Daily news roundups

Union bits, must win for the US, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

The Union remain at No. 2 in MLSsoccer.com’s power rankings: “When they went down 1-0 we thought ‘young team getting caught in a trap game.’ And then they just kept attacking until Crew SC eventually surrendered. Philly aren’t perfect, but they’re top of the East for a reason.” At Soccer America, the Union remain at No. 3.

Five Union players — Chris Pontius (No. 2), Tranquillo Barnetta (No. 7), Sebastien Le Toux (No. 8), Vincent Nogueira (No. 11), and Fabian Herbers (No. 16) — made the top 20 of the Audi MLS Player Index for Week 14. At MLSsoccer.com, a highlight video of some of Pontius’ key touches in the win over Columbus.

Pontius has been named SBI’s MLS Player of the Week.

Need to know why you should vote for Andre Blake for the MLS All-Star team? A post at the Union website has got you covered.

Matt Jones fell short in the first round of voting for Save of the Week, garnering 43.47 percent of the vote to 56.53 for Columbus’ Steve Clark. At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead talks to Jones about his first MLS start in last week’s win over Columbus.

The Venezuelan national team practiced at the Union training grounds on Monday. Venezuela faces Uruguay at the Linc on Thursday.

Section 215 scrolls through Reddit to consider how long the Union will be able to hold on to Andre Blake before Europe comes calling.

Sports Journal wonders if the Union are the Leicester City of MLS.

At the Colorado Rapids website, a video about the match between the Rapids and Union Special Olympics teams that followed last month’s MLS game between Colorado and Philadelphia.

Vroom, vroom!

PDL

In the PDL power rankings for the Eastern Conference, Reading comes in at No. 1:

No losses, 10 goals and 10 points; Reading United is off to a great start in the 2016 PDL regular season. Three of their wins have come on the road, and one of those was a 5-0 result against an Evergreen FC side that has shown signs of an excellent attack this campaign. Zachary Zandi scored a brace in Week 5, while Paul Marie and Brett Campbell have been instrumental in the team’s success.

At the Reading website, a recap of Saturday’s road win over Ocean City Nor’easters.

Ocean City Nor’easters have announced they will be hosting New England Revolution in a friendly on June 11. The announcement notes, “The roster that will be taking part in the game for New England has not been confirmed as of yet.” So, whether the Revolution team will be made up of first team players, or something more along the lines of the DC United U-23 team the Nor’easters hosted on May 21 remains to be seen.

Egg Harbor’s Tuckahoe Brewery will release a “Nor’easter Ale” inspired by Ocean City Nor’easters at a special event at the brewery on June 16.

Local

Burlington County Times notes Palmyra High School graduate Ryan Butler has signed with Philadelphia Fury.

MLS

MPR reports, “A plan to bring Major League Soccer to Minnesota is facing another obstacle after Gov. Mark Dayton let a signing deadline expire on a major tax bill. That bill includes a key property tax break for a soccer stadium in St. Paul.” Dayton was expected to sign the bill until last week when an error in the wording of the language of the bill was discovered after lawmakers had already adjourned for the year that would’ve cost the state $101 million in revenue earmarked as a key funding stream for the construction of the Minnesota Vikings’ new stadium. Dayton is now calling for a special legislative session to pass the corrected tax bill.

In an interview at The Black and Yellow Post, Charleston Battery Eric Bowman says his aspirations are toward joining MLS: “The long ­term goal is to turn Charleston into an MLS city. Obviously that’s a long way off, but we think it’s attainable. There’s talk of MLS expanding to Saint Louis, Sacramento, San Antonio etc. so the jump from USL to MLS is within our reach. If MLS wants to be in a particular market, the League will find a way to make it happen. Our job is to turn Charleston into a market that MLS wants to expand to. If we can leverage the sport’s growing popularity nationally and the dedicated local fan base that’s been here from the start with the improvements we’re making on the field and in the stadium, we’ll get there.”

US

Tonight’s game against Costa Rica (8 pm: FS1, Fox Soccer 2Go, Fox Sports Go, UniMás, Univision, UDN) is a must win if the US is to keep its hopes of advancing out of Group A at the Copa America Centenario alive.

Jurgen Klinsmann agrees: “We need to get three points in our next game. Coming out of that result, we view this game as a must-win, and we all understand this is a must-win situation. With only two games left, we must get three points. Our players are full of energy and extremely eager to get the first points.”

Klinsmann said of Costa Rica and the US’ chances, “They’re only one point ahead do us, there’s everything to play for in the last two games. Hopefully you go through, and we are convinced we will. Then you start a whole new tournament again.” Wasn’t Klinsmann also convinced the US would defeat Mexico in that Confederations Cup playoff and also win the Gold Cup?

Previews at PSP, US Soccer (preview, five things to know), Chicago Sun TimesCSN Chicago, Philly.com (preview, storylines), New York TimesWashington PostLos Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, The GuardianMLSsoccer.com, ESPN (preview, commentary), Fox Soccer (preview, commentary), SI (preview, commentary), Soccer America (preview, talking points), ASN (preview, four keys), Goal.com (preview, analysis), and Yahoo Sports (1, 2).

Pulisic!

At US Soccer, part one of a three-part oral history of the US’ run in the 1995 Copa America Centenario.

SI reports, “The U.S. women’s national team players will receive their win bonus for Sunday’s rain-shortened 2-0 victory against Japan regardless of whether FIFA declares it an official game, a U.S. Soccer spokesperson tells SI.com.”

The U-19 WNT is off to New Zealand for a training camp, June 8-20.

Elsewhere

MLSsoccer.com, picking up on an article published at ESPN Deportes (crappy Goolgle translation), reports an agreement is close to being finalized that will see the Copa America staged every four years in the US as the championship of the Western Hemisphere. An unnamed CONCACAF spokesperson says, “CONMEBOL asked to give their response after the [Copa America Centenario] tournament. But today, they are convinced that [at] the next [CONMEBOL] Congress, it will be approved.” However, a later report at ESPN says, “A source close to CONCACAF later told ESPN FC he had no knowledge of any talks about future Copa Americas being held in the U.S.”

Meanwhile, Reuters reports, “The head of Uruguay’s soccer association, Wilmar Valdez, says it was a mistake to play the Centenary Copa America in the United States and that the tournament had been arranged to favor Mexico, who beat Uruguay 3-1 in their opening game.”

An article at Vice Sports looking at the absurdly high prices for Copa America tickets notes,

Some of the tickets were priced as if the organizers were actively discouraging people from buying them. Front row seats for the globally anticipated Group B match between Haiti and Ecuador in New Jersey will cost you a whopping $670 per ticket. For comparison, the annual per capita income in Haiti is $820. Likewise, that ticket costs more than the average monthly income in Ecuador.

The article notes, “So why are ticket prices so high to begin with? One potential explanation is that all the other revenue—sponsorship and TV money—goes to CONCACAF and CONMEBOL while ticket revenue is the only way U.S. Soccer can recover their costs, which Gulati called ‘not cheap.'”

Anthems. Again and again. Why is it so hard?

Soccer America reports: “The opening match at the Copa Centenario between USA and Colombia that aired on Univision and was simulcast on UniMas and UDN averaged 3.9 million viewers, making it the most-watched opening Copa America match on any U.S. network regardless of language. An additional 1,536,000 viewers watched the game on FS1, for a total of more than 5.4 million…The most-viewed game through the first weekend was the Mexico-Uruguay game that averaged 5.1 million on Univision. It was the second-most watched program behind the NBA finals and had more combined viewers than FOX, ABC and NBC in Los Angeles, Houston and San Francisco…The Univision networks are averaging 2.9 million viewers through six games, up 14 percent from the 2014 World Cup group stage.”

Reuters reports, “Paris’ police chief said on Monday he would be receiving thousands of reinforcements ahead of the Euro 2016 soccer tournament and that his force was as prepared as it could be to face the risk of a militant attack in the French capital.”

10 Comments

  1. People need to stop saying this, “the Union are the Leicester City of MLS.”
    .
    If the media started saying that about Leicester half way through the Premier League season, it’s pretty certain there wouldn’t have been a Leicester story at all.

    • 100%.
      .
      What’s more… its apples and oranges.
      .
      Personally I think it is offensive and gross negligence in understanding…. but anybody who reads here enough already knows this person’s stance on all that.

  2. That go-kart video is hilarious. It really does seem like this team is a close-knit group, which certainly helps on the field as well.

  3. I’ve been saying for months now that we’ll have Andre Blake for this year and next, and that’s about it. The guy is just too good (and too young). But Ernie might do wonders with all the transfer money we get.

    • That’s assuming we get transfer money for him. The problem is we don’t know any of the behind the curtain rules MLS has for recouping money from Generation Adidas signings in way of future transfer fees. I mean we sold Lahoud for 300k and got 200k out of it and its not like he was tied in to MLS other than being on the Union payroll. It scares me a bit to think if we get a multi million dollar bid for Andre and sell him only to receive 50% or less of the money.

      Just food for thought.

  4. I really like Blake, but in order for him to secure a move overseas he really has to work on his distribution. The #1 goalies even for the worst teams are much better with their kicking than Blake. It’s not a secondary skill that teams will just overlook as possession is much more critical as the competition increases.

  5. I made a comment on Friday after the US match that basically the mls players are the reason for the failings of the team..that was stupid and unfounded, there are plenty of mls players on many national teams around the world who contribute to their team, I was just really really down on how Bradley played and how he’s played for awhile now..hopefully he and the rest of the team can rebound and get a win tonight

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