Daily news roundups

Valdes rumors — again, Union moneyball, more news

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

We all know the offseason doesn’t officially get underway for Union fans until the the Carlos Valdes to [insert team name here] rumors start coming out of South America (and it doesn’t begin for me until I’m regularly writing these four magic words: “crappy Google translation here”).

Well, on Monday afternoon, the offseason officially kicked off when Colombian journalist Omar Duran tweeted (wait for it — crappy Google Translation here) that a move is in the works that would see Carlos Valdes go to Millionarios in exchange for Panamanian defender Roman Torres, who has 72 caps with the Panamanian national team and was attracting interest from English second division sides Blackpool and Swansea in 2010, and trialed with Nottingham Forest over December 2011-January, 2012.

Since the tweet, there has been plenty of social media chatter but, as far as I can tell, no actual reporting on such a deal in the form of something like an actual article from an actual news organization. Indeed, the last thing that I’ve seen out of Colombia regarding Valdes from an actual news organization was the audio clip we linked to last Friday that included him among a group of players Millionarios was interested in while also noting he has two-years remaining on his contract with the Union.

A Union spokesperson told PSP on Monday evening, “The technical staff is always getting offers for our top talent, and there’s always going to be interest in a player coming off a World Cup year. But Carlos is still our player.”

So, would the Union be willing to deal Valdes? Why not, if the price is right; John Hackworth said as much before the World Cup when he talked about how the tournament could raise his value. But at this point, as a Millionarios blog tweeted last night (crappy Google translation here), “This is just a rumor.” And so it will remain, as always, until all parties sign on the dotted line.

At CBS Philly, Kevin Kinkead notes comments recently made by Jay Sugarman and wonders if the Union are using “Moneyball” as a model to strengthen the team. He then outlines seven things the Union can do to make the model pay off.

Andre Blake will presumably be with Jamaica when it participates in the 2015 Copa America, which will take place June 11 through July 4. The tournament draw took place on Monday and Jamaica is in Group B along with Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. Jamaica will also be participating in the 2015 Gold Cup, which begins three days after the Copa America ends and runs July 7-26, so Blake could be unavailable to the Union for two months, right in the heart of the season.

Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz is quoted in an article at Soccer Gods by Simon Evans about the absence of international coaches in MLS:

Philadelphia Union CEO and operating partner Nick Sakiewicz says understanding the different nature of the league and sharing the same culture and language as the majority of the league’s players, is a real factor behind the dominance of American coaches. But while he has preferred American coaches for Philadelphia, he also believes a foreign coach with the right attitude to MLS could succeed.

“A foreign coach who has the ability to adapt to it could be successful in our league. It requires the effort and the objectivity to do it. Some people have all the answers without understanding the questions. They come and say let me tell you all how the game should be played and that is pretty naïve,” he says.

Union CRO Dave Rowan will be speaking about “Operating a Profitable Sports Team & Motivating the Team” on Dec 3 in Bala Cynwyd.

Brotherly Game takes a look at the Union’s new training ground.

The Union won this year’s Team Fair Play Award. A press release notes, “The Philadelphia Union earned the fewest cards in MLS in 2014, receiving 37 yellow cards and five red cards throughout the season. Additionally, the Union’s 413 fouls were the fifth-lowest in the league.” Winning the Individual Fair Play Award was the Crew’s Michael Parkhurst.


Former Harrisburg City Islanders forward Lucky Mkosana has signed with New York Cosmos.

Here’s a look back at the Temple men’s team’s 2014 season. With a 2-14-2 record, it wasn’t a good one. Head coach David MacWilliams said, “We played a very tough schedule. Looking back at it, maybe we weren’t ready for it. Our non-conference schedule was pretty tough along with our conference schedule, and we never really gained any momentum throughout the year. I think there were a lot of games that were close and could have gone either way. Unfortunately we were on the short end.”

The death penalty hearing for the two men convicted on Friday for killing a soccer coach and player at a tournament in Wilmington in 2012 will begin on Dec. 1.


NYCFC 2nd kit

To see a larger version, click on the image, then click on it again.

FC Dallas forward Tesho Akindele has been named Rookie of the Year.

NYCFC unveiled their second kit on Monday.

Montreal Impact have named Adam Braz as their new technical director. Braz, a former Canadian international, was a defender with Montreal and Toronto and the Impact’s manager from 2011 to 2013.

Kevin Prince Boateng to MLS? His fiancée says it could happen.

USL PRO’s Austin Aztex will announce an affiliation with an MLS team tonight, most likely either FC Dallas or Houston Dynamo.

New renderings of the stadium that will be the home of MLS Atlanta were released last week. There’s also a video tour of the planned upgrade of Toronto’s BMO Field.

Las Vegas Review-Journal says that LA Galaxy owners AEG, which is “working with MGM Resorts International on building a $375 million arena on the Strip…could influence Las Vegas’ ability to land expansion teams in MLS and the NHL.”

Las Vegas Review-Journal has more on hopes for a MLS franchise in that city: “it’s downtown or bust.”


In a Q&A at US Soccer, Jurgen Klinsmann reviews 2014 and looks ahead to 2015. He says of the January camp, “It probably will go with the theme we had the last couple of months, bringing experienced players, bringing a lot of younger players in and kind of meld them together and have that mentorship for the developmental aspect of it.”

At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle has USMNT player grades.


Champions League play returns today; check out the latest Footy on the Telly for listings of the games.

The AP reports, “Police in Paris have arrested 95 Ajax supporters before the Champions League match with Paris Saint-Germain. The detained fans, who were all Dutch, had iron bars, knuckledusters and ski masks. They were not allowed to travel to Tuesday night’s game at Parc des Princes.”

The Guardian reports, “The head of the German football league, Reinhard Rauball, has told Sepp Blatter he should resign as the FIFA president over the controversy surrounding the Qatar World Cup bid.”

Reuters reports, “Top-flight matches in Greece will resume this weekend after the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) confirmed it would lift the suspension imposed after a refereeing official was attacked by two men.” Reuters reported on Nov. 14, “Police said 45-year-old Christoforos Zografos, the assistant director of the central refereeing committee, was beaten with wooden clubs by two men on a motorcycle in west Athens in the early hours of Friday.”


  1. Hey, It’s not the Open Cup, but I’m glad the Union won at least some recognition this year. I’ll take Fair Play.

  2. I actually kind of like NYCFC’s second kit.

  3. i’m looking forward to ATL getting a franchise.
    i got family to get into hockey when they got an NHL team. i’m down there less frequently recently since they lost the Thrashers. hopefully i can get them into soccer.

    this latest rendering seems to lose the canopy that hid the upper section. it looks impressive regardless.

  4. I don’t think we really need to worry about Jamaica going to deep into Copa America next year. Plus, I thought Jamaica and Mexico were supposed to use U-23 teams so they weren’t worn out for the Gold Cup.

  5. Fair Play…That’s what they give kids in intramural isn’t it. Everybody wins and everybody gets a trophy. Woohoo Way to go UNION. Do we get to vote on fairest union player now? Brian Carrol my vote. We would never have won it with Farfans. Good work Nick!!!

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