Daily news roundups

Union bits, doubleheader, National Soccer Hall of Fame groundbreaking today, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

On Wednesday, PSP launched a web store. The first items for sale include a t-shirt and a hat featuring the logo Bethlehem Steel wore on the way to their 1916 National Challenge Cup and American Cup championships, a “Retro Union” shirt that imagines what Philadelphia Union’s logo might have looked like if the team was playing in 1916, and a “Union Pundit” shirt honoring all those readers who comment on PSP. Buy! Buy! Buy!

Philadelphia Union

At CSN Philly, Dave Zeitlin notes the growing partnership between the Union’s top goalscorers, Chris Pontius and CJ Sapong. Jim Curtin is quoted, “It’s good because when teams prepare for us defensively, it’s not focusing on one individual. We have a couple of guys that can get goals. I’d still like to see another midfielder contribute even more on the stat sheet in terms of that. But it makes it easier for us offensively because now teams have to prepare for a couple of threats.” Zeitlin writes that Curtin expects Ilsinho and Roland Alberg to start scoring as they settle into the MLS “and find some consistency.”

At Philly.com, Marc Narducci notes confidence and depth have been a big part of the Union’s early season success. A quote in the article from Earnie Stewart underscores that team chemistry has also been important: “We have managed to put a group together that function well with each other. The locker room atmosphere is very good at the moment.” Stewart adds, “The technical staff has done a very good job in making sure everybody understands what we expect from them.”

The Union’s acquisition of Chris Pontius, and selecting Keegan Rosenberry in the 2016 SuperDraft, make Soccer America’s list of the best player moves in MLS for 2016 (domestic player edition).

Tranquillo Barnetta’s free kick goal against Orlando makes MLSsoccer.com’s highlight reel of the best goals of April. Sadly, so did the Simon Dawkins equalizer for San Jose .

Ilsinho’s ankle breaker against Chicago, and an Andre Blake cut against New England, make MLSsoccer.com’s highlight reel of the best displays of skill for April. Sadly, so did Simon Dawkins for his cuts leading up to the equalizer for San Jose (blurry NYCFC guy’s sideline moves against the Union also made the reel). Ilsinho taking out the camera above the River End-side goal ends the clip.

Speaking of Ilsinho, he and Fabinho are among the 21 players in MLS who use an alternate name on the back of their jersey. Now you know.

At Brotherly Game, Eugene Rupinski on why Union-DC United “will always be a different sort of rivalry.”

Union players had Monday off. At the Union website, a post noting Sebastien Le Toux, Brian Carroll, and Ray Gaddis spent the day visiting with patients and staff at “Crozer-Keystone Health System hospitals and outpatient centers in the area as a part of National Hospital Week.”

Keegan Rosenberry wins.

Bethlehem Steel FC

Click here watch the latest episode of Steel Soccer 360.

Reading United

PDL sides Lehigh Valley United Sonic and Reading United will play their season opener before Bethlehem Steel and FC Montreal in a doubleheader at Lehigh University’s Goodman Stadium on Sunday, May 15. “Tickets for both matches are available through Lehigh Valley United and Bethlehem Steel FC with one ticket granting access to both games.” The opening game kicks off at 12 pm, followed by the second game at 4 pm.


It’s official: Chicago has acquired Senegalese midfielder Khaly Thiam on loan from MTK Budapest FC through the end of 2016. The Announcement on the Fire website notes, “The Fire acquired the Discovery Priority on the player from Columbus Crew SC in exchange for Chicago’s 2017 natural second round SuperDraft pick. However, pursuant to the trade agreement, if Thiam starts in 12 or more 2016 MLS regular season games, or if his loan is extended or successfully converted into a transfer following the 2016 season, Columbus will receive General Allocation Money instead of the SuperDraft pick.”

The League disciplinary committee has suspended DC’s Chris Rolfe (dangerous play) and Vancouver’s Kekuta Manneh (ditto) for one game. LA’s Giovani Dos Santos and Jelle Van Damme were fined “an undisclosed amount by the Disciplinary Committee for violation of the mass confrontation policy.” The “undisclosed amount” turns out to be perhaps not as much as one might think. Dos Santos posted a picture on SnapChat of the memo he received from the league informing him $250 would be withheld from his next paycheck for the fine. I wonder if that will result in another undisclosed fine.

The Toronto Sun on the (mostly completed) renovations at BMO Field ahead of Toronto FC’s home opener on Saturday against FC Dallas.

49 MLS players have been named to the preliminary rosters of the teams participating in the Copa America Centenario. The US (19) and Jamaica (12) account for 31 of those players.

Unusual Efforts on the decline of the 4-4-2 in MLS.

USL side Cincinnati FC is hoping to sell 25,000 tickets for its game against Pittsburgh Riverhounds on May 14. The team set a league attendance record of 20,497 during the game against Louisville City FC on April 16. MLS has noticed the team’s impressive attendance numbers.

Tampa Bay Times reports that plans to ask voters in St. Petersburg to give the Tampa Bay Rowdies a longer lease on Al Lang Stadium (which is located in St, Petersburg) have been shelved, as have plans to approve the use of hotel bed tax money to pay for expansion of the stadium. Ongoing efforts to keep baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays in Tampa, as well as the fact that St, Petersburg/Tampa are within Orlando City’s catchment area — which apparently have dampened the Rowdies MLS aspirations — could be factors in not pushing to expand and upgrade the stadium.


The groundbreaking ceremony for the new National Soccer Hall of Fame at FC Dallas’ Toyota Stadium in Frisco will take place today.

Abby Wambach has signed a “a multiyear contract to serve as an analyst and contributor to ESPN across various shows and platforms.”

Soccer America reports, “The FIFA Referees Committee named 32 referees and 56 assistant refs for men’s and women’s Olympic soccer at this summer’s Rio Games. No U.S. refs were chosen.”


So, this year’s UEFA Champions League final is a replay of the 2014 final, a Madrid derby. At SI, Ben Lyttleton has a look at what’s different this time around. (The final is on Saturday, May 28, at 2:45 pm. In case you’re wondering, the Union are on the road to face Colorado that day at 9 pm, so Union fans thankfully won’t have a hard choice to make.)

The AP reports, “Portuguese and European police say they have broken up a cell of an important Russian mafia group that allegedly laundered money through European football clubs.” Click here to read the press release from Europol.

ESPN reports, “The prosecutor at the head of recent investigations into match fixing in Italian football has said he had never imagined the extent to which games were being manipulated and warned: ‘The cancer has not been eliminated.'”


  1. “No U.S. Refs were chosen”. That about sums it up.
    I hate these long weeks between games. Gives us time to think though. What is currently the ideal 5 man midfield? Everyone is healthy mostly except Edu. Personally, the givens for me are Nogeuira and Pontius at CM and LM. After the last couple weeks I think Barnetta must start, I also liked what Ilsinho and Rosenberry had together on the right, as well as what Le Toux offered off the bench. I like Creavalle to start, but wouldn’t be opposed to Carroll getting games as well. Alberg should be first off the bench for whoever looks most tired.

    • Seems there is little rhythm to the season- all herky-jerkey.
      As far as midfield, any permutation you like, as long as Le Toux is not on field at the start. Sorry sir, love ya…. but-

      • I agree, if for no other reason than he is a great bench guy to come in and run at defenders

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Depends on the nature of the defense being faced, seems to me. If there will be acres of green behind the enemy back line, then there’s a debate. If they play a lower line, then fully agree it’s Ilsinho.

  2. $250.

  3. ebradlee10 says:

    I will likely watch the CL Final, but the simulation & histrionics used by La Liga players to try and deceive the officials is getting to be too much for me…Seems like almost every foul earns a scream and a roll or three on the ground.

    • Agreed–should be a lot more yellows presented to the Oscar wannabees. As you said, even if it’s a foul, the performance is ridiculous.

    • the semi yesterday was well-reffed regarding the simulations. they missed a couple other things, but that match wasn’t ruined by it.

    • Sideshow Luke Perry AKA Ronaldo: “My face my beautiful face”

  4. Man Italian football just can’t seem to get out of its own way… once the center of football majesty.
    Boy ManCity played like they were just happy to be there. Too bad. Real Madrid, while good…. is a bit blasé too. I hope Athletico strangles the life out of them- dead and bloated style. Right now, they play perfect football… literally perfect counter attacking football.
    Abby Wambach and Lexi Lalas. I cringe.
    How can I get a very important letter to Andre Blake? ….
    ….Dear Sir, you are the baddess-ass goaltender I ever saw with the hair on fire…. let it grow back out uneven afro style… oh, and you are Superman. I coined that name for you at YSC this year, remember me. Sincerely, A fan.

    • City squad didn’t gel at all. squander the two opportunities they actually created. i see a very different team next season.

  5. pragmatist says:

    I’ve always thought DC was a more natural rivalry than NY. Let them have each other, and their underachieving ways. Let’s keep the Mid-Atlantic teams in their own group.

  6. So according to the MLS, the Galaxy just opened up the first full-time school associated with their academy….

  7. philpill says:

    JC would like another midfielder to get involved in the scoring. They’re on your bench, sir.

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