Daily news roundups

Linc to host 2017 Gold Cup knockout game, Union bits, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

At ASN, Brian Sciaretta includes Alejandro Bedoya, Chris Pontius, and Keegan Rosenberry among the group of 30 players he expects to see called up for the January USMNT camp. Sciaretta writes of Rosenberry,

Rosenberry should be rewarded for a strong rookie season. In 2016 he made 36 starts across all competitions for the Philadelphia Union, logging 3,234 minutes along the way. And while it wasn’t all perfect and he looked tired late in the season, he also showed moments of enormous promise. His one-on-one defending improved mightily and his passing was usually very strong. There is a very limited supply of young American fullbacks and this camp could be a big opportunity for Rosenberry.

At MLSsoccer.com, Tranquillo Barnetta’s free kick goal against Orlando makes a highlight reel of the Top Five free kicks of the 2016 MLS season.

Dirty South Soccer talks to former Union man Kevin “We Hardly Knew Thee” Kratz, who says of his brief time with the Union: “I had only learned a little bit about all of the drafts, MLS system, and salary cap. In Philadelphia, I only had a short, intense, but great time there. The Philadelphia Union family was very professional and everything was great. I was happy to be part of it and to get a closer look inside of a MLS team. With the playoff game we had in Toronto, it was great to see that.”

Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft takes place on Thursday at 3 pm. At MLSsoccer.com, how Stage 2 differs from Stage 1.


More on the rumor at Section 215.

Bethlehem Steel FC

Bethlehem Steel’s crest is a finalist for SportsLogos.net’s best new primary team logo of 2016. More at Bethlehem Steel and USLsoccer.com.


CONCACAF announced on Monday that Lincoln Financial Field is one of five stadiums that will host a knockout round game during the 2017 Gold Cup. The CONCACAF announcement notes, “Complete groups and the full schedule, including selection of dates and assignment of matches for the knockout round and the awarding of the Final, will be announced next year.” You will recall the Linc hosted the Gold Cup final in 2015 (which makes it unlikely it will do the same in 2017).

In case you’re wondering, the US will play in Group B, opening its campaign in Nashville on July 8, the second game following on July 12 in Tampa, and then July 15 in Cleveland. Here’s a look at the USMNT’s past results at those group stage stadiums.

Looks like Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was in Philly on Sunday to see Joel Embiid and the 76ers defeat the Brooklyn Nets.


Montreal have signed Dominic Oduro to “a new two-year deal.”

DC have re-signed Sean Franklin “to a multi-year contract.”

Vancouver have signed striker Kyle Greig “to an MLS contract for 2017, with options for 2018, 2019, and 2020” from their USL team, Whitecaps FC 2. Also signed from Whitecaps FC 2 for the same terms is goalkeeper Spencer Richey.

Columbus Crew defender Gaston Sauro will miss the 2017 season as he recovers “from multiple knee surgeries.” In related news, Columbus have signed 22-year-old center back Alex Crognale to a Homegrown contract.

Antoine Griezmann to MLS? Someday? Griezeman told France Football, “I love the States. I want to have an NBA season ticket, and go and watch each game with my children. I already see myself there. I don’t know which city yet, but why not in Beckham’s franchise in Miami. It would be the best to play under Beckham.”

Are changes coming to the format of the CONCACAF Champions League?

The AP reports, “Missouri Gov.-elect Eric Greitens said Monday he opposes taxpayer money to help build a new soccer stadium in St. Louis, calling the project “nothing more than welfare for millionaires.”

Some PRO refs are retiring.


Alex Morgan talks to SI’s Grant Wahl about why she has signed a half-year contract with Lyon, “the club regarded by many observers as the best women’s club team in the world.” Wahl notes, “Morgan did say that the uncertainty over the labor situation between the U.S. women’s national team players and U.S. Soccer had an influence on her decision to sign with Lyon.” She’ll rejoin NWSL side Orlando Pride after Lyon’s season finishes in May.

At The Players’ Tribune, Morgan in her own words on why she’s signed with Lyon.


Mexico is one of several countries that have been fined by FIFA “for various incidents involving unsporting conduct by fans, including homophobic chants in some instances” during the last cycle of World Cup qualifiers and friendlies including, the qualifier against the US in Columbus where, I can assure you because I was at the game, the usual foul chant from Mexico supporters was lamentably present. The fine? 20,000 Swiss francs, the measly equivalent of about $19,400. (Meanwhile, England’s FA was fined 45,000 Swiss francs because players wore poppy symbols during their World Cup qualifier against Scotland to commemorate Armistice Day because FIFA views the poppy as a political symbol. Scotland was fined 20,000 Swiss francs for doing the same.) The FIFA announcement notes, “Another procedure opened against Mexico is currently on going.” Fox Sports notes, “The new sanction is Mexico’s sixth in 13 months, putting the Mexican federation’s fines at $105,000 for homophobic chants in that time.”


Bundesliga clubs will honor the victims of Monday night’s terrorist attack on a Christmas market in Berlin with a minute of silence before their games today and on Wednesday. 12 people were killed and 48 injured when a truck plowed through the crowd at the open air Christmas market, echoing the attack earlier this year in Nice.

Reuters reports, “World soccer governing body FIFA’s independent ethics committee on Monday imposed life-long bans on two former Honduran officials for involvement in a multimillion-dollar bribery scheme to which both have pled guilty…Rafael Callejas, former president of the Honduran Football Association (FENAFUTH) and a former member of the FIFA Marketing and TV Committee, and Alfredo Hawit Banegas, former acting president of CONCACAF.”

The AP reports, “Players from Russia’s under-21 national soccer team had suspicious drug-test samples covered up, emails released by a World Anti-Doping Agency investigation show.” FIFA says it will look into the matter.

The AP reports UEFA “wants existing rules which prohibit non-football statements [during games] to ‘evolve to reflect the nature of the society in which we live.’ UEFA’s statement on Monday follows Barcelona dropping a Court of Arbitration for Sport appeal against fines imposed for fans supporting Catalonian independence.”

FIFA has announced researchers at Qatar University have developed a helmet for construction workers building stadiums and infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup that has a solar-powered fan that “has the potential to significantly reduce the skin temperature of construction workers by up to 10 degrees centigrade.” More from AFP.

ESPN reports, “Brazil’s friendly against Colombia to benefit the victims of the Chapecoense air crash has been set for Jan. 25 at the Engenhao stadium in Rio de Janeiro.” More at Goal.com.

At the Washington Post, a 2017 soccer calendar.


  1. So many soccer players from other countries are huge NBA fans (Courtois, Griezmann, Kroos, Messi, Beckham, Defoe, etc.). Griezmann’s point about having season tickets to a NBA is just another selling point to players who are considering a move to MLS.

  2. 13 goals in 42 Chinese Super League appearances for Mulenga doesn’t sound promising. Guy is 32, also. He spent time in Netherlands so is likely a Stewart scouting job.

    • Completely underwhelming. I think what really bothers me is that it looks like there won’t be an upgrade from C.J. Early days I guess…

      • Early days. Of all these drafts, the only one where frugal teams might be active is stage 2 of the re-entry draft because they can knock down the price of the player’s contract.
        Do remember that BC for 2016 took about a $50K salary reduction. We know nothing of performance bonuses, of course, which would make a great deal of sense for an individual of “enhanced maturity”.

      • I really wasn’t talking about the draft. At all.

    • He’s a trialist, and just someone they are bringing in. He’s not being sold as anyone other than that.
      We’re just starved for news, so we are parsing everything. Don’t be surprised if he either never comes over, or doesn’t even warrant a jersey.

      • Agreed.

        That’s the biggest difference with the organization under Stewart. Leaks about player moves are fairly rare (Kevin Kinkead has mentioned this more than a few times). Earnie runs a tight ship.

    • I don’t put much stock in performances in China. That league is so rife with match fixing & cheating, who really knows how to judge a player’s performance there.

    • The striker signed by the Fire today is closer to what I’d like to see the Union do. Nemanja Nikolić. Lots of goals for Legia Warsaw. Now, I have no idea what the quality difference is between MLS and the Polish 1st division, but this guy can score goals.

  3. They should have put down FIFA when they had the chance…Look we got the Qatari indentured servants a hat with a fan! It feels like 110 degrees instead of 120! Aren’t we swell?

    • 10 c difference is better than a 10 f difference, but your point is spot on. It’s all so ridiculous.

      • I saw a report somewhere, probably VICE, where they dupe these workers into coming over. They get placed in shacks with 30 other guys and end up owing more money than they can ever possibly repay. Kind of like the old corporate towns where your only option was to buy from the company store with company credit and then they owned you.

      • Basically what we did with immigrant coal minors in this country 100 years ago.

    • Like the IOC, there’s just too much money involved for FIFA not to be corrupt. Even if FIFA got completely leveled, some new organization would fill that power vacuum and that would run into the same issues.

  4. Glad to see that Derrick Jones got the start in the second friendly against Costa Rica of Tab Ramos’s USMNT U-20 preparatory camp down in Costa Rica somewhere. In the picture on the USF Twitter account he seems a full head taller than most of his starting teammates.
    The game result was 0-0 I think I figured out.

  5. Personally I’d rather see group games in the Gold Cup at Talen rather than KO’s at the Linc.

    • Lets just hope he got some more tactical awareness in his training to make in game adjustments. Also, lets hope he realizes when players just aren’t pulling their weight and just need to be switched out like CJ Sapong and Rosenberry toward the end of the season.

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