Photo: Earl Gardner
Maurice Edu successfully underwent surgery on his broken leg on Tuesday. Here’s wishing him a speedy, and complete, recovery.
At the Union website, Chris Pontius talks about finally getting the injury monkey off his back this season, one in which he “set new career highs in games played, games started, minutes played, assists, shots on goal, and tied a career high for goals in a season.” Pontius says, “All I want is to be healthy, stay healthy, and be a big part of this club moving forward in the future.”
At the Union website the fan vote for Player of the Year is now open. The format is not a straight vote but is instead a bracket-style format. I don’t know why. Up first to advance to the quarterfinals is CJ Sapong vs. Roland Alberg, and Alejandro Bedoya vs. Brian Carroll.
Keegan Rosenberry and Fabian Herbers were candidates for SBI’s Rookie of the Year award but Jordan Morris won.
Want to win a signed Keegan Rosenberry player card? Click here to enter.
Section 215 talks to Rockhound Apparel’s Derek Sell, designer of a new line of Sons of Ben merchandise.
Congratulations to former Union man Michael Lahoud for winning the NASL’s Humanitarian of the Year Award.
Bethlehem Steel FC
At the Bethlehem Steel website, a Q&A with Brendan Burke about the team and his first year as its head coach.
In the latest NSCAA/USA Today high school boys soccer rankings, Lower Dauphin (Hummelstown, Pa.) moves up five spots to No. 4, while Salesianum School (Wilmington, Del.) drops one spot to No. 7, and West Chester Henderson (West Chester, Pa.) moves up 14 spots to No. 11. Conestoga (Berwyn, Pa.), at No. 2 last week, drops out of the top 25 but still received votes, as did Pennington School (Pennington, N.J.).
In the high school girls rankings, Neshaminy (Langhorne, Pa.) moves up two spots to No. 15, and Parkland (Allentown, Pa.) moves up three spots to No. 20.
At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle reports,
The MLS Players Union, along with Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin, has filed a motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit filed against them by three youth clubs.
The motion argues that the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Texas lacks “personal jurisdiction” over the MLSPU and the players named in the original lawsuit. The MLSPU also filed a separate motion that if the suit is not dismissed, the MLSPU requests a change of venue to Massachusetts.
Swiss international midfielder Blerim Dzemaili says he’s leaving Serie A side Bologna to sign with Montreal Impact.
You will recall Italy head coach Giampiero Ventura said he did not call up Sebastian Giovinco for the upcoming because the forward “plays in a league that doesn’t count for much.” Says Andrea D’Amico, Giovinco’s agent, “I was surprised by what Ventura said. I think that without knowledge, you cannot be competent. The national team coach and his staff are obliged to go and see all Italian players in action, no matter what league they are playing in or the country they are in…Being in the national team is every footballer’s objective. A national team coach makes his decisions, but he must also know down to the finest detail all of the material he has at his disposal.” More on the Giovinco snub at The Guardian.
Atlanta United will unveil its inaugural home kit on Tuesday, Nov. 15.
At MLSsoccer.com, a look at the progress of construction of LAFC’s new stadium: “According to LAFC president and owner Tom Penn, construction continues ahead of schedule”.
At Yahoo Sports, Leander Schaerlaeckens on Friday’s USA-Mexico game in Columbus:
But there’s an elephant in the room, casting a shadow over all that soccer buzz. One representing the elephantine political party in a red power tie. The one who rhetorically drapes himself in the American flag, with a propensity for making dramatic statements, angering and alienating Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, and promising to build tall walls.
This game, this direct bout between neighboring countries, it won’t have escaped you, falls just three days after a national election that put the United States’ very relationship with Mexico on the presidential ballot.
And at such a sensitive time in U.S.-Mexican relations, the partisanship of sports, even when largely unserious and driven by fandom, rather than geopolitics, can resonate further than it’s intended to. For the most part, American fans will cheer for their team, and root against Mexico, because El Tri just so happens to be the Yanks’ opponent. There probably won’t be much more subtext to it than that for the overwhelming majority of fans. But the optics of it will be deceiving, with a mob of red-white-and-blue clad Americans pitted against neighbors outfitted in green.
Alan Gordon has replaced Jordan Morris on the US roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and Costa Rica. Morris has a hamstring strain.
This player’s potential is limitless. I’ve always said, you need to write your own story and he’s doing it right now. I think it’s rare in America for a player to be so developed at such an early age, but in Europe if you’re good enough, you’re old enough. He’s taken things in his own hands. He’s the piece of the puzzle we were hoping for this year and he’s a great example to other young players about how to go for it – to play at the highest level and prove yourself.
SI has more on the young players on the US roster.
The subject of criticism at times for a perceived lack of attacking quality, Bedoya is still someone who is a good bet to start against Mexico. His defensive work, coupled with his underrated ability to combine with teammates and contribute to the attack, make him a viable option on the right wing. His defensive work will be needed if Osorio deploys Miguel Layun and ‘Tecatito’ Corona on Mexico’s left flank, as expected.
Bedoya has experience against Mexico, having started in the World Cup qualifying win here in 2013, and prior to that he started in the 2011 Gold Cup final loss to El Tri. He hasn’t played in two weeks after the early playoff elimination of his Philadelphia Union, but the same can be said for fellow wing option Graham Zusi.
Klinsmann could choose to try something different from a formation standpoint, which might open the door for Bedoya to play centrally. Whether he is wide or in the middle, Bedoya will be expected to provide a high work rate and enough of an attacking presence to force Layun to respect the threat.
Jermaine Jones talks to Goal.com about how the USA-Mexico game was a motivator in his recovery from the knee injury that saw him miss three months of play.
Sacha Kljestan is ready for Friday’s game, broken nose and all.
At ESPN: “The result of U.S. vs. Mexico doesn’t really matter for qualification hopes.”
FourFourTwo on “The dangerous distraction that is ‘Dos a Cero’.”
ESPN also looks at the tricky road games the US will face in the Hex.
Doctors could be allowed to watch TV replays of collisions from the touchline next season and then have matches stopped in response to growing concerns about the dangers of concussion.
Medics would be given time to assess whether a head injury required a player to be substituted, if the International Football Association Board presses ahead with granting approval at its annual meeting in March.
Members of soccer’s lawmaking body have also told The Associated Press that they are looking to allow coaches to watch feeds of games on the bench for tactical reasons — provided they aren’t used to incite protests to officials.
Reuters reports, “The former president of Venezuela’s soccer federation is expected to plead guilty to U.S. charges stemming from a bribery investigation involving FIFA, the sport’s world governing body, according to court records filed on Tuesday.”
FIFA has announced that Cornel Borbély, “chairman of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee and chief of investigation,” has recommended that former Honduran FA president Rafael Callejas be given a lifetime ban after his guilty plea for racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy in US federal court last March.
The AP talks to Ammar Sahar, a Syrian refugee in Germany who is also a referee who hopes to one day officiate in the Bundesliga.
From ESPN: “Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup should encourage other countries near the equator to bid for major sporting events in the future, says an official in the country’s Supreme Committee planning group.”
At Fox Sports Australia: “Football Manager: The sports game that has started to actually influence the sport in real life”.