Daily news roundups

News roundup: Undocumented soccer stars, local champ, Davies to ManU?, more

Photo: Rob Simmons

Philadelphia Union

Surprise! The Union made no moves during the weekend’s brief trade window. So nothing to report here.


Lancaster native and former Union Academy midfielder Drew Skundrich capped his college career with a championship in his hometown.


Canadian and Vancouver Whitecaps teen sensation Alphonso Davies is on trial with Manchester United.

The expansion draft is today at 2:00 p.m.

Sizing up LAFC’s options.

ESPN saw a 75% spike in TV ratings since the last time they hosted MLS Cup in 2015.

Michael Bradley’s obsession.

Jozy has been partying really hard since MLS Cup.

Detroit’s MLS bid hinges on Ford Field.

Robert Lewandowski’s wife says the couple wants to move to LA to develop their brands (oof). But it’s not a retirement league anymore.

U.S. Soccer

Must read: How the system failed an undocumented immigrant and rising soccer star.

Around the globe

The Champions League draw for the knockout round is just ridiculous.


  1. Sizing up LAFC’s options.
    Why would LAFC take Pontius in the expansion draft when they can just sign him as a free agent instead? I mean, I get that taking him would give a really short exclusive window to negotiate a contract. But I can’t believe that would be worth using one of their five picks.

  2. I like watching MLS. Don’t get me wrong. But the comments made by league officials would be a lot more credible if not so delusional. From that Lewandowski article the Dallas Technical Director says: “But right now, the direction is different [i.e. not a retirement league]. The league is recognised worldwide. In the next couple of years, it can become one of the best five leagues in the world.” That rings in my ears like a Trumpian “It’s gonna be yuge. The best of all time.” Let’s set our sights on being in the conversation for best league in North America first. Beat a Liga MX league in CCL. Then see if you can get invited to Copa Libertadores (Copa Libertadores Centenario anyone?) I get being proud of the league, but let’s not get crazy.

    And I think Lewandowski would score boatloads of goals in this league for a good team. I’d take him in his early 30s any day.

    • I couldn’t agree more. I’m a huge sports fan but I’d say soccer is my favorite and I follow MLS closer than others – but let’s be honest, it’s the 5th league in the U.S. Before we talk about “Top 5 soccer league in the world” let’s focus on continued domestic growth and growing in the region first. There is no reason MLS HAS to be on par with Bundesliga, Premier League, or even Serie A, but it does have to be competitive and frankly the quality of soccer does need to improve. Can one really make an argument that MLS is a top 5 league when one of its teams cannot even win the CCL – or beat the world’s elite in a summer friendly while in mid-season form??

    • John P. O'Donnell Jr says:

      Chapecó Brazil to Seattle Washington flight time 20 hours and 31 minutes. Two teams in cities that might have played this year in Copa Libertadores. Unless they make games at neutral sites somewhere in Cuba, how is this even feasible? Can’t imagine this could ever happen or would be worth it. CCL is already a tournament that is challenging enough with travel time.

      • It’s not really feasible, John. Though it has been talked about. You’d have to hold it like a club world cup where the clubs play at a host. I honestly don’t care a whole lot about that. I, too, would like to see a team like Toronto win CCL. Let’s get there first.

    • I think both (Steve & Pete) of your perspectives are valid for where the league is right now, but with the influx of cash coming into the league (via TAM) & new TV rights deal plus new collective bargaining agreement within the next 5 years, this league could legit contend for top 5. Top 8 is more likely in my opinion.
      My reasoning is that MLS has top level talent right now, not quite global superstar status (yet) but really talented players. The league has always suffered from lack of depth and quality at the middle to bottom of rosters. That’s why it can’t compete with Liga MX. If salary cap bumps to $8-10M plus still having roster exemptions for top players, this league can really compete. MLS minimums need to be in 6 figures and closer to $200K. Then you’re talking about middle players on rosters now becoming your bottom players, which pushes the quality of everyone else up.
      Atlanta has laid the blueprint for where the league needs to go and I am sure other clubs are going to follow their model starting with this offseason. Yes, the league will likely become more stratified and lose some parity (which likely means the Union and other clubs get left behind), but the top teams in MLS will push the quality of the league so far forward.
      I may be overly bullish on MLS but I really like the direction the league overall is headed in. Also, not from a soccer perspective (yet), but from a general perspective, it can’t be overstated how important the media market and culture is in this country to the world. It’s a huge draw for talented foreign players to come here, especially if they can get paid and the quality of the league increases.
      Just my thoughts.

      • I don’t entirely disagree, DK. The U.S. has lot going for it to get there some day. Nice place to live, lots and lots of wealth that can be invested in teams, etc. But even Atlanta, which is setting a nice standard, has years to go to being a world class club (if that’s even a term).

        What I’d like to see, aside from challenging CCL, is for MLS to join the world market, and become a league where players are routinely scouted and bought by European clubs. In order for that to happen, I think, we have to see single entity ownership dissolved, the salary cap eliminated, and yes, sorry, an open pyramid of pro/rel. I think we could get to maybe top 20 league with half measures, but you need massive change to get to top 10.

  3. Frustrating to see other teams already making some big moves this off-season but not the Union. Never the Union.

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