Daily news roundups / Featured

Torres is driven, Casey settling in, Rigby out, Beckham to PSG, WC poster, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

At Delco TImes, Matt De George looks at the, by all accounts, very positive beginning to Roger Torres’ 2013 season. Torres, who suffered a knee injury early in 2012 that, along with Peter Nowak’s exit, meant that he struggled to find playing time, says, “I want to forget everything about (last season). I’m in good health now. I’m practicing hard to get a chance to play for this team, and I’m going to do everything to get that opportunity.”

Jonathan Tannenwald talks to Conor Casey about how he’s settling in with the team (“Exciting, enthusiastic…very good energy here…It’s been very professional…[John Hackworth] is extremely organized, and everyone just seems really happy about the situation here in general.”) and the city (“It’s an awesome city – I didn’t realize how big it was.”).

Tannenwald asks Casey about playing 4-4-3- versus 4-4-2. Casey says, “I’ve played both formations, so it’s really irrelevant to me. I think it’s more important how we go about actually performing on the field in those formations. So I don’t think anything is set in stone, but it will be good to have some flexibility. We have a lot of options, so it’s positive for us.”

In case you missed it, we reported yesterday that Bob Rigby will not be returning as color commentator for Union broadcasts this season. An announcement on the 2013 broadcast team is expected next week. Being the Union color guy is getting to be like being named team captain.

Transfer rumors can be fun. They can also be ridiculous. Or should I say Borgian?


The BBC is reporting that David Beckham is in Paris to sign with Paris Saint-Germain. No wonder he’s been training with Arsenal, he’s been practicing his French.

DC United Homegrown Player Andy Najar has signed what is understood to be a 3-and-a-half year deal with Belgian champions Anderlecht.

Sporting Kansas City’s Kai Kamara has gone on loan to Premiership side Norwich City. Norwich has the option to buy at the conclusion of the loan on May 6.

Toronto have traded the diminutive Ecuadorian forward Joao Plata to Real Salt Lake in exchange for a second round pick in the 2015 SuperDraft.

In an effort aimed at making the state more attractive as the home of a new MLS franchise, a bill has been filed with the Florida legislature that would make up to two MLS teams eligible for a monthly state subsidy of $166,667. The subsidy is already available to Florida-based NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL teams.

Houston Dynamo have inked a deal with CSN Houston to broadcast their games.


Washington Spirit have released an updated logo. Good for them.

At ASN, Maura Gladys looks at what might be a growing trend for US women players to play abroad.


Right then, who’s ready for some context after Tuesday night’s lackluster USA v Canada match? Sporting News, SBI (1), (2) and MLS Talk look for some bright spots while ASN has an tactical examination of the game that concludes,

“Despite what Twitter would have you think, last night’s game was far from disastrous, and it was anything but a blemish on Klinsmann’s recent record…It was a tryout. Not to mention, it was a tryout in which both teams were in preseason form. In any tryout, only a couple of players are going to stand out…In the end, if just one player on the field against Canada ends up on the Brazil 2014 squad, it will have all been worth it. In the larger picture, the game and result on Tuesday mean next to nothing.

There, feel better?

Jurgen Klinsmann stressed after that game that his evaluation of who might be selected for the World Cup qualifying squad that meets Honduras next week will be based upon the whole of the January Camp, not just Tuesday night’s game. Nevertheless, at Goal.com, Kyle McCarthy unsurprisingly says, “The identity of those players remains somewhat uncertain even at this late stage.”

At SI, Grant Wahl has more on what went on in the Dutch Cup match in which Jozy Altidore was subjected to racial abuse. Of particular note is the conversation during the match between Altidore and the ref, who deserve to be commended.

FC Den Bosch has apologized to Altidore and promises to do “everything in its power to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

ESPN announced that it will have English-language broadcasts of 20 Mexican national team games, including all of their home World Cup qualifiers and international friendlies leading up to the Confederations Cup in June (Univision Deportes has the Spanish language broadcasts). The good news for USMNT fans is that the deal means the March 26 qualifier at the Azteca will be widely available in English. It will be interesting to see how the ratings of Mexican team broadcasts compare with those of the US.

By the way, the Mexico “B” team drew 1-1 with Denmark on Wednesday evening.

Reports out of Belgium say the US will play Belgium in a friendly on May 29 in Cleveland. Earlier reports said the US would play Germany on that date.

Amy Rodriguez, expecting her first child in August, has been replaced on the roster for the upcoming USWNT camp by Zakiya Bywaters, the first pick in the recent NWSL Draft.

Brazil 2014 World Cup posterElsewhere

FIFA has released the 2014 World Cup poster. Marta Suplicy, Brazilian Minister of Culture, says of the poster, “It’s different, Brazilian, creative and daring. It has our boundless size and manages to capture our rhythm and colors. Let’s go for victory!”

For a look at the official posters for each host city, click here.

Sticking with Brazil, eight fans were injured when a fence collapsed during an “avalanche” celebration when Grêmio scored against Ecuadorean side Liga de Quito in a Libertadores Cup match on Wednesday. None of the injuries were serious. The Guardian reports, “The incident happened at the recently completed Arena do Grêmio, which is not among the venues for this year’s Confederations Cup or next year’s World Cup in Brazil.”

The AP reports that New York-based investment firm BlackRock has purchased an 8.21 percent stake in Manchester United.

If you care about match-fixing, read this fascinating article.



  1. How would this midfield in a 4-3-3 look?
    Marfan – Torres – Okugo.
    Torres can be the pure creator, Marfan has enough work rate to help on defense if needed, and Okugo can be a Michael Bradley type destroyer.

    • Slow, narrow and completely ignores Carroll’s automatic selection.
      I suspect we will defensively line up in a 4-4-2 which morphs to a 4-3-3 while on offense or on counter so the key will be identifying who will be that mid/forward player.

      • Slow I can handle when that midfield has the vision, passing ability and presence on the ball that those 3 have.
        Narrow, sure, because I would ask my two outside forwards to provide the width as well as Gabe and Sheanon.
        And Carroll – yeah, I know. That goes without saying and I understand making him the captain. I just think it may not have been the best choice – Okugo can do just as much defensively as Carrol and is twice the offensive player he is as well.

      • It will be a 4-3-3 in name certainly, but JediLos is probably correct that it will have elements of a 4-4-2. The ideal for hack would probably look something like this:

        Jack – Conor – Seba
        Garfan – Parke – Baky – Sheanon

        Seba will definitely be responsible for dropping into the midfield for linking play while technically being listed as a forward. Garfan and Sheanon are wingbacks, end-to-end guys, providing width. Okugo is your box to box mid ala Michael Bradley. I would imagine that Marfan will have a bit of freedom to move and create, popping up in dangerous spots on the outside at times. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Jack and Seba switch sides from time to time. This could change the dynamic of the attack.

      • It’ll be farfan-Okugo-Carroll with le2 tracking back from the looks of it. Although I would love to see 1 DM but hack seems to like it

  2. The Black Hand says:

    YES!!! Torres is driven…again.

  3. Beckham is giving all his salary to a Paris Charity; class act!!!

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