Daily news roundups

Hack on Adu, Kleberson & Soumare, USMNT news, more

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Philadelphia Union

In Wednesday’s weekly press conference, John Hackworth confirmed that a deal is in the works to send Freddy Adu to Brazilian Club Bahia and that, as first reported by PSP, Bakary Soumare has asked for a transfer.

Confirming reports from Brazil we linked to on Monday, Hackworth said that the pending deal began with the Union’s interest in former Brazilian international Kleberson. “Kléberson was presented to us as a player before we had any discussions with Bahia about Freddy,” Hackworth said. “It was in Kléberson that we had initial interest and then it came back around to an opportunity to make this work where we could send Freddy to Bahia…It’s a complicated deal and ultimately, we’ll get Kléberson in here but will not get salary cap space.”

Noting that Adu was scheduled to fly to Brazil on Wednesday evening, Hackworth said, “The situation is that we do have a potential deal on the table for Freddy. That deal is not done right now. There are still some hurdles that have to be stepped over in order for that to be done. The reality is that we think that it’s a good situation for both Freddy and for the Union, and it could potentially bring us a very high profile player from Brazil.”

Saying that he anticipates the deal will be finalized “within the next couple of days,” the Union coach emphasized, “I don’t want to say anything that will lead you to believe that it’s done.”

Hackworth confirmed comments made by Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz in an interview with PSP that Freddy had received interest from abroad before the recent movement toward a deal with Bahia. “From Europe to Asia to Australia to South America to Mexico, there was interest in Freddy Adu. He’s the type of player and has the type of name that I think attracts that interest no matter what. Finding that situation that worked out for both parties has been much more difficult.

So why the interest in Kleberson? Hackworth explained:

I’ve always felt that one of our key goals in the offseason was to try to bring in a very established midfielder that we felt would add to the players that we already have. That didn’t happen in this offseason as you guys know. So I would say that we always continue to look for those opportunities. This is not driven because we feel that our midfield is not good enough right now. The fact is that I think we can get better, and I think the players in our midfield can get better. But when you get the opportunity to bring a player like Kleberson in who meets both the quality and the experience factor, it certainly that makes it much more interesting for us.

At Yanks Abroad, Brian Sciaretta reports, “‘Freddy Adu arrives in Salvador, Bahia’s capital, on Thursday,’ Bahia press officer Vitor Tamar told YA on Wednesday. ‘The player has to know the city and if approved medical examination, will sign a contract with Sporting Clube Bahia.'”

Regarding Bakary Soumare, the Union coach said that the central defender, currently on international duty with Mali, first asked for a transfer after the home opener against Kansas City.

After the game against Sporting Kansas City, Baky went to [CEO and operating partner] Nick Sakiewicz first and then myself and said that he would like to be traded because he wasn’t happy not being a starter. He said that he was in the prime of his career that’s what he came here to do and I absolutely respect him for saying those things and can understand where he’s coming from. But at the end of the day, it’s the coaches’ decision and the coaches’ decision was to play [defenders] Amobi [Okugo] and Jeff [Parke] in that game.

Hackworth candidly admitted Soumare’s request affected his decision not to start Soumare against Colorado. “It changes the coach’s mindset when you have a player that says, ‘Hey, I’m not happy. I want to be somewhere else.’ It certainly has a major affect.”

Hackworth praised Soumare’s professionalism and stressed his value to the team:

Coming into preseason, it was my thought that he would be a starting center back for us. I know that in reading some of the comments that he made in the press, maybe he didn’t feel that way. Whoever stepped into preseason had an opportunity to win a starting job. There’s certain guys who for sure maybe were starting guys on our depth chart, and Baky was one of those guys. And I still think he is going to be really important for us if he stays here because there are no guarantees.

Underscoring that the excellent play by Amobi Okugo has been the prime reason Soumare has not seen playing time, Hackworth explained, “That’s the clear thing I want to get across to you guys: the reason that Baky’s situation changed from when he arrived here to now is that Amobi Okugo’s been a revelation. We put him at center back, he was really good for us last year and he has continued that.”

“That doesn’t mean we want to lose Baky,” Hackworth continued. Pointing to Sheanon Williams and Chris Albright, Hackworth said, “We have options that we are comfortable with. It doesn’t mean we want to lose Baky but if he did leave, I’d feel comfortable that if something happened to Jeff [Parke] or Amobi, that we could deal with it properly.”

Hackworth said, “We’re hopeful we can find a resolution for both us and him. We value Baky. That’s the reason we brought him here. That’s the reason he’s still here. However it plays out over the next couple of weeks or days or months, we’ll have to see.”

Hackworth explained further,

I think what we need to do is make sure that we make a good decision for the Philadelphia Union and this organization, and this would include saying, ‘is this good for us in all ways?…I can’t tell you that it’s for money or for a trade or for a player. We would explore all those options, and have, to be very fair, for the last two weeks. It’s not like this is something new. It’s been going on. We’ve had some talks. We’re in a good position because we feel comfortable that Baky is still an important part of our team right now and will remain so until something happens.

More from the press conference from MLSsoccer.com (Adu), MLSsoccer.com (Soumare), Delco Times, CSN Philly (Adu), CSN Philly (Soumare), Philly Soccer News (Adu), Philly Soccer News (Soumare), Union Tally (Soumare), Union Tally (Kleberson), Soccer America, SBI, Goal.com, and a whole lot of tweets from The Goalkeeper.

Zolo Times writes that Freddy Adu still has the chance to write the last chapters of his career and contribute positively to American soccer.

With all of the recent player-related news, it’s easy to forget that the Union are playing Mexican club Pumas on Saturday in a friendly. Hackworth said,

What it does is allow us to keep in a rhythm week in and week out. It’s also allows us to take some pressure off our preparation for the game on Saturday…it’s an international friendly and it gives us the opportunity to stay in the same rhythm and gives guys an opportunity that haven’t had one a chance to shine…and I think you’ll see that on Saturday.

Hackworth also said “8-10” players who haven’t seen playing time could make appearances against Pumas. Cristhian Hernandez, one player who might see some time on Saturday, says of Pumas, “They’re one of the biggest clubs in Mexico if not the biggest and so it’s going to be a good test, especially for a lot of the guys who haven’t seen a lot of playing time…it’s going to be one of those games where we are going to prove to [coach John Hackworth] that we can play because we know Pumas is going to bring their ‘A’ game.”

Some 8,054 fans were on hand to see Pumas defeat Carolina RailHawks of the NASL 2-1 on Wednesday night.

Want to practice your French? Read this.

SBI has the Union at No. 7 in their latest power rankings.

The Kirkwood Soccer Club announced recently on their Facebook page that former Union coach Peter Nowak has joined the organization as Technical Adviser. The March 7 announcement says, “Peter will be working with all of our coaches…[and] will also run technical training sessions beginning on April 1st…The cost for eight sessions is $150..” April 1st, ay? For more information, click here.

Local

Harrisburg City Islanders fell 2-1 to St. Francis in their second preseason game of 2013. The match at Millersville University featured mostly trialists, but City Islanders veterans Tom Mellor, Yann Ekra, Tom Brandt, Colin Zizzi, and Phil Tuttle also saw minutes.

Here’s a look at how former Ocean City Nor’easters are faring in pro leagues.

MLS

Daniel Hernandez is suing FC Dallas for wrongful termination.

Former MLS player Juan Francisco Palencia has been named director of soccer for both Chivas Guadalajara and Chivas USA.

The Sounders David Estrada seems set to return to play from an ankle injury that has seen him out for ten months.

At ESPN, Doug McIntyre talks to Bruce Arena. Although the article begins with a discussion about MLS and LA Galaxy, you get the sense that he is not pleased with the direction of the national team.

Florida’s House Finance & Tax Subcommittee has voted to approve state sales’tax subsidies for the construction of a new stadium for Orlando City.

The editors of Howler and MLSsoccer.com have teamed up to release a new digital magazine for iPad covering North American soccer called Overlap.

US

Clint Dempsey has been named captain for the qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico. Guess he’s healthy enough to start then.

Regarding the Sporting News article we linked to on Wednesday suggesting that there is growing disenchantment within the USMNT toward Jurgen Klinsmann, Simon Borg writes that the article may say more about some US players than their coach.

While Michael Bradley has called the anonymous quotes in the story “shameful” and “embarrassing,” Hercules Gomez seems more amused by the whole affair, saying, “It’s funny because they’re making a bit of a hoopla right now out of it, and it’s almost, in a sense, ‘cute’, but if this was Mexico, this would be on ESPN all day…It’s about damn time you guys took some interest and started asking some tough questions. I think that shows us growing as a footballing nation, I really do.

At ESPN, Roger Bennett looks back at the lessons that can be learned and similarities from when the US defeated Costa Rica in 1989.

Goal.com has a “preview” of Friday’s game against Costa Rica. More from Union Dues. Here’s a view from Costa Rica’s perspective.

The Guardian looks at the history of MLS players who have come up big against Latin American and Caribbean foes when the USMNT has needed it most.

The New York Times has an excellent piece on what Landon Donovan’s absence has meant.

At the San Francisco Chronicle, Ann Killon writes, “By coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s tone when I asked about Donovan this week, I wonder if the ‘face of American soccer’ will ever play for his country again.”

At Forbes, Monte Burke says it is make-or-break time for Klinsmann.

At the New York Times, Tom McCabe looks at how US excellence in goalkeepers has a much longer history than you might think.

CONCACAF head Jeffrey Webb says that lingering resentment over Chuck Blazer’s whistle-blower role in the recent financial scandal involving disgraced former CONCACAF president and well known crook Jack Warner could cost US Soccer president Sunil Gulati the election for the spot vacated by Blazer on FIFA’s executive committee. “At the end of the day, it is human nature,” Webb said. “I think that would be unfair to Sunil. It’s possible but I would hope, and I would think, that our membership is much more mature and beyond that.”

Elsewhere

At the Guardian, Graham Parker has an in depth look at how NBC will be handling its MLS and Premier League coverage.

Are you a kit nerd like me? If so, click away.

20 Comments

  1. I can’t wait till our midfield is anchored by TWO aging 30 somethings with deteriorating skills and limited long terms usefulness!
    Especially when we have a possible future NT holding midfielder stuck playing CB!
    Especially when we have a former all MLS defender with height sitting on the bench, asking for a transfer!
    I’m so glad we have Hackworth here to fuck everything up!

    • The Black Hand says:

      Both Carroll and Kleberson are thirty-somethings. That is where the comparisons end. Kleberson would be a tremendous asset to our midfield, if Hackworth can manage him. High profile players tend to lack respect for inexperienced managers, who are in over their head. (OK I made that up.). If Kleberson comes to the club and is serious about playing here, then I think he will greatly benefit our club. However, this will be another player signing that further nullifies the need for Brian Carroll in the starting XI. If Hackworth intends to play the two, I see it failing. Too little playing space in the defensive midfield. They will be tripping all over themselves. It will be interesting to see what comes of this.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Though, I do agree with you James. None of this is done with the clubs future in mind.

    • Good lord even I’m not that negative.

      • my biggest concern with Kleberson is what kind of mentality is he going to bring into the locker room. Anyone know anything about his attitude or team relationships?

      • he won a fucking world cup

      • …over a decade ago.

      • @Osager. exactly a decade ago. and moving to a team filled with plenty of players who will probably never get a chance at a usmnt cap. I don’t think he’ll mesh. Play a season then want to head home.

      • played in the knockout stage of the last world cup … your pessimism is risible

  2. The Black Hand says:

    Who has been a better Union manager: Hackworth or Nowak?

    • Honestly Nowak. Even when Nowak was at his \ Syphilitic mad emperor worst. I could still see a team. Not just a collection of good field players and a collection of spare parts put into slots.

      • The Black Hand says:

        All signs, sadly, are pointing to you being right. So far, we are not a better club than we were under Nowak and I fear the next decision coming.

  3. Kleberson since WC 2002: Man U > Beşiktaş > Flamengo > Bahia.

    The downward trajectory suggests he’d play for one season with the Union, then head back to Brazil, where he’d make more $$$, enjoy a better lifestyle, and maximize his status as a bona fide celeb.

    If he signs, let’s hope he gives everything during his year with the U. A great Kleb could light up PPL. But, not for long.

    • Ok. So it’s an upgrade on Freddy on the roster and Keon on the field. No, he’s not Messi, but he’s going to be one of our best players immediately and will provide the link to the frontline that has been missing.

      Welcome to Philly Kleberson!

  4. Another great Roger Bennett ESPN article! Thanks for posting.

  5. The Black Hand says:

    Any news out of Brazil?

  6. Kleberson has to be better than Adu. That isnt the crisis. The crisis is that we have a coach that manages to alienate players rather than bring them in the fold. Torres and Soumare have not been given a fair shake and they will soon both be off and we are one injury from a disaster. We have no quality in depth and will scare away any potential talent.

  7. Ross A.,She has 8 brothers and sirtess, none use drugs, none have any special needs children in their family. Her extended family has no history either. It’s not DNA. She’s the only addict in the family and marijuana is her favorite drug (translates to cheap and the others are more expensive and habit forming.)The fathers (9) different sperm donors all don’t have a common mental illness history. So, we’re back to marijuana, front and center. She’s the middle child in her family group. It would have shown up earlier if it were DNA.Got a granddaughter whose mother was a topless dancer and drug addict (crack) and if she ever takes even one try at it will find herself addicted, AGAIN. I sat with her for hours trying to console her when the craving came as an infant. Infants don’t understand drug addiction very well. I agree with punk rocker. I have known several people who even years after quitting cold turkey still go the paranoia route. Lost a good friend who son used it once and while under it’s influence killed his dad with a screwdriver. So, you name what gave that many to ONE mother all the problems as she smoked heavily while they were inside her. They came addicted to the weed. I’ve yet to meet a single person who is a better individual for having used marijuana. People returning from California who have nothing medically wrong with them but an entire car full of the stuff and a prescription for it are nothing but potheads and are to be avoided. Got them here too. They’re always on the police blotters for doing something dumb but that’s me being judgmental, right? Nope.Nope, some things are to be avoided and for good reason. Thus far marijuana is the only commonality to explain 9 children with various mental impairments from paranoid schzio, to severe dpression to ashberger and beyond.I try not to be judgmental but some people in this life you need to avoid and that’s called making a judgement. Make a bad decision and pay for it. One of the biological sperm donors for several of our foster children wanted to get to know me. I checked it out and he was planned to blow us all away for stealing HIS children. He was part of what is known as MS13 which is a bunch of murderous thugs and worse. I put him BACK in jail for that stupidity and if he ever shows up here, I have a court order that I’ve informed the court will be enforced and severely by the men here. We won’t ask why he’s here.

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