Daily news roundups / Featured

Shopping Mwanga? Union’s approach. Final mocks. Open Cup changes. More news.

Featured image: Nicolae Stoian

We’ll have updates of today’s SuperDraft (12pm, ESPN2) throughout the day as well as reaction to the Union’s selection. On to the news…

Philadelphia Union

Ives Galarcep’s mock draft at Fox Soccer has this to say: “The Union are believed to be shopping forward Danny Mwanga, and even with the recent addition of young Costa Rican forward Josue Martinez, Philadelphia can use some depth up top.” Galarcep then has the Union selecting forward Dom Dwyer (South Florida). “Enter Dwyer, a player whose stock took a dip but who is much better than he showed at the MLS Combine. Strong like a bull and boasting deceptive speed, the English-born Dwyer could wind up being the steal of the draft.”  Galarcep goes on to have the Union selecting Justin Chavez (CB-Tulsa) and Brian Ownby (F/W – Virginia) in the second round.

While not speaking directly of Danny Mwanga, John Hackworth told reporters in a conference call on Wednesday night, “Trades are certainly possible. The real business that gets done in the combine, you get all the staffs together, there’s every agent that’s ever represented anybody anywhere there, so you have a lot of conversations. And there’s a lot of talks of trades and possibilities, and that continues right up until, and during the draft. You just have to be careful about what your needs are and about what the proposed trades will be. So we’re open to that, for sure, but I think we’re in a better position than we ever have been with our team right now so we can be a little patient in that regard.” (Follow the link above for extended quotes from the teleconference.)

When asked if the Union would trade for an international spot in order to reach compliance with league roster rules, Hackworth indicated that the club is “certainly not worried about being roster-compliant at this point” because the deadline for compliance is March 1.

Hackworth said the Union view the SuperDraft as an opportunity to add depth to the roster. ““We’re glad we’re not sitting like the last two years, picking first and picking early, because what this draft is for us now is seeing if we can reinforce and add depth to the roster. We’ve done such a good job in the offseason that we’re not in the same situation as the last two years.”

Dave Zeitlin confirms this approach. “[Union head of scouting and player development Diego Gutiérrez] and team manager Peter Nowak have indicated they can be selective in Thursday’s draft and not hone in on a specific position. Looking at the roster, it would appear the club could still use some defensive depth, but the coaches maintain they’re simply looking for the best available player – not only with their first round pick, but also with their two second round selections.”

Michael Farfan’s training stint at Sunderland has been confirmed.

More mock drafts:

MLSsoccer.com’s final mock draft has their experts split between Tommy Meyer (DF – Indiana), Austin Berry (DF – Louisville) and Calum Mallace (MF – Marquette) in the first round. In the second round it is Aaron Maund (DF – Notre Dame), Brendan King (MF – Notre Dame) or Warren Creavalle (DF/MF – Central Florida) for their second pick and Alec Purdie (MF – Indiana), Tommy Meyer (DF – Indiana) or Gienir García (DF – Cruz Azul).

SI has the Union taking Tyler Polak (DF – Creighton) in the first round.

Rant.com says the Union will midfielder Luis Silva (US SantaBarbara) with their first pick, defender Nickardo Blake (Connecticut) with their second and midfielder Arthur Ivo (SMU).

My San Antonio says high school goalkeeper Caleb Jenkins has “an audition” with the Union on his schedule.

Local

Kerith Gabriel looks at the journey University of Delaware’s Evans Frimpong to the draft. Frimpong says, “I think I am really close. Like I said, the combine is a great place to get recognized, and I think I impressed a few people. I’m not going to lie; I was surprised I didn’t hear much from the Union, because I played for their developmental team. PPL Park is so close [to Delaware], and I always wondered what it’d be like to play there. Who knows, maybe one day, I’ll be able to get that chance. I am just eager to see where I finally land.”

The Buzz looks at how Penn players have done in the MLS draft.

Philadelphia Independence

Paul Riley talks to PSP’s Mike Servedio about the Sinead Farrelly re-signing.

Jeff Kassouf examines what the Independence might be looking for ahead of Friday’s WPS Draft.

One thing the Independence needs is another goalkeeper. Former Independence keeper Val Henderson signed with Atlanta Beat on Wednesday.

MLS

The Wall Street Journal on today’s draft: “The Most Meaningless Draft in Sports.”

USA Today looks at what happened to the top draft picks since 2000.

Surprise! Montreal are prepared to deal Brian Ching back to Houston.

A post on the Union website says some teams have a tougher schedule in 2012 than others based upon Points Per Game and Home/Away Points Per Game.

Bruce Arena confirms the La Galaxy will be without Omar Gonzalez for most of 2012.

Here’s a good question: Does MLS really have a salary cap?

Toronto have re-signed Joao Plata.

Goal.com looks at NBC’s plans to take soccer in America to the next level.

US

US Soccer announced major changes to the format of the US Open Cup on Wednesday. Among the changes:

  • all Division I, II, and III teams will participate.
  • a 64-team field, which is the largest in the modern era
  • a random selection process for determining home teams from the first round through the quarterfinals among clubs that have applied to host
  • All 2012 U.S. Open Cup matches until the final are scheduled for Tuesdays, with the championship taking place on either Tuesday, Aug. 7, or Wednesday, Aug. 8.

More on the format changes here.

Elsewhere

The Guardian reports, “The Premier League chief executive, Richard Scudamore, has insisted recent racism scandals have not damaged the image of the English game and that he was ‘proud’ of the way they had been dealt with.”

More on the dangers of headers.

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