Daily news roundups

News roundup: Blake makes Team of the Week, Union are a “Red Bull team”, Ronaldhino in trouble

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

Philadelphia Union

The Union will be well represented in the US side looking to qualify for the Olympics.

The fact that you even have to vote for Jakob Glesnes’ goal is ridiculous.

Hear what Coach Curtin thought about his sides 3-3 draw Sunday night.


What did we learn about the Union and the other 25 teams from week 2?

Andre Blake features in the MLS Team of the Week. Brenden Aaronson and Jakob Glesnes make the bench.

Bob Bradley says the Union are a “Red Bull team”.

Atlanta is adding striker depth after Josef Martinez’s injury.

This week’s episode of Instant Replay is here.


Someone call Union Hulk, Ronaldinho is in trouble.

US Soccer and the USWNT still can’t find a deal in the equal pay case.

Just like in Italy, matches in Romania will be played behind closed doors.

Which Champions League match has your eye this week.



  1. el Pachyderm says:

    Bob Bradley. Man. I love it.
    for years and years US soccer has tried to move on from the version of the game we’re going to play.
    punt, hoof, flick, get in behind.
    Him calling the team Red Bull…. comparing us to our most bitter rival though?
    Absolute classic troll job.
    Thing is… he’s right.
    I mentioned in the post game comments. This is a hard sell for me. This version of the game.
    I see it in the pre Academy. I see it in the Academy. And now that Haris is gone…the first team. It’s pell mell, hyper athletic boot ball. Can be very effective. But a beautful kind of ugly that is unaesthetic. The version of a game where just sitting and watching is exhausting. The game is Constant Transition.
    Been on the record as the epiphany sunk in this season… they don’t care about a player’s ability to retain possession as much as they care about a player’s ability to get the ball back………………….. after he just lost it.
    I’ll let that sink in a little bit.

    • Just because we look to play it behind teams and focus on athleticism and running doesn’t mean it’s a skill less or talentless style.

      It’s certainly not mindless punt and pray like you are suggesting. It’s nothing compared to the MLS 1.0 style of previous USMNT like you suggest.

      Yes it takes a lot of athleticism and physicality to force turnovers and stay on a high press, but after you have the ball? Quickly keeping possession, looking up, finding the right pass quickly and forward in a split second? That takes plenty of skill.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Nothing Bob Bradley said was flattering in word or tone. I’m just echoing him.
        It’s a strategy and philosophy of play I don’t particularly enjoy. We’ll see how it plays out… you have to be able to POFTB when a team gives it to you and if I see Andre lunking 50-50 balls up field when the other team is daring them to beat them on the ground… well. We’ll just wait and see.

      • I understand and I am sorry you feel that way. A High press, hounding style reminds me of the 90s Eagles defense of having Reggie White rushing the QA on every play and constantly forcing turnovers and bad plays from the offense.

        I also certainly find this style of play more exciting than the “Watch Haris play ping pong with Trusty and Elliot for 2-3 minutes at a time” like we used too.

        The Klopp-equse constant high pressing, constant offense is a incredibly fun evolution of the game and I love that we are playing it, IMO.

    • I get the change away from the pretty possession game that we started to show in the last few years is drastic, but watching Sunday night, I have to say there was some beauty in the style of play. For me the build up of the first goal, started off with your target striker picking a defenders pocket followed by some fast, incisive passing to a beauty was stunning in how confident and how quickly it happened.


      While transition and counter attacking are th focus I also noticed there were moments when our midfield was pinging the ball amongst themselves, one touch passing, that reminded me of previous years. The skill is there to play beautiful, I think the biggest change is now there is a lethal purpose behind it. Hit you quickly and then step on your throat while you’re down.


      It may not always be pretty, but after watching years of this team playing well but having an inability to seize the moment, it is refreshing.

      • I agree. Getting it forward quickly doesn’t mean it is a bunker and counter approach.

        I see in youth soccer the mentality of keeping possession at all cost. Never trying a risky pass. My daughter’s team is trying to switch to a high pressing more direct style. In the fall if was ugly. Way too much booting it up field, but if the first three games games of the spring are any indication it is going to be much more fun to watch this season.

    • I think Bradley might be flattering us a bit. I think a Red Bull team would be getting more out of its fullbacks, for example. Though I have to admit, I’ve seen only an occasional Salzburg or Leipzig match, so Bradley would no better than me.

      That style seems to be currently the one employed by Liverpool to pretty universal success. I think Liverpool can clearly possess when they need to, but they are constantly trying to play over and around the midfield, finding Salah or Mane with a long pass.

      In the end, I have to admit that I’m more interested in results than aesthetics, though I’d prefer the results to come from a blistering attack and not catenaccio.

    • Since footy always seems to draw comparisons to basketball, I liken your argument to a half court offense vs. a run and gun fast break one. When I used to watch basketball I loved the half court offense, and hated the “new” fast break type. I conclude this is mostly from growing up watching Sir Charles take his man, bump him, then fade away draining his shot. Loved it. Could watch it all day long.
      When it comes to soccer, I have no ingrained bias towards possession based ticki taka. It’s ok and can be mesmerizing at points, but it also can be just fruitless possession for possessions sake. I like the gegenpressing much more. It’s chaotic, fast paced and relies heavily on a defensive mindset. Possession can be boring. Two yard pass here, five yards there, cross to the other side of the field. I can appreciate the skill it takes to pull it off well. But I’ll also say it can be incredibly boring to watch. Give me full press in your face turnovers all day long. To each their own I guess.

    • I thought Bradley was referencing the German Red Bull organization and not NYRB. Seemed to be linking to Ernst’s time there.

      Either way, the Union are never going to play the style you want with this ownership. Piss poor teams have to play harder, smarter and more as a team (i.e. more “grit”) in order to compete. I honestly think that style is more likely to draw a crowd in a place like Philly and I’m fine with that.

      No one likes us, no one likes us, no one likes us we don’t care…

      • Yeah, he is referring to Tanner’s links to the euro pink cows.
        Personally, I see us as much more of a BodyArmor team myself.
        High energy from good ingredients…

    • We aren’t playing ‘boot ball’ though.
      We won’t have the same beautiful passing possession game that we’ve been playing for the past two years, but what we are doing now is pretty far from kick and pray.
      We’re taking those passing skills from last year and just bumping the tempo and the directionality up a notch. We are taking the riskier/higher reward pass rather than the safe pass back for the sake of not losing the ball.
      This year will definitely be more chaotic than what we’ve seen in previous years – but that is going to make for some pretty entertaining games!
      Agents of Chaos

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Let’s be clear.
      I’m all for counter attacking teams and winning the 2 phases of the game centered around transitioning.
      I’m also for possession when you deem your team to be better.
      Union opened with two games on the road… against league stalwarts. I get it.
      The ‘gegenpressing’ teams someone wrote about above are also able to build a game… when they have the ball. Hell Liverpool almost intentionally slows play down deep in their end to pull the other team forward specifically to press… then hit them with mid range balls and blitz up the field ONCE they decide to go. There is a difference in that and watching Mark Mckenzie eschew two line breaking passes on the ground in a counter because he was unaware then panically kick the ball 40 feet into the air that just so happened to land on Sergio Santos foot… and call that good soccer.
      If I watch a season of other teams sitting back and Andre punting the ball and McKenzie punting the ball up to KP and SS for ‘Flick Ons’… I’m going to complain. Make no mistake. This is an acceptable complaint.. because it’s Route One soccer as philosophy and not tactic.
      I’m hopeful for a healthy mix of both… especially when playing at BooBaru Park.

      • We should definitely be expecting Blake to be blasting the ball. Ray is certainly guilty of the panic blast.
        I think McKenzie, Glesnes and Elliott are all a little more nuanced in their long passes though.
        I don’t see them targeting a front man from deep. We’ll see them hitting the corners more often for Bedoya or Santos to run on to if anything.
        I fully agree that I don’t want to see hopeful Route 1 bombs play a major part in us moving forward. I don’t think that is the focus of this offense. We will see some long balls for breakaways at some points though.

  2. Bob meant it as a compliment and I’ll take it. That is all.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Saying a team “only plays one way” is not a compliment.
      My arguments above more or less are speaking to this specifc comment from him.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Didn’t we want an identity? Seems like we may have one. I for one think this is a positive thing and we can build the team accordingly.

      • Barca and Ajax generally play one way as well, Pach….don’t they?I get you don’t like the philosophy…..but you saw this evolution happening years ago….with Dortmund and Chile. There is beauty out of the chaos…..and enjoy the athleticism, engine, pace, and “several steps ahead thinking”….a baller requires to flourish in it. Think about it dude, those invincible Barca sides of the late 00’s……they would counter press the hell out of sides in swarms to get it back……the CBs rarely had to defend…..they played the whole match in the opponents half…..it as almost like they rested when they got the ball back! It all started there man!

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Alicat and OMW.
        These are fair rebuts.
        More or less, I don’t mind the identity and understand it seems to be the way forward as a direct response…. to what was becoming high possession (‘sometimes without purpose’) footy.
        I just need some poise from our goalkeeper and young CB at what I consider key moments of possession and I struggle the fuck all with it.

    • I don’t think he meant it as a compliment or a troll.

      It’s simply a correct observation. Ernst Tanner is a former Red Bull guy, and that’s the way he wants this team to play and how he’s building its roster.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        It was very matter of fact Dan and rooted in truth as you mention. I took it as a left handed un-compliment.

  3. John O'Donnell Jr says:

    Bob Bradley just played the Union twice and couldn’t beat them. Style of play is one thing but winning is another. Bob Bradley has the superior talent by far. Credit to Jim Curtin for taking points and I’m moving on.
    I’m thinking Bob Bradley is going to see a whole lot of teams playing against them like the Union just did. They took away there midfield for this game and credit LAFC for coming back but they didn’t look as dominant as usual that’s for sure.

    • I think one could argue the only reason LAFC won that game was because of the superior talent of Vela and Rossi. To your point, without them the Union walk away with 3 points. So kudos to Jim and the players, and screw that spoiled brat Bob Bradley. Win another playoff game and we’ll talk.

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