Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Union manager Peter Nowak opens up about Jordan Harvey trade

Nowak's remarks don't answer everything, but there's more detail in there than you might expect.

Union manager Peter Nowak opens up about Jordan Harvey trade

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Here's my recap of the Union's scoreless draw with the San Jose Earthquakes that ran in the Sunday Inquirer. Or you can go pick up a copy of the paper. I'll have another story about the game in Monday's paper, so stay tuned for that.

You may have noticed that in Kerith Gabriel's story about the Jordan Harvey trade last week, a Union spokesperson said that Peter Nowak would address the matter after Saturday's game at San Jose.

I don't mean to sound crass about the matter, but as Nowak made his postgame remarks outside the Union's locker room,* I figured it would probably be a good idea if I put a question about the trade directly to him.

So I did. Here's a transcript of the exchange. You can hear the full interview in the audio player at the bottom of the page. There are also video highlights from the game if you didn't stay up late to watch it.

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Nowak's remarks don't answer everything, but there's more detail in there than you might expect. Given how little public information ever gets out there about MLS trades that involve allocation money, I found what he had to say pretty useful.

What are you willing to say at this point about how the trade went down?

I think that reading the comments from all the parties all around, since it's been two days already, everything has been said and done. I think that Shea Salinas and Jordan Harvey, and coach Tommy Soehn in Vancouver, I agree with everything they've said - you always have to do a decision, even if it's hard for both parties.

I talked to Jordan after all this happened. We have a great relationship, and he understood that this is part of the business. With our restrictions and limitations, we've got to squeeze every single dollar that we can. I think that the offer was so good that we really thought about it, and we made a collective decision about it.

So it sounds like Vancouver really wanted him?

Yeah. I think Vancouver really wanted him, and my point was always that if it was not going to be a significant offer, then I would not even blink my eye. But it was something that as soon as the offer came, we thought about it and we made a decision. We all love Jordan, and we'd love to have him with us, but sometimes you have to make those decisions.

Given that he was your leader in minutes played in both seasons of the team's history, who do you look to now for that leadership role?

I think that we have options. I would not have even considered it if we did not have options. Gabriel [Farfan] played today - he's going to have more minutes and he will have more experience, and he's going to get better and better.

From a physical standpoint and speed, everything is there. The technical part, he has some bite, which is very good for a defender, and now it's a matter of getting minutes and getting experience.

So this is the option. Michael [Farfan] and Keon [Daniel] can play [left back], but I'm not sure they have enough defensive bite like Gabriel Farfan. Jordan was leading in minutes and he played all those games, but we always look at how we can make this team better. With the transfer window right now, this was the time to do it.

For those of you wondering where I've been, I appreciate it. Here's a little something for you. Today I will be in Portland, Oregon, to cover the big Sounders-Timbers rivalry game that kicks off at 4 p.m. Eastern. Yes, it's a nice treat, but I will be working - I'm planning on writing about the players on both teams who have ties to our region, in particular Seattle's Jeff Parke. 

You can watch the game on ESPN, and frankly, you should. Portland is a venue where the atmosphere translates well to television, and I'm sure there will be plenty of spectacle in the stands as the Cascadia Cup rivals meet for the 76th time. 

There's also the not-so-small matter of the United States women's national team's game against Brazil that kicks off at 11 a.m. With Germany out of the tournament after being shockingly upset by Japan, the U.S.' path to a championship would be a lot easier if they can win today.

But that is a huge if. You've probably seen Marta, the world's best women's player, at some point by now. And if you watched the U.S.-Sweden game, you know the Americans' defense is a bit shaky at the moment.

The U.S. has plenty of attacking talent too, though, and you can be sure there will be talk of avenging the U.S.' loss to Brazil in 2007 that knocked them out of that World cup.

So it will be quite a fun day of soccer. Enjoy it.

* - Those of you who also follow my college basketball writing might be interested to know that the postgame press conferences and locker room facilities are located in the Leavy Center, which is Santa Clara University's basketball arena.

Having been away from hoops since March, it was coool to be back in a mid-major gym for a few minutes. And it's not just any basketball program's arena, either. NBA stars Steve Nash and Kurt Rambis played for the Broncos. 

The soccer program is strong as well: the men have reached the College Cup title game three times since 1989, and the women won the national championship in 2001.

Former U.S. women's national team defender Brandi Chastain, who is working as a studio analyst for ESPN's Women's World Cup coverage, played on Santa Clara teams that reached the Final Four in 1989 and 1990. 



Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, U.S. national teams and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

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