Union's Mondragon scores with sartorial save

Keeper Faryd Mondragon got his teammates new neckwear.
Keeper Faryd Mondragon got his teammates new neckwear.
Posted: April 01, 2011

Before Saturday's win over Vancouver in their home opener, the Union were actually fit to be tied.

That's because the day before the game, goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon bought the entire team and front-office personnel blue ties. The Union wear suits and ties to games, and Mondragon wanted to make sure they were professionally attired.

When asked about it, the 39-year-old keeper brushed away questions.

He didn't do it for the publicity, conceding that it was a gesture to help bond the team together.

Then Mondragon said, "Ask Peter about it."

Team manager Peter Nowak was more than happy to discuss the situation.

It turns out that when Mondragon was at the store buying the ties, he called Nowak to ask what color they should be.

Nowak may know a great deal about soccer, but his sense of style admittedly is lacking.

"Some of the players have very bad judgment in picking out colors, and I do, too," Nowak said, laughing. "I told him he had to pick out the color, because I need my wife and daughter to pick out clothes for me."

Nowak said Mondragon did an excellent job selecting the ties - light blue, with yellow-gray-and-green diagonal stripes - but more important was the gesture.

"It shows the class of the player [that] he doesn't mind spending a couple of dollars to make sure we look professional," Nowak said.

It's just another example of how Mondragon has quickly taken over as the leader of the team.

"He is the poster child of what a leader should be," said Union chief executive officer and operating partner Nick Sakiewicz.

And maybe when his career is over, Mondragon could start a second one as a fashion consultant.

Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225 or mnarducci@phillynews.com.


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