Daily news roundups

News roundup: VAR saves Union again

Photo: Paul Rudderow

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Philadelphia Union

The Union drew 1-1 in Minnesota by starting “experienced veterans” and playing for a draw. They also got help from a VAR call that was arguably too friendly to the Union. More from PSP, MLS, philly.com, and BG.

Quotes. You’ve read them all before.

Fafa is worried about his friends and family as Hurricane Irma roars through his former home.

A thorough look at why this year has been the breaking point for fans.

Local

The Union Academy has lost its top prospect, the second Union prospect to choose Atlanta over Philly.

Bethlehem’s game was postponed.

MLS

Scores and recaps.

Toronto has all but clinched, and the only intrigue is what records they break.

Atlanta opened its new stadium with a big win. It is the start of a historically frantic finish.

Vancouver signed Nigerian midfielder Nosa Igiebor.

Around the globe

Roundups:

Premier League

Serie A

La Liga

Bundesliga

Ligue 1

Highlight of the day

This first touch volley goal seems impossible.

43 Comments

  1. LOL the Union lost Rayshaun McGann. I think that’s the nail in this coffin for me. Without true commitment from ownership (either current or new) to compete with the rest of the league, I’m done. Good luck all. Best of health. See you next season maybe.

    • I can’t really blame him. I mean, if you had a choice between being part of this disaster, or a real organization, which would you choose?

    • Section 114 (Former) says:

      This is what is wrong with “building through the academy” as your strategy. Because, you know, this is America, there is no way to lock your talents in to the U. So Pulisic is in Germany without comp, Steffen is in Columbus by way of Europe and Maryland, our “investment” in the South now belongs to Atlanta, and we have nothing to show for our academy efforts. Oh yeah, and we had to use a top draft pick on KR.
      .
      Ownership. Change. Spend. Win. Profit.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Whoa, apply some thought, please.
      .
      Use your imaginations and look through two different sets of eyes.
      .
      First, McGann’s. What Academy players are in front of him in the organization at center back? Auston Trusty and Mark McKenzie. what are his likely opportunities with the Union? Why stay for that?
      .
      Second, imagine looking through Union eyes. You have had the best chance to compare the three. Which have you evaluated as better? Look up Rayshaun McGann’s statistics with the Bethlehem Steel. Then look up the same for the other two.
      .
      McGann was not good enough to get into either
      Steel games or, in any consistent way, Steel practice, I would bet.
      .
      Finally, Hackworth is a good judge of talent most here agree, e. g., Andre Blake, but he is restricted to his age class for his team.
      .
      How many young center backs do you want them to sign? McGann is going off to seek opportunity elsewhere, and he is young. He may well develop into a nice player. But at this point in time the Union did not rate him ahead of Trusty or McKenzie, as they did not rate Freeman Dwamena.
      .
      The academy will always bring in more than it signs to its professional rosters. Wish the young man well as he follows his dream.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Yes, I know McKenzie is at Wake Forest now, but I believe the Union will still have his homegrown rights if he comes back to play for Reading in the summers.
        .
        Can you blame a young man for wanting to experience college and compete to get into a side that has legitimate championship aspirations in its league and possibly the country?
        .
        Mark is a smart young man and he spent much of his junior year at the academy injured. Do not blame him for thinking about life beyond soccer.

    • The problem isn’t the academy itself – by all accounts the Union’s is very good, at least logistically – but when a youngster like McGann looks at the Union and barely 16,000 in the seats and little to no on-field success over their 8 year existence, then you look at Atlanta with their sparkling new training facility, beautiful new stadium (albeit with turf), and some 35,000 people watching you play, can you blame him? Theoretically success will come with academy investment, but first team success ultimately rules all – at the gate, in the stands and down through to the academy. I would love for them to find a way to invest in youth AND have first team success, but that seems unlikely given their actions and words.

  2. That Brotherly Game post about the breaking point for fans was on point.

    • those last few paragraphs are the painful truth which made me drop season tix 3 seasons ago.
      but what i’ve found myself being this season is summed up in the line before them: “Apathy is far more sinister.”

      can’t wait till the Atlanta United match and experience a happy, enthusiastic crowd with more than a shot in the dark hope for postseason relevancy.

      plus, they have a chick-fil-a in there.

    • The paragraph about moneyball is dead on. Teams can have success in MLS playing moneyball, but the Union are not doing it correctly. It’s not about avoiding a DP or high-priced player to spend that same money on 3 or 4 players, it’s about spending wisely on players who have an immediate and big impact. If a Giovinco or Lodeiro will come in and help immediately, SPEND THE MONEY and then find creative ways to fill in the spaces around them. Use the academy to find a Derrick Jones, or the draft to find a Rosenberry or Yaro to complement that DP. Taking DP money and getting 3 or 4 bench players who can’t find the field does nothing. I mean wouldn’t you trade Alberg, Ilsinho, Davies and Simpson for Giovinco, or Valeri or Nikolic?

  3. Union is putting all its eggs in the academy basket… which seems to have a big fat hole in it.

    .

    Jones didn’t see the field at all on Saturday. Either he’s not ready to take on a poorly performing expansion side in a meaningless game or Curtin is a bad coach.

    • ES did allude in his town hall answers about working with the MLS to fix these holes.

      And to be fair to him, it’s a crap situation. Of course a kid should be able to move nearer to home and play with who he wants. But it’s pure BS for a team to not be able to get any compensation for the work they put into him.

      • Section 114 (Former) says:

        That’s not a bug of the Academy system, but a FEATURE. The way the U has it set up, these guys are effectively free agents until they are 18, and even after that just have to declare for college and are gone.
        .
        Truly great talents (Pulisic) leave before then for Europe.
        .
        Good ones will find the right home rather than sign with us because of our “investment”.
        .
        Yes, adequate players can come through the Academy, but that won’t win titles.
        .
        Ownership.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Tommy Wilson also made that allusion, stated that he is on some unspecified committees or committee, and said he expected progress on the issue.

      • @Section114:

        What? I understand being a negadelphian but this has nothing to do with how the U set it up…

        IT has to do with the MLS ruleset, how we pay youth players in American, and legal problems with giving hem contracts.

        I have no idea what you are on about. Its not like other academies DONT have this problem too.

      • Section 114 (Former) says:

        Correct, it has nothing to do with how the U set it up. But the U has chosen to run the Academy as their primary investment vehicle instead of transfer fees. And that is a choice. One made with a flawed understanding of what that choice provides in the American model.

  4. Re: the Brotherly Game post about “breaking points” I’ve been chewing on why I’ve become almost completely unconcerned about the team. I keep coming back to the fact that it truly feels like this team has no demonstrable ambition. And Stewart may have made that feeling even worse in his cold, hard assessments of a team that needs to build from the academy and wait 5 years for a plan to get going. It really is as if the only ambition the team has is to hold weekend soccer matches in Chester 17 times a season. It’s impossible to “get up” for that. I want to see an honest effort at winning those matches. I wouldn’t accuse the players of not trying — they do. But this organization seems utterly indifferent.

    • Yep. Lack of direction for actual Years and these last two of apathetic boring play have made it incredibly hard to remain excited. My wife and I just renewed our tix, but had a real hard discussion about why we actually were. Really came to a head Saturday night for the game, we didn’t turn on the tv, I had it going on an ipad while we entertained guests. My wife asked why I didn’t just put it on the tv and I just shrugged.

      • I haven’t renewed yet. We also had a tough talk in our house about it. We’re probably going to “downgrade” from where we’re at now to corner tickets.
        .
        Saturday I went to bed at halftime. I was exhausted; but in season’s past I would’ve forced myself to stay awake until the end of the match.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      I re-upped because I enjoy soccer and going to games. It is a chance to entertain a friend when my wife does not want her ticket.
      .
      Is it more fun when they play well? Of course.
      .
      A reboot and rebuild are fraught with uncertainties.
      .
      If you need certainties, move to Tuscaloosa, or find a good time travel device and move to the Bronx in the late 30s or the late 40s/early 50s.
      .
      And even then there are teams like the 1960 Pirates who will upset your apple cart.

      • I’d argue the Union offer plenty of certainty. The club will underspend on player acquisition every year, the coach will start the same XI in the same formation every week, and the club will keep promising success will happen once all these academy kids make it to the first team.

      • Agree with you on that note – it was one of the first things my wife and I did together when we started dating, and we still enjoy a nice day out, beers and live soccer, hence us renewing for this year.

        however.

        Moving to be about an hour away from the stadium, with a new family addition and being genuinely bored at games as of late made us institute the following ultimatum: “If the performances are the same next year and we aren’t excited to go to the games, it’ll be our last year”. We can’t just keep justifying the investment of time (more than money, because let’s be honest, it’s the best deal in the area), when we could watch at home on the tube.

      • I do t need certainties. Just effort.

      • I couldn’t agree more with OSC, my wife and I just enjoy going to the games and getting out of the house together. We have grown to love soccer together.
        .
        We like the “challenge” of watching our team struggle to improve and overcome it’s obstacles in a way that is no different from the ups and downs of our favorite TV dramas and movies.
        .
        I have to laugh at the “anger and outrage”; shake my head at the “struggle” people have over re-newing for another season (It’s not THAT hard a decision either way, is it?).
        .
        I found it amusing that the article talked about a Union fans’ staunch “loyalty to the end”…I guess until ya don’t like the looks of “the end”?
        .
        It’s called “perspective” folks, and in my home, for reasons I won’t get into, we don’t have to work very hard to find it. Because of this day in particular, 9/11, we truly have “never forgotten” what it really it really is to suffer and witness suffering. In our home there is a saying that is used often to mitigate the “problems” in our lives both real and perceived: “As long as it’s not planes flying into buildings, we’ll be OK”.
        We don’t waste a lot of time “venting” about how we’ve been “wronged” by our soccer team.
        .
        I believe everyone in that organization sincerely wants to win. I believe the team is trying hard. Maybe things aren’t where they want them yet, or maybe that just aren’t on the right path, in either case I’m happy to spend the time with my wife, family, and friends, enjoying a day outside our routines. There are other things that are far more “difficult” than that.

  5. My dad and I re-upped our tickets the other day. But we also had multiple discussions about whether or not it was worth it. I can say with all honesty though, if this team doesn’t take a leap and spend the money to improve, and show me they are serious about being a legitimate team in MLS… this coming season will be my last as a season ticket holder.
    .
    Building through the academy is fine, but you don’t have to sacrifice your first team to do it.

  6. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Full marks to Adam Schorr for finding his goal videos. Lots of fun to watch the incredible.

  7. Starting XI for the rest of the year, regardless of performance. Forget the playoffs, that ship has sailed:

    Blake
    Rosenberry-Elliot-Yaro-Wijnaldum
    Medunjanin-Bedoya
    Pontius-Najem-Fafa
    Sapong
    Subs: Epps, Simpson, Jones
    —–
    Gotta figure out which young guys can play, and in Simpson’s case whether or not he is worth the investment. We’re in full-on September call-up mode, and like the Phils hopefully some of these young kids can impress and show us that the team is actually moving in the right direction.

    • Makes a lot of sense, which means Jim won’t do it and we’ll be here to complain about it.

      .

      Circle of Union Life

    • Section 114 (Former) says:

      I’m done with Simpson already, so while I mostly agree with what you presented, there’s still one substitute to be creative with.

    • Pontius should be cut today as far as im concenred. Epps in for him.

      Sit Medu too – he’s played consistently for a year + and needs a rest. Replave him with Jones.

      Sit Sapong too – known commodity, already run into the ground, and start Simpson instead.

      • Everything I read from beat reporters this past week insinuated Simpson is here through next year, so we might want to get used to the idea of him…

    • I could take or leave Simpson as well, he’s just the only striker sub other than Davies. I’d be fine with him starting over Sapong as well to see what he has. Same with Medunjanin resting for Jones, and they’re both clearly pieces for the future but there’s not much more to find out. I think we can all agree that we should move on from Alberg and Fabinho, and at least move Ilsinho to the bench.

  8. John P O'Donnell Jr. says:

    Atlanta is the first year team that spends but if you are an academy player are they getting chances with the first team? What team would you have a chance making it on to the field with?

  9. John P O'Donnell Jr. says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but one of the biggest problems the Union have is that one of their highest paid players never sees the field. In a Salary cap league this just can’t happen.

    • To me the biggest problem with the Union is the fact that they have created a razor thin margin for error, because they don’t spend (and/or spend wisely) so every year they need EVERY SINGLE THING to go right. I’m not surprised in 7 out of 8 years – it hasn’t.

  10. Desacrate through Reverance says:

    I hope I’m wrong but, the YSC academy is the 2nd of its kind in MLS with a school. My fear is young prospects are using the academy to go to school and be in a PRO academy, then leave once they graduated. To my knowledge there are no rules in place to stop this from happening, or have the original academy/club compensated. I wouldn’t be surprised if prospects leave after next year’s graduating class, even if they are local, especially considering how poorly this franchise is run. Hope I’m wrong but this can’t be overlooked. MLS really needs to implement some rules and regs on academies and fix the homegrown rules.

    • Yeah which is why it’s so ridiculous that ES has put so much stock in the academy so soon. The tools and a rules and things haven’t been set up by MLS and yet we are putting all our eggs there. I don’t know man… Certainly sounds like an excuse to not spend

    • Given the Paul Arriola situation with LA Galaxy (http://cornerofthegalaxy.com/2017/08/10/la-galaxy-get-play-money-dc-united-rights-paul-arriola/), I believe if the Union make a “bonafide offer” (whatever the hell that means) to a player they do get his rights and would therefore be compensated if he chooses to go elsewhere. Similar to what happened with Najem and the Red Bulls.
      .
      This doesn’t protect the Union from Academy kids who haven’t graduated and who the Union haven’t made a first team offer to, but there are at least some protections in place for the club as far as I understand things.

    • I think it’s bonkers that the Union run an academy with half its students on full scholarships and yet have no rights to them upon graduation.

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