Daily news roundups

KC on Saturday and other Union bits, more news

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

The Union host Kansas City on Saturday. Having won just their third game on the road on Wednesday, it’s hard not to think of the Saturday’s contest as a must win game, what with international call ups depleting the roster for next week’s road game against Chicago, which itself is the start of four road games over the next five games (way to make the schedule, MLS).

Previews and such at PSP, Philadelphia Union (preview, reasons to go to the game), Brotherly GameMLSsoccer.com, Sporting Kansas City, and Blue Testament.

At Delco Times, Matthew De George says Wednesday night’s win — on the road, coming back from a questionable equalizer, strong performances from rookie players — shows the Union are progressing. More on Wednesday’s road win over Columbus at CSN PhillyPhilly Voice, Section 215Columbus DispatchFourFourTwo, and MLS Multiplex.

Columbus Crew SB Nation blog Massive Report acknowledges the goal scored by Columbus on Wednesday was not a goal.

The US roster for the September World Cup qualifiers is expected to be announced on Sunday. At MLSsoccer.com, Armchair Analyst Matthew Doyle tips Alejandro Bedoya to be called up:

Bedoya has been very good since coming to the Union, playing a crucial role in central midfield. Klinsmann has sometimes used him there, and sometimes on the wing, and sometimes at d-mid…. Just throw a dart, really. But given how the US played a 4-4-2 down the stretch this summer, I think he’s most likely to be used as a center mid to start off, pairing with Kitchen in the first game.

Doyle also says, “Keegan Rosenberry should eventually figure into this math, but my guess is he’ll get his first look in January.” Soccer America says Rosenberry should be under consideration for a call up for the September qualifiers. Rosenberry is Bedoya’s and Maurice Edu’s choice for Rookie of the Year.

At Stars and Stripes FC, a “State of the Union” post on USMNT midfielders gives Alejandro Bedoya a B: “Bedoya has only got a couple games in with the Union, but he’s hopped into their starting lineup, nominally as a holding midfielder but in practice as a do-it-all box-to-box type, running his head off while Warren Creavalle sits deeper. It’s not a bad look, either: the Union are 2-1 with him in the lineup.” Hershey, Pa.’s Christian Pulisic gets a B+.

Bethlehem Steel

Winless since July 21 with a 0-5-1 record, ninth place Bethlehem Steel (26 points, 6-10-8) are on the road for the third game in a row to face Louisville City (47 points, 14-4-8), who themselves have won only one game in their last six (1-3-2), although they are in second place in the Eastern Conference. Saturday’s kickoff is at 7:30 pm (YouTube).

Previews at Bethlehem SteelLouisville Courier Journal, and WLKY.

City Islanders

Tenth place City Islanders (25 points, 7-14-4) host 13th place Pittsburgh Riverhounds (19 points, 5-15-4) in the final game of the Keystone Derby series on Saturday (7 pm, YouTube). The first game in the series ended in a 1-1 draw, while the second was won by the City Islanders, 2-1. Previews at City Islanders (preview, report).

Local

The Temple men’s team begins the 2016 season by hosting Manhattan College today at 4 pm followed by Saint Joseph’s on Sunday starting at 2 p.m.

A preview of the La Salle men’s team.

The Drexel women’s team fell 3-2 to La Salle in their home opener.

Lancaster Online profiles PA Classics standout Sean O’Hearn, who will play college soccer for Georgetown.

MLS

Interesting:

Major League Soccer and FOX Sports today announced that the FOX broadcast network will feature two MLS matches airing live adjacent to regional National Football League broadcasts as part of a joint MLS and NFL lineup on Sunday, September 18. The lineup of simultaneous MLS and NFL games marks the first time in the League’s 21 seasons that a network partner has televised games from the two leagues on the same network at the same time. Kickoff times for the two matches have been updated to align with the FOX broadcast network lineup.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Pa-Modou Kah have mutually agreed to terminate his contract so that the center back can join Whitecaps FC 2 as a player/coach “for the remainder of the 2016 season.”

At ESPN, four MLS players “fans most love to hate.”

Reuters reports, “Major League Soccer would provide a good platform for young English players who have struggled to break into the first team, former England captain Steven Gerrard has said.” Gerrard is quoted: “This (the MLS) is a good environment and level for European kids to come and play regularly, test themselves, because it is a very fit level.”

Former Red Bull Thierry Henry will serve as Roberto Martinez’s assistant coach at the Belgian national team.

Schweinsteiger.

US

Pulisic?

More reaction to the Hope Solo suspension. ESPNW says “in portraying itself as doing the right thing, U.S. Soccer looks neither proactive nor pragmatic but like shallow opportunists.” SI says, “At first, Solo’s punishment comes off as harsh…But when you break it down, it’s not actually that harsh.” FourFourTwo has multiple takes on the suspension. One post says it “sets a most worrisome precedent,” one that reflects “a most insular culture” on the team. Another makes various references to what the suspension “feels” like before concluding, “It’s difficult to see how this could have been handled worse, but we’re dealing with incomplete information. Yet another says the suspension shows Solo is no longer “indispensable” to the team. The Washington Post says Solo has never learned that words have consequences. The Atlantic wonders if this is the end of her national team career. Yahoo Sports says if this is the end of her national team career “the charade of a loudly announced suspension…feels unnecessary and almost malicious. If it isn’t the end, the size of the punishment scarcely fits the crime.” At Vice Sports, Leander Schaerlaeckens, author of the Yahoo Sports piece, says the suspension “feels draconian. And at least a little sexist.” (USWNT Players Association executive director Rich Nichols said Solo “was fired for making comments that a man never would have been fired for.”) Fortune follows that theme and asks why Solo is being punished for something “male athletes do all the time.” Goal.com says, “U.S. Soccer should have allowed this relationship to die a natural death…The most prudent course for U.S. Soccer at this point would have been to cease calling her into camp and allow her contract to expire; reportedly, it was up at the end of the year.” ASN says “Solo’s recent on-field performances should be leading U.S. head coach Jill Ellis in a different direction,” before noting, “the U.S.’ backup options at the moment—as talented as they are—have almost no game experience at the international level.”

Alex Morgan said of the suspension, “The players don’t control any of the consequences that happen, that are enforced by U.S. Soccer. So, it’s a bummer that happened to one of my teammates, but at the same time I don’t agree with the things that she said in the Olympics.”

Five Penn State players are among the 20 named to the US roster for the three-week training camp that will conclude with the 2016 U-20 Women’s NTC Invitational, which will take place Sept. 14-18.

Elsewhere

The UEFA Champions League group stage draw took place on Thursday. SI says the draw yields some top-heavy groups.

UEFA has announced, “The top four teams from the four highest-ranked associations will enter the UEFA Champions League group stage from 2018 after new formats were confirmed for both major club competitions.” More at ESPN.

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

19 Comments

  1. The Realist Brian says:

    Pulisic is fine at BVB. Let him develop there. I would love to compete with the likes of Goetz, Kagawa, Dembele, Schullre, Reus and Castro this year. So much to learn, and he is in the right environment with Tuchel. Him and Passlack are very well liked by the team (even though it is always interesting when a forward gets moved back to wingback like Passlack).
    .
    Did you comment on the proposed Raider Stadium in Las Vegas? Beckham was strangely out there for the announcement and they are saying it would be used to get a MLS team. Although I am completely against the cronyism of MLS bequeathing a market a team (plastic Fake shit) it would make for some EPIC road trips to Vegas.

    • 100%…the headline of article says, “Pulisic in a dog fight for minutes”…. Yes indeed he is as he should be. This is exactly what JK talks about… Fighting for your right to play…adversity. The kid is 17 18 years old… training every day with the best of the best. If it turns out he gets spot time or plays in cup games or or or — its all so good. So long at TT is manager of BVB I think CP will have a place to develop properly and along the correct trajectory and ultimately see significant time in the next couple to few years.
      .
      My word I hope to God he doesn’t move to Stoke. Something tells me the EPL is the WORST possible outcome for a young player like Christian. And as Johnny Miller, the golf announcer once claimed when a player snap hooked a drive deep into the woods…. “That’s where the deer go to die”.
      .
      Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe not.

  2. Andy Muenz says:

    I’m surprised there hasn’t been a link to the video where Xabi Alonso and Arturo Vidal took on a team of 40 recently in New York.
    .

  3. I love the idea of MLS games being in the mix with regional NFL games.
    .
    I would hate having to choose between the Eagles and Union if they are on at same time. On that 2nd week of NFL action, New York and Los Angeles fans won’t have to choose between football and soccer. They can watch both. It’s a good idea by Fox, and I hope this carries on though October.

  4. It’s looking more and more like trading in the draft to get Keegan Rosenberry might be the best soccer decision of the year in the United States. If he makes the USMNT, and he plays like he deserves to be there…. wow.

  5. “the U.S.’ backup options at the moment—as talented as they are—have almost no game experience at the international level.” Why not, Coach Ellis? You play a cupcake-laden schedule every year. How has there never been a chance in the last 10 years to give someone else some experience? Even if Solo didn’t have personal issues, she’s still getting older every year and you’re going to need a replacement eventually. Has the USWNT been afraid of what Solo would do if someone else played in goal, like, ever?

    • She had the opportunity to do it in a real game. When they played Colombia in the Olympics, the US was already through to the next round and just needed a tie to win the group. That would have been the perfect opportunity to play the back up to give her both playing time and a chance to actually participate in the Olympics.
      .
      Of course, the backup might not have let the ball roll through her legs…

  6. Funny the Champion’s League draw…. I would have rather you said, gee we think Barcelona playing Man CIty would be cool so we’re going to arrange that. We think Leicester City should advance out of the group so we’re going to arrange that and yes, one more year…Arsenal gets a ridiculous draw.

    • The Realist Brian says:

      Did you see the dude open the ball, close it and put it back? He then picked a new ball. Fixed much?

      • el Pachyderm says:

        I admit to being really unimpressed by the whole thing… course sure as shit I can’t wait to watch the game either – so there’s that.
        .
        And hey NFL and MLS are playing nice so it’s all good… because I’d much rather hear Don Garber say it is MLS intention to be the greatest professional sports league in America…. but that would be a conflict of interest for sure.

  7. Hilarious that ESPN had the article about players than fans love to hate and no one picked Roger Espinoza. I’d love to meet any MLS fans that get worked up over Marco Donadel.

  8. Old Soccer Coach says:

    No surprise that Maurice Edu is not on the list of first teamers riding the Steel bus to Louisville today. it’s ten hours non-stop each way, barring construction delays.
    .
    But Tuesday in Harrisburg might be a logical possibility.
    .
    The Steel game after that is in Charleston, SC, so I’d bet against that one.

    • If I was Mo I’d hop a plane if I was game ready but that’s me…. this team needs him up and running asap.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Hadn’t thought of that.
        .
        AGree that if he’s going to do any good for the team, he needs to get onto a pitch pdq.

        Tht’s why I’m guessing HBGH.

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