It’s Thursday, and this is coming to you following the second day of exit interviews and physicals for players. No real drama to report except I can say that a couple nameplates that were once over locker room stalls have been removed.
Not naming any names, but I’ll leave who those players might be to your imagination – or at least until all the interviews wrap and we have a final manifest to report.
With that said, let the speculation begin…
Two players who we are sure had no surprises in their interviews were forward Jack McInerney and Michael Farfan, who were jovial earlier this afternoon lending their acting talents to an upcoming commercial being made by our video department. Farfan, who walked with what one employee later described as a “permagrin,” pairs with McInerney on the spoof ad. It in turn will be their final act of this season as we are sure sunny beaches await the MLS All-Star and arguable MLS’ comeback player of the year.
We also caught up with defender Bakary Soumare, who was doing some last minute shopping in the Union stadium store at PPL Park. Soumare was also in good spirits and told this reporter that “he intends to come back ready to go at 110 percent in preseason,” but that he might be a little late in his return.
Not because of his rehabbed knee, but if Mali, where Soumare is an international, “makes it to the African Cup of Nations.”
To avoid confusion, what Soumare meant is that he hope Mali makes it to the finals of the annual cup after a 7-1 two-leg aggregate thrashing of Botswana qualified the tiny nation into the round of 16 that will begin on Jan. 19 and runs through Feb. 10.
We announced via our social media platforms this morning that both defender Carlos Valdes and midfielder Gabriel Gomez have again been called up for international duty on Nov. 14, the final FIFA match date of the year.
For Valdes, a native of Colombia he’ll face off against Brazil at MetLife Stadium while Gomez will join Panama when it takes on Spain in Panama City. Also, hearing rumblings that another Union player is set to join a national team camp, but waiting on confirmation.
Speaking of Valdes, the Union captain has also been busy writing a blog for Goal.com. The post is in Spanish, but it’s a good read if you speak Spanish or know how to use Google translate.
CSNPhilly.com writer Ryan Bright caught up with manager John Hackworth to ask the future of high priced midfielder Freddy Adu. In the report, Hackworth tells Bright:
“Freddy and I have a long history and despite what people think, we are close, too,” said Hackworth. “I want what is best for Freddy and I want a lot out of him. He expects a lot out of himself as well. We will have a very heart-to-heart talk and see what’s best for both of us…“I want to take the time. “Freddy and I had a good talk yesterday and agreed we need to have a little separation from the year and all the emotions to make some good decisions going forward.”
Oh, we can tell you that Adu’s nameplate is still above his locker room stall so you’ll just have to keep guessing.
Kevin Kinkead crunched the numbers and provided a statistical look at the 2012 season. It’s really interesting stuff considering some of the numbers dictate this year’s team really wasn’t as rough as the final record would have us believe.
If you have off work tomorrow or are an MLS geek like I am and will rely on Wawa French Vanilla cappuccino to get you through Friday morning, got Western Conference playoff action for you tonight on NBC Sports Network (10:30 p.m.). Landon Donovan and the Los Angeles take on Vancouver at the Home Depot Center. And while the Galaxy are the bookies favorite, here’s why you shouldn't sleep on the Whitecaps, says…Landon Donovan.
Oh and here’s a printable MLS playoff bracket as a parting gift.
Good stuff. Catch you all tomorrow…
Contact Kerith Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Kerith on Twitter @sprtswtr