Daily news roundups

News roundup: Epps on target for Steel, transfer deadline day remains wacky

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Note: PSP is looking for a volunteer to write our Thursday news roundups. If interested, please email dwalsh@phillysoccerpage.com.

Philadelphia Union

Alejandro Bedoya remains a big part of the US Men’s National Team’s World Cup qualifying’ efforts, and the Union website is here to remind you of that. Watch for the Union midfielder “shutting down opponent’s wingers in the middle of the pitch.”

Don’t forget that the Philadelphia Unity Cup begins September 8.

Local writer/podcaster/part-time PSP postgame co-host Kevin Kinkead wrote an open letter to Union fans as he signed off the soccer beat to start a new gig with Philadelphia sports blog Crossing Broad. Kevin asks whether Union fans should stop financially supporting the team (a difficult issue: Are the players still fighting each game for the badge? Do you abandon them to make a point to ownership? Is it the job of the team to produce for the fans, or should the fans be there to lift up the team in hard times?).

But most interesting is how Kevin describes the current plan the club has described: “Maybe Earnie Stewart and the YSC staff perform a miracle and develop enough local kids to eventually compete with the likes of Toronto FC and Atlanta United. I like Earnie and I hope he gets it done. I like Tim McDermott and Jim Curtin and everyone down there, people who knew what they were getting into when they agreed to work under Jay Sugarman.”

If Kevin’s right, ownership and the financial restrictions it imposes on the club have forced a situation in which the current long term strategy is equivalent to hoping for an act of god. Yikes.

But while Kevin Kinkead’s writing will be missed, I am far sadder to lose Kevin Kinkhead from the Union beat; that name is incredible.

Local

Orlando City B scored with their only shot on frame, but Marcus Epps answered in epic fashion to earn Bethlehem Steel a 1-1 draw Thursday night.¬†According to Tim Jones’ essential piece on Steel’s playoff hopes, this leaves the club in a good place to push for a playoff spot. Still, they have one of the four toughest records in USL down the stretch, so they could use all the fan support they can get over the last two home matches.

Check out PSP’s Steel-OCB match report here.

US

Christian Pulisic remains good. Kasey Keller goes all in, feeding the hype train by suggesting the teenage phenom could command a $100 million fee soon. The best line in the article, though, is one which measures Pulisic making it big: “By April he was a cover boy for an American soccer gear catalog, status usually limited to greats like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.” Ah yes, the anonymous catalog crown.

Also, PSP commenter Guido linked to this excellent WaPo piece on Pulisic from Steven Goff.

Around the globe

There were a lot of crazy deals on transfer deadline day. But even though Swansea City’s manager Paul Clement was formerly Carlo Ancelotti’s right hand man at Bayern Munich, it was somewhat bonkers that the Welsh side landed highly regarded Portugese prospect Renato Sanches on loan from the German giants. Sanches is completely awesome, but far from being able to control his powers. Perhaps the only thing that could make this weirder is if someone said he could provide balance with Sam Clucas. Whole new world, Renato.

Was nabbing Serge Aurier a “necessary risk” for Tottenham? SI thinks so, but they dismiss Aurier’s rant about his teammates and homophobic comment about his former coach as “profane criticism.” Michael Caley and Ben Daniels take the other side of the risk argument.

Check out all the transfers of the day here.

Also, Coutinho’s mysterious back injury suddenly disappeared after it became clear he couldn’t force a move from Liverpool to Barcelona, so the little magician started his take-me-back tour by rocking Ecuador’s world as a sub.

Highlight of the day

In a story that English tabloids¬†can’t believe they didn’t think to invent before it became real, Ross Barkley apparently nixed his deal to Chelsea after completing his medical. If anyone can find video of Barkley suddenly sprinting off a treadmill and out the door into greater London, this day will have the highlight it deserves.

9 Comments

  1. Best of luck to Kevin, his insights on the Union will be missed…

    • +1 I wonder if he will be replaced. If not, it’s just another sign of irrelevancy. It’s hard to grow your brand with even less coverage.

  2. Will miss Kevin.
    .
    Great match in Chili. That Atlanta forward did great for Paraguay who thrashed Chili. Great to see the underpaid underdogs win again!
    .
    Great story about Pulisic here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/soccer-insider/wp/2017/08/30/at-18-christian-pulisic-is-becoming-the-player-of-usa-soccer-dreams/?utm_term=.ad5e82a533ca
    Surreal that my son played against him not too long ago and how their paths diverged…

  3. So…fun question: at this point in time (don’t highlight history, I’m talking about expected future success), would you rather root for the Union, or Arsenal?
    .
    https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/stan-kroenke-i-didnt-buy-arsenal-stake-to-win-trophies-a3202046.html
    .
    Arsenal has an owner who is outright saying that he doesn’t value titles over profits. While I appreciate the honesty, that is crippling to a team if you are waiting for the oil magnates to get bored with soccer before you can start winning again.

    • Arsenal. They have talent. And a previously talented coach who now can’t see the flaws that are obvious to so many others. The Union have…

    • It was obvious for a long time that his priority were profits. Glad he finally told the fans, most of whom were delusional. Had a nice talk about it the other day on Sirius/XM. Arsenal fans should find another team rather than complain about it all day.

    • Funny you should say…

      #16 in Supporters’ Shield this week – Union

      #16 in EPL this week – Arsenal

      Go Arson!

  4. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Good article by Kurt Larson on MLS website posted yesterday late afternoon analyzing Toronto FC going from absolutely awful to excellent in three years.
    .
    In addition to the right DPs he emphasizes an excellent scouting network..
    .
    I will try to figure out how to post a link and do so below if I succeed.

  5. el Pachyderm says:

    Jerome deBontin for US Soccer president….back the undercurrent movement.

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