Photo: Paul Rudderow
Happy birthday, Seba! The Flyin’ Frenchman is 28 today. Did you know he’s the only remaining member of the ’09 expansion draft class?
The Brotherly Game says an anonymous league source claims the 2012 MLS All-Star game will be in Philly or Kansas City. Yesterday, Broad Street Hooligans announced that a source within the Union had illegally discovered that the 2012 MLS All-Star game would be in Philly. Philly Daily News’ Kerith Gabriel responded that the news was false and spoke with Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz, who said he had spoken with MLS Commissioner Don Garber about hosting the game but that he had heard nothing back. Broad Street Hooligans responded that it stuck by its story (which at this point appears to be that the Union might host an All-Star game).
Here are the facts right now: 1) The Union want to host the 2012 MLS All-Star game. 2) Don Garber wants the game to be at a soccer specific stadium. 3) There is no set date for the All-Star game. 4) Cereal remains largely delicious.
So Nick really likes Don, and Don kinda likes Nick but he also likes KC who is totally cute and all about charity and bracelets, and there are these two new guys who are, like, really cool but live way out and Don doesn’t know if he wants to make everyone drive all the way there to hang out because it’s really far and they eat poutine and other weird stuff, and so he doesn’t know what he’s gonna do but Jim told Stevie who told Nermal who overheard Trent playing Pictionary with Edna and Nermal said that Trent was drawing a cheesesteak!
Freddy Adu told ESPN, “It would be an amazing opportunity to be able to stay here at Rayo.” This gives all of us who, with advanced statistical measures and hours in the video room, noticed that Adu kindasorta sucked last year a chance to make good riddance puns with Freddy’s name and declare the team would be much better off without him. Adu was not good last season. He made slow decisions, he didn’t show any positional sense, and he failed to make the attacking mid spot his own. Condemning him for wanting to go to Europe is a bit crazy though.
Every young player on the Union wants to go to Europe. Just because Adu had a bad experience the first time doesn’t mean he owes it to anyone to stick around. If he goes, the Union will make a tidy profit on his sale (he arrived on a free transfer). If he stays, he will continue to push Roger Torres (if he’s around) or someone else for a spot in a crowded midfield. Anyone who says that Freddy Adu can’t play in MLS because of his size is wrong. Soccer has always been a sport in which undersized players can thrive if they have the right attitude, work ethic and a willingness to adjust their game to the setting.
Did Freddy Adu make the Union better last year? No. Is he talented enough to make them better next year? Sure. Is he detrimental to the locker room atmosphere? No. So what the hell? Seriously: Everyone. Wants. To play. In Europe. Just because Adu keeps getting chances is no reason to condemn him. I hope Rayo takes Adu because I want to see more Torres, more Marfan, more Okugo and more Daniel. And if those guys get a chance or three to play in Europe, who am I to judge their ambition?
Good news, Philly soccer/beer fans: Brauhaus Schmitz is expanding and adding more German beer. Check out your Bundesliga action there.
In their post-combine mock draft, MLS experts have the Union taking UCLA midfielder Kelyn Rowe, Indiana defender Chris Estridge, or Louisville fullback Austin Berry. Rowe is an ubertalented attacker who was a potential number one pick if he had come out in 2011. He stayed for his sophomore season at UCLA and ended up coming off the bench. That didn’t stop him from having a big impact, and he scored the tying goal to send the Bruins to penalty kicks with UNC in the College Cup semis.
Estridge has made big strides in each of his four collegiate seasons. From a spot starter at Wake Forest as a freshman, Estridge became a reliable left back before transferring to Indiana as a junior. In his senior season, Estridge became a standout defender and showed the confidence to get forward. After registering just one assist in 2010, he notched 3 goals and 5 assists in 2011.
Austin Berry led Louisville to the 2010 College Cup final where they lost to the outrageously stacked Akron Zips. Berry drew notice for his strong performance and followed it up with a dominant 2011. Berry is 6’2″ and has been consistently dangerous on set pieces during his college career.
The SB Nation mock draft has the Union taking Enzo Martinez, Aaron Maund and Hunter Jumper.
The Union and Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer are partnering to improve opportunities for kids to play, grow and learn through soccer. “Eastern Pennsylvania’s boys’ ODP (ages 12-17) will also continue to offer supplemental training and competition, but the top tier boys in each age group will be encouraged by Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer to participate in the Union’s youth programs (YSC Union Juniors (8-14) and Union Academy U16 and U18).” For the girls, the Union and YSC will still offer free training for the 9-11 age group and some will graduate to the ODP program, which runs from age 12 to 17.
Freddy Adu spoke to 10-Kit about his role as the elder statesman at US Olympic camp. “It is kind of strange to be around guys who are actually younger than me but it is a great opportunity for me to be a leader and bring not just my Olympic experience but also my national team experience to the table,” Adu said. Is it just me, or does Freddy Adu sound like he’s making a sales pitch even when he says the right thing?
Mr. Goff of the Washington Post runs down the number one picks and which player had the best overall career for each of the past 11 SuperDrafts. “Best career” is deceptive though, because Goff considers a short MLS stint followed by a European vacation to be a great career. Is it? Wouldn’t a great career be one in which a player excelled in MLS? Staying a short time and jetting – Brad Guzan, Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan – doesn’t necessarily make the draft pick worth it.
Frank Giase believes the SuperDraft is growing in importance and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Goal.com has a great review of the Homegrown player rule, including an examination of what makes the Union’s youth development program different from the rest. “Several local youth clubs – including firmly established Development Academy sides FC DELCO, PA Classics and PDA – are designated as Youth Development Affiliates after meeting and maintaining certain technical requirements and paying a yearly fee of $1,000 to the Union, according to the Union’s website. Selected players participate in games (against other MLS youth academies) and training sessions under the auspices of Union Academy staffers. This arrangement has caused some consternation within league circles. While other teams fully fund Development Academy sides (not an inexpensive venture considering the travel involved, though it should be noted that the Union have several coaches on staff in its academy system) and remain limited to players within their specific club program, the Union extends its reach to more local youth players without expending additional resources. As a counterpoint, it is also worth noting that the prominence and the success of FC DELCO and PDA in the past may have rather unnaturally reduced the pool of players available to the Union if it operated a typical academy system.”
The struggles of the Colombian leagues continue to benefit MLS. Three new Colombian players signed last week.
Nick Green looks at the Americans currently succeeding in England (and throws in a shot at Freddy Adu). He rightly singles out Norwich City defender Zak Whitbread for praise.
USSoccerPlayers.com has a new feature in which they find out what happened to former US Soccer stars. First up is goalie Arnie Mausser.
A Q&A with US center back Michael Parkhurst.
ESPN-W offers up a timeline of the relationship between former magicJack owner Dan Borislow and WPS. Some of the low points: April 26: WPS notifies Borislow that his team violated several operating standards in its first home game, including failure to display sponsor sign boards, failure to upload video to the league’s site for scouting purposes, lack of an ambulance and EMS staff at the game, failure of the coaching staff to wear required Puma attire, an undersized field (league minimum is 66 yards wide), lack of seating for a minimum of 5,000 fans, lack of press accommodations, lack of player availability to the media, and a past-due balance of $53,166.67 owed to the league, according to the league’s motion in opposition; July 8: The WPS Players Union files a grievance against Borislow on behalf of magicJack players, citing “inappropriate statements and conduct toward his players, and players’ fear of improper retaliation by Mr. Borislow based on their grievance,” according to the league’s motion in opposition. Borislow is later banned from the sideline for the rest of the year.
Meghan Lenczyk has joined the Independence. Lenczyk played for the Atlanta Beat in 2011 and was clearly coveted by Independence head coach Paul Riley: “With a year under her belt in WPS and a super technical midfield, she will get goal opportunities. With her savvy brain and physical presence she will score goals.”
tBG runs down the Independence offseason so far. It’s been a busy one for the WPS runners-up.
Who wants a Gif of Tim Howard’s goal? I do.
Thierry Henry scored on his return to Arsenal. It’s almost enough to make me forgive him being a Red Bull.