Daily news roundups

News roundup: More contract deadline moves, Conestoga 3rd in the nation, more

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Philadelphia Union

Jay Sugarman assures the fans that he’s “going to figure this out.”

Fans named Haris Medunjanin the 2017 Union Player of the Year.

C.J. Sapong made it onto Goal.com’s Most Improxed XI list.

ICYMI: Jay Sugarman is on MLS’s expansion committee. This is what he wants to see in an expansion side.

Union Co-Owners are working with the 76ers to build an arena in Wilmington, DE.


Salesianum and Conestoga High Schools both finished in the national top 10 in USA Today’s national rankings.


Monday was MLS’s contract deadline day, and teams’ moves are still being announced. Here’s a summary of all the moves so far. And here’s some reaction to the moves.

Atlanta United have reportedly put in a 14 million dollar offer for 18-year-old Argentinian midfielder, Ezequiel Barco.

It looks like Swedish outside back, Anton Tinnerholm, will be joining a so-far-unnamed MLS club soon.

Sneijder to LAFC?

Ranking the contenders for new MLS expansion sides.

D.C. United will not get to play all its home games next season at its new stadium, which isn’t set to be finished until June.

Columbus Crew

More on the Crew. After major commercial development plans fell through with a Columbus company, the company offered the land to the Crew. For free. They rejected that offer.


Former Dutch international Vera Pauw will be coaching Carli Lloyd as Houston Dash’s new manager.

Around the globe

Any gay or transgender fans and fans of certain races should be careful at the World Cup in Russia, according to an anti-discrimination organization that has partnered with FIFA.

NBC is making some controversial changes to their Premier League streaming service.

FourFourTwo has laid off several of its contributors, many of whom contribute frequently (and perhaps unknowingly) to these news roundups and to our daily intake of soccer news outside the Philadelphia area.


  1. Going to reply to this post with a link to a neat story in Forbes about Amobi Okugo starting a website to help athletes make financial decisions. Looks like it’s a lot of shared stories by journeymen players. He says it’s a site to help athletes “not go broke.” Pretty great idea. Link will be a comment people can search it out if the link gets held up in moderation here.

  2. So sad to see FourFourTwo getting rid of good writers. May they find greener columns somewhere!

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Yeah and one wonders about the nature of why.
      Strange how the game is claimed to be growing in America, yet we are losing people to report on it and write about it.

      • Because it is growing but is still nowhere near any of the 4 big sports plus college football?

      • It’s not just FourFourTwo. ESPN had another round of layoffs. Writers are being dropped all over the place.
        A lot of these writers have to go to places like The Athletic where most of their stuff is behind a paywall. It’s the nature of the business – the market was saturated.
        If ESPN can can guys like Ed Werder and Jayson Stark, then no one is safe.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        it is a direct result of missing the world cup in my opinion, and as an ancillary this closed system so many love and think is the way forward. but hey, things are good. …..Kyle Martino has great hair.

  3. “If you stick with us, you’ll be able to say, yeah, I was there when they were building all this. My goal is when we look back five or 10 years from now — and the fans should hold us to this — we need to be really good at all the things we say we’re going to be good at. I’m not saying we’re going to be good at buying $10 or $20 million players, but we’re going to be good at this.”

    Real Salt Lake – a team that entered the league in 2005 and also was created from scratch without spending big dollars actually won MLS Cup in 2009.

    The Union just finished their 8th year and they are “gonna figure this out” per Sugarman.

  4. The Gorgon Mirror says:

    Anytime anybody ever uses the words—– ‘close to’ ‘as close as’ ‘going to be’ — I am wont to believe. We are the words we use… quite literally the creators of reality. This is a firm belief.
    and as is my nature, I am a hacksaw. A serrated edged knife. A scalpel or whatever instrument is needed in the moment. I can lead or follow as the situation demands but I am never ever wishy washy….life IS….Over Around or Through- All in or All out – for good and for bad. Urgency belied by a lackadaisical and aloof style which is an intentional deception to hide the inner burn.
    When I read Mr. Sugarman’s words, I see the cornflower blue tie, tossed hair… and struggle to believe. I struggle to believe.
    Hope I am proven wrong… but am concerned. When the day comes, I aim to be the loudest trumpet sounding in the jungle…. literally leading Colonel Hathi’s March.
    “Hope. Hope is a good thing, Red. Maybe the best thing.”

  5. I take two things from the Sugarman interview.
    First – HE’S ALIIIIIVE. The fact that he is publicly stating interest in the Union is a big step. It also means he’s at least thinking about the Union.
    Second – I think he’s finally ready to invest in the first team. He’s been playing catch-up for a long time now and our infrastructure has finally caught up with the rest of the league. Training facility – check, practice field – check, chief tattoo artist – check (we’re way ahead of the rest of the league on that one).
    It’s obviously going to be a long time before we get a $6 Million Dollar Man, but we might have a couple $1mil men soon.
    I expect us to get another DP this winter and expect us to pay Bedoya money for him.

    • Silver, this is just slightly more than what he said last year at this time. And his claim of spending money kind of goes along with all the players they released and money they got off the books. I’d wait till the end of next season when a comparison can be made of this past year’s expenditure on players, compared to what is spent next year, before I’d actually get excited.
      Why would they pay Bedoya money for someone? Are you talking about paying his salary down with TAM or GAM (whichever one you’re allowed to use), in order to get another DP?

      • I think he just meant someone in the 1 million dollar range.

      • I think he meant Bedoya level money for someone. If sugarman really means he spends 5 mil a year on the team, and all the infrastructure is in place now, that means we should be getting 2 new DPs at about double Bedoya money each. And that’s where we need to be at least.

      • DOH! Thanks guys. I totally misread that didn’t I? Whoops.

      • One major infrastructure piece remains.
        A new stadium in Bethlehem-Easton-Allentown.
        It will be the second most expensive project they have ever built, unless they get no public money help.

    • And in the meantime the bar keeps moving. Atlanta reportedly ready to spend $14 million on a transfer fee. A transfer fee. I’m sure other teams are going to be dropping some $$ too, just in the east. Orlando, NYC probably have plenty of money they’re willing to spend.

      • Unless they add more DP slots the bar isn’t moving that much. Yes it’s moving, but being limited to 3 and being a league that can’t compete with the big boys in Europe really limits the top end talent. Not that a lot of DPs aren’t great players but increases in TAM and the salary cap help balance it some.
        That said, the Union have no excuse to not have 3 DP players this year, and both new ones should be better than Bedoya.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        but Pete, only Barcelona and Madrid win La Liga cause they outspend every one. Pete only PSG can win the League. But Pete, there are only 3 or 4 teams that can win the BPL… because they outspend.
        Pete, only 3 teams are able to win the NBA title…. and it goes on and on. You know what’s worse than a closed league and pyramid with a salary cap that isn’t actually a salary cap? NOTHING. At least the other way — West Jabip FC gets a chance to even play in the first division.
        but hey, this closed system seems to ….wait a minute —and this is nothing new from this elephant in the room.

      • With a guy like Sugarman as an owner, how will the pyramid ever open? Nevermind pro/rel, but with the dissolution of the ridiculous single-entity system, the salary cap nonsense and financial rules that prevent clubs from selling players. That report that Red Bulls — or MLS on their behalf — passed on a $5 million offer on one of its players… Is there really a Red Bull player you wouldn’t take $5 million for in a heartbeat? Transfermarkt doesn’t list a single Red Bull player as worth more than $2 million (Kljestan). Is this league anything more than a protection scheme for piss poor owners? Guys like Sugarman should be investing in Div 3 clubs. It’s just hopeless, isn’t it.

        For the record, I’d love for the Union to be bought by some oil baron from Qatar and turned into the next Man. City. Not going to happen under the current scheme.

      • Zizouisgod – so true.

    • The only reason that Sugarman, Curtin, Stewart and McDermott are actively speaking to the media right now is:

      1) They are trying to sell tickets and keep an increasingly frustrated (and bored) fanbase interested in the club.

      2) They are trying to stay relevant in a Philadelphia sports landscape that is pretty much only focusing on the Eagles and Sixers who are both flying high right now. The Union are an after-thought. Period.

      If those two factors weren’t there, I’m sure that Sugarman wouldn’t be speaking to the press. He’s just trying to sell tickets…plain and simple.

      • I agree.

      • No question he is sprucing up the image, and helping focus attention on the team during a lull in activity.
        But he is also addressing criticisms. He answered Dan Walsh’s open letter, remember. He does these things circumspectly, no question. But he is aware of the atmosphere.
        Is it ideal? No. Is it better than complete silence? Yes.
        The Jonathan Tannenwald piece on his role and views about expansion was quite interesting. The fact that he is on that committee suggests something.

  6. I’ll believe in this ownership group when thee are new owners. I love the idea of Josh Harris’ group buying in. Don’t send your money to Crystal Palace when you have the opportunity to grow the investment locally. And that not just about being local, the MLS has become a cash cow for investors. A group like Harris’ could buy a large stake in the Union without having to fork over the entire $150M expansion fee.
    And with the Bucini/Polin development in Wilmington with the Sixers, my hopes will artificially raise again that this marriage will happen.

  7. Jay – sell. Get out. GTFO. Go back to the Hamptons. Your neglect with this club is criminal. It is, in fact, more nefarious than Precourt’s clubnapping. Death by a thousand paper cuts. Static spending with the only increases from MLSwelfare accounting for a rise while the owners you willingly capitulate too raise the bar on talent. You’re bringing a butter knife to a gun fight. Go home.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      the sound of incoming artillery.
      I listened to Eric Wynalda on the 3Four3 Podcast this morning, and I swear to you…. this is what he said,
      “when someone comes to you and says, we are gonna figure this out, they are lying to you. They are stalling.”
      ….sensational timing.
      Mr. Sugarman, Kevin Kinkhead says to sell to the Harris Pollic group. Sell your team or sell 50% of it to them and lets really fucking do something.
      100% agreement. Thank you for your efforts thus far but its time if you are already telling us you can never compete. This is PHILADELPHIA.

    • “butter knife to a gun fight” – there’s tifo here. by May we should be hoisting giant butter knives.

  8. Sugarman is a real estate man, runs a real estate investment trust. He bought into the Union BEFORE the real estate market crashed in 2008.
    He controls about a mile of the waterfront in Chester.
    His second point in the interview with Tannenwald about what he looks for in an expansion application is the stadium plan, and the enabling factor in abstadium Plan is real estate acquisition (see Beckham, David – Miami).
    And as yet there remains one large real estate project he has to pull off, something better than Goodman Stadium, on the other side of the mountain in Bethlehem.
    I agree with Medusa the mighty elephant. He’s waiting for favorable opportunities to realize these real estate opportunities. He’s hoping Soccer will help leverage them into existence.

    • Tim, first of all, trying to “defend” this organization is a thankless job, so good on you. I put defend in quotes because you are more explaining their position, than actually defending them. Though it can come off as defending. I tried myself a few years ago when it came to Curtin. I could only last so long.
      If Sugarman is truly waiting for favorable opportunities, then I think fans should wait for a favorable team that has an opportunity to win MLS cup before they “invest” anymore time and money in this organization. If the owner plays the waiting game, why shouldn’t the fans? I understand you were talking real estate, but hasn’t Sugarman taken that approach towards everything so far? Minimum investment until things look like they will explode. Then invest slightly more to keep the crowds at bay. Though never actually investing enough to be a MLS cup contender, let alone a contender to consistently make the playoffs. I just don’t see why people should give him their money if he really isn’t going to give it his all.

    • He’s had the better part of a decade to “realize these real estate opportunities.” Same goes for fielding a competitive team to win the MLS Cup. He’s done neither.


      Time to sell.

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