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Union: “expect” new signing this week, USMNT camp, Ballon D’Or, more Blatter blather

Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Philadelphia Union

In Friday’s Daily Doop, Kerith Gabriel writes that, barring some kind of breakdown in negotiations, another Union signing should be expected this week. In the words of Union assistant Rob Vartughian, the unnamed player has the “potential to be a big time player.” Could this be the South American that John Hackworth and Ricardo Ansaldi were talking about way back in November?

John Hackworth was on Counter Attack with John Harkes and Tony Meola on Sirius XM Sports Radio last week and the description on the playback page says he talks about “the impact of Jeff Parke and how Freddy Adu fits into the team.” Unfortunately, both the playback link and the download link do not work. Anybody hear the show?

On to the latest Carlos Valdes rumors (Twitter really is the gift that keeps on giving), which now have an interesting Uruguayan theme:

  • Buried at the bottom of this article from Ovacion about Uruguayan club Nacional’s possible offseason moves is mention of the club’s interest in Carlos Valdes. (Crappy Google translation here.)
  • Another report from El Observador quotes Nacional’s CEO (“Empresario Secretario General” = “Business Owner Secretary General”?) as saying a move for Valdes’ “arrival at the club is feasible.” (Crappy Google translation here.)
  • Here’s another report from Decano Mobile (crappy translation here).

Zac MacMath talks with Dave Zeitlin about how much he learned from his recent training stint at Everton with Tim Howard. Looking ahead to the new season, MacMath says, “I worked a lot harder this offseason than I did previously because I know I’m going to be the No. 1 guy and I have to be ready from day one.”

Speaking of goalkeepers, The Comet, the newspaper for the English town of Stevenage tweeted on Saturday that Chris Konopka is Chris Konopka is “on trial” with Stevenage FC, which plays in League One in the third division of English football. Konopka tweeted on Sunday, “Off to bed. Training in the morning in the lovely English weather!” Stevenage is managed by Gary Smith, who became the first English manager to win the MLS Cup, which he did in 2010 with Colorado Rapids and Conor Casey.

Danny Cruz answers the American Soccer Now Questionnaire.

Citing “family reasons,” ex-Union defender Porfirio Lopez is returning to Costa Rica to join Alajuelense. I would have thought it was “no MLS club would ever sign me again” reasons.

The Examiner has five reasons to doop in 2013.


Soccer Night in Newtown will take place this evening and SI has a quick Q&A with the  man behind the event, Chris Cannetti, a Connecticut native and the president of Houston Dynamo.

The Union’s Chris Albright and Raymon Gaddis are among those who will be participating in the event in Newtown, as is former Union goalkeeper Brad Knighton.

Montreal Impact have named Marco Schällibaum as their new head coach. I love umlauts!

After signing a new deal with LA Galaxy, Robbie Keane says he will not be playing on loan in England this offseason.

Joel Lindpere has been traded from New York to Chicago in exchange for an international player spot

It looks like Juan Agudelo and Graham Zusi are training with West Ham this week. Both will presumably join the USMNT training camp next week.

At Goal.com, Kyle McCarthy has a good analysis of the reported return of Freddy Montero to Colombia.

Juan Roman Riquelme almost played for the Goats? That’s what he says. Riquelme has also ruled out a return to Boca Juniors, which ought to keep traffickers in MLS rumors happy.

At MLS Talk, Earl Reed’s got promotion/relegation talk.

MLS Talk also looks back on how the No. 1 picks in the MKS SuperDraft have fared.


As was announced on Sunday, the Union’s Jeff Parke has been called up for the January USMNT camp, so becoming the first Union player to be called up to the senior squad. Look for a post from PSP’s Jeremy Lane later this morning January training camp roster.

Jurgen Klinsmann on why Landon Donovan was not invited to the training camp: “Landon has not been invited because obviously he’s taking his break. He’s thinking about his future…He’s not at a point yet where he knows what he wants to do. It’s a simple as that. That’s why we didn’t invite Landon. We’re as curious as everyone else as to what his decision will be at a future time. But right now he’s not part of our camp.”

Here’s a look at some of the surprises and snubs of the roster announcement.

SBI looks into some of the reasons why there has been a delay in announcing the home venues for the Hexagonal.

According to Grant Wahl, Salt Lake City, Denver and Kansas City are the finalists to host the USMNT home opener in the Hex against Costa Rica on March 22.

Here’s a look from a Kansas City perspective about why reports that US Soccer is willing to stage qualifiers on temporary grass in Portland or Seattle might curtail the number of qualifiers at Livestrong Sporting Park.


The 2012 Ballon D’Or ceremony will take place today at 12:30pm on FSC. Get your “Ronaldo Face” masks ready.

Sepp Blatter does not approve of Kevin-Prince Boateng forcing the abandonment of a friendly because he and his teammates left the pitch after being subjected to racist abuse from the stands. Blatter said,

“Walk off? No. I don’t think that is the solution. But the Italian federation has yet to provide FIFA with a report detailing what exactly has happened. I don’t think you can run away, because then the team should have to forfeit the match. This issue is a very touchy subject, but I repeat there is zero tolerance of racism in the stadium, we have to go against that.

“The only solution is to be very harsh with the sanctions [against racism] – and the sanctions must be a deduction of points or something similar.”

Presumably, Blatter thinks a handshake is also part of the solution.

The Guardian asks, “What are the most annoying clichés in modern football?”

Lionel Messi and Barcelona were the subject of a segment on 60 Minutes on Sunday night. Here it is in case you missed it.

And here’s a look from 60 Minutes Overtime at whether Barcelona’s academy system could be a model for US teams.


  1. I did hear the CounterAttack show. Very good interview. Only real surprises were that Hack said “Baky” was 100% fit and ready to return to the lineup. The Adu talk was interesting. It was much the same talk of “trying to find what’s best for us and for Freddy,” but there were a few statements that reading between the lines almost sounds like they are trying to keep Freddy, but under a new (cheaper) contract. No mention of Valdes at all (which I think was telling). It did sound like Jack, Seba and Connor would probably go into some kind of rotation. No mention of Seba out wide and playing all three at once.

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