Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz
In case you missed it last night, we posted an article in which John Hackworth said of Freddy Adu, “Freddy is not coming into our preseason. He is not in our plans.” Hackworth’s comments were made on the Philly Soccer Show, the podcast PSP co-hosts with KYW NewsRadio’s Greg Orlandini. The pod, which also covers Thursday’s SuperDraft, is available here.
The question of Adu’s role with Union has loomed throughout the offseason and was amplified when Hackworth recently said on NASN’s Best Soccer Show podcast, “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.”
Jeff Carlisle of ESPN tweeted from the SuperDraft, “Philadelphia Union mgr John Hackworth says he does not expect Freddy Adu to be at start of training camp Monday.” Carlisle continued with another tweet that said, “When asked if sale or transfer of Adu was imminent Hackworth said ‘Possibly.’ He then declined further comment.”
Carlisle later elaborated on the “possibly” quote in a review of the draft at ESPN:
When asked if a sale or transfer was pending, Hackworth said, “Possibly, but it’s a decision we’ve made as a club with Freddy,” he said before declining further comment.
Hackworth is quoted as saying further at the SuperDraft, “There is [a decision that has to be made]. Freddy and I talked. We talk regularly. So until we get into camp I want to defer that one and address it at that time.”
Turning to the SuperDraft, the Union’s selection of Don Anding, listed as a forward, left many observers who expected the club to select a left back shaking their heads. Matthew Doyle called the Union one of the losers at the draft and wrote, “They need help at left back and central defense, and got neither. John Hackworth says there’s help on the way, but why pass on tailor-made reinforcements for two guys (Stephen Okai, Don Anding) who don’t answer any of the questions currently posed by the roster.”
That the plan may be to convert Anding to a defensive player seems likely after Hackworth said, “Athletically he is very gifted but it was his character that won us over. When you are looking for a guy to work in a couple of different positions, his personality and the fact that he’ll work hard along with the natural tools and gifts that he has he was a guy that we wanted and we feel fortunate to grab him.”
Anding told the Daily Doop, “I think [the fact that I am versatile] it’s an advantage for me in this draft and I think it’s a reason that I went higher than I expected I would. I was always a forward but I just recently started playing left back in college and I really like the position. I think I could do very well there.
The selection of Stephen Okai was more easily embraced given that he was known to many Union fans who knew him from his time at Reading United. Hackworth was effusive with his praise of Okai. “Stephen is probably one of the most ready players in this draft that can step onto an MLS team and play right away,” said Hackworth. “He’s experienced beyond his years and having a lot of personal knowledge of him…it was hard to deny that he was going to be a guy that we weren’t looking at.” If you’re wondering what kind of player Okai might be, the word from PSP’s Sean Doyle is that Reading United’s technical director compared Okai’s style of play to Michael Essien
Keep in mind that the Union aren’t finished selecting new players. The club traded their 29th spot in the draft to RSL for the 31st spot and the 12th and 17th pick in the Supplemental Draft on Tuesday, Jan. 22. Before that deal was made, the Union didn’t have a pick until the second round of the Supplemental Draft. There are four rounds in this year’s Supplemental draft and the Union currently have picks Nos. 12, 17, 24, 43, and 62.
Don’t forget, single game tickets go on sale today.
And then there’s this tweet (h/t @UnionRumors).
A whopping five Reading United alumni were selected in Thursday’s SuperDraft. They are Deshorn Brown (5th overall by Colorado Rapids), Ryan Finley (9th overall by Columbus Crew), Ian Christianson (22nd overall by New York Red Bulls), Stephen Okai (31st overall by Philadelphia Union), and Greg Cochrane (38th overall by Los Angeles Galaxy). Previously, the biggest number of Reading alumni selected was four in 2011. Since becoming the Union’s PDL affiliate, 12 Reading players have been selected in the SuperDraft, seven in the first round. Don’t be surprised if more are picked in Monday’s Supplemental Draft.
There’s a whole slew of articles on the league website about the various selections in the draft. Check them out there if you’re interested.
At SI, Avi Creditor has five thoughts on the draft.
DC United have reportedly turned down an offer for Andy Najar from Anderlecht.
SBI reports the Portland Timbers have cut their relationship with Scottish forward and DP Kris Boyd.
Bruce Arena is hinting that LA could move for a new DP next week.
Javier Morales has re-signed with Real Salt Lake.
Colorado Rapids have signed 22-year-old Chilean winger Kevin Harbottle.
Don Garber on reports of a reserve league relationship between MLS and USL PRO: “I can’t confirm anything today, but what I will say is that our league is very supportive of building the soccer pyramid and having a closer relationship with the lower divisions. We continue to invest in our reserve teams and our academy programs. You’re going to see more and more investment and commitment to building the pyramid, and we’ll be able to talk about that further probably in the next couple weeks.”
In other league news, the Cascadia Cup kerfuffle continues with Garber making his first public remarks on the league’s position that MLS and not the supporters groups Cascadia Cup Council, are the appropriate entity to protect the Cascadia Cup trademark. Garber suggested that the league has not done “a good enough job communicating” its position with the Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver supporters groups.
The goal is to have a trademark that’s managed, so that we – the league that has its teams playing in the Cascadia Cup – can ensure that that trademark is managed properly. That it’s not exploited by people that shouldn’t be exploiting it. That it’s not offered to those that might not have the right to be associated with Major League Soccer…
[MLS can] ensure that it’s controlled. Prospective fan groups, in theory, could offer that trademark to a competitive sponsor. They can take that trademark and sell it to a promoter. They can produce merchandise that’s not merchandise that we would want associated with our teams or with our league. There are so many things that go into intellectual property management.
We’re very confident that by communicating with [Cascadia supporters] better and just talking about what our plans are that they’ll be pleased that we’ve got their interest and the interest of the league in mind.
For background on the origin of the Cascadia Cup, step into the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
Speaking of Kansas City, Sporting president Robb Heineman says the club ended its stadium naming rights agreement with Livestrong because the foundation had breached confidentiality agreements when it told ESPN that the club was behind in payments. ”
Garber backs KC’s decision.
The new league’s college draft took today beginning at 9am.
The Equalizer looks at how the new league will handle free agency.
Jurgen Klinsmann talks to SI about how the January camp is going. Asked about if he’s met with Landon Donovan, Klinsmann said,
No. We texted back and forth since the MLS Cup final. I’ve offered lunches, dinners, coffee. But he wanted to take his break, and I said that’s fine. The last time was just recently in December when I texted him and told him since he didn’t make up his mind until that point he wasn’t in my plans for the January camp or the Honduras game. He responded that he understood because he still doesn’t know what he wants to do. I said, “Well, if you feel comfortable, why don’t you come by to the camp and say hello to the guys? Otherwise, let me know whenever you want to sit down and chat.” That’s how we left it.
Matt Bessler’s USMNT January training camp journal continues.
USMNT assisatant coach Martin Vasquez discusses how the emphasis at the camp is now shifting to getting the players acclimated to the team’s style of play.
ASN wonders if 2013 could be Mix Diskerud’s year?
Soccer America has positional rankings for USMNT left midfielders.
With the Africa Cup of Nations about to begin, the AP reports, “Cameroon Football Federation president Mohammed Iya says Africa deserves more than its current five places at the World Cup.”
UEFA has fined Ajax €10,000 for banners displayed in a Champions League match in October that protested what the Guardian describes as “the effects of mega-money in football” Above a large banner that read “Against Modern Football” was another banner that displayed a cartoon image of a sheik holding a bag with a dollar sign on it “presented as a stop sign with a red line through it.” UEFA said the fine was for the “display of a provocative and inappropriate banner.” The Huffington Post has more photos. What do you think?
For the week’s live soccer matches on TV and online, check out PSP’s Footy on the Telly listings.