Daily news roundups

Le Toux update, Okugo among the best, USWNT Olympic campaign begins, more news

Philadelphia Union

Sky Sports reports that Bolton manager Owen Coyle “claims no decision has been taken as yet regarding a permanent deal” for Sebastien Le Toux.

Jonathan Tannenwald tweets, “A Union source says the team ‘would not use Tim Ream as a benchmark’ in any negotiations over Le Toux regarding transfer fee.”

A report on Le Toux’s trial with Bolton from French soccer website sofoot.com concludes, “Although he has not yet signed with the English club, all the fans of Philadelphia are already in mourning.”

Amobi Okugo comes in at No. 8 on ESPN’s list of ten US players to watch under the age of 21. John Hackworth says of the PSP favorite, “Okugo is very competitive, very driven, and a lot better than people give him credit for tactically. He finds really good spots, and he’s going to make it because he comes to work every single day, humble as can be, willing to go after it, and never thinking that he’s arrived.” Local lad Zarek Valentin, now with Montreal, came in at No. 6.

Hackworth also has some interesting things to say to ESPN about how to improve US soccer. Emphasizing the need for kids to practice more in order to develop technical ability, Hackworth says, “The ball itself is the best coach there could be.”

MLSsoccer.com talks to Freddy Adu about his leadership role on the US U-23 team as they prepare for Olympic qualification.

During a live chat on ESPN SportsNation, ESPN soccer writer Jeff Carlisle had this to say about Freddy Adu: “His club situation was unsettled after the tournament, and when he did get to Philly, he didn’t get a ton of playing time. Now he’s angling for a transfer back to Spain. It’s crazy. He needs to stay with a club for longer than six months.I expect he’ll have a huge role on the Olympic team. He’s one of the few guys to have experience in that tournament.”

Former Union defender Michael Orozco-Fiscal talks about his aspirations to become a permanent fixture on the USMNT. The article continues, “’I wanted to be part of Philadelphia, things just didn’t go the right way,’ he lamented, adding that he still follows and supports the Union. ‘But now I’m here in San Luis and happy to be here.’”

If you needed another reason to attend Saturday’s Help Kick Hunger event, there’s this tweet from the Sons of Ben: “BREAKING @HelpKickHunger News: Veljko Paunovic (@vpaunovic) is now a confirmed attendee for Saturdays event!!!”


The 700 Level talks to Ashwin Chaudhary, who, along with fellow local filmmaker Jon Korn, shot the documentary Laduma, which will be screening Feb. 2 at the Ritz East. Look for our interview with the filmmakers next week.


A New Jersey tax court judge has ruled that the Energy Drinks must pay up to $3.6 million in back taxes to the city of Harrison. And justice prevailed.

In more news from North Jersey, Rafa Marquez wants to clear the air. “At a certain point in time I was misinterpreted…It would have been easy for me to just call it quits and accept one of the offers (to leave in the offseason). But I’m here and I’m part of this team and I’m very ingrained with what’s going to happen in the future.”

At the press conference announcing his signing with LA Galaxy on a new two-year deal, David Beckham affirmed his desire to captain the Great Britain team at the Olympics. He seems pretty certain he will make the team. “Obviously,” he said, “it’s great that Galaxy are on board with the fact that I will be gone for that time.”

Beckham also wants another MLS Cup.

Speaking of bold ambition, Tim Leiweke, the head of AEG, owners of the Galaxy, said at the Beckham press conference, “You always heard about the legendary Cosmos and the impact they made on NASL. Even today there are a lot of people who argue that the Cosmos is the greatest brand in soccer ever. I think the Galaxy is the greatest brand in soccer ever. And that’s the legacy we’re trying to create right now…What I want for these guys for our time right now is for people in 50 years to look back and talk about the Galaxy as the greatest soccer team ever in the history of the United States” More on this here.

One more thing, LA have confirmed they are interested in signing Frank Lampard.

Local lad Bobby Convey is enjoying his new club, Sporting Kansas City. “I plan on staying here until my career’s over.”


magicJack owner Dan Borislow says USWNT stars like Megan Rapinoe, Hope Solo and Abby Wambach will be playing on his exhibition team. Hope Solo responded via Twitter, “@WPSmagicJack I have made no such commitments.”

This look at the WPS/Borislow settlement compares it to the breakup of a bad romance.

CONCACAF Olympic Qualifiers

Canada thumped Haiti 6–0 and Costa Rica topped Cuba 2–0.

The USWNT opens Olympic qualification play today in Vancouver against the Dominican Republic (10:30pm, see below). They face Guatemala on Sunday and Mexico on Tuesday.

ESPN has five challenges the team must overcome.

The AP says Olympic qualification is no longer a given.

Abby Wambach says, “I think based on the way that we qualified for the World Cup, none of us will be taking anything for granted this go-round. We want to win games handily and want to go in there confidently, and obviously get out of our group first. We want to be playing at our best so we don’t leave qualifying up to the soccer gods. We want to take care of business and have control of our own destiny.”

The only way to watch the USWNT qualification games is online and there are several options: CONCACAF, Universal Sports, Sportsnet.ca, and Telemundo. (According to their website, Universal Sports is also broadcasting the US games but I don’t think that channel is available in Philadelphia.)

The Goalkeeper talks to Brandi Chastain about the USWNT.


You can watch the USMNT play Venezuela on Saturday at 7pm on Galavision and ESPN3. Here’s a scouting report from American Outlaws.

Here’s a look at Martin Vasquez, Jurgen Klinsmann’s “right-hand man.”

The US men’s U-17 team defeated Denmark 3–2 in the Aegean Cup on Wednesday. They face the Czech Republic today.

US Soccer has announced its Best of 2011 awards.

Here a glimpse of what life can be like for a US player in Mexico.


The Guardian reports on how Sunday’s Arsenal vs Manchester United (11am, FOX) match will be the first time an English game has been broadcast live on network television in the US.

They may be wishy-washy when it comes to corruption, but when it comes to the local laws prohibiting the sale of beer in stadiums at the 2014 World Cup, FIFA draws the line.

In more 2014 World Cup news, building and renovation of stadiums is still behind schedule.

Soccer America says to expect the unpredictable and the bizarre at the African Cup of Nations. You can watch the African Cup of Nations live on Al Jazeera TV USA if you have Dish Network and online at www.en.aljazeerasport.tv.

Why do we keep watching soccer? Grantland explores.

You may remember Paraguay striker Salvador Cabanas, who was shot in the head two years ago in a bar in Mexico. Even though the bullet is still in his brain, he is returning to professional football.

One Comment

  1. Great ESPN article about how to improve US soccer. Thanks for the link!

    Universal Sports is still viewable here on DirectTV. Great world cup ski coverage (Lindsay Vonn!)

    The WC beer issue got me thinking: how about the 2022 WC in Qatar?!! Qatar is completely dry!?

    Great games this weekend!!!

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