Daily news roundups

Valdes on his status, Union to return to Disney, locals named to Combine, Riley wants ex-Indys, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

The Union have the sixth pick in the first stage of the re-entry draft , which will take place today via conference call at 3 pm. More movement is expected to occur in the second stage of the Re-entry Draft, which will be held next Wednesday at 3 pm. Checkout PSP’s look at some available prospects for the Union.

Twitter was a flutter on Wednesday with the news that Colombian club Independiente Santa Fe would not be bringing back Carlos Valdes in 2014 either by requesting a loan extension or by buying his rights from the Union. Carl Worswick, a British journalist in Colombia, provided more food for thought when he tweeted, “Valdes will return to MLS.” Some background to the news was provided by a Spanish-language radio report from Colombia that seemed to suggest that Valdes was among several players being blamed by Santa Fe for a poor finish to the club’s season.

El Tiempo published comments from Valdes on Wednesday, which seem to indicate that he had not yet been officially notified by Santa Fe of its plans. Valdes said (via a crappy Google translation):

“We definitely have not yet confirmed what will happen next. What is clear is that Santa Fe has an option to purchase up to Dec. 31 and they are looking for every chance to negotiate and to give continuity to what is coming next year thinking about the Copa Libertadores…What I can say is that other options are being handled through Santa Fe to move another team but I do not know anything because I do not like to be told until there is something official. The business may be as a loan or sale…

“I think to change to another club in Colombia for the last six months would not be a proper move to everything I want. I search for the competition that I need to continue being summoned to Colombia national team. I have always wanted play in Europe, in a league that is ideal for what I want. I am grateful and happy with this team as I was with America de Cali, which are the teams in my heart and I owe them a lot. But thinking about the World Cup and everything coming, if I have the opportunity to go abroad to play at a high level, that would be ideal.”

Valdes may not have been officially notified, but on Wednesday WinSport.co published a list players being let go by Santa Fe under the headline, “It’s official: Bedoya and Valdes, two of the ‘headless’ in Santa Fe.” (Crappy Google translation here.) The report said of the former Union captain, “Also looking for a team for next year is Carlos Valdes, the Cali defender who arrived in 2012 from MLS…One of his options is to return to the Philadelphia Union, from where he arrived on loan.”

In the absence of further details, it might be best to step back from speculation and consider what is known about Valdes from a Union standpoint.

  • First, his loan to Santa Fe was set to expire on Dec. 31. Santa Fe could still request an extension to the loan or exercise a buyout clause to purchase his rights from the Union but so far has done neither.
  • Second, Valdes remains under contract with the Union. As Jonathan Tannewald tweeted on Wednesday afternoon, at this point, Valdes’ status is technically no different than that of Zach Pfeffer, “a player who was loaned out for a year and is now back with the Union.”
  • Third, as a Union spokesperson told PSP on Wednesday, no decision has been made about his future with the team.

Whether Valdes will be wearing a Union jersey in 2014 remains to be seen if only for the simple fact that Colombian national team coach Jose Pekerman encouraged the Santa Fe loan because he wants Valdes playing in a South American league ahead of the World Cup rather than MLS. Presumably, this remains true, and it would behoove Valdes and his representatives to find him a home in South America (or elsewhere) that meets with Pekerman’s approval, whether through another loan or by a club buying Valdes’ rights from the Union.

Which brings us to a fourth point: John Hackworth has made it clear that he supports Valdes in his goal of playing for Colombia at the World Cup so long as it coincides with the best interests of the Union.

As a reminder, here’s what Hackworth told PSP’s Dan Walsh about Valdes in November: “He’s in a terrific situation. His stock has risen tremendously. Someone else could [buy him]. He’s got a ton of value right now. I know what Carlos wants to do. He wants to play in a World Cup [emphasis added].” Does this mean the Union will necessarily sell Valdes? No. But at the very least, it does seem to indicate that they are in a good position to benefit however all of this plays out.

On Thursday morning, a report on Valdes’ exit from Santa Fe was posted on MLS’ Spanish language site. Crappy Google translation here.

The Union have announced they will be returning to the Disney World Pro Soccer Classic preseason tournament in 2014. Other participating clubs include Sporting Kansas City, Montreal Impact, Columbus Crew, and 2015 MLS expansion side Orlando City.

Dave Zeitlin has a review of the 2013 season at MLSsoccer.com.

With the fan voting for the previous round of the top 10 moments of the Union 2013 season going to the Wheeler-to-Hoppenot game winning goal against Vancouver over Sheanon Williams’ side-volleyed goal against Columbus, the next round of voting pits Jack McInerney’s first goal against DC in April against the Le Toux-to-McInerney beauty against Chicago in May.

Speaking of goals, here’s every Union goal from 2013:

Two former Union Academy players will face one another in the Maryland vs. Virginia semifinal at the College Cup this weekend. The Washington Post talks to Maryland goalkeeper Zack Steffen and The Daily Progress talks to Virginia forward Darius Madison.

At the Union website, Kevin Kinkead has five senior SuperDraft prospects to keep an eye on in this weekend’s College Cup.

On Wednesday, the NCAA announced that PPL Park will again be the site of the College Cup in 2017.

Union Academy director Tommy Wilson talks to Soccer Wire about the academy’s vision and philosophy after the news that San Diego SC has become a Youth Development Affiliate.

The Brotherly Game rounds up how former Union players are doing wherever they are.

Local

Reading United will be holding tryouts for their 2014 Super 20 teams and PDL team. The December 22 session is for the W20 Reading United Women’s Team. Men’s Super 20 and PDL tryouts will be on and December 30. Both tryout sessions will take place between 6-8 pm and will take place at the Body Zone Sports and Wellness Complex. Click here for the registration form and for more information.

Here are Philly.com’s All-South Jersey boys’ team picks. Washington Township’s Lou Vilotti was named South Jersey Player of the Year.

MLS

Vancouver have traded Brad Knighton to the New England Revolution, his club before playing for the Union in 2010.

The Oregonian reports, “Major League Soccer will hold a press conference Thursday at the Adidas America campus to discuss the 2014 MLS All-Star game and could confirm rumors that world power Bayern Munich will be the international opponent of the 2014 MLS All-Stars.” The report notes that Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Sports Bild that the club would be playing in the All-Star Game.

The league released its list of the 50 college players who have been invited to the Player Combine in Fort Lauderdale, January 10-14. Players with local connections include midfielder Daniel Lovitz (Wyndmoor, Pa., Elon), midfielder/forward Steve Neumann (New Hope, Pa., Georgetown), and defender Jimmy Ockford (Yardley, Pa., Louisville). Former Reading United players Kadeem Dacres (M; Rosedale, N.Y., UMBC), Ben Sweat (D; Palm Harbor, Fla., USF) and Pedro Ribeiro (M/F; Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Coastal Carolina) have also been invited to the Combine.

Citing salary cap considerations, Seattle have traded team captain Mauro Rosales to Chivas USA “in exchange for the rights to forward Tristan Bowen and Chivas’ No. 2 allocation ranking.” Chivas USA is now 13th in the allocation order.

Looks like Norwegian club FK Bodø/Glimt want to keep Lancaster, Pa.’s Zarek Valentin, on loan from Montreal, permanently.

A statement on the New York City FC website says new coach Jason Kreis will spend time in England with Manchester City where he will “work closely with Head Coach Manuel Pellegrini, World Cup winner Patrick Vieira and Txiki Bergiristain, the club’s Director of Football, Champions League winner, and former Director of Football at FC Barcelona.” During his time there, Kreis “will be immersed in all aspects of Manchester City FC, observing in particular, the club’s approach to coaching, training, and player development, with the goal of applying similar approaches to New York City FC.”

It seems Kreis and Red Bulls coach Mike Petke have something of a history.

Looks like no Bob Bradley to Vancouver.

Seemingly moments after the announcement of his retirement as a player, Matt Reis was announced as the new goalkeeping coach at the LA Galaxy.

Metro.co.uk reports, “David Beckham’s publicist has denied the star has registered the trademark ‘Miami Beckham United’ ahead of his move into the MLS.”

The Miami-Dade County Commission will vote next Tuesday to authorize Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s administration “to identify possible stadium sites and negotiate construction contracts with any interested private developers.”

Possible new downtown stadium plans for Minneapolis. Anyone?

NWSL

At the Washington Post, Steven Goff reports that the Houston Dynamo will field a team in the NWSL in 2014. An official announcement is expected today.

New Portland Thorns coach Paul Riley will look to bring in some of his former Philadelphia Independence players. “I had a lot of good players. I got a phone call last year from Kansas. We sent a lot of time with them on the phone and they ended up with a lot of our Philly players. I texted Huw (Williams, KC Technical Director) yesterday and told them I might have to borrow a couple of them back…Everyone’s on a two-year contract, but I am sure there will be some trades going on. I would certainly like to bring a few key players that we had in Philly. We had a great group of players both on the field and off the field. The locker room was probably the key in Philly. I want this locker room to be like the locker room in Philadelphia.”

US

ProSoccerTalk has a look at the venues the US will be playing in at the World Cup.

The US U-17 MNT crushed the England U-16′s 5-1 on Wednesday at the Nike International Friendlies. Hershey, Pa.’s Christian Pulisic was subbed into the game in the 66th minute and assisted the US’ fourth goal in the 80th minute.

Someone needs to tell Hope Solo that just because one writes a tweet, one does not have to post the tweet.

I can’t quite figure out how it works, but you can vote on best moments of the past 100 years of US Soccer.

Elsewhere

From The Guardian, 10 talking points and the best and worst bits from the final Champions League group stage games.

Three Ajax fans were stabbed near San Siro Stadium before Wednesday’s Champions League match against AC Milan.

This one goes out to all of you Ray Hudson fans out there.

8 Comments

  1. Thanks for the Ray Hudson article- he calls it like we feel it.

  2. “fundamentally no different?” no, I disagree with that assessment, I would say “technically,” that his status is technically no different than that of Zach Pfeffer, but fundamentally they are in very different situations indeed

  3. AH Yes, Kreis “will be immersed in all aspects of Manchester City FC, observing in particular, the club’s approach to coaching, training, and player development, with the goal of applying similar approaches to New York City FC.”

    So NYFC will be literally a farm team for Man City. Dream big MLS.

  4. Btw, the Washington post today has a great article on Zack Steffen. They make it sound like signing Steffen as a Homegrown player is inevitable.

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