Union Notes: Kleberson closer to playing, Farfan back from injury, and more

Kleberson (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Since arriving in Philadelphia, Brazilian midfielder Kleberson has been patiently awaiting his chance to make his Major League Soccer debut.

That chance may come as early as this Saturday, when the Philadelphia Union play host to Toronto FC.

Speaking at his weekly press conference, Union manager John Hackworth said that he thought about putting Kleberson in during the last match, but decided against it after Columbus equalized in the second half. This weekend though, the 33-year-old has the opportunity to debut in front of his home fans.

“It’s interesting because right now, we’re seriously deep at a lot of positions,” Hackworth said. “Kleberson’s doing a great job, and he’s a guy that we’re certainly thinking about this week.”

The former World Cup winning midfielder hasn’t played a first team match since February 6 in the Copa do Nordeste with Bahia.

Here are some more notes from the Union press conference:

FARFAN BACK IN TRAINING

Many outsiders might not have noticed it, but a different Farfan was slotted into midfield during last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Columbus.

Michael Farfan was listed on the team’s injury report as questionable with an ankle sprain. He didn’t end up even making the trip to Ohio, but in his place Gabe Farfan started and played 78 minutes, before being replaced by Antoine Hoppenot.

Now, Michael is free of the injury bug, and has resumed full training with the rest of the squad, according to Hackworth. The only mainstay on the injury list is midfielder Matt Kassel, who continues to be listed as out with a right knee strain.

CALIFF VISITS FOR FIRST TIME SINCE TRADE

For the first time since his trade to Chivas USA in May 2012, Danny Califf will return to PPL Park to face the Union.

Now with Toronto FC, the 33-year-old defender faces his former club where he was the first ever captain in the team’s history. Hackworth said that he expects the fans to give him a good reception, but during the match the manager has to put any good feelings aside.

“Danny’s just a classy individual,” Hackworth said. “I think the fans here appreciated the way he handled himself as a pro and as a person, on and off the field.

“I’d like to say the same from our end, but he’s wearing the wrong jersey on Saturday, so I’ll wait until after the game.”

Califf made 68 appearances over two seasons and parts of a third in Philadelphia. So far this season, Califf has played in four of TFC’s five matches.

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12 Responses to Union Notes: Kleberson closer to playing, Farfan back from injury, and more

  1. Bob says:

    Will be interesting to see where kleberson fits in. He’s either taking carrols spot or Daniels spot.

  2. Old School says:

    How many weeks until Kleberson is out injured?

  3. Drew says:

    “Seriously deep at a lot of positions”???? I give it 3 months before Kleberson speaks out against Hackworth when Cruz, Daniel, Carroll, and Garfan continue to start over him

    • 2tone says:

      Yep.

    • Donovan says:

      yep. we were deep at CB. not anymore. our goalkeeper is terrible. and if Brian Carroll, Danny Cruz, and Keon Daniel are starting… you’re not only not deep… you just don’t have quality players…. which I think we do… they’re just not being utilized by Hack.

  4. Dinho says:

    Hackworth is 100% right. Califf is class.

  5. ChiTown says:

    “It’s interested because right now, we’re seriously deep at a lot of positions,” Hackworth said. “Kleberson’s doing a great job, and he’s a guy that we’re certainly thinking about this week.”

    Uh, he’s better than all of your players even at his age.

  6. Gary Page says:

    Interesting about kleberson. Meanwhile, what’s happening with Freddy Adu at Bahia?

    • Clyde Frog says:

      I don’t understand everything about Brazilian soccer, but the league starts in late May. Right now it’s the state competitions, which I don’t think is much of a priority to bigger clubs, and a cup competition. Maybe someone else can explain better?

      I do know that once the league starts it’s a pretty condensed schedule, 38 matches from late May to the beginning of December.

  7. Skifast! says:

    The “seriously deep at a lot of positions” comment is very curious. Outside of having probably too many CDMs, I would like to know which specific positions the manager thinks his squad is “seriously deep” in. Surely he cannot have the CAM position in mind.

  8. Donovan says:

    Oh yeah? Are we seriously deep at goalkeeper? are we seriously deep at CB? Being “seriously deep” is pointless when the best you can throw in the starting XI is Brian Carroll, Danny Cruz and Keon Daniel. NTD…. .not that deep.