Daily news roundups

More TAM coming, Blake and Rosenberry named to Goal.com’s Best XI, other news

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

In welcome news that is sure to please Union fans thinking about what the roster will look like in 2017, SI’s Grant Wahl reports, “In the next week, MLS is expected to announce an $8.8 million increase in Targeted Allocation Money over what had been previously earmarked for 2017. That’s an increase of $400,000 per team to $1.2 million per team of TAM for next season…Total TAM money for 2016 and ’17 has thus been increased from $33.6 million to $42.4 million league-wide beyond the money committed by the owners in the league’s collective bargaining agreement.” More money, more money, more money!

Andre Blake and Keegan Rosenberry have been named to Goal.com’s MLS Best XI (warning: slideshow). On Blake: “The Jamaican international has displayed all the attributes you want in a goalkeeper—great shot-stopping ability, quickness, ability with the ball at his feet, command of his area—and at only 26, he’s bound to get even better.” On Rosenberry: “In his rookie season, Rosenberry not only played every single minute in MLS—one of the rare players to do so—he never looked out of place, showing maturity beyond his years and impressive quality in both defense and attack.”

At the Union website, a review of some of the social media postings by Blake’s teammates congratulating him on being named to the MLS Best XI. An Instagram post from Blake says, “Looking forward to a better 2017!!! Love and support is always appreciated thank you all. Sail on silver bird.”

Also at the Union website, an Expansion Draft primer:

All 20 clubs are allowed to protect 11 players from their roster. Those protected 11 will not be available for selection for Minnesota or Atlanta. Generation adidas players who have not been graduated at the end of the 2016 MLS Season and Homegrown players on a Club’s Supplemental/Reserve Roster at the end of the 2016 MLS Season are automatically protected (clubs do not have to use a protected slot on them). Minnesota and Atlanta can select players who are not protected, however only one player may be selected from each club.

For example, if Atlanta selected an unprotected member of Philadelphia Union with the first pick, then the rest of the roster is safe. In previous years, no such limit existed, and the draft was also much longer, as this year, there will only be five selections made by each club. In other words, 10 MLS teams will lose exactly one player, while the other 10 will lose zero.

 Got it? Good.

Bethlehem Steel FC

I missed this news last week, but Gabe Gissie has re-signed with Sacramento Republic, the team he was with before joining Bethlehem in 2016. Indomitable City Soccer is happy for his return to Sacramento.


Ocean City Nor’easters have announced the open tryout scheduled to take place on Dec. 17 at Rutgers-Camden will now take place at Memorial Sports Complex (Marlton Soccer Club) in Evesham Township, NJ. The second open tryout on Dec. 30 will take place at Ocean City High School as originally announced.

Pittsburgh Riverhounds have exercised the contract option on local lad Corey Hertzog through the 2017 USL season.

Leah Scarpelli (PDA; Brick, N.J.) has been called up for the final US U-16 GNT camp, taking place Dec. 3-10 at the US Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.

At the Jewish Exponent, Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney writes in appreciation of the recent Philadelphia International Unity Cup tournament.


Vancouver has decided not to pick up the option on midfielder and captain Pedro Morales: “Per MLS roster rules and regulations, Morales will be eligible for the MLS Re-Entry Process unless he opts out or is traded.”

Real Salt Lake has mutually agreed to part ways with forward Juan Manuel “El Burrito” Martinez “so he and his family can return to his native Argentina and be closer to his extended family.”

Goal.com reports, “Sources have confirmed…Atlanta United has completed a trade with the Columbus Crew to acquire veteran central defender Michael Parkhurst in exchange for allocation money.”

ESPN and The Guardian note a report from London-based marketing group Verve Search and the Norwegian Axo Finans group finds “there are more players in MLS earning over €100,000 per week than in Serie A.” MLS players on the league minimum would of course be curious to know how they compare to their Serie A counterparts.

LAFC and USL-side Orange County Blues have announced “a multi-year partnership.” The announcement notes, “With LAFC set to take the pitch in 2018, the partnership will provide LAFC the ability to loan players to Orange County as soon as 2017 and provide fans the opportunity to see some of LAFC’s future MLS stars on display in Orange County.”

American Soccer Analysis looks at the head-scratching numbers produced by the Audi Player Index.

The Star Tribune reports Minnesota governor Mark Dayton “called the Vikings’ opposition to possible Major League Soccer games at U.S. Bank Stadium ‘sour grapes’ because the team’s owners lost an expansion franchise to a rival group led by former UnitedHealth Group CEO Bill McGuire.” Dayton said he was “shocked” by the Vikings stance, explaining. “This is not the Vikings’ stadium. This is the people of Minnesota’s stadium. It’s run by the stadium authority for the people’s benefit which means generating opportunities for Minnesotans to come together and support the various opportunities they enjoy.” You will recall from Wednesday’s roundup that a groundbreaking ceremony for Minnesota’s new stadium in St. Paul is scheduled for Monday.

SI has a review of the renderings of new soccer stadiums for existing and proposed MLS teams.

KTRS reports, “St. Louis City leaders are asking for $40 million in tax credits to help finance a Major League Soccer stadium. This is on top of the $80 million that city voters will decide on in April.”

According to Triangle Sports Network, North Carolina FC, known until Tuesday as Carolina RailHawks, “is and will still compete in the North American Soccer League (NASL), being a league member organization since 2011.”

Charlotte Business Journal looks at the rival MLS hopes of North Carolina FC and Charlotte Independence.

WRAL has a requiem for the RailHawks name.

Editorial pieces at Tampa Bay Times and Saint Peters Blog support the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ MLS aspirations. More on the team’s plan to join MLS at Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.

Florida Times-Union details the challenges NASL-side Jacksonville Armada is facing with the uncertain future of the league, and notes a sharp decline in attendance, a reduction of gameday expenditures instituted in August and September when the team “stopped sending public relations employees for road games and slashed its budget for support staff,” and the dismissal of six front office employees “in departments ranging from communications to marketing to corporate partnerships” on Dec. 1.

Armada owner Mark Frisch said in a statement quoted in the Times-Union report, “It is my intention to keep the sport of professional soccer alive in Jacksonville and I am working with my leadership team at the Armada to develop a strategy that does just that.” The report notes, “Frisch, who was named chairman of the NASL’s board of governors in September 2015, no longer includes that title in his Twitter profile.”

Midfield Press says the NASL can rebuild, restructure, and find stability as the Division 3 league.



US Soccer is having its first ever goalkeepers and forwards camp for female players “born primarily in 2000, 2001 and 2002.”


The AP reports, “FIFA President Gianni Infantino has suggested having 16 three-team groups if the World Cup expands to 48 countries.” The proposal is one of five possible format changes planned to be implemented with the 2026 World Cup.

A later AP report said,

A select meeting of national federations from Asia, Europe and Oceania met with Infantino in Singapore on Thursday, and welcomed a change from the current eight-group, 32-team event.

“They are very supportive of expanding; everyone, unanimously — all those who were here,” Infantino said after the meeting. “The big, big, big majority is in favour of the 48 teams with the 16 groups of three.”

Make him stop, please.

Goal.com writes of Infantino’s proposed World Cup format change, “This is one campaign promise the FIFA boss should not have kept.” Also at Goal.com, a social media roundup of the almost universally negative reaction to the proposed format change.

The AP reports, “FIFA says referees will be using video replays at this month’s Club World Cup in Japan to help them make ‘match-changing’ decisions in its first ever use of TV feeds during a game.”

The Guardian reports, “A legal action against FIFA over its alleged complicity in the mistreatment of migrant workers in Qatar ahead of the 2022 World Cup has been filed with a Swiss court.”

Reuters reports Julio Rocha, former president of the Nicaraguan soccer federation and formerly the FIFA official “responsible for overseeing the soccer governing body’s development efforts in Central America,” pleaded guilty in federal court in Brooklyn on Wednesday “to charges of racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy.”

The BBC reports, “authorities in Bolivia have arrested the head of the airline involved in a crash last week that killed 71 people, including most of the Brazilian football team, Chapecoense.”

ESPN reports, “Barcelona have invited Brazilian side Chapecoense to play in next summer’s Joan Gamper Trophy match at Camp Nou in homage to the 71 people who died in an airplane accident in Colombia last month.”


  1. While silly on the surface, increased TAM is a very good sign by the league and shows its intent to grow, albeit incrementally.

    • ….’built’ it one piece at a time and it didn’t cost me a dime… you’ll know its me when I come through your town… I’m gonna ride around in style, drive everybody wild, cause I’ll have the only one there is around.
      ~Johnny Cash.

    • It’s a very good thing for the quality of the league. It means that we are adding more starting quality players. It’s nice to see each team in the league with 10-14 quality players on each squad. More better for quality of play than an extra Designated Player.

  2. In regards to expansion, I don’t like the 48-team World Cup, but closer to home, 30 teams in MLS wouldn’t be the worst thing ever. Argentina currently has 30 teams. In fact, I wouldn’t even mind 32 split into two conferences of 16, 30 games. 4 teams make conference playoffs, winners play one championship match. It really makes no difference to me whether we play the Western teams or not, I don’t get caught in schedule balance or that nonsense. I think there are viable markets who could support a team. If Cincy can attract 20,000, why should they not have a team when Chicago & Dallas can’t even get 15,000 in their stadiums?

    • I agree on all points. honestly if they do totally break it into 2, there’s no reason they could get up to as high as 44 with 22 teams in each, although the sweet spot would probably be 16 or 17 per conference to keep the schedule around 32-34 games to keep it balanced.

    • Just a note, somewhat related to a topic yesterday. Chicago’s stadium isn’t actually in Chicago . . . similar to the Union it’s located several miles away that takes a minimum 35 minutes to get to from Chicago proper and much much more if your further North. And that’s driving, taking public transport adds on even more time. So I think that explains the attendance issues and also why MLS seems to be looking at city based stadiums for all expansions moving forward.

      • I understand and agree, just making a point that an existing MLS team could theoretically draw less attendance than an existing USL franchise, and that should be the focus of expansion moving forward – making sure teams are in position for high attendance. If the lesson is downtown stadiums are better, then that should be the requirement.

    • Agreed on MLS with 2 conferences.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        why not three? West Coast, Sierra Nevada to Appalachians, and East Coast?

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        I just wish MLS brass would hint at this split idea, if that’s what the plan really is all along. I for one am in favor of that idea, and it would definitely justify the continued expansion. Plus the announcement by MLS, if it ever happened of course, would lay a nice plan, show transparency, and mostly put the pro/rel (with other leagues/divisions) to rest

    • But…that’s not how Europe does it!!

    • Thanks for the agreements. I just feel like it would benefit the sport the best. Relegation could be figured in if that’s the direction they want to go, but either way there would still be markets for USL or another 3rd division to continue to grow and claim.

  3. Sneaky-good pickup by Atlanta with Parkhurst. There will be no surprises if ATL finishes in the top 3 in their inaugural season.
    And then there is LAFC, lying in the weeds and waiting to jump into the fray next year.
    What will MLS do when it has too many favorite sons? Will they all get jealous of each other? Or will they learn how to manipulate the system together?

    • The lineage of King Don Fannucci….and LAG begat Chivas who begat LAFC and LAFC begat Orange County who begat policy of United x1 who begat policy of FC x1 who begat a Lion in the South then begat Minnesota who begat Cincinnati in time …who begat franchise upon franchise this pestilence upon the land….
      ….killing all clubs one at a time in the front seat from behind including The New York Cosmos.

    • John P O'Donnell says:

      Shiny signings hardly ever workout to playoffs for expansion teams. It usually takes a while for team to play like one. If anything, Minnesota might have a better chance as they are already a working organization with a coach that knows the league.

      • I agree, but so far ATL only has one “shiny” signing with Almiron. Parkhurst is a shrewd investment in a solid MLS veteran. He’s the kind of guy that can help young players learn.
        ORL was pretty good out of the gate. They missed a bit on Rochez, but it was the right kind of gamble. I could see ATL following a similar model.
        I’m not predicting domination, but I assume they will be more competitive than most expansion teams.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        The Orlando game here Rochez was quite a challenge for our defenders, I remember. Physicality and speed.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Then, likely, Atlanta is no danger to Ken Tlribbett if left unprotected on Dec 11th. And. Would be a bit taken aback if Tata Martino has interest in as offensively challenged outside back as Gaddis.
      Minnesota might be interested in either one, although Adrian Heath has had some exposure to both.

  4. IMHO, 16 groups of 3 is a HORRIBLE idea. Currently there is a lot of randomness as to which group you are in and how likely you are to qualify for the KO. If the US draw had switched with Australia’s they would have had basically no chance to qualify for the second round. 16 groups means that many countries are at the mercy of the lottery gods as to whether they are drawn in with Germany or with a team barely in the top 16 (assuming one survivor per group).

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      I liked better still eight groups, but five teams per group. Every body gets four games not three. Makes the tournament four or five days longer, but showcases the minnows better. And an extra opportunity to watch the giants before they start killing each other in the KO rounds.

  5. How it is professional sports LEAGUES and there BILLIONAIRE owners have found a way to get public money to build stadiums and then add seat licenses and then price 85% of the population out of actually attending said professional sport in said new complex is one of the greatest derelictions and hand jobs of public trust ever.
    OR in the caused of MLS may poster boy… hey thank you for being a STH holder for 12 years and yes the MLS Cup is in ‘your stadium’ and YES again, you will be forced to sit in ROW: go fuck yourself SEAT: popular approximation of irrational e.

    • it is disgusting. every team with a publicly funded stadium should have to fork over a large portion of their ownership stake to whichever municipal entity funded it

      • …this does not even consider $5 Aquafina $9 Michelob, $20 dollar parking, 3 employees out of 25 who are welcoming in concessions the one open gate across the lot for 2,500 cars to exit through and and and… I’m not a fan cause I don’t go to games as has been bandied about regarding certain discussions… Wanna know what the downfall of every ‘great’ civilization has been?
        Things that make you go hmmm.
        last post of the day… gotta do something….more productive. What’s that boss? Non Nutritive cereal varnish report? Yes sir.
        Kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy…

      • You know that I wasn’t a fan of the new moniker, but it’s really starting to grow on me.

      • On second thought….
        I’d just like to say.
        An expansion franchise has Tata Martino. Michael Parkhurst. Brandon Vasquez… and our Union have Jim Curtin. Richie Marquez. CJ Sapong.
        and we’ve just lost our two best players.
        Yes, sir… I Am Citizen Insane and there is a good chance by opening kick of 2017 I’ll be Aladdin Sane… in honor of my musical hero, David Bowie who in that magical album convinces you by major or minor keys —– everything may not actually be okay.

      • Hehe, I knew that wasn’t your “last post of the day”.

      • Lucky Striker says:

        “….he’s that hairy-handed gent-who ran amok in Kent…. Lately he’s been overheard in Mayfair.

        You better stay away from him !
        He’ll rip your LUNGS OUT Jim!

        Heh,…..I’d like to meet his tailor…..

        A-hoo !!! ” (Draw blood)…….

        Column now summarized lyrically from Aladdin to Zevon.

        *My favorite Warren.

        Soon: they’ll be howlin’ round your kitchen door-You’d better not let ’em in…………..

      • John P O'Donnell says:

        Which is why when you embrace the community of Chester, you park for free on 2nd street, drink $2 beers and shots at the Hayes street lounge on Saturdays and spend money in the community. Oh and the friends I’ve made at this local pub where they greet us with warmth every time we walk in the door.

      • Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

        Agreed, I always park at the church lots, very friendly, very convenient exiting the stadium and the money (should be) staying in Chester.

      • That’s fantastic, John.

      • John P O'Donnell says:

        It is. After the first season I never went to a tailgate again. Usually took the train and stopped at the bar as it’s halfway point to the stadium. The air conditioning and dark lighting appeal to my enjoying adult beverages. Plus no clean up after, they have pool table and a great patio out back.

      • Thumbs Up. Well played.

      • At the risk of sounding like some hipster prick… do they have any beer other than domestics at Hayes?

      • John P O'Donnell says:

        They’ll be more than happy to stock anything you want if you let them know. Myself I drink vodka. My buddy is a Miller high life guy. But I do remember seeing other beers besides domestics.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        the mayor and or the governor should have a seat, fully voting, on the board of directors. Maybe more than just one or two.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      P.T. Barnum, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

    • How dare you question the motives of the billionaires in America. The jobs creators. They know best and giving them more benefits will definitely trickle back down to us.
      Have you heard about the minor league ball players salaries? Dude get paid like 1000-2000 per month only during the season. Don’t even make minimum wage. Congress thinks it’s ok though because they are classified as some other category that doesn’t need minimum wage. Each team could play their entire minor league system 40,000 but it would cost about 5 million. The horror.

  6. That article on the Audi Player Index was very good.

    Anyone else find it hilarious that MLS, an organization that struggles with transparency and consistency, pushes a performance index that isn’t fully explained to its customers?

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Not hilarious, business as usual.
      That said, none of us are worried that our league and our team are immanently going out of existence.

    • Wait, people actually care what the Audi Player Index is? Any statistic in a sport other than baseball (except maybe QB Rating) that combines multiple statistics to show the best player is a waste.

  7. Old Soccer Coach says:

    A quibble not with Ed who is merely quoting but with the unidentified author of the Expansion Draft 101 quote from the Union website.
    The author is correct is the assertion that never before did you become exempt from the rest of the draft once you lost a player. I have a vague memory, however, that in the last ones you could only lose one player to a first drafting team and only one player to the second drafting team, and that should that circumstance arise, you were dropped out of the process. Others will have to answer whether that circumstance ever arose.

  8. Rowdies stadium expansion – pretty cool. unique. the SI article doesn’t do much other than share renderings but this one is worth it.

  9. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Hope we can get some type of Feedback on how Jones and Trusty do in the Costa Rica U-20 camp next week. Would help us nuts have a better idea what to expect from next year. Every fleck of gold dust/knowledge helps.

  10. At this rate to me it looks like Atlanta is developing a better roster than the Union. That is worrisome especially since they can spend more money. You already have a better CB in Parkhurst than anyone on our team. You have a better striker in Kenwyne Jone and probably a better midfielder in Miguel Almiron then we have. And thus here in lies the problem. Look everyone they have a spine to their team. It makes sense and if you look at their roster I bet they play a 4-3-3. This team unfortunately is going to be good. All they need is the right goalkeeper and a few decent MLS vets and i see them making the ridiculous playoffs in season 1 which I think hasn’t happened since Seattle if I remember right.

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