Daily news roundups

News roundup: Liberia win PHL Unity Cup, USL final, WCQ heroics and heartbreak, more


Liberia won the second annual Philadelphia International Unity Cup 3-1 over Sierra Leone on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field. There was a naturalization ceremony for 25 new citizens before the game with Mayor Jim Kenney (very cool). To understand why the tournament is special, this video says it all.

Philadelphia’s own Starfinder Foundation won a 2017 GSK Impact Award. The $40,000 award recognizes non-profits dedicated to improving community health.

Union Academy product Mark McKenzie went the full 110 minutes for Wake Forest’s 0-0 (4-3) defeat over Virginia to win their second consecutive ACC Championship.

Major League Soccer

Folks are questioning that Nashville stadium study’s objectivity…

Speaking of: Is the league growing too fast for its own good?


Louisville City takes on Swope Park Rangers tonight in Louisville for the USL Cup.

But will Louisville be content to stay in USL?

U.S. Soccer

The U.S. Women’s National Team ended 2017 with a statement win 3-1 win over Canada with goals from Julie Ertz, Alex Morgan, and Carli Lloyd.

The young-ish USMNT squad in Portugal has a chance to begin a new chapter for the team. Interim coach Dave Sarachan doesn’t think the team needs to start from scratch.

Amongst the greenhorns called up is eminently quotable Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie.

Proceeds from the U.S.-Portugal match will benefit victims of the western U.S. wildfires.

Around the World

Switzerland and Croatia hold on in scoreless home draws to advance to the 2018 World Cup.

Elsewhere, Tunisia and Morocco earn the last African World Cup bids (the latter sparking outrageously stupid riots in Brussels, Belgium). It’s the first time four Arab countries have reached a World Cup final.

Italy, down 0-1 to Sweden, will fight for their World Cup lives at San Siro today at 2:45 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.

The first defendants in the worldwide FIFA corruption fiasco begin trial in the U.S.


  1. Surprised not to see anything here about the NASL Championship last night where SF Deltas won the title over the Cosmos in their first season (and potentially only season). The next few months are going to be very interesting for the lower division between the shaky NASL structure and USSF presidential elections.

  2. That Bondy story about MLS expansion had me thinking the whole time, I’m sure I’ve read some serious crap from this writer before. There was nothing awful about this piece until his conclusion that expansion of MLS would dilute the talent pool. In a global sport where the talent pool is, well, global, it’s an asinine thing to say. There are plenty of issues with MLS expansion worth pointing out and a diluted talent pool is not at all one of them.

    Sure enough, this guy wrote the piece on how to Americanize soccer in which he calls for a hard stop time, the taking of penalties by the player fouled, and a two-minute stop midway through each half. Utter crap.

    I’m also really curious about what happens to NASL. How remarkable would it be if the Deltas disbanded, as I heard they might, never to play another game after winning the last NASL championship ever played….

    Finally, huge game for Italy today. If I don’t have the U.S. or Italy to root for in the World Cup, I’m not sure what I’ll do.

  3. Before Louisville can be taken seriously they have to get a new stadium, and they are well advanced in the process of doing so.
    To say that Louisville Slugger stadium with its patchwork turf over the baseball infield’s cutouts is imperfect is an understatement.
    Notice tonight if you watch the final that the goal keepers ALWAYS take six-yard kicks at the left-end goal from the outfield turf side of the goal, and the referees let them.

    • For tonight’s game they skimmed the infield down and laid natural grass. It won’t be ideal since it only had a few days to take, but it will be vastly better than the turf.

  4. I played soccer in Africa on fields without any grass so I can understand the feeling the African players must have felt in the cold Linc on Saturday night. The grass in the stadium was pristine and the energy to light up the stadium and the mega advertisement scoreboards could probably light up a small African country…
    The soccer was quite good with Sierra Leon having better skills but Liberia was better at finishing corners and free kicks. At half-time SL was winning 1-0 but after some fierce half-time words, Liberia got their act together and scored 3 unanswered goals in the 2nd half.
    It was a great event sponsored by the City, Goya and several other Companies. Looked like all the teams can’t wait for the 2018 competition to start.

  5. The Unity cup was a lot of fun.
    The crowd was hot, the reffing was inconsistent, the finishing was less than clinical, there was genuine saltiness on the field and in the stands, I heard shit talk in 2 possibly 3 languages(not including deep patois) and if I heard free kick for Sierra Leone or throw in for Liberia one more time while cards and Substitutions when unremarked upon I was gonna hop onto the field and throttle the announcer with his own microphone.
    In short it was pretty much everything I love about living in Philly.
    This was the most fun I have had at a soccer game in a long long time. I’d go again next year.

    • lol; yes, that announcer was something else! They also had him at the semi-finals. But he was not on the field but upstairs in a warm place behind the glass.
      The SOB’s could learn a lot from the supporters!

    • you’ve put “free kick to siiieerra leooone” in my head again. thanks.

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