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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.

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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

A long ten days–tryout hopefuls anxiously wait for Union callback

December 17, 2009 2 comments

At least three of the top prospects for the Philadelphia Union open tryouts are still in the dark over the results. Shintaro Harada, standout midfielder for USL-2 side Crystal Palace Baltimore, Long Tan, former China U-19 international, and Brian Mascarenhas, former USA U-17 international, have yet to hear back from the club. All three players were featured prominently in profiles on the club’s official website. The club originally said the results would be released between December 11-16.

Brian Mascarenhas

Brian Mascarenhas at UPenn

Mascarenhas, 22, who took part in the Dec. 6 tryouts in Philadelphia, played for Vanderbilt, Georgetown, and the University of Pennsylvania during his college career. He was also part of the US U-17 residency program in 2003. Other players in the program included Freddy Adu, Michael Bradley, Eddie Gaven, and Jonathan Spector. The assistant coach at the time should also be familiar to Union fans—John Hackworth, Peter Nowak’s current second in command.

Hackworth revealed earlier in the week that the team already had a solid idea of at least one player who would be called back. He implied it was likely someone who had played under him at the youth level.

“I hope … I know, for one, there is a surprise local story.” Hackworth told the Delco Daily times. “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.”

Whether that player is Mascerenhas is unclear. Hackworth was assistant coach of the U-17s in 2003, but he took over as head coach when John Ellinger left for Real Salt Lake in 2004 and continued until 2007. It is likely other players from these teams also took part in the tryouts.

Mascarenhas, who lives in Philadelphia, did, however, get a chance to speak with Hackworth before the tryout.

“I hadn’t talked to coach Hackworth in a while so I thought I’d give him a call and catch up with him.”

Mascarenhas says that Hackworth encouraged him to come down to the tryouts.

“He said it would be beneficial for me to go to the December tryout,” he says, “giving me about three weeks to get ready for it, to make sure I was ready for the fitness test.”

Mascarenhas believes he performed well in the now-infamous beep test—a series of 20 yard sprints run in progressively shorter intervals.

“I was very pleased with what I did,” Mascarenehas says, “I think they were looking for level 16. I got 17. I was the last person running in my group.”

Afterwards, the players made a five minute trek to Franklin field, where they took part in 20 minute, seven-aside sessions—a small window of time with which to impress a pro coach.

“By the time it was over I was like, ‘hey, I just was just starting to get warmed up.'” Mascarenhas says.

If things don’t work out, Mascarenhas plans to continue searching for a pro deal in either the US or Europe—but he’s given himself only a year.

“I also have other things—that I studied in college—that I want to pursue” he says. “like possibly going to law school or working in DC. So I’m looking to do this in this year and see how it pans out. But I’ll keep working, keep training, and hopefully some other options will come up.”