Daniel to contest teen for midfield role
Tobago-born midfielder Keon Daniel will likely have a toss-up with new teammate, 16-year-old Zach Pfeffer for a regular spot in the Philadelphia Union in the American MLS this season. Daniel was signed by the club last week but reports indicate that Pfeffer is being seen as a natural central midfielder and assistant coach John Hackworth says the club is eager to unveil the teenage who came through the club's academy. "We are trying to be very conservative in bringing Zach along, but at the same time we know how important it is to get an opportunity to play. He's proven to us he's capable," said Hackworth.
Pfeffer is the Union's first ever MLS "Homegrown Player" and he showed what he is capable of by unleashing a long-distance wonder goal during a pre-season game in Florida. T&T goalkeeper Thorne Holder is also contesting the number one role at Union while Daniel is hoping to force his way into the club's starting team. Both players were part of Union's recent training camp in Greece. "It's challenging but both of us are working hard and doing our part to impress the coaching staff and earn our spot in the team. "We're really anxious about our chances and the club and the fans are excited about the coming season," said Holder.
Dwight predicts that United will beat Chelsea
Ex-Manchester united star Dwight Yorke believes that his old team is too strong and experienced for Champions League quarterfinal opponents Chelsea. The Premier League giants were drawn together earlier this month and Yorke, now a football pundit with Sky Sports, made his views on the clash known on the weekend, saying experience will give United the edge and that Chelsea are under more pressure to come away victorious. "The experience United have in the likes of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs is on any given day as good as anyone. Wayne Rooney is coming to form as well. It is hard to overlook United," Yorke told the Manchester Evening News. "I really do believe United are more equipped to win this tie. Chelsea are desperate to win this competition so the pressure on them is very high," Yorke said.
"United will know what they have to do on the night in the second leg and they have been in that position so many times. I think it is important having the second leg at Old Trafford. You first have to make sure you don't get beaten away convincingly. It is all about giving yourself a chance. "If it goes to penalties there is only going to be one winner. I think it is a wonderful opportunity for United to go on and win the trophy once again. The key for United is to get all the players fit."
Birchall gets honourable "MLS" mention
English-born midfielder Chris Birchall did not make the final eleven of the American MLS "Team of the Week" for its opening week but received an honourable mention by the League for his efforts in La Galaxy's 1-0 win over Seattle Sounders. Birchall played the full 90 alongside David Beckham and Landon Donavon in midfield but it was Brazilian Juninho who struck the winner and ended up making the MLS "Team of the Week." Birchall was a joint topscorer in Galaxy's preseason with three goals and has done sufficiently well to give manager Bruce Arena a selection headache. "We've had a tough preseason and I'm just grateful to be in there doing well. I feel fine at the moment and looking forward to the season. We want to do better than last season and as a team we're focused on our challenges ahead. I'm enjoying it and hopefully we can do good things this season," Birchall said.
Molino: Digicel Cup helped me
Midfielder Kevin Molino says the exposure he gained while playing for T&T at the 2010 Digicel Caribbean Cup was a big factor behind his progress towards gaining an overseas contract with American club Orlando City. The Carenage-born player of Ma Pau FC joined Devon Jorsling at the club last week after being offered a deal by Orlando which also announced its plans to enter the MLS. "I think the chance I got from coach Russell Latapy to play with the senior team last year in the Digicel Cup really helped me a lot. I grew as a player. I got more confident and I am now a bit more mature which is good for my entrance into the professional league in the USA. "Hopefully I can keep on doing well and secure a place in the team. I want to do well here and help the club and then move on to something greater if the opportunity comes later down the road," Molino said.