Daily news roundups

Injury scares, sighs of relief

Philadelphia Union

A scary Wednesday afternoon for Faryd Mondragon’s Twitter followers:

1:07pm: ” just finished practice, the guys look good and sharp for Saturday!!!”

3:15pm: “in Dr. Mathews office with pain in my knee, little bit worried but confident the “magician” will make me feel good as new!!!”

4:45pm: “just walked out from the “magician’s” office, 80% of the pain is gone, hopefully tomorrow i am 100% fit, thanks Dr. Mathews!!!”

4:48pm: “thank you all for the nice and positive messages, that good energy is everytime welcome!!!”

Whew!

In more injury report good news, Sebastien Le Toux said in Wednesday’s press conference that he is fully fit and ready to go the full 90 on Saturday. “I’m great and I’m ready to play,” said Le Toux of the his ankle injury. “It’s an old story now.” Reports early in the week said that Le Toux would undergo an MRI on his left ankle for a sprain he picked up in the friendly against Orlando on February 19, re-injured in Greece. While in Greece, Le Toux also had to contend with a stomach flu.

Speaking about the Union’s depth in the midfield and up front, Peter Nowak said on Wednesday, “We can move stuff around…It’s good to have this kind of problem.” It’s nice to see a smile cross Nowak’s face when he talks about Zach Pfeffer, who Nowak describes as “knocking to the doors right now for the starting lineup.”

Nowak described the team as “Relaxed but focused,” adding, “As I said, they’re getting pretty anxious and you can see in practice—we had to cut off the practice yesterday because it was so competitive.”

Nowak said on Wednesday that one of the things the Union are focused on against the Dynamo is set pieces. “We have to limit the free kicks around the box,” Nowak said on Wednesday, “make sure we contain those guys without making silly fouls and putting ourselves in bad situations.” When the two teams first met last May, the Union gave up two goals to set pieces, nullifying the early lead provided by the brilliant goal from Shea Salinas. Le Toux later equalized tied off of second-half substitute Danny Mwanga’s assist. Le Toux then assisted Mwanga’s stoppage time winner.

If you can get past the pop ups and auto-play sidebar ads, philly.com has several short video interviews with Nowak, Mwanga and Mondragon.

In Philly Union Talk’s look at Houston v Philadelphia, new contributor Paul the Stray Ferret predicts a Union victory. I like the way that ferret thinks.

The Brotherly Game looks at the Union’s defense.

The Globe and Mail, acknowledging “predicting the order of finish is probably an exercise in futility,” has the Union finishing fifth in the Eastern Conference.

The home game against the Energy Drinks on April 9 is just a few short weeks away. Why not get in the spirit of things by voting Union in this Union v Energy Drinks supporters race on Facebook? Sticking it to the Energy Drinks—it’s delicious!

If you are on Twitter, wish @sheanonwilliams a happy 21st birthday.

Philadelphia Independence

Here’s a look at the 2011 Independence by position.

MLS

Colorado have signed Caleb Folan.

Dwayne “Silly Dance” De Rosario is trying to put his contract (or lack thereof) frustrations behind him to focus on the Toronto’s season opener against Vancouver.

18-year old FC Dallas signing Fabian Castillo is the youngest Designated Player in league history.

NFL star (so I’m told) Chad Ochocinco is trying out for Sporting Kansas City. “Due to the NFL lockout, I’m excited to be able to follow my childhood dream of playing for a Major League Soccer team.” Ochocinco, who uses a soccer ball to warm up for American football, is friends with the likes of Thierry Handball, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho. So he must be good.

For those with more time to waste, here’s a look at five other NFL players who could “make it” in MLS.

Bill Archer’s hilariously venomous take on Don Garber’s halftime interview during Tuesdays “First Kick,” the Ochocinco publicity stunt, and David Beckham’s hairband. The Title? Dumb and Stupid.

Thierry Handball sold more shirts than Beckham last year. But the Union sold more than both. Only Seattle sold more.

US

You read about him in Eli’s profile piece last week on the PSP: 20-year old Timothy Chandler has been called up for the friendlies against Argentina and Paraguay. USMNT fans will not be disappointed with the roster.

One USMNT call-up, Maurice Edu, is hunting trophies in Scotland.

Because FIFA kept the number of spots for CONCACAF at three for the 2014 World Cup, the six team final qualification format will remain in place, thus making allowing the US and Mexico to play each other.

Elsewhere

New Zealand has “reluctantly” pulled out of March 29 friendly with Japan in Tokyo.

Sir Alex Ferguson is handed a five-match touchline ban for his disparaging comments about the referee in his club’s recent loss to Chelsea, proving not that justice prevails at the FA, merely whimsy. Apparently talking to the media again, Ferguson calls the ban “disappointing,” adding, “It is the only industry where you can’t tell the truth. But it is in the past now. I’ve not decided about appealing.”

Arsene Wenger confirms ex-Arsenal keeper, public urinator and all-around loon Jens Lehman will come out of retirement to rejoin his former club.

Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed will erect a statue of Michael Jackson outside of Craven Cottage. “He was my friend, a man with whom I shared many happy memories and who died a tragic and untimely death,” said al Fayed, before not adding, “The Windors killed Diana and Dodi!”

Sepp Blatter, the 75-year old president of FIFA, says “I feel still full of energy and I’ve not yet finished my work in FIFA.” Blatter has been FIFA president for thirteen years.

3 Comments

  1. Any word yet on Levi Houapeu or the other trialists?

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      Other than some hints from Nowak that some “defenders” on trial (Gabriel Farfan and Keon Daniels are both midfielders)”might” be signed, no. I haven’t heard anything about Houapeu for a few weeks.

  2. I hope MacMath has his big boy boots on. He’ll definitely get some time this year.

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