The Weekend Soccer Roundup: A Debut, Sheetz Over Wawa, First Place U

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What a jam-packed weekend it was both at home and abroad. Your team, your town, your Philadelphia Union remained in first place in the Eastern Conference. Plus, the English Premier League – which you can now legally bet on in Pennsylvania – saw the season got off to a rip-roaring start, including the debut of a Pennsylvania kid. Let’s get to it.

Hershey Native Pulisic Debuts for Chelsea

For those who might recall, back around New Year’s Day, Borussia Dortmund of the Bundesliga agreed on a $73.1m transfer of American Wunderkind -and Hershey, PA native- Christian Pulisic to EPL juggernaut Chelsea FC, making him the most expensive American transfer of all time. Pulisic finished off his 2018-19 campaign with Dortmund before joining his new club this summer. While Pulisic was is great form heading into his squad’s opening day game, new manager Frank Lampard opted to bring the American off the bench in the 58th minute:

Of the decision to bring Pulisic on as as substitute, Lampard said:

Christian Pulisic is 20 years old and he’s come across from Dortmund. He will be a fantastic player for the club. He has got great ability. You saw little moments with his acceleration on the ball, but I have also got other options in midfield and in those areas, and I don’t want to stick Christian straight into the fire without trying to help him along the way. It was one of those games where I felt it was better to start with Ross [Barkley] and Mason [Mount], who have been very strong in pre-season, and bring Christian on. If the game had carried on at 1-0, or we were back in the game as we should have been, he would have been a great injection. In the end it was difficult for him because the game went quickly away from us.”

In the end, it didn’t matter much as Chelsea fell in a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Manchester United at Old Trafford.

There’s plenty more from Pulisic and the Philadelphia Union after the jump, including Pulisic endearing himself to Philly fans, except for choosing Sheetz over a local convenience store:

Pulisic Picks Philly Over Pittsburgh in a Near Sweep

In a one-on-one interview, Pulisic was asked to weigh-in on the Battle of Pennsylvania:

NBCSN: Pittsburgh or Philly?

Pulisic: Philly.

NBCSN: Penguins or Flyers?

Pulisic: Neither, but Flyers.

NBCSN: Phillies or Pirates?

Pulisic: Phillies.

NBCSN: 76ers or any other team ever?

Pulisic: Sixers.

NBCSN: Geno’s or Pat’s?

Pulisic: Jim’s.

NBCSN: Sheetz or Wawa? What’s Sheetz?

Pulisic: Sheetz is the best thing ever created. It’s an improved Wawa.

Let’s break this down. Clear kudos to the young man on identifying the superior city and teams. Interesting he wasn’t asked Steelers v. Eagles. My guess is he likes both, as many in the state from outside the Philly/Pittsburgh areas tend to root for both teams, as they play in different conferences. But, we have to talk about the final selection.

I know it’s hard for many of you to hear this, but Wawa is overrated. I’m not going to bang on the “Sheetz is better than Wawa” drum, but as someone who grew up in Sheetz country and moved to Wawa land, it’s important to note something most Philly folks won’t: they’re both unique and have their own strengths. Wawa has better coffee, sizzlis, soups, and warm bowls. Sheetz has a fryer. Hence, Sheetz has superior side dish and finger food options, including the ability to put tater totz on breakfast burritoz, subz, and sandwichez. Plus, they’ve got beer caves and some even have build-your-own-sundae bars. They’re both great. Deal with it.

For more on the English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, and Ligue 1, check out Crossing Broad FC.

 

The Philadelphia Union Remain in First Place

That’s right, the team that has been a summertime disappointment for most of the last seven years -no, not the Phillies- has strung together the most impressive stretch in the club’s history. The Philadelphia Union came back to beat the Houston Dynamo in front of the Chester faithful at Talen Energy Stadium, led by Jack Elliott, who did the deed with his head:

Union Host “Battle of the Branches” on The Battleship New Jersey

Speaking of the Union, they hosted a 5v5 soccer tournament aboard a freaking battleship. The “Battle of the Branches” featured teams comprised of those who have served our nation. Very cool stuff.

For more Philadelphia Union coverage, check out It’s Always Soccer in Philadelphia.

 

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