Daily news roundups

News roundup: Pontius breaks through, no Almiron, NYCFC stadium bid, USSF drama, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Chris Pontius’ brace feels like too little too late.

What Atlanta United’s attack may look like Wednesday without injured midfielder Miguel Almiron.

ICYMI: Adam Cann’s tactical analysis of Philadelphia’s dominance over Chicago is (typically) on point.

Major League Soccer

After their game in Connecticut, NYCFC is reportedly set to bid on a potential stadium site near Belmont Park Race Track just outside of Queens on Long Island. The site also has interest from the New York Islanders hockey team.

Your Week 29 rundown.

What you may have missed over the weekend.


With just one week left in the regular season, the NWSL playoff picture has cleared up.

U.S. Soccer

This is well-known, but nice to see the media picking up on it: the “pay-to-play” youth soccer model skews the racial composition of the U.S. Women’s National Team.

A legal expert answers your questions about the NASL vs. U.S. Soccer lawsuit. Also: the USSF on trial.

All eyes will be on the USMNT during the national anthem before the next round of World Cup Qualifiers. Never afraid to speak their mind, a trio of women’s players stayed in the locker room during the anthem before their NWSL match. We should be proud to have such women represent our country.


  1. I get it and agree with the idea behind what’s going on, but I just can’t stand all the anthem noise anymore. I’m not talking about standing or not or the idea of free speech. It’s just that fact that it’s all that’s being talked about anymore. I’m just tired of seeing it in news feeds and on game recaps, etc. we should be proud of those who stand up for what they believe in however. I’m just worn out as a sports fan.

    • You may be worn out as a sports fan, but blacks and other minority groups can’t just tune out. They have to live with this every day. They’re “just tired” of being racially profiled, of having lesser rights, of being treated as something less than human. They’re “worn out” of having friends and family arrested or shot for the crime of being black.
      If you agree with the idea and are proud of them, support them, don’t complain about them.

      • You mistook what I was saying. I’m not complaining about them or what they’re doing. Im very active in terms of supporting causes that advance equality and stand up for those who are unheard. And I will always, always support someone’s ability to use their free speech for good. Personally sports was my getaway. I do recognize that is selfish on a level, but please don’t assume and chastise. Otherwise nothing but love for this site and it’s authors and commenters.

      • Great One, you may consider yourself an ally, but the original comment you made isn’t helpful. Adam Schorr’s response is right on point.

        I get that you need a break from politics, but unfortunately, everything is political, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. So express some support instead of fatigue.

      • John P O'Donnell Jr. says:

        It’s not working though. The conversation is about the flag and not what they are protesting for. Has anyone offered any real solutions or better yet defined the problem? Because statistically it doesn’t hold weight.

    • its weird that we even have these ultra patriotic rituals in the beginning of every professional sports game in this country. politics was already there, it was just the seemingly invisible politics of ultra patriotic praise of certain parts of the state

      • I agree. Only in America starts a game with the National Anthem. All across Europe, Africa and Asia the National anthem is only played before International games.

      • From what I read yesterday, singing the national anthem started in baseball during WW1. After the war ended, it stopped until WW2, and we’ve had it ever since then. Other sports in this country – including MLS – took their queue from baseball. However, in quite a few cases the anthem was sung before the players came out. That changed only recently – in large part because the Pentagon offered to pay the NFL to have more “patriotic” displays during pre-game.

      • Having an anthem performance before a sports match serve as some sort of patriotism litmus test truly is bizarre. Why we need to sing the national anthem before a sporting contest to begin with is odd. What does the outcome of a ballgame have to do with the nation or national character?

        That said, Kaepernick’s strategy of using the moment to start a conversation about a subject for which he cared deeply has really proven effective. The entire country is talking about protest and its place in sports/pop culture. While not exactly the central issue, it’s more time in the spotlight than the issue would have otherwise received.

      • “Why we need to sing the national anthem before a sporting contest to begin with is odd”
        Study communism and you will find out.

      • What? The Soviets didn’t sing “Be glorious, our free Fatherland!” before ice hockey games?

  2. Old Soccer Coach says:

    How a state connects itself to symbols has always interested me.
    How the Japanese created their population’s loyalty to the emperor after the Meiji Restoration of — formally — January 1, 1868 is worth exploring. The emperor had not mattered much in Japan since at least 1154, and,that date could easily be pushed back further into the Fuijwara period preceding the Minamoto shogunate.
    I am assuming dying for the flag stems from the leader’ standard bearer always being where the leader was, hence defending the flag was defending the leader.
    TheRomans attributed godhead to the eagles of their legions, as I understand it.
    Personally, I think the tweet from 2013 in which a prominent entertainment personality chastised a sitting President for neglecting the nation’s important business speaks powerfully to the current brouhaha.
    The potential subjecting of cities in the United States to nuclear,bombardment is more important than anything the National Football League has done, is doing, or will do, ever. Even six-year-olds know that.

  3. Please do not make the anthem situation a part of the beautiful game of soccer. In my opinion, I’m annoyed with it. It’s not doing any good. If these football players and all other athletes want to make a change in society and with this situation they should donate their time and money towards charities, communities and events where these problems can be discussed. They have every constitutional right to protest and to feel the way they do but, kneeling , fists in the air, and not coming out for the anthem will not solve problems. Now, can we please get back to discussing the problem at hand which is this Union team and organization.

    • Counterpoint: it’s doing a ton of good. Prior to Kaepernick kneeling, how often did you talk about or read about things like race relations or police brutality? The first step in solving any problem is identifying it and making people aware that it is a problem. The fact of the matter is that most of the people who boo the protests or think they should just stop are privileged white people who do not like being reminded that they are privileged. It’s uncomfortable, isn’t it, actually having to think about how others aren’t as fortunate simply because the color of their skin?
      Quite frankly, “this Union team and organization” is far less important than having conversations that affect millions of lives on an every day basis. Plus, if you actually took the time to see what these players are doing to make a difference, you can find many examples, like https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2017/09/15/colin-kaepernick-named-nflpas-community-mvp-week-1/669948001/, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2017/09/19/eagles-chris-long-donates-salary-from-six-nfl-games-to-fund-scholarships-in-charlottesville/ (Long is White, mind you), http://www.npr.org/2017/04/02/522357497/out-of-bounds-philadelphia-eagles-malcolm-jenkins-on-criminal-justice-overhaul, and I could go on and on.
      This is not an either/or. The fact of the matter is that you are upset with the “anthem situation” because you can’t avoid it. It’s easy to overlook everything they’re doing in communities you’re not a part of and then blame them for not doing enough in those communities, because you don’t live in those communities, and you’re not sitting there actively trying to find what they’re doing. You’re not going into those communities. The “anthem situation” is not instead of taking that action, it’s in addition to. And if only 1% of the people who see these protests dig deeper, if only 1% of the people who see these protests take the time to understand the cause, if only 1% of the people who see these protests have a serious conversation or think deeper about police brutality and race relations in this country, well, then it’s doing a whole lotta good. And judging by how many people are talking about it, it’s doing a whole lotta good.

      • In the interest of “digging deeper”, I offer this interesting 2016 study by an African American professor at Harvard.
        While the professor’s research did find significant racial disparities in police use of non-lethal force, his data showed no statistical police bias against blacks and Hispanics in the use of lethal force.

      • Oh yes, Football players are soo less fortunate than I am ………. my point is protesting the flag and anthem has nothing to do with their cause. It’s the wrong place and time to do it in my opinion.

      • MSG, it’s an interesting article, but reading it, it’s important to note that it is not peer-reviewed. Reading it, it’s pretty clear that it could not survive peer review, because the author provided many caveats regarding the data, such as the fact that the data may be skewed regarding fatal police shootings because they may not be honest about the data or it may be misreported. Unfortunately, police have a habit of lying: https://www.google.com/search?q=officer+lies+about+shooting&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8. Basically, the conclusion is drawn from limited (page 4: “the data is sparse”), self-selecting (page 5), and potentially biased or compromised (page 5) data. Most importantly, when you dig into the tables, you quickly realize that the data is highly incomplete. Basically, the shooting data that I see there is specifically for a few crimes specifically involving officers. That is, it excludes shootings that occurred for any other crime or where there was no crime. Basically, they selected a sample of crimes that is likely to generate a neutral outcome rather than reporting all shootings. Which the author notes they probably did! But then made a conclusion anyway, because reasons?
        But, most importantly I think here, is that, even assuming, arguendo, that the paper is 100% correct, the conclusion is still that police are discriminatory in their use of non-lethal force against minorities. Isn’t that still worth protesting? I certainly think so. Even if they’re not using lethal force, they shouldn’t be discriminating on any level. Period.

      • I think everyone agrees (or at least should agree) with the concept of social justice for all regardless of race, creed or color. However, I am completely torn by the national anthem protests. On one hand, I agree with the position of the players who are protesting and believe they have a just cause. But on the other hand, I find the vehicle in which the players are publicizing their protest (i.e. kneeling, fist raised, staying in the locker room) during the national anthem to be offensive and disrespectful. The protests are getting a lot of publicity and maybe that’s a good thing. But the protests seem to be doing more dividing of people and less uniting of them, which should be the whole point of the protests in the first place.

  4. Having just read Michel McCann’s piece at Planet Futbol Steve Whisler links to above, — worth your attention it seems to me if you are interested in the NASL saga, it leaves me with a question.
    Is there not an elephant in the room?
    Does MLS want the Federal court system and Federal antitrust laws anywhere near its single entity structure? Particularly given the lawyer NASL has hired and the lawsuit Miami FC owner Silvia has already filed about promotion and relegation?
    And there is a fact that affects the North American soccer environment of which the U. S.-Based writers I have read are aware that they do not emphasize enough in my judgment, and that is the Canadian Premier LEague that Soccer Canada has approved for play in 2018. A soft launch is expected post-Russia with the full launch to be in 2019, but it matters because NASL may very well lose a team.
    Also, judging by published titles, the Cosmos’ Rocco Commisso has replaced the North Carolina FC owner as NASL commissioner. Does that sound to you as though North Carolina FC is long for the NASL world?
    What happens to a lawsuit when the plaintiff no longer exists?
    How,does Puerto Rico finish its season after Maria?
    Optimistically six NASL teams seem likely to be going concerns come next January. That’s not progress towards twelve, that’s regression from eight. NY Cosmos, Miami FC, Indy Eleven, Jacksonville, San Diego and California FC.
    NASL’s situation is dire.

  5. Hi there, I read through a few of your articles here. I did have a question though
    that I hope you could answer. I was wondering,
    How do police officers deal with people who don’t speak their language?
    I’m trying to become a cop in a city where much of the population doesn’t speak english well.
    I would really appreciate any help you could give me!

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