Daily news roundups

Union bits, Expansion Draft format announced, Dallas wins USOC, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Jim Curtin’s weekly press conference is scheduled to take place today at 12:30 pm (Facebook).

The Union’s road opponent on Saturday, Portland Timbers, are 3,353 miles away from home to face Saprissa in Costa Rica tonight in CONCACAF Champions League play (10 pm, Facebook). The Oregonian reports, “It’s a tight window for the Timbers. On Monday, the team took off for Costa Rica. They will return Thursday and refocus for Saturday’s Major League Soccer game against the Philadelphia Union at home.”

At the Union website, Marisa Pilla notes “Maurice Edu looked sharp,” and “Ilsinho and Brian Carroll practiced in full” during Tuesday’s training session. Union Academy U-16 goalkeepers Kris Shakes and Tomas Romaro also joined the first team in training.

Speaking of Ilsinho, At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin notes the Brazilian “is the only MLS player in EA’s upcoming FIFA 17 video game with a five-star skill rating, joining the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba and a fellow Brazilian by the name of Neymar.”

The league has announced details of the upcoming expansion draft, which will take place on Dec. 13 at 2 pm:

[T]he 2016 Expansion Draft will include five rounds, giving Atlanta United FC and Minnesota United FC the opportunity to pick five players each ahead of their entry into the league 2017, down from the 10 players that New York City FC and Orlando City SC each selected two years ago…Each current MLS club will have the ability to protect 11 players from selection. Additionally, Generation adidas players who do not graduate from the program at the end of the 2016 season and Homegrown players on a club’s Supplemental or Reserve roster will not be eligible for selection.

Each MLS club may only lose one player in the Expansion Draft. After a player is selected from a club’s unprotected roster, that club is removed from the Expansion Draft process.

The league also announced it will hold an Expansion Priority Draft on Oct. 16 “to determine the order of selection for six of the league’s methods of acquiring players.” In addition to the Expansion Draft, this includes the MLS SuperDraft, Player Allocation, the Waiver Draft and the Re-Entry Draft, Discovery Player Ranking, and USL/NASL Player Priority Ranking.

In a Q&A with CBS Local, Charlie Davies discusses some of the challenges he’s faced throughout his career. He says of his recent move to the Union,

It’s important to be in the right situation and the right environment. I was presented with an opportunity to come to Philadelphia and I felt it was the right place for me. I now get to play with some of my closest friends in Philly, which is really exciting. The Union are really trying to put together a team that will have a future and a lot of success in a few years. I will be challenged and pushed to improve in Philadelphia. There are a lot of guys who will push me in the right direction. With that being said, I need to work hard and finish chances on the field. I need to score a lot of goals in order to one day achieve my dream of getting back onto the US Men’s National team. The future is bright.

At Philly Soccer News, a report based on postgame remarks after Saturday’s draw with Montreal on the challenges the Union face in making a playoff push.

Damani Richards, the Trinidad and Tobago defender who was briefly with the Union before joining Harrisburg City Islanders, was reportedly arrested at his home in T&T “with a loaded firearm and a quantity of marijuana.”

Bethlehem Steel

At USLsoccer.com, look at the playoff race says of Bethlehem, “It’s do or die for the Steel after their defeat to the Battery. Anything other than a win against the Riverhounds on Sunday afternoon at Goodman Stadium and Bethlehem is mathematically out of the picture, but there’s a major carrot hanging in front of the side. Take victory, and Orlando City B is the visitor for what could then be an all-or-nothing clash in the final game of the regular season.”

The USL championship game, scheduled for Sunday, October 23, at 8 pm, will be broadcast live on ESPNU.

City Islanders

At USLsoccer.com, look at the playoff race says of the City Islanders, “The City Islanders saw all of the teams around them lose over the weekend, but still need to win out to have a chance at a playoff berth. A home game against fellow chaser Wilmington comes next on Saturday night. Fail to win, and the season is over for Coach Bill Becher’s side.”

At the USL site, a post remembering No. 8 seed Harrisburg’s 1-0 upset of No. 1 seed Orlando in the playoffs on Sept. 13, 2014, thanks to a goal from Union loanee Antoine Hoppenot. Harrisburg would go on to advance to the final, where they were defeated 2-0 by Sacramento Republic.

Local

Drexel defeated Temple 32 in overtime on Tuesday for its first win of the season. The teams were level at 2-2 after the first half. Temple, who started the season with a four-game win streak at home, are now 4-2-0 after losing the next two road games. Drexel is now 1-2-2.

St. Joseph’s defeated Hartford 1-0 on the road on Tuesday.

University of Delaware comes in at No. 22 in the latest NSCAA/USA Today DI men’s soccer poll. Temple is among those schools who received votes but did not make the top 25.

MLS

Vancouver defeated Kansas City 2-1 on Tuesday night to advance to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League, the 93rd minute game winner being scored by 15-year-old Alphonso Davies. Kansas City is eliminated from advancing with the loss.

SI reports the 2017 Players Combine could move from Fort Lauderdale to the Los Angeles area. The 2017 SuperDraft will be taking place in LA on Jan. 13.

Gyasi Zardes says he could return from a broken foot in time to participate in the MLS playoffs as well as represent the US in the opening games of the Hex.

Could the USL’s Wilmington Hammerheads be moving from North Carolina to Baltimore?

US

FC Dallas defeated New England Revolution 4-2 on Tuesday night to claim the 2016 US Open Cup championship for the first time since 1997, the only other time the club has been the Cup champion. Could they be on course to win the treble? Recaps and reports at US Soccer, theCup.us, MLSsoccer.comDallas SportsDay, ESPN, and Goal.com.

Elsewhere

Check out the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of today’s Champions League games on TV and online.

Reuters reports, “Disgraced former UEFA president Michel Platini insisted he had done nothing wrong and said his conscience was clear as he gave a farewell speech to European soccer’s governing body at their extraordinary Congress on Wednesday.” More from the AP.

Aleksander Ceferin, “a hitherto largely unknown Slovenian lawyer,” has been elected to replace Platini as president of UEFA.

South China Morning Post has a commentary piece on whether China can reach its ambition to become a top soccer power.

24 Comments

  1. el Pachyderm says:

    Combines and drafts. …. like Wyatt dropping wolf bait.
    .

  2. I guess the Owners really fought hard to limit who they lose in the expansions draft. Kind of typical because I’m sure the owners are fighting hard for the over expansion and fees to join the league.
    I guess you can have it both ways,

  3. Aaaaaand I’m already working on the Union protected list in my head…

    Blake is GA and won’t need protection. Ditto Yaro. So that leaves the following:

    Rosenberry/Marquez/Fabinho, Bedoya/Edu/Barnetta, Pontius/Ilsinho/Alberg/Sapong.

    And one more spot left, that could go to either Herbers or Davies. We could gamble that Davies’ high salary will scare folks off. (I guess we could leave Edu unprotected and make a similar gamble, though I wouldn’t.) I would be inclined to use the last spot on Herbers, and leave Davies unprotected. I would not protect Carroll, much as I value him, because of his age. Creavalle is a nice backup but certainly not worth protecting.

    I would then guess that the player we are most likely to lose in the expansion draft is Ray Gaddis. Which would be a shame. But maybe he deserves a chance to start for someone else.

    • With the number of players taken in the expansion draft cut in half, it means half the clubs in the league will not lose a player (10 total will be drafted). So a gamble on Davies might work out. But who knows? The whole thing is goofy. This is an international game. The talent pool is virtually limitless. No idea why an expansion draft is even necessary.These clubs should just take a few trips to South America and come back with full rosters.

    • GA is based on end of year status, which is determined, I believe, on minutes played. Blake may not have GA status at the end of the year. Herbers is also GA as well.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        I do not know the GA graduation parameters specifically. I remember Danny Mwanga had not “graduated” for the expansion draft which occurred while he was still here.’
        .
        Andre Blake – barring injury (touch wood)- will have played 180 minutes less than the arithmetically possible maximum 3,060, i.e., 2880. The chances that 32 full games does not graduate him from the GA program, with out and consideration for his age,25, seem slim to me. Further, this will have been his third season in the program.
        .
        I would recommend excluding Blake and putting him on the protected list.

      • There is now a whole article about this at The Brotherly Game. They point out that keepers rarely graduate from GA status after a year of starting (they have numbers on Sean Johnson and Stefan Frei to back this up). So if Blake stays GA, and Herbers is also GA (my omission), then I think that last spot very likely goes to Davies. I mean, if he was worth spending that kinda $$ on for the end of the season, he’s likely worth protecting.

      • Which may argue for playing Tribbett and Ilsinho to preserve GA status for Yaro and Herbers.

    • Herbers is GA

    • Herbers is generation Adidas, as Broseidon says. So I updated a list for this exercise.
      Protect: Bedoya, Edu, Barnetta, Pontius, Marquez, Sapong, Rosenberry, Fabinho, Alberg, Ilsinho, Gaddis.
      .
      More importantly, that leaves these players exposed: Washington, McCarthy, Ayuk, Missimo, Creavalle, Carroll, Fernandes, Restrepo, Tribbett, Davies. (Matt Jones if we extend the loan too, don’t see that happening for Anderson obviously)
      .
      I’m willing to gamble that no expansion team is going to see Carroll and say “we can build around a 35 year old” and they won’t be in a win now type situation. That group would most likely see Charlie get picked, although you could also see Tribbett. He’s been at least serviceable this year, and he’s young.

  4. What is the USL/NASL Player Priority Ranking? This is the first I’ve heard of it…

    • I was wondering the same thing…

      • I’m pretty sure it is a first dibs thing like the allocation order. It is just specific for the “lower” leagues in the US whereas the allocation order is for players coming from abroad.
        .
        So when JK called up Ibarra a year or two ago and he showed up on everyone’s radar, that is how team’s would have had to work to sign him. Could also be why he didn’t sign with the MLS – didn’t like the team that may have been in position to sign him.

  5. Old Soccer Coach says:

    CPfeif is correct.
    .
    Find the media version of the MLS Rules that in the past has been in the fine print in the black box at the very bottom of the MLS website’s home page. I quote from the copy I made for myself back in March of this year:
    .
    “III. PLAYER ACQUISITION MECHANISMS

    “MLS teams may acquire players and add them to their rosters via the following mechanisms:

    “(F) USL PRIORITY PLAYERS

    “In addition to Homegrown Players and College Protected Players – clubs may have priority for up to three players from their USL affiliate. In order to retain priority on any additional USL affiliate players, such players must be added to an MLS club’s Discovery List.”
    .
    I affirm that in March there was no mention of players with NASL. We will all have fun speculating about what the more recent inclusion may mean, I am sure. I, for one anticipate a welcome trumpeting from the Mighty Elephant! 😉

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      I agree with Scottso that Ray Gaddis is an obvious candidate for loss, but it will depend on the style of defense favored by the Atlanta and Minnesota coaches.
      .
      Atlanta does not yet have a coach that I have noticed. Nor have I noticed whether Minnesota intends to keep theirs.
      .
      Given the state of play in the league a cutting edge coach may not want Gaddis’s offensive limitations.

      • Agreed, I imagine with ATL signing Keywyn Jones, they’re gonna want their fullbacks to be good crossers which will leave Gaddis out. Plus, Gaddis makes $150k per year which is a lot for a MLS fullback with limited offensive skills.

  6. anyone watch — or attempt to watch — the US Open Cup Final last night?
    it was ridiculous. Bumped to ESPN News for the first 20-30 mins (WNBA OT), missed two goals, no program announcement on screen, then back to ESPN2 and a trophy presentation on ESPN3 which didn’t happen.

    so glad we weren’t in this year’s. i DVR’d the last 2 while at the games.
    really no respect for it.

    on the pitch: Dallas looks like the team to beat in MLS final. sweet game from them.

    • Dallas looked very good. Urutti’s opening goal…. Wow. It was my first thought after we lost to New England earlier in the year — “we woulda lost to Dallas anyway.”

      Also worth noting — Aguedelo’s first goal for NE? That’s what Sapong needs to do.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Agreed. That was a total disgrace. And to have it on a Tuesday night at 9 pm (central time), was also a disgrace. “Hey, everyone, pay attention to our domestic tournament, with all it’s rich history… it’s important…” By the way, its buried on a weeknight, during the school year, on a fake ass network for more than half the first half. Embarrassing. No wonder it doesn’t get the respect it deserves.
      .
      But yeah… Dallas looked damn good.

  7. The Copy writer for USL ignores one obvious problem with the Bethlehem Steel’s last game against Orlando meaning anything for the playoffs. Orlando is likely to lose away to Cincinnati this Saturday staying on 32 points.
    .
    But for the Floridians to remain in 8th place with those 32 points, Wilmington Hammerheads must either lose or tie with Harrisburg City Islanders Saturday night, and then lose to Richmond.

  8. Curious if Barnetta’s contract expires before the draft, will he still be eligible for the draft?
    .
    If not, and they wanted to be sneaky snakes, they could not resign him immediately get the other safe spot to ensure team safety then resign him after the draft.
    .
    But I don’t know if he wouldnt be eligible since he could technically be under contract with mls.

    • Very good thought, and with Earnie Stewart at the helm I’d imagine he’s got ideas like this to at least try to shield an extra player or 2 and really limit our exposure to this nonsense.

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