Daily news roundups

Union dealing, Hack presser, Sak says robust oppotunities coming to fruition, more news

Photo: Paul Rudderow

All of us wish PSP editor and founder Dan Walsh and his wife Lavinia our heart felt congratulations with the birth of Isaac André de Castro Walsh early this morning. Dan informs me that young Isaac will declare for the US rather than Brazil, but that he hopes US Soccer won’t screw around with a senior team call-up like they’re doing with Amobi Okugo.

Philadelphia Union

When John Hackworth spoke to reporters about Thursday’s SuperDraft via conference call from the Combine in Florida on Monday, he described how there was a lot of “wheeling and dealing” going on. That wheeling and dealing may soon show some results for Union fans as reports emerge of a Jeff Parke trade to DC United in return for Ethan White and the top allocation spot, an allocation spot that would be used to land Maurice Edu. Soon after, White confirmed his part in the trade. Stay tuned, folks. [UPDATE: The Parke to DC trade in exchange for Ethan White and the top allocation spot has been announced by the Union.]

If you haven’t read it already, checkout our article from the press conference. At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald has a transcript of the press conference. More from the Union website, the Inquirer, Delco Times, CSN Philly, and Philly Soccer News.

In related news, checkout our look at seven Reading United alumni available in the draft. SBI and ESPN have observations from Day 2 of the Combine. MLSsoccer.com ranks the top five central defenders and defensive midfielders available in Thursday’s draft. ASN has a list of 15 top prospects.

Argentine winger Cristian Maidana and French midfielder Vincent Nogueira.

Nick Sakiewicz talked to John Smallwood of the Daily News about the perception that the Union will not spend the money necessary to take the team to the next level:

“I kind of chuckle at the idea. It’s inconceivable that we wouldn’t do anything, given all of the moves that we’ve made since the season has ended. I’ve been pretty public that we’ve got a pretty good chunk of money from the moves we’ve made throughout the year and that we’ve allocated as ownership to player acquisition. It’s surprising to me that there is chatter out there from people questioning if we are going to do anything…

“The next couple of weeks, there will be a lot of activity. We have a lot of draft picks and that, along with a lot of money, will give us a lot of assets to try and pick up those important pieces that we need.

“We have a very robust pipeline of opportunity that is going to come to fruition in the next month or two.”

Sakiewicz also said, “We were on the forefront of trying to get [Bradley to come to Philadelphia]. But the money got so crazy that, for our organization, it would have been very irresponsible to spend that kind of money on one player when we need to spend our money on probably three or four players.”

Carlos Valdes’ agent Ricardo Pachon tells El Tiempo (crappy Google translation here) that Argentine club San Lorenzo has made “a formal proposal” for the former Union captain. Pachon also said “there is no concrete offer from any team in Colombia,” but did mention interest from Barcelona of Ecuador.

At the Union website, Kerith Gabriel looks at some notable players who have been selected in the spots the Union has in this year’s draft.

The Union have announced Chris Albright is the their new assistant Technical Director.

The Union’s schedule at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic has been announced. They begin play in the preseason tournament against Orlando City on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 6 pm. After that they face Columbus on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 1 pm. They wrap up against Toronto on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 1 pm. Three consolation games and the championship final will be played on Saturday, March 1. Presumably, the Union will face one of the other teams in the tournament, the New York Red Bulls, Montreal Impact, Sporting Kansas City, or the Fluminense U-23 team.

MLS

Toronto unveiled Jermaine Defoe and Michael Bradley on Monday. Bully for them.

Bradley said, “For this moment, I couldn’t be in a better place. I’ve never been more excited and more motivated for any challenge in my career. What they are trying to build here is really special.”

Defoe said, “I’m excited like a little kid…I’m looking forward to putting my boots on and scoring goals, showing people why I’m a good signing. All you want to do is get out there and let your football do the talking.”

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment president and CEO Tim Leiweke acknowledged that more than a few eyebrows have been raised at Toronto’s offseason spending. “I’d say some of our partners think we’ve lost our minds.”

Leiweke described the team’s ambitions further:

To do one DP is a smart move, to do two DPs is not the smartest thing we’ve ever done and to do three is financial suicide…We don’t have enough seats to make economic sense out of this…Some people see things as they are and say ‘Why?’ Others dream of what can be and they say ‘Why not.’ Today is why not. Why can’t we be great?…Our owners gave us the ability to say ‘What could we do?…We’re going to be the first $50-million gross-revenue club in the history of soccer in North America, going all the way to the Cosmos. Our owners believe in that, we believe in that. If people saw what we saw in the potential of this marketplace, they’d understand why we’re doing it. But there are a lot of people that don’t understand, I’m OK with that…We’ll show them.

Here are more player transactions from Monday:

A “league source” tells Empire of Soccer of one rumor making the rounds, “There is nothing to Xavi coming to the New York Red Bulls.”

Capital New York looks at the new TV deal that will see the league get $70 million a year and notes, “Even with expansion increasing the number of teams, that’s about $3 million more per team per season from English-language rights alone. To put that in perspective, the M.L.S. salary cap for each team last year was $2.9 million.”

NWSL

Some moves involving former Philadelphia Independence players: Havertown’s Sinead Farrelly reunites with former Independence coach Paul Riley at the Portland Thorns. Canadian international Karina Leblanc has joined Chicago Red Stars. Danesha Adams has joined Washington Spirit.

Portland announced the signing of German international goalkeeper Nadine Angerer shortly before she became the first goalkeeper to win the Women’s Ballon d’Or on Monday. Abby Wambach came in second in the Ballon d’Or voting.

US

The US demolished Guatemala 10-0 in their final group game in the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship. They next face either Mexico or Trinidad & Tobago in the semifinals on Friday (7 pm; Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Soccer 2Go).

US Soccer Director of Scouting Tony Lepore talks to Soccer America about how the development academy system is boosting US talent.

Elsewhere

Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or and Michel Platini is whining about it. Here’s the FIFA World XI Team of the Year.

FIFA security chief Ralf Mutschke says aggressive steps will be made to ensure match-fixing isn’t a factor at the 2014 World Cup.

The AP reports, “Soccer referees in North and Central America and the Caribbean have been instructed to stop matches in the event of racist chants or insults. The regional governing body CONCACAF said Monday that its executive committee had adopted a protocol to deal with racist incidents.”

The International Football Association Board, the game’s law-making body, will consider “sin-bin” time penaltie.

Manchester United shares have lost value with the team’s dip in form.

50 Comments

  1. OMG THIS IS SO EXCITING

  2. I think I am moving to Toronto…

  3. I am loving this!!!

  4. AHHHH…, Hmmm does this mean we are getting rid of Carrol? Are we that confident that we can pick up a possible CB starter in the draft? IS Danny Califf coming back in the Unions Backup/Player Coach role? Is Edu that much better than Okugo as a D Mid? Edu as a Center Back? We spent all that money on a CB? (Don’t think so)
    It’s a good start but I want to see where they are going with this?

    • oops period after that last statement….

    • For starters, Edu is probably not coming in as a DP unless the transfer fee requires it to be so. Otherwise, there was no point in snagging the top allocation spot. Basically, the Union just swapped CBs and cleared some cap space for Edu.
      .
      Only downside is that this firmly cements Okugo at CB.

      • So Edu is coming in for less of an DP salary?
        The Union think Ethan White is an immediate starter?

        I dunno…

      • I would assume he’ll be earning somewhere between Parke’s salary [250k] and the DP threshold [370k]. If they do decide to pay him a DP salary, then the allocation spot may be used for another player. Possibly Pappa.
        .
        Keep in mind that a transfer fee can cause a player to be marked as a DP. Laba on TFC is one.

      • He is currently getting 1.38 mil American. No way he is coming back for less than 370 thousand.

      • then why would we need the allocation spot. Unless chasing another player? or did the MLS rules change again? rofl.

      • Yeah, this is why I was asking below about Edu and allocation. MLS seems to have different rules for different teams and players.

      • Atomic spartan says:

        Not sure that’s a downside. What I remember of Okugo in the Nowak years was a B- to B midfielder. Last year saw him as an A- to A defender. Sometimes coaches fit round pegs into round holes, although that may be giving too much credit to Hackworth and not enough credit to sheer necessity.

  5. fun stuff! what’s the word for something that’s more than a rumor but less than an event? it seems to be the PSP style and I like it!

  6. Congrats Dan!

  7. Maybe Nowak meant to pick up Edu 3 years ago but his English wasn’t too good and we ended up with that other guy…

  8. Parke’s contract SHOULD HAVE come with a no-trade clause. This is terrible, and a huge slap in the face from the club.
    Seriously, this might be my breaking point.

    • “For reasons that I can only describe as a personal matter, I am leaving my home town and this great club.”

    • Statement from Parke (available on Tannenwald’s article) indicates that it was a move he wanted.

    • Thanks guys, hadn’t seen that statement yet. I’d really love to know if something’s up in his personal life, or if he’s just being the good soldier. Wouldn’t be the first time in his career he had to take the high road…

      • I wonder if he was told that he will be getting less playing time or something. I could imagine a scenario in which he was told that if/when Valdes comes back after world cup or if one of the draft CBs pans out that Parke will be third in the depth chart

  9. OK, so now I guess we get to try and figure out the bizarre allocation rules for MLS, right?
    .
    Does Edu have to go through allocation because he left MLS on a paid transfer? Or does he not go through allocation because he’ll be a DP? Or does that last rule only apply to LA, Seattle, and Toronto?
    .
    If Edu does require the allocation spot, would the Union be better off taking him or Marco Pappa with it?
    .
    Is Ethan White good enough to be a serviceable starter in this league?

    • Must go through allocation, unless he comes in as a DP. TFC lost his rights when they received a transfer fee.
      .
      Forgot about Marco Pappa. Probably not happening if the Union are chasing Edu and Maidana.

      • OK, so color me 30 flavors of confused then. In Tannenwald’s article (http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/thegoalkeeper/Union-set-to-trade-Jeff-Parke-pursue-Maurice-Edu.html) he quotes Steve Goff as saying Edu would go through allocation even if he has a DP salary. Is Goff wrong?

      • He would go through allocation regardless because he’s a MNT player and formerly played for the league. He will have a DP salary, but he is not being brought in specifically as a DP, such as Robbie Keane, Thierry Henry, etc. who were acquired via transfer. It’s confusing, but just know that with the top pick the ball is in their court.

      • OK. So how is Edu different from Dempsey or Bradley? Both are MNT players who formerly played in the league.

      • I was using the CD and MB signings as reference. The only thought I have is that the deal is being made at the club level and not the league level. Confusing.

      • “Confusing.”
        .
        Yep, that’s MLS and their rules for you. Best answer I can come up with is, “We’re not LA, NY, Seattle, or Toronto.”

      • He’s not logistically different, but in terms of “drawing power” he is vastly different. So yea, it’s basically MLS deciding who should get those players, and as it stands now the Union have neither the leverage (i.e. Seattle’s attendance) nor financial capabilities to afford either of those anyway.

    • As far as White… chances are high that the Union will use the #2 pick to snag Steve Birnbaum. He’s supposedly the only MLS ready CB in the draft. Would make great competition for White. White left Maryland a few years ago as a Homegrown player. Has more MLS experience.
      .
      Okugo will 100% start at CB. Depending on the draft White will compete with Dean or Birnbaum for the second spot. If Edu is signed it’s possible they may push him to CB as well. Hopefully not.

      • I think and hope your right. If Ethan White is a starting-caliber player that’s great, then if Birnbaum comes in and beats him it’s a win-win. Edu should play as a holding CM, at least to start. We need someone who can play in the middle of the field.

  10. Dan, Congrats on the new addition. Hopefully he’ll be a better prognosticator than his dad 🙂 🙂 🙂

    https://phillysoccerpage.net/2013/10/31/its-over-now-what-2013-ed/

    Let’s hope MacMath isn’t the next to go!!!!

  11. Congratulations to you and your wife, Dan!

  12. I will definitely miss Parke and hope that his personal matter isn’t serious, but that’s a trade that you have to make if you’re the Union.

    Nice to see some activity and it will be interesting to see what transpires over the next few days.

  13. I’m ok with this trade IF they acquire one of the two Cal CBs in the draft (Birnbaum or Dean) AND they get Edu. Our CB depth was non-existent before, and it didn’t get any bigger, so either way they need more help.
    Edu can play CB, but I would argue the team would be better off if he plays the holding-mid spot. With him there the Union could go out and get a player in the draft to grow into the CAM spot and.

  14. “We were on the forefront of trying to get [Bradley to come to Philadelphia]. But the money got so crazy that, for our organization, it would have been very irresponsible to spend that kind of money on one player when we need to spend our money on probably three or four players.” – This is exactly why everyone thinks the team isn’t willing to spend money.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      I don’t like agreeing with Sack but he is right. If they would have spent all that on Bradley and not addressed other needs, the minute Bradley tweaks an ankle this team loses 4 straight and misses the playoffs again.
      .
      I would have killed to see Bradley, but right now he was above their price range. It’s nice to see them offer the $15 million tho. By far the most they have offered (I’m assuming, I have no proof of that) for a player.
      .
      I’m confused about the Edu talk tho. Where does he play? Do we ditch our captain (I know it’s a Union tradition to do so… Mondragon, Califf, Valdes, etc). Don’t get me wrong I would be ok if Carroll goes, but I’m not sure Edu is the answer. I personally don’t like him as a player. He is a World Cup vet tho, and for the Union would prolly help out.
      .
      My ideal guy is Diskerud… I don’t even know if he’s available tho. He would be a stud #10 for the Union.

      • I still want Mapp back…

      • I am praying that Carroll goes. We will be a better team without him.

      • Edu would best be suited as a holding CM, not quit a true D-Mid but not a CAM either. Almost like the middle in a flat 3 (4-3-1-2). He’s an upgrade from Carroll in everything but defense, and his experience at the int’l level shouldn’t be overlooked. If we can’t get him before the season, however, I say pass. That top spot could be vital in a trade as well later on.

      • That’s funny.

        The Union slogan – we’ve been ditching team captains since 2011.

      • Wilkerson McLaser says:

        Diskerud, it appears, might be available. He signed a two year contract in late 2012, which means he has a year left. That’s often the ideal time for a club to sell. He’s shown interest in MLS before, so I can see him biting again unless MLS screws him over again.

        I can also see us affording him and, if he goes and performs well in Brazil, making a tidy profit if he decides to go elsewhere (though this is a big reason why Rosenborg may not want to sell).

  15. Congrats Dan!
    Good luck to Parke, he was a great team player and I’m sure DC fans will come around and appreciate him. That said, I like the move and grow more excited about the team each day.

  16. James lockerbie says:

    Congratulations,Dan! Welcome to the soccer Dads club.

  17. Great blog here! Also your web site loads up fast!

    What host are you using? Can I get your
    affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

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