Daily news roundups

Some Union rumors, other Union bits, league news, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union


In an update on Jan. 1 to an earlier post looking at each team’s roster rebuild, MLSsoccer.com’s Armchair Analyst Matthew Doyle presents “a totally irresponsible theory” based on “zero inside info”: “The Union are the mystery MLS team targeting Icelandic and Nantes No. 9 Kolbeinn Sigthorsson.” The root of the rumor lies in some speculative tweets that then became the basis of a report at French site Foot-Sur7, which itself became a topic of discussion on Reddit. Why the speculative tweets? Because Sigthorsson is returning to Nantes after being loaned to Galatasaray, where, after injuring his knee, he failed to make an appearance and, as his agent said, “He did not play a game in six months.” At Brotherly Game, Eugene Rupinski looks at why a Sigthorsson to the Union move will or will not happen.

At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead wraps up his New Year’s Resolution series with a look at how the Union technical staff, ownership, front office, Union media, and Sons of Ben can improve in 2017.

At Goal.com, Ives Galarcep considers likely starters for the upcoming US World Cup qualifiers and says Alejandro Bedoya will be among those players “in the conversation as potential wing options.” Looking at fullbacks, Galarcep writes, “Keegan Rosenberry is a player who should get a look in January, but he is probably still too green to factor in as an option for March qualifiers.”

At Brotherly Game: “It’s Time to Stop Comparing Alejandro Bedoya to Vincent Nogueira.” Is that a thing?

Brotherly Game’s look back at past SuperDrafts concludes with the Union’s selections from 2013 through 2016.


At Brotherly Game, Matt Ralph reviews how area teams finished the U.S. Youth Soccer National League season in Florida last week. Penn Fusion 98 secured a spot in the nationals, where they will play for the McGuire Cup, after finishing the fall season with a 6-1-0 record.


LA Galaxy forward Mike Magee has announced his retirement after 14 years in MLS.

Kansas City have signed 25-year-old winger Gerso Fernandes from Belenenses “as a Designated Player through 2019 with an option for 2020.”

Orlando have signed 22-year-old Brazilian left back Victor ‘PC’ Giro “to a four-year contract” from Tampa Bay Rowdies.

Portland have signed Costa Rican International defender Roy Miller from Deportivo Saprissa. You will recall Miller, 32, previously played for NYRB.

NYRB have re-signed center back Aurelien Collin.

Houston have signed Brazilian defender Leonardo after selecting him in the second round of the Re-Entry Draft. He last played for the Galaxy.

Dutch side FC Groningen say they have a deal with Salt Lake to transfer Slovakian attacking midfielder Albert Rusnak to the Western Conference club. The statement says, “Whether it actually comes to a transfer, is now on the player and his management.” A RSL spokesperson tells the Salt Lake Tribune, “RSL chooses to withhold comment until personal terms are agreed upon with a player.” City Watch reports the Manchester City Academy product has agreed to personal terms with Salt Lake.

Vancouver defender David Edgar is out for several months following knee surgery this week. Edgar’s knee injury came when he was the victim of a hit-and-run accident while the center back was on golfing vacation in Arizona in December.

The league has announced the Generation adidas class for 2017: Abu Danladi (F, UCLA), Jackson Yueill (M, UCLA), Miles Robinson (D, Syracuse), Shamit Shome (M, FC Edmonton), Adonijah Reid (F, ANB Futbol). Yueill and Robinson are also US youth internationals and Shome and Reid are the first Canadian GA members and also youth internationals. The league also announced four players have signed MLS contracts: Brandon Aubrey (D, Notre Dame), Julian Gressel (M, Providence), Zeiko Lewis (M, Boston College), and Brian Wright (F, Vermont). Additionally, the league has invited eight more college seniors to the Players Combine.

Orlando Sentinel reports, “Orlando City president Phil Rawlins led a private ceremony unveiling 49 rainbow-colored seats honoring 49 Pulse Nightclub shooting victims.” More on the unveiling at Orlando City (video), WOFL, and ESPN.

The Tampa Bay Times on why the Tampa Bay Rowdies plans to expand Al Lang Stadium, which will be privately financed and are contingent on a public vote and will proceed only if the team is awarded a MLS franchise, is a good fit for the St. Petersburg waterfront.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, “Governor-elect Eric Greitens and the investors trying to bring a Major League Soccer team to St. Louis met Wednesday after weeks of public debate on state funding for stadiums. But it’s still not clear whether the Greitens administration would help make the group’s $200 million downtown stadium plan a reality.” St. Louis Business Journal reports, “Nothing SC STL officials told Greitens was enough to persuade him on his position that the state of Missouri should not provide any public funding for a proposed $200 million soccer stadium just west of Union Station.”

Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the Las Vegas city council has approved an $80,000 contract with New York-based Inner Circle Sports to market Las Vegas as an MLS site.

Empire of Soccer’s Dave Martinez reports, according to a US Soccer spokesperson, “a final decision on divisional sanctioning for the second and third divisions could be announced by the ‘end of the week.'” The report says, “Several sources tell EoS that NASL will indeed hold onto their division 2 status, leaving the U.S. Soccer pyramid at a status quo.”

Noting a series of tweets from The Telegraph’s Bob Williams on Wednesday night, Empire of Soccer’s Jake Nutting reports the NASL’s survival could be linked to the New York Cosmos finding a buyer for the club. Williams tweeted the buyer is Mediacom chairman and CEO Rocco Commisso. Nutting writes, the NASL retaining Division 2 status “apparently hinges on the league solidifying eight teams for the 2017 season, with the Cosmos being the eighth…Per Williams, though, Commisso’s interest in the Cosmos is contingent on the NASL receiving second division sanctioning by the federation.”

At Big Apple Soccer, Michael Lewis confirms the Cosmos news and reports an eight team 2017 season would include “North Carolina FC, Indy Eleven, Miami FC, Puerto Rico Islanders, FC Edmonton, Jacksonville Armada and the Cosmos.” However, the league would need a waiver to field only eight teams because US Soccer’s Division 2 standards call for a minimum of 12 teams. Interestingly, the report also says, “In December, [MLS] said that its affiliated reserve teams [in the USL] would not be Division II teams.” I do not recall nor can find such a report but I presume this would be to protect the amatuer status of academy players called up to play for MLS-backed USL teams.


At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald has a list of players with local ties available in the 2017 NWSL draft.


Bruce Arena has named his coaching staff, all of them previous members of the LA Galaxy coaching staff: former associate head coach Dave Sarachan, assistants Pat Noonan and Kenny Arena, and goalkeeping coach Matt Reis. The roster for the January camp is expected to be announced this afternoon at 12:30 pm.

Jill Ellis has called up 29 players for the January USWNT camp at the National Training Center in Carson, Calif., Jan. 13-23. The announcement notes, “The U.S. Women’s National Team and U.S. Soccer will continue to operate under the Collective Bargaining Agreement in its current form as negotiations continue into the new year.” At US Soccer, a Q&A with Ellis about the camp.

Noting the USWNT roster includes “six uncapped players and two first time call-ups,” Fox Sports’ Caitlin Murphy writes, “The days of seeing the same veterans dominate the United States women’s national team squad look perilously close to being over.”

30 players have been called up for the US U-20 WNT at the National Training Center, Jan. 6-13.

At FourFourTwo, Steve Davis calls for 2017 to be the year “we start owning America’s soccer culture”: “Emulation, second-guessing can stay in 2016. Let the new year bring a new love of all that’s U.S. about soccer.”


We all love the Premier League’s jammed schedule over the Christmas and New Year holidays. The BBC reports next season’s schedule could be even more packed with games because the league is playing a shortened schedule “to help England prepare for the 2018 World Cup.” The report says, “The Premier League has confirmed that a draft fixture schedule for next season could see six rounds of games over Christmas and New Year in 2017-18, as opposed to four this year. That could see clubs playing six games in 17 days from 16 December 2017 to 1 January 2018 inclusive.” The report notes, “There are still several stages of the fixtures process to go, with nothing confirmed until June and final dates remaining subject to change after that announcement.”

ESPN notes proposed Premier League schedule means 60 games over the holidays, “essentially a sixth of the season over the festive period.”

The AP reports, “The world soccer players’ union has warned against signing contracts with Serbian clubs in the forthcoming transfer window, calling the Balkan country ‘a lawless environment.'”


  1. You heard it here first. That English Striker to the Union is Daniel Sturridge. According to transfermarkt, it would only cost 25 million euros. I’m sure there’s enough TAM, GAM and iStar shares lying around for that.

  2. Old Soccer Coach says:

    The list of eight NASL clubs PSP lists corresponds to the my impressions.
    If what is on the internet is given credence – HA! – two of those eight are new owners whose purchases are contingent upon outside factors, Ft Lauderdale and the Cosmos, with PSG of PSG Academy in Florida and the above mentioned Rocco Cossimo being the conditional owners.
    So it all hinges on somebody making the first move. If nobody takes the first step it falls apart. Who will take the leap of faith?

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      since mid-December there is now easily found news of the Jacksonville Armada. Others better at the internet than I may disagree.
      The last I know of them they indicated they would NOT be part of NASL going forward.

  3. We dance around a ring an suppose…while the secret sits in the middle and knows…. just buying time till open practice at YSC.

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