Daily news roundups

Union host Crystal Palace tonight, Ilsinho voted Player of the Week, more news

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Ilsinho has been voted MLS Player of the Week for Week 18. Along with Roland Alberg for Week 16, and Chris Pontius for Week 14, Ilsinho’s honor means Union players have been voted Player of the Week three out of the last five weeks. Ilsinho comes in at No. 5 in the Audi MLS Player Index for Week 18.

Union Tally and Philly Voice have some quotes from Ilsinho following his two-goal effort against DC United: “When you come into a new team, to score that first goal, that’s really one of your main goals. It took more than 15 games. But it’s good for the rest of the season and my confidence just keeps growing…It’s good to do tricks and flicks and things like that, but the most important thing is for me to get goals and assists and help the team win…It definitely gives me more confidence to shoot the ball more. As soon as you get the first goal, you want to get the second, and the third. It keeps rolling.”

MLSsoccer.com looks at how Roland Alberg has “turbo boosted” the Union offense.

In Soccer America’s midseason awards, Keegan Rosenberry is named the top rookie. Jim Curtin comes in at No. 3 for coach of the year behind Colorado’s Pablo Mastroeni and Dallas’ Oscar Pareja: “Curtin is batting NYCFC and head coach Patrick Vieira for the Eastern Conference lead and is staying even with fewer stars and a lot less money. Coaching must have something to do with it.” Yep.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday ahead of tonight’s friendly against Crystal Palace, Jim Curtin said,

We’ll treat it the right way and play a top group. gain, we’ll be smart with a knock or two that happened in the DC United game. Ilsinho has a little groin issue, so we’ll be smart in that regard. Tranquillo [Barnetta], we’ll see where he’s at. I think it’s a great exercise for us to see where we stand.  We’ll also get some of our younger guys some experience. It’s much needed experience. They’ve worked very hard over the course of the season. To be rewarded by playing a great opponent to see how you measure up, that’s good.

At Philly.com, Erin McCarthy talks to Cole Missimo about how tonight’s game is an opportunity to show his stuff with the first team.

The Croydon Advertiser rounds up tweets with images and video from Crystal Palace’s open training session on Tuesday.

More on tonight’s friendly at Philadelphia Union (preview, five things to know about Palace), Philly.com, Delco Times, Philly VoicePhilly Soccer News, Crystal Palace and Croydon Advertiser. The game kicks off at 7 pm and is included as a bonus game in full season ticket and parking packages. To view a stream of the game on the Crystal Palace website, a free registration is needed.

Power rankings! At MLSsoccer.com, the Union move up one spot to No. 4: “Yes, C.J. Sapong makes that big a difference. Forget the counting stats (though he did pick up an assist) – it’s the way his hold-up play and passing allows the Union to shift opposing backlines around that makes him such an asset.” At SBI, the Union come in at No. 6: “In what was likely the Union’s most impressive effort of the season, Roland Alberg and Ilsinho led the way in a complete domination of D.C. United. Defensively, the Union were completely unchallenged, while the club’s attack appears to be getting better following a two-game losing skid.”

Brotherly Game roundtables the Union’s summer transfer window needs. The consensus is a striker.

Section 215 on Ilsinho coming into form.

Bethlehem Steel FC

Allentown Morning Call has a profile piece on Media, Pa. “born and bred” Auston Trusty, who makes it clear his goal is to play for the Union: “They’ve helped me pursue my career and pursue a higher level of play. They’ve taken me under their wings and guided me…It’s part of the view the Union has toward me. They’re helping me become the best player I can possibly be. Starting and playing with the Steel helps me toward a professional career. I expected to be on the team and I expected to be able to fight for a position.”

Unauthorized Bethlehem Steel FC Blog calls for some respect for Jamie Luchini. Also at UBSFCB, a report on last weekend’s home win over Pittsburgh Riverhounds.


A bunch of midweek games tonight, perhaps the ones with the most interest to Union fans being fourth place and Sunday’s opponent NYRB (24 points, five points behind second place Philadelphia) hosting a Kakaless Orlando at 7:30 pm and third place Montreal (25 points, four points behind Philadelphia) on the road to Portland at 10:30 pm.. Also on tap: Columbus-Toronto at 7 pm; Chicago-Kansas City at 8:30 pm; Seattle-Dallas and Vancouver-Salt Lake at 10:30 pm. All of the games are on MLS Live and Direct Kick.

Kansas City has signed 22-year-old Ghanaian midfielder Emmanuel Appiah, who was originally selected at No. 15 overall in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft by Colorado.

Kansas City also acquired 23-year-old forward Cameron Porter from Montreal in a trade that saw the Impact receive 23-year-old French fullback Amadou Dia.

Toronto and defender Damien Perquis have mutually agreed to part ways.

The roster for the MLS Homegrown team that will play the Mexican U-20 national team, winners of the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, as part of the All-Star Game Week has been announced. But, the Union have no Homegrown players so, you know, so what.

From the NYCFC website: “Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the New York City Football Club and adidas today announced the launch of the New York City Soccer Initiative, a public-private partnership that will build and maintain 50 soccer fields in underserved neighborhoods across the five boroughs over the next five years. Fields will begin to open for play as early as next year.” More on the project at MLSsoccer.com. Mayor Kenney, Philadelphia Union, you are on the clock.

Meanwhile, no news on NYCFC’s search for a location for their own stadium.

I chose not to link to the now notorious New York Times Magazine article “The dark side of American soccer culture” in Tuesday’s roundup because, after reading it, I was too confused by it to have any confidence in understanding what it’s point was. To my eye, the article’s author failed to provide necessary context and conflated shaky connections between borrowed forms of supporters group expression like songs, chants, and tifo with the sometimes objectionable history of the international origins of those forms to make the point that a divide exists between “white” and “Latino” soccer culture in the US. All this based on attending “a” Seattle Sounders game. Frankly, I’ve now re-read the article a couple of times and I’m still confused by it. That a cultural divide exists in US soccer is surely not news. But any racist components of that divide, to me, require examination with greater clarity, insight, and wisdom than this article ever comes close to achieving. Anyway, Don Garber didn’t like the article, either.


The 18-player USWNT roster for the Summer Olympics was announced on Tuesday:

GOALKEEPERS (2): Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (6): Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (4): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado)

This will be the first Olympic tournament for 11 of the 18 players. Midfielders Heather O’Reilly and Samantha Mewis, goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, and defender Emily Sonnett were named as alternates. Quote sheets from Ellis and players. More on the US roster at Philly.com, SI, and Goal.com.

US Weekly has 25 things you didn’t know about Carli “four-lips” Lloyd.

What do you know, there are two Carli Lloyd’s representing the US at the Summer Olympics. The other is on the women’s volleyball team.

Penn Live talks to former Penn State player Ali Krieger about making the US Olympic team.

Philly.com highlights quotes from USMNT head coach Jill Ellis on what Christen Press’ role with the team might be at the Olympics.

With Hope Solo posting a list of objectionable conditions NWSL players regularly deal with, Soccer America wonders if USWNT players are gearing up for another union fight.


The Euro 2016 final averaged 5,899,000 viewers on ESPN and ESPN Deportes combined, making it the most watched European championship on ESPN. However, the average numbers for ESPN alone were slightly down to 4,538,000 viewers from 2012’s 4,567,000 viewers. Big gains were made at ESPN Deportes where the 1,361,000 average was a 14 percent increase from 2012’s 1,191,000 viewers.

The AFP reports, “Portuguese tourism officials on Tuesday invited the France supporter who was consoled by a young Portugal fan following the hosts’ narrow Euro 2016 defeat in images that have taken the internet by storm.”

Ladies and gentlemen, the Lincoln Red Imps. Oh bhoy.


  1. Jim Presti says:

    What NYCFC is doing in the 5 boroughs is exactly what the Union should be doing here in Philly and the surrounding suburbs. Building durable, small-sided courts so kids have an opportunity to play year-round. That’s where true talent development will start.

    • el Pachyderm says:


    • 100% agree. I would be shocked if something like this isn’t in the Union’s 3 year plan, but I think it comes down to limited resources right now. I moved to the west coast last year and haven’t been to Talen since the name change, but aren’t they building/rehabbing a building for the front office? That can’t be cheap and after the investment in the training facility and building this year, they may be strapped right now. I firmly believe that they will have a project like this in the near future though. It makes too much sense to do it and I have complete faith in the new leadership to get it done. The future looks bright.

      • Jim Presti says:

        I’m sure those building/renovation projects would fall under business expenses. The Union [and the SOBs for that matter] have charitable funds that could be leveraged for this sort of project. Maybe it’s in their intermediate-term plans?

    • pragmatist says:

      This should be a model for all MLS franchises. Unfortunately, not all MLS franchises have the financial backing that NYCFC does. $5M is a drop in the bucket for City Football Group. For Sugarman (and other owners around the league), it puts a serious dent in the bottom line.
      But the hope is still that everyone is aiming to reach that point.

      • Jim Presti says:

        It’s not necessarily about $5M. There are other ways to raise money for charitable works: Local, State, Federal grants. Private charitable contributions. etc

    • When commenting on this news last night, I inserted Richie Graham’s name into it. Many folks & groups in this area could contribute. Parks Dept dedicates space. What do these things cost – $25k? They could announce a big, multi-year plan but with hard money for just a handful in year 1. Now is the time.

      • Zizouisgod says:

        They cost about $25-35k each. The Union Foundation did one in Chester and would like to do more around the City, but are probably going to focus their efforts mostly in and around Chester.

        These mini-pitches are great to build, but you definitely need buy-in from the local community so they get maintained properly and don’t fall into disrepair.

      • Jim Presti says:

        Definitely something to consider regarding use and maintenance

      • Pick neighborhoods where teams entered Kenney’s International Cup that would embrace it (and keep it up).

  2. pragmatist says:

    Is it me, or is there a lot of “mutually agreeing to part ways” going on around the league this year?

    • Jim Presti says:

      It seems more so than usual, but I’ve also never really kept track. Maybe MLS and MLSPU put different language into the contract during the last CBA that allowed for greater flexibility to terminate via “mutual agreement.”

      • Another contributing factor could be the reduction of the roster size from 30 to 28 that happened going into last season.

      • Jim Presti says:

        Was that only the Senior roster or the full roster? I can’t remember.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Full roster, if you need a shorter version that cpfief’s link to the rules’s summary available to the public.
        Logic suggests, as do you, that the reductions probably occur among the more expensive players, that is the senior roster. The supplemental roster is both cheap and future oriented. But to confirm your implicit hypothesis would take analyzing the May 2016 MLSPU salary data for all 20 clubs to guess who is on which segments of each roster. That’s a big job.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        No disrespect intended, cpfief, none at all. Your instinct is fully responsible, intellectually. All credit to you for that.

      • Not just the salary cap considerations OSC, the simple roster numbers.
        Scanning the official rosters on MLS website I noticed that most teams have at least 26 of the 28 roster positions full, so if teams are looking to pick anyone up in this transfer window, they might also have to make room on the roster (also I imagine that some teams intentionally choose to leave a roster spot or two open for emergency/opportunistic signings).

  3. That Dark Side of American Soccer piece is an extraordinary editorial failure. It’s an interesting idea/thesis that never gathered even the little bit of evidence one would need to advance an op-ed/think piece on the matter. The writer seems to imply that the supporters groups create racial disparities rather than reflect those disparities that already exist. If anything, football — especially in the U.S. — is more likely to bring people together than not. A bunch of Seattlites singing some old punk oi song does not mean they’re a bunch of skinhead, headhunters from the the UK circa 1977.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      A waste of ink ~ were ink used, you ask me.
      Let’s write a Times piece instead about how MLS is culturally exclusive and the real reasons for it.

      • Jim Presti says:

        Submit a counter-editorial… The article COULD have brought up excellent points on disenfranchisement in professional soccer here in the US. Instead it went for low-hanging fruit.

      • Zizouisgod says:

        Wait, you mean that there’s no connection between hired Russian goons rampaging in Marseille and the Emerald City Supporters?

      • Jim Presti says:

        What does Russia’s total compensation package look like for a role on the Hooligan/Goon squad?

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        How about their compensation be a series of state department/foreign ministry official advisories warning Europeans and North Americans not to attend the 2018 World Cup as neither their physical safety nor their lives can reasonably expect to be preserved?
        I wasn’t going in any case, but the Spetnaz-like violence reinforces my intended absence.

  4. Is the Crystal Palace match streaming somewhere?

    • Nope. Only can be viewed by those in attendance according to the Union’s twitter.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        It’s good makes total sense to bring an EPL team then not show the game on TV.
        I’m a bit cynical today… as compared to….

      • It is silly…MLS talks about being a top tier League then goes minor league or less with the coverage…not really promoting the product,league,or game. People may want to watch their favorite EPL team in a friendly…oh well…I’ll be there

      • Jim Presti says:

        May have to do with contractual broadcast rights for EPL’s product. Less so than the MLS being cheap or lazy.

      • agree and Crystal Palace will probably not want to show a team on TV that is not very fit and missing most of its stars. But based on what I saw yesterday during open practice I can not wait to see their crisp passing and movement. I am looking forward to tonight!

        Game looks like the game will be streamed on CPFC’s website. You may have to create a free account to do so.

      • der Fussballzuschauer says:

        good stuff … per an article at USL’s official website, the FC Cincinnati v Crystal Palace match will be streamed live on YouTube

  5. Anyone know if you can buy tickets on game day at the stadium? I’ll be down in Wilmington at a late afternoon graduation party so have to play it by ear for Sunday’s game

    • I think Sunday’s game will be sold out. Last weekends almost was and against NYRB there is always a good crowd. If I were you I would be now a cheap ticket on Stubhub (there are some listed for as little as $22)

      • anybody know how many “standing” tickets they will sell before they decide it’s a complete sellout and the ticket windows close?

  6. Anonymous union fan says:

    Still nothing on the Edu injury front?

    • Jim Presti says:

      I’m betting at least beginning of September before starting a match with the senior roster.

    • Funny thing is I just noticed the officially injury report says “OUT: M – Maurice Edu (left tibia stress reaction 3/10, out 3-4 months)”.
      The 4 month mark was this past Sunday…

  7. el Pachyderm says:

    You can’t come at Don Garber and MLS with the Dark Side of American Soccer. Found the article quite a reach personally.
    Which then allows him to spout the MLS narrative of inclusion … which is total bullshit. MLS has no idea about inclusion of what the true demographics of fandom would look like if it wasn’t exclusionary.
    The article is a joke the commissioner a joke as well.

    • Jim Presti says:

      +1. If I was more cynical, I’d claim that Garber planted the article just to release a statement about inclusion.
      What the article should have sparked is a debate on MLS’ stranglehold on professional soccer in the US or that the product is specifically marketed to middle/upper-middle class suburbia while disenfranchising possible competitive and competent ownership groups. Does the Latino or Inner-city markets matter to MLS? Maybe, but only if everyone buys into their narrative.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Only if they eschew their own culture and assimilate.
        This is precisely why the league is looks upon. It’s built as a house of cards.
        Such a damn shame. We’re it done right it would be the biggest grandest thing in the world in about 25 years.

      • Jim Presti says:

        There is still time to change. But it needs to start with the USSF, SUM, and even the professional players.

      • This always brings me back to the stadium location. How much better would the Union be as a local sporting product if it were located in the city proper, with a larger stadium and a good $10 level? Of course, you can’t get a seat at Stanmford bridge for less than 100 pounds, so it’s not like ticket prices for games are unreasonable. But the loss of opportunity seems to me to be extraordinary.
        As for outreach to other communities, that’s MLS’s fault only as far as its influence on US Soccer and the pay to play system, one that is so ingrained, it’s hard to see how it will be practically dealt with. It’s going to require some major investment.
        The stranglehold on the professional game in this country is a tough one to translate because all of this country’s sports leagues are legal monopolies. In some ways, it’s amazing the NASL exists at all.

      • Jim Presti says:

        NASL barely exists and may end up folding. The Cosmos are probably the best run organization and they struggle to stay relevant to some extent.
        RE: Stadium. There is an incredible cost to build a large stadium within a city. For this ownership group, Chester was the cheapest option. Possibly short-sighted? Maybe.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Not if it was Chester or nothing?
        Randell was governor. Wonder if he would talk about it?

  8. Broseidon says:

    would be cool if we could see Edu get some playing reps with BSFC before being thrown right back into the mls squad. Would also help boost ticket sales for the time being.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      It is certainly possible, under the rules.
      To monitor it, go to the USL website, click teams, click the steel, click roster, and scroll down to the section without numbers for players. For a brief time Ilsinho and Alberg were listed there, but the intended games were in the rain so the injury risk wasn’t worth it I am guessing.
      I think I remember those names have disappeared.

      • der Fussballzuschauer says:

        absolutely no disrespect, OSC, but I just checked the USL’s official website and BSFC still list Alberg and Ilsinho down towards the bottom in the group of players with no shirt numbers (which is silly because we all know by now that all Union players assigned to BSFC keep the same number they have on the MLS roster) … Alberg & Ilsinho probably both have an “inactive” status and, therefore, do not count towards the USL roster limit; the pair could also be taken off at any given time to free up roster space, too, if necessary

    • el Pachyderm says:

      I fully expect Maurice Edu to play with the AAA BSFC before coming back to The Show.

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