News Roundups are posted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning with quick hits on what you may have missed and what is still to come in The Beautiful Game.
Here’s what you may have missed and what is still developing. And, as always, here’s to helping bring you, the Fan, up to speed and Ahead of the Game.
ICYMI: U in Review
It was certainly a “good few days” for head coach Jim Curtin and his team. Although, certain people on this site would argue that this is only the beginning of a period of many “good days” for the club.
But that’s for another time. Here is what happened in and around the Philadelphia Union this week, a “good week,” might we add.
Following a three-nil drudging in the Rose City to the Portland Timbers, the Philadelphia Union returned home to Talen Energy Stadium on Wednesday night, to face the Chicago Fire in the Semi-Finals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Powered by two goals from Jamaican international Cory Burke, a stand-out performance by captain Alejandro Bedoya and staunch defending by the young backline, the Union defeated the visiting Fire, 3-0, to advance to the Open Cup Final for the third time in five years.
Philadelphia will travel to Houston on September 26, to face the Houston Dynamo in the Final. Houston defeated Major League Soccer newcomers LAFC on penalties to advance to the Final.
Earnie Out, Ernst Tanner In
Following a resounding Semi-Final victory, the club formally introduced a replacement for new United States Men’s National Team General Manager, Earnie Stewart, naming Ernst Tanner as the club’s third-ever Sporting Director.
Tanner, 51, is currently serving as the Academy Director for Austrian giants Red Bull Salzburg, a position he has held since 2012. Under the direction of Tanner, Red Bull captured the UEFA Youth League title in the 2016/2017 season, beating youth clubs from the likes of Manchester City to FC Barcelona.
Moreover, the senior club has retained the league title for the last five seasons, capturing four straight Austrian cups as an added compliment.
Prior to Salzburg, Tanner, a native of Germany, quickly shot up the ranks of Bundesliga outfit TSG Hoffenheim in just three years at the club. There, Tanner started as Academy Manager, before moving up to Director of Football and later club CEO.
Several notable players have come through Hoffenheim’s ranks during Tanner’s tenure there, including Brazilian Roberto Firmino, Iceland star Gylfi Sigurdsson and Bayern Munich defender David Alaba.
Tanner will finish his duties with Salzburg, before officially joining the Union in his new role. Currently, the German is undergoing the immigration process to the United States, and is rumored to join the club in mid to late September.
Union Bag Six-Pointer in New England
Topping off a “good” week was a great individual performance from central defender Jack Elliott, who bagged two goals in the Union’s pivotal away victory over the New England Revolution on Saturday night.
Elliott, filling in for the injured Mark McKenzie, first scored a cheeky back heel goal before adding a poacher’s goal a few minutes after.
Fafa Picault converted from the spot later in the game to seal a nervy 3-2 win for the Union in Foxborough, MA. Philly and New England, separated by just a point in the table, will meet again in Chester on August 25, in what will certainly be considered another crucial six-point game for both sides.
Major League Soccer
Must Watch: Rooney’s Late-Game Heroics Help D.C. Defeat Orlando
Sunday’s Eastern Conference game between D.C. United and Orlando City S.C. at Audi Field looked destined to end in a stalemate, after both teams traded a pair of goals.
But that was before United captain Wayne Rooney made a blistering 40-yard run, bone-crunching tackle and played a 60-yard pass to the head of teammate Luciano Acosta for the game’s winning goal.
— D.C. United (@dcunited) August 13, 2018
Head referee JC Rivero turned to the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) following the dramatic goal, presumably assessing either a foul by Rooney on Orlando’s Will Johnson or offsides on the part of Acosta.
In the end, the Argentinean’s third goal of the contest was awarded, and United won, 3-2.
Weah Scores First League Goal For PSG
Budding United States National Team forward Timothy Weah scored his first-ever Ligue 1 goal for French giants Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday, with the second half substitute pouncing on a lapse in judgement by Caen keeper Brice Samba.
Tim Weah scores for PSG! Punishes a bad GK error pic.twitter.com/BP2vJxsQpq
— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) August 12, 2018
Weah, 18, entered the game for PSG in the 82nd minute, with the Parisians up two goals to nil and the American starlet replacing global football star Neymar. It took Weah just seven minutes to score his first-ever league goal.
Reports: Leicester City Eyeing Henry, Martinez For Manager Role
According to sources close to ESPN FC, Leicester City is currently mulling replacements for under-fire manager, Claude Puel, with Belgium National Team boss Roberto Martinez reportedly topping the Foxes’ list.
Per the sources, who confirmed an earlier report by the Mirror, Martinez including his assistant for Belgium, Thierry Henry, are both under “consideration” from Leicester, should the former English champions decided to sack Puel.
Last month, reports heavily linked Henry as a replacement for Steve Bruce who currently manages English Championship side Aston Villa.
Thank you for checking out Monday’s News Roundup. Check back here, on Wednesday morning, for all the latest happening in The Beautiful Game. Until then, Cheers.