Daily news roundups / Featured

Pajoy-Cruz trade reaction, Union still in playoff hunt, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Look for our report from Thursday night’s Supporters Summit, previews of Sunday’s Union game against DC United, the latest Philly Soccer Show podcast, and more new posts later this morning.

Philadelphia Union

Well, the Pajoy for Danny Cruz trade certainly seems like it came out of nowhere. Cruz said, “I wasn’t playing much, I was obviously unhappy, but I didn’t ask for a trade. When they called me in this morning, I didn’t expect it.” Here’s a bit of what Union fans can expect:

John Hackworth said of Cruz, “He is a young and very healthy player with a lot of youth national team experience and he’ll fit into our style very well. Danny gave us a tough time every time he played against us. He personally was very difficult to deal with and with that in mind, I think he’ll be a real asset to us – both now and for years to come.”

Saying that “Right now, Pajoy fits pretty high” on DC United’s depth chart, DC coach Ben Olsen explained, “we needed to add another option and another piece up top. Pajoy complements a lot of our guys.”

Kerith Gabriel writes at the Daily News, “Gotta admit, on paper, John Hackworth’s first trade as the manager looks pretty smart.”

Goal.com’s Kyle McCarthy says while Pajoy will be unlikely to help DC’s sluggish goalscoring “as he tends to waste more than his fair share of opportunities in front of goal,” the trade will serve as “a rather pointed message to the likes of Maicon Santos and Hamdi Salihi “to get their acts sorted out in short order. ” McCarthy then says, “Few players in this league work harder on and off the ball than Cruz does. Give him a little extra motivation – say, for instance, a dose of intermittent action and a second trade in less than a year – and he can make life particularly difficult for the opposition with his industry and his persistence.”

It’s funny how headlines about the trade can appear to send different messages. At MLSsoccer.com, the headline reads, “Philadelphia deal struggling Pajoy to DC United for Cruz.” For an article at DCUnited.com, the headline on the homepage reads, “DC lands Union’s top scorer.”

Here’s more on the trade from PSP, MLSsoccer.comWashington Post, Sporting News, the Inquirer, Philly.com, Delco Times, Union Tally, CSN PhillyThe 700 Level, Brotherly Game, Black and Red UnitedSB Nation, Goal.com, The AP, and The Sports Network.

Goal.com predicts a DC United win on Sunday. Here’s their preview.

Sunday’s game at DC United has massive implications for the Union’s playoff hopes. Hackworth said at Wednesday’s press conference, “Right now I still want to compete with that idea in mind that if we go down and get three points at D.C. we’re right back in it,” Hackworth said. “This year it seems like in the Eastern Conference it’s a dogfight. But at some point we will have to make a decision, is it about this year, or is it about next year. Right now, it’s about this year.”

Speaking of the future, Hackworth also talked about Zach Pfeffer at Wednesday’s press conference. “We have to do a good job making sure Zach gets game experience and balancing those opportunities for him, whether it’s playing with the U-17s, playing with the reserves or playing with the first team. That’s what he needs to do to grow…It was a really positive sign for Zach that he goes [to the GA Cup] and does that so well, that he leads by example and is a role model for a lot of the young players. He is, to a lot of those guys in our academy, exactly what they want to be.”

The Daily Athenaeum has a nice piece on Raymon Gaddis, who says, “I look around the league and talk to some of my friends who are a little down because they haven’t gotten to play much yet and I know that the fact that I’m getting to do what I’m doing right now is a huge blessing…I’ve been just taking it all in. You’ve got to enjoy it. There are always going to be ups and downs, especially early on, but you have to enjoy it or else you won’t stick around very long.”

The second annual River Cup, which features players from the Union front office against a Sons of Ben team, will take place on Sunday, Aug. 26 at 6pm. Tickets are only $10 and all proceeds go to the Philadelphia Union Foundation.


Harrisburg City Islanders finish out the 2012 regular season with two games in Los Angeles this weekend (Friday at 10:30pm and Sunday at 8pm, USLNation.com). They’ll need at least one win against the Blues in order to stay in playoff contention. LA Blues will need two wins themselves to stay in the playoff hunt.

The Patriot News profiles City Islanders center back Andrew Marshall.

Jodi Clugston has joined the Drexel women’s team as assistant coach.


The Guardian previews this weekend’s games.

MLSsoccer.com rounds up how MLS players fared on Wednesday’s FIFA international day.

New York assemblymember Francisco Moya tells ProSoccerTalk he’s confident that a deal for a stadium in Queens will be announced in the next couple of months and that the league already has the financing to fund the build in place.

Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander is reported to be in “the final stages” of negotiations to buy Houston Dynamo. At least one commentator thinks the move would be a good thing.

In NASL news, Eric Wynalda has been replaced as head coach of the Atlanta Silverbacks. The team said it became “too difficult” to keep Wynalda on due to his commentating responsibilities with Fox Soccer.

Women’s Soccer

The Seattle Times talks to Bill Predmore, owner of the as yet unnamed Seattle team in the as yet unnamed new women’s professional league. Predmore says of the timing of the announcement of the formation of the new league, “[W]e felt the big driver, of course, was the women’s (gold-medal match in the Olympics) and we wanted to on some level let those players know that there was going to be a league that they could come back to. That was the best time to do it. I think there’s obviously going to be a lot of interest in those players worldwide from various leagues, so before things went too far in other conversations, we just wanted to make sure that, again, they knew that they were going to have that option that they could consider.”

Predmore says the new league will be focused on sustainability. “This will be the third go-around. I think everybody understands the stakes in this and believes we’ve got to get it right this time. It’ll probably be a slower build than what’s been attempted in the past, but I would argue that taking it a little bit slower is probably going to be smarter in the long term.”


Soccer America calls the win over Mexico another boost for the American psyche, saying Jurgen Klinsmann’s “greatest accomplishment is convincing another class of players they cannot only do the job but conjure up methods to master the moment of truth.”

Javier “Chicharito” Hernández said after Mexico’s loss to the US on Wednesday, “We try not to think about the fact that the run of not losing to the United States has ended.” Winger Elias Hernández added, “Every defeat hurts, but losing to Mexico’s so-called ‘most-hated rivals,’ the United States, does hurt and more so in the Azteca.” Coach José Manuel de la Torre said, “Every result is just because it reflects what happened in the game. This isn’t about deserving [the win], it’s about getting it. They finished and we didn’t.”

Cronica.com.mx rounds up reaction to the loss in the Mexican press (crappy translation here).

The US kicks off group play in the U-20 Women’s World Cup on Monday, Aug 20 (3am, ESPNU, ESPN3).


SI has ten storylines to watch as the Premiership returns to action on Saturday.

It’s not just American soccer fans who are upset that the largely unavailable beIn Sports is the new home of LA Liga, Serie A, England’s Championship and more. AC Milan director Umberto Gandini said, “I know Madrid and Barcelona are already concerned by what has happened domestically. We were trying to maximize revenues ahead of visibility. Frankly speaking, we were not aware of such difficulties reaching viewers in the United States and the fact that we are going to be penalized highly by the difference in viewership.” Marc Ganis of the Chicago-based Sports Corp. Ltd., consulting firm said, “The ratings are going to be so low that they will be almost unmeasurable. Considering the push that European soccer is making in the United States, taking additional money and losing exposure becomes fools’ gold. They need to have a long-term strategy, not short-term.”

Check out PSP’s live soccer listings for your TV and computer. There are a gazillion games to watch over the next seven days.

The Guardian says the Robin Van Persie to Manchester United deal can’t hide the fact that the Glazers are draining the club’s finances.

With Clint Dempsey’s future unknown, Fulham confirms he will not appear for the team on Saturday.



One Comment

  1. Of course, both the characterization of Pajoy as “struggling” and the fact that he’s the Union’s top scorer this season are accurate, which says a lot about the Union offense.

    I have to admit, however, that when I read Pajoy was traded, I had the Lenny Dykstra response: “great trade. Who’d we get?”

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