Daily news roundups

News roundup: Curtin confirms Dočkal talks, Fontana to start opening day, more

Philadelphia Union

News out of the Jim Curtin’s Thursday press conference: 

  1. Bořek Dočkal is with the team, working on a contract.
  2. Anthony Fontana will be the starter on opening day
  3. Fabinho won the left back competition.
  4. Andre Blake has been away working on his green card.

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Also, Curtin confirmed that Anthony Fontana suffered two femur fractures last year. The team had previously been tight-lipped about the injuries to Fontana, who was still a minor at the time, and as far as we know, details on the fractures had never previously been reported.

Goal.com has a season preview on the Union.

The club agreed to a multi-year contract extension with Bethlehem Steel head coach Brendan Burke.


The string of middling results for MLS clubs in Champions League play continued after Dallas lost earlier this week.

  • The New York Red Bulls drew 1-1 in the road leg against CD Olimpia of Honduras in a game played at a neutral site in Costa Rica due to political unrest in Honduras.
  • Seattle lost 2-1 in El Salvador against Santa Tecla.

Minnesota is bringing a Brazilian midfielder in on loan.

Seattle signed veteran right back Sean Franklin.

Is NYCFC trying to raid Albert Rusnak from Salt Lake?

Fourfourtwo with an interesting piece on how targeted allocation money may not be great for domestic players. That follows an insightful podcast interview with Bobby Boswell, who retired this off-season and highlighted how TAM may have a similarly negative impact on veterans like him.


  1. The fractures could explain why we didn’t play the kids but that the organization felt good about the future.

  2. I think the 442 story is interesting. The answer, in my opinion, is not thst the league cater to younger players, the younger players need to compete and earn their spots. That’s not to say they never play in games, especially as teams are out of contention, but you can’t hand people time. That’s not how you get better. MLS should be more likely to have subs play than other leagues because of the weekday games and the long distance travel that goes on. If the young kids aren’t good enough to play, that says more about what we’re producing. It’s a tough solve, but the strong will survive and thrive, you can’t baby them.

    • You need both. But right now it feels like the players and some of the talking heads feel like we need to cater to the domestic player disproportionately. The top leagues in the world sign tons of international players to mix in with their Academy promotions or domestic transfers.
      There’s nothing wrong with what the league is doing. If our players are good enough, they’ll play. If not, they’ll get better or find a new job.

      • You said it better than I did, but I totally agree. This is how our overall level of play should rise. A handful of the best of our best should come out on top. Add that to the veterans already playing well and the talented US players in foreign leagues, and that’s how you get the 20 or so guys who make up the national team.

    • On the kids, I like the idea of mandating a U18 and in addition a U20 player for Cup games. To play at the speed of the game you need reps at that speed. I also wouldn’t be opposed to the 1000 minute min on a year.
      As for internationals, we are at 60+% minutes by internationals in MLS (and I don’t even think that includes green cards), which is among the highest in the world. I think we could temper that down some. I want to see a good product out there, but I recognize the need to get our domestic guys on the field. If we are disproportionate right now, it’s skewing towards internationals.
      MLS is obviously trying to raise the level of our game which is a good thing, but I don’t want to see us still at 60+% in 5 years, especially with all of our Academies starting to kick in players.

  3. From the Goal.com article:
    “David Accam should slot in to replace Chris Pontius on the right wing, with Richie Marquez and Fabinho likely to get first crack at replacing Oguchi Onyewu and Giliano Wijnaldum along the back line.”
    Is Fabinho really “replacing” Wijnaldum? Didn’t he already do that in, like, June?
    I get that we haven’t been very good, but maybe pay a little attention…

    • Has Accam played right half?
      I know it’s tough to follow every team in MLS to create these write-ups, but it definitely seems dated, and they aren’t watching any preseason.

  4. If I may be a bit self referential here, on the subject I tackled here a few weeks back on Mexico making inroads in the U.S., The Mexican National Team launched an English language twitter account and announced a friendly in California against Wales:

    This is fascinating to me. I wonder if there are any equivalents elsewhere of national teams of other countries tailoring content to another nation in another language… Does Morocco or Algeria push their national teams to France in French?

    To be clear, I’m not judging. Just interested. I gave Mexico a follow. They seem to be getting a lot of goodwill for the effort.

    My column: https://phillysoccerpage.net/2018/02/09/how-will-us-soccer-handle-el-tris-summer-broadcast-invasion/

  5. Also, Reading United elevated Alan McCann to Head Coach today.


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