Daily news roundups

News roundup: Ronaldinho retires, coaching convention features presidential race, draft updates

Philadelphia Union

The MLS Superdraft is on Friday. Bobby Warshaw breaks down the “Top 5 Number 1 Overall Selections” in draft history. Spots one and two on his list? Maurice Edu and Andre Blake respectively.

Veteran goalkeeper coach Tim Hanley is with the Union for the combine. The club is expected to sign a contract with him soon to replace former coach Oka Nikolov.

The Union hosted their first fan council meeting of the year.

C.J. Sapong and several others are adding experience to an otherwise young USMNT squad.

MLS

It’s all about the draft. The combine is happening now in Orlando, with the draft on Friday. Here’s what coaches, scouts, and GMs are saying about the top draft prospects. Whose stock rose and fell with the second day of the combine? Sam Stejskal looks at the five players he thinks will make the biggest immediate impact.

MLS will have 14 percent of the USSF presidential vote.

Montreal Impact are reportedly set to sign Bologna midfielder Taider in an exchange for Blerim Dzemaili.

Real Salt Lake have resigned Kyle Beckerman.

Houston Dynamo signed 21-year-old Venezuelan center back Alejandro Fuenmayor.

LA Galaxy signed defender Emrah Klimenta from USL side Sacramento FC.

USA

The USSF presidential election is heating up and the race is coming to the coaching convention here in Philadelphia.

Crystal Dunn is set to return to the NWSL after a year at Chelsea.

Around the globe

Barcelona and Brazil all-timer and Joga Bonito rock star Ronaldinho has retired at age 37.

Amid transfer rumors, Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has reportedly agreed to personal terms with Arsenal. His transfer would make more playing time for Christian Pulisic, who is set to return from injury this weekend.

Barcelona tries to stay out of Leo Messi’s tax mess.

And of course, Ronaldo is unhappy at Real Madrid. Or something.

30 Comments

  1. Have to admit we are getting into that “shit please announce ANYTHING” time period for the union to make a move…

  2. I suspect the Union will take a GK in the draft.
    They must be still plan on selling Blake down the road but will have time to develop the next guy.
    GKs tend not to be picked up early so it might be a solid strategy.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Sarcastic I assume…. please tell me you’re being sarcastic….

      • Nope.

        Unless you think of Mcarthy as something other than a stop gap.

        Odd are much better to pull a starting GK in the later rounds of the draft.

        You have a GK coach with some pedigree.

        The Union want to sell Blake and Blake wants to be sold. But not immediately.

        The odds of pulling a Rosenberry in the later rounds is still slim.

        GK might be your best option.

      • McCarthy is NOT an MLS worthy goal keeper.

    • They just made him the highest paid keeper in MLS – a move that is unnecessary (not unlikely, just unnecessary) if they were planning on moving him. He couldn’t get a work permit in England over the summer, and thus far the rumors suggest that was where the most interest was coming from. I mean, that ties up a lot of salary cup money to only have him for 4 more months.
      —–
      And fwiw, McCarthy is not a full-time, 34-game starter in MLS but he can more than hold his own for the time being if they do move Blake. Besides, it’s not like the team is gonna make the playoffs …

      • Isn’t Howard on $2 million a year? I hope isn’t the highest paid GK. It was a TAM signing though.

      • Blake for all of his benefits still has weaknesses. Those weaknesses have never really been addressed. Those things hurt Blakes value going overseas. He is a young athletic shot stopper. But I suspect there are a lot of young athletic shot stoppers. Work on his deficiencies and he is going up as opposed to going lateral.
        .
        Roughly off the top of my head Blake is worth 3-8 points in the standing for the Union each yea. Very few Keepers can do that (or need to do that). So it is in the Unions best interest to keep him.(unless the Union get Ozil at 10 no player we get will likely siglehandedly give you that many points individually)
        .
        At some point in the Future Blake will be sold. If he works on his deficiencies he will be sold for more. We have the opportunity to get money(assuming the MLS changes its policy on how much selling players gets you, If they don’t Blake is going nowhere.)_ and Draft a possible replacement for Blake. Giving us the possibility for a huge net gain for the team.
        .
        I don’t think Blake will be sold this year, but there is no way he is seeing out his contract.

      • Yes TAM brought it down quite a bit but the reports I read were that he is now the highest paid GK. Fwiw I think he’s worth more than Howard right now.

  3. No news is not good news.

  4. el Pachyderm says:

    In the only real important news of the day…. Thank you, Ronaldinho.
    .
    Truly.

    • I had the pleasure of watching him live on several occasions, including at the Linc when Barca played Manchester United. We were near one of the corner flags (3 rows back, and no more than ten feet away, not that I was thanking my stars for great seats or anything.) He came to take a corner kick, and I was transfixed. Not by star gazing, but by the absolute joy that he was showing. He had just gone through a transfer battle between Barca and, of course, United, and the crowd had apparently decided that they were going to give him hell. He looked up at everybody and was clearly enjoying the whole raucous scene, for what was only a preseason tune-up for them. During the game, while we watched him do things with the ball that defied Newtonian physics, it was just as clear that we were watching two teams full of players that I wouldn’t forget. Van Nistleroy, Giggs, Rooney, Puyol. Both teams showed their best for the game, for which we were grateful, but it was the environment that had me thinking that the shortsighted naysayers that contend that “soccer is the game of the future, and always will be” missed the whole thing. From my grandfather playing for Lighthouse a century ago, to a packed stadium built for American football, as long as players like the snaggle-toothed Ronaldinho could radiate the joy that they did during that game, soccer would be my favorite.

      • I was there, too. Hard to believe that was already 15 years ago. I took the Broad Street Line to the stadium, which was full of song singing United fans — one chap near me had the British Isles tattooed on his bicep. It felt like every Englishman east of the Mississippi River was in that stadium.
        I remember seeing Ronaldinho — he had just been in the World Cup the year before. Still remember his “wonderstrike” against England…

  5. OneManWolfpack says:

    BTW – whatever the Union announce we’ll be “happy” with so at this point, they have won. You have beaten the fan base down so far they will accept whatever retread you sign. Thanks Union

  6. MLS has 9 of 16 votes in the USSF election. Doesn’t MLS realize you need a sturdy sport to have a sturdy business?

    • Where did you see that? I just read there are more than 500 delegates. Someone determined MLS controls about 14 – 15% of the delegate vote.

      • Yeah, there is a convoluted formula for voting. MLS has 14.9% of the vote, I believe. I think it’s something like Pro Soccer leagues have 20% of the vote, and MLS has the lion’s share. The rest of the vote comes from different parts of the US soccer world.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        NASL 1.6%
        .
        Rigged system.

      • John P. O'Donnell Jr says:

        What’s NASL?

    • Misread the article on lunch. Whoops. MLS has 9/16 on the “pro council”.

      I still think MLS will get their woman, and the same incestuous relationship will continue with SUM & USSF. Blinded by greed, they are destroying soccer fans interest in the league and USNT.

  7. Who is the target if the Union move into the top 3 like some rumors say? Two defenders, two mid/winger/fwd and 1 mid. I don’t know enough about the players to say, but from reading things, there’s only the Stanford defender as a sure thing.
    .
    Am I crazy, or do we have a little depth at CB?

    • Those rumors were – according to other rumors – mostly unfounded. They seem content to stay where they are, but if you’re accurate I wouldn’t be surprised. For a team whose entire history has been plagued by lack of goal-scoring it would make perfect sense to sign as many defenders as possible. And there is literally no sarcasm in that last sentence – I genuinely mean it would make sense since their philosophy has always been to acquire multiple starters at certain positions (RB, CB, CDM) as opposed to filling obvious weak points (CAM, LB, ST, every other position on the field).

    • I hear there was a bidding war for the top 3 spots. That would be insane for the Union to get in on that.

    • I like the kid from Michigan, Francis Atuahene.

      • John P. O'Donnell Jr says:

        Chris Mueller from Wisconsin. Has played in a 4-3-3, plays on the wing or as a number 10. Last year scored 9 goals & had 20 assist in 21 games. The year before it was 8G & 11A so he got better. He also came in first in the agility test for whatever that is worth.

  8. The Chopper says:

    The problem with Mr. Stewart’s patience is a virtue or good things come to those who wait strategy was obvious in how things played out last season. Yes, Medanjunin and Fafa turned out to be good pickups, but when your team is still being assembled coming into a very short pre season training period, you end up doing what the Union did. Starting the seasons by digging a hole that was impossible to climb out of and not seeing what other deficiencies needed to be addressed until it was too late.

    It didn’t work last year. It won’t work this year.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      And it’s not as if he doesn’t know what the team needs. I’d say at this point there is probably only a few positions we DON’T need… so please ES, feel free to add anyone… at all… at any time.

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