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Union: Valdes not given permission to train with Santa Fe; Garber on Blatter, more

Photo: Barb Colligon

Philadelphia Union

On Tuesday, a Union spokesperson told PSP, “We have not given permission for Carlos to train with Santa Fe or any other club in the offseason. We also have yet to be contacted by any club regarding a loan for Carlos.”

Later on Tuesday, Kerith Gabriel wrote in the latest Daily Doop,

“We can’t get into great detail, in part because we are not allowed to, but I can tell you that the reports surrounding captain Carlos Valdes and his desire to train with Colombian club Independiente Santa Fe are one-sided.  While it’s been written that Valdes expressed interest in joining Santa Fe this offseason, the stance of the Union technical staff is firm that the MLS All-Star does not have permission. Reports allege that Valdes is waiting on league approval, but that approval would only come after the blessing of Valdes’ parent club (that being us).

“And to the knowledge of the technical staff, philadelphiaunion.com was told that no one from Santa Fe has contacted any of our four coaches seeking approval.”

So, will the Valdes rumors end? I doubt it. You will recall that reports out of Colombia suggest that Carlos Valdes will begin training with Santa Fe today. This report from terra.cl, which repeats the claim that the Colombian club is awaiting approval from MLS for a loan deal for Valdes, says that players are undergoing physicals this week with training scheduled to begin next week. (Crappy Google translation here.)

Gabriel also says in the Daily Doop that, according to MLS, the 2013 schedule should be released “mid-January.” The hold-up is due to national broadcasters deciding what games they want to air.

In another post, Gabriel has some thoughts to ponder looking ahead to the 2013 season. The biggest on the list are how the Union’s striker formation will play out and how to make sure Amobi Okugo sees minutes back in the holding midfield role. Also of note is the suggestion that the Union’s offseason personnel moves—be they to “strengthen the roster, bring in trade bait or provide an opportunity to pick up some more ‘allocation money’”—are far from being done.

Kevin Kinkead rounds up some of the best quotes of 2012 (and kudos to him for leaving the Nick Sakiewicz quote from the Nowak termination press conference about wine off the list – never liked that quote). Sheanon Williams is the source of two great quotes, one that takes a swipe at Lionard Pajoy after he scored for DC United against the Union (“He didn’t do that for us, did he? No. That’s how it goes. We can’t finish and they can, that’s the difference from where we’re at and where they are.”) and one that praises Raymon Gaddis after his magnificent outing in the 3–1 win over Houston (“Ray was roasting people, huh?”).

At Sporting News, Brian Straus lists American soccer personages who need to come up big in 2013 and on the list is Freddy Adu. Noting that Adu has done little to justify his salary, Straus writes, “Adu’s first full season with the Philadelphia Union was another frustrating exercise for a player continuing to chase his potential. Flashes of brilliance were followed by ineffectiveness and occasional indifference…There’s no doubt Adu has the technical skill required to succeed. Everyone is still wondering whether he possesses the intangibles. There are no more excuses.” Yep.

Happy birthday to Danny Cruz.


MLS commissioner Don Garber says he is “surprised” by the recent comments by FIFA president Sepp Blatter that the league is “struggling.” Garber said, “I know he’s aware of the progress being made,” adding, “I look forward to inviting the [FIFA] president to an MLS game, and I’m sure when he does attend he’ll be very pleasantly surprised.”

Garber says he will invite Blatter to attend any of the nine matches of First Kick weekend on March 2-3. “If he were to come to a game—whether it be in Seattle, Portland, Toronto, LA, Philadelphia, New York or any of our MLS markets—I think he would be very pleasantly surprised to see the passion that exists in our fan base and the high level of soccer IQ that exists in our fan base.” Please let it be Philly.

More from Garber on Blatter’s comments from SI, New York Times, Washington Post, and Seattle Times.

At ProSoccerTalk, Richard Farley praises Garber’s measured response to the latest Blatter blather.

RSL Perspective looks at how Blatter might be justified in his comments by comparing MLS revenue with the numbers from professional American football, baseball, basketball, and hockey.

MLS Talk says when it comes to the struggles the league may have “most of the blame should fall to the mainstream sports media.”

Have New York Red Bulls offered Roy McAllister the head coaching job? Apparently not.

New England Revolution announced on Thursday morning that they have signed signed Portuguese central defender Jose Goncalves on loan with an option to buy his rights from Switzerland’s FC Sion.

Roma defeated Orlando City 5–0 in a friendly on Wednesday. Why the match was played at the 500-seat Barker Family Stadium at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL rather than a larger venue is as good a question as any.


2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the US Soccer Federation and the governing body is running a “100 Moments” series on its website to commemorate the event. The first article looks back to the first Soccer Bowl in 1950, which saw University of San Francisco and Penn State play to a 2–2 draw.

Another centennial series called “Hidden Caps” looks at players who made just one appearance for the US national team. The series kicks off with Bruce Arena, who played 45 minutes in a 2–0 loss to Israel in 1973. (Arena, a goalkeeper, was backing up Bob Rigby.) Arena says, “Our preparation for that game was sitting in the hotel lobby and drinking scotch.”

The US men’s U-20 team will hold a camp in Puebla, Mexico Jan. 14-22 ahead of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship, Feb. 18-March 3. The team will play Panama twice during the camp.


Kevin Prince Boateng stopped a friendly on Thursday between AC Milan and Italian fourth division side Pro Patria when he walked off the pitch after being racially abused from the stands. His teammates and the opposing team joined Boateng in walking off the pitch.

At the Guardian, Jonathan Wilson looks at the ongoing match-fixing scandal in South Africa as the country prepares to host the Africa Cup of Nations.



  1. James "4-3-3" Forever says:

    And though he’ll have to battle Michael Lahoud for that spot, it’s where Okugo feels most comfortable.
    Haha. That’s be less of a battle, and more of a one second decision by Hackworth.

  2. Although I doubt Blatter will come to Philly, I’d love to “welcome” him here. Hopefully he doesn’t go to NY and see 5,000 people watching in an empty stadium. I think Portland, Philly or even Toronto would give the best view of MLS – smaller stadiums filled to capacity with a great atmosphere and smart fans – but Seattle would obviously make the league as a whole look the best (while also maybe setting unrealistic expectations for the rest of the league). The only MLS game he has ever been to was the 1996 All-Star game. That’s like seeing a new-born baby but the next time you see them they’re picking you up from the airport 17 years later.

    • … and then complaining that the 17-year-old is not as well-known as the President.

    • Blatter should go to Colorado in early February to deal with the elements, then immediately fly to New England. Thus he’ll figure out why administering a league in the US is much different than in Europe due to a) winter weather conditions and b) time zone travel. What would attendance/ticket sales be in New England for an early Feb match? Its too damn cold.
      Then he’ll have to deal with the jet lag too.
      The only way the MLS could alighn with the international calendar is to take a 2 month hiatus from late Dec to late Feb. That leaves 6-7 months (24-28 weeks) to play matches and deal with lost matchdays due to international competition.

    • Sean Doyle says:

      I do hope Sepp comes here, he deserves a proper Philadelphia greeting.

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