Daily news roundups

Report says Union “pushing hard” to sign Bedoya, Rivera steps down as SoB prez, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Save for the Derrick Jones signing, one that is aimed more to the future than for immediate impact on the field, the Union have been quiet during the summer transfer window. With that window closing on Wednesday, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported on Monday night the Union “are in advanced talks” to sign Alejandro Bedoya.

Here’s the catch: The Union are No. 2 in the allocation order behind Chicago. Stein reports “sources say they’re working through the requisite compensation details to put themselves first in line to land Bedoya, who was born in nearby New Jersey. Sources, however, have told ESPN FC that Fire are also interested in signing the midfielder and cannot be ruled out of the equation just yet.” Stein says the Union are “hopeful” and “pushing hard” to finalize the deal before the close of the transfer window.

ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle tweeted, “League source tells me that Bedoya transfer fee is $1M w/salary between $750k and $850k,” which is a reduction of the numbers the Union were reportedly offering last year when they were close to signing the US international before Nantes pulled out of that deal. Kristian Dyer reported last September, that if that deal had been completed, “The contract would have paid Bedoya close to $1.2 million a year and the transfer fee was north of $1 million for Nantes”.

The midfielder is currently under contract with Nantes though the 2018-19 season. Bedoya said in a recent interview,

I’d still obviously prefer to stay in Europe.

Since my son was born, I’ve always thought about coming back to the States, and that’s still in the back of my mind and there’s still ongoing discussions about that. [But] I still feel like I have a lot left to do, and I’m still ambitious about playing at the highest level. No disrespect to MLS at all; it’s a continuously growing league. But MLS is still in the back of my mind as a place I’d like to come back.

Bedoya and Maurice Edu were teammates at Rangers and I believe they share the same agent (according to transfermarkt.com). Maybe Edu can help provide that little extra bit of sugar to help Bedoya want to be here. Anyway, reports on the ESPN report at Philly.comCSN Philly, Brotherly Game, Section 215MLSsoccer.comSIPro Soccer Talk, and SBI.

Power rankings! At Soccer America, the Union tumble three spots to No. 13: “The Union has been leaking goals for a while, and conceded two more after Roland Alberg converted a penalty kick just before halftime. That runs its recent record to 19 goals conceded in the past seven games. Four of those games are losses.” At ESPN, it’s a one-spot drop to No. 13: “The Union have been a sieve since losing Vincent Nogueira, putting all the more pressure on Maurice Edu to get back from his long-term injury layoff.” At SI, it’s a three spot drop to No. 11: “On one hand, it’s easy to mark Sunday’s 2-1 home loss to Real Salt Lake as another disappointing result for a side that started off strong but seems to have lost its way. And that might be true! But If you’re going to lose a home game, might as well lose it to two of the prettiest goals you’ll see in MLS all year long. In the ultra-forgiving Eastern Conference, the Union should still be in line for a playoff spot.”

Keegan Rosenberry remains at the top of the latest rookie rankings at MLSsoccer.com.

At Delco Times, Matthew De George looks at what’s behind the Union lately being leaky: “The causation is murky, even if the numbers jibe with Vincent Nogueira’s departure.” Looking at Sunday’s loss, De George writes, “Each goal featured a cascade of minor errors that summed to major problems and afforded the sliver of space that RSL savagely punished.”

At Philadelphia Sports Nation, Conor Cummings tries to break down what’s going on with the Union’s slump.

Sons of Ben

Ami Rivera has stepped down as president of the Sons of Ben so she can pursue “professional ventures which will be taking her away from her role with [the Sons of Ben].” Bill Gusler has been named interim president.

Bethlehem Steel

Auston Trusty started and played the full 90 in the US U-19’s 3-1 loss to Bahrain in the Sub-20 l’Acudia COTIF tournament in Spain of Monday. The US needed a win to advance out of their group after defeating Spain 1-0 on Friday. What they didn’t need is for a Bahrain player to kick the ball into the head of Pierre Da Silva when he was down on the ground after being fouled, nor the bench clearing brawl that followed.

USL announced on Monday the 2017 schedule will be expanded by two games, bringing the number of regular season games up to 32. “The 32-game schedule will allow each team to play its conference opponents at least twice, one home and one away, with regional rivalries rounding out the schedule. Teams will not play an opponent more than three times in 2017.” More at Allentown Morning Call.

City Islanders

The City Islanders host New York Red Bulls II tonight at FNB Field in Harrisburg (7 pm, YouTube). Previews at City Islanders and USLsoccer.com.


Haddonfield Memorial High School’s Jack Dugan and Sam DeCencio, and Delran High School’s Gabriel DaSilva, were on the Match Fit Academy team that just won U.S. Club Soccer’s U-16 boys super group division national championship.


Portland has signed longtime Premier League defender Steven Taylor, who joins the club after spending most of his career at Newcastle Unites. Taylor joins the club as a discovery signing.

NYRB’s Dax McCarty is out 4-6 weeks with a fractured tibia.

CONCACAF Champions League play begins tonight with Vancouver Whitecaps on the road to face Trinidad and Tobago’s Central FC. The game is on Univision Deportes at 8 pm. At present, there is presently no English-language broadcaster for the tournament after Fox’s deal expired after the 2015-16 edition.

Bloomberg reports league deputy commissioner Mark Abbott says expansion fees could jump to $200 million. Abbott said in a statement,

There has been incredible interest from cities across the country in acquiring a Major League Soccer expansion club and we continue to have productive discussions with a number of prospective ownership groups. Following the Board of Governors meeting, the league is continuing to work on the timetable and the details, including pricing, for future expansion and no decisions have been made. Based on the increasing value of MLS clubs, expansion fees could be as high as $200 million.

Abbott said no decisions have been made on the timetable for expansion, presently capped at 28 teams, or expansion fees. LAFC, the last team to join the league, reportedly paid $110 million.

At Sacramento Bee, a report on what the higher expansion fees could mean for investors backing Sacramento Republic’s bid to join MLS. Detroit Free Press has a similar report on what the higher fees could mean for efforts to bring a MLS franchise to Detroit.

Soccer America wonders how legitimate are Bayern Munich’s interests in partnering with a MLS team.


The AP reports, “Hope Solo is blaming the American media for spreading fear about the Zika virus and other problems ahead of the Rio Games.”

At ASN, recent quotes from Solo addressing her concerns about the Zika virus, water safety, and security.

Goal.com talks to Christen Press about her hopes to have a breakthrough tournament in Brazil.

ESPN reports the USMNT is finalizing a deal to play Ghana at RFK Stadium on October 11, four days after the US plays Cuba in a friendly in Havana. US Soccer spokesman Neil Buethe said, We’re working on a second October game. But nothing has been finalized yet.” More at the Washington Post.

Head coach Stuart Sharp has named his 14-player men’s team roster for the upcoming 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil, Sept. 7-18.



  2. “…Newcastle Unites.”

  3. The Realist Brian says:

    Couple of things this morning:
    Ed- thank you for putting these together. I know how hard you work.
    The Union need to sign Auston Trusty immediately. He doesn’t need a year of college ball at UNC. Sorry for any college coaches that may read this board, but college soccer with it’s truncated schedule (3 games in a week, season 3 months long, no soccer Nov-Jan) is not going to help his development. Much better served moving up to the full team. Also, the announcers were raving about his game during the past few U-20 games. He is excellent with his distribution and very athletic (not that that is important, but I will take his atheletism over Marquez and Tribbett). Which leads to my next point:
    U20 fight: GOOD FOR THEM. I watched the game, and the ref let a ton of bullshit fouls against the US and in particular against Da Silva go the whole game. The Bahrain first goal was a fluke goal (excellent cross, guy has a prayer of a connection and sticks it in against the run of play) sucked the life out of the US. We had to win to advance, and then we tried to push the game to win, it happens so I am much less concerned with the result. But standing up for a teammate especially for that BULLSHIT play by the Bahraini was called for. That douche knew it and ran away at first until Vasquez caught him. Our RECREATIONAL mentality frowns on that, but this is the edge that we need to have to stand up against that crap. And believe me, the world doesn’t see us a football nation. That is why they pull that crap. I am glad we fought back.
    Foosey is a player, by the way. So is Issiah Young, who could have been a Union player but left for PDA with a couple of other youth players. I wonder why?
    Fifth point- youth coaches: stop playing 4v4 on small fields with a team of 4 sitting in the sideline for 5-7 year olds. My son is in a soccer camp this week, and I was surprised to see how small the field was (in a GIANT PARK) which was about 5×10. It was almost designed to be “bunch ball”. If you are a coach with that many kids, play 2v2 in 3 games and rotate. Kids get more touches and learn how to defend/beat players much more quickly. My other pet peeve is when they have long grass and they are working on dribbling… Take the kids to the dirt infield next door or on the pavement so they learn with speed so touches are faster. Nothing like watching tick tock/penquins in thick grass- molasse dribbling. Ugh. (End coaching rant).

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Knew your Time-to-Post wouldn’t be far away today… well said, as usual.

    • I saw the game as well and have a completely different view. Trusty and the other defenders were terrible (in the 2nd half). Even more terrible was the coach: Friedel! How can you have him coach a team?! How can you lose such a critical game against a team from a nation of 1.2million?!
      Sure, the US player was hit in the head but this happened in the last minute and was also more by accident than intentionally.
      Tomorrow the Olympics start the soccer tournament without a team from the US (but teams for Honduras, Iraq, Canada, Fiji and Zimbabwe will be there…) and now we can not even get results with a U19 team. We seem to go backwards instead of forwards.

    • With boys who have most of their full growth, making space smaller makes the exercise harder because it forces quicker feet and quicker minds. Anticipation is demanded, not suggested. To be Darwinian, adapt or die. (Social Darwinism, not actual, since we are not discussing generational production.)
      I have never worked with that age group, so do not know what the purposes are for them.

    • From what I understand the plan for Trusty is to have him go to college this fall, get him far more game action than he could get with Steel (who only have 9 games left) have him earn some credits and get started on his secondary education, and then have him sign in January.

      TDS has Wake having a top 5 recruiting class. They just helped polish up Jack Harrison for one semester. McKenzie and Real are commited there in 2017. I think as long as that is the plan it’s probably the best course of action.

  4. The Realist Brian says:

    And final point: Bedoya is an upgrade for Nogs. Get the deal done. And I saw a dumb tweet about trading Illsinho to get it done earlier… You don’t trade your most skilled attacker.

    • Bedoya is a better player than Nogs and will probably be our best field player. However, it remains to be seen how effective he can be in a 4-2-3-1 if he’s not in the attacking third. I don’t think we can just slot him in for Nogs and be just fine. Barnetta is a less than ideal solution as we’ve seen.

      As some have speculated, the Bedoya move is a move for next season when we more than likely lose Barnetta. Looks to me that we’re still hoping for something along these lines (which could end up being an awesome line up).


  5. el Pachyderm says:

    Alejandro….ally ally-jandro, don’t want ya if you rather be plying in Europe — and can’t say I blame ya. That said, Alejandro, Mo, Barnetta, Pontius, Ilsinho make for an interesting midfield ~~~ devoid still of a goal scoring striker.
    I’d take Bedoya for no more than 2 yrs otherwise WTF with Derrick Jones.
    In more important news though The Cartel, er League needs more cash to support its money-hemorrhaging ponzi pyramid scheme so NOW the buy in franchise McDonald’s fee is double. DOUBLE!
    not $125 not $137
    — not an even $149.5 or $168.3 buy in… No No
    $200,000,000 dollars — thereby taking organic grassroots investment to further alienate and strangely go overseas to support and own real clubs in real leagues with real risk and reward …. a totally head scratching bass ackwards fucking fubar US Soccer experience.
    Shame on us and them and ‘you’ for being duped.

    • Zizouisgod says:

      Meh. As the last few days have shown with the Fabian Castillo potential transfer, I take any numbers from MLS HQ with a grain of salt.

      I know that many are clamoring for the Union to sign a striker, but I like the potential Bedoya signing as that will help us where we need it most, helping the team transition the ball forward through the midfield from the back. Doing this in a measured and orderly fashion will allow the team to keep it overall shape which in turn should put us in better defensive position if we turn the ball over.

      Also, I think that Stewart, Albright & Curtin view Sapong’s real value is in holding the ball up, occupying both central defenders and drawing fouls in dangerous areas. I would love it if he were a better finisher, but I think that they believe that with Sapong in this role, the team will be able to generate enough goals through other players (eg – Pontius, Alberg, Ilsinho Herbers, etc.). Only three other teams in MLS have scored more goals than the Union and all three (Dallas, NYC & NYRB) have played more matches than the Union so the numbers as they currently stand, support that strategy. MTL has scored the same number as the U, but in one less match, but the overall point still stands. The team hasn’t had trouble scoring goals, we’ve had more issues with conceding lately.

      Lastly, if you bring in another striker, that will hinder Herbers’s development as he gets pushed further down the depth chart and I think that the club really likes his potential.

      • These are good sound points that help me feel better about CJ. I’m up and down on him from day to day. I think the most compelling case here is for developing Herbers more and not putting him further down the depth chart at the #9 position. I think that kid can be very good and soon.

      • Last 2 games there were plenty of good crosses that Sapong, Pontius or Herbers should have finished with their feet or head. We need a finisher; not another midfielfder!
        Also the stats you give are all from before Nog left. Since then the stats have been a disaster. If we continue in this slump then we will not make the playoffs.

      • Zizouisgod says:

        No, the stats that I referenced are through the 22 league matches that the Union have played this year.

      • Zizouisgod says:

        We’ve scored 16 goals and conceded 19 in 8 MLS matches since Nogs left. If you average two goals per match, that should be good enough to win most of them.

      • Main problem are last 5 games: 0-0, 2-2, 1-1, 1-5, 1-2. In only in 1 of those did we score more than 1! If this trend continues then we will not make the play-offs and Bedoya ain’t gonna change it.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        I don’t think you can really count the 0-0 given that we rested some of the regulars completely and the others only played a half.

      • Zizouisgod says:

        Seriously, you’re including the friendly vs Crystal Palace in your analysis?

    • I read your posts all the time El P and I always enjoy them, but don’t always agree. This time, regarding the pyramid / Ponzi scheme $200M expansion fee, I am with you. It’s starting to get more than a little scary that despite the fact every other league says 20 teams per division is enough… we are going to 24… clearly for the money. It’s also pretty evident that despite all the “growth” we’ve had as a league, we are still broke. And by being broke, it shows maybe the true interest to support the sport at its highest level isn’t there. I just hope I don’t wake up one day 5-10 years from now and find out this was all a scam and the league is going under. And I didn’t even touch on your other point that it completely disenfranchises smaller clubs and organizations from having aspirations to grow and get better.
      MLS is fun for me. I enjoy it. But the underlying problems that are only being made worse are going to hurt this league in the (not too distant) future. I just hope I’m wrong.

      • There is money to be made in soccer in America. Even if it all goes bust, we still have stadiums and players. People will pick up the pieces.

      • America is much bigger than those other countries though. They won’t admit it, but MLS is clearly looking to long term split the west and east into 2 separate 15-20 team “leagues”.

      • The issue, as Jim Presti mentioned below, is that this controlled approach to running the league can work for other US sports because there is not nearly the global market for those sports that there is with soccer. The league is hampering not only the organic growth of clubs like Cincinnati FC but its own member clubs that can’t truly operate independently.

    • Jim Presti says:

      $200M. Incredibly unbelievable. Just close off the opportunity for D1 soccer for most cities and almost all teams.

  6. how does number 3 manage to incite the brawl with the kick, then just ease away to the fringe of the fight?

  7. Am I the only person annoyed by this bullshit allocation order nonsense? Just rubs me the wrong way that Chicago essentially gets leverage in a player roster decision for the Union by virtue of being the worst team in the league last year. More MLS Mickey Mouse.
    Oh, and to throw more wood on the fire, I agree El P. with that crazy franchise fee. I suppose they argue they bring TV deals, etc to the table, but it is crazy when local invetment groups, like the 76ers owners, decide to take their money to the EPL and buy a piece of Crystal Palace. … Same with Red Sox owners and Liverpool. Imagine that group investing in the Revs for, I don’t know, say an actual soccer stadium?

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Oh it gets even better when teams like Chicago draw 4 people to the game… and 2700 people to watch the game on TV… just keep pushing the Sounders and Timbers and KC for national televised games :…: the illusion that it is ALL GOOD.

      • Jim Presti says:

        We talked about this last week. All a façade to attract consumer interest when serious investment money is being spent in the EPL by American firms. They know the product sucks and that this closed franchise system is not sustainable with a global market and lacking domestic consumer interest in most markets.

    • I mean we had rights to De Leuuw earlier this year so they had to give us 50K funny money. It all works out in the end. It’s one of those things that’s designd for competitive balance, but in reality Garber will just make up rules for the big clubs anywyas.

    • No MLS is right. Or mostly right. Do you realize how much money can be made from good TV deals? Do you realize an area (off the top of my head) 30 million + in the Southeast has no team currently? What broadcast company wants a sport where gigantic swaths of the country are cut off?! Besides, Atlanta has sold 30,000 season tickets. I have no problem with this. The sport is worldwide, I don’t agree that there just “isn’t enough talent to make up for a couple of new teams in MLS”. I think it’s good. Not perfect but good. We need soccer to be an influence everywhere in this country, and we can’t do that by worshiping Europe and strictly adhering to their way of doing things without deviating one millimeter. Nevermind that they were developed organically 100 years ago and we started off 20 years ago in a well established soccer world.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        There is very little about the MLS experience that is similar really to Europe and your concerned about 1 millimeter of derivation…. Interesting.

  8. Old Soccer Coach says:

    ElP, keep in mind in reference to WTF with Bedoya and Jones if Bedoya is longer than 2-3 years, Jones was only nineteen at the beginning of the season. (I don’t keep birth dates in my head other than my wife’s) Bedoya is said to be 29. That’s a ten year difference.

    Most of these contracts have been for two, perhaps with an option for a third added on whether it is mutual or not.
    The TV commentator on the Steel-Toronto game Sunday by implication only I grant you, suggests that possibly Jones will continue to playing his games down. An Earnie theme is getting minutes. [Incidentally nice introduction of the Steel’s 1st promoted Alumnus at half time, his new Jersey number, proud old coach, warm crowd applause, well done vignette.] He’s got Pfeffer’s old number, 21.

  9. Old Soccer Coach says:

    What are you thinking about the Bedoya potential move if you are Ilsinho or Alberg?
    Going to need some open communication and skilled personnel handling.
    There will be lots of emphasis on the value of competition to making the whole group better.
    Clearly the Union think Bedoya will fit in well with their locker room chemistry.

  10. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Ed – many thanks. Concise efficient accurate summary with opportunity to dig deeper if desired.
    We take you for granted because you are consistent and reliable.
    We should not.

  11. I’m tired of the Bedoya rumors. He’s not here and I already don’t want him. Between the annoying back and forth rumors the fact that he doesn’t want to be here and the cost I don’t think he is worth it. His value to me is on the wing and we don’t need wingers right now. You have to give up the number 2 allocation spot, you have to fight with Chicago, fight with Nantes pay the MLS a transfer fee. Its all not worth it. You can do the same thing on the cheap to get Mix. You keep the allocation spot for someone more valuable. You keep the allocation money and you spend half as much and can get a bigger return if Mix turns it around. Plus I’d rather play Mix at the 8 than Bedoya. Bedoya’s strengths are on the wing I think and expect that if this deal gets done it might be a bust, especially since he doesn’t want to be here and says so.

  12. Sounds like this is a done deal. At least according to the Twitterati I follow.

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