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A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

From the training pitch: Tuesday's notes

Given the quick turnaround for the Union this week ahead of Wednesday’s visit from New York, there’s was a bit more going on at training Tuesday that can fit in print. So let’s summarize a few of the odds and ends from the day.

- On the injury front, both Vincent Nogueira and Austin Berry trained fully. The last half hour of training was small-field seven-on-seven, which featured Berry along with most of the guys who won’t play Wednesday (the suspended Amobi Okugo and Michael Lahoud, plus squad guys like Andre Blake, Fred, Antoine Hoppenot, etc.) Nogueira didn’t take part, off with the regulars doing some light passing drills. There’s nothing to read into that, as the difference is likely down to the reasons for their absences: Berry, recovering from an illness, needs to get his legs under him, while Nogueira doesn’t want to put extra strain on his groin. Both said after Saturday’s 3-3 draw with the Rapids that they were fit to play some part, though not for the 90 minutes.

- Though he’s sporting a slightly-mangled leg and a bit of a limp, Danny Cruz seems to be fine after picking up a knock Saturday courtesy of Shane O’Neill’s bruising (dirty?) tackle. Cruz has battled all manner of lower-body injuries this year (ankle, foot, heel, shin, you name it), so that’s nothing new, and manager Jim Curtin didn’t list him among the Union’s injuries.

- One injury Curtin didn’t list was Leo Fernandes, who didn’t take part in the last half hour of training. He was walking around in an ankle sleeve with what he termed “a minor” injury.

- Among the only non-Union faces on the training pitch were Michael Farfan and a few academy fill-ins. No one else of note.

- There’s nothing new on the Carlos Valdes situation from the club’s perspective. Curtin remains “cautiously optimistic” of a return to MLS for the Colombian. Valdes spent time in Colombia celebrating the national team's success and apparently hasn't reported back to Argentine club San Lorenzo yet. Reports from South America verify that there’s an issue over money with San Lorenzo, though it seems the club want him included as they try to finish a Cinderella run through Copa Libertadores, with the semifinals looming next week. We’ll see where this goes.

- Amobi Okugo’s red card will stand, as the club decided against an appeal after consulting with head of the Professional Referee Organization, Peter Walton. Given the fact that it was after the final whistle, there would be no audio or video to verify or challenge what was or wasn’t said. Turning into a case of hearsay, an appeal was unlikely to do anything other than waste time and money tilting at windmills.

- Some stray quotes from interviews. Ray Gaddis on getting his first assist in two years and his first primary assist in MLS play: “It’s a good feeling. I’d rather have a clean sheet, but anytime you can help produce a goal for the team, it means you’re up and there’s a possibly you can win. So it was a great feeling to contribute.”

- Andrew Wenger on the club’s recent surge in offensive confidence: “Guys just feel good about it. Plays are coming off, things are working out. Sometimes when they’re not, we’re getting lucky bounces. I got a lucky bounce the other night – Amobi makes a great play, but it just kind of trickles through. It’s happened for a lot of guys. Things are just coming off at the moment, and you don’t really want to talk about it so to speak, you just want to keep going through what you’re doing and making the plays.”

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