Daily news roundups

News roundup: Union back in Florida, USL stadium madness, Boswell adieu, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

The Union are back in Clearwater for part two of their preseason and made a pretty little video about it.

The Union U17’s drew New York Red Bull 1-1 in the Generation Adidas Cup to earn an important point. The Red Bulls earned an additional point, however, from winning the shootout.

Local youth teams alert: Send your child’s kit to the Union to be put on a very special tifo April 28 versus D.C. United.


Women’s soccer is returning to Delaware in 2019! Coastal Atlantic Futbol Club will be joining the Women’s Professional Soccer League.


Longtime D.C. United and Houston Dynamo defender Bobby Boswell announced his retirement. His sound bites will be sorely missed, but he was sure to tell one last story.

FC Dallas signed a development deal with German giants Bayern Munich.


FC Cincinnati is drawing up plans for a big shiny soccer stadium in the city’s West End. The proposal would require a land swap with a local high school.

Phoenix Rising owners aren’t waiting around for expansion. The club is moving forward with plans to build an MLS-style, soccer-specific stadium. This follows news that the owner of Ligue 1’s OGC Nice has joined the Arizona club.

And after a delirious preseason game versus Atlanta United, Nashville SC has moved their USL home opener to the NFL’s Nissan Stadium thanks to high demand for tickets.

U.S. Soccer

Five lessons from the U.S. Soccer Federation presidential election.

The always sharp Megan Rapinoe weighs in on the election.

The USMNT added a slate of friendlies to their schedule: playing host to Paraguay and visiting Ireland and France.

Around the globe

Club Leon played a pretty good trick on American soccer fans yesterday, tweeting out that Landon Donovan would be heading back to the U.S. and San Jose Earthquakes in March… turns out it’s just for a friendly.


  1. I wonder how serious the Dallas-Bayern deal is going to be. We’ve seen partnership announcements before, but not much ever seems to come from them. The Bundesliga might be the absolute best destination for US players right now. It could turn out to be a pretty big deal through genuine cooperation and the establishment of a real pipeline. Shoot, I’d be interested in a broader deal between MLS and the Bundesliga. Don’t know what that would look like, but I’d listen.

    I don’t blame the social media/promo team, but every video they make irks me. For this team to relate to the fan base, I’d need to see footage of them training in Siberia — hauling steel beams on dog sleds through the snow Rocky 4 style — not doing yoga on the beach in Florida.

    • The deal may not amount to much, but it’s just another sign in the broader “Union are a minnow team” narrative. I feel like they continually promise steps to take the next step, which they don’t do, except their next step is already three steps back from the other teams. It’s really depressing to think about. FC Dallas is actually developing and playing young players. The Union are not.
      I know I know, a couple more years and we’ll finally be at the end of the vision and plan, where we might even finish 4th place!

      • This agreement seems like nothing to me. If anything it looks like a Bayern gets first crack at the best Dallas youth players and Dallas gets Bayerns scraps. None of these partnerships have led to anything so I’ll believe it when I see it.

    • The videos/FB updates/promos irk me as well. How ever good the marketing team is (and I think they are pretty good) they are still polishing a turd.

  2. el Pachyderm says:

    write it again….because its been awhile and in light of the clear signs US Soccer is staying the status quo course, my deepest hopes are…for this unfolding
    for MLS to be successful relative to player development and eyes watching TV….it needs to consist of about 80 teams.
    spread over four regions… each its own independent entity with its own table winner.
    from here, a Champions League can emerge with the top teams (6-8) in each table competing… otherwise teams do not play outside their table unless its Open Cup or smoother Carling Cup type model.
    from here, we not have quadrupled the number of first teams in the United States of America covering nearly every nook and enclave.
    from here we can discuss the pay to play model and how to mitigate it.
    from here we can discuss training and solidarity.
    from here we lift the catchment zones and allow the teams within the 80 team first tier have a competition and scouting network through out the country to find the best players.
    from here we can begin to think about aligning with an international calendar to best actualize player movement.
    from this place can US Soccer become a world power in a single entity model.
    okay, thats all for today.

    • Dan C( formerly of 103) says:

      I like this.

    • This would require too much planning and forethought from a group that has shown no desire to change. Nice idea. Won’t happen in a hundred years.

      • You think MLS hasn’t had planning and forethought? There’s lots of problems but planning and forethought are not problems. Maybe they have made bad decisions, but the league has steadily grown for a long time. I think this is the grand plan and it would make a ton of sense. It basically recreates what happens in Europe. Once it gets large enough you start getting Mexico and other Central American leagues into the North Americans Champions League Tournament. It’s should be the grand visions of American soccer. Will take time though to build.

      • I guess I should have added intelligent to planning and forethought.
        I think MLS with Garber and CO. are all about greed and survival. Do you really think if they thought things out Jay Sugarman would be allowed to be an owner? It’s not even 10 years from the start of the franchise and he doesn’t have the money to compete. The fourth largest media market and they can barely get a toe-hold because the owner is poor compared to the rest of the league. Look at their Miami fiasco. It’s taken 5 years just to bring Beckham up to a podium. Chivas USA. The Columbus fiasco. It’s more like flying by the seat of their pants.
        How many star players are you going to get to play in Kentucky, North Dakota, Mississippi? Do you think international players will find that attractive? Hah. Good luck with that.
        Do I like the idea? Sure, it’s a nice thought. Will it happen in any of our lifetimes? No.

      • Let’s also take into account how the other major sports operate. Baseball has gone to inter-league play. Football has gone to inter-conference play. Hockey has their west-east coast swings with teams played being rotated every year. All of this is so that “star” players get seen by everyone. MLS voluntarily limiting the exposure of their star players to only their own piece of the pie, unless they are good enough to get to the “champions” league hurts their bottom line.

      • I don’t disagree with any of that but a lot of that applies to all sports leagues. I also don’t think there will ever be teams in North Dakota or any other tiny population center. But I can guarantee that if you paid an international player a ton of money they would go play in Louisville. But yeah, there are a lot of logistics to work out. It really all depends if the sport grows enough. That said NFL and college football sure do cover a lot of territory and bring in a ton of money.

      • I don’t know. International players are taking a lot of money to play for some pretty dumpy towns in the EPL. Sunderland, West Bromwich, Hull for example. You could put up with living in North Dakota if the pay is right.

      • If we are going under el P’s premise of 80 teams, they’d have to go to some po-dunk town in one of those states. You can’t just have ten teams in Texas. And sure, if you paid people enough I’m sure they’ll go anywhere, see China. How many of them have stayed through and beyond their full contract? And if the money is close enough, would you stay in Europe, close to your family or move to bumble-f Arkansas? Culture vs. hogs? I’ll take culture.
        If MLS becomes a top three league, it also would make it more appealing. Anyone think that’s close?
        Again, I’d love it if footy were at a point in this country that an idea like this might be possible. But it’s just not. It’s a long way away. I surely don’t believe Garber and Co. could pull it off either. Nice idea. Wrong timing.

      • Well Atlanta is #40 in population in US, Pittsburgh is #61 and the last with over 300,000. Now add in a couple of Canadian cities and double up the biggest few cities (already done) and your not far off. Maybe it’s a league of 15 team divisions for 60 instead.

      • @ A – Atlanta is 9th in metropolitan statistical area. Better measure of an area’s population. Like taking the suburban Philly counties into effect instead of the in-city population. Closer to what would be a broadcast market. I don’t think anyone considers that the busiest airport in the US is in a podunk town.

      • Yeah, that’s true, but it’s not like we couldn’t find 60-80 metro areas in the USA and Canada that are bigger than all of North Dakota.

    • I totally agree with this sentiment. But there is no way they will ever go for 80 teams if they are planning to relocate out of Columbus. They want to be the NFL of soccer. MLS has been mainly a good thing for US Soccer but we are seeing the ceiling MLS imposes in order to hoard the profits of the game.

    • I like the vision. The only thing that gives me pause is that I think 80 is too many first division teams. I could see two 20 team first divisions, East and West with the next 40 teams split between East and West Div. 2 leagues. That would be an extraordinary number of teams in the near term.

      • Scott of Nazareth says:

        Semi related, but at a smaller scale/level –
        Beyond costs, is there anything preventing the Union working with Eastern PA Youth Soccer to organize a league or cup style competition for the express purpose of scouting/recruiting players?

        I’m sure there’d be some resistance and turf wars to overcome, but it seems like this would be a more efficient way of identifying and attracting talent into their academy system.

        Maybe limit it to or create a path for local/community based clubs where registration fees aren’t as high in order to “see” a broader spectrum of players?

        As a form of “solidarity” if the Union were to accept a club player into its academy, the Union could give the club 4 season tickets to raffle/sell/distribute.

      • To ScottofNazareth – They already accomplish this somewhat in two ways: 1) They partner with some of the best clubs in the area and have their eyes on many players this way (CFC, PDA, PennFusion, etc.) and 2) The have opened their Pre-Academy which draws a lot of the best talent out of these clubs. Not a perfect system, but they’re definitely trying.

    • I’m having a difficult time understanding how watering down an already-thin product would make MLS more attractive to the public.

      • John P. O'Donnell Jr says:

        MLS had ten teams, now it has over twenty. The product is better now then it was when they only had ten.

      • In response to John O’D above.
        You must admit that there is a big difference between growing from 10 to 20+ teams (approaching the size of MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL) and growing from 20+ to 80 teams (much larger than any other major professional league in North America).
        You should also keep in mind that it took MLS about two decades to get from the 10 teams it started with to the 20 team mark. My sense is that El P has a much shorter time frame in mind for his expansion proposal.

  3. Meghan Rapinoe, what a treasure. I hope she does stay in the game after she retires. U.S. soccer as a whole, not just the women’s side, needs her.

  4. I hear Cordeiro talk last night and was quite impressed. He has great intentions and now I understand why so many voted for him. Let’s hope the intentions work out!

    • Agreed, I enjoyed his interview with Wahl. Let’s see who he puts as the GM’s for the men and women, that will tell us a lot.

  5. John P. O'Donnell Jr says:

    “Flying by the seat of their pants”

    Why yes, yes it has, that’s exactly what it “has been”.

    You see, that’s what soccer in America has been up until maybe …. Actually it still is. But there is a difference now. There is money to sustain something that always had a tendency to never have enough revenue, so it failed.

    Now instead of high school players going off to college and getting drafted by a pro team playing in a rented stadium, there is a change of development and infrastructure.
    Owner’s like Sugarman who can’t compete less than ten years later after buying the franchise is true. But ten years prior there were few owners even who were willing to compete. Teams still had owners who owned more than one team. Yes, they flew by the seat of their pants. That was more than normal for….ever. Even Sak stated “wait till you see this league in ten years”. It’s the reason they don’t have pro/rel. Years and years of flying by the seat of their pants and now they think they have a rocket ship being built.

    Somewhere around 36-40 teams will be the final number for MLS. USL maybe 40-60 and USL2 60-80 teams with MLS2 teams affiliated or owned in each level. Signed pros will probably play in USL and a mix of pros and academy players in USL2. Sometime soon I can see solidarity payments happening because MLS owners will benefit from building the infrastructure now.

    But so will independent USL & USL2 teams. Even teams in the “fourth division” might follow a model like you see happening in Harrisburg with Penn FC but on a more local level with USL & USL2 teams. If a draft pick is worth 200K in funny money, in the future a USL & USL2 academy player will get even more. Because in ten years from now, that rocket ship is going to start some real test flights. Buckle up!

    • Well John, since you have modified the premise to fit your narrative, I’ll go along.
      36-40 teams, being half or less than, el P’s 80, is definitely more realistic. Possible, even, with more money flowing into the sport here in the U.S., even from investors abroad, now that they see the cute little American experiment has now decided to get serious. But even this possibility is probably 20-50 years down the line. A whole lot of culture change has to happen in America, in order for over saturation of the product, not to be an issue. See the American President for evidence of the backwards thinking still flourishing in our country. There are people who would reject it outright just because footy is a foreign sport. Hell parts of Texas pay Zero attention to professional football in lieu of high school and college football.
      Is soccer gaining momentum? Yes it surely is. Does it have a long way to go? Yes it surely does.

      • John P. O'Donnell Jr says:

        In four year the league will be at 28, what number was the Union in 2010? What was the number for USL? Basically it’s a team a year. I don’t think you worry about what people don’t like when it comes to soccer. I heard hockey wouldn’t make it in Philadelphia when the Flyers were about to win their first cup. My friend who worked for the Phillies told me the Union would fold in less than five years. Oh and Trump was a soccer player and his youngest is playing for D.C.United’s academy.

        Besides it’s the money being spent right now that tells you everything. In 2015 TAM was invented adding 200K a year for 15 & 16. Escalating to 300K a year for 17 & 18. It’s jumped in four years to more than all those years combined for this year. Now the league is going from retirement league to young South Americans witch they now spend money on for transfer fees. It’s happening before our eyes.

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