Daily news roundups

Pfeffer bids farewell, more from the draft, Curtin on Edu and Fabinho, more news

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

On Friday came the news that Zach Pfeffer was “the player to be named later” that was part of the deal the Union made with Colorado to secure the No. 2 pick in Thursday’s SuperDraft.

Pfeffer, a gentleman as always, tweeted to fans,

Pfeffer told the Inquirer’s Marc Narducci,

When I first heard about it, I was a little disappointed. Obviously, being from this area and playing with the hometown team, I wanted to assert myself and make a name and a solid impact, and I wanted to build off last year…You realize this is a business, and I am looking forward to joining the Rapids, getting a fresh start and a new environment, meeting new teammates, and I think it is a good opportunity for me.

Pfeffer also said he’s been in touch with former Union teammate Zac MacMath.

Rapids VP of soccer operations Paul Bravo said of Pfeffer in the Rapids trade announcement, “He is the same age as a lot of these players at the SuperDraft and, had he been involved this year, he would have been a top pick. So we felt that his experience and his versatility, as well as the allocation money, were too much of an opportunity for us to pass up.”

Noting the trade marks the end of “the Nowak/Hackworth era of Homegrown signings” — and the opportunity of a clean slate for the midfielder — Matthew De George writes at Union Tally, “The irony that the Union’s only Homegrown success became compensation to rectify yet another Homegrown failure (the club’s inability to secure Keegan Rosenberry via the mechanism and forcing him into the crapshoot of a draft) is palpably so Union.” Sadly, yep.

In case you’re wondering, the one time the Union play Colorado this season is on the road on Saturday, May 28. More on the Pfeffer trade at PSPDelco Times, CSN Philly, Philly Soccer NewsBrotherly Game, Vavel, Sons of Penn, MLSsoccer.com, Denver PostMile High Sports and Burgundy Wave.

More from the draft

At Delco Times, Matthew De George examines the Union’s decision to prioritize selecting Keegan Rosenberry over Brandon Vincent: “The Union had every chance of penning a blockbuster draft after bulling into the top two to augment the third and sixth picks with which they entered. Instead, they left Baltimore with a good haul, one dimmed in the light of what [Joshua] Yaro cost at two, that could turn out to be merely decent.” De George observes the loss of Pfeffer in the trade with Colorado to secure the No. 2 selection of the draft “lumps further pressure on Yaro and Rosenberry.”

More on the Union’s draft at Philadelphia Union, MLSsoccer.com, Brotherly Game (Yaro and Rosenberry, Herbers, patience), Philly Sports NetworkSons of PennProst AmerikaLast Word on SportsASN, and Voice of America (Yaro).

Edu, Fabinho, and Conceicao

At the Union website, a transcript of the post-draft press conference with Earnie Stewart and Jim Curtin. Asked where Maurice Edu will play, Stewart deferred to Curtin, who said, “Listen, we know where we are going to play Maurice, I don’t think its adventitious now to reveal how we are going to line up and play just because, you know, there are still future targets out there that we are looking at and we want to evaluate and be respectful to our own players, too – that they aren’t hearing though a press conference or anything like that. So we will have those discussions with our guys but you guys can do all the speculating.”

Asked if there was “more shopping to do” at left back, Curtin seemed to offer contradictory responses: “No, we’re happy with Fabinho. Fabinho had a very good year last year. Happy with where he’s at. Of course you want to bring in competition to push him so he’s challenged every day. I think Washington will come and push him and we’ll always be open to exploring to upgrade our roster. It’s not a finished roster by any means right now and we’re anxious to get to work. We’ve identified some targets and we’ll continue to look. Fabinho is the starting left back as of right now.”

Looks like Anderson Conceição will wear No. 23:

https://twitter.com/Anderson041989/status/687718432356319233

More on Conceição from Stone Sports Management, the player agency that represents him. Says  SSM’s President and Players’ Agent Justin B. Stone, “This is a significant signing for the Philadelphia Union. The Union welcomed Anderson to Philadelphia, and he was immediately impressed with the club’s facilities and vision with new Sports Director Earnie Stewart and satisfies their long-term need as a left footed central defender.”

Philadelphia Union Academy

The US U-18 MNT camp opened on Sunday. Among the 36 players called into the camp are Union Academy defenders Mark McKenzie (Bear, Del.) and Matthew Real (Drexel Hill. Pa.), midfielder Anthony Fontana (Newark, Del.), and forward Justin McMaster (King of Prussia, Pa.).

Sons of Ben

At MLSsoccer.com, the Sons of Ben feature prominently in a report on supporter’s groups at the SuperDraft. SoB member Ryan Dietz said it was important for the draftees to be introduced to the Union fan culture. “It’s a community, man, a community. It’s such a brotherhood – I was in the military, and that was my favorite thing about the military. It’s the same thing here; everyone’s in the same fight. Even when you’re a Union fan, and at times you go through some tough [expletive], you still go through it together, and that’s why we’re here.” Well said, Ryan, well said.

Local

Williamstown, NJ’s Brittany Ratcliffe was selected at No. 17 by Boston Breakers in Friday’s NWSL draft, and Sky Blue selected Galloway, NJ’s Erica Skroski at No. 23.

Three members of Penn State’s 2016 national championship team were selected in the draft: Sky Blue selected Raquel Rodriguez at No. 2; Western New York Flash selected Mallory Weber at No. 14, and Britt Eckerstrom at No. 26. More on the draft at Philly.com.

Millville, Pa.’s Tonny Temple has been named as one of 32 members of the US U-17 MNT Spring Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla.

Forbes on Carli Lloyd’s best week ever.

The Intelligencer names CB East’s Evan Vare its Boys Soccer Player of the Year, and CB East’s Emma Loving its Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

Pulisic!

MLS

Player moves:

Werder Bremen expects to sign Jordan Morris. A commentary piece at ASN says Morris should stay in Germany rather than sign with Seattle.

Now that Ashley Cole and Roma have officially agreed to part company, could his signing with LA Galaxy be announced as early as Tuesday?

The LA Times reports, “The Galaxy also appears close to deals with Belgian defender Jelle Van Damme, 32, and AC Milan midfielder Nigel de Jong, 31.”

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde says Joleon Lescott won’t be leaving the club during the January transfer window. You will recall Lescott has been linked to the Galaxy.

From the Montreal Gazette: “It is understood negotiations between MLS, the Impact and Drogba and Chelsea are continuing. The fact Drobga has not yet announced his retirement indicates he is not ready to be a full-time coach at Chelsea just yet. By all accounts, Drogba will play in 2016. The question, of course, is will it be in MLS or the English Premier League?”

The Guardian on Drogba on how MLS needs ” to stop tearing itself apart at each high-profile departure.”

Jermaine Jones says he’s prepared to wait for offers — from New England or other MLS clubs — while he focuses on the USMNT.

Carpi forward Marco Borriello to MLS? Perhaps Toronto or Montreal?

Cristiano Ronaldo says there’s “a good chance” he’ll play in MLS before he retires. What do you think, LAFC?

Don Garber says it is “conceivable” Minnesota could join the league in 2017.

Minneapolis Star Tribune reports, “Minnesota United FC is exploring Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium as home game sites for the 2017 season as the professional soccer team makes plans for its move to Major League Soccer.” United President Nick Rogers said in the report, “As a club, we would like to start in 2017 and I think MLS would like to start in 2017.”

At Las Vegas Sun, more on expansion hopes in Las Vegas.

Expansion side Atlanta United and the USL’s Charleston Battery have announced “a one-year partnership for the 2016 season with potential for an extended affiliation.” More at Charleston Post and Courier and USLsoccer.com.

Former USL President Tim Holt has been named managing director of the new USL team in San Antonio. San Antonio Business Journal reports Holt “will oversee all operations for the still-unnamed team. He will work directly with new head coach Darren Powell on player personnel matters and will serve as a vice president for SS&E.”

David and Wendy Dworkin, part owners of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, will be the new owners of USL side Rochester Rhinos.

US

Speaking after participating in the Florida Cup charity match over the weekend, Eddie Johnson offered his support of Jurgen Klinsmann:

I think we’re in a good situation. I think we’ve got a very good coach who has a ton of experience as a player, and as a coach, in the biggest leagues in the world, and playing for Germany and playing in the World Cup. I think with his philosophy and his understanding of the game, it’s important for our national team. I think our fans need to be a little more patient with what he’s trying to build here in our country. I think he’s done a really good job since he’s taken over as coach in turning the national team program around and I can only talk from experience as a player who has played under Jurgen Klinsmann.

Elsewhere

ESPN reports, “Real Madrid director general Jose Angel Sanchez has claimed that FIFA is looking into Premier League clubs over breaches of the same regulations that saw Atletico and Real Madrid given transfer window bans last week.”

From Reuters: “FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan has asked soccer’s world governing body to investigate Friday’s agreement signed between the African and Asian confederations in case it breaches the electoral code.” Prince Ali said in a statement, “I have always promoted cross-regional understanding, however the timing of this MOU between the AFC and the CAF looks like a blatant attempt to engineer a bloc vote.” More from PA Sport.

The AP reports, ” FIFA presidential candidate Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al Khalifa says a complaint by rival Prince Ali bin al-Hussein about his election conduct is ‘entirely inaccurate.'”

51 Comments

  1. “Listen, we know where we are going to play Maurice, I don’t think its adventitious…”

    I was surprised to find out that Curtin can be so sesquipedalian.

  2. Rounds 3 and 4 of the MLS Draft tomorrow. Maybe find another diamond like Marquez?

    • Wasn’t Gaddis a 3rd rounder?

      • Who cares, he’s been replaced by Rosenberry. I had my fingers crossed that he was the player going to Colorado. Lackluster defender who relies purely on speed.

      • That would have been smart to trade away your right back with MLS experience in order to rely 100% on someone just out of college. Maybe under the old regime, but I would hope Stewart is smarter than that. Let’s wait until Rosenberry actually plays against professional competition before crowning him king (and the Union still need a serviceable backup even if Rosenberry ends up being the second coming of Steve Cherundolo).

      • Gaddis had an excellent year in 2014. In 2015 he slipped somewhat. But if he keeps developing (granted, that is not guaranteed), he will be a first-rate MLS fullback.

      • 2nd rounder in 2012 draft. 35th overall pick.

  3. Well I’ll say this…. the manager-ease is rather humorous. Was that a parable regarding the left back?
    .
    I for one am quite content with Fabinho on the left side for this season… maybe Washington emerges… maybe they address it a different way…
    .
    He has limitations defensively…but I saw marked improvement and with more positional awareness from a likely much stronger center back pairing as season progresses… the creativity and ability to get up the field is likely to warm both ES and JC heart. In short he is an asset from my POV.
    .
    And I know I rail and rant and can be tiresome… but this “soccer offseason” is interminable….. from a Union fan POV and from a general futbol and what is in the best interest of the game POV. Bunk. Bollox. Bull-shit-O.

  4. Old Soccer Coach says:

    anybody heard anything about the start date for preseason at YSC, if they are starting there this year? Especially whether there might be an open practice as sometimes in the past? About ten days to two weeks away from that were last year an appropriate template.

  5. What I am seeing with this defense is pairs of players who can play together on either the right side or left side of defense. Thus allowing for at least 2 people being comfortable next to each other in the back 4 and then hoping that these groups of 2 can combine to the best 4. For example: Fabi and Conceicao both from Brazil both speak the same language, both play on the left, both are left footed. Marquez and Fabi played together before we know they can work together if necessary did it for a season. Marquez and Gaddis, both fast, both athletic I think any positional awareness that Gaddis lacks Marquez makes up for. Makes for a very athletic right side. Plus Gaddis and Marquez seem to be your most versatile on the back line playing right or left side. Yaro and Rosenberry played together in college, know each others tendencies, can learn together making this a strong pairing in my opinion. Baring any changes in signings I see these 6 as the starters and backups on the bench. Meaning Washington goes to BSFC. I feel like I am starting to see how this may be working.

  6. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Judging by the valuation placed on Anderson Conceicao at the German site, he’s not likely to be a bench player, nor is Marquez. We should be open to the possibility that Yaro and Rosenberry may get their game minutes with BSFC, especially if a fourth defender shows up who can backup anywhere on the back line. Look at how Marquez benefitted from that approach.
    .
    We tea leaves readers need to learn every bit as much about BSFC’s signings as about the Union’s, because BSFC’s holes will tell us where Union roster players will likely slot in.

    • That’s true. This upcoming season will be a true demonstration of the B-team situation. I’m anxious to see how fluid it can/will be.

    • try using Bai Hao White Tip Oolong or Castleton First Flush Darjeeling – it may unlock the identity of our new striker. we look set, more or less, at the back. I see Gaddis as a reserve (eventually) – fast, good tackler, great attitude, safe to bring on if all you want is defense. His technical limitations are evident, but not rocket-attachment worthy.

  7. Going into last season I really thought it was necessary to upgrade over Fabinho especially after hearing our tactics would be to try to win games 1-0 on the counterattack. Headed into this season I don’t think it’s an absolute must to upgrade. I feel like there are probably a few more pieces on the way and that (hopefully) leads to a more possession based, attacking style which would limit Fabinho’s limitations.

    • Part of me being ok with Fabinho and his upfield forays is feeling a bit better about our centerbacks ever since the emergence of Marquez.
      .
      However, if the plan is to push the fullbacks high, it is even more important that Edu stays disciplined as the defensive midfielder so that he can cover if one of the centerbacks needs to step out to cover for a fullback.

  8. Atomic Spartan says:

    Someone help me out here, and I am being sincere. I like Mo Edu but fail to see his value in the midfield at this point of his career. At Toronto: 116 games, 13 goals, 5 Assists, which means he was directly involved in scoring situations 15% of the games he played. In Philly, 56 games, 4 goals, 3 assists, directly involved in scoring situations 12.5% of the time.
    .
    Now someone is going to say “But Atomic, his numbers at the U were depressed due to the number of times he had to play as defender,” which of course I recognize. But that excuse is countered with the many times I have seen him in set play scoring situations, only to biff his opportunities. Which is pretty frustrating to watch.
    .
    I keep hearing about his box-to-box prowess, but how much has that really helped the U? At this stage of his career, he is much stronger at defense, which is getting to be a pretty crowded group of guys.
    .
    So really, where are his talents best applied, and in what formation. Please, my eruditious friends, illuminition me.

    • I share your pique regarding this one very important piece to this season’s puzzle…. aside from who the hell is going to account for roughly 60 necessary league goals.
      .
      I see Maurice Edu as destroyer. They need nothing more from him IMO- than to physically manhandle the midfield and cycle play.
      .
      “Hi, I’m Maurice Edu and I can and will shut the best player on your team down… have a nice day…”
      .
      If they line up in a 4-3-3 type system and he is at the 6 and he goes sojourner – to me it will be an indictment on him… and a ticket out of town.
      .
      if they go 4-2-3-1 then its up to him and his compatriot to figure it out and the balance of season will likely ride on how that marriage works out.
      .
      I like Mo in a 4-1-3-2 where he has the entire back 40 to just destroy and restart play… with his size, fluidity, quickness and adept enough technical skills. He is taylor made for this type of role. We will see. We will see.

      • Atomic Spartan says:

        Got it. Destroyer. Not an asset on attacking set pieces. Now the numbers make sense.

      • 4-1-3-2 would also require another Striker which is supposed to be in the cards. Where would Nogs and Barnetta fit in formation?

      • Nogueira really just does not fit in a 4-1-3-2. He’s not a Beckerman destroyer type, nor a Carroll-type traditional stay-at-home CDM. And he doesn’t attack enough to be the CAM. Barnetta would be the middle guy in your front midfield.

      • I think the problem with Mo, he doesn’t fit with the other guys. If you move him to a sole destroyer, Nogs gets pushed out of the middle. While Edu is twice the salary hit, he is to my eye half the talent. If the Edu-Nogs pairing is to work, it shoves Barnetta to the wing opposite Pontius and SLT up top with CJ. This doesn’t leverage Barnetta’s best assets. So I think it’s a 4-2-3-1, with Edu (hopefully rooted to the back) and Nogs shuttling it up to Barnetta with Pontius (for the fraction of the schedule healthy) and SLT (and his wondrous first touch) running up the wing.

        If you could sell Edu or trade him for 2 reasonably priced players, one a traditional CDM and an attacker, you’d be better off than trying to believe Edu is the answer. Maybe Don was trying to do us a favor when he first nixed the DP deal for Mo.

    • I agree at this point, and in this team, he is best suited in defense. But there is only so much you can get from a player if you force him into a position he is not fully committed to and Edu has commented many times that he wants to play in the midfield.

      • I agree that is why I think he should be the defensive midfielder… no more on the back line…don’t need him there less its an emergency.

      • +1. If Edu can actually stays in position and shields the back he has the potential to be the best #6 in the league. Hopefully we see that out of him. Plus he does have a powerful shot, so we will get to see that a few times this year when he sneaks up late (but hopefully not too many times!).

    • You get +1 for your exquisitatious fake vocab.

    • but isn’t true that his ability as either a CB or CDM is adventitious? I believe this usage to be correct.

      Fundamentally, I think its paying way too much for either a good CDM or good CD.

  9. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Latest “News” article on MLS Website, re: Montreal getting an Argentinian MF from Galatassaray, has a link to the current rosters listing for each team.
    .
    Several points of interest, but two struck me especially. Neither Yaro a GA nor Herbers, also a GA count as internationals.
    .
    As of the eve of rounds three and four of the draft, we have 17 of the 28 roster spots occupied, with Washington an unsigned draft choice making 18 were he to sign. That means we have up to ten slots to fill in the next few weeks.

  10. Michael Farfan has been training at YSC this offseason. DC United did not pick up his contract option so he should be able to be signed.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      You know…. just sign him. I love the idea of Farfan and Fernandes as depth… talk about some quality on the bench.
      .
      Just seems like our paths keep crossing with the young man… it would appease my wife too~ who has sizable Marfan the Midfielder love.

    • He’s not the answer to anyone’s prayers, but he would be welcomed back, and he would be a solid reserve for this midfield. Pace and creativity to fill in nicely.
      Same caveat – At the right price. But I would like to have a Farfan back in the fold.

    • Make it happen. Decent depth option with some upside. And he brings a little scrappiness to the table, which we’re lacking in with folks like Williams and Casey having moved along.

  11. I cannot imagine that Conceaciao is the answer at central defense. The guy belongs to a club in the Brazilian C league. He has been on 8 loan spells in the last 5 years. His last team was slightly better than his owning team, having played in the Brazilian B league (and earning promotion). But even still, that is not exactly a sparkling pedigree.

    Now I will reserve judgment until I see the guy play. Maybe he’s a real diamond in the rough. But at this point I assume that he’s a backup, and there’s a starting caliber CB who will be signed in the next month.

    • From everything I’ve seen and read, he seems like an unusual case. The club he’s on is in the business of finding young talent and regularly loaning it out to bigger, better clubs for a fee. That’s basically their business model. Seems like his skill level is higher than what you’d typically see at the club who owns his rights. Hopefully, his game translates to MLS.

      • Either Dan Walsh or Kevin Kinkead reported on Anderson’s club. Apparently, they are just a corrupt talent-grab system organized to exploit and circumvent FIFA’s rules regarding player movement.
        .
        Take his loan spells with a VERY large grain of salt. There’s a reason why his club in then C League, and there’s a reason why he’s being loaned out repeatedly, as well. None of the reasons have to do with his inability to play the game.
        .
        That said, none of us know how good he is, but this at least gives some background.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        .
        I have consulted said tea leaves…Darjeeling finger swirl on fine china~ he was given a 3 like on our report cards as a kid~~~ asset to the class.

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