Daily news roundups / Featured

Reaction to schedule, More Adu, Indy’s plans, Henry loan official, more news

Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Philadelphia Union

Reaction to the release of the 2012 schedule:

The Goalkeeper notes that the Union is hosting New York and DC twice. “This strikes me as unfair from a competitive balance standpoint…As such, it would seem to me to make more sense to have each team host one team once and one team twice.”

Judah Levine has 10 must-see Union matches in 2012. PSP has 34 must-see Union matches for 2012.

The season closer at PPL against New York closes out MLSsoccer.com’s list of 10 must-see MLS matches in 2012.

Kevin Kinkead has a month-to-month breakdown the Union schedule.

The Goalkeeper runs down the highs and lows of the league schedule.

MLSsoccer.com looks at rivalries in the schedule.

Michael Lewis says the unbalanced schedule won’t work and is unfair.

Alert reader MikeRSoccer found two more foreign language pieces on Freddy Adu that only further questions about his intentions in Spain. Adu, currently on a training stint with Rayo Vallecano, is quoted by Brazilian website Esporte as saying, “I love Spanish football. For now I’m just training, but it would be a dream to play in Spain.” The report says,”Freddy Adu is conducting a training period with the club and can sign a contract in the coming days if approved,” and continues, “Adu said Rayo Vallecano had tried signing him at the time of the Gold Cup in 2011, but the player still had a contract with the Philadelphia Union.” (Crappy translation here.)

Indonesian-language site tribunnews.com quotes Adu as saying, “Rayo Vallecano has long interested me. Even before the Gold Cup event last year. Perwakilanku [?] kept in touch with the club. When the MLS competition is over, I decided to go to Rayo…I love Spanish football. Now I work out here and my dream is to play in Spain. Since childhood, I always watched league in Spain. Needless again, Spain is the best league in the world.” (Crappy translation here.)

In fairness, Adu has made clear many times that he wants to return to Europe, including in his excellent interview on the Philly Soccer Show podcast, and we’re dealing with crappy translations of foreign language reports. Nevertheless, for Union fans, the fundamental question is one of loyalty and commitment to the team.

Noting that Adu’s “style of play will facilitate the creativity so badly needed at all levels of US Soccer,” opposingviews.com writes that “Adu along with some other talented players like Bryan Arguez and Joe Corona could lead the US to a promising Olympic run this summer.”

Union head of scouting and player development Diego Gutiérrez feels good about the recent signings. “I think all three of these guys have the potential to be stars,” Gutiérrez said. “You never know what happens with injuries. You never know what happens with guys not setting nicely in different environments. But soccer-wise, there’s no doubt in my mind all three of these guys can be important contributors.”

It is a three-way split for the Union in MLSsoccer.com’s mock draft. Jason Banton (MF/FW – Leicester City), Matt Hedges (DF – North Carolina) and Tyler Polak (DF – Creighton/GA) are the experts’ selections for the Union in the first round. In the second round it is Matt Hedges (DF – North Carolina), Aubrey Perry (DF – South Florida) and Mykell Bates (DF – Santa Clara). Here’s some info on Bates.

Zac MacMath shares his memories of the SuperDraft and offers this advice to the players available in next Thursday’s draft: “I tried to soak everything up and I would tell the players this year to enjoy the whole experience. It’s a lot of fun and if you look at it that way, it’s an amazing experience.”

The Union’s 6–2 thumping of Toronto is no. 18 on the 700 Level’s Top 25 Philly Sport Wins of 2011. That’s it. No beating the Energy Drinks, No beating DC, no beating Seattle, no beating Columbus to snap the winless streak, no comeback win against Chivas, etc..

Philadelphia Independence

The Independence have re-signed defender Kia McNeill and PSP favorite and midfielder Jen Buczkowski.

WPS has released the mechanics of next Friday’s draft. The Independence will have six picks in the four round draft (an extra two were picked up via trade), starting with the fifth pick in the first round.

Paul Riley tells the Inquirer what the Independence will be looking for in the draft. “Another forward from the first or second round is at the top of our agenda. We’re also interested in another goalkeeper and another midfielder.”

You can watch a live stream of the draft next Friday beginning at 1pm at the league’s website.

Local

Reading United alumni, Duke junior forward and Lititz, Pa. native Andrew Wenger has been named the Philly Soccer News Men’s College Player of the Year. Wenger is predicted to be selected either first or second in the mock draft at MLSsoccer.com.

MLS

Don’t forget you can watch a live stream of the Players Combine beginning today at 2:45pm.

It’s official: Thierry Henry is on loan to Arsenal. He’ll be available when Arsenal plays Leeds on Monday in the FA Cup.

The will he or won’t he speculation about whether Brian Ching will go to Montreal seems to have concluded. “I’ve decided I’m not going to retire,” Ching told the Houston Chronicle. “I’ll report to Montreal when camp opens.”

Montreal Impact’s director of soccer operations Matt Jordan tells sportsnet.ca, “We’re not planning on trading the first pick at this point…We have a good idea of how we want to use that first pick.”

The Colorado Rapids have named FC Dallas assistant coach Oscar Pareja as their new head coach. What better way to start his head coaching career than with a loss to the Union at the home opener on March 18.

Ives Galarcep reports at Fox Soccer on how MLS is shifting resources away from Generation adidas.

Omar Gonzalez was injured in a collision with Timothy Chandler in his first day of practice at FC Nürnberg.

Looking back from this time of league expansion, did eliminating Tampa and Miami in 2002 save MLS?

US

IMS reports that the US National Amputee soccer team has big plans for 2012.

US Soccer Players has a handy preview of 2012′s international calendar.

Elsewhere

The Guardian reports that the new 50p coin released by the Royal Mint to commemorate the 2012 Olympics that explains the offside rule is being criticized as being “totally out of date” and “confusing” by refereeing experts. Referees’ Association member Mal Davies described the coin as “embarrassing.” The criticism stems from a rule change 17 years ago which tells assistant referees to decide whether a player in an offside position is involved in active play before raising the flag. Neil Wolfson, the coin designer, says, “With all due respect, I reject Mal Davies’s interpretation of the coin (rather than his interpretation of the offside law). Nowhere on the coin does it say that the ‘offside’ player is committing an offence – that is a supposition entirely of Mal’s creation. The coin simply states that the player is ‘offside’ – which is true, irrespective of whether or not an ‘offside offence’ results from this scenario. Furthermore, there are clearly space limitations on the coinface so it was obviously impossible to go into the finer details of the offside rule.”

ESPN reports, “Real Madrid duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho will not attend Monday’s FIFA Ballon d’Or ceremony in Switzerland, when Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is expected to scoop the award for a third successive time.” The club claims Tuesday’s Copa del Rey match against Malaga prohibits any Real Madrid players or coaches from attending.

6 Comments

  1. I’ve never felt that Adu was all that committed to the team. And, if we can hold credence to Google Translate’s skillset, it sounds like he already has one foot out the door. It’s hard to put in 100% effort on the Delaware waterfront if your heart is in Spain. Freddy is hereby officially put on warning – http://www.phillysoccerpage.net/2011/09/07/things-that-make-you-go-shhhh/

  2. To be fair. If Europe came calling how many players on the Union would say no?

    • Completely different. The rest of the Union youngsters have given their all for the club. Players move on. That happens, but arriving with your head already focused on something else. no thanks.

  3. Thought it was interesting Borg had us taking Banton in the MockDraft with our Intl roster spot issue. Also the other two didn’t have Banton drafted at all. One of these kids isn’t doing their homework.

  4. I looked at that Michael Lewis article. He not only dislikes the unbalanced schedule, because of competitive fairness and the fact that MLS fans won’t see every team visit their home field. Valid points. He also whines about the length of the season, which is also a valid point even though it doesn’t have anything to do with the unbalanced schedule.

    But what’s his solution? Single table with a balanced schedule. He complains that the US is playing by different rules than the rest of the world. Same old Eurosnob attitude that completely ignores the realities of a league that spans 4 time zones and two countries.

    While I would also prefer a balanced schedule, it just doesn’t make as much sense here. Where is the fairness when a team based in Vancouver or LA is forced to endure massive amounts of airline travel, while Northeast teams have several away matches that can be reached by bus or train? He totally ignores that. And without a balanced schedule, playoffs are necessary.

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