Daily news roundups

Union lose none in Expansion Draft, league news, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

The 2016 Expansion Draft took place on Tuesday afternoon and the Union lost no players on their unprotected list to Atlanta United or Minnesota United, making it the first time the team has not lost a player in the Expansion Draft. More at Philly.com, CSN Philly, Philly Voice, Brotherly Game, and Pattison Ave.

The Waiver Draft list will be released later today. The Waiver Draft will take place on Thursday at 2 pm.

Brotherly Game and Section 215 look at some free agent options for the Union. Here’s the full list of free agents. Negotiations with Free agents officially opened after the conclusion of Tuesday’s Expansion Drafton at 5 pm.

Sons of Ben: The Movie is now available on Netflix.

Philadelphia Union Academy

Union Academy forward Axel Picazo has been named to the US U-16 BNT roster for the IMG Cup  in Bradenton, Fla., December 11-19 in Bradenton, Florida.




Here are the picks Atlanta and Minnesota made in Tuesday’s Expansion Draft:

Atlanta United:

  1. Danny Toia (Defender, Montreal Impact)
  2. Zach Loyd (Defender, FC Dallas)
  3. Clint Irwin, (Goalkeeper, Toronto FC)
  4. Mikey Ambrose (Defender, Orlando City)
  5. Alec Kann (Goalkeeper, Sporting Kansas City)

Minnesota United:

  1. Chris Duvall (Defender, New York Red Bulls)
  2. Collen Warner (Midfielder, Houston Dynamo)
  3. Mohammed Saied (Midfielder, Columbus Crew)
  4. Jeff Attinella (Goalkeeper, Real Salt Lake)
  5. Femi Hollinger-Janzen (Forward, New England Revolution)

After the draft, Atlanta traded Irwin back to Toronto in exchange for for defender Mark Bloom and general allocation money. Atlanta also traded Toia to Orlando in exchange for City’s natural first-round pick in the 2017 SuperDraft.

Minnesota traded Duvall and general allocation money to Montreal in exchange for midfielder Johan Venegas.

Before the draft, Kansas City announced it had signed goalkeeper Alec Kann, who was later selected by Atlanta in the draft, and defenders Kevin Ellis and Jimmy Medranda, to new contracts.

Atlanta isn’t finished: “A league source has confirmed to ESPN FC that the expansion club is on the verge of signing Paraguay international and Racing Club midfielder Oscar Romero to a Designated Player contract, with a transfer fee in the $6-7 million range.”

Vancouver have acquired former Union man Sheanon Williams from Houston in exchange for general allocation money. Williams and Harvey, together again at last.

Los Angeles Galaxy have acquired the rights to Jermaine Jones from Colorado in exchange for the club’s highest first round pick in the 2017 SuperDraft and and a conditional second round selection in 2018.

Speaking of the Galaxy, as expected, the team named Curt Onalfo as its new head coach on Tuesday. The Los Angeles Times says having a new coach “won’t make the Galaxy more attractive to fans.” At USLsoccer.com, how the USL is becoming a pathway for coaches to break into MLS.

FourFourTwo on why MLS has “the best (shortest) offseason in sports.”

The league has announced that last Saturday’s MLS Cup final was the most watch championship game in league history, besting the previous record from 2001. 3.5 Million people watched the game on FOX and UniMás in the US, and TSN and RDS in Canada, “an increase of 177% percent over [the] 2015 MLS Cup.” More from the AP.

World Soccer Talk says, “With this game being featured in primetime on a Saturday night on FOX’s network TV, which is in 116 million homes, the viewing audience should have been far greater,” adding, “the game itself was not the advertisement that the league needed. While the league will be able to spin the positive TV ratings, the match itself was a dismal game featuring no goals and very few moments of excitement.”

The Sounders celebrated their championship win with a victory parade on Tuesday. Addressing gathered fans, Clint Dempsey said, “Now that we’ve won one Portland can’t say shit.” The AP reports a police officer was injured during the parade when he was struck by one of the trolleys carrying the Sounders players and staff.

Sebastian Giovinco says the pitch at BMO Field was not in optimal condition for the last three games of the postseason because it is also used by Canadian Football League side the Argonauts. Toronto FC president Bill Manning also said the field “wasn’t ideal.”

Indy Week asks, “Is North Carolina soccer ready for prime time?”

Big Apple Soccer reports the landlord who owns the Long Island offices of the New York Cosmos has petitioned New York District Court to evict the team and recover $55,280.55 in back rent. “It was not immediately known how many months the Cosmos have been in arrears…It was not immediately known whether the soccer team had more outstanding debts to other organizations or companies.”


Tobin Heath has been named the 2016 US Soccer Female Player of the Year. Ashley Sanchez is the Young Female Player of the Year.

The US has been drawn into Group C for the CONCACAF U-17 championship along with Mexico, El Salvador and Jamaica. The tournament which will take place in Panama City, April 21–May 7, 2017.

World Soccer Talk lists the 43 most attended soccer games in the US in 2016. THe USA vs. Paraguay Copa America game at the Linc on June 11 comes in at No. 20 with 51,041.


From ESPN: “History was made in Wednesday’s Club World Cup semifinal between Atletico Nacional and Kashima Antlers when a touchline video assistant referee (VAR) employed replay technology in an official FIFA match to award a penalty.” Kashima won the game 3-0 to become the first Asian team to reach the Club World Cup final where they will face the winner of Real Madrid vs. Club America.

Reuters reports, “US prosecutors on Tuesday announced an agreement allowing Argentine sports media Torneos y Competencias SA to pay about $112.8 million to settle charges stemming from a sweeping bribery probe targeting FIFA, soccer’s world governing body.”

Goal.com reviews some of the steps taken toward greater transperancy by CONCACAF following the confederation’s Extraordinary Congress last weekend.

Soccer America reports, “The Olympic Channel, which launched in August, has negotiated an agreement with FIFA to include access to news and content covering Olympic soccer events.”

From The Guardian: “A young Afghan boy who became an internet sensation after being photographed in a homemade replica of Lionel Messi’s famous football strip has finally come face-to-face with his idol.”


  1. The Realist Brian says:

    Doesn’t it just amaze you through all this expansion the LA Galaxy NEVER lose a player. It’s like teams don’t know they exist. Furthermore, shouldn’t the top 4-5 teams naturally get players selected? So weird.
    Isn’t Diplo from Philly? Great to see, hopefully he doesn’t get burned by not being able to move up due to the closed system.
    There is a ton of money sitting on the sidelines. How many celebrities would start teams alone that are soccer fans but they don’t want to deal with MLS…
    Great to see a local kid by way of Texas make it to the USYNT.
    The ratings were not great. Don’t let the MLS paid journalists confuse you.
    If we are to have a closed system, why are Canadian teams getting valuable spots that should go to American teams? Don Graber and Sunil Gulati push that MLS develops US talent (hint: minimal impact) meanwhile three teams exist that take a spot from three markets that would develop kids in this country. I am sorry if you are Canadian, but form you own league and we will see you in Champions League. Worry about your own development. And Sunil, your job is to support US growth, not Canadian.

    • Diplo is definitely from the area. He used to work at Inferno on South Street. #old.

      • Diplo used to play at the Uke club in Northern Liberties it was one of places were he started out and he was suppose to have a Christmas party there last Wednesday,
        , he also was a teacher in Philly, originally from Mississippi

    • On your point about Canada, I don’t see that ever happening considering that every “major” US sport, except for the NFL, has teams from our northern neighbor. And regarding that one sport, the CFL only has 9 teams right now.
      NBA – Toronto, formally also in Vancouver
      MLB – Toronto, formally also in Montreal
      NFL – none
      NHL – Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton
      MLS – Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver
      I wonder if it is just too risky financially for the country to form their own leagues in most sports while for the US-based leagues, it is a way to break into new markets and profit. The current population of Canada is 35M and has only 3 cities with over 1M inhabitants while the US is 319M and has 10 cities of over 1M inhabitants.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        interesting thoughts about Canada.
        your basic point is sound, what I ended up using when I was exploring expansion possibilities earlier was something called “greater metropolitan area” and “international metropolitan area.”
        That system gives Canada five over a million, but you essential underlying idea still stands.’

        Apropos of nothing, Rio Grande Valley, on the river and officially Edinburgh TX has an international metropolitan area of over 800,000 because they draw from both sides of the river. The size is very close to that of Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton.

    • Read on Twitter just recently maybe US Soccer needs to better focus on college soccer, after al- unlike me who thinks its a big part of the problem—l to help grow the tribal culture we see with football and basketball and with footy around the world.
      Hadn’t thought of it…but it was a solid argument.

      • The Realist Brian says:

        Well it should certainly have the season extended for the school year. Having played D1 soccer, it is a joke that we played so many games in 2.5 months, then nothing for months until late Feb if we are lucky. Then you play a tiny spring season which sucks. 6 games I believe. No wonder there are so many injuries in college (I was one of them- torn calf, brutal). You are not allowed to train with the coach until it is official either, another stupendously stupid rule.
        US Soccer should take it over and I know Sasho at MD is trying to open it up. NCAA is a backwards area with the countdown clock (why?) that portends to long balls through the last 5 minutes. Not many teams play possession either, and bigger, faster, stronger rule the day. We definitely fall behind in developing these 18-22 (23/24) year olds that are come out of college. And by the way, these guys should be seasoned coming into MLS and they are not. Rosenberry was a stud that worked his ass off.

      • Don’t expect the NCAA to give up any potentially profit-generating sports. If they think soccer can draw in revenue, even in some distant future, you’ll have to pry their corrupt, dead hands from the sport.

    • I’m sorry, but your last point reads like a satire of if Trump was a MLS fan.

      Build a wall! Those Canadians are taking soccer jobs away from good, hard-working American players.

      • The Realist Brian says:

        Sorry, but we should be developing US talent, and not be concerned with Canadian development. If you want to throw a barb about Trump, I will leave it at that. They take up slots for US teams, and I don’t give a rats ass about MLB, NBA or NHL having a quasi two country system (that fails in most attempts).
        I will fight for the global standard from youth soccer through our pros. Having Canada involved doesn’t help, and it only serves the purposes of rich owners dilutation of shares when they buy in (Pyramid scheme).
        There will come a day that the US doesn’t qualify for the World Cup, and it is coming soon.

      • To hint on another point in this discussion…
        I cannot argue your point about developing US youth players – more teams in the US means more MLS academies working to develop young players. However, the success of teams in Canada has a trickle down effect to the entire league (all 3 Canadian teams are in the top 8 in average attendance this season and 2 of the 3 made the playoffs). By accessing the Canada market that brings more money into the league through broadcasting deals and such, so the league ends up handing out more money to every team (such as the recent increase in TAM for next season). This, in turn, helps bring better players into the league and raises the entire level of play, which forces teams and young US players to raise their own game to stay competitive. This is only a good thing. Is it better then having three more teams based in the US? It is impossible to say. I just remind you that the only 3 MLS teams that no longer function were all in the US (Tampa Bay, Miami, and Chivas) so location does not equal success.

      • Under current rules, the Canadian situation currently benefits the US players as Canadian teams can use US or Canadian players without utilizing international spots while any Canadian on a US team occupies an international spot, effectively making them less valuable.
        The current situation benefits both parties for now.

    • Counter to the “good spots” argument is that Toronto and Montreal, in particular, have provided some pretty big and enthusiastic crowds for the league. The whole country has about 10 percent of the U.S. population, so it makes sense for them to piggyback on the U.S. league. I’m not an international football expert, but I see the same sort of relationship with the PL in England. Both England and Wales have their own federations, but Wales teams play English teams in the league — Swansea in the PL and Cardiff City in the CL.

      If the U.S. fails to qualify for a World Cup, the fact that three Canadian teams are in MLS will not be high on the list of contributing factors.

      • Agreed, considering all three cities border the US, and could likely include American players as their own “Homegrown” players, due to the way MLS treats the US/Canada border.
        Canada opens more opportunities to US players than it shuts down.

      • Speaking to that as well is the case of Kekuta Manneh – who while employed by Vancouver, has lived in the US and commuted across the boarder to gain US citizenship.

  2. Heeeeeaaaaatthhh!!!!

  3. So Atlanta is about to spend another 7 to 8 million in a transfer fee, so they’ll have spent on transfer fees about as much as the Union have spent on total player salaries in the last 3 years.

    The video feed of Atlanta’s bigwigs in a resplendent board room while Minnesota’s execs huddled around a folding conference table at what looked like it might be the local Motel 6 said quite a bit about who needed an expansion draft and who didn’t.

    • “so they’ll have spent on transfer fees about as much as the Union have spent on total player salaries in the last 3 years.”

      … you can replace “Union” with “almost every team in the MLS except the top 2 or 3” I bet….

      but keep on being a hater.

      • Hater? What on earth are you talking about?

      • Atlanta will spend more on player transfer fees in one year then the Union have in 8 years. That’s not hate, just facts. Also, in year one, Atlanta is also going to be playing in a brand new stadium (albeit one they share with the Falcons), they will have their own beautiful training complex, and a fully functioning Academy. I wish our ownership group had that ambition and deep pockets!

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        I will take our pitch over Atlanta’s any day of the week, however.
        The most important member of the Atlanta soccer organization will HAVE to be the head groundskeeper.
        From August through October the soccer players will have to deal with a butchered pitch.
        I hope Arthur Blank hired away the head groundskeeper from Wembley Stadium. He has some idea how to address the problem.

      • Not really, Tottenham lost there the Wednesday after the Redskins-Bengals game.

  4. OneManWolfpack says:

    OK… now I am officially concerned about Atlanta

    • The East now has three big spenders in NYCFC, Toronto, and ATL.
      One team who will compete with a top notch academy: NYRB
      Two teams that will splash a little cash in Montreal and Orlando
      And 5 teams just hoping to play smart with the MLS rules that promote parity. Obviously the Union are hoping to jump into the section the Red Bulls are in, hopefully we are able to do so because without new ownership we are simply not going to compete financially with any of the Big 3.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Well said… good points. The Union are definitely trying to get to NYRB level, and with current ownership, will never reach and have no aspirations to be at the “big spender” level. Sad but true. Will we compete, probably, yeah. Will we win anything… probably not.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        II would think the best formula for success is Montreal’s, ownership of a European first division side. If you need something, use your European roster to provide it. How many times has Saputo done that now?

    • greatest investment in Atlanta’s professional sports in 15 years. as an NHL fan, the shipping out of the thrashers made me think soccer was going to be met with equal blasé. mercedes-benz stadium is looking to be the best combo NFL-MLS stadium.
      As for A United, these early signing and dealings, they mean business… excited to see them next season.

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