Union Pondering Putting Brian Carroll On The Trade Block

Oh Captain, my captain – gone again?

A member of the Union’s technical staff, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter, revealed to Kessler Reports that the club was debating placing Carroll on the trade block.

Trading Carroll would mean a fifth captain in five years for the Union: Danny Califf in 2010, Faryd Mondragon (left as a free agent) in 2011, Califf in 2012 (traded), Carlos Valdes in 2012 (left on loan at beginning of 2013) and then Caroll in 2013.

If a trade were to happen, the Union would be willing to part with Carroll for an offer that involved some allocation money and a draft pick, according to a separate source that talked to Kessler Reports. Philadelphia would eat part of Carroll’s salary to facilitate such a deal and would most likely package what it received in the trade with other SuperDraft picks to either move up in the 2014 draft or to acquire a veteran MLS player.

Carroll’s salary in 2013 was $176,400, placing him among the upper echelon of salaries on the Union. Despite his status as a fixture in Philadelphia’s starting lineup, Carroll’s contract and age, plus the depth at his specialization (Gilberto Souza, Amobi Okugo), put him in a position to be traded by the Union.

The rest of the midfield will be a toss up in  2014 after the sale of Michael Farfan, to Mexico’s Cruz Azul, Kleberson’s loan ending and the expected departure of Roger Torres. Of the remaining midfielders on the team, only Danny Cruz and Keon Daniel have starting experience in MLS, other than the returning Zach Pfeffer.

The 32-year-old joined the Union in Novemeber of 2010 after a long career with DC United and the Columbus Crew. Carroll won two MLS Championships and multiple Supporters Shields prior to Philadelphia’s acquisition of his rights for allocation money and a second round SuperDraft selection.


Report: Pablo Perez Reaches Agreement With Malaga, Awaiting Newell’s Old Boys Okay

The Philadelphia Union have all, but missed out on Pablo Perez based upon a new report out of Argentina.

According to an article by Ahora Deportes, Perez met with officials from Malaga C.F. in Spain and the two sides came to an agreement concerning personal terms.

There were only “small details” preventing the conclusion of the transfer.

Newell’s Old Boys is the last hurdle for Malaga, who previously had been unable to meet the transfer demands of the Rosario based club. Malaga had wanted to sign Perez on a loan with purchase option, but Old Boys has stated its intention to sell Perez outright.

Malaga pounced on Perez’s wish to play in Europe after fellow Argentine transfer target Jose Sosa was pulled in by rival La Liga team Atletico Madrid. 

The Newell’s midfielder had been leaning toward signing with with the Andalusian club despite the Union lodging a larger transfer bid than Malaga.

(h/t to @UnionRumors)

Carlos Valdes Countdown: New Year Passes Without New News*

*Read on for an explanation of why that’s not technically true.

The New Year came and went without any development in the Carlos Valdes transfer saga. The lack of movement on a loan or permanent transfer out of MLS means that the former Philadelphia Union captain has officially returned to the club’s roster.

Hold onto those happy thoughts, Union fans.

Valdes’ time with the Union most likely ended upon his initial loan to Santa Fe, despite that temporary transfer’s completion when the clock struck midnight on 2013.

Head coach John Hackworth has even publicly admitted that the Union won’t ever see Valdes play again for the team, leaving little to read between the lines on the matter in November:

“The reality is this is a good situation for Carlos right now,” Hackworth told MLSsoccer.com. “He needs to continue to be in that situation going into the World Cup because we’re in a good marketplace for him right now. I would think at some point he’s either going to get bought or we’re going to extend that loan through the World Cup.”

Valdes’ agent confirmed as much in a recent interview that clearly showed off the players’ wishes for 2014:

“If you ask me, ‘Is the player going to play in MLS?’ I can tell you with 101 percent certainty that in the first half of 2014, Valdes will not play in MLS,” Valdes’ agent, Ricardo Pachón, told FutbolMLS.com.

The center back’s push to be a part of Colombia’s World Cup squad in Brazil has led him to follow Jose Pekerman’s, the manager of the country’s international team, directive to seek playing time back home.

The best case scenario for both sides is a six month loan with an option to buy for a team, unless the Union want to bank on Valdes not only successfully making the 23-man roster, but also impressing in Brazil.

Philadelphia holds the second and sixth picks overall in the first round of this year’s MLS SuperDraft, which is laden with center back talent.

RUMOR: Union Outbid Malaga For Pablo Perez, But He Wants Nothing Of Philly

Word out of Argentina has put the Philadelphia Union ahead of other teams seeking the signature of Pablo Perez, if not for the player not wanting to move to them.

According to Federico Ludmer, who initially broke the story of Philadelphia’s targeting of Perez, the Union were once again rebuffed when trying to acquire them.

The Union reportedly tabled a big large enough to win over Newell’s Old Boys, but Perez, by all accounts thus far, has no intention of moving to Philadelphia nor the other MLS team that previously went in for as well .  The bid was more than that of Malaga, who play in Spain’s La Liga.

Malaga is much more enticing to Perez, but the team offered less money than the Union. Newell’s opinion on the bid was not discussed by Ludmer.

The news came on the heels of the Union allegedly failing to bring in Perez on a loan for the same exact reason.

Perez is considered a playmaking midfielder and is listed by Transfermarkt as a right sided player. He has appeared in 72 regular season games for Old Boys since returning to the club in 2009.

Freddy Adu, Former Union Bust, To Train In Arizona While Pondering Future

By 2O
Photo By 2O, Wikipedia

Without a club for the umpteenth time in his life, Freddy Adu will head to Arizona to train while pondering his soccer future.

Adu’s choice for his near future was revealed in an article by the Seattle Times earlier this week. The paper’s main soccer reporter, Joshua Meyers, interviewed Trevor Moawad, formerly of IMG and now Vice President of pro and elite sports for Athletes’ Performance in Arizona.

Moawad discussed Eddie Johnson with Meyers, but also disclosed that Adu would probably begin to train at Athlete’s Performance, soon.

“Freddy (Adu) is obviously one of them. With Freddy, it’s a tougher stretch for him right now. He’s out of contract and trying to figure out what he’s going to do next. I think he’ll probably come out to Arizona and train, unless he can get signed somewhere. Obviously the transfer window will not matter for Freddy because he’s not with a team, so he can sign whenever if someone will give him a shot.”

The former American international, now 24-years-old, was released by Bahia prior to the end of their 2013 regular season in Brazil after failing to make a push for a role on the club. Adu managed only four appearances with Bahia before his November removal from the team’s books.

“He does not play because there are others who are superior,” said Bahia director of football Anderson Barros. “He is very dedicated. I have nothing bad to say about him off the field. I have talked with him, and Adu understands the situation. He is very professional.”

The dismissal from Bahia was Adu’s ninth departure from a team in his 10-year career.

Carlos Valdes Countdown: Seven Days ‘Till Loan’s End

Here’s the latest update: nothing. There has been no new news on the Carlos Valdes front in the past couple of days.

The center back is still due to end his loan with Santa Fe on December 31, which would mean that he’d return to the Philadelphia Union prior to the 2014 preseason. The likelihood of Valdes actually playing for the Union at all in 2014, or beyond this upcoming year, remains low.

Valdes originally pushed for the move to Santa Fe in order to play in games leading up to Colombia’s World Cup Qualifiers in March, but now his spot on the country’s 23-man roster for Brazil this summer is in question.

To remain in contention for a role with Jose Pekerman’s team, Valdes has himself in a predicament: stay with a team that can’t afford him without paying in increments, which lessens the chance that the Union sell him to Santa Fe, or return to the Union, who won’t play again until March, only three months before the World Cup itself.

Expect Valdes’ time with the Union to have ended with the close of the 2012 regular season. Santa Fe and Valdes’ agent have claimed that the team will be where Valdes will play for at least the first half of 2014, which is where the player apparently wants to continue his career, unless a move materializes to Europe.

Follow @scottdkessler

Vartughian Cites New Team As Hope For Bone, But Is That Enough?


Photo by Noah Salzman

Corben Bone’s Major League Soccer career has never progressed as smoothly as Rob Vartughian and others had predicted it would end up.

The former American youth international has struggled to find paying time in MLS, despite being drafted by the Chicago Fire in the first round of the same 2010 SuperDraft that netted the Philadelphia Union Jack McInerney and Amobi Okugo.

Since then, however, Bone’s career has sputtered as he played just 18 total games in four years in Chicago, with zero goals to show for it.

Bone’s collegiate career was bright enough that MLS signed him to a Generation Adidas contract, but the midfielder failed to catch on with the Fire. There was a brief stint in the lineup during the 2011 season, but the team’s decision to hire Frank Klopas relegated Bone back to the bench.

When the Fire drafted the Texican Xavi in 2010, he was expected to challenge for a starting role as an attacking midfielder – and at the midpoint of 2011, he seemed to be on track, starting seven times before June. Once Frank Klopas took over as manager, though, his playing time became asymptotic to zero – in the last two seasons, he’s made a grand total of three sub appearances for a total playing time of 29 minutes.

The Union see that same potential in Bone. Vartughian, the club’s Technical Director, and head coach John Hackworth have tracked him until now because of their feelings about his talent.

“We’ve known Corben for a long time,” Union technical director Rob Vartughian told MLSSoccer.com. “Corben is a very explosive, creative attacking player. And if you followed his career before he went to Chicago, he showed some of those qualities both on the international level as well as with his college team.”

The question in concern to Bone is not whether or not he has talent, as his nickname with the Fire suggested. It comes down to the same problems faced by Freddy Adu when the Union acquired him: will a club change be the cure all?

Youth plays a rather large factor in these circumstances, but Bone isn’t the youngster that Vartughian makes him out to be in the MLSsoccer.com article, authored by Dave Zeitlin. Four years in MLS makes him a veteran on the Union, a team with a squad young enough to consider players like McInerney, Okugo and Sheanon Williams as old heads.

Bone is already 25-years-old, which would tip him as nearly fully developed as a player throughout the world. The possibility of unlocking what was once considered true attacking potential out of the midfield has wilted away into the enigma of either a talent lost or one ready to be unlocked.

The problem for Bone lies in the Union’s inability to produce any quality in the midfield.

The departure of Michael Farfan came after his own development faltered and the same can be said of Roger Torres, who is also slated to leave Philadelphia before the new year. Realistically, the only midfielder the Union can point to as a team developed or ‘rebuilt’ player is Danny Cruz, who was a victim of happenstance with DC United after a solid beginning to his career with the Houston Dynamo.

When it comes down to it, the Union don’t have the history or credibility to right off determine that the acquisition of Bone merits an pat on the back for the front office.

It will be another wait and see in a long line of decisions made over the course of four plus years.

Follow @scottdkessler

RUMOR: Union Target Midfielder Pablo Perez, Fail In Loan Bid

Quiet in, loud out.

A simple phrase that would aptly describe the Philadelphia Union’s odd and confusing approach to the current offseason. Only a couple of months removed from what was nearly a playoff year, the Union have chosen to remain silent on acquisitions, while most likely shedding seven players from their roster.

Corben Bone has so far remained the solitary addition to the Union, but reports out of Argentina cite an attempt by Philadelphia to replace some of what it has lost in December.

Multiple Argentine sources on Twitter stated today that Pablo Perez, a midfielder with Newell’s Old Boys, was a recent transfer target of the Union.

The Union were said to have discussed a loan with Newell’s for Perez, but they were rebuffed by Perez himself. Ahora Deportes said that Perez did not see Major League Soccer as an enticing opportunity.

Perez played 27 times for Newell’s in 2013, netting five goals and assisting on three more in 2,173 minutes. Transfermarkt, on which Perez is worth over $1.3 million, listed the 28-year-old primarily as right midfielder, but also have him as a possible central or attacking midfielder.

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