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Best draft ever? What’s going on with Valdes? More news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

The Union selected defender Richard Marquez, midfielders Alex Sweetin and Aodhan Quinn, and midfielder/forward Luca Gimenez in the final two rounds of the MLS draft on Tuesday. Looking over the bios of the players in this report on the Union website, it is readily apparent the club again picked up some quality prospects.

At Goal.com, Ives Galarcep writes, “After Thursday’s first day of the MLS Draft, the Philadelphia Union had already walked away with the strongest haul of talent in the league. What the Union proceeded to do on the draft’s second day, on Tuesday, might have left Philly with the best collection of college talent ever assembled in a single draft.”

At the Delco Times, Matthew De George has a good breakdown of Tuesday’s picks. More from CSN Philly.

Goredlands.com has a report on Marquez’s selection. You can see a video interview with Marquez after his selection here.

Slubillikens.com and Soccer STL have reports on Sweetin’s selection.

Dave Zeitlin talks to John Hackworth about the signing of Cristian Maidana and ongoing pursuit of Vincent Nogueira and Maurice Edu and relates how they are “proof that the club is committed to spending a lot of money this offseason and perhaps even bringing in the maximum number of DPs.”

John Hackworth says in the Zeitlin article, “I’ve been saying that for a long time, but I just couldn’t really prove it until we brought some of those guys in. That’s been a work in progress – and a lot of work, to be fair. I asked the fans to be patient and trust that we were really trying to build this thing. This has been a long-term plan for us – to build through last year, build up these resources so that we could kind of go after it this year. We feel good about those pieces, and we’re still working hard on a couple of more.”

Nick Sakiewicz says in the article of the club’s ongoing moves, “It means we’re serious about winning.”

Brotherly Game examines the Union’s current salary picture.

Valdes

ESPN Deportes reported on Tuesday afternoon (crappy Google translation here) that the Carlos Valdes loan deal to San Lorenzo is dead due to concerns about past injuries to the ligaments in the former Union captain’s knees. Valdes reportedly offered to sign a contract with an injury clause but the offer was rejected.

  • According to pasionlibertadores.com (crappy Google translation here), “Last year, the Colombian defender tore ligaments in both knees and San Lorenzo doctors fear could occur more and new lesions.” Presumably, “Last year” means during his loan to Santa Fe?
  • According to deportes.terra.com (crappy Google translation here), Valdes also has a herniated disc.
  • A report from eldeportivo.com (crappy Google translation here) seems to imply the injury concerns are related to San Lorenzo’s hope to eventually sell Valdes on to Europe. You will recall that San Lorenzo president Matthias Lammens told Diario Popular (crappy Google translation here) that he believes Valdes “has a high resale value.”

The deportes.terra.com reports says, “After learning of the refusal to continue pressing forward negotiations between the club and representatives of the Colombia national team defender, Valdes will return to the United States in order to join the work of his club, the Philadelphia Union and start a excellent campaign that allows him to ensure his call to play in the World Cup in Brazil.”

We shall see. A report from Clarin.com (crappy Google translation here) posted after the ESPN Deportes report seems to suggest that some kind of deal may be salvaged and says, “It’s a matter of waiting. Be patient.” A report at El Tiempo (crappy translation here) is dated from before the ESPN Deportes story but says that, as of Tuesday afternoon, Valdes’ agent said the deal had not fallen through.

UPDATE: Argentine journalist Leandro Alves tweeted moments after today’s roundup was posted that MLS had approved a deal for Valdes to join San Lorenzo, which would be for a one-year loan with an option to buy. As I’ve said since the start of the current Valdes saga, we shall see.

More

The Union released its preseason schedule on Tuesday. Here are some key dates:

  • Players report to camp on Jan. 25.
  • There will be an open practice at YSC Sports that fans can attend on Wednesday, Jan. 29.
  • The team heads to Florida on Feb. 2 and returns to Philly on March .
  • Meet the Team/new jersey unveiling event on March 4 (more info to follow)

At the Brotherly Game, Heather Reppert has a fan’s view of SuperDraft Thursday.

Local

The Camden Youth Soccer Club is having a fundraising darts tournament on March 1.

MLS

You can find out about the rest of the league’s picks in the final two rounds of this year’s draft at MLSsoccer.com.

In player movement news,

Confirming the SI report we linked to on Tuesday, a league spokesperson says tweaks to the playoffs are possible before the start of the season “there is currently no timeline for any such changes to be decided or announced.”

US

Aron Johannsson is on fire!

Juan Agudelo talks to SI’s Grant Wahl about the torturous path to signing with Stoke City and going on loan to Utrecht.

Elsewhere

The AP reports, “FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke is giving Brazilian organizers only a few more weeks to show that the stadium in Curitiba will be ready in time for the World Cup…He said he believes the stadium will make it, but declined to guarantee it will be part of the tournament that begins in June.”

Fortaleza will host six World Cup games. Reuters reports that, because of delays in the expansion of the city’s airport terminal, visitors will “be shepherded through a temporary canvas structure.” The report describes how construction delays in the expansion of Brazil’s already overcrowded airports are even greater than the delays in stadium construction/expansion.

The Guardian says the game does not need orange cards.

20 Comments

  1. I love some good hyperbole as much as the next fan, but when I read “best draft ever”, even though it was only our 5th (I guess 6th if you count the expansion), I’m feeling more like the tallest midget. Especially when you factor in that there were what, something like 25-30 home grown signings? That’s like a round and a half of talent gone already. Maybe if we could qualify it as “best draft of US-based collegiate talent after equally talented players were signed as HGP diluted the pool”. Might be hard to tweet though…

    • or perhaps wait til one of them kicks a ball or stops a shot in practice even…

    • Ives Galarcep is a respectable, knowledgeable pundit. Since the quote comes from him, I’d take it as at least promising.

      • I’m familiar with SBI, but lets not get too caught up staring into our crystal balls.

        Some nuggets from 2010:
        http://www.soccerbyives.net/2010/01/2010-mls-draft-a-look-back.html

        Best Pick- Corben Bone, Chicago Fire. Top five talent slides to the Fire, who can use his creativity.

        Best Pick- Toni Stahl, Philadelphia Union. A first-round talent, Stahl could wind up being first Union draft pick to become regular starter.

        And my favorite-
        On to the good picks. Here is our Top Five 2010 draftees most likely to move to Europe on a big transfer in the coming years:

        1. Tony Tchani

        2. Amobi Okugo

        3. Ike Opara

        4. Danny Mwanga

        5. Teal Bunbury

  2. He may turn out to be a fine pick but the thought of defender R. Marquez makes me cringe!

  3. Whenever I read or here a proclamation that ends with the word “ever”, I always think of the Comic Book guy from the Simpsons.

  4. OneManWolfpack says:

    I think everyone knows that Hack is player development guy. He can clearly draft. Yeah… great. Now coaching/managing these guys to success… that’s the real challenge.

    • I think because he was once involved in the U-XX program for the US, everyone has him pegged as a “development and youth” guy. However, his time here has been a mixed bag of success in that front.He started Okugo (though Nowak had already tried him out a few times) and Jack (there really wasn’t anyone else up top by then) and Zac (either him or Konopka). But how would we say he developed the Farfans? Has he been so successful in developing MacMath that we drafted another keeper? I don’t know.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        I wouldn’t really put MacMath on Hack, but I would say he didn’t do the best job with the Farfans. My point was that he clearly lacks as a manager and I think if he shows it again thanks year this team has to make a move. From 1-10 he’s a 7 in development, but a 3 as a manager

      • Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

        But 7 and 3 make 10……. so in Sak’s eyes, he’s the right man for the job!

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