Daily news roundups

Okugo impresses and more news

Photo by Raphael Stoian

Union

No movement for the Union (or in most of the rest of the league, for that matter, with only two of the 35 available players being selected) in yesterday’s Re-Entry Draft first round. That means Fred and Chris Seitz have until Monday to renegotiate a new contract or opt to make themselves available for next Wednesday’s second round.

More on a possible January move by Faryd Mondragon, the FC Köln goalkeeper who has been connected to the Union. The original report is in German and here is a poorly translated version.

This piece looks at how well Amobi Okugo has done on the Generation Adidas squad in Spain, a trip that underscored both his capacity for leadership and his versatility on the field. Okugo, who is a defensive midfielder, saw time in Spain as a central defender. Would he play in that position for the Union? “If someone’s hurt and I can play there consistently, I’ll try it out,” he said.

Soccer By Ives reports that the Union are trying to claim Corey Hertzog, the Penn State star who also plays for Reading United in the PDL, as a homegrown player ahead of the 2011 MLS Draft.

Soccer America rates Sebastien Le Toux as the top attacking midfielder in MLS for 2010. Oui.

Distribution of coats donated in a drive spearheaded by the Union, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Soccer Hall of Fame and the Sons of Ben for those in need in Chester began on Wednesday. Said Sister Sandra Lyons, director of program services at The Bernadine Center, of the donations, “The volume of this is overwhelming and it’s awesome that people who have their own needs donated to others.” Coats are still being collected for the drive. Click here for a list of drop-off locations.

MLS

Several big names–Juan Pablo Angel, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Jimmy Conrad, Frankie Hejduk and Josh Wolff—were passed over in the opening of the Re-Entry Draft with only two being selected: DC United picked Joseph Ngwenya and Columbus Crew picked Aaron Hohlbein. If the first stage of the draft was “boring,” will the second stage of the draft “be much more riveting?”

The new Portland Timbers kit will be unveiled today. Here’s an article about the work that went into the design.

The list of senior college players invited to the MLS Combine has been released.

Speaking of college players, Goal.com has a list of players MLS fans should keep an eye on during this weekend’s NCAA College Cup.

Could Brad Friedel be returning to Columbus Crew as a player-coach?

Soccer America wonders why MLS lacks “pizazz.”

Alexi Lalas talks to a Scottish paper about the qualities American players possess.

WPS

WPS announced on Wednesday the details of the 2011 season, which will feature seven teams. Each team will play 18 games and the playoff format of the 2010 season will be retained. Opening weekend will be April 9–0 with the championship to be played the weekend of August 27–28. The league will take off the first two weeks of the 2011 Women’s World Cup, scheduled for June 26–July 17, and so no All-Star game will be played in 2011. Fox Soccer Channel will remain as the league’s national television partner.

Elsewhere

Sepp Blatter on the fallout from the announcement of the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups: “I really sense in some reactions a bit of the arrogance of the western world of Christian background. Some simply can’t bear it if others get a chance for a change.” Ponce. (Read the article for a fully disgusting sense of how out-of-touch with reality Blatter is.)

Peter Velappan, a former senior official of the Asian Football confederation, has joined Franz Beckenbauer in calling for the 2022 World Cup to be moved to the winter months to avoid Qatar’s dangerous summer heat: “Qatar is a nice country … but there is no way football can be played in June and July there. No player will ever want to play in these conditions.”

Tired of FIFA making you feel bad about soccer? Read this story about a foundation that helped a young American cancer survivor and Barcelona fanatic see the team play in Spain and meet her idol, Lionel Messi. Have a tissue handy.

Here’s a roundup of Wednesday’s Champions League results.

Champions League referee Claus Bo Larsen has named Cristiano Ronaldo as his “most annoying player.” Said Larsen, “He’s always out to get a cheap free-kick, especially at home.”

Sven-Goren Eriksson tried to get David Beckham to play in England—for Championship side Leicester City: “I spoke to his agent to see if there was a small chance, but he said it was not possible.”

The new American owners of Liverpool are giving away free tickets for children accompanied by an adult for the club’s next Europa League match. Sure, with the club already advancing to the knockout phase, filling Anfield for a meaningless match against Utrecht may have been a problem, but it is still a nice gesture, no?

Inter are talking to England manager Fabio Capello about replacing Rafa Benitez.

League play in Ghana has been suspended after the country’s football association headquarters were raided by Ghana’s Economic and Organized Crime Office. Investigators are apparently looking into sponsorship deals.

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