Daily news roundups

Union bits, Academy results, Conference semifinals results, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead has analysis and player ratings from the loss to Toronto.

At Brotherly Game, a roundtable discussion on what is the Union’s biggest need.

An editorial piece at Brotherly Game from Eugene Rupinski backs Jim Curtin to remain as head coach.

Also at Brotherly Game, Matt Ralph notes that, barring a trade, the Union will not have a first round pick in the 2017 SuperDraft and then lists some players the Union might consider.

Section 215 says the Union should consider Tim Ream as a transfer target.

Bethlehem Steel 

Appearing on the Cincinnati Soccer Talk podcast, USL president Jake Edwards said the league will move from allowing five substitutions in a game to the international standard of three. An article at USLsoccer.com notes, “The USL’s five-substitution rule had been a carryover from the league’s history when, due to scheduling and travel, teams could play two games in three nights, or even on back-to-back days. With the expansion of the league schedule and the length of the regular season, which will see teams play 32 games over a 30-week regular season next year, the league’s management decided the time had come to change the rule.” One would think the application to receive Division II status from US Soccer is likely a factor, as well.

Speaking of Division II status, Pro Soccer Talk talks to Edwards about that and other topics including league expansion and pro/rel.

I believe I missed this when it first appeared, but at the Bethlehem Steel FC website there’s a Q&A with head coach Brendan Burke that covers a variety of topics.

Philadelphia Union Academy

The Union U-12s had two games against Cedar Stars Academy – Monmouth on Saturday at YSC, winning the first game 61 (Ian Abbey, 2′; Conrad Brady, 8′, 26′; Nelson Pierre, 12′; Jason Barragan, 39′; Julian Pittaoulis, 42′), and then winning the second game 70 (Anthony Derk, 6′, 17′, 60′; Timothy Madden, 20′ 38′, 46′; Luke Martelli, 51′).

The U-13s and U-14s were in North Carolina over the weekend for a USSDA regional showcase. The U-13s began with two games on Friday, losing the first game 21 to Atlanta United,  with Christopher Hackley equalizing in the 28th minute after the Union went down 1-0 in the 23rd minute before the team conceded the game winner in the 47th minute. In the second Friday game, Asher Laackman leveled the scoreline in the 10th minute after the Union went down 1-0 to Weston FC in the 3rd minute before Arnel Miscic scored the deciding goal for the 21 win in the 38th minute. In the final showcase game on Saturday, Jackson Debusschere gave the Union a 1-0 lead in the 7th minute but New England Revolution equalized in the 58th minute and the game finished at 11.

The U-14s began play in the showcase on Saturday with a game against Atlanta United. Aboubacar Camara had a brace before the end of ten minutes of play with goals in the 6th and 8th minutes, before Julian Anderson added a goal in the 19th minute, and Paxten Aaronson scored another in the 25th minute. Atlanta halved the scoreline with goals in the 28th and 37th minutes but the Union held on for the 42 win. The U-14s finished play on Saturday against Capital Area Railhawks – CASL, losing 20. On Sunday, the U-14s held a 2-0 lead over Orlando City after goals from Lukas Burns (19′) and Tianshuo Yang (34′). Goals from Orlando in the 59th and 63rd minutes saw the scoreline level before Jack de Vries scored the gamewinner for the the Union in the 68th minute for the 32 victory.

The Union U-15/16s and U-17/18s were on the road themselves this weekend, facing their counterparts from Richmond United in Virginia. A brace from Axel Picazo (25′, 49′) led the way for the U-15/16s with Jason Aoyama adding the insurance goal in the 82nd minute for the 31 win, Richmond’s tally coming in the 56th minute. The U-15/16s (14 points, 4-1-2) are now third in the Atlantic Division. 

The U-17/18s were 10 winners thanks to a goal from Kalil ElMedkhar in the 9th minute. The team is now second in the Atlantic Division (16 points, 5-1-1).

Next Saturday, the U-12s, U-13s, and U-14s host Lehigh Valley United at YSC in Wayne, while the U-15/16s and U-17/18s host Bethesda at the Power Training Complex in Chester.


City Islanders have announced a two-day open tryout series that will take place at the In the Net Sports Complex in Palmyra, Nov. 22-23. For registration information, click here.

In games involving Philly Soccer Six teams over the weekend, Jorge Gomez Sanchez scored in overtime to give Temple (10-5-2, 2-2-2) a 1-0 win over UCF in its final home game of the season. Temple was undefeated at the new Temple Sports Complex with a 8-0-2 record. Temple is on the road to face USF in the final game of the regular season on Saturday.

La Salle (9-7-0, 4-3-0) was the 32 come-from-behind winner at Saint Joseph’s (6-10-1, 3-5-0) on Saturday after conceding twice in the first 11 minutes of the game before scoring the winner in the 87th minute, clinching a spot in the A-10 tournament.

Freshman Dami Omitaomu scored twice in overtime to give Penn (5-5-5, 3-2-0) a 2-1 win over Brown at Rhodes Field on Saturday.

Villanova (9-6-2, 4-3-1) was defeated 3-2 on the road by Georgetown but still has qualified for the Big East tournament. Villanova hosts Seton Hall on Thursday in the final game of the regular season.

Drexel (1-11-2, 0-6-0) fell 2-0 on the road to James Madison.

La Salle defeated defending champion Roman Catholic 2-1 on Saturday to claim the Philadelphia Catholic League boys soccer championship.

Archbishop Wood defeated Lansdale Catholic 2-1 in overtime to claim the Philadelphia Catholic League girls soccer championship.


Home advantage in the playoffs was evident on Sunday. In the first leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Montreal defeated NYRB 1-0 — their first loss since July 3 — Matteo Mancosu scoring the 61st minute winner, while Toronto defeated NYCFC 2-0 in a chippy match, Jozy Altidore scoring in the 84th minute before Tosaint Ricketts added another in the 92nd. In the Western Conference, Giovani dos Santos scored in the 55th minute for the Galaxy for a 1-0 win over Colorado, while Seattle spanked Dallas 3-0 with a goal from Nelson Valdez (50′) and a brace from Nicolas Lodeiro (55′, 58′).

Here’s the schedule for the second leg games on Sunday, Nov. 6:

2 pm: Colorado vs. LA Galaxy (ESPN)
4 pm: NYRB vs. Montreal (ESPN)
6:30 pm: NYCFC vs Toronto (FS1)
9:30 pm: Dallas vs Seattle (FS1)

The first leg of the Western Conference championship series will be played after the upcoming international break on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 8 pm (FS1), with the Eastern Conference championship series kicking off on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 8 pm (ESPN).

David Villa says he likes the MLS playoff format: “I like this format. Europe can copy this format. Sometimes in Europe, in some leagues like the Spanish league or the Italian league, the last 10 games are very boring for winning the trophy because there’s only two teams.”

An opinion piece at the Washington Post from Simon Evans says the way to improve the MLS playoffs is to make them “more American”:

The problem with MLS playoffs is there aren’t really any series.

Two-legged contests decided on aggregate goals, a system imported from European club competitions, aren’t in really sense a series and there is something dissatisfying about a contest being decided on away goals…

Soccer is not the NFL, where every additional game carries a massive physical toll, but nor is it baseball, where you can play nearly every day. A best-of-seven or best-of-five series for soccer seems excessive, but two-legged games aren’t really a series. The answer, then, best-of-three series played throughout a classic two-conference, eight-team bracket.

Official: Wilmer Cabrera is the new head coach of Houston Dynamo.

At Los Angeles Times, Kevin Baxter notes questions about the attendance figures released by the league, noting the numbers, “like the NBA, NHL and even the English Premier League,” are based on “the number of tickets distributed, a practice that has become an industry standard,” rather than the number of tickets sold, as is the case with Major League Baseball: “[N]one of the top North American leagues use an old-school turnstile count, meaning none of the attendance figures they release reflect the number of people who actually attend the events.” Tickets distributed does not equal tickets sold, and Baxter notes a decade-old report from the San Diego Union-Tribune that said as many as 30 percent of tickets were given away for free. However, “Howard Handler, the league’s chief marketing officer, said the number of comp tickets distributed has declined by an average of 20% over the last two years. It now accounts for about 9% of announced attendance, he said.” Nevertheless, Baxter writes, “While the use of complimentary tickets may swell attendance, leading to increased media attention and local sponsorship dollars on the club level, it hurts financially at the MLS level because about a third of local ticket revenue is shared by the other 19 teams.”

Columbus Crew investor-operator Anthony Precourt talks to Columbus Dispatch about why he is sounding out interest in building a new stadium for his team: “We need to keep up with the Joneses. The high-water mark is getting stronger and as a club we’r e going to need to think about how we can be relevant and sustainable and a great entertainment option for our fans in Columbus.”

USL side FC Cincinnati will host Don Garber for a town hall style meeting on Nov. 29 as part of the team’s efforts to join MLS.

The Telegraph rounds up developments in David Beckham’s efforts to build a MLS stadium in Miami.

NextSTL has the latest on stadium developments in St. Louis.

Ottawa Citizen reports Ottawa Fury “lost an estimated $2 million this season” in the NASL, something team president John Pugh acknowledges “was part of the reason” for the team’s move to the USL.


ESPN reports, “Mexico’s Football Federation president Decio de Maria has reaffirmed his country’s desire to bid for the 2026 World Cup, whether with another country or alone.”


On Friday, FIFA suspended the Guatemalan soccer federation “with immediate effect.” Reuters reports the suspension stems from “a fight over the powers given to an oversight committee appointed by the international soccer governing body to look into allegations of corruption.”

FIFA has an update on work underway to implement the use of video assistant referees.

The AP reports, “Tax officials in Argentina say the Argentine Football Association and about 10 clubs owe $9 million in unpaid taxes.”

This: “Gareth Bale will earn £150m over the next six years in salaries and bonuses after signing a contract extension with Real Madrid until 2022 that will make him the best-paid player in the world.”


  1. So what is the offseason schedule.
    When will the expansion draft happen?
    The Union release players? Ect.

  2. Haverford College won the D3 Centennial Conference and will host the Conference playoffs next weekend. F&M, John Hopkins, and Washington College or Dickinson will all be playing locally. http://www.haverfordathletics.com/sports/msoc/2016-17/releases/20161029xabjga

  3. The Realist Brian says:

    I can’t wait for the next round of players the Union can’t sign from college this year and get screwed over by the league. Like Colton Storm or the Maloney kid up at PSU. Meanwhile, Atlanta has signed 2 U17 STUDS (Carleton and Goslin) because they basically absorbed GA United. How the heck does this happen, when the stipulation is a year of training in an active Academy? And then the Union get screwed because they followed the rule.
    Oh, by the way for another bullshit MLS moment coming soon is the expansion draft. Wait and see how LA Galaxy goes another expansion draft without losing a single player. I am calling it here first. Like the league wants LA to be good. We will lose a player guaranteed and Bruce Arena will keep his squad intact. Leggett would be tops of my list of he isn’t protected. They have too many good players that they cannot protect.

    • I know the expansion draft rules were printed here a month or two ago but ideally what would happen is each team would get to draft 10 players and no team would lose more than one. Then each team loses exactly one player and no one is crying foul.

      • Ideally, there’d be no expansion draft. What’s the justification for it now that there’s free agency, you’ve got huge investment groups behind some of these teams and an international market for players? These teams have had years to prepare. I don’t see why it makes any sense in 2016 to let them have cherry pick from many other teams that often don’t have a whole lot of depth on their rosters.

      • You really don’t have free agency. The restrictions on eligibility were so rigid it was like 5-10% of the player pool. Tough to build a team that way.
        Also, I’m sure the MLSPA is doing handsprings for an expansion draft. Member who would normally get dropped get another season in the “bigs”.

      • Expansion drafts are pretty standard, honestly. The NHL is doing one for the new Las Vegas team, for example.

    • And yet no body shows up at The Stub Hub for a playoff game. Its ALL so marvelous.

      • I don’t remember those stands looking that empty when the Galaxy went on their last playoff run in 2014. Maybe my memory is not so hot. Stadium looked a little better than 60% full at best.

    • Storm’s really good, but no class. Saw him pull a real cowardly stunt a few years back……..then ran to his car for dear life!

  4. Drexel gaffer needs to go! Recruits from all over the freakin world and this is the result? We were better when we were half local/ half international………the only place you can go 1-11-2 and 0-6 in conference and keep your job is St. Joes!

  5. OneManWolfpack says:

    The Mexico World Cup bidding thing is interesting. Does the US just go with them to guarantee some games are here? Or directly challenge them and try to take it all for themselves? I think we have to just go all in and go for it. FIFA would be brain dead not to give it to the US completely, but it’s FIFA, and it’s a joke… SO…
    Either way, just real interesting to see how this will shake out.
    Also, the LA and expansion draft talk above is spot on. MLS will do something to help them out for sure. Can’t wait to see how it’s justified.

    • If Infantino wants to go to 40 or 48 – which is idiotic but, ya know, FIFA – then it’s certainly feasible to go 24 in US & 24 in Mexico, or a 32/16 split then have 2 quarters and a semi in both countries and the final in either Azteca or the new LA Football stadium. I want the World Cup here, but I can see a lot of benefits with sharing it. Either way I think it HAS to come here, and then Australia in 2030.

      • I’m no longer as psyched as I once was for the World Cup to come back here after seeing the tickets prices for the Copa America.

      • Dude, in ’94 I remember I paid 100 flat for Italy/Ireland at Giants and pretty much the same for the Bulgaria/Germany Quarterfinal….both were awesome, and worth every penny! Add 20 years worth of inflation…….probably pretty steep!

  6. John P O'Donnell says:

    This year’s expansion draft is very watered down. Each team can only pick five players each and no team can lose more than one player.

  7. Simon Evans is completely wrong. Soccer does carry a massive toll on the body……..not NFL, which is inhuman……but a heavy toll none the less. If you play another match within 48 hours……..your chances of injury jump to 60%. Aggregate goals makes clubs play to win away……..the away goal rule is awesome. Not everything needs to be “Americanized”, which is soooo insecure and lame. Another sports journo who hasn’t a clue what they are talking about when it comes to footy. It’s like these round tables with three hipster dbags who never played the game…………it hurts the game here more than it helps……..

  8. Blake no longer on GA. Will have to be protected in the expansion draft now and it makes a sale this offseason more likely.

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