Fans Boo as Union Make Playoffs for Just Second Time in Team History

Philadelphia Union logo

The Philadelphia Union have made the playoffs!

Hey, a sports team in this town making the postseason is a big deal nowadays. The Phillies haven’t made it since 2011, the Sixers 2012, and the Eagles 2013. The Flyers were the only team to make the playoffs last year. Plus the Union haven’t exactly been a playoff stalwart, either: This season is only the second time the franchise has made it to the postseason in its seven-year history.

So when the Union walked off the field yesterday, playoff berth in hand, what did the fans do? The only thing they could: They booed them. Read more »

What the Unity Cup Says About Philly Is Pretty Great

The Mexican Philadelphia Unity Cup team after its opening-night victory against the Vietnamese team. Photograph by Carlos Rojas

The Mexican Philadelphia Unity Cup team after its opening-night victory against the Vietnamese team. Photograph by Carlos Rojas

At its most basic, soccer doesn’t require much: A ball, something to mark the goal area, people to play with.

I’ve seen rags artfully wound into a sphere serving as the first, and everything from bottlecaps on bare dirt to paired street structures marking the second. It is the third item on that listing that cannot be jury-rigged.

Soccer demands people, arranged into teams to vie, then surge, toward a goal. And on any given Sunday in Philadelphia, from the Northeast down to South Philly, that demand is fulfilled as immigrants and neighborhood folks gather to play the beautiful game.

Earlier this year Mayor Jim Kenney announced that the city would arrange a World Cup–style tournament of the city’s community leagues, and at the end, the last team standing would receive the Philadelphia International Unity Cup. Read more »

Union Sign National Team Player Alejandro Bedoya

Philadelphia Union - Alejandro Bedoya

Image via Philadelphia Union

The Philadelphia Union are in their seventh season, and have yet to win a playoff game. The team has actually only qualified for the playoffs once in its history. This year, though, the Union have been at or near the top of the Eastern Conference standings for most of the season, and currently sit in fourth.

And now, they’ve added a player from the top league in France. The Union announced it had signed Alejandro Bedoya, a top midfielder on the United States’ men’s national team. Read more »

WATCH: Chilean Fans Sing National Anthem at the Linc

Chile’s national anthem is long. It’s five verses and a chorus. It’s so long the country has a short version, which is what U.S. Soccer says was approved for use in the Copa Americá Centenario.

Fans and players, apparently, wanted to sing a longer version of the anthem. And as they continued to sing Chile’s opener in the tournament, they were interrupted by a Pitbull song. At Chile’s second match, and last night at Lincoln Financial Field, the players and fans got together and sang the anthem after the music stopped. They were not interrupted by Pitbull.

I don’t speak Spanish, but it was pretty cool. A lot of cool things happened at Lincoln Financial Field the past week in the Copa Americá Centenario. Uruguayan fans dominated the crowd of 23,002 at the first game, only to see Venezuela eliminate them from the tournament with a 1-0 win. The smaller contingent of Venezuelan fans hung around to celebrate in the stands for a long time afterward. Read more »

Copa America Centenario Arrives in Philadelphia

Venezuela defender Roberto Rosales (16) reacts in the second half during the group play stage of the 2016 Copa America Centenario at Soldier Field. Venezuela plays Uruguay Thursday night.

Venezuela defender Roberto Rosales (16) reacts in the second half during the group play stage of the 2016 Copa America Centenario at Soldier Field. Venezuela plays Uruguay Thursday night.

The Copa America Centenario begins tonight in Philadelphia with Uruguay and Venezuela facing off at Lincoln Financial Field. This is the first of three matches to be hosted by Philadelphia – the U.S. will play Paraguay on June 11th, and Chile faces Panama on June 14th.

With 15 of the 45 titles in tournament history, Uruguay is the most successful nation in Copa America history. But tonight’s matchup finds them hanging on after a loss to Mexico, while Venezuela arrived in Philadelphia celebrating a huge win against Jamaica. Read more »

Player Signs with Union, Red-Carded Just Hours Later

New York Red Bulls defender Ronald Zubar (23) and midfielder Sal Zizzo (15) exchanges words with Philadelphia Union midfielder Ilsinho (24) as he gets called for a red card on New York Red Bulls defender Gideon Baah (3) during the first half at Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex.

New York Red Bulls defender Ronald Zubar (23) and midfielder Sal Zizzo (15) exchange words with Philadelphia Union midfielder Ilsinho (24) as he gets called for a red card on New York Red Bulls defender Gideon Baah (3) during the first half at Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex.

Yesterday afternoon, the Philadelphia Union announced it had signed Ilsinho to a two-year contract using “Targeted Allocation Money” (I am not making this term up). The Union splashed the signing on their website and Twitter, dubbing him a “Brazilian international” as a way to hype him up even though he’s only played in one game for the national team, in 2007. (The Union played its first game in 2010.)

That’s quibbling, though. Ilsinho, a 30-year-old midfielder, used to play for Ukranian club Shakhtar Donetsk. He appeared in 19 games for Shakhtar in the UEFA Champions League, the league with the highest level of soccer in the world. He even scored a goal in the UEFA Champions League against heavyweights FC Barcelona. There was much reason to be excited about the signing. Read more »

Carli Lloyd Wins FIFA Player of the Year Award in a Landslide

Carli Lloyd of the USA and Argentina's Lionel Messi pose with their trophies after winning the FIFA soccer player of the year 2015 prize during the FIFA Ballon d'Or awarding ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich, Switzerland, Monday, January 11, 2016.

Carli Lloyd of the USA and Argentina’s Lionel Messi pose with their trophies after winning the FIFA soccer player of the year 2015 prize during the FIFA Ballon d’Or awarding ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich, Switzerland, Monday, January 11, 2016.

FIFA announced today that Carli Lloyd was the winner of the FIFA Women’s Player of the Year Award. The Delran, New Jersey, native took home the trophy with 35.28 percent of the votes.

Second place was Germany’s Célia Šašić with 12.6 percent of the vote, so Lloyd won in a landslide. The votes came from 136 national team coaches, 135 national team captains and 106 media representatives. Read more »

Seven Reasons to Watch the Union’s Open Cup Final Tomorrow Night

 

Aug 12, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Union fans celebrate forward Sebastien Le Toux (not pictured) goal against the Chicago Fire at PPL Park. The Union won 1-0.

Aug 12, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Union fans celebrate forward Sebastien Le Toux (not pictured) goal against the Chicago Fire at PPL Park. The Union won 1-0.

Pity poor soccer. While the rest of the world can’t get enough of it, America blithely continues to thumb its nose at the sport, choosing instead to worship baseball, football, basketball and even ice hockey. This is dumb. Soccer has so much to recommend it. And tomorrow night at Chester’s PPL Park, Philadelphia’s very own professional soccer team, the Union, will be competing in the finals of the Lamar Hunt Open Cup, one of the oldest soccer competitions in the world. The Open Cup is very democratic, because it’s open to amateur as well as pro teams, and also very Republican, as it’s named for the younger brother (and Hill School grad!) of the famed Hunt Brothers silver-hoarding tycoons.

But you don’t care about that. You likely don’t even care that to the immense joy of U.S. soccer fans, the final match of this year’s Cup competition will be televised on ESPN2, which was not at all assured right up until last Friday. (It’s the first time ESPN has televised the final game since 1999.) And while the Union aren’t normally a powerhouse team, they have performed extremely well in Open Cups; last year, they lost in overtime in the finals to Seattle, which is a powerhouse team. This year, they’re playing Sporting Kansas City.

So, why should you spend your Wednesday night cheering for the Union? Here are great seven reasons why. Read more »

Delran’s Carli Lloyd to Be on Sports Illustrated Cover

USATSI_carli-lloyd-usa-soccer-940x540

Sports Illustrated is honoring the 2015 U.S. Women’s World Cup championship team in a way no other team has been honored before.

In an “unprecedented” move for the nationwide sports magazine, SI is giving all 24 members of the U.S. Women’s World Cup team — including coach Jill Ellis — each their own cover. A 25th cover features Delran’s Carli Lloyd in a group shot which also includes Julie Johnston, aka Zach Ertz’s squeeze. (See the covers here.)  Read more »

What They’re Saying About World Cup Star Carli Lloyd

Jul 5, 2015; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; United States midfielder Carli Lloyd (10) reacts after scoring a goal against Japan in the first half of the final of the FIFA 2015 Women's World Cup at BC Place Stadium.

Jul 5, 2015; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; United States midfielder Carli Lloyd (10) reacts after scoring a goal against Japan in the first half of the final of the FIFA 2015 Women’s World Cup at BC Place Stadium.

After last night’s record-setting performance in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final against Japan — including the first-ever hat trick by a woman and second-ever in any World Cup Final — Delran native Carli Lloyd is getting a lot of play in the media, with articles, Tweets and videos showing wild support of her during her conquest for the Cup.

Even Wikipedia briefly listed Lloyd as President of the United States, instead of her usual position of midfielder for the U.S. Women’s National Team. If only for a fleeting moment, she might as well have been …

Here are some notable media hits pertaining to the area’s newest global superstar: Read more »

« Older Posts