Photo: Earl Gardner
The Union have added a preseason match against DC United to their schedule at the Dewey Sports Complex in Deltona, Fla. on Feb. 20 at 6pm.
In addition to providing some observations about how things are going in the training sessions at YSC Sports, Kerith Gabriel confirms in the latest edition of the Daily Doop that Diego Restrepo is trialing with the Union.
While the initial flurry of reportage that Freddy Adu’s time playing for the Union is drawing to a close, longer and more analytical pieces on Adu and just went wrong continue to appear.
- At CSN Philly, Dave Zeitlin has a very thoughtful article that recounts the excitement that surrounded Adu’s signing and the gradual souring that accompanied his time in Philadelphia. It’s a must-read for Union fans.
- At ESPN, Jason Davis has another take on Adu’s exit comes from a broader perspective: “If we can convince ourselves that Adu is just another in a long line of immature 23-year-old players who didn’t meet expectations, this whole thing will be much less painful.” Much less painful for who?
Sebastien Le Toux is very happy to be back in Philly. “Part of me was here,” says Le Toux, “even when I left.”
But, now that he’s here, where will Le Toux play? He says,
“I think I’ll play as a forward. It depends on which formation we’re going to play and what the coaching staff wants us to play. I’m sure we’re going to try different things in the preseason and in games. It depends on how we play as a team and who is going to be healthy. You never know what can happen in the preseason, but we have a plan and we’re working on it. I’m sure I’m going to be used as a forward and Jack [McInerney] will be the other forward. I don’t know where, but I’m going to play just like I used to play here before.”
Aaron “Thor” Wheeler is also happy to be with the Union. “If they need me for set pieces, fine,” said the 6′ 4″ forward. “If they need just a great practice player, I’m here to do that too. Anyway I can contribute, I’m happy…I’ll fight hard and do whatever I can for the team. Tracking back, tackling, battling, my body belongs to the team. I feel like any team I’ve played for, they know that.”
At the Delco Times, Matthew De George considers how Stephen Okai could make an immediate impact with the Union.
The Patriot-News reports that new Union signing Alex Mendoza, who holds dual US and Mexican citizenship, was in Mexico before his senior year at Red Land High School in Lewisburry, Pa. and nearly didn’t return.
ProSoccerTalk has three questions for the Union’s 2013 preseason. I have three questions myself: Why is the Union referred to as a “third-year expansion franchise,” (2010 + 2011 + 201 2+ 2013 = fourth-year expansion franchise, right?); what’s with the new novel spelling of Nowak’s first name; if one of your questions is already answered, why not come up with another one?
The Brotherly Game sees the softballs lobbed by PST and takes a swing at answering them.
The Brotherly Game invites fellow SB Nation blog the Roker Report, who cover Sunderland, to share their thoughts on Union trialist Nicolas Medina “weird history” with the English club. TBG notes that the Roker Report’s recollections are shared “without comment,” which is a shame given how little is known about the Argentinian midfielder. So here’s a little context:
- Medina was signed by Sunderland in 2001 when he was 19 for £3.5 million, which is a bucket-load of money now and was more so then.
- Medina eventually left Sunderland when he was 22 in 2004, having made no first team appearances for the club in league play, although when he was loaned to Spanish second division club Leganes for the 2003-04 season he had 32 appearances. All of which sounds like Sunderland’s pricey gamble on a young foreign player simply didn’t pan out.
- The Roker Report remembers one first team appearance in non-league play, and not favorably: “Then one day, I believe but could be wrong, he started a League Cup game against Bolton away from home. In a team of fringe players and young kids making their debuts, he was withdrawn from action early having a complete shocker.”
- According to the BBC, Medina appeared in a FA Cup third-round replay against Bolton on Jan. 14, 2003. Sunderland won 2-0 and Medina played 90 minutes before being subbed out. The BBC report says Sunderland could “draw credit from their committed approach – typified by Michael Gray – as well as impressive debuts from Sean Thornton and Argentine Nicolas Medina.”
Whether or not Medina is in the Union’s future remains to be seen. But when posting a report on a relatively unknown player’s past, providing comment is probably a good idea.
At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald has extensive quotes from a conference call that MLS executive vice president of player relations Todd Durbin and USL president Tim Holt had with the media on Thursday providing more details on the new partnership between the two leagues.
At Patriot News, Michael Bullock provides a Harrisburg perspective on the recently announced MLS-USL PRO partnership. USL PRO president Tim Holt credited the already existing partnership between the Union and the City Islanders for providing an example of how a wider league partnership could work.
“I think that’s been significantly important in demonstrating that there is a model that can work here. They’ve obviously been pioneers in doing that and others were taking notice. The depth of their partnership, the breadth of their partnership, and I credit [CEO/managing partner] Nick Sakiewicz on the Philadelphia side and [majority owner] Eric Pettis on the Harrisburg side. Not only for leading by example, but also for leading this through their respective leagues. I think that’s been extremely important and significant in getting us where we are today.”
Bullock reports that, according to City Islanders majority owner Eric Pettis, while “a formal agreement with the Union is not yet signed, he’s extremely optimistic that everything will get done shortly.”
MLSsoccer.com looks at how the new partnership could lead t MLS expansion.
How will the new partnership affect the US Open Cup? “The players will be cup-tied and they’re going to play for the team they participate with,” Durbin said. So, if I understand correctly, if Cristhian Hernandez is on loan to Harrisburg and plays Open Cup games with them and the team should then face the Union, Hernandez would play as a City Islander. I think.
The City Islanders released their 2013 schedule on Thursday, which includes two games against Colorado Rapids reserves.
Here’s a list of all of the USL PRO-MLS Reserve League team matchups.
New York Red Bulls have named assistant coach Mike Petke has their new head coach. The Long Island native first joined the then MetroStars as a defender in 1998.
Did you know the average age of a MLS coach is 45? Now you do.
Could the Home Depot Center soon have a new name?
Some 1,000 small business owners have signed a petition in support of the proposed soccer stadium in Queens.
The Equalizer has a transcript of a wide-ranging press conference Hope Solo had on Thursday that also includes comments from Seattle Reign owner Bill Predmore.
More on the Solo press conference from the Kitsap Sun.
In case you forgot, Soccer America reminds us that sustainability is the key to the new league.
The series of centennial articles at the US Soccer website continues with a look at Walter Dick’s sole national team appearance for the US at the 1934 World Cup. Six players, the team manager, and the coach (that’s the way they did it then) on the 1934 US World Cup team were from Philadelphia.
After releasing a report on a decade old World Cup kickback scandal in March, FIFA ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia will turn his attention to allegations of corruption in the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter says he supports relegation as a punishment for racism in football.
Remember that time back in 1997 when you played on a team of Tibetan monks? No? Must have been Jonathan Wilson then.