Carlos Valdes isn’t soaking up rays on a beach somewhere until his departure for a Nov. 14 friendly against Brazil in New Jersey. The Union captain instead endured the Arctic like chill of Tuesday morning training with Union assistant Rob Vartughian working on passing and accuracy drills at PPL Park.
In one drill, Valdes, who after a stellar season has become a mainstay on the Colombian national team, collected driven long balls out of the air and then proceeded to pass them into a tiny four foot goal.
Let’s just say…it was impressive.
In what is supposed to be the offseason for us front office folk has been anything but in what amounted to a crazy day around here. It was confirmed mid-morning that PPL Park will host the 2012 BIG EAST men’s soccer championships after Hurricane Sandy forced the event out of Red Bull Arena.
Red Bulls general manager Jerome de Bontin released this statement earlier today:
"Due to Hurricane Sandy and the issues still existing in its aftermath, we regretfully cannot host the 2012 BIG EAST Men's Soccer Championship for the third-straight year at Red Bull Arena. We already have limited resources at our current disposal in hosting the MLS Cup playoffs and want to ensure that if we did have the tournament, we could promise the BIG EAST's players, staff and fan a safe and professional experience….”
Which we believe with an already soaked field and the talk of a Nor’ Easter on the horizon, hosting a pair of games Friday, a playoff game Saturday and the BIG EAST title game Sunday…doesn’t exactly do wonders for an already expensive natural grass surface.
At any rate, the event comes to Chester in the semifinal round which features a Marquette-Georgetown tilt at 5 p.m. Friday, followed by Notre Dame-Connecticut at 7:30 p.m. The BIG EAST final is then on Sunday at noon.
More info on tickets, parking and the like can be found here.
Today, we welcomed Ricardo Ansaldi into the fold as our new director of international player development. In layman terms, Ansaldi will head our scouting of international players as he already has over 30 years of expertise in that department. We’re told Ansaldi's career in soccer started in the 1980’s when he created the first Argentine venture to organize tours for youth soccer teams from Argentina to play in the U.S.
Here's hoping he brings us the next Messi…
And finally we were in a bit of a news roundup today after Monday’s press conference which encircled midfielder Freddy Adu. Inquirer writer Marc Narducci thinks that there is plenty to read between the lines from Hackworth’s presser while Wilmington News Journal’s Tim Mastro elaborates on Hackworth’s claim of not drastically changing the lineup .
Though if you give it a closer look, it appears the headline writers may have possibly missed the point of Mr. Mastro’s article.
These things happen, trust me. Doesn't mean you can't still chuckle at it.
Catch you tomorrow…
Contact Kerith Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Kerith on Twitter @sprtswtr