With yesterday’s announcement that the Union had declined the option to re-sign Stefani Miglioranzi and Chase Harrison, the eyes of many Philly soccer followers turned to the other castoffs throughout the league and the possibility that the Union might find a worthy signing in Monday’s Re-Entry Draft. How likely are the Union to find a diamond in all of that rough? Kerith Gabriel reports, “[A]fter speaking with a Union coach close to Monday’s proceedings, it isn’t out of the question but ‘highly unlikely’ that the club will chase anyone during this phase—focusing energies on MLS’ SuperDraft (Jan. 12) and the subsequent transfer window (Jan. 21-April 15).”
CSN Philly notes that the Union have opened up some $500,000 in salary with recent player departures.
Intrepid PSP reader MikeRSoccer found an article on albiazules.es linking Spanish striker Kepa Blanco to the Philadelphia Union. The 27-year-old is currently with La Liga Segunda Division side Recreativo de Huelva and has played previously with Sevilla, West Ham and Getafe. Read Blanco’s Wikipedia page here.) MikeRSoccer notes in his comment alerting us to his find “Interesting to note that as of late the Union have consistently been linked with players who both LA and the Red Bulls are also linked with. The new minority owners also own both those teams so perhaps they are already getting fairly involved.”
MLS Rumors found an article on Norwegian site f-b.no linking Costa Rican striker Josue Martinez to the Union with a price tag of between $400,000 and $500,000. The source for the information is the sport director of Norwegian side Fredrikstad FK, themselves interested in acquiring Martinez, who says in the article, “We have simply have not had the opportunity to enter more bids because we have no money.” You can read a crappy translation here. The 21-year-old Martinez has 11 caps with the Costa Rican national team with five goals. He has played his club ball at Deportivo Saprissa since 2009 where he has 15 goals from 42 appearances. Saprissa, like the Union, are sponsored by Bimbo.
This piece on the Union website notes that, for the second year in a row, Zac MacMath will be training at Everton and Zach Pfeffer at Hoffenheim. It will be Amobi Okugo’s first time training at Freiburg.
Among 78 players named by US Soccer to appear Select Games at the Development Academy Winter Showcase beginning Saturday in Sarasota, Florida are four Union Academy players: Miguel Alves (D – Players Development Academy), Connor Maloney (F – PA Classics), Bryce Cregan (D – PA Classics), and Zachary Steffen (GK – FC Delco).
The odyssey of former Union player Shea Salinas continues, with Vancouver trading him to San Jose Earthquakes, the team he broke into MLS with in 2008, for allocation money. Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi said, “[T]he concern is there just isn’t a consistency in his play and I think he would acknowledge that as well. If he does achieve consistency, he will be a very good player in this league.”
For the latest in offseason transactions, click here.
It was officially announced on Wednesday that Seattle Sounders broadcast commentator Arlo White will be the voice of NBC’s coverage of MLS, which will begin in 2012. White talks about his new gig in this informative Q & A.
Juan Agudelo will be training with Liverpool.
If you are in the mood for some cringing, uncomfortable kind of laughs, read this piece about the lawsuit between WPS and Dan Borislow, the owner of the magicJack franchise. The article contains numerous excerpts from text messages and emails sent by Borislow, and, quite frankly, there are too many to choose from as the best example of just what kind of raving, litigation-happy, megalomaniac the Philadelphia-born nut job is.
This article from ESPNW is notable not for its intrinsic newsworthiness—Abby Wambach wants WPS to survive: Surprise!—but because Hope Solo, who has a long history of unfortunate comments on mostly inconsequential game-related matters, declined the opportunity to offer her thoughts on the WPS situation. Maybe she’s just worn out from all of that dancing?
The US U-17 MNT tied France 2–2 on a stoppage time goal from Wesley Wade in the first game of the Nike International Friendlies. The US next faces Turkey on Dec. 2 (5pm, Fox Soccer) before finishing against Brazil on Dec. 4.
The independent governance report, Governing FIFA, was released on Wednesday and calls for wide-ranging reforms including term limits for officials such as the president, conflict-of-interest regulation capable of removing officials from office, restricting the overlap of bodies such as the finance and audit committees and the disciplinary and ethics committees, and much more. FIFA president Sepp Blatter, along with the report’s author, Mark Pieth, was present at the press conference, but Blatter left for “other meetings” before questions could be put to him. You can download the 39-page report here.
On Thursday, the anti-corruption group Transparency International refused the offer of a a seat on the commission charged with implementing reforms at FIFA. The Guardian reports, “TI turned down FIFA’s offer in protest at the chairman of the independent governance committee, Professor Mark Pieth, being appointed and paid by Fifa, and criticized him for stating he would not investigate allegations of past wrongdoing.” Pieth said TI is “is playing a turf war here. I’m cheesed off.”
Japan’s Women’s World Cup team has been nominated for SI’s Sportsman of the Year award.