The title isn’t talking about the State of New Jersey, and Jersey’s state IS blank, but that’s really besides the point. The Union, have no shirt sponsor. That’s what makes soccer all over the rest of the world different (for the most part) is the constant advertisement on our favorite (or most hated) players on the pitch. Subliminal it is not, but most interesting at times. Banks, stores, phone companies, hedge fund brokers, big, small, honest, corrupt – all types of companies have their names on these players. But the Union has nothing at this time, other than the Adidas logo on the jersey since Adidas provides gear for all of MLS (with a newly signed deal until 2018). I’m here to add some insight with the MLS jersey sponsors, and also add some thought into what local companies should be lobbying for that spot on the chest of our players.
Upon doing some research on the MLS, I’ve found some interesting things. Anyone who has looked up anything MLS related with it’s past knows that the MLS has fought the stream against IFAB, aka- international accepted soccer ruling board…or the like. Now each league has done it’s own part in accepting or ignoring some of these standards, but the MLS is worst (countdown clock, golden goal, 4th sub, list goes on). So knowing this why I was shocked at seeing that they only started allowing jersey sponsors in 2007 is beyond me.
As of now, according to wikipedia, there are only 12 teams that have jersey sponsorships… Of those 12 teams, one is the incoming expansion team (wikipedia needs better editors). So, 11 out of the 16 teams have sponsors, and one of those 5 is the Union. A little shocking that not all teams would capitalize on this. Why?
Well, figures show that the MLS teams (according again, to wikipedia… ugh) value anywhere from 900 thousand to 5 million dollars per year. That’s a grand contract for sponsorships. But then you have to wonder with that, why the fuck are there only 2 profitable teams in the league at any given year, but that’s another topic. We have the Fire sponsored by Best Buy, Chivas USA sponsored by Extra (a mexican grocery store), DC United is sponsored by Volkswaggen, the New York Energy Drinks sponsored by Red Bull, Seatlle sponsored by Xbox 360 Live, etc. The possibilities of where these sponsors can come from are endless.
So why don’t we have a sponsor if it could come into play with added money to pay for better valued players, and the eventual designated player option? Why don’t we have a sponsor lined up, or hear of talks about a possible sponsorship deal? There’s the possibility of the stadium sponsor to sponsor the jersey (like the energy drinks) or even anything global or local. I think local is our best bet. Philadelphia has plenty of established and great companies that would be beneficial, and add for plenty of jokes about the game.
- Why not? They’re delicious, everyone loves it, and it’s a philly delicacy. Added with Coudet’s hair color, and it’s a great match (honestly, he looks like a butterscotch krimpet). Tastykake is local and is very founded in doing business and sponsors and just about everything they do for the community with Philly. No one has a disapproving word of the company (other than comments on the original factory’s age and decrepency). With tastykake, they go along well with phrases like “They are really eating up the competition”, or “That shot takes the kake”, or “Tasty move by *insert player name*”, and “That finish was a piece of cake”. Not only that, anytime a specific player scores (maybe just the first goal) there is a case of TastyKakes given. It can’t go wrong!
- Let’s face it…they’re local, they have the money, and they COULD put the games on TV. With the acquisition of NBC they will be unstoppable, and available nationwide (moreso than now) and have more control over …um. everything. They are becoming the new Disney, and if they make an agreement to broadcast the games, then we won’t have to worry about ABC and their stupid LiveWell HD channel. Downsides though are the fact that anyone with DirecTV or FiOs would probably not get the games. And they’re just bloody fucking evil.
- Aramark is headquartered in Philly. Everyone’s seen the building with their name plasteured on it on Market street. They are a global company, and are basically everywhere from school cafeterias, colleges, convention centers to sports stadiums. I’m fairly certain they already supply some vendor areas inside the stadium, so it would be useful in that sense. The only problem would then be paying the entity that is paying you. Maybe if they worked out a deal like that, the prices could become cheaper in the park. Then again, it might be a double edged sword and they actually raise the prices because of getting less money.
- PECO is local, and sponsor, as we all know, the Flyers PECO POWER PLAY!!!! (echo). It would also be funny since PPL is an electric company, and they would be competitors with PPL… would make for some interesting advertising competition. Other than that, I actually can’t stand the company cause they turned off my power prematurely due to a 800 dollar bill left by the last tenant in that apartment.. so i have a middle finger for them and a few choice words. So why put them there? Just cause of the PECO penalty kicks! And they’re local, even though assholes. So they’re actually out.
- They sponsor the park, why not some more of the team!? It would only make sense, and their logo is simple enough to be placed on the chest of our men.
WaWa (I originally forgot about, but thanks to my friend the Doctor, it is on the list)
- The local convenience store chain, just 10 years ago was nothing, but turned themselves into something that is on every college students’ tounges – WaWa. Hoagiefest, COME ON! It would be an awesome sponsorship and give them the ability to possibly expand to more than just the Mid-east atlantic region for stores. Because seriously, there is nothing worse than going on a trip to New York or somewhere South and not being able to get some WaWa and have to settle for an even worse looking 7-11 than there is here. It’s also another simple enough logo to put on our players’ jerseys. Just hope the deal doesn’t give them free sandwhiches, we don’t want them getting out of shape.
In my prediction, I said that the result of not starting Moreno would result in a 2-1 Union loss. The red card to Cory Gibbs made me score-right, side-wrong, as Union prevailed 2-1. The first half was marred by poor choices and spacing. New England was never threatened in the first half even when they didn’t have possession, and it looked as if the Revs were content to weather the Union storm and make them pay in the counter attack. New England showed their skill with a conversion of a corner kick opportunity that was the first half’s only goal. Gibbs red card changed the complexion of the match. The 41st minute send-off didn’t manifest itself until much later, but with less support, NE was not able to stave off the hungry Philadelphia side. The game, however, was defined by two players who came on after the 65-minute mark. Justin Mapp makes a tremendous touch pass to Jack McInerney, who played a one-touch finish inside the near post to tie the game. And, it was Mapp once again, this time as a trailing player, who was in the right place at the right time to receive a drop pass from Sebastien Le Toux and gave Union the full 3 points.
What this match shows is that Roger Torres, though not registering a point, is an extremely dangerous player and he forces teams to play conservatively because of his vision and passing touch. All three substitutions by Nowak were exceptional and it means loads of promise going into next season, as this ianugural year is already lost, in the way of playoffs. The next match is against Kansas City (as 6abc went out of their way to announce over and over and over). My confidence in the side is renewed. Amazing what a win will do.
-Nick, the other .5 of Unholy Union
After some Rock Band:Green Day at half time, I’m ready for more blogging.
Jesus of Suburbia is too long a song for half time. I missed 5 minutes. Sorry. But I see Roger Torres is in, and that’s a great thing.
51-Nice build, but a deflection on the shot by Naka leaves people offsides for the rebound. Ugh.
52-At least they seem to have shape this half, not bunched up on a wing.
53-Apparently Joseph got Le Toux in the face with his hand. More proof that he’s the man and any Union player are the boys, no foul was called.
56-Meaningless Union possession followed by more meaningless Union possession. Thus is the story of a 11-10 matchup.
59-Miglioranzi wastes a nice buildup with a s***ty pass into 2 defenders.
60-Nyassi volleyed a shot directly off of a throw-in. Nice play, though well over the crossbar
64-Le Toux off of a great pass by Orozco Fiscal ends with a shot saved out for a corner. The resultant corner results in a headed shot that bounced once and went harmlessly over the net.
65-Mapp finally in for Nakazawa. Hopefully it matters.
66-Jacobson wastes an shot. Mapp keeps a ball from going over the endline and puts his pass into a great place and young andrew decided to audition for the Patriots field goal kicker position.
68-Great pass by Torres to Le Toux, but a bad first touch let NE give a corner. The corner was no threat.
71-Miglioranzi shoots high and well over the net, but again a nice build. Then again, they SHOULD be getting chances when they have an extra player.
72-NE corner. Union show they still don’t clear these things very well, but there were no Revs around to make them pay. Ends with a goal kick.
75-Jesus makes a save (I wish Union were busier with shots so I could have played off of his name more)
76-Union Jack is up with the 4th official. Yay!
77-McInerney on for Miglioranzi. I LOVE the move.
78-A shot off of Smith’s right foot goes over Seitz. No threat really but nice work nonetheless.
79-Le Toux from Orozco Fiscal a shot that goes high. Another nice build. Where the hell is Danny Mwanga??? (He’s on the field, he’s just so uninvolved in this game that I wonder where he is. He’s not a “missing person” or anything)
81-Torres a lofted pass to Union Jack for a creative touch but it was too difficult. Jesus saves easily.
81-UNION JACK!!!!!! From Justin Mapp! 1-1!
83-Nowak gives instruction and looks like he’s conducting a symphony.
84-Yellow shown to Harvey for dangerous play while on the ground. Eh, whatever.
85-Bad header by Gonzalez. Put one out of play for no reason.
87-Jesus saves again. Bad pass really, but I like typing Jesus saves
87-Perovic tries for a lucky bounce again. Union concede a corner instead
88-Joseph gets his head on the corner but puts it wide. Whew!
89-Le Toux crosses awesomely, but Torres’ shot get deflected as he waited a hair too long. The corner was non-threatening.
90-I really have to go to the bathroom, but my dedication is unwavering.
90-NE free kick about 25 yards out. Uh oh.
91-The wall blocked Perovic’s attempt.
91-NE corner. Yikes!
92-MAPP!!!!!! OFF OF A LE TOUX DROP!!! Off of the corner, Seitz makes a save out of a mess, then blasts the punt to Le Toux who left it to Mwanga who passed to Seba who messed up, but left it to Mapp who slotted it far-post. AWESOMENESS!!!
94-By the way, I love stoppage time goals.
94-GAME OVER!!! MAPP WITH THE GAME-WINNER!!!
This is going to be typed in the style of a running diary. I’ll do my best to time stamp these lines by the minute of the game.
1- I like that we’re going to see Nakazawa and Jacobson from the start.
1-Not sure how I feel about the gold uniforms. Line the squad up, they look like Lil Wayne’s grill.
4-Sainey Nyassi is fast. He creates a 1-2 chance with Shalrie Joseph that made me a bit nervous.
5-Nakazawa cradled his “boyz” on the free kick. Ha ha ha.
6-Union are too bunched together. There is no space for anyone to make a play or even complete a pass.
8-Yes, Jordan Harvey, when more than half your team is on the other wing, you have no alternative but to play it back to your keeper.
11-Maybe I need a direct link to the Union bench. SPREAD OUT!!! FILL THE LANES!!! AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!
12-The ball moves faster when you pass it than when you dribble it, son.
13-Nice little break, a failed cross makes it a moot point. I need a drink.
16-Never a good thing when more than half the time I have to ask myself “who the hell was that pass to?”
18-Le Toux gets hacked to draw a yellow and earn a free kick. And I discover this game is being officiated by Mario Reheda (spelling???) who is MLS’ Ed Hoculi.
22-The NE keeper’s name is Shuttleworth? I wonder if his teammates call him Jesus.
23-Mwanga just got Judo-thrown
24-Naka with a dangerous free kick, no shot on goal though, and the NE break out was promising, but the header off the cross went easily out of play.
28-Le Toux teases, makes a dangerous attempt but it’s blocked for a corner. The corner produces a left-foot shot from Naka who proves why he takes his free kickes with his right.
29-Migs gets a yellow. Maybe the foul on the ankle of Nyassi will take some of his pace away. Not likely though.
30-3 Union players can’t clear a ball in their feet and it ends up behind Seitz. 1-0 Revolution. This sucks.
31-Yet another opportunity for the season’s first shutout blown.
35-Very deft header by a Revs defender right to his keeper. Makes me wonder what it would be like if Union’s defense and keeper were on the same page.
36-Nyassi rocks the post and heads a ball just over the cross bar in the same possession. Chris Seitz will need to change his undies at half.
38-Sainey Nyassi may now be my favorite non-Union MLS player. It’s not a man-crush though. Not yet, at least.
40-RED CARD ON NEW ENGLAND!!!
A tackle on Coudet produces a straight red. On replay, it looks like Cory Gibbs was a victim of some Arjen Robben tactics by Eduardo Coudet. Should Union win, the academy award goes to Chacho.
43-I’ve been joined by my cats. Even they can see that Union lack spacing.
44-Shalrie Joseph = man amongst boys. And he’s got long dred locks. Samson theory. Someone should shave his head at half time.
45-AND…we’ve hit the half. Union are lucky to not be down 2-0. If I had longer hair, I would have pulled it out. They need new personnel in this game for the remainder if they hope to not lose before a crowd of about 45 people. Look for the 2nd half diary, plus post-game recap.
-Nick, the other .5 of Unholy Union
This is the 2nd matchup of the season between the two sides, to take place at Foxborough, MA’s Gillette Stadium. The first match ended in a 1-1 draw. It will be televised by 6abc @ 7:30pm
The previous match was memorable for two reasons: the goals. Sebastien Le Toux scored his best goal of the season when Danny Mwanga’s poor touch at the top of the 18-yard box led Seba to his teammate’s aid and teed off a right-to-left bender into the far top corner of the net. Journalists and bloggers alike considered it an early candidate for “goal of the year.”
The other goal was less art and more science, and that’s being generous. New England was awarded a free kick, and Marko Perovic took it. It was a fairly standard strike from the onset, until it met a dry, hardened piece of grass in front of Chris Seitz. The Union keeper had positioned himself to get his torso between the ball and the goal, but he did not account for the wicked top-spin bounce that saw the ball hop over his prone body into the net. The Comcast SportsNet-New England broadcast called it “like kissing your sister.” And, I agree, if “your sister” is a rabid Doberman.
That being said, the matchup shifts to the Bay State. The lessons learned from the first match are: The Revs can very easily be contained, they can be scored upon, but Shalrie Joseph will be the best player on the pitch.
New England created chances, but Union defended every one, save for an early chance for Sainey Nyassi, whose shot beat the defense but went wide of the far post. The goal scored, as mentioned above, was properly accounted for by defenders’ positioning, the ball just took a funny bounce. It was purely luck that Revolution came away with a point. However, Union are also the team that has conceded the most goals in the league, including 2 to crappy D.C. United. Their defense has not been consistent, and they only have one road win this year. The goal scorer Perovic is ailing with plantar fasciitis so maybe Union will catch a break. The better injury news (I know, it’s mean to say) is that Alejandro Moreno may not start because of the hamstring issue that got him pulled (no pun intended) from the last match. It’s an opening for a young player to get some feature time.
If Moreno starts, Union will lose 2-1. New England still has a chance to get into the playoffs, and much like United were desperate not to lose both games to an expansion side and played like it, the Revs will want to guarantee three points against a lesser opponent.
If Nowak starts with Mwanga and Le Toux at forward in Moreno’s absence, the teams will likely draw again, I’ll say 1-1, but 2-2 wouldn’t shock me. Union did score first in the last game, and it came as the result of a great build-up, but it was an improvisational strike that was nearly perfect. They won’t score twice in a match if it takes perfection to beat the Revs’ defense. Union have shown too often that they aren’t on the same planet as “perfect” yet.
-Nick, the other .5 of Unholy Union
A blog that I read, Philly Soccer Page, alleged in a August 26, 2010 post that Nowak is letting the fan base down by staying with veteran players at this point in the season. The playoffs are out of reach, and the older players aren’t playing well enough to justify keeping the young guys on the bench. I alluded to that in my post about why I want them to play a 4-2-3-1 formation. But here’s another point that supports PSP’s opinion: Peter Nowak has stuck with Chris Seitz all season long (save for those disastrous minutes in Dallas). Nowak wants Seitz forged in the fire of league play, even if there were better alternatives available, so this is why playing all of their young players makes sense. They should all be getting minutes so they can make their mistakes and learn from them this season and can make progress with a clean slate next season. Get it done, Petey!
-Nick, the other .5 of Unholy Union
I watched Everton FC because they had Landon Donovan on loan. To my surprise, I discovered the Toffees were so much more than just the proving ground for America’s best player. They are the home of the best afro on a white man since the band Wild Cherry (Play That Funky Music, Whiteboy). Enjoy.
-Nick, the other .5 of Unholy Union
As we are heading into our 21st match in our inaugural season, I thought about having a column to reason why we should dislike other teams… considering many fans either are new to soccer in the area (other than CYO) or just getting used to watching soccer without British accents.
We all know why we hate New York, that’s just a given, but what about the other 14 teams in the league.
This week I will focus on the New England Revolution, who we are playing this Saturday at 7:30 PM at Gillette Stadium. Here are some of the finer points as to why we should look down upon N.E. Revolution.
- Their name alone. Sure, they had Paul Revere, Sam Adams, Thomas Paine, and Ben Franklin was from there… but he moved and liked it here! Not only that, what revolution did they really start? All they did was dress up as ‘injuns’ and have a massive salted tea party in their bay. All England would do with that is scoff and speak of how uncivilized Americans are (kind of sounds like nothing changed). We wrote a damn letter! We told them to “F*** OFF!” They listened, and that’s how the revolution started. Not some uncanny, trigger happy folks that their best assets are maple syrup, pine cones, and leaving their land to get other resources for money (fishing).
- Seriously, other than the seasonal beer, Samuel Adams (not to be confused with Jackson) is okay, but give me a Yuengling any day. Tastes better and is much better for the price. Also, it’s from Pottsville, PA. Battle of the beers i must say.
- I took it upon myself to research this team, and I just had to laugh at the fact their website, is a “.net”. http://www.revolutionsoccer.net/index.cfm Yea, I know in these economic times it is tough on the small, overhead costs, but you’re a damn MLS franchise for ***-sake! Get a “.com.” Even teenagers with no allowance can afford a “.com”!
- The name of the team alone irks me for the aforementioned “History” topic above.
- They are in the Superliga Championship. This accomplishment of course to be applauded, but they’re getting somewhere we’re not. Although not bad for the fourth worst team in the league. I understand there’s hardly any room to talk, but they’re at our level (if even less), they may be in the Superliga final, but we need to make them remember where exactly they are at the moment, on the added note it’s really a conselation prize anyway.
- Alexei Lalas was a founding player. Enough said. Who reading this can’t stand hearing the voice of that unwanted redheaded step-child on ESPN. He’s a condescending, dim-witted, pretentious loser. Can’t stand the sight, hearing, or name of him.
- The team was founded by the Kraft family. I don’t know about you, but I lean more towards Nabisco for some weird reason…
- Something to laugh about – They’ve never won a championship (Ok, they won 2008 SuperLiga… whatever. Not like I care about facts if you haven’t noticed). Maybe we can “feel” for them considering what other Philly teams have gone through, but who am I kidding. A special note is involved with the fact that in the 2001 U.S. Open Cup Final against the LA Galaxy, Danny Califf scored the game winning goal for the Galaxy. Definitely something to note.
So there are some of the reasons I was able to come up with for why not to like this team. There’s plenty to begin with, what with Tom Brady being (formerly) the poster child for all that is holy in NFL, Patriots, the Boston accent itself, not knowing anything about what goes on in Maine (or any of those states for that matter), etc. Take it for what you will.
- Dan K
Thinking back on the season as a whole, I wondered, “what happened to David Myrie?” The answer is: nothing. His wikipedia page (I know, even David Myrie has a Wiki page), last updated August 3rd, has him listed as a free agent. Still. You mean to tell me that not one club in the WORLD has a use for a player who recently turned 22?!?! THAT’S pretty damning right there. All we’re left with is Mr. Myrie showing us, and Steve Zakuani, what Soulja Boy Tell’em was talking about.
-Nick, the other .5 of Unholy Union
-Courtesy of Philadelphia Union facebook photos.
What can be said that hasn’t been already said by the announcers, coach, players, fans, opponent’s fans, etc? We blew.
It is one thing to watch an expansion team be formidable in ball control and possession, and be threatening with a man like Le Toux near the front and still not be able to win games, but it’s another to do it consistently by the stupid mistakes we have been seeing since Day 1. Yes, this is a broken record for this team. Between Stahl’s karate kick double yellow, Myrie’s flying superman tackle, Califf’s backhand elbow, Knighton’s clipping, Orozco-Fiscal’s audition for handball, and the accordion that is called our center defense, it’s tough. The things we keep harping upon make it seem at least one of two things: 1) Union give us terrible soccer and aren’t good (which their record would support), or 2) The fan base is the fickle, expected Philadelphia fan base national news looks down upon for their strong criticism. If you agree with either of these statements, you’re wrong.
The Union have brought great soccer all season. Even when down a man, they have brought their A-game. Mid-way through the season it was almost as if they didn’t know how to play with a full squad. But terrible red card decisions aside – that is why yesterday’s game was so hard to take.
The Union looked scattered. They started out strong, with a couple breaks to create chances like always. They were slowly finding paths through DC United’s D, but that was short lived and all for naught when Califf attempted a risky clear that 1) would have avoided a corner kick and 2) a ballerina couldn’t make the turn any better and stay on her feet to kick the ball. His risk attempt, which he should have kicked out to the endline, made him fall on his ass and inadvertently give the ball to Allsopp on DC inside the penalty spot, with no defenders. It was an easy goal against us or anyone for that matter.
From that point on, because of the Union’s need for 3 points in the standings, and the fact it’s DC (worst team in the league standings) we started to panic. Moreno got hurt (I think when being shouldered down and strained/pulled his hamstring) which caused an early 1st half substitution taking away tactical depth for the 2nd half. Fred appeared to have a Charlie horse, but thankfully stayed in the game, but to what effect it had on his performance we do not know. Granted he almost did nothing of note throughout the game, it could very well have hampered his abilities.
The panic didn’t subside when the rains came, nor after the break. This was the most disorganized I have seen the Union all season, which as many fans would say “They are an expansion team, they will be disorganized and not communicate and have flaws. Give them a break.” To that I must say “You are wrong.” For an expansion team that have played 20 games plus friendlies, they looked like a pick up soccer team: friends who never played together at all. They have played 20 times better than Sunday at their worst, and to have the communication problems and sloppiness as they did is inexcusable at this stage of the season for any team. If they never had it before yesterday, that is one thing. But to have it, and lose it and not pick up the pieces, there is cause for criticism. This lack of communication and inexperience by non-rookie, at least 3 years in MLS players cause Allsopp to not be defended once more and given a feed again a few yards inside the penalty box and hit it low home. This then brought frustration to the Union players and you can tell, especially with Le Toux seeming to be all over the field trying to make up for much of the lack of emphasis on defending.
As fans of the Union, many Philadelphia fans included, are very patient. We understand this is an expansion team, and we knew from the beginning that playoffs may not be in the foreseeable future. The added fact that we have a team that is great at ball control and possession is wonderful, and a scorer like Le Toux, a rookie like Mwanga and McInerny, and the original persona that was brought to the team by Califf (which almost seems like it disappeared when he cut his hair) it brought joy to us. We have the skill, we have the team who cares about the fans (and are also down to earth), we have a great field (no gun fights on it yet), and we have to coach who is serious about the game for us. It’s just tough not to bitch about the ins and outs of mistakes that lead to goals, and every game having that one moment that changed the way we could have played the game.
- Dan K