Daily news roundups

Union bits, Blake’s rise, US opens Copa America play tonight, more news

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

Ticketing information for the Union’s US Open Cup fourth round game against Harrisburg City Islanders on Wednesday, June 15 has been announced: “Tickets are free for Season Ticket Members and start at $15 for the general public. Parking is free for this match.” Click here to order tickets.

At SBI, Joe Tansey on the contributions of the Union’s rookie class to the team’s success.

Sebastien Le Toux on Fabian Herbers’ goal-celebration flip: “I didn’t really see it because I was too tired, I just saw the landing. I don’t think it’s the same as Ayuk. It’s not as quality, but it’s OK.” Hilarious! More on Herbers scoring his first MLS goal at Philly Voice.

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead has analysis and player grades from Wednesday’s win over Columbus. Brotherly Game reviews the good, the bad, and the ugly from Wednesday’s win over Columbus.

At Delco Times, Matthew De George emphasizes the squad-wide contributions that have gone into the Union being in first place in the Eastern Conference as MLS breaks for the Copa America tournament.

Andre Blake

At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin has a great profile piece on Andre Blake’s rise.

At MLSsoccer.com, Blake comes in a No. 6 in a list of the “top 10 stars to watch” at the Copa America.

MLS Multiplex picks Blake, Keegan Rosenberry, and CJ Sapong for selection in the MLS All-Star team.

Bethlehem Steel FC

Bethlehem hosts New York Red Bulls II on Sunday at 4 pm (YouTube). Previews at Bethlehem Steel FC (print, video) and Unauthorized Bethlehem Steel FC Blog.

Philadelphia Union Academy

The Union Academy teams finish regular season US Soccer Development Academy play on Saturday against their counterparts from DC United. Play begins at 10 with the Union U-17/18s, who are currently in first place in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division (56 points, 17-3-5). In second place in the Atlantic Division (51 points, 15-4-6), the U-15/16s take the field at 12 pm. The U-13/14s finish the day’s games with a 2 pm kickoff. More on Saturday’s games at Brotherly Game.

Harrisburg City Islanders

The City Islanders play the first of two road games in seven days on Friday with a 7 pm road game against Wilmington Hammerheads in North Carolina (YouTube). The team then faces NYRB II on Thursday. Preview of Friday’s game at USLsoccer.com and Wilmington Hammerheads.

TheCup.us has a recap of Wednesday’s third round US Open Cup win over Chattanooga FC.

PDL

Ocean City Nor’easters hosts perennial rival Reading United on Saturday at 7 pm. Ocean City (9 points, 3-1-0) is currently in first place in the PDL’s Mid Atlantic Division while Reading, who have a game in hand, are in third place with a a 2-0-1 record. Preview at Ocean City Nor’easters.

Lehigh Valley United Sonic, last place in the Mid Atlantic Division with a 0-3-0 record, host fifth place NYRB U-23s (1-1-1) on Saturday at 7 pm.

Local

Philly.com and Philly Sports Network have guides to the Copa (and the Euros, with PSN).

The Guardian has a preview of the Collegiate Rugby Championships at Talen Energy Stadium this weekend. Don’t screw up the field.

MLS

The league wrapped up play ahead of the Copa AMerica Centenario break with three games on Thursday night. NYCFC (fourth in the East, 18 points, 4-5-6) opened the scoring but lost 3-2 at home to Salt Lake (third in the West, 23 points, 7-4-2). In other Western Conference play, second place Dallas (28 points, 8-4-4) drew 1-1 with last place Houston (13 points, 3-7-4). Fifth place LAG (21 points, 5-2-6) drew 0-0 with eighth place Kansas City (18 points, 5-8-3).

At Fox Business, a look at MLS’ climb to legitimacy in the greater US sports landscape, and some of the challenges the league could face going forward.

US

The US begins Group A play in the Copa America Centenario tonight at 9:30 pm when the face Colombia (FS1, Fox Soccer 2Go, UniMás, Univision, UDN). PSP’s Peter Andrews will be in the press box at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Follow the PSP Twitter account for live updates from the game.

Jurgen Klinsmann said of tonight’s game, “Having the opportunity to open up the competition with a game against Colombia, which is one of the best teams in the world, it’s a real pleasure. But it’s also something that in this specific moment you want to see where you stand, where you are right now…I think we have strong enough, talented enough players to beat Colombia.”

Previews of tonight’s game at PSP, ESPNSoccer America, ASNGoal.comPro Soccer Talk, and MLSsoccer.com (preview, USA, Colombia).

Echoing Klinsmann’s comments about having an opportunity to see where things stand, one storyline heading into the Copa America tournament sees it as an opportunity to find consensus on how successful Jurgen Klinsmann’s tenure as head coach has been. For example, see Fox Sports, ESPN, USA Today, Philly.com, and the New York Post.

The Wall Street Journal says stagnated development means Jurgen Klinsmann has to rely too much on the “old guard” for the Copa America roster rather than an expected crop of younger next generation players. Klinsmann is quoted, “We hoped that a lot of them would be a lot stronger. We have too many of our talents sitting on benches. They are sitting on benches in Mexico, in European leagues, on MLS teams.”

Pulisic! Pulisic!

At MLSsoccer.com, Matthew Doyle details why, historically speaking, the USMNT is better than most people think.

Meeting for the first time since the 2015 Women’s World Cup final, the US and Japan drew 3-3 in a friendly in Colorado on Thursday night. Japan was up 2-0 after 22 minutes before Alex Morgan scored a brace to level and Lindsey Horan headed home a goal in the 89th minute to give the US the lead before Japan, down to ten players since the 57th minute, equalized in the 94th minute. Recaps at US Soccer, Soccer America, and Goal.com. The teams meet again in Cleveland on June 5.

Earlier this week, the US U-17 WNT defeated the Switzerland U-19 WNT, 3-2, in Morbio, Switzerland.

Elsewhere

FIFA released an update today on the internal investigation into corruption at the federation “regarding details on contracts and compensation for a small group of former FIFA officials” that includes former president Joseph Blatter, former secretary general Jérôme Valcke, and former deputy secretary general and chief financial officer Markus Kattner. Says Bill Burck, “The evidence appears to reveal a coordinated effort by three former top officials of FIFA to enrich themselves through annual salary increases, World Cup bonuses and other incentives totalling more than CHF 79 million – in just the last five years.” That’s $80 million.

The Guardian reports,

FIFA has said formal proceedings are yet to be taken against Gianni Infantino despite reports in a German newspaper that the president is facing a 90-day suspension.

According to Die Welt, FIFA is investigating claims that Infantino, elected the president of world football’s governing body only in February, acted to destroy recordings of a FIFA council meeting in Mexico.

FIFA said in a statement,

In accordance with standard practice, all official FIFA meetings – including council meetings – are recorded and archived. This was the case for the meeting in Mexico City in question.

The email exchange that makes mention of the deletion of audio files refers to a copy of the original audio file of the meeting that was improperly stored on a local drive. This mention does not refer to the officially archived audio file. That files exists and is properly saved at FIFA.

More at SI, PA Sport, Omnisport, and Pro Soccer Talk.

In possibly related news, the AP reports, “The Attorney General of Switzerland has confirmed that a search was carried out at FIFA headquarters on Thursday and documents were seized.”

Also from the AP: “Peru’s Supreme Court has cleared the way for the extradition to the U.S. of the country’s former football boss for his alleged involvement in multibillion-dollar FIFA bribery scandal involving marketing and broadcasting rights. Manuel Burga has been in jail since December as part of the continuing investigation.” More at Reuters.

The AP reports,

Eleven people were killed in a fire that broke out in housing for migrant laborers working on a tourism project in Qatar, authorities said late Thursday.

The fire is likely to intensify scrutiny of conditions for low-wage guest workers in the wealthy Gulf nation, which is being transformed by billions of dollars’ worth of construction projects as it prepares to host the 2022 World Cup.

At the Guardian, a good read on the victims of last November’s terrorists attacks at the Stade de France.

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

16 Comments

  1. Also, “Talen Energy Stadium” may have another name coming….
    .
    http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-riverstone-acquires-talen-energy-20160603-story.html

    • While Riverstone Park has a nice ring, the fact that the Union are undefeated at Talen Energy Stadium makes me hope they keep the name.

    • Riverstone Park would be WAY better. I can’t even be bothered to say “Talen Energy Stadium”. Half the time I still call it PPL Park.

      • AMorePerfectUnion says:

        Why cant they just name it something like “Union Park, sponsored by [insert crappy energy company name here]”? That way, every few months when these energy “distributors” change hands, we dont have to keep renaming a stadium, just update the primary sponsor

        Union Park is pretty lame, but just trying to make a point

      • When it was announced the name would change last time, someone here suggested “Talen Green”. I’m still on board with giving the stadium a kind of cultured, old timey, feeling name like Green. “Riverside green sponsored by insert energy company” or something to that effect.

    • and the corestates/first union/wachovia/wells fargo center is proud of it’s offspring. quoted as saying, “i thought i’d have to settle for blockbuster-sony e-center/tweeter/Susquehanna Bank/BB&T pavilion wasn’t hard enough hard to keep track of. but now we have a legitimate heir”

  2. el Pachyderm says:

    US Colombia 9:30 on a Friday is one thing
    .
    Argentina Chile 10 pm on Monday is a kick in the groin.
    .
    Come on – who’s imagination are we trying to capture

  3. Herbers and Pontius are both up for Goal of the Week:
    .
    http://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2016/06/03/att-mls-goal-week-week-14-voting

  4. Is there any reason we can’t just burn FIFA to be ground and start again?! I mean, it so clearly, fundamentally broken, I really don’t think it can be fixed. Just a thought I had seeing yet another story of another raid on FIFA headquarters.

  5. If LeToux is doing it then maybe PSP needs to start formally grading the goal celebrations as part of the player ratings

    We need the “Ayukometer” to go with the Geiger Counter

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