Daily news roundups

Union sign Jones as Homegrown, locals at US Youth Soccer championships, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

after first playing for Junior Lone Star. Earnie Stewart said in a statement,

This is a testament to Derrick’s commitment to his trade, and it should be considered a tremendous accomplishment to become the first player to come through our Academy, to Bethlehem Steel, and finally to the First Team. This is also a testament to the hard work of Tommy Wilson and his entire staff at the Academy, and I congratulate them for playing such a large role in this signing. Derrick has now set the benchmark for every player in our youth system, that there is a pathway to the professional level, and that it is achievable if you remain committed to your goals.

More on the signing at PSP, Philly.com, CSN Philly, Philly Soccer NewsBrotherly GameSection 215, and MLSsoccer.com.

Jim Curtin’s weekly press conference will take place today at 12:30 pm.

At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin talks to Keegan Rosenberry (and also has some great quotes from his coach at Georgetown, Brian Wiese) about handling the accolades he is receiving in his rookie year. That kid is clearly something special.

At Delco Times, Matthew De George talks to Rosenberry about being selected by the fans for the All-Star Game along with Andre Blake.

At Brotherly Game, Jared Young talks to Brian Carroll.

Power rankings! At SBI, the Union plummet five spots to No. 11: “The Union are in a bit of a rut, and the loss to the Impact on Saturday signified a major low point for a team still in contention. It’s a bit too soon to condemn the Union, but improvements need to be made if they hope to remain among the East’s top dogs.” At Soccer America, it’s a one-spot drop to No. 10: “A Chris Pontius goal, his team-high eighth of the season, was about all that could be praised about a third loss in the past five games. A Keegan Rosenberry giveaway led directly to one of the goals but this was a total team effort.” At MLSsoccer.com, the Union drop one spot to No. 6: “The backline’s taking most of the grief — Richie Marquez, in particular, has to clear that cross that led to the first Montreal goal — but we still see huge gaps in the Philly midfield. So too did Ignacio Piatti, which produced nothing but pain for the Union.”

At Brotherly Game, the results of the weekly player ratings comparison.

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead has a ranking of the top five Union games in terms of atmosphere at Talen Energy Stadium

Bethlehem Steel

In support of Autism Awareness Day, Bethlehem Steel has announced a portion of the proceeds from tickets sold using the promo code “AUTISMSPEAKS16”  for Sunday’s home game against Toronto FC II will be donated to Troxel Buccaneers, “A Lehigh Valley-based group [that] works in concert with the national Autism Speaks organization, to educate and expand the public’s awareness of what individuals and families endure when a loved one is afflicted by autism.” Speaking as a BSFC season ticket holder whose family has been affected by autism, I hope the club also kicks in a portion of the proceeds from sales made before the promotion was announced.

Unauthorized Bethlehem Steel FC Blog notes a report from Africa describing Eric Ayuk as one of Cameroon’s top three U-20 players.

PDL

USLPDL.com has a team preview of Ocean City Nor’easters ahead of Saturday’s PDL championship semifinal match against Western Conference champion Calgary Foothills FC.

Tickets are on sale now for the semifinal, which kicks off at 5 pm on Saturday at Tennessee Avenue Soccer Complex in Ocean City.

The La Salle Athletics site notes fifth-year senior goalkeeper Mike Kirk was between the posts for Ocean City Nor’easters in their 4-1 win over Reading United for the PDL Eastern Conference championship.

Local

At the US Youth Soccer Association’s national championships in Frisco, Lower Merion SC’s Sabertooth Rats U-15 boys team lost their opening game, being defeated 3-1 by Chicago Fire Academy Raiders. Lower Merion was down 3-0 before Philip Burckhardt scored in the 80th minute. The team faced Santa Clara Sporting 00 Green this morning, losing 3-2. The team was behind 2-0 before Evan Tracy scored in the 36th minute. Santa Clara added another goal two minutes after the start of the second half, with Jacobe Sandcroft scoring for Lower Merion a minute later. The Sabertooth Rats face Virginia’s McLean 00 Green, who have a win and a loss so far in group play, on Thursday.

Lehigh Valley United came from behind to defeat FC Dallas Premier 2-1 in U-18 play in Frisco. After going down 1-0 in the 12th minute Brian Gilligan equalized for LVU the 68th minute before Evan Vare scored the 85th minute game winner. The team faces California’s FC Golden State today and then Ohio’s OP Green on Thursday.

In U-13 girls play in Frisco, New Jersey Rush was thumped 5-0 on Tuesday. The team faces Solar Chelsea of Texas today, and Ohio’s Cincinnati United Premier on Thursday.

Sydney Zandi (Penn Fusion; West Chester) has been named to the US U-17 WNT roster that will face Brazil in two friendlies as part of a training camp in Michigan, August 1-13. The teams will face off at DeMartin Soccer Stadium at Michigan State in East Lansing on Tuesday, August 9 and meet again on Friday, August 12 at Van Andel Soccer Stadium at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

MLS

It’s official: Sigi Schmid is out as head coach of Seattle Sounders.

Jelle Van Damme and Kellyn Acosta have been added to the All-Star Game roster: “Sporting Kansas City center back Matt Besler had to withdraw from the match due to injury while the Portland Timbers’ Liam Ridgewell is currently undergoing a medical to determine his availability for Thursday’s match.”

The MLS Homegrown game against the Mexico U-20 team kicks off tonight at 9 pm (MLSsoccer.com, MLS Live, YouTube).

More All-Star Game format talk at ESPN and FourFourTwo. In case you’re wondering, Thursday’s game (7:30 pm, ESPN) should be finished before Hillary Clinton is expected to speak at the Democratic National Convention around 11 pm.

Vancouver has transferred Fabián Espíndola to Liga MX-side Necaxa “for an undisclosed transfer fee.” The Whitecaps acquired the striker in a trade with DC United last week.

Downingtown’s Zack Steffen on being signed by Columbus Crew: “I knew that Columbus had a Discovery claim on me and I wasn’t really ever tied to the Philadelphia Union, especially after I made my decision to go over to Germany. So I was excited that they had first dibs kind of.”

Zlatan speaks:

I am not ruling out the MLS. Once I had decided to leave PSG there were many offers, but with Zlatan that is normal. I know that teams from the MLS were interested, but the opportunity to play for Manchester United, and of course to work with my good friend Jose Mourinho again, was impossible to turn down…

I would never rule out the MLS in the future. I have a contract with Manchester United, but I feel in great shape. I feel as though I could play until I am 40. It is impossible to predict the future…

David (Beckham) is a good friend of mine, and he has asked me to play for his (Miami) team. For now, I want to achieve big things with Manchester United, but I have a lot of respect for the MLS, and anything is possible.

“But with Zlatan that is normal.” Hilarious!

The viewership numbers for MLS on ESPN, while modest, are looking up:

Leading up to the 2016 MLS All-Star Game, this year’s Major League Soccer matches on ESPN and ESPN2 have delivered an average audience of 312,000 viewers (227,000 household impressions), an increase of 32 percent in viewers (235,000) and 44  percent in television homes (158,000) from the same period in 2015.  On WatchESPN, the E1/E2 average minute audience to-date this season is 12,000, an increase of 127 percent increase over 5,000 in 2015.

ESPN Deportes is seeing a 44 percent audience increase with an average 46,000 Hispanic viewers year-to-date in 2016, compared to 32,000 in 2015. Spanish language telecasts on WatchESPN had an increase of 20 percent in average minute audience to-date this season vs 2015.

Bloomberg reports,

Major League Soccer is making it easier for fans to buy tickets.

Together with SeatGeek, MLS is creating an open ticketing network that will let third-party websites sell tickets to soccer games. For example, AirBnb could sell Seattle Sounders tickets alongside apartment listings in the Pacific Northwest, or New York City Football Club’s fan group could make tickets available on its site.

The new system will also let fans resell their tickets anywhere and on more than one site at once.

The report notes, “Opening up the ticket ecosystem bucks the trend in the sports industry, which has been closing ticket networks as tightly as possible and defending in court the right to do so. Teams, leagues and venues have aggressively limited where fans can buy tickets and where — and for how much — they can resell them. Former TicketMaster Chief Executive Nathan Hubbard suggested last month that teams and artists should make resale impossible in order to protect fans from being priced out by brokers.”

US

Goal.com reports Megan Rapinoe “expects to sit out the Olympic opener against New Zealand on Aug. 3 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, as she continues to work her way back from a calf injury suffered earlier this month.” Rapinoe, who made the USWNT roster despite the fact that she has not played a match since tearing her ACL in December, said, “Looking maybe toward the end of the group stage and then looking into the knockout stage would be more of a realistic time for me, and I think [U.S. coach Jill Ellis] feels the same way.”

ASN has a tactical analysis of the USWNT.

At ESPN, Clint Dempsey on how the US did at the Copa America:

I thought it was a good tournament for us, to progress to the semifinals of a major competition. Copa America is always important. I’m happy with that. But still, after the tournament, we were left wanting a little bit more. Maybe you think you could have gotten third place in that last game against Colombia. You would have liked to have gotten third and hang your hat on that, but [I’m] proud of the performance of the team. I thought we did well.

Dempsey said of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, “You have to get results in these next two games. You can’t look past it. We have to get the right results against St. Vincent, against Trinidad if you we want to get to the hex. September is what it’s all about.” Yep.

Panama has been announced as the host of the 2017 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship, which will take place April 21-May 7, 2017.: “The 12 teams [participating in the championship tournament] will include: Panama as host, three additional Central American Football Union (UNCAF) teams, five Caribbean Football Union (CFU) teams and three from North America (Canada, Mexico and the United States). Caribbean teams will begin their Qualifying tournament in July, while Central American teams will begin qualification in November.”

Elsewhere

From the Guardian: “Teams competing in the FA Cup will be able to field a fourth substitute from the sixth round onwards in the competition this season, the Football Association have announced.” The report notes, “The law-making body, the International Football Association Board, IFAB, is carrying out a global study into a proposal that would allow teams to make a fourth replacement during extra-time.”

The AP reports, “Wolfgang Niersbach, a member of FIFA’s governing council, will appeal his one-year ban over Germany’s 2006 World Cup bid.”

The Guardian reported on Tuesday,

Israeli police launched raids overnight aimed at breaking up the country’s most notorious group of football hooligans – members of the La Familia group who follow Beitar Jerusalem FC.

Hundreds of officers were involved in raids across the country targeting dozens of individuals associated with the group infamous for its violence, criminal connections, racist attacks and chants. The 56 arrested included minors and nine soldiers.

19 Comments

  1. Andy Muenz says:

    I had thought that a 4th sub during extra time was part of the new rule changes that went into effect June 1 (along with eliminating the automatic red for denial of a goal scoring opportunity in the box).

  2. Andy Muenz says:

    Anyone know why the Union don’t have a link to the press conference on their home page?

  3. Old Soccer Coach says:

    How do we get FIFA and the IAFB to start working on a concussion sub rule?
    .
    PIAA and NCAA as well.

  4. OneManWolfpack says:

    You know, if I talked in 3rd person, I’d be laughed at. Some guys can just pull it off. “But with Zlatan that is normal.” Awesome. HA!

  5. Transfer window closes a week from today… great for Jones and the organization, but there are still needs beyond signing HGPs.

  6. el Pachyderm says:

    Philly is such an interesting place…. clamor clamor for years about our lack of development of players and arguably the most important…..
    .
    (( Four things have happened this season of consequence:
    1. Andre Blake as good as advertised
    2. Maurice Edu sidelined almost all season
    3. Vincent Noguiera sudden departure
    4. Union sign D.Jones ))
    .
    .
    …. signing of one comes and it is church mouse quiet today.
    .
    .
    ‘Is anybody in there… just nod if you can hear me.’

    • John Ling says:

      Is there anyone home?

    • My guess is a lot of fans, even the more knowledgeable ones who comment on this site, don’t know exactly what to think. I don’t follow the Steel. Don’t know whether he’s going to be great or just good. I commented on the other story that I liked the new path to the first team through the Steel and the shared training facilities, etc.
      .
      Also, you usually don’t get much feedback when you’re just ding a good job. You tend to hear it more when things go south.

      • i follow steel. watch all the matches. Jones is solid. nice goal over the weekend. i like the patient Steel to U path he took. Yaro hasn’t transitioned as well but isn’t a bust.
        we need help in the mid and Edu isn’t hitting the ground running. at this point, give the kid a chance

    • I’m here and excited El P. Think it’s a big step for the club. Just trying to temper my expectations for the kid, but I hope this is the template for many more kids to come thru.

    • Dr. Union says:

      Its nice to sign a homegrown player, but is this a homegrown player of value or just another piece to be cut in a year or two. On my end I just think they need more not a homegrown signing. To me this fills a roster spot of need for some other help for this team. I would’ve left him at Steel till at least the end of the season or longer.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        To my POV if you’re signing him he needs to get time… we already have one Carson Wentz.
        .
        Union aren’t going anywhere this season- especially since their best player is in France- may as well give him valuable learning minutes.

      • John Ling says:

        Ding, ding, ding!
        .
        This year was a rebuilding year. We were supposed to be shooting for a playoff spot and growth. A hot start raised those expectations, it seems, but they really shouldn’t have.
        .
        Much like Rosenberry, Yaro, Tribbett, and Herbers… let Jones play. Let him make mistakes that are the result of inexperience, so next year and 2018 he’s not making mistakes that are the result of inexperience.
        .
        Staying at the top of the east would be nice, but it’s not necessary this year. Growth is necessary.

      • scottymac says:

        I’m not sure Edu makes my list of 4 important things. Maybe that’s just how poorly I rate him.

        Remember when this site said “remain calm, all is well” on Nogs departure? That was great.

        And in the same breath allude to Edu being the answer. But does anyone remember what the question was?
        https://phillysoccerpage.net/2016/06/16/vincent-nogueira-was-unique-but-not-irreplaceable/

    • Jim Presti says:

      I would think fans are cautiously optimistic given past development of draft picks and homegrown players. But in Earnie we trust.

    • scottymac says:

      HUZZAH!!! D Jones is here!! 2018 is gonna be sweet!

      Better?

    • HopkinsMD says:

      Worked till 12:40am. Just now checked the site. Very glad about this news, and some have predicted it or at least called for it (OSC).
      .
      Here’s to Ernie continuing to push the fly wheel (hat tip to Jim Collins’ “Good to Great).

    • Dan Walsh says:

      I think that’s mostly because this signing has been expected for quite some time. It’s not a surprise. It is a good development.

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