Daily news roundups

Union bits, BSFC bobs, league stuff, national team news, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

The Union announced on Friday the trade of Zac MacMath to Colorado in exchange for the Rapids’ natural second round pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. More on the MacMath transfer at PSP, Brotherly GameVavel, Philly Sports Network, MLSsoccer.comColorado Rapids, Denver PostBurgundy Wave.

After that, the team passed on making a selection in Stage One of the Re-Entry Draft. Stage Two takes place on Thursday at 3 pm.

Part one of a two-part get to know Earnie Stewart video series from the Union:

Part Two will go up on Tuesday.

At MLSsoccer.com and CSN Philly, Dave Zeitlin reports on comments from Jay Sugarman following the Stewart press conference emphasizing the importance of the team’s new 16,000-square-foot, two-story training complex.

Sugarman said of the new training complex which, along with the training fields, represents a $10 million investment, “I think players are going to walk in next year and say, ‘This is the place I want to play. As you know, two years ago, we were playing in a public park. What great player is going to say, ‘That’s where I want to go?’” Indeed.

Sugarman also was candid in another regard, saying, “I don’t know enough about the sport to tell you what didn’t happen in the last five years. But I can tell you that having one guy in charge who’s got the background, the knowledge, the experience and the discipline that Earnie has is going to make a huge difference.”

Philly Voice reports on Zeitlin’s MLSsoccer.com report. Philly Soccer News and Brotherly Game have reports on the Earnie Stewart press conference.

Darius Madison is among those who have been invited to January’s MLS Combine. Jonathan Tannenwald tweeted on Friday confirmation from the league that Madison is still Homegrown Player eligible. Other local connections among the invitees include Neco Brett (Reading United), Keegan Rosenberry (Ronks, Pa., Reading United), Jamie Luchini (Lehigh), and Thomas Sanner (Princeton).

At Philadelphia Sports Nation, Union fan BJ Nolek on how it can be tough when you become friends with a player and that player is traded, as was the case for him with Cristian Maidana.

At the Union website, Charlotte Muscroft recounts the Union 5k run and holiday event at Talen Energy Stadium that recently took place. I’m still struggling with the new stadium name.

MLS Multiplex reviews the Union’s 2015 season.

Bethlehem Steel FC

Bethlehem Steel announced the signings of three players on Friday, midfielder Boluwatife Akinyode (from NYRB II), defender Michael Daly and forward Gabe Gissie (both from Sacramento Republic). Once a Metro has a good profile piece on Akinyode. Sacramento Bee has a good profile on Gissie. Indomitable City Soccer’s Joshua Beeman has a guest post at Brotherly Game on Daly and Gissie. More on the Daly and Gissie trade at Sacramento Bee.

Dave Zeitlin’s report at MLSsoccer.com on the team’s new training facility says the offices at Talen Energy Stadium previously used by the Union coaching staff will likely now be used by the BSFC coaching staff.

A report on efforts to create a USL Players Union notes players in the league on average earn $2,000 a month.

Local

New Harrisburg City Islanders president Roy Mehl says the team is committed to staying in Harrisburg, with building a new stadium a top priority, as well as landing a new MLS affiliation. Mehl says there is no new movement on the stadium front but he is confident a deal will be reached in 2016.

Hershey’s Christian Pulisic is among the nominees for US Soccer’s Young Male Player of the Year.

The NSCAA NCAA Division I All-American teams have been announced and there are several area connections. Rutgers forward Jason Wright was named to the second team, and Robert Morris midfielder Neco Brett to the third team. Both Wright and Brett have played for Reading United. University of Delaware Guillermo Delgado was also named to the third team.

MLS

Player movement news since Friday morning:

Executive director of the MLS Players Union Bob Foose says he’s happy the league is willing to spend more money on players but that Targeted Allocation Money is “frankly counterproductive”: “I think that the TAM funds should have simply been added to the salary budget and clubs should be allowed to spend them as they want to spend them within the context of how each club approaches building a team. At this point in the league it’s just not necessary. I think it’s counterproductive to be so micromanaged and so complex.”

In league disciplinary news, New England’s Jermaine Jones has been suspended for six games following his stoppage time freak out on Mark Geiger in the playoff match against DC way back on Oct. 28. Jones is also ineligible to play for the USMNT while he serves the suspension, which means he’ll miss the two World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala in March. Kansas City’s Krisztian Nemeth will miss the first game of the season while he serves a one-game suspension for “violent conduct endangering the safety of an opponent” in the match against Portland on Oct. 29.

ESPN isn’t worried about the underwhelming ratings for the MLS Cup final, they’re taking the longview.

NYCFC defeated the Puerto Rico national team 2-1 on Friday night. The team has also made additions to its coaching staff.

At the Los Angeles Times, more on new LAFC executive vice president of soccer operations John Thorrington.

With the league talking expansion to 28 teams, developers in Las Vegas want to get that city back in the conversation.

US

Having already booked passage to the U-20 Women’s World Cup with a crushing 7-0 win over host country Honduras in Friday’s CONCACAF U-20 championship semifinal, the US defeated Canada 1-0 on Sunday to claim the CONCACAF championship. Mexico defeated Honduras in the Third Place game to join the US and Canada at the U-20 World Cup.

Eight US players were named to the tournament’s Best XI, with Mallory Pugh winning the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball, and Rosemary Chandler winning the Golden Glove.

The USWNT defeated China 2-0 in Sunday’s World Cup Victory Tour match in Phoenix. The tour concludes on Wednesday against China in New Orleans (8 pm: FS1, Fox Sports Go).

Aloha Stadium, which was to host the USWNT friendly against Trinidad and Tobago before it was canceled because of poor field conditions, was opened for inspection by reporters on Friday. Attorney Brandee Faria, who is suing the Stadium Authority and US Soccer in a class action suit over the cancellation said, “The field was just a mess.”

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle on Abby Wambach’s post playing career plans.

The nominees for US Soccer’s Male Athlete of the Year are Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Brad Guzan, Fabian Johnson, and DeAndre Yedlin.

New York Daily News has an article informed by an hour long interview with Sunil Gulati that is largely sympathetic to the idea tha Gulati knew little of corruption at CONCACAF. One unnamed “soccer insider” says, “There is no stronger person pushing for reform. If you examine the post-indictment efforts, he’s been a champ.” The Daily News also reports, “Gulati said U.S. Soccer is also taking a good hard look in the mirror: It has hired the giant law firm Latham & Watkins to conduct a compliance review and the global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. to conduct a management review.”

Two goals from Jordan Morris helped Stanford to a 4-0 win over Clemson in the College Cup final. It is Stanford’s first-ever national men’s soccer title.

Elsewhere

Here’s the draw for the Euros (analysis of the draw at ESPN, SI), as well as the Champions League Round of 16 and Europa League’s last 32 teams.

From Reuters: “Swiss authorities are reviewing 133 reports of suspicious financial activity linked to the decisions by soccer’s ruling body to let Russia and Qatar host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals, the Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) said on Monday.”

Another from Reuters: “A sports marketing company that was described in a sweeping indictment this month as retaining contracts because of the “support” of corrupt soccer officials has longstanding ties to the U.S. entertainment company 21st Century Fox, according to securities filings and other government documents.”

More from Reuters: “Suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter refused to back up Franz Beckenbauer’s accusation that 2006 German World Cup organizers had to pay world soccer’s governing body a cash amount in order to release a bigger payment back to them, calling them absurd.”

Still more from Reuters: “FIFA’s Ethics Committee have subjected European soccer chief Michel Platini to a ‘sham procedure,’ the Frenchman’s legal team said on Friday after he lost an appeal to have a provisional 90-day ban overturned.”

Also from Reuters: “Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia is comfortable with progress CONCACAF has made after pushing the regional soccer body to make several changes but reserves the right to pull its sponsorship if it does not see complete transparency, a source familiar with the company’s thinking said on Friday.”

From Reuters: “The South American Football Confederation, CONMEBOL, would likely have elections in January to re-organize its executive committee after U.S. corruption charges against top officials, the body’s interim president said on Friday.” On Friday, the confederation announced the resignation of president Juan Angel Napout, who was arrested in Zurich recently as part of the FIFA corruption investigation.

40 Comments

  1. So nice to be able to read one blog and get all the soccer news.

    • Indeed, in fact I feel a little guilty since its obvious how much work goes into news reported here.

      Am i missing a way to support these guys? I’ve written PSP in the past asking if there is even a freakin t-shirt, something I can buy.

      How bout setting up a patreon account or something, I’m sure there are many of us that would pitch is a few bucks a month for such quality reporting.

  2. Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

    The most intersting quote from Sugarman is that they be setting up a scouting system and no longer relying on agents to bring forth players. It is absolutely absurd that for 5 years this team (according to the owner) relied on scouts to find players. Could you imagine any other business running like this. When you look at the awful contracts that this team has been saddled with over the past 5 years,i guess it shouldnt come as a surprise, but it is a really scary and damning inditement on how this team had been run.

    • You’d be surprised at how many clubs around the world primarily depend upon agents to find them players. The rationale for it is that you’re likely going to have to pay one or two agents as part of any transfer so why not skimp on the club’s overhead by keeping a small scouting team.

      I’m not advocating it, just saying that most clubs around the world are strapped for cash and do things this way.

      • True but those teams almost exclusively play in lower leagues.
        .
        According to “The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Football is Wrong” by Chris Anderson and David Sally, there is a direct correlation between the level of play and the amount of money invested in player scouting. I do not have the book with me but I remember something along the lines of Premier teams have about 50-100 full time employees in their scouting department, the Championship has 25-30, and League One and Two generally have about 3-5 though they usually have multiple duties such as scouting upcoming opponents and so those teams rely a lot on agents and coaching/player connections to teams in other leagues.

      • I hate to say it, but the way MLS is run financially with a salary cap, it’s closer to Leagues 1 & 2 in England than it is the Championship.

        BTW – those numbers for the Prem and Championship have to be inflated (like something that Sak would say). They have to include part-time scouts who they can access on an as-needed basis as well as members of the coaching staff who also scout. The coverage that Prozone and Opta provide now can let clubs leverage off of a much smaller staff.

        BTW – Is that book any good?

      • I would agree, but that is not where the Union or the MLS want to be. So investing more into this area should be expected.
        .
        In the book they admit the exact numbers are not known and their information came from an experienced (possibly retired) scout.
        .
        I think it is very good book. Granted, the sport is much more difficult to quantify then any other but the book still is very thought provoking. I remember that reading the actual numbers for scoring directly from a corner caused me to open my mind to playing short corners more often.
        .
        EDIT: Being unable to recall the exact numbers now makes me think it is time to reread it…

  3. el Pachyderm says:

    Well there is no question UEFA wants France to go through. Works for me.
    .
    I have to admit I find Mr Sugarman’s honesty a bit refreshing regarding his limitations with the game.
    .

    • Agreed on Sug, good leaders aren’t afraid to admit mistakes. Sug COULD have laid that at Sak’s feet solely, but he knew it was HIS responsibility to oversee Sak and (even though he doesn’t need to be an expert) he didn’t do his due diligence and didn’t press his agenda.
      .
      NOW he’s got somebody with a shared vision AND a plan that is getting out in front in no uncertain terms and cloudy obfuscations.
      .
      This whole situation is going to be a very nice case study (either way) for my clients in the future.

  4. Riddle me this…
    .
    How is Darius Madison still homegrown eligible when Keegan Rosenberry is not?

    • el Pachyderm says:

      The answer is clear… clearly MLS makes it up as they go.
      .
      And I agree with Bob Foose… stop telling clubs where to put the damn Coke machine and how exactly to make the Pizza.Pizza.
      .
      Little Cesar’s the MLS.

    • Riddle me this… Why haven’t we signed him yet?

      Unless he doesn’t want to be here.

      • My thoughts exactly. Could be as traitorous as he sees the Union as a hot mess and wants to stay away or it could be as innocent as not wanting the added pressure of being a local pro (less we forget that was one of the driving forces to Nogueria joining the U).
        .
        Most likely the answer is somewhere in between but it is hard to believe that they have not tried to sign him.
        .
        Another thought is holding out from signing as leverage for a better contract?

      • I was talking to my brother who played with both of them. Keegan didn’t play for the Union U18 fall team his senior year. Chose to focus on his high school team instead. Darius on the other hand did. That must be the difference, because otherwise I have no idea why he’s not eligible.

    • it’s all in one handy chart:

      http://i.imgur.com/UnDZ1kU.jpg

  5. I’m very interested in what the City Islanders are going to do for a stadium in 2016. There’s been rumors that they’d play in Lancaster, which would be great to be able to go see live games on a regular basis. I guess we’ll see. A Bethlehem trip would be interesting too though. On a side note, we really need more soccer specific stadiums in the US or at least be hosting more US teams games in them. It’s so embarrassing to watch USWNT games played in stadiums with the football lines and logos all still super visible. Also was really saddened to see how few people were attending the college cup. PS Does anyone else find Taylor Twellman super obnoxious?

    • My (totally uninformed) guess is that at this point, they’ll play on City Island again next year, as it’s doubtful any stadium construction will begin on its original 2016 timetable thanks to PA’s budget standoff. Once that’s (fingers crossed) finally resolved, they’d probably start construction in 2017 and play in Lancaster then, before moving back to the new stadium for 2018. That’s my wild guess, at least.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      And to think we are about to host Copa.
      .
      Twellman may be a bit obnoxious but he tells it like it is IMO. He calls junk soccer junk and we need more of that.

      • Agreed. I try to watch the College Cup every year and I find it so poor that I bail every time. Can’t imagine having to watch that for a living.

      • I think it’s more he just talks and talks and talks just to hear himself. There’ll be a big play unfolding and he’s just talking right over top of it.

    • I don’t watch much college soccer but I do try to watch the College Cup every year and every year I wonder why does the clock count down and why can’t they only have 3 subs like any other soccer game. I get it (its college kids) so why not let them have 4 subs or something like that instead of the current policy.

  6. I think someone at Reuters wants the riff raff out of world football.

  7. el Pachyderm says:

    I like that our Sporting Director calls the game football. It engenders me with a bit of hope. Verily I say to you… I hate soccer… soccer is part of the problem. Yes…. it is.
    .
    Here’s to the Union putting groundwork together for a game that begins to resemble the world’s game and not this pugnacious oppositional defiant child with ADHD we call soccer in the USA.
    .
    Down with soccer and all its cute iterations.

  8. If you read the MLS piece on the new facility, I suggest reading the comments at the bottom. Most of them are from fans of other teams, and almost every single one is a positive comment wishing is the best.
    Dammit…how am I supposed to hate you if you become as polite as a Canadian?!

    • Right? I was almost afraid to read the comments, which are usually full of haters/trolls. Glad to be wrong in this case 🙂

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