Daily news roundups / Featured

Interested in Adu, new kit reaction, WPS troubles, Blatter says row over, more news

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Union

Y0u can watch a live stream of today’s Expansion Draft the French Canadian way from 3pm on the Montreal Impact website. (It’s supposed to be on the MLS site too but, as of this writing, they haven’t put the link up yet.)

Montreal Impact head coach Jesse Marsch is among those who noticed Freddy Adu was left unprotected by the Philadelphia Union ahead of today’s Expansion Draft. “That’s a guy we’re thinking about. I have a relationship with him in the past. He’s a talented guy. Now it’s about trying to figure out how he would fit with us and what his thoughts are.”

Marsch told the Montreal Gazette,”We’re analyzing how Freddy would fit. We know him. Mike (Impact assistant coach Sorber) and I both know from working with him with the (U.S.) national team, so we’re just trying to figure what that would be like and how it would fit, what Freddy’s interest level is and everything else. It’s a surprising name though, that’s for sure.

The Canadian French language news site La Presse sees Justin Mapp as a top 5 target for the Impact. You can read a crappy translation here.

The consensus (or maybe hope) is that Adu’s high salary will prevent Montreal from taking him in the draft. Despite the fact that he and Marsch played together for several years at Chicago Fire, Peter Nowak doesn’t expect any favors. “My friends in Montreal, we had a good time together. But business is business.”

Union assistant coach Rob Vartughian said of the draft, “Obviously it’s an unfortunate part of the business. We hope we don’t lose anybody. Obviously we got bitten in the process only being a second-year club last year, losing two guys. Hopefully this year we get through it and we don’t lose anybody. But you never know.”

John Hackworth talks Expansion Draft and much more on the latest edition of the Union Sound podcast.

Want more analysis after reading PSP’s look at the Union’s protected list and our wider view of the Expansion Draft that includes a look back to 2009? CSN Philly has a report. The Brotherly Game has some thoughts to share, as does their parent website SB Nation. Union City Blue also has some thoughts. Union Dues looks at the protected list and back to the 2009 Expansion Draft.

Danny Mwanga reflects on the last season in this piece from the Union website. He says,

“I think I learned a lot from my rookie season to my second season. It was trying to express myself more and play my game while not worrying too much about losing the ball or making the perfect pass all the time. I was more calm and confident than in my rookie year. I think looking ahead to next season, I can take so much from these first two seasons and bring that experience into next season…For me personally, I would like to work on staying healthy and injury-free so I can help the team win more. It was hard missing some games, but we have a great training staff here which helped me so much to get back on the field.”

Judging from comments on the Union website, Facebook, Twitter and actually talking to people in person, reaction to the new Union kits is unsurprisingly all over the map. Here are some tweets from the players with their thoughts:

Sheanon Williams: “Who likes the new jersey not bad trying to step our game up”

Sebastien Le Toux: “I have to tell you that the new jersey looks pretty cool, especially the new light blue and white, close color to our Sons of Ben ! #Union”

Zac MacMath: “Love the new jerseys! Unfortunate that everyone has to buy new ones but we gotta stay fresh #sexy”

If the personalized shirts on sale in the Union’s online shop are any indication, the club doesn’t think Adu, Mapp or Paunovic will go in the draft.

One current and one former Union player appeared in the Guardian’s wrap of the 2011 MLS season. Carlos Valdes was named to their Team of the Year (which features “a cheeky 3-5-2 formation”) and that Carlos Ruiz wonderstrike against Chicago made their final three Goal of the Year list.

MLS

Grant Wahl on David Beckham’s “Hollywood Ending.”

The always reliable Daily Mirror says LA Galaxy are prepared to offer Didier Drogba £5million-a-year contract to replace David Beckham.

Teal Bunbury has turned down a chance to train with Hoffenheim so that he can train with Bolton.

In case you missed it, while the ratings for Sunday night’s MLS Cup final were an improvement compared to last year’s final, they were less than the ratings for the replay of the Chelsea v Liverpool game shown on Fox.

Curious to know what they think of MLS on the other side of the pond.  Check out these four idiots on ESPN. (Thanks to the Shin Guardian, who break down the credentials of the talking heads, for the tip!)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ni09o1sVCRU[/youtube]

WPS

Fans of women’s soccer were disappointed to learn that on Sunday US Soccer delayed sanctioning WPS, now at five teams with the expulsion of the Florida-based franchise magicJack. Reports suggest the league was given 15 days to bring a sixth team into the league, with a franchise in Connecticut or Detroit being the leading possibilities. (USSF sanctioning rules mandate that pro leagues field at least eight member teams, though WPS has been granted a waiver for this directive since its inception.)

As if the possibility of the league not receiving the sanction of US Soccer was not enough to worry about, the league still does not have a collective bargaining agreement with the players union and founding league partner Puma will not be renewing its sponsorship of the league for 2012.

Meanwhile, the USL’s W-League continues to grow, including four teams with ties to MLS. W-League president Amanda Duffy talks about the state of the league and the possibility of the league going professional.

US

Heather O’Reilly’s cracking goal against Brazil in the World Cup is up for FIFA’s Goal of the Year. It is the only goal by a woman on the list, which includes goals from the likes of Messi, Ibrahimovic, Neymar and Rooney. USA! USA! USA!

In related news, you can participate in a survey aimed at “determining the characteristics of the social media audience of the US women’s national soccer team (USWNT).”

US Soccer has provisionally sanctioned NASL for 2012. and the league will be able to participate in the US Open Cup

Here’s a collection of the top five USMNT goals of 2011.

The US remains at No. 34 in the latest FIFA rankings.

Soccer America’s resident contrarian Paul Gardner says that when ESPN fired John Harkes they fired the wrong guy.

Elsewhere

According to Sepp Blatter, the race row he started with his comments denying that racism exists on the pitch is over. “I have made my apologies and I cannot say more. Anybody still thinking that I am a racist, I am sorry to hear that…This matter, for me, is over. I cannot say more than that.” He then went on to say, “During my activities as FIFA president nothing surprises me, but I was very much hurt by these comments because it touched my conscience and in my conscience is the determination I have to go against any discrimination.” So you see, it is all our fault for commenting on his statements.

The Champions League campaigns of Manchester United and Manchester City are in doubt after United drew at home with Benfica and City lost at Napoli.

Led by former USMNT U-20 coach Thomas Rongen, American Samoa snapped a 30-game losing streak with a 2–1 win over Tonga in Oceania World Cup qualifying on Tuesday night.

8 Comments

  1. Do us a favor and please take Freedy Adu!?! Double dog dare you!!!

  2. MIKE SERVEDIO FOR WPS PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Am I the only one who strongly wants Freddy back? With a whole offseason to train with the team in his proper position, he could be a great player. The problem is, I don’t trust Nowak to create the lineup stability needed to really build going forward.

    • On a young team without great depth, Nowak spread minutes around and I can’t argue with the outcome. He got the team to the playoffs, finished respectably in the East, and despite creating frustration among fans, did what was necessary to get through the season. Subtract any one of our exposed midfielders (Nakazawa, Mapp, or Adu) and I’m not lowering my expectations for next season at all. The travesty would be losing Adu to the expansion draft and not signing Torres permanently or at least extending the loan. With 3 other internationals already protected, there was no requirement to protect Roger – it was a choice and you have to think they did it over Freddy. Let’s hope that was reflective of their commitment to keep him around.

    • Yes. You are the only one. Seriously, he always “could be a great player.” That’s been said about him since he was 14. The problem is he has never actually been a great player and I fear he never will be. If he stays, I’ll cheer for him, of course but he better put forth a ton more effort next season and I don’t want to hear anything about fitness being an issue.

    • No, you’re not the only one. I’m with you in hoping Adu is not chosen.

      If Adu is taken in the expansion draft, it could be VERY bad for MLS, because it will tell big name players coming in, “Yes, you may want to play in one city, but because we have this thing called expansion drafts that you don’t see anywhere in the world, you could end up somewhere else altogether three months later.” That would send a very, very bad message to outside talent and make some players less inclined to sign with MLS.

      More on this later in a post, if he gets chosen.

  4. Aw, this was a very good post. Taking the time
    and actual effort to produce a really good article… but
    what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and don’t seem to get anything done.

  5. I am from the future. Trust me, getting Freddy Adu will be a mistake

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