Daily news roundups

News roundup: Gauging the Union, Blake shines, Welsh is insane, MLS transfer window, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Are the Union a good team?

10 things about Fafa. Solid dude.

Andre Blake is the best goalkeeper at the Gold Cup – and it’s time for European clubs to take note.

Grades for Philadelphia’s offseason signings.

Gwybod eich gwrthwynebydd, which is Welsh for know your opponent, Swansea edition.

Major League Soccer

MLS’ summer transfer window is now open. It might be a busy one.

The league’s best offseason signings may dictate the direction teams take this summer.

Crew SC waive Dilly Duka. LA Galaxy sign Dutch right back Pele Van Holt.

Soccer America’s latest power rankings.

Justin Meram speaks up for Iraqi refugees.

League officials are visiting Charlotte next week. Why Nashville may be another perfect city for expansion.

U.S. Open Cup

Wondo scored a brace against the Quakes’ SoCal rivals to send San Jose through to the Open Cup semifinals.

Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas face off tonight.


Canada take on heavyweight Costa Rica tonight. Marcel de Jong is a steadying veteran presence during the team’s youth movement.



  1. Are the Union a good team? LOL, N…O.

  2. There are some players to be optimistic about for sure, but no way are the union a good team.

  3. I love what Fafa Picault has brought to the Union this year, but someone should tell him that openly professing your love of all things NYC is not the best way to win over Philly fans.

  4. I want to know what this team is planning to do in the just-opened transfer window. There’s no way the team is good enough to stand pat.

  5. Adam Schorr says:

    I think any discussion of whether a team is good needs to start with a reasonable benchmark of what constitutes good. Now, I don’t know about anybody else, but I define good as “could potentially be favored to win a playoff game”. I think that’s a decent benchmark, right? Do you think the Union would be favored to win a playoff game this year? The answer is no, and pretty clearly no at that. The problem is that in the East, that is a high benchmark, and I’m not sure bringing in even a high priced attacker gets us near the top 4. The goalposts are moving faster than the Union.

  6. Old Soccer Coach says:

    In some ways more important than the transfer window opening, is what might be called final decision day for graduated high school soccer players, August 1 (the opening of fall preseason for the NCAA). After that day, a high school graduate cannot maintain amateur standing while playing in professional games, practically speaking.
    Last season there were two homegrown player signings. Derrick Jones has seen significant minutes with the Union as well as in the U-20 World Cup in South Korea where he became a starter for Tab Ramos. Auston Trusty has been in the same youth side and seen minutes but has not started, and has been a mainstay with the Steel at center back on game day. Keep in mind that Trusty is some months younger. He and Jones graduated high school in different years.
    Will there be any homegrown signings this season? Long-term that is a more important question than activity in the 2017 summer transfer window, much more important.

  7. Scott of Nazareth says:

    I’m confused/ignorant about MLS transfers, buying, selling players…

    I know a lot of terms that are thrown around, but I’m not clear on how they relate to each other – there is some sort of allocation order – worst team first(?), discovery lists (Union have Zlatan?), Super Draft, home grown players, designated players, etc. I do know that all of these rules only seem to be loosely followed for some reason…

    It’s been explained to me (and I’ve slowly come to grasp) the concept of buying/selling players in Europe and I sort of get it, “little” clubs find and develop players who become stars and flip them to the “Big” clubs for BIG $$$ and then put it towards acquiring other young players to develop and/or maybe fill multiple holes in their lineup.

    All this leads to my question – IF the Union were to sell Andre Blake to a Euro team, does all that $ go exclusively to the Union or is it split with other MLS teams?

  8. It’s funny… Matt Doyle, and others, harp on the fact that since the Union’s horrible 0-4-4 start, they’ve gone 6-3-1, which is like the 4th best record in the league since the end of April or some such. That’s his argument for saying we have a good team.

    Of course, it all depends on what slice of the season you decide to take. After the 0-4-4 start, the Union ripped off 4 straight wins. You could add that to the slow start to give you a 4-4-4 record for the first third of the season, which is, of course, the very definition of average. And since then, they’ve had 2 wins, 3 losses, and 1 draw, which also looks pretty average. Small wonder we in the fan base are not terrifically impressed.

    Having said all that, they should probably have a few more points than they do, based upon their goal differential. If they continue to play the way they have (no guarantee), and all other things being equal (no guarantee), they should actually rise in the standings a little, and finish in 7th or 6th.

    • scottymac says:

      The problem with Doyle’s “analysis “- we’ve been below average against an easier schedule. The last 17 see 12 matches against teams currently above the red line and with 9 on the road. The math points to a 43 point season where the redline is tracking to 49+. Which is exactly the PPG average that is becoming our trademark.
      We can steal points here and there no doubt. But over the course of the season these things average out. Now, IF they sign a DP 10 and IF that player hits the ground running, maybe he’s worth 6-7 more points than Ilsinho or Pontius up top and they sneak in, provided there’s no injuries and CJs summer disappearing act don’t happen.
      So yeah man, playoffs!

      • It’s true that we have more games on the road. But it’s also true that — based on goal differential at least — we are one of the top clubs in the league, believe it or not. We actually have something like the second-best away defensive record in MLS. So the preponderance of road games shouldn’t drag us down — if we keep playing the way we have.

        As for strength of schedule, people forget that one of our best performances of the year was game #2 against Toronto. We absolutely dominated a match against the class of the league, and the only reason we came away without 3 points was because of a crappy PK call, and because Bedoya missed his own PK. That’s at least some evidence that we can play with a top club. Of course I would like to see more.

      • scottymac says:

        0.75 points on the road is still not good enough for them to make up ground. Yes, those other metrics are good, but again, they came against weaker competition. They have what, 6 points out of 21/24 from teams over the redline?
        To answer the question, is this a good team ,when they’ve failed to produce results with anything other than no is dishonest. Yeah, we drew TFC, at home. 14 of their 23 points came from teams below them in the SS standings. As for road performance, 1-4-3 isn’t anything to write home about, with the only W against DCU. They’re in must-win territory from here on out.

  9. OneManWolfpack says:

    We aren’t bad. We aren’t good. We are the definition of average. Sometime we play up… and other times we play down. We clearly need a few reinforcements, but they won’t come. Or if someone does show up, I doubt he’ll make a major impact. It’s a little “Debby Downer”… yeah I know, but it’s pretty much the same thing every season. I see no reason why this one is different.

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