Daily news roundups

Notes from Curtin’s presser, more Union news, Reading and West Chester learn USOC opponents, more

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

Some highlights from Jim Curtin’s weekly press conference on Wednesday (full transcript here at PSP):

  • Vincent Nogueira and Tranquillo Barnetta are options to slot back into the Starting XI with Warren Creavalle’s suspension: “Obviously, we’d like to keep a similar formation as the one that we’ve had so it won’t be anything too drastic but, tough decisions for me to make. I have a good idea; don’t want to reveal too much, though.”
  • Curtin said Barnetta “has some room to improve on the fitness but he’s been working really hard on that after training each and every day and is a big part of this thing moving forward.” Curtin added, “We’re anxious to get him back in fully with the group.”
  • Curtin said the forecasted chilly weather for Friday’s game against Orlando “could be in our favor,” adding, “We are used to it, it’s where we train everyday, and it looks like the early forecast is one where it’s going to be a cold Friday night here in Philly, which, in this instance, I’m ok with.”
  • Curtin said establishing dominance at home is critical: “to win your home games is what determines good teams from the bad teams.”  He explained, “[W]e’re trying to establish that. It’s not a flick a switch and it happens kind of thing. We’re working very hard, covering a lot on the training field each and every day to know every situation that can come up on a home game if you’re down a goal, if you’re up a goal; how we want to kill off games is something we need to work on and improve. We had a good start with New England but, again, that’s one game and it’s something we need to build on and put back-to-back-to-back results here at home together before there’s belief from our fans, from the league– and that’s something that happens over time.”
  • Curtin said of Ilsinho: “[H]e’s a special player, one that I don’t think the fans, and even the rest of the league, has seen what we see everyday in training. It comes out in glimpses in the game but we need to do an even better job getting him on the ball more and more because he is so special.”
  • Curtin said the fact that Friday’s game will be nationally televised makes the game “a little extra special.” He elaborated, “All the players know now when everybody’s watching, when the league is watching. NFL has their Monday night, we have a Friday night situation where there’s one game, so, yeah, all eyes are on it. It’s good for the city, it’s good for our fans and, naturally, as a player you get a little more excited. Again, it makes it a little more special; obviously, you want to win everytime you go out on the field but, knowing that the rest of the league will be watching and preparing for their game the following day usually, it’s a good opportunity to make a statement early on in the season. So, yeah, it’s a little extra special.”

More from the press conference at Philadelphia Union and SBI.

Curtin noted in his press conference that Orlando’s Brek Shea will be suspended for Friday’s game following a decision by the league’s disciplinary committee. Orlando Sentinel notes, “The Lions now could be without three starters who contributed to Orlando City’s 4-1 victory over Portland when they face Philadelphia this week. In addition to Shea, Cyle Larin is day-to-day recovering from a hamstring injury and Tommy Redding’s status is unclear after suffering a blow to the head.”

Orlando Sentinel on the possibility that Júlio Baptista could get his Orlando debut on Friday. Orlando head coach Adrian Heath says , “He’s done a full morning this morning. We’ll have a chat and see how he is. It’s day-to-day with people like Júlio. He just got off a plane and hasn’t done an awful lot the past two weeks. He’s been training on his own, but it’s nothing like the intensity of training with the group, and then the game is another stage on from there.”

Soccer America has a preview of Friday’s game and notes the Union could move into first place in the East with a win. More previews at Brotherly Game and MLSGB.

At Delco Times, Matthew De George on the Brazilian flare that will be on display in Friday night’s game. At Union Tally, De George rounds up some earlier examples of Ilsinho magic.

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead talks to Jim Curtin and Brian Carroll about the ramping up of red cards being shown this season. While both understand the league’s desire to protect players — and both agree Warren Creavalle’s ejection in the loss to Chicago was warranted — the issue for them is one of achieving the right balance of protection and letting physical play in a physical game continue. Curtin says,

I’ll always argue that you can’t slide in soccer and not have your studs show. It’s really a gray area. But it’s something that they’re cracking down on, and something players and coaches will have to adjust to. I can’t say I’m fully onboard. I think, when you start saying that we’re going to referee differently from league to league, all over the world, then it’s risky. It’s an area where they’re going to need to be consistent. To their credit, they have been consistent; they’re just sending everybody off. I think for the fan though, they don’t want to see games end with a team short-handed, especially the early (cards), where it’s the 12th minute and teams are playing down a man for 70 or 80 minutes.

It’s difficult, and it’s usually ugly soccer. It (has to be) careful. You want your stars on the field, but at the same time you’re sacrificing the big picture quality of play for the other 19 guys that are out there, I guess.

At Brotherly Game, Jared Young has the weekly player ratings comparison, this time for the loss to Chicago.

Philly Sports Nation has ratings for Union players through the first four games.

Bethlehem Steel FC

PSP, Allentown Morning CallPhilly Soccer News, and Brotherly Game.

Unauthorized Bethlehem Steel FC Blog looks at the Bethlehem’s depth at center forward.

US Open Cup

The first round pairings, and second round scenarios, for the 2016 US Open Cup were announced on Wednesday. The first round takes place on Wednesday, May 11, and West Chester United, the USASA’s 2015 Werner Fricker Open Cup national champions, will be on the road to face Virginia’s Fredericksburg FC, while Reading United will host Atlanta Silverbacks.

If West Chester wins, they will host Harrisburg City Islanders on May 18. If Reading wins, they will travel to face Chattanooga FC. The Union enters the tournament in the fourth round.

More on the draw at Reading United, Fredericksburg.comAtlanta Journal-ConstitutionDirty South Soccer, The Chattanoogan, MLSsoccer.com, USL, and PDL.


The first match of this year’s Keystone Derby takes place on Saturday when Harrisburg travels to face Pittsburgh Riverhounds at 7 pm. At the USL website, a review of past games in the derby. More at Harrisburg City Islanders.

Penn97 notes the apparent rebranding of Harrisburg City Islanders to City Islanders Football Club. Posts on/from the league website still refer to the team as Harrisburg City Islanders but posts on the club website appear to begin using City Islanders Football Club sometime in March.

Junior Lone Star have announced a 15th Anniversary Celebration that will take place Friday, May 13 through Sunday, May 15 and coincide with the 2016 Battle of the East Soccer Tournament (B.E.S.T). The celebration will include an Awards Gala and After Party.


Lots of posts out there marking the 20th anniversary of the first-ever MLS game. At MLSsoccer.com, an oral history of the match, a where are they now post on those who participated in the game, and a look at how San Jose Clash and DC United got their names and original look. Bruce Arena talks about the first game. ESPN also has an oral history of the first game. Fox Soccer looks at the fashion disaster that was the league’s first kits. Toronto Sun has ten things to be glad about the league moving on from. At the Daily News, John Smallwood’s anniversary post includes comments from Jim Curtin about his memories of MLS’ beginnings and how far it has come.

From SI: “Major League Soccer is nearing the end of a sprawling year-long consumer research study by the Boston Consulting Group, the results of which will be used to determine important decisions by MLS teams as the league tries to reach its goal of becoming one of the world’s top soccer leagues by 2022. Some 45 million Americans consider themselves interested in MLS, but one of the study’s goals is to figure out how best to reach the 20 to 40 million Americans who consider themselves soccer fans but not MLS fans.”

The Salt Lake Tribune reports, “Real Salt Lake officials are set to announce plans this weekend for a $50 million soccer complex in Herriman to house everything from the the club’s training activities to a charter high school for youth players.”

The Guardian wonders if the costs of efforts in San Antonio to land a MLS franchise are worth it to taxpayers.


Throughout the ongoing disputes with US Soccer, the USWNT players have said they will remain focused on winning on the field regardless of whatever legal matters are leading the headlines.

Against Colombia on Wednesday night, the US women showed they weren’t kidding, delivering an emphatic 7-0 win. Six US players got on the scoresheet with Allie Long, who hasn’t played for the US since 2014, netting a brace (after earlier banging a cannon shot off the crossbar).

The US face Colombia again on Sunday in a sold out game at Talen Energy Stadium (2 pm, ESPN). Should be fun!

Recaps and reports at US Soccer, Hartford CourantNew Haven Register, New England Soccer TodayWashington Post, New York Times, Fox SoccerCBS Sports, Soccer AmericaThe Equalizer, ASN, Stars and Stripes FC, and SBI.

At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald talks to Colombia’s Yoreli Rincón about her friendship Carli Lloyd and her trainer, James Galanis. The article notes the Colombian team has been training for four months without pay from the Colombia FA.

At the Daily News, John Smallwood says, in view of the USWNT’s wage discrimination action, men’s and women’s sports cannot be equated:  In almost every way, from the style of play to officiating to the way they are regarded by fans and the general public, women’s and men’s sports are different games even when they have the same names…That disparity in pay is a function of the business market and not sex discrimination.”

Using a Facebook post from The Other 98 Percent as its starting point, PunditFact, the fact checking unit of the Tampa Bay Times, examines some of the claims being made regarding the wage discrimination suit such as that the USWNT generated $20 million more than the USMNT in 2015 and the women players were paid four times less than the men. PunditFact concludes,

The women’s soccer team had a much more successful season on the pitch than the men’s team last year, and as a result they brought in a lot more revenue. But that gap is closer to $5.8 million, not $20 million.

And while there seem to be compensation disparities among the women and men, it’s hard to pin down exactly how big that disparity is because the way women and men are paid is so different, and it also varies by match and by player. We couldn’t find a clear example of female players being paid one-fourth the amount their male counterparts earn.

While there might be legitimate issues concerning the revenue and compensation ratio among the men’s and women’s soccer teams, this graphic uses numbers that are way off. We rate the statement Mostly False.

At SI, Grant Wahl considers the revenue generation question that is central to the wage discrimination issue. ESPNW “unwraps” the wage discrimination action.

At SI, Brian Straus looks at US Soccer’s image problem and says it’s “likely simply an uncomfortable symptom of soccer’s growth.”

Looking ahead to happier thoughts such as the possibility that the US will host the 2026 World Cup, Grant Wahl notes at SI, “FIFA holds its regular annual congress in Mexico City next month involving all 209 member nations, and we should expect to see an official timetable revealed for the bidding process for World Cup 2026.”

The US U-15 BNT defeated Club Atletico Talleres 5-1 in their first match of the 2016 International Festival of Futbol in Argentina on Monday. The team was scheduled to face Newell’s Old Boys on Wednesday but I haven’t been able to find out what the result was.


The Press Association reports the FIFA ethics committee member Juan Pedro Damiani has resigned as a result of allegations related to the Panama Papers leak.

The Guardian wonders, in the wake of the Panama Papers leak, just how new is the new FIFA?

The Guardian reports, “Swiss police have raided UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon to seize details of a TV rights contract signed by the FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, following the Panama Papers leak.” Infantino said in a statement, “I welcome any investigation conducted into this matter…Based on these documents, it is clear that all contractual matters were conducted properly by UEFA. Should I be required to contribute to bringing further clarification on the matter, I will of course gladly do so.” More at SI, Goal.com (raid, Infantino), and Pro Soccer Talk.

Michel Platini: “The Euro 2016 is my child, but I do not know if I will get there. It is unimaginable that I would not be there from its beginning. This is outrageous and it is a huge injustice.” Injustice? Cue violins.


  1. MLS site’s “Club and Country” video highlights three, repeat three, Union players. CJ and Rosenberry as potential call ups for the US and Blake as “the real deal”.
    Link: http://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2016/04/06/brek-shea-best-left-back-u-s-club-country-0?autoplay=true

    • pragmatist says:

      “If you want to find future national teamers, I guess you look in Philadelphia.”
      Raise your hand if you EVER expected to hear that.
      No one? Didn’t think so…
      Who is this team?!

    • Damn.

      (I think he’s a little premature on Rosenberry, though, and I am not sure that CJ is quite up to the international level.)

  2. “They have to realize when they do give him the ball, chances are he’s going to beat the first man and get a cross in, or a shot, so for them to be ready at all times, and expect the unexpected with him because he sees the game differently. I can’t teach what he does and what he has, that’s in the Brazilian blood, I guess you’d say.”
    I’m not letting this slide man… so here it is again, only with the proper invective and wonderment.
    This quote above speaks miles and miles….. yes, Ilsinho is going to beat the first man- yes this is the standard everywhere else, yes you should not stand there agape and in wonderment, yes you should be moving for him. Yes this is not special.
    phew- this type of questioning about a ‘crazy’ move (for real?) what’s crazy about an elastico? and these type of answers remind me of travel 12 year old soccer.
    Is the manager serious? Is this how far away we really are as a culture? Is this how far away the manager thinks the players are from knowing how to play the game? Are the media members serious to be asking this question? Is anybody else as concerned this is the understanding of our players, our manager our media who ask such an inane question? WTF!
    That’s right.. this is recreation and friendly jovial banter among boys… and I can’t get a follow up question about the National team getting trounced by Colombia but those Wildcats dominate the conversation this week.
    This is culpability. Call it like I read it.

  3. Andy Muenz says:

    People may be saying there are too many red cards being called but the league seems to be saying (rightfully enough) that there aren’t enough and that Shea should have received one. And comparing the replay with the Creavalle play, Shea’s was more deserving of a straight red.
    Given that Shea got a yellow, the ref saw the tackle and chose yellow. So what we really need is more consistency in officiating. But I think everyone reading this already knows that.

  4. el Pachyderm says:

    How to reach the 20 to 40 million fans of soccer but not MLS is an easy answer… stop modeling your league like NFL and MLB..the answer every time will be to raise the quality and make the teams that suck EVERY year play their asses off for the right to stay in the highest division. MLS is a JOKE and 40 million football fans, including me, know it.

    • El Pachy, we are never going to have pro/rel in US soccer. It is utterly antithetical to the sports culture here (not to mention the economics of the league), nor do I think it’s necessary. We can have an American soccer league run in an American way. I mean, there’s plenty that needs to be improved about American soccer and MLS, for sure, but pro/rel is not it.

      • then MLS needs to accept the fact the other 40 million football fans will not give it a second thought.
        And I totally agree about having an american league run an american way…THEY will just have to accept the fact it is and will continue to be substandard by comparison to the rest of the world’s highest leagues. The fact MLS is spouting off being a top world league is ludicrous and completely unattainable with the current model… sorry. Feel free to disagree.
        And for the record someday we most certainly will have pro/rel…it just may not be MLS that is involved…. the game will reach a critical mass under the glass ceiling of MLS someday that will create another top level league out of MLS purview.
        This IS going to happen…it is already taking shape.
        Sir… with all due respect, the revolution is UnderWay there are many many factions/financiers/groups out there unwilling to stand for the product as it currently dis-represents.

      • As I said, there is much about American soccer that needs to be improved. I just beg to differ with your claim that pro/rel needs to be a part of that solution. You speak often about the problems with youth soccer, and identifying and coaching great players when they are young — I think these are much more important.

  5. Interesting read… MLS and its FRANCHISED hegemony
    Soccer IS NOT NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA
    Open letter re: SMOKE BOMB DC UNITED.
    Tim told me to post this, which was the letter to my ticket rep, as an open letter. So.
    A funny thing happened amidst all the media bluster and outraged fans and podcasts and so on. People forgot how this all kicked off.
    Steve Shaw, a longtime supporter and leader in the community, wanted to make this a community once again. Everybody meets up at the tunnel, everybody gets into the right frame of mind, and we head to our sections to go at it as we do. A smoke bomb got lit, and everyone drumming and dancing in the tunnel was alright with it. Why? Because this is how it’s been. This is tradition.
    Nobody saw the hammer coming. It’s not the person that people are flipping out about – it’s the hammer itself. It’s the methodology. Let’s talk about that awhile.
    Steve wants to bring back something that’s been lost over the last four or five years – the sense of family. And that’s not just amongst the groups, mind you. That’s between supporters and management. Since the clearinghouse a few years back, the tone has changed entirely. We lost relationships in that purge. We lost friends. And the people who came to replace them don’t talk to people the way it used to be. And the attempts at outreach, honestly, ring hollow. Roundtable discussions clearly aren’t productive if well-known members of the community can get treated in the way they have this week.
    You know why my heart’s broken for Steve? Because in an attempt to make things better, things became worse than ever.
    Let’s talk about tradition. Smoke is part of that. Smoke has been used not just in our team’s promotional material, but all around the league. Legal smoke, at that – smoke devoid of potassium sulfate, which is banned in this city. When the purge happened, suddenly that tradition was lost. …. I mean, even the word Tradition has been stripped from the shirt, from the hallways, from the mission. That doesn’t mean all change is bad. That means we went from members of a family to cells in a spreadsheet. That’s how it feels, and that’s how measures like this week’s come off.
    The measures come off as a control issue. For nearly two decades, the front office defended us from the league. They stuck up for us, because we were family. We were accepted not as some idealized version of an American supporter that exists in some executive’s head, but as we are. The tradition was acceptance – the immigrants, the white collars, the blue collars. Black, white and brown. The labor organizers and the street punks. The kid I met just last week who’s here from China. They’re here for the sport at large, but they’re here for the home this creates.
    Actions like the ones taken this week are tone-deaf. They divide instead of unite. Instead of the acceptance of the past practices, the message being sent was simple: conform, or be cast away. That’s not the DC United I recognize, and that’s certainly not a DC United that will attract more people to this community. And, frankly, it’s not a DC United that I would ever want to be a part of.
    So, how are we going to fix this?
    The gathering of the tribes isn’t just for Barra or Eagles or Ultras. It’s for you and I. Come out and see us sometime – not as representatives of a corporation in suits, but as the real live people you are. Meet us where we are. Come out and see us. Ask about our jobs, our kids, our husbands and wives. Help us prepare food once in awhile. When we’re doing our own charitable events, come out and paint. When you want to do a moment of silence for Johan Cruyff, make sure people actually know that’s going to happen – it can’t just be one social media post or one email. Pick up the phone and say hello.
    Bring back the traditions of old. Have the players come back into the crowds with us if they’re scratched from the lineup. Come into the crowds yourselves. The reason any relationship goes wrong, from a friendship to a marriage to parenting, is when we stop communicating. This will not get better unless, instead of impersonal form letters with official letterhead, you start talking to us on street level. Put old arguments aside and embrace the new life coming. Because it’s coming. It won’t just be a shiny new stadium that’ll solve all your problems. It’ll be relationships. It’ll be knowing us all – not just Steve, or Oscar, or Jimi, but everyone. Meet the new people.
    I’ll tell you a story about the kid from China I mentioned earlier. He’s in town on international studies. Drives up here from Washington College. He actually formed the first supporter group in the Chinese Super League, believe it or not. And during that dire, lifeless 3-0 loss against Dallas, while everyone else was staring into the middle distance, Samuel Wang was jumping up and down like it would perform CPR on our team. He was losing his mind and having the time of his life. We traded scarves, because this sport is about making friends. It’s up on my wall now. In Samuel Wang’s first week, he became part of the family, and he watched management turn on a member of the community.
    Can you explain to Samuel Wang what you’re going to do to make it right? Can you meet him on the level of the working class, human to human, and show him that the form letter isn’t who you are? Can you show him that you’re better than this?
    Not just Samuel, not even specifically Samuel, of course. Any new person. Any old-timer. Can you embrace us for who we are? Because we embrace you, good times and bad. We stayed in 2013, when it all went wrong. On a personal note, I drove all the way from DC to Salt Lake to see if the improbable was possible that year. And sure enough, we won the US Open Cup that week. And I saw America as a result of that. The photos of that trip, complete with the Cup in hand, are on the wall in my house. This objectively silly diversion of ours means the world to me. And it breaks all our hearts to see all that good will pour down the drain.
    Work with us as human beings, and we’ll grow old with you. Continue down this path, and you run the risk of going down the road the Diplomats and the NASL traveled. And it would break our hearts even more.
    Meet us at the tunnel. Walk with us. Feel it the way we do. And then, maybe, we can look back at the time where the worst choice this staff ever made led to the second golden age of DC United.

    Paul Kent
    IATSE Local 22

    • Interesting plea in light of the 20 year anniversary of being so thankful for this monopoly.
      Americans won’t stand for a monopoly….. unless its the sports we follow. Amazing.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        There are,plenty of other monopolies. ThePA public school teachers’ union is one.

  6. About the comment below. There is no pa school teachers union. There are two in pa. So there is competition (i.e. Not a monopoly). Then there is the fact that workers organizing in a union is a democratic response to being in a society historically stained by monopolistic business owners. Charter schools are
    Also competition along with private and cyber. Then there is the fact that teachers unions is voluntary sign up. If you do not sign up, you pay a small fee (known to those educated on this matter
    As a fair share fee). And that fee is only used for cba negotiation with employer. No teachers union dues go to politics, teachers have a different voluntary fund for that. So absolutely no, teachers in pa are not a monopoly.

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