Daily news roundups

News roundup: xG deja vu, ATL fall, Sac Republic expansion hopes, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

The Union lead the league in xG… with zero open play goals. Matt DeGeorge says the team’s early season struggles sound awfully familiar.

ICYMI: Sergio Santos is out a month with a hip injury and the Union won’t appeal Sergio Santos’ red card. Is it time for Brendan Aaronson?

Atlanta United will have Josef Martinez, Tito Villalba, and Pity Martinez against Philadelphia before they leave for international duty.


Speaking of Atlanta United, the reigning MLS champs beat Monterrey 1-0 at home, but fell 3-1 on aggregate — adding to MLS’ 2019 CONCACAF Champions League woes.

Other cities will have to wait behind Sacramento and St. Louis for expansion spots.

Is this the guy who can finally push Sacramento over the cusp into MLS?

FC Cincinnati has sold over 30,000 tickets ahead of a hopeful sellout crowd at Nipper Stadium for their inaugural MLS home opener.


Liverpool knocked Bayern Munich out of the UEFA Champions League to make it four English teams in the quarterfinals.

Barcelona walloped Lyon 5-1 thanks to Messi being Messi and Luis Suarez being Luis Suarez (entirely different reasons).

U.S. Soccer

U.S. Women’s National Team is (way) better than the men’s squad. So why are they paid so much less?


  1. el Pachyderm says:

    The Mane goal, was such a thing of beauty. On so many levels.
    What one doesn’t see, until watching the highlights after the game. He was tracking the defender over his left shoulder the entire time ball is flighted to him by Virgil and isn’t until the last nanosecond he turns inside looks over his right shoulder just as the ball is about to land- calculating and adjusting his body to orient the ball the instant it touches down… to only hit the Jake Brake… pivot over the outside edge of the foot he just used (shield said defender spin around the ball and the closing goalkeeper) for a deft left footed backspin chip fade away jumper.
    it is precisely this, when arguing about footy specific agility with people…which the rest of the world has– versus outright athleticism which Americans have in surplus. Maybe someday this highly specialized agility will be commonplace here. I think its better to be sure Johnny and Jane is well rounded and playing multisports across the board and not giving one his full attention as a young child for fear of… what, I do not know.
    I love the Panenka PK by Messi. What I love even more about it- is the audacity. Not that he tried it. That he simply knew over 90 minutes Lyon would be no match and the arrogance would be a safe bet, in case it didn’t come off… which proved out as Barca just rolled.
    In other news, Flamengo v Quito was an excellent game as well in the Copa later in the evening. Great day for footy yesterday.
    In other other news, does anyone know why one cannot retroactively listen to Union press conferences. In this age of advanced space exploration, once the live feed is over, there is no recorded version to simply just listen? One is forced to listen to the cut version. Crazy.
    I’m for getting rid of xG whatever the hell is deduces. I watch. A ball gets played in to Fafa in the first game at the 6. He needs to open left hip and deflect ball in for a sitter… he takes a full cut with his right foot and whiffs. Warren makes this insanely timed run and plays a ball off outside boot to Marco for a MUST HAVE finish… who Doops on himself… like guano. Highlight reels goal that gets talked about across the league. Instead. Nothing. Just another near good thing and
    missed opportunities. The Union Way through ten years… A Near Good Thing and Missed Opportunity.
    Heres hoping some things start going well soon besides the manager telling me they are ‘playing’ well and ‘trying hard’ despite giving up 5 goals in two games and scoring none of notice.

    • I think its better to be sure Johnny and Jane is well rounded and playing multisports across the board and not giving one his full attention as a young child for fear of… what, I do not know.
      Off the top of my head, there are two things to fear in this regard. First is mental burnout, by not having anything “new”. The second is a repetition injury. The easiest example of this is how many young players are now getting “Tommy John” surgery on their elbows. If some of those kids played soccer (for example) instead of fall baseball, their arms would get a chance to recover from the use during spring and summer. They’d also improve their hand-eye coordination while better developing some of the lesser-used muscles in their legs, pelvis and lower back.
      My son is potentially going through this now, actually; after his freshman year, he dropped soccer to run track (cross country in the fall) full time. He’s in his junior year now, and this is the second spring in a row he’s been injured. Last year, he dealt with shin splints and a stress fracture. The doctor gave the OK for him to run through it for the remainder of spring as long as it didn’t get worse. He spent most of his summer doing PT. Now this year he has pain in his hips, knees, and ankles – with the knees maybe being the worst of it. His doctor suspects arthritis in his hips, which is causing everything else. We go to the rheumatologist in a few weeks, and in the meantime he’s not running this spring.
      Added to the injuries (which may or may not be “over-use” related), he’s also dealing with the burnout issues. So I’m seeing both “sides” of this first hand, while also having seen it while coaching club soccer.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        There is nothing to fear in this regard. It was rhetorical.
        Kids all over the world tend to specialize in a sport early…. then play hoops, street hockey, home run derby with their buddies in the playgrounds and streets.
        Only America monetized everything Johnny and Jane do…

    • You really don’t hear about repetition injuries in footy, baseball is an entirely different animal, and a really bad comparison. The throwing motion in baseball is an unnatural arm movement unlike softball. Hence why one girl can pitch over and over again and baseball pitchers are on pitch counts. That unnatural movement over time and repetition, particularly IMG full time pitching kids these days….run that risk. El Pach, for the most part you are right about kids being soccer specific. But as far as soccer specific athleticism, I would say an athlete is an athlete is an athlete. I’ve seen athletic as all get out kids teaching PE in Philly who could figure what Mane did with his body….not the ball mind you…..out pretty quick. I think is has more to do with your athletic IQ. There are book smarts and there are athletic smarts. I think it’s why you and I in the past have compared the footballer and basketballer…..your looking for the same skill set in many instances. A basketball player does that same move with a basketball and their taught that one young. Hope all is well.

  2. Mane’s goal might be my favorite of the CL so far. It was as if he had planned the whole move ahead of time. Never lost confidence that he was going to guide the ball into the net. Really happy to see Sadio imposing himself on matches again. He had become the man before Salah arrived at Anfield.

    That’s how a press should run, even though I thought Liverpool were really wasteful in possession. They didn’t seem to really come to life until the last 20 minutes after Virgil’s set piece header. Might have been more that Bayern quit, too.

  3. EL P, in reference to the full audio version of the Jim Curtin presser 3/13 yesterday:
    I just googled “Philadelphia Union Sound Cloud,” You get an option “Philadelphia Union Free Listening on SoundCloud.” Click that. two minutes ago at the top of the queue, first item. 24:41 which was approximately the length of what I listened to on the Union’s website yesterday afternoon.
    Almost always public audio clips go up there, including most Bethlehem ones, although understandably that is a bit less consistent.
    Gotta put “Philadelphia Union” before the “SoundCloud” in your search term to make it work.

  4. Steven, thanks for the link to the Sac Republic story from the Sacramento Bee.

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