Daily news roundups

Burke leaves Union, Edu and training camp news, Maidana on his way, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union


On Wednesday afternoon the Union announced that Brendan Burke would not be continuing with the club in 2014. It was a surprising, even shocking, announcement, given that Burke had left the head coaching position at Reading United at the end of 2013 for the express purpose of expanding his duties with the Union, where he has been an assistant coach since 2011.

There is every indication that it is an amicable parting. In the announcement John Hackworth says Burke has been “an integral part” of the club who “will be greatly missed.” Burke describes his time with the Union as “a great experience,” as well as “special” and “a privilege,” before saying that “it is time to go in a different direction in my career.” One can only assume that Burke has a new head coaching opportunity in front of him and wish him the very best.

That said, whoever the Union finds to replace Burke — and hopefully this will be done soon — will have some very big shoes to fill.

Coincidentally, PSP’s Sean Doyle posted an article on Monday on Burke’s legacy at Reading United. More on Burke’s departure Philly.com, the InquirerCSN Philly, and Philly Soccer News.


With the signing of Maurice Edu, there has been a good deal of conversation about just where he will play. John Hackworth has said he plans to use Edu as a box-to-box midfielder, indicating that he’s gone so far as to make a commitment to Edu and his representatives that that is how he will be deployed.

Edu has expressed his desire to play that role. “That’s where I feel most comfortable. That’s where I started when I first signed in MLS with Toronto [in 2007]. It’s a pretty easy rotation especially when you are playing in what I assume will be a three-man midfield. I feel comfortable and I like to get on the ball whether it’s deeper or break forward and jump on the end of a play at the top of the box. I have always said that I’d like to add more goals to my game and I am fortunate that I’ll be able to do that.”

At the Union website, Kerith Gabriel has a good read on what went into the deal to land Edu.

At CSN Philly, Dave Zeitlin has five big reasons why Maurice Edu joining the Union will not turn out to be a disappointment like Freddie Adu joining the Union was.

With the Union getting new as yet unreleased first and second kits this year, you can buy an Edu third kit now through the Union’s online store. Be forewarned: it’s an authentic jersey so they’re a bit pricey.

Preseason training

Cristian Maidana tweeted this morning that, his visa now taken care of, he is leaving tonight for Philadelphia.

On Wednesday, PSP published a list of the trialists in camp with the Union as well as a photo essay from the open training session.

One of those trialists is Villanova grad and former Seattle Sounder Mike Seamon and Philly.com and the Delco Times have articles about the midfielder. How is he being used in camp? Seamon says, “I’ve been moved around a little bit — I think they’re looking to see me in a couple of different positions, because I’m sure the people they’ve spoken to have said that I’m pretty versatile, and can play multiple spots. I think they’re just trying to get a look right now at what position they see me in, and then we’ll move on from there.”

Seamon says that Jeff Parke, a former teammate at Seattle, was instrumental in him getting to trial with the Union.

At The Sports Network, Brian Wright asks the question Union fans everywhere are asking: Can the team be contenders in 2014?


Midfielder Seth Kuhn (PA Classics; Wyomissing, Pa.) has been called up for the US BNT U-14 camp in Florida, Feb. 1-9.


Player transactions:

More from Don Garber’s meeting in San Antonio with Mayor Julián Castro and Scorpions owner Gordon Hartman from My San Antonio and Fox San Antonio.


Looks like Jermaine Jones has joined Turkish club Besiktas.

At SI, Brian Straus reports that the USMNT will play a World Cup warm-up friendly at Red Bull Arena that on either May 27 or June 1 against a yet to be named opponent. According to the report, this would be either the first or second of three warmup games before the team departs for Brazil with the US “looking to play the final friendly on June 7 in Florida before departing for São Paulo the following day.

Also at SI, Brian Straus talks to Mike Magee about his World Cup hopes.

South Korea, the USMNT’s opponent in Saturday’s friendly, lost 4-0 to Mexico on Wednesday night. Alan Pulido scored a hat trick in his El Tri debut.

Citing multiple reports, MLSsoccer.com says, “The Copa Centroamericana – the championship of Central American national teams and a qualifying tournament for the CONCACAF Gold Cup – could be held in the United States in fall 2014 or January 2015.”


The French Correctional Tribunal has dropped the charges of solicitation of an underage prostitute against Franck Ribéry and Karim Benzema.

At MLSsoccer.com, more on some of changes to the laws of the game proposed by FIFA presidential Jerome Champagne. When linking to reports on this last week, I think I missed his proposal that referees be allowed to move free kicks forward 10 yards in cases of dissent. I like Professional Referees Organization head Peter Walton’s suggestion that the proposed orange cards, to be used for time penalties as in hockey, should be blue cards as used in indoor soccer. A card for a cool down period ought to be blue, right?


  1. Can anyone explain why Amobi hasn’t been training?

    Also, I was at the first open session yesterday and just in case anyone was wondering, Yes, Danny Cruz fell down repeatedly and looked terrible.

  2. Seriously though, why hasn’t Amobi been training?

  3. One factual correction on the Zeitlin article. Faryd Mondragon played in the 1998 World Cup meaning Edu is not the first Union player to have done so.

  4. So just to clarify: Nobody knows why Amobi has been missing in training for the since the start of preseason with the transfer window up for another 24 hours.

  5. Earl Gardner says:

    Amobi was training yesterday. I ran into him twice and he was all geared up.

  6. Dude, I was there from 10:15 – 12:00. Also went to all 3 fields and watched all of those half field drills from above. At no point did I ever see Amobi. Not sure how the Daily Times can say he wasn’t there as well. I guess only a picture is good enough for me.

  7. Earl Gardner says:

    So did i hallucinate running into him twice? The daily times said he wasn’t involved. They didn’t say he wasn’t there.

  8. Old Soccer Coach says:

    I watched the afternoon training session from 2:30 pm until about 3:45 or so. Amobi Okugo appeared on the practice floor late, did not participate in the six 6 v 2 in close space drills, and was jogging briskly/running slowly around the perimeter of the field, behaving approximately the way that the group not dressing in the chosen 18 has behaved on game day.

    Further comment would be speculative rather than factual.

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