October 4, 2015 |
Nick Sakiewicz was the public face of the Union since well before the team's first Major League Soccer season in 2010. Eventually, he and chairman/owner Jay Sugarman had different visions on the direction of the team. That cost Sakiewicz his job as chief executive officer and operating partner on Thursday. Sugarman, who works in New York and had limited contact over the years with the media was expansive during a Friday conference call in explaining Sakiewicz's ouster. Sakiewicz, a former professional goalkeeper, was often criticized for meddling too much in player acquisition.
October 4, 2015 |
TO THOSE frustrated fans who take the media to task when they are angered that a coach or executive they want fired is not, look in the mirror. The person who has the true power to influence such a decision will stare back at you. Yesterday, the Union announced it had parted ways with chief executive officer and operating partner Nick Sakiewicz, the person whose work was critical to founding the franchise six years ago. "I appreciate everything...
October 3, 2015 |
Nick Sakiewicz is out as the Union's CEO and chief operating partner. The team is expected to make the announcement on Friday. CBSphilly.com first reported on Sakiewicz's departure. Reached late Thursday by The Inquirer, Sakiewicz provided this statement: "I enjoyed my time at the Philadelphia Union and am proud of the team and organization and stadium we built," he said. "I wish the Union, [team chairman and owner] Jay Sugarman, and the entire organization the best of luck and continued success.
July 1, 2015 |
Union coach Jim Curtin knows who his goalkeeper will be for his team's U.S. Open Cup game against D.C. United Tuesday night at PPL Park. But Curtin isn't willing to disclose his decision. Brian Sylvestre has started the last nine Major League Soccer games for the Union in goal, but he is ineligible to play for them in this tournament since he competed in the earlier rounds for the Carolina RailHawks of the NASL. Curtin's choice is either John McCarthy or Andre Blake. McCarthy starred in the Union's opening U.S. Open Cup game, a 3-1 win in penalty kicks against the Rochester Rhinos.
June 5, 2015 |
Our outsize investments of time, energy, and money in athletes and arenas tempt us to regard sports as more than just games. Politicians are no exception, forever buying and selling the idea that stadiums aren't only a means of providing entertainment and reaping profits, but the linchpins of the economic revivals that have so far eluded any number of American cities. In fact, study after study has failed to attribute any significant economic impact to sports facilities. Chester is one of many towns relearning that lesson, in this case at the feet of PPL Park, a professional soccer stadium surrounded by the same economic wasteland that greeted its arrival five years ago this month.
June 1, 2015 |
Inside the gates of PPL Park on game days, nearly 18,500 fans bustle around the $122 million Major League Soccer stadium on the Chester waterfront. They cheer the Union, they relax, they buy drinks and food. For a few hours, it's an image from Chester that few might recognize. But by the day's end, those visitors abruptly leave - returning to homes far outside Chester's city limits - without ever venturing beyond the I-95 ramp leading to the complex. It's been nearly five years since PPL Park opened with high expectations: The stadium would become a hub for economic development, the centerpiece of a waterfront stretch that would include housing, corporate offices, and a convention center.
May 20, 2015 |
Once again, the Union are looking for a head of soccer operations. The team's CEO and operating partner, Nick Sakiewicz, said Monday that Rene Meulensteen's six-month term as consultant will end this month and will not be extended. Meulensteen is leaving for personal reasons, Sakiewicz said. Jim Curtin is the Union's head coach and Chris Albright is technical director, directly involved in player management and movement in addition to coaching decisions. Sakiewicz has been the object of recent fan derision.
May 10, 2015 |
The Union are in a dire goalkeeping situation. Goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi, who returned to the Union this week after the team suggested he take time off after a rough start, didn't travel to Vancouver, and won't play in Saturday's Major League Soccer game against the Whitecaps. He attended practice Tuesday and Wednesday and wasn't on the field with the team on Thursday before they departed for Vancouver. Brian Sylvestre, 22, was acquired by short-term loan and will be the Union's starting goalie.
March 8, 2015 |
The sun was shining on PPL Park on Friday morning as Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" blasted through the speakers. But even the famous song could not drown out the chorus of scraping shovels and beeping trucks that echoed through the stadium. Workers in parkas, hats, and gloves moved through each row, using orange shovels to scrape snow and ice from seats and stairways. A dump truck carried snow across the field and out of the stadium before returning for another load. The snowstorm that hit the Philadelphia region Thursday arrived just two days before the Union's Major League Soccer home opener against the Colorado Rapids.
January 28, 2015 |
IF THERE IS one thing that won't surprise Union head coach Jim Curtin and technical director/assistant coach Chris Albright, it will be the high expectations placed on them by the team's fan base. Not too long ago, Curtin and Albright were on the other side of the fence, demanding commitments of excellence from the management of the Eagles, Flyers, Phillies and Sixers. Curtin is from Oreland and in 2001 became the first Villanova player taken in the Major League Soccer draft, by the Chicago Fire.