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May 22, 2010

Philadelphia Union boss blasts Pires comments

Philadelphia Union boss Peter Nowak has criticised former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires for claiming that he would not move to the MLS club because Philadelphia is "not a beautiful city".

Pires, 36, is considering his options after being released by La Liga side Villarreal, but ruled out a move to the Union after being questioned about the possibility of joining the MLS outfit.

"[I don't] want to be fussy but if I have to go far away with my family, I prefer to do it in a beautiful town," Pires told L'Equipe.

Unsurprisingly, the comments didn't go down well with Union coach Nowak, who felt Pires demonstrated a degree of ingnorance with his assessment.

"I will say some have very little understanding of the rules of the league and its single-entity structure," Nowak told the club's offical website. "People need to understand the rules before they open their mouth.

"Also, I think he is looking at cities like Chicago, New York, Miami and Los Angeles and thinking Philly is a small town compared to them. There are a lot of guys [who think] like this, where except the four major [cities], they don't know much about the US.

"When you come to the U.S., you are trying to mold and improve the game as much as possible. [Former MLS] players like myself, Marco Etcheverry, [Carlos "El Pibe"] Valderrama and [current D.C. United's] Jaime Moreno realized that they aren't just here to better their team but to help raise the profile of the sport.

"Mr. Pires is supposed to come here and promote soccer, not worrying about being in a vacation resort in some 'beautiful' city."

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