Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Roster revamp continues in Philly
by Ridge Mahoney, February 10th, 2011 12:52AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls, philadelphia union

MOST COMMENTED

By Ridge Mahoney

From his comments Wednesday in a telephone conference call with reporters can be gleaned that Union coach Peter Nowak is not done tinkering.

The waiving of right back Christian Arrieta Tuesday revamped the roster yet again; he’s the fourth 2010 starter to be jettisoned, along with forward Alejandro Moreno, midfielder Fred and goalie Brad Knighton.

"The roster of course is not set,” Nowak said from the team’s training camp in Orlando, Fla. "The roster compliance deadline is March 1, and we have to make a decision at the end of this camp. The roster is not in place yet - we still are working on some things that could improve our roster offensive and defensively.”

Rumors that the Union had signed Colombian winger Jorge Perlaza turned out to be false; he’s in the Portland camp though he’s yet to sign a contract. Earlier this week Nowak acknowledged the Union needs more attacking punch to counteract opponents blanketing forwards Sebastien Le Toux (14 goals and 11 assists last year) and Danny Mwanga (seven goals as a rookie); during the conference call he didn’t respond to questions that the Union is trying to sign Colombian forward Tressor Moreno.

The most significant offseason moves to date are designed to strengthen the spine of the team: holding midfielder Brian Carroll and the Colombian duo of center back Carlos Valdes and veteran goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon. Carroll, 29, has played on championship teams for D.C. United (2004) and Columbus (2008); the foreign newcomers are expected to upgrade two more of the team’s problem areas during its expansion season (8-15-7, 35 goals scored, 49 conceded).

“He is such a great guy and everyone is looking up to him,” Nowak said of Mondragon, who is 39 and played in the 1998 World Cup. “Even with his experience, you wouldn’t know it because he puts everything on the line and he’s not looking for any free passes in training.

“He’s just a joy to work with every single day. He enjoys coming to practice and he puts extra work in after practice. As a coach, it’s a dream to work with such guys.”

Valdes, 25, is bringing a toughness and consistency that U.S. veterans Danny Califf and Michael Orozco Fiscal didn’t often provide last year. That pairing grew stronger as the season unfolded, but the league and Philly have yet to either extend Orozco Fiscal’s loan deal or convert it into a transfer.

Nowak’s affinity for blood-and-guts warriors, no matter what sport they play, is well-known. During the conference call he compared Valdes in appearance and ferocity to one of the NFL’s best linebackers, Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens.

“Carlos Valdes is doing very good,” said Nowak. “He speaks English, so he can listen to what we are telling him and he is understanding the tactical part. He is strong and for the last two weeks we have been bringing him along with the group and he is learning. He is an excellent professional and when he plays in the middle, he doesn’t like to let anything or anybody get through.”

Philly tied the U.S. U-17 team, 1-1, in its first preseason match Monday. It plays the University of South Florida Thursday.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
MLS's Best of July    
So much international soccer -- Gold Cup, Women's World Cup, prestigious club friendlies -- was played ...
We hand out our MLS Midseason Awards    
Can a newcomer win the MVP award? Is the defending Goalkeeper of the Year destined to ...
Soccer's scandals poison Gold Cup playing field    
As a child in the early 1960s, I was a college football fan, or as much ...
It's time to re-think the MLS All-Star Game    
As the league expands and teams sign more star players, limiting the MLS representation to just ...
USA gets reminder the red, white, and blue is not sacrosanct on Concacaf fields    
Defeat to Jamaica in the semifinals changes the U.S. landscape for the next few months. With ...
So you think you've been Concacafed?    
The Gold Cup is the tournament everyone loves to hate on, from the refereeing to the ...
USA has no one cut from Dempsey's mold -- thankfully, his exit is a ways off    
Before bagging a hat trick against Cuba, Clint Dempsey had scored three of the four U.S. ...
New MLS process twists its already labyrinth-like financial underpinnings    
In just over a week, two teams -- Portland and the Galaxy -- have announced deals ...
Galaxy breaks new ground with Dos Santos signing    
Is the signing of Giovani dos Santos another example of the rich getting richer in MLS, ...
FIFA hearing: Power, politics, the two-choice equation and why U.S. Soccer sells itself short    
According to U.S. Soccer's latest Form 990 return, secretary general Dan Flynn was its second highest-paid ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives