The Daily Doop: Ansaldi opens up and Garber drops some knowledge

Monday's post turkey installment of all things Union

Garber - ASG presser

Photo Credit: 
Greg Carroccio

Hope everyone had a great holiday, now it’s back to the grind and another edition of “The Daily Doop.”

Not much to report on the Union front, except today we released this Q&A piece featuring the Union’s new director of international player development, Ricardo Ansaldi. Ansaldi, 59, told philadelphiaunion.com that the important piece of acquiring the ideal player is less about the player and more about what fits for the team.

Translation – or at least the one we’d like to believe? That the days of having international players collect six figure paychecks to play on the reserve team is nearing its end.

Ansaldi also discussed the recent trip to Argentina with Union boss John Hackworth and why South America isn’t the only destination for top talent – but a major one, both economically and historically.

In addition to discussing that, Ansaldi later sent us this via email:

Hello Kerith,

My pleasure talking to you today!... adding to what I was saying, I went to check the exact figures to see how far from reality I was when I told you that “the majority of the World Cup Finals had a team from this region (in reference to Argentina; Brazil and Uruguay)". Here are “the numbers”:

There were 19 World Cups; hence, 19 Finals.

On 11 Finals, there was a team from this region (that is close to 58%)

On 15 semi-finals there was a team from this region (that is 73%)

Considering that FIFA has 209 National Associations represented among its members in all 6 Confederations, we can safely say that “more than half of the World Cups went to a segment of 1.4 % of its members

So, it is safe to say that this is indeed a soccer-rich region!...

I am glad to confirm that my statements were not too far away from reality!

Thank you and All the best!

Ricardo

No thank you, Ricardo. Anyone that takes the time to do their homework to concrete a statement is a fan of ours. Moving on…

MLS commissioner Don Garber held his State of the League media teleconference this evening. Garber discussed a myriad of things, namely David Beckham. It took Garber 20 minutes into the call to get to Becks, but when he did it was all talk of how much “David has played a great role in our league, not just playing but speaking of it highly and getting great internationals to recognize MLS.”

Some cool points Garber brought up was that the 2012 MLS season will start March 2 and from what we are hearing, it’s not out of the question that the Union will be a part of First Kick 2013. Again, not definitive, so don’t go yelling at us if it doesn’t come to fruition, just hearing it could. Also, Garber mentioned that the league’s 20th franchise – one MLS would love to see happen in New York – could arrive by 2016.

Garber also mentioned the following:

  • Attendance league-wide increased to over 19,000 the highest in league history. It also marked the fourth straight season the league has seen its numbers rise.
  • There were six regular season games this past season that housed 50,000 or more fans, also the first time this has happened in league history. No doubt Seattle and Montreal pre-Stade Saputo had a hand in that.
  • This is the second time MLS will have the same teams in back-to-back MLS Cups. Houston has been involved all three; two against Los Angeles and the 2006 and 2007 campaigns in which they knocked off New England.
  • MLS on NBC saw 14 million viewers, an increase of 47 percent across soccer viewership in the first year of the network’s three year deal with MLS.

All good things; we’ll catch you all tomorrow.

Contact Kerith Gabriel at kgabriel@philadelphiaunion.com. Follow Kerith on Twitter @sprtswtr