Daily news roundups

SuperDraft time, Valdes deal “verbally agreed,” more news

Photo: Courtesy of MLS

Philadelphia Union


Here we go, folks, it’s SuperDraft time! And what an auspicious beginning, with the news on Wednesday that the Union have signed Argentine midfielder Cristian Maidana.

We’ll have a post up later this morning that will be updated from the draft throughout the day. If you’re on Twitter, follow @phillysoccerpg for more updates.

In the meanwhile, PSP has several post to provide you with background on this year’s draft options. Sean Doyle looks at Reading United standouts in the draft and other top prospects. Adam Cann looks at the Union’s positional needs and some prospects to fill them. Adam also has a report from John Hackworth’s pre-draft press conference. Also, in the latest Philly Soccer Show podcast, KYW’s Greg Orlandini and PSP’s Eli Pearlman Storch are joined by Philly.com’s Jonathan Tannenwald to preview the draft.

Recall that, as of this writing, the Union have eight picks in the draft, Nos. 2, 6, 25, and 27 in the first two rounds, and Nos. 44, 46, 52 and 63 picks in the third and fourth rounds, which will take place on on Jan. 21, 2014 via conference call.

With so many picks at their disposal, will the Union trade down? Dave Zeitlin considers.

That’s not all from Zeitlin. At CSN Philly, he presents his top-six choices for the Union.

At Union Tally, Matthew De George offers some historical perspective with a look at past notables that were picked at the selection positions the Union holds this year.

The 700 Level has some SuperDraft bits and bobs.

In the final mock draft at MLSsoccer.com, the votes are split over who the Union will draft at No. 2 with two votes for Christian Dean and one vote for Steve Birnbaum. For the No. 6 selection, Steve Neumann is the unanimous choice. In the mock draft at SBI, the Union take Andre Blake (GK) at No. 2, Steve Birnbaum (CB) at No. 6, Joey Dillon (DM) at No. 25, and Victor Chavez (F) at No. 27.

At the Inquirer, Marc Narducci talks to Neumann, a graduate of Council Rock North, who says of the possibility of being selected by the Union, “It would certainly mean a lot…I trained with the Union this summer and their staff is familiar with me as a player and a person.”

The Union draft preview at MLSsoccer.com points to the team’s needs at left back and center back. Why the roster review doesn’t have Maidana taking up an international spot on the roster is a good question.

Possible Union draft target, Reading United alumnus, and left back Ben Sweat talks to his hometown paper about his excitement for the draft.

At MLSsoccer.com, top prospects at right back, attacking mid, and striker.

ProSoccerTalk has a guide to this year’s draft.

Sounder at Heart has a statistical look at how team’s have done in the SuperDraft.

In an article in the relevancy of the Combine and SuperDraft at ESPN, John Hackworth says, “The landscape has changed pretty dramatically, but there’s guys out here at the combine that are going to have good careers in MLS. It’s a little bit of a showcase, and in our culture, specifically in the sports world in America, these kind of things get a lot of attention.”

Hackworth says of the effect of the Homegrown Player Rule on the draft pool, “[The rule] saturates the pool in a huge way. There are some guys who, in my opinion, sign homegrown deals that aren’t ready to be MLS players. They would benefit from playing at a level more appropriate for them for a few more years before they make that jump. I think the league is making good strides working with USL PRO teams to have meaningful games for those kind of players. We still have a way to go to get all that right.”

Valdes, Edu, and Maidana

Clarin.com reports (crappy Google translation here) that the Union have “verbally agreed” to loan Carlos Valdes to San Lorenzo for six months.

ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle tweeted on Wednesday, “Not much movement on the Edu front. I hear talks involving Union, MLS & Edu’s reps are ongoing.”

New father and PSP editor Dan Walsh has some thoughts on the Maurice Edu situation. More from SB Nation’s Jeremiah Oshan.

At Union Tally, Matthew De George on what Cristian Maidana will bring to the Union.


Zach Pfeffer recently paid a visit to the Mother Teresa Regional Catholic School in King of Prussia.

Union Academy defender Chris Gomez has committed to Syracuse.

The Delco Times has an article on the Sons of Ben Movie. Unfortunately, the article refers to the SoBs as “a cheerleading group.”


Christian Pulisic (PA Classics; Hershey, Pa.) and Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.) have been called up for the USMNT U-17 roster for the the Aegean Cup in Turkey, Jan. 20-25. The US will face their counterparts from Norway, Scotland, and France in group play.
Allentown’s Danny Babir, appearing as a “guest player,” scored the first goal for the Manchester City U-17s at the Al Kass International Cup on Wednesday in a 6-1 victory over the Chicago Fire. You can view photos of the goal here and here.


In pre-draft player movement,

Of the New York rumors — New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, whatever — Xavi says,  “Nobody has made me any proposition. I know nothing else about New York apart from that it is very cold there. Henry has not called me, nor have I spoken with him. I do not have his telephone number.”

The headline at the London Evening Standard reads, “Jermain Defoe is sadly wasting his talent by effectively retiring from top-level football”. Whatev, have another cup of tea..

The Vancouver Sun reports Camilo Sanvezzo’s exit from Vancouver could cost Liga MX side Querétaro FC $1.5 million. I don’t know if that’s in US or Canadian money. More on the story here.

Jurgen Klinsmann is sounding more positive in his opinion on the return of USMNT to MLS from Europe. “It’s exciting. The players who are in Europe, many of them some big players, are now back in MLS…MLS is getting better every year…People jump in financially, want the best American players in America. Suddenly, they bring back a Clint Dempsey from Tottenham, they bring back a Michael Bradley from AS Roma, and they are working on other players as well. This is huge for football in the United States.”

An explanation of the Designated Player rule is always helpful.

From the New York Times, more on the expected announcement of a new TV deal for the league.

A town hall meeting on the proposal for a new stadium for NYC FC in the Bronx took place on Wednesday evening.


The Washington Post’s Steven Goff reports that the USMNT will play the Ukraine away on March 5.

The USWNT will play Russia at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Wednesday, Feb. 12, four days after they play them in Boca Raton on Feb. 8. Both games will be streamed live on the US Soccer website.


  1. Don’t know whats up with the SBI mock. I would LOVE to take Birnbaum at #6. HE could slot in next to Okugo.

    • Blake is arguably the best player in the draft. Would push Macmath for the starting spot. Could be solid trade bait, etc.

  2. I’m incredibly excited about the draft later today and it was the first thought on mind this morning.

    With that little tid-bit of simplicity thrown out there and on a side note…I still can’t believe that while scrolling through the primary philly news channels this morning, there wasn’t one mention of the draft. That bugs me!

    Finally, congrats to the Cristian Maidana. Go get em, Chaco!!!

  3. Wilkerson McLaser says:

    It’s Ukraine, not “the Ukraine.” It matters.

  4. “In the mock draft at SBI, the Union take Andre Blake (GK) at No. 2, … ”
    Why? I think if there’s one thing we can say they won’t do, it’s select Blake.
    Depending on what DC does, I can actually see the Union trading out of the #2 slot. Especially if they can get NE or Dallas to bite, sliding back from this spot may not be terrible if DC goes with somebody other than one of the Cal defenders. (If DC does take one of the Cal defenders, I think the Union stay at #2 and take the other.)

    • As I said on another post here, I’m all for Blake. He’s pretty much the consensus best player in the draft. I will never complain about taking best player available.

      • Blake would never be a bad choice. No salary cap hit. essentially a free franchise keeper to develop or trade.

    • Jim – but is that the best use of the #2 pick for the Union? They have a good goalie who is young and showed improvement last year; they presumably will be able to grab Steffan with a home grown player contract at some point. Meanwhile, they badly need defensive depth and adding playmakers sure as hell wouldn’t hurt, either.
      Like I said, I can see trading the #2 if somebody offers a ransome for it so they can grab Blake. Particularly if DC doesn’t take a defender and the U think they can get one at #6 (or move somewhere between 2 and 6).
      I just think, given their roster and their needs, that Blake is the least likely player to be selected.

      • Heh. I failed. This was meant to be a reply to Adam and Jim, and therefore under Adam’s post. I shall now take the Virtual Walk of Shame …

      • Agreed. I think he is the least likely to be taken. BUT if we don’t trade down and the Union feel that Dean, Birnbaum, Cochrane or Lowe are available at the sixth pick [mathematically possible] they may take Blake. Hackworth openly praised Blake. Whether it was a bluff remains to be seen.

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