Daily news roundups

News roundup: D.C. prep, presidential tweets, and Union beats

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Here’s a fantastic read from The Athletic’s Matthew De George on Jack Elliott’s rise from Sunday league soccer to MLS.

Is midfielder Anthony Fontana the spark to ignite the Union attack?

In case you didn’t know, Keegan Rosenberry and yours truly are pretty similar. He’s a professional soccer player. I write about professional soccer players. He’s in good shape. I’m a shape. Alas, when it comes to musical taste, there isn’t much common ground.

Local

Bethlehem Steel will head down to Kentucky and do battle with Louisville City FC on Saturday.

Every wonder about the meaning behind Bethlehem’s Chris Nanco’s tattoos? Me neither, but it’s a cool little read, nevertheless.

Penn FC are looking to continue their unbeaten run with a trip to North Carolina on Saturday.

MLS

Houston Dynamo sign left back Adam Lundqvist. The 24-year-old has been capped twice by Sweden.

Is New York City FC head coach Patrick Vieira ready for Europe? His answer is pretty straight forward: “I’m ready.”

D.C. United’s trip to Philadelphia kicks off a stretch of eight consecutive road matches for the club from the nation’s capital.

With the balance of power shifting east, when will MLS reconsider the conference alignment?

New York Red Bulls’ Daniel Royer and Columbus Crew’s Federico Higuain both signed contract extensions.

U.S. soccer

Last week I made a deceiving headline playing off the president’s affinity for twitter when Carlos Cordeiro used the platform. I should have never tempted the gods. Donald Trump is now tweeting about soccer.

Looks like the U.S. are setting up friendlies with Brazil and Mexico in September.

With a goal from Union academy product Selmir Miscic, the U.S. U15s beat Macedonia 2-0 and remain unbeaten at the Torneo delle Nazioni. They’ll wrap up group play today against Croatia.

While U.S. manager Dave Sarachan isn’t a fan of the “interim” label, he isn’t naive either.

Around the globe

For Jesse Marsch, it’s not just American players that need to go to Europe, but the coaches need to break through,as well.

What if Parma had signed Cristiano Ronaldo in 2003?

Why is Asia’s best player still competing in the United Arab Emirates?

13 Comments

  1. The talk of making a third MLS conference, which looks nice on paper, really relies on what the league plans to do regarding expansion. There has to be an end point at some point. And if the game continues to grow here, it’ll eventually force the pro/rel issue. 30 teams isn’t ridiculous for a country this size. Argentine primera division has 28 clubs.

    If each club plays home and home against other nine opponents in its conference, that’s 18 matches. It can play the other 20 teams once, 10 at home and 10 away — 38 matches with as even a schedule as you could. As long as the playoff round does not grow beyond 12 clubs, I think the league is in business.

    • Forget about balance – go to 28 teams, have two conferences and four divisions of 7 teams. Play each team in own division 3 times (18 games) and other division within the conference twice (14 games) for a total of 32 games. Could play rivals a 4th time to go to 34 if you really want. After playoffs the 2 east & 2 west teams play 1-game semis, and the winners play a 1-game final to decide the champion.

      • That could work. I like the idea of having an East and West champion decided on pure points (toss the supporters shield) and MLS cup is a shorter tournament after. I actually don’t mind two-legged affairs, but single elimination is good, too.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        with respect, while we’re at it, lets rename it National Football League.

      • El Pachyderm – it is the same sport (“football”) after all…
        —–
        But seriously, why does it have to be like Europe? The Premier League could fit ENTIRELY in the Eastern time zone, and that leaves out the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th largest cities in the country. There’s nothing wrong with divisions and conferences, it just cuts the league in half. In the format I suggested it’s essentially two separate leagues/conferences whose champions play at the end of a tournament. Wait, doesn’t UEFA do something where the champions of each league plays each other for a title?

  2. I think if MLS can eventually get to forty clubs years down the line, they can have a “self contained” pro-rel with two divisions of twenty teams. The top division will be the only ones eligible to make the playoffs with an opportunity to win MLS Cup. The tier of teams would battle to see who can promote to the top tier for the next season. All forty teams would still be considered the US’s first division, but only twenty would be eligible to win MLS Cup in a given season.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      interesting, I am fairly convinced this only works if the worst teams relegate out of MLS II- a fortifying of at least four divisions/tiers under it, an organizing of the semi pro leagues below that… or in other words, an open pyramid.
      .
      When people argue for MLS I and MLS II– I chuckle, because its like ordering a Whopper, without the cheese. A Big Mac but small fries…its all still centrally controlled.
      .
      Pro/Rel advocates argue over the policy and the feudalism the lack of creativity in ideas, the initiative…. not centralized control.

      • In some ways we are already moving towards that. USL is talking about splitting into two divisions, and there are certainly some USL teams (Indy, Cincy, SA, etc) that could easily make it in Div 1 from a infrastructure POV.
        .
        Ultimately I do see us in some sort of pro/rel pyramid, but I do think we are still a ways off, and a few multi-millionaires short of making it happen in the next decade.
        .
        A few things need to happen:
        .
        1- Local cable (Comcast/NBC Sports,Fox Sports local) need to pick up USL games nationwide. This tv revenue will be essential.
        .
        2- We need to find a way to get some bigger stadiums for USL to make the transition to MLS viable. It’s not going to work with them playing in 10k stadiums.
        .
        Like I said, the path is there and I think we’re heading down that road, but we still need more infrastructure to make it work.

      • I think to really make this work MLS has to take the financial reins off of teams. I know this would saddle some teams and create a dominant group like the “big 6” in England, but owners who want to invest but not spend MLS money could grab a USL team and really put some money into it without having to spend millions on player acquisitions. This, in turn, would provide a financially viable league under MLS where those owners could invest and then benefit from the riches of MLS once they build up a solid – and less expensive – product.

  3. Scott of Nazareth says:

    Not to be the “Geography Nazi” here, but pretty sure The Steel are heading to Kentucky to play Louisville FC, not Tennessee.

    • Nick Fishman says:

      Whoops! Probably not smart to admit, but I will eternally confuse Memphis and Louisville in my head. Don’t know why.

  4. Atomic Spartan says:

    Compare and Contrast– Jesse Marsch and Jim Curtin:
    Both played for Chivas USA. Both took a year-long course to earn their US Soccer Pro licenses. Similarities end there.
    .
    Marsch played in MLS for 13 years. Curtin played for 8. Marsch served as an MLS assistant coach for 2 years, with 2 more seasons as head coach at Princeton. Curtin’s apprenticeship as a pro-level assistant lasted 1.5 years under John Hackworth, himself a relative novice at the pro level.
    .
    Marsch has been an MLS head coach for 4 years, Curtin for 3. Marsch’s win percentage is 48.03% with Red Bulls. Curtin’s win percentage: 35.59%
    .
    Marsch, after getting his US Soccer Pro license last year has enrolled in a 2-year course to get his UEFA license. Curtin….
    .
    NYRB does not consider their relationship with the Union to be a rivalry. Wonder why. And you could argue that NYRB has better ownership and better players. Probably so.
    .
    But it is a fact that Jim Curtin’s apprenticeship under a rookie head coach was brief to say the least, and his early promotion to head coach was more a matter of expediency than of merit.
    .
    Every time we fork money over to the Union, we’re paying for Jim Curtin’s OTJ training. And we’re not getting value for our money.

  5. Quaker Shiker says:

    Atomic Spartan is SPOT ON! I renewed last fall, then canceled when ES said he had full faith in Curtain. Our problems start at the TOP, we need a coach.
    The Front Office has squandered ALL the good will this Franchise will ever get from the Delaware Valley. Heads must roll and changes must be made NOW!

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