Daily news roundups

Thanks, Chicago! More news.

Philadelphia Union

Thanks, Chicago!

The Union dropped two of their three games against the last place team in the league earlier this season. With Sunday’s pathetic Union loss to Orlando, Chicago did Philadelphia a solid in defeating New England, effectively ending the Revolution’s hopes of knocking the Union out of the sixth and final playoff spot. The league website explains, “Losses by both Philadelphia and New England mean the final playoff place in the East will be settled on Decision Day, but Philadelphia look to be odds-on favorites with a three-point lead and a hefty advantage in goal differential. (If the two teams were to finish tied on points, they would also have the same number of wins, the first tiebreaker in the standings.)”

In other words, even if the Union (42 points, 11-13-9) lose to first place NYRB in next Sunday’s regular season finale at Talen Energy Stadium, New England will have to defeat fifth place Montreal by more than 12 goals to pass the Union in the standings for the final playoff spot.

The Union are now winless over the last six games, a stretch that includes four losses. If the playoffs started today, the Union would be playing third place Toronto away in the knockout round match on Oct. 26 or 27.

The Red Bulls game is an opportunity to give the fans a win, something they haven’t had since August 27. It is also a chance to prove to the fans that the team actually have the stuff to turn things around in the playoffs.

Chris Pontius said after Sunday’s loss, “You can’t just limp into the playoffs and expect to turn it on. That doesn’t happen. If you look at teams that were lower seeds that have made runs, they made runs late in the season leading up to the playoffs, they were good. It could be amazing what one good game could do for people’s confidence so next weekend is big for us.”

Win, and maybe Union fans can believe again that the team actually deserves to be in the playoffs.

Recaps and reports at PSP, Philadelphia Union (recap, postgame, social story), Philly.com, Delco Times (recap, report), CSN Philly, Philly Voice, Philly Soccer News (recap, report), Brotherly Game, Pattison Ave, SBIProst Amerika, Vavel (recap, analysis), Section 215, Philadelphia Sports NationPhilly Sports Live, MLSsoccer.com (recap, Union, Orlando), Orlando City, Orlando Sentinel, The Mane Land,  Last Word on Sports, and the AP. Photo Gallery at USA Today.

Fabian Herbers comes in at No. 3 in MLSsoccer.com’s list of the league’s “biggest late-game impact” players: “Rookie Fabian Herbers ranks third on the substitute list, with 19 in 30 games for the Philadelphia Union, though he hasn’t subbed on since late August – it’s been seven straight starts for the German-born Creighton product, whose seven assists are the most by any rookie since 2010.”

Last Word on Sports wonders what happened to the Union’s “dominance.”

Former Union man Alejandro Moreno hosts a fine video from ESPN looking at the Union’s Power Training Complex. More on the official opening of the facility at Philly.com and MLSsoccer.com.

Philadelphia Union Academy

The Philadelphia Union Academy teams were on the road on Saturday to face their counterparts from PDA. And the results, at least those that, as of this writing, have been posted on the USSDA website, show it was a good Saturday for the Union teams.

The U-12s played two games against PDA, winning both of them. In the first, the Union won 31 with Timothy Madden scoring a brace (17′, 56′) and Andrew Johnson also tallying. In the second game, the Union were the 20 victors with goals from Marcello Mazzola (37′) and Nelson Pierre (57′).

As of this writing, no result has been posted for the U-13 game at the Union or PDA USSDA websites or the Union Academy and PDA Twitter pages.

As of this writing, no result has been posted for the U-14 game at the Union or PDA USSDA websites or the Union Academy and PDA Twitter pages.

The Union U-15/16s, second in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference (11 points, 3-1-2), came from behind with a 79th minute goal from Chad Letts to draw 11.

The U-17/18s, third in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference (13 points, 4-1-1) thumped their PDA counterparts to win 50. Matthew Real opened the scoring in the 12th minute, Tiger Graham scored a brace with goals in the 28th and 42nd minutes, Justin McMaster scored in the 33rd minute, and Alexander Soto scored in the 81st minute.

The U-12s host Wayne, New Jersey’s TSF Academy on Saturday while the other Academy teams have next weekend off before the U-15/16 and U-17/18 Academy teams travel to face Richmond United the following weekend.

At the US Soccer site, a preview of the East Regional U-13 and U-14 showcase tournament that will take place in WInston-Salem, Oct. 28-30. The U-13s face Atlanta United and Weston FC on Oct. 28 and then play New England Revolution on Oct. 29. The U-14s play Atlanta United and Capital-Area RailHawks on Oct. 29 and then play Orlando City on Oct. 30.


It was a tough weekend for Philly Soccer Six teams, with Villanova’s 2-2 road draw with Xavier on Saturday the only point earned. Also on Saturday, Temple was thumped 4-0 on the road by Cincinnati. Villanova drew 2-2 on the road with Xavier. Drexel fell 2-0 on the road to Elon, their eighth loss in a row. Saint Joseph’s was defeated 3-0 on the road by George Washington. La Salle lost 1-0 at home to Fordham. On Sunday, Penn suffered a 4-1 road spanking at Dartmouth.

Tonny Temple (IMG Academy; Millville, Pa.) is among those named by John Hackworth to the US U-17 MNT fall Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida.


In the Eastern Conference, first place NYRB (54 points, 15-9-9) defeated ninth place Columbus (36 points, 8-13-12), 3-2, Bradley Wright Phillips scoring a brace. Both of Columbus’ goals came after the 70th minute with NYRB, undefeated since July 10 and on a 15-game unbeaten streak, up 3-0. Second place NYCFC (51 points, 14-10-9) lost 3-1 on the road to fourth place place DC United (46 points, 11-9-13), who clinched a playoff spot with the win, their fourth in a row. Third place Toronto (50 points, 13-9-11) came from behind twice to draw 2-2 on the road with fifth place Montreal (45 points, 11-10-12), who clinched a playoff spot with the result. Sixth place Philadelphia (42 points, 11-13-9) lost 2-0 at home to eighth place Orlando (38 points, 8-11-14). Seventh place New England (39 points, 10-14-9) lost 2-1 on the road to last place Chicago (31 points, 7-16-10). Both teams saw a player sent off, including former Union goalkeeper Brad Knighton, who was given a red card in the 73rd minute for denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity.

In the Western Conference, first place Dallas (59 points, 17-8-8) came from behind to defeat fifth place Seattle (45 points, 13-14-6), 2-1. Former Union man Carlos Ruiz scored the winning goal in the 89th minute, his first MLS goal in five years. Second place Colorado (57 points, 15-6-12) lost 1-0 on the road to seventh place Portland (44 points, 12-13-8). Third place LAG (51 points, 12-6-15) defeated last place Houston (33 points, 7-14-12) 1-0 on the road. Fourth place Salt Lake (46 points, 12-11-10) drew 0-0 with sixth place Kansas City (44 points, 12-13-8). Eighth place San Jose (38 points, 8-11-14) drew 0-0 with ninth place Vancouver (36 points, 9-15-9).

From ESPN:

Didier Drogba refused to play for the Montreal Impact in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Toronto FC because Mauro Biello didn’t include him in his starting lineup, the coach confirmed after the match.

“Didier wasn’t selected to start the game,” Biello said. “I spoke with him yesterday he didn’t accept the fact to come off the bench and, in the end, he did not want to be in the 18.”

More on Drogba going AWOL at MLSsoccer.com.

Goal.com reports Dallas’ Mauro Diaz suffered torn achilles tendon in stoppage time of his team’s win over Seattle on Sunday, an injury that will see him sidelined for months.

The Expansion Priority Draft took place on Sunday. Atlanta United won the toss for the No. 1 pick in the 2016 MLS Expansion Draft and Minnesota United got the top spot in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft.

The USL Cup final will feature two MLS-backed teams. On Saturday, Swope Park Rangers defeated Whitecaps FC 2, 3-0. In the Eastern Conference final on Sunday, NYRB II and Louisville City were level at 1-1 after extra time before NYRB II won 4-3 on penalty kicks. NYRB II will host Swope Park Rangers in the final on Sunday, Oct. 23 (8 pm, ESPNU, WatchESPN, SiriusXM FC).


Pulisic! Pulisic!

Appearing on a television show in Sweden, Hope Solo apologized for calling Sweden a “bunch of cowards” after the team eliminated the USWNT from the Olympic tournament. Solo also suggested she was suspended by US Soccer for political reasons because she “been the lead voice behind the push for equal pay” for the USWNT. She also made clear she has not retired and suggested she might even end up playing professionally in Sweden. You can watch video of her TV appearance here.


Mexico’s LigaMX will launch an MLS-style All-Star game.

ESPN recaps a series of decisions made by the FIFA Council last week concerning the bidding process for the World Cup, centralizing ticket sales for the World Cup, and more..

The AP reports, “FIFA has extended the work of its panel mediating between Israeli and Palestinian soccer officials, and declined to act against clubs based in Israeli West Bank settlements.”


  1. Used to be alright, what happened says:

    Team hasn’t won a game since August 27…
    … but we’re in. So that’s good and a clear sign this means success.
    15 Steps then a sheer drop.

    • El Pachy, I don’t always agree with your commentary, but I love the Radiohead luv. And we can certainly agree on the fact that the team has been playing like a bunch of Subterranean Homesick Aliens for months now.

  2. If we look back at the season preview, the consensus was that the team might barely make it into the playoffs. And that’s exactly what we got. For a team that has only made it above the Big Red Line once before, and has some great players to build around, that’s definitely progress.

  3. Yay!…I think. I will say that watching the boys this year, nothing came easily after the departure of the French wonder worker. I did not expect that we would be watching the excruciating process of sneaking in on the backs of other teams’ actions, but it is better than the last few years. Good luck, guys.

  4. I agree with Pontius limping into the playoffs is bad and teams that are bad do that and it is exactly what the Union are doing. A part of me almost hopes that New England does make up the goal differential so people won’t sit there and say well we made it in. Without creativity the Union will surely falter vs NYRB. Now is the time to try something new anything new. Sapong needs to be benched now. I know nothing will change from the coaching staff but oh how I wish for one game we could see something new and creative.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Pontius himself limping from a hamstring is not positive.

      • No but I liked him more than I thought I would the beginning of the season he’s a good player works hard is a professional, gets in position to make plays and scores, and doesn’t over state things. He says it like it is which I can appreciate.

  5. That story Moreno shares about training at Chester park…
    Solid reminder that this is still an organization just getting off the ground, but certainly is headed in the right direction.
    Love love love hearing Earnie say that “We want to become the soccer capital of the United States”.

    • Agree… wholeheartedly. I’m not easy to please and that is okay. The team has come a long way and there is still a long way to go.

      • Mark the Calendar—el Pachy said something positive about the Union!


      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        He’s a tough judge with standards.

      • OSC—you are a highly respected poster on this page viewed fairly as a “tough judge with standards”…albeit, fair.
        Sorry, but in my opinion, el Pachy reminds me of the guy who called into local radio station day as Phillies were in World Series in 2008 saying Charlie Manual should be fired for his lineups.
        When–not if–Union win the MLS cup, we would be treated to the daily rant of how the playing was not as beautiful as La Liga–you know, the place where 17 teams vie to see who can give up the most goals to the other 3 year after year. That if America had pro/relegation Union would not have won the cup but instead been promoted to the 5th tier of the Hondoruan league. And the bottom 3 teams relegated to NWSL and Academy U12’s would be promoted to MLS.

        But El Pacy’s post above gives me hope that perhaps he would have something nice to say when Union do win that MLS Cup.

        Sorry, his constant negativity is wearing. Last year his VPP was inspiring, this year there is nothing constructive, just constant ripping into MLS, American playing based on USMNT having too many American born and raised players, and how much he hates women from the USWNT having opinions because only he should have opinions, not Abby Wambach.
        Too much negativity. Drove me from enjoying site.

      • I drove you from site.
        Good grief, Union Goal.
        sounds like the rhetoric of one Donald Trump recently.
        It’s the medias fault.
        Guess what…I fleshed you out today didn’t I though.

      • Think about your comment… you no longer post here because of me.
        you choose not to engage with all the other posters because of my perceived negativity.
        Union Goal. That’s really too bad.
        There are certain posters here I disagree whole heartedly with… find their worldview of the game one I cannot tolerate but I don’t stop posting… I just chose not to read them.
        I’m not a bully… I offer discernment to cognet points made by others almost daily, clap for strong reasoned argument, duly note original lyric genius which frequents here often, and recognize POV opposed to mine frequently… I come here to sharpen the writing instrument and to vent about many things. I have a strong opinion and that’s all it is. I also am positive.
        I have to be honest… I’ll begin checking myself a bit more UG- because I have insight and will pay closer attention .. maybe you need to not blame others for your choices- that make you appear to be a frightened little boy blaming others for their insecurities.

    • Man I hate working long hours and getting to the party a day late! True words CPfief. I think as fans of the game we all want to see this team and all its parts grow and flourish! I await next season with hope for more of the VPP Mr.Stewart has brought. Go Union!

  6. At least the Union only gave up one set piece goal yesterday. Unfortunately, it was on their own set piece 🙁

  7. OneManWolfpack says:

    Yes… we made the playoffs… that is a good thing. But I am not satisfied, when you’re in 1st place in June, and now we got in the playoffs because another team lost. All the Union had to do for Jul-Aug-Sept, was hang around. Not free fall into nothing. Progress is good, but is this what we want again next year? Curtin still learning and figuring it out? And, oh now we have no depth, when we had depth 3 months ago?! I know Nogs left and it hurt the team, but come on, it was Noguiera, not Beckenbauer in his prime. This was a disjointed rant, but it’s how I feel right now. We had a taste of being a quality, top 3 side, and now it’s ok to be 6th because “that’s what he thought all along”. Nope sorry. I don’t buy that.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      I thought the goal posts moved? (sorry missed my edit window)

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      When they were first they were four points ahead of eighth, four.
      Any system of ranking or standings becomes conclusive when it is final.
      They did preseason very well, got off to a good start after a disastrous opener, and were “going good” until June. For a symbolic image of going good think BC equalizing in stoppage time in Colorado.
      After The Copa America break they have been mediocre. The rest of the league has adapted and caught up, and there has been no new burst of success from our side.
      Curtin should be credited with both developments. To use the goal post symbol, who else moved them? And to continue the goal post symbol, who is barely staggering across them.
      One key point about goal differential that someone above didn’t seem to understand, maybe. Every goal by which the energy drinks beat us this coming Sunday also reduces the goal differential. If we lose 0-6, and NE wins 7-0, New England goes and we do not.

  8. The stars will have to be aligned perfectly for our playoff team. The Union have little or no pace to either press or run in behind defenses consistently. They struggle to compete with most skilled teams with the pace to shred their defense at least not under Jim Curtin. He is completely in a box when it comes to working his lineup, bench or roster. Every team in MLS has caught on to the Union. The Union are for the most part one of the slowest teams in the league and easy to close down and swarm with speed and pace. Their premier striker lacks the ability to create for himself, finish, has no real separation speed, and lacks a starters quickness and skill in the box with his feet. His flopping reputation has referees ignoring fouls committed against him. The Unions skill players have an overall lack of speed to win foot races and need pin point passes, favorable bounces and extra time to get off a shot. Barnetta is slowed by injuries, Pontius and Herbers are strong finishers but aren’t fast and could use a #10 with speed skill and quickness to open things up for them on the attack. Sorry Earnie but these next issues are on you. Ilsinho isn’t it. He isn’t a guy with speed, fitness or stamina to keep attacking. Alberg is a quality finisher but the guy is very slow and also lacks stamina. The Union may have backed into the playoffs and here’s wishing them all the best. They haven’t been great on the road and they haven’t won a game since August. Their last few games at home have been disappointing to be kind. Curtin and staff may not be around much longer. Earnie Stewart appears to be the guy who will clean house if necessary.

    • I agree with this for the most part. Although certain players put in the right position I think would tend to make this team look quicker than it is. A simple move of Pontius LW Herbers ST Bedoya RW Barnetta LAM and Alberg RAM Carroll CDM. Could make this team look a lot faster than it is because it gives you technical guys in the middle of the pitch, Bedoya will likely take space on the wing as does Pontius, and Herbers makes more runs in one game than Sapong has all season. Its creativity or player movement like this that I wish we saw. Sometimes when you go 2 months without a win it is time to try something new.

      • Yes sir your are so. Our manager is stuck in his box/tunnel vision and has no clue as to how to make moves either on the field or from the bench.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      LCB – Your last line is perfect. I want that cut-throat European mentality. If you aren’t good enough… see ya… and find someone who is.
      This team is better than two out of possible 18 points – last 6 games.

  9. With all due respect to Tim Howard, I disagree with him that Pulisic needs to be “protected and nurtured.”
    What does that mean?
    “Protected” from playing as a starter for his country’s national team?
    “Nurtured?” The dude is fearless. Howard even said so. I say coach, develop and mentor him and enjoy the ride!

    • Yeah, Pulisic seems to be uniquely fearless and talented. But I think what Howard means, and what other people mean when they say stuff like this, is don’t put all your expectations on this kid as a savior of the national team (or any team). He’s a one-of-a-kind prodigy, but if you start expecting him to do everything by himself, that’s an impossible task and then his confidence starts to fail when he can’t do what’s asked of him. Then he’s afraid to try stuff, to keep growing, and you end up with wasted potential.

      Pulisic is the next big thing, for sure. But soccer is a weak-link sport. Protecting and nurturing him just means making sure people know that he won’t single-handedly make the US a great team.

      • I have no argument with the expectations comment. That’s a media and fan issue and I agree. And maybe that’s all he meant.
        What made me tilt my head to the side was the first part of the we-need-to-be-careful-nurturing-and-protective sentence: “When I was 17, I was deathly afraid of getting on the field…”
        Protect him from overexposure by the media? Okay.
        But when it comes to player selection by JK, I just want to see players evaluated and given starts/minutes based on the merits of their current form and fit with the team.
        Given Pulisic’s performances in 2016, both for BVB and his country, his place in the XI should no longer be a question.

  10. Its nice have clubs that take care of the unions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *