Daily news roundups

Carroll set to make 350th MLS appearance, second walls, more Union bits, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Jim Curtin’s weekly press conference is scheduled to take place today at 12:30 pm.

The Union defeated University of Maryland 5-0 in a scrimmage on Tuesday morning. At Brotherly Game, Matt Ralph reports, “A  penalty, two soft goals off poor back passes and a couple moments of brilliance from Friday night’s hero Tranquillo Barnetta, and a deft volley by Fabian Herbers that caromed off the crossbar very similarly to Barnetta’s free kick were the difference.” With Maryland was former Union Academy player Sebastian Elney, who led the Terps in goalscoring last year. Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski said of the game, “It’s a chance for Sebastian to play against his future team here.”


The latest injury report at the league website:

OUT: M Maurice Edu (left tibia stress reaction 3/10, out 3-4 months)
M Ilsinho (hamstring injury)

The officials for Saturday’s game in Seattle have been announced. Carrying the whistle is Drew Fischer. Running the sidelines are Mike Rottersman and Claudiu Badea. Alejandro Mariscal is the fourth official.

More power rankings! At MLSsoccer.com, the Union move up seven spots to No. 5: “Is this your new normal, Union fans? Dare you indulge your hopes instead of your fears? The Power Rankings Politburo’s opinion is that yes, you should dare. Philly’s got the pieces to compete throughout the entire season.” At SBI, the Union move up three spots to No. 6: “Barnetta’s mesmerizing free kick was a worthy winner against a previously unbeaten Orlando City side. Still, it would be remiss not mention the heroics of Andre Blake once again. The Jamaican goalkeeper has arguably been the league’s best through six weeks, and the Union will be looking to ride his hot hand to success throughout 2016.”

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead talks to Union assistant coach BJ Callaghan, who confirms Union Tally’s suspicion that Danish club Midtjylland (former home of former Union man Danny Califf) was the inspiration for the second wall behind Orlando’s wall that was employed in Tranquillo Barnetta’s game-winning free kick against Orlando. Callaghan says,

I think the premise of it is to try and, one, distract (the goalkeeper), and two, to see if he’ll take up a different position to try and find the ball. So if you can extend the wall, will he go a bit more one way, or a bit more the other way? Will that open up a side for the shooter to go? That’s why I think you saw us put two players over the ball, and then Tranquillo makes the decision on where he wants to go with it.

Of course, Jim Curtin said in his postgame press conference that he had confirmed with the linesman after Barnetta’s earlier failed free kick that the second wall “was not offside and there wouldn’t have been an issue, and it was good”), Callaghan said, “Well, I think it’s a gray area of, are they actually distracting the goalkeeper? They’re far enough away from him. The first time we ran it, (our players) got back onside before the shot. For us, I think there’s a gray area of whether you’re interfering with the play, or whether you’re just standing there as if you were on the wall.” Perhaps PRO will issue a statement on second walls but, for now, all the matters is that Barnetta’s goal stands.

UPDATE: A post at the PRO website that was published after this roundup says Barnetta’s goal was “incorrectly allowed.” PRO Training & Development Manager Paul Rejer writes,

We have to consider why are the players deliberately standing in offside positions. It is obviously a tactic to obstruct the goalkeeper’s line of vision. If those players manage to get into an onside position by the time the ball is played they are okay. But, in this play, the four players were still clearly offside at the moment the ball was played.

So, as the intention of the tactic and the players who are carrying this out is to obstruct the goalkeeper’s line of vision, then why disappoint them? They are offside and should be penalized accordingly!

At CBS Philly, Kevin Kinkead breaks down some of the plays in the Union’s win over Orlando:

CJ Sapong came in at No. 20 in the latest Audi Player Index Top 20 list for Week 6. If anyone has discovered a way to see the full index, please let me know.

The first brackets for Save of the Week were posted late Tuesday morning and Andre Blake’s stoppage time save against Orlando was paired up against a save from San Jose’s David Bingham. The voting is already closed and somehow Blake’s save managed to get only 26.8 percent of the vote.

One Brotherly Game contributor says he’s all aboard the Union hype train, even if it is only five games into the season.

Double G Sports believes the Union “is on a path to winning the Cup…thanks to the team’s togetherness and fast thinking players.” More on the hype at Section 215.

Maurice Edu models some Union “fan wear.”

MSGNetworks reports, according to a source, New York Red Bulls will pass on signing former Union man Amobi Okugo and that his trial with the club is now over. You will recall Okugo played the full 90 in NYRB II’s 4-0 shellacking of Bethlehem Steel on Sunday.


International Business Times reports, “Manchester United academy chief Nicky Butt has labelled Matthew Olosunde an ‘exciting prospect’ following his arrival to the club in March.” Olosunde, you will recall, is from Trenton and was with the New York Red Bulls academy before signing with Manchester United.

Dublin’s Newstalk has an article on the original NASL’s Philadelphia Fury that includes extensive quotes from John Giles. The article includes a link to a podcast interview with Giles.


Three midweek games tonight. At 8:30 pm, Kansas City hosts Colorado. At 10:30 pm, San Jose hosts NYRB, and Portland hosts Dallas. All of the games are available on MLS Live and Direct Kick.

At SI, Grant Wahl has an update on the injury Darlington Nagbe received as a result of Nigel De Jong’s dangerous tackle: “X-rays revealed that Nagbe did not break any bones, and an MRI revealed a medial ankle sprain and contusion. There is no timetable yet on his return to play.” Timbers head coach Caleb Porter later confirmed Wahl’s report and said the midfielder will be unavailable for tonight’s game against Dallas.

Wahl’s report also says, “Portland general manager and president of soccer Gavin Wilkinson says he thinks De Jong’s ban should be ‘five games minimum’ considering De Jong’s previous history of breaking the legs of two players—the U.S.’s Stuart Holden and Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa—in the past.” If De Jong does receive a five-game ban, he would miss the Galaxy game against the Union at Talen Energy Stadium on May 11.

Fabian Espindola has been voted MLS Player of the Week.

The New York Red Bulls make a list at the Daily Mail of the ugliest crests in world football. Haha.

The The Independent Supporters Council has issued a statement decrying the season-long ban given out by DC United and MLS to District Ultras member Matt Parsons for lighting a smoke bomb outside of RFK, one which will see him banned from all MLS venues for 2016: “The Independent Supporters Council of North America believes this to be another prime example of the hypocritical, unfair and arbitrary nature of MLS, and its member teams, when it comes to dealing with supporters groups.”

CBS Sacramento reports, “Sacramento officials are planning a block party to welcome the commissioner of Major League Soccer when he visits on Thursday.” More at Sacramento Republic.

At MLSsoccer.com, Jonah Freedman on San Antonio’s MLS aspirations.


The NWSL begins its fourth season this weekend, a milestone both the WUSA and WPS failed to achieve. At ASN, John Halloran looks at efforts in the NWSL to achieve gender equality in the coaching ranks and the league’s front offices. Chicago Red Stars’ general manager Alyse LaHue is quoted:

It’s just not a part of the conversation yet. Part of that is because there are no females in the room to bring it up. When you look at our league office, our commissioner is male, our communications director is male. All of the U.S. Soccer heads of department are male, our entire [NWSL] Board of Governors meetings are male. Think about this: Every time there is a major league meeting, there may be no females in the room, except maybe one woman taking notes.

That, to me, is insane.

LaHue says concerns about financial stability have trumped gender equality so far, although she believes “things are going in the right direction.”


From Wall Street Journal:

Hillary Clinton lined up with one of the country’s top soccer players on Tuesday to remind voters of her efforts to boost women’s pay amid a simmering national debate over earnings disparities…The mostly female audience erupted in applause when Mrs. Clinton praised Megan Rapinoe, a member of the U.S. women’s soccer team who sat alongside her at the event…Mrs. Clinton noted that the women’s team had won World Cup championships and Olympic gold medals. “We noticed that our men’s team hasn’t yet done that,” she said. “Yet somehow the men are making hundreds of thousands of dollars more than our women.”

More at New York Daily News.

A bipartisan group of 110 members of the House of Representatives has written the head of the Equal Employment Opportunity in support of the USWNT’s wage discrimination action. Soccerwire on the celebrity support for the USWNT’s cause.

President Barack Obama mentioned professional soccer in a speech marking Equal Pay Day on Tuesday.

At Cosmopolitan, Alex Morgan on why she’s fighting for equal pay for the USWNT. More on the equal pay dispute at ESPNW.

At Goal.com, Thomas Floyd talks to Becky Sauerbrunn about her embracing a leadership role on the USWNT, on and off the field.

Soccer America reports, “Sunday’s USA-Colombia women’s friendly averaged 622,000 viewers on ESPN, easily the largest audience for a women’s match on live television in 2016.”

Washington Post wonders if Mexico could “steal” the hosting rights for the 2026 World Cup from the US following a report from Mexican news outlet Record that says Mexico will present its bid to host the tournament to FIFA in May when the full FIFA congress meets in Mexico City. More at MLSsoccer.com and Fox Soccer.

Univision has announced its broadcast schedule for the Copa America Centenario.

The Oregonian reports, having plead guilty, “Retired U.S. soccer star Abby Wambach agreed Tuesday to enroll in a diversion program that could see her drunken driving charge dismissed in a year if she successfully meets the conditions.”


The AP reports, “FIFA has announced that Gordon Derrick, the general secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association, failed an integrity check and won’t be allowed to run for president of CONCACAF, the sport’s regional governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean.”

Bloomberg reports, “Derrick can appeal the decision with the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport. According to a letter seen by Bloomberg News, Derrick failed the integrity check because he was found guilty by the global body’s ethics committee of violations related to an attempt by a former FIFA presidential candidate to buy votes in 2011. He’s also facing an ongoing investigation by the same panel into the alleged misuse of FIFA development funds that started in March 2015.”

If Derrick loses his appeal, the two remaining candidates for the CONCACAF presidency are Canada’s Victor Montagliani and Bermuda’s Larry Mussenden.

Holy moley, Cristiano.


  1. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Interesting to note that when going to bed on the east coast both Barnetta and Blake were leading in Goal of the week and Save of the week; Barnetta narrowly, Blake less so. Both were matched against San Jose competition. Those are the facts.
    I am reminded of Robert W. Caro’s description of Lyndon Baines Johnson’s first election to the US Senate from Texas. Several counties along the Rio Grande that were controlled by a boss friendly to Johnson reported their results very, very, VERY late. LBJ won by 87 votes.
    Something about “rotten” and “Denmark” comes to mind.

    • pragmatist says:

      More like traditional Chicago politics: Vote Early, and Vote Often.

      • Yep, seems like San Jose stuffed the ballot box. As best as I could tell, it was acceptable to vote more than once. I don’t know what sort of security MLS has in place on their website, but it’s generally trivial to write a script to submit thousands of votes in a very short period of time. (It’s also fairly easy for a website to prevent at least the worst offenses.)
        I’m not saying San Jose – or even one of their fans – did anything questionable. To be clear. Just noting the possibility.

      • And let’s not forget that San Jose is the tech capital of the US.

    • There’s definitely ballot stuffing that goes on for GOTW and SOTW for sure. But I was reading one of their articles recently and in the comment section there was a discussion about some kind of “rebellion” towards the new bracket format for the weekly awards. It’s why they apparently disabled comments on the G and SOTW articles- full of complaints. Sounds like the informal agreement was to intentionally vote against the actual best goals and saves so that the worst ones won so the powers-that-be would go back to the old format. Blake may have been victimized by that, too. Have to agree the bracket format seems pretty dumb, guess they needed to pump up the click numbers.

  2. I’m curious the benefit of scrimmaging a college team. Kinda like me, a college golfer back in the day playing a peer and local Jim Furyk heads up. What does the professional gain from playing the collegiate player who was a pretty good golfer but nothing against the guy who could sleep walk his way past me with a hickory mashie, a putter and niblick.
    Isn’t there another ‘professional’ and I use the italics liberally, team we could be scrimmaging.
    What do I know.

    • Scouting a team from arguably the best college program of the past ten years. Seems like a good enough reason to me

      • Fair… found a reason to use the words niblick and mashie today though.
        and then by reasoning…in another few years when we should no longer be drafting college players we will no longer be ‘playing’ against college teams… or maybe it will be BSFC playing against the college teams and we will be scrimmaging say the NY Cosmos or HCI… which makes a bit more sense, at least to me.

      • I wouldn’t hold your breath on the day we stop drafting college players. Like it or not college is usually a part of an American players career. Blake played in college, as did Rosenberry, Herbers, Marquez, Tribbett, etc etc

    • Well they practice against Steel every day. I guess it’s probably nice to just go up against some different faces and different styles even if they aren’t great. How much they gained from it, who knows.

    • I don’t think it’s so much for the competition level as much as it is to see some players against someone different. Players like Barnetta and Nogueira can continue to work back to full fitness while Herbers and Rosenberry can just get out there and work on certain aspects without much pressure. It’s why there’s huge upsets in college sports- the favorite “better” team takes the lesser team lightly and “works on things.” In this case however do that’s ok.

    • pragmatist says:

      Would that “professional” team really be that much better than UM?
      If you have access and you want to work some things out, you bring in a sparring partner. Not every scrimmage needs to be against Barcelona.

  3. Abby, may I recommend Jerry Annand, Beaverton, OR for your diversion program. Worked a mint for me… he’s a pit bull. Totally convinced I was/am an acute alcoholic. I told him he was full of shit then wandered over to The Turtle after our weekly meetings. Piss test my ass.
    Soon enough though, “I awoke, and faintly bouncing round the room, the echo of whoever spoke.”

  4. Lucky Striker says:

    should be an interesting line-up Saturday night…….

    Barney’s curler may not have been legal-but we can still celebrate like it was anyway ! #notakebacks

    “Let ’em play ” Marrufo strikes again, and this time it helps.

    • Only illegal because the players in the second wall did not get onside as the ball was kicked according to PRO.
      Would not be surprised to see it used again if the timing could be worked out a little cleaner.

    • In Curtin’s defense, they specifically asked about it when they did it the first time. So it should have been allowed, during that game at least, having cleared it with the officials for that match.

      Also, nobody was going to save that shot. Disallowing it would’ve been a tragedy.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        In today’s press conference, Curtin agreed it should have been disallowed since the players did not get onside in time. Had the first one gone in, it would have been 100% legal (since the players were all back onside when the ball was kicked).

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

    Weird that Blake lost Save of the week. When I voted yesterday he had a huge lead.

  6. How corrupt must a guy be to fail a fifa integrity check? Thats like a Kardashian saying “you have too much media exposure”

  7. Barretta and Blake both leading late… both lose. Wow. It means nothing yeah, but this new format is a joke.

    • I think people are actually protesting by voting intentionally for the inferior play. Somehow that ridiculous quincy amerikwa 50 yard chip didn’t even make the final in week 2. Some pedestrian cyle larin goal won it instead.

  8. der Fussballzuschauer says:

    It was a valid goal because the match referee said it was a valid goal. According to the Laws of the Game, that is good enough. I’m satisfied with Philadelphia Union’s victory.


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