Daily news roundups

Evaluating and awards talk, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead evaluates Jim Curtin’s 2016 season as head coach:

Curtin had a limited squad to work with in 2016, and he used a tactical setup that maximized the strengths of the roster while masking its weaknesses…That said, the predictability and lack of flexibility seem to be the two things that fans identify as the key frustrations with Curtin. We didn’t see many changes in personnel or tactics at all…Union fans are frustrated, and at some point, you need to start winning…The positives are there, and the future is bright, but next year a 13th-place finish and a positive spin on a bogus playoff appearance isn’t going to fly.

In the vote for the league’s end of year awards among the staff writers at MLSsoccer.com, Andre Blake gets the most votes for Goalkeeper of the Year. Everyone votes for Jordan Morris over Keegan Rosenberry for Rookie of the Year.

Keegan Rosenberry gets an honorable mention at Goal.com after the site names Morris its Rookie of the Year: “Though Morris had a stellar campaign, the Philadelphia Union right back is just as deserving of Rookie of the Year honors as his goal-scoring counterpart in Seattle.”

In case you missed it, Alejandro Bedoya did a Facebook chat from the USMNT camp on Monday with fans ahead of Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Mexico.

Philadelphia Union Academy

Union Academy forward Jack De Vries (Wayne, Pa.) has been called up for the US U-15 BNT camp in Bradenton, Fla., Nov. 5-12.

On the Union Academy’s use of SAP Sports One, “a sports-specific cloud software solution that has enabled ecosystem-wide communication for the Union.”


Italy head coach Giampiero Ventura says he did not call up Sebastian Giovinco because “he plays in a league that doesn’t count for much.”

Sacramento Bee reports, “Two of the Sacramento region’s largest labor organizations said Monday they oppose the plan to build a Major League Soccer stadium in the downtown railyard because Sacramento Republic FC has not committed to allowing stadium food-service workers to organize.” More at Sacramento Business Journal.


Pro Soccer Talk has three questions ahead of Friday’s USA-Mexico game in Columbus.

MLSsoccer.com on what to like, and not like, about the US roster. More on the US roster at ASN. In a section on causes for concern, Brian Sciaretta writes, “Bedoya never really made much of an impact with the Union in his first few months (although there was a lot wrong with that team).:

Soccer America says the pressure is all on Mexico.

Jordan Morris may be unavailable for Friday’s game after suffering a hamstring injury in Seattle’s playoff win on Sunday.

Is Jurgen Klinsmann “obsessed” with pace?

ESPN on Cameron Carter-Vickers.

Articles looking at the history of Dos a Cero at New York Times, ESPNSI, and MLSsoccer.com (nine games, oral history).

Pulisic AND Steffen!


Reuters reports, “Neymar, his parents and two of Barcelona’s executives should stand trial for alleged corruption, Spain’s high court said on Monday as it ended a fraud investigation into the Brazil forward’s transfer to the Catalan club.”

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge wants the FIFA international calendar to be cleaned up.

The AP reports, “The Albanian soccer federation says the venue for the country’s World Cup qualifying match against Israel has been changed for ‘security reasons’…The decision follows media reports Tuesday that an alleged terror group had planned an attack during the match.”

From the AFP: “A gunman killed at least 13 people watching a football match in a bar in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, at the weekend, police have said. The death toll had risen to 13 after some who were injured in the shooting during the game between Chelsea and Liverpool on Saturday night died of their wounds, a police spokesman, Kwacijwok Dominic Amondoc, said. Ten others were being treated in hospital…The gunman, who appeared drunk, according to reports, grew angry after being refused free entry to the bar where patrons had paid about ¢50 to watch the Premier League match on television.”

Pies and pints.


  1. nice summary of the young guns!

  2. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Has Kevin Kinkead forgotten that tactical inflexibility is a fundamental underlying principle, under the heading of interchangeable parts. It’ll work if the lineup is shot through with superior quality. That latter is not yet the case.

    • I replied to one of Kevin’s surveys on twitter. I think that even if you accept the constraint of tactical rigidity, it doesn’t excuse running CJ Sapong out to be the starter almost every game when you are desperate for goals and he isn’t providing them. There are certainly arguments that can be made that a slumping CJ was still better than other options, but by the end of the season, he wasn’t giving the team anything. I feel like Curtin needed to do better to solve that problem.

    • It’s sort of a two-edged sword. Yes, he needs more talent at his disposal in order to really tweak and adjust the formation and tactics, but when he constantly trots out the same underperforming lineup with the same result, or uses the same subs at the same time each game – just like his predecessor – then it makes me question whether he doesn’t have the talent, or doesn’t really know what to do. CJ is a great example. When something isn’t working, just try something else. If that fails too, you are no worse off than you were before, and you try and learn something from it.

  3. In regards to Giovinco and the Italian National Team, the manager might have a case if he scored like 4 goals or something, but he is clearly the best player in the league, and just scored a hat trick on the road in the playoffs against a team that was down 2-0 on aggregate. So, even if HE feels MLS is an inferior league, Giovinco is dominate in the league as you would expect a national team player to be. Disappointing for Gio.

    • With respect and I’m not singling your comment out– more the tenor on Espnfc and Twitter…
      …clearly the best player in “a league that doesn’t much matter” to be exact… this is the manager of a country that has won 4 World Cups and people from MLS (hurt pride) and media (fanboys mostly) and general populace (lacking any context) think these last two Italian team managers are missing something.
      Stultifying. Utterly stultifying.

      • I wouldn’t totally dismiss a bit of bias/snobbery on the part of Ventura. I think Giovinco shouldn’t be ruled out of national team play just because he’s playing in MLS. But I understand why Ventura would and should not rate MLS highly. It might be more to warn other players from coming to MLS. I’m sure the national team prefers it’s players stick to Europe where the competition is going to be much better.

        MLS really didn’t cover itself in much glory with that farce of a playoff series between Toronto and NYCFC…. That was pretty pathetic.

      • Precisely. I totally respect the politicking that could be behind all this… because IMO this is clearly an issue about competition… and fair warning. That said, Conte argued pretty steadfastly Giovinco was heavily scouted and this was not some random exclusion.
        The utter dominance of Sebastien Giovinco, again IMO, really highlights the vast gulf in quality difference between a ‘rising’ MLS league and ‘stagnating’ Serie A table.
        He is at most a reserve player for the best team in Serie A and is as we all now know, “THE GREATEST MLS player ever” as the US Soccer media has dumbfoundingly clung to.

    • I respect your response and appreciate the fruitful dialogue, but my point is simply that he is clearly playing at a high level, which one should expect from a national team player. I look at other national team players who struggle at times in MLS, and that does not look good since the league is not at the level of Serie A. But in Giovinco’s case, at least he is demonstrating that he is in fact better than this league. I understand both sides, but I still think it is a silly bias towards this league more than anything else.

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