News Roundup

Wednesday Roundup — Jan. 3, 2018

News Roundups are posted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning with quick hits on what you may have missed and what is still to come in the soccer world.

Welcome to Wednesday’s News Roundup. Here’s what you may have missed and what is still to come in the Beautiful Game.

High School 

ICYMI: DLN All-Area Teams Announced

On Sunday, the DLN All-Area First Team, Second Team and list of Honorable Mentions were announced for the 2017 high school season. Several players from the Central League and Inter-Academic League were among the honorees.

Perhaps most notable to the list of boys selected to the First Team were Conestoga High School seniors Nick Jennings, Chris Donovan, and Michael McCarthy. The trio helped guide the Pioneers to their second–straight PIAA 4A State Championship in 2017.

Joining the trio from Tredyffrin is a name that may be familiar to fans of Malvern Prep and the Inter–Ac. Senior goalkeeper Jake Hodlofski received First Team honors and rightfully so.

Hodlofski is a four–year starter in the highly competitive Inter-Ac. In his Malvern career, the University of Scranton commit recorded 30 shutouts and eight of which came in the 2017 season.

For a more in–depth profile on the players mentioned above, we recommend readers visit PA Prep Live who compiled the original list and included a spotlight on many of the selections.

Philadelphia Union 

Jeff Cook Named Penn State University Men’s Soccer Coach

On Tuesday, Penn State Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour announced the appointment of Jeff Cook as the next head coach of the men’s soccer program.

Cook becomes the 12th head coach in the history of the program. He succeeds the long-time head coach of the Nittany Lions, Bob Warming. Warming retired at the end of the 2017 season after 40 years at the helm.

Cook was promoted to assistant coach of Bethlehem Steel FC in 2016. He has been instrumental in the nourishment of several Philadelphia Union Youth Academy teams, perhaps most notably the U17 and U19 teams.

Cook is the latest member of the Philadelphia Union organization and coaching staff to move on to new pastures.

In November, Union goalkeeper’s coach Oka Nikolov joined the LA Galaxy. While the Union confirmed in December that assistant coach Mike Sorber took up the same role with Major League Soccer’s new boys Los Angeles Football Club.

January Transfer Window

There have been little to no rumors on the transfer front for the Philadelphia Union.

(Conflicting) reports out of Poland last week claimed the Union made an offer for Jaroslaw Jach, a 23–year–old defender who displays immense promise and has been a transfer target for several prominent clubs throughout Europe.

But, much like the record temperatures that have swept across the region recently, that rumor has turned cold and there have been no recent updates. In fairness, such a deal seems unlikely to happen.

Jach, who has recently broken into the Polish senior national team, is being and has been courted by several large clubs in Europe including Borussia Dortmund (GER) and Lazio (ITA).

Transfermarkt currently values the defender at $1.2 million while his release clause stands around $2.4 million. It would be a steep price for the Union to pay for a defender. Not to mention, $1 million is still the club’s largest transfer fee, which was splashed on current club captain, Alejandro Bedoya. 

PFD will continue to monitor all new developments in the Union’s January dealings. In the meantime, continue to check back to the Rumor Mill, which may hopefully serve as a point of reference throughout the month. 

US Soccer

Jonathan Gonzalez: “Nobody Came and Talked to Me”

Jonathan Gonzalez, a promising US youth international, says the United States Soccer Federation never approached him about debuting for the senior team in November’s friendly against Portugal.

Interim USMNT manager Dave Sarachan called in several players with no prior appearances for the senior side. In particular, Sarachan invited New York Red Bulls’ Tyler Adams, Shalke’s Weston McKennie and Werder Bremen’s Josh Sargent, all of whom received their first call-ups. 

Notably left off the list of youngsters to be called up was Gonzalez, 18, who is arguably one of the brightest prospects in the US pipeline. Gonzalez had a breakout year playing in Mexico’s top-flight.

The central midfielder made 26 total appearances and helped his current club, C.F. Monterrey, win the Copa MX. Gonzalez was later named to the Liga MX Best XI.

Born in Santa Rosa, California, Gonzalez is a dual citizen of the US and Mexico as his parents are Mexican immigrants. Although the California native has represented the US at the U17, U18, and U20 levels, Gonzalez’s international future is still murky.

According to a recent report by Ives Galarcep at Goal, Gonzalez was unhappy after being left out, and the Mexican Football Federation was immediately alerted to the situation.

Having taken notice of Gonzalez’s stellar 2017 campaign, El Tri now have the ball in their court. Head coach Juan Carlos Osorio has the opportunity to award Gonzalez a spot on its 2018 World Cup roster and cap-tie the player.

This is a storyline worth keeping an eye on, and one that PFD will certainly continue to report on. 

Global 

Arsène Wenger: Arsenal Can Live Without Sánchez, Özil

It has been understood for some time that Arsenal will struggle to keep hold of their top two players, Mesut Özil and Alexis Sánchez. The duo have yet to sign new contracts with the club and their contracts are set to expire in the Summer.

In a press conference held on Tuesday, manager Arsène Wenger reminded fans and members of the media that, for now, Özil and Sánchez are still Arsenal players. But Wenger did concede that both players will likely leave North London during this window.

Nevertheless, the Frenchman vowed to bring in players of “top quality” during the window, should Arsenal’s biggest stars be sold off this month. Wenger hinted more at the possibility of losing Özil and Sánchez this month during the press conference:

“This club has lost many, many big players and has always responded very well. Massive players have left this club and the club will always be in a strong position on that front. But you want to keep your best players, yes.”

Thanks for giving Wednesday’s News Roundup a read. Check back on Friday morning for the latest News Roundup and happenings in the Beautiful Game.

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