Daily news roundups

Edu unveiled, Nogueira deal “very close,” more news

Philadelphia Union

Edu presentation

If there was any doubt that Maurice Edu is pleased to be with the Union, Tuesday’s presentation of the Union’s newest member surely put such concerns to rest.

Edu said, “The past couple of years have been a lot of ups and downs, a lot of worries, a lot of concerns. Sometimes your focus can waver when you’re worrying about things that you shouldn’t, and I just want to get back to enjoying the game. I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I probably should have been, so I just want to get back to enjoying it, playing with a smile on my face, winning games, scoring goals and enjoying the fans.”

Edu also described the part Union fans played in his decision to come to Philadelphia, “When news first broke about the possibility of me coming here, the reaction on Twitter and social media was unbelievable. It made me excited. If there was any question or any hesitation, that was the extra push I needed to make sure that I did come here.”

He continued, “You could see the passion [Union] fans have for this team,. The way they get behind this team is unbelievable…I’m excited for the first home game, walking out of the tunnel and looking around at all the fans. Actually, I most excited for the first goal, so I can hear that ‘Doop’ song. That’ll be good.”

John Hackworth described where he envisions Edu on the pitch. “We see him playing as a center midfielder, a box-to-box guy. He’s already mentioned that he wants to hear that ‘Doop’ song, and we talked about that at dinner last night. That’s truly the reason that he’s here because we think he can be a guy who can do all the work between the boxes and also put the ball in the back of the net.”

At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald has a post that focuses on the relationships that were key to making the Edu deal happen. Hackworth said, “I think any time you go through a major acquisition of a player, though — especially bringing a national team player back from Europe — there are so many things that have to happen right for it to come to reality. You have to be patient, you have to trust people.”

Hackworth also commented on the fact that the Edu deal is a one-year loan. “You go through all different kinds of scenarios on how to acquire a player. Because of different demands, whether from Stoke or the league, you work out situations that make sense for you. I’m hopeful this is a loan that can turn into a permanent transfer.”

The press release on the Stoke website announcing Edu’s loan to the Union certainly leaves one with the impression that it will be permanent. At the Inquirer, Marc Narducci reports, “A source said Tuesday that both sides were expected to agree on a multi-year contract in the future.”

At Fox Soccer, Kyle McCarthy writes, “By reinforcing its midfield, the Union places Edu in a position to thrive ahead of the World Cup. This group possesses the depth and the versatility to accentuate Edu’s strengths without asking him to accept a disproportionate burden. Edu must shake off any lingering rust from his time in the shadows and show the necessary sharpness to influence games, but this set of circumstances provides him with the best possible chance to impress USA coach Jürgen Klinsmann and work his way back into the national team setup over the next few months.”

Edu spoke of the recent return of national team players Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley and how his own return may help his national team prospects.

“It says to me that the standard is good. I think sometimes, or if this had been in the past, guys might be a little bit fearful coming back, maybe they felt that would put their position in jeopardy, but you see guys coming back confident knowing that the standard of play is good.”

“I came back with that same belief and I am confident if I come here and do well it puts me back in a good position with the national team, so I think maybe in previous years that might have been a worry for some guys, or a concern, but the way the league has really progressed and the standard of play has really continued to elevate and get better and better each year, I think that’s of no concern for anybody any more.”

At the Daily News, John Smallwood writes of the possibility that Edu playing for the Union could see the midfielder play his way onto the US World Cup squad, “That Edu would be as useful to the Union as Freddy Adu was during his disastrous stay in Philadelphia” (emphasis in the original). As far as I can tell, Smallwood is the first — and hopefully the last — person to refer to PPL Park as the “Power Plant.”

Reports from Maurice Edu’s presentation to the media on Tuesday at Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Philly.com, Delco Times, CSN Philly, Philly Soccer News, MLSsoccer.com, ProSoccerTalk, and The Examiner. You can see video of the presentation at the Union’s YouTube channel.

Nogueira

France Football (crappy Google translation here) reported on Tuesday that Vincent Nogueira has agreed to a two-year deal to join the Union. According to the report, the sticking point is that Sochaux manager Herve Renard wants Nogueira to play against Nantes on Saturday while the Union want him here now.

John Hackworth said of Nogueira, “I said last week we were close to being at the finish line for Maurice’s deal. Now we’re in the same place for Vincent Nogueira. We are hopeful we will have a deal in place very soon. But it’s not done yet.”

Nick Sakiewicz said, “It’s not done, but we are very close.”

Sakiewicz said further, “All of a sudden, with these three signings, our midfield got real interesting. [Cristian] Maidana is quite a player on the left, and Mo – with his speed and physical presence and penchant to go forward – is interesting. And Vincent will be a high-quality, technical player that, if we’re able to sign him, will make our midfield all of a sudden look a little different.”

If you are concerned about Friday’s closing of the January transfer window should Nogueira stay with Sochaux for Saturday’s game, players can leave Europe after the Jan. 31 deadline, they can’t enter Europe until the next transfer window. In other words, “The transfer window of the association that the player is leaving does not have to be open.”

More

At Union Tally, Matthew De George had some observations from Tuesday’s training session. Among the highlights: Andre Blake is actually 6′ 1”, not 6′ 4″; Blake and Zac MacMath appear to be working well together; Pedro Ribeiro is huge; the other draftees all add size and physicality to the team; Danny Cruz and Fred impressed.

Former Union goalkeeper Oka Nikolov has signed with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL. They seem to like former Union players there.

MLS

Chivas USA presented new head coach Wilmer Cabrera on Tuesday.

The LA Galaxy are expected to announce today the formation of a USL PRO team that will be known as “Galaxy II.” The team is expected to play its home games at the StubHub Center. The Los Angeles Times reports, “The Galaxy would be the first Major League Soccer team to own and operate its own USL Pro team. Curt Onalfo, a Galaxy assistant coach, is expected to be named head coach of the Galaxy II, the sources said.”

Looks like Toronto’s BMO Field could be shared with Canadian Football League side the Toronto Argonauts starting in 2017. That’ll do wonders for the pitch.

The Miami Herald reports, “David Beckham, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez are targeting next Wednesday to hold a news conference in Miami to rally support for a privately funded stadium and bring South Florida up to date on the status of the plan to bring MLS to Miami in 2017.”

More news on MLS hopefuls Atlanta, San Antonio, and St. Louis.

US

Jurgen Klinsmann says of Jermaine Jones’ so far unsuccessful quest to leave Schalke 04, “We’ve been in contact. He hasn’t solved his situation yet. The club, they have a clear understanding that he’s looking for a new club. There are some issues within that relationship. I can’t go deeper into that one…He has four days and then hopefully [there’s] a solution…Every player that doesn’t have a solution right now on the table is a concern. Absolutely,” Klinsmann said. “So want him to solve it. But we are in touch and we are positive that he finds a good solution and then gets back on the field and plays. That’s what we need the players to do.”

In other concerning USMNT player news, Goal.com says its time to worry about Jozy Altidore at Sunderland. ProSoccerTalk says Clint Dempsey is barely even a noticeable figure at Fulham.

From the nice news front, Fabian Johnson, who broke his hand on Saturday, could be available to play this weekend and Stuart Holden is at the USMNT camp as a guest player.

Brek Shea’s loan spell to Barnsley has been extended by two months.

There’s been talk on Twitter of a USA v Mexico friendly in April. ODFCnews.com reports the game will be in Phoenix and says, “The match will happen midweek and not on a FIFA international match date, so both teams will likely bring in players from their respective domestic leagues.” US Soccer spokesperson Neil Buethe said on Tuesday, “We are in discussions about a match in April, but at this point have not locked in a date or location.”

Elsewhere

A transfer scam involving Tottenham, FC Twente, a “rogue group” of player agents (including one based in the US), and forged documents. Incredible but true. More here.

The AP reports, “FIFA says it imposed a worldwide lifetime ban on Lebanese referee Ali Sabbagh, who agreed to fix an April 2013 match in Singapore in exchange for sexual favors.”

The Far Post looks at the boom in Chinese-funded stadium construction in Africa.

27 Comments

  1. If Fred comes back, the Union must be close to their international player limit, right? Do Blake and Ribeiro count as international players?

    • Is it certain that Fred is in training? Last I heard nobody was sure if that was him in that picture that making the rounds.

      • Yeah, it’s definitely him. We got a list of trialists this morning. He’s on it. We’ll get it out to y’all as soon as time allows.

    • Blake and Ribeiro certainly do, if signed. As of right now I believe the international players are Fabinho, Hernandez, Madiana, and Daniel. Ekra and Fernandes have been released but are trialing with the Union, so technically they are not signed and using international slots. Valdes is the only other international but since he is on loan, he won’t count as an international slot. Le Toux, Lahoud, and Hoppenot are all considered U.S. players through green cards. And if/when the Union sign Nogueira he should also take up a slot.
      .
      So assuming all players are re-signed, that’s a total of 9 international rosters spots. So a trade would be necessary to keep all players. More likely that a player like Fernandes or Ekra won’t be signed.

      • I mean if we need the spot, I’m sure we could dump Keon… just sayin…

      • does fernandes take up an international slot? i know he is ethnically brazilian and can speak portugese but i thought he was a citizen or had a green card

      • As far as I know he’s an international, but I could be 100% wrong.

    • Fred has a green card so it wouldn’t affect the international player limit.

  2. The DOOP song – The only remnant of Peter Nowak that we will never be able to get rid of.

    • I often say that the only good, lasting thing Peter Nowak did for this team was the Doop Song. Just because he dismantled a promising young team piece by piece doesn’t mean we have to throw out Doop.

      • I might be in the minority, and I get it’s never gonna go away, but I hate that song. It makes me think of Nowak every time I hear it. Of course I think the catch phrase “re-doop” is even worse. But alas today is about joy at getting a new midfield!

  3. Do fans want to get rid of the Doop song? For me…I enjoy it, my wife and kids love and it’s my ringtone. It seems to be a staple at this point…

  4. “According to the report, the sticking point is that Sochaux manager Herve Renard wants Nogueira to play against Nantes on Saturday while the Union want him here now.”
    .
    So if the European window closes, how would that be possible? Transfer rules are sort of hazy to me still, but I thought – essentially – if a player on a Euro-based team wasn’t transferred out by Jan 31, he was there until the end of the season?

    • Players can’t come into European clubs after that date. Most teams however want to also firm up any players leaving during that period as well. Souchaux could also choose to mutually terminate the contract.

  5. a horrible horrible staple that we will never be able to free ourselves of

  6. Letting Nogueira play another game in France would be a bad idea IMO. With a DP contract and a 2 year deal, they cannot risk him suffering an injury for one more appearance at Sochaux. Hopefully the player is on the Union’s side on this matter.

    • I’d prefer the Union be on the player’s side, whether he wants to play another game in France or not. If the guy really wants to play (maybe it’s in his hometown or something), the risk of injury is worth the feelings he’ll have about the new club. If the guy wants to GTFO of Sochaux now, then the Union should support that, too.

    • A quick glance at Wikipedia says that Nogueira has played for his entire senior club career at Sochaux (since 2007), is one of the captains, and is a fairly local guy from a town pretty close to where the club is based. I’m speculating wildly here, but maybe there’s a chance the club and/or he wants to do some sort of sendoff before heading across the ocean for someplace he’s never seen before. I’d say if something like that might be going on here, let’s not sour a two year deal right at the start by being jerks about it.

  7. Can anyone from PSP tell me or find out where the hell Amobi has been the past two days?

    • He was at Fado’s with the rest of the players last night, although he wasn’t happy having had to leave California for the cold 🙂

  8. OneManWolfpack says:

    I guess I appreciate the Daily News having someone write about soccer, but John Smallwood is just terrible at it.
    .
    I’m really excited at this new midfield, assuming Nogueria is signed, and it seems like he will be. It’s nice to have some talent, and depth and not have to try’s to win every game 1-0

  9. Glass Half Empty says:

    Yes, they killed it. But they have left a gaping hole at LB and a weak spot at CB.

    As much as I would like to keep Carroll around for flexibility/depth, there are two much better uses for $170k in cap room. Good news, we still have a full transfer window to fill those holes.

  10. So with all these singings, there is still one spot on the field that concerns me: RM. Obviously LB is a concern, but I think Gaddis can handle that position for now until we acquire a true LB. But at this point, without knowing the trialists, Carroll is the D-Mid, Maidana at LM, Edu at CM, and Nogueria at CAM, which leaves only RM open. Danny Cruz was the clear choice last year despite at least 2 players on the team who were better options (Seba, Marfan). It concerns me to think that when March 8th rolls around Danny Cruz will once again be our starting Right Midfielder, and CLEARLY the weakest player on the field.

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