Photo: Earl Gardner
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Doopday…
But before that is tonight’s Meet the Team event at Xfinity Live!, which will also include the official unveiling of the Union’s new third kit at 7:35pm. Preregistered season ticket holders will have access to the event beginning at 7pm with all other fans invited to attend from 7:30pm. For a teaser image of some of the design elements of the new Union kit, click here.
With the roster compliance deadline coming on Friday, the Kerith Gabriel reports in the latest Daily Doop that Jordi Vidal and Georgi Hristov are no longer trialing with the Union.
At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald breaks down what the Union’s 2013 roster looks like in terms of the latest roster rules. He reports that Zac MacMath, Jack McInerney, and Amobi Okugo have all graduated from Generation adidas, which adds a sizable chunk to the Union’s salary responsibilities under the current salary cap of $2.95 million.
PSP editor Dan Walsh joins Graham Parker for a Union season preview that is part of a comprehensive Eastern Conference preview at the Guardian. Hey, didn’t Dan do one of those conference preview things yesterday too?
PSP’s very own Sean Doyle was talking Union on Berks County TV’s Reading United Soccer Scene.
SBI’s season preview power rankings puts the Union at eighth in the Eastern Conference, 16th in the league. The Sports Network has the Union at No. 5 in the East. Sporting News has the Union at seventh. Goal.com, arguing that the team face too many questions and will require too many breaks, puts the Union at ninth in the conference.
There are all kinds of Union references in part one of the Shin Guardian’s preseason predictions: Roger Torres for Most Overrated Player; Peter Nowak for Anti-Coach of the Year (and John Hackworth “Solely because his nickname is The Hack.” Never heard “The” used in conjunction with “Hack” in reference to Hackworth before? Me either.); Jeff Parke for Most Under-rated Player. Who knows what part two will bring…
Speaking of Jeff Parke, the Downingtown lad says of Saturday’s opener,
Coming back to my hometown area was something I always wanted. Now that it’s here and I know it’s coming this quickly, it’s exciting, overwhelming. I’ll be walking on the field in my home area playing for a franchise that at one time I wasn’t sure would be in existence…To be honest, I really didn’t think Philadelphia would get a team at one point,. You just don’t know because you hope it will happen. But you never know. Then they get the franchise and you don’t know if you’ll ever get the chance to play for them. Then the chance comes and it’s like, “(Wow), this is happening.” I’ll start to think about it as it gets closer to the weekend. It’s just incredible all the way around.
ProSoccerTalk puts Sebastien Le Toux at No. 10 on their list of the top right midfielders of the league. Merde! Have they not heard that Le Toux is a forward?!? Oh, wait, “He can sometimes lose tactical discipline, but that little dimple may be mitigated in 2013 since his defensive duty will be slightly reduced; Le Toux will probably be more of a right-sided forward in John Hackworth’s new 4-3-3. Plus, you always get the dependable two-way work from Le Toux.”
At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald survey’s the top scoring threats from around the league. Tannenwald says for the Union, the top threat is Conor Casey,
I know that Union fans want to see a lot out of Jack McInerney and Sébastien Le Toux. Casey has more potential to dominate a game than any of them.
Now that he’s at full health, Casey’s imposing frame and dominant aerial game give Philadelphia a kind of attacking threat that we’ve never seen in the River End. He can play the point in a 4-3-3 or with a partner in a 4-4-2. Both may be required, and ultimately desired, if the Union are to return to the playoffs.
Speaking of nailing it, so did the face painter that Antoine Hoppenot and Jimmy McLaughlin visited at the NJ State Aquarium.
— Antoine Hoppenot (@AntoineHoppenot) February 25, 2013
Union Dues has a Union preview.
Here’s a wrap of the first season of the Jersey Premier Futsal League.
Monday marked the start of Jersey Week, which so far has included the unveiling of new (and still terrible) Red Bulls first and secondary kits, three new kits featuring varying shades of orange from Houston, and the best of the lot so far, a new first and secondary kit for Colorado. The primary kit features horizontal stripes made up of the names of season ticket holders while the second kit features the outline of the Colorado state flag across the chest and is made of the same colors as the flag.
At Goal.com, Avi Creditor takes a look at the discovery process.
Who will be the Golden Boot winner in 2013? The editors of MLSsoccer.com cast their predictions.
Empire of Soccer has screenshots from a video presentation that included images of the proposed stadium in Queens from SHoP architects at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture. MLS tells Capitol New York that the images do not represent what the stadium will look like and are simply early architectural design studies.
Megan Rapinoe scored her first goal for Lyon on Saturday while Tobin Heath assisted fellow American Lindsey Horan’s goal for Paris Saint-Germain. Rapinoe is to join Seattle Reign in June with Heath to join Portland Thorns.
The US faces Canada tonight in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF U-20 championship (6pm, FSC, Univision Deportes). The winner of the match will advance to the U-20 World Cup in Turkey as well as qualify for the semifinals of the CONCACAF tournament.
US coach Tab Ramos isn’t buying into the pregame rivalry talk. “To me, Canada is another opponent. At this point, we’re just preparing for our next opponent and that’s it.”
Canada coach Nick Dasovic says, “At the end of the day, it’s being the best on that day—not any day, but that day. Whenever the U.S. plays the Canadians it comes down to one thing, which is a battle.”
More on the game from Soccer America.
Clint Dempsey is out for one to two weeks with a calf strain but should be fit for the US World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica on March 22 and Mexico on March 26.
The first of two El Classico’s in five days kicks of today at 3pm as Barcelona host Real Madrid in the second leg of Spanish Cup semifinal play (beIN Sport, beIN Sport en Español). The two teams face each other in league play on Saturday (10am, beIN Sport, beIN Sport en Español).
CONCACAF has backed a proposal that would limit the FIFA presidency to two terms of four years with an age limit of 72. Sepp Blatter, 76 years old, is in the midst of his fourth term as president.