Home > Philadelphia Union > Report: Pittsburgh’s Matt Baker one of 20 called back to train with the Philadelphia Union in January

Report: Pittsburgh’s Matt Baker one of 20 called back to train with the Philadelphia Union in January

According to the an article in the Morning Call, Matt Baker, a standout senior midfielder at the University of Pittsburgh, has been called back to train with the Union in January. Baker played 54 71 games during his career with Panthers, starting 52 68 times, according to the University of Pittsburgh website. He has five career goals and six ten assists. Two of those goals were game winners.

From the article:

Baker, who starred at the University of Pittsburgh for four years, isn’t as confident in the whole combine system, but has already been invited to try out for the new Philadelphia Union after being one of fewer than 20 players selected from a tryout pool of more than 1,000 this fall.

”I have mixed feelings,” the Central Catholic graduate admitted of the combine. ”Of course I’m happy knowing it’s an opportunity, but knowing you can play at the next level and never getting the chance is also a possibility.”

Baker, whose foot skills are breathtaking when he takes opponents one-on-one, also got a call to tryout for the Portland (Ore.) Timbers of the USL 1, and has sent tapes to teams in Brazil and Greece.

Many thanks to reader Prime, who pointed this out to me a few days ago but that I managed to overlook thanks to my all too common obtuseness.

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  1. timmy_u
    December 14, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    I read over his profile on Pitt’s website and feel like those are his stats through his junior year. A quick review of box scores this year shows me that Matt had 4 assists this year and started most if not all games.

  2. K.M. Morris
    December 14, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Awesome. Thanks for pointing this out.

  3. M.Harris
    December 14, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Any news on the other players who were invited back and when were they notified??

    • K.M. Morris
      December 14, 2009 at 4:57 pm

      Nothing yet. I’ll put up a post as soon as I get more info.

  4. M.Harris
    December 14, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Thanks K.M.,

    Im just curious as to how there is only 1 lone player who has said something about getting invited back. Possible that he got a separate invitation correlating with his college career? Its just odd to me, plus the article says less than 20 players but not a specific #…Just wondering…thanks

  5. A. Kelly
    December 15, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Is Matt Baker from the Open Tryouts that were held in November and December? Or was he invited because of his college stats?

  6. K.M. Morris
    December 15, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    According to the article Baker attended the open tryouts and was called back.

    I’ve tried to contact the guy who wrote the article, but he’s out of the office until early January. Can’t promise any more info but I am trying to dig up as much as I can.

    • K.M. Morris
      December 15, 2009 at 8:34 pm

      I should also point out that Hackworth has basically said he already expects to sign a “surprise local” from the tryouts:

      “There’s a chance we might find some players out of these tryouts,” said Hackworth, who said he expects to see some players he’s come across in working with young players on the national youth level in recent years. “I hope … I know, for one, there is a surprise local story. I don’t want to say (who) because I’ll be tipping my hat, but I think there’s a local story that you guys can work with, someone that has the potential to play in that stadium someday.”

  7. A. Kelly
    December 15, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Well I am just curious to know why he is the only person we have heard about so far, when it says he is one of 20. From what I understood the people invited back would find out two weeks from the December tryouts.

  8. K.M. Morris
    December 15, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    I think it’s just because no one in the media has pushed to find out who the players are, and the Union hasn’t released a press release yet. Baker’s name was revealed as almost an afterthought in the article above (which is why I missed it originally). I am trying to contact people to see if I can get any other names, but we may just have to wait for more players to come forward on their own, or for an official press release.

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