August 9, 2015 |
A couple of little guys with some ball skills of their own already traded high fives and fist bumps and hellos with Union players earlier this week as the players strolled off the practice field along the Delaware River. The last Union player off the field, Zach Pfeffer, stopped for a little chat. The little guys sent him toward the locker room with a "Thanks, Mr. Pfeffer. " That may have been the first "Mr. Pfeffer" Zach had received in his life. Pfeffer has always been the young guy, the phenom, a pro as a high school sophomore at age 15. Now he's a seasoned 20, making under six figures in salary but real money.
November 23, 2014 |
Mario Mandescu has stepped on a soccer field countless times in his career. Sunday will be different. "We can't lose," Mandescu said of the Group 1 state championship game between Haddon Township and Harrison at 3 p.m. Sunday at Kean University. There's no guarantee that Mandescu and his teammates will walk off the field with a victory and a state championship trophy. But this much is a lock: The game will mark the end of the line as high school players for Mandescu and his fellow seniors.
November 13, 2014 |
The line wound around the funeral home, snaked across the front hall past the Pele photo and out the front door, down the sidewalk to the next block, around a corner. Here's the thing: People in that line outside the Stretch Funeral Home in Havertown last week were pleased it was so long, up to 21/2 hours, to honor George Severini. Not just John Chaney paid his respects but grade school girls wearing matching camp T-shirts. An Immaculata University soccer player was there to explain to the family that if it weren't for George, he wouldn't be playing college soccer.
October 10, 2014 |
As South Jersey soccer recruits go, Tziarra King is a bit against the grain. She isn't an Olympic Development player or even a high-level club player. She isn't on one of the area's perennial powers, and she has never won a conference or state championship. A Winslow resident her entire life, King will tell you her town doesn't exactly have an overwhelming soccer culture. But King started playing the sport when she was 4 years old. And she loved it. And ever since, that's really all that mattered.
December 16, 2013 |
This is the type of extended homecoming that Zack Steffen was hoping for. The Maryland goalie will be concluding his freshman soccer season by playing in the College Cup championship game against Notre Dame at 3 p.m. Sunday at PPL Park in Chester. Not only is Steffen a graduate of Downingtown West, but he is a product of the Union youth academy. He estimates that 20 to 30 friends and family members were at the 2-1 semifinal win Friday over rival Virginia. Steffen said even more local supporters will be there Sunday.
December 14, 2013 |
New Mexico's Kyle Venter had a reaction similar to that of most amateur and professional soccer players seeing PPL Park for the first time. Venter, a senior defender, and his teammates had a walk-through on a chilly Thursday morning in preparation for Friday's College Cup soccer semifinals at the stadium in Chester. In the 5 p.m. game, New Mexico (14-5-2) will face Notre Dame (15-1-6). Atlantic Coast Conference rivals Maryland (16-3-5) and Virginia (13-5-5) will meet in the 7:30 p.m. semifinal.
September 16, 2013 |
Haddonfield senior Kylie Kirk had rarely spent time on the sidelines, but a series of events last year changed that, gave her a greater appreciation of soccer, and opened her eyes to the business of college athletics. Among the top midfielders in South Jersey, Kirk suffered a badly sprained ankle in late September and didn't return until Haddonfield's final game of the season in the state tournament, a 1-0, second-round defeat to Cinnaminson on Nov. 8. "It was the first time I ever have been hurt, and it really was just a bummer because I love the high school season so much," Kirk said.
January 18, 2013
WHEN THE UNION kicks off 2013 training camp on Monday at YSC Sports in Wayne, one notable name will be missing: Freddy Adu. Union manager John Hackworth, speaking from the MLS SuperDraft in Indianapolis, did not elaborate on Adu's situation, simply stating, "We'll address that on Monday. " Meanwhile, the team is set to announce the signing of a major player, according to Hackworth, widely believed to be defender Damani Richards, of Trinidad. Amid the buzz, the Union made its draft selections, including forward Don Anding and midfielder Stephen Okai.
December 7, 2012 |
There was a period during the middle of this season when the Haddon Heights boys' soccer team played eight consecutive games without allowing a goal. A shot finally beat Heights keeper Jon Weaver in the 77th minute of a 2-1 win over New Egypt. That came after almost 12 hours of scoreless soccer. Weaver barely noticed. "As the season started, it was hard for me to get going mentally," said Weaver, this season's Inquirer Player of the Year in South Jersey boys' soccer. "One thing I had to learn early on is that it's not about the shutouts; it's not about the stats.
October 31, 2012 |
After more than four decades of being a mainstay on the Archbishop Ryan boys' soccer sideline, it is hard to distinguish George Todt from Ryan soccer - or Philadelphia Catholic League soccer for that matter. The school, the program and the league and Todt have become nearly synonymous with one another. "It became me," Todt said of the Ryan program. "It was a lifetime of knowing who I was. " Forty-four years later, Todt's name has also become synonymous with unparalleled success.