June 1, 2015 |
Throughout Philadelphia's sports history, soccer has popped up sporadically, an invading virus that the city's natural indifference to the game typically manages to resist. Sometimes, as now with the Union, the outbreak is more severe. But mostly, like the rest of America, we've been immune to the sport that so infects the world. So it was jarring last week when news of a soccer-related scandal was stripped across The Inquirer's front page, even if this story's appeal was amorality and not athletics.
September 30, 2011
Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath has taken the traditional path to soccer, unlike his father. The younger MacMath has been playing the game since he was 4, although for the longest time he was a field player and, apparently, an accomplished one at that. Compare that to his father, Gary, recruited off the basketball court in gym class at Frankford High by legendary soccer coach Walter Bahr because the program needed a keeper. So even though Gary has been a longtime resident of St. Petersburg, Fla., his soccer roots were in Philadelphia.
April 23, 2010 |
Joseph A. Brown Jr., 65, of Audubon, Camden County, founder of the Audubon Soccer Club, died of a heart attack Thursday, April 15, at his home. When Mr. Brown attended Frankfort High School in Philadelphia in the early 1960s, his gym and soccer coach was Walter Bahr, a former professional soccer player and U.S. Olympian. "Walter Bahr took him under his wing," said Mr. Brown's daughter, Jennifer. "And he just loved [soccer] from then on. " After graduating from high school in 1962, Mr. Brown was drafted into the Army and sent to work at the Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, where he remained for two years.
April 11, 2010 |
When Philadelphia Union soccer CEO Nick Sakiewicz saw the crowds pouring into Lincoln Financial Field Saturday night, he had a thought: He should have built a bigger stadium in Chester. Because the 34,870 who cheered the return of pro soccer to Philadelphia are never going to fit into 18,500-seat PPL Park, nearing completion beside the Commodore Barry Bridge. "If we would have had more money," Sakiewicz joked. The Union's long-awaited first home game, against D.C. United, put plenty of fannies in the seats.
April 9, 2010 |
Union midfielder Fred has been asked a lot this week about playing his former team, D.C. United, in Saturday's 6 p.m. inaugural home game at Lincoln Financial Field. Fred has insisted that there won't be much sentimentality. He's simply happy to be back on the field. "I don't feel it is any different because for me, it's still soccer," he said. In his final game for United last season, Fred received a red card and thus had to sit out one game. That means he missed the first game in Union history, a 2-0 loss away to Seattle Sounders FC on March 25. The Union can surely use Fred's creativity in the midfield as the offense is searching for answers.
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.
January 25, 2010 |
It's been 60 years since Philadelphia native Walter Bahr secured his place in American soccer lore. Yet he still recalls in vivid detail the United States' famous 1-0 victory over England at the 1950 World Cup in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Expect Bahr to be telling his story a lot this summer. When the United States and England face off in their 2010 World Cup opener June 12, it will be their first meeting in an international competition since Bahr's team pulled off what is still regarded as one of the great upsets in soccer history.
December 5, 2009 |
When the United States and England open their World Cup play in South Africa against each other next summer, it will - finally - be the rematch of the greatest upset in World Cup history, which took place in Brazil 60 years before. Then, in 1950, a team of rag-tag U.S. amateurs, led by Philadelphia soccer legend Walter Bahr, upset the mighty English, 1-0, in Belo Horizante. Bahr assisted on the goal, which was scored by Joe Gaetjens, a native of Haiti who was on the American team because of his friendship with some of the other players.
February 29, 2008 |
People used to joke that in the United States, soccer was the sport of the future - and always would be. When Major League Soccer arose and began a decade-long flirtation with Philadelphia, the joke took on a local dimension: Philadelphia was the once-and-forever expansion team. Yesterday, the future finally arrived. MLS commissioner Don Garber made it official during a raucous news conference in Chester, where the new team will play, his words setting off a prolonged ovation from several hundred fans and supporters at a waterfront office complex.
February 28, 2008 |
After nearly 60 years, Walter Bahr can still see the play unfold, the movement and timing of his pass that set up the most historic goal in American soccer: The game-winner in the U.S. team's 1-0 upset of heavily favored England in the 1950 World Cup. "Nothing fancy," Bahr said yesterday, recalling his storied cross to a teammate, from his home in Boalsburg, Pa. Bahr, nearly 81, plans to be among hundreds who will gather today to...