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It’s official: Reunited and it feels so good!

Union

The Union tweeted Friday morning, "MF @FreddyAdu11 will wear #11. Levi Houapeu will switch to #12. Adu jerseys will be available for sale later today - stay tuned! "

It’s official: the Union announced on their website at 8am on Friday that Freddy Adu has signed with the club on a free transfer from Benfica. As is always the case, “Per Major League Soccer and club policy, the terms of the acquisition will not be disclosed.”

Dave Zeitlin, writer for the Union, tweeted shortly after the announcement, “Freddy Adu is signed, sealed and delivered. Will not count as a DP. Love this move. Can’t wait for press conference later.”

The Union has scheduled a press conference for 1pm today and it will be broadcast live on CSN. For those of you who won’t be able to get in front of a TV, Adam Cann will be covering the press conference and will have a report up as soon as possible. [Update: Late word is that the press conference will also be streamed on CSN’s website.]

Since the signing is now official and we now know Adu won’t be counted as a Designated Player, here are some other questions that will hopefully be answered at the press conference:

  • Will Adu be eligible to play on Saturday? [Update: MLSInsider tweeted shortly after 10am on Friday morning: “Adu’s agent. “@RichardMotzkin: News: @FreddyAdu11’s ITC is IN & he is eligible to play tomorrow night for @PhilaUnion against @FCDallas .”
  • If not, when will he be eligible?
  • Are there any more signings?
  • Are any Union players now on the roster leaving the club as part of any other transfer deals?
  • Is Juan Diego Gonzalez’s contract up?
  • If so, has he been let go?
  • If not, has he been let go?

Kerith Gabriel describes “all the head-scratching intrigue leading up to this moment that should have made the signing so obvious – at least in my case.” Gabriel said further, “All Nowak would reveal is that the deal with Adu would be finalized late last night or early this morning. He also addressed the rumor that the Union was chasing Juventus defender Fabio Grosso, but said Grosso’s ‘family doesn’t want to leave Italy.'”

Marc Narducci writes that the Adu deal “will allow the Union to play out the homestretch with no distractions and no more excuses.”

In an overview piece on Adu’s career, the Sporting News quotes the 22-year-old as saying of his three years with Peter Nowak’s DC United, “There (were) a lot of things in the past, obviously, that I could have handled better than I did. That was partly my fault. Not partly. That was my fault.”

Some reaction to news of the signing from The Offsides Rules: “Time to pop bottles and hang with models, Philly fans. The Nowak/Adu reunion tour appears to be on and PPL Park is about to party like it’s 2004. I wish I had a joke to insert here but I have to say that if this is a baller-ass move by Nowak; the Union just got that much closer to locking up the East.”

It was widely rumored that Adu would be going to Chivas USA. This Chivas blog looks at the good and bad of Adu not becoming a Goat.

Here’s reaction to the Adu news from a DC United blog.

Did you know that Adu’s first appearance for DC United was as a sub? The player he came in for? The Union’s recently appointed youth development don, Alecko Eskandarian.

Jack McInerney said of adjusting to life in the pros, “I never really had been taken out as a sub in my younger years, and coming here and wondering if I will get in a game has definitely been tough. I understand I am young and am preparing for the future…You definitely have to prove yourself in practice, and Peter will mix it up and make it so the first team [plays] against some of the second-team guys who don’t play as much, and he is always on the young guys to take it to the first team.”

Peter Nowak comes in at no. 4 in this list of the top ten MLS expansion coaches at MLSsoccer.com.

The Union will face Dallas on Saturday. Here’s a look at what a Dallas blog thinks about the Union. Pity they mixed up the positions of Sheanon Williams and Gabriel Farfan. Interestingly, they also think Danny Mwanga will start as an attacking mid.

Dallas will be featuring Brek Shea, who dazzled for the USA against Mexico on Wednesday night. Goal.com says that performance made up for his US debut against Colombia at PPL Park last year. Shea remained in Philly after the game, along with Dallas teammate and fellow USA call-up Zach Loyd. Shea tells Marc Narducci, “When I looked at the [MLS] schedule, I was really happy that we’re playing here this weekend. We’ve done a lot of traveling, and it’s good to remain in one place.

Indpendence

Philly Soccer News says Veronica Boquete is a no brainer for WPS’ Player of the Year award.

Local

Philadelphia magazine says Philly is becoming a soccer hotbed. Welcome to the 21st Century!

Reading United AC’s Super-20 team has been recognized by USL as the second best team “on a competitive and administrative basis.”

US

You wouldn’t have known this if you were at the Linc to watch USA v Mexico, but ESPN switched their coverage of the game from the scheduled ESPN2 to the ESPN News channel because a regional semifinal qualifier for the Little League World Series was running long. ESPN did not switch coverage of the USA v Mexico game back to ESPN2 until 9:34pm, some 20 minutes after the kickoff. Which is total batshit crazy. This piece looks at what happened and discovers ESPN has no policy for preempting programming.

The hopes and dreams of men and women around the world may be coming true. Hope Solo tweeted earlier this week, “Being naked outside is very liberating….at least I hope it will be @ESPN and @ESPNMAG!!! GAMETIME BABY! Ball up!”, suggesting she may be posing nude for the upcoming ESPN The Magazine “body” issue.

This piece was published more than a month ago but it features an interview with the 97-year-old widow of Bert Patenaude, the US player who scored the first hat trick in World Cup history. Thanks to Pothunting.com, the fine purveyor of historic US soccer team t-shirts, for the tip.

Elsewhere

FIFA ethics committee will investigate 16 Carribbean soccer officials who are suspected of lying to investigators about their involvement in the Mohamed Bin Hammam bribery scandal.

Footy on the Telly™

Friday, August 12
Charleston v Charlotte 8pm FSC
Morelia v Chivas 9pm Fox Deportes

Saturday, August 13
Wolfsburg v Bayern Munich 9:30am GolTV
Fulham v Aston Villa 10am ESPN2
Liverpool v Sunderland 10am FSC
QPR v Bolton 10am FSP
Birmingham v Coventry 12pm FSP
Newcastle v Arsenal 12:30pm FSC
Wigan v Norwich 2pm FSC
Blackburn v Wolverhampton 4pm FSP
Sao Paulo v Paranaense 5:30pm GolTV
Portugal v Argentina (U-20 World Cup quarterfinal) 5:50pm ESPNU, Galavision
San Luis v Monterrey 6pm Telefutura
Jaguares v Cruz Azul 6pm ESPN Deportes
Philadelphia Union v FC Dallas 8pm 6abc
Toluca v Pachuca 8pm Telefutura
Tigres v America 8pm Telemundo
Irapuato v Celaya 8pm GolTV
Mexico v Colombia (U-20 World Cup quarterfinal) 8:30pm ESPNU
Atlante v Queretaro 10pm Telefutura

Sunday, August 14
Stoke v Chelsea 8:30am FSP
Ajax v Heerenveen 8:30am ESPN Deportes
Kaiserslautern v Augsburg 9:30am ESPN Deportes
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United 11am FSC
Bayer Leverkusen v Werder Bremen 11:30am GolTV
Pumas v Santos Laguna 1pm Telemundo
Tijuana v Puebla 3pm Fox Deportes
Lille v Montpellier 3pm FSP
France v Nigeria (U-20 World Cup quarterfinal) 3:45pm ESPNU
Real Madrid v Barcelona (Spain Super Cup) 4pm GolTV, ESPN Deportes
Western New York Flash v Atlanta Beat 6pm FSC
Vasco da Gama v Palmeiras 6pm GolTV
Brazil v Spain (U-20 World Cup quarterfinal) 6:45pm ESPNU
Houston v Portland 9pm Galavision

Monday, August 15
Manchester City v Swansea 3pm. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes

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