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Blank Jersey Space – In the search of a sponsor

August 31, 2010 1 comment

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.

Tastykake
– 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!

Comcast
– 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
– 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
– 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.

PPL
– 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.

– Dan

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Post-game Revolution-Union, 8/28/10

August 28, 2010 1 comment

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

Revolution-Union, Aug 28, 2010, Second Half

August 28, 2010 Leave a comment

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!!!

Revolution-Union, Aug 28, 2010, First Half

August 28, 2010 Leave a comment

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

Match Preview-Union @ New England Revolution, Saturday, August 28, 2010

August 27, 2010 Leave a comment

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

Youth Movement

August 26, 2010 Leave a comment

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

My Favorite Non-American Footballer

August 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Greatest white guy afro since Wild Cherry

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