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Slooooow soccer day–how about a Danny Mwanga video?

December 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Although there are some middling news stories to report in the world of American soccer (Eddie Johnson to Greece, Adu maybe to Greece), the fact is that today, Thursday, Dec. 31st, is the slowest news day in recent memory. Making things even worse? All those Premiership games over the holiday break have left me with a bit of a soccer hangover, not dissimilar to the way I feel after the Euros or the World Cup–disoriented, jittery, and in need of my Beautiful Game fix.

Unfortunately, the need simply cannot be satiated (reruns on FSC don’t count) and, as far as I know, there is no methadone-type treatment for soccer addiction. What I can do, however, is proudly present a video of Philadelphia’s apparent hoped-for #1 first round draft pick, Danny Mwanga, scoring two goals, the second of which is a beauty:

I love the quote from Mwanga’s coach, Steve Simmons, at about the 1:06 mark: “With a player like that, there tends be a situation where you pass him the ball and maybe you stand and watch him.” I’m assuming his (possible) future teammates at the Union will be less awed than the boys at Oregon State. Which is a good thing because, as Simmons later says, Mwanga is actually a better passer of the ball than a scorer. For a guy who scored 14 goals last season, that’s quite a compliment.

Back! Plus: Update on Long Tan, Danny Mwanga, Jeremiah White, etc. etc.

December 30, 2009 Leave a comment

First, apologies for the silent blog. After a painfully hectic/busy/exhausting six months, I decided to actually take the “vacation” part of “Christams vacation” to heart–thus my utter silence recently, both in the Twitter world and the blogging world. Even though I’d love to take another week-long break, things here just starting to get off the ground, and Union-land keeps getting better and better.

So, here we go.

1. I spoke to David Wells, Long Tan‘s step-father, who told me that the former Chinese U-19 international has not yet heard back from the Union regarding the open tryout. Since emails were already sent to the callbacks, it’s fair to say that Long Tan will not be at the second round of tryouts. Mr. Wells told me that the Long was frustrated with his performance, especially in the 7 v. 7 session, a frustration that is easy to sympathize with. Twenty minutes hardly seems like enough time to impress Mr. Nowak, especially when you’re playing with guys you just met (and who could be Donny Bonaduce).

There is a lot of interest out there in the tryouts, so I will continue trying to dig up as much as I can about the other players called back.

Danny Mwanga

Danny Mwanga*

2. Danny Mwanga to go first? Ives Galarcep reports that Danny Mwanga of Oregon State is not only a likely Generation Adidas signing, he’s also a likely #1 pick, as the Union has been pushing hard for MLS to sign the young striker.

Now I’m a little surprised, to be honest, and I’m not that familiar with Mwanga,  so I’ll wait to analyze this. But if Nowak is chasing him hard–and if he’s really been offered a hefty GA sum–then I’m willing to be believe he just might be the player the Union need up front.

3. Jeremiah White said to be in talks with the Union. This we more or less knew. But White has also made it clear that any MLS team that signs him will need to meet certain salary requirements:

“I have two children and it’s important to me that this next contract put us in a good position financially, so I will look at all of my options and probably do what’s best for my family.”

Of course, “a good position financially” could mean anything, so I’ll assume for the time being that White really means “a very comfortable position financially.” Although he won’t be getting a DP slot (at least I hope not) and the team won’t break the bank on him, so long as his salary demands aren’t too absurd the Union can likely meet them (thanks to Nowak’s cheap selections in the expansion draft).

*Photo from osubeavers.com

Philadelphia Union draft needs v. 2.0

December 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Hopefully Peter Nowak and co. aren’t vacillating as much as I am in their draft picks. In version 2.0 of my draft needs, I’ve changed every pick.

I should note that the draft needs page assumes that the Union are not trading the first pick. However, with the news that the Union have put a discovery claim on a Colombian defender, the likelihood that the Nowak will pick Opara first grows smaller and smaller. And since Opara is widely regarded as by far the best prospect in the draft, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Union to trade the first pick.

There is such a wealth of talent in the (likely) top ten draft picks this year that it would be hard to lose out–especially in midfield, the Union’s weakest position. Can’t get Tony Tchani? Go for Toni Stahl. Can’t get Stahl? How about Corben Bone–or Amobi Okugo, whom an MLS scout was recently gushing over at the U-20 camp. Can’t get Bone or Okugo? Go for Dilly Duka–and so on and so forth, you get the idea.

The point is: the clear #1 pick at the draft happens to play at the only position at which the Union has any depth. There are about a half dozen players at the Union’s weakest position, all of whom are ranked much closer in quality and potential. A smart trade could get the Union a player they might end up taking first in the draft anyway and a veteran or two tossed in for good measure.

Sounds like a good deal to me.

Harada, Mascarenhas, Soroka called back for second round of open tryouts

December 22, 2009 10 comments

Brian Mascarenhas


Shintaro Harada, standout midfielder for USL-2 side Crystal Palace Baltimore, Brian Mascarenhas, former  Tottenham Hotspur youth player and US U15-U18 international, and Ryan Soroka, also a former U-17 international, have been called back for the second round of tryouts with the Philadelphia Union. About 26 players total have been invited back.

The second round of tryouts will be on the 24th of January at the YSC complex in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

Joao Carlos Pereira, Freddy Adu’s coach at Belenenses, given the sack

December 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Joao Carlos Pereira, who joined Belenenses as head coach at the start of the season and managed only one win in fourteen league games, has been fired, goal.com is reporting:

Liga Sagres outfit Belenenses have decided to part company with head coach Joao Carlos Pereira with immediate effect. Pereira got the sack following a string of disappointing results.

Pereira arrived at Belenenses at the start of the season on a two-year contract. However, just one win in fourteen league matches sees the Lisbon club at the wrong end of the table facing a battle against relegation.

The board hopes to have a new man in place by the time the players return from their Christmas break in the New Year. Dauto Faquira and Antonio Conceicao are two names that have been mentioned as possible successors to Pereira.

Considering Belenenses’ complete lack of anything resembling offensive creativity, let’s hope Pereira’s replacement at least gives Adu a shot. In his only recent appearance–10 minutes in a 2-2 draw against Maritomo–Adu played well, and would have assisted on a third goal had Lima been able to finish the golden opportunity that Adu provided him.

Categories: Yanks abroad Tags: ,

College Soccer Prof. at the U20s

December 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Just a quick note: College Soccer Professor, goal.com’s college soccer columnist, is doing a great series of updates at the U20 camp in California. I’m glad to finally hear some first-hand accounts of Sebastian Lletget, who’s been off the radar for a while.

Check out the twitter feed: @NCAAsoccer

Categories: US Youth Teams Tags: ,

Video–Fulham demolishes Manchester United 3-0–world rejoices

December 20, 2009 Leave a comment

If you missed it (like me) here are the highlights of Fulham’s beautiful demolition of the defending champions.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Categories: Misc. junk Tags: