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Hack on cuts, Chellis wants the Farfans, Caps sign Reo-Coker, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

8 days, people.

The Union’s 2013 preseason camp has included a large pool of new faces–draftees, new signings, and trialists—and, as far as the history of the Union goes, an unprecedented level of openness from the club about who the trialists are. The purpose of all of this is of course to create the strongest roster possible and this week has seen an announcement from the club that two new signings, Alex Mendoza and Damani Richards, have been waived. Also came the news that SuperDraft pick Stephen Okai was now training with Seattle. At Thursday’s weekly press conference, John Hackworth announced that several other cuts.

Hackworth said that Supplemental Draft pick and Yardley-native Eric Schoenle is also no longer with the Union in Florida. Hackworth said of Schoenle, “He’s a guy we really like and he’s a fantastic soccer player, and if we had a way to keep him we would certainly keep him. He’s a guy we want to put on a developmental path. It’s important for him to grow and continue developing.” Of the 2013 SuperDraft and Supplemental Draft picks, only Don Anding and Leo Fernandes remain.

Hackworth said that he expects Damani Richards and Eric Schoenle to end up with Union-affiliate Harrisburg City Islanders where the team can continue to monitor their development. Hackworth said of the Harrisburg option, “My argument would be that it’s a shame that we don’t have more spots for some of these guys. But if you really dig down deep and look at our affiliation with Harrisburg, I think you’ll see that we’re building a good model, from Harrisburg to Reading all the way down to our youth academy. We’re putting together a player development model that allows us to maybe put these guys at a more appropriate level at this point in their careers.”

Harrisburg City Islanders coach Bill Becher talks with Michael Bullock of the Patriot News about the possibility of Richards and Schoenle ending up with his team. Becher says that Richards’ name in particular has come up in discussions with the Union coaching staff.

Hackworth is confident in the depth at left back, with Gabriel Farfan backed up by Raymon Gaddis and Don Anding. “We’ve had excellent competition at left back and we’ll start this season with three very qualified players in our humble estimation.”

34-year-old Greek trialist Pantelis Kafes is also no longer with the team, leaving Matt Kassel, Georgi Hristov, and Jordi Vidal as the remaining trialists (Kerith Gabriel confirmed that Shaun Francis is also no longer on trial). Hackworth said of Pantelis “He’s a good player but he’s a little older and doesn’t really fit what we were trying to do. So he will not be with us and is not with us any longer.”

Hackworth mentioned that Vidal has impressed. “I can tell you very honestly that [Vidal] is going to be an extremely tough decision for us to make because of our roster spots that we have open. The likelihood is that we will have to have another one of these guys that we have signed released in order to sign Jordi.” Hackworth added, “He has a really tough job of trying to beat out a guy who is currently under contract at one of our forward spots but he is currently doing very well.” Which player might he be trying to beat out?

Tomorrow’s match against DC United will likely be the last chance the trialists will have to make their case for a contract (1pm, philadelphiaunion.com/live). Hackworth said, “We’ll probably have seven guys that are going to be starters for sure on March 2. Our plan is to get as many of those 11 that we start on Saturday the full 90 minutes, and then we’ll use some substitutions to see if some different relationships are maybe a little better than others.”

Responding to questions about the release of players who were highly touted by the coaching staff after they were drafted or signed, Hackworth said,

All of these guys are good players, and there’s a reason why they were here in the first place. But our job is to take a very large number of players with a limited number of roster sports going into our season and narrow that down. That process is extremely competitive…

When we pick players and announce them, I don’t know what you guys want me to do except talk about their good qualities. I certainly am not going to say that a guy stinks so that when I release him later you can write an article about that.

Hackworth added, “It’s interesting that we’re talking about the preseason and getting ready for opening day and you guys are more concerned about three guys that are not on our team and not in the picture.”

Or as Dave Zeitlin tweeted after the press conference:

The bottom line is that the club brought in players to create a competitive environment both to find new talent and to challenge players already on the roster. The roster on the Union website lists 27 players, two of which are on loan (Pfeffer, Valdes) and so don’t count. (Chase Harrison is listed on the roster even though he does not have a contract with the club.) One player does count, even though he will not be playing and that of course is Freddy Adu. Hackworth obliquely referenced Adu when he said, “We also have some roster constraints that continue to be some challenges. I think you all know at least one of those guys that we’re talking about. My argument would be it’s a shame that we don’t have more spots for some of these guys.”

More on the press conference from Philly.com, MLSsoccer.com, Daily Doop, Delco Times, and CSN Philly.

It seems Chivas USA coach Jose Luis “Chellis” Sanchez Sola wants the Farfans. At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle writes, “Chelis remarked that the club is aiming to bring both Gabriel and Michael Farfan in from Philadelphia, although it seems inconceivable that the Union would let either player go.”

Alexi Lalas, tweeting truth:

Here’s a season preview from MLSsoccer.com:

What do you think, is Jack McInerney the next Chris Wondolowski?

Michael Lahoud talks about the trip to South Africa he took in the offseason.

Local

The rosters for the 2013 ODP Championships have been set. Representing Region I in the 1996 Boys Championship is an Eastern Pennsylvania team with players from Lehigh Valley United, HMMS Eagles, Penn Fusion, YMS, and Ukrainian Nationals. Representing Region I in the 1996 Girls Championship is a New Jersey team with players from PDA, Match Fit Chelsea, Mt. Laurel AA, Hibernian AA, NJSA 04, Randolph, and Greater Flemington.

MLS

Vancouver Whitecaps have signed Nigel Reo-Coker, former captain of West Ham, Aston Villa, and Bolton.

Real Salt Lake have signed 20-year-old Colombian forward Olmes Garcia.

Michael Nanchoff, yet another player under Caleb Porter when he was coaching at Akron, has signed with the now Porter-led Portland Timbers. Nanchoff played the last two seasons with Vancouver.

Carlos Ruiz does a Q&A about his return to MLS. Chris Albright was his roommate at LA Galaxy. I did not know that.

ProSoccerTalk puts the over/under on Ruiz’ stay in DC at six months.

Wondering what’s going on with Landon Donovan? Read on.

Robbie Keane believes MLS needs to increase the number of DPs to five per team if the league is to take an step forward toward its goal of being one of the best leagues in the world.

At Goal.com, Kyle McCarthy talks to Peter Walton, the head of the Professional Referees Organization.

Chivas USA manager Jose Luis ‘Chelis’ Sanchez Sola says recent roster moves have been motivated by salary concerns, not demographics. Claro que tienen.

US

The US will need a draw or a win to finish atop Group A when they play Costa Rica tonight in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship (6:30pm, FSC). The team already qualified for the quarterfinals after Costa Rica defeated Haiti on Wednesday.

Here’s a look at possible changes in the US’ starting lineup.

At US Soccer Players, Jason Davis explains what is at stake for the US at the U-20 tournament.

USWNT coach Tom Sermanni has announced his roster for the Algarve Cup, March 6-13.

Hope Solo is not on the roster. She’ll be back in the States being treated for a longstanding injury to her left wrist that recently worsened.

It seems the previously announced deal with Al Bann Media to offer the US games via live streaming has fallen through. All of the team’s matches will now be available only by cable or satellite pay-per-view for $14.95 per match from Integrated Sports Media.

Confirmed: The USWNT will play Netherlands away on April 9 (1pm, no TV or live stream). The match is part of a two-game European tour that kicks off against Germany on April 5.

Elsewhere

A married couple in Germany have initiated legal action because the flapping of the Borussia Dortmund flag in a neighbor’s yard prevents them from reading in peace.

The New York Times looks at how soccer is doing in Puerto Rico.

 

16 Comments

  1. The Black Hand says:

    I’ve heard of a lot of players that Hack says, “didn’t fit in with what we are trying to do”. I sure would love an idea of what makes up the ‘Hackworth Plan’.

  2. Andrew 'Calm' Down says:

    Why does Hack say how great the players are that he releases but then trashes on the guys he wants to sell…I don’t understand.

  3. I could care less about any of the players released by the Union except for Kafes. He’s an accomplished player who seemed like a good fit into our midfield. And it’s true what Hack said that he’s a little older, but he’s the same age when they brought him in a month ago.

    My best guess is that if they had gotten Adu’s salary (or at least a portion of it) off their books by now, they likely would have kept a few of these guys.

  4. I am really into DC United becoming the antithesis of the Union… they should sign Califf, Fiscal, Mwanga, Fred, Juan Diego Gonzolas and Seitz.

    Also Nowak should coach with a goatee and an eyepatch.

    • I don’t think they will sign those players but I see them kick a.. again this year. Wish we had that organization and coach here in Philly.

      • …why do you wish we had that here? Sure, United did well in 2012, but they finished dead last in the league in 2010 and didn’t fare much better in 2011. I don’t get why some people are so quick to give up on Hackworth before he even has a full season under his belt. Look at Olsen, the coach you wish we had. He finished his interim period in 2010 with a 3-8-1 record, and it wasn’t until 2012, after a full year as head coach, that Olsen and DCU started “kicking a..”

        • Time will tell. I know both pretty well and base my conclusions on what I know. Based on that I would hire Olsen way before Hack. Hack is too nice to be a coach.

          • No factual basis for your statements. I have a gut feeling the U are going to surprise this year, but it’s just a gut feeling.

    • “Also Nowak should coach with a goatee and an eyepatch.”

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha
      Thank you. Made my day

    • Love this. As Bill Simmons would say: Yup, these are our readers. :)

    • James Korman says:

      @Sieve That is freakin’ funny!

  5. My guess is that Vidal’s “forward under contract” competition is Aaron Wheeler. Don’t think there’s anyone else it could realistically be besides Hoffman, but I really don’t see the Union giving up on him just him just yet, probably a prime candidate to spend the season on loan to H-Burg.

  6. New song for the Sons to sing to freddie set to the Cee Lo song:

    I see you driving ’round town
    Screwin the team I love and I’m like,
    Fuck you!
    Oo, oo, ooo
    I guess the fans in our stands
    Wasn’t enough and I’m like,
    Fuck you!
    You said, if I was Europe, you’d still be with me
    Ha, now ain’t that some shh?
    And although there’s pain in my chest
    I still wish you the best with a…
    Fuck you
    Oo, oo, ooo

    Yeah I’m sorry, You had to grow up in a hurry,
    But too bad your skill can’t get you there.
    Tryin’ to keep ya, tryin’ to please ya
    But bein in love with your ass ain’t cheap

    I pity the Uuuuu for fallin in love with you
    Well
    Just thought you should know Ooooooh
    I’ve got some news for you
    I still wish you the best with a….

    Fuck you

    Oo oo oooo

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