The 2011 MLS season has come and gone. The Philadelphia Union were dealt a disappointing end to an exciting season by the Houston dynamo in the first round of the playoffs. That same dynamo team continued on to the MLS Cup, but fell at the hands of the Los Angeles Galaxy. So with all that, it's time to head into the off-season, one that will be very important for Philadelphia. Get a recap of everything that's been going on after the jump!
- Twellman Heading to ESPN Union color commentator and former MLS MVP Taylor Twellman is slated to join the ESPN soccer staff as their lead analyst. An SI.com report by Grant Wahl says Twellman is in, and John Harkes is out. Harkes, the former U.S. soccer captain, has come under criticsm for his recent broadcast performances. It is unclear, but likely that Twellman will no longer stand alongside JP Dellacamera, breaking up what was clearly the best broadcast crew in the entire league. Continue to check BuzzonBroad as more conrete details emerge.
- Union Announce Draft Protection List Since the Montreal Impact will be joining MLS for the 2012 season, an expansion draft will be taking place to give the franchise their initial group of players. Zach Pfeffer, Zac MacMath, Jack McInerney and Amobi Okugo are unavailable for the draft due to their homegrown and generation adidas status. The protected players are as follows; Goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, defenders Danny Califf, Gabriel Farfan, Carlos Valdes and Sheanon Williams, midfielders Brian Carroll, Michael Farfan, Keon Daniel and Roger Torres, as well as forward Sebastien Le Toux and Mwanga. The players unprotected, and available for selection by Montreal can be found below
1. Adu, Freddy (MF)
2. Gonzalez, Juan Diego (DF)
3. Harrison, Chase (GK)
4. Holder, Thorne (GK)
5. Houapeu, Levi (FW)
6. Langley, Morgan (MF)
7. Miglioranzi, Stefani (MF)
8. Nakazawa, Kyle (MF)
9. Paunovic, Veljko (FW)
10. Richter, Ryan (FW)
11. Tait, Joe (DF)
12. Justin Mapp (MF)
The biggest surprise of the list has to be Freddy Adu. Adu showed promise after being the city's high profile soccer signing in a summer of big moves in Philly sports. With a summer of practice he was slated to be a major contributor. Montreal will have to pick wisely though, this quote from philadelphiaunion.com gives the rule in a nutshell;
"Montreal will choose 11 players from the unprotected lists of the existing 18 teams in the league. When a player is chosen from any given team, that team is removed from the draft and cannot lose a second player."
You can get a full breakdown of protected and unprotected players league wide here.
- Union Unveil New Kits That's right, the official 2012 Philadelphia Union kits have been released! Look below to checkout the new kits!