Daily news roundups

Valdes unlikely to return in 2014, Drexel and La Salle advance, US v Scotland previews, more

Photo: Nicolae Stoian

On Nov. 16, 2009, PSP published its first articles. We’ve come a long way since then and we wouldn’t have been able to do it without you. Many thanks to all of you for your continued support.

Philadelphia Union

In an interview with Dave Zeitlin at MLSsoccer.com, John Hackworth affirmed comments he made to PSP concerning doubts that Carlos Valdes will return to the Union from loan to Colombian club Santa Fe in 2014. Hackworth said, “The reality is this is a good situation for Carlos right now. He needs to continue to be in that situation going into the World Cup because we’re in a good marketplace for him right now. I would think at some point he’s either going to get bought or we’re going to extend that loan through the World Cup.”

He explained further, “Carlos is poised to play in a World Cup, which was his major goal. And that’s the major reason why we decided to loan him out last year in the first place. We benefited financially but this is something that Carlos came to us with well in advance and said, ‘Hey, José Pékerman wants me to be in front of him and his coaches all the time.’ The loan we worked out with Santa Fe allowed him to do that. There’s been an option out there for Santa Fe to buy his contract as part of any loan deal, and we’re in continued discussions with them whether they’ll pick up that option.”

With a Valdes return unlikely, Hackworth said the he plans to keep Amobi Okugo at centerback alongside Jeff Parke. “That may change, but the reality is he’s played his best professional soccer as a center back. I don’t understand why there’s even an argument.”

Valdes was an unused substitute in Colombia’s 2-0 win over Belgium on Thursday. Former Union goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon played the full 90.

The Union and the Harrisburg City Islanders will be hosting a joint open tryout at the Net Sports Complex in Palmyra, Pa., Dec. 18-19. John Hackworth said of the event, “We’re excited to see the talent that comes out to compete over the two day event. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get a good look at players who we think can be a part of our development system and ultimately contribute to the Union first team.” Click here for registration information.

The Union has rounded up the top ten moments of the 2013 season for your voting pleasure. First up is Kleberson’s game-winning free kick against Toronto vs. Zac MacMath’s big save on Graham Zusi’s shot in the 1-0 road win over Kansas City.

Zach Pfeffer played the first 45 minutes of the US U-20 MNT’s 4-1 loss to Serie A club Hellas Verona’s u-21 team. Lancaster’s Russell Canouse, Pfeffer’s teammate at Hoffenheim, also played the first 45 minutes. (U-20 coach Tab Ramos switched out the entire side at the half when the score was tied at 1-1.) You can view highlights of the match here. The US next faces Iran’s U-20 National Team on Monday, Nov. 18

Union academy U-15/16 goalkeeper Cameron Keys has been named the US Development Academy Player of the Week.

The Brotherly Game review’s Jeff Parke’s 2014 season.

Using inference and assumption from admittedly scant financial data, a fan post at the Brotherly Game considers the Union’s chances of landing a player with a Dempsey-like price tag. The conclusion? Not any time soon.

Local

The Drexel men’s team advances to the Colonial Athletic Association championship final after defeating University of Delaware on Thursday night. Drexel was up 2-0 courtesy of a brace from Joaquin del Rosario before Delaware fought its way back into the game with goals in the 66th and 85th minutes to send the game into overtime and then penalty kicks. Drexel prevailed 7-6 in the shootout for the win and now host William & Mary in Saturday’s CAA final. Kickoff is t 4 pm.

Despite the loss, Delaware remains confident of being awarded an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament.

Another penalty kick win, this time for La Salle, who defeated Dayton to advance to the second round of the Atlantic 10 tournament. They now face top-seeded Saint Louis tonight at 7:30 pm.

St. Joseph’s is out of the Atlantic 10 tournament after falling to George Mason on penalties in Thursday night’s quarterfinals. It was the team’s first A-10 postseason appearance since 1994.

Temple has been named the American Athletic Conference Coaching Staff of the Year. Robert Sagel was named to the AAC All-Rookie Team, Jared Martinelli was named to the All-Conference second team. Temple also won the conference’s Fair Play Award.

The Big East semifinal’s take place tonight at PPL Park. At 6 pm, it is Providence vs. Georgetown followed by Butler vs. Marquette at 8:30 pm. The final, which will be broadcast on Fox Sports 2, kicks off at 12:30 pm on Sunday.

KYW Newsradio’s Matt Leon talks to Paul Royal, head coach of the La Salle women’s team, ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Georgetown in the first round of the NCAA championship tournament.

Penn’s Caroline Dwyer has been named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year. Three Penn players — Dwyer, Erin Mikolai, and Kalijah Terilli — were named to the Ivy League all-conference first team and two –Kerry Scalora and Tahirih Nesmith – received honorable mentions.

At The Cup.us, Michael Berton has the results from last weekend’s Eastern Pa. 2015 US Open Cup qualifying games which saw West Chester United, Salone FC, Upper Moreland Celtic, and Vereinigung Erzgebirge advance to the next round. Jeremiah White featured for West Chester.

Harrisburg City Islanders supporters now know the name, colors, and logo of their newest opponent, Oklahoma City Energy, set to begin play in USL PRO in 2014. Terrible name, Seattle-like colors, ho-hum logo. Out in Sacramento, a proposed 8,000 seat stadium for the new Sacramento Republic FC USL PRO team there could be open as soon as March, in time for the team’s 2014 debut. News10abc emphasizes the stadium would be an important part of the team’s long-range plan of moving to MLS.

Reading United alumni Damion Lowe and Kadeem Dacres were named to the America East all-conference first team.

MLS

The Oregonian on the “bizarre two-week hiatus” between the first leg games of the conference semifinals and the second leg games.

It’s official: MLS has a new partnership with the Caribbean Football Union that will begin with a Caribbean Player Combine January 2-5 in St. John’s, Antigua. “The top players at the event, to be held at Antigua Recreation Grounds, will earn an invitation to the adidas MLS Player Combine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., held later in January.”

ASN has a look at possible offseason loan moves for US MLS players.

It looks like Sigi Schmid’s job in Seattle is safe after all.

The Vancouver Whitecaps are reportedly checking out former Montreal coach Jesse Marsch as a replacement for Martin Rennie.

At the New York Times, Sam Borden talks to Robbie Rogers about being in the spotlight as a gay athlete.

The Washington Post has a walking tour of Buzzard Point, the neighborhood where DC United would like to build a new stadium.

Could Steve Cherundolo move to MLS after his contract with Hannover expires in May? Cherundolo tells ESPN, “It’s always something that I am interested in. I follow the league, it is a great little league.”

Realmadridnews.com reports, “Renowned Spanish sports journalist Josep Pedrerol has claimed Xabi Alonso first option if  he doesn’t renew his contract with Real Madrid this season would be moving to the United States to play in the Major League Soccer.” Pedrerol is quoted in the report, “If Alonso finds himself perfectly fit in two months, they will start seriously negotiating a contract renewal. If he has to choose a top European team, it will be Real Madrid, otherwise he plans on starting an adventure in the USA.”

Stuart Pearce coaching in MLS? Pearce tells Fox Soccer Daily, “I came over a year-and-a-half ago prepping for the Olympics and watching David play. I was quite impressed with the set-up and the professionalism of [MLS]. I certainly would be open-minded to it.”

NWSL

Former Philadelphia Independence captain Nikki Krzysik has signed with FC Kansas City. There she’ll be reunited with former Independence teammates Jen Buczkowski, Amy Rodriguez, Leigh Ann Robinson, Sinead Farrelly, and Nicole Barnhart. Most recently, Krzysik played with Farrelly and fellow former Independence teammates Joanna Lohman and Lianne Sanderson at Apollon Limassol in Cyprus.

US

The US faces Scotland today in Glasgow at 3 pm (ESPN2, UniMás, Watch ESPN, SiriusXM FC).

Check out Jeremy Lane’s preview here at PSP. More previews from USsoccer.com, MLSsoccer.com, ESPN, ASN, ProSoccerTalk, SBI, SI, Goal.com, and USASoccerGuy,

Jurgen Klinsmann says the calf strain suffered in training that forced Clint Dempsey to withdraw from the US squad for the Scotland and Austria friendlies is a “real bummer.” Klinsmann explained, “It’s a big bummer for us, really. He’s our captain, and he’s a leader in our group. What he’s done for us over the past couple of years for us is priceless and seeing him limping off the field the other morning was a real shock to us…He was really hungry for these two friendlies. Since coming back to the US, he’s struggled a little bit because of injury and I think it was a little overwhelming first few months for him because of the pressure. He had just started to settle and get back into a good rhythm, looking physically good this week, and then this happens. He’ll get a couple of weeks of rest and then he’ll come back. It’s a big blow.”

The Best Headline of the Day award goes to the New York Times for “Kljestan Seeks to Impress U.S. With His Play, Not His Mustache.”

At Goal.com, Seth Vertelney on how time is running out on Timothy Chandler’s chances of making the World Cup squad.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek on soccer’s “never-ending arrival” in the US.

Meet me at the intersection of Faulty History Street and Cultural Chauvinism Lane for a look at British TV network ITN’s reporting on the founding of the National Professional Soccer League from way back in 1966. Truth be told, this is probably more TV coverage than the league ever got from national broadcasting outlets in the US.

Elsewhere

For Listings of today’s qualifiers and friendlies and the rest of the week’s games, check out the latest Footy on the Telly.

The Guardian has ten things to look out for in the slate of World Cup qualification playoffs and friendlies over the next week.

Oh, Zlatan.

The Union of Professional Football Clubs in France has postponed the planned strike set for Nov. 29-Dec. 2 that would have shut down Ligue 1 and Ligue 2. Clubs in France are miffed at a new 75 percent tax on those earning more than €1 million a year.

The AP reports, “Brazilian players say they are planning more protests against the national federation if changes are not made to the country’s jammed football calendar. All players in the seven Brazilian league matches on Wednesday crossed their arms for several moments at the start of the games to show their discontentment with the federation, saying officials haven’t taken their demands seriously.”

The Guardian reports, “Zahir Belounis, the French professional footballer trapped in Qatar under its controversial labour laws, has written an impassioned plea to the former 2022 World Cup ambassadors Zinedine Zidane and Pep Guardiola asking them to intervene on his behalf.”

The first photo from the Pele biopic that is currently in production has been released. Hurray!

16 Comments

  1. “That may change, but the reality is he’s played his best professional soccer as a center back. I don’t understand why there’s even an argument.”

    This guy is clueless.

    • You deny he wasn’t terrific this past season? You might be the clueless one here. Why are people so hellbent on moving one of the best young centerbacks to a position where talent can be found at a good price pretty readily?

      • He was terrific no doubt about it. Guess where he would have been even better and had a much bigger impact on this team? THE MIDFIELD. Ya know, the midfield that let us down game after game after game.

        .

        I really don’t know the answer to this but how many games has Amobi started at CDM for the Union? Has he even been given the chance and blown it?

        .

        I can’t wait to buy the jersey of the team he is on next and wear it to every Union game.

      • we’re doomed

      • I don’t think it’s a guarantee AT ALL he would’ve been better in midfield. He’s not a creative mid, he’s a defensive mid. Great centerbacks are hard to find; keep Amobi where he is.

        Young players change position in soccer all the time. Chris Albright came to MLS as an attacker, but got selected to 3 MLS All-Star teams as a right back.

      • Albright was at least given the chance at his preferred position over the course of a few years and failed miserably. His change of position was made by him to attempt to salvage his career. Amobi hasn’t even been given the chance to play CDM and that blame falls to Hack.

      • I don’t care about what he was MEANT to be. The fact is, he’s a great centerback right now. Maybe, just maybe, centerback is what he was meant to be all along.

      • Yea or what they can do is evaluate the talent correctly and not force players out of place and say “Hey it worked I guess”. I will give you that maybe the reason this happened this year really was cap restraints and they can make the correct move now with more money.

      • Ed Farnsworth says:

        As near as I can tell from a quick look at his career stats, Okugo has played as a midfielder in 30 league games for the Union with 15 starts for 1130 minutes (4 starts in 2010, 9 in 2011, 1 in 2012, 1 in 2013) and 15 appearances as a sub for 323 minutes (7 times as a sub in 2010, 5 in 2011, 3 in 2012).

        Before the final game of the 2013 season against KC, the last time he played in the midfield was in the 1-1 draw against Dallas on May 19, 2012 when he came on as a sub for an injured Gabriel Gomez.

        In between, he has started and played the full 90 as a defender in 54 league games for 4860 minutes, his only non appearances coming when he was suspended for two games in 8.31.13 and 9.8.13.

  2. “it is a great little league.” – Cherundolo fail.

  3. Happy Anniversary!!!! You guys do an awesome job. PSP is favorited on every device I own. Here’s to many more years.

  4. 4 old years… Happy Anniversary, PSP!! 😉

  5. Happy anniversary!! How about that Celebration party / PSP get-together on Dec 7 at 4pm @700?

  6. Happy Anniversary, PSP.

    You don’t look a day older than 2.5 years.

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