Daily news roundups

News roundup: Union apparently scouting Balotelli, team awards and MLS Cup final match set

Photo Credit: Earl Gardner

Union

Mysterious source says Tanner has been “heavily” scouting Mario Balotelli. Long shot? Maybe. Great for the Union to get him? Definitely.

Union hand out 2018 team awards to Dockal, the team’s MVP and Trusty, the team’s Defensive Player of the Year.

The Union’s academy kicked off their 2018 Winter Showcase in Florida yesterday.

Mark McKenzie’s and Auston Trusty’s season reviews.

MLS

Red Bulls beat Atlanta, 1-0  in the second leg of eastern conference championship last night, but Atlanta advances to the MLS Cup final.

Portland beat Sporting KC, 3-2 in the second leg of the western conference championship last night. They advance to the MLS Cup final  against Atlanta.

El capitán, David Villa will not be returning to NYCFC next season. Rejoice, Union fans.

Bastian Schweinsteiger has re-signed with Chicago for the 2019 season.

Looking for other transfer and signing news in the MLS? Check this out.

USL

Vote for the 2018 USL Goal of the Year and the 2018 USL Save of the Year.

USL champions, Louisville City FC are building a new 11,300-seat stadium that is expected to be ready for 2020.

Local

The 700 “Club” in Northern Liberties is closing after 21 years. Essentially PSP’s home base, the site was actually named at The 700 years ago. Sad day for the local soccer scene…

US

The USMNT U-17’s tied Portugal, 1-1 in their first international friendly on Wednesday night.

Tab Ramos for USMNT head coach?

World

Arsenal won their Europa League group after a 3-0 victory over Vorskla.

Catch up on everything Champions League, here.

The complications surrounding the Copa Libertadores final.

La Liga is a very different story this year, with the title race wide open.

28 Comments

  1. First…I can’t believe teams are still playing. Seriously, the season is about 2-3 months too long. Start the last weekend in March (as opposed to the freezing first weekend), and end in September before NFL/NCAAFB/NBA/NCAABB/NHL dominate the landscape. I didn’t even realize there were still playing until I saw a tweet from Tannewald about 3 days ago.
    .
    As for Balotelli, he’s not coming. Let’s all just accept that. But let’s also daydream a bit…
    He would be HUGE here. An Italian with an oversized personality in Philadelphia capable of leading a team to a title? (Not saying he would, just that he could make that much of a difference.) Totally worth it if there is even a shred of possibility.
    .
    This team has been mired in mediocrity since its inception. The biggest name that we have signed was Freddy Adu…after his career had already cratered (at about age 22). If you are losing Dockal and you are removing Simpson from the books, that frees up about $2M right there before you do anything else. And he’s out of contract. Money should not be an issue.
    .
    On top of that, MLS should WANT this to happen, with this player and with this city. Making Philly relevant with a player like Balotelli would be a ratings/financial boon for the league.
    .
    Daydream over. I’ll wait for Tanner to sign some second-division Ukrainian striker that we will inevitably play out of position until we drive him out the game.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      I think Mario is too big for this place tbh… and I don’t say that lightly.
      .
      While he would bring cache and goal scoring.. (who’s passing him the ball btw)… his indifference and obstinance and TOTAL disdain for defending would not serve him— or us well.
      .
      All that to say, Mario Balotelli is easily one of my favorite players. .
      .
      The misunderstood anti-hero genius… is a massively compelling storyline.

    • I agree with the season being too long, and I just don’t care anymore about this season. The Union were eliminated a month ago..
      .
      Back in the day, MLS Cup used to always be the Sunday before Thanksgiving. It was reliable, it was relevant, and it seemed to work.
      .
      I read something last week that MLS is considering changing playoff format next year to make playoffs shorter, which would be good. I think the goal is to avoid the disruption in the middle of the playoffs of the November international dates.

      • No real dog in the “season too long” fight. But listened to a interview with Tab Ramos a couple of days ago and he was moaning about the season being too short (for most teams) in MLS vs other leagues around the world. Not enough games played, too much time off without meaningful games, etc 3-4 Months off in MLS.

    • @Jack – interesting perspective from Ramos. curious what the options, outside of playing more regular league games, would solve this. league cup? expanded playoff (group) tournament? i don’t think anyone wants more games from the bottom third of the tables but a better “second season” would be worth a watch. one-and-done Union would… no, they still wouldn’t have a chance, but maybe group stage would be worth a watch

    • The season being too long is not an argument at all. Chelsea’s season last year ended in mid-May and restarted again in Mid-August. If anything, we play less than other teams around the world, but no one complains about them. I’m just saying, I have no problem with the season’s length.

    • I don’t buy any Balotelli rumors. The Union are not spending anywhere near $6M on a player.

      Johannsson is much cheaper, and since he’s coming off a few injuries, would be more likely imo.

  2. So two teams newer than the Union battling it out for MLS Cup.

    • One of which who will be going for their second MLS Cup, and the other going for the MLS Cup in their second year.
      .
      What are we doing? WHAT ARE WE DOING?!?!?

    • el Pachyderm says:

      I know quite a few folks who thought Giovanni Saverese would never coach in MLS.
      .
      Wonder if anyone around these pages remembers me lobbying for him to coach here.
      .
      Anyway…

    • el Pachyderm says:

      …Portland Timbers are rather old with roots stretching back to the 70’s.
      .
      point taken though.

    • we might as well be playing in USL because we’re never going to match them on any level: talent/budget/fandom/relevance

  3. DanC (formerly of 103) says:

    And tannenwald is reporting, via a direct quote from Tanner, that they are not pursuing Balotelli. Big difference between “apparently” and “reportedly”….

  4. That Portland/KC match was a thriller, well worth being exhausted at work today.
    .
    Sad they moved the Copa final out Argentina. More sad 700 is closing.
    .
    The Balotelli rumor is hilarious but I won’t hold my breathe. In Ernst we trust.

  5. PSP needs a new base. where will it be?

  6. Thanks Joel Pt for the link to the Tanner article. I think he said more in that one article than ES ever said about his plans and activities. I appreciate the transparency. It helps me stay on the Union train while we wait to hear who he brings in.

    • I had the same thought. Tanner taking the time to address rumors (from overseas no less) feels like a breath of fresh air after the tight regime of ES.

  7. It just dawned on me that our immediate past and present GM’s share an identity which implies that their efforts are in “earnest.” Coincidence? Or is Sugarman trying to make up for something he lacks?

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