Photo: Earl Gardner
The Union announced on Monday evening that six players have been cut from the Union’s preseason roster: Supplemental Draft picks Mark Linnville, Uriah Bentick and Charles Renken, and trialists Diego Restrepo, Tunde Obungiyi, and Nicolas Medina. Presently, 34 players are on the preseason roster, a number that must be brought down to 32.
Of the five players taken in this year’s Supplemental Draft, only Eric Schoenle and Leo Fernandes remain with the team. John Hackworth said of the Yardley native, “He’s somebody we’ve been interested in the last couple of years. He came in and trained with us a couple of times with the first team in the summer…He’s really comfortable with the ball. With the way we try to play with good technical execution, he fits well into that.”
Ray Gaddis relates what he did after spending time with his family at the start of the offseason: “After that, I picked up some weight, got faster. I definitely worked on my technical aspects of my game. And I watched every game at least two or three times (on film) to see what I did wrong or what I can do to get better for next season. As a player, you’ve got to think of it as being a student of the game. It’s not just watching your team, but it’s watching the opposition and what their tendencies are.”
At Philly.com, The Goalkeeper has an informative interview with the newly signed Alex Mendoza in which he talks about his path to playing in Mexico and return to the States. When asked what Hackworth has spoken to him about in terms of his play, Mendoza said, “We’ve talked a little about my positions. I’m a central midfielder and he was saying that he would like to see me play central midfielder and try to be in a bit more of an attacking role. When I was in Mexico I was a bit more defensive.”
The Brotherly Game checks in with everyone’s favorite Serb, Veljko Paunovic.
Speaking of former Union players, reports out of Guatemala suggest that Carlos Ruiz could be in talks to return to MLS to play for Chivas USA.
Union Twitter users were treated to some fun on Monday after Matt Marks (@MattMarks19) posted photos of Freddy Adu smoking a hookah. Following the interest stirred by the photo, Marks has since deleted the photos and a series of tweets from his night of hanging out with Adu (you can read the tweets here and view a photo montage here). Marks later tweeted, “my twitters blowing up cause of this @FreddyAdu picture of smoking a hookah, but it was just us smoking it and not him at all. It was a joke.” Sometimes the joke isn’t the one that was intended.
Speaking of Adu, at SB Nation Toronto FC blog Waking the Red, Dave Rowan has a post about the rumors over the weekend that Eric Hassli was being dealt to Dallas to make space for the benched Union attacker. While noting that Adu has connections with some members of the Toronto staff from his time with DC United, Rowan wonders why Toronto would trade Hassli for “another over-priced attacker and this time one who has a far less impressive track record of contributing in MLS.” Rowan also notes that the origin of the rumors lies in “some twitter fun by a certain Bobby Brizzo who has been active in creating #FreddyAdu4TFC over the past few days as a joke.” Rowan says, “There is certainly some amusement to be found in that twitter stream but I would be stunned if there was any facts there or insider knowledge to go along with the fun jokes.” Of course, anything can happen.
This post on the Union website is essentially a PR piece, but it is a reminder of the importance of the relationship the team enjoys with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Daily Princetonian posted an article early on Tuesday morning on two players who were recently drafted, Mark Linville by the Union and Jen Hoy by the NWSL’ Chicago Red Stars. Unfortunately, the Union announced on Monday that Linville had not been invited to join the team in Orlando.
Junior Lone Star have signed Mohamed Conteh. Last season Conteh played for I-95 rival Trenton FC.
FC Dallas were busy on Monday. First they traded with Toronto for Eric Hassli, then they traded with New York for Kenny Cooper. Do I mind two hulking offensive threats such as those two guys now plying their trade in the Western Conference with a team that the Union will play only once in 2013? No I do not.
XL Quarterly has a fascinating interview with Marco Garcés, Head of Scouting for Pachuca. Among other things, Garcés describes how its relatively easy to sign players in the US:
I think the way that American soccer is organized creates a chance for us to come scout. Because you have these players who are not linked to any professional club. And even if they are linked to a professional club, you can still take them. They’re not tied in by a contract or anything. You can just come pick anyone. In Mexico, if there’s a good player, he’s probably involved in some kind of professional team. Then you have to buy him. Nobody knows exactly how to value him because everything is potential, everything is speculative. So it’s a lot easier to scout in the US in that sense…I think eventually you will change the rules in the US. [Youth teams] don’t ask for compensation. It’s weird. I can go and watch the U-20 Galaxy train and take their players…I don’t understand the way they do business here.
Long Island’s state senator is backing the Cosmos plan to build a 25,000 seat stadium in Belmont.
Four Four Two talks to NASL commissioner Bill Peterson.
It’s official: FC Kansas City have signed former Philadelphia Independence midfielder Jen Buczkowski.
Jurgen Klinsmann said of the Honduras team ahead of Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier in San Pedro Sula (4pm, beIN Sports), “We give them a lot of respect…It’s a technically very gifted team, also physical, very tough to play and they grew over the last couple of years. They have a bit more confidence—going to a World Cup gives you confidence, having that learning experience.”
Hercules Gomez shared his thoughts on Honduras. “Hard-nosed players, technically decent players…Theatrics, antics. But they’ve got some very good players…Really tough players to play against.”
Mindful of the fact that three of the US’ first four games in the Hexagonal are on the road, Tim Howard said, “First game of the group, we’ve got to get points. We’ve got to pick up points because there’s no easy games and the first one is so important just to kind of get yourself on the board…It makes it tough if you don’t get the points; it makes it really, really good if you can pick up a few draws and possibly a win. Because now you’re staring your home games in the face and we know traditionally we have to win those. So it could go both ways.”
Timothy Chandler is with the team in Honduras. If he’s capped, there will be no further doubts about whether he will play for the US or Germany.
How big is Wednesday’s game in Honduras? The Honduran government made Wednesday afternoon a national holiday to make sure everyone could watch the game.
The Honduran team is feeling confident.
ASN gives a sense of local conditions in San Pedro Sula.
At Goal.com, Avi Creditor looks at the tough start to the US qualification campaign.
At SI, Grant Wahl has some storylines ahead of Wednesday’s game and also has his prediction for how the teams in the Hexagonal will finish the qualification series. He has the US finishing at No. 2 behind Mexico.
At Sporting News, Brian Straus runs down the six teams in the Hexagonal.
Union Dues predicts a 1–1 draw.
The New York Daily News considers how the breaking international match-fixing scandal has cast a shadow over Wednesday’s match.
ASN has begun a series looking back at the US’ disastrous qualification campaign for the 1986 World Cup.
A Danish newspaper has reported that a 2009 Champions League match between Liverpool and Hungarian side Debrecen, won 1–0 by Liverpool at Anfield, is suspected of match-fixing (Crappy Google translation here). The report says that the Debrecen goalkeeper may have been bribed and that Liverpool is not suspected of any wrong doing. A Liverpool spokesperson said, “We have had no contact from Europol or any other organization over this.”
FIFA wants the International Football Association Board to clarify the offside rule, specifically, what constitutes interference from an offside position.
Brazil is currently looking at $1.9 billion in debt from World Cup preparations.
The Canadian Soccer Association is considering developing a new league modeled after the Canadian Hockey leagues in which play in regional leagues toward meeting for a national championship.