Photo: Earl Gardner
There’s this bit of tantalizing news:
Hearing Real Madrid’s Jordi Vidal, 21-yr-old MF, on trial with Philadelphia Union. With RM since age 12, B/C squads, 1st-team training #mls
— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) January 28, 2013
Look for Jeff Parke in tonight’s USA v Canada match (9pm, ESPN2, WatchESPN, and Univision Deportes). Look for our preview later this morning.
Jack McInerney comes in at No. 9 on ESPN’s list of the US soccer’s Top 10 Under-21 players. Jeff Carlisle notes in the article, “concern remains in some corners he is little more than a poacher. Now that the Union has target man Conor Casey on board, it looks as if McInerney will have a chance to dispel those doubts.”
MLSsoccer.com will be live streaming all of the Union’s games at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic. These are: against Orlando City on Feb. 9 at 6pm, against Columbus Crew on Feb. 13 at 1pm, and against Toronto FC on Feb. 16 at 3pm. Presumably this means that the games will also be available on the Union website.
At The Delco Times, Matthew De George talks to Michael Farfan and Eric Schoenle. Farfan notes the start of preseason under John Hackworth is much different than it was under Peter Nowak. “We’re very organized this season,” says Farfan. “We all know what our part in the organization is, and I think we’re all on the same page and we’re all working towards the same goals.”
Sheanon Williams makes it clear that he and his teammates are itching for the start of the season and that he’s excited to see how the team develops under Hackworth. “I think it’ll help being here in charge from the start and he’ll get to put his imprint on the team. He’ll show us how he wants us to play and the style he wants us to play. I think having that impact from the start of training makes a huge difference.”
At Union Tally, De George shares more observations on Monday’s training session at the NovaCare complex. De George notes that one formation featured a front line of Le Toux, Casey, and McInerney, with Le Toux filling “the hole left centrally between midfield and the forwards, tracking back to exchange passes with Michael Farfan and Amobi Okugo.”
Further observations on the first day at the NovaCare Complex in Monday’s Daily Doop. While the plan was to take practice outdoors, two sessions were held indoors because of the bad weather. John Hackworth said, “This space inside the bubble is tight. It’s like playing on a postage stamp. It’s tough, because guys are ready to go and you have to kind of hold them back, and try to get a lot of tactics done.”
Bakary Soumare says that when the Union dropped out of the playoff race, the club decided it wasn’t worth trying to get him match time in 2012 and him risking re-injury.
Here’s the Carlos Valdes’ goal in the 1-0 win on Sunday that secured the Superliga Postobón championship for Santa Fe.
Valdes’ celebratory tweet with the trophy here.
According to an email from Kirkwood Soccer Club in Delaware seen by Union Dues, Peter Nowak will be running a “camp series exclusively at Kirkwood along with other programs beginning as early as this Spring.”
Columbus Crew have signed Uruguayan-American defender/midfielder Agustín Viana.
Vancouver Whitecaps have signed attacking midfielder Daigo Kobayashi.
LA Galaxy have named former midfielder Chris Klein as their new president.
Charles Boehm has an interesting look at how the influx of foreign players into the US development system, culminating in their presence in the SuperDraft, reflects the emergence of the US as a legitimate destination for young players.
Crain’s says MLS has found its footing.
USWNT and Chicago Red Stars defender Amy LePeilbet is out six to eight months with a torn ACL.
At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle has some suggestions about what to look for in tonight’s game against Canada.
Could the US defense be a concern?
At Sporting News, Brian Straus looks at how big of an opportunity tonight’s game is for several MLS players. Jurgen Klinsmann says in the article, “The last three weeks showed us that we maybe have a deeper pool than we thought. We have a lot of good players coming through, and their job is to challenge whoever’s in front of them. It was great to see there’s a next generation of players that are eager and hungry to get to the next level.”
More on the same theme from Goal.com.
US Soccer has a fascinating Q&A with Klinsmann, noted helicopter pilot, about the importance of the January training camp given the need to build two rosters—one for World Cup qualification, one for the Gold Cup—in 2013.
A Castrol Index for the USMNT will debut next week.
At ESPN, Roger Bennett has a deep and very good look at whether the US is doing everything it can to develop the best players and concerns over whether the best athletes are going to other sports. Tony Lepore, US Soccer’s development academy director of scouting, says, “We do not have the resources to cover the whole country, so we are developing hot spots to focus on based on the last 10 years of development, which point towards New York, California, Dallas, Chicago and Philadelphia. We won’t be starting an academy in Boise anytime soon.”
In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the US Soccer Federation, US Soccer Players begins a centennial series about significant US soccer events with a look at the US in the 1930 World Cup.
The magazine France Football has published an extensive report on allegations of corruption in the bidding for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. One reviewer says, “It’s a well articulated piece…but there’s no real smoking gun.”
Jonathan Wilson looks at the Cinderella story that is the Cape Verde Islands’ run in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Uh, apparently the English—or one of them at ESPN, anyway—are gaining a little bit of respect for the American game.
Forbes reports that Manchester United are the first team to be valued at $3 billion. $3.3 billion, actually.
If you want to keep your vehicle, don’t leave it parked in the drive with the engine running so the windows can defrost like Paul Scholes did.