Daily news roundups

Nowak presser, Pajoy here, more news

Philadelphia Union

The Goalkeeper has a transcript of Wednesday’s press conference with Peter Nowak. Among the highlights:

On Pajoy:He’s a guy who brings not only character but also a mentality to the game. He’s very physical, and very fast as well. He can change the game, because he’s a different option. He’s not just a pure box player, he’s not just a poacher. He’s all over the place. He’s very mobile, and he can always create something for whoever he’s going to play with up top.

On Martinez: “He can play there, but in all the games we’ve played in training he’s been up front. He’s a guy who can change a system to 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1. He can come from the second line because of his speed. We can use him in different fashions.

On Daniel: He’s in great physical condition, and is pushing even harder, doing extra work after training…I think he recognized that he was an important piece of our team last season, and he will be even more important this season.

On the draft picks: “I must say I’ve been very impressed with them. Greg Jordan and Chandler Hoffman, Krystian Witkowski and also Antoine Hoppenot are doing very well.

On the scoring burden be more spread around the Union’s current group of forwards: “The more, the better. I always express that we need to have options, we need to have competition. So we mix it up.

On experience and past performance: “But people are going on too many times about statistics. It’s not about statistics, it’s about how they will come together as a tandem. Whether it’s Josué with Lionard, or Lionard with Danny Mwanga, or Josué with Jack McInerney, I cannot say that. But what I can say is that we have a very strong group…Even the youngsters, they already have experience. They’ve already scored goals in Major League Soccer, and they’ve presented themselves as the future of this team. We want to add some experience, but also give them the opportunity to learn as well.”

Kerith Gabriel describes the efforts the Union went through to sign Lionard Pajoy. In the article, Union head of scouting and player development Diego Gutierrez disputes a recent report that suggested Pajoy had an illegal drug problem.

“‘It’s character defamation plain and simple,’ said Gutierrez. ‘You have people who read something, don’t gather any of their own facts, speak to anyone regarding the situation and put something out there to have people look at a player in a negative way even before he touches a ball with the team. How that’s allowed to happen is beyond me but that’s the world we live in, I suppose.

“‘This was an over-the-counter topical drug administered by his training staff (Gutierrez likened it to applying Ben-Gay) that was banned by [CONMEBOL]. He had to serve a suspension, he went through the right channels, in our eyes it’s a non-issue.'”

Gutierrez also makes clear that Pajoy should not be viewed as a replacement for Sebastien Le Toux.

“Sebastien Le Toux scored what? Eleven goals last season? You don’t think Pajoy, Martinez, Mac and Mwanga, all that talent can’t score 11 or more goals this season? Again, we are stressing a team concept here and I feel we have in Pajoy a player like Carlos Ruiz. A player with a nose for the goal but will be a good addition to our team. It took a while, but we are glad to have him join our family.”

Perhaps someone at the Union who has a better sense of fan opinion should tell the coaching staff to use an example other than Ruiz when they want to say a player is a natural finisher with a poacher’s instinct for goal.

Soccer America says the the Pajoy signing “another indication Nowak wants a more fluid, quicker attack,” which is all well and good. Unfortunately, they also think that Carlos Ruiz and Freddy Adu were on the team together.

More on the competition among the front line here.

In case you missed it, Jack McInerney will be wearing the No. 9, Le Toux’s old number. He tweeted on Tuesday, “for the ’12 season I will no longer be wearing number 19 for philly, 9 it is!!!”, following that tweet up with, “if you already have a #19 ’12 season jersey, dont worry, i will let you know how it can be taken care of soon”. (If you are wondering, Le Toux will wear the No. 7 in Vancouver. “It’s just a number. I like single-digit numbers, so I will wear it with pride. My girlfriend used to wear number 7 when she played field hockey.”)

Philly Soccer News notes that the three goalkeepers in camp—Zac MacMath, Chase Harrison, and Chris Konopka—have a total of nine games of MLS experience between them. Asked if the Union needed to bring in a veteran goalkeeper during Wednesday’s press conference, Nowak replied, “Why do I need to bring in a veteran? I don’t think it’s necessary right now to think about that.”

Local

Mayor Michael Nutter is expected to announce later today that a deal has been reached to keep Philadelphia School District facilities open on weeknights and weekends through the spring. Indoor soccer programs around the city would be among those affected by an earlier plan to close facilities on weeknights and weekends.

Local lad Corey Hertzog scored in the New York Red Bulls 2–0 win over FC Dallas in a preseason scrimmage.

MLS

Eric Wynalda tells The Sporting News, “Our league is a joke. I want soccer to continue to flourish in this country, but there’s a whole other level we’re just excluding ourselves from. We’ve cheated the American public out of a better product.”

Two members of the Houston Dynamo who were arrested outside a nightclub over the weekend say their arrests were racially motivated. More on the arrests here.

Sebastien Le Toux seems to be settling in nicely with Vancouver. Talking Tactics looks at how their offense is shaping up.

Is Raul headed to the Red Bulls?

LA Galaxy will not extend Robbie Keane’s loan to Aston Villa.

Speaking of LA, Juninho and Leonardo are back with the team.

Dwayne “You Put Your Left Foot In, You Put Left Foot Out, You Do The Hokey Pokey Then You Turn Yourself Around” De Rosario is hopeful for a new deal with DC United.

WPS

Beau Dure looks at the underlying problem of the WPS business model and wonders if Abby Wambach is dreaming with recent comments.

US

Harry Keough, a member of the US team that defeated England in the 1950 World Cup, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 84. Read about this US soccer legend here, here and here. You can read about what happened to the other members of the 1950 US team here.

The US U-23 team will play Mexico on Feb. 29 at FC Dallas Stadium with the team being called-up to camp on Feb. 19.

U-23 coach Caleb Porter sees strong progress in the team.

Gale Agbossoumonde talks about his soccer odyssey.

Elsewhere

Plans are in the works to drop the 2016 Gold Cup tournament in favor of a Copa America tournament to take place in the US with 10 CONMEBOL teams and 8 CONCACAF teams. I’m for it.

Fabio Capello resigned as manager of England on Wednesday.

Police in Trinidad & Tobago have raided the headquarters of the T & T Football Federation to seize assets in an attempt to pay members of the 2006 World Cup team. Former CONCACAF President, FIFA executive committee member, and well know crook Jack Warner had promised the team half of all revenue related to the tournament but never paid up.

Real Madrid tops the list of the world’s richest clubs for the seventh year in a row.

That cat that invaded the pitch during Monday’s Liverpool v Tottenham snoozefest now has nearly 50,000 followers on Twitter.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSBkK2B6AfI[/youtube]

9 Comments

  1. Amazing what happened in England yesterday. Then this morning was glad to hear the press conference with the FA (was during the Daily Football Show on XM/Sirius). Was clear that the FA made the decision with no back-up plan in place; what a fiasco! Fully support Fabio in his decision: how can you run a team if your boss makes key team decisions without your input!

  2. Who in their right mind would want to take the England job now?

    An irredeemably toxic press, a fickle and easily manipulated fan base, and a pool of players that for every hardworking, somewhat likable gent (e.g. Scott Parker), contains 3 odious, fragile-egoed manchildren (Terry, A. Cole, Rooney)

    • +1 for the use of odious

    • I said the same on the YSC facebook comment they posted yesterday… The rumor has it that it will be Redknapp or Hidding, but the latest is that Redknapp is committed to the Spurs so unlikely that he’ll be managing England at the Euro’s. Will most likely be Pierce and then they’ll not even make it past the first round 🙂

  3. In two years, Le Toux had 26 goals and 20 assists. Mwanga and McInerney had 16 goals and 8 assists combined. No wonder Nowak doesn’t want us looking at the stats.

    As for Diego Gutierrez, let’s all hope that his “belief” is enough. It’s all we got.

    • In two years, Le Toux played 6000+ minutes – rain or shine or terrible form. Mwanga and Jack Mac played, what, ~2000?, usually in the form of musical chairs.

      • In two years, Le Toux played 5,760 minutes. Mwanga and McInerney together played a combined 4,164 minutes. So, Le Toux scored .0045 goals per minute played, while Mwanag/Mac only scored .0035/minute. There is an even larger difference in assists. Le Toux had .0038 assists/minute, while Mwanga/Mac had only .0019. You can disagree with my opinion on the Le Toux decision or my future expectations, but the math does not lie. Le toux was much more efficient than Mwanga/Mac combination.

  4. Can we change the subject? Eric Wynalda is bat shit insane!! What on earth is that guy’s deal?

  5. Have to agree. The cap has to be raised. But leave the season alone. No need to move it to the world calendar. Eventually the world should move it to ours.

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