It was a busy day yesterday around MLS as the 2014 SuperDraft was held in Philly and the usual hijinks of MLS Draft day was in full effect. Of the 19 picks in the first round 14 of those were acquired through deal making of some sort. Also of note was that the Redbulls, Galaxy, Chivas USA, and Seattle all had zero picks in the first round. It also saw FC Dallas go from 5th to possibly 4th to 10th and eventually ending up with the 6th overall pick. And top it all off the overall #1 pick was, for the first time in MLS history, a goalkeeper. A full list of the first two rounds can be found at MLSSoccer.com. This description of the #10 pick, taken by TFC, describes yesterday better than any.
[#10] Pick originally acquired by Philadelphia from Dallas in draft-day trade, after Dallas originally acquired it from Montreal in an earlier draft-day trade
Yeah it got a little confusing to say the least.
As you all now know with their #6 pick FC Dallas took Colorado School of Mining Forward Tesho Akindele. Make sure to go check out Drew's look at the only Division II player taken on the first day of the draft.
From all accounts Akindele is a big and versatile attacking player that can play as a 2nd forward or even wide on the wings in a 4-3-3 scheme. It also appears that this was a player that Oscar hand picked himself after seeing him play in Colorado. Many people have gone on and on about our head coach making his own picks and this certainly seems to be the first of what is hopefully many pick ups by Papi.
Akindele took a moment out of his crazy draft day to speak with FC Dallas' Daniel Robertson about being selected by the Hoops and what he's hoping to bring to the team. Daniel also asked him about his relationship with Oscar Pareja.
What do you bring to the table for FCD?
I’m a goalscorer, and I think any team could use a goalscorer. I think I can provide assists and I’m also willing to do the work defensively. A lot of players that can score goals aren’t willing to do the defensive work, but I’m willing to work on offense and defense.
Have you had contact with Oscar Pareja?
I’ve definitely run into him a couple times just because he coached in Denver and I was there. I’m excited to play under him because he came to Denver and did really well with the team here so I’m sure he’s going to do well in Dallas. I’m glad I get to be a part of that.
Do you feel like this was a result of your performance at Combine?
It’s all surreal. Right before the Combine nobody was talking about me getting picked, definitely not in the first round and possibly not even until the fourth round. Nobody was talking about me. It just shows you how important every game is. I just had a couple good games. We played three games and I played well and my stock just rose. It rose a lot because of those games. It’s just a surreal feeling to have moved up so much. I’m so excited for this opportunity.
A big scoring threat that isn't afraid to play both sides of the ball? Yeah I'm in.
MLS also announced the winners for their club and executive awards last night in Philadelphia with FC Dallas taking home two awards. Full list of award winners here.
Ticketing Sales Innovation Award presented by the National Sales Center – FC Dallas
Corporate Partnerships Executive of the Year – Matt McInnis, FC Dallas
Congratulations to Matt and the entire FC Dallas Front Office staff.
With their holiday break concluded the FC Dallas Academy teams took to the field again and started off the new year with a strong showing. Daniel Robertson has the update.
The Men's National Team has been in Brazil for about a week now and yesterday played their first of two scrimmages against Sao Paulo FC, falling to the hosts 2-1, with Wondo scoring the loan goal for the US. MLSSoccer.com has the full report.
The US national team fell 2-1 in its first closed-door scrimmage with São Paulo FC in Brazil on Thursday, U.S. Soccer confirmed to MLSsoccer.com.
Chris Wondolowski scored the USMNT's lone goal in its first of two scrimmages with the six-time Brazilian Série A champions, who are also playing hosts to the USMNT’s 12-day January camp stint in Brazil that head coach Jurgen Klinsmann called a "dry run" for this summer’s World Cup.
As reporters were not allowed in the scrimmage, details were scarce, but a U.S. Soccer spokesman told MLSsoccer.com that 24 of the 26 players took the field Thursday and that different lineups were used in each half.
While it doesn't look good at first glance that the team lost to a Brazilian Club team, fans shouldn't get too twisted about this loss. Fear not as this roster is nowhere close to what the final WC team will look like.
US Soccer also announced yesterday that they will add one more friendly to their schedule before the World Cup. They announced that the team will travel to Ukraine for the first time ever to take on the Ukrainians on March 5th. Ukraine is a squad that barely missed out of the World Cup this year and is the highest ranked team not to make the WC Finals. Goal.com has the story.
The U.S. national team will travel to face Ukraine on March 5, marking the USA's first visit to the country for a match.
The game falls on the only international fixture date before the naming of the 2014 FIFA World Cup roster, making it the final opportunity for players looking to earn a spot in Brazil this summer.
"Ukraine is a very talented team and was very unfortunate not to qualify for the World Cup," said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. "We want to continue to make statements that we can get results in games like these. Since this is our only chance to bring in all the players before the pre-World Cup training camp, this is a huge opportunity for them to make their case to be included on the 23-man roster for Brazil."
This will be a great test for the Americans ahead of the World Cup and a huge game for most of the younger players. We'll let you know when we have more game day details.
One of the bigger stories around MLS this week has been the drama surrounding the Philadelphia Union and their attempts to bring Maurice Edu back to MLS. This issue of course revolves around the reported $1.2 million salary that the Union are proposing for Edu and MLS subsequently stepping in and, reportedly, nixing that much of a pay day for the former Rangers man. Steve Davis at Pro Soccer Talk touched on why MLS may be stepping in on the return of Mo.
Sooner or later, Major League Soccer will have to remove the subjectivity from [the return of USMNT players]. At some point, it’s just not fair to allow one team to overpay dramatically (Michael Bradley) but then not allow another one to do so.
Or, is there something more at work here? I’ve been told in the past by people I trust that Philadelphia sometimes struggles to meet the league’s cash calls, something I’ve never confirmed on the record. So perhaps this is the league’s way of reminding Philadelphia that it takes money to sit at the big boys table.
Later, here’s what Philadelphia manager John Hackworth told ESPN about the ongoing efforts to sign Edu: "We’re all working really hard at it. I’m an optimist, so I think something very good is going to come out of this. I know the league ourselves, and Mo and his representatives, we’re all doing all we can to make this work."
Wait you mean to tell me that MLS rules are a gray area at best? I for one am shocked......
US Soccer also announced the release yesterday of this years National Soccer Hall of Fame nominee's, including big names like Brian McBride, Kristine Lilly, Jason Kreis, and many more. Pro Soccer Talk has the full list here.
As always let us know what you think about these stories and more in the comments section below.