Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union
A few minutes before the Union was to play University of Central Florida in a scrimmage on Wednesday, a message appeared on the club’s Twitter account indicating that goal updates would be tweeted. A few minutes after that, the tweet was removed. While the scrimmage was in progress, a couple of photos appeared on Twitter from the game, but they were not from the club. After the game was finished, the club tweeted, “The Union beat
@UCFMSoccer 5-0 today. First half goals from Martínez & Mwanga, second half from @JackMcInerney9 & two from Hoppenot. #DOOP,” which makes for two tweets from the Union about what is happening in Orlando since the team traveled there last week. Later, photos from the scrimmage were posted on Union’s Facebook page.
What can be surmised from the available information? In the first half at least, it appears Martinez and Mwanga were playing up top together. Assuming Mwanga and Martinez did not play in the second half, given the goals from McInerney and Hoppenot, one group photo suggests that the first half line up also included MacMath, Lopez, Califf, Williams, Gomez, Carrol, Marfan, which brings us to nine first half players. Another photo that includes Carroll, Marfan and MacMath also shows Freddy Adu, which brings us up to ten. One would assume that Valdes was part of the backline but I don’t see him in any of the action photos. For the second half, we know that McInerney and Hoppenot scored. Other photos show Garfan, Okugo, Albright, Hoffman, Witkowski, and McLaughlin. One group photo of what appears to be the first half starters watching the game from the bench also includes Christian Hernandez, Torres and a partially obscured Pfeffer. This would suggest that for at least one portion of the second half either Harrison or Konopka was in goal with some combination of Gaddis, Jordan, Albright, Garfan, Okugo, McLaughlin, Witkowski, Hoffman, McInerney and Hoppenot.
Freddy Adu provides some insight into why all of the secrecy surrounding the Union’s preseason in this article from the Daytona Beach News Journal:
Training here gives us a peace of mind, gets us away from everything and helps us concentrate. This is what we want for preseason. You go somewhere with no pressure, not a lot of people watching. As players we like this, because you’re going to make a lot of mistakes in preseason. This is good for getting to know your teammates and working out the kinks. That’s what preseason should be all about.
The article also provides one reason why the result was so lopsided and seems to support the idea that the second half featured an entirely different lineup from the Union. According to Dora Hoye of Palm Coast, on hand to watch her grandson, UCF forward A.J. Nelson, “It was 2-0 (at halftime). That’s not bad. Then (Philadelphia) put in all new players and they had fresh legs.”
More on the signing of Chris Albright, who says, “If I wanted to continue playing. I wanted it to be with Philly.”
Chandler Hoffman talks about adjusting to life as a rookie professional.
Faryd Mondragon talks about how much he appreciated his time in Philadelphia. ““Many positive things made it hard to make a decision and finally say goodbye to Philadelphia because they really made me feel at home with incomparable treatment.”
A report at MLSsoccer.com says that teams averaged 2.29 lineup changes per game in the regular season in 2011. The Union averaged 2.18 changes, coming in at tenth in the league.
English footy mag 442 weighs in on the Le Toux transfer.
Jason Davis calls out the Union for how it has communicated its offseason moves to the fans, most recently in the open letter from Nick Sackewicz. “Clubs don’t jettison their leading scorer, their emotional leader, and the first real star player to wear the colors without some backlash…Even if the Union’s odd moves are “strategic” in nature, it’s the lack of clarity over the strategy combined with the callous nature of the execution of that strategy that concerns Union fans…This is a crucial year for the Union, but only because they created the situation themselves. Win, and everything will be fine, the letter will be true, and Philadelphia will remain a bubble of happy soccer fans. Lose, and the letter not only rings hollow in retrospect, it smacks of the worst kind of club-to-fan patronization.”
Philly Union Talk looks at possible Union formations and concludes, “your guess is as good as mine.”
Vancouver have signed Scotland and Middlesbrough midfielder Barry Robson as a Designated Player. He will join the club in July pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and Visa.
A report in the The Scottish Sun that mentioned the possibility of Robson joining the club also says that Carlos Bocanegra could also be headed to Vancouver. Another report links David Bentley to Vancouver. When did Vancouver become Emperor Moneybags?
Eric Hassli says Sebastien Le Toux runs “like a maniac.” We know.
Houston Chronicle reports that “A deal has been reached in principle” for Brian Ching to move from Montreal back to Houston in exchange for a 2013 draft pick. Montreal Impact confirms his trade back to Houston in return for a conditional pick in 2013 SuperDraft.
The agent of 37-year-old Alessandro Del Piero believes he should move to MLS when his contract expires with Juventus.
Goal.com calls Rafa Marquez a grumpy old man, or something like that.
Former Colorado Rapids forward Caleb Folan is on trial with Birmingham.
LA Galaxy are not worried about their losses in preseason games.
Barbasol is the new shirt sponsor of Columbus Crew.
Chivas USA unveiled their new home jersey on Wednesday some 36,000 feet in the air on a flight from Guadalajara to LA.
IMSoccer News has the first of a two-part series looking at how to improve the MLS Reserve League and the possibility of integrating the Reserve League into the lower divisions of American soccer.
The Goalkeeper says someone told him that someone told that person that Fox has pressured FIFA to pressure MLS to switch to the international calendar. He also reports that he is fluent in French.
A recent study of 200 female soccer players, from grade schoolers to professionals, in St. Louis suggests that female soccer players are not eating enough to compensate for the energy they are expending, which could affect bone development.
WPSL president Jerry Zanelli says of the new Elite League, “The WPSL Elite League has teams with professional players instead of professional teams – that is the way one has to word it to get around all the rules of U.S. Soccer.”
Jordan Korbitz writes that while the impact of the Borislow lawsuit on the decision to cancel the 2012 season is real, “it was merely a convenient excuse to avoid the truth.” Recounting a variety of factors as to why women’s professional sports leagues have failed to find success, he concludes, “Reflecting the triumph of hope over experience, the WPS Board of Governors said it hopes to resume play in 2013, this time with six teams. We’ll see. But even if that ‘hope’ becomes a reality, here’s a guarantee: After a brief and financially troubling existence, the league is destined to go the way of its predecessors.”
US Soccer announced on Wednesday that the USMNT will play Scotland on May 26 in Jacksonville, Fl. This is a part of a three game exhibition series that includes Brazil on May 29 in Landover, Md. and Canada on June 3 in Toronto before the start of World Cup qualification against Antigua and Barbuda on June 8 in Tampa.
National Soccer Wire examines the stir caused by the leak of what are purported to be new USMNT shirts on Twitter. 1: They are horrible. 2: This better be a hoax. 3: They are horrible. 4: I mean horrible.
Dutch police have arrested 76 Ajax supporters who were found to be in possession of tear gas, brass knuckles, a club “and a large amount of narcotics” ahead of today’s Europa League match between Ajax and Manchester United. You can watch a delayed broadcast of the match today at 5pm on GolTV, which will have Lazio vs. Atletico Madrid (1pm) and Stoke City v Valencia (3pm) live.
Nearly $700,000 in missing funds given to the Trinidad & Tobago Football Federation for earthquake relief in Haiti were paid into an account controlled by former CONCACAF president, FIFA executive committee member, and well-known crook Jack Warner.
FIFA have warned the Argentine FA over the proposal to rename their top league after the cruiser General Belgrano, sunk 20 years ago by a British submarine during the Falklands War.
Fernando Torres tells ESPN, “I have to improve.”
A report says Liverpool will not sell Luis Suarez.
Paris Saint-Germain defender and captain of Uruguay Diego Lugano defends Suarez and praises him for sticking to his principles, saying that what happened between Suarez and Evra was “a football argument, and many false moralists and hypocrites have profited, and Luis is the only innocent party in this situation…You have to have balls to do what Luis did on Saturday. He followed his principles. We live in a democracy, and if you do not want to greet someone, you do not do it. And less so if that person has made you experience some bad moments.”