Daily news roundups

Gomez love, Peppy Le Tou?, Garber on promotion/relegation, more

Photo by the brilliantly-attired Earl Gardner

The offseason is a brutal mix of rumor, speculation, and roster rebuilding. If you checked out after November, we understand. But here is some PSP original content you might have missed: Eli examined possible Union formations, focusing on the 4-4-2, the 4-3-3, and the 4-2-3-1. We also looked at Union players with the most to prove and came together for a two-part (part 1; part 2) roundtable to talk about the upcoming season. Dan checked in with an Eastern Conference preview, and I wrote that the new unbalanced schedule should benefit the local lads. Also, there is still time to Put A Snake On It.

Video featuring Peter Nowak’s expectations for the opening match against Portland.

The Philadelphia Union Foundation launched with the goal of helping inner-city children, specifically those in Chester, find opportunities through soccer and relationships.

MLSSoccer.com has a fairly thorough preview of the Union-Timbers matchup, although the headline may be just a bit of an exaggeration.

David Biggy has a good interview with Chris Konopka where the Union goalie talks about his decision-making process when Philly came calling. “A couple of weeks ago, one of Philadelphia’s goalkeepers went back to Colombia unexpectedly and they contacted me. I had free reign to go since I wasn’t signed, and I just couldn’t say no knowing that I’d be playing in Philly,” Konpka said. Good man, Chris.

In a Vancouver Sun article that calls him “Peppy Le Tou” (seriously) (SERIOUSLY), Sebastien Le Toux said, “I was not unhappy to come to Vancouver. I was unhappy how [Philadelphia] handled this thing and traded me, because I had no clue. I was not pre-pared for it. But I’m very happy it’s Vancouver and not another team I got traded to because I know the quality of the city, I know the quality of the fans and I like the coaching staff and my new teammates. It’s just wonderful for me. It’s amazing. I’m really excited to start and I hope to do great things this year.”

In a story that seems like it was written after numerous glasses of wine, the Sun says never to trust a Frenchman who doesn’t drink wine (?) and quotes Martin Rennie: “[Le Toux] has brought even more than we first realized,” Vancouver coach Martin Rennie said Friday. “He’s not just a great player, but a great guy to have around – a very positive person and great for the team.”

Gabriel Gomez makes another Player To Watch list. Lionard Pajoy shows up as a footnote in the “Other New Signings” section at the end.

Gomez doesn’t make Sporting News’ short 5-man list of newcomers to watch. Apparently San Jose’s Tressor Moreno is going to be better…

On Freddy Adu, Sporting News says: The one-time wunderkind of American soccer now is 22 and has had time to get comfortable with the Philadelphia Union, which parted with a few key veterans over the winter. Adu will have to deliver if the Union hope to return to the playoffs.

One of MLSSoccer’s eleven questions heading into First Kick is whether the Union’s youngsters can handle the Portland pressure: Peter Nowak’s Union got younger this season, but they believe they’ve also gotten better. A Monday night opener in Portland, where the home fans will have their intimate downtown venue packed to the gills, should test Philadelphia’s resolve. Veterans like Brian Carroll and Danny Califf must regulate the tempo and keep from getting dragged into a Timbers-style track meet.

Peter Nowak told Grant Wahl that it’s going to be difficult to manage Freddy Adu this season, with the 22-year-old shuttling back and forth between Philly and the Olympic team: “The tricky part is to establish good communication with the Olympic coaches. I don’t want to create a situation where he comes back and has all these expectations again. We’re going to be patient but keep in mind what’s best for him. Sooner or later his work will pay off and he’ll see the fruition of how he plays with the Olympic team and the role he has with our team.”

The New York TImes got five questions with Don Garber. Concerning a promotion/relegation system, Garber said: “While I personally think promotion and relegation would be very exciting, the professional soccer landscape in the United States and Canada is not mature enough to support this type of system, and therefore it is not something we are contemplating.”

George Quraishi complains about the music and electronic boards in New Jersey: “At Red Bull Arena [the in-stadium experience] has meant a DJ blaring music before games and a field ringed by those abominable animated signboards; all the flashing, scrolling, blinking, strobing lights give the impression that the team would like you to focus on anything but what’s happening on the field.” George feels MLS should concentrate on TV revenue instead of in-stadium billboards, forgetting that more billboards means more TV revenue when those flashy things show up in millions of American homes.

Kathy Carter talks about running the marketing side of MLS.

YanksAreComing calls NYRB an offseason loser: “The Taurine Treasure Chests’ effects are wearing off. After all the excitement of the big name players coming in, the Red Bulls are beginning to resemble the aftereffects of their namesake drink.” Taurine Treasure Chests! Ahh, get me the tank!

ShinGuardian’s MLS preview nominates Danny Mwanga for Most Improved Player.

At least one PSP writer will be playing sad songs on his guitar today when he finds out that Independence midfielder Jen Buczkowski will be plying her trade in Chicago this season.

Jeremiah White is set to join New England after an extended trial earned the Philly local boy a contract. “Jeremiah is an out-and-out attacking player who we believe can help us stretch defenses with his speed and ability to beat defenders in one-on-one situations, especially out wide,” Revolution General Manager Michael Burns said. “After having him in for parts of preseason, we’re looking forward to his return to the team and addition to the roster.” TheBentMusket speculates that White’s signing could signal the end of the line for Sainey Nyassi, who could be dealt when he gets off the IR if White takes over his speedy winger role.

I wonder if Neymar did anything ridiculous this week. Yes, it looks like he did. Twice.

Tim Ream couldn’t stop Clint Hill from scoring on Bolton, but a blind linesman saved the day. Check out how far into the goal Hill’s header goes before it’s punched out. The ruling on the field: No goal. As Ian Darke said on ESPN’s broadcast of the match: “Horse racing has been relying on technology for fifty years.” Horse racing!

AFootballReport is excited for Season 17 of MLS. Will it always feel like this, they ask?

3 Comments

  1. Le Toux didn’t waste time getting on the scoreboard.

  2. But Ream also had a sweet little cross to set up Bolton’s goal.

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