Daily news roundups

First preseason game announced, on the Academy, Valdes, Sony to end FIFA sponsorship, more

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union

The Union have announced their first pre-season game of 2015. On Saturday, Feb. 7, the Union will play NASL expansion side Jacksonville Armada at EverBank Field. More from Jacksonville Armada and Jacksonville Business Journal.

At Delco Times, Matthew DeGeorge has an excellent read on the Union Academy. Academy boss Tommy Wilson says he’s “absolutely certain that we’ve got boys in each of our age groups that are capable of being first-team players here.” He adds, “I know we’re doing good work. I know we’re working hard. I know we have well qualified staff. But judge us in a few years.”

Speaking to the reality that development takes time, Wilson also said, “If we get two or three guys in the first team next year, it’ll be more luck than design. If we get them there in three or four years’ time, that will be by design rather than luck.”

Nick Sakiewicz says in the article that the purpose of the academy is to develop first team players, not to develop players in order to sell them off.

We don’t have a strategy of developing players to sell them. Our strategy is to develop players to go into our first team roster and for us to keep our very best players. Now if one player rises to the point where he has a very high market value on the global market and a Real Madrid or Barcelona or Manchester United or someone wants to come in and purchase that player, that would be a high class problem to have.

I want to be very clear. We are not doing this to generate income from player transfers.

At the Union website, a roundup of how the Academy teams fared in November.

Millonarios president Enrique Camacho has confirmed his club’s interest in Carlos Valdes “and other players” to Colombian sports website Futbol Red (Crappy Google Translation here). Camacho also said Roman Torres is interested in leaving the club for MLS.

A brief post at Philly.com notes that the wife of new club investor David Seltzer, Lisa Roberts, is the “daughter of Comcast founder Ralph Roberts, brother of Comcast CEO Brian Roberts.” Keep getting closer to some of that Comcast money!

Amobi Okugo and Maurice Edu make Bleacher Report’s slideshow thingee on MLS players who deserve a USMNT call up.

A Philadelphia Union Foundation update notes the Union’s involvement in connecting local law firm Cozen O’Connor and Orlando City “with the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida in a community service outreach effort” last weekend.

Local

Goalkeeper Alex Bono, who played with Reading United in 2013 and 2014, and who plays his college ball at Syracuse, is among a list of top college prospects at MLSsoccer.com.

CBS Philly reports, “Arthur Bomar, convicted in the 1996 murder of college soccer star Aimee Willard, has lost his second state appeal to get off Pennsylvania death row, but any execution is not likely to come for months, or maybe years.” The report describes, “The 22-year-old Willard was killed after leaving a bar with friends…her body dumped along a Blue Route on-ramp.”

MLS

Kansas City have announced that they have declined to pick up the options on six players, including Andy Gruenebaum, Eric Kronberg, and Sal Zizzo. The team also said Aurelien Collin, Kevin Ellis, Jacob Peterson and Soony Saad are out of contract, although negotiations are ongoing to retain them.

Colorado Rapids have announced they will not pick up the options on 11 players, among them are former Union man Danny Mwanga and Edson Buddle, as well as Marvell Wynne and Gale Agbossoumonde.

Seattle’s Chad Marshall has been named Defender of the Year, becoming the first MLS player to win the award three times. LA’s AJ DeLaGarza has been named Humanitarian of the Year.

Mark Geiger has been named, ahem, Referee of the Year. Interesting that the player vote numbers for Geiger are so overwhelming.

The league is partnering with the Caribbean Football Union to host the second Caribbean Player Combine on Jan. 2-5 in Bayamón, Puerto Rico.

Professional Referee Organization head Peter Walton says that Kevin Stott, the referee for last Sunday’s LA-Seattle game, does not recall telling players that he would not be issuing second yellow cards so that all players would be available for the second leg of the Western Conference championship.

Columbus Crew have signed “a multi-year deal” to partner with USL PRO side Austin Aztex beginning in 2015, ending their partnership with Dayton Dutch Lions after one season.

At the Guardian, Jack Kerr has an interesting read on why NYCFC should be wary of David Villa.

The Washington Post reports, the DC city council is set to authorize “the use of eminent domain to acquire the land” needed for the proposed stadium at Buzzard Point.

At ASN, Orlando City SC president and founder Phil Rawlins says the team is committed to making the playoffs in its first year.

Orlando Business Journal has a video update on the progress of construction for Orlando City’s new stadium. In other Orlando news, it looks like EA Sports has leaked Orlando City’s second kit.

Sacramento Republic are going ahead with plans to expand their home grounds, Bonney Field. Sacramento Business Journal reports, “Sacramento Republic FC President Warren Smith said the team is asking to be able to add 6,000 seats to the stadium for a maximum of 14,000. But the plan for now calls for only about 3,000 more seats for next season, on top of the existing 8,000.” You will recall that plans are already in the works for a new stadium connected with the Republic’s bid to secure a MLS franchise.

TwinCities.com reports, the Minnesota Vikings “will reveal renderings of the ‘house-reduction’ concept they would use within their $1 billion stadium for a possible Major League Soccer expansion franchise.” The report notes, “The unveiling will be held at a private, ‘MLS-focused’ event Dec. 2 at the Vikings’ stadium preview center in downtown Minneapolis.”

Indy Week reports, “The North American Soccer League (NASL) is readying to reveal that its newest expansion club will be in Los Angeles, Calif. A league announcement is anticipated within the coming weeks.”

Feel like reading a scholarly article? How about “Treatment of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries by Major League Soccer Team Physicians” from the November issue of Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine.

NWSL

The league has announced that its college draft will take place during the NSCAA Convention in Philadelphia on Friday, Jan. 16.

US

The US U-17 MNT will play England in its opening game at the Nike International friendlies in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., on Friday at 6 pm. The US, the tournament’s defending champion, will play Australia on Sunday, Nov. 30, and Brazil on Tuesday, Dec. 2. All of the games will be streamed on the US Soccer website.

Here’s an interesting infographic on the impact of EA Sports FIFA videogame franchise on soccer fandom in the US.

Elsewhere

You will recall that in the beginning of November, we linked to an ESPN report that Emirates Airways would not renew its sponsorship agreement with FIFA, and that Sony was expected to follow. On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported, “Sony Corp. has decided to end its sponsorship of World Cup soccer amid growing concerns about the transparency of the bidding process for the next two tournaments, a person familiar with the matter said Tuesday.” More from Reuters and New York Daily News.

While FIFA Secretary General Jérome Valcke acknowledged it will take “years to rebuild our reputation” in the wake of the World Cup bid corruption investigation, he also said, “Both Sony and Emirates have nothing to do with the situation we are facing these last days. I know that football is still a very strong product and I am not really concerned with FIFA’s finances for the future.”

Inside World Football reports, “FIFA vice-president Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein insists he has not yet decided whether to take on Sepp Blatter for the presidency next year as speculation intensifies that the reform-minded Jordanian could contest the election in May.”

Check out this week’s Footy on the Telly for listings of today’s Champions League games.

7 Comments

  1. james Lockerbie says:

    Alright, psp readers tell your kids to play as the Union while their on fifa 15.

  2. Kinda stoked about Dogfish Head being available at PPL next season. Not at all stoked about these Valdes rumors…

  3. So KC are dumping both their goalkeepers? I wonder if there’s a deal in the works …

  4. OneManWolfpack says:

    Love that Sony and Emirites has bailed. I don’t care the reason why. They chose to put their money elsewhere, and that is the only language Blatter and the boys speak. Come on Coca-Cola and Visa, step up and be next…
    .
    Yeah, not getting good vibes about the Valdes stuff. Seems like he really enjoyed playing at home, and if he is with a more stable club down there, he may want to be there permanently.

  5. Heard of many Union Academy U18 players having committed to College, who will probably never return to the Union. Are none of the players staying with the Union?!

    • Young guys haven’t seen much playing time on a team that likes to talk about their future being the youth. I would bounce too.

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