[MLS 2013 COUNTDOWN] Addressing what he called "the elephant in the room," Philadelphia Union coach John Hackworth confirmed to Union season-ticket holders that Freddy Adu is not part of the
team's plans in 2013 even though he is still under contract with the team.
In a letter to season-ticket holders addressing a series of moves -- Carlos Valdes' return to Colombia and the Union's draft choices, among others -- Hackworth tried to clear up rumors about the Adu situation:
CHICAGO. Mexican midfielder Pavel Pardo has retired from pro soccer after two seasons with the Chicago Fire. Pardo, the second-most capped player in Mexican history with 148 caps, brings an end to a 19-year professional career that saw him compete at the top levels in Mexico and Germany as well as MLS. “This was a very difficult decision, but after speaking with my family, I’ve decided that it is the right time to retire from professional soccer,” said Pardo. “I’ve had the opportunity to play for world-class clubs and represent my country at the highest level. The journey has been an exciting one and I’m proud of the things I’ve accomplished along the way.” Pardo joined the Fire in July 2011 after stints in Mexico with Atlas and Club America and in Germany with VfB Stuttgart.
COLORADO. Dillon Serna, 18, is the fifth Akron player to sign an MLS homegrown contract this winter. He joins the Colorado Rapids after one season with the Zips. He joined the Rapids Academy in 2009 and has seen extensive action with the U.S. U-17 national team. “Dillon was under-the-radar when he first joined the Rapids Academy, but he took full advantage of the chance and immediately impressed coaches across the country,” said Rapids Academy director Brian Crookham in a statement. “He has continued his high level of play ever since, and ended up being our most accomplished youth player to date. We’re all excited to see his development moving forward.”
-- Former Development Academy Player of the Year Ruben Luna, who was released by FC Dallas at the end of the 2012 season, is one of six trialists in the Rapids' preseason camp. The others are Jamie Smith, who played four seasons with the Rapids, goalkeepers Joel Helmick, Jim Mauer and Clint Irwin and defender/midfielder Luke Vercollone.
2013 Homegrown Signings
Colorado: M Dillon Serna (Akron)
Columbus: M Wil Trapp (Akron), D Chad Barson (Akron)
FC Dallas: F Bradlee Baladez (South Carolina), D London Woodberry (Maryland)
D.C. United: F Michael Seaton (academy)
Los Angeles: D Oscar Sorto (academy), F Gyasi Zardes (CSU Bakersfield)
New York: G Santiago Castano (academy), F Amando Moreno (academy)
New England: M Scott Caldwell (Akron)
Portland: F Steven Evans (Portland)
Seattle: D Andre Yeldin (Akron)
D.C. UNITED. Diego Restrepo, who helped Virginia win the 2009 NCAA title, has returned home after two seasons in Colombia and Venezuela and will attend D.C. training camp as a trialist. Other invitees: goalie Matt VanOekel, defenders Kyle Altman, Neven Markovic, Demitrius Omphroy, midfielder Joseph Nane and forward Ryan Richter.
MONTREAL. The Montreal Impact named 31 players who will be at the opening of training camp on Monday morning at the Marie-Victorin Sports Complex. In addition to the 22 players under contract, five players from the U-21 team have been invited: goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau, defender Maxim Tissot, midfielders Wandrille Lefevre and Zakaria Messoudi, as well as forward Mircea Ilcu. Three of the four players drafted last Thursday will be in camp: goalkeeper Brad Stuver, midfielder Blake Smith and forward Fernando Monge. Trialist Nick Zimmerman will also join the team for training.
-- PHILADELPHIA signed forward Aaron Wheeler (ex-FC KooTeePee) and Trinidadian defender Damani Richards (ex-W Connection).
-- COLORADO acquired Chilean forward Kevin Harbottle from Universidad Catolica (Chile).
-- SAN JOSE acquired forward Mike Fucito from PORTLAND for the No. 34 pick in the 2013 SuperDraft.
-- CHICAGO acquired midfielder Jeff Larentowicz and the No. 30 pick in the 2013 SuperDraft from COLORADO for the No. 11 pick in the 2013 SuperDraft, allocation money and a 2013 international slot.
-- LOS ANGELES signed Brazilian midfielder Juninho on a permanent transfer from Sao Paulo (Brazil).
-- REAL SALT LAKE acquired the rights to forward Robbie Findley (ex-Nottingham Forest) from PORTLAND for allocation money.
-- PHILADELPHIA sent Colombian defender Carlos Valdes to Inde. Santa Fe (Colombia) on a year-long loan.
-- TORONTO signed Brazilian midfielder Julio Cesar (ex-Sporting Kansas City) as a free agent.
MLS Transactions Jan. 5-11
MLS Transactions Dec. 31-Jan. 4
MLS Transactions Dec. 17-23
MLS Transactions Dec. 10-16
Will not be on twitter till after the season but keep up with me & our 2013 journey on instagram (stevezakuani11). Lots of pics #GOSOUNDERS— Steve Zakuani (@stevezakuani11) January 18, 2013