Daily news roundups / Featured

Carlos says thank you, Livestrong no more, SuperDraft, WCQ in Colorado, more news

Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Philadelphia Union

John Hackworth provides some background on the Carlos Valdes loan. “Carlos and I talked about the possibility of this at the end of the season,” Hackworth told philadelphiaunion.com. “I and [Union director of international player development] Ricardo Ansaldi did speak on a conference call with [Colombian national team manager] Jose Pekerman and we all agreed that a move like this one gives Carlos the best possible opportunity to represent Colombia.

After the Valdes announcement, an article appeared at USA Today about the growing competition among player agents in MLS that includes the following interesting section:

Nick Sakiewicz, CEO of the Philadelphia Union, said the player agent world still maintains a “wild west” business culture within players from South and Central America. It’s not uncommon, he said, for multiple agents to pitch general managers on drafting the same player.

“There are still guys peddling flesh, trying to make a buck off of players,” said Sakiewicz, who has been an MLS executive since 1996.

Andy Jasner rounds down the mechanics of the SuperDraft. As we all know, the Union will have to wait awhile before their can make a selection (provided they don’t make some kind of trade to move up in the order) with pick Nos. 26 and 29. Jasner says, “Just because the Union don’t have a prime pick doesn’t mean they can’t improve their roster.” For example, Michael Farfan was the 23rd pick in 2011.

Kevin Kinkead takes a look at the draft pool for who might be available to fit the Union’s needs. If you haven’t read it yet, check out this look at possible defensive picks from PSP’s Sean Doyle.

Michael Lahoud talks about preparing for the new season. “It’s not hard to prepare yourself for a new season, it’s just how you do it that’s important. For me, having that time to get away and refocus I think makes you hungrier. I know as a team we don’t want to have the same season we had last year so it’s really important we go out, establish ourselves early in the season and get off to the right foot.”

Local

Soccer America has ranked the top 30 development programs for boys and girls. For the boys, PDA comes in at No. 10, followed by PA Classics at No. 20 and FC Delco at No. 26. For the girls, PDA is No. 1 for the second year in a row.

MLS

There’s a bit of “he said/she said” in terms of the details, but the end result is the big news: Sporting Kansas City will drop the Livestrong from its stadium’s name, which will now be simply Sporting Park.

At Goal.com, Kyle McCarthy presents his top five Super Draft prospects.

Here’s a ranking of the best left midfielders available in the draft. Who’s this Roberto Farfan fellow?

Here’s a look at the concluding games at the Combine. More from Goal.com.

At TopDrawerSoccer.com, Travis Clark has part one of a history of Generation adidas.

Soccer America has a mock draft for the first round of Thursday’s SuperDraft.

Can luck and skill be separated statistically? The Central Winger explores.

Newsday reports that the New York Cosmos are planning to build a $400 million privately financed stadium at Belmont Park in Elmont, NY.

A press conference will be held today in Indianapolis to announce the formation of a new NASL franchise in that city. The team will enter the league in 2014.

US

US Soccer announced on Tuesday that Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, home of the Colorado Rapids, will be the site of the first home World Cup qualifier of the Hex on March 22 (10pm, ESPN, ESPN3, Univision). That’s right, Costa Rica, that’ll be high altitude and cold.

Jurgen Klinsmann says that while altitude was a factor in selecting DSG Park, particularly since the US will be playing Mexico at altitude in the Azteca only four days later, more important is that the team is playing “in front of our home crowd, that we have total support by our fans, and we feel Denver is the right place.”

Stuart Holden came on in the 74th minute in Bolton’s 2-0 FA Cup third-round replay win over Sunderland.

Here’s all 120 USWNT goals from 2012.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/57180926[/vimeo]

Elsewhere

Fox Soccer ranked 94th out of 96 cable channels for total-day viewership in 2012 with an average of 26,000 viewers. In prime time rankings, Fox Soccer came in last with an average of 31,000. (Do those numbers seem ridiculously low to you too? I wonder what the average ratings would be for weekend mornings when most people are likely to be tuning in to the channel, not too mention Champions League weekdays? What’s going to happen next season when Fox no longer has the rights to the Premiership?)

Anyways, Fox Soccer may not be around much longer according to this report from the LA Times. Apparently, Fox is considering changing it into a sister channel of FX.

Concerns over this year’s flu epidemic have prompted the Manhattan Soccer Club to urge its players to refrain from high-fives and fist bumps.

The Guardian presents an eerily beautiful photo essay of football grounds by Simon Harsent.

 

3 Comments

  1. No matter how hard they tried, Fox Soccer never really shook the feel of a second-rate channel for me. Whether it was the look of it, or the talent they employed it always seemed bush league.

    • Agreed. I realize that SportsCenter is a tough act to ape, but the quality of the Fox Soccer Report and all the in-studio stuff surrounding games has always been low-grade, almost local-news quality, at times.

  2. Thw writing was on the wall for Fox Soccer when they lost MLS and couldn’t get the rights for the EPL. When you have a channel devoted to soccer but you don’t have rights to the top domestic league and the top foreign league, you have a recipe for low ratings.

    The Fox Soccer Report is a bush league production, but I thought they did a good job with MLS. I appreciated that they didn’t force us to listen to British voices while we watch our domestic league games like they do on ESPN. And I appreciated that they didn’t use British vernacular either. I will miss it.

    I was hoping they would revert to its previous incarnation as Fox Sports World, because I liked their rugby coverage. I am disappointed that they aren’t doing that.

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