Photo: Courtesy Philadelphia Union
From the Union website, four stories highlighting youth soccer. First, how FC Delco, Zach Pfeffer’s former club, is an important component in the team’s player development structure. Second, more on the team’s new Philadelphia Union Soccer Schools, which we first mentioned in last Thursday’s news roundup. Next, an article ahead of the first day of training for the team’s U-16 and U-18 academy squads, which took place on Sunday at YSC. Finally, a look at the Soccer Hawaii camp organized by Kyle Nakazawa.
This piece from the Union website about the many roster changes made by the club—only three players remain from the original group selected in the Expansion Draft ahead of the inaugural season—contains an interesting confirmation of something many observers believed must be the case. While describing that Levi Houapeu is still working to secure a place on the team, the article also mentions that “Other trialists are working toward contracts, as well.”
The trip to Greece is going so well that the Union and Ergotelis “that there’s talk of expanding the relationship.”
The Union continue to make the case that they have the best broadcast team in MLS with the announcement over the weekend that JP Dellacamera will be joined by Taylor Twellman and Bob Rigby. Former New England Revolution star Twellman will join Dellacamera in the broadcast booth for color commentary. Rigby, the local-born goalkeeper for the 1973 NASL champion Philadelphia Atoms, will join the broadcast team for studio and sideline commentary. You can read all about the Atoms in our two-part (I, II )history of the team from January, 2010.
Carlos Ruiz and Danny Califf were teammates on the MLS Cup-winning 2002 LA Galaxy. Says Ruiz, “Obviously we know how it is to win a championship – what we have to do, how hard we have to work to do it again. So, him and I and other players here who know the feeling to win a championship, we can show to the other young players what we have to do.”
A Villanova sports blog reports that the Big East is “lukewarm toward Villanova’s preferred venue for games, PPL Park in Chester.” Thank goodness for that.
The league announced a new partnership with statistical information provider Opta on Friday. “Opta has been on the forefront of the statistical revolution sweeping the soccer world for the past half decade. Thanks to their advanced metrics, teams and fans are allowed greater insight into what’s happening on the field, where, and thanks to whom.” Math is cool.
New England Revolution have signed 18-year old Nigerian midfielder Michael Augustine.
SI’s Steve Davis says Real Salt Lake are becoming the league’s model franchise.
The USWNT will play Finland today at 10am in the final group stage match of the Algarve Cup. The US has already qualified for the final on March 9.
Player registration for soccer has surpassed hockey in Canada. Current trends suggest that more women soccer players will soon be registered in Canada than men and women hockey players combined.
Pele, the guy who wouldn’t appear in the Cosmo’s documentary Once in a Lifetime because the producers couldn’t pay the fee he wanted, says that money could destroy soccer.
With tests into goal-line technology being extended a year, Sepp Blatter hints that some form of the new technology could be used at the 2014 World Cup.