Daily news roundups

Nacional says Valdes to sign loan deal, new trialists, Academy commitments, US Open Cup format, more

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union

An announcement on the Nacional website (crappy Google translation here) says Carlos Valdes will arrive in Montevideo on Friday to sign a one-year loan deal. An earlier version of the announcement had Valdes arriving today, but it seems the defender missed a connecting flight (crappy Google translation here).

Speaking on Fox Sports Uruguay (crappy Google translation of the text here, no translation of the audio, unfortunately), Nacional board member Luis Bruno said the loan deal includes the possibility of Valdes going to a European club after six months.

CSN Philly says the Valdes loan deal “comes with an option to purchase.”

The latest Daily Doop mentions several new trialists with the team in Clearwater: Petros Kanakoudis, a 31-year old left back from Greece; midfielder Aodhan Quinn, who you will recall was selected by the Union in last year’s draft who played for Orlando City in 2014; and Navid Nasseri, an 18-year-old attacking midfielder from England who is with Birmingham City and Iran’s U-21 team.

Matthew De George tweeted on Wednesday, “Union trials of Coady Andrews and Hermes Palomino have come to an end, I’m told.”

Dzenan Catic has a behind the scenes look at the life of a rookie in preseason. Interestingly, Eric Bird is described as a defender in a caption (it was just a mistake, I’m told), and goalkeeper trialist John McCarthy is listed as No. 55. CJ Sapong is going to be a lot of fun.

Jim Curtin said after the day’s training, “The workload has really increased, we’re getting some fitness work in. We pushed them out here today for the first time in a 30-minute scrimmage – some guys got pushed a little more. I was happy with the chances we created – I thought we scored some good goals – but we need to work on some team defensive things, not just the back four. It’s still early, though. We have some time to get things right.”

The Union announced on Thursday morning that 6abc, Comcast SportsNet, and the Comcast Network will again televise 2015 Union games that are not nationally broadcast. “WPVI-TV/6abc continues in its sixth season as the Union’s official broadcast partner and will air four of the team’s 34 total matches this season, while Comcast SportsNet and The Comcast Network, now in their fifth season, will air 21 matches. All matches will be broadcast in high definition.” You can download a printable version of the schedule with broadcast information by clicking here.

Union Academy

Wednesday was National Signing Day. The Union Academy is tied with St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri for the fourth most number of players out of the 30 US Soccer Development Academy clubs that submitted lists of players who made college commitments. Those eleven players are:

William Campbell (North Carolina), Kevin Carvalho (Northeastern), Morgan Hackworth (Syracuse), Nick Jachwak (Loyola Maryland), Cameron Keys (La Salle), Garrett Keys (La Salle), Brandon Levano (Loyola Maryland), Everet Minchew (Wagner College), Zach Perez (Rutgers), John Schroeder (Delaware), Zach Zandi (Villanova).

PA Classics announced 10 college commitments, FC Delco announced eight. More on the Union Academy college commitments at Brotherly Game.

Sons of Ben

Sons of Ben vice president Lorenzo Rivera has announced he will be stepping down. Rivera, who joined the SoB board in 2010 to run tailgates, will continue to contribute to the organization as a consultant to the board.


The PDL schedule was announced on Wednesday. Union-affiliate Reading United opens the season on the road against new PDL side Lehigh Valley United on May 16. The team is on the road to Baltimore Bohemians on May 23 before hosting Ocean City Nor’easters in their home opener on May 30. As of this writing, LVU and Ocean City have not posted their season schedules. For the full league schedule, click here.

Former Reading United players Damien Lowe and Jimmy Ockford, both center backs, are impressing in Seattle’s preseason.

Sydney Zandi (Henderson High School, West Chester) has been named the Gatorade Girls Player of the Year for Pennsylvania. Zandi, a US youth international who plays her club ball with Penn Fusion, has committed to University of Virginia.

A look at local sports blogs at Philadelphia Business Journal says, “for those blogging on the Philadelphia Union soccer team, there is an opportunity to serve as a conventional news outlet as neither the Inquirer or Daily News have a dedicated beat writer covering the team.” It’s true.


Chicago Fire has signed 2015 MLS SuperDraft pick Matt Polster, a defender.

Chicago Fire defender Gonzalo Segares has retired after ten years with the team. Segares will now serve as a club Ambassador and Academy coach.

The Orlando Sentinel follows the recent Daily News article on the trend of American players returning to MLS from overseas.

Kaka scored a goal and had an assist in Orlando’s 4-0 win over FC Dallas on Wednesday. Former Union man Danny Mwanga also had a goal in the win.

A news roundup at Empire of Soccer notes, “MLS’s referees are changing their interpretation of the offside law in 2015.” The report does not include a link to a source but, after some searching I found a report at Black & Red United from Sunday on the interpretation change, which is actually coming from FIFA. The Black and Red United report suggests the new interpretation would mean the goal Chris Rolfe scored against the Union in the 1-0 loss to DC United last May would not stand. I’m not sure if the controversial 90th minute game-winner scored by Bernardo Anor in the 2-1 loss to Columbus in last year’s final game of the season would now be disallowed.

At SI, Tim Cahill talks about why he decided to leave New York Red Bulls.

Montreal Impact are struggling to maintain fan support, with only around 5,000 season tickets sold so far. Team owner and president Joey Saputo says, “The buzz is not there anymore…That worries me a lot.”

ProSoccerTalk reviews the stadium options for David Beckham’s Miami franchise.

The promotion-relegation series at Soccer Gods continues with part 2, “A way it could work.”


US Soccer announced the format for the 2015 US Open Cup on Wednesday. Some 91 teams will will be a part of the 102nd edition of the tournament, with play-in matches taking place April 22-26. The announcement notes,

A significant update to the tournament format will be a new, geographically-based random draw that will determine the Round of 16 matches and set a fixed bracket to the Final. The change was implemented to minimize the possibility of clubs being required to travel long distances for matches. As in earlier editions, matches from the beginning of the tournament to the fourth round will be determined on a geographic basis, with certain restrictions in place…

The 16 winners from the fourth round will be divided geographically (regardless of league affiliation) into groups of four, with teams that have a shared-ownership affiliation precluded from being in the same cluster. A random draw, scheduled for June 18, will determine the pairings within each group for the fifth round. The two winners from each group will subsequently face each other in the quarterfinal (sixth) round.

Each group will also be paired geographically with another group to pre-determine the pairings for the semifinal round. Should two ownership-affiliated teams reach the semifinal round and be scheduled to face each other, the matches will be re-drawn to avoid this outcome.

Reading United will begin play in the first round on May 17 after securing an at-large berth; Ocean City Nor’easters and new PDL side Lehigh Valley United Sonic are not part of the pool of 19 PDL teams. Harrisburg City Islanders begin play in the second round on May 20. The Union will enter the tournament with MLS teams in the fourth round, which will take place June 16, with June 17 reserved as a make-up date in the event that games are postponed due to weather. The final will take place September 29 or 30. It is not mentioned in the announcement, but theCup.us recently reported that the final will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 or Fox Sports 2.

Jurgen Klinsmann’s solution to the fitness problem he has been discussing lately: “My wish is that the domestic league here, the MLS, is going to an 11-month season like the rest of the world. Just extending that season of MLS would solve my issue that I have right now but we’re working on it.”

At Fox Sports, Kyle McCarthy has an article on the logistics behind the USMNT’s travels.

At ASN, Brian Sciaretta talks to head coach Tab Ramos about the recent U-20 World Cup qualifiers and preparations for the U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

CNN has a good profile piece on Mia Hamm.

At the New York Daily News, more from Walt Bahr on the passing of US 1950 World Cup teammate Frank Borghi.


Sources tell Soccer America that CONCACAF’s qualification tournament for the 2016 Olympics will take place in October.

At ESPN, Gabriele Marcotti has an open letter to the three candidates challenging Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.

From the AP: “The 2018 World Cup stadium in the southern Russian city of Rostov is seven months behind schedule and faces a ”tight deadline” to be ready in time, says the Rostov regional construction ministry.”

Reuters reports, “Udo Lattek, the most successful Bundesliga coach of all time and one of a select few managers to win all three major European club competitions, has died at the age of 80.”

At ESPN, John Brewin on how, while hooliganism has largely been eradicated from the Premier League, the culture of hooliganism nevertheless continues to resonate in popular culture.


  1. Man, the fun never ends. I imagined Curtin throwing the phone accross the room hearing that Valdes missed his flight. I’m half expecting Valdes to arrive in Montevideo and Team 40% Santa Fe stepping in with a “better” deal from them or some other club to scupper the deal…

  2. See ya Carlos. Can’t say I blame you.
    Did the words left back and Greece just appear in the same sentence. Could it be? I like Greek defenders. I’d like a Greek LB very much provided he’s not right footed.
    Montreal Impact – a fish floating belly up down stream.
    The culture of hooliganism in popular culture? What exactly is the culture of hooliganism — if it has been eradicated from english football. Is that the same as Gansta Rap. Things that make you go hmmm…

    • The Black Hand says:

      Honestly, the Carlos drama needs to end. Another loan. He is a very good player but it’s tough to put a stable back line together, when your best player can’t decide if he’s coming or going…
      I heard news of the Greek back, as well. Fingers crossed!! There are a couple of guys working with the club, that could be valuable pieces. .
      Now, let’s read about a transfer… for the love of God!!!!

    • Unbelievable how much he’s tarnished his legacy. I’m openly rooting for him not to get paid again

      • Tarnished legacy? WC vet with plenty of teams lining up to offer him a fatter pay check and a shot at Copa Libertadores? On the other side, we have the Union who are always strapped for cash, so it just seems normal. Most players rarely get much of a say as to where they are headed next.

      • Yep tarnished legacy. Two years ago if you were starting a Union roll of honor, his would have been the first name nominated. Today he wouldn’t even get a vote.
        Everyone wished him the best . . . the first time. That move wasn’t about money it was about his WC hopes.
        He came back over the summer because he complained he didn’t get paid. Now 6 months later he’s forcing another move to the same league, at the last minute. That’s disrepectful not only to the fans who treated him incredibly, but to the team who granted his wish last year so he could fulfill his lifelong dream.

      • I assume it was meant as his legacy here…he got a pretty strong reception after returning last year and was well loved. Going through all the games and rumors all over again has changed that dramatically.

    • Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

      If you watch the attached highlight clip, you won’t want him. His highligt reel is as follows:
      1. Win Ball
      2. Boot ball as hard and far into other team’s half.
      3. Repeat.

      This guy would never be confused with an engineer because he is building nothing from the back…

      • Did we watch the same highlight reel? Granted, I didn’t watch the entire 20 mins and it’s from ’12/’13, but it started more like this:
        1. Cutoff outlet pass
        2. Take a couple dribbles
        3. Play 1-2 into the box
        4. Finish
        That was followed by some good tackles/interceptions and left-footed crosses and balls driven up/across the field that I can’t picture coming from our current LB options. They weren’t just booted long. He had a purpose, and they connected. I would definitely be excited to at least see if he can still play at his ’12/’13 level.

      • dan C (formerly of 103) says:

        I admittedly random clicked to about 20 different spots on the highlight reel and every time he won the ball, all I saw him do was boot it long. I’ll rewatch but what I saw wasn’t the technical player Curtin was describing today.

  3. Every time Klinsmann opens his mouth I feel like punching him in the jejunum!

    • magic. I’d like to knee him in the duodenum sometimes myself. Trouble is, he’s usually right and we Americans don’t like to be told where we are not good enough.
      That said, J Jones anchoring a 3-5-2 was insane- whether it was for shits and giggles or not.

  4. So the MLSTransfers Twitter account says to expect a striker announcement in the next 48 hours, but that he’s not the Union’s first choice (or close to it) and that he’s not definitively DP quality. Faaaaaaaaantastic.

    • At this point, I’m worried they’re going to overpay to get any warm body signed, just because they promised a transfer.

    • As long as he is better than Hoppenot and Wheeler, it can’t hurt. That said, I want someone who is THE STARTER.

    • That post is from 13 hours ago and I believe is referenencing local twitter accts who posted that earlier. So I’d say they have about 33 hours to meet that deadline

    • Carlos Tevez on a sleeper steal of the century when they were hoping to land Alvaro Morata- what what- on just a dream.

      • Haha, that would be something huh? Tevez might be a headcase, but if his mind was there, on the right team he’d score a bazillion goals in this league.

    • Also from MLSTransfers: “They’ve worked on countless forwards none have come to fruition. Some have been FO’s fault, some bad luck, some bad timing.”
      Now, I don’t know how much MLSTransfers really knows about what’s going on behind the scenes, but it sounds like what one would expect when you have such a bare bones technical staff without much experience. I don’t even blame Curtin and Albright for how this is gone – they need some help and they’re not getting it..

  5. OneManWolfpack says:

    A left footed LB… what a novel concept!! Now CUT HIM!! HAHA!
    Good riddance Carlos. You were an All-Star, but it’s obvious you don’t want to be here. And for the love of god, JUST SELL HIM!! NO MORE LOANS!!

  6. I am excited for the season. The trio of Nogueira, Maidana, and Edu should play better after settling in last year. I even truly believe that Rais will have a great season. Obviously we failed last year and worryingly little has been done in the offseason to address obvious shortcomings, but id rather Albright and Curtin take their time and bring the right guys into the fold. The offseason is not yet over; singings are coming.

    • Your Kool Aid tastes better than mine.
      Maybe if I add more sugar.

    • Now that Valdes is leaving, I’m hoping that Berry can step in and play significant minutes. As of right now, he’s going to have to contribute. The man was Rookie of the Year a few seasons ago….he can regain that form.

  7. CJ can rhyme. Next career maybe.

  8. Ever see the clip of him rapping to Hope Solo? He’s definitely improved since then… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zIswIuiObg

  9. As much of this is Valdes’ fault, blame must also be put on the front office. You signed a player who has already asked to leave once – granted to fulfill his ‘World Cup dream’ – to a long term deal after last summer’s drama. Besides that, Valdes has always wanted to get to Europe somehow, and even if recent events hadn’t happened, I believe the Union would have had to deal with that this summer. Strange that the FO used European ambitions as one of their reasons to not re-sign Okugo, but had no problem with Valdes’ desire to play outside MLS.

    So to recap, a cash poor organization committed a large amount of its available funds long term to a player who over the past few years has not really shown he wanted to be here. And if Nacional chooses not to buy Valdes when the loan ends, we get to go through all of this again next off season. Great job team!

  10. I'm Sak, Please Fire Me says:

    With Valdes gone, I am looking forward to Edu playing regularly at CB and Okugo starting at CDM.
    Fire me. Now. Now. NOW!!!!

  11. Interesting reading about all the academy kids committing to college. The day when a Professional soccer academy player ceases to sign a letter of intent to play amateur/college soccer, which is totally oxymoronic, will be a great day for the game in this country. Proof positive then, to me, that we are really on the right track.

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