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More on Pfeffer loan, MLS news, rankings, ratings, is it 2013 yet?

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

It was implied in the announcement that Zach Pfeffer will be going on loan to Hoffenheim but a Yanks Abroad has confirmation: According to a Union representative, “The Union has already picked up his option for 2014.”

YA also says, “At Hoffenheim, Pfeffer is expected to play for the club’s youth teams where he will join fellow American Russell Canouse on Hoffenheim’s U-19 team.”

The Delco Times notes Pfeffer will “have compatriots in the dressing room, as American internationals Danny Williams and Fabian Johnson both call Hoffenheim home. The team also owns the rights to promising young forward Joseph Gyau, who is on loan to St. Pauli.”

The Pfeffer news comes a day after the club fired head coach Markus Babbel on Monday following a 4–1 loss to Werder Bremen, Hoffenheim’s fourth loss in a row.

It is reasonable to wonder what Hoffenheim gets out of the Pfeffer loan, other than an obviously talented young player for their reserve team. In article on the loan, Dave Zeitlin uses that familiar phrase, “Per MLS and club policy, terms of the loan will not be disclosed.” I wonder if there’s a shortcut on my keyboard for that sentence?

In MLSsoccer.com’s final power rankings of the 2012 season, the Union come in at No. 16 behind New England at No. 15, which is a bit odd considering the Union finished at No. 15 in the final standings of the league table but that’s power rankings for you in a league with playoffs. Anyway, here’s the blurb that accompanies the Union’s ranking:

No major moves yet out of Philly, who’ve been one of the quieter teams this posteason. They’ll have cap space and DP slots to play with, but it’s a fair guess to say that they’re more interested in building via their surfeit of young players. Jack McInerney, Michael Farfan and Amobi Okugo give them three pillars, and don’t be surprised if they add another – probably a striker – via trade.

Philadelphia Union Academy player Darius Madison, now at University of Virginia, has been called into the USMNT U-20 team.


TheCup.us recaps Sunday’s Eastern PA US open Cup qualification games that saw Cavalla FC, Predators, West Chester United, and United German Hungarians advance to this Sunday’s quarterfinals.

Three members of the La Salle Women’s Team have been named as NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region players. Earning first team honors is Courtney Niemiec, Renee Washington earned a second team nod, and Kelsey Haycook was named to the third team.

Rutgers-Camden men’s player Mike Ryan has been to the NCAA Division III Men’s All-America Third Team.

Ocean City Nor’easters will be having an open tryout on Dec. 22 and Jan. 5. Click here for more information.

Here’s something on the ties between Ocean City Nor’easters and Inter Milan.

U-15/16 play at the US Soccer Development Academy concluded on Tuesday with PA Classics falling 2–1 to New England Revolution and PDA losing 2–1 to Colorado Rapids. FC Delco was scheduled to play Real So Cal but the score is not recorded on the showcase website.

In the final NSCAA Girls High School Top 25 fall rankings, Eastern High Scool in Vorhees finished at No. 15 and Cumberland Valley in Mechanicsburg came in at No. 23.


George John and Chris Seitz have new contracts with FC Dallas. The Dallas Morning News says of Seitz, “He’s likely to be FCD’s top goalkeeper heading into preseason.”

Soccer Insider reports that DC United DP Hamdi Salihi “is not in United’s plans next year.” This after the team exercised the option to keep Lionard Pajoy.

Despite finishing  on the league table, Portland Timbers have already sold out the 15,250 season tickets they have allotted for the 2013 season. I wonder if there was the kind of tortured whining about whether or not to renew in Portland as there was in Philly after a disappointing 2012?

Surprise: Kaka wants to stay at Real Madrid.

Arguing that MLS needs to shift its focus from bringing in aging big name international stars to developing players internally and bringing in good but relatively unknown international players from the Western Hemisphere, Leander Schaerlaeckens suggests, “The biggest legacy of the Beckham Era is that another such era is obsolete.”

Viewership of Spanish-language coverage of Saturday’s MLS Cup Final on Telefutura came in at 485,000, a 58 percent increase over 2011. Viewership on ESPN averaged 797,000 for a combined total of 1,282,000. This compares to 2.9 million viewers for Sunday’s Liga MX Final on Univision.

If you’re like me, you might think the debate started over at SB Nation blog LAG Confidential seems a bit premature but here it is anyway: Are LA Galaxy the best team in American soccer history?

The Tampa Tribune looks into the talk of a new $400 million soccer stadium in Tampa and says, “In piecing all this together, it’s possible everyone focused on the wrong thing. The key appears to be the sports medicine center, not the stadium.” Noting that VSI Flames Inc., the group behind the venture, describes the proposed venue as a “destination stadium,” the Tribune says, “They could keep the stadium busy with international matches, top college games and tournaments, and so on. The attention would familiarize the sports world with the medical facility, which could generate more business.”

In more South Florida soccer specific stadium news, the NASL’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers have announced their “top priority is to work with the city of Fort Lauderdale to renovate Lockhart Stadium as part of the overall development of the area. However, we are prepared to explore any and all options for a new soccer facility in the South Florida area.”

Women’s Soccer

Sydney Leroux has committed to playing in the new women’s professional league rather than go abroad. “I decided to stay here and help build women’s soccer in the States,” she tells The Equalizer. “I thought it would be good for me to stay since I’m young and I think the best position for me is to play in the U.S.”


Oguchi Onyewu faced off against Sacha Kljestan in Tuesday’s Champions League match between Malaga and Anderlecht. The game ended as a draw but Malaga will advance to the next round. U.S. teammate Jermaine Jones’ Schalke 04 will join Onyewu’s Malaga in Round of 16.

Christie Rampone talks about why she decided not to retire after the Olympics.

Amy LePeibet talks about how a knee injury in 2006 led to her being a better player.


The final group stage games of the Champions League take place today. Check out our weekly Footy on the Telly post for listings of where to watch the games live TV and online.

Lionel Messi, on 84 goals in this calendar year, could break Gerd Muller’s 1972 record of 85 goals today against Benfica.

Goal-line technology will be deployed at the Club World Cup, which opens today (not that you, or anyone, cares about the Club World Cup).



  1. I don’t usually agree with American soccer writers a lot but L.S. is right on: This is a mistake. Aging stars are no longer the way to go. For one, MLS will have to compete with newly rich leagues in emerging markets like China, Russia and Brazil and have to overpay even more to land them. And secondly, the product has matured past the point where big names can offer an injection of credibility. Failing that, it’s just wasted money. Instead, MLS should be making its own names, building brands itself.
    Well stated.

    • He throws the baby out with the bathwater though. It doesn’t need to be either/or. You can do both. Los Angeles, New York and Montreal can bring in the big name superstars, because they need to create a buzz to draw fans. Kaka would be great for LA, and Walter Martinez would be great for New England. Teams like Houston can find the undervalued Latin American stars like Oscar Boniek Garcia. Each team will find its way.

      (Hmmm… this seems like a column in its own right, eh?)

      • This topic totally is a column, probably several. It is a really big topic.
        And for your point, I would be fine with that IF the MLS gets rid of all these ridiculous roster management/movement rules. After all, why do crazy things like allocation drafts or re entry drafts and etc if you’re basically going “Let LA/NY get the big names and everyone else make due!” and admitting there can’t be the kind of parity the MLS pretends to promote?
        That’s my biggest problem with it all. So many archaic structures in place in the name of parity, but at the end of the day names like Kaka and Lampard always seems to be linked with the NYs and LAs.

  2. Good to see Oguchi Onyewu started for a team that is doing really well. So well that they won their group and edged out AC Milan. Sacha Kljestan is also playing real well; excellent news for the US team!

  3. MLS had the question on facebook about the Galaxy being the best American team ever. The 1977 New York Cosmos are the only team I can remember that had 2 World Cup winning captains (Beckenbauer and Carlos Alberto) and some guy name Edison Arantes do Nascimento. Yes, all three were past their prime, but all were still great players.

  4. “It is reasonable to wonder what Hoffenheim gets out of the Pfeffer loan, other than an obviously talented young player for their reserve team.”

    Do loans work the same in reverse? It’s been said that loanees to MLS have to have a buy option worked in, what about for outbound loans? MLS/Union get additional training for a player, immediate cost relief and potential profit priced in. Hoff gets cost certainty and a period of exclusive non compete player eval. Pfeffer made $70K in 2012. I’m sure there’s a reasonably priced option to buy, if Hoff can train him past that value point, it’s a bargain. Worst case for them, he’s no different than the other kids on their reserve team.

  5. FACT Pfeffer will not return to the union…

  6. FACT Pfeffer wont return to the union…hoffenheim has wnted him for 3 years

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