Daily news roundups

Hack hopeful signings will be announced “very soon,” Le Toux ranked No. 1 MLS right mid by SA, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

MLSsoccer.com/CSN Philly’s Dave Zeitlin talked to John Hackworth on Thursday and sent out a series of tweets about the conversation.

  • Hackworth said, “We look forward to hopefully announcing some signings very soon.” Zeitlin clarified that “soon” means before the end of 2013.
  • When asked if he could reassure “panicking Union fans,” Hackworth said: “They should be assured. I’m not in the least bit panicked.”
  • Regarding Carlos Valdes, Hackworth said, “I think we’re close to having a resolution that’s going to make sense for both us and for Carlos.” Hackworth indicated that the Union would try to hold Valdes’ rights until after the World Cup in order to maximize the return on his value.
  • Regarding the sale of Michael Farfan, Hackworth said, “[I]t was hard for me because I didn’t want to give Michael up.” Hackworth explained that Farfan wanted the move and the compensation to the Union was good. Hackworth said, “It’s our job to go out and find a replacement for Michael. Because of the transfer, we’ll have a little bit of resources to do that.”
  • Looking toward the SuperDraft, Hackworth said if DC targets the same player as the Union, the Union’s No. 2 pick could be a “very valuable pick to potentially trade.”
  • Hackworth said that Union players are not going on overseas training stints this year as they have done in the past so that they can rest and recover.
  • Hackworth said the team will begin training for a week in Philly at the end of January before heading to Florida.

You will recall the news reports we linked to on Tuesday from Argentina on the Union targeting Newell’s Old Boys midfielder Pablo Perez. Ahoradeportes.com had reported (crappy Google translation here) that while Perez is interested in a move, he is not “seduced” by a move to MLS. The report also said that, in addition to an offer from the Union, which would be for a loan, another unidentified club had also made an offer. Cabrerahercap also says the Union offer was for a loan “but the player was not convinced,” and Federico Ludmer affirms that the Union made an offer that “convinced the club but not the player.” Ludmer also identifies Malaga as making an offer for Perez that was less than the Union’s. Nevertheless, Ludmer says, “For the player this option would be the priority.”

More on Malaga’s interest in Perez from eldesmarquemalaga.com (crappy Google translation here).

Soccer America has ranked Sebastien Le Toux the best right midfielder in MLS for 2013. “He started well but Sebastian Le Toux’s season fizzled after a switch to the left side, and he even lined up at right back as the Union stumbled short of the playoffs. His return to Philly thus flattened out, yet nevertheless only one player in MLS (Portland’s Diego Valeri) recorded more than his 12 assists. He’s one of many Philly players facing uncertainty heading into 2014.” I’m not exactly sure what that last sentence is supposed to mean.

Jack McInerney comes in at No. 6 in The Metro’s list of seven breakout Philly sports stars of 2013.

Buried at the bottom of a story at the Inquirer about Harrah’s Casino in Chester losing Keystone Opportunity Zone benefits, “which means it hasn’t had to pay most state and local taxes” (which seem to largely be based on assessments of the value of the casino in terms of real estate taxes), is this:

“Harrah’s casino is not the only Chester property losing its Keystone Opportunity Zone benefits. The benefits also end this year for PPL Park, which cost $115 million to build.

“However, PPL Park, which the county has valued at $60 million on an interim basis, will not join the real estate tax rolls because it is owned by a government body, the Delaware County Chester Waterfront Industrial Development Authority.”

To be clear, the Keystone Opportunity Zone benefits are expiring, not being taken away. If any economists out there would like to give an explanation of what this means in the comment section, have at it.

The Brotherly Game rounds up ex-Union player news, including Porfirio Lopez captaining Alajuelense to the victory in the final for the Costa Rican Apertura championship.


We mentioned on Tuesday that Reading United Alumni Steve Neumann and Pedro Ribeiro have been named to TopDrawerSoccer’s Men’s College Team of the Season. We neglected to mention that former Union academy goalkeeper Zack Steffen was named to TopDrawerSoccer’s Freshmen Best XI first team. University of Delaware forward Guillermo Delgado was also named to the freshmen first team and Temple defender Robert Sagel to the second team.


It’s official: Fulham announced on Tuesday that Clint Dempsey will join the team on a two-month loan.

Obafemi Martins could go on loan to Turkish club Rizespor.

The New England Revolution have re-signed defender Kevin Alston, defender Darrius Barnes, and goalkeeper Luis Soffner.

Sporting Kansas City’s Oriol Rosell, a native of Barcelona who played in Barcelona’s youth system, has been called up by the Catalonian national team for a friendly against the Cape Verde Islands on Dec. 30.

The Queens Times Ledger on the demise of the stadium plan at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.


More MLS teams to back NWSL sides? Michael Stoller, managing partner of the NWSL’s Boston Breakers, says, “There are multiple MLS teams looking at coming in next year.”


Goal.com reviews which USMNT players have seen their stock rise or fall in 2013.


At The Guardian, Jonathan Wilson has the first of a two-part look at tactical trends in 2013.


  1. With the exception of Roger Torres and Sebastian Letoux it seems like every Union player wants to leave when they go.And it hasn’t really changed much with the changeover from the Nowak to Hackworth regimes. It seems like there is stuff going on behind the sceenes.

    • I imagine Farfan wanted to leave because he wasn’t getting the regular minutes that he deserved. Understandable. I also doubted that the Union were looking to Transfer him out, given that Cruz Azul also snagged Villareal and Baca at the same time.

    • Danny Califf needs to be added to the list. Not sure about some others we would have liked to keep(Jordan Harvey, Justin Mapp, Alejandro Moreno) or some we didn’t want to keep (Seitz, Lopez).

  2. The SA thing about Le Toux was a bit of a shock, but then looking at the article it appears to be a purely statistical based assessment. (Also, some of the names listed as right mids – Saer Sene? Justin Mapp? – was a bit surprising. (Maybe I’m wrong, I thought Sene was a forward, and that Mapp played mostly on the left side.)
    It’ll be interesting to see if Hackworth can get over his man crush on Danny Cruz and keep Le Toux at right mid all season. He clearly was comfortable playing there, and I’d like to see if the play-making continues.

    • I still think that when Le Toux got moved to the left, it was for defensive cover. If the left back position gets upgraded (either with a new signing, or by Gaddis improving) Le Toux should be able to stay on the right.

      PS, Mapp did play on the right in Montreal last year. Not sure why.

      • I think part of the move enabled Mapp to cut inside onto his left when the Impact were playing in a 4-5-1 with MD up top

  3. my worst nightmare, the player signing Hack talked about is a long term extension with a nice raise for Danny Cruz

    • Unfathomable that he had Le Toux and M. Farfan to play on the right and went with Cruz. I’ve yet to see a convincing rationale for that selection.

  4. Regarding the KOZ at PPL Park, the program is an abatement of all state and local taxes for a period of time in order to spur development. Real estate taxes are typically the largest component of this program, but since PPL Park is owned by a quasi-government entity in the IDA, the expiration of this program will not trigger the payment of additional real estate taxes.

    It’s difficult to know what other taxes would now be owed by the Union because of this KOZ expiring without knowing the overall structure of how PPL is owned and how the Union fits into that set-up.

  5. Hack – “I’m not the least bit panicked, with Danny cruz, bone, Keon, and letoux on the left, we’ll have the best midfield in MLS. Trust me, I coached a youth team!”

  6. This Pablo Perez thing is not going well. I guess I understand his preference of Malaga over Philly, but I hope it is not a case of us being cheap with player wages. Transfermarkt has his estimated transfer value of being just over $2M, so I imagine his wages would put him into the DP level. Not sure what they would need to be stingy about if he’s already above salary cap levels. Hopefully, this is just Perez’s agent putting some quotes out there to get the Union to up the offer. If not, I hope we have some other South American creator waiting in the wings.

  7. JamesCantknow says:

    Porfirio Lopez leading his team to the championship has me scratching my head a bit. I too remember how bad he was for us. But how about Kai Herdling getting significant minutes back in the Bundesliga? Is there any rationale whereby our coaching staff may have misused these guys? They sure seem to be thriving…elsewhere!

    • Maybe they looked bad because the Union played them out of position. Lopez is a CB and Herdling is a striker. I don’t remember them playing those positions with the Union.

    • It also typically takes guys a year after moving to another country before they get settled into a new team. We never gave Josue Martinez or Porfirio Lopez that chance. Who knows!

  8. JamesCantknow says:

    You’d think our front office would have done their homework better on Pablo Perez. Seems like a lot of effort for someone “not seduced by MLS” who has no interest in coming here.

    I wonder who we’re targeting as Marfan’s replacement with those resources we got for him. Maybe this will all turn out ok.

    • I think they have enough allocation money where they no longer need to choose between Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo. They should now be able to afford both.

  9. I would jump at the opportunity to trade Brian Carroll for a bag of dogshit and a pack of rollos! !!!

  10. Why do we never get allocation money trade offers for Keon, Cruz or Carroll.

  11. You could not get Monopoly money for those three.

  12. You could definitely view your skills in the actual works of art you’re writing. The sector hopes for far more passionate authors like you who seem to are certainly not worried to say that they consider. At all times abide by the coronary heart.

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