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Ansaldi: Union “very close” to new signing, local Hermann Cup semifinalists, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

Ricardo Ansaldi, the Union’s new director of international player development, says the team “is very close” to signing a player as a result of the recent scouting trip in Argentina. “There are a couple of players we would like to have,” Ansaldi explains. “The problem is getting the numbers to fit within our budget. We’re trying to put the puzzle together at this moment.”

John Hackworth and Union academy coach Jim Curtin will join Heather O’Reilly, Heather Mitts, Jill Loyden, and Yael Averbuch of the USWNT at the Kick-start the Rebuild fundraiser for Super Storm Sandy relief at United Sports on Dec. 16. The USWNT players will be running a soccer clinic amd there will Q&A and autograph sessions along with a silent auction. More information can be found here.

WVUpros.com looks back over the successful rookie season Raymon Gaddis had. Gaddis says, “My favorite moment of season was playing in the game against Thierry Henry —one of the greatest to play the game.”

Representatives of the Union will be the grand marshals of The Christmas Parade in Deltona, Fla. on Dec. 15. Deltona is the home of the Union’s preseason training camp.

Local

Two area players and Reading United alumni are semifinalists for the Hermann Trophy, Georgetown’s Steve Neumann (New Hope, Pa.) and Notre Dame’s Ryan Finley (Lumberton, N.J.). You can cast your vote here.

MLS

Chris Wondolowski has been named league MVP.

In other end of the year awards, Kansas City’s Jimmy “Not Bridgette” Nielsen has been named Goalkeeper of the Year and the Crew’s Federico Higuaín has been named Newcomer of the Year.

Reuters previews Saturday’s MLS Cup Final.

It’s official: Kevin Payne is the new president of Toronto FC. The Toronto Globe and Mail explores.

Player cuts at Columbus and San Jose.

Kevin Hartman’s agent says FC Dallas will not offer the goalkeeper a new contract. Possible MacMath mentor candidate?

NBC says its ratings for MLS games are up by 122 percent compared to the 2011 season numbers on FSC.

David Beckham says it is unlikely that he’ll return to the Premier League.

Sports Talk Florida parses recent comments from LA Galaxy president Tim Leiweke and concludes the team are after Cristiano Ronaldo (not immediately, but, you know, in a couple of years, like).

Tampa Bay Online looks at the proposed $400 million soccer stadium complex aimed at bringing an MLS franchise to Tampa. Plans are to open the stadium in 2016.

Here’s a look at the prospects for MLS expansion into Atlanta from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

At Goal.com, Frank Isola says a stadium in Queens makes perfect sense.

More on the proposed stadium in Queens.

Women’s Soccer

Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson spoke to reporters during the half of last night’s USA v Ireland friendly about the new league. This transcript from the Equalizer is full of a lot of very interesting information.

At Sounder at Heart, Jeremiah Oshan examines how the as yet unnamed women’s team owned by Bill Predmore was chosen to be in the new women’s league over Sounders Women, a team that has been around since 2001, recently rebranded itself to be more associated with MLS’ Seattle Sounders and was home for Sydner Leroux, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinow, and Hope Solo last season after the demise of WPS.

While noting that the fact that Philly was left out of the new women’s professional league, Soccer America looks into why the Pacific Northwest has become so popular with players on the women’s national team.

At ESPNW, Jim Caple says patience and sacrifice will help the new league survive.

ESPNW also has two great interviews with Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe.

Sports Myriad continues the discussion begun by Joanna Lohman’s article on how the new women’s professional league should be marketed.

US

The USWNT defeated the Republic of Ireland 5–0 on Wednesday night in the sixth game of the ongoing Fan Tribute Tour. Alex Morgan had a first half hat trick and Sydney Leroux came off the bench to score two more goals. The teams will play again on Saturday in Arizona (9pm, FSC).

Here’s a post-match quote sheet from the game.

The USMNT U-17s played Brazil to a 4–4 draw on Wednesday in their opening game at Nike International Friendlies.

US Soccer Players checks in with Tony Meola.

Elsewhere

FIFA has announced that Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andrés Iniesta will compete for this year’s Ballon d’Or.

Posters for the 12 host cities of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil have been unveiled.

 

 

10 Comments

  1. Along with Reus, Hartman would be a great mentor to Macmath, though I’ve often hated Hartman. He is one of the best keepers in MLS history, regardless.

    • Meant to say Reis, not Reus, though I’d love to see Marco Reus play for the Union, were that a thing that could happen in the real world.

    • If Hartman signs with the Union, he’ll be the best goalkeeper on the team. That won’t last forever, of course, because he’s pushing 40, but he can still play. So the question would be whether he’d start. Definitely an interesting development for the Union.

  2. James "4-3-3" Forever says:

    Yeah, Hartmann is the first perfect signing candidate to emerge this off season.
    And you know who else I like? Opara. He’ll fit the back up CB role perfectly.

  3. You can listen to Tony Meola and John Harkes weekday afternoons at 5:00 pm ET on SiriusFM channel 94. They host a show called Counter Attack, offering a recap of matches and discussing the news of the day with fans around the country. Is quite good, especially now with the run-up to the Final.

  4. I don’t rate Ike Opara at all. Has yet to make an impact for San Jose, only starting 22 games in three seasons. Would rather see how Soumare progresses with Amobi as a very good insurance policy. More intrigued with two guys Columbus to go, Birchall and Tchani.

    • Agreed on Opara. While he looks the part on the physical side, his reading of the game and positioning is pretty poor.

      • Wasn’t Opara the second most culpable party (behind Sean “suckass” Johnson) in the US Olympic qualifying “bedcrapping”

  5. On current Thread that of goalkeeping thing Hartmann could useful to the UNION but still like Chris K. as a backup too.
    Now, I want to pose this question to readers. Dealing with Women’s Pro Soccer. How hard would it be for the Union and other MLS Clubs to add a Women’s squad to the club? They (MLS) have formed clubs and the marketing. To me it would make more sense for MLS to grow a larger fan base by including or adding a woman’s teams to the Clubs. I like to see more matches played MLS wanted soccer stadiums then let soccer be played in those stadiums. The stadiums could host 1st squad men’s team matches which is already done why not host reserve team matches there to if the crowd is smaller than section off the seating lower the price for Reserve matches. Look at Seattle during the Sounder’s matches they section of the stadium do the same thing for Reserve team matches and Women’s matches. As a fan I want to cheer for my Club be it a men’s team or women’s team it’s the Club I want to support. It’s seems to me, it would be better for someone paying to watch a match in those soccer stadiums then for those stadiums to seat to go empty. How much am I missing wouldn’t better soccer in the US and Canada if MLS Clubs got more involved.
    Just want to known.

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