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Philadelphia Union

In an interview with French news outlet Presse Ocean (crappy Google translation here), Fernando Aristeguieta reiterates previous comments (crappy Google translation here) that seem to affirm reports he will not be returning to the Union. While praising his time with the Union — “It was a very positive experience…I needed it. I am a new person. I improved.” — Aristeguieta believes that improvement will help him with Nantes: “Today, I think I’m a better player. I think that working, I can impose myself here.” The question is whether Nantes manager Michel Der Zakarian agrees. Butfootballclub.fr (crappy Google translation here) and 90min.com (crappy Google translation here) pick up on the Presse Ocean report.

MLSsoccer.com talks to Brandon Vincent, the Stanford left back who mock drafts at SBI and Top Drawer Soccer have the Union selecting in next week’s SuperDraft. Vincent says of how he plays,

If I have the chance to get forward I love to do that, and get up and down the wing and get crosses off, get shots off. If that’s not on during the game then I’m happy to stay back and do my job defensively, making sure the opposing team doesn’t get their own shots on goal and doesn’t give the ‘keeper a hard time. I love to get forward when I have the chance to, but I’m not afraid to defend and I won’t shy away from that…

Watching the EPL growing up, I think that I can play similar to like an Ashley Cole type. That’s who I’d like to model myself after, kind of an attacking fullback who shuts down the opponent but then also gets forward and creates chances. I think kind of as I’ve gotten older and kind of realized my own skillset, I think like guys directly in MLS that I’ve heard people compare me to is like an Andrew Farrell or a Sean Franklin kind of player. That’s obviously really, really cool to be compared to guys like that, who have done well so far.

Former Union man Kleberson has signed with NASL side Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

Former Union, Harrisburg City Islanders, and Reading United goalkeeper Brian Holt has been re-signed by New York Cosmos.

Chester Upland School District recognized the Philadelphia Union Foundation on Dec. 16 for its support of the Soccer for Success Program, including its support in the installation of a mini-pitch at Stetser Elementary School. A press release on the Union website says, “In 2016, the Foundation aims to continue several initiatives from 2015, including the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, and start four new partnerships this calendar year.” Working to form new partnerships aimed at installing mini-pitches in Philadelphia would be a good idea.


At Goal.com, Ives Galarcep reports Jordan Morris will skip his senior year at Stanford in order to turn pro: “Morris is in advanced negotiations with the Seattle Sounders on a contract that will make him the highest-paid homegrown player in MLS history.” Meanwhile, Grant Wahl reports at SI that Morris is set for a training stint with Werder Bremen.

Falcao to Columbus Crew?

At Soccer America, Paul Kennedy, noting more top young players are entering MLS through the homegrown route, says the SuperDraft is at a crossroads.

Following recent front office moves, Orlando City founder and president Phil Rawlins says there is no turmoil at the club.

Good for you, Merritt Paulson:



Brad Friedel has been named head coach of the new US U-19 MNT. Omid Namazi has been named head coach of the US U-18 MNT.

MLSsoccer.com reports Columbus Crew’s Ethan Finlay, Will Trapp, and Tony Tchani will be called up for the USMNT camp that will begin on Jan. 10. It would be the first USMNT call-ups for Trapp and Tchani.

At Fox Soccer and ASN, ten USMNT players to keep an eye on in 2016. (Warning: the Fox Soccer one is a slideshow.)

At Soccer America, John Hackworth explains why he believes US Soccer still needs the U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton.

From the AP: “Former NBA star Steve Nash and Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver have bought a controlling share of Spanish soccer team Real Mallorca.”


From Reuters: “FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke’s 90-day suspension over World Cup ticket selling accusations ends on Tuesday, but it remained unclear if it will be extended while investigations continue as part of a drive against graft at soccer’s governing body.”

From the AP: “The African soccer confederation says it has ended a ban on Guinea hosting international matches after the country was declared free of Ebola.”



  1. merritt paulson can be obnoxious sometimes but there is no doubt that he really cares about the legitimacy of this league and his team

  2. ZzZzZzZzZzZzZzZzZzzzzzzzz………………

    • Two rosters. Both need to be filled. Give us a name. Just one. Please.

      • Look at the bright side. When we add 5 more players to our roster, we’ll have enough to completely fill out our subs bench each week (absent injuries which rarely ever happen in professional soccer).

      • Zizouiscoach

      • I don’t deny it’s impatience on my part. But it’s January. The transfer window is open. Watching international names fly about from rumors here and there with only Ashley Cole rumored to the Galaxy of cash, leaves much to be desired. My inner Hinkie screams to wheel and deal.

      • An MLS player may be transferred or loaned at any time to a club outside the League (subject to that club’s Federation’s transfer window), and subject to the consent of the player. Upon loaning a player, Clubs will receive roster relief and budget space, subject to the terms of the loan.


        The registration windows – the dates between which MLS may request the transfer certificate of a player under contract in another country – are as follows:


        Primary Window – February 18 – May 12  

        Secondary Window – July 8 – August 6   

      • Thank you for the clarification of dates. But I was looking for rumors on players. Names. Something I can sink my teeth into. An idea of the direction the team wants to go. I guess it’s just wanting reporting like they have in England, Germany or Spain. Where transfer rumors are more akin to tabloid reporting. It’s probably asking too much, too soon. But one can dream. Can’t I? Again, admittedly, it’s impatience on my part.

      • But according to that they can acquire players from federations whose window has opened, since that team would be the one transferring.

      • Yeah come on, shit, gimme some good ‘ol speculation!! Something I know is the longest of long shots, but also something I can be quai-excited about. ANYTHING, PLEASE!! Haha

  3. I like Friedel as U19 coach. Guy has played at the highest level. Guy has been earning his ‘legitimate’ education via Federation. Likely good move.
    I like the idea of a first round pick on LB. Don’t know much about this young man..but he would fill a need for sure.
    Used to be when the MLS season ended I’d just side saddle saunter over to La liga, bundesliga, BPL, Liga MX without much concern.. cause- really what better way to spend your time than watching the greatest teams in the world play…
    something has happened for me though the last 2 years or so and I find myself anxiously tapping feet…looking at he clock like Waldo, “ah man I think the clock is slow…” the offseason is unbearable to me… I want my Union.
    Yo let’s go. Get on with it already can this offseason just end. Interminably long… the rest of the world is playing playing playing and our boys are……… on vacation still?
    Not a fan at all of postseason structure that adds, IMO 4 or 6 weeks to the dead season as teams that didn’t quality are doing nothing. Not a big fan of such a long layoff.
    tap tap tap……. fingers- feet- fingers- feet…tap tap tap….
    Let’s go…… I’m ready for the season…. tap tap tap.
    Let’s go already. Put on a hat. Put on some gloves. Put on some of that ultra killer warm Union suit underwear… mine’s with the trap door that buttons and is red… and let’s play. Come on…. Let’s go go go go.
    Can we switch to an international schedule? Can we play more…. Can we not sit around doing nothing for four months…I’m manic about this.
    Must be a Disney hangover. Where’s the benzo… Welcome home el P….I need a tranquilizer.

    • i agree that they should play more- i’m also chomping at the bit for the season to start. that being said i don’t know if i could sit outside for a couple hours in 20 degree weather for any reason. maybe if they lengthen the season they should skew the schedule so teams in the northeast play most of their home games when the days get longer and all of the teams in the south can play their home games in the winter when it isn’t 102 degrees with 98% humidity

    • Totally agree.

      Other leagues used to be able to hold my attention better. Now, not so much.

    • What’s the deal with Friedel trying to prevent Tim Howard from getting a work permit in the UK? I’m just reading his book now, and if what he said is true, it really makes Friedel sound like that absolute antithesis of what we want in the US Soccer program. Has anyone heard him deny Howard’s allegations?

  4. While they need a LB and everyone says Vincent is the best in the draft what I’ve seen of him makes me unsure he can cut it. However, his character and ability to grow do seem like great attributes. Being a LB he probably will get taken before the 6th pick otherwise I think he might not be as highly valued. Who I am more interested in, is Richie Laryea, kid can play and control tempo from what I have seen. A great midfielder to pair with Nogs I think. However, are the picks worth it can you trade them for more money and international roster slots to get better talent. What are others thoughts and who is worth taking in this draft if anyone at all?

    • Union have the 3rd and 6th pick, I believe. If there isn’t three guys you can target, and then get two of them, then we haven’t progressed as a FO. Honestly, I only know what I read about Vincent, so I don’t know if he is as good as advertised (or not), but LB is a position of need, and he would certainly fill it. Might be worth the risk.

      • Unless NYCFC look to move up in the draft, the Union could beat them to Jack Harrison with the #3 pick since his HG status was denied.

      • But are any of these guys really worth it is my question? I mean could you trade the picks for money drop back take Campbell or Rosenberry and someone like Timo Pitter and get some of the same qualities and have more cash.

      • Depends. What does the money get you? A contributor or is it overspent on a big name? How much is a draft pick even really worth anymore?
        I personally would say yes it is worth drafting at #3 and #6 this year, partially because of the link I posted in a comment below. The draft is losing value year after year but there still is quality there. Even though it is a crapshoot, statistics from that link show that more success has come in the first 10 picks then the rest of the draft. I’ll take two good shots at finding a quality young player then say, 50k TAM.

      • Just to throw a little shade . . . the last 1st Team All American from Wake Forest was none other than former Union man Corben Bone

      • …shhhhh…
        But seriously, I might still lean toward Vincent anyway. Left backs are too hard to find to not take a chance on him. But the option could be there to snag Harrison and he is a quality prospect.
        Also, trolling NY teams is just good ol’ fashioned fun.

      • I guess its worth a shot. I just look at it and say hey I’ll take 100k Allocation money and say the 15th pick. Because the 100k allocation money can get me a quality MLS player with the contracts we dropped. I mean it all depends on the player. People like Klute, Hollingshead, Kemp, Sjoberg, Wahl, all made below 100k. So I guess it would depend on the allocation money, player I could possibly get with the money, and spot that I am moving down to if you ask me. I just lean more towards proven talent than say possible talent from the draft. I’d rather a body of work in the pros to get some idea of the player.

      • Will Harrison require an International slot? These foreign college guys always confuse me. I assume Buescher will since I don’t think he played in states before Cuse. Harrison I believe played 1 year stateside

    • Take.

  5. Good article.
    Even with two top picks in the Draft, it is going to be a crapshoot. I’m more excited about Steel FC bridging the gap between the academy and first team.

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