Daily news roundups

Union bits, Seattle advances to MLS Cup final, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

It’s that time of year again. On Friday night, the Union Rumors Twitter account noted a tweet from Colombian journalist Diego Rueda from four days before that mentioned the Union as among the possible suitors for 21-year-old Colombian striker Dario Rodriguez, who currently plays for Atletico Bucaramanga in Colombia’s first division on loan from Santa Fe, the Colombian team fans will fondly remember from the Carlos Valdes saga. A report at Pasion Cardenal picking up on Rueda’s tweet the day after it was posted and comments he later made on Radio Caracol includes the mention of the Union and an unnamed Russian team but the headline suggests Rodriguez would be returned to Santa Fe so that the team could sell him to Colombian side Junior FC.

At MLSsoccer.com, a look at how teams did with international transfers in 2016 gives the Union a B-:

When it comes to finding a one-two punch from abroad, bringing in Roland Alberg and Ilsinho in one fell swoop isn’t a bad way to go. Those two provided a driving impetus to the 2016 Union side that snuck into the postseason, and it’s fair to conclude they wouldn’t have been there without either (and certainly without Alberg’s nine goals). That said, they were the only two of these five to finish the year on the first team roster.

MLS Anonymous reviews the Union’s offseason needs.

Brotherly Game’s season review series concludes with a look at how 2016 went for CJ Sapong.

Pattison Ave’s season review series continues with a look at the start of the Union’s 2016 campaign.


Seattle Sounders are the Western Conference champions after defeating Colorado 1-0  on the road on Sunday, 3-1 on aggregate. Jordan Morris scored the lone goal in Sunday’s win in the 56th minute. Toronto hosts Montreal in the final leg of the Eastern Conference championship on Wednesday (7 pm: FS1, Fox Sports Go, Fox Deportes), the Impact having won the first leg, 3-2.

The MLS Cup final will be played Saturday, Dec. 10. The team with the best regular season record hosts the MLS Cup finals so if Toronto wins the Eastern Conference Championship they will host Seattle. If Montreal wins, Seattle will be the host.

At MLssoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin notes no team — now including Colorado — has “come back from a loss to win a two-leg series in MLS Conference Championship history since the two-leg format began in 2012.”

Could Jermaine Jones be leaving MLS? He tells the Denver Post, “People know that I came to this league as a (designated player) and this is where I want to go back to. I’m a free agent now. I will sit back and see what comes. I’m not scared to go back to Europe or scared to go to Mexico or somewhere.” However, according to Goal.com, Jones is not a free agent, “needing more seasons of MLS play to get that distinction, but he is out of contract with the league.”

Kaka tells a Brazilian TV show, “Next year will be my last at Orlando,” adding if he returns to Brazil after that he would sign with Sao Paulo. 2017 is when his contract is up and it is unclear if he would accept a contract extension to remain with Orlando.

Orlando City have installed a rainbow flag colored section of seats in their new stadium to honor the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting that left 49 people dead:


PRO has released a statement saying Peter Walton, head of the referee organization since its inception in 2012, is not about to be replaced. A report from English newspaper The Sun on Saturday said Howard Webb was set to replace Walton as “head of referees” but the PRO statement says the organization is looking for “a senior executive who would oversee the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) project.” According to MLSsoccer.com and Soccer America, Webb is once of several candidates for the VAR position


Bruce Arena on whether it matters where USMNT players play their club soccer:

I don’t think the numbers matter. It could be 11 players playing overseas, or it could be 11 players in Major League Soccer…We want the best players on the field, the best players that give us the right balance to be successful. Where they’re playing their club soccer is not that important. Are you the best player? Are you a player [whose] position would help our team be successful and help us win games? That’s the criteria.


ESPN reports, “Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff has criticised FIFA for its lack of Confederations Cup funding.”

The AP reports, “Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised FIFA that a much-delayed stadium in St. Petersburg will be ready in time to host Confederations Cup and World Cup matches.”

A child sexual abuse scandal is emerging in English football.


  1. “At MLSsoccer.com, a look at how teams did with international transfers in 2016 gives the Union a B-:”

    I get that its players who are intl for MLS roster purposes, but Bedoya sort of fits in there since he came back from La Belle France.
    Doesn’t really move the needle on that B- grade though.

  2. Interesting rumor on Rueda. Not sure how much of it is true, but I hope the Union are looking in South America for talent. And also that they’re looking for goal scorers.

  3. Nice to see we are moving backwards with Arena.

    • In what way? That it’s okay to play in MLS? Shouldn’t it be the way he says – the best players, who give us the best chance to win?

      • No, just asking for some perspective and a dose of reality of where we stand.

        Yes, it’s ok to play in MLS.

        It’s ALSO ok to say that MLS is still a lower level than most good leagues and a player playing well in MLS does not translate at all to the international level or to better leagues in Europe.

        Arena is literally the guy who also said MLS players “aren’t far off technically” from the top players in the world.

    • Arena is a place holder through 2018. Key is to get the Tech Director job right and get a new manager after the WC. Hopefully, Arena will be ready to step aside and not hang on.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Arena is quite senior, for the energy demanded of a coach. Laying it down after Russia would make sense. Family needs matter.

  4. Old Soccer Coach says:

    The MLS Anonymous article needs to do better deeper thinking.
    Look at depth charts for number 6, number 8, and number 10. ‘Nuff said.
    We will know a great deal more late afternoon December 11th when the protected list for the expansion draft has been published and the expansion draft itself has occurred. Known Union changes were not yet reflected there yesterday, e.g., Barnetta, Anderson, Jones, Washington, Restrepo, (from memory).
    The lack of roster activity by the Steel is not yet a matter of concern, but it does rise to the level of comment now that we approach December.
    Union inactivity – publicly – reflects the roster freeze that is in place until MLS Cup is over, I assume, although some team rosters at the MLS website reflect changes since the season ended for the particular club.

  5. I’m hoping Montreal wins from the East so Seattle can host MLS Cup — a jacked-up crowd of 50,000 is probably the best thing for MLS’s brand right now. And the Seahawks are away so there won’t be football lines on the field.

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