Daily news roundups

Curtin’s vision and more Union news, league moves, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

At Philly.com, Jim Curtin talks to Jonathan Tannenwald about graduating from the inaugural class of US Soccer’s new Pro License course. Asked what he wants the Union to be known for, Curtin says, aside from winning trophies, “I want us to be known as a club that develops players for the United States national team. That sounds obvious, but I think we are a unique team in that regard. I think others have their eyes set on bringing in the DPs and the elite players. I want players to come through the Philadelphia Union and play for the United States national team. Because at the end of the day, this country and this game will only grow if our national team is great.”

Asked about what the team is looking for in the offseason, Curtin said, “We’re looking for a striker right now, obviously, and an experienced center back to teach our current guys on the field.”

At MLSsoccer.com, Matthew Doyle review of each team’s offseason moves says this about the Union:

The Offseason So Far: Really, really, really quiet so far. I think that changes with two big signings in the next month:

  • A DP No. 9
  • A TAM-level No. 6

I was fully onboard with the C.J. Sapong experience, but the Union can’t have a starting center forward who goes half the year without sniffing an open play goal.

As for the No. 6 spot, it’s pretty clear that Brian Carroll’s race is just about run, and that Warren Creavalle is a little too adventurous to properly shield a young backline. If they could find their own Marco Donadel I’m sure the Union braintrust would be thrilled.

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead completes his look at Earnie Stewart’s transfer moves while he was in charge at AZ in Holand.

Keegan Rosenberry talks to ASN about his expected call up to the USMNT’s January camp: “Getting invited is just the first step. I don’t want to celebrate it too much. It’s something I need to do well. Hopefully it’s just the first step in a long process of a long relationship with the national team.

Philly Sports Network has an offseason preview.

Charlie Davies beating cancer comes in at No. 9 in a list of the top ten moments of 2016 at MLSsoccer.com.

The Union feature in several “Best of” videos at the league site, including Best Save (Blake’s save against Seattle in Week 7), Best Nutmeg (Ilsinho scorching two Chicago players), and Best Goal Celebration (the Herbers flip). Alejandro Bedoya’s chip against Toronto is the Union’s representative in a highlight reel of the best goal of the year from each team (Joao Plata’s goal against the Union from Week 21 is also in the list).

“Best gift ever”: 6abc reports on how young Philadelphia Union fan Ethan Chambers was very happy to receive a Union ticket package for Christmas. More at Fox Sports and MLSsoccer.com.

Alejandro Bedoya went to a Florida Panthers game.

Local

Former Reading United defender Ben Newnam has signed with USL-side San Antonio FC.

MLS

Atlanta have acquired US international defender Greg Garza “on a season-long loan” from Club Tijuana. Atlanta sent “a highest (“best”) 2018 Second Round MLS SuperDraft pick” to Columbus in return for “the Discovery Priority” on Garza to make the deal happen: “Pursuant to the trade agreement, if Garza starts in 12 or more MLS regular-season games in 2017, or if his option for 2018 is exercised following the 2017 season, Crew SC will receive General Allocation Money instead of the SuperDraft pick.”

Chicago have acquired former LA Galaxy midfielder Juninho via the Allocation Process, signing him “on loan to a one-year contract” from Club Tijuana.

Columbus have acquired Finnish international defender Jukka Raitala as a Discovery Signing.

Kansas City have acquired defender Igor Julião “on loan from Fluminense FC through 2017.” The  22-year-old was previously on loan to Kansas City from the Brazilian club in 2014.

Houston have signed Honduran international forward Romell Quioto from CD Olimpia using Targeted Acquisition Money.

Seattle have acquired Will Bruin from Houston “in exchange for targeted and general allocation money.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports,

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Friday that St. Louis can become “major league” if it combines public financing with private cash to bring a soccer stadium to a large undeveloped area near Union Station.

“Folks may want to anguish a little bit over all this sort of stuff, but it’s the price of doing business,” Nixon said in a meeting with Post-Dispatch reporters downtown. “And quite frankly, we’re getting in, relative to what other areas of have done, so much more cost-effectively here.”

You will recall incoming governor Eric Greitens said last week he is against using public money to help build a stadium as part of St. Louis’ bid to win a MLS franchise, calling it “welfare for millionaires.”

Some NASL news:

Picking up on tweets from the Telegraph’s Bob Williams, Empire of Soccer reports, “PSG Academy Florida — which is backed by the same Qatari investors who own and operate Ligue 1’s Paris St-Germain — remains on track to take over the historic NASL side if the league announces it will live on in 2017. PSG Academy Florida has operated FC Miami City in the PDL for the last two years.” The report also says “all staff members have been officially terminated by ownership,” that players have been paid less than what is owed to them “after dealing with late payments or bounced checks from ownership throughout most of the year,” and that the Strikers have asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit from Tampa Bay Rowdies owner Bill Edwards attempting to recover money loaned to the team to keep it afloat in 2016.

New York Cosmos midfielder Sebastian Guenzatti, who suffered a ruptured ACL three games before the end of the 2016 season, tells Empire of Soccer he feels abandoned by the club:

They promised me something that they never did, which was to help me through [my injury]. Honestly, they have completely abandoned me. It’s been a while now and they have helped me in nothing, in absolutely nothing, and it hurts to even mention [head coach] Gio [Savarese], but nobody has called me about my injury…“It’s ugly. Especially after I have given everything to this club, winning titles as a starter, working hard. And at the end…to be re-paid like this…What hurts me the most is I haven’t received a phone call [from the front office]. Not a single phone call…. I gave everything to this team. I don’t even have to say what I have done for this team in four years. Honestly, I feel deceived by the club and how they treated me. They always did everything right by me. Then I got injured and they promised me a lot about helping me through recovery, but as of now, I haven’t received a call from anyone except from teammates.”

Guenzatti, who was paid $3,500 a month when he was with the Cosmos and is still owed several thousand dollars in bonus money, has had to move in with his parents along with his wife and young son because he is unable to work while he continues the long recovery process from his injury.

US

Christian Pulisic has been named to UEFA’s Champions League Breakthrough Team for 2016.

Alex Morgan’s goal against Germany in the SheBelievesCup final has been named US Soccer’s Goal of the Year. How is Christen Press’ goal against Costa Rica in February’s Olympic qualifier not even on the list?

Elsewhere

PA Sport reports, “Marco van Basten says FIFA is considering introducing further measures to improve player behavior towards officials. The world governing body’s chief officer for technical development has admitted football could learn from rugby, which allows only captains to speak to referees.” Make it so.

The AP reports on the Chapocoense plane crash: “Colombian aviation authorities said Monday that an airliner that crashed with a Brazilian soccer team aboard had run out of fuel before it could land.”

Harry the Hornet is a very naughty mascot.

45 Comments

  1. Real tough story about Guenzatti. Wish him better days and a shot on another team.

  2. Uh, No Jim. You are here to WIN, and WIN only. If you think that we’d be happy with ‘most national team players developed’ you are sadly, sadly mistaken. I think it’s time for owners to take their winnings off the table and get out of the game. Thanks for the team, now we want to win, like 6 years ago!

  3. Old Soccer Coach says:

    PURE SPECULATION FOLLOWS. Logic only, no evidence.
    .
    in reference to “really really really quiet”. the pattern of Earnie Stewart’s wheeling and dealing at his previous Dutch clubs is not only buying but also selling and paying transfer fees. See Kevin Kinkead’s two part article referenced above in today’s post.
    .
    To raise working capital, you have to sell something someone else views as an asset, or you have to borrow, borrowing costing interest.
    .
    Is the Sporting Director waiting to sell assets in the richest soccer market place available, Europe, to raise the capital to pay transfer fees? He certainly paid transfer fees in Holland.
    .
    Transfermarkt.com puts the market value of Ilsinho and Alberg combined at approximately $2.8 million dollars.
    .
    Just a thought.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Sapong goes to right flank mid and starts. Herbers comes back to striker behind the DP as does Davies.

      • Sapong is not a flank player. That’s why he floundered in Kansas City after his rookie season. He’s a target forward, and a pretty good one. He just can’t be the only one. (And he has to improve over last year to even be the starting one.) Herbers seems much more suited to play on the wing if you ask me.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      I think I am still in the “honeymoon” phase with Stewart. I am totally cool with allowing him to make moves and put a team out there. If Ilsinho and Alberg go, I would have no problem with that… assuming players were brought back in. Good stuff OSC

  4. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Would love to know how Curtin intends to cover #6, #8, and to a lesser degree #10 (Bedoya’s potential call ups for USMNT) next season.
    .
    My suspicious brain says either he already knows something we don’t about #6, #8 & #10, or the center back talk is “disinformation.”

    • I look forward to the day he knows something we don’t.

    • OSC, my thoughts exactly. I don’t know how you move from “striker, obviously” down to a veteran centerback need, seems like he skipped the midfield. Here’s hoping that’s where the $ is spent.

  5. So much pisses me off about Curtins comments in the article I’m not sure where to begin. I think the line about-I think others have their eyes set on bringing in the DPs and the elite players. I want players to come through the Philadelphia Union and play for the United States national team.”
    .
    Maybe you get some ancillary joy that Keegan gets a call up, but I don’t. I’m not spending cash on tickets for the club so Rosenberry gets a 10 minute runout in a thrashing of Trinidad. And the line about others have their eyes on DPs, hey moron, so do WE! To be dismissive of a Pirlo and hold up youth development like Trusty in the same response further underlines for me that Curtin should not be the manager of this club. He reeks of no ambition.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      I think we as fans were so destroyed and jaded by Sak and the gang’s constant dart throwing, that now that we have a plan in place, and a guy (ES) to execute it, the third part of that is time… which we now have none of.
      .
      I don’t think Curtin means, at least I hope he doesn’t, that we won’t spend “DP” money ever, I think he means we aren’t Toronto (with multiple DPs)… so don’t expect it. If the Union spend money on a #9, and the guy scores 15 goals, it’s a win. Do we need to spend $10 million on a #9, to get a name and 15 goals? No. I believe ES can find a better option than Sapong, which I will argue given the 2nd half of his season, is not that hard… but it is key to the Union’s success.
      .
      When and if Sugarman ever sells the club, maybe we’ll step up a notch. Or maybe by attrition of the league, we will have to in time… but for now, this is the plan and we have a sold guy making the decisions – ES. Let’s roll with it.

      • Technically we have multiple DPs with that stiff Edu and the midfielder-without-a-position Bedoya.

    • Boy do we see it differently.
      .
      And I’m not a Curtin apologist…. I’m all about providing an outlet for the youth of the greater Philadelphia region (thanks to MLS policy) to play at the highest level and raise the standard of the National Team. No question. For me it is about every franchise having the same vision… in order to hoist the holy grail of trophies.
      .
      Yup.
      .
      Jim Curtin and Earnie Stewarts Vision, if I understand it correctly is a Vision greater and more in-depth than MLS… this creates a level of trust for me to be honest- because the game simply has to be greater than the league.

      • I want my club to win. If those players go on to greater success, super. But honors won elsewhere for other teams don’t do jack for me as a Union fan. You go on and dream that this FO will develop the talent that wins a World Cup. I waited until 2008 for my first championship (didn’t live here in 80), I really do not have the patience or lifespan to listen to this walking matchstick prattle on about youth and helping the USMNT. Win here. Win now. Or GTFO. The club went to great lengths on puff pieces on how amazing a season it was to get rolled three days into the post season. Next step is a championship or failure. There shouldn’t be any focus on the senior team and the words “youth pipeline”. It should be signings that fit his system of play (last offseasons BS narrative). I’ve watched him flounder about long enough. He’s credentialed now. He’s got his guy’s. He has a GM. What he no longer has is time or excuses.

      • You and I have different goals sir. I do not disparage yours… mine are just different.
        .
        Ultimate success at the highest possible level is my aspiration. That only happens with proper youth development.
        .
        I’d like Philly’s Eagles to win a Super Bowl. I’d like The United States of America to win a World Cup. Two entirely different aspirations with entirely different requirements.

      • Dude, I’m not taking a shot at you. I just do not care as much for country success and more relevantly, believe James Tiberius Curtin would have anything remotely to do with said success.

      • I Am Citizen Insane says:

        I did not take it as such. No worries.

      • Cool. We still on for lattes Thursday?

      • This attitude is pretty prevalent among fans in the Philly area and really speaks to my fundamental disagreement with Philly sports fans in general since I moved here a few years ago.
        .
        I’ve seen teams I cheer for and support win titles, it’s an amazing feeling. But the best part of sports to me is watching players grow and develop. That game where you see a light bulb come on in a player’s or a team’s head and suddenly they master something that had alluded them.
        .
        You obviously don’t want seasons where you are losing all the time, but if you see a sports season as championship or bust you are selling yourself short.

    • Wanting to develop players from the ground up so they play for our NT, the greatest honor for a player, “reeks” of no ambition!?!?

      I think the issue here is that you don’t see how achieving this goal will surly allow us to win games as well.

      If we produce players good enough for the NT, surely they are good enough to contribute to the Union doing well in the league?

      You make fun of Rosenberry getting a call up, but did Williams or Gaddis even sniff the NT? No.

      Not only that, but producing NT players means producing sale-able talent, which means transfer fees, which means money going into the team to improve it.

      Really, Cutin’s goal of producing NT players should make you happy. It checks so many boxes for ambition and winning games.

  6. Boy if the perception of US Soccer didn’t get kicked in gut just now… its okay, though…Bob will likely fall back and likely land a safe and comfortable job in the sweet nectar of a league where ultimate success or failure doesn’t lay with every game and the earned right to play at the highest level.
    .
    Imagine how many MLS teams and soon to be new franchises are clamoring to get the Big Fish.
    .
    Sorry sir.

    • Bob didn’t get a fair shot. I think all the fear and loathing around American owners and not consulting g that group of supporters with a board position didn’t help. Swansea was facing a real mutiny. Hope he gets a good European job elsewhere.

    • I really admire how you use current events to provide another angle for you to take shots at the lack of a true US soccer pyramid. It’s masterful and unrelenting. /Tips cap.

    • I bet when MLS wins CONCACAF champions league that will shake up your worldview won’t it pachyderm? He really deserved better. Honestly I thought he did an excellent job with what he had. Who the heck gives a coach 11 matches? That’s one thing international soccer could learn from the NFL. Give coaches at least a season to turn things around. These Europeans don’t really know how to do sports right. Oh well. Maybe one day we’ll show em the way.

      • John P O'Donnell says:

        Sits and smiles while thinking an earthquake just happened in Truther Ville….hope everybody is alright. So much ambition today…so many roads to take.

      • I Am Citizen Insane says:

        You mean when MLS consistently wins CCL I believe, yes, The Chief?
        .
        YE Yang was first to stare down Tiger in a major tournament then fell back into relative obscurity. That event didn’t change my worldview that Eldrick is arguably the greatest player ever and that for one event Yang was a worthwhile winner.
        .
        Hopefully worldviews are not locked in….maybe ever evolving based on empirical data.

  7. Lucky Striker says:

    The more I read this crap, the more I hope the elephant wins, pro/rel comes and the Union fade into the ether.

    Everybody wins then, except them. That was the plan apparently.
    OSC had me for a moment, what with right Sap and all…..

    Then he ruined it with Herbers and Davies.

    Reality check? Check.

  8. OneManWolfpack says:

    Sucks about Bradley but I think we all knew that was coming. He’s a good manager, and he’ll get another gig somewhere. That Swansea team is not very good to begin with.
    .
    As for our Union, maybe it’s because I am only 35, that I still have some patience and hope for the team, but I am ok with the approach being taken. Mainly because of ES. Now if he leaves, say after this season for some reason, I will be very upset. He needs to see this through for a bunch of years. Hell, I have been watching the Flyers since I was 6 – 1987 Final – and they have come so close. If I can wait for them, I can wait for the Union 🙂

  9. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Still wrestling with Jim Curtin ignoring central midfield, trying to get it to make sense.
    .
    Even if they are handing the keys to the engine to Derrick Jones, a concept that makes me gasp with disbelief at it’s boldness given my view of some of the flaws he would have to overcome to be successful, they still need to make a move there.
    .
    When Phillip the 2nd of Macedon sent his son Alexander – subsequently called the Great – out to command his first battle at age 15 against some rebellious hill tribe or other, sitting on a horse next to the son in battle armour was Phillip’s most experienced, best non-royal general, Black Cleitus by name if I remember right.
    .
    Jones will have Edu and Bedoya in front and behind but who will be on the bench? I want an upgrade over Warren Creavalle for anything beyond a game-finishing minor injury emergency.

  10. Wow, judging by some of the postings here, many of you had a bad holiday. Hope that it improves and your collective mood brightens.

  11. My take on all above:
    1. Jim Curtin–incredibly nice guy but quotes above make me wonder if gameday coach is right place for his talents and worry he will continue to prove that old adage about “nice guys”. Throw down an effing gauntlet, dude! Put it on the line-no more condescending “patience, children”, but declare “WE WILL DESTROY THE RED BULLS” or “SUPPORTER’S SHEILD IS OURS TO TAKE”

    2. James makes excellent point that getting USMNT quality players improves Union-comparable to all-stars on the Phillies. I get that but I’m with ScottyMac and SoccerDad. Winning is why they play the game and why we watch. Phillies sell out stadium and sell merchandise when they win–sorry, for baseball analogy but it just fits better here.

    3. US hoisting a world cup—World Cup has lost its luster for me. Exciting, sure it can be at times and so can the qualifiers, but maybe it was all the FIFA corruption, maybe 5 years of Klinsmann, maybe the prospect of 2022 in Qatar being an utter bore, or the mismatched teams or the meaningless friendlies.
    But bigger part of it is knowing Messi playing for Barcelona is beautiful—past three years of watching him with Argentina is like watching a chain gang movie waiting for him to make his escape. I get same feeling for many of the other stars (Rooney, Suarez, etc) with their national team–maybe like American all-star games, no one wants to get hurt and risk their huge club contracts, or maybe just impossible to develop team chemistry when you practice only a handful of times a year, roster and playing time determined by an often narcissistic, maniacal coach who truth be told has more control than most club coaches but far less pressure.

    Bottom line–“nice to have” US hoist a cup or two 30-40 years from now but that’s not why I watch the Union. I watch the Union to see them KICK RED BULL ASSES! (Sensing a theme?)

    4. Sapong—I loved watching him with KC and his first year here as he bounced back from his personal mistake. Everyone makes mistakes and compared to many others (Manziel) he handled it well. Not sure what isn’t working this past year but clear he doesn’t fit into whatever Curtin is doing. Time to re-evaluate–can we reignite that magic and if not, cut ties and watch him score $#!+ load of goals elsewhere because he is still good player.

    5. Union doesn’t need a “player here, a player there”. Whack a mole or plugging holes, choose your cliché but it’s wrong.
    They need a team leader. Not sure if it was Nogs, Barnetta or LeToux but we lost that in August last year.
    They lack that spark. It isn’t Blake which is fine–some GK are, some aren’t. Bedoya doesn’t appear to want role. Maybe Keegan steps up or Pontius. But someone needs to fire that team up.

    Thanks.

    UnionGoal

  12. The Little Fish says:

    Screw building a pipeline of national team players. The USMNT is not our friggin’ problem. I totally disagree with the logic. Jim Curtain should have one goal: win games and earn trophies. I’m hoping (seriously) that Earnie Stewart is not subscribing to this wacky theory. I’m assuming building a legit contender for MLS cup is his only true focus. I love our national team and follow them passionately BUT I do not see the need, or logic in linking my two favorite teams together. Frankly, if Earnie were to bring in 5 European players: striker, seasoned CB, a D-mid, and some depth I’d be absolutely THRILLED. I totally, and wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment of kick NYRB’s ass at all costs!

    • I Am Citizen Insane says:

      The reason America is the best at baseball and the best at basketball is precisely because the youth infrastructure is in place.
      .
      I disagree wholeheartedly with any theory that the league and its teams are here to serve your ambition to hoist MLS Cup… we are trying to develop a game in the USA and the pathway to being the best is not by buying players from abroad to constantly meet short term needs.
      .
      I respect differing POV but this notion I ve read here and in other places is, respectfully, off the mark for what is trying to be built in America.

  13. The Little Fish says:

    Nah, sorry I cannot agree with you el Pachy. In my opinion the best way to grow soccer in the USA is to grow the fan base. I started watching MLS when Thierry Henry signed on. I was interested in watching one of ‘the greats’ up close and personal. Prior to that I never tuned in. And quite honestly Henry’s quality was mesmerizing to me. Then I wound up getting hooked on MLS. I don’t want to be USMNT’s farm club. I want to watch a carefully crafted blend of players from anywhere, and everywhere working in unison and KICKING RBNY’S ASS. It’d be nice to mix in a DP stud from overseas but please don’t give me an all-American homogeneous (dull) team. I like it spicy!

  14. The Little Fish says:

    ….once the masses start watching the games the masses children will begin playing. Then we’ll really have something going on that is more akin to MLB or NBA. That’s just my humble opinion.

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