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Union name new international scout, PPL to host Big East championship, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

John Hackworth said on Monday that the Union are “shaking every bush and lifting every rock” to find a goalscorer. Now we have word of who will be assisting that effort. Strangely buried at the bottom of Tuesday’s Daily Doop was the announcement that Ricardo Ansaldi is the team’s new director of international player development. (Diego Gutierrez was previously Head of Scouting and Player Development though his focus seems to have been international.)

Ansaldi’s LinkedIn page says that he is the president of Miami-based Premier Soccer Tours, a company that organizes “the logistics and operation aspects of soccer teams on the road.” The company has worked with national teams from South and North America national teams as well as “MLS teams, Universities, Leagues, Associations and Club teams.” He also runs PSTArgentina, which specializes in soccer tours of Argentina and Uruguay, and the management consulting firm Gestion & Marketing Sa.

A report out of Colombia linked to by MLSsoccer.com’s Spanish language website says that Carlos Valdes could return to former club Independiente Sante Fe during the offseason. The report does not indicate whether Valdes would return simply for training or to play.

Speaking at Monday’s press conference about Zac MacMath’s and Cristhian Hernandez’s training stint abroad, John Hackworth explains, “It’s one of those philosophical questions of whether it’s important for players to go on offseason training stints. It’s really for every individual. We had a long season…and it’s tough on these guys. For most of them, they need some kind of break. But there are players that will benefit from a training stint abroad…It’s mostly some younger guys who need that experience. We want players to go out this time of year, when they’re still fit, and go into a training environment and be successful in that opportunity. Then we want them to shut it down for a little while and take a true offseason break.”

PPL Park will host the Big East men’s soccer championship this weekend. The event was scheduled to take place at Red Bull Arena, where it has taken place the past two years, but the difficulties of dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy along with tonight’s playoff game against DC forced the switch.

Jack McInerney’s back heel against LA is up for Goal of the Year. You can vote here.

ProSoccerTalk weighs in on the mixed signals from Hackworth about Freddy Adu and concludes his time with the Union is over. “[T]his isn’t personal. It’s business. To  wit: Adu makes north of $500,000. That’s darn good money in MLS. In fact, it’s DP money. And DPs who don’t make the 18-man list do not last very long.”

In his blog post at Goal.com, Amobi Okugo picks Seattle Sounders to win the MLS Cup. He explains, “Let me start by saying my judgment might be a little biased based on the fact that I’m refusing to pick D.C. United or New York because of rivalry reasons. Sorry, not sorry.” Damn straight!

The Union website has a Top 10 list of the best moments of the 2012 season. Strangely, Nowak being canned is not on the list.

Following up on comments Grafite made to Goal.com in October expressing his desire to play in MLS, The Brotherly Game asks the Brazilian forward if he would be interested in playing for the Union. “Philly is a great city and if there is a chance to play there I would love to come.” The 33 year old says, “I am in a great shape and I believe I can play in a top league for a few more year. I still have a few good years left in me. I believe I can come to a team and help them with my goals.”

Local

Wilmington University, seeded sixth in the East Region for the NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Tournament, will face Saint Rose in the first round on Friday, Nov. 9.

After claiming the Centennial Conference title with the help of two game-winning goals from PSP contributor Ford Bohrmann, Haveford will face Wesleyan (Conn.) University in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer tournament on Saturday, Nov. 10.

Swarthmore, who earned an at-large berth, will host Albertus Magnus in the first round on Saturday, Nov. 10.

The Rutgers University-Camden men’s soccer team, who won the New Jersey Athletic Conference title on Saturday night for the second year in a row, will face Medaille College in the first round of the NCAA Division III Men’s tournament on Saturday, Nov. 10.

MLS

Playoff action resumes this evening with New York hosting DC (8pm, NBCSN), Kansas City hosting Houston (Direct Kick, MLS Live), and San Jose hosting LA (11pm, ESPN2). Real Salt Lake hosts Seattle on Thursday night (10pm, NBCSN).

Goal.com looks at the possible effects of the nor’easter that is expected to roll through northern New Jersey shortly before tonight’s game at Red Bull Arena.

Soccer America says that injuries will shape tactics in the second leg games.

Robbie Keane is the best performing player in the league according to the Castrol Index. Jack McInerney comes in at No. 13 on the list.

SBI has a MLS All-Newcomer Best XI list.

Soccer America ranks the top strikers and forwards in MLS.

US

The draw for the Hexagonal round of CONCACAF’s 2014 World Cup qualifiers will take place today at 8pm. You can follow the draw live here.

The US has moved up five spots to No. 27 in the latest FIFA rankings. Mexico moved up five spots to No. 14.

Russia national team manager Fabio Capello announced his 26-player preliminary roster for next Wednesday’s friendly against the USMNT. US Soccer tweeted that Jurgen Klinsmann will announce his roster “following the weekend matches.”

Brad Guzan was named the Aston Villa’s Player of the Month.

US Soccer has announced the schedule for the Nike Friendlies in which US U-17 MNT will face Brazil (Nov. 28), Turkey (Nov. 30), and Portugal (Dec. 2). The announcement notes that the tournament is being held in conjunction with “the annual US Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase where all 80 Development Academy clubs will play 240 non-conference matches from Nov. 30-Dec. 4.”

Elsewhere

Lots of great Champions League action yesterday. For listings of today’s live games check out the latest installment of our weekly Footy on the Telly post.

Twenty-eight people were arrested after a brawl between Dinamo Zagreb and Paris Saint-Germain supporters before Tuesday’s Champions League match in Paris.

In England, Milwall have banned a 13-year-old for racial abuse and Chelsea have banned a 28-year-old who was photographed making racist gestures during Chelsea’s recent 5–4 win over Manchester United in the League Cup.

3 Comments

  1. Actually, the Union’s first top-10 is “best” moments. Hard to say that Nowak’s “stepping down” could be considered one of them. What’s the skinny on Gomez training (?) with La Equidad?

  2. AGGRESSIVE STEVE says:

    Millwall are scum. If grafite comes here ill buy his jersey

  3. How about the women’s NCAA tournament? The Haverford women’s team also won an automatic bid and are hosting this weekend. Any other local teams?

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