Daily news roundups

Union bits, Union U-17s finish regional qualifiers today, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union 

At the Union website, Matt Bodiford on how much Chris Pontius has meant to the team.

Also at the Union website, Marisa Pilla talks to Georgetown head coach Brian Wiese about Keegan Rosenberry and Josh Yaro.

Philly Sports Network looks at the Union’s playoff picture. Section 215 says the Union need to finish the season strong.

Section 215 wonders if Kevin Kratz will feature for the Union this season.

Derrick Jones got the start for the US U-20s at the Four Nations Tournament in England on Friday. Despite a hat trick from Jeremy Ebobisse, the US lost, 5-3. US Soccer has not posted a match report so I’m not sure if Jones went the full 90 or if Auston Trusty saw minutes in the game. More on the game at MLSsoccer.com. The US faces England in the tournament closer today.

Philadelphia Union Academy

The Union Academy wraps up hosting the Generation adidas Cup East Regional qualifiers at the Power Training Complex with a game against their counterparts from NYCFC today at 4 pm. (Not sure why, but the schedule at MLSsoccer.com has the the last day of games as Tuesday, Oct. 11).

The Union dropped their first game in the tournament on Friday to Atlanta United, 4-1. Seth Kuhn opened the scoring for the Union with a free kick in the 15th minute. Brotherly Game’s Matt Ralph reports, “A strong start gave way to a questionable penalty and a flurry of goals from Atlanta United.” More on the game at Dirty South Soccer.

The team bounced back on Saturday with a 4-0 win over New England Revolution with goals from Chad Letts, who opened and closed the scoring, as well as Issa Rayyan and John Wagner.


In Philly Soccer Six play over the weekend, Temple went on the road to earn their first ever win over SMU on Saturday, Jorge Gomez Sanchez scoring the 1-0 winner. Goals from Johnny Ciarlante and Tony Daniele saw La Salle earn a 2-1 road win over Rhode Island. Villanova suffered a 3-1 road loss to Providence. Drexel’s road game to College of Charleston was postponed due to Hurricane Matthew. At home on Saturday, Saint Joseph’s defeated George Mason 2-1 with goals from Mori Diane and Derek MacKinnon. Penn fell 2-1 after Columbia scored from the penalty spot with  14 seconds left in overtime.


In the only league game played over the weekend, Colorado clinched a top-two seed in the Western Conference with a 3-2 road win over Houston on Saturday. Former Union man Sebastien Le Toux assisted Colorado’s opening goal, while former Union man Sheanon WIlliams assisted Houston’s opening goal.

NYCFC was defeated 2-1 by Necaxa in Friday night’s friendly in Mexico.

Andrea Pirlo on how much he enjoys life in the US and MLS: “Football is on the ascendancy here and I decided to come and play a part of it. I love the style of sport in America. Here you come to the stadium with your family and the victory comes second. What counts first and foremost is the sense of people coming together.”

NASL commissioner Bill Peterson tells SI the league continues “to receive tremendous interest from investors located in both North America and also throughout the world.”

Brian Andrés Helmick, CEO of NASL expansion side San Francisco Deltas, tells SFGate he hopes a recent meeting of the owners of the league’s teams will be viewed in the future as a “turning point” for the league.

The USL conference championship matchups are set. NYRB II will host Louisville City on Oct. 16 after defeating Rochester Rhinos 5-4 in the Eastern Conference semifinals on penalty kicks after finishing level at 3-3 after extra time. Louisville City defeated Charleston Battery, 1-0. The Western Conference championship will feature Swope Park Rangers hosting Whitecaps FC 2. Nine-men Swope Park Rangers defeated Orange County Blues 2-1, while Vancouver had defeated Oklahoma City Energy, 3-2 with an 89th minute goal. The winners of the conference finals will meet in the league championship on Oct. 23.


Coached by former Philadelphia Independence head coach Paul Riley, Western New York Flash scored in the 124th minute to make it 2-2 before defeating Washington Spirit 3-2 on penalty kicks to claim the NWSL championship. Recaps and reports from Western New York Flash, Washington Spirit, NWSL, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Washington Post, Houston ChronicleThe Guardian, Fox SoccerESPNW, Excelle SportsSoccer AmericaGoal.com, FourFourTwo, Big Apple SoccerThe Bent MusketBlack and Red United, and the AP.

Fox Soccer on how the NWSL may become more important to the USWNT picture as Jill Ellis seeks to widen the pool of players ahead of the 2019 Women’s World Cup.


It wasn’t pretty, but the US defeated Cuba 2-0 in Friday’s friendly in Havana. Chris Wondolowski opened the scoring for the US in the 62nd minute before assisting Julian Green’s 71st minute goal. Recaps and reports at PSPUS Soccer, MLSsoccer.com (recap, reportplayer ratings), ESPN (recap, report, analysis), Fox Sports, SICBS Sports, Goal.com (recap, report), FourFourTwo, Soccer America (analysis, player ratings), ASN (recap, analysis), Stars and Stripes FC (recap, analysis, player ratings), EFE, and Reuters.

Nine players from the roster for the Cuba game — John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Timmy Chandler, Ethan Horvath, Fabian Johnson, Jordan Morris, Christian Pulisic, Chris Wondolowski, and Bobby Wood — have returned to their clubs following Friday’s game. Kellyn Acosta, Juan Agudelo, Matt Besler, Terrence Boyd, Bill Hamid, Michael Orozco, and Tim Parker have joined the team for Tuesday’s friendly against New Zealand at RFK.

At Philly.com and Philly Voice, some local reports on Bob Bradley being hired by Swansea.

The US failed to advance out of the group stage of the U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan following a 3-2 loss to Japan on Saturday. Sydney Zandi (Penn Fusion; West Chester, Pa.) was an unused sub in all three of the the group games.

Fox Soccer says the exit from the tournament signals that the US is behind in player development.


The AP reports, “World Cup qualifying in North America is set to be overhauled to avoid shutting out the majority of countries in the CONCACAF region so early. CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani has instigated a review of an ‘archaic’ format that leaves only six out of the region’s 35 teams still in with a shot at qualifying for Russia in 2018.” More at MLSsoccer.comFox Soccer, and Pro Soccer Talk.

TSN analyst Noel Butler writes, “In due time, don’t be surprised if Montagliani ascends to world football’s top job as FIFA president.”

SI has a roundtable discussion on the best way to ruin expand the World Cup.

ESPN reports, “German Football Association (DFB) president Reinhard Grindel has played down talk of a 2018 World Cup boycott, amid ongoing frictions between Russia and the western world over the conflict in Syria.” More at The Guardian.

The AP reports, “A Dutch labor union is threatening FIFA with legal action if it does not step in to halt what the union has branded “modern slavery” in the construction of venues for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.”


  1. “Here you come to the stadium with your family and the victory comes second. What counts first and foremost is the sense of people coming together.”

    Umm…I guess so?

    • He’s not wrong, but I think that says more about the level of interest in MLS in general than it does about America. The game day experience can still be the same, win or lose and still be fun, but compared to the NFL or Premier League especially, MLS players are not yet held to the same standard as the athletes in more highly visible leagues. I mean when the Union lose, no one calls in to radio stations to complain, a few people may write a blog about how much they suck, but if the Eagles lose every player on the team is worthless and the coach sucks. So I think it’s the level of interest or visibility more than anything.

      • I don’t disagree with you, but his quote is totally different than what you wrote. I’ll chalk it up to translation issue.

      • Well that was my take on the comment, perhaps a positive spin on it. I care if the Union win or lose, but I will always return for the next game, and I have never threatened to not renew my STs just because the product is poor. So in a sense I resemble his remarks. But he may just be a d-bag and meant that literally, I don’t know.

    • Also, keep in mind, he plays for NYC and not Portland, Seattle, SKC, etc. The environment is a lot different.

      • NYC has the third highest avg home attendance in the league behind Seattle and Orlando. And that’s in a stadium that is horrible to watch soccer in.

        Plus, they are a marquee team in the league so they see large crowds on the road which gets the home team amped up for the match. IMHO, I think that playing in KC carries much less pressure than playing in NYC.

      • I had a sardonic remark then just decided….. to slow clap your ‘horrible to watch soccer in’ comment.
        I did however very much enjoy Monument Park when I went to watch NYCFC play Toronto FC two summer ago….a strange capitulation looking at Thurmon Munson while David what’s his name warmed up nearby.

      • I think my point was missed so I’ll expand –
        NYC has so much else going in the environment of the city entertainment-wise…2 MLB teams, 2 NBA teams, 2 NFL teams, another soccer team, Broadway, countless concerts, live TV shows to attend, etc as opposed to the other cities I mentioned. With that in mind, I think this results in a higher percentage of emotional energy invested by the fans in that city.
        For clarification, I’m not claiming that level of emotional energy invested by fans of one city verses another – every team has a range from “die-hards” to “casuals” but rather this is more about a city like say Portland that has only an NBA team in addition to the Timbers. That means that, theoretically, one-half of the cities’ sports-related emotion is invested in their soccer team. With that comes a different environment during the gameday experience, in my opinion.

    • To me the most important part of Pirlo’s remarks was “with your family.” I go to MLS games with my whole family, as well, all the time. I doubt this happens a lot in European games where they don’t always have a “family atmosphere.”

      • You are wrong. A lot of European stadiums have a family stand where families can buy the cheapest (season) tickets and all sit together. Have been telling the Union that they should do the same. That way kids hear less vulgar talk, get young kids even more interested in soccer, and sell even more to families. The stand across from the River End could be ideal for that!

      • John P O'Donnell says:

        That’s why TRE was separate from the rest of the stadium. The opposite end was suppose to be for families with more affordable prices.

      • That’s especially true in Italy where the fan experience is suboptimal (aside from Juve’s new digs). Some of their stadiums make RFK look nice. Not a great fan experience as an adult or a kid.

  2. “Here you come to the stadium with your family and the victory comes second. What counts first and foremost is the sense of people coming together.” My God I could write a thousand words refuting this and Pirlo is a God for me.
    …. me this is an indictment… which comes as no surprise.
    Our cute little orange slice league is on the rise though according to Andrea Pirlo….. where across the league fewer and fewer people give a shit in key metropolitan spots… because there is NO ORGANIC culture and community.
    I love our cute little shiny happy people league…. its SO quaint. Damn Andrea turns out you are fallible after all.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      El P… take a breath… just enjoy it all… relax a bit 🙂

    • If I may El P, Americans have always had to develop our own culture for all aspects of life, not just soccer. Being a nation of immigrants has meant that everything we do starts as something borrowed, but hopefully develops into something more and unique to us. Look at the way the union approached the soccer academy. Sure, it’s a long way from perfect, but it’s borrowed European practices and added a distinct American flavor. Over time, with a vision (and sure, philosophy and plan too) it will become a large part of an identity that the whole city can be proud of.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        I appreciate your position.
        For me every aspect of the MLS experience is contrived and inauthentic and purposely contrapuntal to the games experiences from what I’ve seen and heard elsewhere…save what the ‘footy first fans’ are trying to build here but even then….that is carefully crafted and regulated by The Cartel…..

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Meanwhile 40,000 fans 80,000 fans show up for friendlies and preseason games displaying this ENORMOUS monstrous potentiality that is purposefully being avoided… through US Soccer’s MLS directed policy… to maintain a governor on the potentiality.
        In 25 years the game would be the biggest thing in the world here…. our national team would be the greatest anywhere ever seen… but it will never happen.
        In a truly open system clubs like Cincinnati FC would start springing up every where.

      • John P O'Donnell says:

        It’s why we need pro/rel. So families won’t go to soccer games. It should only be for those…teams that draw well for just one year. Maybe the NFL is thinking the same thing every time they draw bigger crowds in Mexico and England.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        I’ll keep my rebutt short and sweet.
        Even Mike Piazza knows not to invest in MLS. I guess that is just coincidence.

      • John P O'Donnell says:


  3. Old Soccer Coach says:

    I would refer the conversation to Stacy Klemmer’s recent description of the match in Europe where the police had to provide a protective tunnel for fans of the away side to exit safely.

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