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Ruiz options: young attackers, this retired old guy

Photo: Earl Gardner


Carlos Ruiz said he accepted the invitation to join the Guatemala national team squad for the Gold Cup with some reluctance. But he also said the Union will have no problem replacing him. “We have great players on this team,” Ruiz said, “and any player can play the same or better than me.” Ruiz will be gone for up to five games. Who wants to write a story called, “With departure of Ruiz for Gold Cup, Union’s young forwards, maybe some old guy, are gifted an opportunity”?

Wait a sec, Chris Vito has already written it. In the piece, Peter Nowak says, “We have options when Carlos leaves. We’re still looking to get a couple players that can help us at the end of the season. But we’re going to be fine.” Which leads to…

With a headline that Google Translate read as “Paunovic, from waste to the Major League Soccer”—as near as I can tell, Paunovic has been keeping fit with a team called “Waste” or “Solidarity Waste—Spanish language website MaTa-dor reported on May 21 that the Union have signed retired Serbian striker Veljko Paunovic. The Spanish website AS then repeated the story. This crappy translation suggests the 33-year-old Paunovic will join the team next week. (I don’t remember coming across any raves from his recent appearance with the reserve team against DC United, do you?)

Paunovic said in a tweet on May 23, “El Fútbol es grande!Gracias x darme la oportunidad d volver a disfrutarlo d nuevo jugando. Anuncio mi vuelta y fichaje x Philadelphia Union,” which my crappy Google translator says means, “Football is great! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to come back and enjoy playing again. Announcing my return and signing to Philadelphia Union.” No problem, Veljko. We can’t find the funds to sign Benny Feilhaber but we can carry the well traveled like you and Juan Diego Gonzalez.

The Brotherly Game tweeted, “Is it funny/weird to anyone else that on the day that Paunovic apparently is signed, Union’s site says McInerney is “making great strides”? Yes, tBG, it is. (If you haven’t read it yet, the other part of the article’s title is “McInerney Biding Time.“)

Thankfully, what with the imminent arrival of an apparent offensive spark-plug of a retiree, I’m less concerned about Ruiz being gone than this: Amobi Okugo will be out for at least three weeks with the high ankle sprain that he suffered at the start of the Chicago match.

With Okugo’s injury, not to mention Pfeffer healing from an appendectomy and Miglioranzi being crap, the Brotherly Game says, “As the injuries mount, Union need the real Brian Carroll to show up,” although something along the lines of “As injuries mount, Union need Brian Carroll to stay healthy” might be more to the point.

But take heart, dear Union fans, we still have options in the middle—Nakazawa, Torres, and even Daniel naturally play in the middle. Or how about giving Michael Farfan, just named SBI’s MLS Rookie Player of the Week, a shot?


Reading United coach, Union reserves coach, youth soccer coach—Philly Soccer News describes Brendan Burke as a coaching dynamo. And they’re right.


The Energy Drinks drew 2–2 at home against Colorado. Chestnut Hill Academy product Jeff Larentowicz registered a brace for the Rapids. The draw puts New York, having played one more game than the Union, in first place in the East. While the Union travel to face Toronto on Saturday, the Energy Drinks travel to Vancouver.


The corruption allegations leveled against CONCACAF president, FIFA vice president and noted crook Jack Warner and FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam came from former Warner ally, US representative at CONCACAF and FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer, otherwise known as the lovable gnome. The investigation that substantiates Blazer’s accusations was conducted by longtime U.S. soccer attorney John Collins. “I interviewed a number of parties and collated a number of documents including sworn affidavits,” Collins said. “I then passed the report to FIFA on Mr. Blazer’s behalf.” With the new allegations, nine of the 24 FIFA executive committee members have been accused of corruption since last fall. David Conn says this latest chapter could signal the start of a civil war inside FIFA.


  1. Paunovic hasn’t played a full season of soccer since 2006. In 2009 the Red Bulls said no thanks. He doesn’t seem to have done anything of note since, at all. If he takes ANY minutes away from Mwanga, JackMac, Agorsor or even Houapeu, it is a shame.

    • Agorsor and Houapeu won’t be seeing and first-team action for a while, at least that’s my opinion based on reserve match reports. If Paunovic can make an impact immediately, similar to Coudet last season, then I don’t see any harm in this.

      • Coudet was awful. He was just a warm body. The results were still bad and took minutes away from Jacobson, Okugo and Nakazawa.

        You’re right that Agorsor and Houapeu area a ways off, so i’ll amend and say, Paunovic better not take minutes from Danny or Jack.

  2. The coaching staff again fails to address our main need for an attacking center mid fielder. I wish the U would focus on our youth and speed instead of bringing in these older slower experienced players.

    • Didn’t you read the latest installment of propaganda coming out of the front office? We don’t play with, and hence don’t need, a maestro-type attacking middie.

      • Yeah Los. Only dumb-dumbs want to play well-organized consistent, attacking soccer. You’re not a dumb-dumb are you, ARE YOU?

      • Yes, yes I am a dumb dumb!!! Im sure you can tell by some of my posts!

  3. Veljko Paunovic??!!! Insert WTF face here. I’ve followed several teams in several different sports for my whole life and I have never had as much trouble understanding a coach’s and or owner’s decisions and strategies as I’ve had with the Union this year. I just cannot for the life of me get a handle on what they are thinking. It’s maddening.

  4. hahaha eli cracks me up

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