UPDATE: When contacted about the reports of a Carlos Valdes loan deal to Independiente Santa Fe, a Philadelphia Union spokesperson told PSP, “Santa Fe has approached us with an offer, as have two other South American Clubs, which we are considering. However, no deal has been agreed to.”
Two big questions for Union fan’s looking ahead toward first kick are what’s going on with Carlos Valdes and what’s up with Freddy Adu? Well then…
SBI reports, “The Union are closing in on a deal to send the Colombian national team defender to Colombian side Santa Fe on a year-long loan, sources confirmed to SBI on Wednesday.”
The SBI report comes on the heels of several reports out of Colombia indicating that a deal was done. Golcaracol.com is reporting that an “agreement was reached” between Santa Fe and Valdes (crap translation here). Antena 2 reports the deal is for a one year loan with an option to buy (crap translation here).
Other reports say a deal has not been confirmed, including this from RCN Radio journalist Lucas Escobar Calle (translation) and this from Sante Fe news site ladocecardenal.com (translation).
Needless to say, we have asked the Union for a comment on these reports and will let you know what they say. I for one can’t wait to put this whole thing in the rear-view mirror.
John Hackworth shared some information regarding Freddy Adu on NASN’s Best Soccer Show (or download here). Asked about Adu’s status with the team, Hackworth said, “We haven’t finalized anything with him, so I can’t really say one way or the other. We’re still trying to talk and work things out.” (Adu comments start at 10:28.)
Last Friday’s Daily Doop mentioned that, barring a breakdown in negotiations, Union fans could “expect” another signing this week and that the 2013 roster was “in the 85-to-90 percent range of being fully complete.” In Tuesday’s Daily Doop, Kerith Gabriel elaborated, “Some juggling aside in the next few weeks, don’t expect too many more additions as the nucleus of this team and the offseason acquistions of Conor Casey, Jeff Parke and fan favorite Sebastien Le Toux bolstered a young corps. In fact, Vartughian even added that ‘between draft picks and potential invitees, there will be a handful of players fighting for only a few coveted roster spots.’”
According to “a source with details of the scouting trip,” the Brotherly Game says the Union have been scouting Serie B players in Italy. TBG says the transfer target is South American, following “an unofficial, but common transfer policy” or “unofficial stipulation,” whatever that means.
The coaching staff is off to Florida this weekend for the MLS Combine ahead of next Thursday’s SuperDraft. John Hackworth says the Union have already done their homework. “You need to see to see those players in their natural environment and you need to do your homework well before the combine,” he explains. “We put the emphasis on watching these college games live, talking to their college coaches, talking to their youth coaches, trying to get a really good picture of what a player is about long before he gets to the Combine.”
Jeff Parke talks about being called up to the USMNT: “It’s great being in any national coaches eye and being a part of the group. Also at this stage of my career being called up is a good thing means I’m still playing a high level and still being looked at.”
John Hackworth tells Dave Zeitlin that, while he is proud of Parke, he’s also surprised a few other Union players didn’t get the call. “I think there are other guys on our roster that are deserving of it. I had spoken with the national team staff and for whatever reason they haven’t been called up. It’s such a subjective process … and I’m biased. But I honestly thought we would have had more than just Parke.”
Parke comes in a No. 6 in Soccer America’s positional rankings for US centerbacks.
Hackworth also admits that the downside of Parke’s call-up is that the recently signed center back will miss the beginning of the Union’s preseason. “He’s a new player that we would love to integrate and start to build playing relationships that are so important on the field. That’s what preseason is for and we won’t have that for the first part of the preseason.”
The 700 Level considers how Bakary Soumare will fit into the Union’s plans for 2013.
Finally, Zach Pfeffer tweeted from Hoffenheim on Tuesday:
1st game over here in a friendly with Hoffenheim and got my 1st goal! #thankful
— Zachary Pfeffer (@ZachPfeffer_27) January 8, 2013
Well done, Zach!
It’s official: the new coach of Toronto FC is former DC United captain Ryan Nelsen. Nelsen is currently with Queens Park Rangers and will not join TFC until June. Yes, you may scratch your head. More on the wackiness here.
Stuart Holden played his first minutes since being injured, featuring in 65 minutes for Bolton’s reserve team on Tuesday.
At SI, Avi Creditor considers the lack of speculation involving American players abroad during the current transfer window.
ASN lists their picks for the five best foreign-born USMNT players.
Prostitutes in Brazil are signing up for free English classes ahead of the upcoming Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup. Prostitution is legal in Brazil.
FIFA has ordered that Hungary and Bulgaria must play a World Cup qualifier behind closed doors and fined the two countries after their fans directed racist and anti-Semitic abuse at opposing players.
FIFA has also extended lifetime bans to 41 players in South Korea involved in a 2011 match-fixing scandal.
The New York Times weighs in in the Ballon d’Or.