Daily news roundups

Union bits, BSFC and Hburg draw, Academy teams victorious, league results, Platini ban upheld, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Jim Curtin’s weekly press conference ahead of Wednesday night’s home game against LA Galaxy will take place today at 12:30 pm.

In an interview with Matt Leon at CBS Philly, Chris Pontius says “The fact that everyone’s working for each other” is behind the Union’s early season success. Pontius explains, “We’ve really gelled as a team. So everyone’s putting in the work – defensively, offensively, getting into good spots. I wouldn’t even say we’ve played even close to our potential yet. But the fact that we’re covering for each other when the mistakes start happening is the sign of a good team and we’ve been doing that game in and game out.”

With no game over the weekend, the Union drop one spot to No. 9 in SI’s power rankings.

Philly Sports Network wonders if the Union could become the Leicester City of MLS.

Black and Red United supports the idea fellow SB Nation blog picked up from readers’ comments of naming the Union-DC United rivalry the Shertz-Gemmell Cup.

Union insider Marisa Pilla answers questions from fans.

In a Mother’s Day post at MLSsoccer.com, Molly Edu, mother of Maurice Edu, shares memories of her son playing soccer before he became a professional. The mother of former Union man Chris Seitz also shares memories of her son.

At Reporting KC, another call for CJ Sapong to get a look from the USMNT.

Bethlehem Steel

An Orlando own goal followed by a Fabian Herbers strike gave Bethlehem a 2-0 lead on the road against Orlando B, although the home team cut the lead in half minutes later. In the 50th minute, Bethlehem went down to 10 men when Walter Restrepo was shown a straight red card. Four minutes later, Orlando scored the equalizer and final goal of the game, which ended tied at 2-2.

Here was the Bethlehem lineup:

John McCarthy; Ryan Richter (C), Mickey Daly, Bolu Akinyode, Taylor Washington; James Chambers, Derrick Jones; Eric Ayuk (Gabe Gissie 90+1), Walter Restrepo, Leo Fernandes (Cole Missimo 89’); Fabian Herbers (Seku Conneh 78’)
Substitutes not used: Samir Badr, Jamie Luchini, Fred, Joe Dezart

Reports at Bethlehem Steel FC, Unauthorized Bethlehem Steel FC BlogAllentown Morning CallPhilly Soccer News, USL (recap, boxscore), Orlando City BFlorida Today, The Mane Land (report, photo gallery), and Sunshine Soccer News.

Bethlehem, now in eighth place in the Eastern Conference (9 points, 2-2-3) are back in action on Sunday when they host FC Montreal at 4 pm. The game is a doubleheader and will be preceded at 12 pm by the PDL season opener between Lehigh Valley United Sonic and Reading United.

Philadelphia Union Academy

The U-15/16s defeated their counterparts from Richmond United 5-0 on Saturday at YSC. Isaiah Holquist opened the scoring with goals in the 3rd. After Richmond equalized in the 23rd minute, Holquist scored again in the 34th minute. Issa Rayyan scored in the 43rd and 54th minutes, with Chad Letts adding another goal in the 79th minute. The team, second place in the Eastern Division with a 15-3-5 record, in is is now unbeaten in nine games and on a four-game winning streak in which they’ve outscored their opponents 17 goals to 2 while keeping three clean sheets.

The U-17/18s defeated Richmond United 42 on Saturday. Byron Josue Monge opened the scoring in the fifth minute and Raheem Taylor-Parkes added another goal in the 18th minute. Richmond scored to cut the lead in half in the 23rd minute and equalized in the 40th minute. Taylor-Parkes scored in the 55th minute to regain the lead for the Union, and Frederick Gil scored the final Union goal in the 92nd minute. In first place in the Eastern Division with a 16-3-4 record (although second place New York Red Bulls has three games in hand), the team is on a 10-game unbeaten streak, having won the last eight games. During that winning streak, the team has kept six clean sheets and outscored its opponents 24 goals to 3.

This weekend on Saturday, May 14, at YSC, the U-13/14s host NJCSA at 7 pm. At the Union training grounds on Sunday, the U-17/18s host Montreal Impact at 11 am, with the U-15/16s facing their Canadian counterparts at 1 pm.

Harrisburg City Islanders

Former Union man Jimmy McLaughlin scored in the 81st minute to give FC Cincinnati a 1-1 draw against Harrisburg City Islanders on Saturday at FNB Field. Reports at Harrisburg City Islanders, abc27, Philly Soccer News, USL (recap, boxscore), FC Cincinnati, Cincinnati Enquirer (recap, analysis), and Cincinnati Soccer Talk.

The City Islanders, now in place 11th place in the Eastern Conference (7 points, 2-4-1), are back in action tonight when they host Charleston Battery (7 pm, YouTube). Preview at Harrisburg City Islanders.

Harrisburg announced on Friday the return on loan of former City Islander Neil Shaffer from NASL side Indy Eleven. Shaffer went the full 90 in the draw against Cincinnati.


Ocean City Nor’easters have announced the signing of seven players for the 2016 season.

At Brotherly Game, Matt Ralph notes Union Academy connections on Reading United’s roster.

The former Union Academy and Reading United and Philly-born forward Darius Madison made his debut with Washington state PDL side Kitsap Pumas on Saturday, coming on as a sub in the 79th minute in the team’s 3-0 win over Victoria Highlanders. Kitsap Pumas announced Madison’s signing on April 26.


In Eastern Conference play, first place Montreal (5 points, 4-3-3) came from behind to draw 4-4 on the road with ninth place Columbus (9 points, 2-4-3). Columbus was leading 3-1 when Federico Higuaín, who had scored the Crew’s third goal, and Kei Kamara, who had scored the first two goals, squabbled over who was to take a penalty kick. Higuain won the argument and scored the PK in the 53rd minute but Columbus seemed to come apart after that, conceding goals in the 57th and 58th minutes. Dominic Oduro scored the equalizer for Montreal in the 93rd minute. Second place Toronto (14 points, 4-3-2)  defeated FC Dallas 1-0 in their first game of the season at the newly renovated BMO Field. Third place Philadelphia (13 points, 4-3-1) had the weekend off. Fourth place NYCFC (13 points, 3-3-4) defeated seventh place DC (10 points, 2-4-4) 2-0 on the road. Fifth place Orlando (11 points, 2-2-5) came from behind to draw 1-1 with sixth place NYRB (10 points, 3-6-1). Eighth place New England (10 points, 1-3-7) was thumped 4-2 on the road by LAG. Last place Chicago (7 points, 1-2-4) had the weekend off.

In the Western Conference, first place Colorado (20 points, 6-2-2) defeated third place Salt Lake (17 points, 5-2-2), 1-0. Second place LAG (18 points, 5-1-3) defeated New England, 4-2 to become the first MLS team to record 300 wins. Robbie Keane made his return from a layover due to injury with two goals. Fourth place Dallas (17 points, 5-4-2) lost 1-0 to Toronto. Fifth place San Jose (15 points, 4-3-3) lost 2-0 on the road to eighth place Seattle (13 points, 4-4-1). Jordan Morris scored the second goal for Seattle, his fourth goal in as many games. Sixth place Kansas City (14 points, 4-5-2) lost 2-0 on the road to last place Houston (8 points, 2-5-2). Former Union man Andrew Wenger scored Houston’s second goal with an assist from former Union man Cristian Maidana. Seventh place Vancouver (14 points, 4-5-2) came from behind to defeat ninth place Portland (12 points, 3-4-3), 2-1.

Orlando City has announced a partnership with Premier League side Stoke City. The “multi-faceted affiliation initiating a forward-thinking partnership…will ignite shared brand awareness and collaboration opportunities across the business and competition for both sides, with unique opportunities to enhance the fan experience.” This will include “player-exchange opportunities, accessibility to shared scouting and player-recruitment systems as well as cross-promotional marketing opportunities.” My jargon meter just broke.

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously on Friday to grant final planning and environmental approvals for LAFC’s proposed 22,000-seat stadium in Exposition Park on the site where the Sports Arena now stands. A statement from the club said, “These approvals by the City Council provide LAFC formal consent to take possession of the site and proceed with the groundbreaking of the project. Demolition of the Sports Arena is expected this summer. The new facility will be ready for the Club’s inaugural season in 2018.” With the news, LAFC released new renderings of the proposed stadium. More at Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Business JournalNBC Los AngelesCurbed Los Angeles, LAist, LA West Media, and MLSsoccer.com.

The Miami Herald reports, “Efforts to negotiate a land deal for David Beckham’s proposed soccer stadium recently hit a snag when negotiators for the celebrity athlete balked at some of the terms Miami-Dade wants in exchange for a county-owned parcel, according to internal documents.” More at Miami New Times.

Detroit Free Press has more on efforts to secure a MLS franchise in that city.

On Saturday, New York Red Bulls announced Karl Ouimette and Kyle Reynish had been loaned to NYRB II. That night, Ouimette was playing for NYRB II against Pittsburgh Riverhounds when he was sent off in the 86th minute along with Pittsburgh’s leading goalscorer Romeo Parkes. As Ouimette was leaving the field of play, Parkes viciously kicked him in the back (video). The USL soon issued as statement saying it was investigating the incident. On Sunday, the Riverhounds announced they had terminated Romero’s contract. More at Pittsbugh Tribune-ReviewPittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Soccer Report, and The Telegraph.

NYRB have waived center back Zach Carroll, who was selected in the second round of this year’s draft.


First place Washington (10 points, 3-0-1) remains undefeated with a 0-0 draw against third place Portland (8 points, 2-0-2). Second place Chicago (9 points, 3-1-0) defeated last place Boston (0 points, 0-4-0) 1-0 for their third straight win. Fourth place Houston (7 points, 2-1-1) defeated ninth place Kansas City (1 point, 0-3-1) 2-1 on the road. Fifth place Orlando (6 points, 2-2-0) defeated sixth place Seattle (6 points, 2-2-0), 2-0. Seventh place Western New York (6 points, 2-2-0) came from behind to defeat eighth place Sky Blue (4 points, 1-2-1), 2-1.

NWSL commissioner Jeff Plush visited Penn State last week.


Major League baseball cancelled a game that was to be played in Puerto Rico over Memorial Day weekend between Pittsburgh Pirates and Florida Marlins over concerns about the Zika virus. Will the cancellation change plans for the USMNT friendly in Puerto Rico on May 22?

At Soccer Wire, Charles Boehm uses the exclusion of former USWNT goalkeeper Brianna Scurry from the latest National Soccer Hall of Fame class as the starting point for questions about the Hall of Fame voting process.

TMZ reports Abby Wambach flipped her SUV in Oregon 2014 and left the scene of the accident.


Reuters reports, “Suspended European soccer boss Michel Platini will resign as head of governing body UEFA after losing a top level appeal against a ban for ethics violations, but he will continue to fight to clear his name.” The Court of Arbitration for Sport denied Platini’s appeal against the six-year ban he received from FIFA but did reduce the ban to four years. Platini said in a statement, “I take note of today’s decision from CAS but I see it as a profound injustice.” More from ESPN and the Press Association.

Also from Reuters: “The Swiss Federal Court has cleared the way for former Nicaraguan soccer official Julio Rocha to be extradited to the United States after rejecting his appeal to be sent to his home country, the court said in a statement on Monday.”

The AP reports, “Russia’s Sports Minister says construction work has stopped on a stadium that will host 2018 World Cup games in the city of Samara.” The stadium is already two to three months behind schedule.


  1. Sieve!!! says:

    For the good of Columbus they must get rid of Kai Kamara. I think the Inion could do them a solid.

    • pragmatist says:

      Kamara and Sapong…together again. That would be fantastic…

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Kamara costs a lot, but not as much as a DP (I don’t think), and is obviously familiar with the league already. I’d seriously kick the tires on it, if I were the Union. I assume they’d have to play a 4-4-2, then? Could they? Can someone with much more tactical prowess than myself… explain if this is possible with the current Union roster?

      • pragmatist says:

        He just got a new contract this offseason, after a minor holdout. And reports were that it was in the DP neighborhood. Just throwing that out there for reference.
        And I would imagine it would require a 4-4-2, and I have no idea how it would play out. But that would be a front line that could bruise some people, while providing some firepower.

      • 4-4-2 is not the only option but is likely the best one.
        Could also think about a 4-3-3 by pushing Sapong to the wing but that happened to him before and his production dropped.

    • You’d really take him on the Union, after he just MBolhi’ed his team?

      • Zizouisgod says:

        You can’t compare what Kamara said to M’Bolhi…apples and oranges.

      • It’s not the exact same situation, but calling out a teammate publically like that and contributing to a supposedly toxic atmosphere is NOT the kind of locker room we need to be replicating.

        And honestly, I am anti-Kei here. Yes, it sucks he couldn’t get a hate trick. Yes, the other guy shoulda let Kei take it. But the way Kei blew up over it and acted like a baby is not a good look for him and is completely over the top.

      • Zizouisgod says:

        He’s a striker. All of the good ones act like that. IMHO, you have to be inherently selfish and self-centered to be a good goal scorer.

        I have no problem with what Kei said or how he acted. I also think that he was right.

      • 100% Zizou. The manager accepted full responsibility.

      • I was comparing what he did, more than what he said. I didn’t watch the game, but the comments from mlssoccer.com made it sound like Kamara quit on the game after the argument with Higuain.

  2. Andrew Wenger scored a nice goal off a Maidana assist for Houston this weekend.
    Kind of reminded me of the one he scored in 2014 against the Quakes for the Union that was used as part of the pregame highlight package all last year.

  3. Lucky Striker says:

    When you least expect it-
    You’re detected.

    Not your lucky day………….

    Pipa smile !

    You’re on Candid Keimara…………

  4. LA looked strong offensively yesterday, but man did they look vulnerable on D. I like the Union to counter attack well Wednesday night… although it does depend on who LA bring, and starts. I don’t think they have a game this coming Saturay though, so we might see a deeper, stronger LA than we normally would for a mid-week cross country trip.

    • pragmatist says:

      I’ll be curious how many minutes they give Keane coming back from an injury on a short week, flying across country.
      Not that they don’t have other options, but he opens a ton of their offense, just with his presence.

    • philpill says:

      If the immature Union backline and its superstud keeper hold them at bay, the offense that can’t always shoot straight still has to come through. Quick turnaround to EC leader (MTL) there. I’ll take 0-2 if JC plays a creative lineup but we’re unlucky. And if I were Big Ern, I’d feel the same. But – just like you can’t expect to beat SJ 1-0, press your luck at your peril.

  5. 57th minute of a 4-1 game in Columbus with a team sitting on only two wins and near bottom of the conference and the stadium cleared out…. WTF is that?

  6. Is that first question in the Marissa Pilla mailbag real? Nothing against McCarthy, who’s a talented prospect and an outstanding guy, but come on now. Have you seen Blake play? The current GK situation is perfect with both of those guys getting lots of game time.

    • The whole mailbag thing is pretty lame IMO.

      • Generally true, though I’m impressed that Carroll can dead lift 300lbs.

      • If it is tweaked a little it can become a good PR thing.
        Problem for me is that most of the questions are directed toward those on the team (players, coaches, etc.) but Marissa is the one answering the questions so it is very disconnected and it feels like nothing is ever answered.

  7. I like what I’ve been hearing about the Academy results. That bodes well for the future.

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