Before we get to today’s SuperDraft, a report on the Trinidad & Tobago national team website posted on Wednesday evening says the Union have signed 18-year-old defender Damani Richards on a one year deal. The T&T U-20 international was on a 10-day trial with the Union in October and played in the 1-0 reserve league loss against DC United on Oct. 12. While we wait for confirmation from the club, here’s a question for you to speculate upon: Is this the signing with “potential to be a big time player” that was talked about a couple of weeks ago?
Today’s SuperDraft will be available for viewing from noon on a number of platforms including ESPN3, MLSsoccer.com, YouTube, and the Union website.
With the their first round pick dealt away as part of the Bakary Soumare deal, it will be late second round picks for the Union (unless they make a deal to move up in the order). Such a situation underscores the importance of the club’s partnership with Reading United. Brendan Burke, the head coach of the PDL team and a Union assistant coach, says, “After the partnership was formed in 2010 and as my role has continued to progress and change, the main goal behind Reading now has become more and more to know the best players in the country. Recruiting them takes time, but it’s worth the effort because we get to know them on an individual basis on and off the field.”
So, will the Union make a move to trade up into the first round? John Hackworth says, “A first-round pick has value and from that regard, we don’t want to necessarily not have one. But I think we have enough flexibility right now to either move up or down. There will be a lot of negotiating going on, back and forth.”
On the other hand, it’s nice having two second round picks so close together. Hackworth continues, “It’s a ton of options to have two picks in the second round. It gives us the potential to trade up. Or, if that’s not necessary for us and we think there are two players available that we really want, we can select those.
At Union Dues, Andrew Stoltzfus examines the Union’s draft options.
Returning to the Carlos Valdes loan, Dave Zeitlin writes, “The possibility of the Valdés loan deal was one reason the Union went out and acquired center back Jeff Parke last month—even if Hackworth said at the time it was all about getting better defensive depth.” He quotes Hackworth as saying, “It was part of the plan. If we were going to lose Carlos, obviously we needed to get someone to fill his shoes.”
In the article Hackworth also says of Valdes, “This isn’t the end. This is just a loan deal. These types of things happen all the time in this game. Hopefully it becomes a win-win for both the player and the club.”
Zach Pfeffer continues to totally kill it with Hoffenheim, scoring a four goals in his third game with the club. He now has six goals in three games.
Won game #3 with Hoffenheim! Scored 4 goals today!! Feels great! #thankful
— Zachary Pfeffer (@ZachPfeffer_27) January 16, 2013
US Soccer profiles PDA and Reading United alumni Ryan Finley, who’s sure to go early in the draft.
More on Ryan Finley being named a Soccer America MVP.
There were some interesting moves ahead of today’s SuperDraft. The Rapids dealt local lad Jeff Larentowicz to Chicago for allocation money, The Fire’s first round pick (No. 11 overall), and an international slot. Then came the news that New England Revolution had traded allocation money and their No. 4 spot to Toronto for the first pick of the draft.
On Thursday morning, Portland Timbers announced they had traded Mike Fucito to San Jose in exchange for a second-round pick (No. 34 overall). Will there be more deals before the start of the draft? Twitter certainly hopes so.
Here’s the latest order for today’s SuperDraft. As of this writing, they have the date of the Soumare deal in the “Note” section incorrectly listed as Jan 26, 2012 when it should be June 26.
The Guardian considers the draft.
FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman says, “It’ll always be an event. The draft is part of American sports culture. Our fans tune into it. They want to know who we drafted. It’s part of the culture in professional sports.”
Chicago Fire’s Alvaro Fernandez is on a six-month loan to Rayyan in the Qatar Stars League.
More on the kerfuffle in Cascadia over the league’s move to trademark the term “Cascadia Cup.”
Sporting KC have wasted no time taking “Livestrong” of their stadium.
Here’s a photo gallery of birds-eye views of every MLS stadium. The one of PPL Park is particularly unflattering.
Moving on to NASL matters, the Cosmos plan for a $400 million privately financed stadium that we first linked to on Wednesday has caused quite a stir. At SI, Grant Wahl talks to Cosmos chairman Seamus O’Brien, who says, “I’m not going to comment on what MLS want to do. All I know is [a stadium plan] would make us a more compliant owner than we may or may not be now. We have a soccer-specific stadium. So surely they’d have to be delighted, wouldn’t they?”
Cosmos chief operating officer Eric Stover says the stadium plan is not a ploy to convince MLS to make them the league’s 20th franchise.
At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle notes, whatever O’Brien’s confidence and enthusiasm, “It’s important to remember that the Cosmos’ proposal, first reported by Newsday [link added], is just one of possibly several that will be considered by the State of New York…And given the numerous false starts soccer stadium projects have endured in this country over the years, now is not the time for irrational exuberance.”
The Cosmos have a gallery of renderings of their stadium concept which may be as hopeful at this point as it is impressive.
The new Indianapolis-based NASL team is taking submissions for the team’s name. If you like “Racing Indianapolis,” forget about it. Apparently the team has been told by Indianapolis Motor Speedway that they’ll have a lawsuit on their hands if they go with that name.
The Goalkeeper is a fan of Peter Wilt, the former Chicago Fire general manager who is behind the Indianapolis franchise.
The order for Friday’s college draft has been released.
The USMNT remains at No. 28 in the latest FIFA rankings.
Looks like the US Open Cup schedule may have been leaked.
Former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola will be the next manager of Bayern Munich. He’ll take over when Jupp Heynckes’ contract expires this summer.
At SI, Raphael Honigstein says Guardiola will have a tougher time than he did at Barcelona.
Is the 4-2-3-1 old hat? Guardian boffin Jonathan Wilson considers.