Daily news roundups

Again with the Valdes rumors, Blatter blathers, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

All of us at PSP wish you and yours a happy and safe New Year.

Philadelphia Union

Well, we said the rumors weren’t over.

As reported by Deportes.terra.cl, and confirmed by the club, that Carlos Valdes will begin preseason training with Independiente Santa Fe on Jan. 3 while awaiting a decision from MLS about a six-month loan to the Colombian club (Crappy Google translation of terra.cl report here. Crappy Google translation of IndependienteSantaFe.co report here.)

You will recall that last year preseason training began for the Union on Jan. 25. With the 2013 season starting at home on March 2, a week and a half earlier than the March 12 start in Portland last year, we can reasonably expect that the Union’s preseason may begin closer to the 2013 SuperDraft on Jan. 17. So, if a loan deal does not happen, Valdes gets a couple weeks head start on his fitness.

ProSoccerTalk puts the Union at No. 3 in their assessment of which MLS teams have done the most to improve their prospects with December offseason moves.

Union academy goalkeeper Zack Steffen, who also has played with the US U-17 and U-20 teams, is profiled in this piece at MLSsoccer.com from Dave Zeitlin. A practical shoo-in for a Homegrown Player contract, Steffen would first like to continue his career at University of Maryland, where he will begin classes in the fall. “I just want to go to college first and see what leads from there. But it would be pretty sweet to play for the Union just because it’s your hometown and Philadelphia is close and all the fans love the team.”

In a review of the year’s soccer happenings at Sporting News, Brian Straus names Peter Nowak the Most Depressing Story of the Year. Straus writes,

“Accusations that Nowak forced injured players to train, that he was ‘orally berating and physically intimidating fellow employees’ and that he might even have improperly profited from player transactions emerged after he filed a lawsuit contesting his June dismissal.

“The truth still hasn’t been revealed, but where there’s smoke, there’s probably enough to ensure that Nowak never will coach again in MLS.”

Yep.

Local

Kensington-born National Soccer Hall of Famer Benny McLaughlin passed away last Thursday at the age of 84. A true Philly soccer legend.

SBI reports that Reading United alumni Ryan Finley “has signed a senior contract with MLS.” Fellow Reading United alumni Deshorn Brown “has been offered a contract, and is expected to sign, but sources tell SBI he has yet to reach an agreement.”

MLS

FIFA president Sepp Blatter made comments in an interview with Al Jazeera that resulted in more than a few raised eyebrows among US soccer fans.

Asked whether he is optimistic about the sport’s prospects in China and the US, Blatter said, “The problem in the United States is a little bit different. Soccer, as they call football there, is the most popular game in the youth. It’s not American football or baseball, it is soccer. But there is no very strong professional league, they have just the MLS. They have not professional leagues that are recognized by the American society. It is a question of time, I thought, when we had the World Cup in 1994, but now we are 18 years in and it should have been done now. They are still struggling.” (The video above is cued up to begin playing just before his response to the question.)

More on Blatter’s comments from ESPN, SBI, ASN, MLS Talk, the New York Times, and the Examiner.

As Steve Davis writes at ProSoccerTalk, “At this point, does anyone take Sepp Blatter seriously?”

The Shin Guardian has initiated a petition demanding that US Soccer end its support of Blatter. Signing the petition only takes a few seconds and, trust me, you’ll feel good about it afterwards.

So, Arsene Wenger has apparently not ruled out the possibility of securing Thierry Henry’s services on loan after all. Or, maybe he has.

Could Tim Cahill be going on loan to Sunderland?

Could Richard Dunne soon be a Red Bull?

US

SBI has a video list of the Top 5 USMNT goals of 2012.

The Bolton News reports that Stuart Holden could be ready to return to first team action within a month.

Elsewhere

The Guardian has a big list with video links of the best goals of the year from around the world. It’s the perfect way to waste time at work before you leave early ahead of tonight’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

After a year-long suspension in the wake of the terrible events at a match in the city of Port Said that saw 74 dead on Feb. 1, the Egyptian Premier League will resume play on Feb. 2, 2013.

 

12 Comments

  1. Good work this year. Look forward to more in 2013.

  2. Valdes won’t be back with the Union. Ever. He said of the loan that it would initially (“inicialmente”) be for 6 months a few weeks ago in a Spanish-language TV interview. The Union have his replacements. I don’t think he’s coming back.

    • Yea, I am planning on not having Adu and Valdes in Union jerseys at the start of the season. That kind of sucks.
      By that I mean Valdes not Adu. Having Adu gone kind of rules.

  3. Welcome to the world of pro soccer. Valdes has to decided what is better for him career wise. I any of us were presented with this opportunity who knows? It’s up to the Union and MLS soccer to keep getting stronger and more viable so the best players stay. It’ll take a while but it will happen. Sepp Blatter is a bloviating ass and needs to resign.

  4. Just back from Disney. The fields at the ESPN Wide Worlds of Sports Complex were sweet! That whole complex is actually super ace! Check out ESPN3 for the U17 and U18 finals. Lehigh U17, Lower Merion U16 and Penn Fusion U15’s participated in the National League there and had excellent results.
    /
    AS Roma was practicing in the Complex as well. Observed their drills and that they also can not shoot too well. In one drill only 1 out of 20 shots on goal ended up in the goal! Was pretty cool bering onl 10′ away from Totti and Bradley. Bradly looks super fit. Totti now looks like Bradley used to look (quite heavy set).
    /
    Best wishes for 2013 to you all!!

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