Daily news roundups

News roundup: Union starting lineup?, GK McGuire trialing, new roster rules, more

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Philadelphia Union

Training news from Kinkead’s twitter: Creavalle, Davies, and Picault training separately; Jones at CDM, Ilsinho at CAM, Simpson at ST in practicing first team lineup; Jack McGuire, Houston Dynamo draft pick, is trialing for a backup GK job; Edu is able to run but not able to practice yet.

A look at this weekend’s Opening Day opponent, Vancouver Whitecaps.

Local

Talen Energy Stadium hosts its first two soccer games of the year as England takes on France and the US faces Germany in the first matches of the SheBelieves Cup.

Bethlehem Steel FC announced three additional preseason matches.

MLS

MLS announced its official 2017 Roster Rules and they are particularly beneficial for teams trying to build from their academy: “With a continued strategic focus on cultivating young talent, two off-budget roster spots have been added to every club’s roster to sign additional Homegrown Players.  Clubs may also now use up to $200,000 of their existing Targeted Allocation Money to sign Homegrown Players to their first professional contract.”

A rundown of all the new Homegrown Players in MLS. About the Union’s set of homegrowns: “Expectations for Union Homegrowns have never been this high. Now that the club’s YSC Academy is three years old, there’s a legit stable of young talent in the pool. And it may be a small pool for now, but there’s certainly quality in it. The 18-year-old Auston Trusty is a US U-20 international center back who’s mature beyond his years and has legit pro size already at 6-foot-3…There’s no substitute for experience, and Trusty’s had plenty of it on the national team level (and at USL side Bethlehem Steel) over the past couple years. He’s a bonafide high-end prospect…Center back Matthew Real signed a USL deal with Bethlehem Steel this offseason, and he’s probably the best overall prospect to emerge from YSC Academy so far. He might not crack the Union first team in 2017, but keep an eye out for 2018 and beyond.”

Matthew Doyle asks one question of each team. For the Union: “Can Jay Simpson conjure the spirit of Bradley Wright-Phillips? Simpson was the single weirdest signing any team made this offseason.”

Sports Illustrated looks at every team’s jerseys for the 16-17 season. About the Union’s: “No other team is saddled with as wide a disparity in impact between its home and away uniforms. The Union primary already is a classic, and when well executed (it isn’t always) it features one of the best jerseys in MLS history. Last year’s nearly-perfect set returns. But the secondary again falls flat. This year’s is slightly better than the all-white 2015-16 kit thanks to the navy sleeves and side panel. It’s not ugly. But Philly has gorgeous colors and imagery to work with, and these aways just don’t bother trying. And removing the gold from the crest is branding malpractice.” Can’t say I disagree too much.

Paul Tenorio claims to have “the most accurate 2017 MLS predictions you’ll find on the internet.” Union fans will be hoping he’s all hot air, as he joins the growing list of voices placing the Union dead last in the conference.

MLSSoccer released its initial power rankings, and it’s a bit more complimentary of the Union, placing them 12th in the league.

Nicholas Mendola asks whether power is finally shifting to the Eastern Conference.

Vancouver Whitecaps brought back midfielder Mauro Rosales but it is unclear if he will be available this weekend.

Real Salt Lake re-signed forward Joao Plata to a new, long-term contract.

Clint Dempsey was cleared to play in time for the season opener and he is expected to start. However, the Seattle Sounders will be missing Brad Evans for 1-2 months.

New York Red Bulls hired Denis Hamlett as its new Sporting Director.

DC United broke ground on their new stadium, but not until there was one more small delay. “With mayor Muriel Bowser running a few minutes late to D.C. United’s incomprehensibly long-awaited stadium groundbreaking, TV broadcaster Dave Johnson took the mic and posed a dangerous question. ‘We can wait a few more moments, right?’ he asked. ‘No!’ the crowd replied. Then after some knowing glances, everyone laughed.”

NYCFC is not having nearly as much success in securing a soccer-specific stadium, and Hudson River Blue wonders if that’s by design.

Rob Stone is really upset with the New England Revolution.

Atlanta United has sold over 50K tickets for its inaugural game.

Around the globe

Fifteen Tibetan Women’s soccer players were denied visas to enter the US to participate in a tournament.

Seattle Reign Canadian International Diana Matheson suffered a torn ACL in training with the national team.

Highlight of the day

Newcastle United could practice this in training for a week and I don’t think they’d be able to pull it off again.

34 Comments

  1. I wonder if Jones would still be in line to start if Creavalle wasn’t hurt. I’m glad it looks like he is starting though. Get him out there!
    .
    Interesting the homegrown article seems to think more highly of Trusty than Jones. Seems like it’s only because of the U-20 stuff which Jones isn’t even eligible for yet, and Jones isn’t even starting. Hopefully the both turn into studs though. Also, Real isn’t a CB but oh well.
    .
    Union really not getting much love on a lot of these rankings. I never put much stock into them anyway but it’s interesting that we have been so low on all of them. I think if you look around at a lot of the teams they have similar style question marks as the Union. It seems the Union have more been forgotten in these ranking than anything else. Maybe the fact that they didn’t make any splashy signing is the cause for this in the national media.

    • Which is weird because Jones WAS called up recently and played for the U20s, its just that they stopped recently once they realized he was ineligible for qulaifiers.

    • I think a major reason there isn’t a lot of buzz nationally is two-fold: 1) your last statement “didn’t make any splashy signings” combined with 2) how we finished the year last year.
      &
      I think we made decent/average moves in the offseason, but i don’t think any of those signings stuck out to national media with the stamp of “we absolutely have fixed the problem in that area”. It is possible that HM will turn into a great midfielder in MLS, Gooch will have a career revitalization and JS will turn heads scoring goals consistantly, but as of now all of our “major” moves are question marks.

  2. John Ling says:

    So… if Ilsinho is playing the CAM, does that mean Bedoya is on the right?

    • Ilsinho was not playing the CAM based on that tweet. It was just the lineup. I highly doubt Bedoya is playing out wide based on everything we have seen and heard so far.

    • Maybe Jim actually came to his senses…Damn I was actually excited for a moment.

      • Agreed, and also with El Pachy down below. I think putting the athlete formerly known as Ilsinho at CAM adds creativity and flair to the center of the pitch. Whether he can work well with HM, of course, would be a good question. Related, another potential downside would be the center-of-the-pitch defense. We’ve seen HM isn’t a great defender, and Jones is inexperienced and learning on the job. One thing Bedoya brings to the #10 is a good defensive work rate.
        .
        On the flip side, Bedoya to the wing strengthens the defense on the right side a bit. I expect teams are going to want to try and play through the channel between Gooch and Rosenberry until the Union can show it’s not a clear route to goal. So a better defender out on the right wing could prove useful in plugging that “hole.”
        .
        I’m in agreement with the wise elephant – let’s try it for a few games and see what comes of it. Worst case scenario is we have to switch back, right?

        • I thought Ilshino looked last in the middle when he played there last year. I am of the opinion that we should probably start Bedoya at the 10 and Ilsinho at RW. That’s how they have been setup all preseason. Changing now seems silly. If it’s not working after a month or something then lets switch it up then.

          • Zizouisgod says:

            Agreed. He likes to have some space when he receives the ball on the sideline and take on defenders with a head of steam. He doesn’t get the same opportunity to do that when he starts in central midfield. There’s just too much traffic and even if he beats the first defender, there’s ample cover nearby.

          • Yup, and Bedoya says that’s the reason he likes the 8 more than the 6, you have more room to operate when you get the ball. Man I wish we still had Barnetta.

  3. I took Kinkead’s Tweet to indicate Jones would play the #6 and that Bedoya would take the #10 spot with Ilsinho in his usual slot on the right. I’ll be happy if Jones is getting trusted to start against vancouver. My man turns 20 on Friday.

    The prognosticators picking Union for dead last in the conference don’t seem to be the kind of people who pay much attention to the game or the league. Philly lose Barnetta but sign a raft of interesting players and suddenly they’re going to be the worst team in the East? What has New England done to get better? What have the Red Bulls done to get better? And Atlanta, a team that has never played a game, is going to finish 5th? Is it that easy? Look, I get it, there are column inches that need to be filled, and it’s all completely subjective, but Tenorio’s list is pretty silly.

    • Adam Schorr says:

      Remember, these preseason prognostications are basically based on “performance at end of previous season + new additions – lost players”. The Union were the worst team in the league at the end of last season. Medunjanin for Barnetta is a quality like for quality like swap (hopefully). The only other changes are Onyewu, who hasn’t played a competitive game since 2014, Simpson, who came from the English 4th Division, and maybe Jones, a 19 year old nobody outside Philly really knows. If you want to project them higher, you’re projecting that the end of season Union were just a mirage and that the early season Union is closer to their true talent level.
      .
      Do you really think we’re going to finish above Atlanta? I think you could make a fairly easy argument that they are better than us at literally every position other than GK and *maybe* RB (and that’s basically projecting Rosenberry to improve and Mears to fall off due to their respective ages).
      .
      We signed interesting players. Other teams signed good players. Good > interesting. That math sticks us at the bottom. Personally, I think Blake is good enough himself to keep us from dead last, but I think 8th-10th is a reasonable projection.

      • I could see us finishing there, but did NE get better, Orlando, both NY teams, Columbus, did the Fire really get that much better? Montreal is Old. I mean other than Toronto every team has a bunch of question marks. It’s going to be in interesting year in the East. Plus Atlanta is such a huge question mark. It’s really hard to make a team outta of nothing the first year.

      • I don’t believe that the Union of late last season was any more the “real” Union than the team in first place at the beginning. The real Union is in between and finished pretty much where they belonged. Just below the middle of the pack. Their early season run was not that Nogueira was some sort of footballing wizard without whom the team was simply hopeless. I don’t buy it.

        Atlanta has one thing going for it and that is money spent. Nothing determines success in football better than how much money you spend on the team. However, it takes time for a team to get up and running — and it did not spend that money on a back line that I don’t think is going to be able to consistently prevent more goals than the team scores. NYCFC showed that it takes more than a lot of many and David Villa to get consistent results in MLS though. Making the top half of the table in year 1 is a big ask for a team, again, that no one has seen play.

        Football more than many other sports is pretty fluky. It’s such a low scoring game that it doesn’t take a whole lot of randomness to have a big impact on results. (This is the significant point made in the book Soccernomics by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski) Things can go wrong, but they can also go well.

        • Well said.

        • John O'Donnell Jr says:

          Stefan Szymanski….. please! He’s the guy that said once MLS stops expanding it will fold without pro/rel. They can only generate revenue from expansion fees. Numbers guys can only look at black and white and have a hard time seeing more than what the numbers say. Meanwhile more and more corporate partner keep joining year after year.

          • So a you think a guy is wrong about one thing, so he’s wrong about everything? And he’s not wrong yet about MLS. (Though I also don’t agree)

          • (Also worth noting the man is an economist, not a TV pundit)

          • Dan Walsh says:

            Well, the key is that he co-wrote the book with Simon Kuper. And since I’ve seen that Szymanski is off his rocker every time he talks about details related to MLS, I’m pretty sure that he’s responsible for the economics, number-crunching and none of the common sense analysis in Soccernomics, which is generally a great book.

  4. Read this in the a.m. about Leyton Orient. Simpson is a lucky man.
    https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/01/leyton-orient-served-winding-up-order-over-unpaid-tax-bills

    Also, just listened to Grant Wahl’s interview with Ivan Rakitic that he released yesterday. Well worth a listen, and I’m not a Barcelona fan. He comes off as a real genuine and warm human being.

  5. el Pachyderm says:

    So 15 women from one of the most peaceful places on earth were denied a chance to enter the US to play a tourney.
    .
    this is one more data point where things just go sideways.
    .
    I’d be happy if Ilsinho was given a crack at the CAM…and that chance needs to be consistent so as to really assess if it’s a viable solution.

  6. This is minor for sure, but I completely agree in regards to the jersey. If we had a white jersey with a gold stripe down the center it would look so good. The Union’s gold matches so well with white but Adidas is just so reluctant to put it together, for whatever reason. Beyond that, though there’s some really nice jerseys in MLS this year, outside of Minnesota and Vancouver’s home jerseys.

    • that SI article is largely spot on for all teams. re: recoloring of the crest, the union’s silver crest of the bethlehem steel homage was fine by me, negating the “never” hammered away in the article.

      few embarrassment around the league. i really dig the Rev’s home kit, even the suggestion for national team to steal it. we’ll get to see the whitecaps “wallpaper” this weekend. coming from the team that sported Charmin Quilted, we don’t have too much to laugh about.

    • Lol yea those all whites with the stars in the center “stripe.” I think the re-coloring can be done when it’s an iconic or legacy thing, like for Steel or for the Sounders heritage uniforms, but just changing it to match the color of the jerseys is a no-no. They should be looking to match the jersey to the crest, not the other way around. And if they throw a gold stripe down the center of that jersey, the official crest looks great right on top of that.

    • I’d love a secondary kit similar Colorado’s secondary, but using a yellow and blue from the SOB/Phila city flag instead. I heard a rumor that we proposed something along these lines a few years ago, but the league shot it down and we ended up with the Charmin Quilted instead. Why can’t we have nice things?!

      I like the general thoughts on all-white unis (in the summary for Seattle):
      “MLS has too many all-white uniforms. Seattle’s new away kit brings the total to nine. Unless it’s a tradition fans and viewers recognize, mono-white only dilutes your brand and makes you look like everyone else.”

  7. the hudson river blue article about NYCFC is worth a read. no political or private support for the ownership group, after all the support the Jets had for a stadium that never got built, the fact that the Islanders desperately want out of Brooklyn — these are just some key opposition for them ever to get their own house.

  8. “Jack McGuire, Houston Dynamo draft pick, is trialing for a backup GK job”
    .
    Please, please, please, please, pleeeeeeeeease I hope this works out

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