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Coyle cold on Le Toux? Mwanga training with Aston Villa, more news

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Update:

Union confirms Danny Mwanga is on a ten-day training stint with Aston Villa. Union press release says Mwanga “will join his teammates in Orlando on February 6, in time for the start of the Union’s second leg of preseason.”

Player agent Richard Motzkin tweets: “Another MLS player in the UK? Yep, @wmgllc client & @PhilaUnion player Danny Mwanga is training with Aston Villa for the next 10 days.” Motzkin also represents Freddy Adu.

What exactly this means with training camp opening on Monday, and the transfer window closing on Tuesday, is unclear. It is interesting to note that training camp is closed both to the media and to the public on Tuesday.

Le Talk

Yesterday he’s going, today he is staying. An article from sportinglife.com suggests that Le Toux “did not impress sufficiently” at Bolton. Owen Coyle is quoted in the article, “Sebastien came in for a couple of days, and to be fair to him he hadn’t trained for four or five weeks. He did fine and that’s where it is. We’d have probably needed a longer look.”

To the extent that Le Toux’s move is connected to what happens to Bolton’s Kevin Davies, there is more on Sunderland’s interest in the veteran striker here and here, as well as word that Bolton is unlikely to let Davies go on a short term deal. So far as Le Toux goes, make of that what you will. I will say this: The transfer window can’t close soon enough as far as I’m concerned.

Philadelphia Union

The Union have announced a “strategic partnership” with Costa Rica’s Deportivo Saprissa “that will focus on player development and training methodology, as well as best practices in commercial, stadium and financial operations.” The announcement continues,

The agreement aims to grow both the Union and Saprissa brands in their respective markets and around the world through activities such as a youth technical staff and player exchange program, a yearly soccer clinic in both Philadelphia and San Jose, Costa Rica, and an exhibition match played between the club’s first teams. Philadelphia Union and Deportivo Saprissa merchandise will also be available for purchase in each club’s official team store.

New signing Gabriel Gomez says of his deal with the Union, “I signed for a year with options through 2015, so I’ll go this year and try to show well, please the team, the management and the fans, and achieve the collective objectives of the team. I’m headed there with the desire to earn my place in the team. It’s a young team, a team with big goals, and I’m going to do my best to fit in and do the best possible.”

The Union’s training session at YSC Sports on Wednesday will be open to the public from 11am to 12:30pm.

The club also confirmed that it will scrimmage with Florida Gulf Coast University on Feb. 11, and University of Central Florida on Feb. 15, before its friendly with Orlando City on Feb. 18 before returning to Philly on Feb. 19. Details of the club’s preseason plans after that will be released at a later date.

Add Tottenham to the list of possible All-Star Game opponents that includes Chelsea, Liverpool and Roma, all of whom have been reported to be planning summer vacations in the US. At least two Union fans would seem to prefer Liverpool.

CONCACAF Olympic Qualifiers

While Hope Solo practiced on Thursday, she is still questionable for tonight’s semifinal match against Costa Rica (8pm: universalsports.com, CONCACAF.com). “We still have quite some time to figure that out,” Solo said after the practice, “so we’re just going to have to wait and see.” She added, “Honestly, we have to do what’s best for the team. This isn’t a friendly. You get three subs, and nobody wants to waste a sub on the goalkeeper. We don’t want to see me back there grimacing and holding my leg.”

This wit writes, “But, even without Hope, you can still bet the Barnhart on the U.S. women punching their ticket to London.”

Soccer America says the USWNT’s new 4-2-3-1 formation being deployed in the Olympic qualifiers with the Philadelphia Independence linked Lauren Cheney in a playmaking role “has brought a different sheen to the team.” In case you didn’t know, “sheen” is the Old English word for 31 goals.

The New York Times says the pressure is on for the US to beat Costa Rica tonight. “Germany, a two-time World Cup champion, has already failed to qualify for London. The further absence of the United States, the world’s top-ranked team, would severely devalue the Olympic tournament.”

Philadelphia Independence

The Independence completing a two-day combine today. With Nicole Barnhart again expected to be with the USWNT for long stretches this season, coach Paul Riley’s says, “That’s the biggest question in our lineup, the goalkeeper situation, and we haven’t been able to solve it,”

Local

You may remember our support last spring of the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders’ (NJCTS) Team Up With Tim Howard Raffle. Well, here’s a look at the time the raffle winners spent with Howard in the UK. Top man, that Tim Howard, top man.

MLS

This thoughtful piece from The Guardian uses the Tim Ream signing as the starting point for a look at how exports out of MLS are quietly becoming something that the savvy European football fan ought to take notice of.

Ream is likely to see his first action as a Trotter against Norwich on Feb. 4.

Keep an eye on Toronto, who look to be starting the 2012 season with some roster consistency for a change.

John Rooney has left the Energy Drinks for the Union’s preseason opponent, Orlando City.

US

Ives Galarcep runs down the winners and losers from January’s USMNT camp.

Bruce Arena responds to comments made by Jurgen Klinsmann.

Brian McBride weighs in on today’s FA Cup match between Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan, I mean Fulham and Everton (FSC, 3pm)

The first installment of Clint Dempsey’s diary is up at Goal.com.

Elsewhere

The first live broadcast of a Premiership game by an over-the-air network, last weekends Arsenal v Manchester United clash, was seen by 1.3 million viewers, more than double the high for previous broadcasts on cable television.

US Soccer Players looks at Wednesday’s release of UEFA’s Club Licensing Benchmarking Report and concludes that change will come only when Europe stops operating under a system “system that promotes selling contracts rather than trading players.”

Here’s part 2 of Soccer America’s look at Bayern Munich’s youth program.

Lionel Messi is on the cover of the Feb. 6 edition of Time Magazine—in every regional edition except the US, that is.

8 Comments

  1. Silly season has never been a more accurate euphemism then this transfer window. Someone email me when it’s over.

  2. Personally I’d be upset if we sold Mwanga instead of Le Toux. Mwanga is 20 with national team – let alone MLS – potential. There is no doubt of his skill set on the ball and taking people on.
    Again, not to take ANYTHING away from what Le Toux has done for us. But he is a 28 year old who best skill is that he “runs hard.”

    • What do you mean there is no doubt on his skill set…I completely doubt Mwanga’s potential. Has he been getting any national team call ups? I hope you can see more to #9’s game than just running hard.

      • You make it so hard to root for you sometimes.

        Are you saying that you honestly doubt Mwanga has the talent to hack it in MLS? Sure you can wonder if we will fulfill his potential and achieve Le Toux’s production or turn into an elite striker, but to say that he doesn’t have potential is just plain daft.

        Additionally, Mwanga is not yet eligible to earn national team call ups for the US, so that point is meaningless.

        • Hah! Im not looking for fans. I also meant the Congolese national team or U-20s or U-23s. He was our #1 draft pick ever and has yet to show his value…honestly dont think he will this year either. Still wish we took Teal instead. Mwanga’s weaknessess include a heavy 1st touch, poor vision of the field as he plays with his head down, very one demensional and kinda weak physically for a “target forward.” Sure he’s got potential but so did Nakazawa.

      • Mwanga isn’t eligible for national team call-ups. He is waiting for his American citizenship. He would certainly be called into these youth camps if he were. Further, Mwanga certainly has a skill set “on the ball and taking people on.” Not sure how you could doubt his potential, although doubting his fitness, work ethic, or ability to get a head on the ball are all valid.

        Having said that, I’d much rather sell him than Le Toux. We would probably get a similar price on both of them due to Mwanga’s potential and age, while keeping the far superior MLS player.

  3. I was thinking about our deal with Saparrisa. Would it be possible to loan them some of our young forwards so they can get playing time? Would we want to?

  4. Pingback: The Philly Soccer Page » Has the Dragon left his lair? USWNT cruise past Canada. More news.

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