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“Moving on to next year”: Union fall to TFC, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union were defeated by a better side in Wednesday night’s playoff game to end thier 2016 season, although the kind of defensive mistakes that have dogged the team for far too long didn’t help matters. Jim Curtin said of Toronto’s goals, “I agree they were broken plays, they weren’t 15 pass sequences where you tip your cap and say, ‘Wow they really deserved that goal.’ We have things we need to work, things we can improve on and we’ll attack that starting when this press conference is over.”

While it was a difficult end to the season Curtin emphasized his believe that the team is nevertheless moving in the right direction:

Only one team’s season ends the right way, good and with a smile. So our season ends now, it’s difficult… Somewhere deep down in there I do feel like Philadelphia Union fans, the  players, can walk a little taller with their chest out because we are a franchise that’s moving in the right direction. I believe that. It’s tough after a loss to say that, but I think the foundation that [Earnie Stewart] has laid sets us up for the future. The detail that he puts in will make us be able to address what we need in moving on to next year and we will attack that now, it begins today. I am incredibly proud of the players and the season they’ve put in.

Curtin also indicated that Warren Creavalle was playing with three broken ribs.

Fox Soccer says there’s reason for hope for the Union in 2017 as the team should know exactly what needs to be done in the offseason, like shore up the defense, getting a goalscorer, replacing Tranquillo Barnetta:

Of course, it’s no surprise that the Union have problems to address. Even from the outset, this looked more like a rebuilding year than one to chase after the MLS Cup. Indeed, the Union had the most inexperienced roster of any team to make the playoffs. This year, their first playoffs since 2011, is something positive to build upon, even if it ended with a whimper.

Recaps and reports at PSP, CSN Philly, Philly Soccer News (recap, report), Brotherly Game (recap, ratings), Pattison Ave, Prost AmerikaVavelPhiladelphia Sports Nation, MLSsoccer.com (recap, Union, BedoyaAltidore, Bradley, cards, analysis), The Globe and MailToronto Star, Toronto SunCBC SportsSportsNet.ca, Waking the Red (recap, commentary), Tip of the TowerESPN, SISoccer AmericaFourFourTwo, SBIGoal.comthe AP, and Reuters.

At the Union website, you can view video of postgame remarks from Jim Curtin, Tranquillo Barnetta, and Chris Pontius.

Andre Blake has been named ASN’s Goalkeeper of the Year. Keegan Rosenberry comes in at No. 2 behind Jordan Morris for ASN’s Rookie of the Year.

Rosenberry (Rookie of the Year) and Blake (Goalkeeper of the Year) have made Pro Soccer Talk’s shortlist for their end-of-season awards.


City Islanders review their 2016 season and thank the fans.


With Wednesday night’s win, Toronto now faces NYCFC in the two-legged Eastern Conference semifinals, hosting the first game on Sunday.

In Wednesday night’s other knockout game, the Galaxy defeated Salt Lake 3-1. LAG now faces Colorado in the Western Conference semifinals, hosting the first game on Sunday.

In the final knockout games, DC hosts Montreal tonight at 7:30 pm (UniMas) and Seattle hosts Kansas City at 10 pm (FS1).

Looks like Didier Drogba will not be with Montreal tonight due to a back injury.

Vancouver has announced it has extended the contract of head coach Carl Robinson through 2020.

Houston Chronicle reports that interim head coach Wade Barrett will not be offered the job of full time head coach.

The league has released the offseason draft calendar:

Sun., Dec. 11 Half-Day Trade Window (9 am – 12 pm ET)
No trades involving players will be permitted after 12 pm ET up until the conclusion of the Expansion Draft
Mon., Dec. 12 Expansion Draft Protected Player list and eligible Free Agents list released
Tue., Dec. 13 Expansion Draft (2 pm ET)
Beginning at 5 pm ET, Free Agents may engage in negotiations with all MLS clubs
Wed., Dec. 14 List of players eligible for selection in the Waiver Draft released
Thu., Dec. 15 Waiver Draft (2 pm ET)
Beginning at 5 pm ET, clubs may no longer sign or trade their own Re-Entry Draft eligible players (player-trade blackout window)
List of players available in Stage 1 of the Re-Entry Draft released
Fri., Dec. 16 Re-Entry Draft – Stage 1 (3 pm ET)
Wed., Dec. 21 Starting at 11 am ET, clubs may no longer sign or trade their own Re-Entry Draft eligible players (player-trade blackout window)
List of available players in Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft released
Thu., Dec. 22 Re-Entry Draft – Stage 2 (3 pm ET)
Jan. 7-12, 2017 2017 adidas MLS Player Combine
Fri., Jan. 13, 2017 2017 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas
Mon., Jan. 23, 2017 2017 MLS preseason begins

Washington City Paper has the latest on construction of DC United’s new stadium.


At US Soccer, a look at the history of USA-Mexico games that includes lots of charts and video.


  1. Just to add, if it hasn’t already been mentioned in a prior news post: there’s a great interview with Dennis Crowley on the latest Planet Futbol (Sports Illustrated) podcast. Crowley, a founder of Foursquare, discusses starting Kingston Stockade FC and what he’d like to see out in the U.S. soccer pyramid (he’s a non-millitant pro/rel supporter). It’s a neat perspective and also just interesting to hear about how a conversation in a bar led to a startup soccer club in upstate NY.

  2. So this is the end of season exit interview.
    My how I wish I could be a fly on the wall down there in the best thing to happen to the Union all season….. a world class trainmen facility.
    Alas the overmatched unimaginative manager will be back and to this I must simply relent… I like the idea of Jim Curtin the manager but I’m not so sure about the practical tactical and in game adjusting manager Jim Curtin… course does any of this really matter?
    Cause ……
    wait JUST one second for it…..
    this team will continue to sag and disappoint and be an underwhelming 13th place table finishing bottom of the MLS playoff contributing team —- the SPINE of the team is properly addressed:
    We have a goalie prone to the flamboyant saves with a huge amount of technical work and leadership work to do.
    We have only one decent center back and he is concussion prone and no Richie Marquez is not really very good.
    We have no defensive midfielder- had one but the manager fired him as his first real call to arms.
    We now have no Center Attacking Midfielder… please Bedoya is not a CAM he is a player that will be played as a CAM. and if you think that matters in a league with minimal off the ball movement well I’m fairly confident he does not have near the imagination necessary to conjure things.
    We certainly have no striker… who BTW the manager oversaw penning to a nice contract extension recently.
    NO SPINE = NO GOOD… not even Sigi can solve that equation… so let’s go out and get the manger a spine so he can prove once and for all that he either belongs or doesn’t belong. God… dear sporting director I begged for for three years… please tell me you are The One.
    LASTLY and not LEASTLY-
    So how bout the turn out for the LAG v RSL game…did you see? No? Hmmm now that’s an interesting conundrum… well let me tell ya…a whomping crowd there, phew.
    ESIT INTERVIEW OVER. el Pachyderm out.

    • While I agree with your view on Curtin I disagree on your overall pessimistic view of the team. Let me address:

      1 – Yes, and as we’ve seen the flamboyant saves have kept us in games and earned us points. Leadership will come with experience as well. The LAST person on this team I would complain about is Blake.

      2 – I agree CB is a need (or we improve defensively other ways and let Yaro grow next to Richie) but I disagree on Marquez. Yes, maybe he’s not “very good” but he is damn solid and steady and I would take that in one of my CBs. When the defensive around him collapsed every game, he was always the one tracking runnings, putting in good tackles and never making the dumb mistake.

      3 – 6 is a big need, a top 3 need sure. But I trust Earnie. Who are you referring to BTW?

      4 – CAM is a big need too, but as before I trust Earnie. I would also trust Bedoya in that role more than you seem to do as well.

      5 – Striker is the biggest need. Yes I hate Curtin’s overrating of Sapong too. But as before, I trust Earnie.

      • Blake is a non complaint from me… but he needs to continue improving.
        I’m referring to My Dearly Departed #14… Amobi Okugo…
        My view is not pessimistic… my view has never wavered from day one this season. Play Well FIRST.
        The team did not and has not for months and months and months Played Well.
        I believe in the Vision.
        I believe in the Plan.
        I struggle with The Philosophy… that befalls the manager and a SD who seems to have given complete control of The Philosophy to the manager.

      • I doubt the control of the philosophy by the manager is “complete.” I would guess it is collaborative with a great deal of Jim Curtin in it, but a lot of Earnie Stewart savoir-faire applied to the major ideas. That’s a quibble on my part.

    • The Realist Brian says:

      Agreed on most if not all points. My biggest issue is our defense with the center backs Marquez and Tribbett was terrible from about mid season on. The league learned that they could expose Tribbett, and with proper scouting know exactly what his flaws where which was well everything. Ask yourself how many times did Marquez and Tribbett with very little pressure lump the ball forward or lose possession… It’s about 100% of the time if you don’t know the answer. Both of those players need to be replaced immediately. And yes that is the coaches responsibility to identify talent and did not play players that will get exposed so easily.
      Agreed on Bedoya not being a very good attacking midfielder, and we will need to upgrade that. I think the other big issue with the team was when Nogs left midway through the season, he was such an essential piece to the puzzle that are formed dropped immediately after you left.
      My final point is I am still pissed that Jones and Trusty didn’t get any time with the senior team, especially against New York red Bulls. We need to start blooding these players so that they move into a starting role. The Red Bulls have been a good example of bringing players up like Etienne who is done really well with their USL team. Our guys play very well, and no reward for that hard work? Jones played extremely well with you 20 national team, with the likes of Zelalem and other Euro professional players. And he didn’t warrant start or sniff? That again falls on Jim Curtin.
      On another note, John Hackworth is ruining the U17 team. Lederman is gone by the way. He may have gone back to Spain by the way.

      • ….saw the Lederman deal. SMH.

      • how long has Etienne be a professional and how old is he?
        Jones has been a professional all of eleven months and is nineteen.
        Trusty has been a professional all of 2 1/2 months and has been 18 for the same number of months.
        But being judged on individual growth and maturity by people who know you and work with you daily is not allowed if you are a young soccer player. That’s only for ordinary children.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        With all due respect… and here is maybe where we diverge a bit, an academy kid IMO is a ‘professional.’
        Been socializing to the role for quite some time. One game at the end of the season- 45 min of first team action even. Not asking for the kid to be a FT starter. Held his own against Palace in a friendly. Signed a contract.
        I recognize your point but my position isn’t out of the realm either. Is it also possible one could argue things are a bit conservative… which if I recall has been a topic of discussion of several articles already… on espnfc and other outlets.

  3. I’m depressed.

    Mostly because we went out with a whimper.

    We went out the same way we have the past two months, and our coach didn’t try a single thing to try to change it.

  4. Dear Earnie,

    5 reasons Curtin needs to go:

    1. Set play defending – we are awful and this goes on the coach. Offensive set plays are also not good.

    2. No imagination – sends Sapong out for 90 minutes game after game after game when he is struggling – finally playoff game he takes him off at 60 minutes

    3. We need a coach who can develop – Rosenberry, Herbers, Yaro and upcoming young players. We do not have money, therefore we need these players to improve.

    4. Tribett – not an MLS player – should have been in Bethelem all year. Even when we were winning he was giving up a goal every game – somehow Curtin ranked him equal to Yaro

    5. EPIC collapse 0-2-6 to finish the year 6 goals in 8 games.


    • Agree. This team must needs a coach and staff with ideas, courage, and fire. Seeing that entire staff sitting on their asses looking so… cluless, was it for me. I love the idea of local guy makes good but to a point. I get that this organization doesn’t want to repeat the revolving door of coaches saga but Curtin does’t appear capable of making adjustments. Yes this team has over achieved when not many even gave them a shot at the playoffs. But the true tell of a coach is when he has to adjust and think on his feet. The way this team performed going into the playoffs was as uninspired as Curtin’s tired cliches and talking points. I know Curtin will mostly likely be given yet again a chance to “coach” with whatever talent, replacements and upgrades Earnie will bring in. Earnie Stewart is the guy in position to build this team and organization into one that competes on every level with NYC, NYRB, TOR, ORL, DC, NE, ATL. All who are capable of bringing in big guns and difference makers on the field and managing their teams. The Union are in a better position to more now then ever, either be a real player or just one content to make an appearance. Maybe a change of coach is needed.

  5. I’m not going to bag on Tribett. Guy was a USL player a year ago and asked to face off against international class strikers.

    • I’m with you on that. Yeah Tribbett had some pretty big gaffs this season; he’s also has some very good performances as well. For everyone calling for Jim’s head that he should have started Yaro for all these games is strange to me if you follow the team, and should know he was unavailable or recovering for most of those situations. I really do think Tribbett can develop into a serviceable MLS-level CB. Even if he had a solid USL season at HCI, it’s his first season at the top flight. So while criticism is warranted, all the freaking out and vitriol seems a bit exaggerated.
      That said, it still is extraordinarily frustrating watching those gaffs.

  6. The most depressing thing about this offseason is that, unlike the last time the Union made the playoffs, there’s actually not a ton of reason for optimism about in-squad improvement. Of the 14 outfield players to play 1K+ minutes, 2 are already gone (Seba and Barnetta), 2 are likely to be gone based on what I’ve read (Alberg and Ilsinho), at least 1 is a FA (Pontius), and 5 more appear to be more backup quality than starter quality (Sapong, Fabinho (YMMV), Carroll, Creavalle, and Tribbett). That leaves…Rosenberry, Marquez, Yaro, and Herbers. Quite frankly, that’s a little depressing. Add Bedoya to that, and that’s still a whole lotta holes to fill and not a lotta in-house options.
    I don’t know whether Curtin or Earnie is to blame, but at least one of them made a mess of things. You don’t take 2 points from *any* 8 game stretch unless something has gone horribly wrong. The Fire and the Dynamo, the two worst teams in the league, never had a stretch like that. They took 13 points from their last 15 regular season games, a rate that is worse than the Fire (it was 19 from their last 20, which would still be abysmal). I know they were great early in the season, but going into this offseason, Earnie has to treat this like a league worst team, because that’s what we were for the majority of the season.
    And when you’re bad for that long, either the manager or the GM has to go. I know people here love Earnie, but it’s hard to look at what he’s done so far and say “good job”. I know some things were out of his control (Barnetta, Nogueira, Edu), but when you go into an offseason with half of a usable 18 and many of those guys are still somewhat unknown, you didn’t do a good job. And Curtin has always been far overmatched, so the sooner he’s gone, the better IMO.
    So, it seems we’re back where we’re at last offseason. We can pat our backs that for once, we had a big enough lead from early in the season that our annual late-season collapse didn’t take us out of the playoffs, but I don’t think anybody here wants us to “compete for the playoffs”. Making the playoffs as the 13th best team in a league of 20 is a joke, plain and simple.
    We still need a new head coach. We still need a massive infusion of talent all across the pitch. We’re still are…can I say it…the…same…old…
    The offseason is a time for new optimism and hope, which is why I’ve been drawn back. Hopefully I can stick around for next season. Do something that makes me want to, Earnie, that’s all I ask.

    • You shall furthermore be referred to as … Ratso Rizzo.
      That said…I agree with almost the entire commentary, save the Sporting Director shouldering any part of the blame. Way too early to tell…

    • Some of the keys are to get Pontius to stay with the team, get Ilshino in better shape next year, determine what the plan is for Davies and whether he’s your answer at striker. Also need to make a determination on whether Edu will recover from his latest setback and how low you can get him to sign for. Those are potential solutions to some of the issues.

    • I think we are in much better shape than last year. Look at all the players we got rid of last year and compare them to our team this year. Even if a lot of them should be depth players it’s improvement. Also, we have a core of young players to build around now even though some won’t make it. Finally we have a ton of money to spend this off-season.
      Also not sure why you think it’s a done deal that Alberg and Ilsinho are gone and Pontius isn’t resigned.

      • I said “likely to be gone based on what I read”, and I said Pontius was an FA, not that he was going anywhere. Either way, do you like either Ilsinho or Alberg as an every-game starter going forward?

      • Misread, I apologize. I’m not a huge fan of Ilsinho, especially as a starter, just too inconsistent for me. Alberg I’m just not sure. I think he could be a really good starter in teh right circumstances, I’m not sure if we fit them or not because I anticipate a lot of turnover this year.

    • I can’t believe people are looking at ES in a negative light. He wasn’t even here for the full offseason last year! Christ.

      How the hell can we be the same old when we just made the playoffs for the first time in 5 years? When we have a rookie with a real ROTY shot and two more rookies who played significant minutes and look to be real MLS players?

      When we have a GM who has probably the most legitimate non-MLS experience as a Sporting Director in the league.

      Calling us the same old is pathetic.

      • Making the playoffs because they made it easier to make the playoffs isn’t much of an accomplishment. We had the same number of points in 2014 and more points in 2013. The fact that the MLS allows more teams to make the playoffs doesn’t mean we’ve improved at all.
        Maybe you’re new around here, but the Union have always had promising rookies. Look at the roster. See all the homegrown talent playing major roles? No? Fat load of good all those good rookies have done us.
        I said it last offseason and I’ll say it again: let Earnie prove himself in MLS before crowning him. I don’t consider this season to be the proof.

      • In the past the rookies the Union had were sparsely used and ended up on the bench for much of their first several seasons before moving on. Most have had trouble making an impact outside of the Union once they moved on.
        The major exception there is MacMath and he still got screwed with Colorado (I don’t root for injuries but I wouldn’t be upset if something minor happened to Howard and MacMath took Colorado all the way, although it would make it more difficult to bring him back if Blake leaves).
        The Union also got several good seasons out of Williams and Gaddis until Rosenberry effectively beat both out.

    • Glass half full perspective: With Barnetta and Edu’s deal off the books, you’re talking almost $1.4 million to address the spine of the team. Edu might be part of the answer, but there’s no way he comes back at the same price. If at all. That money should be plenty to stock this team with talent. You just need to be creative.

      For those who say same old / same old, at least with Stewart, we can be safe in the knowledge that our director of operations won’t go all Sak and blow $750,000 to sign Brad Guzan. (He played in a little tournament called the Copa America Centenario, ever hear of that?) I feel it’s reasonable to expect improvements knowing that an adult is in charge.

    • Even if some of his roster moves may not have worked out as hoped, I think it’s too early to lose faith in Earnie Stewart. The guy has a strong track record from his time in Holland, and he hasn’t been with the Union for even a full year yet. For now, he deserves our patience.
      The same, however, can’t be said for the Union’s head coach. Look below at the club’s record during the four regular seasons with Jim Curtin as part of the technical staff… 10-12 wins year after year. Perhaps he’ll grow into being a top MLS head coach someday, but there’s very little in his resume – before or during his time with the Union – that should make us confident that will happen anytime soon.
      2013 – Asst Coach – 46 points – 12W 12L 10T
      2014 – Asst/Interim HC – 42 points – 10W 12L 12T
      2015 – Head Coach – 37 points – 10W 17L 7T
      2016 – Head Coach – 42 points – 11W 14L 9T

      • I put much more fault in Sak for those first few years. Not that Curtin is perfect or anything but the talent level in those teams was not good.

      • That’s fair. Unfortunately, the four years listed above are pretty much the extent of JC’s coaching resume, and all that we have to consider at this time. He’s never served as an assistant on a winning professional team, and his only other head coaching experience is at the academy level.

    • facts are irrelevant aren’t they.

      The big enough early lead when we were in first place was four points ahead of the eighth place team.
      Look it up.

  7. Lucky Striker says:

    seems roster reality has partially set in then. Well….THAT’S a start…….

  8. OneManWolfpack says:

    Said this in the match recap… so why does Davies come in for Rosenberry, when it’s known now that Crevalle had 3 broken ribs?! The rookie who played every minute of every game and offers you something going forward, instead of the guy who is hurt… or Tribbett, the guy who had a terribly rough game?! I don’t know. I think it’s indicative of Curtin and his managing as a whole.
    I promised I wouldn’t rage about the loss, but that sub just killed me. If we are going to upgrade positions – which we must – the manager must be considered as well.

    • Probably thought Toronto would be playing a lot of aerial clearances forward to Mutt and Jeff, and that Rosenberry would be physically over matched against Altidore.

  9. Edu has one more year on his contract I thought, if so that’s not $ being freed up. In his 90 minutes of playing time Davies touched the ball like once. That’s because the only way Curtin knows to coach is to hoof the ball up the field to Sapong. That’s also the reason Sapong had to start even when slumping. Marquez a good CB, by far the best we have. He relied on the long ball because he lost Nogueira. I’d try to bypass the d-mid if the d-mid was Creavalle too. With financial limitations this roster is not getting that much better – definitely not so much better as to legitimately challenge Toronto or other top 4 Eastern Conference teams. So get a new coach who can inject something different energy wise and tactics wise. And get some attacking speed.

    • IMHO Yaro, when healthy, has the potential to be better than Marquez, although they complement each other well.

    • Marquez is not a good passer under pressure. I think the financial limitation is very over stated too. The salary cap makes that a much smaller factor.

      • The salary cap is not a hard cap. You can get 3 DP’s and pay them as much as your owner wants. See Michael Bradley, Giovinco, and Altidore. The Union are too poor to compete with NYCFC or Toronto. Now, we could compete with NYRB, but seems like Curtin not as good a coach as his annoying counterpart. He’s had as much (actually more) time to make a difference and hasn’t…

      • Yes I know the DP rule, but I think that works on the margins for most players. Giovinco being an exception. Is bradley really that much better than Nogs or Barnetta was? And it looks like we are willing to spend. Also, NY has the time advantage on us to get everything rolling. I think that’s an unfair comparison, especially since BWP is probably the most efficient player in the league in terms of salary.

  10. Just remember something about getting a new coach. He must be a teacher, for this is a team that must go with youth. Sigi is old school ,non teacher type like Alardyce. You can see how poorly he coached once Seattle had personell problems. He is just a more petrified version of Curtin. Finding a appropriate coach will be really tough. Enthusiasm on the sideline is a plus with young players.

    • Holland. Second or third division. Speaks english fluently. FIND HIM….
      ( a style of play that is NOT Philadelphia because I don’t want BLUE COLLAR in my game of aesthetic enjoyment- that is not up to an MLS 1 Center back with almost zero coaching pedigree.)
      … who can marry with the Plan and Vision of a Sporting Director who CLEARLY knows how to operate within a budget and vet youth players…
      This IS a no brainer. Course many seem to think I am rash. Course I’ve seen it for over two years now the writing on the wall…and you know- the same old same old.
      WINLESS since AUGUST 27th. Epic slide of epic MLS proportion.

      • RSL was winless since August 26 (and they only lasted 3 hours longer than the Union). They had one more draw in that time over the same number of games but also had one more home game than the Union.

      • “a style of play that is NOT Philadelphia because I don’t want BLUE COLLAR in my game”

        THANK YOU! I do not want this one bit. I am tired of the “Blue Collar” culture that gets thrown around. I would much rather have pretty than gritty. I want more fluid ball movement up the middle to build attack rather than hoofing and praying directness or early crosses in the box to no one.

      • Philly isn’t even really blue collar any more…

  11. OK so I don’t think the discussion about Curtin needs to be had. Based on comments from the SD he likes Curtin so I think that it is pointless saying we want him gone etc. He will be here for the near foreseeable future. I think he is a better developmental coach than MLS manager, but things aren’t going to change. That aside there are a lot of holes on this team.
    GK: were okay if Blake stays otherwise we need a viable starter (oh and could Oka Nikolov teach the keeper how to distribute the ball cause they are flat out awful at it.)
    CB: The problem here is the lack of a veteran presence and the problem that they never learn how to distribute out the back. (I think 2 things could solve this, get a veteran CB and get a CDM who can check to the ball and distribute in one two touch fashion.)
    LB: we need a new one Fabi (will be 32) is old and I worry about his legs
    RB: we will continue to see rookie mistakes hence the RCB should be the veteran presence. I think at this point we trade Gaddis as I think he has no value being on the bench.
    CDM: If Carroll retires we better go purchase someone. (Personally I want someone from the Bundesliga in this position as I think the style could fit the team and the physicality of the league seems to be similar to a degree. There are a lot of good possibilities out there.) Creavalle should be emptied. Let Edu go. Just re shape the defensive midfielder role.
    LM/RM: resign Pontius for LM. Play Bedoya on the right. Backup winger Sapong, Alberg, Ayuk, Herbers. Let Ilsinho go.
    CAM: Need one if keep this formation.
    ST: Need to buy someone cause we don’t have anyone on the roster that is a striker who can play 70+ minutes. And since Curtin can’t sub this will not work. Keep Davies if he can get fitness to go 45 minutes consistently.

    Other players: Release Fernandes Restrepo Missimo.
    Send Washington, McCarthy, Trusty to Steel on permanent loan for next season.

    • Doc – don’t forget that many coaches have been fired soon after receiving a public vote of confidence from their superiors.

      • Okay I guess that is true, but I get the feeling it wasn’t BS from ES so I think the only thing to talk about then is how to improve what we have and where to go with things. I mean I would like a manager change and a formation change, but I don’t see it happening.

    • Add a #8 to that list too as we don’t have one if Bedoya is playing on the right barring a formation change. Also, I wouldn’t mind Creavalle back as the third in line for our CDM positions. He’s good depth that was needed more than planned this season.

      • A. No No No to the Creavalle coming back. Yes in CDM I was including the 8 and 6 cause we need both. Creavalle just is all over the place and can’t distribute I do not want to see him back even as depth. Lets work to get depth that at least plays in the style the team wants to play. He is just all over the field and has no organization.

      • I don’t disagree but as the backup to the backup for both the 6 and 8 you won’t find much better in this league.

  12. Starting line-up next year: Blake-Fabinho-Marquez-CB-Rosenberry-DMD-Bedoya-CAM-LW-Sapong-Herbers. Assuming we re-sign Pontius for LW then we need, at least, three new starters CB, DMD, and CAM. Plus I’d like to upgrade LB and ST. Also, this is assuming that Blake stays. If he goes then need a new GK too. Could be looking at having to replace/upgrade: GK, LB, CB, DMD, CAM, LW and ST all in one off-season. Time for Stewart and Albright to get busy!

  13. Trust The Process CLAP CLAP CLAP-CLAP-CLAP.

  14. The Little Fish says:

    The thing I noticed during our painful EPIC SLIDE is that Rosenberry and Fabinho stopped bombing up the sidelines. Earlier in the season when we were winning Fabi and Keegan would haul ass up field creating opportunities and we actually scored goals. I remember complaining that Fabinho was our offensive fulcrum! Then, for whatever reason both guys mostly stayed home down the stretch and it made us appear very “toothless” on offense. Did anyone else notice this?

    • Yes, the whole counterpress lost intensity as the season wore on. Maybe other teams scouted it better, maybe our fitness advantage decreased over time, maybe it was something else.

  15. Sorry, here comes a vent…Ken Tribett does not have the speed or instincts to be anywhere near a starting lineup. I know Yaro was hurt, and the year is over, but looking toward next year, I want no parts of KTribs. Hopefully he spends time down at BSFC and Trusty or a solid veteran replaces him. He may turn out to be a capable backup someday, but right now he is simply a cringe-worthy liability.
    Roenberry clearly hit the rookie wall. the future is bright with him, but maybe a little rest would have done him well.
    Bedoya…meh. He’s no Nogs. Different player surely, but a Nogs like midfield pendulum is what we need. Bedoya seems more like a winger to me.
    CJ is limited in what he can do. He played better last night than recently, but it ain’t enough.
    Fabinho – It might be time for a replacement. Flashes of a game changer, flashes of a left back who makes too many mistakes.
    Curtin’s lineups…he is far too set with his lineup and formation. Too predictable, too set on his guys. Wished he could have harnessed the goal scoring prowess of Alberg more. With a second striker more capable than CJ, there is possibility there.
    Where does that leave us? Marquez and Blake were steady, with Blake providing moments of brilliance. Herbers shows potential, but is still a young guy learning his craft. Barnetta gone. We need some serious reinforcements. Maybe give Curtin one more year, but maybe not.

  16. Let’s be honest. Barnetta and Nogs were our best players and have left. This roster needs a comprehensive revamping. What better time to bring in a new coach without silly allegiances to nonproductive players? A coach who can encourage AND teach young players. A coach with some fire in his belly. If I have to watch Curtin sit on the sidelines and mope and make predictable subs and no tactical adjustments for another season I might just not be able to watch this team anymore…

  17. Lucky Striker says:

    Whether by decree, ordination from above him or financial resignation Earnie Stewart hitched his wagon to the dear leader last night…..

    In so doing, he has put the onus squarely upon himself. Which is fine…..but now he has obligated himself to finding quality-domestic and abroad that :

    *possesses the skill, speed and STAMINA needed to thrive in a sauna.

    * comes complete with a personality and work ethic that will prove anathema to dog houses…….

    * fills out a legit MLS 2-deep, such that those who would command have not an excuse left to hide behind when it comes to starter homicide.

    If he fails in that quest, he has put the onus squarely on himself. He gave his Mgr. the equivalent of a playing bye week….and anybody who thinks these sideliners will ever have the chops to do more than roll a ball out and hope their talent brings home the results………………

  18. Look up a guy named Ron Sullivan on something called something like Corner Pub Soccer on October 10th about Andre Blake. the author and the date I am sure of from memeory, the website name is less certain. Sullivan cites Kevin Kinkead, who seems to have sources within the Union organization. You will not like what you read. The article asserts without documentary citation that Blake’s contract is up at the end of this season (2016).

    • Ron Sullivan plagiarizes. He copied elements of my column, word for word, from last week. We didn’t publicize it here, but a PSP reader pointed it out, we informed Sullivan, he never responded, and he took the page down 2 days later.

      Don’t read anything from Sullivan, because it’s likely something someone else wrote first and then Sullivan copied.

      • Yes, I’ve blocked the Corner Pub account and stop following the site immediately after reading the Psp comment

  19. Old Soccer Coach says:

    I have been very Shrill about not rushing the young recently.
    I have wondered why. Finally an answer has begun to poke through into my consciousness. It is an example from a game that very few of you would have seen, I suspect.
    Recall with me that Earnie Stewart pulled a surprise for the road trip the Union took to Orlando and then directly from there to Colorado. He took every player on the Union’s roster with the first team on the trip.
    That meant that the Bethlehem Steel travelled to Rochester to play the defending champion Rhinos and their 21 game home undefeated streak without any Union Loanees, and the at the time the Steel’s USL roster totaled 14.
    The organization detailed Matt Real to start at left back, the spot normally occupied (28 starts in 30 games)by Taylor Washington. As I write this Matt Real is still 17 years old, he played “up” with the USMNT U-18s this season.
    For the first 72 minutes of the Rochester game Real was a credible left back for the Union. He was not “tearing up,” but neither was he being “torn up” himself. it was a fair test and he was learning from it, experiencing decent success.
    And then Rochester Coach Bob Lilley directly attacked the slight 17 year-old. He substituted veteran midfielder Asani Samuels onto the pitch into the position Real was guarding, and it was apparent from the first touch that Real was over-matched and out-classed. No longer was the kid going to challenged in a way that would allow him to learn and grow, he was going to be torched.
    Coach Burke was forced to take Real off the pitch which he did after giving the boy ten minutes to try to adapt. When it ws clear that the youngster could not, Burke sent on Nick Bibbs in the 82nd minute.
    I am old enough to remember the draft and the legends about the DIs, the Drill Instructors of boot camp. I never experienced boot camp myself, but a college buddy did and told me about it. Boot lasted 10 weeks in those days so the “graduation book’s” pictures had to be taken day one. My buddy was a very smart nerd and explained the phenomenon to me, because his picture was awful. He himself characterized it as a portrait of a terrified animal. That’s the reputation DIs had.
    Of course my buddy survived, they broke him down and then rebuilt his confidence, and the key to that was that behind the terrifying bluster and verbal abuse, the physical stresses and challenges had to in fact be achievable.
    You find the same principle in any Education department’s Educational Psychology textbooks, a healthy sense of apprehension produces learning and confidence. Abject fear blocks all learning. The art of the profession is to know the students well enough to find the growth-creating balance between the two.
    Please allow that for our young on the Union. Please.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      As usual well represented point of view for the discourse.
      My position clear. Your position clear. Respect.
      Either way I will think on it longer.

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