Daily news roundups

Hack on Kleberson and Gilberto, Sakiewicz says team prioritizing development over DPs, more

Photo: Michael Long

Philadelphia Union

John Hackworth said Raymon Gaddis, still recovering from the ankle injury that saw him leave after the first half in last week’s loss to Chicago, is unlikely to play against DC. “As it stands right now, Fabinho is slotted in to that position.”

Kevin Kinkead notes there have been many changes at DC since the Union defeated them in April. Hackworth said, “I think D.C., it’s similar to what we did last year, to be fair. At least from an outsider’s perspective they look like they’ve made the the decision to try to invest in the future and build on some young Americans. I think that’s great. I think more teams in the league should be doing it. I’m proud of the fact that I think we’ve done a good job of that over the last year. Certainly there’s a lot of motivation for those young Americans to really step up given that opportunity. You see how our guys in our locker room have done it and now I think you’re seeing a little bit of how D.C. is at least reaping the rewards of some of that same philosophy.”

Here’s PSP’s preview as well as our preview in The Guardian. More previews from Philadelphia Union.com (video), The Philadelphia Inquirer, Union Dues, ProSoccerTalk, and Goal.com.

Goal.com predicts a Union win.

So, what’s up with Kleberson? If he’s healthy, why isn’t the $450,000 man playing? Hackworth said, “(Our coaching staff) just hasn’t felt there’s been the right opportunity for him. To his credit, he continues to work really hard in training, he’s 100 percent healthy, and I think he’s being patient and waiting for his chance…Kleberson is a big name and I know there’s a lot of people that have this huge expectation for him. But he was brought here for a reason, he’s done everything we’ve asked, and when he gives us that opportunity to put him in the team, I’m quite confident he’ll be ready for it.”

The international transfer window for MLS closed yesterday. John Hackworth said he’s happy with the Union’s summer acquisitions. “You look at the three guys we brought in, and we feel really good about those guys. Oka’s been really good, Fabinho’s contributed already. And we have Gilberto who we’re very happy with and felt like it was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up…Right now, we’re pretty set on our roster and feel comfortable with the guys we have in our locker room.”

Hackworth described Gilberto, who hasn’t played in several months, as a long-term prospect rather than an immediate contributor. “We’re going to give Gilberto time to acclimatize in all ways to our club, to our program. We don’t feel like we’re in a desperate situation at all. We don’t feel like we need immediate help, and therefore I think that gives us a little bit more time to be patient with Gilberto and allow him to come to our club.”

Brian Carroll said of the Union’s latest signing, “He’s good at holding and moving the ball from side to side, and hopefully as he gets more comfortable with his teammates and his fitness level, he’s able to incorporate some of that forward momentum and forward thinking that can help this club out…He’s kind of that taller, lean, strong kind of guy. The longer he’s with us, the better he’ll get, and hopefully the sooner the better.”

In an article at CSN Philly that is largely about the news of Clint Dempsey’s return to MLS and the league’s expansion plans, Nick Sakiewicz tells Dave Zeitlin that signing players to big contracts isn’t the club’s first priority. Rather, Sakiewicz says the Union are investing in the long-term project of player development. “We’re a club that’s spending millions of dollars in our academy, in the launch of our school. We’re investing heavily into this region’s youth, with the desire that our investments are going to produce multiple Clint Dempseys down the road.”

Michael Lahoud says the challenge of his recovery from a sports hernia was primarily mental, “Just being patient because you couldn’t do anything with an injury like this until your body says it’s ready. Now that I’m back, I’m not trying and play hero and to pace myself. I think it was tough because I wanted to be out there and be part of it.

Lahoud explained the key was staying involved, even if he couldn’t play. “For me, one of the biggest things was even though I wasn’t able to be part of the wins on the field, I was still part of the team, staying engaged, keeping in contact with players. I was talking to players during games, taking to players in the locker room, pointing out things at halftime. I was staying involved, which was so important. It gave me a lot of perspective.”

US Soccer Players notes that four Union players—Zac MacMath, Amobi Okugo, Brian Carroll, and Raymon Gaddis—are in the league’s top ten for minutes played. “While attention has gone to the play of US National Teamer Jack McInerny, Sebastien Le Toux (leads the league in assists), and others, Philadelphia’s success comes from Hackworth being able to write those four names on the team sheet every game.”

In case you missed it (I did), Sheanon Williams came it at 16th, Amobi Okugo at 17th, and Sebastien Le Toux at 18th in the latest Castrol Index Weekly Top 20. In the Full Index, the top five Union players are Jack McInerney (No. 2), Conor Casey (No. 22), Sebastien Le Toux, (No. 41), Amobi Okugo (No. 46), and Zac MacMath (No. 60).


Harrisburg City Islanders host Tampa Bay on Saturday in their last home game of the regular season (7 pm, USL Live).

Brian Palmer at The Drexel Triangle writes Lincoln Financial Field would be an idea location to host games when the Guinness International Champions Cup returns next year.


For those concerned that Clint Dempsey will be insufficiently challenged in MLS, Tim Howard says, “Clint’s not a little boy, he’s a seasoned veteran. He knows what he needs and what it takes to perform at the highest level. So there’s no question that I think Seattle and MLS can offer him that.”

The Vancouver Whitecaps have loaned Reading, Pa.-native Corey Hertzog to FC Edmonton for the remainder of the NASL fall season.

The New York Red Bulls have signed 29-year-old Australian international defender/midfielder David Carney.

The Washington Post reports that DC United will trade the rights to Charlie Davies to the New England Revolution. SBI reports that New England have signed a six-month loan deal for Davies with Danish club Randers.

Colorado Rapids have signed 24-year-old Panamanian striker Gabriel Torres as the clubs first ever first Designated Player.

Yanks Abroad looks at the league’s complicated salary structure and how low wages for promising young players means makes it difficult for MLS teams to compete against the higher wages offered by other leagues.

At Goal.com, Keith Hickey looks at the MLS hopes of Orlando and Sacramento and the risks expansion into to such comparatively small markets poses to the league’s own aspirations.

The fate of the latest plans for a new DC United stadium could hinge on a salvage yard that doesn’t want to move and has yet to be contacted directly by the city. DC Mayor Vincent Gray says the city could use eminent domain to claim the land if an agreement can’t be reached with the employee-owned salvage yard. More on the story from the Washington Post.

Needless to say, the Cato Institute doesn’t like the idea. “It’s one thing to argue that the Founders intended to give the government the power to take private property ‘for public use,’ such as a military installation, a road, or a school. But for a corporate office park? Or a soccer stadium? The Founders cannot have intended this perverse result.”

The mayors of Orlando and Orange county have reached an agreement on public funding for a new $85 million stadium in Orlando. The Orlando Sentinel reports, “City and county staff still will have to work out details of the plan during the next several weeks…before it’s brought to both sets of commissioners for review, public hearings and final votes.”

At Fox Soccer, Leander Schaerlaeckens writes that the Cosmos will strengthen soccer in the US. “They alerted America to the existence of pro soccer on its own shores at the end of 1970s and they could help move the domestic game forward now, too.”


The injury Alex Morgan suffered in Portland’s 2-1 loss to Boston on Wednesday has been determined to be only a mild MCL strain. The forward is expected to miss 2-4 weeks.

The Goalkeeper checks in with Lauren Holiday, née Cheyney.


While US Soccer isn’t supposed to release the roster for next Wednesday’s friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina until Monday, Grant Wahl reports at SI that Clint Dempsey has been left off of the roster.

Tim Howard says of Jozy Altidore, “[H]eading into the World Cup, he’s our moneymaker, he’s the guy we have to ride all the way.”

Howard is also excited at the prospect of Landon Donovan being a part of the USMNT’s World Cup qualifying campaign. “Trust me, if [Donovan] lines up on the other side to say, maybe Clint Dempsey or maybe another winger, teams are going to be fearful. And they’re not going to want to see him. It’s definitely a big plus for us.”

Alejandro Bedoya has signed a three year deal with newly promoted Ligue 1 side Nantes.


NBC has announced its channel assignments for the first three weeks of the Premier League season.



  1. Verb tense is so important –
    “Sakiewicz says the Union are investing in the long-term project of player development. “We’re a club that’s spending millions of dollars in our academy,”
    – Has that happened? I’ve heard they have plans. I know they hired Tommy Wilson from Rangers to run it. I know they have some stuff at YSC, but where did that investment go in Sak’s comment?

    “Oka’s been really good,” – um, where? That friendly?

    This was my favorite -“Kleberson is a big name and I know there’s a lot of people that have this huge expectation for him. But he was brought here for a reason, he’s done everything we’ve asked, and when he gives us that opportunity to put him in the team” – translation “Kleberson is a big name and I know there’s a lot of people that have this huge expectation for him to you know, play. But he was brought here for a reason, to be the counter balance to shipping out the Adu contract, and he’s been awesome at that. Our accountant loves the guy. But yeah, no, he’s not gonna play, that would be silly. Keon would have to sit and there’s no way I’d bench a Trinidadian for a Brazilian. Tosser.”

    • You’re viewing Hack’s comments about Oka through too narrow a lens. You’re looking only at Oka’s (lack of) on-field performance. He clearly wasn’t brought here to play, though. He was brought here to be a de facto goalkeeper coach to MacMath. And Zac’s game has improved – whether that’s on his own or because of some tips from Oka is unknown to us.
      Totally agree about the academy. I’d love to see more info about what they’ve spent there, even if it’s in overview and broad terms.

      • From what I understand besides YSC they have begun construction on a residential and school facillity not too far from YSC. Beyond coaching staff which they have a number of they are slowly starting to pull players from the club team in the area to focus on the union.

    • Listening to Hack and Sack spout the drivel that they do makes me angry. I’m all for development of young local talent. I’m also for winning games and being an actual contender for silverware. If they want to develop talent down the road that’s cool. Just don’t expect PPL park to be full while you throw crap lineups out on the pitch until the cheap talent down the road arrives…

      • The team is only in its 4th year, and while I agree with you that it is time to start winning and stop re-tooling the team every year, I’d rather have them invest in the academy now while the franchise is still new(ish) then wait for the team to hit rock bottom, then slowly initiate a a 3 or 4 year rebuilding program. The playoffs in 2011 was, to be fair, probably ahead of schedule, and 2012 was 2 giant steps backwards. I think we’re back on track this year, but hopefully within the next 2 or 3 years the fruits of the academy will produce some long-term talent to start building sustainability.

    • Couple of thoughts and replies –
      “The U are only in X year…”, man I bet RBNY supporters say this too. Nothing wrong with demanding excellence. If 2011 proved anything, it’s that MLS’ parity party means you’re never that far from making a run (unless you’re Chivas or TFC), so why wait? The buy vs. build argument is a false one. Do both.

      @John – I think the lens argument is false too. Per Hack’s statement, he brought in a player. So yes, while the blogosphere has promoted the narrative OK Oka’s a coach against the cap, the manager refers to him as a player. And as a player he’s been invisible, save for some Potters target practice. Also, why are we not talking about the U’s use of limited roster space for what should be a salaried staff role? Pre-Adu FedEx’d to points south, there was a lot of kerfluffle re: we’re up against the cap, limited space,blah blah. How does putting a second string keeper koach on the roster help that?

      Ok, not a rant more curious to the prevailing POV’s here – your thoughts on the very nebulous line that the U’s “press corps” play and pass through? Zeitlin writes for MLS and CSN, so in effect acting as PR and I guess a journalist. Same with “Union Kevin”. Do they ask questions at all, much less tough ones? The U muddied the waters by bringing Gabriel in house and taking away his typewriter. The PSP guys put together a quality blog. Just wondering if we think there is a hole in the coverage of the team to ask the questions the comments seem to fill up with –
      1)What do you see that the fans don’t on why Cruz/Keon start?
      2)Why not just sell Torres since you’ve eliminated what value he had, after spending all the allocation $ from the LeToux sale to finalize his deal?
      3)Obviously Kleberson isn’t part of your plans beyond the end of this season, but why not make a run with his passing ability to steal a few wins in the playoffs?
      4)Do you know of other teams in MLS who choose to not have any CB depth?
      5)Will there be more development of the Bundesliga ties (Herdling in, Pfeffer there), or did that evaporate when Pistol Piotr left?
      6)Funding an academy now means you wont get talent (if ever) on the field for quite a few years. What is your mid-term strategy for talent acquisition? Are the three you brought in concrete examples of what the fanbase can expect (a bench keeper, a LB that the A League didnt want, and a Brazilian who last played in the pub level in some Sao Paulo tourney)? Do you have a revenue goal for shirts sold with that strategy?
      7)Why is Scott so goddamn cranky about his team?
      8)Chicago, NE and DC all improved in this window, do you think you can hold them at bay, even though they all have games in hand on you?

      You know, questions and shit.

      • Kevin Kinkead / philadelphia union says:

        Let’s be careful before we start making generalizations about the writers that cover the team.

        I work under obvious restrictions because I’m paid to write for the team website. I’ve tried to provide useful content over the years despite those restrictions. Anyone who knows me personally or anyone who has listened to me on the radio knows I’m certainly not a homer.

        I’ve tried to focus more on the tactical/strategic side of the game since I joined the team, because that’s my strong suit. I don’t really get into the speculative stuff. I try to be as objective as the situation allows, but obviously I’m not going to come out and say “Player X sucks and he needs to go”.

        If you want better media coverage, then you have to call the Inquirer, Daily News, philly.com, CSN, etc, and tell them they should pay writers to cover the team.

        Every single person who covers the Union does so on their own time and their own money. There are no full-time Union beat reporter jobs in Philadelphia. Everyone is either underpaid on part time wages, or not paid at all (the bloggers). We all have primary jobs that pay the bills, and that’s how it goes until the major local outlets make a change.

        -Kevin K

      • Kevin, thanks for the reply. My question wasn’t “Do they not have any balls?” and more so “since the writers work for the team is there a lack of journalistic separation between straight PR and journalism?”. I’m sure being the in house blogger for an MLS team is not the lucrative role that many may at first blush take it for. I’m also reading into your response the answer to my question, which is that there is room for improvement in the media coverage. As a member of that media contingent, that carries more weight than me saying it. Thanks for joining the conversation.

      • Kevin Kinkead / philadelphia union says:

        It’s all good man.

        I mean, there’s an obvious line that needs to be walked for everyone who covers the team.

        Take Zeitlin for instance. Dave needs to write sidebar stories and post game stories while at the same time turning the occasional sit down feature for MLSsoccer.com. He’s always around the players and communications staff, so you need to have a positive relationship with those people. They almost become your co-workers.

        We could all push Hack a little more on these topics, but we have to do so under obvious editorial interests, you know? It’s the same for Ryan Bright, Matt DeGeorge, and that crew.

        I don’t think of it as “PR” necessarily. More than anything, the technical just wants myself, Kerith, and Andy to be fair to the players and not put anyone on the spot. Nothing personal, no cheap shots or things like that. I’ll try to highlight the positive (Okugo’s recent play) and negative (Fernandes sub last week)at the same time.

        I think you have to look at Kessler’s situation as well, where he pushed so hard that he found himself on the outside looking in. He can’t get a credential because he’s damaged his relationship with the front office.

        (Scott is a friend of mine, btw)

        I can say for certain that I would ask the harder questions if I covered the team for a different outlet. But I wouldn’t call out Hack or be an asshole about it, because I have to have a functioning professional relationship with him to get information that the fans are looking for.

        I think the main thing though, is that Philly fans aren’t stupid. They know when they’re being fed bullshit, and so I try to walk the line as much as possible in being fair without disrespecting the people who gave me a good opportunity. I grew up as a Philadelphia fan, so I know what it’s like.

      • Kevin, I appreciate you coming in here and talking about this and I think you are doing a good job of describing the reality of the situation, especially with regards to Kessler. Its easy for fans to be upset about “hard questions” not being asked but we can only ask for that if we are ready to provide vocal support for journalists who go down that road and end up being punished for it.

      • Hackworth and Sakiewicz are going to destroy pro soccer in Philadelphia. Their philosophy and approach to running this organization is reprehensible. This is not what so many hours,days,months and years were spent writing and petitioning to have an MLS team in Philadelphia for.

  2. I agree that using eminent domain to get land for a privately owned soccer stadium is ridiculous and shitty but it always makes me laugh when people talk about the Founders (make sure it has a capital ‘f’) and their intentions as if they were religious prophets or something

  3. Some thoughts on the connected issues of eminent domain, courtesy of the US Supreme Court- It seems that the stadium proponents have solid ground to stand on when it comes to precedent:

  4. As a West Bromwich Albion fan I shocked and disappointed the NBC has left the Baggies off the major TV, Consigning
    their games to extra time while The likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City are continually given a valuble national audience.

    Are we to believe fans Stoke than the mighty Albion?

    For shame NBC, For shame.

    The only West Bromwich Albion fan in Philadelphia

    • Well Sieve, I going to give you the benefit of the doubt that since you are on this site you are a Union fan as well as a West Brom fan. Good on you. So NBC only showing the likes of Chelsea, Man United, Arsenal et. al. only fuels the Eurosnobs or EPL snobs contention that EPL is so much better than MLS. I always like to remind them to watch the bottom the table now and then. I saw a game a couple of years ago between Stoke City (or maybe Sunderland) and Newcastle (Newcastle’s first game after being promoted back to the Premiership). It was the most dire example of soccer I’ve seen since …..well….whenever Chivas plays Toronto. but seriously, no one could watch that game and say this is better than anything you can see in MLS

      • Matches among the top four (or is it three? five?) English clubs are often quite good. If I were in charge of programming, I think that yes, I’d favor those matches for my US Network. Also true: MLS has improved so dramatically over ten years that it’s hard to describe to someone who doesn’t watch it at all. Bad games can happen in any competition. The last world cup final was shit.

      • Or try to sit through a Championship side match, I saw some Blackpool ones last year that made me question being a soccer fan in the first place.

  5. The Real Brian says:

    “We’re going to give Gilberto time to acclimatize in all ways to our club, to our program.”–That means he will never see the field. I have learned Hackworthisms over the last few months. I will translate his statements.
    “(Our coaching staff) just hasn’t felt there’s been the right opportunity for him. To his credit, he continues to work really hard in training, he’s 100 percent healthy, and I think he’s being patient and waiting for his chance…Kleberson is a big name and I know there’s a lot of people that have this huge expectation for him. But he was brought here for a reason, he’s done everything we’ve asked, and when he gives us that opportunity to put him in the team, I’m quite confident he’ll be ready for it.”—Translation: There is no way we will play him because he would instantly make Keon Daniel, Brian Carroll and especially Leo Fernades look like utter shit. We run the risk of him becoming a fan favorite, and we can’t shell out money to sign him. We asked him to fake an injury after he started to tear it up, so thank you for that. So fuck him, enjoy your vacation Klerberson.

  6. I don’t think the majority of MLS fans look at Philly and think …”why didn’t they sign a huge DP” ….or “why is the coaching staff sticking with the same back four for the last 20 games when they clearly give up goals”. As a Philadelphia sports fan and big soccer fan I actually am beginning to understand Sak and Hack. Phillies, Eagles and Sixers in the last 5-10 years have been looking for the quick fix to get them to the big game. Iverseon ……what happened with that guy (PRACTICE …WE TALKIN ABOUT PRACTICE)….Eagles ….Vick was gonna be the savior …..that dog killing piece of shit is not worth the paper he wipes his ass with …..Phillies started to get it right but we are not a Billion Dollar Sports Market.

    The U is doing it right. They are bringing in guys who serve as mentors, teach the newer younger post college kids to stay that extra hour after 2 a days and work on your shot or do some extra sprints. I look at LeToux, Casey, Parke and even Carroll…these guys are true professionals that come in each day and bust their ass …..not for the paycheck but for the team, the city, the love of the game. Maybe Kleb is a beast in practice and Keon, Mac, Okugo etc learn that you can be a hell of a player but you bring it every day in practice.

    Soccer/Futbol is not about bringing in a 1 tick pony….its about building an identity. The New Jersey Pink Cow = spend a lot, have no loyalty, blow it in big games
    LA Galaxy = every year at least 60% turnover of their team

    So in conclusion ….is Philly an MLS Cup winner this year ….odds are probably not but they are in contention for the playoffs and they are a fun team to watch and root for. This team is building an image and a brand to represent the city of Philadelphia. I for one as a native of Philly will proudly cheer development of a team with good character, hard work, and drive far more then a team who pays millions of dollars for one or 2 players just to win a cup one year.

    Lets Go U


    (I apologize for the train of though using the constant punctuation)

    • I agree with a lot of what you said, CHav (especially about Vick), but I do want to point out that the two options you list – development vs. DPs – are not mutually exclusive. A team could, if it chose, have a solid development academy, young college players who are just learning to be pros, and still sign a DP.

  7. Philadelphia will never be a glamour club like LA or NY with big name signings. Ultimately, we don’t need big names what we need are talented, quality players. We don’t have them. The team is refusing to spend money. In fact, we don’t know where that money is going because for all their talk we haven’t seen anything concrete. Both Hack and Sack are obviously doing PR and nothing more. They deserve each other. The thing is … the fans deserve better.

    • No one expects Philadelphia to be NY or LA. It would be nice to have some competent Management and coaching though. Why not have a DP or 2 with respectable MLS talent instead of watching unskilled players like Danny Cruz pinball around accomplishing nothing?

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