November 2, 2010 |
Union president Tom Veit is exiting stage left for a new role behind the scenes. Veit is stepping down and will take over as a consultant to the team and to Union CEO and managing partner Nick Sakiewicz. Veit, who joined the team as a consultant through his Tampa, Fla.-based company, The Solutions Group, was appointed team president in April 2009. "I love Philly, but I am a Florida guy and Tampa is my home," Veit said. From Tampa, Veit will act as a liaison for the Union in upcoming and ongoing deals, most notably talks of bringing Villanova football to PPL Park, the Union's 18,500-seat facility in Chester.
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.
September 3, 2010 |
WHILE IT PROVED invaluable Wednesday night, the ongoing belief among the Union technical staff that youth over experience is the only way to go has yet to take hold with me. I am sure along with Peter Nowak and Co., coaches on the youth level probably think I am crazy, but when it comes to a professional sports franchise, it's how I feel. Perhaps this is why I am a writer and not a manager, but if Tom Veit and Nick Sakiewicz allowed me to build the Union's starting 11, you best believe the first thing I would have done is supplied it with a tenured goalkeeper and at least two seasoned defenders.
August 27, 2010 |
The playoff talk has cooled down for the Union, but that doesn't mean the final 10 games of their inaugural Major League Soccer season aren't important. Many would agree that the Union have played better than their 4-11-5 mark indicates, but the fact remains that their 17 points is the second-fewest in MLS. Maybe the best testament to the Union is the fact that, despite their being an expansion team, the record is disappointing because they have been competitive in nearly every game this season.
June 27, 2010 |
The Union were about to play their first Major League Soccer game, at Seattle's Qwest Field on March 25, and team CEO and operating partner Nick Sakiewicz was soaking in the atmosphere. Even though the Union lost that first game, 2-0, Sakiewicz saw how overwhelming it was to have a longtime dream of an MLS franchise up and running. In this season of firsts, another will occur Sunday, when the Union host their first game at Chester's sparkling PPL Park. The opponent will be the Seattle Sounders FC, the team that the Union faced in their opener.
June 25, 2010 |
PIGGY BACK. Those two words should be all over smart boards and dry-erase easels at Major League Soccer headquarters in New York. It's a design that the league followed in 1995, "piggy-backing" the success of World Cup 1994 in the United States. Flash forward 15 years, and it's a term that can be used again, with this World Cup in South Africa arguably the most publicized and most hyped ever in America. With every pulse-pounding moment captured in uninterrupted high-definition quality on the ESPN family of networks and Univision, there is little argument that the buzz for soccer in this country is higher than it's ever been.
June 13, 2010 |
PPL Park in Chester, two weeks from hosting its first Major League Soccer game, drew rave reviews from players, management, and season-ticket holders in a dress rehearsal of sorts Saturday. The Union invited season-ticket holders to watch Saturday's World Cup game between the United States and England, a 1-1 tie, and to check out the sparkling new $122 million stadium that will seat 18,500 for soccer. This season, the Union played their first two MLS home games at Lincoln Financial Field while the stadium construction was completed.
May 21, 2010 |
WITH A SINGLE comment, Robert Pires will now go from potential savior to scoundrel in the eyes of the Philadelphia Union faithful. OK, perhaps savior is a stretch, but definitely a player who would have made a major impact. On Wednesday, Pires told French daily L'Equipe that he rejected an offer to join the Union and, subsequently, Major League Soccer, by the summer transfer window in July. The reason? Philly isn't "beautiful" enough. "It does not please me to [go to Philadelphia]
May 7, 2010 |
Manchester United, the New York Yankees of soccer, will come to Philadelphia to face the Union. The defending English Premier League champion will play the Major League Soccer team on July 21 at Lincoln Financial Field. The Union's MLS match at Colorado, originally scheduled for that date, will be moved to Sept. 29. The game will be the second stop on a four-city tour for Manchester United. The team will play Celtic FC on July 16 in Toronto and MLS' Wizards on July 25 in Kansas City.
April 9, 2010 |
On Saturday, Philadelphia sports fans will see something they haven't seen for 30 years: a pro soccer game, played here by a hometown, major-league team. The Philadelphia Union will take the field at 6 p.m. for their inaugural home game, returning soccer to the city for the first time since 1980, when the Fury limped out of town to Montreal. "The long gap has seen a whole generation of Americans grow up on the sport," said Union chief executive officer Nick Sakiewicz, who in 1980 was a 19-year-old Olympic soccer hopeful.