Posts Tagged ‘Phildalphia Union tryouts’

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.


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

December 14, 2009 10 comments

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.

“Inside the Philadelphia Union open tryouts:”

December 11, 2009 Leave a comment

At, Kerith Gabriel gives a first hand account of the Union’s recent opent tryouts:

For the 20 minutes we were out there, I once again felt the speed of what I call “real soccer.” Sure, you can play in all the Sunday morning men’s leagues you want, but until you have 16 athletes playing their hearts out for a cause, you never really get the feeling of being in a serious contest – which I suppose holds true in any sport.

This was a serious contest.

So serious, Abel’s dream ended early after he gashed his head open so deep, he required stitches.

Sounds like fun. Can’t wait to find out who they call back in January.

A little more on the tryouts

December 7, 2009 Leave a comment

I know two posts in as many days on the open tryouts is a bit excessive, but the fact is there’s just too much potential for a great story here. Open tryouts for professional sports teams don’t happen every day–or even every year. And in soccer, much more than other sports in the US, there is a very high chance that some very good players have been missed by the system and fallen through the cracks.

If the Union finds even a benchwarmer from this group, it wouldn’t just be good for the team (a little extra depth never hurts) but it’d also great for the organization. Just imagine the kind of positive press it would generate.

Anyway, has been nice enough to put up an edifying video here.

Again, no specifics. Nick Sakiewicz pretty much says what I wrote yesterday, which is that at least one of these guys is likely to make the cut (one out of a thousand total).

Philadelphia Union communications also released a press release today, which is vague as usual. No names or hints of names. We may have to wait until next month to find out who makes the first cut.

Philadelphia Union open tryouts–25 to try out with the pros in January

December 6, 2009 2 comments

The results of the Union’s open trouts held this weekend and last month are all hush-hush. I’ve been scouring the google news for any info and can’t find a thing–not sure if the media are banned from the proceedings, or just uninterested. Either way, the only first-hand accounts we have are from a vague press release last month, and the fairly vapid accounts of reformed child star turned local Philadelphia radio personality Donny Bonaduce, who was at the tryouts in some kind of bizarre cross-promotional deal with the Union.

The only useful nugget of information we have from Mr. Bonaduce’s effort is a confirmation that Nowak will choose about 25 players from the four day tryouts to try out with the pros in January. From the article:

The Union also held open tryouts last month in Trenton, N.J., and the team expects about 400 more players to show up tomorrow for day two of the Philly session. From all of the players, Nowak says he’ll gather about 25 by the end of January, and try them out alongside the pros.

“We like to give everyone a chance,” Nowak said. “Wherever they come from, they know about the league and they know about our team. So that’s very promising. We cannot guarantee anything. All we’re offering is the opportunity to make the team. It’s up to them how they proceed with it.”

With the Union already piecing its roster together through trades, signings and the expansion draft, the likelihood is that no one from these commercial tryouts will be wearing a Union jersey when the team kicks off its debut season against the Seattle Sounders on March 25.

Likely true, but I don’t think Nowak would waste four valuable days for nothing– he’s just trying to kill expectations among the media and fans. He’s hoping there’s some jewel in this crowd, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see at least one player from the group in Union blue next spring.

Philadelphia Union tryouts held in awful conditions; everything else remains unknown

November 17, 2009 Leave a comment

The Philadelphia Union held open tryouts in Mercer County, Pennsylvania this weekend on fields that had been battered by a Nor’easter for days, a Union press release says.

The hopeful future Union-ers(?) began with at 9am with a “beep test”–what sounds like a fairly cruel conditioning test where the players have series of 20 minutes sprints each progressively faster. The players then broke off into groups of 9 v. 9 and played 30 minute games.

Unfortunately, this is all the information the Union has released on the tryouts. We have no idea if anyone has been called back.

We do know about a few of the players, however. Andy Jasner had been doing a great series of short profiles (in the guise of press releases) on prospective players, two of whom seem to have a great deal of potential–Long Tan and Rodrigo Desouza. Tan played professionally in the Chinese Super League and was a member of the U-19 national team; Desouza (supposedly) was a member of the Brazil U-15 national team. Not too shabby.

There will be two more tryouts, both on the weekend of December 5-6. Here’s hoping they find someone amazing.