Daily news roundups

News roundup: Union advance to CCL semis, City advances to UCL final for the first time ever, Mourinho signs with Roma

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

Philadelphia Union

Union advance to the semi-finals of the Concacaf Champions League.

Highlights of the game can be found here.

Things got heated off the field as well with Jim Curtin’s comments about his interaction with Atlanta manager Gabriel Heinze.


Toronto FC falls to Cruz Azul and is eliminated from CCL.

Portland gets ready to battle America and decide who will be the Union’s semifinal rival.

Columbus prepares to face Monterrey.


Jose Mourinho to be Roma’s manager for next season.

Manchester City makes the Champions League final for the first time in their history.

Chelsea to allow fans to have representation at board meetings.


  1. el Pachyderm says:

    I’m just gonna say it now that it is the day after… Ultimately mission accomplished last night. But to get in a shoot out -run and gun game with a team that precisly wanted to do that –was just annoying as shit.
    I get it. Union are a transition and counter team. I recognize they had twice as many opportunitites to score as Atlanta… and if they bag a goal in the first 15 minutes this is all moot…. (the striker corp is a different discussion for a different day– they just aren’t good enough and yes I am aware KP has scored goals in Champion’s League.)… but to be totally incapable of slowing the game down with the intent to work the ball around side to side, probe the middle and at least display some ability to alter the possession percentage from 68-70% to closer to 60-40 is concerning.
    I am a possession guy and my ethos is to never cede possession… particularly when playing at home. This is my lense. I appreciate how the Union hope to be effective and largely have become effective. Even Cruz Azul, who have developed a vertical style of play over lateral movement of the ball was able to work the ball around the field last night before trying to get in behind.
    I don’t understand why this team is either incapable or chooses not to do it. It’s the same thing with my kid at a local club…. vertical vertical vertical… its totally exhausting to watch, let the game breath sometimes. It’s okay.
    Poke and Prod… MOVE THE DEFENSE…It’s okay to have some possession for possession’s sake, you know why? so you don’t get into a track meet with a team that exactly wants a track meet. So you aren’t running non stop for 85 minutes… when you have game after game after game after game.
    I don’t know. I’m sure plenty of people will comment back to me about just being happy.
    I’m pleased. Mission accomplished. Advance.
    But watching a team of professional players blindly kick the ball up field over and over to GET IT OUT in a total panic after watching these same players struggle to find the free man for 75 minutes and just give up on trying to build a game is… bleh.
    Someone commented on twitter about Anthony Fontana being largely invisible as “the playmaker’… what should we expect from him.

    • That last 20 to 30 minutes was particularly grueling. It was this endless cycle of Atlanta cycling the ball around the Union’s half, creating chances before the ball was cleared by a Union player right to the feet of Atlanta to repeat the whole thing over again. The amount of pressure the Union put themselves under… It was not good. It was not hard to imagine Atlanta finding another couple goals.

      I’m not sure what to make of the strikers/attacking corps. Some really good moments mixed with baffling giveaways, errant passes and shots lacking any sort of pace. Atlanta fans are probably wondering the same thing about Josef this morning.

      • Jeremy Lane says:

        Regarding the attack, I think the Union are, in fact, missing a No. 10. Neither Jamiro nor Fontana really work there, and it’s forcing the Union to be even more direct. Perhaps that Hungarian guy will come in the summer and be the guy.

    • Jeremy Lane says:

      I want to say that I totally understand your desire. And I think there is reason to be a little concerned that the Union don’t seem prepared to possess the ball for long periods. They are going to run into teams that dare them to break down a set defense, for instance, and they need to be able to do that. They used to have that. It’s not clear they do right now.

      Regarding last night, though, I think there are some things to consider. First, they really did want to get that first goal, and had the chances to do it. The game plan was clearly not to settle for 3–0. They didn’t get the eaely goal, so maybe the plan should have changed at some point, but we can understand the plan, at least.

      Second, Atlanta was going to come out hell for leather, and they really pressed the Union hard. The Union, whether they can possess the ball or not, are not really a press-resistant team, so having them try and play keep ball might have just resulted in turnovers closer to goal. And as the game went on, the fatigue was clearly setting in, so safety first.

      But I think your overall point stands, and we do need the Union to show they can play in more than one way. It’s a stark contrast from the Medunjanin days, for sure.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, Jeremy. The last several games the opponents have high pressed and the Union have struggled with possession. The good news is that except for the Glesnes play Saturday night they haven’t had turnovers leading to easy goals against.
        The games where the Union didn’t face the high press were the first two CCL games and I believe the Union had good possession numbers those games.

    • Have you ever watched a RBS game? Man I would love to hear your reaction to that. Compared to RBS the Union play Tiki Taka lol. I’ve watches some RBS to see how Aaronson is doing is those games are just pure chaos.

      And you aren’t wrong, but honestly you said it yourself – “vertical, vertical, vertical”. Yup. That’s the point. That is our style and no one is hiding it.

      And at least as far as the final 25 minutes go, I mean setting up the defense to see out the positive result, and clearing the ball when all else fails happens pretty much everywhere at every level.

      Re: Fontana. You should expect goals. I’m not sure anyone ever expected being a playmaker out of him. Except of course, from the fact he plays the 10. But I thought we all went into it knowing he would not be your typical 10.

    • I am fine with the way the Union played the match, and it mainly relates to what Jeremy said: we do not have a true #10. And, of course, we didn’t have a true #10 last season either.

      That means the Union have to look for other ways to score: set pieces (never their strength), crosses (low percentage), or counterattacking, which they do about as well as anyone.

      We outplayed Atlanta last night, and the 1-1 scoreline flattered the visitors.

  2. Gruncle Bob says:

    I want to give one GIGANTIC hat tip to Jim Curtin for speaking the truth and calling out Heinze.

    Sorry Gabby, it’s a competitive league. Your owner’s check book doesn’t always guarantee success.

  3. I really thought Curtin saying he’s not going to take it anymore was interesting. And I can’t remember him ever saying anything negative about an opposing manager. So in my mind that is showing some growth in our manager. Maybe that attitude filters out through the organization.
    To Packy’s point on possession for possession sake. I’m hoping that they can learn to do this. Watching Man. City frustrate PSG was a thing of beauty. I know that not all teams can do it but how bout give it go?
    In the end,great to advance. And you really punished Atlanta at home. On to the next!

  4. Did I just hear Jim Curtin call the opposing manager an asshole?!? Did I hallucinate that?? Because it was an awesome hallucination if it was one…

    Agree with Gruncle & Montag about that it shows Curtin is feeling his oats. “I’m Coach of the Year, and my team took home a trophy last year, so I don’t need to put up with this amateur nonsense.”

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