Posts for union

The Union’s U12 Team Can Really Play

Kevin Kinkead - January 15, 2020

The Philadelphia Union Academy hasn’t even been around for 10 years, but there are some talented kids coming through the pipeline these days.

Check out some of the ridiculousness in this highlight reel of the U12 kids tearing it up in Brazil:

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Jay Ajayi Gave Up 72 Goals in his First FIFA Competition

Kevin Kinkead - January 10, 2020

The Philadelphia Union signed Jay Ajayi to be their 2020 representative in the ‘eMLS’ FIFA league that’s organized by Major League Soccer.

It was a publicity stunt more than anything, but a smart one, because the Union brand found its way to all sorts of global media outlets that shared the news of a pro football player and Super Bowl winner signing on to rep the local soccer team in a video game tournament.

Turns out, however, that Jay Train isn’t very good at FIFA. In Thursday’s inaugural league event at Union Transfer on Spring Garden Street, he finished dead last:

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Jay Ajayi is now a Pro Gamer Representing the Philadelphia Union

Kevin Kinkead - January 7, 2020

First guy to play for both the Eagles and the Union, sort of. Jay Ajayi is now a pro FIFA player representing your local soccer team.

Here’s the gist –

MLS does this competition every year called ‘eMLS,’ which is really rather boring. It’s FIFA players competing against one another, and each team is represented by one person. Philly’s rep used to be this guy named “Doolsta,” and he won the entire thing last year before leaving to join Nashville for whatever reason. His replacement is the former Eagles running back and Super Bowl winner, Jay Train.

Anyway, here’s part of the press release:

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Philadelphia Union Lukewarm Stove Talk: 17 Random Offseason Thoughts

Kevin Kinkead - December 5, 2019

Let’s get it back to soccer.

Not too much to report on the Philadelphia Union front as of December 5th. Head coach Jim Curtin went to Germany recently on a scouting trip and Sporting Director Ernst Tanner is working on turning the best team in Union history into a better version of what we saw in 2019.

Only one rumor popped up so far, a European report saying that the Union made an offer for Djurgardens midfielder Fredrik Ulvestad. If Google Translate is to be believed, the 27-year-old Norwegian is interested in remaining in Europe and playing Champion’s League soccer next year. A Swedish guy got into my Twitter mentions and said the same thing, so I’ll take him at his word. Djurgardens finished 1st in their domestic league this year, so they get an automatic berth in the first qualifying round.

Beyond those two nuggets, here are 17 thoughts on personnel moves, positions of need, and how the Union might look in 2020:

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Random Internet Spat: Aubrey Huff and Alejandro Bedoya

Kevin Kinkead - December 4, 2019

Aubrey Huff should already be on every Philadelphia shit list after what he did in game four of the 2010 NLCS.

Now retired, this jabroni has been going back and forth with people on Twitter for more than a week now, after posting a political jawn involving guns, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump.

No judgment on that, honestly; if he’s a conservative and a 2nd Amendment guy, then go for it, but some of his responses have been whack, like juvenile and corny replies to people who have been ragging him.

Among those who jumped in was Philadelphia Union captain Alejandro Bedoya, leading to this:

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After Ten Long Seasons, the Philadelphia Union Finally Won a Playoff Game

Kevin Kinkead - October 21, 2019

The Philadelphia Union won a playoff game. It took ten years, but they finally won a playoff game.

Gotta be honest; I thought it would never happen. We’re talking about a team that was 0-4 all-time in the postseason and 0-3 in U.S. Open Cup finals, compiling a whopping 0-7 record in games that really truly would have brought this franchise to the next level and maybe, perhaps, resulted in people giving a shit about soccer. Every single time this team previously got close to doing something relevant, they’d fall flat on their face and kill off the goodwill and momentum they had built with their own fans and “four for four” types alike.

They were on track to do that again Sunday, when they went down 2-0 and then 3-1 at home in front of a sold out, 18,500 capacity crowd. Goalkeeper Andre Blake put in the worst 45 minutes I’ve ever seen from him, first blowing a save I’ve seen him make 100 times previously and then flapping at a cross before colliding with a teammate on a poor parry.

That’s so Union,” I thought to myself, as they looked destined for another disappointing finish, this time in their first home playoff game since October of 2011.

But the second half defined what we’ve said about this team 50 times previously on the “It’s Always Soccer in Philadelphia” podcast –

This 2019 squad wins games that they would have lost from 2012 to 2018. You and I had seen so many iterations of this team just choking away leads or blowing big games at home, but not this season. They accomplished the following:

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10 Thoughts on the Philadelphia Union’s Best Season Ever, Which Ended on a Sour Note

Kevin Kinkead - October 7, 2019

It’s weird to sit here and think that the best Philadelphia Union regular season was still somewhat disappointing.

I don’t think that’s a “Negadelphia” take; I think it’s probably what most fans are feeling when you consider that this team lost three of four games down the stretch, played their way out of first place, and then blew an opportunity to host two playoff games. They also blew a chance at sneaking into the CONCACAF Champion’s League, which would have been a fantastic consolation prize for a record-setting, yet likely trophy-less season. This club just always seems to reach these significant tipping points before coming up short, which you saw over these past two weeks, in all four prior playoff losses, and in the three U.S. Open Cup final defeats.

However:

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Anthony Gargano Declares that Philadelphia is a Now a “Five for Five” Sports Town

Kevin Kinkead - August 21, 2019

Your Philadelphia Union remain tied atop Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference with seven games left to play.

That’s a “big f****** deal,” as Joe Biden once said, because the Union haven’t enjoyed a top-five finish since 2011, when Peter Nowak’s second-year squad ended the year in 3rd place on 48 points.

The team’s 2019 success has resulted in a shift in the Philadelphia sporting landscape, and in a recent conversation with head coach Jim Curtin on 97.5 the Fanatic, Anthony Gargano declared that Philly is now a 5 for 5 sports town.

Listen for yourself:

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