Daily news roundups

CBS Philly: Union to acquire Nantes striker on loan, IMG tourney play begins today, more news

Photo: Courtesy of panorama.com.ve

Philadelphia Union

At CBS Philly, Kevin Kinkead reports the Union are about to acquire Venezuelan international forward Fernando Aristeguieta on loan from Ligue 1 side Nantes:

Aristeguieta is expected to arrive in Philadelphia this week, where he will take a medical before joining the Union for preseason training in Florida. Sources further confirmed that he will count as a “young designated player”, which gives the Union flexibility against the salary cap.

Details on loan length are unclear, though the Union will have an option to purchase the player when the deal expires.

On Tuesday evening (early Wednesday morning, Franc time), Ouest-France (crappy Google translation) reported Aristeguieta could join the Union on loan. Kinkead tweeted confirmation soon after, saying “the Union are close to acquiring” the Venezuelan.

Reports from El Segmento (crappy Google translation), Presse-Ocean (crappy Google translation), Foot01.com (crappy Google translation), and 20minites.com (crappy Google translation) soon followed.

Ouest-France reported the Venezuelan “could be loaned for six months, with option for a further loan,” with Foot01.com saying the loan should happen “this week.”

Aristeguieta began his professional career with Caracas FC in 2009, going on to score 31 goals in 71 appearances. He joined then Ligue 2 side Nantes in January of 2013, helping the team achieve promotion in May of that year. You will recall that US international Alejandro Bedoya joined the team in August of 2013.

While Aristeguieta has scored 9 goals over 42 appearances with Nantes, he has but one league appearance this season, coming last week in the 2-0 loss to Bastia. Entering the game as a substitute in the 60th minute, he was shown a very questionable straight red in the 64th minute.

Nantes loaned Aristeguieta to La Liga side Getafe at the end of 2014. However, the loan was cancelled on January 31, 2015 because, as El Universal reported (crappy Google translation), his contract “exceeded the payroll of the Spanish club.” Transfermarkt.com lists his current value at €1 million, or approximately $1.14 million. Stay tuned.

The Union begin play in the IMG Suncoast Pro Classic today at 2:30 pm against the Costa Rica U-23 team. CONCACAF has an article on the squad the Union will meet, which includes LA Galaxy II forward Ariel Lassiter, son of MLS legend and former USMNT player Roy Lassiter.

The IMG games will be streamed on the tournament website. The latest Daily Doop also says video of the games “will also be available later if you can’t catch them live.” UPDATE: The game against Costa Rica will not be streamed. The London FC and Columbus games will be streamed. Apparently, only games at the main IMG Stadium will be streamed.

Elmoudarrib.com (crappy Google translation) notes Rais Mbolhi’s beginning of preseason training with the team. The Daily Doop has footage of Mbolhi at work in training.

The Daily Doop also notes that Union Academy player Will Campbell is training with the senior team in Clearwater.

Dzenan Catic will be participating in a Reddit AMA on Thursday from 2 pm.

to talk publicly about his situation with the Union.

Soccer America notes the Sons of Ben Movie’s grand prix win at the 2015 Tokyo International Football Film Festival.


Following Jonathan Tannenwald’s interview at Philly.com last week, ASN’s Brian Sciaretta interviews USL head Tim Holt about the league’s expansion  plans, applying for Division 2 status, and more.

Midfielder Neil Shaffer will return to Harrisburg City Islanders for the 2015 season.

The La Salle women’s team has released its spring schedule.


New York Red Bulls have signed trialist and forward Mike Grella. The New York-born Grella, who was last with Carolina RailHawks, was formerly with Leeds, where he scored 5 goals over 40 appearances, and several other Championship and League One sides in England, as well as Viborg in Denmark. Before that announcement, the Red Bulls waived 2013 SuperDraft pick Ian Christianson.

Montreal Impact defeated Cruz Azul 1-0 in a preseason match in Mexico City on Tuesday. Former Union man Jack McInerney was shown a red card late in the game.

NYCFC have announced the launch of a new youth academy, starting with a U-13/14 team that will compete US Soccer Development Academy League beginning in the 2015-16 season.

On the CBA negotiations front, ProSoccer Talk notes, “Crucial meetings between the players union and MLS will take place on Feb. 21-23, as talks will go down to the wire. MLS Players Union executive director Bob Foose says,

We will meet every week from here on out. That would be the expectation. It is not that we aren’t trying, on both sides, but we are very, very far apart in two key issues. That’s free agency and player compensation…

We have not articulated any type of specific deadline but clearly we all have an eye towards the end of preseason and the beginning of the season. That is the crucial juncture. We certainly feel pressure, and I think the league would agree that we all feel pressure. Over the next few weeks the aim is to make progress and to get ourselves to a point where we can make an agreement.

Writing at World Soccer Talk, PSP contributor Earl Reed says its becoming increasingly difficult to justify the league’s single entity status.

The Professional Referee Organization has announced its roster of match officials for 2015. PRO also says it “will focus on dissent and persistent infringement as areas for reviewing during the 2015 season.”

San Antonio Business Journal reports the sell-out of the 65,000 seat Alamodome for the upcoming USA-Mexico friendly “has not gone unnoticed by Major League soccer executives.”

The Daily Mirror reports that Thierry Henry has been offered a coaching position in Arsenal’s youth academy.


Following up on his analysis of the USWNT’s loss to France, Soccer Wire’s Mark Shawhan has another excellent tactical breakdown of the team. The headline puts things well: “Victory over England does not quell questions about Ellis’s vision.” Shawhan is producing some of the best criticism of the team out there.

At The Equalizer, Kentucky women’s team head coach Jon Lipsitz explains how the US can win the Women’s World Cup.

All kinds of local connections in the rosters for the US U-20 and U-23 WNT squads that will be participating in the La Manga Tournament in Spain.

At Paste Magazine, 39 signs you’re a serious USMNT fan.


The Guardian reports, “Police in Paris and London have launched investigations after Chelsea supporters were filmed singing a racist chant and preventing a black man from boarding the Paris métro.” Chelsea, who were in town to face Paris Saint-Germain in Champions League play, have condemned the incident. More from the AP.

Meanwhile, ESPN reports, “While attempting to enter the garage at the Parc des Princes, Chelsea’s team bus scraped a ramp, breaking a window or two, and had to back up before successfully navigating the entrance.” Insert Chelsea “parking the bus” jokes here.

In further bus-related news, Reuters reports, “The Colombian side Deportivo Cali were forced to abandon their bus and take a police vehicle to their match against Deportes Tolima after their driver was found to be drunk.”

Goal.com reports, “The saga over Morocco’s refusal to host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations has taken another turn with the nation’s Football Federation (FRMF) appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over sanctions placed upon it.”

The AP reports, “David Beckham waded into the FIFA presidential election on Tuesday, singling out former Real Madrid teammate Luis Figo in his bid to unseat Sepp Blatter.”


  1. Ok so does anyone know anything really about this guy? He’s bigger, which is a good thing for our system, although they have publicly stated they wanted a smaller/faster type. Some of the goals in the videos looked pretty nice, and he looked good in the air. It could make us pretty solid on set pieces and crosses this year, which we all know we have many many every game.
    Whatever the case, if it’s true, get him here IMMEDIATELY. The last thing we need is him coming in late and not fitting in. This is even more important because it doesn’t look like he’s played too much recently, and has zero goals this year.
    Ultimately this reaks of Union small pockets, and he was probably low on the totem pole. However, he is absolutely better than what we have, young, big, strong and hopefully hungry. It’s something to look forward to at least.

    • The Black Hand says:

      I know that his last name contains a lot of letters.
      Can’t make a judgement on him, until the loan details are finalized and released. At first glance, he looks like a decent player…not great.

    • He comes from a French side comparable to the one Nogeuira came from….so there’s that. Nogueira has obviously transitioned well. I am hopeful that his style of play will fit well with speedy wingers running off of him.

    • Step in the right direction, but I predict he’s a bust. Another ‘moneyball’ signing that has not done crap in the top league nor internationally. Sell the team!!!!

  2. Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

    If PRO is serious about focusing on persistent infringement, then the level of play will only increase in MLS. It is an issue that has long plagued the quality of play in this country and I truly hope that they enforce it!

    • It would be nice, but I’m not holding my breath. The note on the PRO website didn’t even mention ‘the other’ PI — cautioning a team after multiple fouls *against* the same player. Until the PRO actually addresses that, the ‘hack-a-Shaq’ style of repeatedly fouling a club’s most skilled players will keep the quality of MLS play down.

  3. The Black Hand says:

    Disgusting display by a handful of Chelsea supporters. I wish a whooping for each of them!

    • It was probably the head hunters………notoriously racist Chelsea firm…

      • If only public displays of punishment were still part of the norm.
        I’m not saying anything over the top- drawing or quartering or stoning or tar and feathering just the bigots tied to a pole with a dunce cap in the center of town wearing a shirt that says, “Why always me?”

  4. Finally! Sincerely hope this all works out. LB,LB,LB. Don’t want it to be the Union’s Achilles heal. Fabhino is what he is. As much as I can appreciate the contributions of Gaddis as a LB he is a RB and his growth is being stifled. In my opinion Gaddis has so much upside he should be in talks regarding the national team but, because the Union is soooo dysfunctional with it’s young talent(Okugo,Farfan…etc)he is being overlooked. Of course it may not be his time but the Union have a poor habit of not featuring young players in their strongest position. Another reason why the Union need a true GM to reel in Albright and Curtin when needed and probably why the position of coach has been such a revolving door. Get a quality LB and let Gaddis work at trying to win the RB position. The next thing has to be the quality of bench strength and quality depth. There is an alarming drop off after the starting XI, again time for a real GM.

    • old soccer coach says:

      Analyze their salary cap situation. There will be no money for acquiring a LB. And that’s the cap, not a lack of money by ownership. Notice that Raymond Lee is still with the club. I hazard the guess that he is signed in one of the roster slots below 24 and sent on season-long loan to Harrisburg, hopefully to win playing time at left back and learn the job. [Remember Coach Becher makes his own decisions for the good of his club, hence I say “hopefully”.] Watch the HCI roster as it takes shape to see if they bring back last year’s left back. Time will tell.

  5. I wonder how US-Canada would draw at the Alamodome?

    • Thank you! Perfect statement. It’s going to be just as bad as playing in Mexico. Hopefully the MNT never plays there again. Of course I understand why they are.

      • old soccer coach says:

        The Mexican connection is not as simple as that. The goal scored in Azteca, the stadium that is the direct descendant of the Tenochtitlan pyramid to the war god Huitzilopotchli where hearts were cut out of the chests of living sacrificial victims, was scored by a Mexican-American, Michael Orozco-Fiscal.

      • This is lovely writing, OSC.

      • I second that, ebradlee10. If the Alamodome attendance ends up being 60% Mexican (conservatively), the 65,000 does not correlate to potential future MLS attendance. Two sparsely attended MLS stadiums are enough for you, Texas. No mas.

  6. My only quibble with the new signing is that if the reports are to be believed his loan is only for 6 months. It took Maidana at least that long to get settled in. A six month loan may force the Union to make a decision before we even know what we have.

    • To be fair, it took Hackworth 6 months to figure that Chaco should play in the number 10 spot and not as a wing.

    • The Black Hand says:

      6 months??? That would put this loan up there with some of the worst decisions that this FO has made.

      • I assume the union have the right to buy the player at terms already negotiated. If not it could be ugly.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Those terms (option to buy) usually come with a one-year loan, which I suspect that Nantes didn’t want. Speculation leads me to believe that they want the full transfer now and our honchos have that fear of commitment thing…

    • Wait, isn’t Valdes’ loan six months? This loan may be set up to mirror that. Possibly the team can’t fit both Valdes and this guy under the cap at the same time.

  7. 9 gols 42 games. hmm. we need 12-15 to be relevant. can he do it?

    • The Black Hand says:

      In 6 months? Not a chance.

    • Based on his career, including the 0 for 5 this season, he is 40 goals in 113 appearances (not all starts). That would give him 12 goals across 34 games. I’d wager 12-15 if he is the starter all year. He has some streakiness (braces and hat tricks) to him if you read about his history in more detail.

  8. I’m not sure what kind of striker most of you expected to be signed. I like the addition. He’s young, big, has national team experience, and is probably a clear step up on our existing group of forwards. I think it gives the team flexibility and depth on the attack. I’d image this now puts the Union close to the salary cap. Are there perhaps plans to move Fabinho or someone else this season to make room for another signing? Is it possible RM is working on a European partnership to help our youth program? I’m still positive. Let’s get things going and see how it pans out!

    • I like this signing as well, based on what I’ve read about him (admittedly, not much in the grand scheme of things).

    • All in all, good call by you Mike. He has some pedigree. He knows how to play the game ‘the right way’ I imagine. Hopefully he can score some gols- cause we definitely need gols.
      We knew David Villa wasn’t coming and Zlatan is a bit busy.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        You don’t choose Zlatan… Zlatan chooses you

      • Glad somebody didn’t leave that go. Zlatan looked menacing last night. At least his countenance did: One part miserable bore. One part enigmatic genius. One part 6′ 4” assassin – all wrapped up in a fu manchu and hair bun and high leg kick.
        And your right, he chooses you.

      • Verrati was awesome this match too……….5’5 pit bull who never turns the ball over………PSG had the better of Chelsea that match …..felt bad for them……..I’m equally shocked they played that match in Donetsk…….were shells flying over head?

      • He got away with larceny too all game- pull tug tug pull timely dive. Sleight of hand shit man- getting himself in to jams and then out of them- always with the ball. He is a player.
        A lot of people argue about why diving is so bad, but I’ll tell you its because the game becomes back yard tackle american football without it. The diving is instrumental in managing the game- keeping it the pure expression of perfect rhythm.

    • The Black Hand says:

      I like the player…hate the loan, if it is in fact a 6 month loan.
      This is a better player than I thought we were going to pick up. I was smelling another Lionard…

      • old soccer coach says:

        Nantes may want him back for next season, too. Six months allows that. BUT, what is the source of the six months rumor? What’s the source of the assumption?

      • It was a number that was thrown around twitter..

  9. I believe this a stop gap. That’s why it is six months with an option to buy. The Union are still keeping their eye on the July transfer window. They have competition, but an MLS club will likely be landing Diego Forlan after he finishes his commitments in Japan.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Wait, are you saying there is an actual plan here? Like, thought out, and executed?! No. No way. I don’t believe it.

  10. old soccer coach says:

    We can tell nothing about a new player until we see him on the pitch for ourselves. They have spent a lot of money; he will be on the pitch barring injury. A Spanish side, first division I believe, wanted him and, if you remember what Kevin Kinkead wrote earlier this offseason, made a better off than the Union. But the offer violated some financial restriction and went away. Our FO is not the only soccer organization to think this guy might perform well on the pitch.

    • Just to be fair, the Spanish side didn’t necessarily have to make a better offer than the Union financially. Just being a La Liga side makes it a better offer than the Union. That was the situation with Perez and (I think) Malaga last year.

  11. So, what happens to this loan (and the Vitoria loan, for that matter) if there is a work stoppage and the players don’t get paid? I can’t imagine the loaning clubs would be very happy with their players not getting PT and them not getting their money …

    • This is the latest rumor. Apparently the players are unified…except the foreign, high-priced players. They want their money.
      The players are in a very poor bargaining position. Expect them to get screwed, and start playing no later than 2 weeks after the expected start date.

    • I have to assume if a club assumes a loan, they are assuming the players existing contract. Thus that contract has to be paid regardless of the MLS collective bargaining agreement.

  12. I’m surprised to see people talking about the salary cap. The only way I know of getting that info is when the players’ union releases the data sometime in season. Is there another resource for cap info I don’t know about?

    I don’t see how the Union can be up against the cap anyway. By my count, from last season, we’ve lost Brown, Ribiero, Okugo, McMath, Fernandes, and Wheeler. Added Sapong and bought Edu. Vitoria slots into Valdes contract slot, more or less. Carroll has to have taken some kind of pay cut, he was making close to 200k last year (maybe Casey and Fred too). And we may add the Nantes striker. Last year, I don’t think they were near the cap, and there is talk it could go up by as much as 25% in the new CBA. How can the Union be up against the cap?

  13. Aristeguieta still will only have 1 1/2 weeks to beat out Sapong for the starting forward spot.

  14. Please give him more minutes than Brian Brown

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