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.
September 19, 2014 |
It's easy to see why they call him Lieutenant Larry. He doesn't pace the sidelines as much as he prowls. Arms folded. Whistle hanging from his neck. Eyes locked on the field in front of him. Every so often, he barks something that rattles both sidelines. His tone is raspy, succinct. At 66 years old, he is a man of few words when he's coaching. But he makes each word count - even though, to the ears of his high school players, many of those words might sound like they were plucked from a time capsule.
September 17, 2014 |
I WON'T exaggerate and claim that if the Union beats Seattle tonight at PPL Park and captures the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, it will be as big as if it makes the playoffs and wins the MLS championship. The MLS Cup is the ultimate goal of professional soccer in the United States. It is this sport's equivalent of winning the Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup or NBA Finals. In comparison, winning the Open Cup would be like winning the . . . well, there is no real equivalent in any other U.S. professional sport.
September 11, 2014 |
Ryan Hemsley admits to being "very, very superstitious. " His Archbishop Wood soccer teammates used to poke fun at the senior goalkeeper about it, actually. After the Vikings huddle, he walks to his goal. There, Hemsley hits the two posts and the crossbar and then makes the sign of the cross. It is something he picked up a while ago from Peter Pappas, a former goalie with the Philadelphia Kixx and now a television analyst during Philadelphia Union games. But there's something different about Hemsley's pregame ritual this season.