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.
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 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.
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.