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Nowak on offseason signings, Martinez. More news.

File Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

In Thursday’s press conference, Peter Nowak reiterated a theme that he has stressed since the end of the season: he is looking to create competition among positions within the squad. “The more guys we have in [camp] being involved with the team and the team-mentality is better and will help us to have better results. We want to have that competition in the locker room because we want to figure out who we can count on.”

He continued, “I think it’s very important to have backups, and also to have a group who is going to compete against each other. The competition will bring the best of the players. That’s where we want to go, add more pieces that is going to create competition within the team and also make our players better. It’s difficult during the MLS season. You cannot win the championship with 13 guys. You’ve got to establish the culture that everybody is important, everybody knows what to do and compete on the field for the starting 11 spots.”

Nowak also said to expect three or four new signings and that the emphasis will be on size. “We need to focus on getting stronger, getting bigger, getting better. It’s no secret that we have to get better and bigger across the back line that’s for sure. We are looking also to get the midfielder and the forward position [more intact]. And as I said before, we are exploring all our options to bring in these pieces that we need this offseason.”

Nowak said that Josue Martinez is a “permanent transfer” and is not a Designated Player signing. While Martinez has “established himself on the international stage playing in the Gold Cup and in Copa America,” the young player still has “a couple of holes in his game,” adding, “Being a young guy, he still has a lot to prove and we believe we can help him.”

Nowak said further of Martinez, “He has a different quality that we need with his speed and that he can play as a central striker or on the wing, we can mix it up. We can be unpredictable with his skill set and that’s a very important factor to our game,” adding, “He gives us a fast player who can stretch the back line and use his speed. Plus he has scored a couple of goals with his head and he is very good in the air as well.”

Sebastien Le Toux said of the Martinez signing, “It’s good for the team. (The roster) will change year to year, and new pieces make the team better. (Martinez) will help the team. It’s a positive. (The strikers) are all very young and it’s a long season. This is a good thing.”

Costa Rica’s Teletica Deportes 7 is reporting that the Union will play Deportivo Saprissa in a summer friendly in June 2012. The report says the friendly is part of the Josue Martinez deal but does not say where the friendly will take place. The report also says that several Saprissa players could go on loan to the Union. (Click here for a crappy translation. H/T @barbcvphilly.)

The need for depth within the Union roster becomes even more understandable with the news that five Union players—Freddy Adu, Zac MacMath, Jack McInerney, Amobi Okugo and Sheanon Williams—were selected for the USMNT U-23 training camp in Lakewood Ranch, FL from Dec. 15-23. The camp is part of preparations for the CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers, which will be held March 22-April 2 in Nashville, just after the start of the MLS season, with the soccer tournament at the Summer Olympics taking place  July 25-Aug. 11.

MacMath, McInerney, Okugo and Danny Mwanga all started in the Generation adidas team’s 4–2 loss to Ajax reserves on Thursday. A foul on Mwanga resulted in the Ga’s first goal. They next play Volendam on Dec. 13.

Le Toux tweeted on Thursday night, “Great win of the @NHLFlyers tonight 3-2. Heard the DOOP song 3 times, makes me want to be on the field at PPL very soon :)”

Philadelphia Independence

Some 43 players are taking part in the Philadelphia Independence’s open tryout at United Sports. The tryout, which opened on Thursday, concludes today.

Local

Gabe Robinson, a senior at Easton Area High School in the Lehigh Valley, was named the Times-Express Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

MLS

Real Salt Lake, the New York Red Bulls, New England Revolution  and LA Galaxy will participate in the Tuscon Desert Diamond Cup tournament, Feb. 22-March 3.

US

The Washington Post reports that Jurgen Klinsmann’s base salary is $2.5 million, four times more than what Bob Bradley was paid and 13 times more than USWNT coach Pia Sundhage.

Elsewhere

Grant Wahl examines allegations of match fixing at the 2011 Gold Cup.

The French agency charged with regulating online betting found no evidence of unusual betting patterns associated with Lyon’s 7–1 romp over Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League.

Sid Lowe looks at Saturday’s clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid (4pm, GolTV). Check out this cool graphic showing every jersey the two teams have worn against each other.

Here’s a very interesting in depth look at Thomas Rongen’s experience coaching the American Samoa team.

3 Comments

  1. Does anybody else remeber when Nowak played? I don’t believe he would have handled it too well if he was told his minutes were being cut because he was “competing” for his starting spot. I think he’s being hypocritical.

    • I don’t like it, he hasn’t exactly convinced any of us that he knows how to coach game day too well and now I’m not sure how much I buy into his personnel philosophy. He specifically mentioned the midfield position – why!? We are packed as it is with players who deserve more minutes but can’t get them. And get better and bigger across the back line ? You mean the back line that has 3/4 positions locked down and only needs a real LB and some depth?

      I’m not confident at all, so far. I mean we have 5 player called up to the U23 camp, the MOST for an MLS team. We don’t need competition right now.

      • could not disagree more about the back line. we need some legit guys, especially if sheanon is gone frequently to play with the Olympic team. we are not prepared at all if others go down with injuries.

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