Daily news roundups

News roundup: Union season over, Nashville & Seattle advance, clarity on handballs

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

The Union lost to the New England Revolution, 2-0. DAMN YOU CURSED SUPPORTERS’ SHIELD!


In other playoff news:

  • Toronto 0 -1 Nashville
  • Seattle 3-1 LAFC

Jeff Larentowicz won’t return to Atlanta United in 2021.

Around the globe

Female footballers may face greater risk of dementia from heading the ball.

Why are there so few black goalkeepers in Europe?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic claims he’s being used in FIFA 21 without his consent.

Soccer rules panel wants more clarity on handball law.

Sports has a Gen Z problem. The pandemic may accelerate it.


  1. I was going to clock out for a while to emotionally recover a bit -but have been seeing some content on social media in Union Fandom Land which needs to be addressed and will address it throughout this post mortem –until it’s clear the news has moved on– then set back and await January in ernest to see what comes of Union 2021.
    There are many arguing this season has been a ‘huge success’ —–it is inaccurate—- and too generous and needs to stop.
    Was the 2020 season a success? Absolutely –the team finished top of the table and claimed its first trophy for a franchise which continues to grow and appears to be growing in the right ways.
    Was the 2020 season a terrific and much needed diversion during a bleak time? Absolutely and for that it’s good to be thankful.
    Is it good to recognize this? It is incumbent upon us to recognize this.
    However, to enter the field of play last night—-then throw all that hard work and dogged determination by the side- wasting everything that was accomplished throughout the season— qualifies as failure. It is totally inarguable. Win a game or two —then get beat…fine.
    …Play well against a team you have beaten multiple times and get beat… ultimately… fine.
    Distasteful and a bummer —but acceptable which allows discernment in looking back and feeling the season was ‘hugely successful’ when measuring the many factors.
    To play like that? No… there needs to be accountability.
    I’ve thought a great deal about the manager’s role in this outcome and ultimately feel like the players failed and are to blame 100%.
    He was wary of this potential outcome, maybe underminded himself and —Intentioned it— into existence with his Sports Talk Radio interviews and set the men up psychologically to come out flat which holds him accountable to a degree. I don’t know. Was it right to bench Martinez… I’m not so sure, as he was providing the needed emotional bite even if his game was filled with loose play for 45 minutes…either way Curtin recognized the need to change and abruptly set about it… I’d argue Fontana needed to enter in place of Ilsinho then hold Ilsinho a bit… I’d argue, Jim realized Bedoya was unable to manage the HDM spot and another goal was inevitable under the halftime changes made which means he may have gotten his subs a bit awkwardly. Either way… he saw what we all saw… and made adjustments in search of something resembling the team he had coached all season.
    The players own this 100% — 100%—- They failed– they failed to capitalize on an early zest in their play which had them displaying dominance over New England…- played way too casual with the passing and turnovers— thinking they were the better team because of past outcomes— which for the first 20 minutes they were….and by simply walking on the field– were going to win and when they yielded the goal… bottled up, got tight…. and played like DIMWITS instead of snapping into the present…. using the early goal against to shore up and steel their nerve.
    The season was a success. The season was a failure.
    They Degraded the Accolade last night. They do not deserve a pass simply because they won the Supporters Shield after that effort. That effort single handedly sullied the accomplishments.
    It is okay….. to doubt yet believe.
    It is okay… to be happy yet disappointed.
    It is incumbent to be thankful YET ultimately hold them accountable to missing an enormous opportunity in this arduous journey of displaying the echelon this fanbase goddamn well expects.
    el Pachyderm

    • I would amend one part of your statement. Instead of saying “The season was a failure”, I would go with “There is still significant room for improvement.”
      I am in complete agreement that this was 100% on the players. Just to give an example, the Union had a free kick in the 63rd minute from essentially the same spot as New England had on the first goal. Both were well taken and poorly defended leading to a free header. New England put theirs out of Blake’s reach. Kacper put his right at Turner. That’s not coaching, that’s player execution.
      I do think taking Martinez out at halftime was the right move. He spent large portions of the first half trying to take on too many opponents and was giving the ball up in bad places. He was lucky not to have given up a PK just before the first goal.
      You may want to at least take a look at things in December to see who the Union lose in the expansion draft. The good news is that next season starts early with Champions League so hopefully when next season starts the Union will be the team that starts in form.

    • Disagree with both of you on giving Jim a pass. The team came out flat and the subs were wrong. Both are on him. Other than tthat there is plenty of blame left over for the players. That match definitely tarnished the season.

      • Then I’ll ask you, would you blame Toronto’s loss on Varney for their coming out flat? Or is he given a pass since he has won MLS Cup and been to 3 finals?
        And what subs would you have made differently, realizing they were down 0-2 35 minutes into the game so you have to be honestly saying they are subs that you wouldn’t criticize if they didn’t work out any better than the ones Curtin tried?

  2. Just saw that Diego Maradona had a heart attack and died this morning. If anyone hasn’t seen his finest moment, check out this goal. I was lucky enough to see it as it was happening on TV at the student center in college.

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