Archive | Rumors

UPDATED: Vincenzo Bernardo not yet on Union radar

Posted on 26 January 2010 by ASN Staff

Vincenzo Bernardo ©VincenzoBernardo.net

Vincenzo Bernardo ©VincenzoBernardo.net

New Jersey-born forward Vincenzo Bernardo is coming to Major League Soccer. The 19-year old former Napoli hand told ASN of his news Saturday morning.

Update, Jan. 26, 2010: Bernardo will not sign with the Union. He is, however, in the process of trialing with the Kansas City Wizards. Follow the link for visual proof from Thad Bell at the Kansas City Wizards open tryouts.

Update, Nov. 30: Bernardo is not yet on the Union radar. A Philadelphia Union spokeswoman told ASN she had not yet heard of Bernardo coming to MLS and that she had no other information on the subject. Bernardo could still end up in Philadelphia, of course, but a deal is not yet in the works. Bernardo is due to travel back to the U.S. from Naples today.

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US international Michael Orozco set to join Union?

Posted on 16 January 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Michael Orozco, 23-year old American defender, looks set to join the Philadelphia Union from San Luis of the Mexican First Division according to reports south of the Rio Grande. His playing  time at San Luis has dwindled and Orozco is evidently ready for a move up north. The move would be a smart one for Orozco as it would put him firmly on Bob Bradley’s radar heading into the 2010 World Cup.

That explains why the Union didn’t go after any defensive cover in the draft. With Shavar Thomas and Danny Califf in the center,, Jordan Harvey and Dave Myrie on the wings, the addition of the 23-year old capable of playing on the left or in the center will give Philadelphia a versatile defensive unit. Orozco is well known for his red card three minutes into the deciding match vs. Nigeria at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The United States went on to lose the match 2-1. Though many remember him for that, Orozco is a tenacious player very capable of developing into an outstanding Major League Soccer defender.

Orozco has been capped by the USMNT making it a possibility that he would  be subject to the same allocation process that Troy Perkins most recently was. That trade landed the Union the #7 pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, Brazilian midfielder Fred, and vital allocation monies. The Union – after the trade with D.C. United – now sit at #6 on the allocation list with New York first. If it is determined that he is subject to the allocation process over just filing a discovery claim on Orozco, it could be a bit more difficult than originally planned.

So Union fans, what do you think of the possible addition of Orozco? Is this a defense capable of being one of the best in the league?

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Union news: Colombian defenders are all the ‘Rage’

Posted on 21 December 2009 by Breton Bonnette

As a Major League Soccer fan, you most definitely have noticed the success Colombian players seem to have in this league. Start things out with Carlos Valdarrama in the late 1990s and work your way up to Seattle’s Fredy Montero and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Chivas USA’s youngster Yamith Questa or Real Salt Lake’s defensive stalwart Jamison Olave. It’s tough not to admit they’ve all been pretty influential in just a short time in the league.

Soccer by Ives has come up once again with some MLS transaction chatter and, normally, when Ives says it, it tends to come true. We only bring this to you because the Union looks to be a part of it.

Major League Soccer has apparently signed three Colombian youngsters to contracts and discovery claims have since been filed, the Union being one of them. The three players are America de Cali’s Edward Zea (19), Deportivo Cali’s Pablo Escobar (22), and Deportes Quindio’s Hanyer Mosquera (22). All three happen to be central defenders. There is no word on which one or how many the Union have put discovery claims on. As far as experience, Mosquera has scored for the senior squad in a Copa Mustang match vs. Deportivo Cali. Mosquera’s signature with league must be on loan – as are probably the other two – according to this from La Cronica del Quindio. Escobar has seen time with the Deportivo Cali first team in Copa Sudamericana action though not much at all. Regardless, the track record of Major League Soccer with Colombian prospects seems to ensure a talent.  

What we can take from this, if true, is that taking Ike Opara first in the draft might not be a foregone conclusion (assuming Opara even signs with Major League Soccer). Could we trade up for allocation money to sign an established attacker or do we go after a player like Toni Stahl, a holding midfielder is widely seen as a guy who could step in and be 2010’s version of Toronto FC’s Sam Cronin? The possibilities are endless but every little bit of information helps us take a stab at Piotr Nowak and John Hackworth’s thought process. What do you think?

Add this to a day where the Union have signed on a minor-league affiliate in the PDL’s Reading Rage (now re-branded as Reading United AC) and you’re starting to see what each day could be like over the next three months news-wise. As a Professional Development League squad, teams are comprised mostly of amateur youngsters looking for offseason training and guidance, some of which eventually move up to the professional ranks. The Reading Rage has helped nurture a host of area talent many of which will take part in this year’s MLS Combine (Penn State’s Jason Yeisley, Lehigh’s Adam Welch). Others like Akron’s Zarek Valentin (a Lancaster, PA native), Penn State’s Corey Hertzog, Lehigh’s Adam Gazda could be next on that Combine list. A good pipeline to have for the Union, even better if they sign up the area’s second PDL squad – Neil Holloway’s Ocean City Barons.

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Jeremiah White finished with AGF Aarhus, Union next?

Posted on 14 December 2009 by Breton Bonnette

Jeremiah_White_prematch_090309_01_EB

About a week ago, TV 2 in Ostjylland reported that Jeremiah White is, in fact, done with AGF Aarhus paving the way for a move back to Major League Soccer. There have been no definitive reports on where he is heading but it’s hard not to think the 27-year old winger doesn’t have the Union at the top of his list. His contract expires next summer and he did not feature in this past weekend’s game suggesting that a move is imminent.

AGF Aarhus, who also employs fellow American Benny Feilhaber, has already acquired a player capable of filling the speedy void left by White, 24-year old Stephan Petersen. White’s exit will end a successful stint in Aarhus that spanned over 80 games and saw the speedster become a true fan favorite. It will be a bittersweet departure as it was only six months ago the Philadelphia native was enjoying his time in Aarhus. There was, however, a little snippet that stuck with me upon interviewing him in June…

As a local product, White would be a sound addition to a Philadelphia Union roster set to start taking shape. “It depends” he says when propositioned. For now, however, he left for Denmark earlier this week to start preparations for a new Superliga campaign. For those worried that Aarhus and Denmark has become White’s home, don’t fret. There’s a reason he foregoes vacations elsewhere to head back to the Philadelphia area. “I do enjoy being in Denmark, in Aarhus, but I’m looking for houses [in Philadelphia]. I like the area. This is my home.” From Sons of Ben.com

ASN will try and catch up with Jeremiah in the next couple days but it’d be tough to think that he’s not heading to Philadelphia.

White has always been on the fringe on Bob Bradley’s radar for USMNT duty – would a move to Philadelphia hurt or help him? What would you think of Jeremiah White’s addition to the squad? Happy to have a veteran presence for Nick Zimmerman and Shea Salinas to learn from?

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Danny Califf to join Philadelphia Union

Posted on 02 December 2009 by Breton Bonnette

FC Midjtylland and former U.S. Men’s National Team defender Danny Califf will reportedly join the Philadelphia Union on Jan. 1. The California native is no stranger to Major League Soccer having enjoyed four solid years with the Los Angeles Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes. With over 100 MLS appearances and an MLS Cup to his name, his rights sit firmly with the Houston Dynamo. According to Greg Seltzer at Soccer365, the Union have a deal in place to acquire those rights.

At 29, the acquisition of Califf would give the Union two proven centerbacks along with Shavar Thomas, a duo capable of ranking up there with some of the better couplings in the league. Califf has 21 caps with the USMNT and, though a player on Bob Bradley’s radar, he is expected to be in contention for a spot on the 2010 South Africa roster. Many will also wonder if the addition of Califf will keep Coach Nowak from going after sure-shot top draft pick (if he declares) and Wake Forest star Ike Opara. Regardless, that’s a good problem to have.

So Union fans, another roster opening addressed (we certainly hope). A good signing? Were there better options available?

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Rumors: Ebi, Torres, the first of many

Posted on 20 November 2009 by Breton Bonnette

America_de_Cali_new

It’s about time we started to hear some player rumors. Enter Roger Torres, 18-year old Colombian midfielder from America de Cali. Torres apparently told Colombian futbol site enlajugada.com that the contract “was close to being signed, any time now” back on November 3rd. He has played 9 games for the Scarlets and with reports out of Colombia pointing to a massive roster turnover, Torres could very well be on his way to the States and right into the Union mix. He is described as good on set pieces, creative, and not quite as small as a Franco Neill or FC Dallas’ David Ferreira.

The rumors about Ebi Smolarek won’t quite go away either. Originally thought to be , the 28-year old Smolarek went on trial with HSV and Frankfurt of the Bundesliga before disappearing once again for over two months. Ebi hasn’t surfaced but you have to think, the longer he goes without a club, the more likely it could be the once great (and still young!) striker could find his way across the pond. The question is – does Coach Nowak want him and would he even be worth the price tag? The rumor is that with Hamburg, Smolarek was asking for a lot more than HSV was willing to throw at him. Would a DP be worth it on a striker who has scored 19 goals in 40 games for his country? I’m still wrestling with that one…Recent unsubstantiated rumors out of Poland put him on the radar of Greek squad Larissa who recently tragically lost Mexican striker and reported Major League Soccer transfer target Antonio de Nigris to a heart attack.

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