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.
May 14, 2015
THE SIXERS came out with some new logos yesterday. One of them, with stars and the word Philadelphia around the outside, kind of looks like the Philadelphia Union logo. Another of them, described as a secondary logo, pictures Benjamin Franklin dribbling a basketball - a concept used at one point on Penn's basketball warmups, and also on the 2002 NBA All-Star practice jerseys. So that's what's new.
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.
April 10, 2015 |
When the Union return to PPL Park on Saturday still in search of their first win, they will do so with a significantly different look. Highly touted but struggling goalie Rais Mbolhi will not play against New York City FC. In his place, manager Jim Curtin has decided to start John McCarthy, the 2014 USL goalkeeper of the year, who joined the club from the Rochester Rhinos in February. "John McCarthy will be our starter and Andre Blake will back him up," Curtin said Tuesday at a news conference.
April 3, 2015 |
MAYBE THERE is something bad in the water that Philadelphia Union players drink during training sessions. This season was supposed to be different. Manager Jim Curtin, instead of diving in headfirst at midseason as he did when he got the job on an interim basis last year, has had a full offseason to plan and prepare for the task. Collaborating with technical director Chris Albright and assistant coach Mike Sorber, Curtin has brought in his own players and put together the roster he wanted.
March 6, 2015 |
UNION MANAGER Jim Curtin is well aware that his team hasn't made the playoffs since 2011, and the Oreland native and Villanova alum is determined to do something about it. But just how much can Curtin do to compete with rivals who are spending more on individual stars than the Union's entire team payroll? Toronto has Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley and Sebastian Giovinco. Seattle has Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins. Orlando has Kaká. New York City FC has Frank Lampard and David Villa.
March 6, 2015
NOW THAT Major League Soccer and the MLS Players Union have avoided a strike by agreeing in principle to a new, 5-year collective bargaining agreement, Union coach Jim Curtin can zero in on what he has tried to get in focus since the team opened training camp. "There was a little bit of a buzz in practice and a sense of release," Curtin said yesterday on a media conference call before the Union opens the season tomorrow at PPL Park. "Our focus has always been, since the preseason started, on March 7 against Colorado.
January 8, 2015 |
Even in Texas, testified business owner Suzanne Lee, Philadelphia's Ironworkers Union Local 401 was reputed to be one group you didn't want to cross. But when one of her best customers at Ultimate Tower Service Inc. asked her to work on a 1,000-foot television tower in Roxborough, she overcame her reluctance, she told a federal jury Tuesday. "We had multiple jobs from the owner of the tower, American Towers, and we didn't want to turn any work down," Lee said. "But we didn't want to come to this area.
November 16, 2014 |
The cornerstone of the Union's strategy, owner Jay Sugarman said, is to internally develop their talent instead of buying it on the market. That strategy was strengthened Friday as the team announced the hiring of Rene Meulensteen as a consultant. Meulensteen, 50, will advise the Union on all soccer operations. The Dutchman spent 12 years with Manchester United and was most recently the manager of English club Fulham. He spent five years as an academy coach for United and will bring his experience with player development to the Union.
October 29, 2014
THE FIFTH season of Philadelphia Union soccer concluded yesterday, another stoppage-time goal allowed signifying the end of a 10-12-12 campaign. A tap-in by Columbus midfielder Bernardo Anor negated a late equalizer and sent the visiting Union out with a 2-1 defeat at Crew Stadium. The Philly club finished the season with 42 points, four fewer than last year and five fewer than the fifth-place New York Red Bulls, in missing the postseason for the fourth time in 5 years. For most of its season finale, the Union played from behind, Jairo Arrieta's 13th-minute goal marking the game's lone score for more than 80 minutes of play.