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Roster freeze day, “We know what we have to do,” take on Tait, more news

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Union

Today is Roster Freeze Day in MLS and at 5pm the final Philadelphia Union roster for the remainder of the season must be submitted to the league. Will there be any surprises?

How did some of the Union players react to the shambles that was the 2–2 draw between Columbus and Houston on Wednesday night? Right around when Columbus, playing with ten men for most of the game, were awarded their second PK in a little more than ten minutes to take the lead, Amobi Okugo tweeted, “Haha this Houston vs Columbus game is comedy.” After the final whistle, Veljko Paunovic tweeted, “We all agree that it was a good result for us and they are short rest. We gotta win on saturday.” The draw puts Houston level with the Union on 36 points but Philadelphia has two games in hand. Columbus is now on 41 points with one more game played than the Union.

Paunovic says of snapping the two month long winless streak against Columbus this weekend, “We know what we have to do. We have so much talent on this club. With a tough match coming up and some rest, I think we’ll be rested and ready to play.”

Nowak says that the signing of Joe Tait “is not a move for today, but for the future, as well.” Nowak said further, “I think he can play across the back. He’s not a leftback or rightback, per se. We have options at that position in the last seven games with him here and Gabriel (Farfan) and Michael (Farfan). We’ll see where he fits.”

Danny Califf says of Tait, “He’s a big boy who’s good in the air and is vocal. He’s not afraid to organize in the back, which is really important. And he’s got good feet.”

Tait says, “I’m not just here to play reserve games. I’ve got two quality center halves in front of me but they’re obviously good to learn from. But if the manager needs me, yeah, I’m ready to go.”

Jason Le Blanc, a blogger at several sites including twohundredpercent.net, unprofessionalfoul.com and other sites, has guest post at the Brotherly Game on Joe Tait, a kind of scouting report gained from watching the Union’s latest signing play for Dayton Dutch Lions.

In Tuesday morning’s news roundup, we linked to a recent article containing an anonymous quote that said Keon Daniel will not be returning to the Union this season because of visa problems. Noting that the certainty of the anonymous source cited in the article was undermined by the article’s headline, which said Daniel may not return this season, we suggested, “Makes you wonder how much they trust this source.” Whether or not Daniel is able to return, Chris Vito reports in the Mercury that Peter Nowak has criticized the use of an anonymous source, who was quoted as saying “someone forgot to redo his [Daniel’s] work permit or visa.”  Nowak said in Wednesday’s press conference, “The front office cannot redo a visa. They need to get the facts straight,” adding, “I heard about this ‘source call to the player’ thing and it’s completely false and I think it would be best if someone checked with our staff and not to speculate on something that’s not true.”

Whether Nowak was criticizing any implication that the Union front office was responsible for not renewing Daniel’s visa or if he was criticizing the suggestion that Daniel will not be able to enter the country to play for the Union again this season is unclear. What is clear is that Daniel’s status remains uncertain. When asked about the time table for Daniel’s return, Nowak said, “to call the MLS Players Union representative and ask them about it.” The Mercury report notes that the CBA does not specify that clubs are responsible for handling international players’ immigration credentials.

Apropos Roster Freeze Day, the Harrisburg City Islanders Facebook page says that midfielder/forward Morgan Langley and forward Sainey Touray were invited to train with the Union this week. City Islanders coach Bill Belcher says the pair have been training with the Union since the beginning of the week.

The Farfan twins will be hosting a live chat on Friday beginning at 1:30pm on Friday.

You have until 11:59pm today to vote Sebastien Le Toux and/or Roger Torres for Goal of the Week. Get cracking!

Le Toux got an honorable mention for MLSsoccer.com’s Week 26 Best XI.

Jordan Harvey has fond memories of the fans in Philadelphia and praise for the Sons of Ben. “I got along really well with the fans in Philadelphia,” Harvey told SBI, “That’s one of the parts I’m missing. The Sons of Ben is a huge following. It makes that organization what it is. I really miss that and they know that. We still chat back and forth.”

The latest YSA Report is available. PSP’s Eli Pearlman-Stortch and Philly Union Talk’s Jon Marks join host Murph from the Union Dues to break down how the Union have been doing and their playoff run.

Amobi Okugo and Kyle Nakazawa lead a tour of PPL Park:

Independence

Followers of Philadelphia Independence forward Tasha Kai on Twitter will be familiar with oft tweeted morning ritual of consuming a certain Starbucks’ product she likes to refer to as “Sex in a Cup.” Section133 has finally stated the obvious: Starbucks ought to give Kai an endorsement deal. In response, Kai tweeted,”THIS IS FKN A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.. I LOVE IT.”

Kai tweeted earlier, “I will never play for the USWNT ever again so Id appreciate it if u stop asking & tweeting me about it. Its in the past & staying there thx.”

Local

The Inquirer rounds up PA boys’ and girls‘ results and does the same for South Jersey boys’ and girls’ teams.

MLS

In CONCACAF Champions League action, Toronto FC was crushed 4–0 by Mexican side Pumas, FC Dallas gave up an early lead for a 1–1 draw with Panama’s Tauro FC, and two Freddy Montero goals gave Seattle a 2–1 win of Costa Rica’s Herediano.

This piece at the Shin Guardian, courtesy of the fine folks at the Blizzard, looks at some of the horror injuries of this season and concludes, “MLS must create an environment in which the best players do not live in fear.”

The MLSsoccer.com satisfaction survey is open on the league website for you to offer your input on how to improve the site.

US

An AP wire report says that Bob Bradley has been hired to coach the Egyptian national team. This report says he will finalize the deal over the weekend with his debut coming on October 7.

SBI reports on suggestions on Twitter from former US international Tonny Sanneh that Timothy Chandler will choose to play for Germany rather than the US.

Mikkel Diskerud talks to MLSsoccer.com.

With the US Soccer Development Academy moving the start of its schedule from November to September, high school soccer programs across the country could be losing key players. Any player one of the 78 clubs associated with US Soccer is prohibited from participating in high school sports.

Abby Wambach talks about how her life has changed since the World Cup ahead of Saturday’s friendly with Canada (7pm, Fox Soccer).

SB Nation notes that, while the YSA chant may have become American soccer’s boogeyman, the fact is that the chant comes from all sections of the stadium, not just the supporters section.

Elsewhere

ESPN reports, “a schism is forming between the [European Club Association] and UEFA as Europe’s clubs and leagues are unhappy with what they perceive to be a lack of fair representation on UEFA’s executive board…Should the issue not be resolved, the ECA and [European Professional Football Leagues] are considering breaking away from UEFA and forming their own version of the Champions League.”

Why do fans boo Christiano Ronaldo? He says,”I think that because I am rich, handsome and a great player people are envious of me. I don’t have any other explanation.” So, it’s not the diving, whining, petulance man child antics then?

3 Comments

  1. We’re level with Houston on 36 points, not 35. Califf’s goal is the tiebreaker in our favor. Ha!

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      Thanks for the correction. By the way, Union’s goal difference is at +5 while Houston’s is at -2. Of the top five team’s in the East, Columbus (41 pts) is at -1, KC (40 pts) at +7 (balls!), DC (34 pts) is at +2. NY, currently in 6th and three points behind the Union, is at +4.

  2. Wonder what all the HS kids do that go to the private schools on scholarships (like at Haverford, Shipley, etc.). They seem to hope that the scholarships continue once they stop playing for their schools and only for the D. Academy; think that’s wishful thinking. They will face real hard decisions.

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