Daily news roundups

Waiver Draft today, Union bits, league news, USA-Serbia friendly announced, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

The Waiver Draft will take place today at 3 pm. Available from the Union in the draft are Anderson Conceicao, Matt Jones, Cole Missimo, Walter Restrepo, and Taylor Washington. You will recall the Union announced it had declined the contract options on those players on Nov. 4.

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead looks at possible Union targets on the free agents list.

Fox Sports lists five things the Union must do in the offseason:

  1. Acquire “an out-and-out striker”
  2. Acquire “a speedy, unpredictable marquee winger”
  3. Acquire “a No. 10 playmaker”
  4. Acquire “a more veteran presence on the backline”
  5.  Add “some depth” at goalkeeper

Keegan Rosenberry is looking forward to the 2017 season.

At the Union website, Matt Bodiford notes the favorable marks Talen Energy Stadium received in a review posted at Stadium Journey the beginning of November.

As we noted in Wednesday’s roundup, Philly.com notes Sons of Ben: The Movie is now avaailable on Netflix.

The Washington Post reports former Union man Freddy Adu, who was with Tampa Bay Rowdies the last year-and-half, is looking for a new team: “In all, he has been with 12 clubs in 13 years…In the past four years, Adu has played in 23 league matches and hasn’t scored in league play since Sept. 23, 2012, with Philadelphia, a two-goal effort against the Houston Dynamo.”

Philadelphia Union Academy

MLS released the initial list of invitees to the 2017 MLS Player Combine on Wednesday and the list includes four players with Union Academy ties back from when the Academy partnered with local clubs : Connor Maloney (Harrisburg, Pa.), Billy McConnell (Richboro, Pa.), Brian Nana-Sinkham (Lititz, Pa.), and Colton Storm (Mechanicsburg, Pa.). Maloney and McConnell were members of the Union U-17 team that won the 2012 Generation adidas Cup under Jim Curtin while Nana-Sinkham and Storm saw time with the Union Reserves (Maloney and Storm also played for Reading United). Temple’s Jorge Gomez Sanchez is on the list, as is former Temple player Robby Sagel, who is now with Penn State, and University of Delaware’s Guillermo Delgado. Lawrenceville, NJ’s Jakob Nerwinski, who is a senior at UConn, has also been invited to the combine, as has Monmouth’s Eric Klenofsky, who has played for Ocean City Nor’easters. More at Brotherly Game.

MLS

Atlanta has signed Jeff Larentowicz, who joins the club as a free agent.

Dallas has signed 20-year-old Ecuadorian youth international and left back Aníbal Chalá “for the 2017 season.”

From ESPN:

Major League Soccer joined the NBA as the only two American men’s leagues to earn at least a B grade for gender hiring as part of the 2016 Racial and Gender Report Card, handed out by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at Central Florida University.

Overall, MLS earned a B-plus grade for its diversity efforts at the league and team level. MLS’s combined score of 84.7 points is up 1.5 percentage points from a year ago.

You will recall reports on a study we linked to last week that said more players in MLS make over €100,000 per week than in Serie A. ESPN reports the study “was incorrect,” explaining,

[T]he study attempted to compare the gross (pre-tax) salary figures released by the MLS players’ union with the net (after tax) salary figures reported in a survey from Italian newspapers Gazzetta dello Sport and Panorama.

After converting the Serie A figures to gross using Italy’s top tax rate of 43 percent, there are at least 34 players in the league earning more than €100,000 per week gross.

ESPN notes, “The official figures from the MLS union show there are only seven players in MLS earned more than $5.5 million in 2016, or €100,000 per week gross, and two of them — Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard — recently retired.”

The 91st Minute loves the standing-only supporters section in Orlando’s new stadium. And rightly so.

The Washington Post reports DC United “has submitted an application to the United Soccer League to own and operate a secondary squad in the Washington area starting in 2018.”

St. Louis Business Journal reports, “The city of St. Louis is considering a 0.5 percent retail sales tax hike to pay for a host of projects, including a starter fund for a north-south MetroLink expansion and a Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium.”

The Detroit News reports MLS is expected to release further details on the league’s expansion plans today.

In NASL news, reports say Jacksonville Armada has followed in the footsteps of the NEw York Cosmos and “has officially made the call to terminate all player contracts.” A report at Empire of Soccer that said all players had been released and would not receive wages for December has been updated to say players will now be paid through the second week of December. Also, players on multi-year contracts “will be dealt with in a case by case basis. Unlike the Cosmos situation, some of the contract verbiage must be sorted in the longer term deals before ultimately cutting the chord.” The news calls into question whether the Armada will, as Empire of Soccer reported on Sunday, after informing the NASL they will not participate in the league, be able to make a move to the USL in time for the 2017 season.

Asked by Empire of Soccer if there is anything his team could have done differently since the brand was relaunched in 2010, New York Cosmos chairman Seamus O’Brien said, “No, I don’t think so…I don’t think we could have done more on or off the field than we did.” O’Brien also said,

We aren’t closing the doors. We are just mindful of the fact that if you can’t play in a league as it is now going forward, and that was the decision we made, then we just take back operations to what you need to keep it going and look at what your options are moving forward…

There are a number of folks with the NASL, many of my colleagues there that believe in the future. It’s not that we don’t believe in the future of the league — it’s just that we can’t play in a seven team league. That eventuality started to become clear over the last one, two months. As a business, you’ve got to react to that. And that is what we have done.

Asked about the lack of statements from the club about its future and outcry from fans about the status of the club, O’Brien said,

That’s just how we are. I don’t believe in engaging in rumors and speculation. It’s not for us to talk about other people and all the rest of it. That has never been us. It has never been our modus operandi. As I said, there’s been enough out there about the status of the league, so again, I don’t want to comment further than we have done. We have been, to be frank, waiting to see how things totally unfolded. That seems to be taking a bit longer than we thought it might…

We have got a very great core fanbase. They will be as saddened as we are to how this has evolved. At the end of the day, we will look at all options and keep the faith. Keep the faith.

Atlanta Magazine reports an ownership group is trying to bring two pro teams to Atlanta, a men’s team and a women’s team. What leagues the teams would play in is not specifically described.

US

The USMNT will play Serbia in a friendly at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 4 pm (ESPN2, Univision): “The meeting against Serbia will come at the end of the annual January camp and will serve as the first of two friendlies the MNT will utilize to get ready for the next set of Final Round qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup against Honduras (March 24) and away to Panama (March 28).”

The Serbia friendly will take place with the conclusion of the USMNT’s January camp, which will commence on Jan. 10.

Multiple sources tell ESPN, “Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California, will host the United States’ crucial March 24 World Cup qualifier against Honduras.”

The NSCAA has announced the men’s and women’s finalists for the 2016 MAC Hermann Trophy. For the men, Ian Harkes (M; Wake Forest University; Fairfax, Va.), Albert Ruiz (F; Florida Gulf Coast University; Barcelona, Spain), and Gordon Wild (F; University of Maryland; Cologne, Germany). For the women, Morgan Andrews (M; USC; Milford, N.H.), Kadeisha Buchanan (D; WVU; Brampton, Ontario), and Andi Sullivan (M; Stanford; Lorton, Va.).

Elsewhere

From the AP:

The European Club Association (ECA) has called on FIFA president Gianni Infantino to reconsider plans to expand the World Cup to 48 teams.

The ECA, which is made up of 220 of Europe’s top clubs, said the number of games played each season “has already reached an unacceptable level.”

“In the interest of the fans and the players, we urge FIFA not to increase the number of World Cup participants,” ECA chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.

ESPN reports, “The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is set to rule on the transfer bans imposed by FIFA on Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid before the January 2017 transfer window opens.”

Stackable soccer pitches? I like it!

16 Comments

  1. Just watched SOB the movie. Well worth the hour and 15. Made me feel more positively about Sak and his role with getting the club started. The club’s ambitions simply outgrew his talents.

    On the Cosmos, I’m very sympathetic to the plight of lower division clubs finding a good economic model, but O’Brien’s story isn’t terribly convincing. He can’t play in a league with only 7 teams, so his solution is to further hurt that very same league? I don’t know.

    • I think it’s pretty unrealistic financially that a lower division club would play a 24 game schedule where they have to travel twice each to Edmonton, San Fran, and Puerto Rico. Those are some major travel costs.

  2. O’Brien – “Keep the faith”, in what exactly? This is the total, its not you its me break up. You can’t still be friends after that. Just take your CDs and GTFO.

    • ~~ staunch in my support, but its hard not to agree with you here.
      .

      • I’m old enough that I used to watch the original Cosmos. Before there was Chester Park, bro, there were summer afternoons in Eisenhower Park. You/them/whoever can hate Dandy Don all you’d like, but he’s honest in his corporate-y greed. It’s up front. The cover charge is listed outside. These NASL chibonis preyed on sentimentality and were happy to wallow in their usvthem battle with MLS. Which, btw, was solely about entering MLS on their terms, they never gave a rats ass about pro/rel. To me, O’Brien is a soccer fraud.

  3. Some potentially useful players for the Union in the Waiver draft. Only problem is they don’t pick until 9th so the best options will likely be gone before they have a chance to pick.
    .
    St. Ledger would bring in a solid veteran centerback. Bravo could be a the answer at the #6. Innocent, Mendoza, Quintero, or Lizarazo would add a pace option on the wings. Diego Martínez could backup and compete with Fabinho at leftback.

  4. #6 A defensive midfielder.
    #7 A new coach?
    .
    that’ll about cover it.
    .
    .
    Read a really good post that suggested merging the USL and the remaining NASL teams to a 40 team regional Tier II…I very much liked the read and the argument is really well thought out and strong…

  5. John P O'Donnell says:

    Just read that NASL not breaking up and moving on is coming down to a game of chicken. It cost 1.5 million for the next team that leaves but after that because they wouldn’t have enough teams, 25K. Seems the Edmonton owner is heavily invested and stands to profit on teams exiting. USSF could dissolve the league because they don’t meet D2 standards but they would open themselves up to lawsuits. What a mess.

    • Is that why Cosmos put itself in suspended animation (We’re not dead yet!)? Wait for someone else to jump ship and then leave the league to avoid the $1.5 million bail out?

      • John P O'Donnell says:

        Who knows at this point. The one thing you’re not getting is answers, mostly rumours. The dirty word of stability is never mentioned when it comes to NASL. They should have chosen slow growth and trying to blur the lines of D1 one day. Instead they were sprinters in a marathon.

        I can see Edmonton being the fly in the ointment. With talk of CanPL starting in 2018 it only makes sense for them. Either they get a pay day and get into a league better suited to them or they keep NASL alive and maybe do better on that investment in the league.

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