Daily news roundups

News roundup: U.S. kids roll, new Stewart reports, Cinci announcement today, more

Photo: Rob Simmons

Philadelphia Union

Reports continue that the deal is almost inked for Earnie Stewart to be the U.S. Soccer Federation’s first General Manager. Stu Holden weighed in at the game last night.

Auston Trusty and Mark McKenzie are growing before our eyes.

McKenzie makes MLS’ Team of the Week.

Two streaking sides will meet in Chester on Wednesday.

Looking ahead, here’s how Chicago’s win over Orlando went down. Beware the Alan Gordon wondergoal!

PSP’s match preview for the midweek fixture versus the Fire will be coming out later today.


Cincinnati is expected to announce that they will join MLS in 2019 later today.

The good, bad, and the ugly from Week 13.

VAR controversy headlines the takeaways from the week that was.


Your weekly NWSL roundup includes Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux, and Megan Rapinoe doing their things.


Bethlehem Steel fall hard in the power rankings after their loss to Ottawa.

U.S. Soccer

The Yanks were in town on Memorial Day, and Read Nick Fishman’s report for PSP here.

The roster and performance is the dawn of a new generation for the national team.

Player ratings from the win.

It looks like the USMNT have landed some heavyweight CONMEBOL friendlies versus Argentina and Colombia in the fall.


  1. Ok, Earnie is USMNT GM. Who do you think he hires as coach? Foreign connection from his time in Europe? Younger American coach?
    I imangine he values someone who will follow his vision completely (like Curtin) more then splash a big name.

    • Whoever it is, I hope they get out of the way. No politics, no favorite players (either veterans or youngsters) just call in the best 18 players and complete the bench with the players who are in great form, and find a tactical approach that works and fits with the personnel. We have a head start for 2022 now.

      • Dan c (formerly of 103) says:

        If it’s an American, I hope it’s Marsh. Although a petulant prick, he has a clear system, makes adjustments, and is not afraid to play youth, turnover a roster, or move on from players.

    • I hear there’s this young, hungry, up-and-coming American coach from Philly that Stewart is big on named Jim Curtin. Apparently he’s the most-winningest manager in Union history, and he’s taken them to the USOC finals twice in 4 years. He and Stewart really see eye-to-eye. Sounds like a real go-getter!

  2. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — VAR is a pox. I don’t think there will be some mystical time when its application will suddenly be fair and free of controversy. In nearly every instance it is used it only deteriorates the public’s faith in officiating — the exact opposite of the intended outcome. And when I hear people discuss refs second guessing their eyeballs to wait on a call until they can review it …. It’s depressing. I don’t know why it’s so hard to accept the fact that officiating is a human enterprise and it’s OK to have error. People will gasp at the idea, but the fact is VAR has not enhanced officiating and has not established any more public faith in officiating. I would use tech for goal line decisions and maybe to evaluate offside calls. The rest can go.

    • Kevin1813 says:

      I totally agree. Fans are still outraged by calls with VAR and it completely takes away from the flow of the game.

      • To be fair, the goal is not to necessarily make fans happy the goal is to make the best possible human attempt to get the calls right. 50% of the fans are going to argue every call with or without VAR. I think it will be like video replay is in other sports. It will take some time to adjust, but eventually most will agree it is a net positive.

    • I disagree. It made Ted Unkel a better Ref. Otherwise he would have had a typical Ted Unkel horror show. With VAR his bad officiating was limited.

    • The issue here is not VAR itself nor the concept of VAR – it is the implementation of VAR, or more specifically the head referee’s decision to completely ignore it if he so chooses. The ambiguity of the rulebook means that even if a clear error is made, the referee can refuse to acknowledge that because he deems his interpretation of the call correct, not to mention his ego getting in the way. I mean the concept of VAR should be controversy-free – look at the replay, and if it is not clearly correct (indisputable evidence) then the call remains the same. The most important thing is to get the call right, and educated fans of every sport should appreciate and respect that, even if it goes against their favorite team. And more often than not the decision of foul vs no foul is clear, but cards and PKs might get a little murkier.
      That being said, calls against the home team are ALWAYS booed, even when they are correct. So to suggest the trust of officials is ruined by VAR is only due to a biased viewpoint, because the correct call is the correct call no matter what team you root for. And if you disagree watch a game which you have ZERO rooting interest and see if your viewpoint is the same – especially if the decision is clear after review. Take the called back goal against RSL as an example. The final decision was the correct one – Epps was offsides – but during live action the refs flat out missed a call which – at the time – would have affected the outcome of the game. Wouldn’t you argue that using VAR to get that call correct justifies the reason to use VAR? RSL fans would certainly think so (furthering the bias argument.) Same with Saturday and the PK call – had he not made that call AND not used VAR, wouldn’t you be screaming to review the play since it was a clear handball, even though interpretation of the rule could be twisted to determine it was not intentional? Again, biased Red Bull fans would’ve been fine not using VAR, while Union fans would be screaming.
      For me, the distrust in officiating is not VAR, it is the unwillingness to utilize the assistance in a situation that may affect the outcome of the game. Also, there are many referees in MLS that are just flat out poor, and no form of replay can overcome poor officiating, especially when it is their decision on when and how to utilize it.

      • Steve, there are many instances in which there truly is no correct call. It’s a myth. Yes, like I said in my initial post, there are goal line calls and offside. Those really aren’t up to interpretation, but there are so many instances when you can look at a replay and still argue about the call for eternity without resolution. It’s still up to human interpretation, whether there’s a replay or not. It’s really nothing more than an unnecessary intrusion on the game. Let the officials ref. For better and worse.

      • Perhaps, but VAR is only used for calls that have an impact on a game, such as a card, penalty kick, or goal. In most of those cases it is clear cut in the sense that it was either a correct call or not a correct call. If there is confusion or the play is “close” then the call remains the same, thus confirming the referee’s initial decision.
        In one of the specific cases used in the article regarding Sibiga not using VAR, that is not an issue with VAR at all but the referee’s stubbornness and refusal to review the play. And in that case, it was pretty clear cut that there should have a red card, so VAR would have been useful, do you not agree? I believe that makes the officiating far worse than spending 2 minutes looking at a replay and correcting a call. This intrusion stuff is nonsense, everyone says that all the time about replay, but then complain when it’s not used to get the call right. Get major game-impacting calls right, no matter how it is done.

      • Steve, when I say intrusion, forget about the taking time out of a game to look at a monitor aspect. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’ve seen refs take more time out of a game giving players a talking to during a set piece. By intrusion, you have countless instances when talking points about games become decisions and reversals of decisions based on video evidence. In that SI piece, look at all the players (including our own John McCatrhy) tweeting about it’s shoddy implementation and use. You can take 17 camera angles of Higuain’s challenge, blow it up to 100x magnification and in slow motion like the Zapruder film and people will argue for and against a red card til their blue in the face. VAR didn’t do anything to “get the call right.”

        I dunno, I think I’m going down some postmodern road in my argument here that there really is no “right call.” It’s always going to be subjective. VAR has done nothing to demonstrate a better rate of getting the call right as of yet.

    • Pete, I always respect your well-considered opinions on this site, but I completely disagree with you here.

      The way I would look at it is that the game should be decided in its purest form, which means… what actually happened, insofar as that can be determined. Consider this the Platonic ideal to which we should aspire.

      Now, as you say, in some cases this is completely subjective, and there is no objective truth. In those cases, perhaps the ref should just stick with his original call.

      But there are cases other than goal-line crossings — handballs, offsides, out of bounds — in which the criteria are objective. And there are others — studs-up tackles, DOGSO — in which the criteria are slightly subjective but mostly objective. If VAR corrects even 10 or 20% of incorrect calls in these cases, which are critical and match-defining, it is well, well worth it. Because it then allows the true events on the field to decide the game more often, and the referee fallibility less often. And I simply cannot see the argument against removing such a critical source of chance and bias.

      And of course, it’s not a coincidence that it is working somewhat better in the US than it is in Europe. We’re used to video replay review in American sports. They aren’t used to it in Europe. Eventually everyone will get the hang of it.

      • Good points, scottso. Perhaps if there were clear criteria, there’s a middle ground between my “only for goal line calls and offside” position and a more expanded use. The trick is finding where that objective line is drawn. Chances are that’s even a subjective call. However, if the criteria is clear and consistent, maybe it will work. until then, I’ll remain a suspicious caveman on the matter.

  3. Andy Muenz says:

    I disagree with the supposition that use deteriorates faith in officiating. Every time the ref stops for a moment or two, listens to what’s being said in his ear, and then continues on is a case where he got it correct. And those seem to outnumber the ones that get overturned.

    • Watch what follows the first controversial VAR call in the World Cup. It’s going to be a disaster.

      • Maybe it will be. But that will be more to do with Europeans’ inexperience with replay and their tendency to over-react. Neither of which gives me too much worry.

      • would the hand of God been disallowed by VAR? I think it would have been

      • Germany, Italy and Netherlands already have VAR. Maybe other leagues, too. So it won’t be entirely about inexperience with it. But yeah, fans will overreact. And I probably won’t blame them.

  4. The Truth says:

    The game existed for many years prior to VAR and will continue for many years with VAR and will continue many more years with whatever comes next. We will always still want to play and watch the game.

  5. Pete, the point of VAR is not to quell controversy. There will always be controversy. People will always disbelieve the truth. The point of VAR is to get a play/call right a second time. There will still be human error. That opportunity to get it right might be missed. But at least they had the opportunity. You are basically arguing against it because you don’t want to hear people complain. I mean that’s basically your argument in a nutshell. So don’t pay attention.

    • All4U, there’s no need to get in a snit over a discussion here. And no. That’s not at all my point. My point is that VAR does not and cannot deliver what it promises. Again, I think there are places where technology can help, but at the end of the day, whether it’s a ref’s eyes or a replay, humans have to interpret what they see. This is a funny opinion for me to have, because I’m quite the opposite of the average Luddite. I’m generally very much tech-optimistic. I think, however, football is better off with less tech, not more.

      • Pete I’m not trying to get “in a snit” over it. If that’s the way it came off then my apologies. So what exactly do you think VAR is promising? Because I have never seen anything indicating they hoped to get everything right. I’ve heard Shaka Hislop(he’s on the FIFA committee for implementing VAR) defend it in such a way as that it gives the ref another chance, another look, in order to make the right call. Whether he does or not is up to interpretation. Some rules are up to interpretation. So I don’t see anything wrong with doing what you can to get the call right. I just don’t get being upset by it.

      • Sorry if I misunderstood you. I thought your last few sentences betrayed some aggression. First, I have nothing against people who like VAR. My emnity is directed solely at VAR itself. Second, I think VAR’s implicit promise is to improve officiating. I see no evidence that has happened and I’m not optimistic it will. All we’ve had since it has been introduced is even more doubt, controversy and general anguish over decisions. If in some future time it improves, I’ll gladly admit I was wrong.

      • More of a frustration that I don’t get the “problem”, than actually pissy-ness. I’m basically confused. I don’t see it as a problem. I just look to the last match with Unkel to know it’s working. Did that do nothing to persuade you? It just seems to me you are ignoring what works to point out the incidents where it didn’t to say look how bad it is. Maybe I’m just willfully ignoring the problems you are detecting. I don’t know. It just seems to me, people are going to complain no matter what. Instead of complaining about refs the argument now has been switched to VAR. Honestly I just think the complaints should be ignored. Sorry, I just don’t see the issues you do. They just aren’t issues to me.

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