Daily news roundups

New Union CBO, more preseason games, open practice, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

New CBO

Philadelphia Union announced on Wednesday the appointment of Tim McDermott as their new chief business officer, charged with “responsibility for overseeing the team’s business operations, including working closely with their USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC, and the Philadelphia Union Academy.” McDermott comes to the Union from the 76ers, having previously worked for Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Capitals, and Comcast.

Union primary owner Jay Sugarman said in a statement, “We were targeting someone with a very strategic and competitive mindset, who understands and relates to the Philadelphia fan base, and has an incredible work ethic and character. Tim’s experience in the NFL, the NBA, and the NHL coupled with his knowledge of the Philadelphia market will enable him to serve as a tremendous business leader for the Union. With Tim and Earnie Stewart, the Union’s Sporting Director, I believe we have assembled a dynamic leadership team that should help position the Union for success both on and off the pitch.”

The move is in line with comments made last fall by Sugarman that he was “looking to add any talent we can” to the team’s business operations. However, it does into question chief financial officer Dave Rowan’s future with the club. Kevin Kinkead of CBS 3 and PSP tweeted before the announcement, “Sources: Union Executive Vice President and CRO Dave Rowan is out.” A Union spokesperson told PSP, “Club can confirm Rowan is still with the organization,” but no further details were provided. Stay tuned.

More on the McDermott announcement at PSPPhiladelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Business Journal, CSN PhillyDelco Times, and Brotherly Game.

Preseason

The Union announced an additional four matches to their preseason schedule, all of which are part of the Tampa Bay Rowdies hosted Suncoast Invitational tournament, bringing the total number of preseason games to six. The preseason match schedule now looks like this:

  • Feb. 6: vs. Jacksonville Armada (6 pm, Community First Park in Jacksonville)
  • Feb. 11: vs. Chicago Fire (TBD, Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex in Clearwater)
  • Feb. 17: vs. DC United (4 pm, Al Lang Stadium in Clearwater)
  • Feb. 20: vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies (7 pm, Al Lang Stadium in Clearwater)
  • Feb. 24: vs. New York Red Bulls (7 pm, Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex in Clearwater)
  • Feb. 27: vs. Toronto (4 pm, Al Lang Stadium in Clearwater)

At CSN Philly, Dave Zeitlin on the new faces, and new intensity, in the Union’s preseason camp.

Wednesday was the Union annual open practice at YSC in which fans get to watch the team train and later mingle with players and coaches. Here at PSP, Earl Gardner has photos from the day. Also, our resident video genius Daniel “Studio” Gajdamowicz put together a video from the event:

At Brotherly Game, Matt Ralph has some observations from the open practice.

At Delco Times, Matthew De George talks to Leo Fernandes about how his year away on loan to the Cosmos helped his development. I like this line: “‘Throughout the season I was more like a left winger, but I was able to drift into the middle,’ Fernandes said Tuesday, then added with a chuckle, ‘Wherever Raul wasn’t, I had to be there.'”

More

More from Motherwell manager Mark McGhee on James McFadden. Echoing a report we linked to on Wednesday, McGhee tells Glasgow Evening Times if McFadden doesn’t sign with the Union he’s welcome to stay with Motherwell. ”

The door is still open to James to stay, absolutely. Equally, I don’t know why there isn’t a queue of clubs in Scotland wanting his services. He has a decent level of fitness, he’s a terrific player. He’s not turning out for us every week, he’s sitting on the bench. There are a lot of teams in Scotland where he could be doing a lot of good.

I don’t know what will happen this week with him. There’s no update on his situation. I’ve not even spoken to him about it and I’ve just let him get on with things.

At MLS Multiplex, Andre Blake comes in at No. 3 on a list of the top 5 MLS goalkeepers to watch in 2016.

Tap Into Somers has profile on Taylor Washington being drafted by the Union. He really sounds like a good guy, looking forward to seeing him play.

At the Union website, Marisa Pila looks at the team’s new Sports Performance department, which is under the leadership of Bill Knowles, “a world-renowned athletic developer.”

Brotherly Game’s series on “silly offseason complaints” continues with Maurice Edu playing in the midfield.

Bethlehem Steel FC

RTÉ Sports reports midfielder James Chambers will join Bethlehem Steel from Irish Premier Division side St Patrick’s Athletic. Head coach Brendan Burke is quoted in the report, “We’re very happy with the group we’ve been able to assemble ahead of our first season. There’s really a strong mix of experience, both in USL and overseas, as well a promising blend of young players who we’re confident can take the next step in their professional careers. We’re looking forward to officially getting everyone together for preseason and begin to prepare for our first match on March 26.” Should be a bunch of signing news shortly.

Local

Ciaran Nugent, the former Harrisburg City Islanders goalkeeper, has signed with Irish Premier Division side Sligo Rovers.

The Daily Nexus talks to Carli Lloyd upon her recent appearance in Santa Barbara.

MLS

Player moves:

  • Official: LA Galaxy have signed Ashley Cole. It’s going to be fun booing the Galaxy on May 11.
  • Orlando have signed Honduran U-20 National Team defender and midfielder Devron García from Club Deportivo Victoria.
  • No official announcement yet but Orlando Sentinel reports Orlando City have signed El Salvadoran international midfielder Darwin Cerén “to a new four-year deal with a ‘significant’ raise.”
  • Houston have signed signed midfielder David Rocha, who comes to the team from Gimnástic de Tarragona in Spain’s Second Division, and defender Agustín Íñiguez (also known as Agus), who arrives from Spanish Second Division side Albacete.
  • Chicago have signed free agent midfielder Nick LaBrocca, who played for Colorado last year.

Portland head coach Caleb Porter has signed “a long-term contract extension” with the Timbers.

Ashley Cole on signing with LAG: ‘Hopefully, the LA fans will warm up to me. I know that it won’t be easy at the start, of course, but if I can just prove to them that I’m not here for a holiday, I’m here to work. I’m here to win things.” Holiday. Apparently Cole was on hand to see the Galaxy humiliate the Union in last season’s 5-1 road loss.

The Matt Miazga to Chelsea move has not yet been officially announced but the Daily Mail reports it’s a £3.5million, or $5,022,622.50, deal. SI reports that Miazga will not be loaned out when he arrives at Chelsea:

A source close to the Miazga deal tells SI.com that if the deal goes through, Chelsea would keep Miazga with its senior team for the remaining four months of this season and then evaluate his performance this summer.

At that point, Chelsea would decide either to keep Miazga or loan him out to another team. That would give Miazga at least four months to train (and perhaps play) with Chelsea’s first team and make his case for inclusion moving forward.

The Telegraph calls it “a shock bid to sign unknown New York Red Bulls defender Matt Miazga,” one “that will raise new questions over the Stamford Bridge club’s transfer policy.” In case author Matt Law isn’t being clear enough for you, he writes in another Telegraph piece about defender Gary Cahill’s future with Chelsea, “With Cahill considering his options, sources in Major League Soccer are shocked that Chelsea are signing Miazga in a move that raises further questions over the club’s recent transfer activity.”

ASN, Soccer AmericaYahoo Sports, and Pro Soccer Talk have reaction pieces to the Miazga transfer news.

Former New York Red Bulls and Chicago Fire head coach, and current Mexico head coach, Juan Carlos Osorio tells Mexican newspaper Excelsior he believes players in their prime should not move to MLS. Fox Sports translates, “I think that at some point they should go to America because it may be a long-term goal, but I think the time when a player is at his peak performance is to to be spent in Europe and not in MLS. I think at this time, [MLS] is for the end of a career and not to play there as a player still has much to give.” ESPN translates: “I believe that when a footballer is in his peak he should play in Europe and not MLS. [MLS] is for the end of a career and not for when a footballer still has a lot to give.” Osorio last coached in MLS in 2009. More at CSN Mid-Atlantic.

San Jose have released images of their new secondary jersey. Not bad, not bad at all.

At SI, “Renderings vs. Reality: Why do stadium designs frequently change?”

Miami Beckham United’s proposed Overtown stadium location will have limited parking. Team officials are counting on fans to walk or take public transit. Beckham representative Spencer Crowley told a meeting of Miami Young Republicans,

It’s natural, those of us who live and grew up in South Florida, to have some degree of skepticism on the parking issue. … I know Floridians like to drive. In order to really change, I think we have to give it a chance. This is a really exciting opportunity. It’s a really exciting experiment for this county and for this city…Our clients are convinced it will work. They’re convinced they’re going to create a product that will excite people and bring them to the stadium, no matter what they have to do.

Atlanta Journal Constitution reports, “The Marietta City Council Wednesday approved a lease and three other agreements with Atlanta United FC which will pave the way for Arthur Blank’s Major League Soccer franchise to build its team headquarters and six lighted soccer fields in the city.”

Temple graduate and formerly Philadelphia-based DJ and producer Diplo is leading an investment group that just bought a minority share of USL side Arizona United.

US

Fox Sports has secured the rights to the Copa America Centenario. The network said in a statement,

FOX Sports is planning expansive and comprehensive multi-platform coverage of the 2016 Copa America Centenario, televising all 32 matches live across 10 venues nationwide from June 3 to June 26, with matches appearing on FOX broadcast network, FS1 and FS2. In addition, FOX Sports expects to offer pregame, postgame and complimentary programming over the month-long tournament. Digitally, all games are available on FOX Sports GO, FOX Soccer 2Go and on desktops at www.FOXSportsGO.com. Full schedule commitments and coverage plans are expected at a later date.

The Guardian reviews some of the issues that will come up when the CBA between US Soccer and players on the USWNT expires later this year, principally staging games on artificial turf.

Elsewhere

The AP reports, “FIFA presidential candidate Jerome Champagne has criticised how corruption allegations were handled by UEFA, whose top administrator is a rival to lead world soccer.”

The Guardian reports, “Human Rights Watch has criticised Qatar’s promised changes to its labour laws before the 2022 World Cup, claiming they still leave migrant workers ‘acutely vulnerable.'”

From ESPN: “Bundesliga chief executive Christian Seifert has welcomed talks about the possibility of refreshing the Champions League, saying a European Super League could benefit German clubs.”

41 Comments

  1. Whose the bearded keeper in the video?

  2. Good news. McDermott hire. Knowles very involved.
    .
    Knowles will be on the frontline for preventing soft tissue injuries (i.e. Pontius).

  3. McDermott went from The Eagles to The Sixers to The Union. Is he going down the sports ladder or going up in job titles. His career arc confuses me.

    • Being in charge of marketing for the Sixers since 2013 is something I could see one burning oneself out of rather quickly. After a while of that, I’d probably be looking for a different rung on the sports ladder, any rung on the sports ladder.

    • Bigger fish in smaller pond, maybe? I can see that being a nice thing.

  4. Dan, Thanks for the video. Please keep more of this stuff coming.

  5. http://www.brotherlygame.com/2016/1/28/10787292/silly-offseason-complaints-part-4-the-union-keep-their-cards-too
    .
    From the story:
    “That’s why they leak stories to a few dedicated reporters like Kevin Kinkead.”
    .
    From the comments:
    “Are you sure that the team “leaks” stories to me? You don’t know anything about where my information comes from.

    -kk

    by KevinKCBS3 on Jan 28, 2016 | 10:05 AM”
    .
    .
    .
    *grabs popcorn*

  6. el Pachyderm says:

    I’m so tired of reading how the euro players say, ‘I’m just looking g to show I’m not on holiday and I’m here to win things.’ Sure looked to me like Gerrard was on holiday in the games I watched him play in.
    .
    Getting what you deserve on this one MLS… I think it is a holiday for these players and they are trying to convince themselves it isn’t.

    • I wouldn’t mind a player on holiday like Drogba. I’m not being sarcastic here. I truly think he was on holiday. One sponsored by MLS defenders. One where the defenders said “Here, towns all yours. Paint it in goals”. Ok, so maybe it was a “field day” instead. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Drogba “felt” like he was on holiday.

    • It’s not like the league made Giovinco work too hard. He’s calling all his friends saying,”no, for real, you just jog, a quick cut,shoot and score. Had my eyes closed for half of them!Wait til you see the Union!”

      • ouch… so true and ouch.
        .
        Giovinco is a really good player but he was a bit substitute for Juventus… change of pace guy mostly.
        .
        Dude was unstoppable here last season. Unstoppable.
        .
        Many I talk to say the level in Serie A is so low right now—- but they still play a game in Italy of which we are unfamiliar as Jack Nicklaus once said about a young Tiger Woods.

      • But you want players that are that much better here in MLS for a whole host of reasons. First, having people on another level in terms of talent will force the other players in the league to adjust and get better… or force teams to find better talent to defend them. Either way it’s a win for the league… Then there is the marketing of players of this calibre. Giovinco puts a$$es in the seats no matter how you slice, but especially for the home team. Lastly, it shows Europe that if you’re a player in your prime riding the bench for a Juventus or whoever and you actually, you know, want to see the field before you retire that MLS provides a decent alternative. And if you’re a Giovinco maybe you can parlay that into one last big-score contract in Europe. Riding the pine at Juve isn’t gonna do that for him.

      • At the time, behind Carlos Tevez and Llorente.
        .
        As a lot of other good strikers would be.

      • .
        In truth… Giovinco was never a striker for Juventus… he tended to be one of the 5 in the midfield pushing the outside channel… but I get your point… Juventus is the deep end of the pool.

      • I agree all around… and mostly I am thrilled players like Giovinco and Dos Santos are in their young prime and helping our players improve… and raise the league and bring eyes to TVs which is all important so MLS can get all the money….
        .
        My point is, as usual, an indictment on the league… yes its come a long way… NO, it will never be a top league… yes the single entity system is killing us…
        .
        …yes we should be producing Giovincos with our eyes closed by now… yada yada yada, el Pachyderm… words words words.
        .
        I know I know.

      • I’m not trying to egg you on or get you riled up, just generally curious why you think it will never be a top league and why single entity is killing us.
        .
        My personal viewpoint on the league is that pay-to-play and lack of solidarity payments are crippling youth development, combined with too low of a salary cap for MLS teams. I know the cap will increase and it needs to be relative to revenues, but in the not-too-distant (10 years or so) future, I can see a soft cap of $20 million with a luxury tax model. Money attracts the best players and if you can supplement that with genuine home-grown talent, you have a league that can be considered a top league. The solidarity payments would go a very long way on the player development front and as MLS/NASL/USL/etc enter new markets, the youth development can grow as well (if handled properly).
        .
        I’m not saying it’s guaranteed, but I also don’t believe it’s impossible. I’d be curious to hear why you think otherwise.

      • Nah this is all good… and I appreciate the questions as only through conversation can we understand the differing points of view.
        .
        I agree solidarity payments are an important part of youth growth…
        .
        I think pay to play has its place but is driving the boat too much and excluding a large portion of the population.
        .
        Regarding why I think we are crippled with a closed system- I feel I’ve expounded on in many different posts….
        .
        If you are asking me to reframe the point of view – I can do so – but it takes quite a bit of space on this particular thread to lay it out…
        .
        Maybe I will start a new comment below. Bed time routines first though.

      • For starters single entity demands homogeny in the product and football is one sport where culture at the local level and up to national level needs to drive clubs and that does not happen with the system we currently have in place… a team like Chattanooga FC, with the proper backing and vision and philosophy and plan and funding should without question be able to rise through the ranks of the soccer pyramid through merit if it so desires,
        .
        (thereby displacing a team like the Philadelphia Union for not getting its act together before it is too late/relegated…but it will never be relegated or too late for the Philadelphia Union so teams like the Union can languish in a cesspool of mediocrity and NEVER be punished unless it becomes so bad the team is moved and rebranded to another bunch of money interested owners in a different city SEE Chivas USA to LAFC).
        .
        … but it cannot because the ceiling says you can only be THIS good which is somewhere around Jacksonville Armada or NY Cosmos or Tampa Bay Rowdies…just this ONE point then is the tip of ONE of several hundred floating iceberg several thousand meters below the surface… with a ripple affect across the water that does not allow the full expression of the game to manifest. .
        .
        Just this ONE point…. and it turns out I’ve started making the argument…so maybe I will finish it up after bedtime…

      • And then you have a club like LMSC which produces some of the finest 8-10 year old players and teams in all of the east coast… but by the time the kids turn 14 or so, for the exception of a rare team or two, mostly fizzle out because there is no incentive for LMSC to continue developing its players.
        .
        There’s no cash reward..the trophy is the commodity on the website…
        .
        (whereas the player should be the commodity garnering cash for his play and call ups to senior teams and signing with clubs at the professional level or god for bid going overseas and the club puts that money back into the development of its youth players to make senior team and be sold on open market but no that doesn’t happen because of the single entity MLS system…)
        .
        ..but any money made on a specific player which is nil really winds up lining the pocket of the parent league instead of the club for redevelopment.
        .
        Where is the incentive for local club to develop world class players? Where is the incentive for MLS clubs to develop world class players? Come to think of it… why is our culture unable to develop world class players… because there is no incentive at the local level to develop them through local clubs vying for the highest levels of play. we will NEVER produce world class players with the current system maybe BVB will but not us.
        .
        Nowhere… we talk over and over about the drone like US produced player… they are all averaged but very very few exceptional ones… why is that?
        .
        Why is it that I watch training sessions at YSC where 14 year old kids track back to receive the ball form a mindless drill with fake dummies and the kid knows the ball needs to be laid off to the player who just passed it so he keeps his whole body closed to the field and just mindlessness lays it off and IS NOT corrected… instead of opening his body to receive with opposite foot then have choice in his next decision…. this is our professional academy with a recreational mindset still finding value in sending kids to college to play as an amateur after training in the professional setting…. and then the Sporting Director taking about how long the offseason is and how many days off there are in a schedule that is already ridiculously in favor of the Union backed player….but I digress.

      • I get so bent that it turns to a ramble of one iceberg after another… but hey lets stay with the model…
        .
        it’ll work… I guess.
        .
        I mean its a good thing that some professional clubs gain in value during this boom all the while putting a shit product on the field year after year… the Detroit Lions of MLS… it works for the NFL but it sure will not work for the game rest of the world has the market cornered on.
        .
        So you asked and I mostly answered…. for the exception of that Michael Goldmill character who helped out a bit.

      • I still think the pro/rel debate is overall silly at this point. I just don’t think soccer can handle it in our country yet. I’m not sure why we have to do everything like Europe does anyway. I mean other than this year it’s rare that teams moving up ever make any waves. I think it’s kinda a romanticized notion that pro/rel will fix all our woes. That said, our country is so big that I wouldn’t mind if we eventually (real long term here) had multiple top division leagues which would be geographically oriented. This would allow the structure to play out similar to Europe. Still not sure if it would require pro/rel. I think a minor league system like baseball uses could work too. Either way the more soccer being played the better.

      • I should add I don’t think people here think pro/rel will fix all our problems, just the general debates I have seen around.

      • And this is why we have the talk…I think pro/rel is the ultimate best solution but I do concede your point and like the idea of an East Divide MLS of 20-25 teams and a West Divide of 20-25 that NEVER play each other save US Open Cup. Each league has its own standings and shield winner and playoff and annual champion… and the top 8 teams from each league then enter the annual North American Champions League to crown the continental champion… this way Portland and Philly only ever play one another through the Open Cup or in the Champions league because who would care as much if the teams had inter league play… inter league play would be a no-no in this scenario. CONCACAF CL would come into question this way but at least the MLS teams would be playing more games in a longer season which absolutely has to happen… IMO… the offseason (time off) is ridiculous– as the Union Sporting Director kind of hinted at in his press conference yesterday.
        .
        I’m open to the discussion… love it actually…
        .
        and am not of a fixed mindset with the solution — at this point I still ultimately believe an open pyramid that allows teams to move up and down based on merit is the best solution as the league grows… but if that is never to happen how can we maximize the structure we have… I’ve made some similar arguments about this very thing on 3four3…
        .
        Good stuff A.

      • I could even get behind the idea of the playoffs having teams from both leagues too, but no way should there be any regular season interleague games.
        .
        Yes, the season must get longer. That should be a very high priority in my opinion.
        .
        I will say the idea of pro/rel is without a doubt one of the coolest ideas in sports where we are constantly rooting for the underdog. Especially with how Leicester City has done this year. But I also grew up knowing nothing of this concept as a kid in the US. I think a lot of other fans are this way too. I still think it would be a net loss for the sport from teams going down in this country, especially at this point.
        .
        The US structure has been successful in other sports and has worked so far for MLS. I will say that MLS without a doubt needs to get real free agency, loosen up that cap, and stop playing favorites/stop making up the rules/ease back on dictating which players teams can and cannot bring in.

  7. Now that you mention the Galaxy are coming to Chester on May 11 (a Wednesday night) I went back and checked and all 3 previous times the Galaxy have been here have been on weeknights (a Thursday in 2010 and Wednesdays in 2011 and 2013). Seems weird that they don’t come here on weekends.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      And on top of that… because they come East on a Wednesday, they never bring a full team. We play half of their reserves. I know it’s part of the travel required of MLS, but it sucks to not see them at full strength.

      • to be fair, at home or away, we’ve been embarrassed by them. as a spectator, i’m not hurting at those 4 more goals they didn’t score.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        I agree to a point. But it’s nice to see how you stack up, and it’s also nice to see some stars play, albeit some past their prime

    • James Lockerbie says:

      To answer your question it’s cheaper to fly mid week ha-ha-ha

  8. OneManWolfpack says:

    Jersey Question: Any one know if the Union are due for a new jersey this year? I still have an original “Bimbo-less” blue one, and none of the new ones over the past few years have interested me enough to buy. I was curious if something new was coming.

  9. Attempt to gather greater than just one of each discount
    as you may.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*