Daily news roundups

News roundup: Crippling loss, untrust the process, Cinci Open Cup semi, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Note: PSP is looking for a volunteer to write our Thursday news roundups. If interested, please email dwalsh@phillysoccerpage.com.

Philadelphia Union

Sons of Ben remember Kenny Hanson.

10 observations from a crippling home loss.

Union’s process is not trustworthy.

The team announced U Camp Out August 26 after the Atlanta match.

Major League Soccer

Power rankings from ESPN FC and Soccer America.

10 things we learned in Week 23.

Inflated salaries, terrible timing show the other side of MLS’ TAM initiative.

VAR doesn’t have a sense of humor.

Carlos Vela will give Mexican fans another chance to buy into MLS.

Bethlehem Steel

Late goals sealed Bethlehem’s win over TFC II.

11 things from Week 21 in USL takes note of Steel’s jump into the playoff race.

U.S. Open Cup

History awaits as FC Cincinnati host New York Red Bulls tonight in the U.S. Open Cup semifinal. The winner will face Sporting Kansas City in KC.

Match preview here.

The game sold out in seven hours.

Former Union man and current FC Cincinnati player Austin Berry says the match makes him feel like he’s back in MLS.

You can watch the match at FC Cincinnati’s website.

U.S. Soccer

18-year-old Yank abroad Weston McKennie earned his first start for Schalke over the weekend.

5 other U.S. players to watch in Europe.

The future of the U.S. goalkeeper pool.

Gyasi Zardes has played his way off the plane to Moscow next summer.


  1. Adam Schorr says:

    Great article by De George. It’s also worth pointing out that “The Process” works in the NBA because in the NBA, the only way to get superstar talent is to tank. The only way to compete for a title is with superstar talent. Ergo, you have to tank to compete for a title. In MLS, all you have to do is spend. While we’re over here going “we’re developing some MLS starters hopefully!” The Union need to spend a helluva lot smarter. Does it mean being shallower? Without a doubt. But it also means targeting guys who specifically fit the formation. It means targeting guys outside of Europe who don’t have an inflated European salary. It means basically doing the exact opposite of everything Earnie is doing.

    • I agree. DeGeorge is 100% on the money in that article. Great job!

    • Looking at things the way De George puts them out there, it just makes me shake me head and wonder how the Union seem to continuously get things wrong. I just don’t get it.

  2. “In MLS, all you have to do is spend.”

    I mean, spending is still relative. Dream teams still fail in the MLS. In no sports league will it ever be as simple as “just spend more money!”

    On it’s own the strategy of building through the academy is great. It makes sense, and it allows us to get quality depth for very cheap. And we should be able to produce some really good players from it.

    It’s just we need to compliment that with a really good player or two that we DO need to spend on.

    • Sure the idea to build through the academy makes sense, if you had the personnel to achieve it. Do the Union? Have they proven in any way able to see homegrown talent thrive through to an MLS career? Look they have nice buildings and maybe nice organized programs, but what has the academy and all the efforts of Graham/Sugarman/Sak/Stewart produced? A whole lot of nothing so far. And they are asking a neophyte coach to make something of these players. If the goal is youth development shouldn’t the concentration be on coaching?
      The Union have some nice ideas, but they go about achieving them in the most scatterbrained ways.

      • No they haven’t proven, but the entire disconnect here is the timeline. ES and Curtin and the team consider themselves reset as of ES’ hiring. The fans don’t.

        If you judge them including the previous regimes full of idiots, then no they have proven nothing.

        If you judge the ES regime – I think it’s off to a good start. DJ and Trusty are U20 mainstays and both have shown well in USL and now DJ in the first team. That’s a pretty solid start. Fontana is a widely regarded good prospect as well.

      • But DJ isn’t playing in the first team. And as it’s set up now won’t be starting for another year or more with Bedoya/Haris in the middle. I won’t argue they are supposed to be nice prospects, cause I’ve seen it in DJ myself. But I can argue that nothing has changed dramatically coaching wise to believe any of those players will grow beyond prospects. Hackworth/Curtin same coaching tree. Burke, same coaching tree, but I believe he has, at least, an idea of tactics and definitely shown an ability to juggle a squad. I can’t speak as much for the academy for I know little except for Graham has always been the head and runs a nice program, with no results yet. I’ve seen lots of video on the kids in school but nothing yet about the coaches to bring them to the next level.
        Look I completely grant you they seem to have “a plan”. Noted, won’t argue point agreed. But there needs to be results for this money ball crap to be successful. It seems to me the biggest deficit to this whole process they seem to be ignoring is somehow coaching. If kids, professionals, and those players in between can’t learn to change formations, that’s a problem. It’s gotta be a coaching problem. When are players able to learn to play different formations? And at the same time Stewart claims formations aren’t important. If you don’t challenge a player, how can you know what they are capable of? Playing a different formation may (hopefully) give a player a different look or perspective on their position and what is being asked of them from it. The Union just seem to go in opposite directions trying to achieve one goal and neither one is getting them where they want to go.

    • I would like us to spend more, but honestly we are getting basically nothing from Edu (low level DP), Alberg, and Simpson and not much from Pontius and Ilsinho. That is 5 high level salaries that if we were getting production matching compensation from even 2 of them we would be insanely better. We also have decent depth money tied up in Carroll and Davies who have both given us nothing. So while I agree the total money outlay (really that we should have 3 DP players) is not enough, the bigger issue is these midlevel to upper level regular salaries have been terrible.

  3. I think the easiest comparison to what the Union are doing now is what the New England Revolution did. They were pretty much the worst of the worst for a while until their core gelled and suddenly they were in the MLS cup. I don’t know if you can do that now but you can make a steady playoff team off of that. For a while at least.

    • Except for the fact that the core doesn’t play for various reasons (rosenberry, jones, yaro, herbers, najem, etc) or is unlikely to still be playing at their current level where the gelling happens (Haris, Bedoya, Pontius, Ilsinho if he counts).

    • Zizouisgod says:

      Perhaps, the big question is what is the Union’s core right now and of those players, which ones will still be in their prime in 3-5 years from now?

      • I don’t think it really matters. What I take from Stewart is that the “core” is changing at all times. It seems like two year cycles. Year one hack and slash, form base. Year two refine and cut less. Year three repeat year one. That’s what’s pretty much happened so far. And the “core” has morphed and evolved continuously the whole time. Who’ll be here in three to five years? The whole team could easily be gone by that point.

      • With all due respect, that explanation makes no sense to me especially if the organization touts their desire to build through youth.

      • Just because an organization desires and states something as their goal doesn’t mean it actually happens or works that way. How many players when Stewart started would you say were core players for three years down the line? How many of those players would you still consider part of the core? Marquez, Edu, Nogs, Barnetta, Yaro, Rosenberry, C.J.? First four are already out. Yaro and Rosenberry are both stalled, stagnated or even regressing in their progress. Will Bedoya be here after a year or two with Real and DJ waiting in the wings? Alberg, Ilsino maybe even Gooch and Pontius will be gone at the end of this season, and they’ve all contributed but won’t be the future “core”.
        I think the real plan is to be as flexible as possible. Hopefully the academy produces players that can at least fill in at back up roles, while key positions are filled through acquisitions. I mean there aren’t just phenoms sitting in the academy waiting for their turn. It’s not like how stacked the Flyers are. It’s like baseball and hoping 3 out of your 30 draft picks might impact the majors.

    • Adam Schorr says:

      From wikipedia: “The 2014 season brought success. The Revolution signed U.S. national team member Jermaine Jones in late August on a designated player contract. They then went on a 10-1-1 streak led by Jones…”
      Yes, the core gelled, but what made them actually good was bringing in a high-priced player who fit what they needed. That’s when they went from “playoff contender” to “title contender”.

      • Spot on. Also, what have the Revs done since JJ left for Colorado? And what did the Rapids look like before vs. after JJ’s arrival?

      • Well we have Befoya and Edu is coming off the books. Quite frankly we have too much dead money to actually sign that player.
        Also the core gelled first then they decided to get that player who would push them over the top.

  4. Anyone who is upset about the large amount of TAM used to pay Jay Simpson, please read the FourFourTwo article referenced above. There is a pretty good explanation as to why it probably happened. I’m not so angry about it now.

  5. Kaka gets a straight red using VAR, hands to the face, jokingly, smiles all around.
    Ilie chokes Gooch, no playfulness, full view on video, went to review, gets nothing.

    • John P. O'Donnell Jr says:

      It didn’t go to VAR as it only started last week.

    • More like VAR should have given a red on Gooch’s issue and the ref should have listened to Colin on this one, like the ref did on the rescinded red card with the Union earlier.

  6. It’s simple: The Union have decided the first team will suffer at the expense of the academy. No other MLS team does this. Only reason they have chosen this path is because it’s cheaper. Will it produce good players… yes probably, but until then our first team will stay average… which sucks A LOT

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