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Archive for November, 2009

So, who are these guys?

That was how many greeted Philadelphia Union’s expansion draft picks, and it wasn’t an unreasonable response. In a mostly nameless league – certainly in comparison to European leagues – most of the Union’s first eleven are no-namers even for Major League Soccer.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, if they produce. Head coach Peter Nowak and assistant John Hackworth clearly went for youth in the draft, and their haul could prove one of the deeper drafts in recent MLS expansion history. How many of them produce immediately is another issue altogether.

So far, the Union player profile is young and cheap. Their average age is 25.1 years; eight are 25 or younger. Their average base salary is $62,745.45. Five made less than $37,000 in 2009. They scored a combined eight goals in 2009, all from two players.

Here’s the rundown:

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I was glad to see that Freddy Adu got a little playing time with Beleneses recently. Amazingly, even on this struggling team Freddy Adu can’t get solid playing time. He, DaMarcus Beasley, and any other Americans sitting on the bench might want to think about coming back to MLS for playing time.

Robbie Findley has surfaced as a possible speed man up top to replace Charlie Davies. Of course CD9 isn’t giving up and states that he will be ready to go for the World Cup. I like the determination, but I hope he doesn’t complicate his injuries while rushing to recovery. If he does make it back in time, then I for one will be very pleasantly surprised.

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Another anonymous game for Clint Dempsey in the Fulham midfield. Landon Donovan may be the consensus top U.S. player, but when Dempsey is in form, he lifts this Fulham team from mediocrity. He can do the same for the Americans in South Africa.
The Hull goal came from a questionable penalty call; one of many around the EPL this weekend. There should be few complaints, however, as Jimmy Bullard celebrated by mimicking his manager’s infamous on-field halftime rant (see above video).

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Wonderland

In honor of the holiday weekend…

Sad part is, these guys managed a draw with Portsmouth.

Posted via web from The Philly Soccer Page

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Before soccer there was football. Lots of different kinds of football, many of which also involved handling the ball: Episkyros in ancient Greece; Harpastum in Rome; Zhu Qiu in China; Sepak Raga on the Malay Peninsula, Kemari in Japan, Calcio in Italy (which was revived by Mussolini), not too mention the various kinds of folk football that could be found throughout the Celtic world, some of which survive as the Shrovetide games of Britain. Combine the fact that humans have always liked to kick things with that yin and yang of humanity – competition and cooperation – and the result is that pretty much anywhere you look in the history of the world you will find some form of football.

Before there was American soccer there was Native American football. William Strachey observed around Jamestown “a kind of exercise” among the Native Americans:

They have the exercise of Football, in which yet they only forcibly encounter with the foot to carry the Ball the one from the other, and spurn it to the goal with a kind of dexterity and swift footmanship, which is the honor of it.

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Union season ticket holders have been waiting for some time to be able to choose their specific seats for the upcoming season. They may get to do so in time for Christmas.
The team has targeted a mid-December start date to begin the seat selection process. Preceding this process will be the roll-out of their on-line virtual seat viewer technology. The viewer will give ticketholders a better idea as to where their seats are in relation to the field.
All ticket packages are based on a 17 home match schedule (15 regular season MLS and up to 2 additional), with prices starting at $275 in the Supporters Section (Sons of Ben, anyone?). Club seats, which will include reserved parking, access to the Stadium Club and in-seat food and beverage service, are available for $1100 per season seat.
So, where are you on the list?
My sales representative was unable to give me a specific number. I was assured there is an up-to-the-second list documenting when everyone’s account was created. Phew, that makes me feel much better.
All I want for Christmas is my two Union seats…
The ticket section of the team’s website is here.
Big Soccer has a few threads on this subject.
And, don’t forget: the Independence are coming, too!

Posted via email from The Philly Soccer Page

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Philadelphia Union selected the following players in the expansion draft today:

Brad Knighton (NE), Dave Myrie (CHI), Shavar Thomas (CDUSA), Jordan Harvey (COL), Shea Salinas (SJ), Stefani Miglioranzi (LA), Andrew Jacobson (DC), Nick Zimmerman (NY), Alejandro Moreno (CLB), and Sebastien Le Toux (SEA).

Most notable picks: They went for Salinas over hometown favorite Bobby Convey, picking potential (and performance?) over place of origin. Le Toux was a Seattle favorite. Moreno is probably the biggest name here, and Thomas has been a decent center back for Chivas. 

More on this later (when the paying job allows some time). MLS is theoretically streaming manager Peter Nowak discussing this live online, but the live-streaming isn’t working for many. 

What do you think about the players picked? Weigh in below in the Comments section.

Posted via web from The Philly Soccer Page

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