Daily news roundups

Recaps and reaction from loss to Seattle, Steel wins, Academy results, league results, more

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

Shortly before the end of the first half of Philadelphia Union’s 2-1 road loss to Seattle Sounders, PSP’s Peter Andrews, who was at CenturyLink Field to cover the game, texted me and fellow PSP writers Adam Cann and Mike Servedio, “Alberg is gonna get sent off.”

Alberg had picked up a yellow card in the 32nd minute for “unsporting behavior,” which may be a fancy way to say persistent infringement as referee Drew Fischer pointed twice around the field before showing the midfielder the yellow card. In the 53rd minute, Peter’s prediction came true when Alberg was sent off.

And so, for the second road game in a row, the Union, who had been looking capable of equalizing after Chad Marshall’s opening goal in the 41st minute, were down a man with a lot of time left to play in the second half. This time, the Union did score a shorthanded goal on a lovely bit of play from Fabinho to Sapong that was sharply finished by Sebastien Le Toux in the 73rd minute, two minutes after Jordan Morris scored his first-ever MLS goal.

It was Le Toux’s 50th all-time Union goal.

Many eyebrows were raised before the game when Josh Yaro was announced as a starter. The rookie hadn’t figured in previous Union games and his last outing with Bethlehem Steel FC began with an own goal in the first minute of a game that ended in a 4-0 loss.

But in the end, it was more undisciplined play from a midfielder that became the deciding factor in the loss.

Granted, Fischer’s officiating might be charitably described as inconsistent (how is it that it took until the fifth minute of stoppage time for Osvaldo Alonso to be shown a red card?). But, as was the case with Warren Creavalle in the loss against Chicago, Alberg was already on a yellow when he was ejected. As Union head coach Jim Curtin said after the game, “We’ve talked with our guys about staying on their feet to try to avoid these things, but, again, gave the ref an opportunity to make a call…once you leave it in the referee’s hands, it can always go against you…when you leave it in their hands, when you leave your feet, there’s always a chance they could send you off.”

The Union have shown undeniable fight and improvement through the first six games of the season, and Saturday’s game was no different. But mistakes like Alberg’s, and Creavalle’s before him, don’t only hurt the team within a game, but for the next game, and instead of starting a three-game homestand at full strength the Union now will host NYCFC on Saturday without Alberg to start ahead of Tranquillo Barnetta should he not be ready to play for significant minutes.

Recaps and reports at PSP (recap, postgame quotes), Philadelphia Union (recap, Le Toux), Philly Voice, Philly Soccer News (recap, report), Brotherly Game (recap, analysis), Vavel (recap, analysis), Section 215, MLSsoccer.com (recap, Union, Seattle, Armchair Analyst), Seattle Sounders (recap, report, report, Morris), Seattle Times (report, analysis, Morris), The Olympian (recap, report, Morris), The Herald, MyNorthwest.com (recap, analysis), Examiner, Sounder at Heart (recap, postgame observationspostgame quotes, photos), Prost Amerika (recap, photo gallery, photo galleryEmerald City SwaggerGoal.com, SBI, MLSGB (photo gallery), and the AP.

Philadelphia International Unity Cup

The Philadelphia International Unity Cup, the soccer tournament that is the brainchild of Mayor Jim Kenney, was officially announced on Friday, with Philadelphia Union as the tournament’s first sponsor.

25 teams have signed up for the tournament thus far, with slots open for a total of 32 teams. Play is to begin in September, with the final scheduled for Nov. 5 at Citizens Bank Park. More on the tournament at Philly.gov, Philadelphia InquirerPhilly.com, Philadelphia Business JournalCBS Philly, NBC10Metro, and Philly Voice,

Bethlehem Steel FC

Eric Ayuk scored his second home goal as Bethlehem Steel won at home for the first time on Sunday, defeating Richmond Kickers, 2-1, before a crowd of 2,417. Derrick Jones scored the second goal for Bethlehem in the 46th minute, his first ever professional goal.

Head coach Brendan Burke said after the win, “I was very happy with the way we played. We talked at length at halftime about not dropping into a shell and absorbing as much pressure. Disappointed to give up a goal on a set piece but outside of that I thought we continued to play dangerous in their end and maintain possession for short spells on their end of the field.

The Brown and White notes Lehigh University’s Jamie Luchini made his debut for Bethlehem in the win, coming on as a sub in the 65th minute. Luchini said, “I know what I can bring to a team. I’m a guy that is going to contribute offensively and can work defensively as well. It was good to get that many minutes in today’s game, that’s something I can get off my back now.”

Bethlehem’s lineup was:

John McCarthy; Taylor Washington, Auston Trusty, Mickey Daly, Ryan Richter (capt.); Derrick Jones, Boluwatife Akinyode, Eric Ayuk, Gabe Gissie (Amoy Brown 86’), Cole Missimo (Jamie Luchini 65’); Seku Conneh (Josh Heard 90+1’)
Substitutes not used: Samir Badr, Mark McKenzie, Lamine Conte, Joseph DeZart II

Recaps at Bethlehem Steel, Allentown Morning CallWFMV, USLsoccer.com, and Richmond Kickers.

Allentown Morning Call talks to Salisbury High School grad Jason Yeisley, who went the full 90 with Richmond.

Philadelphia Union Academy

Save for one result, it was a weekend of big victories for the Union Academy teams over the weekend.

On Saturday, the U-13/14s hosted Met Oval to a 0-0 draw before defeating Bethesda-Olney 7-3 at YSC on Sunday. The Union was up 3-0 after 11 minutes of play and led 5-2 at the half. Jason Aoyama scored a brace (9′, 46′), as did Michael McKeown (7′, 11′), with individual tallies from Cole Turner (17′), Nicholas Blacklock (36′), and Obafemi Awodesu (69′).

The U-15/16s and U-17/18s were on the road to West Henrietta, NY to face Empire United on Saturday.

The U-17/18s opened the day with a 4-0 win, with goals from Frederick Gil (27′, 34′), Alexander Soto (43′), and Raheem Taylor-Parkes (77′).

The U-15/16s finished the day with a 5-0 win with a hat trick from Justin McMaster (10′, 60′, 67′), and individual tallies from Darius Lewis (36′) and Michael Pellegrino (78′).

On Saturday, the U-13/14s host Cedar Stars Academy, while the U-15/16s and U-17/18s are on the road to face Bethesda-Olney.

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders won their first game of the 2016 season on Saturday, defeating nine-men Orlando City B 1-0 on Saturday night. Recaps and reports at USLsoccer.com, Orlando City B, and The Mane Land.

Pulisic! Christian Pulisic has netted his first ever professional goal, opening the scoring in Dortmund’s 3-0 win over Hamburg on Sunday. He is the fourth youngest player to score a Bundesliga goal and the youngest non-German to do so.

More on Pulisic at MLssoccer.comFox Soccer, USA Today, ESPNSoccer America, Goal.com, Pro Soccer TalkASN, and The Sports Quotient.

At MLSsoccer.com, more on Trenton, NJ’s Matthew Olosunde, who has been impressing since signing with Manchester United.

Allentown, Pa.’s Danny Barbir (West Bromwich Albion) has been called up for the US U-20 squad that will take part in the 2016 Slovakia Cup, April 20-29. The team will face Georgia on April 25, Ukraine on April 26, and Slovakia on April 28.

The Temple women’s team won the inaugural Philly Soccer Six spring championship over the weekend.

MLS

In Eastern Conference play, first place Montreal (12 points, 4-2-0) came from behind on the road to defeat seventh place Chicago (6 points, 1-2-3), 2-1, with Didier Drogba equalizing with his first goal of the season before Ignacio Piatti’s stoppage time winner. Philadelphia (9 points, 3-3-0) remains in second place despite a 2-1 road loss to Seattle that finished with the Union down to ten men. Third place Orlando (9 points, 2-1-3) drew 2-2 with fifth place New England (8 points, 1-1-5) in a game littered with controversial calls and that ended with visiting Orlando scoring the go ahead goal in the 92nd minute before New England equalized from the penalty spot in the 96th minute. Fourth place Toronto (8 points, 2-2-2) defeated eighth place DC (6 points, 1-3-3) 1-0 on the road. Sixth place NYCFC (6 points, 1-2-3) lost 3-2 on the road to ninth place Columbus (5 points, 1-3-2), who picked up their first win of the season. Last place NYRB (3 points, 1-6-0) lost 2-1 on the road to Colorado.

In the Western Conference, first place Dallas (17 points, 5-1-2) defeated fourth place Kansas City (12 points, 4-3-0), 2-1. Second place Salt Lake (14 points, 4-0-2) remains the only undefeated team in the league with a 1-0 win over ninth place Vancouver (7 points, 2-4-1). Third place Colorado (13 points, 4-2-1) defeated NYRB, 2-1, with Jermaine Jones making his Rapids debut in the snowy game with a goal and an assist. Fifth place LAG (11 points, 3-1-2) thumped last place Houston (5 points, 1-3-2) 4-1 on the road. Sixth place San Jose (11 points, 3-2-2) lost 3-1 on the road to seventh place Portland (8 points, 2-3-2), with former Union man Jack McInerney scoring his third goal of the season for the Timbers. Eighth place Seattle (7 points, 2-3-1) defeated 10-man Philadelphia, 2-1.

Nigel De Jong was suspended for three games for his tackle on Darlington Nagbe, who returned to training with Portland on Friday. A headline at the Los Angeles Times reads, “Nigel de Jong is simply playing trademark aggressive style that made him attractive to Galaxy.”

The Guardian looks at why the numbers for traveling support in MLS are far fewer than what is seen in Europe.

The Star Tribune on Minnesota United signing a 52-year lease with the St. Paul Metropolitan Council for the land where it plans to build a new stadium and what that could mean.

More on MLS expansion to 28 teams at Soccer America and International Business Times.

In the USL, 20,497 fans showed up for the first River Cities Cup match between Cincinnati FC and Louisville City FC, Cincinnati’s second home game. The home team lost, 2-1.

NWSL

The 2016 NWSL season opened over the weekend. On Saturday, defending champions FC Kansas City fell 1-0 to the visiting Western New York Flash. Washington Spirit defeated Boston Breakers 1-0 with former Philadelphia Independence midfielder scoring the lone goal with a bicycle kick in the third minute. Houston Dash defeated Chicago Red Stars, 3-1. On Sunday, Sky Blue defeated Seattle Reign 2-1 on the road, handing Seattle its first-ever loss at Memorial Stadium, where they had been undefeated over two seasons. Orlando Pride fell 2-1 on the road to Portland Thorns in their first ever league game.

Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium will host the 2016 NWSL championship final on Sunday, October 9. The game will be broadcast on FS1.

At the Guardian, Beau Dure on 15 years of women’s professional soccer at the Maryland SoccerPlex.

US

US youth international Haji Wright has signed with Schalke.

From Soccer America:

The NCAA has approved limited use of video reviews, beginning with the 2016 men’s and women’s seasons. Reviews will be available if both coaches agree to them before the game and cover only three situations:

— Determine whether a goal has been scored.
— Identify players for disciplinary matters.
— Determine whether a fight occurred and identify all participants.

The reviews will be at the discretion of the referee and must display indisputable video evidence for the original call be overturned.

The home team will be responsible for providing the review equipment, and it must be available at the scorekeeper’s table or at another location at field level.

Pro Soccer Talk talks to executives from the soon to be launched Professional Futsal League. The league will play an exhibition season in 2017 before officially launching in 2018.

Elsewhere

Dow Jones Business News reports, “A sprawling U.S. corruption investigation into international soccer increasingly is focusing on the role multinational sponsors, broadcasters and banks may have played in facilitating alleged soccer corruption, according to people familiar with the investigation.” Nike Inc., AT&T’s DirecTV, 21st Century Fox, KPMG, Citibank, HSBC Holdings PLC, Standard Chartered PLC, Credit Suisse, UBS Group, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Julius Baer Group are among the companies conducting internal probes as a result of the investigation.

Reuters reports, “Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter acknowledged on Friday that he failed to reform the scandal-ridden world soccer organization but asserted he was not responsible for corruption in its regional organizations.” More at Goal.com.

Vice Sports has an excerpt from the soon to be published book AMERICAN HUCKSTER: How Chuck Blazer Got Rich From-and Sold Out-the Most Powerful Cabal in World Sports. The excerpt is titled, “The soap opera actress who captured Chuck Blazer’s heart.”

36 Comments

  1. Andy Muenz says:

    2nd in the East would be 7th in the West.

  2. Zizouisgod says:

    Peter Andrews = the Union’s Nostradamus.

    Perhaps Curtin can add him to the staff and he can sit on the bench or communicate to Curtin thru a walkie-talkie (I’m old, do they still call them that?)

    • Alberg’s impending doom was foretold by a lot of observers. Fischer’s body language made it clear Alberg got on his bad side early. That was the sternest warning I’ve seen after two pretty run-of-the-mill fouls.

  3. He’s not the American Messi. SO STOP.
    .
    He’s not America’s Next Great Hope as some dolt writer who gets paid to write wrote.. or his numbskull editor with the ridiculous by line…whatever you like…. SO STOP.
    .
    He’s the first ever, Christian Pulisic… and he is on a path to become a world class field player which this country can at least attest to having a small piece of producing.
    .
    Already more angular in his movement, deceptive and understanding intellectually of the game than MLS players ten years his senior and 97% of USNT players across all age groups. If you think to argue me…clearly, you have not watched him play.
    .
    Every aspect of the goal he scored came from his imagination… short corner. over lap run of Kagawa. Meander through the OB. quick acceleration into space- third leg of triangle future play- lovely quick footwork- near post deceptive strike. All his. Every academy player should be watching his every move on the field. He is the model. Period. The end.

    • Jim Presti says:

      The media just needs to let him play a few seasons. Look what happened with Tommy Thompson etc

      • the “media” just needs to report. a lost art.

      • Jim Presti says:

        Not sure about “lost art.” Yellow journalism has been around since the Gilded Age. Just a retrospective view with rose-colored glasses

      • I agree but the proportion seems to have shifted related to the growth of social media and blogs and outlets for anybody to spout off, media and pseudo media… like for instance me.

      • I agree with El Pach, I hope the media leaves the kid the hell alone..let him develop….he’s already on a different level than most MNT ballers…….at 17! He’s not an American Messi….he’s just the first American kid who can play on a top ten club in the world!

  4. Lucky Striker says:

    Everybody knew Alberg was a goner except the Mgr.

  5. “The Guardian looks at why the numbers for traveling support in MLS are far fewer than what is seen in Europe.”
    .
    .
    Is this something we should be concerned about? I mean really.
    .
    Let us first concern ourselves with the narrative MLS is pushing about game attendance… did you know the paid attendance at yesterday’s FC Dallas game, arguably the best team in MLS, was over 16,000, I believe…yet to look at the stands, save the supporters section you would be hard pressed to count 2,000 asses. A sea of empty seats… interesting yet to see how many open seats at Talen Energy field the first two opportunities this season.
    .
    Spin. Propaganda. Building the narrative. Lemming hordes taking the darting mayfly.
    .

    • Jim Presti says:

      I can remember multiple matches the past few seasons where the announced attendance at PPL was somewhere around 16K. A clear look around and you’d see maybe 5-9K. But I guess the argument is they’ve already been paid for the seats

      • pragmatist says:

        This is how it’s reported in all sports. It’s always reported as “Paid Attendance,” not “Butts in Seats.”

      • el Pachyderm says:

        I understand this as well…but don’t trumpet your paid attendance and attendance/interest is growing with the league when there are 2,000 people at an MLS game… .
        .
        Many many games I’ve seen with huge swaths of empty seats…
        .
        yes it is one game but the reality is, save a few cities, there are many many empty seats every week. Casual fans won’t sit through an impending hail storm…. blizzard like conditions. Hell we re seeing it even with our Union IMO.
        .
        Your point is well founded but once again MLS is driving a narrative that is suspect at best.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Colorado, Houston, Chicago, Montreal during playoffs, Toronto. Dallas. Seas of empty seats.

      • pragmatist says:

        I’m simply pointing that it’s not MLS – it’s the American Professional Sports Model. When it’s raining at a Phillies game, they will announce 35,000 Paid, but we all know that only about 15,000 decided to show up to watch a rebuilding team play in the rain.
        .
        Numbers are Marketing. Nothing else.

      • You and I are funny… the yin and the yang.

      • pragmatist says:

        I’m the Siskel to your Ebert.

    • I’d wager a guess that between 60 and 75 percent of any crowd at Talen Energy Stadium (nee PPL Park) are most charitably described as casual fans. Every game I’ve attended, I’ve heard many questions from nearby observers who weren’t sure who clearly didn’t know the players on the team and didn’t know the basics of game’s rules or regulation.
      .
      I have no problem with casual fans and would welcome them. However, each game I’ve attended has featured a line for Chickie and Pete’s crab fries that could clearly fill an entire section of seats. These aren’t fans glued to the performance. I’ve also noticed a lo of people arrive late (not helped by TES’s location).
      .
      But yeah, at this point who cares about travelling supporters? And especially about comparing them to European travelling group?

      • The casual MLS fan… stunning to me this is the plan. But it is. And it is intentional… then The Guardian writes an article about why the average MLS city doesn’t travel when compared to europe.
        .
        It is almost comical if it wasn’t so damn tragic.

      • Well, if it’s one of those stupid weeknight games with a 7pm start time, you can count me among those who arrive late. It’s all but impossible for me to get there by a 7pm kickoff without using vacation time. For example, we arrived just after Sapong scored against Orlando. And we were lucky, because as we were hustling into the stadium we could hear the train’s whistle blowing – meaning a lot of people coming in behind us were going to get stuck waiting even longer.
        .
        I really wish they’d go with a 7:30 start – though I do understand (to an extent at least) why they don’t.

    • to be fair, part of the reason why there were so few people at that dallas game was the wide belief that it was going to be postponed due to hail and lightning.

    • Section 114 (Formerly) says:

      Let’s see. On Saturday, the announcers on Sunderland-Norwich went on and on about the dedication of the Sunderland fans who drove five hours to get to the game 254 miles away by road. The folks who made the trip deserved special mention.
      .
      And that night I watched the Union play in Seattle, only about 2700 miles away as the crow flies.
      .
      We are talking about a false equivalency here. And these folks should know better.
      .
      P.S. I like the “my name is soccer” campaign.

      • 100%.
        .
        car ride for 250 bucks and back in same day.
        .
        pretty hard to argue otherwise.
        .
        let’s just fill the stadiums with a home crowds first.

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

    I wasn’t aware of Yaro’s own goal for BSFC. Hey it can happen but it does concern me because he nearly put one past Blake in this match as well.

  7. So Yahoo linked me this article about Seattle’s supporters group doing a silent protest on their march on behalf of DC Smoke Guy. Anyone know if there was coordination at all with the traveling SoB’s, or if it was even noticeable at the game?
    .
    http://www.sounderatheart.com/2016/4/17/11447286/emerald-city-supporters-stages-silent-march-to-protest-mls-supporter

    • Section 114 (Formerly) says:

      Of course RFK really could burn down if there was a small spark. Think about all of the giant rats, raccoons, mega-mice, and other rodents of unusual size that would perish. On behalf of all biologists everywhere, maybe United has a point.

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