It’s a new year, so it’s time to look ahead — and back. What can you expect from PSP in 2011? Well, we don’t know, but what we did in 2010, our first full year, might give you an idea.
So take a look below at some of our best posts from 2010. If you’re new to this site, this is basically an intro to what we can do, posts that (hopefully) stand the test of time. We’ve culled out our regular game previews and reviews we do before and after every Philadelphia Union game, but you’ll get those this year too. These are the posts you can sit, read and enjoy (or curse at) any time. We think they’re pretty good. (And no, there won’t be a Worst of PSP post coming. We try to forget the crap!)
Thanks for reading PSP in 2010. Happy new year.
The Philly soccer scene
Ed collected PSP photographers’ best photos of fans in this photo essay that tells the fans’ tale. For more year-end photo essays with the top photos from PSP photographers Daniel Gajdamowicz, Nicolae Stoian and Paul Rudderow, click here.
Brion took you to the best places to watch soccer in Philly with this comprehensive guide to soccer pubs during the World Cup. The specials may not still apply, but these venues are still there.
Conor’s first post here hit the jackpot, with a passionate piece on how Philadelphia Union shows Philly’s role in the soccer world. This post is so good it makes you want to run up the steps of the Art Museum and then go knock out Ivan Drago.
Mike’s epic rant about bad Philly sports fans pissed off more people and gave others more glee than any post we’ve ever run here. This classic passage sums it up: “I have lived in Philadelphia for about 7 years at this point, and the teams have not grown on me. In fact, I’ve grown to hate them all more. Why? It’s easy. Philadelphia sports fans are assholes.” Zing! (Mandatory disclaimer: Not everyone agreed with Mike, of course!)
Ed looked at four of the top Philly area soccer players plying their trade around the world.
Ed’s 13-part series looked at the U.S. experience at every World Cup, with one post for each appearance — and then some. The link above takes you to a post that links to every piece in the series. Ed’s comprehensive research is stellar, and they’re fun reads.
Ed’s look back at an obscure but key early game in U.S.-U.K. soccer relations in a post so good that one of the world’s top soccer historians weighed in via our comments section. Considering we’d just launched the site, that was pretty cool.
Yeah, we didn’t know about this connection either, but Ed did. He laid out the Phillies’ soccer history in this two-part article.
The World Cup
Brion’s “Who are ya?” series is one of PSP’s best features, and this one is the best of the bunch, with photos of massive crowds in Center City watching the final game as well as chats with Netherlands and Spain fans here in Philly.
Ryan’s 5,500-word opus on his trip to South Africa for the World Cup is a great read. It has everything from tears of joy at the U.S. win over Algeria to a photographer’s electrocution on safari with lions. Yes, this happened.
Dan joined the world in his rant on the U.S.-Slovenia game. Yeah, we were robbed.
Ed took his rave beyond just his favorite Philly player by raving about his discovery of the Philadelphia Independence as a team.
Harrisburg City Islanders
Tim saw early on how the Harrisburg affiliation would play out for Philadelphia Union, and his crystal ball proved spot on months later when Sheanon Williams moved between clubs to become the Union’s starting right back.
Tim introduced readers to the Harrisburg City Islanders after Union fans learned how important the club would be.
You hear that line all the time, but it’s simply not true. Dan broke down why. Feel free to disagree. There are plenty of reasons why he’s wrong anyway.
Ed said enough already with the debate over the “You suck, a**hole” chants. He lays out what some were feeling but not articulating: The chant sucks not because it has curses, but because it’s lame, uncreative and unoriginal.
Adam refused to give Union manager Peter Nowak a pass as his club struggled through its worst stretch and simply let him have it. Soon after, Nowak finally made a major change that set off a winning streak.
Dan laid out why not to play the rookies too much, despite how some veterans were struggling, with a look at MLS’s esoteric rules for its Generation Adidas players.
Epic floods, fires in the stands, a smoke-filled pitch, and some random guy playing for the Union out of nowhere. Yeah, strange game, and Dan got silly.
Adam broke down the three most important holes the Union need to fill for the 2011 season and laid out the tactical reasons why.
The first of our Raves series was one of the best. You’ve read plenty of rants on this site, but these were PSP writers’ raves about some of their favorite players.
Dan’s post covered all the angles — except, of course, the subsequent trade for Brian Carroll that nudged Shea Salinas off the protected list. Insanely comprehensive, with tons of great input from readers afterwards that showed just how much Philly fans were paying attention to the 2010 expansion draft.
Our series of reviews on every Philadelphia Union player was pretty unique in the soccer world, but the best of the bunch was surely Adam’s step aside to review Nowak’s season.
The U.S. National Team
Dan dismantled the reasons why so few showed up to the U.S. national team games at PPL Park in October , and they were myriad.
Andrew asked. Many of you said no.
Andrew made the case, but Bob Bradley gave us Robbie Findley instead.
Eli told us it was OK to remind Robbie Findley not to dribble out of bounds or tell Kevin Hartman he’s fat, but don’t even think about booing Brian McBride in his only appearance at PPL Park.
Dan thinks Landon Donovan should go to Europe. He thought so in 2009 too, before the Everton move. This post shows PSP’s crystal ball getting it right for once. (And it gets posted here because we didn’t do a Best of 2009 list, and this kinda sorta counts for both.)
Adam got righteously pissed off after what happened to the Togo national team and wrote about it here.
Nicolae traveled to Brazil to shoot this unique event. We knew our photographers were good, but finding out he was one of just eight photographers in the world selected for unique access to the event was was pretty cool.
PSP doesn’t run KYW’s Philly Soccer Show, but we’re a part of it. The show’s lead host and founder, Greg Orlandini, is definitely a great friend of PSP and the Philly soccer scene. There have been some good shows over the year. Sadly, the best ones — interviews with Nick Sakiewicz, Danny Califf and Bobby Convey — aren’t available anymore online, at least until some broken links are fixed by CBS. So for the best one still available, check out John Hackworth’s appearance on the show in November.