Photo: Paul Rudderow
Kevin Kinkead has a scouting report on what to expect from Columbus, who began their Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic tournament with a 1-0 win over Toronto on Saturday. Kinkead says, “For Robert Warzycha’s team, this offseason was all about retooling an aging defense, while rounding out an offense and midfield that looked solid down the stretch in 2012.”
One of the keys to how successful the Union will be in 2013 will be how successful a season Michael Farfan has. How does Marfan feel the preseason has been going? “Everything is really organized. Everyone knows their role, everyone knows their part. We all have a plan and I think its working very well for us right now.”
Marfan demonstrates a refreshingly realistic understanding of how the early preseason games will play out. “Although our first couple of games won’t be the best soccer, I think it will put us in a good spot to start the season. We’re going to be making mistakes, we know that, but I think mistakes will help us realize what we need to get ready before the beginning of the season.”
At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald has a brief interview with Roger Torres. Asked about how comfortable he feels playing in a 4-3-3, Torres says, “Yes. I’m comfortable with that. I’m comfortable with whatever the coach wants. I want to be a starter, so I am going to work hard. If he’s going to play a 4-3-3, I’m going to play a 4-3-3. If he wants to play a 4-3-1-2, whatever he wants, I’m going to be ready for that when I get the chance.”
Dave Zeitlin checks in on Damani Richards, described by John Hackworth as an “extremely talented individual,” the 18-year-old Trinidad and Tobago left back who was signed by the team in December. Richards says, “The team really needed a left back,” Richards said after a recent training session, “and I’m going to work really hard to make sure that’s covered…I see a lot of opportunities to grow more as a player, to help the team, to do very good this season. That’s all I want to do. I just want to make a big, big difference at the left back position.”
The latest edition of the Daily Doop reports that the team was given Tuesday off in order to recharge for today’s game.
Included in the latest Double D (I just made that up) is the must see video below with Union assistant coach Jim Curtin. Aside from being an informative look at Curtin’s hands-on approach to coaching and the coaching staff’s program of preparing the team for 2013, the video affirms that Curtin is in my Top 5 list of Union people I most want to have a couple of beers with.
The club released today its promotion schedule for 2013. So, a Chik-fil-A promotion on June 5, a few days before Philly’s annual gay pride parade? Not cool, that, not cool at all.
The latest edition of the Sons of Ben newsletter notes that they will have a new tailgating area at the grassy strip by the river behind the River End. Very cool.
MLSsoccer.com has a fine article about Vancouver Whitecap’s defender Andy O’Brien’s battle with depression.
The Central Winger uses some visualizations to try to wring some useful information out of possession stats.
The Olympian looks at how MLS is filling the void left in Tucson after MLB’s Cactus League decided to desert the city.
Hunter Freeman becomes the fifth MLS veteran to join the New York Cosmos.
The three Colorado Rapids supporters groups—the Bulldog Supporter Group, Class VI and Pid Army—have combined forces to form Centennial 38.
The NWSL announced its inaugural schedule on Tuesday. First kick is on Saturday, April 13 when Alex Morgan and the Portland Thorns FC visit FC Kansas City, which happens to be loaded with former Philadelphia Independence players. The rest of the league begins its 19-week, 22 game schedule on April 14. It kills me that Philadelphia isn’t a part of this.
Philly Soccer News has a roundup of where former Independence players selected in last week’s Supplemental Draft ended up.
Our Game Magazine looks at some of the ways NWSL teams have been marketing themselves and the league.
Seattle Reign will do a preseason tour of Japan in March.
Tonight’s USWNT friendly against Scotland in Nashville will be Abby Wambach’s 200th national team appearance.
You can watch the game via live stream at the US Soccer website from 8pm but be forewarned: Alex Morgan will be sitting out the match after injuring her ankle in Saturday’s game. ProSoccerTalk notes that the US still has plenty of attacking options.
At the Star-Ledger, Frank Glase checks in with US Men’s U-20 coach Tab Ramos ahead of the start of next week’s CONCACAF U-20 championship, the qualifying tournament for the U-20 World Cup, which will be hosted by Turkey June 21-July 13.
The Aetna Foundation has awarded a $140,000 grant to the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Soccer for Success program, “a free, after-school fitness and nutrition program, to kids from low-income communities in Detroit, Houston and Washington, D.C.”
At SI, Avi Creditor considers Timothy Chandler’s creaky performance at right back in last week’s qualifying loss and the USMNT’s options at that position. What, no mention of Sheanon Williams?
On Tuesday, Brek Shea scored in his first appearance for Stoke City, a 2-1 reserve game loss to Burnley. It was Shea’s first competitive match since Sept. 29, 2012.
Mix Diskerud has re-signed with Rosenborg.
More Champions League action today as REal Madrid hosts Manchester United (2:30pm, FSC, Fox Deportes, Fox Soccer 2Go) and Shakhtar Donetsk vs Borussia Dortmund (2:30pm, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2Go).
The Independent looks at the support Real Madrid provided to Manchester United after the Munich air disaster, which happened 55 years ago last week.
The Guardian on the “hilariously unconvincing friendship” between Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho.
Philly.com has a series of stories and video from the AP on the on going concerns about match-fixing.
You will recall that David Beckham will donate the wages from his five month deal with Paris Saint-Germain to charity, a noble gesture that also happens to allow him to avoid a new 75 percent income tax in France. The Daily Mail reports that PSG expects to sell some 150,000 replica kits with Beckham’s name on them, which at £95, or just a few pennies under $149, means sales should top $22 million. Beckham will get a cut of those sales through image rights licensing. The money from that licensing is paid through Beckham’s UK-based Footwork Productions. Voilà—no French tax!