Daily news roundups

Union links, Philly Unity Cup final at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, more news

Photo: Daniel Studio

Philadelphia Union

CJ Sapong’s take on the 2016 season:

First and foremost I wouldn’t deem it a successful season. I would call it an accomplished season. If we looked back to the first day we got here we would see a lot of improvements and I don’t think that should go unnoticed. The way we ended the season damped the way we are viewing the season right now and as time goes by we will realize that we really accomplished a lot…

For me, I wish I was more productive, as a team I think we wish we were more productive towards the end of the season. It’s something that will be on our minds next season and now we know what it takes to play in a playoff game… I think the philosophy is really ingrained in us now, and next year is an opportunity for us to grow exponentially – so we’re all looking forward to it.

At Union Tally, Matthew De George talks to Brian Carroll about his plans going forward. The 35-year-old Carroll, who De George notes “Rather quietly…assembled an extremely strong season” in 2016, says,

I still think that there’s more…Obviously (I’m) getting up in age and it’s going to be a year-to-year thing at this point. I think I proved to myself that there’s a little bit more left in the tank, and I’d like to have a strong offseason and I’d like to contribute similarly next year. I didn’t know how much I’d be able to be called upon this year, but I think when I was called upon, I handled my end of the bargain and maybe exceeded my own expectations. I’m willing to put in the work, continue doing this next year and see how next year goes and make a choice after that…Right now, I’m still enjoying playing and still enjoying my role here, so I’ll do that as long as I’m enjoying it. And then when I don’t, it’s time to move on to the different part of the game.

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead reads between the lines for some analysis of Wednesday’s press conference with Earnie Stewart and Jim Curtin.

At ASN, Brian Sciaretta includes Alejandro Bedoya among a list of players under the heading of “concerns” in a post on who will be called up for the USA-Mexico game: “After joining the Philadelphia Union over the summer, Alejandro Bedoya’s stock has dropped. The club’s decline was not Bedoya’s fault—better to blame the lack of a defensive midfielder, a young backline, and a struggling forward. But the former Nantes stalwart Bedoya has not been able to play his game and is not in great form heading into next week.”

Speaking of Bedoya, apparently he often debates his US teammate Geoff Cameron about the Stoke player’s support of Donald Trump. USA Today reports, “Cameron frequently squares off with midfielder Alejandro Bedoya, one of his closest friends on the U.S. squad. They rant at each other on Facetime over the merits or otherwise of the candidates and their platforms. Sometimes one or the other will hang up in frustration, Cameron says, yet their friendship has been unaffected.” Cameron’s father says of his son, “I try to discourage him from talking politics on the national team. There are only one or two who come from a Republican point of view.” Stoke manager Mark Hughes says Cameron has not yet recovered from a knee injury and is unlikely to join the US team for next Friday’s World Cup qualifier in Columbus against Mexico.

At the Union website, Matt Bodiford quotes Maurice Edu in a review of Tranquillo Barnetta’s time with the team:

I’m going to really miss Quillo. It’s a credit to this club to have had such a talented player who’s accomplished so much in their career. We all know the player his is, but he’s an even better person and a big part of this locker-room. A very humble and generous guy, the kind of person and pro every young player should strive to be like. For me, a name that has to go down in the club’s Hall of Fame.

One hundred percent agreed.

Ilsinho’s nutmeg in Chicago makes a highlight reel at MLSsoccer.com of the best nutmegs from each team in 2016. It’s followed up with Fabinho being nutmegged by someone from Columbus.

Richie Marquez is one of the players mentioned in a post at USLsoccer.com noting Don Garber’s remarks about the importance of the USL to the development of MLS players.

At the Union website, Marisa Pilla has background info on the Union Foundation’s Cocktails and Cleats charity event, which takes place this year on Nov. 10.

Philadelphia Union Academy

On Saturday, the Union Academy U-12s (12:30 pm, 2 pm), U-13s (12 pm), and U-14s (10 am) host Lehigh Valley United at YSC in Wayne, while the U-15/16s (2 pm) and U-17/18s (12 pm) host Bethesda at the Power Training Complex in Chester.

The YSC Academy will be holding a panel discussion on the philosophy of the school on Tuesday, Nov. 15 that will include Head of School Nooha Ahmed-Lee, Union Academy director Tommy Wilson, Union Investor/YSC Academy Founder Richie Graham, as well as  Earnie Stewart, Jim Curtin. Following the panel discussion will be a watch party for the USMNT World Cup qualifier in Costa Rica. For more information and to register for the event, click here.

Speaking of the US national team, a match report with lineup information for the US U-17’s 3-0 win over Jamaica in a friendly on Wednesday is now up at US Soccer. The Union Academy’s Rayshaun McGann entered the game in the 74th minute but his Academy teammate Chad Letts, who is with the Jamaica team, did not play. Former Union Academy goalkeeper Carlos Joaquin Dos Santos, now with the Benfica Academy, also did not play. Millville, Pa.’s Tonny Temple, who plays for IMG Academy, scored the final goal of the game. The teams play again on Sunday.


The Philadelphia International Unity Cup Championship final between teams representing Liberia and Ivory Coast will take place on Saturday at Citizens Bank Park at 6 pm. Here’s the schedule for the day’s festivities:

12pm Parking lots M and N open; the Gateway of Nations festival begins (festival ends at 5:30pm)
3:45pm Citizens Bank Park First Base Gate opens to the public
4:15pm Youth soccer game
5pm Parade of Nations
6pm Championship game

Entrance to the day’s events is free.

At the Philadelphia Unity Cup tournament website, a Q&A with the head coaches of the Liberia and Ivory Coast teams.

City Islanders have loaned forward James Thomas to the Baltimore Blast for the 2016 indoor season: “He will play his first match alongside his 2016 teammate, Josh Hughes, and against teammates Nick Noble and Youssef Naciri (Harrisburg Heat) this Saturday, November 5 at the Harrisburg Farm Complex.”

La Salle hosts UMass on Saturday at 1 pm. Villanova hosts DePaul on Saturday at 1:05 pm. Temple is on the road to Tampa on Saturday to play USF to play their final game of the regular season. They must win the game to keep their hopes of making the American Athletic Conference championship tournament. Pen is away to Princeton on Saturday. Saint Joseph’s has the weekend off after a 3-1 road loss to Yale on Wednesday. Drexel’s season ended on Tuesday with a 1-0 road loss to College of Charleston.


The second leg games of the Eastern and Western Conference semifinals take place on Sunday and all of the home teams have goal deficits to make up. Colorado, who lost the first game 1-0, host the Galaxy at 2 pm (ESPN, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN). NYRB, who also lost the first game 1-0, host Montreal at 4 pm (ESPN, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN). At 6:30pm, NYCFC, who lost the first game 2-0, host Toronto (FS1, Fox Soccer 2Go, Fox Sports Go, Fox Deportes). Dallas, who lost the first game 3-0, host Seattle at 9 pm (FS1, Fox Soccer 2Go, Fox Sports Go, Fox Deportes). The series winners advance to the conference championship games (click here for charts visualizing different scenarios for each team advancing to the conference championship series.), with the first leg of Western Conference final series being played on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 8 pm (FS1, Fox Soccer 2Go, Fox Sports Go, Fox Deportes), and the first leg of the Eastern Conference final taking place on Tuesday, Nov. 22, also at 8 pm (ESPN, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN).

ESPN writers predict the winners of the conference semifinal series and also has “the keys that will decide who wins MLS conference semifinals.”

Chicago goalkeeper Matt Lampson has been named MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year. You will recall that Taylor Washington, whose option was declined, was the nominee from the Union for the award.

ESPN reports, “United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann hopes Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger decides to move to Major League Soccer, saying: ‘It would be a great thing.'”

Salt Lake GM Craig Waibel had some player signing news in a press conference on Thursday: “We have re-signed Jordan Allen. We’ve re-signed Luke Mulholland for multiple years. We are currently working with Justen Glad’s representation. Aaron Maund is out of contract, but his agent and I have been in very healthy talks.”

In other RSL player news, 36-year-old midfielder Javier Morales announced on Twitter on Thursday, “After ten years it is time to leave a place which has felt like my home.” RSL spokesperson Trey Fitz-Gerald tells the Salt Lake Tribune, “RSL is not closing any doors, but the choices and decisions to be made reside in Javier’s court.” The Tribune report notes, “In his farewell, Morales did not mention retirement, which could lend a hint that he’s simply choosing to move on.”

Montreal midfielder Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé leaves today for France for a trial with Stade Rennes.

The installation of seats at Orlando’s new stadium has begun.

The Los Angeles Times has an update on the start of construction of LAFC’s new stadium, which is scheduled to open in 16 months.


On Thursday, Mexico announced its roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against the US (Nov. 11) and Panama (Nov. 15). SI, ESPN, and Fox Soccer breakdown the Mexico roster.

Reigning FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Carli Lloyd is a finalist for this year’s Best FIFA Women’s Player 2016 award.

From the AP: “Harvard University suspended its men’s soccer team for the remainder of the season because of sexual comments made about members of the women’s soccer team…A 2012 document uncovered last month by The Harvard Crimson student newspaper rated the attractiveness of recruits on the women’s team and included lewd comments about them. Members of the men’s team called it their “scouting report” and circulated it online.” Click here for the original Harvard Crimson report and here for their report on the suspension.


Check out the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of live soccer on TV, online, and on satellite radio for the upcoming week.

Reuters reports, “A clean-up of soccer’s murky transfer system and an end to the ‘hoarding’ that makes it possible for a top club to have dozens of players out on loan are among the items on Gianni Infantino’s to-do list, the FIFA president told Reuters in an interview.”

The Press Association reports, “FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Football Association of Ireland over an Easter Rising symbol on the team’s shirts in a March friendly.”

The BBC reports, “Iran have been fined by FIFA after fans were asked to sing religious chants and wear black at a World Cup qualifier played on a holy day in the country.”

The AFP reports, “The Greek government Thursday gave legal backing to world governing body FIFA to run the daily affairs of the country’s crisis-hit soccer federation (EPO).”

Reuters reports, “FIFA has denied a claim by the Bolivian football federation (FBF) that it has returned four World Cup qualifying points which were docked on Tuesday as punishment for fielding an ineligible player.”

The Guardian reports on the death Gambia women’s national team goalkeeper Fatim Jawara, who drowned last week while trying to reach Italy from Libya when the boat she was on sank in a storm. More on the sad story at the Washington Post.


  1. What kind of entitled idiots are they letting into the Ivy League schools these days? Glad that Harvard cancelled the men’s soccer season, but saddened that those buffoons are still going to be running my country one day.

  2. Who has a better chance of ending up in MLS, I wonder: Bastian Schweinsteiger or Jose Mourinho….?

    • Mourinho is a classic example on why you should be nice to people on your way up as they will remember that when you are on your way down. Even though he won the league with Chelsea just two years ago, it seemed like his stint at Real Madrid really affected him as it was the first time that the players did not love playing for him.

      For a manager who was known as being tactically savvy, he certainly looks like he hasn’t adapted his approach in this new world of teams playing more of a pressing style. His fall has been dramatic and you do wonder what his next step will be after Manchester United.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Not either one. Would take way too much money. The clubs that spend that way are already up against the league’s limits.

  3. The minute the ‘scouting report’ went online the boys up there at Haaavad lost the plot.
    The digital age requires some common sense- everybody is watching all the time. To think this is the first time a bunch of boys or girls oogled a bunch of girls or boys thereby rating from highest to lowest is preposterous… course — then someone had the bright idea to make it public… NOOBS.
    Oh and yes Alejandro Bedoya’s form was pretty poor the last 4 weeks of season- there is that adjustment period so many have mentioned though- you know first touch being what it is an all, non-transferable apparently- maybe stuck in event horizon baggage claim somewhere with my dad’s set of old Ping Eye II that was strangely misplaced a bunch of years ago.

    • you cant hate on bedoya at all yet because Barnetta was equally as slow to adjust his first couple games here

    • Bedoya was playing with residual ribs/mid torso musculature issues. He was open about how that restricted certain things.
      He had to play, as there was no one else to go at the number eight who would have been credible, save Barnetta, and that wasn’t pretty earlier.

      • my grievance predates the injury…. I was riffing off the article.
        I stipulate to your point though. Noted.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Understood, el P.
        James’s point about Barnetta is well taken.
        And honestly, I was instinctively concluding that it showed how well Nogueira had recognized and produced exactly what the team needed.

  4. Centennial Championship weekend at Haverford College. On Saturday Haverford plays Washington College at 11, and F&M plays John Hopkins at 1:30. Championship game at 1 on Sunday. Many local soccer players are on those teams. A must-see for youth soccer players in High School who are thinking of playing D3 soccer.

  5. So all 4 MLS playoff games have the better-seeded team at home trying to make up a deficit. There’s gonna be some ugly-ass bunkerball on TV this weekend. Well, probably not *my* TV …

  6. Lucky Striker says:

    A moment of silence for one of the best players the modern American game has had occasion to witness on these shores.

    Vaya con Dios Javi. I’ll always have that game winner against Blake to remember you by. I seldom have cause to appreciate my own, but respect for the enemy and what they did on the field seems to come naturally……don’t know why…..

  7. Old Soccer Coach says:

    ‘Cause you enjoy the game for its own sake, not solely because it’s an outlet for local pride, etc. that’s a good thing.
    Ancient Athens and ancient Sparta were not friendly in the 5th century BCE after Athens comes to challenge the supremacy of the Spartiate phalanx on land with their fleets at sea (see Themistocles, silver mines at Sunium, and the 200 triremes at the Battle of Salamis). Nonetheless, Athens admired the excellence with which the Spartans carried out the logic of the rules of their system.
    Similarly, you appreciate quality for quality’s sake. Independence of judgment and vision uimpeded by the blinders of loyalty. Dare I say, pursuit of Truth?

  8. Keegan won the fair play award!
    5th time in 7 years the Union won either the individual or team award.

    • Congrats to Keegan. He deserves recognition. Yet I can’t help feeling like it’s an award I’d want to avoid. Feels like a “booby prize” for participation — the MLS equivalent of “Perfect Attendance.” In this instance, it’s clearly justification to pass him over for Rookie of the Year.

      • I’d agree with you if Keegan were running around not doing anything but given that he is in the top 20 in the league in tackles and interceptions, I like the fact that he’s not committing fouls in a dangerous area near the box (or in the box).

  9. I like CJ’s honest and nuanced comments about the season not really being a success. More intelligent and honest than Stewart’s and Curtin’s BS. My enthusiasm for next year is admittedly tempered by their press conference where they expect us to drink the Union cool aid. And tempered by the loss of Barnetta, doubts about the ability of Bedoya to replace him, and certainty that this club doesn’t have the resources to get a top quality striker. Maybe CJ should be a player-manager. He can’t do any worse than Curtin with subs, formations, or coaching set piece defense.

  10. Old Soccer Coach says:

    For what it’s worth, in a story on top drawer soccer from 1914, Rayshaun McGann may be a left center back.

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