British dude with Dave and Jason
Courtesy of Alan Avidar

Daily Doop: Doing your homework, more schedule stuff, and Pfeffer scores

Nine days.

That’s all players and coaches have before they are back in action and the 2013 MLS preseason is underway.

It seemed like just yesterday we watched the Galaxy hoist the Philip F. Anschutz trophy and in less than two weeks, our guys are on the hunt to take it off them.

You can tell the players are excited too, given many of their posts across social media platforms, like this one earlier today from defender Gabriel Farfan on his Instagram account.

John Hackworth and the coaching staff are getting ready too, as they head to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. this weekend for MLS Combine, to get one last look at players before next Thursday’s MLS SuperDraft in Indianapolis (Noon, WatchESPN). However, Hackworth explains that Combine is not a make or break in his decision making. The homework on who could be a catch is done long before they step off the plane in the Sunshine State.

“You need to see to see those players in their natural environment and you need to do your homework well before the combine,” Hackworth told “We put the emphasis on watching these college games live, talking to their college coaches, talking to their youth coaches, trying to get a really good picture of what a player is about long before he gets to the Combine.”

We told you last week that in conversations with both Hack and assistant boss Rob Vartughian, the two agreed that the Union’s current roster is 85-90 percent complete. Some juggling aside in the next few weeks, don’t expect too many more additions as the nucleus of this team and the offseason acquistions of Conor Casey, Jeff Parke and fan favorite Sebastien Le Toux bolstered a young corps. In fact, Vartughian even added that “between draft picks and potential invitees, there will be a handful of players fighting for only a few coveted roster spots.”

Moving on…

Wednesday is schedule day. MLS drops the entire regular season list at noon, but be sure to log onto for our full rundown of matches and times. In addition, we will have breakdown and analysis of the 34-game slate as well as ticketing information.  


Big round of applause goes to Union homegrown player Zach Pfeffer, who scored his first goal in the first friendly of his yearlong loan stint with Germany’s TSG Hoffenheim.

Pfeffer, who was assigned to Hoffenheim’s U-19s is seemingly off to a good start….Tomorrow night from 7:00-8:00 p.m. join us for our LIVE preseason chat. We’ll be talking Orlando-Deltona, what you can do once you are there, fan events and what to expect after booking your trip.

Oh, and the photo above is random we know, but still really cool. It landed in our inbox this afternoon with this message:

“Sir Peter Westmacott, British Ambassador to the United States spoke at the BABC [British-American Business Council] Annual Holiday Luncheon in December.  [Philadelphia] Mayor Michael Nutter, [Union Executive Vice President and CFO] Dave Debusschere and [Union ticket account executive Alan Avidar] presented him with a “United Kingdom No. 1” jersey.  He is an Arsenal supporter.”

And now – a Union supporter.

Until tomorrow…

Contact Kerith Gabriel at


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