Photo: Barb Colligon
Ahead of this evening’s (untelevised) friendly between Colombia and Brazil at Met Life Stadium, Colombia coach Jose Pekerman has a lot of praise for MLS. But his criticism of the long offseason, and what it means for Carlos Valdes, will be of interest to Union fans. Pekerman said, “Carlos (Valdés) is an important player for us. He is trying to work something out with the league and his team to play during the offseason, but if that is not possible, we would help him with a training program.”
You will recall that last week we linked to a report from Colombia in which the president of Valdes’ former club in Colombia, Indepndiente Santa Fe, said Valdes would return to the team in the MLS offseason to play in the team’s Copa Libertadores campaign. A spokesperson for the Union told PSP, “That is not true.”
Kevin Kinkead examines five on-field issues the Union must address: Where to play Amobi Okugo; the fullback situation; who’s the CAM; getting a strike partner for Jack McInerney; what formation, 4-4-2 or 4-3-3?
Speaking of Amobi Okugo, Dave Zeitlin writes about the young player’s transformation from Nowak benchwarmer to Hackworth star. The sixth overall pick in 2010, Okugo says, “You’re worried because they drafted you so high. They talked about building through the youth and it didn’t happen, even if you continue to get called in with youth national teams and play well in practice. It was kind of frustrating.”
Hackworth, who describes Okugo as “extremely important,” says, “We would love to be able to see the versatility he brings in the midfield. We didn’t have that option this year. Going into the preseason, that’s one of those areas that we’re pretty excited about.”
Okugo says, “I have no preference – honestly…With both options, I’d just be happy to play to help the team.”
Sheanon Williams tells Andy Jasner that he believes the Union will be back in 2013 “with a chip on our shoulder.” Williams explains, “There’s nothing worse than losing. I know that goes for every player in this locker room. I expect to win when I step on the field. I expect results.”
Williams continues, “I have a lot of faith in this organization. I’m sure they’ll take a long, deep look at the roster and make some changes. Whatever players come in here, I’m sure will be able to help…I think we have a good core here and with added pieces, we’ll be that much improved. I don’t want to stop playing when the regular season ends. I want to keep it going in the playoffs.”
The La Salle boys’ team lost to Wilson High 1–0 in the PIAA Class AAA state semifinals. The winning goal came with 3:41 minutes to play in regulation, ending a run of 346 minutes in which the Exploreres had kept opponent’s scoreless.
The new playoff format was intended to reward regular season performance. But with four of the six completed post season games ending in wins for the lower seeded team, MLS is reportedly open to tweaking the playoff format.
For a sense of how one still (barely) surviving higher-seeded team feels about the post-season format, take a look at this from sportspressnw.com.
Chivas USA owner Jorge Vergara says he will reemphasize the team’s Mexican roots by reestablishing the team’s connection to Chivas de Guadalajara. Vergara also said that it is important that the team move out of the Home Depot Center and build a new stadium in downtown LA. SBI has heard it all before.
Montreal Impact, on a post-season tour in Italy, defeated Fiorentina reserves 4–1 on Tuesday.
The European Club Association has invited 65 clubs from 37 countries around the world to attend a summit in Qatar in February to assess preparations for the 2022 World Cup. LA Galaxy and New York Red Bulls have been invited from MLS. Figures.
FC Dallas CEO Hal Douglas Quinn was arrested in New York City on Saturday “for allegedly beating and suffocating his wife,” reports the New York Post. “The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Quinn allegedly pummeled his much-smaller wife’s face and body, choked her with both hands, and held a pillow over her face until she passed out, the sources said.”
Former U.S. U-17 international Mobi Fehr has signed with the league.
It’s USA vs. Russia in a friendly today at 10am (ESPN2, ESPN3, Univision). Check out our preview.
This from the Department of SMH: Details are murky but Hope Solo was apparently involved in an alleged domestic violence case on Monday that also involved washed up NFL player Jerramy Stevens. Reports say that Solo and Stevens, who has a history of DUI arrests, drug use, and violence, as well as allegations of sexual assault, have been a couple for about two months and were planning on getting married on Tuesday. The USWNT is scheduled to play Ireland on Nov. 28.
For listings of today’s live international friendlies on TV and online, check out this week’s Footy on the Telly.
UEFA is considering having Euro 2020, which will feature an expanded field of 24 teams, be hosted by as many as half a dozen countries.
At the Asian qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup, Oman’s goalkeeper tells Japan to stop complaining about the heat. I wonder how often we’ll be hearing that in Qatar in 2022?
Attendance at soccer matches continues to decline in Brazil. One Brazilian sportswriter says, “Lots of people confuse the phenomenon of the World Cup in Brazil with a true love of the game. Brazil is not a country where people love football. It is a country where people love to party around the World Cup.”
Noah Davis has an historical piece on the last German championship game under the Nazi’s. It’s an interesting read if you can get past the absolutely terrible and utterly distracting design.