Daily news roundups

Union at Montreal, Steffen signs with Crew, Reading hosts conference semis and finals, more

Photo: Courtesy of Montreal Impact

Philadelphia Union

The Union will look to put Wednesday’s 120-minute loss to New England in US Open Cup play behind them on Saturday when they face Montreal again on the road (7:30 pm: TCN, MLS Live, Direct Kick). Will the Union be able to bring back its first road win since the 2-1 victory over Columbus on March 12, the second game of the season? When the Union faced Montreal away on May 14, they came back with a 1-1 draw.

Previews of Saturday’s game at PSP, Philadelphia Union, CBS PhillyMLSsoccer.com, Montreal Impact, and The Guardian.

the disgraced Peter Pappas. The Polish-born former USMNT player also works as an analyst for ESPN and ESPN Radio, FS1, SiriusXM FC, and The Sports Network in Canada. No word in the announcement on who will take over the color analyst role after that.

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead has analysis and player grades from the Union’s US Open Cup quarterfinal loss to New England. At FourFourTwo, Graham Parker has a report on the game.

Brotherly Game’s John Rossi is done with the US Open Cup.

At Philly.com, Adam Hermann has a fine profile piece on Keegan Rosenberry that has many great quotes from some of his coaches before Rosenberry became a pro on both his technical ability and natural leadership skills.

At ESPN, staff writers offer their picks for players most likely to be named MVP at the end of the season. Graham Parker’s pick is Andre Blake.

At Yahoo Sports, Blake is on a list of five players the Premier League should be paying attention to. Described as “A perfect candidate for a team battling against relegation, or a club that needs a reliable back-up with potential,” the article says Blake would appeal to Hull City, Bournemouth, and West Bromwich Albion.

The UConn Athletics site notes Blake’s selection for the MLS All-Star Game.

At Brotherly Game, Jared Young has his weekly player ratings comparison, this time following last Sunday’s draw with NYRB.

The Union has officially announced the Army-Navy Cup will take place at Talen Energy Stadium on Friday, September 23.

Bethlehem Steel

Bethlehem’s two-game winning streak ended on Thursday with a 1-0 home loss to the City Islanders. Brett Jankouskas ended Bethlehem’s 281 consecutive minute shutout streak with the game’s lone goal in the 74th minute. The win sees the City Islanders, now on a two-game win streak themselves, move up one spot in the Eastern Conference standings to 11th. Bethlehem drops one spot to ninth place.

Bethlehem head coach Brendan Burke said after the loss, “Yeah, disappointment. I think they put two good moves together the entire game, and one was a goal, and we never broke them down. So, credit to them, they came here to destroy the game and they destroyed the game.”

Bethlehem’s lineup for the game:

Matt Jones; Ryan Richter (captain), Nick Bibbs, Anderson Conceicao, Taylor Washington; Boluwatife Akinyode (Anthony Fontana 79’), James Chambers; Derrick Jones (Amoy Brown 81’); Cole Missimo (Gabe Gissie 62’), Josh Heard (Jamie Luchini 62’), Cory Burke (Seku Conneh 66’)
Substitutes not used: Samir Badr, Fred da Silva

Recaps and reports at PSP, Bethlehem Steel (recap, quote sheet), USLsoccer.comAllentown Morning Call, WFMZ, Philly Soccer News (Bethlehem, City Islanders), and Brotherly Game.

Bethlehem announced on Thursday evening the loan of center back Mickey Daly to NASL-side Carolina RailHawks: “The loan deal is slated to last for one month with an option for Carolina to purchase.” Brendan Burke said of the loan, “This is a good opportunity for Mickey to prove himself at the next level, but also a good opportunity for someone on our club to step into his starting spot. We wish him the best of luck while he’s gone and have faith in our next-man-up mentality as we continue to push for a playoff spot.”

Eric Ayuk will be with the Cameroon U-20 team when they face Libya on Sunday in the second leg of the third round of the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations. Cameroon defeated Libya in the first leg at home, 3-0, on July 10.

PDL

Reading United is hosting the PDL Eastern Conference semifinals and final this weekend. “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.”

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

More at Reading United, Charlotte EaglesCarolina Dynamo, USLPDL.comReading Eagle, and The Charlotte Post.

At the Ocean City Nor’easters site, a profile piece on Nathan Regis, the NCAA Division II Player of the Year who leads the PDL in assists this season and will face his former club in this weekend’s semifinals.

Philadelphia Union Academy

At Brotherly Game, Matt Ralph has a Philadelphia Union Academy Best XI and end-of-year awards.

Local

At Brotherly Game, Matt Ralph talks to Lower Merion SC Sabertooth Rats head coach Jeremiah White about the team playing in the US Youth Soccer National Championships in Frisco next week. Ralph notes Lower Merion is one of several area youth teams playing for a national championship: “Lehigh Valley United’s U19 team will be in Frisco and New Jersey clubs Jackson Red Bulls (U13 Boys Premier Group), Logan SC (U16 Boys Premier Group) and South Jersey Elite Barons (U16 Boys Super Group) will be competing in the U.S. Club Soccer finals in Aurora, Colorado beginning this Friday.”

Stan Cieplinski, head coach of the Penn State Schuylkill women’s team and a long a fixture in Berks County soccer and other sports, has passed away at the age of 67.

MLS

Columbus has signed Downingtown-native and former Union Academy goalkeeper Zack Steffen from Freiburg: “Steffen comes to Columbus as a Discovery Signing”. Discovery signing? Dang.

Columbus has also signed Norwegian defender Nicolai Naess, who last played for Stabaek.

Orlando City has acquired 23-year-old Uruguayan center back José Aja on a six-month loan “with an option to buy.”

Atlanta has signed 21-year-old Argentine forward Hector “Tito” Villalba as a Young Designated Player.

NYRB head coach Jesse Marsch has been fined for his public remarks criticizing the officiating in last weekend’s draw with the Union and for suggesting big name players such as David Villa, Andrea Pirlo, and Frank Lampard get preferential treatment from referees.4t

US

The USWNT hosts Costa Rica tonight at 8 pm in their final warmup game for the Summer Olympics (8 PM, ESPN, UDN).

US Soccer announced on Thursday that all of the USWNT games at the Olympics will be broadcast on NBCSN and NBC Universo, as well as the Soccer Specialty Channel, NBCOlympics.com, and the NBC Sports app. The USWNT schedule for group play — which begins two days before the opening ceremony — is:

Wednesday, August 3 at 6 pm: vs. New Zealand
Saturday, August 6 at 4 pm: vs. France
Tuesday, August 9 at 6 pm: vs. Colombia

In case you’re wondering, the Soccer Specialty Channel “will focus solely on men’s and women’s soccer [and] will be on nearly every day of the Summer Games.” Given that Olympics broadcaster NBC is owned by Comcast, it’s a good bet Xfinity subscribers will have access to the soccer channel, especially those who have the X1 platform (although, as of this writing, I couldn’t find the channel on the Xfinity site). For more on NBC’s Olympic coverage, see these posts at NBColympics.comVariety, The Atlantic, Reuters, and Philly.com.

The draw to determine the hosts of the US Open Cup semifinals and hosting priority for the final took place on Thursday. New England will host Chicago on Tuesday, August 9 at 8 pm, and LAG will host Dallas on Wednesday, August 10 at 10 pm. Hosting priority for the final in September (“The exact September date and kickoff time … will be announced at a later time”) is Chicago, LA, Dallas, New England.

Elsewhere

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

The AP reports, “FIFA ethics judges have opened a case against former executive committee member Worawi Makudi of Thailand, who faces a four-year ban for alleged election forgery and other misconduct.”

37 Comments

  1. We could have really used Steffen after we sell Andre…

    • My first thoughts exactly…Disappointing for the Union.

    • Word is that the Union never offered him a contract or anything so it is really not the fault of MLS – thanks Sak!
      .
      The weird thing is that the allocation order was completely bypassed…

      • Yeah, I meant disappointing at how poorly they handled that situation. McMath and Blake should have been competing for #1 and Steffen should have been signed as the #3. It is 100% on the Union for blowing that one.

      • Not sure he would have ever signed as a 3rd string goalie even if we had theoretically offered him. Goalies need games, especially young goalies. Maybe if Bethlehem Steel was around a couple years ago it would have been a different story.

      • If he was on their discovery list, it may not go through the allocation order.

      • I don’t think so. Highlighting some of the rules:
        .
        “(A) ALLOCATION PROCESS

        The Allocation Process is the mechanism used to determine which MLS Club has first priority to acquire a player listed on the Allocation Ranking List. The list will consist of (i) select U.S. Men’s National Team players, (ii) elite youth U.S. National Team players, or (iii) former MLS players returning to MLS after joining a non-MLS club for a transfer fee greater than $500,000.”
        .
        I would argue section ii applies to Steffen, also:
        .
        “Clubs may not add the following players to their Discovery Lists:
        Players on the Allocation Ranking List”
        .
        .
        .
        Link to rules:
        http://pressbox.mlssoccer.com/content/roster-rules-and-regulations

      • “Clubs may not add the following players to their Discovery Lists:
        Players on the Allocation Ranking List”

        .
        Doesn’t that quote from the rules imply item 2 on the list doesn’t apply to Steffen? It seems to say that if he’s a Discovery Signing, he’s not on the allocation list. edit: whether he should have been, of course, is another matter…

      • Exactly. Just another case of the MLS being the MLS. US youth “Player X” is subject to allocation whereas US youth “Player Y” is not and can be a discovery signing.
        .
        Steffen has been a fixture in the US youth teams since the U-14s and was called into the Copa transition camp earlier this year. How he is not considered an “elite youth U.S. National Team player” is beyond me.

    • Steffen’s loss goes back to Sakiewicz. Will that EVER stop being a weight around this team’s neck?

  2. Pulisic! news to add:
    .
    Dortmund have now signed Schurrle in addition to Gotze after selling Mkhitaryan so playing time will still be a challenge to come by this season.

    • Also should mention they signed Ousmane Dembele too. He scored a really nice goal against Man U this morning.

    • Alicat215 says:

      He’s only 18, let’s all fall back a little. With the number of fixtures they have, I think he’ll still get minutes……….them loaning him out is also a possibility. If he were 20 or 21 and this was happening, I’d be worried…..right now, not too much.

      • der Fussballzuschauer says:

        Borussia Dortmund are entirely too big of a club, as the signings of the World Cup champions Schuerrle and Goetze confirm, so I, for one, will be a little surprised if Pulisic reaches 20 years of age and has NOT spent an entire season out on loan to another club where he can have first team football week in and week out without a doubt.

      • Yup

  3. Zizouisgod says:

    Wow, Steffen coming back to MLS…I did not see that one coming at all. Hopefully he can beat out Clark for the job and get some consistent first team minutes.

  4. Has there been any word on an appeal of Ilsinho’s red that I missed? Or has it been a completely quiet subject?

    • Last I heard anything it was that they were “considering appealing it”.
      .
      Not sure if they actually did or not.

      • Given that SJ had two red cards rescinded, the U should/should’ve appealed

      • Yeah, that was the last I recall hearing as well.
        .
        Frankly, after Ilsinho played 120 minutes Wednesday I’m not sure he could play on Saturday. But I’d prefer to have the option, at least to force Montreal to think about if nothing else.

      • Zizouisgod says:

        Yes, I think that’s the answer and why Ilsinho went the distance on Wed.

  5. It is Allardyce for the England job.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Boy they really went out in a limb for that one.
      .
      An uninspired national team hiring a completely pragmatic uninspiring coach.
      .
      More boring footy for the English.

      • Look at the bright side – maybe he’ll bring back Peter Crouch!

      • Zizouisgod says:

        National team manager should be pragmatic, that’s the best quality to have as he has to pull together a team every couple of months and then play two international matches during a 10 day period.

        That doesn’t mean that you can’t be ambitious and try to develop players, but that’s the job of a national technical director, not the manager of the senior team. That’s why the USMNT set up makes no sense with Klinsmann holding both jobs.

        I do think that you may be selling Allardyce short. He may be pragmatic, but he’s a pretty progressive thinker in how he manages his teams. He was probably England’s best choice domestically until someone like Eddie Howe is more seasoned.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Boring
        .
        🙂

      • Zizouisgod says:

        Hehe

  6. el Pachyderm says:

    The Steffan situation really gives me a belly laugh. I chalk it up in one part to poor timing but man …. So Union(ed).

    • Jim Presti says:

      Either they didn’t rate him that highly or he had zero interest in playing for the club. Possibly both.

      • Pragmatist says:

        A version of this is likely. I’m guessing he didn’t want to play for a Sak-run team, because he saw what kind of tire fire the franchise was.
        .
        Had we hired Earnie 3 years ago, I think he’d be in a Union jersey now.

  7. John Osborn says:

    Not a fan of Marsch, but he’s right about the big-name DPs getting special treatment.

  8. Not saying Steffan is gonna be the all time best MLS keeper, but by all accounts he’s solid, and he’s young. This is the kind of thing that can never happen to the Union again… now that Bethlehem exists. If a a guy doesn’t want to play here, fine, but never again can we lose a talented player because we just didn’t offer him a contract. Steffan prolly knew there was no where to really play, so he bailed. Can’t blame him. It’s freakin amazing how truly inept this club was for 6 of its 7 years of existence.

  9. Dr. Union says:

    Anyone with a brain would’ve given Steffan a contract whether he accepted or not would be another thing. But I believe if I understand things correctly offering the contract would’ve at least qualified the Union for some compensation (and possibly MLS rights to the player which are worth it). Anyway Sak always had his head in the sand and didn’t know what was going on. This is another version of the ineptitude of those previous in charge. If it were me I would be complaining trying to get rule changes for the Union like LA and Seattle get. Not that anything would change, but you complain enough and Garber and MLS will get annoyed and next time this happens we’ll get something in return. That is multiple times this team has been screwed by lack of knowledge of the front office knowing the rules (Rosenberry being another). Lets hope the new front office is on top of all the rules/ rule changes that occur to pickup players.

    • They knew the rules on Rosenberry but he wanted to finish school. It’s just another BS move by MLS against a “small” market team. If teams that don’t exist already can sign homegrown players…

  10. Old Soccer Coach. says:

    They could do worse for the color commentator than Fred Dunfield of the Toronto FC 2 broadcast team.

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