Union Notes: Mondragón back in the swing of things
CHESTER, Pa. – For the first time since breaking his right ring finger on Sept. 3, Union goalkeeper Faryd Mondragón returned to his normal training routine on Wednesday.
Whether he returns to the field for Philadelphia’s pivotal game against Seattle at CenturyLink Field on Saturday (10 pm ET, watch LIVE online), however, remains to be seen.
“He was training with us today and is feeling well,” Union manager Peter Nowak said from his weekly press conference on Wednesday afternoon. “We’ll see where we are at the end of the week. We’ll find out before we go to Seattle, but I believe he will travel with us.”
Before breaking his finger, the 40-year-old captain was a rock in net for Philly, posting seven shutouts and being named to the MLS All-Star team.
Rookie Zac MacMath stepped in very nicely in Mondragón’s absence, with the Union going 2-0-4 in MacMath’s six starts. But Mondragón’s impending return appears to be well-timed.
In Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Chivas USA, MacMath came down awkwardly on his ankle and is currently listed on the injury report as questionable for Saturday’s contest. That leaves the recently signed Chase Harrison – who has never played an MLS game – as the only completely healthy goalie the Union have.
Could Mondragón get the starting nod this weekend in Seattle?
“I’m not sure about that,” Nowak said. “He’s not limited, but there are certain things he cannot do as well. We just need to be careful.”
Le Toux surprised by honor
Sébastien Le Toux said he got a nice surprise on his day off Tuesday when he found out he was named the MLS Player of the Month for September.
Considering the Frenchman scored seven goals in six games during the month, including two in last week’s crucial 3-2 win over D.C. United, he was probably one of the few people surprised by it.
“He 100 percent deserves it,” Nowak said. “I hope he continues this – not only scoring goals but helping the team achieve their goals.”
Le Toux, who leads the club with 10 goals and eight assists, certainly plans to keep the hot streak going, especially going into Saturday’s game against Seattle, where he played for three years.
“I was on a good roll all of September,” the striker said, “and it’s going to continue for the rest of the season and into the playoffs.”
Adu waiting for next chance with US national team
When US men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann called in 22 players to prepare for the upcoming friendlies against Honduras and Ecuador, Union attacker Freddy Adu’s name was not on that list.
For Adu – who turned heads with a strong performance at the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup and later on the roster for an August friendly vs. Mexico – it was the second straight time he didn’t get a USMNT call-up. But the 22-year-old didn’t seem too worried about it when asked.
“I haven’t talked to Jurgen since the Mexico game,” Adu told reporters after Sunday’s game vs. Chivas USA. “I know that I’m still in the pool and that’s the message that’s been getting back to me. He just wants me to get more games under my belt and eventually I’ll hopefully get my chance with the national team.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @DaveZeitlin.