Daily news roundups

News roundup: Sapong signs contract, Open Cup dates, Vancouver/Chicago out from World Cup

Philadelphia Union

C.J. Sapong got a contract extension. It runs through next year with a club option for 2020. The 29-year-old’s previous deal was set to expire at the end of this season.

The Open Cup kicks off May 9. The Union enter in the fourth round, draw on May 24, match on or around June 6. Here are the monetary changes, if you’re into that sort of thing. SBI also wrote about it.

Jim Curtin gave a press conference yesterday. He announced, effective immediately, he’s stepping down as head coach. Joke. Actual highlights:

Bethlehem Steel

They signed midfielder Drew Sckundrich. He’s a former Union youth player.


The Steel can’t participate in the aforementioned Open Cup, as they’re owned by the Union. However, other local teams are in the tournament, such as Reading United, Ocean City Nor’easters, and Penn FC.

Penn FC announced a developmental partnership with PA Classics.


The Sounders lost to Chivas, 3-0 in the CONCACAF Champions League. Chivas advance on aggregate.

The Guardian asks, “Does MLS promote flashier clubs over less glamorous ones?

U.S. Soccer

The Washington Post‘s Steven Goff has something to say about the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame ballot.

There are many reasons why top candidates for the USMNT GM role are hesitant about taking the job.

Around the globe

Vancouver dropped from the North American bid for the 2026 World Cup, as is Chicago.

Thanks in part to Master Messi, Barcelona snuffed out Chelsea, 3-0, 4-1 on aggregate.

Spurs’ Harry Kane out until April with an ankle injury. Hmm, Dockal’s injured ankle just cleared up. Coincidence?

Highlight of the day

Neymar’s epic fail in honoring Stephen Hawking.


  1. Mike Eidle says:

    It doesn’t seem that complicated to allow teams like the Steel to participate in the Open Cup – Once a player plays a game in the cup for the Steel they can not play for the Union (in the Cup) – Is there a problem with that I am missing?

    • Well, other than the problem of bracket creation. You would not want the Steel playing the Union really at any point in the tourney because it would raise all sorts of questions about who is calling the shots on team selection. Agreement between teams not to tackle, it goes on and on. If you were Penn FC, for example, you could legitimately charge that a game between Steel and the Union is fixed. And if the Steel are in, you have to let RB II in and so on. And no matter what you do with the brackets, with the regional nature of the tourney there is the possibility of a captive USL team facing the first team at some point.

      • Scott of Nazareth says:

        I don’t know the intricacies of US Open Cup scheduling – what you say above does make sense, but couldn’t they just stipulate that MLS second teams have to play all road games in another region?

        At least give them the option of participating if the club wanted to cover the cost and hassle of going on the road.

      • Not sure I follow you, S of N. Have all road games in another region? So you mean put them in the bracket of another region if the Union springs for the additional travel costs. But what about home games? Does that mean the Union is on the hook for the additional costs for the away team to travel to Bethlehem? I’m sure teams in another region would balk at having to have extra travel just so the Union can field two teams in the Cup

  2. Pete Mazzaccaro says:

    Pretty remarkable “final four” for CCL — America/Toronto and Chivas/Red Bull. Winner of America/Toronto has to be the favorite, but I wouldn’t discount Chivas or Red Bull either.

    • pragmatist says:

      Red Bull is sneaky good. It’s hard to tell how good Chivas is after last night. Seattle was just decimated with injuries.
      I’m still amazed that we could theoretically see MLS vs. MLS in the finals. Awesome.
      Of course, being a Philly fan and therefore trained to expect disappointment, I’m going to go lay money on a final of America-v-Chivas now…

      • Pete Mazzaccaro says:

        Ha. Right. I could see Red Bull and America in the final. But then, I’d wager my money on America.

        One of the things I’ve noticed about Mexican teams in this competition — having paid attention to it for a while now — is that they have no problem leaving the scoring to late. Sort of how Tigres decided to tally all its goals in the final third of that last match with Toronto. They just never counted on giving Giovinco that set piece goal. I remember America doing that to Montreal in the final — I think Montreal drew in Mexico and than America just smashed them in Montreal. Thought the same when I saw that Chivas/Sounders score this morning. These are really good games that should get a lot more attention in our sporting press. It’s too bad, really.

      • I think I’m putting my money on Red Bull. Man that Tyler Adams is good.

  3. Ilsinho’s fitness is bad? Shocking! I swear, he hoisted that CL trophy those years ago and figured “what else do I have to work for?” Curse him and his wages.

    • Dockal can’t go a whole game because he got that big Chinese money and figured “what else do I have to work for?” Or maybe they both got injured in preseason and that effects fitness.
      Alberg was the one who constantly came in out of shape. Ilsinho was fat when he first got here but hasn’t been since. Get you facts straight.

      • What about Dockal? We haven’t even seen him play.
        As for Ilson: You’re telling me you’ve watched a Union game where Ilsinho’s hustle impressed you? There are plenty of 32 year olds in this league that can (and do) run circles around him. I don’t know what player you’re watching but to me he’s only ever been a 30-minute turnover machine. Compare him to Fabi (same age) BC (four years his senior) and tell me he’s fit. Give me a break. I’ll take Fontana or Herbers’ endurance and lack of pedigree over Ilsinho’s 100% of the time. If Ilsinho’s wages were league minimum you wouldn’t hear me complaining but his original contract was over-the-moon insane. Whatever it is now is probably still too steep for his production.
        I don’t think Ilsinho represents the quintessential MLS 1.0/2.0 foreign player who took a big paycheck but I also don’t think he’s out there being a leader or trying to prove anyone anything.

      • You have no idea what he’s making now and neither do I. Be mad at Earnie for overpaying if that’s what your upset about. Dude has gotten in decent shape since he’s been here, yeah he’s not Bedoya out there but he’s not horrible.
        He got hurt in preseason and so he’s not at the same fitness as the rest of the team, same as Dockal not being 90 minutes fit. I’m not a huge fan of him, but he gets ripped for more than he deserves I think.

  4. pragmatist says:

    I like that CJ’s contract situation is settled. I get that people want us to sign some type of Harry Kane clone (with 2 good ankles, preferably), but CJ will be a big part of the engine that moves this team. Having him focused solely on performance instead of his future can only help.
    And I highly doubt they are paying him DP money. I’m sure he’s getting paid well, but not DP level money.

  5. That Curtin stepping down farce had my heart beating faster for the split second it took to finish the sentence. With love, John Osborn, you bastard!

  6. Yeah…I read that Curtin line at lunch…nearly spit my soup all over the phone! Nice and sneaky! Good on ya Johnny O!

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