Rave Report: New ball draws praise
Posted by: Matt Gaschk
A trade in the East, an injury update and the camp roster for Charleston.
When adidas launched its latest World Cup ball, players around the world wanted to know how that ball would play. With memories of 2010’s Jabulani, which was notorious for its shifty in-air flight on shots and crosses, players were overwhelmingly satisfied with the new Brazuca ball and the iteration that will be used in MLS, adidas Prime.
“My initial thoughts are that it rolls really nice and plays very true,” said Sounders FC midfielder Brad Evans, who is among the frontrunners at right back for the U.S. National Team. “It’s definitely better than the Jabulani. There are no surprises when the ball is played into you. It feels almost a little bit heavy, but still plays perfectly normal. It takes some getting used to, but I think it’s a good ball. I don’t think you’ll find any goalies complaining about this ball or anything like that, especially in the World Cup.”
Seattle goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann agrees. He was on the 2010 World Cup squad and saw first-hand the effects of the Jabulani.
“Now my job is easier because the ball does what it’s supposed to do. It’s supposed to take skill to score from 30 yards and put it in the top corner, not absolute luck,” Hahnemann said. “With the old ball, if you hit it with backspin, it might bend to the right or left. You had no idea. There were some great goals from 45 yards, but you’d hit a corner in and everybody would miss the ball because you just couldn’t judge anything. It really backfired. Now it’s back to what it should be.”
On Wednesday morning, the defending MLS Cup champions Sporting Kansas City shipped one of its bevy of forwards to the New England Revolution, sending former first-round pick and U.S. National Team hopeful Teal Bunbury to the New England Revolution in exchange for a first round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft and allocation money.
Bunbury, 23, has 19 goals in 89 MLS appearances, highlighted by a nine-goal season in 2011. Last season, however, he had just one goal in 12 appearances, 11 of which came off the bench after he recovered from a torn ACL suffered in 2012.
In New England, he joins an attack that already includes Diego Fagundez, Kelyn Rowe, Saer Sene and Jerry Bengtson, along with Charlie Davies and two-time Hermann Trophy winner, Patrick Mullins.
Seattle continues to make progress on the injury front. Leo Gonzalez has been more and more active in training and is expected to be ready for playing time when Seattle takes part in the Carolina Challenge Cup starting on Saturday against the Charleston Battery. And while he was limited in Tuesday’s session because of an ankle injury, DeAndre Yedlin is not expected to be hindered in the trip to Charleston.
“I think (Leo) is on pace to play some minutes in Charleston and put himself in contention to be considered for the starting lineup,” Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid said.
TRAVEL ROSTER SET FOR CHARLESTON
Sounders FC left for Charleston on Wednesday with a squad of 32 players.
Among the non-roster players who remain with the team for the trip are Gonzalo Pineda, Kevin Parsemain, Michael Azira, Jimmy Ockford, John Arroyo, Fabio Pereira and Cam Weaver. Will Bates, a Supplemental Draft pick for Seattle in 2013, was waived on Wednesday and Omar Browne, Miguel Gonzalez, John McCarthy and Danny O’Rourke are no longer training with the team.
Brad Evans will join the team in South Carolina after a New York media tour on Monday and Tuesday and Clint Dempsey remains on loan with Fulham until March.