Daily news roundups

News roundup: Union youth callups, Dockal’s not going to Prague, and a double post

Photo Credit: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Five Union/Bethlehem/Academy players got called up for Youth National Team camps.

Joe Tansey had a long talk with Jim Curtin about what to expect from the Union in 2019.

Bethlehem brought in Panamanian international Saed Diaz on a loan from Tauro FC.

Allegedly AC Sparta Prague is not in negotiations with Henan Jianye to bring back Borek Dockal.

The Union are the latest target for Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson’s professional soccer-playing delusions.


[Translation] Timothy Weah extended his contract with PSG before heading to Celtic on loan.

If you don’t have a subscription to see behind the paywall, the relevant details are that Wayne Rooney had a few pints on a private jet on his way back from Dubai. Upon arrival he was arrested for “public​​ swearing and intoxication” and eventually paid a $25 fine.

Wendy’s is absolutely brutal.

Benny Feilhaber was watching the game last night.

US Soccer

In the context of PA Classics, Christian Pulisic’s youth team, missing out on a massive solidarity payment with his transfer to Chelsea, the MLS Player’s Association has weighed in saying it’s better than the alternative.

“I don’t need to be in every game, I can be on the bench.” Mix Diskerud, interviewing for a spot on a Korean reality TV rec-league team.


Optimistic take: There will be beer, wine, and spirits at the 2022 World Cup.

Saint Barthélemy (or St. Bart’s if you’re one of those people) is looking to join FIFA and CONCACAF as an Overseas Country and Territory member independent of France.

For the first time in fifty five years, India has won an Asian Cup game.


  1. Cincinnati and San Jose now outspending the Union. WHAT. A. JOKE.

  2. I honestly don’t understand the players union stance on solidarity payments…. Are they arguing that those payments would make Americans more expensive and thus not as likely to get signed by European teams? Why would the same system used the world over harm US players? It’s a real head scratcher.

    • John O'Donnell says:

      Because MLS has a salary budget. But more important they are starting negotiations for a new CBA for next year, why throw away a bargaining chip MLS now wants? Sure we’ll change our position in exchange for, lowering age for free agency, expanded roster, more charter flights, better retirement plan…..

      • Exactly

      • Bingo!

      • I still don’t get it. Aside from it being a political chip, how does the current system actually benefit current MLS players and those who would soon join their ranks?

      • I saw on Twitter recently that the lack of solidarity payments for youth players theoretically makes them more attractive to overseas teams. This puts more pressure on MLS to pay the youth players a higher wage and make a bigger commitment. This was the first time I saw this argument and I can kind of understand it. Though I am very much on the record that we need a training compensation and solidarity payments structure in US this country to really unlock our potential

  3. Their argument is that any money which goes to youth clubs comes out of the pool of money that is available to pay player salaries, and while this pool isn’t finite for the likes of Chelsea, PSG, & Man City, it is at most clubs which make up the vast majority of transfers the world over, thus reducing the amount that players can collectively make.
    One quibble with your statement about it being the same system used the world over is that youth clubs and academies aren’t pay-to-play the world over like PA Classics in the US, so it’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison.
    I understand PA Classic’s position on the issue…the chance of a one-time cash infusion isn’t worth the risk of alienating your most famous alumnus, especially since their association with Pulisic probably gives them an edge in attracting top area youth players and in their agreements with vendors and sponsors (he’s featured prominently on their website). Plus, most of any money they might receive would go straight to the attorneys. The amount in question is something like $500K…I’m not familiar with their finances, but their website says player fees are something like $2K/year for their top age groups, so $500K would pay for 125 players for one year if half went to pay the lawyers…not exactly something that would sustain the club for several years.

    • I’ve never thought PA Classics should sue for the funds. My question is more about the economics and general policy. I’m more interested in reforming the system if possible, not righting past perceived wrongs.

      I still don’t think the players make a very compelling case. Solidarity payments as I understand them come from transfer fees. Those fees are generally not paid by MLS clubs at all. I’m sure MLS could figure out a way to keep their TAMs and GAMs out of transfer fee requirements but use the system to the advantage of clubs who are going to start seeing these fees become more common for American players.

      That money could really start to bolster the current pay-to-play system. If the players had a good case against it, I’d listen. I’m just not seeing it at all.

    • Beside the legal fee issue, the head of PA Classics also touched on an issue I have asked about (with no good answer so far) He said that the $500K would be nice but that it would really only be a small portion of their yearly budget. Plus he acknowledges that he would not feel that it would be ethical to accept the payment since his club is pay-to-play and parents have already paid to develop the player. Which goes back to my question about solidarity payments. If we could wave a magic wand and say that solidarity payments would now be shared with youth clubs. How does that eliminate pay-to-play clubs? How do you run a youth club year in and year out with only a “chance”that one of your players makes it to the pros and gets a transfer fee. How do you pay your staff/coaches, pay for your facilities, insurance, etc? If the largest transfer fee paid for a US player will only generate solidarity payment that makes up a small percentage of a yearly budget for a club. How do you run a club with no income? Please disregard any youth club that is directly affiliated with or run by a MLS team (like the Union Academy) This discussion is about clubs like PA Classics or their equivalents in places like Sioux City, IA

      • Isn’t there another piece of all of this that not a ton of people are talking about (training compensation)? I believe it varies from country to country (or it might be that FIFA mandates the amounts), but when a player signs their first pro deal, all of the youth clubs are compensated for that players training. There’s some sort of fee structure, but this also goes to help cover player costs. It doesn’t get the same headlines as solidarity payments, but I think is just as important.

  4. John O'Donnell says:

    There’s probably some plan that will work for the U.S. but it won’t be the same as the rest of the world. You could see more youth clubs aligning with USL teams and getting a percentage of sell on fees. Youth clubs maybe rebating parents as the club gets revenue from solidarity payments and setting up an endowment to start funding for scholarships. The thinking is send your child here as we produce, you’ll be rewarded for the club’s success and we can expand more opportunity for kids in the future. MLS academies would benefit and probably become more competitive as they drop territorial rights. Over time I’m sure it would evolve much like soccer in the U.S. has in it’s own unique way. Needless to say it starts with the player’s union and the outcome of the current lawsuit with Yedlin youth club.

  5. Only his mother called him Barthélemy. It’s definitely St. Bart’s. And I am definitely one of those people.

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