Daily news roundups

More Union preseason dates, Bedoya and Pontius in USA-Serbia draw, Bradley on Trump travel ban, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Ahead of departing for the first stage of the team’s preseason camp in Florida on Tuesday, the Union has announced four scrimmages before the start of the Suncoast Invitational tournament:

  • Saturday, Feb. 4: DC United
  • Tuesday. Feb. 7: US U-17 MNT
  • Thursday, Feb 9: Chicago Fire
  • Wednesday, Feb. 15: Orlando City

The first three scrimmages are closed door while the Orlando scrimmage will be open to the public. No word yet if that one will be live streamed. The team faces Tampa Bay Rowdies (Saturday, Feb. 18), Montreal (Wednesday, Feb. 22), and DC (Saturday (Feb. 25) in Suncoast Invitational play after the series of scrimmages is complete.

Word came on Friday that Keegan Rosenberry had been released from the USMNT camp ahead of the friendlies against Serbia and Jamaica, but you weren’t too upset by the news because you had already ready comments from Bruce Arena linked to in Friday’s round up in which he included Rosenberry among those players at the camp who were being evaluated for this summer’s Gold Cup. More on the final 23-player roster at PSP, Philly.com, and Brotherly Game. Section 215 on what the January camp means for the Union trio going forward. The Orange County Register talks to Orange County native Chris Pontius ahead of the USMNT’s 0-0 draw with Serbia on Sunday.

At Union Tally, Matthew DeGeorge has observations from Friday’s open practice at the Power Training Fields. After noting that new signings Jay Simpson and Giliano Wijnaldum had not yet joined the team, DeGeorge observed, “Also absent from training: Fafa Picault. Though he’s not with the club at the moment, I’m told his trial isn’t over. (The Union are usually pretty upfront about when trials end, so his absence may be a precursor to a move.)” At the Union website, a recap of Friday’s training session.

More on the open practice at PSP and Philadelphia Union (recapphotos, video).

Here at PSP, video form Saturday’s Union Media Day. At the Union website, a behind-the-scenes look at the Media Day.

At Delco Times, Matthew De George has a piece on Roland Alberg, who says, “I want to play every game, even if it’s a friendly.My mindset is I want to play every game, every competitive game. I’m motivated and it’s what I said, I’m excited for the season and I’m going to show myself…Last year, everything was new for me — the traveling, the guys, the way they play, because we play different in Europe. This year, I’m ready for it and I’m going to show myself.”

Double G Sports has a Q&A with Auston Trusty.

Was there interest in Andre Blake from Europe at some time? At Philly Voice, Kevin Kinkead reviews.

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

Former Union man Cole Missimo is on trial with OKC Energy.

Bethlehem Steel FC

Bethlehem Steel’s home opener at Lehigh University’s Goodman Stadium will be on April 1 against Rochester Rhinos. The complete schedule for 2017 “will be announced in the coming days”.

City Islanders

The City Islanders home opener will be on April 15 against Bethlehem Steel.

Local

Patch on 13-year-old Brick, NJ native Reese Beggs, who is at the U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program Girls National Training Camp in Phoenix, Arizona.

MLS

NYCFC have signed Peruvian international  defender Alexander Callens ” on a free transfer” from Spanish second division side Numancia.

New England have acquired Côte d’Ivoire international defender Benjamin Angoua on loan from Ligue 1 side Guingamp for 2017 “with the option to transfer permanently following the season.”

Minnesota have acquired on loan Swedish international goalkeeper John Alvbåge from IFK Goteborg: “The loan is through July 15 with an option to extend the loan after that date.”

San Jose have signed signed Costa Rica international forward Marcos Ureña “a multi-year contract using Targeted Allocation Money.” They’ve also re-signed Kofi Sarkodie “to a new multi-year contract.”

Salt Lake have signed midfielder/forward Luis Silva, who played last season with Tigres UANL after being traded to RSL by DC in July of 2015.

Chicago have signed midfielder Djordje Mihailovic as a Homegrown Player.

LAFC have named Will Kuntz as Vice President of Soccer Operations and Assistant General Manager. You will recall Kuntz previously served as MLS’ Director of Player Relations.

At SportsNet.ca, former Union man Sheanon Williams talks about joining Vancouver Whitecaps.

FiftyFiveOne has details of the safe-standing supporters section in Minnesota United’s new stadium.

ABC10 wonders how San Diego’s expansion bid will affect Sacramento’s chances of landing a MLS franchise.

From St. Louis Business Journal:

The National Collegiate Athletic Association is keeping tabs on the latest developments of the effort to build a Major League Soccer stadium in St. Louis.

In a letter dated Jan. 9 to St. Louis Sports Commission President Frank Viverito obtained by the Business Journal, NCAA Director of Championships and Alliances Jeff Jarnecke said a number of NCAA championship events could be hosted in the facility.

Headline at TampaBay.com: “It’s Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Tampa Bay Rays in scramble for fans, money in St. Pete sports market”.

Headline at thee Tennessean: “Nashville embraces ‘underdog’ label in Major League Soccer pursuit”.

NASL

At WRAL, a Q&A with interim NASL commissioner Rishi Sehgal.

US

In their first game under Bruce Arena since the departure of Jurgen Klinsmann, the USMNT drew PSP, Philadelphia UnionSan Diego Union-Tribune, MLSsoccer.com (recap, player ratings, analysisreport), ESPN (recap, player ratings), ASN (recap, player ratings, commentary), Soccer America (player ratings), SI, Fox Sports (7 takeaways, 5 things, stock rise/fall), and Pros Soccer Talk (recap, three things).

How were the performances of Bedoya and Pontius rated? It was a mixed bag:

Much of the criticism of Bedoya centered on him not being enough of an offensive threat but, as The Guardian’s Graham Parker noted, with Graham Zusi behind him at right back, Bedoya (who Parker says “has a quicker footballing brain than he’s given credit for, and can show an instinct to head for goal, particularly after turnovers high up the field”)  never really had the chance to be an individual difference maker. Pontius, who starts on the left for the Union, was subbed into replace Bedoya on the right side of the field on Sunday. Nevertheless, he nearly scored the game winner in the 90th minute and Bruce Arena counted him among the players who “did well.”

Jermaine Jones and Sacha Kljestan were released from the USMNT to return to their clubs after Sunday’s game.

San Jose’s Avaya Stadium will be the site of the World Cup qualifier against Honduras on Friday, March 24 (10:30 pm, FSI, Univision).

Asked on Saturday by SI’s Grant Wahl his thoughts on Donald Trump’s travel ban on visitors from seven Muslim countries, USMNT captain Michael Bradley said he while he understood concerns about security, “ultimately, I truly believe the United States is a country that has always been about welcoming people from all over the world and giving them an opportunity for a better life, an opportunity they otherwise wouldn’t have.” Soon after, Bradley released a statement on Instagram in which he said,

I gave an answer where I tried to make it clear that while I understand the need for safety, the values and ideals of our country should never be sacrificed. I believe what I said, but it was too soft. The part I left out is how sad and embarrassed I am. When Trump was elected, I only hoped that the President Trump would be different that the campaigner Trump. That the xenophobic, misogynistic and narcissistic rhetoric would be replaced with a more humble and measured approach to leading our country. I was wrong. And the Muslim ban is just the latest example of someone who couldn’t be more out of touch with our country and the right way to move forward.

Union man Alejandro Bedoya was among several USMNT players who spoke in support of Bradley’s comments, “I support Michael, and we have a great group. This team is the epitome or diversity in America and what America’s all about. So I stand by my captain.”

ESPN reports, “U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said on Sunday that the American federation still hasn’t decided whether it will bid for the 2026 World Cup, while adding that he’s taking a wait-and-see approach to how President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration might impact the potential bid.”

Headline at the Los Angeles Times: “Soccer, the most international of sports, can’t escape real-world politics in wake of Trump’s executive order”.

Headline at the Washington Post: “U.S. soccer has never known borders. President Trump’s travel ban could change that.”

14 Comments

  1. It’s all talk until there is play on the field to back it up, but you really couldn’t ask for a better mindset coming into this season than Alberg has. He seems intent on proving himself and becoming a cog in this lineup.
    .
    Again, words don’t count for a damn thing, but it’s at least a good place to start.

  2. Onyewu signed!

  3. Tip of the cap to our captain, Michael Bradley, who doesn’t really need to be involved or to speak out but always rises to the occasion and says the right thing when given the opportunity. Respect.

  4. Sad times. Guess we can now forget about a 2026 WC.

  5. Nightmare scenario for the US. They finish 4th in CONCACAF and qualify for the intercontinental playoffs. 5th in AFC is either Iran, Iraq, or Syria…I think you can see where this is going.

    • Oh…that is so not good.
      .
      Or (optimist warning) it could be a moment where we can find the true value in sports. We can find players whose countries are at war, but whose players can still shake hands and trade jerseys after the game.
      .
      As long as the game is played at a neutral venue…

    • Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

      It is a nightmare scenario for the US, but I believe soccer matches are the least of our concern.

  6. Point of argument re: Bedoya being a difference maker.
    .
    There was a spot when Nagbe isolated on the left wing early in 2nd half got the end line- had a half second and turned to see only Altidore in the middle surrounded by 5 Serbs and standing wide open outside back post but unmoving toward the post was Bedoya. That was his chance to make an offensive impact in the game. Nagbe wanted him but he wasn’t there. I recall seeing Bedoya with hand up as the play folded… “my fault”… otherwise, as usual Bedoya’s play was pretty clean and tidy and otherwise unnoteworthy and unspectacular. Pretty much like the whole team. Incidentally Nagbe tried to thread a ridiculous ball into Alitdore when retaining possession was the more logical conclusion. Dear Lord it is tough to watch sometimes… the line of good play is so fine and always comes back to IMO off the ball movement which still the USNT and US Player struggles with which ulitmately makes us almost always look like we are playing in quicksand.
    .

    • John P. O'Donnell Jr says:

      Totally agree. Bradley had a chance to start a break but instead of taking a few steps into open space for a simple pass, he didn’t move and the pass toward him was intercepted for a counter attack. It seems the U.S.will slow it down and let the other team get back on defense. Frustrating

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