Daily news roundups / Featured

Casey praise, Soccer America rates Union moves highly, Unioners on SBI U-23 TOY

Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Philadelphia Union

In a piece on the Union website, Andy Jasner calls the selection of Conor Casey in the second stage of the re-entry draft on Dec. 14 a “no brainer.” John Hackworth says of Casey in the article, “He definitely fits what we needed…We’ve always liked him as a player and a person. He fits our club in every way. The big thing for Conor is that he gets a fresh start. He fits the style we want to play. He’s 6-1, but he plays bigger than that. I think it’s going to be a great new start for Conor and for us.”

So, has Casey signed with the Union? The league rules state that the Union had seven days from the time of the selection to make Casey a contract offer, which they presumably did. You will recall that Kerith Gabriel reported in the Dec. 17 edition of the Daily Doop, “[R]ight now, the Rapids’ all-time leading goal scorer is enjoying a short vacation in Belize, before a return to the East Coast to meet with new boss John Hackworth and sign on the dotted line.” There has been no official announcement that Casey has signed with the club, but the Union front office has also been closed for the holidays. Look for news after Jan. 2.

Soccer America has a list of the top MLS offseason moves so far and in at No. 2 is the return of Sebastien Le Toux. At No. 5 is the signing of Jeff Parke.

SBI presents its 2013 U-23 Team of the Year. Receiving first team honors are Amobi Okugo and Sheanon Williams. On the second team is Jack McInerney with Zac MacMath the third goalkeeper. Listed as “Missed the Cut” are Freddy Adu, Danny Cruz, and Raymon Gaddis.

Danny Califf talks at length in a very good article at the Toronto Globe and Mail. Here’s the section on his time in Philadelphia:

Califf says he loved his time in Philadelphia, praising both the team’s locker-room and fans. But constant turnover took its toll and Califf eventually became part of the exodus.

“I was a little bit surprised,” he said of his departure from the Union, “but things between myself and (then manager) Peter Nowak had been deteriorating.

“There had been a huge amount of turnover over the first two years and I felt like – and I expressed this to him – that we kept getting rid of quality guys and influential guys. Maybe they weren’t the absolute best guys on the field all the time but they were certainly guys that added a huge amount to the locker-room and I’m certainly a believer in the fact that you’re never going to be successful if you don’t have a good mix and a good group in the locker-room.

“Because things are fine when you’re winning, but when they’re not, if you’re don’t have a good group of guys that can look each other in the eye and pull their own weight and say put up their hands when they make a mistake, then you’re not going to be successful over the long haul and that’s something I’m a big believer in and I think that wasn’t taken so well when I brought up and made that point.”

Califf was shipped to California. Nowak didn’t last much longer.

In at No. 1 on the Toronto Sun’s Top 10 MLS Stories of 2012 list: “Nowak blows up Philly.”


The Ocean City Nor’easters affiliated Jersey Premier Soccer is offering a 8 week futsal training program for boys and girls.


Arsene Wenger has apparently nixed the idea of Thierry Henry going to Arsenal on loan. “I do not think it would be good for him [Thierry Henry] to play with us again. He should relax and prepare for the next MLS season.”

At Soccer America, Paul Gardner considers the personnel goings-on at New York Red Bulls and concludes the apparent move for another European coach will result in more failure. Love his nickname for the team.

Is Seattle’s Freddy Montero considering a six month loan deal to Colombian club Millionarios in order to improve his national team prospects? Does this sound familiar?

In case you were wondering, David Beckham is considering a host of offers but is in no hurry to reach a decision about who he will next play for.


Megan Rapinoe’s dad tells their hometown newspaper that she will play in Europe for Lyon before returning to play in the NWSL. The women’s soccer season ends in Europe on May 23, 2013, when the Champions League final will be played at Stamford Bridge. The NWSL is supposed to begin play sometime in April.


At ProSoccerTalk, Richard Farley thinks the grass versus turf debate, now in the news with the possible selection of Portland or Seattle as host sites for one of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, is a farce. “There was a time when an aversion to fake fields was natural, but we’ve evolved beyond that…FieldTurf isn’t perfect, but most natural pitches have problems, too.” Thoughts?

At Sporting News, Brian Straus list some of the highs and lows of the US national teams in 2012 and calls the Bradleys—Michael, now playing for Roma, and Bob, now coach of the Egyptian national team—America’s best soccer ambassadors.

At SI, Grant Wahl has some predictions for 2013, including “The U.S. men will have less trouble in the final round of World Cup qualifying than they had in the semifinal round.” May it be so and come to pass.


The Turkish football federation is considering a re-organization that this report says is modeled on the Premiership but also sounds something like MLS (minus promotion-relegation, of course).



  1. Yeah, I’m not sure I really understand the aversion to artificial grass. Now, I haven’t played on a nicely groomed, flat, natural grass field since college, so maybe I just don’t know what I’m missing, but compared to torn up, soggy, late-autumn fields, the turf in the Pacific Northwest seems perfectly usable to me. Sure, it plays a bit differently than grass, but one grass field plays differently than another, as well. Such is life. Now sliding on turf hurts more than grass, and that’s something to consider.

    • There are pros and cons for both, though one would think the fact that typically every MLS team plays at least 1 game on turf a year (New England, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland) that could give us an advantage with the higher number of MLS players making the MNT, but that being said I would still rather see WCQs played on natural grass as I just feel that’s how the game was “meant to be played.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *