July 20, 2011 |
"We don't put too much into what happens. It's a team that's worth hundreds of millions of dollars vs. a team that's worth maybe $10 or 15 [million] at the most. In the world of soccer, that's a massive difference and you expect them to win . . . We're not playing against Cristiano Ronaldo or Kaka in our league. We take it for what it is. " - Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan after a 4-1 loss to Real Madrid --- IN THE GRAND scheme, it's hard to disagree with Landon Donovan.
March 11, 2012 |
The Union are hours away from opening their 2012 Major League Soccer season, with 13 fresh faces collected during a newsworthy offseason. It's a group the technical staff believes will vault the club past last season's 11-8-15 record and its inaugural MLS Cup playoff berth. During the Union's inaugural season CEO and managing partner Nick Sakiewicz said it would take "at least three years to build a championship team. " Welcome to Year Three. But do the Union have the pieces to make a serious run?
December 10, 2007 |
Can you hear it, that sound coming off the Chester waterfront? It may be the faint sound of cheering. Or, perhaps, the chime of cash registers. Or, it could be just the winter wind, rippling through the weeds and ruins. Part of the answer could come soon, when Pennsylvania officials decide whether to spend $45 million on what developers say will be the final piece of a plan to build a stadium and secure a Major League Soccer team for the Philadelphia area. "This is the stadium site, right back in here," says Nick Sakiewicz, president of sports promoter AEG New York, who is helping local investors navigate the soccer league application process.
July 24, 2012 |
MISSOURI AND Pennsylvania. First St. Louis, followed by Kansas City — both vs. Philadelphia. Twice the two areas have placed competing bids to Major League Soccer. Both times, Philly has won. The first was in 2009, when it was between St. Louis and Philadelphia to become MLS' 16th franchise. A year later, the Philadelphia Union made its debut. This year, Kansas City threw its name into the ring for Livestrong Sporting Park, just over the Missouri River, to host the upcoming MLS All-Star Game, as did Philadelphia.
January 15, 2010 |
Two years ago, when a couple of dozen local soccer fans journeyed to Baltimore to cheer at the Major League Soccer draft, they traveled with the hope - and it was only a hope - that Philadelphia could land an expansion team. Yesterday's scene was just a little bit different: Scores of blue-and-gold-clad fans turned the Convention Center ballroom into a party zone, roaring for their new team, the Union, who held the first pick in the draft. "It's kind of crazy, isn't it?" said Bryan James, president of the Sons of Ben fan club and one of at least 200 Union supporters who rocked the ballroom.
April 20, 2012 |
The Business page would not be my first choice to learn about the fanaticism displayed by supporters of Philadelphia's sports teams. After all, you can see people wearing Flyers jerseys or driving cars with the Phillies' "P" on the front license plate. Team names are painted into lawns. I pass a custom minibus emblazoned with the "Eagles" logo sitting in a driveway when I take one of the younger Armstrongs to his violin lesson each week. But Philadelphia's deep identification as a rabid sports town brought about 120 businesspeople to the Four Seasons Hotel on Thursday to hear a panel of experts make the case that it's not all fun and games.
December 18, 2007
NICK SAKIEWICZ understands the perception, and as the point man for the ownership group hoping to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to the Philadelphia region, he won't deny that he needs assistance from the Pennsylvania Legislature to build the 20,000-seat, world-class soccer stadium that will make it happen. But for anyone who wonders why the state should contribute $45 million to subsidize another professional sports-team owner, much less a potential professional soccer-team owner, Sakiewicz points out that the proposed stadium that would sit at the foot of the Commodore Barry Bridge is about so much more than soccer.
October 7, 2010 |
Fans long believed that a big benefit of landing a pro expansion team was that it would put Philadelphia on the world soccer map. But something else has happened this year: The map has come to Philadelphia. Manchester United from England, Celtic FC from Scotland, Chivas de Guadalajara from Mexico - some of the biggest and best-known teams in the world have journeyed here during the inaugural season of the Philadelphia Union. The region has played host to more big soccer games and stars in the last six months than in the last 10 years.
June 15, 2012 |
THINGS WOULD have been less confusing had Philadelphia Union CEO and operating partner Nick Sakiewicz simply said team manager Peter Nowak got canned on Wednesday because the squad hadn't performed up to expectations. That's an easy concept to grasp. After making the playoffs last season, the Union is 2-7-2 and in next-to-last place in the MLS East with eight points. Fans wouldn't need more justification than that for the sacking. But Sakiewicz made a point to emphasize at a hastily called news conference that the Union's record did not factor in the decision to remove Nowak, the only manager the third-year franchise has had. In fact, Sakiewicz said he was pleased with the way the team has performed and attributed its record to the cruelty of the sport.
December 2, 2007 |
In 1973, the Philadelphia Atoms won the championship of the North American Soccer League in their first season - then folded three years later. Next came the Philadelphia Fury, backed by a rock-star-rich investment group that included Peter Frampton. Legendary Chelsea striker Peter Osgood arrived to net goals and draw fans. But the Wizard of Os scored only once in 22 games, soon headed back to England, and within three years the Fury was gone, too. Now the Pennsylvania legislature is considering whether to pony up $45 million to help attract another pro soccer club.