Daily news roundups

Union out of USOC, Curtin ESPN’s midseason coach of the year, Steel-City Islanders today, more

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

Second half sub Fabian Herbers scored a fine goal in the 90th minute to keep the Union’s US Open Cup campaign alive after the defense appeared to suffer a narcoleptic episode to give New England the lead in the 44th minute off of a free kick play. The game went to penalty kicks after the scoreline remained level at 1-1 following extra time. A notably weak effort from Sebastien Le Toux — my goodness, what has happened to his once solid PK form? — was soon followed by CJ Sapong’s penalty kick also being saved by former Union man Brad Knighton after the Revolution missed with their third attempt and the Union’s Open Cup run ended with a 4-2 penalty kick defeat.

Jim Curtin said, “It’s a tough way to end the game. Credit to New England, their guys stepped up, hit their PKs and they’re moving on. It’s difficult for us right now, our locker room is upset. There’s only two trophies you can lift in this country and we’re out of the competition for one of them.”

The Union’s decent run in this year’s US Open Cup underscores the team’s belief in the importance of tournament, something that shouldn’t be undervalued. It’s a shame the loss after 120 minutes of play will be followed so quickly by Saturday’s road game against Montreal when the Union return to league play, though.

But how about the performance from Andre “Plasticman” Blake! Curtin said, “I don’t like when he makes saves to be honest, because I feel there’s things we can do to prevent [the shots]. At the same time, when we do get broken down, he’s there to bail us out. He’s playing in top form. There’s no surprise that he is an All-Star this year and will be starting against Arsenal. I’m happy for him, obviously. But we can do a better job of preventing so he’s not so busy.”

Recaps and reports at PSP, Philadelphia Union, Philly.comDelco TimesCSN Philly, Philly Soccer NewsBrotherly Game, Prost AmerikaVavel, US Soccer, MLSsoccer.com (recap, Union, Revolution),  New England Revolution (recap, reportphoto gallery), Boston Globe, Worcester Telegram, Sentinel & EnterpriseNew England Soccer NewsThe Bent Musket, ESPN, and SBIUSA Today has a photo gallery.

In the other Open Cup quarterfinal games, Chicago knocked off NASL-side Fort Lauderdale Strikers, 3-0, and will face New England in the semifinals. Houston fell 1-0 at home to Dallas in second-half stoppage time. Dallas will face LAG, who came from behind twice to defeat Seattle, 4-2. The semifinals are scheduled for August 9 and 10. The draw to determine who will host the semifinals, and the hosting priorities for the final on September 21, will take place today at 11 am and will be streamed on US Soccer’s YouTube channel.

Jim Curtin has been named ESPN’s midseason MLS Coach of the Year:

Without question, Curtin has some stiff competition from the likes of NYCFC’s Patrick Vieira and Colorado’s Mastroeni. But those last two names have benefited from rosters stocked with a DP or three.

Curtin, with considerable help from general manager Earnie Stewart, has fashioned a side made up of younger, more modest components and has also had to cope with the absence of Maurice Edu and the departure of Vincent Nogueira. But Curtin has helped engineer an impressive turnaround; as a result, he has them poised to make the playoffs for the first time in five years.

Well deserved.

At Delco Times, Matthew De George looks back on the Union’s Freddy Adu saga and the lessons learned from that summer acquisition. As De George puts it, “How does sporting director Earnie Stewart maneuver to improve the Union’s odds of ending a half-decade postseason drought without upending the incremental progress being built for the long haul”? Chris Albright explains

We want to make sure that this thing is sustainable. And I think we’ve had some success this year. We’re not crazy to think that we’ve arrived by any means. We have a lot of games left and a lot of things can happen. … Any players that we add now, we want them to be able to have an impact going forward as well…

The quality, the age, the price. We take all those things into consideration [when looking at a player]. We understand that we are in a good place right now. We are actively trying to improve that. But it comes down to the specific player, do we think he can fit now and going forward?

The panel in a video discussion at MLSsoccer.com of All-Stars all agree Keegan Rosenberry deserves a look from the USMNT.

Chris Pontius makes Goal.com’s list of All-Star snubs.

Need more evidence that New York Red Bulls manager Jesse Marsch is a sore loser? Here’s him talking to reporters on Wednesday about last Sunday’s draw with the Union: “From the start of the second half, the referee just decided he wanted to give the Union a little bit of an edge on every little play. Sometimes little 50-50s where he just wants to give the benefit of the doubt to the Union. It’s a trend that we’ve seen with referees.” The NJ.com report containg the above quote noted: “The Red Bulls were called for eight more fouls than the Union on Sunday, but the refereeing was far from atrocious. Two yellow cards were given to each team and the Red Bulls played with a one-man advantage for the final 21 minutes of the game.” (Gotta agree with this comment from Marsch, though, even if it may be a bit of gamesmanship before Sunday’s NYRB-NYCFC game: “If [David Villa], Pirlo or Lampard get touched, they go down, they draw fouls, they draw yellow cards. It’s an epidemic across the league of these referees who just want to give the benefit of the doubt to star players.”)

At Brotherly Game, Matt Ralph has a look at 12 young players who could be potential Union Homegrown Player signings.

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead has a good list of candidates to replace Peter Pappas as the Union color commentator. We vote Adam Cann.

At the Union website, a report on the soccer clinic the Union and Crystal Palace co-hosted with the Boys and Girls Club of Chester.

Bethlehem Steel FC

Bethlehem Steel hosts the City Islanders today at 4 pm (YouTube). When the teams met in Lancaster on May 22, Bethlehem, currently eighth in the Eastern Conference (6-6-6), lost to the City Islanders, who are currently in 12th (5-13-2), 3-1. Previews of today’s game at Bethlehem Steel (print, video), City Islanders, and Brotherly Game.

Philadelphia Union Academy

The US Soccer Development Academy end-of-the-year awards have been released and several Union Academy players are among those honored. Making the U-15/16 All-Eastern Conference team are defender Rayshaun McGann and midfielder Josue Monge. Making the U-17/18 All-Eastern Conference team is goalkeeper Andrew Verdi. Former Union Academy forward Isaiah Young, now with PDA, was named the Eastern Conference U-17/18 Player of the Year, with PA Classics defender Sean O’Hearn also making the U-17/18 All-Eastern Conference team.


The information at the PDL website regarding this weekend’s Eastern Conference semifinals and championship game, which will be hosted by Mid-Atlantic Division champs Reading United at Don Thomas Stadium in Exeter, has been update. The semifinals will take place on Saturday (not Friday, as was first posted on the PDL site), with the championship game on Sunday (not Saturday). Here’s the schedule:

Saturday, July 23 at 5 pm: Charlotte Eagles vs. Ocean City Nor’easters
Saturday, July 23, 7:30 pm (or 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game): Reading United vs. Carolina Dynamo
Sunday, July 24 at 7 pm: Eastern Conference final

A press release from Reading United notes, “Tickets for Saturday’s session are $10 while fans aged 10 or younger are free. Any fan wearing Reading United gear to Saturday’s games will receive a complimentary pass to Sunday’s conference title game. Tickets for Sunday’s game are also priced at $10 with all fans 10 and under admitted free.” More at WFMZ.


University of Delaware forward Guillermo Delgado makes the Hermann Trophy Watch list. Penn State’s Megan Schafer (Langhorne, Pa.) also makes the watch list.

Former Union Homegrown Player Jimmy McLaughlin scored the opening goal in FC Cincinnati’s 2-1 loss to NYRB II on Wednesday night. ESPN wonders if his goal celebration was the worst ever. 16,127 fans were on hand for the game, pushing Cincinnati’s home attendance total for its debut season to 164,109, breaking the record of 158,516 set by Sacramento Republic last season with five home games remaining to be played in the 2016 regular season. So far, Cincinnati is averaging 16,411 fans per game.


DC has acquired Patrick Mullin from NYCFC “in exchange for targeted and general allocation money and an international roster spot through the end of the 2017 season.”

Vancouver has acquired Fabian Espindola from DC in exchange for general allocation money.

Toronto has signed Canadian international forward Tosaint Ricketts, who has “been out of contract since parting ways with Turkish team Boluspor over unpaid wages earlier this year.”

Montreal has acquired an international spot from Toronto “through the end of the season, in return for its highest 2017 MLS SuperDraft second round pick.”

Colorado Rapids have loaned forward Conor Doyle to USL-side Colorado Springs Switchbacks.

WFPL has an update on the coming release of a $75,000 study on the feasibility of a new soccer stadium in Louisville.

The New York Times reports on IFAB three-day workshop at Red Bull Arena, “one of the first live tests of a proposed video replay system,” in this case aimed at clarifying the role of the video assistant referee. More at MLSsoccer.com.


At FourFourTwo, “Two quotes that sum up the U.S. development quagmire.


  1. I’m a bit sad for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. I was hoping with Chicago being a weaker side that an NASL team would get through.

  2. I hate Marsch. He’s a giant baby. Yes, officiating in MLS is a problem, but what right do you have to whine about it when the other team is playing a man down and your own guy (Grella) is completely let off the hook for what could have been an easy straight Red. He just doesn’t want to admit that the Union, in the words of the great Pedro Martinez, are his daddy.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      I recognize the Marsch issues but the Dark Arts extend beyond the playing field. Why concern yourself with JM… I for one love it.

  3. el Pachyderm says:

    MLS mid season coach of the year. Really?
    Who gives a shit. Gimmick. File it away with All-Star games
    Call me when this stuff matters.

  4. I think Toronto’s acquisition is likely the first of many. MLS should be ringing the phones of agents from the Bosphorus to Eastern Anatolia scouting for players who would like to play in a more stable country

    • Just read a piece in the Guardian about Mario Gomez leaving Turkey. From the piece:

      “The reason for this is completely down to the political situation,” the 31-year-old, who scored twice at Euro 2016 as he helped Germany reach the semi-finals, said on his Facebook page.

      “There are no sporting or any other reasons that have made me make this decision. It is purely down to the terrible events that happened in the last few days.”

  5. The list of possible replacements for Pappas doesn’t include my personal nomination: Heather Mitts. Her sideline commentaries were always excellent. (And it would be a nice treat to have a woman on the broadcast team in a prominent role.)

    Obviously Adam Cann is the best analyst around, hands down, but I have no idea if he has broadcast presence.

  6. Scott of Nazareth says:

    Random question(s) – I barely understand the concept of (Transfers)buying and selling soccer players, just know it happens 2x a year…

    I’ve read here and there that Andre Blake is destined for bigger and better things in his soccer career and from his play this year that makes a lot of sense but I dread the thought of him leaving.

    I know MLS is a single entity and there is some controversy with “solidarity payments”, etc. Who decides if and when Andre Blake can leave? If they sell his rights to a bigger European club, who gets the money? MLS? Union? Does it have any effect then on what the Union can pay other players?

    Sorry for all the questions…

    • First, basically, the team decides if Blake is available. With that said another club can make an offer to MLS / Union at any time transfers are allowed. Once that happens the Union and MLS must agree on a transfer fee. Once that happens, the team gets a decent percentage of the fee and MLS gets the rest. The money the Union receive can be spent any way they choose. On players, fields, debt… whatever. It does not, in effect, allow the Union to have more “cap space”.
      To all – if I was wrong in my explanation, please reply and fix my mistakes. I never proclaim to know all 🙂
      Pertaining to Blake – my opinion – if he keeps this play up, a European team will make an offer… just a matter of when.

    • Scott,

      Those are good questions and I think the answers are particularly difficult given the single-entity setup of MLS, which has a ton of very difficult to understand rules.

      MLSsoccer.com’s ExtraTime Radio Pod just had an interview with a guy from fourfourtwo.com who was discussing the possible sale of Orlando’s Kyle Larin. In discussing the rules, he said that the club would keep 50% of any transfer fee if they sold him now. At the end of the season, they’d get something like 66%. And those figures are predicated on Larin’s Generation Adidas status.

      So the Union (Ernie Stewart) decides when and where to sell Blake. And because the Union really has control over who the team signs and what they get paid (for the most part), yeah, any Blake sale would influence how and what the team plays existing players and new signees. How much money they keep in that sale is something someone who really follows this stuff will have to answer.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        It is my understanding that any of the money NYRB see on the Miazga transfer to Chelsea comes on the back half of the contract while MLS receives it on the front and the proportions are rather tilted.
        ((As I recall this is at least partially true.))

      • Andy Muenz says:

        When Blake wants to go overseas, the league gets the transfer fee to split between LA, Seattle, and NYCFC to allow them to add additional DP’s.

      • Haha!

    • club shall receive the transfer or loan fee revenue (including agent fees and other expenses) from any transaction involving a Generation adidas Player or player acquired via the MLS SuperDraft based on the number of MLS service years:

      MLS Service Years
      Transfer/Loan Fee Revenue to Club

      All remaining portions of the transfer or loan revenue fees are retained by the league.

      Usage of Revenue

      The club’s share of transfer or loan fee revenue may only be used as follows:

      The club may assign up to $650,000 of the transfer/loan revenue as General Allocation Money. (In the case of Designated Players, such assignment of Allocation Money can only take place after the club has received 100% of their out-of-pocket investment)
      The remaining balance of the club’s share (if any), and which cannot be traded, will be available to be used by clubs in the following ways:
      Against the expenses incurred by the club in relation to the costs of an existing or new Designated Player
      With league approval, clubs can use the revenue against an expense that would (i) would not otherwise have been incurred by the club; and (ii) reasonably represents an investment in the league or club (e.g. youth development and training facilities).

  7. Scott of Nazareth says:

    Thanks all!

    So my hope of a huge financial windfall for Blake is more or less dashed…

    Guess they could always plow it back into the academy level…

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