Daily news roundups

Davies deal details, power rankings, US hosts T&T, Geiger, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Alejandro Bedoya and the USMNT face Trinidad and Tobago tonight in their final World Cup qualifier before the start of the Hexagonal stage (8 pm, FS1, UniMas). A US win will see them finish at the top of their group. Don’t get hurt, Ale!

Jamaica is eliminated from advancing to the next stage of World Cup qualification after last Friday’s loss to Panama but they host Haiti, who are also eliminated, tonight. Will Jamaica sit Andre Blake? If your cable/satellite provider is an enlightened one and you subscribe to beIN Sports, you can watch the game online on beIN Connect. Otherwise, it looks like your only option to watch is also an online one, Telemundo en Vivo.

SB Nation’s New England Revolution blog, The Bent Musket, notes comments by Taylor Twellman made on the New American Game blog regarding the deal that sent Charlie Davies to the Union:

Twellman noted that Davies wanted a 210% increase in his salary. With this in mind, the Revs had to seriously consider the Union’s proposal, especially since they were offering so much. According to Twellman, the Union paid a significant amount of money that meant the Revs “basically got Kei Kamara almost for free.”

“The offer Philadelphia made New England–every single other team in this league said New England made out like bandits on that Charlie Davies trade,” Twellman said.

Twellman went on to say that there were other factors that made this trade so appealing, including the impending Expansion Draft. With Atlanta and Minnesota entering the league next year, the chances of the Revs keeping Davies were slim.

“Charlie Davies would not have been protected,” Twellman remarked. “You’re not protecting Charlie Davies on that roster. So, you would have lost him for free? Every other team in Major League Soccer would’ve traded Charlie Davies before the Revs even called and asked Charlie his permission. That’s fact, not opinion.”

You will recall that the Union sent New England General Allocation Money, Targeted Allocation Money, and their natural first-round pick in the 2018 SuperDraft to acquire Davies and the Revolution’s natural third-round pick in the 2018 SuperDraft. The latest salary numbers from the MLS Players Union, published in May, have Davies’ guaranteed compensation at $113,315.63. A “210% increase” would raise that number to $237,962.82 (unless Twellman means Davies wanted 210% on top of his current salary, which would come out to $351,278.45. Math makes my head hurt.). Whatever the number, will Davies be protected by the Union in the Expansion draft? Or is he now at a salary that the team will gamble will scare off Atlanta and Minnesota?

Power rankings! At SI, the Union drop one spot to No. 8: “The Union, playing without two vital parts of their spine (goalkeeper Andre Blake and central midfielder Alejandro Bedoya), looked spineless in a 3-0 loss to Chicago…John McCarthy played reasonably well in Blake’s stead, but Bedoya’s influence was clearly missed in the center of the park as the Union never really had a grip on the game.” At Soccer America, the Union remain at No. 10: “The Union started badly when Roland Alberg put the ball in his own net midway through the first half and despite some good work by John McCarthy, making his first start of the season in place of Andre Blake.”

Bethlehem Steel

At Brotherly Game, Matt Ralph on how the NYRB II roster shows the team to be a model for what the Union hope to build with Bethlehem, a roster largely filled with players with ties to the the team’s academy.

Local

The home opener for the Drexel men’s team is tonight at 7 pm at Vidas Field against Rhode Island.

Following a 1-1 draw with American in their season opener, the Penn men’s team drew 1-1 on the road with Seton Hall on Monday, this despite having a man advantage from the 7th minute of the game.

Villanova defeated then No. 6 ranked Boston College on Sunday, 2-1. After the win, Villanova’s Will Steiner was named Big East Goalkeeper of the Week, and Nikkye DePoint was named Big East Defender of the Week.

Following his team’s wins over Pittsburgh and Northeastern over the weekend, Temple midfielder Jorge Gomez Sanchez was named the American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week. George McGee was named to the Conference Honor Roll.

MLS

Mesut Ozil says MLS “could be an option” for him in the future: “My fans know that I like to spend my vacation in Los Angeles, because the city inspires me.”

US

The US hosts Trinidad and Tobago in their final World Cup qualifier before the Hex tonight (8 pm, FS1, UniMas). A win will see the currently second place US advance at the top of their group, while a draw will also see them through. T&T clinched advancement with their 2-2 draw against Guatemala on Friday. If the US loses, Guatemala will have to overcome a +12 goal deficit to prevent the US from advancing and advance themselves. As CBS Sports puts it, “For example, if the U.S. somehow loses 3-0 to Trinidad and Tobago at home, and Guatemala beats St. Vincent 10-0, then Guatemala is through.” The US has not lost a home qualifier since 2001 and has never lost to T&T at home.

Jurgen Klinsmann said, “We are looking at the strongest lineup in order to beat Trinidad and Tobago. This is it. This is World Cup qualifying. This is not the time to experiment. We can talk about that if everything is done about next month’s friendlies, but not in World Cup qualifying. We take this very seriously…The situation is very clear. We badly want to win this game. We want to finish first in this group. We are not through yet and this is what we clearly tell the players so for not even one second they underestimate the situation. We are fully prepared to go 100 percent full speed.”

Pulisic said, “I’m ready for whatever comes. It’s fine to be patient. I know that I have to develop because I’m a young player, so I’m just excited for how that happens. It’s been a crazy year for me going from a lot of youth teams and programs straight to the professionals and top teams. But it’s been really exciting and I’m really happy with how it’s gone so far. We’ll see how it pans out.” More from Pulisc at ESPN.

So, what about Christian Pulisic? As Steven Goff writes at the Washington Post, Klinsmann’s comments probably mean “anyone hoping to see a young, unproven player in the starting lineup, such as Christian Pulisic, is probably going to be disappointed.”

At Goal.com, Ives Galarcep disagrees, saying, “All signs point to Christian Pulisic being a good bet to earn his first U.S. national team start.”

When asked about Pulisic, Klinsmann says patience is necessary:

Christian came in against St. Vincent and did a fantastic job. He kind of really made it look all easy. Obviously we know he has tremendous talent and that’s why he’s with Borussia Dortmund. We’re going to build him one step at a time. A lot of people are anxious that we start him from the beginning. That day will come there is no doubt about it. But for us it’s important that we build him with patience, with not too much hype and expectation either. We are thrilled that he’s growing and that he’s getting more mature. We’ll take it one step at a time.

At MLSsoccer.com, Charles Boehm says Pulisic — and Sacha Kljestan — should be rewarded for their performances in last Friday’s win over St. Vincent and the Grenadines: “The faithful want to see Pulisic and Kljestan start, and it’s hard to argue that they didn’t earn that shot fair and square.”

Previews at US Soccer (game notes, five things), MLSsoccer.comSoccer America, and Pro Soccer Talk.

Elsewhere

Goal.com reports FIFA has declined a request from the Honduran FA to change the match official for tonight’s game against Mexico at the Azteca. The match official? Mark Geiger. At issue is Geiger’s performance in the Gold Cup semifinal last year between Mexico and Panama. General secretary Jorge Ernesto Mejia said in a letter to FIFA,

Mr. Geiger committed major errors that favored the Mexican national team and meant the elimination of a Central American team. The pressure that will be put on a central official in a stadium with a capacity of more than 100,000 people will be much greater than that from Mexican fans in the United States who were at the Mexico vs. Panama game.

Reuters reports, “El Salvador players claim they have been offered financial inducements to win, draw or avoid a heavy defeat in Tuesday’s World Cup 2018 qualifier against Canada.” More at ESPN and Goal.com.

In an interview with The Guardian, new CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani says it could take years to change the culture of corruption that permeates the region:

Moving on doesn’t happen overnight. It is daily, day-out and day-in. Eventually, you do come out of it but what we need to remember is that we don’t forget our history. We want to make sure that, from a confederation standpoint, history never repeats itself…I am not going to sit calmly in the chair and announce that we are all done,” Montagliani said. “We are out [of trouble] in some areas but from an overall cultural perspective it is going to take time. Whether you look from the outside in or the inside out, we know that it is a massive challenge. There is no doubt…We are starting to see a bit of humbleness from the sport’s leaders and that is a good thing. The one thing that people have to realize is that as much as there has been a bit of a shitstorm here in the past few years, the game itself is in good shape.

Also at The Guardian, “Car bombs, corruption and illegal betting – how football in Cyprus spiralled out of control”.

The Sun reports Manchester United players have been told to stop swapping shirts with opponents or giving shirts to fans after a game because it is “not cost effective.”

18 Comments

  1. You know corruption in CONCACAF is bad when a team has to be bribed *not* to throw a match.

  2. Lucky Striker says:

    Guessing Davies’ time here won’t last very long at all.

    • I’m guessing the same unless he comes on really strong these last few games.
      .
      Likely unprotected for the expansion draft.

    • Who knows, if the salary is that much the expansion teams might not what him. You never know I suppose. The expansion draft is stupid though, another MLS dinosaur that needs to be removed.

      • AN expansion draft isn’t just an MLS construct. The NHL, for example, will have one sometime next offseason, I believe, for their next wave of new teams. (Or is it only one team; I can’t recall on this virtual Monday…)

      • its an american construct. agreed. the difference between club and franchise.

      • Yeahm, and soccer has way too many players around the world to make it necessary. I understand when the NFL did, there honestly just isn’t other options. MLS does not need to do it. I wouldn’t mind giving new squads more TAM or whatever, but poaching from existing teams seems counter-productive.

      • Not disputing the “MLS dinosaur” sentiment at all but… I think the expansion draft is becoming less and less a disruption to current teams. Back in say 2006 or 2007 with 12 teams(??) in the league, an expansion team could take up to 3 players from a team. And the expansion teams then were truly created from nothing with owners with shallow pockets. Now you have twenty teams in the league, and expansion teams are either coming from an USL/NASL team with some names already on the roster that will make the initial transition to MLS, or they are coming from nothing but with owners that have deep pockets and are signing internationals right from the start or both cases are true. I guess the only bad part about next years expansion is that there are two teams coming in.

  3. Why did the Union give up so much and promise to pay Davies so much? He isn’t a hold up forward and Curtin clearly needs the crutch of a hold up forward in his “system.” Doesn’t seem much like “moneyball” to me…

    • I think it’s almost impossible to assess player transactions in the madness that is the MLS market. It’s never as simple as looking at $$ spent and player bought. There are pools of money that are earmarked for specific uses, that if not used, you’ll lose. It’s beyond my admittedly limited patience for economic analysis.

      • The phrase “made out like bandits” kind if makes the detailed economic analysis unnecessary.

      • I’m not buying that “analysis.” Sounds like New England guys patting themselves on the back. And that’s not an organization I look to for an example of one that is run well.

      • Except it was Twellman that said it. I trust him not to parrot one club’s spin, even the club he played for.

      • Not to beat this to death, because, yeah, I don’t think Twellman is a bad source, but I don’t like the phrase he uses twice in those quotes: “every team in the league.”… on the issue of Davies, did a representative from every club in the league say New England made out like bandits? Or three? Or five? Whatever. I just smell hyperbole is all.

      • Of course, if el P’s scenario below plays out, we’ll both agree the Union were the winners in the deal.

  4. The davies deal is not crazy if/when he is the starter for the first playoff game and scores the goal to get you through.
    .
    in the playoffs you need a guy who can score 1 goal. 1 goal.
    .
    CJ Sapong ain’t that guy.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Agreed El P. Right now Sapong is not that guy. And let’s not wreck Davies just yet. We haven’t really even seen him play here. While I agree the price seems a little high, it’s clear ES doesn’t care about the draft, and with the rare exception of what the Union pulled off this past year, he shouldn’t. Plus the pick we gave NE will be in the lower half… so honestly, it’s almost worthless. Davies has proven he can score. Let’s see if he shows in these last 2 months, before we kill him and the deal. And after the season, you assess what you have.

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