Daily news roundups

Reports of Edu deal, Valdes loan, Name That Trialist season begins, HCI sign a Rover, more

Photo: Courtesy of US Soccer

Philadelphia Union

You will recall that in Friday’s roundup in a column on Thursday.

Soon after, Philly.com’s Marc Narducci reported, “The Union have come to an agreement in principle with midfielder Maurice Edu of Stoke City of the English Premier League, pending league approval, according to a team source.”

According to ProSoccerTalk, the news means “that MLS won its fight against the Union,” which may be laying it on a bit thick.

As of this writing, the deal has not yet been confirmed by the Union or Stoke City. But, John Hackworth has talked about what role Edu will play with the club. “One of the reasons why Mo is interested in coming back to the league is, one, he knows from [Jurgen] Klinsmann he has to play in order to make the World Cup team. He also knows he has to be playing in the center midfield position because that’s where Jurgen and his staff are looking for him to play, and that’s absolutely one of our key needs: a guy who can be a box-to-box midfielder. While I think he could play center back, my commitment to him and to his representatives is we will play him in the midfield.”

The Edu news came as San Lorenzo tweeted confirmation that a deal had been reached for Carlos Valdes to join the club. Around the same time San Lorenzo tweeted a photo of Valdes holding a San Lorenzo jersey, the Union tweeted that an agreement had been reached “in principle,” adding, “Official announcement pends league approval.”

John Hackworth said in a report from Dave Zeitlin published at MLSsoccer.com on Friday before the Valdes news broke, “It’s a really difficult process to go through. I’ve been in touch with Carlos on a regular basis. It’s probably tougher for him. But it’s a business and we’re trying to maximize a player like Carlos and, at the same time, put him in a position to make the World Cup team. But in order to do that, you have to make sure you’re still putting the Philadelphia Union first. And that’s a fine line. We’ve felt like we’ve had several different agreements in place and agreed to and for whatever reason they didn’t get executed. So it’s a tough, long process and, I hope, we’re at the very end of it.”

In the same report, Hackworth discussed the team’s plans to fill the position now open with Jeff Parke’s move to DC United. Zeitlin writes, “Hackworth said [Ethan White] will battle rookie draft picks Kevin Cope and Richie Marquez for a starting spot and that if neither emerge as a viable starter alongside Amobi Okugo the team will ‘need to go out and make a move to acquire a center back that we feel can do the job.'”

Hackworth said of the rumors that began on Friday after Heath Pearce tweeted that he was flying into Philly, “I don’t know anything about that. I coached Heath on the national team, and I think he’s a real good player. To be perfectly blunt, I rarely get on that Twitter world. That hasn’t come across my desk.”

Union transfer target Vincent Nogueira had a good game for Sochaux on Saturday, scoring the stoppage time equalizer in a 1-1 draw with Ajaccio after earlier banging a volley off the crossbar.

Is that Fred?

Is that Fred?

The Union began preseason training at YSC Sports on Saturday. On Sunday, Fabinho tweeted a photo that included himself, Leo Fernandez, Cristhian Hernandez, draftees Pedro Ribeiro and Luca Gimenez, and someone who looks an awful lot like former Union man Fred. Let The Name the Trialist Race begin!

Three Union storylines figure in ASN’s list of the top ten stories of the MLS offseason, trading up in the draft order to land Andre Blake, the signing of Cristian Maidana, and the issue of transparency as it relates to Maurice Edu.

In an interview at Soccer America, John Hackworth says of the Union’s 2013 season, “Hindsight is 20-20 and based on where I felt we were gonna be going into the season last year, what we did is we probably overperformed. We did that early and we kind of stayed there for a long time. We were a team that for most of the year, and I don’t know if we finished this way, but we didn’t lose two games in a row for an awful long time. In this league, that’s really impressive…Without making excuses or telling you this guy or that guy didn’t do it, collectively as a team we let ourselves down. But at the same time I’m really proud of that team for putting themselves in that position. I don’t think anybody would have given us a shot to be a contender if you would have asked them in February, for sure.”

Coming in at No. 4 for minutes played among players drafted in 2012 is Ray Gaddis.


Harrisburg City Islanders announced on Friday the signing of Edinho Junior from Blackburn Rovers on a free transfer. He’s a forward who has also appeared for Portugal’s U-20 national team.

Former Reading United players are on trial with MLS clubs. Dante Marini is with Kansas City, home of former Reading standout CJ Sapong. Patrick Slogic is with Columbus, who drafted former Reading defender Ben Sweat. La Salle man John McCarthy is with Seattle, who drafted Jimmy Ockford and Damion Lowe in 2014, and Will Bates in 2013.

I’m embarrassed to say I missed this, but Germantown Academy alumnus Daniel Lovitz was selected by Toronto in the SuperDraft, the 24th pick overall. Lovitz played his college ball at Elon University.


Player moves:

Will Defender of the Year José Gonçalves stay in MLS with New England? He is not happy.

At The Star, Cathal Kelley has a fascinating read on how Toronto landed Jermaine Defoe and Michael Bradley.

ESPN looks at some of the big names being linked to the league in various rumors.

What’s this? More Rio Ferdinand to MLS rumors? That old chestnut?

According to a Washington Post poll, six out of ten DC residents oppose the DC United stadium plan, which includes $150 million in public funding. The Washington Post report says, “Public opinion on a city-financed soccer stadium has not changed appreciably since 2008, when the last serious talks took place about a deal with D.C. United.”

The Harvard Sports Analysis Collective looked at income inequality and found that MLS “is actually more equal than both the MLB and NFL.” Of course, this doesn’t speak to whether all of those players on the league minimum of $35,125 are being fairly paid.

When the Union travel to Columbus for the Crew’s home opener on March 22, Crew Stadium will be sporting a new video board.

Here’s an interesting read from The Telegraph on Anthony Pulis, the Orlando City midfielder who happens to be the son of Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis. Incidentally, he’s “pretty sure” that Kaka will be playing at Orlando.

MLS to Charlotte? Sure, why not?


Jurgen Klinsmann has whittled the USMNT roster down to 22 players as the team returns to the US from Brazil ahead of Saturday’s friendly against South Korea in LA (5 pm on ESPN2, WatchESPN, and UniMas). Colorado Rapids defenders Chris Klute and Shane O’Neill, Sporting Kansas City defenders Chance Myers and Seth Sinovic, and Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall were released from camp while Columbus Crew defender Michael Parkhurst has joined the team in LA.

Tom Sermanni has named a 24 player roster ahead of the USWNT’s friendlies against Canada in Frisco, Texas on Friday (9 pm, Fox Sports 1) and Russia on Feb. 8 in Boca Raton and Feb. 12 in Atlanta. The games against Russia will be streamed live on the US Soccer website.

The US U-17 MNT  won the Aegean Cup tournament on Friday, defeating Turkey 2-1 in the final. Hershey, Pa’s Christian Pulisic scored two goals in the tournament.

Oguchi Oneywu scored the game winner for Sheffield Wednesday in FA Cup play on Saturday. Also on Saturday, Juan Agudelo made his debut for Utrecht. Meanwhile, Timothy Chandler scored in Nuremberg’s 4-0 over Hoffenheim, whose Fabian Johnson left that game early with a broken hand.

That Gedion Zelalem fellow we linked to a report about on Friday? The 16-year-old midfielder, who is eligible for the US (and Germany and Ethiopia), impressed in his debut with Arsenal on Friday.


Some 100 anti-World Cup protesters were arrested after clashes with police in Sao Paulo on Saturday.

AS Monaco, whose home is a tax-free principality, has agreed to pay a one-time $68 million fee in order to remain in Ligue 1.

Generally speaking, we try to avoid linking to those annoying Bleacher Report slideshow things in the roundup. But when it’s Jonathan Wilson on the five most significant false 9s in soccer history, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Hey United fans, it’s the Glazers’ fault.


  1. welcome Maurice!

  2. ” While I think he could play center back…”

  3. Curious but I saw on Goal.com that Edu will be a loan for a year with an option to buy. Does this loan mean that we would not use the top spot in allocation to get Edu? This is another one of those quirky MLS acquisition rules that I believe MLS will make up as they go along.

    • I don’t think buy/loan matters when it comes to returning USMNT players. I believe the Union had to make a deal with RBNY to get their allocation spot so the team could sign (on loan) one Michael Orozco Fiscal.

      • That makes sense if it is the case, it is just that MLS seems to change the rules to benefit different teams. Last year when Dempsey came in it was stated that only one avenue of bringing in a player could be used. Since Dempsey was a DP he would not go through allocation. Then this year MLS moves the goal posts by stating that the rule is when MLS is involved in paying part/all of the transfer fee. It would not surprise me in the least that if one of the big name clubs (NYRB, Seattle, Toronto or LAG) were after Edu that the allocation order would not have mattered. Or maybe I am just being cynical.

      • Not sure about Orozco Fiscal, but I do remember DCU got Charlie Davies on loan through the allocation draft.

        Loan status has nothing to do with whether a player comes through allocation.

  4. The piece in The Star about TFC’s off-season, in particular the look at Tim Leiweke, is fascinating. What a great read!

    • Agree – fascinating! Thanks for highlighting it otherwise would not have clicked on the link..

    • I concur – it was a great read. Fascinating – would love to know what team Bradley refused and what the behind stage goings ons were for the Edu signing.

    • Agreed, what Leiweke did and how he went about doing it was pretty incredible. Pulled out all of the stops to get his guys.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Agreed on all fronts. That was a heck of an article. I would love to know the other team that agreed to the $50 million for Bradley… the one he rejected. I know it wasn’t the U, but I am curious

  5. He – Fred – is doing the same hand gesture on Wikipedia.
    He was inconsistent, and often wildly unproductive, but when he played well he was a competent, reliable attacking midfielder. Nothing special, but we haven’t exactly had an abundance of attacking players since he left.


    • I haven’t really seen him play in Australia, but from what I’ve heard he’s done decent there. I think the Union need better than him starting if they’re going to contend for trophies, but he’s the kind of guy who could make halfway decent bench depth. Not sure if he’d be worth it since we’d have to get his rights from DC and he’d take an international slot, but he’s good enough for a MLS roster spot.

      • I know he’s a free agent, so I’m not 100% sure on his rights, but if that’s the case it’s not worth it. If he’s available for free, however, it’s a no brainer to bring him in. They can keep him until the roster-trim date, and he can provide depth and experience down in Florida for the younger players (i.e. Ribeiro) and maybe help Maidana transition, since some South Americans have trouble transitioning.

      • Just because he’s a free agent doesn’t mean some MLS team doesn’t hold his rights within MLS. If DCU let him leave on a free (I think they did), they still hold his rights within MLS. Also, FWIW, I agree that some South Americans have trouble transitioning, but I’m not sure how helpful a Brazilian will be in trying to help an Argentine transition.

  6. A third Union story in the top 10 link was the U trading up to #1 in the draft.

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