Daily news roundups

1st in the East, BSFC draws, Academy teams undefeated in weekend play, Pulisic, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

First place in the East.

It’s been far too long since we could say that about the Union. There’s been a lot of promise in that time, but far more disappointment so savor those five words, enjoy the moment — the team, the fans, everyone deserves it.

Jim Curtin said after Saturday’s 2-0 win over NYCFC, “I’m not happy with our overall game on the day, but, at the same time, good teams find ways to win when it is not their best night.”

Not too long ago, many fans wouldn’t have been surprised if the Union had gone on to draw or lose after taking a 2-0 first-half lead, but things feel different now. And Curtin is right, good teams do find a way to win even when they might not be at their best.

It is — as Curtin has emphasized throughout the team’s young season — early days, and there is a lot of soccer to be played.

But just like being able to say “first in the East” for the first time in way too long, Union fans can also say their team is a good team.

And that feels pretty darn nice.

Recaps and reports at PSP (recap, postgame), Philadelphia Union (recap, report), Philly.com, Delco TimesNJ.com, CSN Philly, Philly Voice, Philly Soccer News (recap, report), Brotherly Game (recap, analysis, video), Prost AmerikaVavel, Section 215Pattison Ave., MLSsoccer.com (recap, Union, NYCFC), NYCFC, New York Daily News,  North Jersey.com, SBI (recap, report), Big Apple Soccer, Empire of Soccer, Hudson River Blue, Skyscraper Blues, Metro Soccer Nation, Elite Sports New York, ESPN, Goal.com, Pro Soccer TalkGhanaSoccerNet, GhanaWebAFP, and the AP.

Power rankings! At ESPN, the Union move up two spots to No. 6: “If Jurgen Klinsmann ever decides he needs a center forward alternative to Jozy Altidore, he could do worse than the Union’s C.J. Sapong. He has been a force up top this season for Philadelphia, bagging his fourth goal of the season in a 2-0 win over New York City FC.”

Sapong said after the game on Saturday about the growing USMNT call-up talk, “That’s how it goes. Everybody needs the next thing to talk about and the next thing to hype up. For me, I know in the past, whenever I’ve paid attention to things like that, all it’s done is kind of take my focus away from what’s really important. So I just let those people say whatever they feel. I’m just playing my game for the Philadelphia Union right now.”

Fabinho will be suspended due to yellow card accumulation on Saturday when the Union host San Jose. Ray Gaddis is ready to step up after subbing in for Fabinho on Saturday: “I’m excited about the win but I’m already looking how we can shut down Quincy and how we can shut down Chris Wondolowski, a prolific scorer. I’m very excited. We’re going to take this win in stride and look at some things for next week.”

Brian Carroll made his 350th MLS appearance on Saturday. He said after the game, “It’s good to just have that out of the way so I don’t have to maybe talk about that so much, since that’s not really what I tend to do. It’s a pretty good accomplishment. It’s something I’ll appreciate when I’m done playing, and I’m more satisfied with the group maybe not playing our top level being about to grind out a win and get a result.”

The Villanova basketball guys loved the atmosphere at Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday.

At MLSsoccer.com, ten things Sebastien Le Toux loves about Philly.

SBI talks to Keegan Rosenberrry.

Prost Amerika talks to Ken Tribbett.

Brotherly Game notes Fabian Herbers was named Omaha Sportsman of the YEar last week.

Bethlehem Steel FC

Bethlehem Steel played the visiting Charleston Battery to a 0-0 draw at Lehigh University’s Goodman Stadium on Sunday. Head coach Brendan Burke said of his side, who are now 2-2-1 and tied for fifth place in the USL’s Eastern Conference, “I think we have a snapshot now of what our season should look like. We’ve played some of the top teams in the East and I am happy. I am happy with where we are at and I think our relationships are continuing to develop with these guys.”

Before the game, Union central defender Anderson was loaned to the team. Bethlehem’s lineup for the game was:

John McCarthy; Ryan Richter (capt.), Anderson, Auston Trusty, Taylor Washington; Derrick Jones, Boluwatife Akinyode; Eric Ayuk (James Chambers 82’), Leo Fernandes (Cole Missimo 74’), Walter Restrepo; Fabian Herbers (Seku Conneh 82′)
Substitutes not used: Samir Badr, Mickey Daly, Jamie Luchini, Gabe Gissie

Recaps and reports at Philadelphia Union, Allentown Morning Call, WFMZ (video), Unauthorized Bethlehem Steel FC BlogPhilly Soccer News, Brotherly GameUSLsoccer.com (report, stats), Charleston BatteryCharleston Post and Courier, and Dirty South Soccer.

On Sunday, May 1, Bethlehem hosts first in the Eastern Conference Louisville City at 3 pm.

The 42 has a good read on Bethlehem’s Jamie Chambers, who talks about joining the club from his native Ireland. (Nice picture of Chambers from PSP photographer Paul Rudderow, too!)

Allentown Morning Call talks to Jamie Luchini.

In USL news, the league has announced a new partnership with ESPN to broadcast a Game of the Week on ESPN3 throughout the season. Only the first five games have been announced so far, no word on what Bethlehem or Harrisburg City ISlanders games will be broadcast.

Philadelphia Union Academy

Playing at YSC against Cedar Stars Academy of Carlstadt, New Jersey, the U-13/14s won, 3-2. Jason Aoyama opened the scoring in the 17th minute before the team found itself down 2-1 after conceding goals in the 35th and 47th minutes. But Anthony Cousins equalized from the penalty spot in the 54th minute and Benjamin Bender scored the gamewinner in the 72nd minute.

The U-15-16s and U-1718s were on the road to the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyd’s, Maryland to face their counterparts from Bethesda-Olney. The U-17/18s opened the day with a 0-0 draw. The U-15/16s played next, securing a 3-0 win with all of the goals coming within the span of 10 minutes. After a scoreless first half, Chad Letts opened the scoring in the 49th minute, adding a second goal in the 55th minute. Iverson Brisma completed the scoring with a goal in the 59th minute.

This Saturday the Union Academy teams are on the road to face Players Development Academy in Somerset, New Jersey.


2,316 were at FNB Park on City Island for Harrisburg City Islanders home opener against Louisville City. Former Union man Chandler Hoffman scored two first half goals for the visitors before Paul Wilson halved the lead just before the end of the first half. Brett Jankouskas scored an equalizer in the 88th minute only for the team to concede the game winner to Louisville in the 90th minute. Match reports at Harrisburg City Islanders, abc27, Philly Soccer News, Brotherly GameUSLsoccer.com, Louisville City, Louisville Courier-Journal, and Louisville Coopers.

Harrisburg is back in play at FNB Park tonight at 7 pm when they host Orlando City B, the team they defeated on the road for their only win so far of 2016 and who defeated Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Friday night for their first-ever win. Previews at Harrisburg City IslandersBrotherly Game, and USLsoccer.com. A live stream of the game is available here.

At Penn Live, a look at FNB Park’s transformation from baseball field to soccer field.

Hershey, Pa.’s Christian Pulisic scored the second goal in Dortmund’s 3-0 road win over Stuttgart on Saturday, making him the youngest player ever to score two goals in the German top flight.

Pulisic started and went 76 minutes in the game. The Washington Post’s Steven Goff says Pulisic will be called into the USMNT’s Copa America camp: “Who else in the U.S. player pool right now runs at defender from wide positions with such menace and confidence?” Pulisic! PulisicPulisic! Pulisic! Pulisic! Pulisic! Pulisic! Pulisic!


In the Eastern Conference, Philadelphia (12 points, 4-3-0) is in first place after defeating last place NYCFC (6 points, 1-3-3), 2-0. Montreal is in second place after losing at home 2-0 to third place Toronto (11 points, 3-2-2), Sebastian Giovinco netting a brace for Toronto. Fourth place Orlando (9 points, 2-2-3) lost 3-2 on the road to eighth place NYRB (6 points, 2-6-0), who ended a four-game losing streak with the win. Fifth place DC (9 points, 2-3-3) handily defeated seventh place New England (8 points, 1-2-5), 3-0. Sixth place Columbus (8 points, 2-3-2) defeated ten-men Houston, 1-0. Ninth place Chicago (6 points, 1-2-3) had the weekend off.

In the Western Conference, first place Dallas (17 points, 5-2-2) lost 3-0 on the road to seventh place Vancouver (10 points, 3-4-1). Second place Colorado (16 points, 5-2-1) defeated ninth place Seattle (7 points, 2-4-1), 3-1. Third place LAG (14 points, 4-1-2) thumped fourth place, and previously undefeated, Salt Lake (14 points, 4-1-2), 5-2. Fifth place San Jose (14 points, 4-2-2) defeated sixth place Kansas City (12 points, 4-4-0), 1-0. Eighth place Portland (8 points, 2-2-2) had the weekend off. Last place Houston (5 points, 1-4-2) lost 1-0 on the road to Columbus.

Looking ahead, there are three midweek games on Wednesday: NYCFC hosts Montreal at 7 pm; New England hosts Portland at 7:30 pm; and Vancouver hosts Kansas City at 10:30 pm. All the games will be on MLS Live.

Colorado announced on Friday the signing of 2016 MLS SuperDraft second round pick Dennis Castillo.

From the Orlando Sentinel: “Don Garber expects to start testing instant replay at the USL level this season and wants to see it added to Major League Soccer in the near future.”

At the Los Angeles Times, LAFC has deadlines it needs to meet if it hopes to open its own stadium on time.

Also at the Los Angeles Times, Kevin Baxter on how MLS expansion to 28 teams could backfire. More expansion talk in Austin, CincinnatiSan Diego, St. Louis,


First place Washington (6 points, 2-0-0) defeated sixth place Sky Blue (3 points, 1-1-0), 2-1, on the road. Second place Portland (4 points, 1-0-1) drew 1-1 with ninth place Kansas City (1 point, 0-1-1). Third place Seattle (3 points, 1-1-0) defeated last place Boston (0 points, 0-2-0), 3-0, on the road. In their inaugural home opener, fourth place Orlando (3 points, 1-1-0) defeated fifth place Houston (3 points, 1-1-0), 3-1, setting a new NWSL attendance record of 23,403. Houston’s Carli Lloyd left the game in the 14th minute with a knee injury. Eighth place Chicago (3 points, 1-1-0) defeated seventh place Western New York Flash (3 points, 1-1-0), 1-0.


Abby Wambach says she could have done more for the struggle for equal pay when she was on the USWNT. “Maybe I was a little too scared. Maybe I didn’t know what to say or how to say it. Maybe it’s so innately and deeply ingrained in my bones that I’m supposed to be grateful for getting a paycheck, that I’m supposed to be paid less than, treated less than, respected less than than. I didn’t want to rock the boat.”

AdWeek on how the endorsement prospects for USWNT players are on the rise.

Pele says soccer in the US is almost at the same level as in Europe. Thank you for that, TMZ.


The BBC reports, “FIFA President Gianni Infantino has said a new independent committee will be set up to monitor working conditions at Qatar’s 2022 World Cup venues.”

Reuters reports, “Former World Cup bid inspector Harold Mayne-Nicholls’ ban from soccer has been cut from seven years to three on appeal, FIFA said on Friday.”

From the Guardian: “The jury at the new inquests into the Hillsborough disaster is to deliver its verdict on Tuesday on how 96 people died at an FA Cup semi-final on 15 April 1989.”


  1. The Realist Brian says:

    Derrick Jones looks like a player. I watched the last two games, and I could see him making the leap if he keeps working hard.

    • Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

      How did Trusty look? He’s been getting quite a lot of time with Steel as well.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Good, in a word. No egregious mistakes, recognized when he had to be decisive and was. Seemed cleaner on the ball, but Charleston pressured him less than did Richmond, particularly later in the game.
        He has had three consecutive starts. He was the only academy boy dressed.

      • Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

        Well with Trusty and Jones getting significant minutes, it’s nice to finally see some cohesion or at least a viable path from the Academy to eventually the 1st team.

    • Restrepo and Ayuk were torching the opposing back line, all day long.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        They switched sides, Ayuk, left; Restrepo, right, illustrating as far as I am concerned that Ryan Richter has learned very well how to mesh with his flank midfielder ahead of him. Not many overlaps as Restrepo had a significant advantage for pace, but support from behind and service or short passes of the lay behinds.
        Restrepo does not like to recover into the midfield defensive line all the way back in the defensive third. I doubt Jim Curtin will ever select him until that changes. He defends energetically in the middle third and the offensive one, but Gabe Gisse has looked more like an all-round player. Of Gisse it needs be said it is early days.

  2. pragmatist says:

    Anderson at Bethlehem…interesting. And if Tribbett is close to health, it makes sense. Anderson is clearly 4th on the depth chart right now.
    It’s amazing how different this year feels. It’s summed up simply with the fact that we don’t have Fabinho next week, so Ray Gaddis steps in. That’s just good depth at the outside fullback spot. Yes, he plays a different game than Fabinho and Rosenberry, but he is perfectly acceptable in this role for a game or two.
    And I love CJ’s approach to the USMNT talk. He’s self-aware and realizes that it’s just a distraction at this point. Keep that attitude, CJ, and the call will come eventually.

    • Jim Presti says:

      There was a quote a while back from Curtin that the depth is Marquez/Anderson on the left and Tribett/Yaro on the right.

    • i was at the steel match. they didn’t look bad. better than the opener. aside from a few miscues the first squad loans are integrating well into the roster.

      Curious to see Gaddis go a full 90. Curtin subbing off Fabinho was an excellent response to the previous week’s oversight.

      this CJ (as opposed to the one early last season) is a wonderful, focused player. seems like we were crying for a DP striker ages ago. we have an answer.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Remember, re: Anderson, earlier quotes about using the Steel to keep Union reserves sharp and conditioned.
      My opinion, Washington is not yet ready to back-up Gaddis at LB in an emergency, although I have been wrong about Yaro very recently! So Anderson may be a candidate to cover both center and flank. A problem would likely force improvisation. Next point to consider is SJ’s speed in the attack. Shea Salinas used to be a burner. No one is Maddux or Castillo. Further research necessary.

  3. Andy Muenz says:

    Looks like the Union’s stay in first will likely be short lived due to MLS’s inability to hire a professional schedule maker.

  4. First in the East has a very nice ring to it. Certainly was not expected, but enjoying the ride for now.

  5. RE: Instant Replay.
    “when I am king you will be first against the wall.”

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      If our referees were as consistent as the English ones, I would agree. As they are not even close on the consistency issue, I am open to experimentation, although I share your underlying mistrust.

      • If anyone’s going to start experimenting with video review, it might as well be the US, since it’s already so prevalent. Then there’s at least a chance of learning from the mistakes that all the other sports have made with it.

  6. CJ’s comment is great he needs to continue to focus forget the national teams its not worth it to play for JK right now he’ll likely put CJ as a CDM or something ridiculous. On that note if Pulisic is not in the squad for the COPA then firing JK is the only option. I mean how do you not include an inform player at a top club in a top league. To me he currently is your starting LW for the USMNT I don’t even see any competition.

    • Cheers to this comment.
      Imagine for a moment Fabian Johnson and Christian Pulisic on the left.
      I would build my entire formation with that in mind- my philosophy of play geared towards having Pulisic on the full NT by 19… whether it was moving Johnson back to LB, which I do not recommend, or something more resembling a 4-3-3.
      Explosive and highly technical and wicked intel.

      • He put Julian Green on the World Cup squad with no experience. If Pulisic is not in the squad, JK out.

      • Whatever happened to Julian Green as I feel he has disappeared off the face of NT call ups. Such promise I mean what if you have Pulisic LW and Green RW and I’d say Johannsson up top when healthy. With LCM Johnson CDM Bradley RCM Nagbe
        LB ?? LCB Brooks and RCB Miazga RBB Yedlin GK Guzan

      • Green was on the U23 squad for the matches against Columbia but didn’t see the field.

      • der Fussballzuschauer says:

        Julian Green has spent virtually the entire 2015/16 season turning out for Bayern Munich II in the Regionalliga Bayern (one of a number of regional leagues which make up the German fourth division) … Green did make one substitute appearance for Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League match against Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia on September 12th of this past year … Green has scored 10 goals in 27 league games playing as an attacking central midfielder for Bayern Munich II this term

  7. http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/college-soccer-articles/tds-qa-with-akron-coach-jared-embick_aid39134
    I mean who is this guy, head coach of some team in Akron with a name Zips or something. Zips? Seriously?… Probably just another figure head spouting off about US Soccer Gatekeepers, failed trajectory and vector ratio for reentry… on Twitter
    or does he see the matrix.… probably some sunday pick up hack, part time golfer who blogs too much about this sacred game and how they’re just missing the obvious … .
    There is no spoon.

    • Fantastic article there. Thanks for sharing and highly recommend anyone to read it. I don’t know much about that coach as I don’t follow too much college soccer, but his analysis of the current development in the US and Europe was really interesting to read. Seems like that coach has got a very bright future ahead.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        What I love is the unstated… the notion- one of – if not the best coach in all of college soccer is telling us along with the author who is a well respected college soccer writer, save the well oiled Zips program, college soccer and our inability to prepare players IS the one part of a II part problem
        Truly… as a 16-17 year old top level player, your arguably better off playing at the highest amateur level you can against grown men than to be plying along at age group or God forbid against a bunch of college kids of which maybe 1/10 of 1% will ever be a professional at the MLS level – which is mid table versus the world.
        This coach should stick to what he knows… better be careful- may get black balled by The Don.

  8. Five consecutive home wins (a franchise record, per SBI)? #Trajectory

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