Daily news roundups

Notes from Curtin’s presser and other Union news, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Some highlights from Jim Curtin’s weekly press conference on Wednesday (full transcript here at PSP):

  • Curtin said Maurice Edu could be available for selection on Saturday: “The hope would be to bring him to Toronto. We’ll see how the rest of the week goes. He’s looked good in training…Certainly up for selection in Toronto, but we’ll have to make the appropriate decision knowing that Warren [Creavalle] and B[rian] C[arroll] have done a good job as well…But it’s trending toward him starting to play a role in our 18 as opposed to starting for Bethlehem.”
  • Curtin said Tranquillo Barnetta was given the day off from training to allow time for a knee knock he received in the loss to Portland to heal: “[I]t’s mostly precautionary. He’s a guy who, at this point in the year, I want him out in training every day. But he knows his body well enough. The doctors are going to look at it, probably get a picture of it now that there is some swelling, but I don’t expect him to miss the weekend.”
  • Josh Yaro received “a little bit of a concussion” before he was sent off in last weekend’s loss in Portland.
  • Curtin expressed confidence in Ken Tribbett rebounding from his previous outing against Toronto when the team travels to face the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference on Saturday: “Good opportunity for redemption.”
  • Curtin also expressed his continued confidence in CJ Sapong, describing him as a player who “brings a lot of intangibles to each game.”
  • Curtin said he is not considering a switch to 4-4-2.
  • Curtin said Kevin Kratz was signed to provide cover: “He can play as 6, 8, or 10. He’s very versatile. He’s more of a thinker, he’s intelligent. He’s not a guy who’s 6’4″ and a bruiser and a tackler. He kind of does it by reading the game. Good feet, comfortable on the ball. That decision-making is what we like the best with him. So you’re thinking about if Warren goes down or BC goes down.”
  • Curtin said Kratz is unlikely to be available for Saturday’s game while the midfielder completes required visa paperwork.
  • Curtin confirmed Ilsinho is still not at 100 percent as the winger deals with plantar fasciitis: “But once he’s 100% and ready to go, he’s a starter on this team.”

More from the press conference at Philadelphia UnionPhilly.com, Delco TimesPhilly Voice, and Union Tally.

Keegan Rosenberry comes in at No. 6 in MLSsoccer.com’s “24 under 24” series.

Tranquillo Barnetta comes in at No. 8 in the ranking of the top attacking midfielders in MLS according to the Audi Player Index. Can’t help but wonder how Barnetta’s Audi Index numbers have been affected by all of those games where he has been played deeper in the midfield.

At Philly.com, John Smallwood breaks down the various final points scenarios in the push to reach the playoffs. At the Union website, Marisa Pilla looks how this weekend’s Eastern Conference games could affect the Union’s playoff push.

Sportsnet.ca on goalkeeper questions in Toronto. Tip of the Tower wants Clint Irwin back in goal.

At Brotherly Game, Jared Young has his weekly players ratings comparison.

Fox Soccer has a ranking of MLS team crests, putting the Union’s next to last place at No. 21. Hilarious. And Montreal has the best logo in the league? Tu dérailles un max.

Union play-by-play announcer JP Dellacamera also calls games for New York Cosmos. He has a new podcast with his Cosmos color commentator, Shep Messing, produced by One World Sports, the network that broadcasts Cosmos games.

Philadelphia Union Academy

Union Academy director Tommy Wilson is extensively quoted in a piece at MLSsoccer.com about the US Soccer Development Academy’s new U-12 age group. Wilson says, “Our 12s are just as bit of a talented group as I’ve seen. And I’m really excited about seeing them develop…You’re a little bit softer with them, a little bit more lenient and a bit more understanding. But there’s more to be taught at that age. And they’re sponges; they soak things up.” The U-12s play nine-a-side games over 30-minute halves.

Onward State talks to former Union Academy player Conor Maloney, who just began his final season with Penn State: “Since he hadn’t represented the Union throughout his college years, he is not eligible [to be a Homegrown selection] and must go through the 2017 MLS SuperDraft to enter the league. He is currently listed as a late first round/early second round projection.”

Bethlehem Steel

Allentown Morning Call reviews Bethlehem Steel’s inaugural season ahead of the season finale on Sunday.

If you use the promo code “KickLeuk” to buy tickets for Sunday’s game, $5 dollars from each ticket sold will be donated to Kick Leuk foundation.


At Philly.com, a commentary piece praising the Philadelphia International Unity Cup.

Carli Lloyd has a book coming out. Apparently she has been estranged from her family since 2008. More at SIExcelle SportsFourFourTwo, and Philly.com. She’ll be doing a book signing at the Barnes & Noble in Cherry Hill on Thursday, Sept. 29.

Three hours before it was supposed to start on Wednesday, Abby Wambach cancelled a scheduled appearance at University of Pennsylvania. The Daily Pennsylvanian quotes junior Lila Gutstein, “[Wambach’s video apology] was really weird. At the end of it, I was still not really sure why she couldn’t come. I felt like she could have been clearer with that. As her fans, I felt that she owed us that much.”

Rebecca Jarrett (World Class; Washington Township, N.J.) came on in the 67th minute in the US U-16 GNT’s 3-3 draw with Netherlands on Tuesday. The team plays CTO Amsterdam on Friday, and CTO Eindhoven on Sunday.

NBC10 reports, “A 6-year-old New Jersey girl struck by a downed soccer goal post is still recovering in the hospital, more than a week since the accident fractured her skull and lower back. ”


At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle wonders if MLS is giving enough opportunities to young players to shine. Interesting that there’s no mention in the article of the Union, who have three players below the age of 24 who are either regular starters or in the running for a starting spot: Fabian Herbers (23), Keegan Rosenberry (22), and Josh Yaro (21). Two other players who are 24 are starters or potential starters in Richie Marquez and Ken Tribbett with two more 24-year-old players, Leo Fernandes and John McCarthy, also regularly making the Union bench.

At SoccerWire, CHarles Boehm has an interesting read on English players joining US college teams in search of a different path to the pros.

Fox Soccer is impressed with Atlanta United’s moves ahead of their MLS debut next season.

The Star Tribune reports the St. Paul Port Authority is prepared to step in if Minnesota United is unable to reach a deal with the owners of a strip mall located where the team’s new stadium will be constructed to acquire the land.

WRAL reports the Brazilian owners of NASL-side Fort Lauderdale Strikers “have ceased their funding obligations, necessitating the NASL and its member clubs to consider financing the Strikers for the remainder of 2016 so the club doesn’t halt operations before the end of this season.”

SI reports sources say “the NASL’s Ottawa Fury will depart for the United Soccer League and that the Tampa Bay Rowdies likely will follow…One source told SI.com that as of last week, at least four NASL clubs (including Ottawa) had yet to post their bond to ensure participation next season.” With Minnesota leaving the league to begin play in MLS, if 2017 sees the NASL also without Fort Lauderdale, Tampa Bay, and Ottawa, as well as Rayo OKC, the addition of San Francisco would see the league’s roster of teams at eight.


At US Soccer, a “simple guide” for the USMNT’s road through the Hexagonal round of World Cup qualifying.

Hey, Jurgen, Landon’s down with being called up for the USMNT. Just saying, even as Donovan also says, “That is a million miles away. I’ve played a total of like 20 minutes in two years.”

Orlando Sentinel talks to Ashlyn Harris who, along with Alyssa Naeher, is working to become the No. 1 goalkeeper for the USWNT in place of the suspended Hope Solo.


What do you know, Perry Kitchen has been named captain of Scottish Premier League side Heart of Midlothian. Congrats! More at US Soccer.

Headline of the week at World Soccer Talk: “Fox Sports’ head of soccer confirms what we feared: The network is clueless about soccer.” Yep.


PA Sport reports, “New UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has dismissed allegations about his record in Slovenian football and promised that Europe’s governing body would not make any illegal or unethical payments to banned predecessor Michel Platini.”


  1. similar to the way Adam Cann can explain to me why I liked or did not like what I saw about a particular Union match, that World Soccer Talk article manages to explain very well why I find Fox soccer coverage unwatchable, although the mention of Ian Joy as an “American” voice for the game is rather amusing

    • I think that for covering MLS, Fox is way better than ESPN. Their production values are better and they seem to be willing to treat MLS as a valuable property. ESPN still treats MLS like the other commodity programming that they have (e.g. – bowling, college softball, hot dog eating, etc.).

      It’s also not a coincidence that people like Warren Barton are not on Fox’s MLS or Bundesliga coverage.

  2. That NASL news is both disheartening and unsurprising. I think no matter what your view is on open vs closed structures, a pro soccer league tanking in the U.S. isn’t very good. It’s not even good for MLS (whether MLS knows it or not) because it removes a nice option for buying, selling and developing players that has been used quite a bit in recent years by the Union. Closed system advocates — especially Don Garber — will surely use this as irrefutable evidence that a closed system is a safe system without acknowledging the role that closed system has had on making so-called 2nd tier play limiting and unsustainable. Succeed in NASL and your goal is to buy your way into MLS. Flail a bit and you either go out of business or try and slide over to USL, which is now mostly controlled by MLS. It’s sad, really.

    • I’m interested to see if the NASL will try to poach a few USL teams. If they get a new Chicago franchise, it may be cheaper for Louisville and STL to go NASL if half the games (Indy already in) are in the same region.

      • Even with the travel considerations, it is much cheaper to run a USL team than an NASL team. Louisville’s president (or someone in the organization) has stated that they have no desire to leave USL, except for MLS of course.

    • It’s a damn shame. I’ve been to watch a few Indy 11 games this year, and it would be awful to lose NASL. The Indy franchise is no exception (new soccer specific stadium rumors = MLS bid forthcoming), and the only reason we won’t hear about it from the Cosmos is that would make them the 3rd New York team. The truth is that NASL hasn’t created a model where teams can thrive long term there. The good teams can go play MLS ball, and the lesser teams have a much tougher time feeding players to those MLS rosters since USL basically became MLS II. I hope they find a way through all this.

    • NASL’s problem is of it’s own doing, ultimately. I won’t argue for or against the “MLS Way” of doing things, but like it or not the salary cap and stringent financial rules have led to steady growth and a stable product. Eventually – maybe now, maybe later – they will have to take the training wheels off and let teams spend some money, but NASL’s failure to level the playing field financially and their stubborn desire to go to first tier status instead of growing a strong second tier may doom them. If “2nd tier status” is a death warrant why is Cincy drawing 20,000+ a game in the 3rd tier? Because that’s their only soccer team. Same with Louisville, and Sacramento and Minnesota and Orlando before their jump. NASL should focus on financial stability, competitive play and reaching untapped markets (Vegas? Arizona? Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland?) to stabilize a 2nd tier league. And for people who want pro-rel, a stable 2nd tier league is literally the key to allowing that to happen. Right now USL is better suited for that, as they have many teams outdrawing MLS teams and have sent 2 teams up to MLS over the past few years.

      • Sound argument… multiple different POV one can argue for regarding NASL…. in the meantime the league sits in this in between place.

      • I wouldn’t say NASL is a “death warrant,” but it’s certainly a limbo from which teams hope to escape. People ultimately want to see the best talent available. They want to see their teams compete against LA and Toronto and get those wow moments from players like Giovinco and DosSantos. If they could play their way into MLS, a team like Cincinnati, that has been able to build this great, grass roots club, could compete its way into MLS. They wouldn’t have to buy in at $200 million. (that money could buy a lot of pretty damned good players) The way I’ve come to see it is largely from a fan perspective. I’m lucky to live in Philly with an MLS team that competes at the highest level in the U.S. IF I lived in Kansas City, I wouldn’t be so lucky. But if we had an open system, the opportunity to compete and win at the highest level is there for everyone based on the merits. Everyone’s favorite Cinderella story du jour, Leicester City, would then be possible in the U.S. — I also think that if I were a fan and my team got relegated, I’d enjoy it competing in Div 2 a whole lot more than wallowing in last place perennially. Pro/Rel really is a brilliant system with a lot to offer. A lot of opportunity that we don’t have now. I’ve come full circle on this. I still enjoy MLS a great deal. And I don’t think it’s a false league without Pro/Rel. but it would be better with it.

    • NASL will rebound and find new investors… I wholeheartedly agree with your premise… and yes it is exceedingly sad. There is a bully in american soccer… many are trying to buddy up to him so they don’t get ragged on. Stand up and keep being a voice…. Pete.
      I support locally and have my eyes wide open nationally.

      • I hope youre correct. It’s good for American soccer to have this league, even if all it does is push MLS to be better. And the quality of play is good too. Definitely a couple teams that could hack it week to week in MLS and at the very least find a way to not finish last.
        I do think that, due in large part to the size of the country, lower leagues will eventually break into more regional leagues. USL has already started that by not having the east and west play during the regular season. All in the name of saving money to put back into the on field product hopefully

      • I do believe that regional leagues is the key to all of this.

  3. I haven’t seen anyone else bring this up but I just wanted to point out that Yaro only came out of the game due to a second yellow card and not because of anything regarding the slight concussion that we now found out he suffered.
    I’m not saying anyone did anything wrong, but I think it serves to highlight that while much has been done regarding concussions in sports, work is not done.

    • That bothered me too. In hindsight, the number of late kicks into people’s shins Yaro was giving all second half could easily be explained by trying to play concussed. I really really hope that wasn’t the case.

  4. Read that tannenwald Carli Lloyd article yesterday. Sad, the sacrifices made to become the best in the world. Really impressed with her candor. She is focused.

    Also read tannenwald’s interview with Wambach (from a few days ago). Sounded upright, but this last minute cancellation shows she’s not there yet. Hope her post-playing life finds purpose.

  5. Regarding MLS and the Jeff Carlisle article: let’s start highlighting MLS teams playing 20 year old’s and below…. as if 24 is young. Come on people. Wake up… there IS a global standard. So stinking obtuse. Good grief.
    Otherwise, its a lovely day and I’m happy as can be… for those who may think I’m an angry person in general.

    • I don’t think that you’re an angry person, but your posts tend to have a “tilting at windmills” type of tone at times. However, it’s always a good exchange and your heart is in the right place.

      • I fully respect your POV…. but the windmill is not imaginary.
        In other news, I think it is really important and of exceeding value that our soccer media and culture spends time evaluating which crest is cooler…. should I now put on my tinfoil hat as has been suggested numerous times before.
        I would argue, that many are blinded by the Yankee pinstripes actually.

      • Fair enough, perhaps my reading of the tone in your comments gets interpreted in a way that you as the writer did not intend it to be. Or maybe I just was looking for a reason to use a quixotic phrase today.

        I respect your opinion as well. All good.

      • I’m all for Cervantes.

    • On the flip side of that equation is that these articles/lists are absolutely meaningless and by not turning the focus on say, some promising 17yr old on an MLS team the spotlight is not on them so they can simply focus on developing.

    • I was just about to type almost what you said. Our “young” players being 23 and 24 are not young, that’s almost prime age everywhere else in the world.

    • Honestly though, it’s still pretty young. Dempsey went to college and according to euro centric people really didn’t start devolving until he went to the Premier League at age 24 I believe…young. And let me tell you something, he’s a lot better than a ton of players who were developed in academies at 20 or younger…it’s part development but why, why in the name of all sensible to we give NO credit to players talent level, cause that’s most of it. Not a part, not a minority, most of it. If we got more to talented people to play, we’d be better. Period. That’s my focus. Don’t use the argument “that’s one guy”….there are a lot more examples (Bedoya, Cameron, Rosenberry, Guzan). My point is this: it’s mostly talent. So we should stop complaining about development like its a magical fix. Also, playing pro minutes at 16 years old is NOT always the best way to develop. Ok rant over

      • I see your point. And you’re right, there are some players who I don’t think it will matter one bit if they go through an academy, 4 years of college, go to europe etc. They flat out possess that drive which just makes them better than the people around them. Dempsey, to your point, has always felt like one of those players to me.
        In a country with 300,000,000 people, we’re going to get a few of those guys no matter what we do, just by sheer volume. We can build good national teams around them. But to really challenge for trophies as is the ultimate goal, we need to be able to surround those stars with the right people. That’s what the academies are for. They can ensure that good young American talent gets more playing time.

    • a couple months back USL did a proper 20 under 20 piece in case you missed it. Only steel player on that list was Derrick Jones, who had just played the friendly against Crystal Palace for the big club, not sure if he had yet inked his Homegrown deal.

  6. OMG what could Donovan possibly offer the USMNT other than more whining

    • He did score a goal in 2010 against a keeper who went on to play in a little tournament in Brazil. Having him on the team might let us see more highlights of He Who Shall Not Be Named getting beat.

    • Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

      He is currently the greatest player to ever wear the crest (that could soon change, we’ll see), how about a little respect.

  7. On that logo list by FOX: i see their point. Union’s logo is very heavy and feels a bit overworked. i actually like what a bunch of retailers like Mitchell & Ness and Adidas have done over the years to lighten it. i’d put us more middle of the pack.

    i agree with 2-11, with many being interchangeable.

    Minnesota > Montreal
    Sporting KC > Montreal as well; similar level of work, SKC could be better with new fonts.

    Houston, >Barf< i prefer Revs logo over it. looks as overworked and outdated as the old MLS logo.

    it's my job and i think brand identity is important.

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