Daily news roundups

“This is the show now”: Union-TFC playoff previews, more news

Photo: Daniel Studio

Philadelphia Union

Right then, it’s time to forget about the Union’s winless streak and the two home losses to finish the regular season, at least for one day, because tonight the Union will face Toronto in their first playoff game since 2011.

Said Chris Pontius, “This is the show now. So put aside everything that’s happened in the regular season. It’s a different animal. It’s a different beast.”

Sure, the Union are, in the words of MLSsoccer.com Armchair Analyst Matthew Doyle, “prohibitive underdogs.” No one at Goal.com believes the Union will win tonight. Fox Soccer has TFC winning, too.

So what. , anything can happen.

Jim Curtin said of facing Toronto tonight, “I’d say the pressure is on them. They’re the home team… My guys should be loose, nothing to lose.”

It’s one game at a time now, with nothing to lose, and everything to play for.

Time to get it done.

Previews and reports at Philadelphia Union (preview, game notes, reasons to watch), Philly.com (preview, report), Delco Times, CSN PhillyPhilly Voice, CBS PhillyMetro (preview, players to watch), Pivot Today, The 700 LevelPhilly Soccer News, Brotherly Game,  Pattison Ave, Prost Amerika, Section 215 (preview, commentary), Vavel, Fansided, Philadelphia Sports Nation (preview, commentary), MLSsoccer.com (preview, Union, analysis), Toronto FC (preview, three keys, get to know the Union), Toronto Sun (preview, report), Toronto Star, Toronto Globe and Mail, TSN (analysis, commentary), Waking the Red (preview, commentary), the APCONCACAF, ESPN, FourFourTwo, Goal.com, and Playing For 90.

A reminder that, back at the start of the season in March, SI did not think the Union would make the playoffs.

Looks back to the 2011 Union playoff team at Philadelphia Union and Brotherly Game.

Prost Amerika has a fine farewell to Tranquilo Barnetta. More on Barnetta at Soccer America.

Vote Tranquillo Barnetta and Alejandro Bedoya for Goal of the Year!

Section 215 praises ironman Keegan Rosenberry for for playing every minute of the 2016 MLS regular season.

The Union came in at 15th in the league for average attendance this year at 17, 519 per game, which is 94.7 percent capacity at Talen Energy Stadium.


In addition to tonight’s TFC-Union game, LAG hosts Salt Lake in the first Western Conference knockout game tonight at 10:30pm (UniMas).

FourFourTwo offers its take on how to fix the MLS playoff format.

Portland Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson and captain Liam Ridgewell were arrested on Monday for DUI and will now undergo a SABH assessment. More details at Portland Timbers, Oregon Live (1, 2) New Zealand Herald, and Yahoo Sports.

Columbus has re-signed forward Adam Jahn.

World Soccer Talk looks at the league’s “dramatic increases in viewing numbers during the 2016 regular season.”

Atlanta United, Columbus Crew, and Seattle Sounders will join host Charleston Battery in preseason for the 2017 Carolina Cup tournament, Feb. 18-25.

Sacramento’s Planning & Design Commission gave environmental approval on Monday night for the redevelopment plan that includes construction of Sacramento Republic’s new stadium.

It’s official: The long-rumored moves of NASL sides Ottawa Fury and Tampa Bay Rowdies to the USL was announced on Tuesday with the teams to begin play in the league in 2017, along with fellow expansion side Reno 1868. The moves see the USL now at 31 teams for 2017, with Nashville FC joining the league in 2018.

With Minnesota United moving to MLS and being replaced expansion side San Francisco Deltas, the departure of Tampa Bay and Ottawa sees the NASL roster of teams for 2017 at 10 teams, although a league announcement on Tuesday said there are “a half-dozen serious expansion discussions in progress” with investors “seeking to become part of an authentic, competitive soccer league.” (Presumably, USL and MLS are not “authentic”?)

More on the Tampa Bay and Ottawa news at Tampa Bay RowdiesOttawa FuryFlorida Times-Union, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Saint Peters Blog, Ottawa CitizenCBC, ESPNIndomitable City SoccerSoccer America, and Goal.com.

FC Edmonton head coach Colin Miller tells Edmonton Journal his team will remain in the NASL. ESPN reports the future of “financially troubled” NASL sides Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Rayo OKC “remains uncertain.”


From the US Soccer website: “The Development Academy Winter Showcase will once again take place alongside the Nike Friendlies at Premier Sport Campus and will include 74 Under-15/16 and 72 Under-17/18 Academy clubs.”


The Washington Post reports on a new study from the UK, “the first to detect direct neurological changes by impacts too minor to cause a concussion,” indicates “Routine heading of a soccer ball can cause damage to brain structure and function”.

The AP reports, “The presidents of Argentina and Uruguay say they are still planning to go ahead with a bid to co-host the 2030 World Cup.” Uruguay hosted the first World Cup in 1930.

Rest in peace, Carlos Alberto:


  1. Can’t wait to see the exact same lineup we’ve trotted out the past 10 winless games.

    Can’t wait to see Sapong continue to be invisible.

    • Not going to be the same lineup. In Union playoff tradition, they are going to start Kevin Kratz as a 5th defender.

    • This is my nightmare. Even worse, I can’t wait to see a big 0 next to the Union on the scoreboard.
      I hate to be Negadelphia, but they crushed lost my faith that this team can dig deep and find a way to win. Had they not rolled over the last 2 games I’d feel different, but alas I fear a hometown team will crush my heart once again.

      • I think the Union get at least 1 goal.
        Toronto has given 11 goals over the 7 games since the start of Sept, including 6 in the 3 Oct games alone.
        They were 2-1-4 in those seven games, so while certainly hotter then the Union they are not exactly lighting the world on fire either.

      • That’s because their best player was hurt. Did you see them play on Sunday? They are on fire and will be almost impossible to stop

      • Giovinco’s injury doesn’t explain the recent trouble they have had keeping their opponents off the scoreboard. And yes, they looked good this past Sunday…at home against the worst team in the league. They still gave up 2 goals, which is my key point.
        To present things differently (and out of my own curiosity): Toronto has only given up 39 goals this year total, best in the East. So a quick calculation makes it that 28.2% of the goals they have given up this year have occurred in the last 20.5% of their season. (11 goals out of 39, and 7 games out of 34)
        That also means 15.4% of their total goals allowed this season have occurred in the final 8.8% of their season (6 goals out of 39, and 3 games out of 34).
        So their defensive performance has been trending down over the last 2 months or so of the season and heading into the playoffs.

      • Part of me wants to just throw out an insanely offensive lineup and just get into a goal scoring battle with them. We’d probably lose but who knows, come out firing and get up 2 goals before they realize and you got a chance.

  2. Today is the day that has risen.
    My position about all this well known amongst the regulars here.
    None of it matters as today is the day that is though.
    “No more talk about the old days
    It’s time for something great
    I want you to get out
    And make it work
    So many allies
    So feel the love come off of them
    And take me in your arms”
    -Thom Yorke, Atoms for Peace from the aptly titled album, The Eraser.

    • It’s ok if you want to say it again. It’s cathartic. Look, there’s tomorrow’s venting or 4.6% of rejoicing in the comments and then,what? Traffic will die off until there’s a rumor or a signing or from my keyboard to Earnie’s ears, regime change.
      So go on tiger, let it out. Give a shout for pro/rel, the 4-4-2 diamond Jim should’ve played, that time he benched Okugo with a Cup on the line for Ethan effing White, the time he left an offensive sub on the bench to use it on a keeper in PKs with a Cup on the line, let the anger flow through you Luke.

  3. Chances we see the same lineup we always see tonight: 100%

    Chances Philly manages to win: TBH, as much as logic would urge us to accept a Philadelphia defeat with near certainty, I feel this game has a coin-toss aspect to it. Toronto has not looked at all invincible, even against teams as mediocre as the Union in recent weeks. And Toronto has probably better perfected the choke job than Philly. I have nothing more than a hunch here, but I don’t smell certain defeat.

    A thought on MLS TV viewership. It’s interesting that it’s harder to watch an MLS game on regular cable than it is to watch the PL, or even Champions League. ESPN and FOX give us, what, 3 to 4 national games a week? Yet I can watch 10 hours –every game or so — of straight PL action over a weekend. Wouldn’t MLS benefit from getting more games on national TV?

    • MLS definitely would benefit. The question is, would ESPN/Fox/NBC benefit from it vs whatever they replaced in their lineup? Probably not. Or, you know, they would do it.

    • it’s the NBC deal with the PL that’s the outlier, in my opinion
      NBC has done a great job and they deserve to be rewarded
      as for me I have to make an appointment just to watch BVB this weekend cause Fox put it on the deuce and I have the future of awesome at home

  4. I really want the Unions entire #goldblooded marketing team to take the Fabhino memorial rocket to the sun.
    Most annoying marketing move since they tried to doop everything.

  5. RIP Carlo Alberto. What a player. Glad that I got a chance to see him in person when he played for the Cosmos.

  6. OneManWolfpack says:

    Man… can’t we just watch a soccer game we have waited 5 years to watch? So they lose… ok. Pretty sure almost all of us didn’t expect them to play in this game anyway. Just watch and cheer, and hope.
    Now, with that said, what will CHAP MY ASS is what happens next. This offseason, like most, is very critical to the next step this team takes. That’s what I’ll be ranting about in the near future. Not the outcome of tonight.
    Unless of course we trot out the same lineup as always and lose 5-0. Then all bets are off 🙂

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