Daily news roundups

Blake and Burke called up, Union bits, league news, Bedoya talks USMNT, more

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

Jim Curtin mentioned in his comments to reporters on Tuesday, although the dates of those games have not been officially announced.

Today’s preseason training session at the Power Training Fields is open for Union fans to watch from 10 am to 11:30 am. Incidentally, single game tickets for the Union’s 2017 home games go on sale today to the general public at 10 am.

At the Union website, a recap of, and photos from, Thursday’s preseason training session.

the full transcript of which is here at PSP.

Curtin said on Tuesday that a player must be a citizen for five years in order to play in competitive games, which means Jones will not be eligible for the CONCACAF qualifiers but would be eligible to play in the U-20 World Cup.

Philly Sports Network’s look a the Union’s schedule continues.

Pattison Ave’s review of the 2016 season continues.

Former Union man Conor Casey has been named assistant coach by Colorado Rapids.

Bethlehem Steel FC

Cory Burke has been called up by Jamaica along with the Union’s Andre Blake for the friendlies against the US in CHattanooga on Friday, Feb. 3, and against Honduras in Houston on Thursday, Feb. 16.

City Islanders

The City Islanders have announced defender Shawn McLaws will return to the club for the 2017 season. More at USLsoccer.com.

Former City Islanders and 2016 All-League midfielder Jose Barril has signed with USL-side OKC Energy. The Spaniard was with Harrisburg for the previous three seasons. More at USLsoccer.com.

Ocean City Nor’easters

At the Ocean City website, a review of how Nor’easters players did in the 2016 college season.


Andrea D’Amico, Sebastian Giovinco’s agent, says he has been in touch with Toronto FC about two big offers he’s received for the forward from China. D’Amico says, “I think Giovinco is an important asset for not only Toronto, but for MLS. I know Seba is very happy to stay in Toronto, but also, as we can see in this period, the Chinese market is increasing day by day…It’s very, very big money…It’s important to see the offer. He will think what do, and we think what to do together with TFC.” D’Amico also says Giovinco, who he describes as very happy in Toronto, turned down a loan offer from Barcelona a year ago.

Minnesota have acquired midfielder Kevin Molino and goalkeeper Patrick McLain from Orlando “in a trade for $450,000 General Allocation Money and $200,000 Targeted Allocation Money,” a $650,000 sum MLSsoccer.com makes clear was for Molino alone. Holy moly. The Orlando announcement says, “Orlando will retain a percentage of any future transfer fee if Molino is transferred outside of MLS by Minnesota United FC.”  More at Pioneer Press and Orlando Sentinel.

Orlando have acquired goalkeeper Josh Saunders from NYCFC “in exchange for its natural fourth-round pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.”

Dallas have signed Paraguayan forward Cristian Colmán from Paraguayan first-division side Nacional Asunción “as a Young Designated Player.”

Atlanta have signed defender Leandro González Pirez from Argentine first division side Club Estudiantes de La Plata “as a Discovery Signing…with Targeted Allocation Money.”

Atlanta’s official announcement on signing Brad Guzan says he has been signed “to a multi-year contract via Major League Soccer’s Allocation Process, using Targeted Allocation Money.” You will recall that Middlesbrough’s announcement of the deal on Wednesday said Guzan will leave England after the end of the 2016-17 Premier League season.

Salt Lake have signed free agent defender David Horst.

Seattle have signed 19-year-old Cameroonian defender Nouhou Tolo from Sounders FC 2.

Atlanta United have sold more than 27,000 season tickets ahead of their inaugural game.

Phoenix is now in contention for an expansion franchise with USL-side Phoenix Rising looking to join MLS. More at Phoenix Business Journal and KPNX.

Nashville mayor Megan Barry has announced her support for a plan to build a stadium in Nashville as part of a bid to win a MLS franchise. Nashville Business Journal reports, “In a Thursday news release, Barry emphasized that no formal proposals or deals have been reached and that the stadium, which would cost probably cost at least $110 million, will be built primarily with private dollars.” More at The Tennessean, Fox17,

The St. Louis bid remains alive. Missourinet.com explains, “The St. Louis Board of Aldermen Ways and Means Committee passed a proposal for the MLS stadium after a second round of voting on Thursday.  The proposal now shifts to the full Board of Aldermen.  After an original 6-2 defeat of the vote, the committee reconvened and passed the proposal by a 5-4 vote after a ticket tax was added to the proposal.” CBS St. Louis reports, “Under the plan, the stadium would rely on about $35 million public funds, instead of $60 million.” More at St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Business Journal, Fox2Now (1, 2), KMOV, and KSDK.

Charlotte Observer reports, “Moments after Mecklenburg commissioners approved spending $43.75 million on a new soccer stadium, the city of Charlotte announced Thursday morning that it is canceling a public hearing and vote scheduled Friday – signaling they aren’t ready to subsidize a new stadium.” More at Charlotte Business JournalCharlotte Five,

WRAL on how the apparent demise for now of the Charlotte bid boosts the chances of success for the bid from NASL-side North Carolina FC. At SI, Brian Strais looks at NCFC’s Raleigh-based expansion bid.

Louisville Courier-Journal reports, “Louisville City FC reaffirmed its intentions to build a soccer-specific stadium in the city, hiring a renowned architecture firm to design a minimum 10,000-seat stadium at an unknown location in Louisville.”


The USMNT hosts Serbia in a friendly in San Diego on Sunday (4 pm, ESPN2, UniMas, UDN). Soccer America on what to look for in the game.

How much time will the Union trio of Alejandro Bedoya, Chris Pontius, and Keegan Rosenberry get in the game? We’ll first have to see who makes the cut when Bruce Arena announces his 23-player roster later today.

Arena did say this:

We brought in some young guys that I’m more or less looking at for potentially the Gold Cup, and I’d say that would be the case for (Taylor) Kemp and (Keegan) Rosenberry for example, and even (Walker) Zimmerman. They’re all candidates for the Gold Cup. We want to have the opportunity to see them here and then we’re going to follow them during their MLS seasons before we make those decisions.

Here’s what Jim Curtin had to say on Tuesday:

We’ve gotten feedback from Bruce, we’ve gotten feedback from the different assistant coaches there. The hope is they’ll play. You see little things like a couple injuries that happened in the camp, and that always helps the possibility just numbers-wise. The feedback that we’ve gotten is good. Keegan’s first time going through it, Chris is Chris, he’s a great professional, I’m sure he’s showing well, and that’s the feedback we’ve gotten, and Alejandro is in and around a starting spot at all times for the national team. The hope is that they get minutes, it would be a great experience, but if they don’t we’ll get them back here and the hope is that they’ll be flying and fit, so it’s a win-win.

At FourFourTwo, Bedoya says of playing under Bruce Arena after Jurgen Klinsmann:

I definitely feel a breath of fresh air, coming in. Bruce, he’s been here before, he knows the process, he knows some of the players, he knows what the national team is all about…I think with him you get a little more of a better player-management, maybe. He’s very good with dealing with all the players and different personalities…For all that Jurgen did, I mean, there was a lot of schadenfreude at the end, I feel like. I think Jurgen did some good things, and he definitely extended the pool, brought in some young guys. Who would expect Jordan Morris to become the player he is? That’s just one example, but if you talk to other players, he definitely brought some good things to the team.

At ESPN, video of Bedoya talking about the January camp: “Everybody’s really really competing hard…Everybody’s a little bit more free to express themselves [under Arena].”

At ESPN, Doug McIntyre asks if Arena has what it takes to lead the US to the World Cup.

Also at ESPN: “Herculez Gomez: U.S. has lost identity but talent, Arena can take it to Russia”.

At The Guardian, David Rudin notes the USMNT has always used players who were born or raised overseas and wonders “why the sudden antipathy to such players now?

Prost Amerika and The Guardian have soccer-related takes on Donald Trump.


From the AP: “FIFA says spending by Chinese soccer clubs on players soared beyond $450 million last year.”

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


  1. I’m guessing there will be more than a few people who disagree with Kinkead on this one:
    “Steel could finish with zero wins and 34 losses for all I care. If the Union can pull another Derrick Jones or Auston Trusty from that squad, then the season will be a huge success. Bethlehem Steel exists solely as a pipeline to the Union first team.

    Does anyone care if the Lehigh Valley IronPigs win? It’s about developing players for the Phillies.”
    Personally, I think he’s 100% correct. Success or failure of the Bethlehem club is fairly irrelevant (depending on how much stock you put into “a winning culture” feeling at that level). They are there as a developmental club.
    This whole concept is going to drive the Pro/Rel guys insane. But this is the American sports model. Minor league baseball. Minor league hockey. NBDL. They all exist to support the Major League team.

    • If you lose 34 games you aren’t developing players very well. Unsurprisingly the best teams in minor league ball are the ones with really good prospects and the occasional vet filling holes and acting as a pseudo coach. So I will say I completely disagree with Kevin.

      • I will completely disagree with your complete disagreement. If they lose theyc an still be developing players. If it’s all about winning and we’ve now sent a bunch of young wingers there and they can’t all get on the field. I want them to develop and don’t care about the scoreline. Burke will have to figure out how to play them, right time to sub them be damned.

      • While I agree in theory, if you lose all your games, then your players aren’t that good.

      • John O'Donnell Jr says:

        I put something into winning is an attitude. Skilled players are the goal but isn’t a mental toughness to win important?

      • I guess, but at that level, you don’t want people hanging around year in and year out. This year’s BS team is almost a complete rebuild, so how do you have continuity and a winning culture for scrimmage level games.

      • John O'Donnell Jr says:

        That is not that surprising for a second year team. The Reading fight’n Phillies are stacked with talent and won, so I guess it can be done. It’s one of the reasons I don’t want these teams in D2. I think it hurts the teams that aren’t serious about winning for teams that are independent trying to sell quality soccer to their fans.

      • Brendan Burke is totally on board with the player development piece.
        That said, not making the playoffs fried his bacon. He wants both.

    • I think I qualify as a pro/rel guy and I agree with Kinkead. Difference is this club’s purpose, which is 100% development of players for the first team. This and pro/rel support are not mutually exclusive. Pro/rel in US soccer would support teams with aspirations of being more than a development team with the incentive and opportunity to do so, and to earn their way to division 1.

      Also, there are big Euro clubs with lower division counterparts. Barca, Bayern, I think, to name a few. Same concept for those teams: provide development/opportunities for young players in their systems.

    • I argue both sides on this. Really it matters not to me how Steel do in the grand scheme of things so long as prospects are developing there and making the jump to the first team and contributing…. nay- becoming exceptional players. However, our model is designed in such a way that the success of Steel does in fact matter on a macro level for many reasons beyond just player development.
      That said…I also argue for cohesion of Vision, Philosophy and Plan across every Union level— so if the USL team does not have a margin of success then one can argue the system and philosophy of play are not being implemented to the greatest degree which for me is a problem because this is the second team. If Steel are terrible– that speaks to the philosophy of play either being wrong, not implemented correctly or the players are not being properly identified to fit within the vision.
      All this as usual~ in my opinion.

    • The whole “34 losses” thing was hyperbole. It was simply meant to imply that success of the Steel is measured on the development of the players and how many advance to be productive players for the senior team. Or better, yet (eventually), sold at a nice price to a European team.
      It would always be nice to see the Steel win the division and the USL Cup, but from the office that pays their salaries, that is secondary. Bust your butt on the field and progress as a player and the wins will come, either in USL or MLS.

    • jersey soccer man says:

      Excuses are for losers

    • I agree, pro/rel won’t work in the US because that’s not how our culture views professional sports. The individual player works their way up to the show along the path the major league team sets out for them. The minor league teams exist only to produce quality athletes for major league teams.
      Does the major league team care if the minor league team is winning? Probably not, but what does it say about the talent level in AAA if they’re consistently losing to other AAA teams.
      Do the people attending the minor league games care if the team is winning? Yes. While (most) everyone goes to a IronPigs game knowing that the primary purpose is to develop players for the Phils, going to a game that your team wins is more fun than when they lose. Watching the other team score several runs because the pitcher needs to “learn to pitch himself out of trouble” is incredibly frustrating.
      I only have anecdotal evidence, but minor league (and major league) stadiums seem to be more full when the team is doing well than when they stink. When the State College Spikes (short season single A) switched affiliation from Pirates to Cardinals, the team started winning and more people started attending games.
      To expand on this example, the Spikes regularly draw a few thousand people for their games. The Penn State baseball team, who plays in the same stadium, rarely draws more than a few hundred (if that). Why? Because the Spikes win and PSU baseball does not.
      Sorry for making this so baseball heavy, but I think in this case it’s relevant.

      • The problem with that analogy, at least as far as I can see it, is that baseball is pretty peculiar as a major sport in it’s relationship with minor league clubs, in which every team has at least three “lower division” affiliates across AAA, AA and A levels. And most of the teams, lets face it, offer entertainment more in the forms of mascot entertainment, hot dogs out of cannons, etc. (And there’s nothing inherently wrong with that).

        NFL and NBA rely almost entirely on the college system. I think that leaves soccer relatively on its own. And unlike those other major sports, soccer isn’t in a vacuum. There are dozens of serious leagues stocked with talent from every corner of the globe.

        So soccer shouldn’t necessarily need to be shoehorned into an american model anymore than say a European model. What pro/rel gives you is a growth and more democratic approach to player development and club competition. I think that is rationale #1 for adopting it. Not the added dimensions it offers to the spectating public but to the health of the sport’s development in the U.S.

        Maybe a helpful way to think about it is to imagine what pro/rel would be like if it were introduced to the NFL. Imagine three divisions, with the best 15 teams in Div. 1, next 17 in div 2 (which covers all 32 teams, if I’m not mistaken, and open up division 3 to any city’s/organizations that want to compete. Imagine a scenario in which only top and bottom teams are promoted and relegated. What would happen to the sport if that sort of organization were implemented?

        Playoffs would remain the same. And the Division 2 champ — winner of the not-so-super bowl — would be promoted.

      • At the end of the day, this is why it won’t happen in this country:
        This is obviously the cream of the crop, since the NFL has the most valuable franchises in the country (and the world), but every league here functions they same way.
        And when owners bought into MLS, they bought into the same system that was set in place in the other leagues. They will not risk taking a 9-figure loss.
        Yes, Pro-Rel could theoretically help player development. But that will NEVER take precedent over profit.

      • Again, I get that, and the most difficult element of pro/rel is what’s in it for the current MLS clubs. I agree. It’s not an obvious sell. But again, NFL is a global monopoly. It’s value may have peaked. There’s a lot of potential upside to MLS still, I think, and an argument can be made that pro/rel is a faster way to reach that upside. That’s completely debatable. For me, I don’t fundamentally believe that the U.S. is that much different from the rest of the world where the pro/rel business model works.

      • Somebody named chad hollingshead, on a blog called Scratching the Pitch on July 22, 2015 explored the structure of USL then-expansion side Rio Grande Valley FC Toros.

        This is the link.


        Worth the time for the conversationalist above, IMO.

      • Thanks for the link. I think a similar ownership structure is used in most of MiLB, with independent entities owning clubs and contracting MLB clubs to provide players and technical staff.
        I think this model is what the MLS teams would want for player development. They have complete control over what position the player is playing, how he is trained to perform in that position, and exactly how many minutes he plays. If a team loans a young player to a lower division club, they may lose control over these things. Did Aristeguieta get the minutes and coaching Nantes was intending when they sent him here in 2015? By sending players to BSFC the Union have control over all of these things.
        I’m not saying this can’t happen in a pro/rel environment, but it fits the MiLB model well.
        (I think someone said something similar about loans/development in comments to another article recently)
        And yes, the reason we’ll never actually see pro/rel is $$$$.

  2. John O'Donnell Jr says:

    I haven’t read the stories of how “Trump’s America” will effect soccer but it doesn’t seem to be problem with players going to communist China.

    • Funny I was just pulling this comment from today’s news….
      At The Guardian, David Rudin notes the USMNT has always used players who were born or raised overseas and wonders “why the sudden antipathy to such players now?
      Only to say…. clearly the antipathy to overseas players is the new isolationism and nationalist agenda…. which falls right in line with The Soccer Don’s not too long ago statements that ALL should be falling in line with the Nationalist Soccer Agenda as well… that’s a newly coined NSA.
      Nothing like wending and marrying political temperature with footy.

    • Glendenning’s piece in the Guardian is a good read. It’s a well-written observation that’s a bit tongue in cheek (with a good reference to Jose Mourinho’s recent bit of trafficking in alternative fact with the “we didn’t lose” to Hull because he didn’t believe in the penalty awarded. It’s a fun piece. nice bit of writing.

  3. Was good to see the open practice today (despite the wind). Curtin mentioned it was a mix of Union, Steel, and academy players with some obviously missing like the three with the national team and the overseas players not yet here.
    Curtin mentioned that this phase of preseason is really just to work on skills and player evaluation. When they go to Clearwater they’ll start to work on defense with the first part and then focus more on offense during the Suncoast invitational leg.
    It sas good to see Ritchie and Gooch paired on defense. Hoping it turns into more than a training stint for Gooch.

  4. wish i could be at that Chattanooga match for a few reasons. anyone going?

  5. >>The faster an 8 year old becomes a commodity the better. Until then/////El Pachy aka Joel aka IACI aka ???

    Sorry but this is really a bad statement, especially if you juxtapose it with other statements you’ve made.

    So basically your new Vision Plan Philosophy:

    Vision: To win a world cup we need “disenfranchised” youths–any particular skin tone or heritage in mind?

    After Vision is THE plan
    1. Use USSF and MLS money and Knock down innercity basketball courts and convert them to Futsal because hey, kids would rather play that than basketball or football.
    (And suburban travel soccer needs to be eliminated—who are those middle-class parents fooling–their kids aren’t gonna ever play for the USMNT–they aren’t poor enough to have their kids “play in the streets” and if they don’t play USMNT why bother, right?)

    2. Have scouts at every futsal court looking for kids under 10

    3. Put them in an auction so academies can bid on them–make sure to check those teeth. Money goes for more futsal courts and to buy off the parents so you can take their kids to cities thousand or so miles away. (OSC please feel free to jump in—seem to recall something about similar auctions in our nation’s history)

    4. Academies stress soccer to these kids, no other sports allowed. They need to focus on the one that matters most.

    5. Kids get to be about 11 or 12 and either have a repetitive strain injury or don’t perform as well as they did when they were 8 or maybe less motivated. Answer—trade or sell them to another academy–maybe a clearinghouse academy for kids on the way down. Or give them bus money and kick them to the curb.
    REMEMBER–they are commodities—anyone who disagrees–that is just your lowly opinion.

    6. Make sure the kids know there is no college in their future—they either make pro when they are 17 or they have to keep trying at a very low level or maybe you can sell them off to a D5 in Europe. And if you are still playing there at age 24, well you blew it–get out. Doesn’t matter you don’t have anything else to do–you are no longer part of the Vision and Plan who really cares about you now, right?

    7. So El Pachy, how many on roster of a USMNT world cup team? Figure you need good number of academy kids to come up with a Barcelona like team–10,000? 30,000?

    US Win World Cup in 2034. WooHoo!

    Bottom line–tell me if I missed anything in this great new VPP from you Master Pachy.

    No, I don’t have personal beef with El Pachy–I find most of his posts enlightening but when he comes up with quote like the one that started this whole post–I gotta call him on it.
    Most people don’t speak out and as we may learn over next 8 years they might be sorry they didn’t.


    • I’m sure Joel can explain himself quite well. I took his comment to mean that until clubs start looking for the rights of elementary school children — which is what happens in the football first rest of the world — the US will be behind.

      Read a piece in the Guardian this way on Tottenham’s young Harry Winks who began his association with the club when he was 5. FIVE. Everton’s 17-year-old wunderkind Tom Davies was “purchased” by Everton as a 9-year-old playing school ball in Merseyside. These guys are well paid pros who only reached the level they’re at now by eating, living and breathing the game. I doubt they were forced to do so. And they’re not slaves. Just something else to consider.

      • *read the piece this week, not “way”

      • John O'Donnell Jr says:

        Um, just one question….has the English national team benefited from this in the last three world cup cycles? Are we striving to be as good as them….because correct me if I’m wrong, but they haven’t done quite as good as the U.S.. Maybe they’re burned out?

      • Just one example of a country where they do the same thing as those who have done well in the World Cup recently: Brazil, Argentina, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, etc. AS to what’s ailed the English national team, it’s an evergreen subject of national self-inquiry.

      • Pete…not picking on pachy…just the comment.
        And just because other nations do it doesnt mean it is right.
        You give an example of kid who may have made it but how many dont and what happens to them?
        And kids in an adult environment they are not ready for and without multiple safeguards leaves system open to abuse of all types some of which are just coming to light 2 decades later.
        I dont wish that system here and am extremely uncomfortable when someone refers to children as commodity.
        Using your logic someone could say traci lords entered her profession early teens perhaps by her free will and was successful based on her fame and subsequent acting career.
        Should we really be pushing young girls to follow that example?
        How is it different? Children as commodity, right? Legal in other countries.

    • Can you do me a favor and refrain from using my name please.
      As to the other portion of your comment. I remember being a kid transfixed with a movie called My Bodyguard with Chris Makepeace and Matt Dillion. Loved the movie. Still do and defer to Pete… who in good stead, has stepped in on my behalf and made perfect sense of my comment.
      To tell you how deep I’m able to go on shit Union Goal… the kid’s name, Makepeace, is no accident to this comment.
      Be well.

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