Posts for union

The Union Play for the First Trophy in Franchise History Tonight

Kevin Kinkead - September 26, 2018

You may or not care about soccer, but if you’d like to see a Philadelphia team play for their first trophy in franchise history, turn on ESPN 2 at 8 p.m. to watch the Union take on the Houston Dynamo in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final.

The Open Cup is a side competition that takes place concurrent with the MLS regular season. Think of the latter as your normal American sports season: the Phillies play the Mets, Nationals, and other teams and compete for the World Series. Now add a separate competition in the summer that involves the Phils, Mets, Nats, Augusta Green Jackets, and Toledo Mud Hens, and that’s basically what the Open Cup is. It’s just a competition that allows teams from all levels of the sport to compete for a separate trophy during the same calendar year.

Hopefully that makes sense. All you really need to know is that the Union get a chance to lift their first piece of hardware tonight, which would go a loooooong way towards getting them some respectability in town. This is a team that has underachieved dramatically from day one, and maybe they turn a corner and do the city proud by putting a piece of silverware in the trophy case.

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This Philadelphia Union Season Continues to Defy Logic

Kevin Kinkead - September 20, 2018

It doesn’t get much more Union than the past five days.

OF COURSE this team would find a way to concede four goals to Montreal at home in a must-win game, jeopardizing their playoff seeding and postseason hopes in general.

Then they turn it around in bizarro world fashion by going out to Seattle on short rest and shutting out the Sounders 1-0 with a 93rd minute smash and grab goal, ending the opponent’s MLS record nine-game winning streak in the process.

This Union season just continues to distort reality and redefine everything we previously knew about space, time, and human existence. It really does. This team was dead and buried not three months ago. The final nails were being driven into the coffin as the sporting director took off for greener pastures. The stadium was mostly empty and fans were fleeing the sinking ship without a second thought.

Fast forward to September 20th, and this group is now the winningest in franchise history.

“Winningest” isn’t a word, but whatever – thirteen victories is a franchise record, eclipsing the twelve-win mark John Hackworth’s squad put up in 2013. In more simple terms, no Philadelphia Union team has won more games than this squad of overachievers.

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Sports Betting Updates

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DraftKings Sportsbook Review

DraftKings Sportsbook has been live in New Jersey for over two full months now and a lot has changed since launch. While they were the first out of the gate for legal US sports betting, they now face competition from many sites, including FanDuel Sportsbook, SugarHouse Sportsbook, BetStars and others. How do they stack up and what promos does DraftKings Sportsbook offer? Let’s take a closer look. Bonus: First bet matched up to $200 Minimum

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FanDuel Sportsbook Is Offering Up To $200 in Risk Free Bets This Weekend

When FanDuel Sportsbook first launched, we noted in our review that their initial deposit bonus – $100 – paled in comparison to what SugarHouse and BetStars were offering new players. We figured maybe they were resting on their brand recognition and felt they didn’t need to offer aggressive promotions to get new players to sign up. Whatever they’re doing is working, though, as evidenced by the fact that DraftKings and FanDuel are far and away

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NBA Over/Under Wins That You Might Want to Check Out

The NBA season is upon us and hope springs eternal for all most fan bases. The sportsbooks aren’t emotionally invested in your teams and don’t care if your first round draft pick is once again shelved to start the season. I, however, take the over/under numbers they set and cross-reference it with the human element: old faces in new places (Melo on the Rockets), moronic trades for watered-down stars (Trae Young isn’t even diet Steph Curry),

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Let’s All Complain About the Union’s New Mascot

Kevin Kinkead - September 10, 2018

Meet the Philadelphia Union’s very first mascot.

It’s a blue snake with a gold mohawk named “Phang.”

They hatched Phang out of an egg at the Philadelphia Zoo this afternoon:

“It’s a snake! Doop doop doop.” 

Anyway, some Union purists are fundamentally opposed to having a mascot because I guess it’s a sidebar topic that detracts from the true goal of spending money and winning playoff games.

I personally don’t see what the big deal is. Families take their kids to the ball game and you get a picture with the mascot and have fun and do family things. Think about going to a Phillies game without the Phanatic. He/she/it is a local hero. Who doesn’t love the Phanatic?

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Turns Out the Philadelphia Union Do Not Suck

Kevin Kinkead - August 30, 2018

They’re actually the hottest team in town, if you can believe it.

They’ve won five games in a row and are now pushing for a home playoff game while also getting a crack at the U.S. Open Cup trophy next month. They beat the brakes off D.C. United last night and are putting together passages of play where they look more like 2004 Arsenal and less like the perennial underachievers that have slogged through eight underwhelming MLS seasons.

The midweek road win put the Union 10 points clear of the playoff line and prompted this quote from goal scorer Fafa Picault:

I’m floored, seriously, because this team looked like total trash for the first three months of the season. They couldn’t score, the defense was okay, David Accam and C.J. Sapong looked like they forgot how to play soccer, and the Sporting Director left for greener pastures after bringing in zero players during the summer transfer window. Really the only positive thing happening in Chester was the usage of a bunch of academy kids, which connected the youth pipeline from YSC to Bethlehem Steel and on to Talen Energy Stadium.

The reality of the situation is that the Union are now one point behind Columbus for 4th place in the Eastern Conference, a seed that would see them host the 4/5 wild card game at Talen in October. Last night’s win was the 12th of the season, tying the 2013 squad for most wins in a single year. The five-game win streak (all competitions) sets a new franchise record and they also haven’t allowed a goal since August 11th.

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Guy Calls Mike Missanelli, Pretends to be a Philadelphia Union Employee Who Hates Soccer

Kevin Kinkead - August 23, 2018

Weird story:

Some Union fans at the Big Soccer forum dug up a phone call from a guy named “Danny” who dialed Mike Missanelli last week claiming to be a Philadelphia Union employee who doesn’t even like soccer. “Danny in Allentown” apparently “can’t stand” the sport and had the genius idea of announcing that to the Delaware Valley:

Here’s the audio:


Danny in Allentown: “First I wanna say – it’s kind of funny – I work for the Philadelphia Union soccer team. I do PR and marketing for them and I can’t stand soccer. I have your show on all the time and I watch it in my office. Hopefully nobody at work hears this, but -”

Mike Missanelli: “Dude what is wrong with you? You’re committing career suicide here.”

Danny in Allentown: “Nah nah, (inaudible) we’ve got a cool company culture. Anyway, I just wanna talk a little bit about the Eagles secondary, um..”

I asked around and apparently this guy doesn’t work for the Union.

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Report: Union Hire New Sporting Director

Kevin Kinkead - August 8, 2018

Looks like the Union completed their GM search before the Sixers did.

Go figure.

Kristian Dyer at The Athletic says the team will bring in Ernst Tanner from Red Bull Salzburg to replace Earnie Stewart, who left to take a job with U.S. Soccer after two and a half years in Chester. 

From the story:

Multiple sources tell The Athletic that the Union is set to announce this week the hiring Ernst Tanner. Most recently at Red Bull Salzburg as the head of its academy and youth set-up, Tanner has a strong reputation throughout Europe for mining talent and developing it for Salzburg’s youth team.

He held similar posts in Germany with 1860 Munich and Hoffenheim. At Hoffenheim, he also served as sporting director for a season.

Looks like a great hire on paper.

The Red Bull teams, which include New York, Salzburg, and Leipzig, all have a strong track record of promoting youth and bringing home grown talent through the pipeline. That’s what the Union are trying to do as they start a pair of local 19 year olds in defense and continue to promote domestic players from Bethlehem Steel and the YSC Academy in Wayne.

I do wonder, however, how Tanner will approach the international transfer market and wonky MLS rules. He was Salzburg’s academy director and not a senior player-personnel executive, so I assume he was not involved in outside transfers and contract negotiations and things like that.

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The Top 25 Philly Athletes, Ranked In Definitive, Undebatable Order

Kevin Kinkead - July 23, 2018

The rules are this: there are no rules.

Well, the only real rule is that you have to currently be playing for a Philly team, so Millville’s Mike Trout and Delran’s Carli Lloyd are ineligible for the list. Same with Eddie Alvarez, since he’s one of ours and trains in the area but doesn’t play for a Philly team. Also, no rookies or people that just signed, so James Van Riemsdyk or Landry Shamet aren’t in the mix.

That’s pretty much it.

As far as how we came up with the list, I basically just made it myself, then we argued about it in Slack chat for a few days. I leaned on Bob and Anthony and Russ for Phillies and Flyers placement, since they handle most of our baseball and hockey stuff for the site. Phil was also very helpful with his bitching and complaining. The hardest thing was comparing and contrasting athletes who play two completely different sports, since you can’t compare the statistics of an ace pitcher vs. an NBA shooting guard, for example.

So this is ultimately defeatist and pointless, since people will just disagree with the selections and complain about it and call me an idiot. Sixers fans will think the Sixers players are ranked too low. Flyers fans will think the Flyers players are ranked too low and yadda yadda yadda.

As Charlie Manuel once said, “what it is, is what it is.”

Behold, the top 25 athletes in Philadelphia sports:

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When to Cheer for An Opposing Player

Kevin Kinkead - July 23, 2018

When Chase Utley heads to the plate during what may be his final series at Citizens Bank Park this week, I hope Phillies fans give him a lengthy standing ovation, then proceed to boo the ever-living shit out of him.

I think that’s always been the blueprint for beloved former athletes. We show our respect for what those players did in Philadelphia, then shift gears to remind them that they’re now wearing the wrong colors and playing for the wrong team. The stakes are higher as two first-place clubs meet on the diamond, and the meaning is amplified since Utley is retiring at the end of the season, so I’d expect heightened senses and louder volume tonight.

Chase is a competitor, so I can see him as a guy who would appreciate and understand that kind of treatment. After all, he saw it on display for many years, enjoying the wonderful home field advantage that Phillies fans provided at CBP and oftentimes also at Nationals Park and Citi Field. The savvy fan respects the past while understanding the present.

So I think Utley’s situation is very cut and dry.

I’m more interested to see how Manny Machado is received tonight, a guy who was the subject of incessant Philly trade rumors, but ended up in Los Angeles instead.

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