Daily news roundups

Union look to tame Lions, USWNT-Colombia on Sunday, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

The Union look to return to winning ways tonight when they host Orlando City, who thumped MLS Cup champions Portland 4-1 last weekend (7 pm, UniMás, Univision.com). If they do win, the Union will be in first place in the East, at least for one day.

Orlando Sentinel reports that, in addition to the suspended Brek Shea, Orlando will be without starters Cyle Larin and Tommy Redding.

Orlando head coach Adrian Heath says, “One of things we tried to address in the summer is that if we did have injuries and suspensions, like we’ve got, we don’t really affect the team. The depth of the squad has improved significantly, but more importantly, the people coming in are more experienced and ready for it. We proved on Sunday we can come and play against anybody in the league, can we do it again?”

Heath says the team has been training with Kaka as a false 9: “We know [Kaká’s] timing of coming in and joining in with the midfielders will be very good. What we have to make sure is that when he drops deep, that the two wide guys are staying nice and high, and making penetrative runs in behind. That’s some of the stuff we’ve been working on.”

MLSsoccer.com reports Julio Baptista “expects” to make his MLS debut for Orlando tonight against the Union. Heath says of the forward, “We have a few options in mind, and we’ll see what we can do with Julio after another full day’s training.”

The Mane Land says Luke Boden will cover just fine for Brek Shea.

Orlando’s Kevin Molino says, “We’re confident going into the game. Not over-confidence, but hungry, and [we] have that desire to go again, win again. You never know later down in the season what will happen, you could have slip ups, you could have injuries, so it’s very important we get a win [Friday] and focus for the next game.”

Previews at PSP, Philadelphia Union (print, video, game notes, matchday info), InquirerDelco TimesPhilly Soccer News, Brotherly Game (preview, three questions), Vavel,  MLSsoccer.com, Orlando City (preview, traveling supporters guide), Orlando Sentinel, Florida Today, The Mane Land (roundtable, three questions, podcast), Pro Soccer Talk, FourFourTwoThe Guardian, and the AP.

Friday night is Dollar Dog Night. Unfortunately, according to this post on the Union website, “Dollar Dogs will only be sold at the Hot Dog Nation stand by section 104 and 125.” And that, dear reader, is pretty lame.

Earnie Stewart was on Soccer Morning on Thursday. This was his appraisal of how complete his vision of how the team will look on the field is at this point:

Let me put it this way. The first couple of months was about roles and responsibilities of every single player that we have on the field. I believe that within a team and the positions that we play, you have all those roles and responsibilities and when they’re very clear to everyone that is in that locker room, it makes working together a lot easier. And I’d have to say that part we’ve gotten done. That’s taken all of preseason, making sure everybody understands their role and what they need to do on a daily basis.

And then, obviously, what I came here for is a piece of development of players. Like I said, we wanted to build a foundation. Right now we’ve gotten a lot of young players, we still have some players with experience from last year. For me, that is part of the process in making sure with the technical staff that we help these kids and individuals get better on a daily basis. We’re not there totally, and soccer is very fluid, so next year there’s going to be some changes, and some are always positive, and others are negative when people get bought away or anything like that.

From that standpoint, we still have a ways to go. But, from where we are now, in the season, and the way we are playing — because that’s the most important part of it — right now I’d say we’re a little bit further than I expected in the beginning.

Click here for an audio clip of his appearance.

At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin on Ilsinho’s silky skills.

Brotherly Game looks at the good, the bad, and the ugly from last weekend’s loss to Chicago.

Philly Sports Network wonders if the Union are the dark horses of the Eastern Conference.

CSN Philly on Jim Curtin’s reaction to Villanova, his college alma mater, winning the NCAA basketball championship.

Bethlehem Steel FC

Bethlehem Steel will look to bounce back from last Sunday’s home opener loss on Sunday when the team is on the road to face New York Red Bulls II (7:30 pm, YouTube).

Unauthorized Bethlehem Steel FC Blog looks at the team’s depth at defensive midfield.

You can view the latest episode of Steel Soccer 360 by clicking here.


UPDATE: After the roundup went live, Harrisburg City Islanders announced Saturday’s game has been postponed “in anticipation of extreme weather conditions expected to sweep through Western Pennsylvania this weekend.” The game has been rescheduled for July 17.

The first game of this year’s Keystone Derby kicks off on Saturday with Harrisburg City Islanders in Pittsburgh to face the Riverhounds (7 pm, YouTube). Previews at Harrisburg City Islanders, USLsoccer.comPittsburgh Riverhounds, and CBS Pittsburgh.

You can download the USL’s official media guide for the 2016 season by clicking here.


PRO chief Peter Walton says of the apparent uptick in the number of red cards being issued, “Nothing has changed in law. Nothing has changed in the way that PRO wants the game to be played or officiated. What has changed is that our referees are much more consistent in the law that we want them to apply.” He explains,

What we see now is the referees are applying the law as it was written, and looking at the challenges, and that’s one of the reasons why red cards are increasing because our referees are detecting and punishing those type of challenges…I think over a period of time, players and coaches will modify their behavior so they are in sync with the laws of the game … and what we’ll see I think is a leveling off of discipline in matches, and in fact a change in the way and the style that we see MLS being played in.

The Canadian Press has more from Walton.

ESPN has a roundtable discussing on the red card topic.

At Howler, Jake Walerius on MLS’ need to confront its internal contradictions.

According to Dynamo Theory, former Union man Andrew Wenger is “materializing into one of the best wingers in MLS.”

In the recent ESPN poll of MLS players, Mix Diskerud was named as the most overrated player in the league. Asked what he thought of the overrated tag, Diskerud first joked, “If I’m going to answer that, I’d like to answer it anonymously as well.” He then said, “Yeah, I am overrated, but the top 10 percent of the guys on the income list in MLS you can say are [overrated] if you compare it to the average player.” Touche. More at MLSsoccer.com.

From the Denver Post: “Prosecutors in Seattle will not file charges against Miss Washington USA Stormy Keffeler in the December stabbing of Colorado Rapids player Marco Pappa.” Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecutor’s Office, said, “No criminal charges are being filed. The case has been declined as legally insufficient.”

A few summer friendlies with international clubs have been announced. MLSsoccer.com has a list.

Former Union man Freddy Adu, Stouffer’s frozen dinners pitchman.


The USWNT plays Colombia at Talen Energy Stadium on Sunday in a sold out game (2 pm, ESPN, Watch ESPN). If Wednesday night’s 7-0 shellacking of Colombia was any indication, it should be a fun time.

Soccer America has a profile piece on Mallory Pugh.

Forbes says, regarding the USWNT’s wage discrimination action, because “the U.S. women’s soccer team is unionized…there is a need to reconcile how, if at all, the National Labor Relations Act, coincides with the Equal Pay Act.”

The USMNT moves up one spot to No. 29 in the latest FIFA rankings. Costa Rica moves up eight spots to No. 25, Mexico moves up six spots to No. 16.

Anheuser-Busch InBev and Delta Air Lines have joined Nike, Coca-Cola, Sprint, and State Farm Insurance as sponsors of June’s Copa America Centenario tournament.


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

USA Today reports, “Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been banned from soccer for eight years for his unethical practices during a 40-year tenure with FIFA. He’s also joining a University of Basel panel to discuss how FIFA can be reformed.” The description of Blatter in a press release on the panel reads, “From 1981 to 1998 Joseph S. Blatter was FIFA’s secretary general and acted as its president from 1998 until his resignation. Blatter initiated reforms to fight corruption within the FIFA, while at the same time he was repeatedly confronted with allegations of corruption and misconduct.” You can watch a livestream of the panel, which will convene on April 16.

From The Guardian: “Israel’s most controversial football team, Beitar Jerusalem, has banned reporters working for the left-leaning newspaper Haaretz from its press box in an increasingly bitter row over reporting of the club’s alleged anti-Arab racism.”


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

    Wouldn’t U-Haul be a better company for Freddy Adu to shill for?

    • pragmatist says:

      Give it time…
      Honestly, I feel bad for the guy. He never had a childhood, and was appointed “the greatest” before he had accomplished anything.
      Soccer’s version of Todd Marinovich.

    • Well vacuum cleaners and TV dinners really cater to the “I just graduated from college and got my first apartment” crowd I guess..

  2. Very weak from PRO regarding the Red cards. If the league mandated this, I’d like them to take responsibility and explain. One thing I know for sure is that not a single person watching the games wants the refs to decide it. If there was one thing to change in the off season, last on the list would be giving the refs more responsibility with judgement calls that decide games.
    Was Wenger cursed, did he just not die here, did we ruin him?
    I’m assuming the lineup tonight will be exactly the same as the previous, with Nogueira slotting in Crevalles slot. I’m of two minds. Ilsinho has played way too well to sit. The question becomes then does starting Barnetta make sense over either Pontius, Alberg or Carroll. Personally I sit Carroll and see how we make out, at home, without Larin in the game, but that won’t happen.
    Really? Dollar dog at two stands only? Why, just why?

    • Andy Muenz says:

      I noticed you included the caveat “watching the games” in your remark about refs deciding the games. Otherwise I would have had to give Mark Geiger as the exception 🙂

    • Zizouisgod says:

      We always knew that Wenger had talent if he could get his head right. It’s not surprising that Owen Coyle was able to get him playing his best as Coyle seems like a great guy to play for.

    • So, with Kaka likely playing as a false nine, you leave him to a couple of CBs with a grand total of 1.2 years of MLS experience and no true CDM?? Nuh-uh. Carroll has his limitations, but we need him for this game. Then we can (hopefully) play with Nogueira/Creavalle for a while.

      • Great One says:

        I totally get your point, but a lot of teams are going to have good creative players. Cocis hurt us last game with Carroll AND Crevalle, and he isn’t close to Kaka. Personally I trust Nogueira and Alberg to be able to track and cover Kaka more than I trust Carroll. Carroll will definitely have more of a first thought to stay back than the other two, but you could argue that may actually be worse, because it too often creates a hole in front of him, one that he athletically cannot cover anymore.

      • Absolutely. We have three veteran of Europe CMs who (we think atleast) are capable of keeping the ball, playing in tight spaces, and being intelligent.

        I want toget to the point where we are good enough to play those three, and not have to play a pure CDM to “protect” ourselves.

  3. Dollar Dog night at the park….as american as….baseball.
    better night lite up a smoke—– bomb though.

  4. pragmatist says:

    This is a man-maker game for our young CB’s. Whatcha got, boys?
    We need to get on the scoresheet first. Put the pressure on them, and let Marquez/Tribbett prove that they belong. I have faith.

    • Lucky Striker says:

      They did……but nothing ever comes easy for this bunch. Barney got it right the second time around.

      Shades of Kleberson ! 2-1 Philly.

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