Daily news roundups

Union bits, Steel sign defender, league news, more

Photo: Daniel Studio

Happy holidays from all of us at PSP!

Philadelphia Union

The Union made no selections in Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft on Thursday. Leo Fernandes was one of the 38 players available in the draft but was not selected.

At MLSsoccer.com, list of each MLS team’s all-time best player names Tranquillo Barnetta as the Union’s best:

Don’t take it from me, take it from Union boss Jim Curtin, who said: “He’s the best player that ever wore a Philadelphia Union jersey, in my opinion.” Barnetta will no longer be with the team after this offseason, but Union fans will forever remember the forceful attacking midfielder as the point of the spear for a Union team that broke through to the 2016 postseason after a string of tortuous absences. The Union don’t perhaps have a single abiding international star name here, but Barnetta earned his place.

He will be missed.

At Philly Voice, part one of Kevin Kinkead’s “appreciation of Earnie Stewart and the transfer market” reviews the deals Stewart made in Holland through 2012, with an emphasis on the transfers he engineered with AZ Alkmaar between 2010 and 2012.

In the latest episode of the ExtraTime Radio podcast, “C.J. Sapong and Keegan Rosenberry take you inside the cultural shift in the City of Brotherly Love.” Andre Blake will be the guest in the next episode, which is due out on Dec. 29.

Brotherly Game invites you to hop on board the Derrick Jones hype train.

Bethlehem Steel

Bethlehem made a move to shore up their central defense on Thursday PSP, USLsoccer.comAllentown Morning Call, and Brotherly Game.

Bethlehem Steel’s logo came in third place in SportsLogo.net’s vote for Best New Primary Logo of 2016. More at Bethlehem Steel FC.


Three seasons after being drafted fourth overall by New England in the 2014 SuperDraft, local lad Steve Neumann has announced his retirement from professional soccer.

Bucks Local News remembers Holy Family University (HFU) and Conwell-Egan Catholic forward Jenna Richards, “who was killed Tuesday night, Dec. 20 in a car crash near the intersection of River Road and First Ave. just a block away from her home in Croydon.”


Four players were selected in Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft on Thursday: Houston selected center back Leonardo; Columbus selected defender Josh Williams; San Jose selected forward Olmes Garcia; and Kansas City selected goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra.

Seattle have acquired Harrison Shipp from Montreal in exchange for allocation money.

Portland have acquired Costa Rican international midfielder David Guzmán from Deportivo Saprissa.

Salt Lake have signed 2016 NASL Goalkeeper of the Year Matt Van Oekel and have also officially announced the signing of midfielder Jose Hernandez to a Homegrown contract.

Dallas have signed defender Reggie Cannon to a Homegrown Player contract, the club’s 18th signing from the FC Dallas Academy. The Dallas roster now includes ten homegrown players.

US Soccer Players and Brotherly Game look at how Kansas City has been using Homegrown claims to their advantage.

In an interview with UPROXX, David Villa said this when asked about people who say MLS is a retirement league:

People sometimes have opinions that are nasty, no? I mentioned yesterday – if the people coming here are watching one month, three, four games, it’s impossible to have this opinion. The people who have this opinion have never watched a game in MLS, it’s not important for the people who want to build this league because this opinion is not true. If you watch the games or if you watch the construction or building of the league.

Former NYRB head coach Mike Petke is the new head coach of Real Monarchs, Real Salt Lake’s USL team.

At St. Louis Business Journal, seven things that need to happen before St. Louis is awarded a MLS franchise.

USL side Oklahoma City Energy are interested in joining MLS but say they won’t place a bid before the league’s recently announced Jan. 31 application deadline. Team co-owner Bob Funk, Jr. tells The Oklahoman, “It would be disingenuous on our part to apply for this expansion deadline because there would be too many unknowns. We would have to sit down with all of the city stakeholders. Everyone would have to be behind it and ready to make that push. The long-term goal is to get to MLS. It’s just not to get to it within this tranche of teams.”


Jozy Altidore has been named US Player of the Year by Futbol de Primera. Christian Pulisic came in second place in the voting.

FourFourTwo has six USMNT players who face a make-or-break season in 2017.

Hope Solo continues to assert she was fired from the USWNT because she is “an adversary in the fight for equal pay.”


From the AP: “The best and most profitable way to expand the World Cup is a 48-team tournament of 16 three-team groups, according to FIFA’s in-house research which accepts the current 32-nation format produces the highest quality soccer.”

Chapecoense have been officially awarded the Copa Sudamericana champions trophy.

At ESPN, Simon Kuper offers seven trends that will shape soccer in 2017.

Check out the latest Footy on the Telly for live soccer on TV, online, and on satellite radio.


  1. I’m sorry, I simply cannot accept Barnetta over Nogueira. It’s gotta be Nog for our best all-time. The team was always much different and much better when he was on the pitch. I also think Carlos Valdes has to be in consideration. But Barnetta was basically here for 1 season (his short 2015 stint was pretty much nothing), and he wasn’t even the best player on the pitch for us this season (at best, 3rd IMO).
    Just so I know, at what point am I allowed to go into my routine of pointing out that the Union haven’t done anything to improve this offseason? I know it’s still early and that we’re not going to get rumors, but I am an impatient fellow.

    • I think I have to agree with you about Nogs. Barnetta is close though and I wouldn’t say it’s outrageous is someone believes otherwise.
      As for your second point (I’m with you already), I’d say January 2nd (just to avoid being negadelphian).

    • I am Citizen Insane says:


    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      While I share the impatience, I would remind you from last preseason of something that may have been a fluke or may not have been.
      Earnie Stewart had the roster completed earlier in the season-preparation process than at any previous time in the Union’s short history.
      I would also suggest that if his moves include moving current players away to other destinations outside MLS, those windows of activity have not yet opened if they are European.
      Right now he seems to be focused on the Steel.
      He just filled their biggest starting eleven need, a good right center back. For them and their budget the first domino has fallen.
      My own view is that the first domino has to fall at Center Midfielder for the Union before any of the other needs can be addressed, and the parameters of that deal will dictate those of all the other necessary moves.

    • Section 114 (former) says:

      Porfiro Lopez’s hair or bust!

      More seriously, how about Mondragon?

  2. I am Citizen Insane says:

    With all due respect I remember well the time when able to discard the commentary of 1/3 of contributors when arguing Barnetta was underwhelming and mediocre.
    I imagine same 1/3 disregard me as a woodwind without a reed.

  3. Barnetta may have been the best in his prime (although I don’t know how good Kleberson was in his prime), but with the Union I agree with others that Nogs was better. I’d also throw Mondragon’s name into the ring.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Kleberson at one point was starting for the Brazilian national team.
      If the conversation is to include goal keepers, Mondragon was the best leader, but Blake is a better athlete, and is probably the best single player ever to play for the Union.
      What other Union player has ever been as likely to be bought away from us to a higher quality league?

      • Section 114 (former) says:

        Blake is much more likely to go up the chain.
        Neither Nogs or Barnetta left for a better league.

  4. I’ve never really been on the pro/rel bandwagon, but hearing teams like OKC that have ambitions but are also realistic about their own timeline makes me wonder what the options really are. If a team that meets all the criteria (i.e. stadium, ownership etc) wins the 2nd division, they could be promoted as long as they pay a required fee to join the league. A small portion of that would go to the relegated team to entice the owners to actually agree to pro/rel, the rest would be split up as expansion fees are now. If the winner has no MLS ambitions or does not meet certain requirements, pro/rel would be skipped for that season and the worst MLS team would live to see another day. There’s no reason it can’t work on a season-by-season basis – and I do agree it would encourage spending to compete.

    • ..but? but. but!
      slumped shoulders.
      US Soccer shudders at the thought of a full Premiership that comprises the 5 boroughs, south Boston, one Outlier in DC and another in Suffolk.
      Everything is being done to see to it this never happens. Only time will tell if the heads of state truly have the best interest of game at heart… or plan to keep it as a nice thing to look at in the corner.

  5. Barnetta was a good player. We got him after his prime with balky knees. My previous comments disparaging him mostly reflected his petulance and presumed (since confirmed) lack of dedication to this team and its efforts to become competitive. In the end most of the blame for the Union starting over AGAIN goes to the FO. Couldn’t make Nogueira happy. Couldn’t keep Barnetta here. Waited a full season for a DP defensive MF to come back from injury and the position still isn’t nailed down. No competent #10 for the coming year. (Bedoya? Please.) I suspect CJ will be our starting forward again and we’ll still be playing the same set-in-stone formation. And in another couple years Earnie will have left for greener pastures. Will we ever win a playoff game? I wonder. I hope so but I wouldn’t bet the farm.

    • Assuming we’re sticking with a 4-2-3-1, who would be our opening day XI as of right now?
      Blake/Fabinho-Marquez-Yaro-Rosenberry/Carroll-Creavalle/Pontius-Bedoya-Ilsinho/Sapong? Something like that?
      Hard to pencil in Edu anywhere – I think if you’re the Union, you have to plan as if he’s not going to play. He’s versatile enough that you don’t need to plan around him or leave a position open for him. That’s just a piss-poor lineup. This really is “starting over again”. Earnie has a lot of work to do.

      • C+C Music Factory doesn’t move you?
        I appreciate your final thought, as I wrote about two weeks or so ago…while my fingers are tapping tapping gentle rapping at the chamber door I am also inclined to grant the Director a stay or clemency altogether in light of losing his two best players this season. I imagine he has a plan to alight on the shoulders of a vision and philosophy but now also needs to solve for the equation of his engine and electronics gone missing.
        The Calm and Noguiera are not easily snap of fingers replaced. Even if Bedoya is the solution at 10 (which doesn’t make me stand up and say A-HA) still need another high quality midfielder… and somebody to score as a striker.

      • I don’t know what’s more depressing, that somebody at some point thought that was an acceptable pairing in the midfield or that they’re legitimately the best options on the roster right now.

  6. Lucky Striker says:


    Vote for whomever ya want, but I’m pretty sure the “best to date” comes from that list.

    Now; please excuse while I cry me a little river…….

    “oh those golden times we’re missing-
    spending the hours reminiscing”……….

  7. European transfer window opens in a little less than two weeks. Looks like we’re going to have to wait until January to get our news at the very least. I’m hoping for lots of news.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      these remarks come from the wholecloth of imagination unfettered by the restrictions of hard evidence.
      I suspect before anything else happens, he initiates sales of his best European-style assets to European sides. Using the capital generated and the salary cap space freed, he then goes shopping for a central midfielder of some age and experience and a young striker of promise. He has targets already identified, but can make no moves until the sales are irrevocable.

  8. Barnetta was the best player in terms of raw ability.
    Nogs was the best player as he made the whole team better.
    For a team with the Unions limitations you take Nogs over Barnetta but you try and have both.

  9. I think I would put Nogueira just ahead of Barnetta on the Union All Time Great list. And I agree with Adam S. that Carlos Valdes deserves consideration for that honor too. But I would put one additional name on that list: Andre Blake. It’s hard to compare keepers and field players, but I think he might be player the U. have ever had to date.

  10. John P O'Donnell says:

    “The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind”. Gordon Gekko

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