Daily news roundups

Union bits, league news, Bradley fired, more news

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead writes that Union fans shouldn’t be surprised by the lack of rumor and news regarding Union offseason acquisitions. Noting the lack of leaks since Earnie Stewart arrived, and that the team generally doesn’t make deals involving international players until January or February, Kinkead writes,

The fact that the Union are seemingly standing pat so far suggests to me that bigger things are on the horizon…The lack of information coming from the club might make for a boring holiday season, but you should view this as a technical staff and front office that is now buttoned-up and operating in cohesion. People stopped talking because they’re buying in. Everybody down there is on the same page and working towards the same goals in a comprehensive and cohesive way… the Union generally operate in a quiet and conservative manner, so try to relax and enjoy the holidays…Worrying about the Union in the transfer market is always a waste of time because the club historically waits until January to start making moves.

At MLSsoccer.com, Keegan Rosenberry comes in at No. 10 in a list of the top ten acquisitions of 2016: “Rosenberry wasn’t just one of the league’s top rookies in 2016. He was easily one of its top fullbacks full stop, and there’s no reason to think he won’t fill that role for years to come.”

At MLSMultiplex, Rosenberry comes in at No. 5, and Chris Pontius at No. 3, in a list of the top ten MLS signings of 2016.

That Fabian Herbers goal against Columbus at Talen Energy Stadium comes in at No. 3 in MLSsoccer.com’s highlight reel of the top five rookie goals of 2016.


Minnesota have signed Costa Rican international defender Francisco Calvo from Saprissa using Targeted Allocation Money.

Dallas have signed free agent midfielder Javier Morales, who had previously spent his MLS career with Salt Lake.

Orlando City founding owner Phil Rawlins has stepped down as club president with CEO Alex Leitao takingover day-to-day operations. Rawlins, now with the title of Life President, Life-President. “will remain with Orlando City and continue to be an Orlando City Board Member, representing the Club on all League Boards (MLS, NWSL, USL).”


After just eleven games over 85 days (for two wins, seven losses, and 2 draws) and not even getting the chance to make moves in the upcoming transfer window, Swansea City have fired Bob Bradley, the first American manager in the Premier League.

Bradley said in a statement,

I knew exactly what I was getting into when I came to Swansea and realized the hardest part was always going to be getting points in the short run. But I believe in myself and I believe in going for it. That’s what I’ve always told my players. Football can be cruel and to have a chance you have to be strong. I wish Swansea the best and look forward to my next challenge.

Was Bradley the wrong man, in the wrong place, at the wrong time or was he set up to fail? Was he in an impossible situation because Swansea simply are too big of a mess? Was his firing inevitable? Was it not his fault? Why didn’t he even get a chance to bring in help in the soon-to-be-opened transfer window? Will Bradley be able to say he has no regrets or did he have his chance and blew it? Are there any lessons to be learned? More on Bradley’s firing at Wales Onlinethe BBCThe Guardian, ESPN, Soccer America, ASNMLSsoccer.comYahoo Sports, and the AP.

FourFourTwo looks at some other notably short managerial reigns.

Pulisic! Goal.com has named Christian Pulisic “the most influential person in American soccer” for 2016.


PA Sport reports, “FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino, says world football’s federations are ‘overwhelmingly in favor’ of expanding the World Cup to a potential 48 teams.”

ESPN reports, “Crowd figures in Serie A have dropped again, according to figures released for the first half of the 2016-17 season. With an average of 21,833 fans taking in fixtures during the first half of the current Serie A campaign, a drop of 1.7 percent year on year has been recorded with only AC Milan and Juventus bucking the trend with crowd increases. The figures, published by Il Messaggero, are the lowest in the past five seasons with some of Italy’s most supported clubs leading the decline.”

At FourFourTwo: “Meet Archibald Leitch: The man who invented the football stadium.”


  1. God a 48 team World Cup would be an eternal nightmare.

  2. An Airbag saved my life says:

    The notion Ive read that Bob Bradley wasn’t treated fairly or given enough time leaves me in wonderment… IDK maybe I’m just a middle aged Hardass.
    “You’ve got to lose yourself in the moment -you own it -you better never let it go… you only get one shot do not miss you’re chance to go this opportunity comes once in a lifetime”

    • Agreed. As much as I wanted to see an American manager succeed in the Prem, he made some bad moves and deserved to get the sack. You can’t keep changing your back four each match and expect it to improve. Plus, if you have a striker who is scoring, he needs to be in the starting XI.

      Swansea is a troubled club right now, but Bradley had to know that going into the job.

    • Just Rob f/k/a Rob127 says:

      You do know it’s “do not miss your chance to blow” not go…right? Otherwise, nice reference.

  3. What applied to Rabbit may not apply to American soccer coaches, I mean, it’s not like everybody assumed Bradley would fail because he didn’t have the chops and came from the wrong side of the ocean.

  4. I think the better question regarding Bradley isn’t why he was fired but why he was hired to begin with. His mistake seems to have been pushing his team to play the game in a way it wasn’t able. His results really weren’t worse than Guidolin, but his goal differential was really alarming. And he got smoked by some mediocre clubs. Unless Swansea find a way to bring big talent to the club in the transfer window, they can punch their ticket to the Championship now.

    I can stand to wait a while for Union news, but I think I’m in the same camp as scottymac from his comments yesterday — I want to see a real effort made at making this club better now as well as for the future. I don’t think it’s enough to aspire to be MLS’s Southampton. I love the dedication to player development but it should be part of the strategy. Not THE strategy.

    • Jay Sugarman would love to be MLS’s Southampton, or at least his bottom line would love it.

    • We’d all like to be Chelsea, but if the owners aren’t willing to spend, I’d prefer our coaches to make us Southampton rather than Aston Villa.
      Look at FC Dallas. They are the Southampton of MLS and nearly won all 3 trophies. The Red Bulls spend next to nothing, they’ve had two of their better seasons the last two years. It can be done.

      • Southampton implies you produce young talent and sell it off at a profit as a strategy. If you read Kevin Kinkead’s previous two articles where he listed Stewart’s transfer record in The Netherlands, this is his MO. The financials of the club look great, you make Europa League once in a while, or the playoffs every year, but you have a ceiling.

        Play out this scenario – The Plan works 100% over the next 18 months, the U-20 NT kids transition to Chester, all our aged vets return healthy and perform. It’s summer 2018 and Union are in contention, but still lacking that spark on offense because they still haven’t filled the CAM spot. Do you trust the FO would go out and spend the money on a Lodeiro-type player? I don’t.

      • I get that, but I think if the goal is to win MLS cup, you need to take a Dallas-like commitment to young/homegrown talent and combine it with smart signings.

        I don’t know why Philadelphians are willing to settle for mediocre. The choice shouldn’t be between mid table and bottom. We should demand better. The only East Coast market bigger than this city is NY. We should have a comparable level of success. And we should expect it.

      • Pete, I agree that the Union need to take steps to become like Dallas. I doubt we are going to close the gap in a year but I feel like in the past year we are making steps in that direction. If the positive momentum stops, I’ll be out there with a pitchfork and torch. But based on the moves the past calendar year I think we have reason that the team will make good decisions in the next month and put us in position to have a good year.

    • Under Guidolin: 12 goals against in 7 matches (2-2 vs Chelsea, 1-3 vs Man City, 1-2 vs Liverpool), only one match of 3 goals against
      Under Bradley: 29 goals against in 11 matches (5-4 vs Palace, 5-0 at Tottenham, 1-4 vs West Ham), eight matches of 3+ goals against

      • What was each manager’s points per match average?

      • Bradley — 8 pts in 11, or 0.72 per match.
        Guidolin’s 4 in 7, or 0.57 per match.

      • Thanks. If you’re on your 3rd manager just 18 matches into the season, you’re doing it wrong.

      • His two wins were against Palace and Sunderland … the two teams directly above them in the relegation race. YAY AMERICA? Are we really celebrating that type of record?

        What disappoints me about this whole Bob Bradley mess is the obvious bias and defense of Bradley by Americans.

        We are just do defensive and insecure.

        Be objective it and call it what is was. Bradley was unprepared for this job, he took a mediocre team and made them demonstratively worse, made some weird decisions, and was generally a really bad manager for them.

        This hemming and hawing is annoying and does us no favors.

      • I don’t think anyone’s “celebrating” the record. I’m not even confident I could defend Bradley very far other than to say I’m pretty sure a lot of the Swansea mess isn’t his fault. I was definitely rooting for the guy to do well and I’m sorry he didn’t succeed. But I’m sure even Bob would say of his sacking: “That’s football.”

      • James – I think you are confused by my comment. I wasn’t making a defense of Bradley, but just stating the obvious that Swansea have major problems.

  5. Great news update, but nothing on the Drip Doctors?

  6. Love Kevin’s article and I do trust Ernie but a few things make me wonder. 1st he’s had more time to get players and doesn’t have to coach at the same time. He’s done this before(hack Chris and Jim not so much) and there no real super draft prep like last year.
    I hope this means Edu will be healthy, Alberg will not pout as much with quillo gone and Davies will be signed. That way we only need a CB, a DCM and a 9.

    • Was just reading a piece describing a similar quiet from the Red Bull camp. I think Kevin’s explanation is spot on: Everyone’s working together and respects Stewart’s expectation’s that nothing leak to the press. I’m trying to stay positive and expect some good signings.

    • The Homegrown signings have really placated me, to the point I’m barely paying attention this offseason. I was waiting 3 years for that and finally it looks like we have a pipeline we are no longer afraid to tap.

  7. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Kevin Kinkead punctuated his year-by-year summary on Earnie Stewart in Holland with calculations of annual profit achieved for the specific year.
    To realize profit you have to sell assets, in a market with the interest and the wealth to buy them.
    Conceivably a Chinese club might claim to pay the money, but the reliable, predictable market is Europe.

  8. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Glad the airbag did its job.
    Almost had my own Close Encounter of the Deer Fawn Kind the other night. Just because a bluff is too steep to be scaled by sensible beings does not mean a deer will not come crashing down it.

  9. John P. O'Donnell Jr says:

    I remember last year’s off-season when Seattle and Toronto won the new signings race and took that momentum all the way to MLS Cup. Whaaaat…that didn’t happen? Every year, same thing.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but Toronto finished the team by adding quality MLS veterans and letting players they developed like Osorio get more meaningful minutes. They also showed patients for Jozy Altidore to return to full fitness.

    Seattle did turn it around with Lodeiro but Morris, Alonso and Torres also made huge contributions. Torres was also another player who was injured and missed almost a year without playing.

    See you still have to build a team and shiny Dp’s have only worked for the Galaxy and now Seattle. Both those teams had solid contributions from players they developed. Maybe Ernie is on the right track?

    On a side note, I’m gone to guess if the Union developed a bunch of USMNT player’s, the Union had crazy success in MLS. Otherwise, why would they standout?

  10. Rosenberry and Pontius are getting called up and the team didn’t win the last two months of the season then got played off the field against Toronto in playoffs. That is crazy but I’m not sure I’d call that crazy success.
    The league is getting better every year, there sure were a lot of expensive shiny parts in the MLS Cup Final 4.

  11. John P. O'Donnell Jr says:

    Called up? They are invited to a camp, not exactly on the team. I also wouldn’t consider Pontius someone the Union developed. So if we have one rookie make the USMNT that’s a nice start, but a bunch is more than two. Oh and some of those shiny parts were also USMNT player’s.

    By the way it was 2-1 in the 73rd minute of the game and Tribbett had killed us. The game winning goal came from the player they developed, Osorio and I wouldn’t say we got played off the field…at least they scored more goals than Seattle.

  12. If you think Ken Tribbett’s mistakes are what separates the U from Toronto then I guess we see the game very differently

  13. Baron Samedi says:

    No I don’t, but I think played of the field is what happened to NYCFC in the next round. 7-0 aggregate and 5-0 at home is played off the field. I just think we are closer with building around academy players with good money spent on DP’s. Instead of what NYCFC has done with their roster. Two of the their better players are a draft pick and and expansion draft pick. So yes, in MLS I think everybody is close.

  14. Gio, Bradley,and Altidore are exceptional talent. We don’t have someone close to that level, we are going to need it. Point taken about NYCFC though, can’t just blindly spend money on people who would rather be elsewhere. Rosendbery looks legit, Yaro we’ll see, same with Herbers and Marquez. Sapong is just not to be counted on. Who knows when/if Mo returns. Who knows if Pontius will stay healthy, his history says not long. We sell Blake then we have McCarthy?!

    My point is I don’t see near the reason for optimism as many on here. For every Rosenberry there are three Gaddis, Tribbett, Leo, etc.

    • John O'Donnell Jr says:

      If they sell Blake, they should have money to invest on the roster. I can’t see that happening this year or he be gone. Ernie said there were no offers.

      I’m optimistic because they have a plan and a Stewart gets the owner to listen. I agree that the three rookies had mixed levels of results but the fact that they got playing time was exciting to me.

      Unlike the last time when the Union made the playoffs, I think Ernie builds the team from the core they have. Last year we were 15 players short of a team that could contend, now I think it’s 8. The league increased Tam money to 1.2 million and I believe another DP will be added to the roster.

      As far as injuries go, that’s just part of the game. Two wins a year might go to a team that has the fewest amount of players injured (Luck is another name for it).

      In the end, I’m enjoying the ride because until they start training in Florida, there is no real urgency to add players. Still have the draft and the window hasn’t opened in Europe.

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