Daily news roundups

Union eager to test themselves against LAG, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Jim Curtin’s weekly press conference (full transcript here at PSP) ahead of Wednesday’s home game against LA Galaxy was naturally largely concerned with the challenges the Galaxy present. For example, from the Galaxy website: “The Galaxy enter Wednesday’s game with a seven game unbeaten streak and a three-game unbeaten streak on the road. LA have scored 22 goals this season, the most in MLS, and given up just 10 for a +12 goal differential, also the best in MLS. The next best goal differential is seven below the Galaxy’s as the Colorado Rapids have recorded a +5 differential.”

Curtin said his team is eager to test itself against a Galaxy side he described as “the gold standard of the league…the Patriots, if you will, of MLS.” He explained,

As a pro, you want to test yourself against the best and they right now have a very good thing going. They’ve been champions of our league several times in the recent years. We think we have a good team, as well, and we want to see where we stand up this Wednesday night…we want to challenge ourselves against the best teams, and, right now, they’re playing better than anyone in our league…Attacking wise, the Galaxy is a tough matchup, so we want to see just how much we have raised the bar. I think we’ve raised it a lot, I think the players believe that, too. The 90 minutes is your test, that’s when you get to show the strides that we’ve made. So, yeah, everybody’s anxiously awaiting the game, it’ll be a big match.

Curtin said Ken Tribbett is available for selection for Wednesday’s game. Anderson, who suffered a separated shoulder playing for Bethlehem two weeks ago, is training but “is a little tentative with contact right now.”

Looking ahead, Curtin noted, “Our schedule gets busy right now and the depth is very important. We have six games in the next 22 days so everybody on the roster will be called upon to step up.”

More from the press conference at Philly.com, Delco Times, Philly Voice, MLSsoccer.com, and Philadelphia Union.

Asked who he thought the Galaxy would bring for the game, Curtin said, “They’re bringing everybody.” Looks like he was right:

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead talks to Richie Marquez about Wednesday’s game. Marquez, who grew up outside of LA, says he’s excited to face the team that handed the Union an embarrassing 5-1 defeat last season. Asked what he remembers from the game, Marquez said, “Getting worked 4 to 1, or 5 to 1; I don’t even remember the score actually, I’m just hungry for that revenge, you know? That’s what I keep thinking about, is getting back at them.”

Look for our preview of the game later this morning. In the meanwhile, here are some match previews at MLSsoccer.comPattison Ave, LAG ConfidentialStoppage TimeMLSGB, League Lane, and Sports Chat Place.

More power rankings! At ESPN, the Union move up two spots to No. 5: “The Union sat idle this weekend, perhaps the better to prepare for the red hot Galaxy, who visit Chester on Wednesday.” At Soccer America, the Union move up three spots to No. 6: “The Union sat out last weekend and has two biggies on the docket: at home Wednesday against the Galaxy and at Montreal Saturday.”

Superpowers. I’m with Brian Carroll.

Bethlehem Steel FC

In the latest power rankings at USLsoccer.com (which rank only the the top ten teams of the 29-team league), Bethlehem, currently eighth in the Eastern Conference, makes the “Best of the Rest” category.

Unauthorized Bethlehem Steel FC Blog wonders if Bethlehem are in need of another central defender.

More reports on the road draw with Orlando City B at Brotherly Game and O-Town’s 11.

Philadelphia Union Academy

At the Union website, Ted Brooks notes the callups received by Union Academy goalkeepers C.J. Dos Santos and Kris Shakes from the US U-17 MNT.

At Brotherly Game, Matt Ralph has more on the Academy U-15/16 and U-17/18 victories over Richmond United over the weekend.

Reading United

The Reading Eagle reports on the Meet the Team event Reading United held on Monday night (the new home kit looks sharp!). The report notes, “The event capped the team’s first day together, which began with a training session…It’s one of two training sessions the team will get before Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup first-round match against the Atlanta Silverbacks at Wilson’s Gurski Stadium at 7 p.m.”

Harrisburg City Islanders

Harrisburg City Islanders were defeated 3-2 by Charleston Battery on Monday night. Harrisburg had a chance to equalize from the penalty spot in stoppage time but Craig Foster fired his kick over the crossbar. Paul Wilson scored a brace for the home team. Recaps and reports at Harrisburg City Islanders, abc27, Philly Soccer NewsUSL, Charleston Battery, The Post and CourierLive5News, and Dirty South Soccer.

Ocean City Nor’easters

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


Philadelphia Fury of the ASL will host La Liga side Eibar in a friendly at Rowan University on Sunday, May 22.


The primary transfer window closes on Wednesday. (MLSSoccer.com notes, “The final cutoff arrives at midnight CT (1 am ET) Thursday morning, on account of the US Soccer Federation’s headquarters in Chicago.”) The secondary window opens on July 4 and runs through August 3.

Following Toronto’s home opener over the weekend, delayed due to renovations at BMO Field, Soccer America reports, “The 20 MLS openers averaged 23,591 fans, down 1.8 percent from 2015. Eight teams drew more fans than they did in 2015, 10 drew less, and two — Portland and San Jose — drew exactly the same. The league-wide decrease was entirely attributable to the drop in New York City’s opening crowd as compared to its debut game at Yankee Stadium in 2015.” In case you’re wondering, the Union’s 2016 home opening attendance was 17,027, down from 18,022 in 2015. You will recall Soccer America reported earlier the NASL’s opening attendance was “5,594, down from 8,882 in 2015, a decrease of 37 percent year-over-year.” With four clubs yet to have their home openers at the time, Soccer America reported on April 20, “The USL’s five expansion teams that have played their first home game have averaged 7,134 fans.”

At Fox Soccer, Ryan Rosenblatt on how the Copa America will be a chance for MLS to shine. The subheading to the title of the article reads, “The tournament will be littered with MLS players.”

Orlando Sentinel reports former Union man Pedro Ribeiro, now with Orlando City, “successfully underwent back surgery last week and will spend the bulk of the season recovering.”

The BBC has announced Frank Lampard, who has yet to make an appearance for NYCFC this season, and Jurgen Klinsmann will be contributors to the network’s coverage of the Euros. Ives Galarcep writes at Goal.com, “Lampard has still only made 10 appearances for his current team, and given his $6 million-per-year salary, he is looking more and more like one of the worst signings in MLS history. That perception only makes news of Lampard’s foray into television work look even worse, and it will only continue to grow with each game he misses.” Both Lampard and Klinsmann will participate in coverage remotely. Klinsmann’s participation will begin whenever the US is out of the Copa America.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports, “Minnesota United FC players held a team practice outside the State Capitol on Monday, urging legislators to support bringing Major League Soccer to the state.” More at MPR and Bring Me the News.

Romeo Parkes, the player whose contract was terminated by Pittsburgh Riverhounds after he assaulted NYRB II defender Karl Ouimette, has been handed a season-long suspension, including the regular season and the playoffs, by the USL.


From ESPN: “The introduction of penalty goals, that would see a goal automatically awarded when a player uses their arm to stop the ball on the goal line, is to be considered by football’s lawmakers [the IFAB]…A change to the law would mean a penalty goal would be awarded if a player is penalised for handball on the goalline, thus preventing a certain goal. A goal would be awarded rather than a penalty kick, and that would remove the possibility that a team could miss the penalty, and effectively be robbed of a goal.”

CONCACAF has announced “Soccer United Marketing (SUM) has been selected to market and service the Confederation’s worldwide sponsorship rights. The decision follows a thorough Request for Proposal (RFP) process conducted over a five-month timespan. The agreement runs five and a half years (through the end of 2021).” SUM, as you know, is the commercial arm of MLS. More at ESPN.

From the AP: ‘Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo says the huge fan zone set up in the French capital during the European Championship will meet the “highest security standards.'”

UEFA president Gianni Infantino on the Court of Arbitration for Sport upholding Michel Platini’s ban from football: “Obviously as FIFA president I need to respect the decision of the CAS — there is no doubt about that. On a personal level, of course, I am very sad about the decision.” More on the Platini decision from The Guardian, Soccer AmericaPress Association, and the AP.

Reuters reports, “The ‘arrogance’ of senior officials brought corruption-related turmoil to world soccer but important governance reforms could restore its credibility, according to influential sports administrator Kevan Gosper.”

Reuters reports, “China plans to have more than 70,000 soccer pitches available for everyone to use by 2020 as the country continues to map out ways of revitalizing the sport, the government said on Tuesday.”


    • Spray Dan says:

      Terrific opponent for a friendly, but why on earth is Eibar playing an ASL side? Even stranger, why are they going to Vegas to play the Cosmos? I would’ve been interested to see Eibar play the Union, but the fourth division Fury?

  1. Call me “olde-fashioned”, but… the LA players look like a bunch of slobs, bums (healthy, good-looking slobs and bums for the most part but still…). I’m HOPING we look a little more… presentable and put-together when we travel like that (all players in the same UNION polo or shirt, that sort of thing)…

  2. Why did I watch than entire video of LA traveling?

  3. el Pachyderm says:

    Frank Lampard. What a folly.

  4. The Anti-DOGSO Realist Brian says:

    DOGSO sucks when a goalie is going for a ball and clips the player. I think that if it happens, it should be a yellow and a PK. Similary, if a penalty is called in the box, give the PK and a yellow. However, if a player is hacked down on a breakaway outside of the box and it is deliberate, that should be a red. Also, I think that the deliberate swatting a ball down from goal should be a red card and a PK. It would be too weird just to award a goal. The team would be penalized with the player sent off only in this situation.
    Oh, and we need pro/rel. Desprately. How can we get the Philadelphia Fury to the highest levels?

  5. Andy Muenz says:

    So let me get this straight. Klinsmann has a paying gig lined up for as soon as the US are eliminated from Copa America? Does he not realize what kind of accusations this leaves him open to if he makes ANY questionable lineup decisions that don’t work out?
    And by questionable, it pretty much means any 11 players on the field. If Pulisic plays and they lose then it becomes why did he use such a young player? And if he doesn’t play and they lose, people will accuse him of sinking the team’s chances by not playing him.
    Not the smartest move by Jurgen.

    • I for one think the ‘not the smartest move’ move by Jurgen Klinsman is having Timmy Chandler still in the player pool.
      This is just one more in a long line of interesting head scratching choices for sure though.

  6. Lucky Striker says:

    Brian: Wholeheartedly agree on GK red-as long as in the opinion of the ref he is making an honest effort to play the ball-not taking out a player-and simply mistimes it.

    Just that point though.

    • RE: Honest effort.
      Have no worries at all Lucky Striker…soon enough we will have instant replay for all suspicious calls… I mean, hell let’s get rid of officials altogether and have an eye in the sky … I love what replay it has done for the rhythm of baseball.

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