A very hearty thank you and big congratulations to Kyle Nakazawa for his wonderfully successful Team Dinner charity event on Thursday night in support of autism awareness. The PSP had the pleasure of dining with Amobi Okugo, one of the many Union players who made the time to support the event. All were graciously approachable. We at the PSP have said it before and we’ll say it again: this is a very special team, made up of very special people. Whether it be covering the team on and off the field, the many fine activities of the team’s supporters, or the impact of both on Philadelphia’s soccer community, we count ourselves very fortunate to witness some of the many things that make this singular team what it is and to partake in and share something of that experience with our readers.
With the Phillies playing at 4:15 and a Rihanna concert at 8pm, to tailgate or not to tailgate before tomorrow’s 9pm kickoff, that is the question. Here’s some relevant information from the Linc:
Headhouse Plaza open at 7 PM
Club & Suites open at 7 PM
Inner Gates open at 7:30 PM
Match begins at 9 PM
Lincoln Financial Field stadium management reserves the right to prohibit banners due to space availability, banner size, interference with other fans or message content. Flags on poles are prohibited.
PARKING & TAILGATING
K Lot will open at 11:00 AM on Saturday, July 23 and the cost will be $15/car. There is no reserved parking for this event. All parking will be sold cash only on a first come, first served basis.
VIP parking lots J & L will open at 6:15 PM.
Tailgating is not permitted in parking lots north of Pattison Avenue and west of Darien Street (Lots Q through W and the lot near the NovaCare Complex).
PHILADELPHIA UNION SUPPORTER SECTIONS
Philadelphia Union supporters Sons of Ben will be sitting in Sections 130-132.”
There are also the Jetro lots and such but I’ve had no luck finding info from them to give some guidance about tomorrow—it’s simply going to be crazy down there tomorrow. If you have any info, please share it in the comments section below. Whether you drive to the game or take public transportation, be sure to stay away from the Real Madrid bus when it is leaving the stadium if you don’t want to be run over.
Kerith Gabriel reports on the efforts the Eagles are making to put Philly on the map as a world-class soccer city. In the article, Eagle’s executive Don Smolenski describes his disappointment when Qatar won the bid for the 2022 World Cup. Smolenski notes that, so far, more than 50,000 tickets have been sold for Saturday’s Union v Real Madrid match. The article also includes this disappointing information: the Linc would have been one of the host stadiums for the recent Gold Cup “but prior commitments with a Monster Jam truck show and country music star Kenny Chesney took precedence.”
Marc Narducci gives some background material on this Cristiano Ronaldo guy for those unfamiliar with him. Apparently, he’s pretty good. I hear he’s easy on the eyes, too.
Narducci does the same for Real Madrid. Apparently, they are quite popular.
Realistically speaking, they’re probably our of their minds. Emotionally speaking, you gotta love the conclusion of Philadelphia Weekly’s preview of Saturday’s match: “[T]he Philly boys are gonna thrash, dominate and run circles around Madrid’s whiny, senior citizen brigade. Prediction: Philly 5, Madrid 0.”
Goal.com has a Union v Real Madrid “preview” that for the Union’s probable lineup lists selections from Chivas USA’s roster.
Soccer America says the Union have “erased the stigma of a rough expansion year.”
Marc Narducci finds no bulletin board material but does find respectful diplomacy when talking to Carlos Valdes and others from the “quietly seething” Union about All-Star snubbing.
Reaction to the Union’s win over Everton from across the pond. Liverpool Daily Post and Liverpool Echo posted the same somewhat snarky article. Attention on Everton’s website made much of the heat but was honest, as were these brief reports from the Daily Mail and the Guardian. According to this report, in reference to the second yellow card shown to John Heitnga, “referee Jorge Gonzalez admitted afterwards that he got the decision wrong, and is unlikely to include the incident in his match report.”
Back in Philly, the 700 Level and the Phantic Magazine report on the game. CSN Philly rightly praises the youth but somehow manages nor to mention Ryan Richter’s fine work. Also, MLS Talk takes a deeper look at some of the tactics in the game.
Former Union forward Chris Agorsor has signed with Real Salt Lake. RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey offered this glowing endorsement: “He has some potential, and we hope he pans out.”
Former Union midfielder Eduardo Coudet, now with NASL’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers, has been suspended for six games after getting into an altercation with the referee on Wednesday night.
The Inquirer notes that Tasha Kai scored the gold medal winning goal at the 2008 Olympics and has tattoos ahead of the Independence match on Saturday at Sky Blue.
USA 10 Kit talks to Amy Rodriguez.
magicJack team owner and resident megalomaniac Dan Borislow said Thursday that Abby Wambach will be player/coach of the team for the rest of the season.
Michael Smerconish’s dad is now a USWNT fan.
Reading United will host the New York Cosmos tonight in a friendly. Kickoff is at 7:30 at Exeter High School.
Speaking of the Cosmos, they have released the their roster for the Paul Scholes testimonial match at Old Trafford on August 5.
Here’s a Q & A with former Penn State start Corey Hertzog, now with the Energy Drinks.
Attendance is up 6.3 percent on aggregate compared to this point last year. But it is the expansion teams that are leading the way, leading this post to suggest that “MLS is really two leagues: one of successful, well-marketed expansion clubs and one of established disappointments.”
Footie Business reports that television ratings are also up at both ESPN and FSC.
Paraguay’s manager will have to watch his team from the stands for Sunday’s Copa America final after being suspended. A brawl broke out between Paraguay and Venezuela players and coaches following Paraguay’s win on PKs on Wednesday.
FIFA is set to begin testing goal line technology.
Brazil’s sport minister on concerns about the pace of preparations for the 2014 World Cup: don’t worry.
Footy on the Telly™
Friday, July 22
Rochester Rhinos v Pittsburgh Riverhounds 8pm FSC
Tecos v Toluca 9pm Galavision
Saturday, July 23
Schalke v Borussia Dortmund (German Super Cup) 2:30pm GolTV
Venezuela v Peru (Copa America third-place match) 3pm Telefutura
Chicago v Manchester United 5pm ESPN2, ESPN Deportes
Sao Paulo v Goianiense 5:30pm GolTV
New York v Dallas 6pm Galavision
Juventus v Sporting Lisbon 7pm ESPN Deportes
D.C. United v Everton 7:30pm FSC
Tigres v Cruz Azul 8pm Telemundo
Pachuca v Santos Laguna 8pm Telefutura
Tijuana v Morelia 8pm Fox Deportes
Philadelphia v Real Madrid 9pm ESPN Deportes
Atlas v Puebla 9:30pm. Galavision
Atlante v Chivas 10pm Univision
Sunday, July 24
Chelsea v Thai All-Stars 6:30am FSC
Pumas v San Luis 1pm Telemundo
Uruguay v Paraguay (Copa America final) 3pm Univision
Fluminense v Palmeiras 3pm GolTV
Los Angeles v Manchester City 4pm ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Club America v Queretaro 5pm Telefutura
Boston Breakers v Western New York Flash 6pm FSC
Jaguares v Monterrey 7pm Fox Deportes