Photo: Earl Gardner
The opening to Dave Zeitlin’s piece on Conor Casey is a good one:
“Conor Casey remembers walking through the tunnel at PPL Park and immediately hearing the heckling.
“He loved it.”
Casey says, “I’m excited for them to be cheering for me instead of against me this year.”
Casey says that he’s feeling fit and happy to have a full preseason for the first time in two years. As far as what fans might expect formation-wise, Casey says, “We haven’t talked too much about specifics right now. I think there’s a lot of great options. Obviously Jack has a lot of pace. He’s a very skillful, young guy. Seba’s had a lot of success here so I know he’s happy to back too. It gives us a lot of different options, a lot of looks, so it’s up to us to cause other teams problems.”
Antoine Hoppenot is pleased with the changes to the Union attack. “The guys we brought in are the right guys to be brought in. We have bigger target guys with experience. I love playing with a bigger guy up top because it can help me to keep working hard.” Hoppenot, who says that he, except for a short break, basically continued to train during the offseason, has some interesting things to say about what he learned in his rookie year.
If Friday’s Daily Doop is anything to go by, some interesting things must have been said when Hoppenot and Sheanon Williams engaged in a “skirmish” during a 6 v 6 in the last session at YSC Sports. Neither player seemed fazed by the incident, Hoppenot saying simply, “It happens.”
John Hackworth agreed, saying, “I don’t mind it at all. Too be honest, I’d be worried if I didn’t see it. Doesn’t mean I want guys throwing haymakers at each other, but it is part of the game, especially when you are competing and when guys are competing there’s going to be certain emotions.”
In the Daily Doop, Hackworth says the first week of training went well and everyone is looking forward to training on grass at the NovaCare Complex beginning today.
Sheanon Williams says, “I think the back line was strong in past and it will be even stronger this year. I am excited for Jeff [Parke] being here and can’t wait to have him back from US camp. The defense is looking forward to working with him and overall if backline stays strong there’s a good chance of winning games.”
At Union Tally, Aaron Wheeler talks about playing in Finland.
Carlos Valdes scored the only goal in Santa Fe’s win over Millonarios to claim the SuperLiga Postobón Championship (3-1 on aggregate; crappy Google translation here). One could say it was a “loan goal.” Get it? Good, right? No? Moving on…
The Brotherly Game talks to Chris Gomez, the US U-15 and Union academy defender about his prospects abroad after he received an invitation to train with Malaga in Spain.
Union Dues argues that the Union are not doing enough to market to the area’s Latin community.
Details on the Union’s upcoming training stint in Florida from the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
Krystian Witkowski, who joined the Union in 2012 only to suffer a concussion in March that effectively ended his season, is trialing with Columbus Crew and played 40 minutes in the second half of their 1-0 win over DC United in a scrimmage on Saturday. Local lad and former Union midfielder Ryan Richter, on trial with DC, played 45 first half minutes.
Hugh Jackman continues to leave no doubt as to who his favorite MLS team is, no matter how tony the setting. (I will refrain from further pun possibilities with this one.)
Nike has signed a four-year deal to be the official equipment and apparel supplier for Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer. EPYSA has named Angelo’s Soccer Corner as their official retail partner for the agreement.
Local lad Dan Gargan has been signed by San Jose Earthquakes.
Colorado Rapids picked up Cameroonian international Charles Eloundou via lottery on Friday.
The Daily Mail says David Beckham is working to convince the likes of Stevan Gerrard and Ashley Cole to finish their careers in MLS.
Former Philadelphia Union midfielder and PSP favorite Jen Buczkowski has reportedlybeen signed by FC Kansas City. There she will reportedly play with former Independence teammate and Havertown-native Sinead Farrelly.
It may be reasonable to expect lots of goals when the USMNT faces Canada on Tuesday night (9pm, ESPN2, WatchESPN, Univision Deportes). Canada was thumped 4-0 by Denmark on Saturday.
Soccer America takes a look at who may make Jurgen Klinsmann’s 18-player roster for the Hexagonal opener at Honduras (Weds., Feb. 6 at 4pm on beIN Sport).
B.J. Snow has been named head coach of the US Under-17 Women’s National Team and April Kater as Head Development Coach.
The 2013 National Soccer Hall of Fame ballot is out. Two nominees have local connections: Lorrie Fair, who played three seasons with the WUSA’s Philadelphia Charge, and Ben Olsen, the Harrisburg-born coach of DC United.
Two soccer players are among the at least 27 dead in Egypt after riots broke out on Saturday. By Sunday, the death toll had risen to 40. The riots came after a judge issued death sentences for 21 defendants found guilty of involvement in last year’s orchestrated riot in Port Said that left 74 Al-Ahly fans dead.
Three supporters of Israeli club Beitar Jerusalem were arrested for chanting anti-Muslim slogans during a game after the club announced its interest in signing two players from Chechnya.