Tag Archive | "Transactions"

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Mondragon first to exit, Le Toux to follow?

Posted on 31 January 2012 by Breton Bonnette

Sebastien Le Toux ©ASN/Terry McLaughlin

Seb Le Toux ©ASN

Anyone else dizzy yet?

Yesterday, the Union released 2011 captain and MLS All-Star Faryd Mondragon in order to allow him the opportunity to close out his career with his hometown club (Deportivo Cali) in Colombia. That change in and of itself should have been enough news for the day, right?  Plus, when it’s all said and done, many feel Zac MacMath as a capable young star that should do well with the starting role. Though let’s be honest, if we hadn’t seen him in that 7 game stint last season we’d be singing a much different tune right now. Regardless, the news didn’t stop there (though nothing as been fully confirmed yet).

With Mondragon’s departure, Union fans had enough to digest before expecting to hear of either a loan or permanent transfer of goalscorer Sebastien Le Toux to Bolton of the English Premier League over the next few days. Instead, unconfirmed word came out that Le Toux actually left the trial early and as the Union front office was content to sell him, they started looking within Major League Soccer for a trade.

The suitors? The Vancouver Whitecaps according to Soccer by Ives. The price? Probably quite a bit of cash. Regardless, none of that helps the fact that the two most visible faces of the franchise could be gone within the span of two days. Le Toux is headed into the final year of his contract and at 28, he’s getting up there with age (but with his engine, who really cares?!) so in some ways, this all makes a little sense. The only problem is, he’s accounted for over half of the Union’s offensive production. The talent is surely there with guys like Danny Mwanga, McInerney, new signing Josue Martinez, and draft pick Chandler Hoffman but the shoes of a two-time MVP candidate are pretty damn hard to fill. And even if they do, this one could sting for a while.

According to Vancouver Sportsnet reporter Irfaan Gaffar (via Twitter, @IrfaanGaffar), the deal could be announced as early as today. And for those expecting a big move coming to make you feel better after this loss, don’t hold your breath. 

Without Mondragon and Le Toux, one thing is for sure, 2012 is going to be an interesting year…

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Union add another Tico, left back Porfirio Lopez

Posted on 22 December 2011 by Breton Bonnette

Porfirio Lopez

The signings are happening fast and furiously as the Union wrapped up an early Christmas present, 26-year old Costa Rican left back Porfirio Lopez.

Lopez arrives after finishing up a whirlwind year that saw Alajuelense crowned the Verano and Invierno Champions of Costa Rica. Before his success with Alajuelense, however, he had a quick stint abroad with Chinese club Dalian Haichang – scoring two goals in ten matches before returning on loan to Los Rojinegros. Very little is known about the player, considering he wasn’t on anybody’s radar but one can bet he’s that attacking left back Nowak has been looking for.

Piotr Nowak has called for press conference at 4:00pm today to discuss the recent flurry of signings. One thing is for sure – this signing just adds to the whole “too many internationals” problem.

Anyone dizzy yet?

 

 

Name:                  Porfirio Lopez
Position:               Left back
Height:                 5-11
Weight:                 172
Born:                    September 10, 1985
Birthplace:            San Jose, Costa Rica
Hometown:           San Jose, Costa Rica
Citizenship:           Costa Rica
Last Club:             La Liga Alajuelense, on loan from Dalian Haichang
Pronunciation:      LO-pehz

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Union sign Gabriel ‘Gavilan’ Gomez

Posted on 22 December 2011 by Breton Bonnette

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The Union front office continues to impress in the offseason as they retool the roster heading into the 2012 Major League Soccer season.

Though Gomez looks to be a journeyman with his impressive travel log (stints in Cyprus, Mexico), he has put in some good time at pretty decent-sized clubs like Belenenses in Portugal (over 70 appearances) and Colombian stalwart Independiente Santa Fe. A central midfielder, Gomez should be a major upgrade over Miglioranzi (though he may still re-sign) and fit in nicely with Brian Carroll and Amobi Okugo.

US Men’s Soccer fans will probably not recognize Gomez for anything other than his 2011 Gold Cup run, namely his penalty kick conversion that wound up being the eventual gamewinner in the biggest upset of that tournament. In fact, Gomez’s international appearances have been much more impressive than his club career so far. The Panama City native has racked up over 70 appearances for Los Canaleros and scored 8 goals – 5 of which came in 2011. He has size, durability, and the natural fitness to run a game for 90 plus minutes.

The signing of Gomez, however, leaves the Union with some moves to make in the coming months with 10 international players on the books (the team is allowed 8). Gomez joins after the recent signings of Costa Rican striker Josue Martinez and the Union’s 2nd Homegrown Player Jimmy McLaughlin.

Challenge to our readers – can anyone find proof that Freddy Adu (with Belenenses on loan in 2009) and Gabriel Gomez played together at some point? We have no doubt they trained together but in the three games Adu played, we don’t know if Gomez played as well.

Name:                         Gabriel Gomez
Position:                     Midfielder
Height:                        6-0
Born:                           May 29, 1984
Birthplace:                 Panama City, Panama
Hometown:               Panama City, Panama
Citizenship:               Panama
Last Club:                  La Equidad
Pronunciation:          GO-mehz

IN: Nizar Khalfan (11/23: waiver draft/Vancouver); F Josué Martínez (12/7: transfer, Deportivo Saprissa); M Jimmy McLaughlin (12/12: Home Grown) M Gabriel Gómez (12/21: Indios); OUT: D Juan Diego Gonzalez (11/23: waived); G Thorne Holder (11/23: waived); M Justin Mapp (11/23: expansion draft); G Chase Harrison (12/12: option declined); M Stefani Miglioranzi (12/12: option declined) 

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Adu set to reunite with Nowak, Union get their playmaker

Posted on 11 August 2011 by Breton Bonnette

With four days until the end of Major League Soccer’s summer transfer window, it seems Piotr Nowak has found his man. Or two. And now, Freddy Adu not dressing for yesterday’s USA vs. Mexico match-up at Lincoln Financial Field makes a little bit of sense. It appears the one-time Benfica man will link back up with former head coach Piotr Nowak for another go at things and sign with the Union according to Ives Galarcep at Soccer by Ives. His introduction will be tomorrow and the word is, he will not be signing as a Designated Player.

There is also word another signing or two is on the way – apparently a striker.

Adu showed well at the Gold Cup, despite the surprise call-up,  and though his club situation never really panned out overseas, it’s clear the youngest player ever to sign with Major League Soccer still has a long career left in front of him. It should be interesting to see how Nowak deploys him.

UPDATE: Steve Goff of Soccer Insider is reporting that Adu will join on a long-term contract. Chivas USA was very close to signing him as a DP but at the last moment, owner Jorge Vergara decided against the move.

Adu will be introduced at noon tomorrow as the newest Union member. Ives Galarcep reports that in no way are the Union done in the transfer market.

What do you think of the signing? Surprised? Like it? Hate it?

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Carlos Valdes’ stay now permanent, the other Carlos gone

Posted on 05 August 2011 by Breton Bonnette

One here to stay. One gone for good.

The Philadelphia Union haven’t added anybody – although that should come in the next several days – but they made it a point to outright secure the full contract rights of the best loan acquisition made in their short history. Carlos Valdes is now permanently a Zolo. Between Valdes, Faryd Mondragon, former captain Danny Califf, and the emergence of Sheanon Williams, the Union have formed one of the best defensive set-ups in the league after a disappointing expansion year campaign. The long-term capture of Valdes from Independiente Santa Fe ensures some stability for the rest of the season but hopefully it welcomes in several seasons of defensive superiority in Philadelphia.

In other news, Carlos Ruiz has completed his transfer out to Veracruz of the Mexican Liga de Ascenso (Second Division). This obviously hurts the offense but we’ve discussed this all too much. Good riddance and, hopefully, we can find an able-bodied striker to help shore up the attack. Word is a “young, international striker” could be on the way. Also buried in the news was the word that a Union approach of Italian national team and Juventus veteran fullback Fabio Grosso was met with failure.  We’re confident we’ll hear word on new additions over the next several days but regardless, the waiting can be painful.

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So long Jordan Harvey, a true original Zolo

Posted on 07 July 2011 by Breton Bonnette

Defender Jordan Harvey will join former Zolo Shea Salinas out in Vancouver after Piotr Nowak made a move for allocation money, prompting chatter about who his sights are set on once the transfer window opens on July 15th.

There will be an outcry from fans on this one as Harvey has been one of the most dependable and present players in the Union’s revamped backline this season. He was also an original, joining via the Expansion Draft held back in on November 25, 2009. It certainly signals, though, that Nowak either has his eye on a high-profile left back or that he trusts Keon Daniel and the Farfan twins to man the position while the Union add a creative playmaker to continue. The question is, however, why mess with a defense that is still among the league’s best? And between Harvey and right-back Sheanon Williams, both making roughly $100,000 combined, how much will it really free up?  

All told, this is going to be tough pill for Union fans to swallow as Harvey – though not flashy or full of flair at the left back position – was a player fans came to love on and off the pitch. Give us your thoughts? Angry Nowak is breaking up that back four? Excited for what he’s got up his sleeve next?

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Union sign twin brother of draft pick, Houapeu, and Daniel

Posted on 18 March 2011 by Breton Bonnette

The Union filled out their roster today with the finalization of several contracts offered to draft pick Levi Houapeu, taken in the third round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, Keon Daniel, a former Puerto Rico Islander, and twin brother of DraftPick Michael Farfan, Gabriel.

Levi Houapeu is a pacy, outside midfielder from the  University of Maryland-Baltimore County, that should provide depth in both the outside midfield and forward department. Keon Daniel, a veteran of the Soca Warriors (Trinidad and Tobago), could prove to be an impressive acquisition based on an international career in which he has amassed 8 goals in over 45 caps for the Trinidad and Tobago National Team. Gabriel Farfan joins the Union after a year with Club America and has impressed .

All three provide a degree of versatility and youth to the roster as the midfield predominates the roster in the start of year two.

Player profiles to be posted in the next several days.

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Orozco-Fiscal’s option not picked up, returned to San Luis

Posted on 02 March 2011 by Breton Bonnette

(Terry McLaughlin/ASN Philadelphia)

Piotr Nowak put to rest the confusion behind the omission of Orozco-Fiscal from the Union’s roster in a conference call from Greece this afternoon.  

Orozco-Fiscal’s loan deal, according to Nowak, expired January 1, 2011 and when pressed as to why there was no mention of his return to San Luis before today, Nowak responded, “It seems to me that we forgot what the rules are and weren’t paying attention to the details of the contract”. The Union had the chance to act on the option to buy that is customary for all Major League Soccer loans but it was declined. He stressed that in spite of the roster compliance date, the Union’s roster is still not complete. The departure of Orozco-Fiscal, a 29 game starter, thins a defensive corps that with the earlier acquisitions of Faryd Mondragon and Carlos Valdes, many thought was much improved.

What’s your take? Did the Union miss out on not signing Orozco-Fiscal outright? Are you sad to see Orozco-Fiscal go? Worried about the defense all over again?  

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Union fans, welcome Chooch Numero Dos to the family

Posted on 22 February 2011 by Breton Bonnette

Is the City of Brotherly Love ready for a second Chooch? If not, you better get ready fast as El Pescadito has signed for the Union and will be joining the Union as they head off on their second leg of preseason in Greece.  

Ruiz, a one-time MLS MVP and MLS Champion, joins the Philadelphia Union after brief stays over the last several seasons in Paraguay, Mexico, and Greece. At 31, it appears he could have several years left in his tank but we’ll only know  for sure once the season begins in earnest. He certainly hasn’t stopped scoring goals for the Guatemalan national team so let’s hope that it translates back to Major League Soccer.

Ruiz sits as the 10th highest scorer all-time in Major League Soccer with an impressive 82 goals. He possesses a reputation as a player (a la Ale Moreno) that will do anything to get a call in his direction – a flop, an embellishment, a “whiner” (just ask Ricardo Clark) – but nothing changes the fact that Ruiz scores goals. As one of the best poachers to ever come through Major League Soccer, he’s one of those guys you would rather have playing for you than against you. For those that hate the simulation part of his game (and believe me I’m still wrapping my head around all of this), expect Nowak to have him limit that as he did with Alejandro Moreno for the most part.

With that, the line-up come opening day in Houston could now look like this:

————————-Mondragon——————————

Williams——–Valdes—————Califf———–Orozco F.

——————Carroll————Miglioranzi——————

Le Toux——————————————————Mapp

——————-Mwanga———-C.Ruiz———————–

Thoughts on the above projected Starting XI? Is this the true goalscoring threat the Union has been looking for? Were there better options out there? 

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Andrew Jacobson to join Seitz in Dallas, Union get draft pick

Posted on 18 February 2011 by Breton Bonnette

The Hoops are quickly snapping up Union players and this is one, as a Union fan, that’s tough to swallow. Jacobson featured in 25 games for the Union after being picked up in the 2009 Expansion Draft and is yet another victim of a crowded midfield. From time to time, he also appeared occasionally on the wings but with Okugo apparently having a great preseason, the acquisition of Brian Carroll, and a possible signing or two in the wings, it looks like Jacobson wasn’t in Nowak’s cards. The former Cal midfielder will join Chris Seitz and a Dallas squad that made its’ first MLS Cup appearance last season, losing to the Colorado Rapids in extra time.  In the trade, the Union have received Dallas’ 2nd round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.

Quite the roster turnover as Jacobson becomes the Union’s ninth player to be offloaded this offseason. He was also an original Union member (those taken in the 2009 Expansion Draft) as that list dwindles to four remaining – Zimmerman, Miglioranzi, Harvey, and Seb Le Toux.

Our verdict on the move? He fit the bill or at least was making progress in meeting Nowak’s expectations. A second round pick for 2013 isn’t enough for Jacobson unless you have someone waiting in the wings to be signed or are absolutely confident in those you have that the depth of the squad won’t be compromised. Jacobson seemed to be getting better as the year went on last season so, in ASN Philly’s eyes, Dallas got the best end of the deal in this one. Only time will tell however if we’re right.

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