Daily news roundups

Ready for the Reds, other Union news and more

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Philadelphia Union

The Union host a very in-form Toronto FC on Saturday (7 pm, TCN, MLS Live). If the Union win they’ll be level with now second place Toronto with 37 points. Previews at PSP, Philadelphia Union (know your opponent, nine reasons), Philly Soccer News (preview, press conference notes), Brotherly GameMLSsoccer.com, and Toronto FC (cartoon).

In case you missed it, check out Armchair Analyst Matthew Doyle’s look at how Jozy Altidore has been on fire since his return from injury.

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead highlights Tranquillo Barnetta’s return to the No. 10 spot. Barnetta says, “I played it in the beginning of the year, and I really like to play there. So, it wasn’t that hard to change (positions) again. I’m a little bit closer to the goal and I can make final passes. That’s what I like.”

Barnetta says of his stint as the No. 8, “For sure you have to work more defensively as an eight. Sometimes I failed at that. (I was) in the wrong spots because I wasn’t used to it as much, unlike the ten. But it was okay and I tried my best. But for sure, I like to play more offensively than in the defense.”

The Guardian also notes the importance of Barnetta, although one gets the sense author Graham Ruthven hasn’t been playing close attention: no mention of the effect of Barnetta’s positional shift with the departure of Vincent Nogueira before the arrival of Alejandro Bedoya; referring to the Union’s stadium as PPL Park; and “Barnetta has had his injury troubles over the past year or so, struggling for a consistent run of games.” Sure, there have been injuries; the 2016 season did not begin for Barnetta until the fourth game of the season But after that he had 18 straight appearances including a run of 15 starts that ended when he missed the home game against Salt Lake in July, which was immediately followed by another two starts. Whatever, it’s good to see Barnetta is getting attention. It is also nice that Ruthven includes Keegan Rosenberry as one of the players “who surely would have made” the USMNT at the Olympics, had they qualified.

In an article at Delco Times highlighting the spark Bedoya has given the team, Barnetta says of his new teammate, “We already felt that we had a very good chemistry the first week he was in practice. He played a long time in Europe, so he has a good understanding, the same understanding as me, with the little 1-2s in the middle. He’s calm on the ball, and that’s what we need at this position.

At CSN Philly, Dave Zeitlin talks to Chris Pontius about being the current top-scoring American goalscorer in MLS. Pontius says, “I mean, there’s a lot of talent in the league. Some things have fallen my way this year and I’ve just been able to put them away. There’s a lot of guys who have big numbers in terms of goal-scoring around the league, so it’s cool to be up there with them.”

Pontius also says the addition of Alejandro Bedoya and Charlie Davies boosts the team’s playoff chances because they’re “winners that they want in the locker room.”

Bedoya Box. Bedoya Baseball.

Fabinho comes in a t No. 4 in an Audi Player Index ranking of the best left backs in MLS behind Houston’s DaMarcus Beasley, Kansas City’s  Jimmy Medranda, and NYCFC’s Ronald Matarrita. Former Union man Jordan Harvey comes in at No. 7.

Bethlehem Steel

Bethlehem is on the road to face FC Montreal on Sunday (3 pm, YouTube).

City Islanders

The City Islanders have the weekend off.

Local

At the Ocean City Nor’easters website, a Best XI of highlights from the 2016 season.

A number of Ocean City and Reading United players make a list at PDLUSL.com of players to keep an eye on during the new college season.

PA Classics has been announced as one of the additional 22 teams that will join the 52 already announced that will participate in the first US Soccer Girls’ Development Academy season. Penn Fusion was announced as one of the Girls’ Development Academy teams in June.

MLS

Toronto have acquired Panamanian international midfielder Armando Cooper on loan from Club Deportivo Árabe Unido as a discovery signing. The announcement does not state the length of the loan.

New England have signed US international goalkeeper Cody Cropper as a discovery signing.

Minnesota United are expected to officially announce this evening that they will begin play in MLS in 2017. You can watch a livestream of the announcement on YouTube beginning at 7 pm. Hopefully we’ll also learn whether or not they have dropped the “United” part of their name. More on the announcement at the Star Tribune.

Pioneer Press on how Minnesota United found its way into MLS.

At SI, Brian Straus rounds up the latest MLS expansion news and developments, sprinkling in some info about the USL and NASL at the end.

US

Megan Rapinoe says she’s “really disappointed” by Hope Solo calling the Sweden WNT “cowards” after they defeated the USWNT from the quarterfinals of the Olympics:

That’s not our team. That’s not what this team has always been. That’s not what this team will be in the future. It’s frustrating sometimes as an athlete, you’re thrust into the spotlight, and I think this team has always done a really amazing job of understanding that we have this incredible platform, let’s do something good with it. Let’s inspire, let’s be badass, let’s be fierce, let’s be competitive.

But, we’re gracious and we’re humble and we play the game a certain way, whether we win or lose, and we’ve been on the winning side quite a bit and when we find ourselves on the other side, we need to handle that graciously and unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

More at Fox Soccer, SBI, and The Guardian.

Pulisic! Contrary to earlier reports and speculation, Christian Pulisic’s father says he has no desire to leave Dortmund on loan in search of more playing time. More at ESPNSI, Soccer AmericaGoal.com, and SBI.

US Soccer has announced the participants in the 2016 U-20 Women’s NTC Invitational, which will be staged at the National Training Center at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., Sept. 14-18. Joining the US will be England, Brazil, and South Korea.

Dallas Business Journal has more info on the plans for the National Soccer Hall of Fame, which is to be housed at FC Dallas’ home stadium, Toyota Stadium in Frisco.

Elsewhere

The AP reports, “Greece’s sports minister has postponed the start of top-tier league matches for more than two weeks because of fears of violence.”

The BBC reports former Premier League manager Martin Jol, fearing for his safety, has quit as manager of Egyptian side Al Ahly. He received death threats after his team failed to reach the semifinals of the African Champions League.

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

18 Comments

  1. Congrats to Minnesota. It looks like the team’s supporters are pretty happy about moving to MLS from NASL. I hope they can sort the name nonsense out. I don’t like the idea of the league dictating the name. If they want to keep United, they should be allowed.


    And so next year, 21 teams in each conference. Atlanta starts in the East and Minnesota in the west, I guess. I wonder if they’re going to do another expansion draft. Not looking forward to that.

    • Just saw that Danny Cruz is on the Minnesota roster. Didn’t know that’s where he ended up.

      • On the topic of ex-Union peeps:
        .
        Steven Vitoria just signed in Poland for a team called Lechia Gdańsk, who is coached by none other then Piotr Nowak.
        .
        He better be ready for some dehydrated spanking! We all know he isn’t fast enough to escape them!

      • dehydrated spanking is the best spanking

      • Agreed 1000%. It makes you a real man.

      • Agreed, it doesn’t hurt as much since it’s a dry spanking.

    • Well Minnesota will be allowed to keep their current players but I’m not sure if that eliminates the expansion draft or not. Probably not since Atlanta has very few players signed. Minnesota could just pass on some of the rounds in the expansion draft or something like that.

  2. Davies was Mic’d Up for his return to NE. Super cool to see and hear.
    .
    http://www.philadelphiaunion.com/post/2016/08/18/micd-charlie-davies?autoplay=true

  3. Gee Megan Rapinoe, I understand your disappointment with Solo’s comments. I’m more disappointed in the Ellis’ tactics and the team’s play.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      Gee Tom Corey, I’m sorry you’re disappointed. Maybe you could have done better.
      .
      Of course you forgot to mention the fact that the same thing happened to Brazil three days later and we haven’t heard them whining about it.
      .
      Yes, Sweden had tactics that worked that particular day and maybe some of the US players weren’t at their best after playing in Manaus. That’s sports.
      .
      What Hope Solo did was unacceptable. Maybe it would be forgivable if it was her first time but given how many times she has done similar things, it is no longer forgivable. She is the epitome of why the US is looked on so poorly internationally and as someone that US Soccer has promoted as a role model, will only help to continue that poor image for years to come.
      .
      Megan Rapinoe was classy with her remarks and I’m happy that people like Alex Morgan and Megan aren’t blindly supporting Hope.

      • Gee Andy Muenz you must not be a very competitive person or maybe you just have never competed at a high level in anything ever.
        .
        You’re probably one of those people that thinks you should get a trophy just for participating don’t you?
        .
        Or maybe your the guy that brought oranges for kids to eat at half time. AND a snack for after the game.
        .
        Either way why on earth is what hope solo said wrong? Because it’s unkind? Because she takes pride and works her butt off to get where she is? Because she’s a winner?
        .
        You make me sick.
        .
        And on top of that teammates who don’t stand together like the ones who are calling out hope solo aren’t real teammates. I would never go to battle with teammates that I know are not 150% behind me and me behind them. Because that’s not a team I know wants to win then.
        .
        That’s like saying you’re striker gets cheap shotted and your center back comes over and says “hey man that wasn’t very nice.” NO! your center back goes over and beats the piss out of that player no matter who it is. Or at least roughs him up to the point he’s scared senseless and doesn’t want to touch the ball anymore. Because that’s sports and that’s what it takes to be truly competitive at a high level. Not because it’s the nice thing to do but because it the thing to do if you are that intense and want to win.
        .
        I apologize you got me ranting

  4. Lucky Striker says:

    Minnesota United gets in they need a natural rival.

    Put me down for Michigan Disjointed just as soon as they rustle up the funds.

    I miss the Detroit Express. Trevor Francis was the bomb !

    • Chicago is actually closer to Minneapolis than Detroit is. Kansas City also isn’t too far, though might be further than Detroit.
      .
      So that would give them a somewhat close rival whether they’re in the east or west next year.

  5. Old Soccer Coach says:

    What are the average evening temperatures in Minneapolis-St. Paul in March? And in August? There’s a reason the other pro teams there have had roofed stadia.

    • Having grown up there,

      In March it’s similar to Philly, some times it’s 50 and pleasent other times you get a freak snow storm. The biggest difference is there’s more consistent snow on the ground because in Minnesota the first snow of the year in October is the last snow to melt in March.

      August is 85 degrees with about two billion percent humidity and a ton of thunderstorms.

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