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Kicking in the New Year, 70 days until first kick, more news

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Happy New Year from all of us at the Philly Soccer Page. The Union’s first kick is only 70 days away.

Some New Year Tweets

Philadelphia Union: Happy New Year everyone! Thanks for a memorable 2011…see you in 2012! #DOOP

Philadelphia Independence: Have a safe and wonderful New Year Independence fans, WPS fans, Soccer fans! Get ready for an exciting 2012!!

Sebastien Le Toux: Happy new year everybody 🙂 Best wishes in 2012 ! Lots of happiness and An MLS Cup for the Union!!

Veljko Paunovic: Srećna Nova Godina! Feliz Año Nuevo! 2012 Happy New Year!

Carlos Valdes: Feliz año a todos mis parceros y colegas del fútbol. (“Happy New Year to all my partners and colleagues of football.”)

Freddy Adu: Happy new years to everyone in the states and all my beautiful followers. May 2012 bring you joy and happiness. One love. #ADUit

Freddy Adu: whos excited for 2012? Man this is the year. Im certainly excited.

Amobi Okugo: Happy new year to everyone …hope everyone has enjoyed this holiday season…what’s everyone looking forward to in 2012??

Gabriel Farfan: Happy new yr world!!

Zac MacMath: Happy new years!!!

Zac MacMath: Doop doop doop doop doop doop doop

Tasha Kai: Happy New Years

Nikki Kryzsik: Happy New Year!!!!

Lianne Sanderson: Happy new year xx

Philadelphia Union

The Union have been named the Delco Daily Times Times Delaware County’s Sports Figure of the Year.

In Top Ten MLS Stories of 2011 list at Fox News, “Philadelphia avoids sophomore slump” comes in at number nine.

Ives Galarcep’s Mock Draft for Fox Soccer has the Union picking midfielder Tony Cascio (Conneticut) in the first round and center back Andrew Duran (Creighton) in the second round.

The Union have three quotes in MLSsoccer.com’s Best Quotes of 2011 list, two from Peter Nowak and one from Freddy Adu.

In a Where are They Now piece, Seattle Sounders blog Sounder at Heart writes that leaving Sebastien Le Toux unprotected for the Union to take in the 2009 Expansion Draft “turned out to be a poor move in hindsight when he became the Union’s leading scorer and finished the season as an MVP candidate.” The article notes that 2011 proved more muted as Le Toux struggled to adapt to playing with Carlos Ruiz “and through coach Peter Nowak’s sometimes unflattering decisions (like giving Le Toux significant minutes at right back late in games), but he finished the season strongly and shows no signs of slowing.”

New England Soccer News calls Freddy Adu’s “brief reemergence to the international scene during the Gold Cup” one of the top five most intriguing stories of the USMNT for 2011.

After comments from Rayo Vallecano sporting director Felipe Minambres gave rise to speculation that Freddy Adu’s training stint with Rayo Vallecano is some kind of prelude to a summer transfer to the club, Elcentrocampista.com writes the Madrid team is “a club who are currently in free fall,” adding, “It may be unlikely, it may be a shock, and it would certainly be a long shot – but maybe, just maybe, Rayo Vallecano may be tempted to look to Adu as a potential savior. Talks of any sort of deal may at present be non-existent, but if he impresses then Jose Ramon Sandoval may well be making a few long distance phone calls to Philadelphia in the next few days.”

The Brotherly Game links to a German news report that says the Union are not interested in Michael Thurk. You can read a crappy translation of the original report here.

You will recognize several of the (uncredited) photographs in the Union Dues 2011 Year End Awards as coming from the Philly Soccer Page.

The Carolina RailHawks have re-signed former Union midfielder Nick Zimmerman.

The Union are looking for a new Video Production Coordinator.

Philadelphia Independence

Philly Soccer News says the Independence “will be one of the few teams in Women’s Professional Soccer to not have a major turnover in its lineup in 2012. Among the players expected to return are U.S. National Team members Amy Rodriguez and Nicole Barnhart, forward Tasha Kai, midfielders Jen Buczkowski, Sinead Farrelly and Danesha Adams, and defenders Nikki Krzysik, Kia McNeill and LeighAnn Robinson. Players who are not returning include popular midfielders Joanna Lohman and Lianne Sanderson, goalkeeper Valerie Henderson, midfielder Laura Del Rio, defenders Allison Falk and Lauren Barnes, and midfielder/defender Lauren Fowlkes. U.S. National team midfielder Lori Lindsey also is not expected to return.”

Local

Philly Soccer News has a good Top 10 Philly Soccer Moments for 2011 list.

MLS

Landon Donovan says he believes expectations have grown at Everton ahead of his second loan spell with the team.

Big Apple Soccer writes that Thierry Henry’s loan to Arsenal is a “lose-lose situation.”

The National reports that LA Galxy have made an offer to sign Samuel Eto’o “with the MLS prepared to match the unprecedented €20 million (Dh96m) salary Eto’o agreed to for a move to Russia in August.” That’s $25,860,107.88.

Apparently, the Galaxy are also interested in Obefami Martins.

The Daily Mirror says Aston Villa want to get Robbie Kean on a two-month loan.

The BBC reports David Beckham may turn down a deal from PSG to stay at LA Galaxy. Yawn.  The LA Times quotes PSP sports director Leonardo, “He is in L.A., he has his family over there. We have talked a lot and we are still talking, but I’m not sure it will be done…It’s always been a question of personal matters.” Yawn.

Charlie Davies has resumed training with Sochaux.

US

The USMNT match against Italy, not yet confirmed bu reported to be played on February 29, will benefit victims of November’s flood in Genoa.

Season review articles are everywhere. Here are a few good ones from SI, Sporting News, Shin Guardian, and the Examiner.

MLS Talk has 12 US Soccer predictions for 2012.

LA Times looks back and ahead with the USWNT.

Men in Blazers has a hilarious Official Unofficial Poster for the 1994 USMNT.

Elsewhere

The FA released a 115-page report on Saturday detailing its reasoning behind the Luis Suarez suspension. An AP report says “the panel found that Suarez’s argument was ‘unsustainable,’ while [Patrice] Evra, a black France defender, was described as a ‘credible witness.'”

The group Football Against Racism in Europe says Liverpool is harming its international reputation by continuing to support Suarez.

Football Ramble looks back to 1968 when Australia sent a team to play a tournament in Saigon at the height of the Vietnam War.

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