Photo: Earl Gardner
The Union will play New England in a 60-minute scrimmage at their training grounds in Deltona today at 3 pm. The game will not be streamed so follow the Union’s
@TheUMatchDay Twitter account for updates.
In a curiously punctuated story on Saturday’s scrimmage against Jacksonville’s University of North Florida, UNF head coach Derek Marinatos says, “[The Union] came down last year to sign a five-year deal with the city. We wanted to wait until we had a team that could show some talent to them.” More on Saturday’s scrimmage here.
At the Union website, Kevin Kinkead talks to John Hackworth about the building blocks of preseason training, including three foundations of fitness, technique, and tactics. These foundations are themselves progressively grown in intensity over three phases of the preseason: the first week in camp at YSC, the first two weeks in Florida, and the final two weeks during which the team will be participating in the Disney World Pro Soccer Classic tournament.
Hackworth explains the approach is as scientific as possible. For example, the fitness aspect is overseen by fitness coach Kevin Miller, along with sports scientist Garrison Draper, and is monitored with the assistance of the adidas training technology miCoach. He continues,
We do the same thing soccer wise. We have a technical foundation and a tactical foundation, and then I always try to implement the mentality of what we want to do. These guys need to understand from the beginning as clearly as possible, how we want to play and what our mentality is like. Then you ramp up a little bit in Florida. You talk more about the details. You talk more about the tactics. You get them ready to play. The (third phase) in Florida, you’re actually trying to put it on the field, and seeing if guys can go out and execute those things, while still taking their fitness level, finishing all of the concepts, and working on all of the little details. We add in all of those layers as we go, so that by the time we leave Florida, we should in theory be on the same page and completely ready to play a 90 minute game.
Hackworth emphasized that preseason games aren’t about the scoreline. “The preseason games are preseason games. I know there are people out there who take a lot of stock in them and they don’t mean anything. We have a lot of different ideas that we’re trying to get across in preseason. For example, we will literally try to take guys from our first preseason game, and if they play 45 minutes, the next game they’ll play 60. The next game they’ll play 75. You want to get them to 90. We’ll try to give that opportunity to as many people as we think have a shot at making our roster.”
Acknowledging that the travel party that left Philadelphia for Florida will be smaller when it returns after players are cut, Philly.com’s Jonathan Tannenwald has a look at a theoretical 30-player Union roster that takes into account the leagues roster rules.
Most of the quotes in this report at MLSsoccer.com from Dave Zeitlin on Zac MacMath’s reaction to Andre Blake being drafted will be familiar from last week’s report from Marc Narducci in the Inquirer, but Zeitlin does include this interesting tidbit: MacMath drove Blake to training at YSC last week. MacMath said, “We got to talk a little about where he’s from, his school, all kinds of stuff. We’ve spoken a little bit and we talk here and there on the field. It’s going well so far.”
Speaking of goalkeepers, in case you missed it, the Union made a depth signing in Brian Holt on Monday. At 5-foot-8, he’s apparently the shortest keeper in MLS, one inch shorter than the likely World Cup bound Nick Rimando.
MLSsoccer.com judges the Union’s offseason acquisitions as the second best in the league behind Toronto and its wallet-busting spending spree. At ProSoccerTalk, Steve Davis unconvincingly quibbles that DC United deserves the second best tag.
The Brotherly Game on how Maurice Edu is not Freddy Adu.
Will it be AC Milan vs Liverpool in Philly on July 30 in the 2014 International Champions Cup? On Friday, World Soccer Talk reported that Real Madrid, Manchester United, Manchester City, AC Milan, AS Roma, Liverpool, Inter Milan, and Olympiacos would be participating in the tournament with — in addition to Philadelphia — Dallas, Washington DC, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Denver, Miami, Phoenix, Charlotte, Ann Arbor, Hartford, and New York serving as host cities. An announcement is expected today.
More from SI, which notes that team availability will be affected by whether a club is involved in qualification for the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League, while player participation will be affected by the World Cup.
US U-17 MNT head coach Richie Williams is full of praise for Hershey’s Christian Pulisic and his attacking teammates following their championship campaign at the Aegean Cup.
- Chivas USA have loaned former Union man Gabriel Farfan to Liga MX side Chiapas for six months with an option to buy.
- San Jose have signed defender Jordan Stewart and former Union midfielder Shea Salinas to new contracts.
MLSsoccer.com has preseason news updates from Monday.
The New York Times talks to Philly native Bobby Convey about his move from Toronto to the Red Bulls. Convey says of working under Red Bulls coach Mike Petke, his roommate when he played for DC United, “He knows me and knows how I’ve changed. I’m married, we’re going to have a baby so I think I’m a completely different person from the one who was making mistakes as teenager…I think when I was young I was more selfish, mostly because you want your career to take off. But at this point, after playing so long, I know more what to expect.”
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment chairman Larry Tanenbaum says of Toronto’s spending spree, “Our ownership group are unbelievably committed to winning at all levels, (including) winning our fans back and winning in our community. Our fans truly deserve world-class teams…Winning does drive value up — value in the team and value in the league.”
Columbus Crew owner Anthony Precourt says of the team’s current crest, “We’re looking at ways we can evolve and change our logo. We want it to represent the Columbus we’ve come to know. I don’t think a construction crew is really representative. [Columbus is] not a blue-collar, manufacturing, industrial town. It’s a smart, young, progressive university town with world-class businesses. It’s a white-collar town. We want to be representative. We don’t see Columbus in the crest. There are things we can do to represent the capital city better.” Hopefully they do a better job than San Jose did.
Jurgen Klinsmann describes the spine of the USMNT as starting with Tim Howard, goes through Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones, and finishes with Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore.
Landon Donovan says of the USMNT’s commitment to the attack, “We really emphasized this camp in being confident and playing, not just lumping the ball forward and hoping to see what happens. We wanted to take this opportunity in a friendly to be confident and try to play. We could go to Brazil and sit back for 90 minutes and pray that we get results, but that’s not how we’re going to progress as a soccer nation, so we’re going to go with the confidence to play.”
At ESPN, Doug McIntyre says the answer to the question of whether Chris Wondolowski goes to Brazil “may actually lie in another question.” Namely, will Jurgen Klinsmann have four forwards on the World Cup roster?
At SI, Brian Straus on the rising prospects of DeAndre Yedlin. Good luck to him but you’re not alone if you’re wondering how he was called into the USMNT January camp and Sheanon Williams was not.
Canada will host the USWNT on May 8 at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg.
An announcement on the MLS website says the leagues commercial arm, Soccer United Marketing, is organizing a series of World Cup tune-up matches involving World Cup teams Bosnia-Herzegovina, Greece, Honduras, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Spain, as well as Bolivia and El Salvador. Venues and possible other participants will be announced at a later date.
Speaking of the “supporters” invasion of his club’s training grounds — which will be Iran’s home base during the World Cup — Corinthians President Mario Gobbi said, “This represents the failure of the Brazilian state. It was something that shocked everyone, and it still hurts. Teams don’t lose because they want to lose. It’s something that happens in football. Authorities are the ones responsible for handling this type of violence, not the clubs.”
In addition to considering the use of video replays and the so-called “sin-bins,” aka the penalty box, in amateur soccer, the International Football Association Board will consider a proposal from the FA banning players from revealing personal messages on their undershirts. More from the AP.