Daily news roundups

Alberg and Ilsinho named to Team of the Week, Crystal Palace friendly news, more

Photo: Daniel Studio

Philadelphia Union

Jim Curtin’s weekly press conference will take place today at 12:30 pm and he’ll be joined by Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew to talk about Wednesday’s friendly (a game in which, I must confess, I have next to no interest but, hey, that’s just me).

Curtin said after Saturday’s win over DC United, “Of course, now the next biggest game is Red Bulls. No disrespect to Crystal Palace on Wednesday, but the next biggest game is Red Bulls.” He explained,

Red Bulls are certainly a priority over Crystal palace, no question, but we still want to treat that game the right way. We have good, young players and, again, you can treat it like a training session and push the tempo and have it be, whether it’s a half for some guys or 60 minutes for some guys, try maybe something new, a new idea, a new way of, maybe, we can get at Red Bull if we see something. So, it’s a great exercise to have during the preseason, they’ve made a heck of a lot of good signings in the offseason so we’ll be, obviously, respectful of them but, at the same time, we want to put on a good show for our fans and have a good performance. You learn a lot from those games, you know, you can see how guys respond. We’ll probably be in a little better shape than they are so that’s something we can use to our advantage. It’ll be good for some guys that maybe don’t get a lot of minutes you guys don’t get to see, to get rewarded. We’ll treat it the right way and, again, Sunday against Red Bull obviously sets up as a huge game.

Pardew spoke to Croydon Advertiser about concerns about his team’s fitness for their North American friendlies, what with the players reporting to the team less than ten days ago: “I would not have arranged the game with Philadelphia Union as quick if I didn’t think the guys were in good condition, which they are.”

Nevertheless, Crystal Palace assistant manager Keith Millen tells the South London Press, “The boys will only play 45 minutes in the first couple of games because then it means we can work them quite hard in training.” He adds, “The Philadelphia part of the trip is important because two of the new owners [Joshua Harris and David Blitzer] are based there. Quite a lot of work will be done there media-wise.”

Here’s video of Pardew talking about his team’s North American tour:

Philly.com and Philadelphia Sports Nation have preview pieces of Wednesday night’s friendly against Crystal Palace. At the Palace website, a not at all embarrassing “10 things” post about the Union.

Roland Alberg and Ilsinho have been named to the MLS Team of the Week for Week 18. Chris Pontius made the bench.

At ASN, Brian Sciaretta has a profile piece on Keegan Rosenberry. Earnie Stewart says of the rookie defender,

What we like to see in our right and left backs are players that are low to the ground, that can turn on a dime, and that have speed. He possess all those qualities. He can only get better with experience and with playing games. That’s something that we wanted to create with the Union. We want to be known as a club that gives these kind of talents and these kind of rookies a chance to prove themselves. A lot of times you see that these players are better than people think. He’s a very mature player for a rookie. He also knows what he’s maybe not so good at and what he needs to work on. He has a great work ethic and is a level-headed guy. Those things are very attractive in acquiring such a player.

The article has more illuminating quotes from Rosenberry himself as well as his coach at Georgetown, Brian Wiese.

Rosenberry tops MLSsoccer.com’s latest Rookie Rankings.

At MLSsoccer.com, Armchair Analyst Matthew Doyle names CJ Sapong’s knockdown header that led to Ilsinho’s second goal against DC on Saturday his Pass of the Week.

Fabian Herbers has been named a 2015-16 BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award winner.

Power rankings! At ESPN, the Union move up two spots to No. 10: “Injuries and the loss of Vincent Nogueira will put extra pressure on the experience crop of midfielders the Union still have under contract. Ilsinho’s strong shift against United show those losses don’t mean Philly is destined to crash.” Some context: The Union are one point out of first place in the East and currently No. 4 in the Supporters Shield standings, which is to say they have the fourth best record in the league. Yet ESPN has them at No. 10? Meanwhile, Montreal (five points out and in third place in the East, ninth in the league) is at No. 3, NYRB (six points out and in fourth place in the East, 11th in the league) is at No. 6, NYCFC (first place in the East and third in the league) is at No. 8, and Toronto (seven points out, fifth place in the East, 12th in the league) is at No. 9. OK, then. At Soccer America, the Union remain at No. 8. Grumble, grumble. I do seem to be in a particularly cranky mood today, don’t I.

ASN’s review of last weekend’s games notes Roland Alberg’s “outstanding run of form”: “In his 645 minutes this season he has six goals and one assist. He is consistently dangerous and was a key pickup for Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart.”

At Union Tally, Matthew De George notes Alberg “is tied for the most goals scored in a single season by a Union midfielder and the most goals scored in a single season by a Union foreign signing. Alberg is level with Gabriel Gomez for both honors.”



Bethlehem Steel FC

USLsoccer.com’s review of storylines from last weekend’s games describes Bethlehem Steel as a “dark horse when it comes to the playoffs,” adding, “Now sitting two points out of the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, the Steel definitely have the type of schedule that could see them make a run, with eight of their final 13 games on home turf and teams they’re chasing such as Thursday’s opponent Wilmington all having to visit Goodman Stadium during the run-in.”

At the Bethlehem Steel website, a quote sheet from Sunday’s home win over Pittsburgh consists of quotes from John McCarthy, who says, “It sucks not to play, it does. You can ask any player, it doesn’t matter who’s in front of you. I could have the best goalkeeper in the world in front of me, it sucks not to play, but, we’re winning. Like I said, the only thing more important than a shutout is a win. And as long as we keep winning, as long as we keep moving forward, we stay above that playoff, we’re doing a lot better for both teams. I think that’s the biggest thing for me, because like I said, I want to play. Whether it’s for the Union or the Steel, playing is playing to me.”


In USLPDL.com’s Eastern Conference power rankings, Reading United moves up one sport to No. 2, while Ocean City remains at No. 6.


A post at Navy Sports notes this year’s Army-Navy soccer game at “Talen Energy Center” will be broadcast on the American Sports Network.


NYRB defender Gideon Baah is out four to five months after suffering a broken tibia in Sunday’s scoreless draw with Portland.

DaMarcus Beasley will undergo surgery this week “to remove loose bodies in his left knee.” An announcement on the Dynamo website says, “A definitive timetable on his return to the field was not immediately given, but he is expected to begin rehabilitation immediately after surgery and the team expects him to return ‘in a timely manner.'”

Vancouver has signed two Canadian internationals, defender/midfielder Marcel de Jong (Helmond Sport, Roda JC, Augsburg, Sporting Kansas City, Ottawa Fury) and defender David Edgar (Newcastle, Burnley, Swansea, Birmingham City, Huddersfield Town, Sheffield United ), both to an 18-month contract “with an option.”

Atlanta United has announced American Family Insurance as its first jersey sponsor. More at Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The IFAB is hosting an educational workshop July 19-21 on video replay at Red Bull Arena:

The three-day workshop will be attended by more than 20 leagues and associations from across the globe. MLS is one of a number of competitions in six countries already confirmed to take part in the experiments, while others will be joining the meeting to learn more about the VAR protocol and the practical implications before taking a final decision.

The focus will be on the use of VARs in a “live” environment. Through presentations and practical demonstrations in match settings at Red Bull Arena, attendees will learn more about how the referees should communicate with each other to take decisions on the four match-changing incidents included in the experiment protocol.

Also on the agenda is referee education, which is a crucial part of the current preparation phase as The IFAB looks to guide all participants to achieve consistent trials.

Pro Soccer Talk crunches the numbers to reveal home field advantage in MLS is greater than (in descending order) it is in La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, and the Premier League.


Jill Ellis is expected to announce her 18-player roster for the Summer Olympic tournament today.

In related Summer Olympics/Zika virus news, Cutter has been announced as the “official insect repellent of U.S. Soccer.” Eric Kenney, Vice President of Home & Garden Marketing, said in a press release, “Given recent publicity regarding the Zika virus, the continued concern about mosquito-borne illnesses is understandable. Through our partnership with U.S. Soccer and the National Women’s Soccer League, our Cutter brand will strive to help everyone, from soccer parents and fans to world class athletes, learn how to better protect themselves from mosquitoes.”


At The Guardian, Jonathan Wilson answers the question of whether Euro 2016 was the death of possession football?


  1. pragmatist says:

    When it comes to Power Rankings, aside from the fact that they are just a fun barroom exercise, they don’t reflect standings. In all the sports that run them, they are intended to be a “how are they playing now” list. Before the DC games, things were not looking as bright as earlier in the season.
    I was pleasantly surprised to find that “a not at all embarrassing 10 things post about the Union” wasn’t a sarcastic comment. I found it quite measured and honest. As painful as some of our history may be…

  2. Wilson’s Guardian article was interesting, but as all pieces that propose the mass extinction of some element culture, sports or technology, it doesn’t ring particularly true.
    I think a lot of the criticism of Portugal’s tactics is misplaced.Portugal didn’t force France to play without imagination for large stretches of the game.
    And it wasn’t that bad. Just slow for about the first 80 minutes. 🙂

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Agreed especially considering 6 of 8 quarter finalists in Europe this year were Spanish teams. I’m pretty sure plenty of clubs still like retaining possession… Or more importantly as it relates to US soccer- are able actually able to retain possession.

  3. el Pachyderm says:

    The official insect repellant of US Soccer?
    Please, put me out of my misery already,

    • This could be the biggest disaster of an Olympics yet between Zika, competing in sewage water, and general instability in the host country. Kudos to Cutter’s marketing team for jumping in on the madness!

      • pragmatist says:

        Apparently body parts washed up on the shore where they will play the beach volleyball tourney.
        This will be an out-and-out train wreck.

  4. pragmatist says:

    Ed, hopefully this will make you feel a little better…
    #4 seems very reasonable.

  5. Congratulations to Roland Alberg – he must be pumped to get mentioned in the same breath as Gabriel Gomez. On a serious note, he sure does look to be a great signing.

  6. NYCFC, Adidas NYC & USSF partner to build 50 soccer fields in 5 boroughs for $3 million.

    “Mr. Sugarman, i have Mayor Kenney & Mr. Graham on line 1.”

    • Pragmatist says:

      That is really awesome. But keep in mind, Mr. Sugarman isn’t bankrolled by the Royal Saudi family like NYCFC is.

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