Daily news roundups

Union to face NYRB or Cosmos with USOC win, McLaughlin on TOW, sex OK for USA at WC, more

Photo: Courtesy of Harrisburg City Islanders

Philadelphia Union

US Soccer released potential fifth round US Open Cup pairings on Tuesday. If the Union defeat Harrisburg City Islanders when they visit PPL Park on June 17, they will host the winner of New York Red Bulls vs. New York Cosmos on, with Red Bulls visiting on June 24, and the Cosmos visiting an a to be determined date. If Harrisburg defeats the Union, they will be on the road to the winner of the New York Cup derby on June 24. The fifth round winner advances to the quarterfinals on July 8-9.

More power rankings: at MLSsoccer.com, the Union remain at No. 18.

Conor Casey comes in at No. 13, and Sheanon Williams at No. 19, in the latest Castrol Index Top 20 Performers list. In the Full Castrol Index, the top five Union players are Andrew Wenger (No. 27), Leo Fernandes (No. 61), Conor Casey (No. 64), Cristain Maidana (No. 79), and Danny Cruz (No. 85).

Brotherly Game has their stat hero (Maidana) and stat zero (Cruz) from Saturday’s win over Chivas.

At the Daily News, the headline on John Smallwood’s latest column reads, “Other MLS teams have deep pockets, why not Union?” But if you’re looking for an explanation of why the Union doesn’t have the deep pockets to “roll financially with the big dogs,” you will be disappointed. (If you want some insight into that question and why the Union operate essentially like a small market franchise, read PSP editor Dan Walsh’s column from July of 2013). Instead, the article couches the team’s need to sign a quality goalscorer with the rising the bar of expectation among fans after how high profile signings, including New York City FC’s signing of David Villa, elsewhere in the league.

People around the world recognize Philadelphia as a top U.S. city. All of the selling points appear to be in place for the Union to be a destination franchise, except for one — the money…

Whether Union management wants to concede the point or not, a Philadelphia franchise is considered “big market” in any professional sport.

Fans expect that it will roll financially with the big dogs…

The Union doesn’t have pockets as deep as New York, Toronto, Los Angeles and Seattle, but it can’t operate as if it’s the Vancouver Whitecaps or Columbus Crew, either.

There is a balance that can be reached. The price of doing business doesn’t have to be jaw-dropping high…

Despite 5 years of failure to do so, the Union must try again to acquire a reliable scorer. The thing is, it can be done without breaking the bank…

The Union just has to be willing to make a withdrawal, because all of the other selling points are already in place in Philadelphia.

So, all the Union owners need to do is open their wallets? Thanks.

Local

Ocean City Nor’easters (1-0-1) are on the road tonight to face NJ-LUSO Parma (1-4-1). Ocean City has an all-time record of 11-1-1 against Parma.

Jimmy McLaughlin, PSP’s Player of the Week, has been named to the USL PRO Team of the Week. He’s joined on the list by former Union man Chandler Hoffman. Receiving honorable mentions were Harrisburg’s Morgan Langley, another former Union player, and Luan Silva.

McLaughlin scored his first league goal of the season on Sunday, an 85th minute equalizer against Pittsburgh. “It’s always good to get the first one, get the gears rolling and hopefully there’s a lot more to come,” said McLaughlin. “I’ve felt very good recently, I’ve been very confident and I felt it coming. I’m glad it came. Getting the first one’s usually the hardest and you’ve just gotta go from there and keep the streak alive.”

You can see McLauglin’s goal at the 2 minute mark of this Goals of the Week highlight reel. It’s a beauty.

Harrisburg face Richmond Kickers on the road this Saturday. Last Saturday, Harrisburg lost 3-2 to Richmond after conceding a stoppage time equalizer.

Greece and Nigeria played to a 0-0 draw in a friendly at PPL Park on Tuesday. Look for our report later today. In the meanwhile, here are reports from the Inquirer and MLSsoccer.com.

The Daily News notes that the Nigerian team entered the field before kickoff accompanied by children bearing signs that said “#BringBackOurGirls,” a reference to the recent kidnapping of 400 schoolgirls by terrorists in Nigeria. Nigeria head coach Stephen Keshi said after the game that the demonstration of support was spontaneous. “We just met them here. Some of our family members are out there, and we are going on the pitch to represent Africa and Nigeria. We saw the girls with the cards and the T-shirts, and we thought we should take them along to the pitch. We are all striving for the same purpose.”

The home of the Union will be the site of the Ireland vs. Costa Rica friendly on Friday.

Cosmos Philly and the Greek-American Heritage Society of Philadelphia announced on Tuesday that a film about the history of Greek soccer in the Philadelphia area will be released this summer.

MLS

Two midweek matches involving Eastern Conference teams tonight. At 7 pm, sixth place Columbus (16 points) host Real Salt Lake. At 9 pm, ninth place Chicago (13 points) kicks off in Colorado. Both games are on MLS Live and Direct Kick. The Union are currently in eighth place with 14 points.

Sporting Kansas City announced on Tuesday the transfer of midfielder Oriol Rosell to Sporting CP in Portugal. In return, Kansas City “will receive two-thirds of the transfer fee to use as allocation money per MLS rules, as well as a percentage of any future transfer of Rosell from Sporting CP to another club.”

The Guardian on how Manchester City executives helped to facilitate New York City FC’s signing of David Villa.

With the England team in Florida preparing for the World Cup, Frank Lampard says of the rumors linking him to an MLS move, “The American thing is an option, I make no bones about that. I’m looking at different options, but the main thing is I want to carry on playing. I feel very fit and fresh and I’m enjoying it so … I’d love to play for a few more years. I can’t tell you where that is now and that is something to be parked at the minute.”

The Miami Herald reports that the number David Beckham’s representatives have offered to the city of Miami for yearly rent on the new proposed soccer stadium site “is so low that the city manager has called for the two sides to ‘take a breather.'” City Manager Daniel Alfonso says, “We’re just too far apart.”

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/06/02/4154204/miami-says-its-far-apart-in-early.html#.U43aW6r7tpY.twitter#storylink=cpy

Louisville City FC is to be announced as what I’m pretty sure is Kentucky’s first professional team later today. The team, which is being formed by the transfer of the Orlando City USL PRO franchise, will begin play in 2015. The team’s website is here.

NWSL

Two midweek games tonight. Chicago Red Stars host Washington Spirit, and FC Kansas City hosts Western New York Flash. Both games kickoff at 8 pm and will be live streamed at NSCAA TV and YouTube.

US

From the Department of We’ve Got That Going For Us, Jurgen Klinsmann will not ban US World Cup players from having sex during the tournament. “I think we are very casual in the way we approach things,” Klinsmann said in an interview with Fusion TV’s “The Soccer Gods” show. “Their families can come pretty much any time. They will be at the games, they can come by at the hotel, we will have barbecues together. Every nation is different. I’ve played in different countries where, you know, you didn’t see your girlfriend or your wife for two months.”

Nigeria forward Shola Ameobi says of this Saturday’s friendly against the US in Jacksonville, “It’s going to be volatile. It’s our last game before entering the World Cup so we have to be really hitting top form. The fact that they’re at home makes for a great atmosphere. It’s going to take our best game to beat them, and that’s what we’ll have to bring, that’s what we want to do — go into the World Cup on the back of a win.” Well done, US Soccer, for scheduling the game to overlap with two MLS games — including the Union hosting Vancouver — and end just as two more are getting started.

Soccer America notes, “The USA’s 2-1 win over Turkey on Sunday afternoon averaged 1,067,000 viewers, its largest audience of the year on ESPN2, but still smaller than that for a women’s college softball game the same day on ESPN and less than half that for the Mexico-Ecuador friendly the day before on Univision.” We’re doomed.

Men’s Journal has a fluffy profile on “The U.S. Team’s Top Defender,” Omar Gonzalez.

Goal.com on John Brooks.

ASN on Julian Green.

At SI, a “Meet the 23” omnibus feature on the US World Cup roster that includes videos, stats, bios “and the outlook for Brazil.”

At ProSoccerTalk, Richard Farley on why MLS is making a bigger impact on the national team.

The New Yorker on Jurgen Klinsmann’s “mandate to try to transform the state of soccer in the United States.”

ESPN has an interesting read on past US coaches going back to the 1990 World Cup with comments from former players. Union assistant coach Mike Sorber has insight on 1994 coach Bora Milutinovic and 1998 coach Steve Sampson.

Grant Wahl has a piece about Sports Illustrated having four different World Cup preview covers featuring Clint Dempsey, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Luis Suarez. This is, of course, a good thing but what will be an even better thing is when a soccer related SI cover doesn’t justify its own article.

Elsewhere

The Daily Telegraph reports that when Qatar was awarded the hosting rights to the 2022 World Cup, Bill Clinton, who was honorary chairman of the US bid to host the tournament, was so angry that, “After closing the door to his suite, he reached for an ornament on a table and threw it at a wall mirror in a fit of rage, shattering the glass.”

In the wake of this week’s Sunday Times article that alleges some $5 million in bribes were dispensed before the 2022 hosting rights vote, The Telegraph report continues,

In the wake of Qatar’s victory, the US and Australian governing bodies, or sources close to them, each hired teams of private detectives who have worked behind the scenes since, interviewing witnesses and obtaining documents in the search for what they were certain was the hidden truth about the motives of FIFA members in voting for Qatar.

Whether there is any connection between these investigations and the leak of documents to The Sunday Times is unclear, but Australia and the US have most to gain if Qatar is stripped of the World Cup.

As mentioned in Monday’s Tuesday’s roundup, the ongoing investigation into the 2022 World Cup vote being led by former US Attorney Michael Garcia will not consider the Sunday Times allegations. Reuters has a report detailing the timetable of the investigation, which is expected to conclude next week with a report to be released after the 2014 World Cup.

The Guardian has an Injured Best XI for this year’s World Cup.

The Daily Telegraph also has an interesting read questioning the orthodox view that Pele is the greatest player of all time.

10 Comments

  1. Smallwoods article is nice but like … are we so sure its true? That the ONLY thing we lack is spending owners? I mean, can we get some sources or stats or third party quotes to back that up?

    A stadium on the end of a third world city, NO training grounds, a short yet turbulent coaching and general team history (more bad signings than good, no history of youth development or making players better than they came here as, etc), a mainstream sports media market that cares about soccer -100%, ETC.

    I am just not convinced all the stuff John Smallwood talks about is as self evident as he claims.

    • The two biggest mistakes the owners ever made were:
      1) putting the stadium in Chester. Philly sports teams are centralized in one area so anything outside of that will never truly be accepted as a Philly team by the masses. As much as we hate to admit it, for a sports teams to thrive you need those casual fans. No one is casually trekking out to Chester especially with the lack of public transportation options.
      2) Not having a real training ground. For top players in any league team facilities are a major factor. Just no way around it that the Union have just been sub par in this area for the last 5 years and that is inexcusable.

      • The stadium in Chester wasn’t the owner’s idea, that was Rendell’s idea to spur development. The state gave public money to fund the stadium as long as it was built in Chester, as they also earmarked money for other improvements, such as housing, retail and a convention center. I completely agree with you, however, that they should’ve looked to build inside city limits where the team could’ve had more of a presence. It helps that you can see the other 3 complexes from 76, 95 and Center City to keep them a constant presence.

  2. scottymac says:

    Klinsi’s right -” I’ve played in different countries where, you know, you didn’t see your girlfriend or your wife for two months.”

    You can’t just leave that stuff to chance and need to schedule them spaced apart, not at the same time. This has been the issue holding US soccer back.

  3. John Ling says:

    On the one hand, I’m glad Johnny Smalls regularly gives column space to the Union. Unless I’m mistaken, he’s the only columnist at either paper that does so. On the other hand, with cutting-edge analysis such as, “if you spend it, they will come” it’s hard to take the column seriously.

  4. What a fantastic goal from McLaughlin. How often do you see a run that dynamic from the Union wingers? Imagine putting Pfeffer in the AM spot and Jimmy out on the wing…the homegrowns continue to be seemingly “too young” for the coaching staff, but there’s no doubt that they have talent and technical ability that others in the team do not have. They need to be under more consideration.

  5. Mike Eidle says:

    I now have no faith in the Castrol list – how is it possible that Vincent Nogueira is near the bottom. He has been our most consistent/best player this season.

  6. I learned something from that Grant Wahl piece. A great piece of trivia: who was the first soccer player ever on the cover of SI?
    .
    …wait for it…
    .
    BOB RIGBY!!!

  7. Bring on the NY Cosmos in Open Cup. My first football love in the absence of any competitive football in this town for years and years and years. I still love Union, but the first girlfriend will always hold a special place in the heart. I have the beautiful green jersey and will likely break it out for just this one game should it occur. Don’t hate on me.

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