Daily news roundups / Featured

Catching up with Mondy & Valdes, Drexel’s NCAA run ends, women’s pro league announcement soon

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

Over the past two week’s there have been scattered reports indicting that Carlos Valdes might be playing—or at least training—with another team in the offseason. You will recall a Union spokesperson told PSP was “not true.” Earlier this week, Colombian national team coach Jose Pekerman said Valdes “is trying to work something out with the league and his team to play during the offseason.”

After Wednesday’s friendly between Colombia and Brazil, Valdes said, “Now [that the season is really over] we’ll see what happens whether I keep training or keep playing, we are trying to figure it out.” Kerith Gabriel reports in Thursday’s edition of The Daily Doop,

“What we gathered from that comment is Valdes has an itch and would like to keep playing this offseason. However while nothing has been confirmed, there could be possible interest from Colombian clubs for him to train or even join an organization during the offseason. As of now, philadelphiaunion.com has learned that Valdes has expressed desire to have a training stint, but no talks between clubs on either end has convened.”

While it makes sense that Valdes, who will presumably be spending much of the offseason back home in Colombia, would train with a team during that time, it is hard to believe that the Union would allow their captain to risk serious injury by actually playing for another team.

Gabriel also caught up with Faryd Mondragon, who says he wants to continue to play for Colombia through the 2014 World Cup.

Danny Cruz, who was playing for the Dynamo for an MLS Cup at the end of last season and was traded to the Union from United in August, describes how tough it was watching the first leg of the Eastern Conference championship from the stands at BBVA Compass Stadium last weekend. He says of the Union’s future playoff prospects, “I think we’re just a few pieces away from really being a playoff team. We’re not far off. I really do believe that.”

Michael Lahoud has been nominated for the MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year award. Former Union goalkeeper Chris Seitz has also been nominated.

In case you missed it, friend of the PSP Gordon’s latest edition of the Union Sound podcast features John Hackworth. Give it a listen.

Union fans will be pleased to know that another lacrosse tournament will be marring the pitch at PPL Park, this time on March 9, just around the time the 2013 season is supposed to start. Wonderful.

On Wednesday, Pablo Soria, a website administrator with Argentine club Newell’s Old Boys, sent out a speculative tweet (crappy Google translation here) wondering if the Union might be the next destination for Leandro Armani. Who? You know, “Beto” Armani, the forward who’s been with Argentine club Tiro Federal, currently in the regional third division, since 2007, when the club was in the second division. Soria tells the Brotherly Game that he “got information” that Armani “had an interest” in moving to MLS and that the 6’2″ forward had had “an informal conversation” with John Hackworth and Ricardo Ansaldi, who have been in Argentina this week on a scouting trip. Soria does not say where/who he got this information from nor does the article have any comment from the Union confirming that any meeting, informal or otherwise, took place.

Why would a guy who works on Newell’s Old Boys’ website have information about a player with another club, what’s the connection? Well, both clubs are located in Rosario and the 28-year-old striker was on loan from Tiro Federal to the first division club in the 2008-2009 season, scoring 4 goals over 17 appearances. According to footballdatabase.eu, Armani has scored 16 goals in 48 appearances since turning pro with Club Atlético Central Córdoba (which is also in Rosario) in 2003. Of those appearances, 29 were with Tiro Federal in the 2010-2011 season when he scored 11 goals. He made no appearances in the 2011-2012 season. Soria says Armani is not currently playing for Tiro Federal because of a payment dispute and while he is under contract until 2014, wants to leave the club in December.

So, from a speculative tweet out of Argentina comes an article on a Union-related website. The really fun part is that soon after the Brotherly Game posted its article, Soria, the guy who is the article’s only source, tweeted, “#TiroFederal according to @brotherlygame, Philadelphia Union began talks and is interested in the striker Beto Armani.” (Crappy translation via Google Translate.) And so the circle is complete.


Drexel men’s team were defeated 2–0 by Brown in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday. Lafayette lost to University of  Virginia 1–0 in the first round on an 87th minute goal from former Reading United standout Will Bates.

Archbishop Wood will face Moon Area High School, which is from suburban Pittsburgh, in the PIAA Class AA girls soccer state championship on Saturday morning at 11am at Hersheypark Stadium. It will be Wood’s second state final appearance in three years.

Conwell-Egan will face Greensburg Central Catholic, which is from Westmoreland County in southwestern PA, in the PIAA Class A state championship at 5pm at Hersheypark Stadium.

(In case you were wondering, the number of “A’s” refers to the size of the school, with A being the smallest classification and AAA being the largest.)

Harrisburg City Islanders Yann Ekra, Tom Mellor and Brian Ombiji talk about the adjustments required to play indoor soccer for the Harrisburg Heat. It seems like they’re enjoying the game.


The conference finals are on Sunday with DC United needing to overcome a 2 goal deficit at home against Houston (4pm, NBCSN, Univision Deportes) and Seattle needing to overcome a 3 goal deficit against LA (9pm, ESPN, ESPN Deportes).

At Goal.com, Kyle McCarthy has some talking points for the games.

Teams around the league continue the housecleaning process with New York and Toronto releasing ten players between them, while Vancouver have let go director of soccer operations Tom Soehn.

Montreal Impact defeated Fiorentina 1–0 in the final exhibition game of their post-season trip to Italy.

Grantland has a very interesting article about why MLS is so much more proactive in cracking down on homophobic slurs than the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL.

OK, now the word is that Frank Lampard isn’t interested in playing in China, he’s in talks with the LA Galaxy. Make it stop.

The Australian soccer world had less than 24 hours to go batty over word that David Beckham would sign for a ten-game stint in the A-League during the MLS offseason before a Beckham spokesperson put the kibosh to such speculation.

An English football blog considers the likelihood of Rio Ferdinand moving to MLS.

Women’s Pro Soccer

Soccer Wire reports that US Soccer is set to make an announcement about a new women’s professional league to launch in 2013. The league will reportedly involve former WPS teams Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, Western New York Flash and Sky Blue FC , as well as teams from Kansas City, Portland, Ore., Seattle and Washington DC. An announcement is expected around the time of US Soccer’s annual fall meeting, which usually coincides with the MLS Cup final, although “it could be released as early as this week.”

The Equalizer notes some Twitter activity that suggests the Washington team will go by the name Washington Freedom. This was the name used by Washington’s women’s pro team in the WUSA, the W-League, and WPS before Dan Borislow bought the franchise, moved it to Florida and renamed them magic Jack, before proceeding to destroy WPS.


The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is now willing to confirm that Hope Solo and Jerramy Stevens are indeed married.


For listings of the upcoming week’s live games, including Champions League and Europa League games, check out the latest Footy on the Telly post.

Following Zlatan Imbrahimovic’s incredible goal on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal looks at the art of the slow motion goal.

The AP reports, “Thanks to the generosity of its fans and an accounting error, indebted Spanish soccer club Real Oviedo will live to play another match.” It seems the Spanish team owed $1.4 million in debt, not $2.4 million as was originally thought. Some $1.9 million in revenue has been raised since the sale of reduced price shares began on Nov. 3.

Grant Wahl talks to the always entertaining Joey Barton, even if sometimes the entertainment is for the wrong reasons.

Italy’s highest court has ruled that, just because Italy is playing Ukraine in quarterfinals of the 2006 World Cup doesn’t mean you can have outdoor sex. Remember that, dear reader.

If not the ugliest shirt in recent memory, Catalonia’s new kit is certainly one of the most distracting.



  1. So leak a rumor so it gets picked up by a website. Then claim confirmation of the rumor that you leaked by referring your tweeps to that same website.

    That’s brilliant. Well played, Senor Soria.

  2. Drexel had a good turnout for their NCAA play-off game. Was unfortuntate that they were not tall enough and were unable to deal with some key high balls that were headed in by Brown. Suggest that the coach recruits some taller players, and also some who can finish in the box (since there were 3 or 4 chances that should have resulted in goals). Was all in all a very entertaining game.

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