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Ruiz opens his account


Carlos Ruiz has opened his account for the Union. In today’s friendly against Greek Third Division side Hersonissos FC, Ruiz scored in the 27th minute, assisted by Justin Mapp and Klyle Nakazawa, to put the Union up 1–0. (Confusingly, the season schedule on the club’s website says they are playing Ergotelis FC today.) The match is still in progress as of this writing—check the Union Twitter feed for updates (Editor’s note: A later tweet from the Union says the match is against Ergotelis: “Correction: The opponent of today’s match was switched last minute. The Union are up 1-0 on Ergotelis FC.” More on the goal: “Ruiz’s goal came from the edge of the six-yard box. He tapped in a Mapp cross from the right flank.” The match ended in a draw: “The match ended in a 1-1 draw after Ergotelis converted a PK following a Miglioranzi red card.” More details to follow. Hopefully, those details will include lineup information.)

With the Roster Compliance deadline coming on Tuesday, two tweets from Roger Torres on Friday have fueled a great deal of speculation. The first tweet said (translated from the original Spanish), “It is sad what happened to our  teammate Michael.” The second said, “I hope God blesses him always and brings him to a very good team because he deserves it.” There are two Michael’s on the Union, Michael Orozco Fiscal and SuperDraft pick Michael Farfan. As of Monday morning, both are still on the Union roster available on the club’s website. Whether, by the end of today, that will still be true is unknown. In the event, if Orozco Fiscal is gone, the Union are down to five defenders: WIlliams, Califf, Valdes, Harvey, Gonzalez.

So far, three photo’s have emerged of the team from Greece and none are much help in figuring out the meaning of the Michael tweets. On the Union’s website, two photo’s illustrate a story about how the trip will help the team bond. But both photos are taken from a distance with most of the player’s backs facing the camera. Another photo shows some of the players in the stands watching Sunday’s Ergotelis match in the Greek SuperLeague against AEK. The quality isn’t good enough to tell if either Michael is present.

The Roster Compliance date is when teams are supposed to trim their roster to comply with league rules and to submit their payroll budget to the league. The Union’s roster, currently at  25, is already well below the 30 allowed by the league. The current transfer window for international players closes on April 15 with a secondary window opening July 15 through August 14. Here’s a passage from the league’s roster rules regarding waiving players:

Teams may waive players based on performance at any time during the MLS season. Players with guaranteed contracts will continue to have their salary budget charge applied to the team salary budget, subject to any settlement. Players on semi-guaranteed contracts can be waived prior to July 1 of any year and free up the corresponding budget space. If a player on a semi-guaranteed contract is waived after July 1, his salary budget charge will count against the team’s salary budget and the team waiving the player will not receive a replacement except under the normal player acquisition mechanisms. Any settlement amount will be charged to the team’s salary budget.

A piece on the club’s website says, with the departures of Eduardo Coudet and Andrew Jacobson, Zach Pfeffer is a realistic contender for some playing time.

The Doop campaign made the front page of the Inquirer. Admittedly, bottom of the fold, but who’s complaining?

A Vancouver newspaper’s website previews the upcoming season for the Whitecaps Oscars-style and gives Shea Salinas “Best Visual Effects (goal of the season)”:

“Unsatisfied with his third-place finish in the 2010 MLS goals of the year vote, Shea Salinas scores a stunner against his former employer, the Philadelphia Union, June 18 at Empire Field. It involves a flick to himself, a nutmeg and a bicycle kick.”

Ha, ha, ha, ha. Not funny.


Maybe we don’t need to feel so bad after all: Orlando City SC beat Toronto 1–0 on Saturday to win third place in the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic. FC Dallas won the tournament.

Soccer America looks at the Eastern Conference.

Don Garber talks to Fanhouse about the new playoff format and more. SB Nation then dissects what Garber had to say. Goal.com says the new playoff structure “deviates from foundational principals.”


Nathan Smith’s stunner from 35 yards out leads the US U-17 squad to victory over Canada to win the CONCACAF championship. Goaless after regulation time, the US scored three in extra time.


Police in London have launched an investigation after reports emerge that Ashley Cole accidentally shot a student worker at Chelsea’s training grounds with an air gun.

From the Department of From Bad To Worse, after losing to Birmingham City in Sunday’s Carling Cup final, Arsenal announces losses of £2.5m in the six months between last May and last November. A year ago for the same period the club announced profits of £29.2m.

The US Embassy in Cairo has canceled funding of an Egyptian Interior Ministry youth soccer program in protest of the brutal actions of Egyptian police in the recent uprising.


  1. The Union is now saying the team was switched up at the last minute, and they’re playing Ergotelis (reserves?) today instead of Hersonissos. There’s also a tweet from Chris Seitz to Amobi Okugo asking what happened with Mike. I doubt the Union’s former #1 would care about a draftee brought to the team after his departure. So, still no word on whether MOF is still with the team or not. :/

  2. The idea that Pfeffer is a realistic contender for minutes is idiotic. He is 16. Wonderful. Play in the reserves, friendlies and some Cup games, but if he sees the field for any MLS regular season matches, the Union have FAILED. Plain and simple.

    • I’ve heard this said a lot, and I do think Pfeffer’s proper place is in the reserves for 2011. That said, he got a few minutes of playing time against Chivas Guadalajara last year and the Union still won. Granted that was just a friendly, but he was even a year younger then. If the kid does get an appearance or two in a league match, most likely as a sub, it’s not that big a deal. Maybe it will help speed his development, maybe he will score another rocket from 35 yards, or maybe not. Either way, an appearance by Pfeffer this season will not be enough on its own to conclude “that the Union have FAILED. Plain and simple.” Relax.

      • Chris. I have nothing against Pfeffer, far from it, I think he’s a great young talent who seems to have the mental makeup to handle this opportunity at such a young age. My frustration comes from dumping players like Jacobson for draft picks way in the future and entering another season with a really light roster. AJ8 had a pretty good 2010, playing primarily out of position and to throw him on the scrap heap seems premature, to say the least.

        Obviously the world will not implode in on itself if he plays, but why should he? The goal is to develop him into the best player possible, not rush him into the first team.

  3. If Orozco leaves the Union after protecting him in the expansion draft I have lost all faith in the front offices ability to manage/predict player departures. We were all upset after losing Fred, Seitz, Moreno and Knighton for nothing, but losing Orozco after protecting him is simply unacceptable.

  4. According to the Ergotelis website, both Farfan brothers played today, but not Orozco Fiscal. The only pictures I could find were of Nowak and co., Ruiz, and Migs.


    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      Click here to see a group photograph of both teams showing twelve Union players that looks like it represents players from the second half (no Mondragon, Califf, Harvey, Carroll, Mapp, Mwanga, Torres, Nakazawa, Ruiz).

      The first and second half lineups as listed on the Ergotelis website (good work Benjamin!) were:
      Mondragon, Califf, Carroll, Harvey, Mapp, Miglioranzi, Mwanga, Nakazawa, Ruiz, Torres, Valdes
      Agorsor, Farfan M., MacMath, Mclnerney, Okugo, Pfeffer, Richter, Farfan G., Keon, Houapeu. (This is only ten players, maybe because of Miglioranzi’s red card in the 88th minute?)

      It is unclear if Le Toux, Williams, Gonzalez, Noone, Zimmerman (not to mention Orozco Fiscal – sigh) saw any time.

      Interestingly, the manager of Ergotelis is quoted as saying, “We exchange views and probably some players.”

  5. Yeah waiving O-F would make no sense whatsoever, particularly after protecting him. I know I think this blog goes over the top on Salinas, but this would make leaving him exposed completely inexcusable. Hopefully it’s a trade.

    Do we not believe in extra defenders or something?

    • Dan. Defenders don’t get hurt. Ever. There is no harm in playing all your defenders for every minute of every game.

      What am i saying we have Gonzo. Anyone need a day off? Gonzo’s got your back.

      In summary, I agree whole-heartedly with you.

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      I think we go over the top with Salinas too. He’s the only one who got away to go over the top about.

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