Union in talks with French midfielder Vincent Nogueira

Photo courtesy of Sochaux

Philadelphia Union officials met with Sochaux midfielder Vincent Nogueira over the weekend as part of discussions to bring the Frenchman to the Union.

Nogueira, 25, has been considering a move to the Union on a free transfer and is out of contract on June 30, according to a reliable source with knowledge of the situation.

Union chief executive Nick Sakiewicz and assistant coach Brendan Burke traveled to Lyon, France, where they met with Nogueira and watched him play Saturday for Sochaux in a 2-0 loss to Lyon, according to the source. Unfortunately, Nogueira left the game in the 64th minute with what appeared to be an ankle injury after playing right midfield in a more defensive formation, rather than his typical center midfield role.

Nogueira is a box-to-box midfielder with attacking tendencies who, if he joined the Union, would likely be a designated player. He has served as captain for the Ligue 1 side, who he has played professionally for since 2007. This year, he has played in 14 games and recorded 1 assist and no bookings. He has been a regular starter for Sochaux since 2011. Transfermarkt values Nogueira at about $2.7 million.

The Union hope to have a deal secured this week, but they are not as close to a deal as they are with Argentine midfielder Cristian Maidana. That deal is largely completed, as Maidana indicated over the weekend, and needs only the formal paperwork for completion.

The talks with Nogueira could still fall through. Sochaux wants to keep Nogueira the full length of his contract, while the Union want him for preseason so he can integrate with his new teammates, according to the source. Negotiating that dilemma appears to be a key factor in whether Nogueira joins the Union or not.

There is an extensive track record of MLS designated players failing to integrate well into their teams upon joining mid-season. Clint Dempsey, Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill, David Beckham and others all stumbled initially in their first half-seasons in MLS after joining mid-season, despite their past successes. Cahill, Beckham and Henry all went on to be very successful with their MLS clubs, however, once they had a full training camp to integrate with their teams. It appears this is a problem the Union want to avoid.

If a deal is struck, it would likely happen before the draft. Otherwise, Philadelphia may look to other players as alternatives to Nogueira. While Burke was in France with Sakiewicz, Union manager John Hackworth was in Florida at the MLS scouting combine, and it’s possible the team could make a trade prior to Thursday’s amateur draft.


  1. This is the type of stuff I’ve been looking forward to hearing about. Things were a bit too quiet and I was beginning to think the Union were going to put all their efforts into filling gaps during the upcoming draft.

  2. So this guy has attacking tendencies and he only has one assist and no goals? His past stats also indicate that he doesn’t have many assists or goals. Just because he plays first team in france for a bad team doesnt mean we should waste DP money on him.

    • you just answered my next question…

    • The fact that this guy was a captain for his Ligue 1 side is great. If he can provide good service to the forwards and pass the ball with meaning, I don’t care if he goes 0’fer in the stat column.

    • Attacking Tendencies could mean when all of the other players go towards goal, he goes too.
      It could mean he is an attacking or it could mean he is a heard animal like a Wildebeest or Goat.

    • He’s basically a box-to-box guy. He can play an attacking role, but I don’t know how that actually plays out. He’s not someone I’ve seen much of, so I can’t tell you much about his playing style from firsthand experience. (I followed the game this weekend, for probably obvious reasons, but he played right midfield, so I didn’t get to see him playing centrally.) I don’t know his assist numbers for previous years, but you can probably find them if you pine around enough.

      I do know he’s been playing out of position a bit this year. My understanding is that he’s been marginalized a bit since he told Sochaux he wants to depart. They’ve been playing him all over the place this year. WhoScored.com has some insight: http://www.whoscored.com/Players/29580

      • Ah. So he’s basically Gabriel Gomez, but with a sexy French accent (and hopefully more talent).

    • The team only has 15 goals in 20 matches, so it’s possible, or likely, that they just don’t finish chances. You can only get assists if there is someone to score them. And even if the team isn’t very good I would think the talent level here is on par if not slightly below Ligue 1, so he should be able to come here and succeed.

    • Remember most leagues do not record secondary assists. The reason a lot of MLS CMs have so many assists is because they make the pass before the assist. These are important passes that can lead to goals, but they would be unrecorded in Nogueira’s assist total.

  3. This is better than nothing, and literally any player playing professionally would be better than last years midfield, but this seems like another bargain move from the front office. Like I said I’m excited to have SOMETHING, and this guy starts for a professional European league which is great. But no goals and assist boxes badly. Maybe he could take Carroll’s place.

    • Ah yes…
      The Classic “Be Careful What You Ask For…”

    • The fact that they even describe him as “having attacking tendencies” means, to me, that he’s probably in large part a defensive player and more suited to replace Carroll than to be “the answer” at CAM, in which case goals and assists wouldn’t be indicative of his worth. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening. More likely, he’ll be in center-midfield WITH Carroll to replace Daniel, as the new “attacking central midfielder who doesn’t really attack much”.

      • The team needs a playmaker, but to me that playmaker doesn’t necessarily have to be a centrally located guy. If Maidana can create on the left and cutting in (like, say, Brad Davis), I’d be happy with a box-to-box guy located in the central position.

    • Box to box guys don’t necessarily have to score and assist. He may be the guy for them that sends in the second-to-last pass before the goal. Of Sochaix started him every game since 2011 they clearly don’t have issue with his productivity.

      • Okugo is a box-to-box midfielder who would rarely get assists, and many people have complained about Carroll’s lack of “attacking tendencies” despite the fact he’s a D-Mid. As mentioned above it’s likely he’s a true CM who pushes play forward and finds passing lanes to create scoring chances as opposed to scoring himself. If he has vision and can control the ball, he’ll bring top flight European experience so bring him in.

      • Yeah, it’s pretty much what Brian said. “Attacking tendencies” was my choice of words, apparently not the best. Basically, he’s a box-to-box guy who can play an attacking role.

  4. Those kits with the Mobil sponsorship make him look like the mechanic or a pit crew member.

  5. He’s only rated a 70 in FIFA 14… Le Toux is a 69… Can’t be worth DP money. : o

  6. The guy is 5’7″. We give up enough goals on set pieces already.

  7. The Lyon Sochaux match is on Bein Sport from 5-7. Nogueira is talented but seems uncomfortable out in RM. Seems to have good vision, pace, and athleticism. Takes some free kicks for Sochaux. My only concern would be his size.

  8. I meant that in terms of his distribution, size, pace. I noticed that while at RM he had a tendency to drift inside. Seems more comfortable in the CM role but not necessarily as the primary playmaker.

  9. James lockerbie says:

    Oh, Thank god some talk of new players coming into the fold. Anybody else like a kid waiting for christmas thursday can’t come quick enough!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *