Daily news roundups

Nogueira joins Union in Florida, Jack ready, Nielsen MLS info, more

Photo: John Shippee/Courtesy of Spinnaker. Maurice Edu, Brian Carroll, and Pedro Ribeiro give chase to UNF’s Alex Morrell in Saturday’s scrimmage.

Philadelphia Union

Vincent Nogueira arrived in Florida on Monday to begin training with the Union.

Jack McInerney says as long as the Union make the playoffs, he doesn’t care who’s scoring the goals. “If we get more points and get to the playoffs and other guys score, that’s good with me. I just want us to win and compile points. If I’m consistent and we’re consistent as a club, it will all work out in the end. The coaches talk about consistency a lot. If Conor scores or Seba (Sebastien Le Toux) scores, I’m happy. I just want to win as many games as possible.”

Describing how much he grew as player last season, McInerney is excited for the new season to get underway. “I kept working hard in the offseason and spent a lot of time training on the field and off the field. I’m looking forward to this season with all the changes to the club. I feel like we’re going to be very good and I’m very excited for the new season…I’m ready now. It’s going to be an exciting season as I said. Our fans are the best and we’re determined to show them what we can do.”

In a look at the league’s central midfielders, Soccer America says that with the Union bringing in Maurice Edu (and Vincent Nogueira), along with TFC signing Michael Bradley, “Toronto FC and Philadelphia have served notice to their Eastern Conference rivals that they will be in for a dogfight in 2014.”

Press of Atlantic City soccer blogger James Clark says it is “encouraging” that the Union have signed Edu — and Nogueira and Cristian Maidana — to solve “the team’s often pedestrian midfield.”

The University of North Florida student paper Spinnaker has a report on last Saturday’s scrimmage between the Union and the UNF men’s team. Pedro Ribeiro says, “It’s great for all of them. I was on the other side last year, still in college, and had the opportunity to play against a pro team. It’s a great feeling. It’s great to play games against different guys because we practice against each other everyday and were able to go in a little harder on tackles since we can’t in practice.”

John Hackworth said in the Spinnaker report, “For us it’s just about an opponent. We’re working hard in double days during the middle of preseason, trying to implement some practical things and anytime you can play an opponent it helps.”

Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman says there’s no truth to rumors linking center back Zat Knight with the Union. Freedman says he has received no inquiries from the Union, adding that Knight “has never approached me and said he wants to play in the MLS; in fact, I think he wants to continue playing in England and do his coaching badges.”

According to MLS Transfers, “Seems like Fred, training with the Union, is close to getting a contract back with the team. More information to come.” Tease.

MLS

In Nielsen’s Year in Sports Media Report for 2013, MLS unsurprisingly lags far behind the Big Four of professional team sports, as well as NASCAR and golf, in viewership. There are some interesting highlights from the report, though, which you can download at the previous link:

  • No MLS games made the report’s timeline of season highlights for soccer, which listed three USMNT games, including the World Cup qualifier against Mexico in May, three other Mexican national team games, and three Premier League games as having the largest viewership.
  • Viewership of the 2013 MLS playoffs was up 9 percent compared to 2012.
  • For MLS’ regular season TV audience, the viewership skewed young (40 percent under 34) and Hispanic (34 percent).
  • Perhaps related to the large number of viewers under 34, MLS viewers have the lowest average income of any major sports audience with nearly 40 percent of its fans make less than $40,000.
  • 52 percent of MLS fans who have expressed strong interest in attending live events and viewing games on TV are ages 18-34, the highest percentage of any pro league.
  • Avid MLS fans are 13 percent more likely than the average U.S. adult to engage in social networking and 28 percent more likely to spend three or more hours per day on social networking sites (important findings locally when you consider that the Huffington Post reported in August that the Union came in last in rankings of the most “social” MLS teams as determined by “the average of Klout and Kred scores”).
  • MLS fans are far more likely to be smartphone owners, with 76 percent of MLS fans owning a smartphone (Android & iOS) compared to 66 percent of the general U.S. population.
  • 42 percent of MLS fans have viewed mobile video in the past 30 days, compared to 21 percent nationally.

More on the Nielsen report from Sounder at Heart and The Atlantic.

The Seattle vs. Toronto game on March 15, otherwise known as Dempsey vs. Bradley (the only time the two will play against one another before the World Cup and this season given the league’s unbalanced schedule), will now be aired on NBCSN after originally being scheduled to only be available nationally in the US on MLS Live. The New York vs. Colorado game was originally scheduled to be broadcast.

Clint Dempsey says of the recent trend of US players returning to MLS, “I think it is good that players from America, that spent time in the league, are getting good deals. Because growing up, it seemed like international players – foreign players, I should say – were getting the better deals. With more American players getting good deals in the domestic league, it’s good for it. And like you say, kids can see it as an opportunity to do something that they love and take care of their family in a good way.”

A report on the LA Galaxy website says, “Landon Donovan has been a force up top for the LA Galaxy for many years, but with the club signing a pair of burly center forwards in the offseason, Donovan is coming to terms with the fact that his role may be in the midfield in 2014.” At ProSoccerTalk, Steve Davis writes, “That’s probably encouraging news for Jurgen Klinsmann and the national team; getting Donovan in top gear in a wider position seems like the ideal situation where U.S. pursuits are concerned.”

Portland’s JELD-WEN Field now will be called Providence Park.

With the league and the players’ union in the final year of the collective bargaining agreement, The Brotherly Game has a look at the CBA from the perspective of club owners.

US

The USWNT friendly against Russia scheduled for Wednesday at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome has been moved to Thursday due to forecasts of a winter storm moving through the area around game time.

At TopDrawerSoccer, Will Parchman has a look at what needs to be changed in the college soccer rulebook.

Elsewhere

The AP reports, “Work remains underway at the World Cup stadium in the jungle city of Manaus despite a Brazilian union’s threat to strike to protest a worker’s death at the venue.”

ESPN reports, “A ‘workers’ charter’ has been drawn up by the organizers of the 2022 World Cup in a bid to protect the rights of migrant employees in Qatar.” The report notes, “Almost 200 Nepalese men reportedly died last year while working on construction projects, and the International Trade Union Confederation says up to 4,000 could die by 2022 if the current laws are not changed.”

The Telegraph reports, “Footballers in Iran’s professional women’s league are to undergo mandatory gender tests to establish that they are fully female. The country’s football governing body is bringing in the random checks after it was revealed that several leading players — including four in the national women’s team — were either men who had not completed sex change operations, or were suffering from sexual development disorders.”

Is AC Milan planning to move out of the San Siro?

The most idiotic goal celebration ever? You be the judge.

13 Comments

  1. That’s the worst, or best, impression of Ram Man, I’ve seen in a long time!

  2. “Don’t slide in from behind and miss the ball, just run along next to him like I’m doing.” -Maurice Edu

  3. Is anyone really surprised by the Nielsen findings? I think it’s pretty obvious to MLS and the ownership groups that the majority of their fan base are young people. There’s been more exposure to soccer at the youth level for the 1980+ cohorts then any previous generations. All the social media/tech and earnings findings are just a product of a younger generation.
    .
    More importantly: “52 percent of MLS fans who have expressed strong interest in attending live events and viewing games on TV are ages 18-34, the highest percentage of any pro league.” That is how the sport will grow in the U.S. greater attendance and viewership for MLS, but also USMNT and ICC matches played in the U.S.

  4. I really hope JAck is our #1 striker. With a revamped midfield who can play a pass and keep the ball on the ground, JAck should feast on goals.

  5. Zat Knight (not Smith) is the Bolton player that the Union were rumored to have an interest in.

  6. We are worst in social media? That’s disappointing. That’s one thing the Wagles have always done well is the tech side of things, and I think it helps.
    .
    The young viewership is encouraging to me, that makes the league sustainable as it grows.
    .
    I agree with the above comment about really hoping jack is the starter.

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      The criteria for the rankings is questionable (“the average of Klout and Kred scores”), or at the very least limited, and the rankings themselves are nearly six months old. Nevertheless, they’re food for thought.

  7. Great celebration yet deservedly red carded it wasn’t like he scored from half field

  8. OneManWolfpack says:

    “The most idiotic goal celebration ever? You be the judge”… OR BEST EVER?!?! Ha! Apparently that was an amateur game in Italy. What’s with the red card though?!?
    .
    Good to see the young viewers. That will help the league continue to grow.
    .
    Glad to see Nogueira is in camp. Let’s get it going!!

  9. It was great getting to see Philadelphia play against UNF. Will they have another exhibition game next year?

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