Daily news roundups

News roundup: US uniform drop, Ayuk’s future, Union scrimmage, more

Photo courtesy of U.S. Soccer

Philadelphia Union

The Union drew 3-3 with Orlando in a 135-minute, three-period scrimmage. Notching for the Union were Jay Simpson, C.J. Sapong, and an absolute highlight-worthy blast from Ilson Jr. More from PSP.

New Union striker Jay Simpson is also the guest on the latest KYW Philly Soccer Show.

Christian Pulisic, Jordan Morris, and Bobby Wood sandwich Union man Alejandro Bedoya in all-red in the latest USMNT uniform reveal.

Jacob Born continues the Union’s positional preview series with a look at wingers. The series divides midfielders between holding, attacking, and wingers, adding further speculation on who will play where. Chris Pontius, Fabian Herbers, Ilson Jr., Eric Ayuk, Fafà Picault, and Marcus Epps are all listed as wingers.

Born reports that Ayuk once again finds himself further down the depth chart after seeing time with the first team two seasons ago. Epps “is expected to see time both with the Union and Bethlehem Steel FC this season.”

The Brotherly Game reports that Danny Cruz has signed with NASL team San Francisco Deltas.

Major League Soccer

FC Dallas drew Estudiantes de La Plata 1-1.

San Jose hosted SF Deltas and lost 0-1.

Toronto FC beat Miami FC 6-1.

Sacha Kljestan scored two for the Red Bulls in a 2-0 win over NYCFC.

Houston took down New England 2-0.

Real Salt Lake gave Minnesota United FC an MLS warmup in a wild 3-3 draw.

The Chicago Fire improved to 3-0 in games that don’t count, beating Montreal with a blitzing 4-1 scoreline.

Bob Bradley to LAFC?

ICYMI: The Vancouver Whitecaps announced the signing of another returning MLS star. Benjamin Baer writes on how the Whitecaps can best utilize Fredy Montero.

NYCFC sign Maxi Moralez as their third DP. The Argentine midfielder may be a diminutive 5’3″, but he boasts an impressive record over four seasons at Serie A side Atalanta and the last two years in Liga MX with León.

NYCFC also signed former Portland winger Rodney Wallace.

Youth and local soccer

The Parkwood U15 Boys Soccer Team will be holding tryouts on the 13th, 14th, & 16th of March from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Parkwood Fields.

Warrington Soccer Club has paid coaching positions open for younger age groups.

YSC announces its indoor cup.

Hershey Invitational takes place on Father’s Day weekend. Speaking from personal experience, soccer in any form is an excellent way to show filial appreciation.

US Soccer

If February 14th was a lonely affair, I offer you solace in a belated valentine from US Soccer. The new kit isn’t a rocket pop costume, but it does look a little familiar.

The new uniform will be first worn by the USWNT at the SheBelieves Cup. It will also grace the shoulders of the men’s side when they attempt to right the ship of World Cup qualifying against Honduras on March 24.

Around the Globe

Arsenal played at Bayern Munich yesterday. “Played” may be a strong word for their second half showing, in which the London side conceded four to an ascendant Bayern, losing by a final score of 5-1.

Real Madrid hosted Napoli and will take a 3-1 lead into the second leg in Italy. Maybe with the help of some creative groundskeeping?

36 Comments

  1. Streamed the second half of the Munich-Arsenal game while finishing up at work…Arsenal got dominated. It could have been even worse.

    • I Am Citizen Insane says:

      The picture of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain irately pitching a fit in the middle of the field while he presses and every one else fingers their sphincter tells us so much…..right there alongside the scene of Mesut Ozil casually strolling around field (all game) offering nothing in defense then turning and yelling at one of his teammates for who knows what… right alongside Mustafi berating Xhaka I guess on a Bayern goal.
      .
      .
      People argue either side of the equation regarding Arsene Wenger but from my POV– there is and has been and will continue to be a lack of optimal functioning tactically so long as he is in charge. His belief in allowing the players to figure it out on the field is not at all effective against the top managers in the world and this plays out over and over and over and over and over and over again. What happened yesterday was a MANAGERIAL issue not a player issue. Totally unprepared tactically.
      .
      .
      Bayern weren’t even that good… unlike PSG who played magnificently.
      .
      ~~~~ Wait this is a Union site. Sorry. Good job yesterday in preseason 3-3 friendly in Florida.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Hey now Elephant… don’t be comparing MLS preseason to knockout round Champions League. HA! But you’re right – PSG was on another level yesterday

  2. Was in the Clearwater area yesterday and was able to stop by the scrimmage for the first 45 minute session which included much of what will likely be the first unit. I came away hopeful and impressed.

    Harris is the real deal at the number six. Excellent vision and positioning with a highly cultured foot. He can bend balls in, through and over defenders with laser like precision and hit teammates in stride. The team held a shape and worked inside, out and back in.

    The ball movement overall was very impressive. The Union dominated this time on the field in terms of possesion.. Once again the final piece for the most part was missing, but the buildup was better than anything we have seen in recent memory. Pontius was pushed forward and had possession in some dangerous spots, but could not finish or get the final pass through.

    Lots of quick short touches in the center of the field, unlike most recent Union Sides.

    Bedoya still trying to figure out what his role is in the offensive half. Harris doing a lot of the quartbacking from the back. He moves well and is a much larger presence than Nogs on the defensive end.

    Gooch looked fit, perhaps a bit slow. He got caught a step behind on the first Orlando goal. Still he was a force in the air and definitely had a presence. Hope he stays healthy.

    This team still needs a first line striker.

  3. These Nike template kits are so boring and undistinguished. The money is great, but bummed Spurs dropped Under Armour to sign with Nike starting next season. Now at least 3-4 other teams in Europe will be wearing the same thing as us each year. C’mon Nike, you don’t have the resources to mix it up a bit? USA gets the same jersey as Portugal and England and PSG?

    • Definitely uninspired. At least it’s not as bad as those black red and blue monstrosities.

    • couldn’t agree more. the last round of kits were terribly boring and so is this one. they should just use hanes as their shirt provider and wear the plain white t shirts that you can get in the 4 pack

    • Agreed. Nike kits in general are the worst. I am consistently disappointed by the US kits.

    • Does Nike/US Soccer really make enough money off people buying the new one every year to justify the annual change?
      .
      They need to pick something and stick to it.
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      In my opinion, the white shirts with horizontal red stripes were the best and should have stayed. They actually reflected the flag (and would fit with the new USA crest).

  4. The game on Saturday will be streamed on Youtube per the preview article on the Union website. No details yet tho.

  5. I guess Ayuk is just not developing? He played reasonably well for us (albeit in a very down year) two seasons ago. You’d think he’d have had to have not improved at all or even regressed to be on the outside looking in in the face of a 2nd round draft pick.
    .
    Then again, isn’t he a Rainbow FC guy? I suppose there could be elements of his contract that make it less desirable for the Union to focus on him.

    • I Am Citizen Insane says:

      He’s 19 so still pretty young….ish. Hoping he gets call ups for Open Cup games as IMO this is an acceptable metric of development to show he is progressing.
      .

    • I think he just finds himself behind better players. In 2014 it was Le Toux and Cruz? Now you have Pontius Herbers and Ilson.

    • Or maybe he is what he is, a quick, not necessarily fast, diminutive winger who gets bodied off the ball easily. Or Epps Day 1 was better. Or Il$inho. Or Bedoya to the wing. Or Herbers.
      .
      I’m sure he’s developing, but his starting point may be so far behind where everyone else already is to make it beside the point. Add in the intl slot requirement and he’s more a roster liability than on-field asset.

      • I think that International spot is a big part of it. If he’s not going to be a constant factor in the 18, that’s a waste of an international spot.
        .
        If he earns it, the have at it. But until then, we need all the difference makers we can get.
        .
        The simple way of looking at it: Would you rather have Auyk or Herbers occupying the “Young International Wing” spot on our team?

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      He showed well last season at the USL level with Bethlehem. He was a player who could make an impact.
      .
      His year was heavily affected by being called up to the Cameroonian youth national team, U-20s I am pretty sure thanks to Citizen Insane’s birthday reminder. That call-up lasted over 2 months. No, that is not a typo.
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      Cameroon is hosting the U-20 tournament for all the qualifying national teams in Africa, and they held a 2 1/2 month camp to make sure they qualified. A serious effort is being made by their national federations, a new stadium, all the trimmings. [der Fussballzuschauzer was the go to guy for the details last summer.] Ayuk started for them, and they achieved qualification.
      .
      because his 20th birthday falls this year he is eligible for the final tournament and will almost certainly be invited to preliminary camp. If he shows well he will be away for the duration of the tournament. I do not know details of the tournament’s length.
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      Speculating on the basis of not one single shred of factual evidence, last year and this year’s call-ups may have been predictable in advance and may have influenced roster decisions.
      .
      That being said, he did not have a consistent impact on the one Union game he played at the end of last season after the USL season was over, only flashes. He did get off one decent shot, but I don’ think it was actually on frame.
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      I recall being disappointed for him in his performance because he was clearly being tested prior to the expansion and other drafts and the finalizing of a roster implementation plan for the off-season.
      .
      He has a repertoire of a few individual moves that worked with good consistency at the USL level, not so much in the one MLS datum available. We have seen Marcus Epps only for one 30 minute stretch against Chicago Fire’s bench. Comparison is not yet warranted.

      • I Am Citizen Insane says:

        You’re commentary is a valued asset.
        .
        X Marks the spot.

      • I read he is with his national team as we speak. While a great honor for him it’s killing his real job with extended absences.

        • I remember when he first came on the scene that Curtin stressed that he while very talented, he is kind of raw and will need time to develop.
          .
          I would guess that the Union looks at his time with his national team almost as a short loan spell for playing time, which will only help him in the long run.

  6. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Thank you Josh Trott! You are familiar name, but this is a new role.

  7. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Apropros of nothing above, neither the MLS informal roster listing on the MLS website, nor the Union’s own roster yet give any indication that the Union acquired the rights to Adam Najem as a home grown player.
    .
    perhaps relevant to that detail, when you click the MLS website’s link at the bottom of the page in black as displayed on a laptop PC, the Rules and regulations link still goes to a document dated January 1, 2016.
    .
    Of further relevancy, I do recall that the January 1 dated document did not actually appear until sometime in March. The date given is inaccurate as far as this general consumer of public information is concerned, more than two months inaccurate. the IRS would not accept such back-dating as legal, one suspects.

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