Photo: Earl Gardner
At the Delco Times, Matt De George talks to Sebastien Le Toux about where he sees himself in the Union’s 4-3-3. Says Le Toux,
“I’m an offensive player, so usually when you see an offensive player, you are free. Some people just leave themselves on one side because they like it, but it’s not what I like. I like to kind of be free, and when you’re in a different position or spread out, you can start in a wide position but as play goes, you can move. It depends on where the action goes, how I fit with the guys depending on the movement.
“I’m just hoping to be free than just taking one side and not moving because it’s not me. If I’m not moving, it means there’s something wrong.”
Thursday’s edition of the Daily Doop has an update on the day’s happenings during the training sessions at the NovaCare Complex. With the weather keeping the team indoors more than planned, they haven’t been able to run the kind of full-scale drills on a proper pitch as was planned. Kerith Gabriel notes that a small side team comprised of Jimmy McLaughlin, Greg Jordan, Uriah Bentick, Charles Renken, “and newcomer Jordi Vidal” was quite competitive “with the senior guys.” I believe that is the first official mention of the trialist from Real Madrid on the Union website.
Kevin Kinkead notes that the Union have a particularly large number of players in camp, “about 35 players (and counting).” John Hackworth says, “There are a number of guys here and we will trim that down as we go. But it’s hard to really evaluate guys unless you see them in this environment on a daily basis.”
When you have that many players in camp, you need a lot of goalkeepers and five are training with the Union; only Zac MacMath and Chris Konopka are on the roster. Hackworth says, “We wanted to have four for sure. Especially with a group as large as we have, we need to have two games in training sessions and we need to have four goals. With Diego Restrepo, it was an opportunity to bring him in and get a look and that was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.”
MacMath says, “I feel a lot more comfortable than in past years. I hope this is my year to have a breakout year and show that I can be one of the top goalkeepers in the league.”
Jeff Parke is in the top 5 defender list for the MLS Fantasy Soccer Manager game on the league website.
Former Union youth technical director Alecko Eskandarian has joined New York Cosmos as an assistant coach.
Two Harrisburg City Islanders players are trialing with MLS teams, Lucky Mkosana with the Columbus Crew and Bilal Duckett with the New England Revolution. You will recall that Mkosna was trialing with the Union back in October.
Several local players have been named to id2 National Selection team, made up of boys born in 1999, that will be touring Spain from February 28 to March 11. They are Andrew Aprahamian (D, Exton, Pa./Penn Fusion), Kyle Gruno (D, Upper Saddle River, N.J./PDA), and Josh Burnett (M, Glen Ridge, N.J./PDA).
ProSoccerTalk rounds up the MLS moves abroad after the closing of the January transfer window.
Brek Shea was greeted with chants of “U-S-Shea” when he arrived in Stoke.
Has MLS arrived as a feeder league? If so, Matt De George notes that, at least in the last transfer window, only one US international was among those MLS players going abroad. Still, he points to a recent article at ESPN from Graham Ruthven that explains why MLS players are increasingly attractive to Premiership clubs.
At Goal.com, Kyle McCarthy says that now these players have to validate their moves overseas by claiming a spot on the starting lineup of their new team.
Houston defeated Colorado 1-0 at the Tuscon Friendlies.
Saying “maybe he had a little tightness in his calf,” Red Bulls coach Mike Petke explains he has no concerns about the fitness of 38-year-old Juninho, who was held out of training on Wednesday as a precautionary measure.
In Toronto, fitness seems to be an issue after a group of players arrived for preseason training in less than top shape. New club president Kevin Payne said to reporters, “I told them, ‘You will never, ever come back here after a break looking like this again. ’It just won’t happen, or you won’t be here, end of story’… being paid to go to the gym, now how hard is that? Most people have to spend money to go to the gym and shoe-horn it into their schedule. There’s just no excuse for it.”
Local lad Bobby Convey is the subject of this Q&A from the Sporting KC website.
DC United have extended Ben Olsen’s contract through 2014.
Let’s just say that the Queens Chronicle appears to be skeptical about the proposed MLS stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
In other stadium news, you will recall plans to build a sports complex that was to include a soccer stadium in Las Vegas? Lies, all lies!
The new women’s professional league has announced its Supplemental Draft and discovery process.
At Soccer America, Christen Press has a very cool post on former Philadelphia Independence midfielder Veronica Boquete, the 2011 WPS MVP, now playing with Swedish club Tyresö. The opening alone makes it worth a read.
At US Soccer Players, Jason Davis writes of Tuesday’s dourly frustrating game against Canada, “So far, Klinsmann has yet to prove that he can get his team to play effectively when faced with an ultra-defensive opponent. Nor has he shown a desire to start players who might be suited to the task, which is difficult to understand. The latter is more worrisome, because the issue transcends individual player selection.”
Jonah Freedman says the USMNT is in better shape than you think when you consider the form of “A” team players around the world.
The Castrol Index has been met with varying degrees of approval by MLS fans. Now USMNT fans can debate its efficacy with the release of ratings from Tuesday’s game. It’s difficult not to get the sense that the ratings miss a great deal in the way of intangibles.
Here’s a video explaining how the Castrol Index works:
US Soccer checks in with Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak, who “was only 16 as one of the youngest player in U.S. history, played in her first FIFA Women’s World Cup a month after her 18th birthday and won Olympic gold before she was out of her teens.”
The Canadian Soccer Association has cut ties with the second tier Canadian Soccer League amid concerns about match fixing after an Interpol investigation showed some $100 million had been bet on CSL games worldwide. You can watch a video report for background on the news from the CBC here as well as this article.
Dani Alves, subjected to racist chants in Wednesday’s Bracelona game against Real Madrid in Copa del Rey play, says it’s not the first time. “I know that things are being done to fight against this, but it still takes place. For me it is a lost war. I have been in Spain for 10 years and it has happened since the first day.”