It was a slow news weekend for the MLS news-wise with free agency creeping along, but there were some interesting new tidbits about Euro 2016, USL unionization and TV ratings for the MLS Cup Final. Check it out and more below!
USL players on brink of union recognition | Inside World Football The United Soccer League Players Association (USLPA) - consisting of those players employed in the United Soccer League (USL), which is considered the third tier of US soccer – is coming close to formal unionization.
The artist formerly known as USL PRO is now known as the USL.
The United Soccer League announced today that it has dropped the USL PRO moniker and will compete instead as the USL. In addition, the league announced new branding as well as customized versions of its new logo in each of the team's colors.
The Harrisburg City Islanders upset the Major League Soccer bound Orlando City FC in the opening round of the United Soccer League – Pro playoffs advancing to play the Richmond Kickers in the semifinals. The lone goal of the match was scored by Philadelphia Union forward and Princeton University graduate.
Later today, the Houston Dynamo will face off against Eastern Conference rival Chicago Fire in the opening match of the 2013 Carolina Challenge Cup. This year marks the tenth running of the preseason tournament which pits Major League Soccer clubs against teams in the United Soccer League.
The event is hosted by the USL club Charleston Battery and has welcomed a number of MLS clubs in years past.
The United Soccer League has announced punishment stemming from an August 20th incident involving Robbie Rogers during his rehab match with the LA Galaxy II against the Orange County Blues.
Midfielder Richard Chaplow has been suspended two matches and fined an undisclosed amount for his use of abusive and offensive language towards Rogers in the last 15 minutes of the match between the two USL teams on August 20th.
It took more than 90 minutes for the Rochester Rhinos to find their first shot on goal, and second-half sub Asani Samuels twice rose to the occasion.
Samuels scored two set-piece goals – an equalizer in second-half stoppage time and the game-winner in the 112th minute – as the Rhinos defeated the LA Galaxy II 2-1 in overtime to capture the 2015 USL Championship at Sahlen's Stadium.
New York Red Bulls II forward Stefano Bonomo comes from a line of top-level athletes in his family. Bonomo's father Paolo, as well as his grandfather who he had never met, were former professional skiers.
Goal scoring is the lifeblood of the game, and the 2015 USL season has consisted of a flurry of memorable tallies. The USL record books are being rewritten heavily in this department with three players who have set themselves apart in their run to hold the single-season goal-scoring record.
OKC Energy FC's Danni König (19 goals), Louisville City FC's Matt Fondy (18 goals) and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds' Rob Vincent (17 goals) represent the top tier of the goal scoring department and are within striking distance of the USL record of 20 goals scored by Orlando City SC's Kevin Molino during the 2014 season.
With the heavy dose of newcomers joining the USL in 2015, there has been a large performance range among the new clubs. Seattle Sounders FC 2 and Louisville City FC have seen more immediate success, while the likes of FC Montreal and Real Monarchs SLC are still trying to establish their identity.
The Rochester Rhinos have been one of the most consistent successes of the 2015 USL season. Rochester's unbeaten run is one of the club's best in its history, just three games shy of matching the 14-game streak during the 1998 A-League campaign.
Former Sacramento Republic FC loanee Tommy Thompson was named to the U.S. U-20 Men's National Team's World Cup roster earlier this month, and his first inclusion with the U-20s was a hectic experience.
Fifteen years ago, forward Matthew Delicate was playing for the Wales U-18 national team and had zero knowledge of Richmond, Va. Fast-forward to the present, and Delicate is the toast of the Richmond Kickers.
Another week of former SKC Wizards updates. Abe Thompson is set to call it a career as he's retiring to take a job with the United Soccer League for one of their youth initiatives. He'd spent the last year as a player/coach for Fort Lauderdale. Here's the rest of this week's update.
Active without a club or unknown Stephane Auvray Chris Brunt Eloy Colombano Doug DeMartin Birahim Diop Pablo Escobar Mauro Fuzetti AJ Godbolt Tom Gray Willy Guadarrama Zoltan Hercegfalvi Santiago Hirsig Aaron Hohlbein Will John Neal Kitson Jonathan Leathers Ryan McMahen Anthony Noriega Sergei Raad Ofori Sarkodie Sam Scales Ivan Trujillo Diego Walsh Lance Watson
MLS Davy Arnaud - Montreal - Started and played 90 minutes in Montreal's 1-1 draw with Houston.
It appears that there is one less soccer team in the KC metro area. Today, the United Soccer League released the schedule for their Premier Development League season. One name absent from the list for the first time since 1997 is the Kansas City Brass.
There'd been rumors towards the end of last year that the Brass would not be returning in the 2014 season.
Real Boston Rams coaches look on during a recent tryout held at Dana Farber Fieldhouse in Foxborough. (Photo: Real Boston Rams)
Since the United Soccer League's inception in 1986, Eastern Massachusetts has long struggled to keep its teams in the division from moving or folding all together after a few seasons each, save for the Cape Cod Crusaders who lasted from 1994 to 2008.
Memo Rodriguez was one of four players signed by the Dynamo, and he's earned it.
Over the past two soccer seasons, there was only one player I covered for the Charleston Battery, and the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros. That player was Jose "Memo" Rodriguez. As I began my career here at Dynamo Theory, as the USL beat writer, the Homegrown signing was heading out on loan to the Charleston Battery, Houston's one year affiliate.
Yesterday, the USL unveiled the full 2017 schedule.
The United Soccer League released the 2017 full schedule yesterday. Of course, that means Rio Grande Valley FC Toros soccer is on the horizon. If you are late to the party, welcome! RGVFC is the USL hybrid affiliate of the Houston Dynamo, who finished their first year as the 2016 #2 seed in the Western Conference.
Seattle's first Open Cup opponents of the year won't have to travel very far after beating the Sacramento Republic on the road.
While the date and location for the Seattle Sounders' first Lamar Hunt US Open Cup match of the season was set weeks ago, their opponent was not revealed until Wednesday, when the Kitsap Pumas knocked Sacramento Republic FC out of the tournament with a 3-1 win in Sacramento.