Daily news roundups

News roundup: Union tidbits, previewing Toronto, and a howler in Madrid

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Jim Curtin’s weekly press conference will be today at 12:30. Nick Fishman will be there for PSP — follow live on Twitter.

There’s a new episode of It’s Always Soccer In Philadelphia available for download. Kevin Kinkead is joined by Crossing Broad’s Russ Joy to talk Union.

(And, if you missed it yesterday, check out the most recent episode of All Three Points with PSP’s Chris Gibbons and Jeremy Lane.)

Adam Cann flags this interesting tweet from analyst Kevin Minkus. The graph shows each Eastern Conference club’s total number of shots and shot quality in both 2017 and 2018. The Union are taking many more shots than last year, but the quality of those shots is about the same.

The Union jump five spots in MLSsoccer.com’s power rankings, all the way to 17th. ESPN has them at 16th.


The Lee Nguyen saga is finally over, as Los Angeles FC acquired Nguyen from New England for allocation money.

As we get set for the Union’s Friday night clash with the defending champs, check out what friend of PSP Bobby Warshaw has to say about the challenges ahead for Toronto FC this season.


I missed this piece of news from the weekend — U.S. Soccer is looking to hire its new general manager before the World Cup kicks off next month, per Paul Tenorio.

Around the globe

Bayern Munich keeper Sven Ulreich committed one of the worst goalkeeping errors you’ll ever see in the second leg of his squad’s Champions League semifinal against Real Madrid.

Thanks to the aforementioned howler, Madrid qualified for its third consecutive Champions League final, with the 2-2 draw giving them a 4-3 win on aggregate over Munich.

Their opponent will be determined today. Liverpool takes a 5-2 lead — the most dangerous lead in football — into the Stadio Olimpico against hosts Roma. Kickoff is at 2:45 Eastern / 11:45 Pacific on FS1. (Hey, if you let the West Coast Bureau write the roundup, you’re going to get kickoff times in Pacific time!)


  1. My thoughtful response to Bayern Munich.
    Response continues for 45 more minutes.

  2. So the next time a smug Eurosnob make a comment about lack of quality in the US leagues after a goalkeeping gaff in MLS (here’s looking at you, Stefan Frei). Show the Ulreich clip.

  3. I never liked Munich in CL. There’s something to be said for needing to fight hard in domestic competition. And Munich had, by far, the easiest knock out rounds with Savilla and Shaktar Donetsk. No struggle, no grit.
    Madrid, on the other hand has played so imperfectly yet well enough to down the champions of France, Italy(most likely) and Germany. Go figure. As dangerous a thought as it may be, they seem there for the taking should Liverpool not totally capitulate this afternoon. I expect high levels of fear and loathing while I watch.

  4. The Truth says:

    Lee Nguyen to LAFC is not surprising, they’re more fortunate than us. I would’ve really liked to have incorporated him into the squad in preseason. I’m confident he would’ve fit well. This club always makes me feel like the poor kid on the block with old boots and a flat ball.

    • I mean we always complain about being poor yet we spent more on our #10 than LAFC did on Lee, yet you find something else to complain about? This FO just can’t win, can they?

      • No they can’t. But that is of their own making. History and all.

      • lopezzzz says:

        Yeah, the FO cannot win. They’ve proven that time and time again.

      • The Truth says:

        This FO can’t chalk up a “W” until they bring home some silverware. That’s what I, a customer, would consider a win in professional sports. The FO has a different definition and the ownership has another. The FO is winning with their academy and training infrastructure. The ownership is winning with their initial investment (Union value will continue to grow with league). Our #10 may have cost more than Nguyen but it’s taken how many games for him to look any bit competent? Gimme a break, you and I both know Dockal is another bandaid (with a shoddy one year contract situation) and this squad is still desperate for a proven gamechanger that so many other FOs are willing to fight for and so many other owners have been willing to pay for.

      • I’m leaning with The Truth, here. We had to practically smuggle a guy out of China to play a position that’s been vacant since Barnetta departed and LAFC now has Feilhaber and Nguyen. That’s solid depth at the #10 and the team is two months old.

        To be fair, though, we might have asked for Nguyen and been rebuffed. Or maybe Nguyen wanted more than he’s worth. If the plan is to get Fontana ready next season, a 1-year loan for Dockal might just be the best bet. But I’m not willing to chalk Dockal up as a W yet.

      • If you click through on the article a key point is made “New England rebuffed several offers by Eastern Conference teams to avoid sending him to another team in their conference”. Who know’s if we made an offer, but if we did, we weren’t getting him.

        The concerns raised about Borak and his slow integration into the team, and the very real fact that he is on a one year loan with no option to buy should be more troubling. Like someone else said here, he’s a band-aid. Unless they have the longterm replacement in line or Fontana is taking the helm in 2019, we should be unsatisfied.

      • Tim Jones says:

        I like Fontana, but he’s not going to replace Dockal at Dockal’s current level immediately. He will need a year or two to grow in the milieu before he’s ready to do that.
        So would Najem, and so would Aaronson were he to be signed.
        Dockal knew instinctively the only way to score that goal was to roof it, and he had the poise to hit the window above the keeper’s head perfectly.
        Parenthetical, how much time does a keeper spend training against short range roof shots?

      • I betcha they would not trade him within the conference, as Aiden alludes to, in which case you can’t blame our FO.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Agree Tim. Dockal is an excellent player.
        I’d like to see him withdraw a bit more into center of field at times during build out, but with Haris there he’s probably under orders not to do that.
        I remember more than many people around here shit talking The Calm when he arrived about overrated nothing special….clearly missing the poise the vision and absolute class— despite some rough showings early on…… then its “oh he’s so good he’s so good”
        Would this qualify as the opposite of some Eurosnob?

      • Dockal being an excellent player is all well and good, but I’m finding myself having a hard time being excited at all about his potential here. I think a big part of that is the teams Annual Slow Start which is already putting us on the outside looking in, the leaps continuing to be made by the rest of the league and the fact he is here for one year, which suggests a “Need to win now” ideology wit the signing.

        Maybe someone else can convince me otherwise.

  5. Joel Pterosaur says:

    HA! Sure… goalkeeper “error”. Tell yourself that if it gives you comfort.

  6. John P. O'Donnell Jr says:

    “The ownership is winning with their initial investment (Union value will continue to grow with league) “. I fail to see how this means anything as that was a given when they brought the team. They can only win if they sell or turn a profit that covers the initial investment, neither of which seem to be happening anytime soon. The truth is we are the poor kids when it comes to ownership in MLS and every new franchise just keeps pushing us further down the ladder. The good news is that this team is one of the leaders in investment in their academy and…….

    • Tim Jones says:

      Investment in the Academy is mr Graham. I was interested to note earlier in the year that the Graham family upped their stake in the Union.

  7. Wow, have you guys looked at that Kevin Minkus tweet, and the other ones he links to from it? They show changes in shots taken (amount and quality) and shots allowed (amount and quality) for every team, from 2017 to 2018.

    Glancing over that data, looking at both offense and defense, I would say that the two most improved teams in the league, by far, are the Union and the Houston Dynamo.

    I have been frustrated as all hell by Jim and Earnie’s “everything’s fine” attitude, but… well… maybe they actually have a point.

    • The Truth says:

      This argument does hold a lot of water, despite how frustrated it makes me. Statistics and the law of averages are pretty much inarguable. Eventually the pendulum’s gotta swing our way…right? RIGHT?!

      • Unless the 76ers and the Eagles sold out the Union to the sports gods for their recent runs of form.

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