Posts for union

You Watched and Maybe Even Enjoyed the World Cup – Now What?

Kevin Kinkead - July 16, 2018

The Monday after the World Cup final is when most casual fans stop giving a shit about soccer.

Eagles training camp is 10 days away, the Phillies are rolling into the home run derby and All-Star Game, and some people actually go outside and enjoy the summer weather.

But if you found the World Cup entertaining and want to see more of the sport, there are a few ways to keep the momentum going into the fall:

1. Watch the English Premier League

The EPL starts on August 10th, so you really only have a little more than three weeks until the world’s most popular domestic league kicks off.

The great thing about the prem is that it’s very accessible, with games taking place on Saturday and Sunday mornings and existing outside of the typical viewing windows in which we watch American sports. For example, if you’re a 40-year-old parent with two kids, you can get up at 9 a.m. on Saturday, make your kids pancakes, and flip on Arsenal vs. Liverpool at 10 a.m. That then takes you into college football at noon and carries you throughout the day. Same thing on Sunday, when you can watch the Premier League as a lead-in to a 1 p.m. Eagles game or NFL Red Zone.

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Enter a Draft Kings Fantasy Soccer Contest for Free

JoyOnBroad - July 9, 2018

Tuesday marks the start of the world’s largest soccer tournament’s semifinals with an excellent match between France and Belgium leading off two days of final-worthy matchups. Our friends at Draft Kings are offering Crossing Broad readers a free entry (for first-time depositors) to a one-day, six-player tournament contest:

Crossing Broad fans – You’re invited to a FREE 1-day Fantasy Soccer contest for the knockout round of the World’s Biggest Tournament!
– Win Big Cash Prizes
– A $5 first-time deposit gets you a free $3 ticket which you can use on this contest
– Simply select 8 soccer players to participate
– Collect any winnings when the contest ends
Eligibility restrictions apply. See website for details.

For what it’s worth, I put together a six-man lineup in under 30 seconds. It’s not the best, but it’s certainly not the worst.
Think you can do better? Follow the link below and fill out a lineup today!

Time for C.J. Sapong to Sit on the Bench

Kevin Kinkead - July 9, 2018

C.J. Sapong has been through a lot with the Philadelphia Union.

We’re talking about a guy who, during his debut season in 2015, broke his face, suffered two concussions, and was suspended for three games due to DUI charges that he ultimately beat in court. He’s been asked to run at the top of Jim Curtin’s 4-2-3-1 formation as the lone striker, thanklessly battling two center backs by himself as he tries to hold the ball up, bring teammates into the play, and win fouls. If you’re talking about auxiliary target man qualities that can’t be measured statistically, C.J. has always excelled in a Union shirt.

Where he doesn’t excel is in the areas that can be measured, the metrics most important to the forward position: goals and assists. He’ll roll key passes for his teammates but just isn’t seeing enough of the ball, nor is he taking his chances when they do come. He’s missed at least five sitters and a penalty this season. He will not and cannot turn and face, dribble a defender, and create his own shot. In basketball terms, he’s a catch and shoot guy with a loose handle who can’t get to the rim.

And that’s absolutely killing the Union right now, because the rest of the team is playing rather well. Union fans are watching Sapong, a guy who scored a career-high 16 goals last season, go through a drought where he’s bagged just two goals and one assist through 1,290 minutes and 18 games, which is now beyond the mid-point of the regular season. He’s making $500,000 this season and is the sixth-highest paid player on the team, behind Borek Dockal, Alejandro Bedoya, David Accam, Jay Simpson, and Haris Medunjanin.

Simpson can’t sniff the field and and will go down as the worst signing of the Earnie Stewart era. Accam, the prized offseason acquisition from Chicago, was bumped to the bench after looking like he forgot how to play soccer coming off a 14 goal and 8 assist 2017. He’s contributed a whopping 0 goals and 0 assists for Philadelphia this season.

Sapong, Simpson, and Accam have put up these combined numbers:

35 combined games for three guys who are putting up one goal per 1,098 minutes and 1 assist per 2,196 minutes.

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Attend Sebastian Le Toux’s Ring of Honor Induction with Ticket IQ

JoyOnBroad - June 21, 2018

This Saturday, Philadelphia Union legend Sebastian Le Toux will be the inaugural inductee into the Union’s new Ring of Honor at Talen Energy Stadium. Our friends at Ticket IQ can get you out to Saturday’s 5 PM match against the Vancouver Whitecaps at the lowest price.

If you’re looking to get rowdy, you can stand with the Sons of Ben in the River end for $30 per ticket. When I say stand, I mean stand. As a member of the Sons of Ben myself, I can attest to the incredibly unique atmosphere that standing and singing with a supporters section can bring.

Perhaps you’re interested in a more family-friendly location. No problem. Directly across from the Sons of Ben is the TruMark Financial Club. You can snag tickets in the sections below for $30 apiece or take in the game from the Club level for $101 each. I’ve experienced the TruMark Financial Club once, and it’s a great view.

If you’re looking for tickets near the center of the pitch, Section 107 has three seats at midfield for $101 each. If you’ve never been to a Union game before, now is the perfect time to go. Fans and casual attendees often speak glowingly about the amazing view from every seat in Talen Energy Stadium.

Let our friends at Ticket IQ get you out to Saturday’s game and induction ceremony for Sebastian Le Toux.

Just One Philly Player on Forbes’ Highest Paid Athletes List

Kevin Kinkead - June 5, 2018

It’s two-time Arena Bowl champion Dan Raudabaugh.

Just kidding.

It’s JJ Redick, who checks in at #86 on the list with $23.5 million in combined salary and endorsements from June of last year to June of this year.

That’s it, just one Philly player, though Joel Embiid and Jake Arrieta will enter the top-100 next year with their beefy deals. Carson Wentz will be there when/if he gets a long-term deal.

Otherwise, the list is pretty interesting, with a top five of Floyd Mayweather Jr., Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Conor McGregor (who hasn’t fought in almost a year), and Neymar Jr. All five made more than 90 million dollars, with Ronaldo pulling in $47 million in endorsements alone.

The ridiculous purse of the Mayweather/McGregor superfight was strong enough to put both fighters in the top five. Mayweather got a $275 million payday in his only boxing match dating back to September of 2015.

The rest of the top ten is LeBron James, Roger Federer, Steph Curry, Matt Ryan, and Matthew Stafford. There are some head-scratchers on the list, with Alex Smith clocking in at #20 overall ($41.4m), Jimmy Garoppolo at #28 ($36.2m) and Ryan Tannehill at #32 ($35.2m). Gotta find that franchise quarterback, no matter what the cost.

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It’s Always Soccer in Philadelphia: Sebastien Le Toux

Kevin Kinkead - June 2, 2018

I needed to bring in a special guest for episode #50 of the podcast, so I reached out to Union legend Sebastien Le Toux, who was good enough to share some of his time.

Le Toux is the franchise’s all-time leading goal scorer and assist provider and recently signed a ceremonial contract to retire as a Philadelphia player. He became the first person to enter the club’s “Ring of Honor” and is a member of Major League Soccer’s exclusive 50/50 club, a group of just 19 players who reached 50 goals and 50 assists during the course of their MLS careers.

We talked about literally everything on the podcast, from Le Toux’s Philly start as an expansion draft selection to his strengths and weaknesses as a player and his favorite goals and teammates to play alongside.

Audio after the jump:

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The Philadelphia Union Are Doing What They Normally Do

Kevin Kinkead - May 21, 2018

It feels like the 2018 Union season is a carbon copy of 2017, which went something like this:

  1. horrible start
  2. fans become disinterested
  3. make a few changes to the starting XI
  4. win some games in late May and early June
  5. head above water, treading the playoff line
  6. ultimately fall apart in September and October

Right now we’re at bullet point #4, with the Union winning in Montreal and blasting Real Salt Lake in consecutive weeks.

There are a million reasons to be negative about this franchise based on recent months/seasons/years, but I’ll give credit where it’s due – they looked really good on Saturday night. The offense was clicking, the personnel changes were refreshing, and Borek Dockal looked like a $1.7 million playmaker.

Head coach Jim Curtin has apparently been annoyed with the criticism of the franchise’s record signing:

And that’s fine if he feels that way.

I think everybody understood that Dockal came into preseason incredibly late and needed time to adjust to a new team, new league, and new country. There was always going to be transitional period; fans just hoped that he would figure it out sooner than game 11 of a 34-game season, because we’ve seen what happens when this team starts slow and plays from behind for two-thirds of the campaign. The Union have had past issues with late transfer window acquisitions, which forces players to adapt on the fly. Some guys figure it out rather quickly, like Vince Nogueira and Ilsinho, while the likes of Fernando Aristeguieta, Steven Vitoria, and now Dockal need time to get going (or never really get going at all). I think we as sports fans and writers constantly downplay the importance of a full offseason. Maybe it’s on Earnie Stewart and Chris Albright to get these deals done sooner.

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Sources: Sebastien Le Toux will Retire as a Union Player

Kevin Kinkead - May 2, 2018

He scored the first goal in Philadelphia Union history and would go on to score boatloads more.

Sebastien Le Toux will sign a one-day ceremonial contract to retire as a Union player, sources told Crossing Broad on Wednesday. A press conference is expected to take place later this month.

The 34-year-old Frenchman had two separate stints in Chester and is the most accomplished player in the franchise’s short history. He scored 50 regular season goals, one playoff goal, and five U.S. Open Cup goals. He also bagged 50 assists, playing sometimes as a forward and sometimes on the right wing under three different managers.

Le Toux was Philadelphia’s first All-Star and first double-digit goal scorer. He remains the franchise leader in the following categories:

  • games played (175)
  • goals (56 in all competitions)
  • assists (50+)
  • shots (320)
  • shots on goal (144)

Le Toux bagged a hat trick in the Union’s very first home game, a 3-2 win against D.C. United back in April of 2010 at Lincoln Financial Field.

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