Daily news roundups

Facing Portland, Kratz signing, Barnetta, more news

Philadelphia Union

The Union begin a very tough three-game road swing on Saturday when they face Portland Timbers (6 pm, TCN, MLS Live, Direct Kick).  Jim Curtin said in his press conference on Wednesday, “It’s important when it’s a block of three road games that you get a good punch on the first one. The first one is critical, you know? … We’re going to go after the three points just like we normally would, try to have the same approach home and away, and again, I think it is critical to start the road trip and get confidence, and get a point or three out of the first game because that kind of sets the tone for the next two.”

Look for our preview later this morning. In the meanwhile, check out our quick reference and previews at Philadelphia Union (looking ahead, reasons to watch, video), Philadelphia Sports Nation, MLSsoccer.com, and The Oregonian,

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead reviews the Union’s road performances in 2016 and concludes that, while the record isn’t what the team would hope for, the team has been better on the road than that record would suggest.

Ahead of Thursday’s 5 pm Roster Freeze deadline, the Union signed German midfielder Kevin Kratz. I know nothing about him. Here’s a highlight reel of Kratz in action:

More on the signing at PSP, Philadelphia Union, CSN PhillyPhilly Soccer NewsBrotherly Game, and Section 215.

MLSsoccer.com and ESPN pick up on the Swiss report we linked to on Thursday in which Tranquillo Barnetta says he is deciding between a contract extension with the Union and returning to Switzerland to play for his first club, St. Gallen. Barnetta says, “I’m glad the Americans are fairly relaxed about it. The delay does not bother them.”

At Delco Times, Matthew De George writes, “Barnetta’s indispensability for the Union contradicts his contract situation. Barnetta signed on an 18-month deal that expires at season’s end, a pact which allowed both player and club the flexibility it desired at the time. With the acquisition of Alejandro Bedoya this summer, the long-term vision of the Union could position Bedoya as a No. 10, while Roland Alberg, warts and all, scores more prolifically, makes less money and is younger at 26.” Noting how the Kratz signing throws a new wrinkle into the Barnetta question, De George adds, “Even after a busy Thursday, Barnetta’s time with the Union isn’t done, with plenty of business left on the docket this season. And his value to the Union in every facet of the game this season leaves the door open that the Union could entice him to stay for one more season.”

Section 215 wonders what happens if Barnetta does decide to leave.

In the playoff seeding probabilities at American Soccer Analysis, the Union are most likely to finish at fourth place (37 percent) or fifth place (31 percent). More on the Union and the playoffs at Philadelphia Union and Brotherly Game.

In SBI’s power rankings, the Union move up one sport to No. 8: “The Philadelphia Union have been riding different waves of form over the past few weeks. The Union’s 1-1 draw with the Montreal Impact is not a poor result and it keeps them in the hunt for a home playoff game. Philadelphia is quietly one of the most consistent sides in the Eastern Conference, so barring a disastrous end to the regular season, it is in good shape.”

Metro notes Keegan Rosenberry’s excellent rookie season.

Bethlehem Steel FC

Bethlehem hosts Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Sunday at 3 pm. The team must get all three points to keep their slim playoff chances alive. Preview at Bethlehem Steel.

At Delco Times, Matthew De George notes the Union have loaned Cole Missimo to Bethlehem “for the remainder of the season” in order to make room for new signing Kevin Kratz.

Philadelphia Union Academy

The Union Academy teams are on the road this weekend. The U-12s have two games scheduled against Cedar Stars Academy – Bergen on Saturday. On Sunday, the U-13s, U-14s, U-15/163s, and U-17/18s travel to face their counterparts from the NYRB Academy at the Red Bulls training facility in Whippany, NJ.

A post at the Union website notes, “In order to further integrate the Philadelphia Union Academy and Bethlehem Steel, former Academy U16 coach and Bethlehem Steel assistant Jeff Cook takes over the U18 team beginning this year. Cook will provide a more seamless transition for the many U18 players who do and will feature for  Steel FC. Former U18 coach Chris Brewer takes the reins for the U16’s, a pivotal developmental phase for the professionally aspiring athletes of Union Academy.”

City Islanders

The City Islanders play their last home game of the season on Saturday against Wilmington Hammerheads — at Millersville University. As is the case with Bethlehem, City Islanders need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Preview at City Islanders and Wilmington Hammerheads. (Hopefully, Wilmington knows the game is not at Skyline Sports Complex, as stated in the preview on its website. Of course, the City Islanders preview has the game being played at “Millersburg University.”)

Local

Several home games for Philly Soccer Six teams on Saturday: Villanova hosts Butler at 1 pm. Temple hosts Fairfield at 2 pm. Saint Joseph’s hosts Navy at 7 pm, and Penn hosts La Salle at 7:30 pm. Drexel is on the road on Saturday to play Northeastern.

Philadelphia International Unity Cup play continues this weekend with games at Ramp Playground, Team Vick Field, and the South Philly Supersite. Click here for the schedule of games. Philadelphia Magazine has a report on the tournament.

Leah Scarpelli (PDA; Brick, N.J.) and Rebecca Jarrett (World Class; Washington Township, N.J.) have been called up by the US U-16 GNT for a camp in the Netherlands, Sept. 16-27. While there, the US will play Netherlands U-17s on on Sept. 20, CTO Amsterdam on Sept. 23, and CTO Eindhoven on Sept. 26.

MLS

In CONCACAF Champions League play on Thursday night, NYRB defeated El Salvadoran side Alianza 1-0, thanks to a 90th minute goal from Sacha Kljestan.

Official: FC Dallas has signed former Union man Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz was previously with the Texas club between 2005 and 2007.

Kansas City have signed 22-year-old midfielder Benji Joya.

Seattle Sounders defender Zach Scott has announced he will retire at the end of the season.

DC United has released new renderings of its new stadium, which is scheduled to open in 2018.

The Guardian on how MLS leads the way among US pro sports in targeting Hispanic fans.

US

The USWNT romped past Thailand in a 9-0  win in Columbus on Thursday night. Playing her last game for the national team, Heather O’Reilly scored a goal and an assist. Carli Lloyd scored a hat trick and Alex Morgan bagged a brace, with additional goals from Christen Press, Tobin HEath, and Crystal Dunn.

Meanwhile, on the sidelines, Megan Rapinoe once again chose to kneel during the playing of the national anthem. She said after the game, “I’m very proud to pull on this shirt and play for this country, and also represent my country in a different way in speaking out for people that are oppressed.”

US Soccer said in a statement,

Representing your country is a privilege and honor for any player or coach that is associated with U.S. Soccer’s National Teams. Therefore, our national anthem has particular significance for U.S. Soccer. In front of national and often global audiences, the playing of our national anthem is an opportunity for our Men’s and Women’s National Team players and coaches to reflect upon the liberties and freedom we all appreciate in this country. As part of the privilege to represent your country, we have an expectation that our players and coaches will stand and honor our flag while the national anthem is played.

Asked if any steps would be taken against Rapinoe, head coach Jill Ellis said, “That’s to be determined at this point. We haven’t gone there. But I think the way I am and how I’m wired it’s going to warrant a conversation and then a determination of which direction, in terms of how I want to play this out.”

Rapinoe says she plans to continue to kneel during the playing of the anthem. The US hosts the Netherlands at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday (7 pm, FS1). More on Rapinoe at ESPNW (1, 2), Yahoo Sports, USA Today, Fox Soccer, Washington Post, and the AP.

At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald talks to Abby Wambach.

Wambach says she had “big problems” with Hope Solo calling Sweden cowards after they knocked the US out of the Olympics: “That’s like playground stuff. Be a professional. Stand up and say, ‘You know what, they beat us at our own game. They played better than us today.’ Call a spade a spade.” Wambach says she and Solo “clashed a lot” when they were teammates.

Elsewhere

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

The AP reports, “FIFA president Gianni Infantino has hit out at attempts to ‘undermine’ the 2018 World Cup in Russia, saying he will not judge the country on the investigation which documented a state-sponsored doping program that included football.

Reuters reports, “Soccer’s global governing body, FIFA, on Thursday gave Guatemala’s soccer federation until Oct. 1 to avoid suspension by reinstating an oversight committee formed after the arrest of its president.”

8 Comments

  1. Old Soccer Coach says:

    In reference to the roster space necessary to create to sign Kevin Kratz, MRR at 9:16 pm last night posted that the MLS website roster listed Anderson as not being in the 28 but “on loan.
    .
    Later on in the evening, Tim Jones details how to get to what MRR found.
    .
    Cole Missimo does not free the necessary international slot on the Union’s roster to sign Kevin Kratz the moving Anderson does.
    .
    Following Jones’ instruction, I notice that Kratz is listed on the Union’s roster by the MLS website already, that Missimo remains there as well, and, as others have reported, that Anderson is listed as “on loan.
    .
    I agree fully with Matt De George’s sense that the handwriting is on the wall for Missimo, but a change of status from recallable loan to the Steel to permanent unrecallable for the rest of the season (which as I remember the rules might – repeat “might” – [not “would” because what we get to see are not the actual rules’ texts but summaries made for the press] – mean he would be with the Steel for the next twelve months) does NOT free the international slot necessary to sign a new international.
    .
    {Now that’s a run-on sentence to be proud of!} Thank god all my old English teachers are dead. Of course my college senior thesis advisor is not. Hope he doesn’t see this.

    • Yeah when I read that, I began to question what the heck was going on. I knew we needed to create a roster spot, I knew that we also needed an International slot. Unless someone else got a green card? Or we acquired another slot in a trade nobody knows about? Or that it’s not Missimo and actually Eric Ayuk?
      .
      Regardless, I’d like to see what the Union’s final roster looks like for the year (and salary numbers too please)

  2. Spring City Phil says:

    Everytime I see a highlight video of player I never heard of it brings back nightmares of Fropez.

  3. that’s a highlight reel?

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