Archive | January, 2011

TMR Episode 27 – The Midnight Ride vs the SuperDraft

Posted on 19 January 2011 by Hank Alexandre

Hank, Sean and Brian get together and break down the latest news from the New England Revolution and the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.

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Revolution feel a Draft – Revs turn to player drafts and free agency to fill holes in roster

Posted on 19 January 2011 by Hank Alexandre

The New England Revolution, fresh off the end of their worst season in over 8 years, are officially rebuilding.  Of course that was the story last year as well, when the Revs lost key players like Jeff Larentowicz, Steve Ralston, and Jay Heaps.  However, the team was hopeful that they would at least have the services of Taylor Twellman at some point during the season.  Unfortunately, Twellman never did return, and the Revolution were left without a proven forward.

Coming off a season where they scored a new record low of just 32 goals, and let in a league high of 50, the Revs are well aware of what their problems are.   Fortunately for the Revs, the league has altered the rules expanded the roster size to 30 and increased the salary cap accordingly.  Additionally, MLS introduced a new Re-entry draft, allowing teams to select from veteran players who are out of contract.

The Revolution Roster has seen a lot of movement over the past year.  Here is a rundown of the player transactions since the end of the season.

PLAYERS OUT

Taylor Twellman – F – Retired.  Easily the biggest story of the Revs off-season to date.  Concussions and repeated trauma to the head forced the league’s most prolific striker into an early retirement.

Preston Burpo – GK – Option declined.  After sustaining a horrific leg injury midway through the season, the veteran goal keeper’s career looked to be over. But despite making a remarkable recovery, the Revs opted to pass on Burpo in favor of the slightly younger Matt Reis. Burpo was not selected in the re-entry draft.

Nico Colaluca – M-  Option declined.  Chronic injuries kept the former Generation Adidas player from playing meaningful minute, and never really got a chance to show his stuff on the big stage. Colalucawas not selected in the re-entry draft.

Cory Gibbs – D – Option declined. Gibbs was going to cost the team some money if they wanted to re-sign him, so they let him go.  He was selected by Chicago in the MLS Re-entry Draft.

Emmanuel Osei – D – Waived.  Osei’s unorthodox style always kept fans on their seats, but communication problems with the rest of the defense helped give up a league high 50 goals for the season.

Khano Smith – M – Option declined.  Khano is the proverbial bad penny.  By letting him go the Revs open up some roster space, but Khano is well liked by Nicol, and something tells me he could be back.  Khano was not selected in the re-entry draft.

PLAYERS IN

Didier Domi – D – Free agent.  The biggest signing of the off-season for the Revolution so far.  Domi, a French international left back who has played for PSG, Leeds, and Newcastle, came in last September for a trial and must have impressed.  Not a designated player, but probably a substantial hit on the salary cap.

Diego Fagundez – M – Academy Player, signed as Revs’ first ever “homegrown” player. A standout attacking midfielder who scored goals for both the Revs’ U16 and U18 teams, Fagundez at 15 years old is a huge talent for his age.  He probably won’t see much playing time this season, but should feature frequently in reserve games.  It will be interesting to see how the Revs’ use Fagundez considering he is still in high school.

Ryan Cochrane – D -Acquired via Re-entry draft.  Cochrane’s option was declined by the Houston Dynamo,  where Cochrane was a contributing factor in Houston’s back to back MLS Cup wins.  Cochrane, who fell out of Houston’s starting rotation due to injury, will likely partner with Darrius Barnes in the Center Back position.

AJ Soares – D – Acquired via SuperDraft, 6th pick overall.  Comparisons to Michael Parkhurst have already been drawn to Soares.  Soares is quite a bit taller, but word is he is as smart and composed.  He could be a surprise starter for the Revs, given Cochrane’s and Barnes’ injury problems.  Already signed contract with MLS, he will occupy a spot on the Revs’ senior roster.

Stephen McCarthy – M- Acquired via SuperDraft, 24th pick overall. A true 6′ 4″ box to box midfielder who can also get into the attack.  McCarthy could challenge Pat Phelan and 2nd year midfielder Jason Griffeths for a starting spot, but look for McCarthy to get most of his minutes in the Reserve league for his first year. Already signed contract with MLS, he will occupy a spot on the Revs’ senior roster.

Steven Perry – F – Acquired via SuperDraft, 39th pick overall. A lanky forward at 6’0″ tall, Perry was a former state high jump champion.  He will hopefully add some aerial prowess to the Revs’ attack.  Perry scored 12 goals and added four assists in 20 matches for Notre Dame as a senior, a big jump (no pun intended) from his 3 goals and 5 assists over the previous 45 games.

Ryan Kinne – M/F – Acquired via SuperDraft, 42nd pick overall. Kinne is listed as a “slashie” who won the Northeast Conference Player of the year award while at Monmouth College, scoring 12 goals with 6 assists as a senior (35 and 21 in his collegiate career).

Alan Koger – F – Acquired via SuperDraft, 54th pick overall.  Koger comes from William & Mary, who finished with a #9 ranking and a NCAA post season berth in 2010.  Koger was a big part of W & M’s offense, where he scored 10 goals in just 22 games.

Hunter Christiansen – D/M – Acquired via Supplemental Draft, 6th pick overall.  Listed as a midfielder,  Christiansen played defense his senior year at university of Tulsa.  He scored nine goals with 11 assists in his 4 year collegiate career (76 games).

Fernando Cabadas– M – Acquired via Supplemental Draft, 24th pick overall.  Cabadas started playing soccer in high school, having never played organized youth soccer.  He played at the collegiate level as an attacking midfielder for Sacremento State, after securing a spot on the team and a scholarship as a walk-on student athlete.  He was a three-time first-team All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation selection scoring nine goals with 19 assists in 78 career games.

Andrew Sousa – M – Acquired via Supplemental Draft, 42nd pick overall.  A local boy from Fall River, MA, Sousa scored seven goals and added six assists in three seasons at Providence College after playing one season at Limestone College (S.C.).

So overall, the Revs lost 1 Goalkeeper, 2 Defenders, 2 Midfielders and 1 Forward, bringing the roster down to 18.  In turn they added 4 Defenders, 4 Midfielders,  and 3 forwards through various drafts, bringing it back up to 29.  Not everyone will make the team however, as there are Player constraints on the roster. 6 spots on the team are reserved for players under age 24,  and will not count on the teams salary cap.  Teams can also sign as many homegrown players as they would like, of which the Revolution has signed one in Diego Fagundez, and potentially will add a former Revs U-18 player, Akron midfielder and NCAA Collegiate Cup holder Scott Caldwell, in time.  But as Domi, Cochrane, Soares and McCarthy are all under contract, the Revs, if they retain the existing roster, will only have 2 open roster spots for non developmental players.  Whether or not the revs retain the remaining players from 2010 – Linck, Boggs, Murray, and Griffeths are all unsigned – remains to be seen.  However, the Revs will likely use one of the spots for a third goalkeeper in Murray, and potentially, a designated player.  One thing is for sure, there will be plenty of competition in the Revs training camp beginning at the end of the month.

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POLL: Player announcements tomorrow. Who will it be?

Posted on 19 January 2011 by Breton Bonnette

See below for details or head to Philadelphia Union.com:

Join Philadelphia Union as TWO new team members are officially introduced to the public on Thursday, January 20 at Fado Irish Pub in Center City, Philadelphia. Doors open at 11:30 a.m., the program will begin at Noon, and there will be autograph opportunities. We hope to see you there!

WHAT: Philadelphia Union will introduce their newest team members

WHO: Philadelphia Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz, Team Manager Peter Nowak and the new team member will all be in attendance

WHEN: Thursday, January 20th, 12:00 p.m. EST

WHERE: Fado Irish Pub, 1500 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

VOTE FOR TWO BELOW!

[polldaddy poll=4413248]

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Union latch onto more local talent

Posted on 18 January 2011 by Breton Bonnette

The Union are filling up their roster with local talent and though the odds are against them, there has been significant contributors found in past Supplemental Drafts. With the 5th pick of the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft, the Union selected Southampton, PA and La Salle midfielder Ryan Richter. In the 2nd round, they grabbed the versatile defender/midfielder Josh Walburn, a Princeton Tiger. Last but not least, they selected Matt Marcin – a former FC Delco member and Wilmington, DE native.

From a November 2010 interview with CBS Philly, here is what Richter had to say about his strengths:

I just look at it as being a leader and hopefully setting the right example on the field for some of these guys for the future,” Richter says.  “It means a lot because I think people you are playing with start to look up to you a little bit in situations like that, so it’s good to be a leader on the field in that way.”Richter says his work ethic is what sets him apart.

“I work out every day, all summer, getting ready for a season,” he says.  “I can go for ninety minutes in the game, and I run as fast at the end of the game as I do in the beginning of the game.  I think it’s my work ethic, any coach I’ve had will tell you that.  I’m a hard worker.  Maybe not all the talent in the world, but I use everything that I have and I really do try my hardest.”

As for Josh Walburn. He’s a two-time All-Ivy selection, versatile, and has formidable size to provide depth in the back (6’2″). Here’s Joe Mauceri’s take on him (Pro Player Pipeline)

In 2010 against Brown, started – no comments; In 2010 against Adelphi, “The first goal was scored by senior midfielder Josh Walburn in the 13th minute. Senior left back Teddy Schneider drove a near post corner kick that Walburn headed into the upper 90. Very difficult shot for Holder to stop.” & “Walburn is adequate in the central midfield. He seems to have a good feel of the game”; In 2009 against Bucknell, “Junior midfielder Josh Walburn took a 35 yard shot that forced Caso to leap to tip the ball over the cross bar. In the 75th minute, Walburn stuck a blazing free kick from the same spot. This time Caso barely did the same thing, tipping the ball over the cross bar.”; In 2008 against Monmouth, started – but no comments;

And Mauceri’s take on the smaller Matt Marcin of Providence as well:

Matt Marcin (Providence) nice cross late in the game that went for a corner kick. had a couple of nice steals.  this is what I expected to see from him.  ; from 1/10/11 (adequate), plays hard defense, but was pushed off the ball by Campbell. Dispossessed Braga numerous times. Does not head the ball to a target.; From 1/8/11 (observe), I thought he didn’t play until I finally noticed near the end of the half that he had played the entire half. – Joe Mauceri, Pro Player Pipeline

This particular “leftover” Draft had been done away with ever since 2008 but now that it has returned, quality talent can be found from it. In 2008, New England grabbed goalscorer Kheli Dube AND the versatile Chris Tierney, who recently signed an extension. In 2007, it was future MLS Champion Kosuke Kimura taken in the third round by the Colorado Rapids and impressive RSL back-up keeper Kyle Reynish. Chris Wondolowski, Jeff Larentowicz, the Union’s Jordan Harvey were ALL Supplemental Draft picks. So there’s the possibility of finding a diamond in the rough but don’t expect much.

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TMR Episode 26 – The Midnight Ride vs the Post Season

Posted on 18 January 2011 by Hank Alexandre

Lost episode: Hank and Sean are joined by Steven Stoehr to talk about the Revs post season, in wake of the retirement of Taylor Twellman, the lack of movement in the Expansion Draft, and possible pickups in the Re-entry draft and free-agency.

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Player Profile: Levi Houapeu

Posted on 18 January 2011 by Breton Bonnette

Full Name: Aquilas Levi Houapeu

Position: Midfielder/Forward

College: University of Maryland-Baltimore County

Birthdate: June 22, 1989

Height: 5’8″

Weight: 160

Hometown: Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Acquired: Selected by the Union with the 41st pick in the 3rd Round of 2011 MLS SuperDraft.

College Stats

2007-2010 at UMBC: 76  games played, 34 goals (30 in his last two years), 19 assists, America East Conference Offensive Player of the Year, 3rd Team NSCAA All-American

Did you know?

Pro Player Pipeline’s collegiate soccer guru Joe Mauceri had Houapeu ranked as the 2nd best prospect in the MLS Combine pool. He fell to the third round due to an up and down Combine performance. See Mauceri’s comments below or head to his site here.

Levi Houapeu (UMBC) made an explosive diagonal run, held his balance off a physical challenge. Had both assists.  Burst around the corner but was over the end line.  Overall – not a good combine.; from 1/10/11 (-), not able to beat anyone 1v1.  This is not the same player that I’ve seen for the last 2 years. Yells loudly for the ball with tremendous urgency.  He needs to find a way to get separation and for him and Sapong to combine much more effectively. ; From 1/8/11 (-), wasn’t able to break down Duckett.  He needs to work harder on the defensive side.  I expected him to combine better with former team-mate (DCU friendly) CJ Sapong.  Houapeu was able to get to the end-line but his cross was too close to the goal line. – Pro Player Pipeline

Houapeu led the nation in his final two seasons as a UMBC Retriever. Coach Nowak was immensely surprised that a kid with such speed and a nose for goal would fall to round three. He also highlighted his versatility and was able to observe him with Reading United A.C., the PDL affiliate of the Union.

Now has the title of first UMBC player ever taken in the SuperDraft.

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Photos from the 2011 MLS SuperDraft in Baltimore, MD

Posted on 13 January 2011 by tmclaughlin

ASNPhilly Photographer Terry McLaughlin is back for the 2011 season and made the trip to Baltimore to catch some shots of the newest players to join the MLS and Union.  Check out some exclusive photos from the SuperDraft here:

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Also, if you’re on facebook then check out our new page at: ASN Philly

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Player Profile: Michael Farfan

Posted on 13 January 2011 by Breton Bonnette

Position: Midfielder

College: UNC

Birthdate: June 23, 1988

Height: 5’9″

Weight: 160

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Acquired: Selected by the Union with the 23th pick in the 2nd Round of 2011 MLS SuperDraft.

College Stats

2008-2010 at UNC: 41 games played, 41 started, 10 goals, 7 assists

2006-2008 at University of Cal-State Fullerton: 34 games played, 32 starts, 8 goals, 7 assists

Did you know?

Noted college soccer guru Joe Mauceri over at Pro Player Pipeline ranked Farfan the 3rd best midfielder available for the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. See his comments on Farfan’s Combine performance below or at the site linked above.

Michael Farfan (UNC) very active in the attack including initiating an attack where Bruin got behind the defense.  Took a shot early when McCarthy set him up; from 1/10/11 (adequate), disappeared for much of the half, occasionally popping up to get involved. ; From 1/8/11 (adequate), was involved early but seemed to fade out as the match continued.  He had a shot that was blocked by Warshaw.  He combined with Plata to get behind the defense, but the GK got to the Plata pass.  Farfan needs to take more responsibility for the play.

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Player Profile: Zac MacMath

Posted on 13 January 2011 by Breton Bonnette

Position: Goalkeeper

College: Maryland

Birthdate: August 7, 1991

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 176

Hometown: St. Petersburg, FL

Acquired: Selected by the Union with the 5th pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.

College Stats

2008-2010 at Maryland: 65 games played, 34 shutouts, 43 goals against, 2010 2nd Team CSN All-American; 2010 1st Team NSCAA All-American; 2010 1st Team All-ACC; 2009 3rd Team NSCAA All-American; 2009 1st Team All ACC

Did you know?

– Led the U-20 team to a Milk Cup Championship in the summer of 2010 in Northern Ireland

– Earned lowest goals-against average in NCAA (.44 GAA) in 2008 as a freshman and set a program record for shutouts in a season with 15 in 2010

From the Washington Post (Steve Goff’s Soccer Insider):

“He is definitely ready for the next step, and it’s going to be Zac’s choice,” Maryland Coach Sasho Cirovski said. “I’m not looking to keep Zac in school. If he ends up staying, I will be delighted, but he’s ready to move into the next phase of his career. I’m ecstatic that I’ve had him for three years.”

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2011 MLS SuperDraft Live Blog

Posted on 13 January 2011 by Breton Bonnette

1:00PM – Portland trades their #11 pick to Houston, the Dynamo promptly selected highly touted Indiana forward WILL BRUIN to go with Akron Zip Kofi Sarkodie.

12:51PM – Surprisingly, last year’s Combine MVP was a Union player – Amobi Okugo. CJ Sapong (James Madison) was just taken at #10 by Sporting Kansas City.

12:47PM – The Combine MVP and UNC fullback JALIL ANIBABA (well-spoken!) is selected #9 by the Chicago Fire.

12:45PM – That’s FIVE Zips in the top 8 picks. Breaks the record!

12:43PM – MacMath will be the 2nd Maryland goalkeeper in Union history. Has played under Piotr Nowak and Rob Vartughian before. Also, his father is from Philadelphia and has been to many Eagles and Phils games.

12:41PM – The internet here is atrocious. Zac MacMath was just taken by the Union. Soares followed, then Sarkodie to Houston at #7. And Vancouver just grabbed their own Zip, midfielder Michael Nanchoff with their 2nd pick of the first round (#8).

12:14PM – There’s apparently a trade taking place between Toronto FC and D.C. United?

12:09PM – At #2, the Timbers take Akron’s DARLINGTON NAGBE. And the Aggregator gets one correct so far.

12:06PM – And the Vancouver Whitecaps surprise the masses by taking US U-20, Generation Adidas forward OMAR SALGADO.

11:56AM – The Commish just spent about 3 minutes talking up the Union and their relationship with their supporter groups.

11:51AM – The internet continues to cut in and out. Don Garber now speaking.

11:36AM – There’s a back and forth going on between the Union and DC United fans. No real RBNY or New England presence.

11:23AM – There is word that Vancouver is not planning on drafting either of the top projected picks – Darlington Nagbe or Perry Kitchen. If not them…then who??

11:18AM – The Union top men are here, right in the center of the Draft floor. ASN Philly’s photographer Terry McLaughlin is here with me gearing up to get audio, video, and a boatload of photos. If we intermittently cut out, it’s due to player interviews and what not.

11:10AM – We are parked nicely in the Baltimore Convention Center watching Major League Soccer clubs top brass trickle in. New coaches Steve Ralston, Pat Onstad, new managers Ben Olsen (DC) and Robin Fraser (Chivas USA). Every time the music subsides for a bit, you can hear the SoBs loud and clear. Feel free to chime in below and let us know what you think about picks, trades (and there WILL be some), etc.

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