Daily news roundups

Edu deal official, draft previews, Diskerud signs with NYCFC, Altidore-Defoe swap, Solo charges dismissed, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

have signed Maurice Edu on a permanent transfer from Stoke City.

News of the deal first broke on Thursday when Philly.com’s Jonathan Tannenwald reported Edu had signed “a new multi-year contract,” one which “required a transfer fee from the Union to Stoke.” The Philly.com report was followed by confirmation of the deal at CSN Philly from Dave Zeitlin, which was itself followed by another confirmation from ESPN.

Edu said, “I am happy to be here in Philadelphia and with the Union. I am surrounded by good talent and club that I believe I can do great things with. This is a new season and a clean slate and I am ready to get after it. We are looking to right a lot of the wrongs from last season and I think with that full season under our belt and many of us coming back, we are all focused on achieving great things this season.”

Union technical director Chris Albright said, “Mo is an extremely important player to our organization and we’re excited that he will be in Philadelphia for the foreseeable future. We look forward to him helping lead us toward building a winning team.”

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Alright said, “I think we’re close to being over the line, and look forward to getting that behind us and having Mo be a big piece for us in the foreseeable future.”

Anyone else made nervous by Albright twice using the phrase “foreseeable future”? It’s also in the intro of an article about the signing on the Union website. It’s probably nothing but it does pop out.

Thursday’s SuperDraft will be simulcast live from 12:30 pm on the MLS YouTube channel and on Sirius XM FC channel 94.

In a SuperDraft preview at MLSsoccer.com, Matthew Doyle says the Union’s primary needs are at left back (“Targets: Connor Brandt (San Diego), Jose Ribas (Creighton), Jordan Murrell (Syracuse)”) and goalkeeper (“Targets: Tyler Miller (Northwestern), Andrew Wolverton (Penn State), Spencer Richey (Washington), Earl Edwards (UCLA)”). “Wheels are turning in Chester, and the draft is just a small part of it. Whoever they think has the best chance of making the team at No. 31 is who they’ll probably take… but boy, will they be happy if it’s a true, two-way left back.” So say we all.

Doyle also says it is “worth noting that Edu might end up playing at defensive midfield this year, even though Jim Curtin is on record saying he prefers the veteran in central defense (as do I). Even though Edu is better in the backline, Philly simply have more coverage and more options there, and it might be better for the team as a whole to play him as a true No. 6 – unless they decide to trade Carlos Valdes, which is a distinct possibility.”

More draft previews at Brotherly Game and Playing for 90.

At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin picks up on comments in Monday’s teleconference from Jim Curtin and Chris Albright about Darius Madison and concludes, “Whether or not the Union opt to sign Madison to a Homegrown deal this year or following his senior season, it seems likely the Philly native is in their future plans.”

The Michigan Daily talks to defensive midfielder Tyler Arnone, a draft prospect who trained with the Union for three days in December. “We would train in the morning and play in the afternoon for three straight days, so that was a little more tasking physically. I did pretty well. They even brought that up here at the combine when I met with them.”

At Soccer America, a preview of the Union’s 2015 season: “the Union starts its fifth [sic – it’s their sixth season] season at a crossroads.”

Former Union man Michael Farfan tells MLSsoccer.com, “I have officially left Cruz Azul. I am a free agent, so as of now I am weighing my options.” Farfan says that he is in preliminary talks with MLS and is also “exploring a couple of options in Scandinavia, and Switzerland as well.”

MLS

Diskerud signs with NYCFC

It’s official: Mix Diskerud has signed with NYCFC.

NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis said, “I couldn’t be happier, [Diskerud] is such an exciting and dynamic player. He’s the type of player that [given] the direction that we’re going in, fits exactly with what we’re trying to do.”

ASN wonders if, with the Diskerud signing, if NYCFC will look to trade the No. 2 pick in the draft.

Brian Straus writes at SI that the Diskerud signing means “The trend is clear”:

The tide has turned toward MLS, and U.S. players are coming home. For some, it may be a step down. Rather than lament it, Klinsmann may find that his best course of long-term action is to wield his influence as USSF technical director and focus further on strengthening the home front — ask additional tough questions of MLS, offer ideas that might bolster the league and continue his deep dive into youth development. As MLS improves, any negative impact it might have on a given player will be reduced and eventually eliminated.

Altidore-Defoe swap

The trend continues: Multiple reports (Toronto SunTSN, Globe and Mail, the Canadian Pressthe Telegraph, the MirrorESPN) say Toronto have reached a deal with Sunderland that will see Jermain Defoe return to England in exchange for Jozy Altidore.

The Guardian reports that Defoe was training with Sunderland today. “It is hoped the paperwork finalising his release from MLS side Toronto FC will be completed in time for Defoe to make his debut for Gus Poyet’s team at his old club, Tottenham Hotspur, on Saturday.”

Jurgen Klinsmann tells SI he has been counseling Altidore to stay in Europe:

You give them your two cents. With Jozy, I just say it would be nice if I would see him one day in the European Champions League. Because I think he’s a Champions League player. He has that potential, the talent to do so.

Now if there is no solution in Europe for him, if the next solution for him is MLS, that’s totally cool with me. I have no problem with that. But from a competitive standpoint, it’s normal that a coach wishes that his players go to the highest level possible. Which would be in his case theBundesliga orSerie A or LaLiga or even the French league, if it’s not the Premier League right now.

At the end of the day, whether he decides to go to Toronto or New York, that’s purely his decision, just as it was Michael Bradley’s decision or Clint Dempsey’s decision [to move from Europe to MLS].

More

Toronto have re-signed defender Mark Bloom to a new multi-year deal.

Seattle have signed goalkeeper Troy Perkins.

Patrick Ianni has announced his retirement after nine seasons in MLS.

The league announced on Tuesday the signings of four more college seniors, “North Carolina forward Andy Craven, Cal winger Connor Hallisey, Tulsa winger Akeil Barrett and Akron right back Saad Abdul-Salaam.” That brings the number of college seniors who have signed with the league to 12.

Samuel Eto’o to MLS? How about the NASL?

NYCFC will play Scottish Premiership side St Mirren and Denmark’s Brondby during their February preseason stint in Manchester.

Big Apple Soccer talks to Alain Maca, the first pick in the first NASL college draft in 1972, the first college draft in US soccer history. Maca’s father Joe played on the 1950 US World Cup team that upset England.

A very good read at the Guardian about how Seattle soccer fans saved the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.

Brazilian Ronaldo, a part owner of the NASL’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers, says he “will try to play some games” for the team. “Maybe if we get to the final and I’m feeling good, why not? I will put my name in the NASL as an option.”

US

The domestic violence charges against Hope Solo have been dismissed due to alleged victims failure to cooperate with the defense investigation.

Solo said in a statement released on her Facebook page, “Today’s decision brings closure to what has been one of the most difficult and emotionally draining times of my life. I always had faith that once the facts of the case were presented, I would be cleared of all charges and I am so happy and relieved to finally have it all behind me.”

The US U-20 MNT will try to get its U-20 World Cup qualification campaign back on track when it faces last place Aruba today (5:30 pm: Fox Sports 2, Univision Deportes).

Jurgen Klinsmann said of the U-20s performance so far, “Very, very difficult. It was a bummer with Guatemala in the last minute, kind of a goal of the year decides suddenly a tie. And then you play probably the strongest team in the group with Panama, which could go either way. It went the wrong way, but there are three games to go and I’m very confident they’ll get their points in, and we will come out of that even stronger.” The team currently is in fifth place in six-team Group A.

San Antonio Business Journal reports, “The U.S. and Mexico men’s national soccer teams have agreed to play an international friendly match at the Alamodome in San Antonio on April 15.”

Brian McBride, Kristine Lilly, and Bob Bradley will be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame on Saturday, Feb. 14, in San Francisco during the US Soccer’s annual general meeting.

At Soccer America, part one of a Q&A with the US Soccer Development Academy’s Director of Scouting Tony Lepore.

The formation of the Professional Futsal League (PFL) was announced on Tuesday with NBA executive Donnie Nelson, president of basketball operations and general manager of the Dallas Mavericks, as the lead investor in the new league. A press release says, “Team commitments have already been secured from existing sports entities with the first club, already a global international sports brand, to be announced within a month.” The PFL will begin play in November 2016.

Elsewhere

The AP reports, “FIFA’s transfer monitoring subsidiary processed $4.1 billion worth of cross-border player deals in 2014, with England the biggest spender.”

Also from the AP:

A piece of the original World Cup trophy has been found and will be displayed in the new FIFA museum.

A staff member found the stone base of the Jules Rimet trophy last month in basement storage at FIFA headquarters, museum creative director David Ausseil said Tuesday.

“It’s like finding an Egyptian mummy,” Ausseil told The Associated Press. “You can’t put a price tag on it because it’s family jewels.”

The report notes the gold statuette that once was mounted on the base “was permanently given to Brazil after winning its third title in 1970. It was stolen in 1983 and never recovered.”

20 Comments

  1. Personally I would love to have Marfan back as an option on the wing.

    • This is me still tapping my fingers in impatience from yesterday…. sign him. Do it. Perfect player to push Danny Cruz further down the depth chart. I want Danny here, just not as a first choice role sub.
      .
      Farfan and Wenger can bash heads over who gets to be a best IX. Farfan is a NO BRAINER. If he elects to stay in MLS it should be with the Philadlephia Union. Period. The End.
      .
      BTW- I know this is a Union website but did anybody watch the Juventus Napoli game this weekend. Stellar. As if the Paul Pogba volley wasn’t enough Arturo Vidal’s opposite foot howitzer was unbelievable- this all in the face of Napoli playing beautifully. Rafa Benitez gets the most from his teams. Napoli knew this was an important game to make a statement and Juve were having none of it.
      .
      What an embarrassment of riches for The Old Lady: Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente as starting strikers and Alvaro Morata as first choice sub up top. Gyan Asamoah not even dressing as a LB but little loss in the way of continuity along back line. Every choice by Buffon dead on. Total command of his box and punches cleared. Magic.
      .
      That’s all. When I watch games like that: technical perfection with the simplest of things at face value done so efficiently and purposefully with agility and body command and flicks of passes and no fear of failure where one errant pass is such an outlier that you actually stop and say, “Holy Shit that was a bad pass,” cause they are so infrequent- total spellbinding meditation of movement the ball buoyed upon the peaks and troughs of the ocean- mesmerizing you and next you know, 2 hours ago – you just sat down and now it’s over. When can I watch again?
      .
      This is my hope for American Futbol and boy are we a lightyear away still.

      • The Black Hand says:

        That was a gem of match. We will never see that type of technical aptitude here. In truth, THAT type of play isn’t in England, either. That’s the beauty of the game…the playing style varies upon region. I enjoy the subtle differences between top leagues and feel that is what makes the CL so special to watch. That said, there are basic fundamentals that are present in all of the finer leagues. THOSE we could sure use in the States…ASAP.
        .
        Pogba is soon going to be considered with the worlds best. Excellent player…that SAF let walk…HaHaHA…

      • Sadly I believe you are right. That said, it wasn’t that long ago, 20 years maybe when the European Ryder Cup players knew, beyond doubt, they did not possess the quality to beat the American’s. And now?
        .
        Despite individual brilliance on any given Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday…not one player on the US Squad can carry the team game jock strap of the europeans– as evidenced by our consistently getting asses kicked.
        .
        So my point, maybe….. just maybe in 20 years when Futbol is America’s game too- which I really believe it may be- maybe then we will have a comparable product- with a pro/relegation system whether MLS is part of or not, cause that day is coming and MLS is going to have to choose to be part of or not, that pushes quality from the bottom up and the top players are truly truly leaning toward world class.

        .
        Gotta love Jurgen though, he could give a shit about MLS. “Jozy I’d rather you flounder around at Levante than score 15 a year in Toronto. Jozy, I, Jurgen Klinsman could still score 15 a year in Toronto.”
        .
        Such an indictment by NT coach. He has to be absolutely roiling mad that in his tenure, the “top players” on his team are opting to play in US. This is the true impetus behind his youth movement IMO- he chopped LD in a heartbeat and Dempsey and Bradley and Altidore better beware- Klinsman is and has always been an assassin.

      • the FA Cup replay between West Ham and Everton yesterday was one entertaining match too. Like you said….you watch a Serie A match and see technical things you would never see in the MLS….. I’ll add that you watch an FA Cup match and you see tenacity and passion you don’t see out of any players in the MLS either……

      • That game was superb! Incredible that a 10-man Everton went ahead 2-1. Then got scored on, on a corner, then lost on penalties 8-9. Best was West Ham’s goalie throwing his glows away prior to kicking his penalty, knowing he would score. Awesome entertainment!
        .
        Joel, come to Wildwood during the long weekend in February for the Region 1 Futsal tournament! My son’s team is a defending champion but now they have to play a year up since they do not have a U18 class. Great Futsal there. Last year Claudio Reyna was there since his son was playing on one of the NY teams.

      • Futsal is a way forward I agree, though tragically while I think a place like Competitive Edge Sports is really cool and helpful….. it has become almost insultingly expensive.
        .
        Only in ‘Merica.

      • great match Guido….like you said, awesome entertainment! I felt bad for Everton……and was happy for Carlton Cole to get the equalizer…..

      • Missed the Hammers and Everton game- wish I hadn’t though- sounds excellent.

      • Pogba to Man City?… He is Yaya Toure, but 10 years younger with a bigger upside. Top 5 world player in my opinion. Beastly magic.

      • Beastly. Magic. Yes. Yes.
        .
        Look out for Les Bleus in Euro 16. Varane, Valbuena, Greizmann, Remy, Big Cat, Matuidi, Menez, Cabaye, Debuchey, Lacazette, Ben Arfa.
        .
        Young, hungry and really really good. If not right now, look out in next 4 or 6 years.

      • Pogba is filthy good, but I think Yaya is more of the complete package. No player on the planet runs a midfield like Yaya. You don’t have to play with two holding mids when you have YaYa there…. he is the ultimate destroyer/creator. Pogba is more offensive in his game……and still young. He probably will be one of the best in the years to come.

      • Michael Essien and Les Diarra have been the two best holding mids of my lifetime. I always joked and said I’ll take 10 Michael Essiens and 1 Didier Drogba and they would win everything!

      • Lazlo Hollyfeld says:

        Good post

    • Marfan,yes. Arriola said he’d be down for a loan to MLS. We need quality not someone with brick feet and hustle.

  2. That Soccer America article previewing the Union’s 2015 season is fully of errors.
    .
    “…the Union starts its fifth season at a crossroads.”
    .
    Victor Nogueira?
    .
    They mention Brian Carroll for no reason yet fail to highlight the issue that both of the two remaining goalkeepers on the roster play for their international teams?
    .
    .
    .
    Not putting any stock in that article whatsoever…

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