Archive | Rumors

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RUMOR: We’ve heard this one before, Ruiz to the Union?

Posted on 11 February 2011 by Breton Bonnette

Carlos “El Pescadito” Ruiz, fresh off a relatively unsuccessful stint in Europe with the former home of Freddy Adu and Eddie Johnson (Aris FC in Greece), could be on his way to Philadelphia. The real question is…do Philly fans really want him? A notorious diver, Ruiz is also one of the best strikers this league has ever seen.

According to, the 31-year old Guatemalan forward looks to be in Philadelphia signing a contract. Another interesting fact exists, however, in the fact that the Chicago Fire has recently announced an international player signing to be completed in the next couple days. Only formalities are left to be handled. 

El Pescadito is known for his scoring track record in Major League Soccer from 2002-2008 – amassing 90 regular season goals in a little over 150 appearances. His time in Major League Soccer ended on a sour note, spending little time with Toronto FC and a second stint with the club that built his reputation, the Galaxy. He hopped on over to Olimpia, oldest club in Paraguay, scoring 10 goals before taking his talents to FMF with Puebla. Greece was next all while it was clear he was looking for a way back into Major League Soccer.

This rumor of Ruiz to the Union keeps coming back so what at point does it become a reality? We should know relatively shortly.


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RUMOR: Former Bundesliga scoring champion to Union [UPDATED]?

Posted on 05 January 2011 by Breton Bonnette

UPDATE: Head to a translated Slovakian news outlet saying that Marek Mintal is on his way to Philadelphia to potentially secure a three-year deal worth roughly $1 million. Well below Designated Player status, with all of the youth on the squad, the deal – if the coaching staff still believes he has some steam left – could actually be a reasonable one. The club is apparently set to secure him a house and car as well if he signs. He’ll be heading back to Germany on Saturday.

The rumor is picking up steam after a Slovakian news outlet yesterday put 2005 Bundesliga scoring champion Marek Mintal on his way to the Philadelphia Union. It has since been snapped up and elaborated upon by Kicker Online in Germany.

A legend in Nuremberg, the Slovak “Phantom”‘s playing days look to be numbered but the club longs for him to return as a coach of sort. Mintal is not ready to hang up the boots just yet. After several years plagued by injury, he has back to full health but age is still a concern.

At 33, Mintal could have a few good years left in him but unlike Faryd Mondragon, 39 and with plenty of playing time under his belt recently, the Nuremberg forward has little playing time to his name in the last two seasons. His history, however, speaks for itself. Since 2003, Mintal has amassed an impressive 66 goals with Nuremberg between the Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga. It was only in 2009, that he graced the top of the scoring charts as well – scoring 16+ goals in 2.Bundesliga play to see Nuremberg back to the top league in Germany. He is equally productive in the attacking midfeld and as a striker and having adapted to the physical Bundesliga style of play, possesses the size (6’0”) to transition into a Major League Soccer set-up.

What’s your verdict? Is Mintal past his prime? Would he provide the experience needed in the midfield, sitting behind Mwanga and Le Toux up front?

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With little tact, Pires turns down the Union

Posted on 20 May 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Former Villarreal midfielder and French international Robert Pires has apparently turned down the 2-year contract offer that the Philadelphia Union have offered him. And instead of doing so tactfully, he preferred to tell us exactly why.

“Ça ne me plaisait pas trop. Je ne veux pas faire le difficile, mais quitte à emmener ma famille loin, je préfère que ce soit dans une belle ville” –

Rough translation?

It does not please me to. I don’t want to be difficult, but if I am to take my family away, I’d rather do it in a beautiful city.

Ouch. His plan is to look in Europe for a club but Major League Soccer, he says, is still an option. Just not with Philadelphia.

At 36, it’s hard to think Pires had more than a season or two in him but frankly – if he doesn’t like the city, who really wants him here anyway? You don’t want a Julio Baptista-like tirade after he spent less than one season in England – see below (a translation of course).

“The teams from the north of England are terrible,” said Baptista in The Times.

“When we play them I have counted their centre-backs booting up to 30 long balls upfield per game.

“The weather over here is killing me. We’ll get one day of sunshine for every 30 days of rain, and it is driving me to despair.

“My girlfriend and my mother are frightened about not seeing the sun in England. They miss being in Madrid.

“Premiership football is very hard. I am Brazilian and I enjoy playing the ball, making clever touches and taking bicycle kicks. Arsene Wenger does not forbid me from doing them, but the game is so fast I don’t even have time to think about them.

“The moment you stop to think, someone has taken the ball off you and knocked you to the ground. Over here they value a corner kick more than a fancy flick.

“I am lucky to be with Arsenal, as they are a team that likes to play proper football.”

Union fans, how do you feel about the Robert Pires snub? What other DP targets would you like to see?

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Rumor: The Union in talks with Robert Pires?

Posted on 21 April 2010 by Breton Bonnette

It looks like the last remnants of the 1998 French squad that won the World Cup could be on their way across the Atlantic this summer. Thierry Henry has been touted as the Red Bulls newest Designated Player signing, Manchester City’s Patrick Vieira has at one time or another expressed interest, and now the Union join the French foray with a report on that the 36-year old Robert Pires is in talks with Piotr Nowak and the Philadelphia Union front office.

The international transfer window is in fact closed until the summer so nothing will be done until then. Regardless, there have been remarkably different reactions to the possible signing of Pires. Rumors had circulated a while back and recently it had been said that he was in talks with only one Major League Soccer club. Now, with Nowak admitting contact, what do Union fans think?

There’s no denying he’s skilled, he can still contribute (hell, he has 4 goals in 11 games for Villarreal in La Liga right now), and the experience that he’d bring would be top-caliber but would he really fit the mold of the team?  This is not the same player that scored over 60 goals for an unbelievable Arsenal side. This is not the same player that made Arsenal fans forget all about the likes of Marc Overmars. Does he have the work rate and vision to be the next Guillermo Barros Schelloto in this league? Something tells me no…but who knows.

We want to hear what you think. Would you welcome Pires in the midfield? Do you think he would mesh well with Roger Torres and the rest of the Union midfield? At 36, is he worth the DP money?

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Rumor: SBI reporting Union looking at El Pescadito, Carlos Ruiz

Posted on 08 April 2010 by Breton Bonnette

No, the Union isn’t looking at Chooch Ruiz the Phillies catcher.

Instead, they’re looking at El Pescadito, one of the most prolific goalscorers in Major League Soccer history. Only two years removed from his second stint in Major League Soccer, apparently the Union – according to Ives Galarcep of Soccer by Ives – are trying to sign him before the April 15th transfer deadline.

At only 30, Ruiz has got a lot still to offer and could thrive up top with a guy like Alejandro Moreno. There’d be a little too much “flopping” for my sake but Ruiz and Moreno would definitely be an interesting pairing. The Union have filed a discovery claim and look set to pursue this as a more feasible option than giving into United’s demands for Luciano Emilio.

The Guatemalan is currently playing in Mexico with FMF side Puebla and has recaptured his form somewhat. He is strong on the ball, has a nose for goal (you can’t complain about over 80 goals in MLS play), and can incite a riot within any opposition’s defense. He has won the Golden Boot twice and is a four time All-Star. Who knows if he can get anywhere close to that if he returns to Major League Soccer but one thing will be for sure, Philadelphia WILL be the most hated team to play against in all of MLS. 

The verdict is out on this one. What do you think about the possibility of having Ruiz up top? Who would you rather have – Emilio or Ruiz?

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Rumors: Puerto Rico’s Cristian Arrieta on trial with the Union

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Breton Bonnette

The 30-year old Puerto Rico Islander fullback has been training with the Union for some time now but – akin to the possibility of JT Noone and Radanfah Abu Bakr signing – there has been no contract offer as of yet apparently. Huge hat-tips to Big Soccer members intru and Luis Enrique #8.

Esteban Pagan, writer for Primera Hora in Puerto Rico, wrote on his Twitter account today:

BREAKING NEWS: Colin Clarke confirma que Cristian Arrieta se encuentra de tryout con el Union de Filadelfia (MLS)….

…pero esperan firmarlo si no consigue un espacio en el Union.

According to another source found by Luis Enrique #8, agent Robert Colosia divulged that – “Group C Sports Law client Cristian Arrieta is currently training with Philadelphia Union til Thursday; when he signs w MLS (2clubs) or PR”. Group C also has RBNY’s Luke Sassano on its’ client list. So it looks like we should have a decision on Arrieta by the end of the week. Many probably want to know…who is this guy?

We threw out our 5 best “bargain buys” from USL-1/NASL over three months ago and guess who topped our list? We had this to say about Arrieta then:

At 30, Arrieta is not getting any younger but the fullback sure can play. An offensive threat as well as a defensive stalwart, the Florida-born defender who grew up in Italy and playing his way up the Italian league chain has scored 17 goals in a little over 50 appearances for the Puerto Rico Islanders. He started with “home-town” teams in Italy, all Serie C1 and C2 before latching on with Serie B’s Lecce (a former Danny Dichio club). After playing only 7 games with Lecce, a new challenge awaited in Puerto Rico where Arrieta has since been a part of two All-USL-1 Teams of the Year. He was also named USL-1 Defender of the Year in 2008. Arrieta is probably the most attainable of the bunch listed but, without specifics, it’s tough to know for sure. In his two years of USL-1 soccer, Arrieta has done nothing but impress. I’d say it’s time for someone to give him the chance to do so on the next level.

It’s no Luciano Emilio talk but we’ll certainly keep you up to date.

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Rumors: A new striker on the horizon. Luci wants Philly.

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Breton Bonnette

UPDATE (4/8/10): Steve Goff of the Washington Post has updated us once again on the possibility of Emilio coming to Philadelphia.

Apparently, the Brazilian is keen to strike a deal with Major League Soccer and, in fact, is on the verge of doing so. The only problem seems to be the compensation demands of his former club D.C. United. The 31-year old has already nixed playing for FC Dallas which leaves the only true suitor as the Union. Emilio is looking to link up with good friend and countryman Fred but differences in opinion are holding up the finalization of a deal. Philadelphia has offered a financial package and draft picks but United wants more.

Could it be that United will eventually settle but don’t want Emilio having any chance of suiting up for Philadelphia this weekend. Or, as Goff puts it, it could very well be that they want to get some value back after having to give up quite a lot to gain the first allocation spot that yielded Troy Perkins. If it’s upgrades to the Philly offer that United wants, you can expect a young talent like Jack McInerney or Amobi Okugo to head down south (which I hope isn’t the case). Either way, only time will tell…

What do you think? Would Emilio be a good addition to that front line or would you like to give our current squad a chance?

This came out yesterday via the ever-trustworthy Soccer Insider Steve Goff so we’re a bit late on the uptake.

The rumor is a big one, however. Former league MVP with DC United Luciano Emilio is looking to get back into Major League Soccer. One of the possible destinations is undoubtedly Philadelphia.

Coming to Philadelphia?

I am a firm believer that this would not be a good move. Emilio is only effective when he has the proper service which cannot be guaranteed this season. He’s much slower than Le Toux or Moreno and will do little to match or exceed the work ethic a guy like Moreno or Le Toux will provide. If we need someone, it’s a pacy counterpart to the likes of the hardnosed Moreno (think a Robbie Findley or Josh Wolff). Then again, Emilio’s goal tally speaks for itself with over 40 goals in around 80 games. Not too shabby (but he still needs proper service). In 2007, his massive 20-goal season came thanks to the generous nature of Christian Gomez (9 assists) and an impressively in-form Fred (8 assists). Could Nowak be looking to try and re-ignite that partnership?

On a side note – what is it with former DC United league MVPs? Christian Gomez, MLS MVP in 2006, just signed a deal with Miami FC in the USSF Division II while Emilio wasn’t deemed cost-effective as United opted (only three years removed from 2007 MVP season) to stick with the 36-year old all time MLS leading goalscorer Jaime Moreno.

So what do you think Union fans? Is it worth taking the chance on Luciano Emilio? What if we can get him for half of what he cost in 2009? Or should we stay the course and see what comes of the Le Toux/Moreno tandem?

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Rumor: Early March exhibition in place?

Posted on 12 February 2010 by Breton Bonnette

The Union have been in snowy North Carolina since February 2nd and now it’s time – publicly – to put their conditioning work to the test. Sure, they have already had a run in, briefly, with two other college sides, UNC-Wilmington and High Point, but this one, taking place at 7PM tomorrow vs. the UNC-Chapel Hill Tarheels, will be complete with around 50 traveling Union fans and hopefully a little bit of coverage.

Just for the hell of it enjoy this nice long list of professionals that the Tarheels have produced. Nowhere close to the factory that is UNC Womens Soccer but damn good nevertheless – Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), Eddie Robinson (Houston), Gregg Berhalter (Los Angeles), Logan Pause (Chicago), Kerry Zavagnin (Kansas City, coach) and not to mention Major League Soccer’s favorite #1 draft pick and flop Chris Carrieri. Few long-time American internationals but many established Major League Soccer veterans. Regardless, it should be an insight into the beginning of a long journey for our Union.

The Union will then head to Mexico and end their preseason with a trip to Florida where it presumably will play FC Dallas in a tune-up scrimmage on March 10th. According to Buzz Carrick of the great FC Dallas blog 3rd Degree states that it could be part of a three-team round robin to take place in Tampa. The other team involved could be a fellow expansion squad in the NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies (well, that would make sense). He gets it off of the incredibly transparent FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman, who isn’t very good at keeping secrets.

Our talk with Union keeper and favorite for the #1 jersey Chris Seitz should be up tomorrow so stay tuned.

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Rumors: Union vs. High Point University set for Wednesday?

Posted on 09 February 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Happened to receive a nice little Facebook invite that the Union will be taking on High Point University tomorrow at 4:30PM.

I am fairly positive no one would make up an event, invite people, and “market” a phantom game – plus we really want some news about preseason. Who knows though…we’ll try and get confirmation.


The game will be held at:

Vert Soccer Stadium
833 Montlieu Avenue
High Point, NC

High Point has come a long way in the past couple years, coming back from a pitiful 2007 season to end up over .500 in 2008 and 2009. They were even ranked in the region for some time. There were a couple standouts as well for the 2009 season, freshman Shawn Sloan was named to the All-Freshman Team (third team) and both Matt Tuttle (sr.) and Karo Okiomah (soph.) were awarded third team, All-South Atlantic region honors. It looks like if this happens it may be treated as another “closed training session” but the road trip of 40 minutes or so from Browns Summit to High Point, NC leads me to believe that might be tough to do. Hopefully, we’ll get some details on this one – lineups, goals, trialist names…anything.

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RUMOR [UPDATE]: Philadelphia Power & Light [PPL] to sponsor Union stadium

Posted on 30 January 2010 by Breton Bonnette

UPDATE [2/1/2010] – According to Sports Business Journal, it will be a 10 year, $20 million deal. Nice to see that the Union will get the upper end of the naming deals and you can fully expect this place to be called PPL Park. The deal is being finalized but it’s almost a sure lock to be done by the end of the week. If anyone has a subscription and can send the substance of the article to us at ASN Philly –, we’d be forever grateful.

Kerith Gabriel of the Philadelphia Daily News has heard from a source that PP&L is close to multi-year agreement to sponsor the Chester Waterfront stadium set to open early this summer. Most stadium deals last longer than 5-10 years so you can expect a big one at $1-2 million a year. Although, with the current buzz and season ticket sales (approaching 10,000), you could see the Union squeeze a little more for a shorter term deal.

Time will only tell but take into account fellow soccer-specific stadiums with similar deals:

In 2007, mining company Rio Tinto bought the rights to the RSL’s Sandy, Utah stadium at $1.5 to 2mm a year for a 10  year deal.

In 2006, it is estimated that Dick’s Sporting Goods paid around $2mm/year to sponsor the huge Commerce City complex that now houses the Colorado Rapids.

In 2005, Pizza Hut signed on in Frisco, Texas (FC Dallas) for roughly $1.5mm/year. That again, however, was a sprawling soccer complex, complete with over 15 soccer fields and numerous marketing opportunities.

The only outlier is the Chicago Fire’s Toyota Park. The Bridgeview park received half of the amounts above in 2005, roughly $750,000 a year for 10 years to sponsor the Fire’s home.

So there you have it, if a deal goes through – it’s a possibility we’ll be getting $1.5-2 million a year for 5-10 years. Purely conjecture but it certainly gives you an idea of what to expect.

By the way, if you haven’t seen the new Stadium Construction photos – go here.

How do you like the ring of it? PPL Park? PPL Stadium? Would you have rather seen somebody else snap up the naming rights?

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