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Archive for January, 2010

Former Union tryout hopeful, Long Tan, signs with Tampa Bay Rowdies

January 31, 2010 1 comment

Long Tan Long Tan, a former Chinese youth international who took part in the first round of the Philadelphia Union’s open tryouts but did not receive a callback, has signed with NASL side Tampa Bay Rowdies, according to Michael Wheeler’s twitter account:

For those not familiar, the tryouts were divided into two sections, a fitness test and a seven aside game. Long’s stepfather, David Wells, told me earlier this month that Long was disappointed with his performance, especially in the seven aside game. It was difficult for him to adjust to playing with six people he had never even seen before–not surprising, especially since the games only lasted 20 minutes.

To be honest I’m a little surprised that Long’s resume was not enough to get him a second look. We know from the combine that MLS scouts won’t judge a player solely on a bad weekend, so it’s hard to imagine how a bad 20 minutes could have hurt his chances so much. Again, I’m not saying he was a shoe-in to make the roster, just surprised he didn’t get a second chance to impress.

Regardless, Long will have a great opportunity to prove the team wrong in the NASL. C. Horridus wishes him the best of luck.

Michael Orozco officially signs with the Philadelphia Union

January 29, 2010 6 comments
Michael Orozco

Michael Orozco

Michael Orozco, defender for Mexican first division side San Luis and the US U-23 national team, has signed with the Philadelphia Union, team officials announced in a press release today.

“We are happy to have Michael join us,” team manager Peter Nowak said in the press release. “It is great to have a player at the top of his game show his desire and commitment. We hope to have him as an anchor at the back of our defense for a long time to come.”

The Union made the deal by trading an undisclosed amount of allocation money to the Red Bulls for their number one spot in the allocation order.

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More trialist names confrimed

January 28, 2010 Leave a comment
Shintaro Harada

Shintaro Harada

Daniel Zajac, a former standout at Drexel University and current assistant coach at Downingtown East High School, and Shintaro Harada, star midfielder for USL-2 side Crystal Palace Baltimore, have begun training with the Philadelphia Union, both players confirmed to C. Horridus earlier today.

Zajac accumulated 21 goals and 10 assists during his four years at Drexel, ranking him 18th all time in total points (52) for the school. He holds the highest point total of any Drexel player over the past ten years.

Harada, a versatile midfielder/defender, has appeared 59 times for Crystal Palace Baltimore since joining the club in 2007. He had previously played for a number of teams in Japan’s J-League, including ALO Hokuriku and Tokushima Vortis.

Harada and Zajac join Temple’s JT Noone and Lehigh’s Sam Bishop at the camp.

Experts, team officials foresee big first year for Union

January 27, 2010 Leave a comment

A quick link before I dash off to my media law class:

Philly.com tells us just about everyone is confident that the fans will be there in the Union’s first year.

Union president Tom Veit is certain the team will sell out its new 18,500-seat stadium in Chester, basing his analysis on current sales, trends in ticket purchases, and the depth of the regional soccer market.

“I’m very confident we’ll sell out, and could sell more if we had them,” Veit said in an interview last week.

People who study how sports teams fill arenas tend to agree.

“To sell half the stadium’s capacity two months before the inaugural game is extremely promising, especially in this economy,” said New York lawyer Irwin Kishner, chair of the sports/entertainment group at Herrick, Feinstein L.L.P., which represents the New York Yankees and other teams.

Darryl Lehnus, director of the Center for Sports Sponsorship and Sales at Baylor University in Texas, said that “a 50-percent base of season tickets is very good,” even if it went no further.

This is not much of a surprise to anyone who’s been following the MLS in Phialdelphia over the past couple of years–but a good read nevertheless.

First callback name revealed [updated]

January 26, 2010 1 comment

Former Lehigh University goalkeeper Sam Bishop has started training with the Philadelphia Union, according to an article on the official Lehigh Men’s Soccer website.

Bishop received the callback the day of the second tryout:

“It was a great experience and it was fairly inexpensive compared to other open tryouts. I thought the tryout went ok and I ended up being one of 25 guys to get a call back out of a thousand. I went back for another tryout this past Sunday and that same night I got an email from an assistant coach inviting me to preseason camp.

Bishop is the first player reported to be called back. A story on the Temple News website claims that JT Noone is also in the Union’s pre-season camp, although it’s unclear whether Noone took part in the tryouts (especially since the just the Tuesday before he was still at the MLS Combine).

This news does not mean that either players have been signed with the Union or are guaranteed a roster spot. It is essentially the third step in the tryout process (and also provides the Union’s undermanned roster with some extra bodies on the practice pitch).

Updates after the jump:

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C. Horridus needs help!

January 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Today my big bad busy semester officially began: I started my internship at the local paper. It’s a great opportunity for me professionally and personally but it could also mean the death knell for this blog–or at least the blog as it’s been over the past month or two, with near daily updates and long, relatively in-depth articles. Why? I’m going to be very, very busy. Probably my only free time to write will be during the evenings, and I doubt I’ll be able to so everyday. Which sucks, because I love this blog and love writing about the Union (and two months before the first season is hardly a good time for this site to slow down).

I’ve hinted before that, once the Spring semester started, I would probably ask for help. Well, now is as good a time as any. So there are any wannabee Union scribes out there who want to help out, please read over the following and shoot me an email:

What I need: 1-3 contributors with a strong knowledge of MLS and Philadelphia soccer and who can make a commitment to write 2-3 (or more!) posts a week. If you are a journalism student or are interested in going into journalism, this is a great opportunity to add some clips to your portfolio. If you are an MLS guru but worry about the quality of your writing–don’t. We can work something out.

There will also be opportunities for original reporting–especially for anyone who can get himself down to the pre-season training camp at Greensboro.

How to contact me: chorridusmail@gmail.com.

What to include: Tell me why you want to write for the site,  how you think you can help, and any background/experience you think would be helpful.

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Two red cards, two 3-1 losses, and yet two wildly different results: Accrington Stanley v. Fulham and USA v. Honduras

January 24, 2010 3 comments
Jimmy Conrad

Jimmy Conrad: Not South Africa-bound

Yesterday morning (eastern standard time, at any rate), in England’s cold northwest, League Two side Accrington Stanley took the field against Premiership side Fulham. Despite Leeds United’s recent successes against top-class Premiership sides, few honestly expected Accrington–a full division lower–to pull off an upset. And they didn’t. After levelling the game at 1-1 in the 25th minute, their hopes were dashed when Darran Kemptson was shown a deserved red card after a bad foul on Zoltan Gera.

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