Happy Monday, hope you all enjoyed a great weekend.
With this past weekend as Veterans Day, in addition to unseasonably warm temperatures and plenty of “footy on the telly,” it truly was a nice little respite.
But now it’s back to work and back to keeping you abreast of what’s up with your Union.
Today we announced Union homegrown midfielder Jimmy McLaughlin headed to TSG Hoffenheim 1899 for a two week training stint. McLaughlin left yesterday and will train with the Bundesliga giants until Nov. 21.
Funny because Friday, McLaughlin and forward Antoine Hoppenot were spotted training together at YSC Sports in Wayne and even engaged in an afternoon pickup session. When asked why it being the offseason, they weren’t lounging on a beach somewhere, McLaughlin joked: “Preseason will be here before you know it, man. No time to rest.”
Who would’ve thought his statement would serve as foreshadowing?
Last week, we told you the club hired Ricardo Ansaldi to head international player development. We’ve tried to get a hold of Ansaldi, not just for a slew of journalists asking for interviews but for our own website. We can’t because both Ansaldi and manager John Hackworth have wasted little time in “getting their scouting on.” Both are currently in Argentina on scouting trips, with Hack in South America for the next five days. It’s one of many stops the pair will make this offseason.
We know it’s tiring for the boss, but it’s awesome to see Hack on his grind – with a man like Ansaldi who happens to have 30 years of experience in wrangling talent.
Back on these shores…
Jack McInerney is still up for goal of the year in MLS until tonight at 11:59 p.m. Jack is in Group G and there is some tough competition, so vote now and often right here. Jack Mac sat down with Union writer Andy Jasner recently and explained the feeling of watching from the sidelines and now that he is the man, what he and the club need to breed success. JM9 gives some pretty good quotes in this one, it’s worth a read.
Union captain Carlos Valdes is officially in camp with the Colombian national team ahead of Wednesday’s friendly with Brazil in New Jersey. Valdes, who trained most of last week in Chester, joined his countrymen on Sunday one of which was former Union goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon for a regeneration and hydration session. Colombia will train at the training facility of the New York Giants in preparation for Wednesday’s match (7:15 p.m., ESPN Deportes). Want to check out El Capitan in action? Tickets are still available.
Valdes along with fellow MLS All-Star Michael Farfan is also up for the league’s Latino player of the year award. Voting is closed, but MLS will announce the winners on FutbolMLS.com tomorrow.
Couple of announcements before we let you go…
Our “Kick off the Holidays!” promotion was announced today and on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 1:30-7:30 p.m., it’s all about you our fans. PPL Park is open to the public and there will be free parking to come check out the MLS Cup with us, play some FIFA, take your holiday photos on our Seaport Deck, pick up some discounted merchandise at the Union Shop and more. Season ticket holders get exclusive access from 1:30-2:00 p.m., to come take a holiday photo in the locker room with a player. We're told that defenders Chris Albright and Sheanon Williams are scheduled to attend.
For more information, or to RSVP, click here.
Also, a big props to U.S. women’s national teamer Lauren Cheney who embarrassed a multitude of guys last Friday at YSC. Cheney, in town “for training” and to spend some time with college sweetheart and Sixers point guard Jrue Holiday played some pickup on Friday – and basically ran the show.
Best part of the whole experience was watching all the dudes feverishly trying to step their game up just to hang with Cheney.
It. Was. Awesome.
Catch you tomorrow…
Contact Kerith Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Kerith on Twitter @sprtswtr.