Additionally, the suit says the defendants, Pennsylvania Professional Soccer LLC, and the larger Keystone Sports and Entertainment LLC, the engine that owns and operates the Union, requested an immediate repayment of a loan given to Nowak during his time as manager. While the amount is unclear, it's assumed sizable considering that the suit claims that immediate repayment would cause "Mr. Nowak immediate and material harm."
The Union and its lawyers have chosen not to comment, other than Union CEO and managing partner Nick Sakiewicz telling the Daily News via text that the "team disputes the allegations in the complaint and will vigorously defend against the lawsuit,'' which was similar to what Sakiewicz told Philly.com, which first reported the story, via email.
Clifford Haines, Nowak's Center City-based lawyer, told the Daily News that while the Union has every right to terminate his client, not paying him as per the original contract terms is unacceptable.
“Bottom line is the Union fired Peter, Peter had a contract that runs through 2015, and it's our position that Peter is entitled to be paid under that contract until Dec. 31, 2015, and the Union doesn‘t agree," Haines said. "They stopped paying him back in June when they fired him. There were some negotiations between lawyers representing the Union and the lawyer representing Peter out in Chicago, but those discussions were not fruitful in bringing about a resolution."
Of course, this comes on the eve of the MLS' All-Star spectacular against Chelsea, which has thrust the Philadelphia region into the spotlight. On Tuesday, much of the attention was centered around the All-Star press conference at the Independence Visitors Center, where delegates from both sides discussed Wednesday night's game. Chelsea will seek to avenge a 1-0 loss in 2006 to the All-Stars. It was revealed that Spanish striker Fernando Torres won't play due to a late arrival, but MLS All-Star David Beckham will be in Philadelphia for the match. Like Torres, Beckham missed the All-Stars' pair of training sessions in Philly and Chester, as he had responsibilities leading into Friday's open of the Olympic Games in London.
While Wednesday's game is the topic of discussion on a national scale, locally, the shroud cast by Nowak's suit was the talk in local soccer circles. It's been a tumultuous season for the Union both on and off the pitch, from a slumping record to a tax rift with Chester, where PPL Park resides, and now this. There has been no shortage of story lines.
For now, the focus is how Philadelphia-Chester will look on national television as a sold-out arena awaits MLS' biggest showcase.
"Philadelphia is a great sports town," ESPN color analyst Taylor Twellman said. "And for me, watching a game at PPL Park is unlike any other. In my time there, I've seen fans that even though they've been through thick and thin in a relatively short time with this club, still have a ton of passion for their franchise and for this sport. I think that will be accurately displayed on Wednesday night."
Contact Kerith Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @sprtswtr.
What: MLS All-Star Game
Who: MLS All-Stars vs. Chelsea FC
When: Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. (kickoff approxmately, 8:50 p.m.)
Where: PPL Park, Chester
TV: ESPN2, Galavision
ESPN announcers: Adrian Healey (play-by-play); Taylor Twellman (color)
Game-time weather: 71 degrees under partly cloudy skies, with winds at 5-10 miles per hour.
Tickets: sold out at box office; about 300 tickets left on secondary ticket site StubHub, starting at $64 (sideline, section 112) to $1,500 (field level).
Parking: $20 at all PPL Park-approved lots.
8 a.m.-6 p.m.: MLS VIP Lounge, Sofitel Hotel, (17th and Sansom). A one-stop shop for fans looking to understand more about the All-Star Game.
4-8 p.m.: MLS All Star Soccer Celebration, PPL Park. An interactive fan zone at Toyota Green (West Plaza), where fans can meet and grab autographs from MLS players past and present, grab free swag from MLS sponsors and and sign MLS' giant ball, which has made the rounds all week throughout the city.
8:30 p.m.: Game. Pia Toscano, an "American Idol" contestant for Season 10, will sing the national anthem.
MLS (MLS club and number of All Star appearances in parentheses)
Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA, 1)
Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City, 2)
Carlos Valdes (Union, 1)
Steven Beitashour (San Jose, 1)
Aurelien Collin (Sporting Kansas City, 1)
Jay DeMerit (Vancouver, 1)
Ramiro Corrales (San Jose, 1)
r-Justin Morrow (San Jose, 1)
i-Heath Pearce (New York, 3)
a-Michael Farfan (Union, 1)
Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle, 3)
Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake, 2)
David Beckham (Los Angeles, 3)
c-Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United, 7)
Landon Donovan (Los Angeles, 12)
Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City, 1)
Thierry Henry (New York, 2)
Eddie Johnson (Seattle, 1)
Chris Pontius (D.C. United, 1)
Chris Wondolowski (San Jose, 2)
i: injured; r: replacement; c: captain; a: addition
John Obi Mikel
— Kerith Gabriel