Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz
John Hackworth said of the Union’s picks in the final rounds of the draft on Tuesday, “I was actually pretty surprised these guys were still on the board. They were still around and we felt good about it. Sometimes, you just get lucky. Maybe we had them rated higher, but we felt very good about each of them and we feel like we got lucky today.”
Making the Union roster should foster some useful competition. “All four of these guys had really good college careers and are very good players,” Hackworth said. “We feel like we got four players who have a shot to earn a roster spot. There’s going to be some serious competition at each position for roster spots and that’s great. I don’t get scared of that (too many players). We don’t look at it that way. This means we have players’ rights and we like it that way. We’ll give these guys a real opportunity.”
Hackworth was on Sirius XM FC on Wednesday to talk about the draft and Maurice Edu. Hackworth says of Edu, “We think we’re very close…So, I’m very hopeful that we’ll be able to announce that signing in the very near future.”
In the draft rankings at SBI, the Union come in at No. 1.
Chris Albright is excited about being named the Union’s new assistant technical director. “It’s a natural transition for me and I’m so excited to be doing it here…I feel like I have so much to offer. I know the guys here on the Union and there’s a great presence in the locker room. I’m going to offer all I can to the club. I love the team. I love the city and the passion of the fan base. It’s a great opportunity at the perfect point in my life.”
It appears the long and winding saga of the quest of Carlos Valdes to find a deal that will allow him to continue to play in South America and so satisfy the wishes of Colombian national team coach Jose Pekerman has reached its conclusion. Maybe. Let us hope, anyway, because, frankly speaking, most of us are probably quite happy to move on from the story.
Anyway, after multiple reports on Tuesday had said that a deal with Argentine club San Lorenzo was off because of concerns raised during Valdes’ physical about his knees, new reports began to appear on Wednesday that talks were back on. While ESPN Deportes (crappy Google translation here) and Futbol Paratodos (crappy Google translation here) reported a deal for a one year loan with an option to buy the 60 percent of Valdes’ rights that are owned by the Union/MLS for $800,000, BluRadio (crappy Google translation here) referred to a six-month loan. The ESPN Deportes and Futbol Paratodos reports also said Valdes’ offer to have his loan fee deducted from the contract tipped the deal.
Valdes’ agent, Ricardo Pachon, is quoted as saying that, after many rounds of negotiation, a loan deal should be signed today. More on the news from comutricolor.com (crappy Google translation here) and elpeublo.com (crappy Google translation here).
Regarding all of those reports about concerns over Valdes’ health, well, it seems that it was all just part of negotiations. As Juan Arango, a reporter for the Daily Telegraph and contributor to BBC World Service, TalkSport, and Soccerly, said, “I can tell you that what Carlos Valdés went thru in Argentina is typical leverage clubs look to find to get best price.” A Union spokesperson told PSP on Wednesday that Valdes is “very healthy,” and Ricardo Pachon said, “The medical issue was never a problem between San Lorenzo and Carlos Valdes.”
Here are the latest player moves:
- Chivas USA have signed New Zealand international defender Tony Lochhead, who formerly played for New England before six seasons with Australian A-League side the Wellington Phoenix.
- Real Salt Lake have traded midfielder Yordany Alvarez to Orlando City in exchange for “Orlando’s lowest 2017 MLS SuperDraft fourth round pick.” The trade will take effect in 2015 when Orlando begins MLS play. Alvarez will play for Orlando on loan in 2014.
- It’s official: San Jose have signed attacking midfielder Tommy Thompson as the club’s first homegrown player.
- Forwards forwards Giuseppe Gentile (UNC Charlotte) and Christiano Francois (Maryland) have signed MLS contracts and will be available in the Waiver Draft. MLSsoccer.com says, “The Waiver Draft will take place over a 48-hour span with the results expected on Friday afternoon.” Francois, a sophomore, played club ball with PDA and played five games for the Union Academy. Whether the league deemed those five games insufficient to make him eligible for a Homegrown Player contract or if the Union aren’t interested (as citizen of Haiti, he would take up an international spot) is unclear. Anyway, the Union would have the sixth pick in the draft, although TopDrawerSoccer.com says he is going to DC.
How does the phrase, “Toronto FC: Superclub” grab you? At ESPN, Roger Bennett talks to Tim Leiweke about the club’s ambitions.
Toronto FC will partner with USL PRO side the Wilmington Hammerheads for the 2014 season. Expansion USL PRO club Sacramento Republic is expected to announce a joint partnership with San Jose and Portland today.
Manchester City, co-owners of New York City FC, have purchased Australian A-League club the Melbourne Hearts.
Fox News Latino reviews the quest for a stadium location for NYC FC. “More than any other major sports league operating in the U.S., MLS courts the population of recent immigrants in the country for its fan base. And, because of that, its franchises more often find themselves hoping to erect home stadiums in communities with high concentrations of immigrants.”
If MLS is doing the most to tranform new immigrants into fans, are they doing enough to find player talent in such communities? At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald has an interesting Q&A with ESPN’s Monica Gonzalez on just that subject.
In more stadium news, the City of Orlando has moved to condemn a small family-owned church that stands in the way of construction of Orlando City’s new stadium.
The US U-17 MNT drew 1-1 with Scotland today in their final group game at the Aegean Cup in Turkey. The US has already qualified for Saturday’s championship game after defeating France 2-0 and Norway 5-2. Hershey Pa.’s Christain Pulisic scored a goal in each of those wins.
Arena das Dunas, where the US will play Ghana in their opening game of the World Cup, opened on Wednesday.
Who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame? With the release last week of candidates for the 2014 class, Steven Goff has some thoughts on the subject.
NBCSN’s broadcast of the Chelsea vs. Manchester United game on Sunday was the largest yet on the network. Averaging 1.019 million viewers, viewership was just short of the record for a Premier League broadcast of 1.033 million viewers set by ESPN in 2012 for its broadcast of Manchester United vs. Manchester City.
Meanwhile, a press release from Spanish language broadcaster Univision says its coverage of the Liga MX 2013 Apertura season “outperformed NBC and NBC Sports Network’s (NBCSN) broadcast of the English Premier League (EPL) 2013-2014 season-to-date with Total Viewers and Adults 18-49.”
Reuters reports, “The transfer of Neymar to Barcelona is to be investigated by a Spanish court over claims of misappropriation of funds.”
Following a drunken call to 999 (Britain’s equivalent to 911) asking for Sir Alex Ferguson after Manchester United’s failure to reach the League Cup final on Wednesday, the Manchester Police have taken to Facebook to urge people to remember “that 999 is to be used for emergencies only.” The Facebook post continues, “If you would like to speak to Sir Alex about recent football results we here at GMP Manchester North can only suggest you try ringing Manchester United FC directly as you will probably (not definitely) have a much better chance of getting through to him there rather than ringing the police.”