Daily news roundups

News roundup: Yaro nears return, Zelalem tears ACL, more

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

Center back feature for Union USL affiliate Bethlehem Steel early next month.

Fabian Herbers is likely out 2-4 weeks with the injury he suffered Saturday.

Marcus Epps could replace him in the 18, according to Union head coach Jim Curtin. In that same article, Curtin also talks about the Union’s improved finishing.

Jim Curtin wants to bottle confidence and sell it on the open market. He’s right: You could make a killing off it.

Union youth teams had a solid weekend. Here’s a rundown from the always solid Matt Ralph of Brotherly Game.

Here’s a really interesting feature on former Union draftee Jake Keegan, who never played for the team but globetrotted to Ireland and now to Canada. You can’t blame him for falling in love with Galway, Ireland, which might be my second choice of where I’d live if I could live anywhere. (No. 1? Yep, Pennsylvania.)


Reading United’s friendly against Bethlehem Steel FC will be postponed. Reading will instead play Harrisburg in the U.S. Open Cup that night, May 31, which is a pretty cool way to cap the club’s Philadelphia Union festival.

U20 World Cup

A roundup of the latest U20 World Cup results.

Philly.com has a primer on Union midfielder Derrick Jones, who put in a standout performance in the U.S. opener in the U-20 World Cup.

U.S. youth international Gedion Zelalem tore his ACL during the U20 World Cup. He’s out at least nine months.


Suddenly, the East may be the best conference in MLS. Go figure.

Remember when Toronto FC was the worst team in the world, according to its best player? Four Four Two looks back and contrasts Toronto between then and now.

A good feature on Minnesota’s Miguel Ibarra, who has earned a starting spot and the opportunity to play his way back toward another U.S. international opportunity.

A profile of the five best MLS academies. Philadelphia misses the cut on this list.

Los Angeles Galaxy coach Curt Onalfo says he listens to nothing anybody says. Insert your own joke here. LA fans certainly are.

Meanwhile, LA FC plans to build a $30 million training complex, and they’re already making significant ticket sales for the club’s opening season.

Here’s an argument that lower division players in America are undervalued. Yep, most definitely.

Around the world

Manchester United won the Europa League with a 2-0 win over Ajax. For once, we were all rooting for them, in the wake of this week’s terrorist attack there.

The Guardian has a good look at the tactical evolution, or lack thereof, in the English Premier League.

Best story of the day: West Ham United is paying for an apartment for a homeless man who helped people after the Manchester terrorist attack earlier this week.


  1. Raise your hand if you are VERY interested in seeing a Yaro – Elliot partnership in the back

    • I’m interested, but I think it’s been overlooked how much having the vet presence of Gooch back there has tightened everything up.

      • pragmatist says:

        I agree. I love what Yaro brings to the table, and it will be great to see 2 CB’s with strong distribution skills. But (and I can’t believe I’m basically arguing for this) Gooch has been a steady presence, particularly when combined with Haris/Ale in front, and Gaddis on the right. Those guys have locked down the defense.
        That said, our future is Yaro and Rosenberry. So somehow we need to find a way to get them into the lineup and have it work as well, if not better, than the current configuration.

  2. Yaro needs a position change. Too fragile and short to play CB in MLS. CDM or something would better suit him. I relish seeing him out on the field again: he’s fast, skilled, and makes killer passes. But I don’t relish seeing him get knocked around and concussed as a CB.

    • Bollocks to that. Let the man play his position and don’t be dissuaded by a couple of injuries. Besides, CDM is the last thing we need on this team now! We will already have a Derrick Jones problem — of a happy kind — in a few weeks!

    • pragmatist says:

      This was one of last year’s conversations that was filed under the category of “Beaten to Death” and “Debunked by Management.” Yaro, Curtin, and ES have all come out and said that Yaro will play CB. He will not be moving to CDM any time soon.
      That said, yeah, I would love to see him be positionally-flexible. If he could easily move between CB and CDM, that would allow us greater squad rotation (this year’s “Beaten to Death” conversation) as well as tactical flexibility, based on opponents.
      But don’t hold your breath.

  3. I’m actually pretty eager to see Epps get a start in Salt Lake. Thought he looked pretty great in pre-season.

    tough, tough news for Zelalem.

  4. Was pleasantly surprised this morning to be able to watch the 2nd half of the US20 US game against Senegal. Great goal by 17yr old Sergant and good play by Jones. USA was lucky to get the shutout only since couple free headers at the back post were headed over the goal instead of on target. USA is now on top of the table and will play Saudi Arabia Sunday morning around 5am. Worth getting up for since Saudi beat Ecuador this morning.

  5. “Jim Curtin wants to bottle confidence and sell it on the open market. He’s right: You could make a killing off it.”
    It’s called Cocaine. And people do make a killing off of it.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      I was unbeatable at darts and Golden Tee in the I.A.C for a period of 5 summers in my early twenties.
      I attest to this statement.

  6. el Pachyderm says:

    Knew the second Gideon went down it was ACL. Could tell. Seen it enough. Bummer. Good news is, full recovery likely.
    Regarding Yaro….I actually think CB is his best position, I see him as a Mascherano type. The thing is injuries….. guy needs to put a LONG stretch of healthy and meaningful play behind him to
    1. prove he isn’t a liability physically
    2. continue to improve and develop relationships
    3. allow this team to actualize to the vision of the Sporting Director who clearly rates him highly as a CB.
    Dude is killer fast, and wicked with his vertical passing… I see this team in a year or two pushing a very high back line (unbelievably important in my opinion) and a guy with Yaro’s close down speed and excellent technique and distribution allows for it. To be honest….I think a good deal of Earnie’s vision of play lies in Yaro anchoring the CB position.
    Whatever it takes to keep Richie on the bench as a reliable stalwart one or two game back up plan cause that’s his ceiling.
    Mourinho quote: there are plenty of poets in football. Only a few win championships. So So So So good…even though his team bored the hell out of me yesterday. At one point I counted 9 MU players in the box defending. 9!

  7. The Truth says:

    Only clicked to express disappointment in Gedion’s injury. What a shame.

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