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Fans’ View: Fans from afar


EDITOR’S NOTE: Our series of fan posts continues with a post from Avery Kravitz, who writes about following the Union from New England.

There are three things New England sports fans enjoy doing; Watching the Patriots, hating the Yankees, and clinging to the hope that the Big Three can stay out of a retirement home long enough to win another NBA title. So, you can imagine how surprised my Vermont neighbors are when I start talking about my favorite MLS team, the Philadelphia Union.

The Union have managed to touch a lot of hearts all over the U.S. during their brief three year experience, and I have no problem saying that they are my favorite professional soccer team. But when you walk into a New England bar wearing a blue and gold MLS soccer jersey, you aren’t getting any cheers. On my semi-annual trips to Philly to visit family and friends it’s great to see a Union scarf every once and a while but I’m sorry to say that so far I have not had the delight of meeting another Zolo fan in my hometown.

Our team has been having some struggles lately and while I can’t say that I have much faith left in Peter Nowak, I do take comfort in the fact that a six hour car ride away there’s a whole city ready to chant my team’s name. Philly fans are nothing if not loyal to their teams and I have total confidence that the Union will get out of this mess with an even greater following than before.

Next time you stand up and remove your Phillies hat’s to sing the national anthem loud enough to scare the Eagles fans right out of Lincoln Financial, remember that there are Son’s of Ben all over the map singing it with you.


  1. Great post! I was born in Philadelphia, but haven’t lived there since 1997; since then I’ve lived in Boston, Sacramento, and now Cincinnati. Though I still have family in the area, I only get a chance to visit about once a year, usually in the winter. (so unfortunately I still have yet to see a match at PPL Park). As a result, at times I feel like I’m missing the energy, support and passion from the Union fans.

    But I do my best from afar. I watch as many Union matches as I can online. I wear my Union t-shirt or Le Toux jersey on game days, eliciting the occasional response from an Earthquakes, or now Crew, fan. While living in Sacramento, I had the opportunity to travel to see the Union play in San Jose, Seattle, and Portland. And on a daily basis, I check out this site to keep me updated on the latest news, analyses, and rants.

    Though I can’t be a part of it as much as I would like, I’m just happy that the city has a team with a large, loud, opinionated, supportive, critical, and loyal fan base.

  2. I also have not been to a match yet at PPL Park, but we are going to the Harrisburg friendly tomorrow night in Hershey (if the weather holds!). We are fortunate to be able to see a lot of games on TV, and various Web sites pick up the slack. Wearing Union shirts, hat and scarves mostly gets puzzled looks here in middle-of-PA, but I see an occasional jersey around town, and most people I talk to are interested (or at least pretend to be) when I ramble about soccer.

    All teams are going to have ups and downs. Keep up the support, ride out the lows, and as fans we will be rewarded.

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