Daily news roundups

Off to Montreal and other Union news, Lehigh Valley doubleheader, more news

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

No rest for the Union after Wednesday’s home game against LAG. On Saturday, the team is on the road to face Montreal Impact (5 pm, TCN, MLS Live, Direct Kick).

Jim Curtin said on Thursday, “It’s a difficult schedule, quick turnaround Wednesday to Saturday, but I think we’re confident right now. So it’s a good time to get back out on the field…We’ll make some decisions to get the most fresh team that can sustain the pressure that we like to play for 90 minutes…It’s a tricky one. We’re weighing a lot of different, individual, little matchups.”

Look for our quick reference and preview later this morning. In the meanwhile, there are these at Philadelphia Union, Delco TimesBrotherly Game, MLSsoccer.com, Montreal Impact, Mount Royal Soccer, Pro Soccer TalkMLSGB,

Looking around the Eastern Conference, Graham Parker writes at ESPN,

Montreal lead the East and have shown plenty of tenacity in getting there, but then again, they have really needed it because of holes they dug for themselves. Wins over Columbus and Chicago in the middle of April had them looking to gain momentum, only for them to lose their next home game to Toronto. They might be unbeaten in the three subsequent games, but they’re also winless. Coming back from 4-1 down in Columbus showed plenty of heart, but the 4-4 draw was another two points dropped. They’re still top — but more by default than a manner worthy of much acclaim…Philadelphia look to have stabilized, even if they might still be a year away from being a force beyond their conference.

At Montreal Gazette and Goal.com, articles on Montreal’s Dominic Oduro.

At CSN Philly, Dave Zeitlin quotes Jim Curtin on Keegan Rosenberry:

I knew he was a good player. Did I think his success would be this quick? No — probably not as quick as it’s come. I knew he was capable of playing in MLS games right away and holding his own. But he’s doing more than just holding his own. He’s impacting the game, which is the next step in any player’s development.

It’s one thing to be out there and be unnoticed. That’s a good starting point — for a defender not to be noticed. But then to actually leave a mark on the game, whether it’s a goal or an assist, or putting out a lot of situations 1v1 defensively, that’s really good for him.

Rosenberry is the only Union field player to have played every minute of the season.

More reports from Wednesday night’s draw with LAG at Philadelphia UnionMetro, Philly Sports Network, and SBI.

Stateside of Soccer on Tranquillo Barnetta becoming a midfield maestro.


Bethlehem Steel FC

Bethlehem Steel hosts FC Montreal on Sunday at 4 pm (YouTube). Before that game, Lehigh Valley United and Reading United open their PDL season at Goodman Stadium at noon.

At the Bethlehem Steel website, Charlotte Muscroft interviews goalkeeper Samir Badr.

Reading United

Reading United begins its 2016 PDL season on Sunday at noon when it faces Lehigh Valley United Sonic at Lehigh University’s Goodman Stadium before Bethlehem hosts FC Montreal. LVU’s head coach is Dave Castellanos, who joined the club in December after three years as head coach of Reading United.

Reading Eagle has a good report on Reading United’s US Open Cup 2-0 first round win over Atlanta Silverbacks on Wednesday night. The team’s first training session was on Monday, with players arriving to join the team as recently as the day of the game. Defender William McConnell said, “Some of us don’t even know each other’s names yet.” More on the win at Reading United and Philly Soccer News.

WCU-City Islanders  USOC adReading plays Chattanooga FC on the road in the second round of the US Open Cup on Wednesday, May 18. If they win, they host the winner of West Chester United-Harrisburg City Islanders. If the do not win, the winner of WCU-HCI is on the road to face Chattanooga.

Philadelphia Union Academy

The Union U-13/14s host their counterparts from NJCSA on Saturday at YSC at 7 pm.

The Union U-15/16s (1 pm) and U-17/18s (11 am) host their counterparts from Montreal Impact at the Union training grounds on Sunday.

Soccer Wire calls Sunday’s games against Montreal among the top matchups of the weekend in US Soccer Development Academy play.

Harrisburg City Islanders

Harrisburg has the weekend off ahead of their US Open Cup second round game versus West Chester United.

Following up on a story he wrote at Penn 97 in the beginning of April, Sean McPherson writes at Brotherly Game about the City Islanders quietly dropping “Harrisburg” from their name to become City Islanders FC. Molly Gilroy, director of marketing and communications with the team explains, “The reason being that we wanted to expand our footprint beyond just Harrisburg. We wanted to be central Pennsylvania’s team.” Someone should probably tell whoever runs the league website.

Gilroy also affirmed the team’s desire to remain in Harrisburg. If the team cannot get a new stadium built there and does have to move, it wants to remain in Central Pennsylvania.

Ocean City Nor’easters

The new Ocean City Nor’easters kit will be unveiled tonight at an event at at Buffalo Wild Wings in Mays Landing. On Saturday, the team will play an intrasquad game at Carey Stadium in Ocean City at 7 pm.


Vancouver striker Masato Kudo is out with a broken jaw following a collision with Chicago goalkeeper Matt Lampson in Wednesday night’s 2-1 win.

At NYCFC, Frank Lampard trained joined the team in full training on Wednesday, albeit for only 30 minutes.

Sky Italia journalist Alessandro Alciato believes there’s a 90 percent chance Zlatan Ibrahimovic will sign with the Galaxy this summer. Ibrahimovic and Paris Saint-Germain confirmed today the Swede will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of June.


At SI, Brian Straus looks at whose stock is rising and falling on the USMNT’s 40-player preliminary roster for the Copa America.

A new poll from Public Policy Polling says that 68 percent of US citizens believe the USWNT should be paid the same as the USMNT. The poll also says only 14 percent of Americans consider themselves fans of MLS.


Canadian Soccer Association president Victor Montagliani has been elected president of CONCACAF, the confederation’s third president this year. In addition to continuing the reforms aimed at addressing the various corruption scandals that have rocked the confederation, Montagliani said he will work to make sure the one of US, Canada, and Mexico, or some combination of the countries, hosts the 2026 World Cup. “”I think that the three countries that have put up their hands are very, very strong in their own right and we will look for a collaborative strategy to bring the World Cup back to CONCACAF in 2026.” Montagliani also said he will expand the Gold Cup to 16 teams. More on the election at The Guardian, Goal.com, MLSsoccer.comReuters, and the AP.

Alexi Lalas says the US should host the World Cup: “It’s not even a battle, it’s nothing: it has to be in the United States. Nobody will do it better, it will make the most money in the history of World Cups, it will be coming to a culture that loves soccer and it just makes all the sense in the world.” Asked if the US should be a part of a joint bid, Lalas said, “No, why should we share it with Canada or anybody else when we can host it just as well by ourselves? It’s nothing against them — we’re a benevolent country — but in this case I think it should be the United States and the United States alone.”

The AP reports, “The Spanish league is investigating match-fixing involving a game between Rayo Vallecano and Real Sociedad. League president Javier Tebas told Spanish radio Cadena SER on Friday that the league is investigating Rayo’s 2-1 loss at Sociedad on Sunday.”

ESPN on the information Gianni Infantino is briefing FIFA members with regarding the ongoing corruption investigations.

Checkout the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of live soccer on TV, online, and on satellite radio for the upcoming week.


  1. Just guessing, but from Curtins previous changes in guessing Crevalle, Alberg and Ilsinho will start this weekend. This is one of the bigger Union games in a while, should be fun to watch.
    Was there any further news on that bulletin board with the discovery names? I mean I’m assuming Zlatan would not even know who we are and bypass us, but was there any truth to it? With what we know, if he somehow wanted to play here, do we think the owners would pay what it takes?

    • For Zlatan, I think Sugarman would actually open the purse strings. But that’s besides the point, because he isn’t coming here. If he comes to MLS, Galaxy would be his first (probably only)choice. I believe Zlatan also indicated a desire to go back to Seria A. Plus there’s a rumor that Man U wants him. This is all about the discovery money. It’s disappointing, but I think the Union would still gladly take the cash.

      • pragmatist says:

        I don’t know that Sugarman would pay the amount necessary to get him here. (For the record, he’s not coming here. This is simply a fun hypothetical.)
        He’s going to be the most expensive player in the league. Now, he’ll also be the most popular, and he will likely be the #1 in jersey sales within a year. But an owner with limited resources will still be hesitant to make that financial gamble.
        They SHOULD, but “should” and “would” are very different animals.

    • I’m putting the chance of Ibra in philly at .001%

    • Agree with your predicted changes and I think we might see Tribbett come back in for Yaro if he’s fit, think Curtin might want someone who can bang around in the box with Drogba.

  2. Also that discovery list is the dumbest thing in all of sports. I’m curious what MLS team has the “discovery” of Messi? Who has Ronaldo? Who has Rooney, or even Ozil. If the U get 50g that’s great, but it’s absolutely ridiculous.

    • I think about it like this, it’s a way for the non LA’s and Ny’s to get a little back from those teams. If the rest of the league is so unattractive to those players, why not get a bit of cheese from the big guys as a bit of compensation. Ridiculous? Absolutely. But what about MLS policies isn’t?

      • John Ling says:

        That’s really just a side effect, though. The purpose of the discovery list isn’t to allow the “lesser” teams to make some scratch. The sole purpose is to prevent teams from bidding against one another.
        It’s an anti-competitive structure built into the foundation of MLS’s single entity system.

      • Well sure it’s a side effect, a plus, or bonus if you will. It just becomes another part of the strategy. Not every team can sign all the players on their discovery list if they become available. Maybe not even any. So it’s like sand bagging some money if you play it right.

    • Being that desperate for $50k is a bad look imo

  3. MLS SMH….
    If Zlatan joins LA this summer I want to know why there is even a salary cap at all and I want to know how it is that he can play there…. Zlatan. Gerard. Dos Santos. Keane… isn’t there someone else I can’t think of.
    MLS SMH.
    or is it FUBAR.

    • Option B. Or Shenanigans. Does anyone outside L.A. truly believe they don’t get preferential treatment?

    • I have a feeling that the MLS will state that the league is doing great and will now allow 4 DPs when the time comes. The Galaxy write the rules of MLS.

      • Which is fine…whatever – but people who complain about the one or two ‘special’ teams that would rise to the top because of pro/rel can’t argue with a straight face that there are 2 or 3 special teams in MLS already rising to the top… separating themselves to hold the league afloat.
        …but more importantly – stop with the salary cap then… it is totally and completely laughable… if an owner has the means they should be able to pay what they want… LA ALREADY IS.
        the salary cap is what 3 million or so… yet Gerard commands 6, keane gets what 2, Dos Santos gets what 1.5 and Zlatan will demand what 7….
        It’s ridiculous and precisely why so many football fans find MLS intolerable. They are digging their own grave with 40 million US Soccer fans/citizens… and while I root for the Union like I root for the Eagles… I cannot root for MLS or NFL as business models. I wish they would fail.
        Anybody find it at all interesting there is a new reality TV show set in Western PA about youth american football players ..in light of the movie Concussion- which not ironically was also set in Western PA? I would love to find out who has financed this show– behind all the legalese.

      • Zizouisgod says:

        You make a great case there for no cap, but here in the US, we like our sports with a heaping portion of socialism. Perhaps start out with a luxury tax over a certain salary budget and see how that goes first.

      • How is it socialist, seems like capitalist to me, a few rich dudes own everything and squash everyone else.

      • … mocking the paradigm of parity I believe.

      • Zizouisgod says:

        It’s socialist in how the clubs are restricted in how much they can pay players.

        It’s an oligarchy for the owners, no doubt about it.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        NASL in the was run without a cap back in the ’70’s. How’d that work out?

  4. John Ling says:

    The poll also says only 14 percent of Americans consider themselves fans of MLS.
    To take a “glass half full” view of this, that means 44.5 million MLS fans in the US. That’s a very solid foundation to build from.

    • Good point, plus I bet if you broke that down by age groups it would look like a really solid foundation going forward.

      • John Ling says:

        Good additional point. The 18-35 year old male is supposed to be the magical demographic for advertisers, and I bet a good chunk of that 44.5m fall into that demographic.

    • The number I find more interesting is that 60% of voters over 45 consider themselves NFL fans while of those under 45, only 48% consider themselves fans. I’ve had an on-going discussion with my father, that the NFL has peaked and is starting a down-turn. With rule changes, the commissioner, and concussions, the product that is the NFL, is weakening by the year.

      • When the NFL turned a 60 minute game into a 3.5 hour affair… I bolted.
        Now, generally I just detest everything it stands for…
        that said, football abroad has a host of issues as well… match fixing and terrible racism…
        but at least my 4 young children don’t have to watch young people drinking alcohol for every 12 minutes of the hour… or erection problems with the subliminal messages and tree house wife waiting to get banged by her Tarzan… or the big E-Corp silently fleecing the population.

      • Buccistick says:

        Just to clarify, el P: you object to the content *and* frequency of NFL advertising? or just the content?
        All else being equal, how would you feel if MLS (or here, insert that US soccer league that does relegate and promote) one day did command the eyeballs that attracted the big boy advertisers currently plying their wares to NFL audiences?
        How do you rate the TV advertising currently enjoyed by Liga MX and the top flights across the Atlantic?

      • Content and frequency…. for multiple reasons American Football has stalled to a stand still literally and figuratively.
        As far as big advertising- like abroad I’m all for it…this i understand – but you only need to hit the mute button before kick off then for 10 or so minutes at half time… watching American Football you need your finger on the mute button the whole time… from the commercialized onslaught…
        ….but this is the POV of one person.

      • ESPN did a study on this a year ago or so and found that the strongest soccer fans were in the youngest demographic ranges. Which makes sense. Baseball and NFL are losing to Soccer and Basketball. Hockey isn’t doing so great at all. I wish I could recall the specifics. But those demographic trends are very favorable to American soccer. .
        Also, I agree with El P about the commercials with he NFL, You’ll get 5 minutes of ads, a kickoff and then another 5 to 10 minutes of ads. Baseball also suffers from games that can run 4 hours, too. One of the best things to recommend futbol is a sport, you always know a match is going to take 2 hours (unless it’s an elimination match). If I sit down for a match at 7, I’ll be done at 9. How great is that?

      • 100%…and it is one of my biggest arguments against adding replay… you want to take 10 seconds to review if a ball goes over the goal line… no problem, beyond that stick replay in the ear….
        MLS is struggling with discernible rhythm already related to the style of game played here… anything added to that dissonance is unwelcome by me.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        Replay shouldn’t even be needed for that. Just use the technology they use in England so a buzzer goes off in the refs pocket when the ball goes in.

      • John Ling says:


  5. El P, where did you go? Well this was in response to the comment you deleted…..
    Funny? I find it funny. And I truly believe it’s coming. At this point the owners can’t get out of their own way. They just gave the worst commissioner they’ve ever had an extension because they like what he is doing. Most of their fans do not. Will it drop to the 14% that MLS has? Probably not. But it’s hold at the top is weakening greatly.

  6. This is the league we are required to support… A Simple MLS Allocation Flowchart.
    It speaks for me.

  7. Nigel De Jong.
    Ashley Cole.
    Steven Gerrard.
    Gio Dos Santos.
    Robbie Keane.
    Zlatan Ibrahimovich.
    I guess we will need to spring up a few more franchises with their subsequent fees to help pay this farce.
    A league of Fake Plastic Trees.
    Have a nice weekend…. out.

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