Daily news roundups

Orlando named 21st MLS team, US ends 2013 with a loss, WC field nearly set, bloopers, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Here’s a little blooper reel from PSP’s postgame locker room interviews in 2013.

Saying that the Union will return in 2014 with “a hunger and drive to get back to the playoffs,” Sheanon Williams explains,

I think we’ll go back and take so many positives from this season that will carry over into next season. I think you need to take learning experiences and benefit from them. Next season, we’ll be better off for what we learned. When that success comes, we’ll be even more appreciative. It’s a short offseason these days in MLS.

Before you know it, we’ll be in training and preparing for the next season. Having been to the playoffs in 2011, we know that we can do it. For us, it’s a matter of being consistent for the whole season. We hit a skid at a tough time this season and it cost us at the end. Every game is just as meaningful whether it’s in March or October.

The Brotherly Game reviews Amobi Okugo’s 2013 season and rounds up the doings of former Union players.

Local

Jonathan Tannenwald describes how Drexel and Penn are rooting for each other in the upcoming NCAA championship tournament.

Drexel graduate and Union defender Jeff Parke said, “I’m really proud of the team and what [Drexel coach Doug Hess] has done in qualifying for the NCAA tournament. It’s been an awesome year for those guys.”

MLS

It’s official: Orlando is the 21st MLS team and will begin play in the league along with NYC FC in 2015.

Don Garber said in a statement, “We are proud and excited to welcome Orlando to Major League Soccer. From the success of the Orlando City Soccer Club, to the incredible fan support and passion in the community, this is a new market that really excites us.

Orlando City SC president Phil Rawlins said, “It is a dream come true to bring MLS to Orlando. The fans in Orlando have clearly demonstrated that they are ready for MLS, and we look forward to celebrating with them and working together to set a new standard in this country. We have watched the evolution of MLS, and we are thrilled to join what has become one of the fastest growing and most exciting leagues in the world.”

More from OrlandoCitySoccer.com, the Orlando Sentinel, firstcoastnews.com, wftv.com, wmfe.org, MLSsoccer.com, Soccer America, ProSoccerTalk, ESPN, The Guardian, Goal.com, FIFA.com, UPI, and The AP.

Don Garber has affirmed his support for David Beckham’s bid to put an MLS team in Miami.

The Seattle Sounders have made Osvaldo Alonso a Designated Player.

DC United is giving behind the scene tours of RFK in an effort to drum up season ticket sales. Might that not, you know, backfire?

NWSL

The Houston Dynamo are considering fielding a team in the NWSL.

US

In another underwhelming performance, the US lost 1-0 to Austria in Tuesday’s international friendly in Vienna. Nothing like closing out the year with two dreary performances.

As much as a friendly can contain controversy, the Geoff Cameron goal that was not awarded (or the handball that immediately preceded it that was also not called) were nonetheless galling. Jurgen Klinsmann said after the game, “Yeah, it’s a friendly game, so I’m not going to make a big deal out of it, but I’m still asking why we’re in 2013 and [do] not have goal-line technology. It’s just a joke. Overall, I think we picked up the pace the longer the game went on, pushed and pushed, but the last bit of quality was missing in order to finish it off.”

Check out PSP’s match recap. More from MLSsoccer.com, ASN, ProSoccerTalk, Soccer America, ESPN, SI, SBI, Goal.com, and The AP.

Player ratings from Soccer America, ESPN, and Goal.com.

Goal.com looks for some bright spots in the US performance.

Voting is open for the 2013 Athlete of the Year at the federation website.

Here’s a quick Q&A with Tab Ramos about his plans after being named US Soccer Youth Technical Director. Ramos remains coach of the US U-20 MNT.

Elsewhere

With the World Cup field finally set — assuming Uruguay doesn’t blow its 5 goal lead over Jordan in today’s intercontinental playoff second leg (5:50 pm beIN Sport, beIN Sport en Espanol) — now its a waiting game until the group stage draw on Dec. 6.

Among the big news from Tuesday’s qualifiers is Cristiano Ronaldo defeating Zlatan Ibrahimovic, France coming back from a first leg 2-0 deficit to defeat Ukraine 3-0 in the second leg, and Mexico qualifying with a 4-2 win in New Zealand in the wee hours on Wednesday.

The Guardian has ten things learned from the last batch of qualifiers.

ProSoccerTalk argues that the 2014 World Cup could be the most competitive ever with 23 of the world’s top 24 teams qualifying. ESPN has a look at the field.

ESPN reports, “FIFA’s decision to extend the voting for the 2013 Ballon d’Or has been viewed in Spain as a blatant ploy to ensure Cristiano Ronaldo wins the prize.”

Considering how to address the growing income gap between clubs, Goal.com suggests, “Perhaps FIFA should look to MLS and the NFL as two leagues that promote sustainable franchises, while not promoting complete equality.”

Noting that “The use of witchcraft is reportedly common in soccer across sub-Saharan Africa,” the Associated Press reports on a “juju” dispute in Zimbabwe Premier League.

7 Comments

  1. I wonder if those RFK tours come with free tetanus and rabies shots

  2. If MLS doesn’t add a 3rd team in 2015 means that they will qualify as the most mismanaged league ever. Having an odd number of teams in a league where teams most frequently play once a week is stupid. To do it for three straight years (2012-2014) is idiotic. To then expand the league in such a way to continue to do it moronic and shows me that Don Garber is not fit for his job.

    • What is the big deal? Does it really make that much of a difference?

    • Or the fact that Chivas was bought in 2004 for $10 million and that Orlando just bought in for $70 million in 2013 could tell you that he is quite fit for the job. Money tends to talk……

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      I hate to disagree with you Andy, but in the history of professional US soccer, MLS is without a doubt the best run league ever, expansion pains aside. Certainly the league would prefer a more orderly process of expansion. But how many potential owners will be content to wait (or hurry up) to buy-in in order to make expansion orderly?

  3. The problem is that the standard of play is currently not very high (due to lack of good players) and now they are going to dilute it even more…. Steve Nicols at ESPN FC also has major issues with this and warned yesterday against expanding too much.

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