Daily news roundups

News roundup: MLS Conference Championships, Union’s challenges ahead, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Good piece from Jonathan Tannenwald with Union CBO Tim McDermott, laying out the Union’s challenges and plans for the future.


Bethlehem Steel’s Santi Moar finished as Runner-Up for USL Rookie of the Year.

ICYMI: Philadelphia Union have partnered with NJ Youth Soccer.


The first leg of conference championships were last night. Columbus and Toronto tied. The crew’s stadium was packed. If you haven’t yet, we encourage you to sign this letter for the Crew.

The Sounders kicked off their match up against Houston with a 2-0 victory.

LAFC’s roster is starting to take shape. The expansion side signed Egyptian national Omar Gaber on loan from FC Basel. Gaber played under LAFC manager Bob Bradley for the Egyptian national team during Bradley’s tenure there.

Colorado Rapids have signed attacking midfielder, Johan Blomberg.

Kenwyne Jones has retired. Neither he nor Tyrone Mears were renewed by Atlanta United.

Should MLS allow teams to buy and sell players within the league?

After his incredibly successful tenure in the lower tiers, Marc Dos Santos could make the coaching leap to MLS next season.

Another piece on Caleb Porter‘s surprise departure from Portland and what it could mean for both Porter and Portland going forward.


The new U-18 USMNT Camp roster was announced. Plenty of MLS Team Academy players. None from the Union’s Academy.

Around the globe

As successful national team manager Chris Coleman heads to Sunderland, Wales looks for a replacement.


  1. With Columbus’ owner only opening 2 gates to let fans in, which stranded hundreds if not thousands of fans in line outside the stadium at kickoff, I really don’t want to follow or support MLS anymore.
    I guess it’s time to look into Junior Lone Star season tickets.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      well you have this despicable sporting act… then you have the one below in my post….. and one begins to wonder what it is we are supposed to root for… along with the 8 million dollar salary Don Garber makes annually and the 18 million dollar SUM kicker he received according to WikiLeaks.
      But my friends who post here tell me its all going to be okay- and we should all be so lucky.

  2. el Pachyderm says:

    I know I know… that elephant, such a downer pain in the ass poster… or poacher.
    ….but truth is truth no matter how it cuts. We waited 16 days for that last night…I watched it. I watched it all. I am part of the problem. Tragically poor.
    We can do so much better.

    • I’m often curious, are you referencing the quality of play, the management of the league, or just commenting on the league as a whole?
      When Wilt Chamberlin scored 100 points on March 2, 1962 in Hersheypark Arena there were no video recordings made to record the game. In 2017 the NBA Finals were the highest rated non-football sporting event on TV. The point is that over time leagues grow and mature over time, as do the products on the field and the reception to it. Ebbs and flows. MLS is a mere 21 years old – 4 years younger than the current incarnation of the Premier League. Has that changed over the past 25 years? The league will develop and grow, or it will bottom out and cease to exist, but at no point will it be the best soccer product out there. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it.
      Columbus may not have the same luxury next year, after all.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Well between La Liga and MLS is a realistic respectable happy medium, fair?
        This idea people like me argue for Barcelona v Madrid is silly.
        As it pertains to the bigger picture my comments are relative to waiting 16 days to watch 1/2 of the best teams in MLS play a totally unaesthetic brand of game…so today they are pointalist focused.

      • Totally fair, I was genuinely curious so I could react accordingly. We are in COMPLETE agreement over waiting 16 days – the schedule has to be changed, even if that means 3 games in a week. The quality of soccer wouldn’t be worse with a tightened schedule.
        You generally make sound arguments for your thoughts, and even if I don’t disagree they encourage me to re-examine my own opinions and I appreciate that.
        The Union’s routine disappointment not withstanding, I am thankful for MLS. The quality is not top tier, but I did not grow up supporting or watching any European teams – I was the first real soccer fan in my family, although now my parents and sister has season tickets too, so I brought them on board – I don’t have that experience of watching top tier soccer to compare MLS with. I appreciate having a team to go too, but working the other way I appreciate the level of the Premier League more after growing up with MLS. There is a happy medium, but it’s also possible to co-exist and appreciate both at the same time. It’s like minor league sports – the Iron Pigs aren’t as good as the Phillies, but it’s still a great time at the park and one can still enjoy themselves even with a lesser product on the field.

    • Columbus v Toronto was piss poor quality-wise. How many no look shoddy cross attempts did Columbus take? And In the second half, if you were taking a shot every time Toronto turned the ball over in their own defensive third, you be legally dead before Maneh was subbed on. There were some nice passes, but they were exceptions (you could count them on one hand) on a bleak, bleak night. Not sure if it was designed that way, but there’s nothing worse than following Champions League play in the afternoon with that slop. I’m rooting hard for a quality game here in the U.S…. Wasn’t given much hope.

      Also, on Bradley’s comments about Columbus: I like Bradley and think he gets unfairly blamed for the failures of the USMNT, but I want to write off anyone who uses the term “market” to describe a club, city or team. This is especially true to me for a player. You’re not management, mate. Leave those terms to Garber and his ilk. Stick up for the fans. Might help turn around all those boos you here every time you touch the ball.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Wow. You continue to impress.

      • Spot on about Bradley, Pete. Surprisingly, he seems to be overly sensitive to criticism and I feel like his remarks about Columbus reflects that. He should know better than saying something like that

      • Oy, impressive maybe. Definitely not for my typos. Speed of typing > speed of grammar/spelling part of brain.

        I wondered about that ZZ. Sounded like it might be a bit of soreness in that shade. But I just read the words — didn’t hear the tone in which they were delivered.

    • Pachy – Maybe we can’t do better with the existing structure of MLS.

  3. The Gorgon Mirror says:

    In other news…. John Hackworth announced a u17 roster for World Cup that included not one Union Academy player. And now the USMNT U18 roster is announced and guess what again- a quick glance shows that 80% of the roster is MLS Academy players yet not one Union member.
    So at arguably the two of the most important Academy ages, the Philadelphia Union are not represented at all… some would argue this is too small a sample set. I’d argue does the sample set matter?
    Tell you what I think…. Red Flag…..or it the academy in the same transition phase the sporting director tells us his first team is in.
    Two things did not happen when Mr. Stewart arrived that were ingrained in my Vision, Philosophy, Plan argument.
    And neither happened. Tick Tick Tick Tick.

    • I mean, I’m not so bitter I’m going to get mad at two random rosters for two random age groups. There is a lot that factors into those things before “The union academy is dog shit and ES should be fired.”

      • The Gorgon Mirror says:

        you are quoting yourself, yes?
        cause I didn’t say, what is quoted in your post.
        I lobbied for a new coach and a continental european academy philosophy. neither of them happened and now 2 years into this transition the first team is still pretty terrible and the academy is not really representing at the national team level which for the record is Richie Graham’s primary motivator….raising national team level players.

      • Actually, mighty elephant, while I cannot claim anything close to comprehensive coverage of Richie Graham’s public comments, your assertion of national team player production reminds me more of things Jim Curtin has said than Graham has.
        I have heard him downplay the production of professional level players. The Academyks primary product is NCAA students and players as single entities. The pros will be outliers.

      • The Gorgon Mirror says:

        I appreciate response Tim. I was however in the room when Mr. Graham discussed the importance of raising the tide of the player pool to compete internationally. Heard with my own large large ears.
        This is 100% of intrinsic and extrinsic value to the majority owner of the Academy and minority owner of the Union.

      • The Gorgon Mirror says:

        On top of it all we read today that if the team won 3 more games and barely finished 6th — you me and any other discerning fan would be perfectly fine with the manager and his perceived tactical inflexibility. Can’t make this stuff up. It’s mind numbing.

    • We all know The Academy is more marketing than reality right now. Another way to buy more time until Jay Sugarman can sell, while requiring minimal investment on his behalf.


      However, only some of us are willing to admit it.

      • The classroom teachers, Head of School, College Counsellor, Director of operations, and other staff that I know and have interviewed would, in my judgment, take respectful exception to your assertion.
        Please do not attribute things you cannot substantiate as fact. Call them opinions and judgments, since that is what they are, please.

      • Those same folks should take any of their beefs up with the organization and ownership. They’ve consistently proved my point.


        Philadelphia Union had the oldest avg age of field players last year at 28.1 years old. The organization can talk a big game about The Academy, but has yet to prove it. Until then, it’s just marketing and spin. I’m literally not buying it.

      • Tim, all those people may take exception to what lopezzz says, but he’s right. They may have all had an impact on the individuals that go to the academy, but the only thing I care about is how is that translating to the 1st team product. Right now it’s not. So yeah, it really is just a marketing tool. I don’t care what kind of education they get or where the academy kids go to college or how they’ve become well adjusted young men. Couldn’t care less. That’s for their parents to worry about. All I care about is if they show up playing in the first team. All the nice flowery things Graham et al. say, mean squat unless there is actual return.

    • Also, it’s a misdemeanor that Hackworth is shaping the US program in any way. My morning constitutional had more soccer IQ and,um, moral fiber, than John “Assistant Flip Flop Holder” Hackworth.

  4. Do you remember that early, new club (ok, fine, “franchise”) smell back in 2010? You do? You had your new scarf, were all “Philly TID”. And now, headed into the 9th season with what, two postseason goals and no wins to show for it?
    Where are you now? Begrudgingly “Philly til I get that bronchitis I get in winter”? The angst people post about giving these charlatans their STH money is akin to a 7th grader wondering if they’ll get asked to the dance.
    They’re not going to love you back. Hell, they barely market to you. I admire Precourt for his naked ambition, less so for the bumbling implementation. Wish we had an owner who aspired to being evil and not just incompetent. At least Cbus fans can point to the Irsay Van Lines trucks idling in the paved lot and say “our team is going places”. They got us beat on that score.

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