Daily news roundups / Featured

Hoffman traded, previews, Mwanga traded, De Ro suspended, US U-20s, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

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Philadelphia Union

Tomorrow…

The Union announced on Friday morning that Chandler Hoffman has been traded to LA Galaxy for a conditional pick in the 2014 Super Draft.

Look for our match preview later today. In the meanwhile there are these previews from Delco Times and Goal.com (barely)

Goal.com predicts a draw, largely based upon the offseason changes in KC. WV Hooligan says the Union need to control the game from the start.

Don’t forget you can still purchase tickets for Saturday’s charity Stache Bash tailgate. Bearfight Brigade’s Jersha has the low down on all of the fun.

At the Daily News, John Smallwood says the Union must make the playoffs this season. “I’m not saying the Union should be challenging for the MLS Cup, but every fan who goes to PPL Park or watches this team on television should expect a playoff-worthy effort every game, starting with Saturday’s season opener against visiting Sporting Kansas City.”

The Inquirer has a season preview. The 700 Level takes a novel approach of looking at the current team through an archive of the author’s tweets from throughout the team’s history. Conclusion: “We’re plenty excited, a little more skeptical and a lot less forgiving. Your move, John Hackworth.”

At Philly.com, Jonathan Tannenwald says the Union “seems to be on the upswing.” He writes, “The team has yet to fully repair the damage wrought by former manager Peter Nowak, whose dismissal last summer proved to be the season’s defining storyline. But current manager John Hackworth has taken steps to make the Union better. The team is on a much more stable path, though its destination is not yet clear.”

At Goal.com, Keith Hickey says the 2013 Union are now Hackworth’s team. “The Union are attempting to blot out recent history and write their future with a reconstruction of the slightly older past and a win-now attitude. If it doesn’t work, Philadelphia edges closer to Toronto FC status as a well-supported but unsuccessful club. If it pays off, the Union have the potential to be one of the most difficult teams to play against.”

Sebastien Le Toux is one who believes the Union are on the right path.

I think we made a lot of good changes and obviously I was very excited to come back here. This is a club that made the playoffs two years ago. Last year was tough and everything went the wrong way. There were no breaks. I like the changes made for this season and I’m very excited about the potential of this club…I am here to provide scoring and help the club in that way. We talked about that. It’s not a secret. I think we made sweeping changes that will allow us to improve offensively. I’m excited to see the plan executed.

JP Dellacamera has some questions to think about as the season starts: Can Conor Casey remain injury free? Can Le Toux return to his scoring ways? Can Bakary Soumare return to the All-Star form he displayed with Chicago before heading to Europe? Can Zac MacMath shrug off the newbie label and continue to progress?

Amobi Okugo has been named to SBI’s Breakout Best XI. Former Union goalkeeper Brad Knighton is also on the list.

Quite a few fan-contributed starting lineups in this post at the Goalkeeper.

At SI, Avi Creditor has the Union at No. 14 in his preseason power rankings. Soccer America has the Union finishing the season at eighth in the East, as does a poll of the North American Soccer Reporters.

SB Nation DC United blog Black & Red United has an in-depth preview of the 2013 Union that concludes, “Ultimately, the Union will probably improve some from last year due to their young players growing up and finding more dependable finishers, but it’s not going to be enough to get into the playoffs.”

Phanatic Magazine has a season preview.

At Union Dues, Barry Evans dreams a dream then wakes up to a reality that is decidedly more mixed while Eugene Rupinski considers what to expect from the Union in 2013. It isn’t too much.

The bit about the Union in the Eastern Conference preview from the New York Times says nothing you haven’t heard before whether it concerns matters on or off the pitch.

The Freddy Adu Situation™ makes ESPN’s list of Top Ten MLS Storylines.

More praise for the new Union third kit from the Lehigh Valley. An article from WFMZ 69 includes video of a news story that features an interview with Dan Morrison, the man behind the indispensable Bethlehem Steel FC website. Two of his great uncles played for the club.

The Union will host Mexican club Pumas UNAM in a friendly on Saturday, March 23 at 5pm that is included in season ticket holders’ ticket plans. A pre-sale for season ticket holders who wish to purchase additional tickets and for group sales is open now through Monday at 9am. General sales will start at 10am on Monday.

MLS

Dwayne De Rosario has been suspended for the first two games of the season for the headbutt he delivered on Danny Cruz in last Saturday’s final preseason game in Orlando. United coach Ben Olsen said, “I would love to defend Dwayne or my players, but this one, I can’t necessarily do that.”

Portland Timbers have traded Danny Mwanga to Colorado in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. It’s Mwanga’s third team in four seasons.

The news comes as the Timbers announce the signing of former Portsmouth and West Ham forward Frédéric Piquionne.

Looks like the Obafemi Martins to Seattle deal is about to be completed.

Chris Seitz is still battling for the top goalkeeper spot in Dallas.

Brian Ching has signed a deal to be a player-coach with Houston Dynamo.

Galaxy big cheese Tim Leiweke played the tease when talking about the team’s recent roster moves. “I promise you, trust me, the best one’s coming.”

As the league begins its 18th season, Steven Goff looks at the emergence of a second generation of MLS players.

At the Guardian, Graham Parker has more on Don Garber’s Wednesday March to Soccer address and press conference.

EthioSports.com notes that MLS has 41 players of African descent  in 2013.

New kits in Portland.

US

The US faces Cuba tonight in the semifinals of the CONCACAF U-20 championship (6pm, FSC, Univision Deportes).

Several key players have left the U-20 team to return to their clubs including Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart) and captain Caleb Stanko (Freiburg). Starting goalkeeper Cody Cropper (Southampton) may leave before Sunday’s placement matches, which means we could see Union academy goalkeeper Zack Steffen between the posts.

The other semifinal game features El Salvador against Mexico.

Tom Dunmore has a great profile on Willy Roy, the German-born US national team player who between 1965-1973 scored more World Cup qualifying goals than any other USMNT team player in the twentieth century.

US-born players on the Mexico U-20 team? I know it hurts but fair is fair.

Thursday marked the 12th anniversary of the first of the “dos a cero” matches against Mexico. You can watch the full match here.

Elsewhere

Citing unforeseen construction delays, FIFA has pulled the 2014 U-17 Women’s World Cup from Costa Rica and is now looking for a new host, coughUSAcough.

Soccer America’s Paul Gardner on the problem with soccer by the numbers.

Manchester United fans have begun a Twitter campaign to raise money so the club can buy back Cristiano Ronaldo.

 

10 Comments

  1. Ben Olsen said that? Good for him.

    • Wouldn’t it be nice when a player gets a suspension like this if one of the games was against the team he committed the foul against? So DeRo would sit the first game of the season plus the first game against the Union.

  2. I’m not upset about Hoffman being traded. He wasn’t a factor last year, and I think he would have been a Harrisburg candidate this year. Yes, Nowak is crazy and played him out of position, but he’s way too timid in my opinion (similar to Mwanga). He may have the talent, but the “deer in headlights” approach will have him in NASL quickly. It’s unfortunate, but many Superdraft forwards have struggled so it’s not necessarily uncommon. Hopefully, learning from one of the best in Keane will be good for his development.

    • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

      Yeah, having Keane to teach him will be excellent. Wish him all the best. Still, I struggle at the suggestion that people are willing to write him off after playing 204 minutes. Kid did score 4 in the reserves, tallied against Schalke and notched one in the preseason. He can score. Getting injured last year really ruined his rookie season.

      • It is tough based on little time on the field, but Hoppenot’s success has made it more difficult to make excuses for Hoffman. I know they have different styles, but carpe diem and what not.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        The Union love their little hard workers. Hoffman’s upside is just soo much higher. The point of GA is to develop players. Why discard a FREE PLAYER with that much talent?

      • Based on Hoffman’s tweet thanking his agent, maybe he pushed for the move?

      • Watch him become a regular somewhere else and score couple against us. Can see it happen, like Pajoy.

  3. Philly Cheese says:

    There was a lot of talent in Hoffman, that I am sure the LA Galaxy have been watching since the time he trained with them extensively while at UCLA. Chandler will put himself regularly in positions to score, but was not the “defensive” forward that Hackworth wants all of his forwards to develop. If Le Toux and Casey continue with inability to put ball in net and Union are averaging less than a goal a game in June and Hoffman already has four goals by then……Hackworth will be disappointed.or replace by another coach.

  4. You can’t teach that unwritten, x-factor that goal scorers possess. Chandler has it. Wouldn’t be surprised in the least to see him become a top MLS goalscorer in 3-5 years.

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