Daily news roundups

Blake named to Jamaica provisional Copa roster, McCarthy named to USL Team of the Week, more

Photo: Daniel Studio

Philadelphia Union

Andre Blake has been named to the Jamaican national team’s 40-player provisional roster for the Copa America but the federation’s announcement frustratingly does not say when the team’s camp begins. As a point of reference, the US camp begins May 16, and the final 23-player rosters for all teams must be submitted by May 20.

With no game for the Union until next Wednesday, Jim Curtin spoke to reporters after training on Tuesday in lieu of his usual weekly press conference.

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead notes,

There wasn’t much to report from Tuesday’s training session, but one thing did stand out.

Injured midfielder Maurice Edu looked active on the sidelines, passing the ball back and forth with goalkeepers Andre Blake and John McCarthy. It may not sound like much, but the Union captain has been out for almost eight months now, and this is the most action we’ve seen him perform during his stress fracture recovery.

Kinkead reports Curtin said Ken Tribbett is “doing better” as he continues to heal from the ankle injury that has seen him miss three games. Asked if Tribbett or Josh Yaro is No. 1 in the depth chart at right center back, Curtin replied, “Right now, it’s still to be determined.”

Dave Zeitlin tweeted that, when asked if the draw against San Jose was the Union reverting to its old ways, Curtin said, “You can say it’s reverting back to the old ways – but it’s not. It’s a different group. It’s a different team.”

More from Curtin’s post-practice comments with reporters at Philadelphia Union and Philly.com.

More power rankings! At MLSsoccer.com, the Union moves up one spot to No. 4: “Those were two points squandered by some lousy finishing and a bit of brilliance on the part of Simon Dawkins. What really matters, though, is that you can see the Union getting the process right and giving their kids both the time and the platform to make a difference. That leads to the occasional bump in the road.” At SBI, the Union also move up one spot to No. 4: “The Union showed a bit of inexperience on Saturday allowing the Earthquakes back into a game that should have been finished off. Chris Pontius continues to look like one of the signings of the season, and even with a disappointing draw, the Union are unbeaten at home to date.”

No Union players made the top 20 of the latest Audi MLS Player Index after last weekend’s draw.

At Brotherly Game, Jared Young explains the problem with last weekend’s draw did not lie in a single defensive gaff but in a lack of second half offensive production when the Union had a man advantage: “The worried glance might currently be directed at the defense for a collapse that was all too reminiscent of last year’s folly, but the truth is the Union can only hope the defense continues its current form. It’s the offense that needs to be more dangerous especially when at home and up a man. Hopefully the Union can maintain their pace until the summer transfer window opens in July and the Union can make a move to add a legitimate goal-scoring threat or two.”

Also at Brotherly Game, Young has his weekly player ratings comparison.

At Delco Times, Matthew De George looks at Leicester’s improbable Premier League championship through connections several Union players have with members of the Leicester squad. What can the Union take from Leicester’s championship? Maurice Edu says,

I think for us, the lessons from that are just when you believe in your group and you believe in what you’re trying to accomplish and what you’re trying to do, anything is possible. And I think right now, we have that belief. I think if you were to ask anybody on this team right now, we feel like we can go out there and play with any team and feel confident, not that we can compete with them but that we can get a result. I think in previous years that might not have been the case.

US National Soccer Team Players includes the Union on an early list of Supporters Shield contenders, pointing to the individual play of CJ Sapong and Chris Pontius. “The Union, with a game in hand in the Eastern Conference and in second place behind the Montreal Impact, is averaging 1.63 points per game. That’s a very strong pace for a team easily overlooked in the preseason.”

At the Union website, Matt Bodiford on the team’s quest to turn Talen Energy Stadium into a fortress.

At ASN, a review of a the injury status of a dozen players in the USMNT pool includes Maurice Edu.

At Section 215, Chuck Booth on Josh Yaro stepping up for the injured Ken Tribbett.

Union rookie left back Taylor Washington has been named George Mason University’s Male Athlete of the Year.

Fan vote

The Union is hosting DC United on Friday, May 20 in the first game of MLS’ Heineken Rivalry Week. Beginning today, fans can vote on Twitter for the name of the rivalry game by tweeting one of the following hashtags:#I95CUP, #CAPITALCUP, #FREEDOMCUP, or #COLONIALCUP. Voting ends on Friday. The game will be nationally televised on UniMas.

Bethlehem Steel FC

John McCarthy has been named to the USL Team of the Week: “McCarthy recorded a seven-save shutout as the Steel held the highest-scoring team in the Eastern Conference, Louisville, to a 0-0 draw on Sunday.”

At the Union website, Chris Winkler on the link Bethlehem Steel is providing between the Union and the Union Academy. Bethlehem head coach Brendan Burke says, “Without getting into specifics, I think you’ll see more academy players joining us in the coming weeks.”

Philadelphia Union Academy

At the Union website, Ted Brooks has more on the recent US YNT callups of Union Academy players Matthew Real, Anthony Fontana, and Michael Pellegrino.

More on the Union Academy team’s games last weekend at Brotherly Game.

Reading United

Fans will be able to meet the players on Reading’s 2016 roster on Monday, May 9 at a meet and greet that begins at 6:30 pm at the Reading Doubletree Hotel. On May 11, Reading hosts NPSL side Atlanta Silverbacks in US Open Cup play.

At the Union website, Ted Brooks has more on the return of former Union Academy players Brett Campbell, Will Campbell, and Billy McConnell to Reading United for the 2016 season.

Harrisburg City Islanders

In a post on the Harrisburg City Islanders website looking at how the first to games at FNB Field, the minor league baseball stadium that is the club’s new home for much of 2016, went from from a spectator’s perspective, club CEO Eric Pettis said, “Our game plan would be to be here for one more year and then in a soccer-specific stadium in 2018.” The team is also playing home games this season at Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster.


Glenside native and former Temple standout Tony Donatelli has been selected for the US team that will be competing in the qualifying matches for the CONCACAF Futsal Championship in San Jose, Costa Rica. The US will play Canada in a two-game play-in series, the first of which takes place today, with the winner earning a spot in the CONCACAF championship tournament. More at the Temple Athletics site.

The Danbury News-Times notes Friday’s Soccer Night in Newtown benefit double header, which features West Chester United against New York Cosmos B, and Reading United versus Newtown Pride. West Chester is on the road for US Open Cup play on May 11 to face Fredericksburg FC in Virginia.

The Temple women’s team has added Frances Davis (Bath, England) to its roster. Davis was a member of the Bristol Academy, where she was coached by current England WNT head coach Mark Sampson.

Looking at why Philadelphia is one of the host cities for the Copa America, a post at Soccer Politics reviews Philadelphia’s rich soccer heritage


Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson has been voted MLS Player of the Week.

Columbus head coach Gregg Berhalter has confirmed 19-year-old Panamanian midfielder Christian Martinez will join the club as soon as an international spot opens, which should happen shortly when Waylon Francis receives a green card.

Panamanian striker Gabriel Torres to DC United?

While WRKR wonders what a Detroit MLS team should be called, a column at Detroit Free Press says MLS is not a good fit for Detroit.

Soccer America reports, “Only two of the nine returning NASL teams — its two Canadian teams, Ottawa and FC Edmonton — had larger crowds for their home openers in 2016 than in 2015. The average for the home openers of the nine teams was 5,575, down from 8,882 in 2015, a decrease of 37 percent year-over-year.” The biggest home opening draw was 10,156 for NASL debutant Miami FC, but attendance for their next home game was 2,168, a drop of 78.7 percent.

Joe Cole is set to join Tampa Bay Rowdies in the summer from League One side Coventry.


At Goal.com, Ives Galarcep on how the US Copa America squad could have a 2014 World Cup squad feel.

Fox Soccer on how the Copa America could be a prelude to the US hosting a World Cup. It all comes down to two words: existing infrastructure.


At the Daily News, John Smallwood notes the cost to the bookies of Leicester City’s Premier League championship.

Reuters reports, “FIFA’s chief ethics investigator has recommended a life ban for Jeffrey Webb, a former vice-president of the global soccer body who has pleaded guilty in the United States to offences linked to racketeering, fraud and money laundering.”

Reuters reports from Ecuador, “A former head of logistics at Ecuador’s Football Federation (FEF) was sentenced on Tuesday to a year in prison for money-laundering, a case arising from investigations in the Andean nation prompted by the FIFA corruption scandal.”

The AP reports, “Paraguay’s top court has rejected a petition by Nicolas Leoz, the former head of the South American football confederation, to halt his extradition to the United States.”

Reuters reports on Qatar testing grass that can survive desert climates to be used for the 2022 World Cup.

Also from Reuters: “European soccer’s governing body UEFA says it is still possible to hold a presidential election before Euro 2016 if its suspended president Michel Platini fails to overturn his six-year ban from the sport.”

Reuters reports, “Portuguese police carried out searches at football clubs, including Lisbon’s Benfica and Sporting, on Tuesday as part of “Operation Matryoshka Dolls”, an investigation into suspected money laundering with likely links to Russian crime.”


  1. If the US hopes to have a successful Copa on home soil, they have to win the group. This notion of advancing out of the group in international tourneys as some great accomplishment— only to then play Germany, Italy, Belgium, Argentina, Brazil is old. Its 2014 old. So please stop.
    If you are not going to win the group and get an Ecuador, Costa Rica or Switzerland type game then fail and get bounced after three games—- so we can continue to call for the heads of all associated. Otherwise, so me something that says progress…
    Win the Group. Get an easier draw for first knock out game. Simple.

    • One thing I haven’t heard that much about is any discussion about if the travel will or will not benefit anyone since all group matches take place over 11 days.
      Looking at Group A:
      US plays in CA then IL then PA
      Columbia in CA* then CA then TX
      Costa Rica in FL then IL* then TX
      Paraguay in FL then CA then PA*
      *means game is against the US
      Notes and thoughts:
      -The US changes time zones each game but so do their opponents (first game depends on training camp location)
      -Paraguay has a cross country flight before facing the US in a game that could be crucial to advance
      -Advantage Columbia against Paraguay since their first two matches are in the same State
      -Advantage Costa Rica against Columbia in TX because their previous game will be in the same time zone
      -Paraguay is going to have a rough time since they go cross country twice
      -Advantage MLS players since they are used to the travel
      -Would it be better to lose time or gain time across zones? Someone somewhere has to have done a study on that.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      How did that work out in 2010 when the US got Ghana in the round of 16? My thought is not quite as well as 2002 when they got second and got to play Dos a Zero.
      Although too be honest, I think it would be nice to see 8 teams from South America make the quarterfinals of the South American championship.

      • We won A group in 2010. I acquiesce that point. my greater point is if the US finish 2nd to Colombia it is likely they draw Brazil. Perennial good international teams tend to win the group and face easier knockout competition. This is how they tend to advance. This is a consistency I am looking for as a sign of progress…

      • Maybe this is too simple, but the biggest factor in winning a group is being the best team in the group. Our home field advantage is a help, but I just don’t see us as good as, let alone better than, Colombia.
        What I’m trying to say is that consistency isn’t the biggest problem for Team USA–it’s quality and the style of play that fits the team’s quality. MLS has increased the depth of our quality, but not the quality itself. And JK isn’t playing the right style for his players’ strengths.
        Those two factors are what I’m looking for in terms of progress, and not so much the outcome of an off-year tournament.

      • Indeed…solid.

      • Even if they win the group, they’re likely to get Argentina in the 2nd round, so it doesn’t really matter which position you finish in a 16-team tournament since every team is brutal. So just advance. However, I think the common issue between either opinion is the inability for the USMNT to rise up to the competition when the games get serious. They can compete with Belgium and Germany in a World Cup, but they can’t defeat Belgium or Germany in a World Cup. So along those lines, yes it would be nice to see them win they group, but if they lose in the quarter-final it doesn’t either way.

  2. Andy Muenz says:

    It’s not on the official list of choices, but the Union-DC United rivalry games played at TES should be the Eric Shertz Cup, both in memory of Shertz and to remember how the DC United fans respected and acknowledged the Sons of Ben’s loss when he passed away.

    • Just Rob f/k/a Rob127 says:

      Great idea but I think we’ll just have to be happy with playing an actual rival during Rival Week. First time the schedule makers have gotten it right for the Union.

    • Not a fan of the I-95 cup, mostly because that could/should also include both new york teams and the revs (heck, you could also include Orlando if you wanted to stretch the definition a bit and have an even number of teams). Would love if it could be the Shertz Memorial Cup, but MLS getting something like this right is highly unlikely, so I’ll throw my weight behind the #FreedomCup

    • Shertz/Gemmell Cup. Though before you got all serious I was going to suggest #BodyBagCup or #HextallScoresCup.

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