Photo: Paul Rudderow
Michael Farfan talks about his training stint with Sunderland, most of which was spent with the Sunderland reserves. “I don’t think it was any change of play compared to here,” Marfan says. “It was a good level and I held my own.
Marfan says players were interested to learn more about MLS. “I talked to them pretty much every day in the locker room. They had questions about MLS and I had questions for them. They asked what the level is like, what the atmosphere is like. [I told them] our place is awesome and Philadelphia is the place to be.” Good lad, he is.
This notice on the University of Central Florida website notes that admission to Wednesday’s scrimmage with the Union is free. You know, if you happen to be in Orlando.
Saturday’s Union opponent, Orlando City SC, drew 1–1 with Seattle Sounders on Monday. Video highlights of the scrimmage can be seen on the Sounders website. That’s right, Seattle has video highlights of their preseason games with match clips and interviews with players and coaches and everything that they share with fans.
Members of Union academy teams are well represented on the US Club Soccer’s 2012 id2 National Selection International Tour 18-player squad that will play Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, as well as a combined match against RCD Espanyol and UE Cornellà Feb. 17-27 in Spain. The team, which is made up of players born in 1998, includes, Danny Barbir (F – PDA), Chaz Burnett (D – PDA), Christian Pulisic (M – PA Classics), Kevin Silva (GK – PDA) and Andrew Verdi (GK – FC Delco). Also on the team is Matthew Olosunde, a midfielder form Trenton on the New York Red Bulls academy team.
The Brotherly Game has a thought provoking post on how players selected in the Expansion Draft rarely make a lasting impact, or remain a lasting presence, on the club that selected them.
A report on Friday suggested that Philadelphia Independence coach Paul Riley—who is also director of football for the Fury organization, two of whose teams, Long Island Fury and New York Fury play in the WPSL—was considering fielding a team in the new WPSL Elite Division, the 2012 home of two WPS sides, Boston Breakers and Western New York Flash. On Monday, Riley announced via email, “Decided not to put NY Fury into Elite part of WPSL. Not enough time to get housing, facilities etc all sorted out.” Riley elaborated, “Don’t want to bring the Philadelphia experience to NY Fury and then it doesn’t live up to expectations. It takes considerable preparation to do things right and I don’t think there is adequate time to ensure the players get total professionalism from A to Z.”
Riley also announced the launch of the Women’s Professional Supergroup training program, which will be run by the Independence coaching staff. The program will be open to 28 WPS players on a first-come, first-served basis. The program will consist of seven to eight days of training once a month from March through November. Hotel accommodation will be provided with players being responsible for transportation and food costs. While the program is slated to be held at the Independence training facility, United Sports in Downingtown, Riley hopes that different locations around the country will also be used. “I always felt the WPS season was too short and if we are to continue to develop the best players in the world we need a nine month training environment plus WPS games…My goal eventually is to get enough sponsors that we can help players with travel and food costs. Right now everything is complimentary but travel and food.”
The Inquirer looks at how the Starfinder Foundation benefits underprivileged youth.
Another Inquirer piece looks at how a young student from Afghanistan who is attending Friends Select also benefits from Starfinder.
Prost Amerika looks at how MLS is perceived abroad.
SI offers ten preseason storylines.
Here’s a fascinating statistical analysis of the correlation between player salaries and team performance.
Here’s a look at what MLS is doing to protect itself from the possibility of match fixing.
And here’s part two of SB Nation’s look at youth development in MLS.
It was announced on Monday that Chinese investors had been found for a sorts complex in Las Vegas that would include at 17,500 seat soccer stadium. RSL Soapbox says the deal doesn’t pass the smell test.
More news on rumors that David Bentley wants to go on loan to an MLS team.
A glimpse of the impact of the cancellation of the WPS season on other leagues around the world can be found in this look at the roster plans of the Lincoln Ladies team in England. Says manager Glen Harris of the possibility of signing out of work WPS players, “It will come down to pounds, shillings and pence. It was a fully professional league and there was a lot more money in the game than there is over here. However, I would say that money is not as important as it seems to be in the men’s game.”
ESPNW writes that the woes of WPS are indicative of larger trends in women’s sports. “Boys who play Little League grow up to watch baseball, while girls who play in soccer leagues grow up to watch ‘Glee.’”
Is Jurgen Klinsmann interested in the Tottenham job if Harry Redknapp takes the England job? “I’m very happy in my role as USA manager,” Klinsmann says, “and busy preparing for the start of World Cup qualifying this summer.” He did not add, “Have you been in London in the winter? I live in sunny California. Are you out of your minds?!?”
Soccer Insider has the numbers on what various US Soccer officials and USMNT players earned in 2010-2011.
Forbes wonders if the new US Development Academy means the death of high school soccer. In a word, no.
Goal.com takes a look at match stats from the group stage of the Champions League to refute some commonly held myths. Champions League play resumes today with Bayer Leverkusen vs Barcelona (2:45pm on FSC, Fox Deportes; 5pm on Fox Soccer Plus) and Olympique Lyon vs APOEL (2:45pm on Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2Go; 5pm on FSC).
The Guardian previews this week’s Champion’s League matches.
Jonathan Wilson reviews some key talking points from the Africa Cup of Nations.
Aaron Ramsey brings new meaning to the phrase “deadly finisher” for, as the Sun reports, each goal he scores is followed by the death of a celebrity. With Whitney Houston being Ramsey’s latest victim, the video below explains the Curse of Aaron Ramsey.
Liverpool have dismissed reports that they were pressured by shirt sponsor Standard Charter into forcing Luis Suarez to apologize for not shaking Patrice Evra’s hand.
The fallout from the Suarez no handshake has rippled down to England’s youth, as the video below makes distressingly clear. The children, think of the children.