Daily news roundups

Latest on Valdes, Pfeffer named to Homegrown team, Reading playoff run over, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

Carlos Valdes

At ESPN Deportes, an article with comments from Carlos Valdes from an interview at 950 AM Belgrano about whether or not he was paid while with San Lorenzo (crappy Google translation here). More importantly for Union fans, there is this line in the next to last paragraph: “The defender, 29, said his intention is to return to the United States (Philadelphia Union) and be loaned again.”

Deep breaths, dear reader, deep breaths.

The confusing account of whether or not Valdes has paid, or by whom, isn’t much clearer after his comments, but Valdes does make clear that nonpayment was the prime motivator behind his break with San Lorenzo. Desanlorenzo.com (crappy Google translation here), deportes.terra.com.ar (crappy Google translation here),  somoscuervos.com.ar (crappy Google translation here), and elsolonline.com (crappy Google translation here) all have reports that are either reprints of the ESPN Deportes report or variations of it. A report at ole.com.ar (crappy Google translation here) said Valdes “now must return to Philadelphia Union of MLS.”

In more summer transfer window rumor goodness, a report on July 17 from Belgian soccer site walfoot.be (crappy Google translation here) said the Union had tendered an offer to Venezuelan midfielder Ronald Vargas, who is looking for a new club after Anderlecht declined to extend his contract. It looks like Vargas could be headed for Turkey instead. Dang, we didn’t even get a chance to get worked up about that one.

You will recall that Algerian national team goalkeeper Rais M’Bolhi was recently spotted hanging out with Nick Sakiewicz at PPL Park. Kevin Kinkead notes that, while there has been no news from the Union about the club’s interest in M’Bolhi, reports suggest that he too could be headed to Turkey.

More Union news

Jim Curtin on the Union’s playoff hopes:

We are in a really good place right now. We are finding goals and putting ourselves in good spots to pull points out of these matches now, which is key if we are looking to lock up another playoff appearance. It’s not going to be easy, we don’t have many favorable games down the stretch, but it’s important for this club to know that we are no stranger to tough games and in quite a few of them, we’ve come out on top.

Curtin also says he doesn’t care if he’s head coach. “I don’t care whether I’m in fourth command or third command I just want to win in this city. That’s the only thing that I really care about. People might think I’m full of it but that’s honestly the way I feel about it.”

You will recall that Philly.com’s Jonathan Tannenwald reported lat week that Zach Pfeffer would be added to the roster of the MLS Homegrown team that will play Portland Timbers U-23s as part of the All-Star Week festivities. On Tuesday, Pfeffer’s inclusion was officially announced. More from Delco Times.

Power rankings! At MLSsoccer.com, the Union move up two spots to No. 11: “Lucky to get a point in Chicago, but no doubt about that win over the Red Bulls. Still the league’s biggest mystery though.”

No Union players on this week’s Castrol Index Top 20 Performers list. In the Full Castrol Index, the top five Union players are Conor Casey (No. 18), Andrew Wenger (No. 28), Amobi Okugo (No. 64), Leo Fernandes (No. 65), and Danny Cruz (No. 86).

The latest edition of the Union Academy notebook is up on the Union website. In addition to recapping the three Academy team’s season, the article notes that Neicko Williams, a native of Jamaica, is the first player to graduate from YSC Academy.

The Sons of Ben will be holding a membership summit at the Fieldhouse on Wednesday, August 13th from 7pm to 9pm. They will also be taking questions from taking questions through the #AskTheSoBs Twitter hash tag, as well as through the contact link at sonsofben.com. Admission is free if you wish to attend the summit but you will need to RSVP.

Local

Reading United’s postseason was short lived as the team was defeated 3-0 at home by CFC Azul on Tuesday evening. For Azul, it was their first playoff win in franchise history.

Harrisburg City Islanders defender Coady Andrews has been named to the USL PRO Team of the Week. Antoine Hoppenot received an honorable mention.

We mentioned this in Tuesday’s roundup, but Harrisburg City Islanders host Oklahoma City Energy tonight at 7 pm (NSCAA, YouTube). Previews from Harrisburg City Islanders and Penn Live.

Penn Live looks at how tight the USL PRO standings are.

Kevin Silva (PDA; Bethlehem, Pa.), Daniel Barbir (West Bromwich Albion; Allentown, Pa.), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), and Christian Pulisic (PA Classics; Hershey, Pa.) have been named to the US U-17 MNT roster that will participate in the Copa Mexico de Naciones that begins in Mexico City on Aug. 2. The US will face China, Argentina, and Paraguay.

MLS

Chicago, three points behind the fifth place Union with three games in hand, are on the road to face Western Conference bottom-dwellers San Jose tonight (10:30 pm, NBCSN, NBC Live Extra). Meanwhile, there are several summer friendlies, three of which feature MLS sides:

  • 7:00pm – Toronto FC vs Tottenham Hotspur – ESPN2, ESPN Deportes=
  • 7:30pm – Liverpool vs Roma – NBCSN, NBC Live Extra
  • 9:00pm – Sporting Kansas City vs Manchester City – ESPN2, ESPN Deportes
  • 10:30pm – LA Galaxy vs Manchester United – Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports GO

Omar Gonzalez is happy that Graham Zusi and Matt Besler have elected to stay in MLS but admits he would still like to play in Europe.

Yes, the MLS jerseys for this year’s All-Star Game in Portland do have a bird on them.

A spectacular corn maze tribute to Sporting Kansas City.

Silicon Valley Business Journal has an update on how the construction of San Jose’s new stadium, scheduled to open in 2015, is coming along.

You will recall we linked to an article in Tuesday’s roundup in which the Las Vega Review Journal had questions about efforts to land a MLS franchise and build a new soccer stadium in that city would be financed. Well, it appears the answer has come quite quickly. An article published by the newspaper on Tuesday begins, “A gaming industry entrepreneur from New York City said he is going to launch a $350 million effort to bring a Major League Soccer team to Las Vegas, complete with a new covered stadium of 18,000-20,000 seats and players with international appeal.”

Example 483 of why Ashley Cole, who recently signed with Roma, is a tool: “I had offers from the USA, but I’m not ready to relax on a beach yet.”

NWSL

Washington host Portland tonight at 7 pm (YouTube).

US

Sporting Kansas City is to make “a major announcement” this evening that is expected to be that Wyandotte County, where Kansas City is located, will be the site for the US Soccer National Training and Coaching Development Center.

At TopDrawerSoccer.com, Will Parchman looks at how Germany’s development system could translate to the US.

The Soccer Observer reports,

Top college soccer coaches are finalizing plans and canvassing support for changes that would extend the men’s season over the full academic year.

The proposals recommend a 25-game season split between the fall and spring semesters. Individual conference championships would be held early in May with the showpiece NCAA College Cup following in early June.

If adopted, the new schedule would begin in August of 2016 at the earliest.

Reuters on this year’s series of summer friendlies.

Examining the growth of soccer in the US, The BBC wonders if the country has finally embraced the world’s game.

Elsewhere

Ever wonder what happens to the 3,240 match balls used at the World Cup? The Guardian has the answer; suffice it to say the balls were not distributed to local kids.

From the Department of Stay Classy, UEFA have ordered Paris Saint-Germain to close two sections of its stands for its next game in European competition. In the Champions League meeting between the Paris club and Chelsea in April, PSG fans verbally abused and threw bottles at a group of disabled Chelsea supporters who were seated in front of them.

Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk will relocate to Kiev and play its home games in Lviv but the team’s manager is unsure if that will mean the return of six South American players who refused to return with the club from a friendly in France put of concern for their safety in view of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

From the Department of It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time, Spanish third division side CD Leonesa will be wearing tuxedo shirt jerseys this year.

9 Comments

  1. John O'Donnell says:

    Imagine Ashley Cole playing for Red Bull and the Sons of Ben in beach gear. Epic

  2. Hey, Nick S.:
    .
    “Beyond that, workers are paving nearby parking lots…”
    .
    (from the article about the SJ stadium)
    .
    See that? That’s the step you missed back in 09-10!

  3. OK, It may be the heat talking…..but if they planted grass in the lots….dual purpose… Practice pitch and Eco friendly parking….win win?? Or that heat thing??

    • Probably the heat. Unless you’re a doctor who specializes in the treatment of soccer players with broken ankles- then it’s a brilliant business plan.

  4. OneManWolfpack says:

    All I’m gonna say is those tuxedo jerseys are AWESOME!!!

  5. MikeRSoccer says:

    It’s getting to the point where I almost hope the Union do not make any signings this summer. Vargas fell through and I’m not confident about Valdes returning. As much as I want a signing, it doesn’t make sense if they are going after their third or fourth option, who they haven’t scouted as much, and they don’t know who the coach will be come December. The team seems to have found some chemistry, so give the young guys – Jimmy, Pfeffer, Ribeiro, and Brown – a chance to see what they can do at LW and as subs for Casey/Maidana.

    I just don’t want a signing purely for the sake of a signing. I think the best thing that could happen this summer is a long-term deal for Amobi Okugo.

  6. Christian Pulisic is still listed by USSoccer as playing for PA Classics but I think he moved to Dortmund

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