Danny Califf has been keeping busy in the offseason. Last month the Union captain took a nine-day US Soccer Coaching License Course. Also of note in the piece, Califf says he’s not up to date with the club’s offseason plans—“I find out the news over the Internet”— and doesn’t know what’s going on with Michael Orozco Fiscal’s loan from Mexican club San Luis. “According to Califf, Orozco Fiscal wants to be in Philadelphia and prefers a long-term deal rather than simply an extension on his loan.” So say we all.
More on what it will take legally for Danny Mwanga to play for the USMNT. In a nutshell, assuming Mwanga got a green card today (“a process that can take anywhere from a few months to several years”), a green card holder “must wait five years before they can apply for citizenship, although for those granted asylum like Mwanga and [New York Red Bulls Tony] Tchani, that wait is reduced to four years. If the applicant is married to a U.S. citizen, the wait time is shortened to three years.” The article states that Mwanga “indicated that the circumstances under which he fled the country wouldn’t prevent him from representing the DRC.”
Also of interest, the article notes that Sebastien Le Toux, who recently received his green card, wouldn’t be eligible to play for the US until 2015. “When the World Cup hits Russia three years later, Le Toux will be 34, making it unlikely that he’ll ever suit up for the U.S. national team.”
Fans of Freddy Adu coming to the Union may be dismayed by reports from France that German second division side Ingolstadt, who are threatened with relegation, are interested in him. (You can read a Google Translator translation of the report here.)
The SB Nation mock SuperDraft has the Union selecting left back Michael Tetteh (UC Santa Barbara) as their first pick and then going with forward/midfielder Levi Houapeu (UMBC).
Philadelphia Independence have re-signed English forward Lianne Sanderson, who became a free agent at the end of the 2010 season.
WPS has approved Washington Freedom’s request to play some home games in Florida “for ‘trial purposes,’ contingent on the team identifying a stadium that meets league standards.” Expect the announcement that the team is leaving Washington to be announced shortly.
There have been rumors floating around for a few weeks but now it is official: next Thursday’s SuperDraft has been reduced from four rounds to three. Clubs will now participate via conference call in a Supplemental Draft that will take place on Tuesday, January 18. The Supplemental Draft, which was discontinued by the league in 2009, will also have three rounds.
Vancouver have the first overall pick in the SuperDraft but that doesn’t mean they won’t trade it away.
Vancouver and Portland are 17 and 18. Montreal will be 19. How to choose number 20? And where does MLS go after that?
Ousmane Dabo on a move to MLS, which he says is “under way”: “My career is done. Over there, salaries are nowhere near what they are in Europe, except for superstars such as Henry and Beckham. I am a defensive midfielder, I am almost 34. I will not be the one selling shirts.”
More gist for the silly season rumor mill: LA Galaxy are interested in Luca Toni.
US Soccer legend Kristine Lilly has announced her retirement from international play. Here are a few stats to show just how badass Lilly is: she is the most capped player in soccer history with 352 international appearances; played in five World Cups and three Olympics; scored in every world championship tournament she played in except for her first, the 1991 World Cup, when she was 20; the only player to have appeared for the US in four different decades; is both the youngest and oldest player to score for the US; second only to Mia Hamm in goals internationally with 130 and assists nationally with 105. Oh yeah, she gave birth to a daughter in 2008, which is the only reason she did not play in the 2008 Olympics.
For the fourth straight year and a record seventh time overall, Landon Donovan has been named named the 2010 Player of the Year by Fútbol de Primera.
Incumbent FIFA vice president Chung Mong-joon lost reelection to Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein yesterday. The loss probably signals the end of any challenge Chung may have been considering to replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA president.
A convicted match-fixer has told a German court that he bribed a match official to fix a World Cup qualifying match in 2009.
In more match fixing news, a former player for Bundesliga side St. Pauli has admitted to taking bribes to fix five games in 2008 but has denied influencing any of the matches. St. Pauli was playing in the Bundesliga second division in 2008.
Rumors linking Harry Redknapp as the replacement for Fabio Capello in 2012 as manager of England with David Beckham as his assistant have been denied by the FA.
Every now and again, the soccer gods smile and justice prevails. In yesterday’s Copa Del Rey match between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona, Barcelona defender Eric Abidal was subjected to racist chants. During a corner kick in front of the Barcelona goal, Abidal repeatedly was the target of objects thrown from the stand. He was then struck by what is presumed to be a coin and fell to the ground. Abidal returned to the match and found revenge with his foot, scoring his first ever goal for Barcelona, a goal that was enough to secure a 1–1 draw and advance his club into the next round.