, but it wasn’t as sudden. I mean that the run and build up were there and those of us watching expected something good to happen. Maybe not that good but something good. The Press goal was so quick and deadly that you could hear the crowd take a second to react. It was like everyone there was saying…what??? It seems to me that Morgan had a little more time to plan her move but Press was all reaction. Just my preference. Mind you, what I’d really like is to see someone on the U pull off either of these goals.

  8. Here is a quiet Friday thought experiment.
    .
    What do you suppose MLS goal is with the league? A widely accepted top five league in the world– top 10? Top 10 is probably more realistic with our inherent cultural problem. So let’s say MLS’ goal is to be a Top 10 league in the world.
    .
    What is the time frame for that? What do you think MLS time frame is for that? Likely after, once and for all, they determine the highest league is set with franchises at what– 28-40 teams? Let’s argue 30 teams…in whatever format that takes MLS I MLS II one hodgepodge league with one single MLS Cup at the end…whatever.
    .
    So let’s argue the MLS franchises are all given out like Easter candy within 7 years… and we provide a +/- of 3 years for the last franchises to get settled and up and running efficiently… in all the permutations that involves: stadium, academy, USL Minor league team like baseball I guess.
    .
    So let’s agree for argument sake MLS hopes to be a Top 10 league in the world with 30 franchises in ten years — which is 2026.
    .
    .
    Does this also include a top 10 perennial USNT? …Cause even England is a top ten team STILL and we all know the dire state of England national team in the bigger picture… particularly as it compares to the BPL and its heavily influenced world ethnicity.
    .
    What if this does not come to fruition?
    .
    … is it fair to say…if in ten years as it is currently formatted, (i.e. without an open pyramid) MLS is not a Top 10 league with a Top 10 National team that the design is— failing — or more importantly it is time to accept and argue that the pyramid should be open and that a possible financial cataclysm is necessary to reach the goals or will the media still shovel the turds and Sunil still shovel the turds and the general soccer audience still eat the turds gladly? I wonder at this little thought experiment… I wonder what MLS goal is… I wonder if it is written down anywhere. I guess in the meantime we just wait and see who will ultimately be right…
    .
    All this over a fried egg sandwich and apple cider lunch.

    • Zizouisgod says:

      Sorry, I’m too tired to wrap my head around this…it’s been a long week.

    • i don’t really think promotion and relegation is a great idea; i tend to think it would end up being a disaster financially and possibly even hurt the league pretty severely. that said i wouldn’t be totally against it if they were able to keep some of the very strict enforced parity guidelines that they have right now. some of the current ones are ridiculous but i really like the overall idea of creating a league where teams can’t massively outspend their opponents

    • The original stated goal was by 2022, and even on their current pace I think that’s feasible. From what I continue to read, especially from players that come over here, the view of the league is becoming more respectable, so within that time frame (6 years) I think it’s more likely that the league will get more Giovincos in their prime and less Lampards and Drogbas. Now with the likely end result of 28 teams, the player pool will naturally dilute a bit with more teams, but that can be countered by allowing teams to spend more money, which is inevitable anyway regardless of how you feel about the current league management model. So 28 teams spending upwards of double what they are spending now, with more national-team level talent in their primes, growing attendance at beautiful stadiums with strong fan support, there is no reason they can’t be a top 10 league by 2022.

      And I’m sure arguments can be made for why that won’t happen if MLS loosens the financial reins and allows free spending, just as they could be made for the other side. Slow and steady growth is perfect, and the league needs to grow at its own pace and watch out for its own interests and not get to caught up in the idea of how to catch up to countries like England whose primary sport is soccer, a country who has more domestic history than we have national team history, and whose cities and teams don’t have four other sports to compete with on a weekly basis.

    • John P O'Donnell says:

      I would never understand why the goal of MLS is USMNT being a top ten team or World Cup winner. To me it’s a byproduct of having a league for domestic players, but certainly not a goal. Unless the league was only compromised of domestic players and the USMNT only had players from MLS, then I might understand.

      Becoming a top league in the world is a nice goal but Portugal, Brazil & Argentina although very good, are far below the BPL & their national teams seem to be doing just fine.

    • the goal of the owners of MLS is to be a profitable, value-appreciation sports league that has good ratings and parity. it’s the American way … relevance in the world, is that an economic consideration?

      • I hope the the league grows slowly. I watched a once small market sport grow and explode in popularity. They gained a bunch of fans built large stadiums and had…had a great product… But then the governing body worked for parody… Even the field of have and have nots…much like the NFL….but not as successfully… That sport is NASCAR. I know most think racing is not a sport. But the sudden groth and decline should be used as a learning experience. Look at a race now…empty seats everywhere… They all used to be full…but the product is not great…so people like myself.. Just walked away. I know the comparison is a bit of a stretch. But if you can’t put fans in the seats,or move to quickly into an area that won’t support the team, you have a bankrupt franchise. MLS cannot expect to withstand that to many times. Just my opinion. But every time I read about the speed of expansion this is the first thought I have!

  9. Mickey Goldmill says:

    Interesting read
    .
    Steve Duin. Power. Profit and the Timbers Pyramid.

    The source is The Oregonian

  10. Am I correct that MLS’s transfer window is still open (for quite a while yet)? It might not be ideal to bring a guy in after the start of the season, but there must be a DM sitting on the bench somewhere who could be had that would be an upgrade for us. We have 2 open roster spots. If it’s a matter of an international spot, I’d waive Ayuk if need be- he won’t get minutes for the U this year. Could even do a half season loan like Aristeguieta’s original deal last year. Would be perfect- player gets regular PT, and his old team can recall him in July just before their pre-season.

    • Ayuk may get loaned to Steel which would solve one of those issues, but they could also look domestically for a trade. We have some assets that might interest other teams, but Allocation Money can also sweeten a deal. Definitely worth looking into at least for depth behind Carroll and Creavalle.

      • Ok sure make a trade, but who is available and who are we giving up. I don’t see any assets that other teams are going to be reaching for and i don’t know if there is an available CDM out there better than Carroll and Creavalle that the Union can make a play for. Sure I’d like to trade Edu but no one wants and injured player this is why I said he should’ve been long gone before the season.

      • dallas has more dms than they know what to do with

      • I’m fairly sure if we loan Ayuk (or Yaro, etc) to BSFC then we get the international slot back.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        If the union were to do as you describe, then they could not recall Ayuk to the first team without clearing another international slot for him (see 2016 Roster Rules posted on MLS website 3/4) at least the way I read those rules.

      • Hmmm… I wonder if the rules changed. I recall last year, during the He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named saga the team briefly got a free international slot by loaning Noguiera to Harrisburg while he was injured.
        .
        That said, I’d be OK with loaning Ayuk for the year anyway. I really can’t foresee him getting minutes here without a series of calamitous injuries. He needs to play.
        .
        Yaro is a bit different. He’s just one injury away from likely being in the CB rotation.

  11. Old Soccer Coach says:

    On the official Union Website, under News, third article from the top titled with something like “Game Notes” there is a graphic, which can be enlarged but not copied by this iPad, which gives all kinds of statistical tables and in the center graphically represents the two STARTING LINEUPS for each team. It was posted at 11:29 am this morning the 11th.

    Blake; Fabinho, Anderson, Marquez, Rosenberry; Carroll, Nogueira; Pontius, Alberg, Ilsinho; Sapong.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      The banner on the Graphic reads ” 2016 Game Guide”. There was no information on who had traveled to Columbus or who would dress out in the eighteen.

  12. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Given the information found on the Union website that I post in the two comments immediately above, I speculate that Jim Curtin is following a policy of telling his players that they win the starts by their performances in practice and keep them by their performance in games, an old tried and true policy.
    .
    Yes my tentative hypothesis needs testing, and many of you my colleagues will say that BC’s presence challenges it strongly, but Ilsinho for Fernandes, Alberg for Ilsinho, and Marquez for Tribbett may support it. Of course we do not see practices, which is my hypothesis’s greatest weakness.

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