Daily news roundups

Arena says Pontius and Rosenberry to get January call up, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

The Union passed on making a selection in Stage One of the Re-Entry Draft on Friday. Stage Two of the Re-Entry Draft takes place on Thursday: “Unlike Stage 1, when clubs have to pick up the contract option of any player selected, clubs that make selections in Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft secure the right to negotiate a new deal with drafted players.”

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead lists some players he likes that are available in the Re-Entry Draft.

In a Facebook chat on Friday, USMNT head coach Bruce Arena said Chris Pontius and Keegan Rosenberry would be called into the January camp. It is unclear if Alejandro Bedoya will be among the “many of the typical faces” that will also be called into the camp; USMNT regulars are sometimes given a break from attending the January camp although with the absolutely vital World Cup qualifiers coming in March things might understandably be different this time around. Arena did say, “Probably two-thirds of the pool is comprised of players from Major League Soccer.”

In Bleacher Report’s ranking of the top 50 MLS players, Keegan Rosenberry comes in at No. 19, Andre Blake at No. 22, and Chris Pontius comes in at No. 34. (WARNING: slideshow.)

City Islanders

At USLsoccer.com, new City Islanders president Tiago Lopes says of the team’s plans for a new stadium, “Stepping in and trying to upgrade the club, we certainly see the opportunity in front of us, a new stadium plan that is real right now. We’re working through the specifics right now to make it happen for the 2019 season, start construction in 2018.” Lopes says the goal now is to grow attendance back to the levels the club enjoyed in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. “What we see moving forward is 4,000, 5,000 people in the stands, and that’s my responsibility. That’s my goal moving forward, embracing the community and making sure all of the pieces of this puzzle are put together so that we can have success on the field.”

Reading United

At the Reading United website, Sean Doyle notes that seven Reading alums have been invited to the 2017 MLS Combine: “Guillermo Delgado, Connor Maloney, Billy McConnell, Lindo Mfeka, Robby Sagel, Colton Storm, and Jordan Wilson.”


The Temple Athletics website notes Jorge Gomez Sanchez has been invited to participate in the 2017 MLS Combine.

Villanova has announced Chris McLain as the new head coach of the university’s women’s soccer team.


Three players were selected in Stage One of the Re-Entry Draft on Friday: Houston selected defender Dylan Remick (formerly of Seattle), Orlando selected goalkeeper Patrick McLain (formerly of Chicago), and the Seattle selected goalkeeper Bryan Meredith, (formerly of San Jose).

Dallas has signed Belgian winger Roland Lamah for the 2017 season. The club has also acquired Costa Rican right back José Salvatierra on loan for 2017 from Alajuelense.

Toronto has re-signed Ashtone Morgan.

Orlando has signed Uruguayan defender José Aja to a four-year contract. Aja joined the club on loan from Racing Club de Montevideo in July.

San Jose has signed Marc Pelosi to a new contract.

Big Apple Soccer reports, “The Red Bulls and Town of Harrison settled on a tax agreement on Red Bull Arena, the Major League Soccer team and Harrison officials announced Friday. The Red Bulls owed back taxes on the stadium for years. No specific details were given about the agreement.”

Reuters reported on Saturday, “The former Mexico [and Chicago Fire] forward Cuauhtémoc Blanco declared a hunger strike on Saturday, to protest an impeachment process that seeks to remove him as mayor of the city of Cuernavaca, a state capital near Mexico City…Since the 43-year-old took over the colonial city of 350,000, opponents have questioned his attendance record at city hall meetings and his political experience, saying advisers make decisions on his behalf.”

The AP reported this morning, “Former Mexico international Cuauhtémoc Blanco said he has ended a hunger strike to defend his mayorship of the city of Cuernavaca after Mexico’s Supreme Court issued a stay against efforts to impeach him.”

With the league expanding to 28 teams, The Comeback proposes a new structure consisting of four geographically-based divisions each made up of seven teams. So, for example, the Union would be in the Northeast Division along with DC, Montreal, New England, NYCFC, NYRB, and Toronto. “In this structure, everybody plays their divisional rival twice (home and away) and everybody else in the league once a year (alternating home and away every other season) for a total of 33 games.”

Charlotte Observer reports, “Mecklenburg County says it will pause negotiations about rebuilding Memorial Stadium in Elizabeth for minor-league soccer until it leans if Charlotte can land a Major League Soccer team.”

The Tennessean reports, “Newly filed state legislation seeks to help Nashville’s bid for a Major League Soccer franchise by opening up one way that Metro government could help pay off debt of a future professional soccer stadium.”

MLS hopeful FC Cincinnati has announced the formation of a Supporters Council.

Empire of Soccer reviews some of the investors rumored to be/have been interested in buying into the New York Cosmos.


From the AP: “The men’s soccer team at Washington University in St. Louis has been indefinitely suspended for what the university calls sexually explicit comments and other inappropriate behavior toward the women’s soccer team.”


Real Madrid came from behind to defeat Kashima Antlers 4-2 in extra time on Sunday to win the Club World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick.

From the AP: “FIFA President Gianni Infantino has defended the use of video replays despite a shaky debut for the new system at the Club World Cup.”

From ESPN: “FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said the governing body is not responsible for players’ tax arrangements after accusations were levelled at some of football’s biggest names.”

Reuters reports, “An unnamed company described in a sweeping probe of corruption in soccer’s world governing body FIFA matches the description of a close affiliate of Grupo Televisa (TLVACPO.MX), the largest broadcaster in Latin America, according to a Reuters review of U.S. and Swiss government documents.”


  1. ZZZzzzZZZZzZZzZzZZZzzzzZZZzzzzZ

    • At least it’s Merseyside Derby day (or Merseyside Monday as it’s been dubbed). The PL is just what the doctor ordered this winter. Even Southampton/Bournemouth was riveting. The whole Chelsea chase should be pretty damn entertaining.

      Only sour note is that Bob Bradley’s being ridiculed for his Americanisms. Apparently some don’t take kindly to “PKs” and “Road games.” I do think most of the criticism is because the results aren’t there. Reminds me of local Phillies fans getting on Charlie Manuel for his bumpkinisms when all wasn’t well.

  2. Jones started for the U20 team.


    • John P O'Donnell says:

      Keegan Rosenberry is getting a shot at the January camp. The Union had a little help in his development as well.

  3. The Union can not bargain basement this top sports and media market fan base. We are in a division of heavy hitters. It’s great to build the foundation with the academy and affiliations(that is what needs to be done) but you need some top talent on the pitch. Philadelphia is not and can not be treated as a 2nd rate outpost in MLS! The Columbus type model may have been OK 3-4 years ago, but that philosophy is not going to continue to work in this conference. We have to be competitive with heavy hitters like NY,TOR,MTL,ORL,ATL and eventually MIA. Setting ourselves up to back into the playoffs with just adequate talent and coaching is not good enough for this top market and fan base!

    • I would say get use to it cause your not gonna get more until we get a new owner.

      • The Union will have to be a player whether they want to or not. They can’t afford not to step up their game and rethink the process. Too much has changed with this league. MLS is obviously not going to wait for a team in the 2nd largest market on the East coast to get up to speed with the rest of the conference. They may need to reorganize which they’ve shown they can do or sell.

  4. John P O'Donnell says:

    Evidently CCL is about to make some major changes to the format. Seattle Sounders GM tweeted:”We may not play Champions League games until 2018 due to some potential format changes” – Lagerwey
    12:44 AM – 19 Dec 2016
    the rumor is that they will expand the field.

    The competition would be expanded from 24 to 32 teams, and would be divided into two phases: Autumn and Spring. Sixteen teams will take part in each tournament:

    In the Autumn tournament (from August to October), there would be thirteen Central American clubs and three Caribbean clubs. The champion would qualify for the Spring tournament.

    In the Spring tournament, there would be four Mexican clubs, four American clubs, one Canadian club, five Central American clubs, one Caribbean club and the winner of the Autumn tournament.

    The new format has not been confirmed by CONCACAF.

    Hopefully no more teams starting the tournament before the regular season has even begun. I wonder how much the TAM will go up for 2018?

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      So does that mean it would still not be held in the same calendar year? It needs to start in the spring and end in the fall/winter. Stop putting it over two years. Seems like it is being changed, but not being fixed.

      • John P O'Donnell says:

        Well as it pertains to the US, it would be in the same calendar year. All the smaller confederations would start to basically qualify for the spring tournament. Also hearing MLS and Liga MX teams could meet in first games unlike before.

        NowI like to see USSF fix the US Open Cup schedule so that these two tournaments don’t over lap.

  5. Anyone catch this last week?
    Yeah, he has an injury history, but we have been complaining about LB since Jordan Harvey left. You have to figure Garza won’t cost a ton, considering his lack of playing time and desperation to just get minutes.
    Might be worth kicking the tires…

    • A player like Garza really has to be worth it in order to put up with all the discovery / allocation nonsense you need to put up with for U.S. internationals, though, right? But if he was the best available out there, I’m not against taking a look. Though, I don’t think Fabinho is nearly as bad as a lot of other people seem top think he is.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Not if MLS randomly makes him exempt!! Oh, wait, that wouldn’t happen for the Union. Silly me.

    • Seen it can’t see him coming to Philly though.

  6. OneManWolfpack says:

    I also don’t hate the 28 team / division / schedule idea, proposed by “The Comeback” – http://thecomeback.com/soccer/mls-expanding-to-28-teams-ambitious-but-it-can-work.html

  7. Let’s just call it a cleanse or a fast… certainly no hunger strike.
    maybe some lemon juice, ginger or cayenne to clean out the inner tubes.
    @Barroldinho1 is a good Twitter follow and manager of his own blog for those looking to increase the knowledge share.
    Dude actually lays out a really strong plan for how the current US Soccer system can grow and and grow…. just to defend my position to the Bittersweet Distractors that I am indeed open to both sides of the argument….

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