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PSP after 3 years

Featured photo: Paul Rudderow

So it happened again.

You wasted another perfectly good year reading the Philly Soccer Page. If you’ve been with us since the beginning, that marks three years since we launched this site on Nov. 16, 2009, one week before the Union selected their first players in the expansion draft. Thanks for reading.

It was an eventful year for PSP. Like you, we saw one team disappear (the Independence) and another (the Union) blown up. We saw national team matches. We saw alternately exciting and dull soccer.

We tried some new things here. Some worked. Some didn’t. Some things were just funny.

Here is some of what stands out.

Some new things worked

Some things didn’t work

Some new ideas didn’t succeed. Our foray into writing about youth soccer fizzled after a promising start. We’ll try again next year. I started updating our grand pickup game list and then … didn’t finish it. (It will get done soon, I promise!) Our server decided to crash the site a few times every morning starting in July. We once again blew off advertising when we should be doing more of it. (We’re paying out of pocket for the site.) All these things need to improve. We started handing out Player of the Week awards and found too many weeks where no one deserved it. And we occasionally forgot to check our communal email inbox. (Sorry about that.)

Some were just funny

  • Every time I suggested Jeff Larentowicz as Philly player of the week in our internal email votes, one PSP contributor would respond, “F*CK JEFF LARENTOWICZ!” Traditions matter.
  • Peter Nowak jokes became all the rage.
  • Bob Rigby was confused for a fanboy.
  • Some loyal readers experienced major life changes: Los joined the dark side and became a Sith lord. James wed, divorced and remarried (and divorced again?) the 4-3-3. Sieve stayed excited! And hilariously insightful. And more.
  • We entered the Union into a U-23 tournament without their knowledge. They were accepted. (The scary part: This could be true, couldn’t it?)

Too many things happened that most wish didn’t

  • WPS and the Philadelphia Independence collapsed.
  • Sebastien Le Toux was run out of town.
  • So was Danny Califf.
  • And Danny Mwanga.
  • (And probably Faryd Mondragon, though we may never know for sure.)
  • Alecko Eskandarian got thrown out with the bathwater and became a very good SI.com columnist.
  • The region’s best mainstream soccer reporter, Kerith Gabriel, quit newspapers to work for the Union, something great for the Union, bad for newspapers, and a sign of the changing times.
  • Everything involving Peter Nowak, except his firing.

The way ahead

Three years in, we have a great crew. Some of our original core (Ed Farnsworth, Adam Cann and Mike Servedio) are still with us. Eli Pearlman-Storch blossomed into a good beat writer and terrific interviewer. Greg Orlandini continues to produce the very good KYW Philly Soccer Show. We found some of the best soccer photographers—Barb Colligon, Daniel Gajdamowicz, Earl Gardner,  Michael Long, Paul Rudderow, and Nicolae Stoian—around. And good new writers keep contributing to the site to keep it afloat, like Jeremy Lane, Chris Luczkowiak, Sean Doyle, Bob McBride, Steve Holroyd, Nate Emeritz, and Conor O’Grady.

The challenge is always keeping enough good contributors to make the site as good as we want it to be. We usually fall short. We need a redesign. Some good graphics support would be nice. We’re not getting to enough of the non-Union local stuff. There’s never enough time. Life happens. So we can still use more hands.

We keep PSP going despite this, largely because we have great readers, whose humor, loyalty, intelligence and demand for better material helped make PSP a much better and more enjoyable site than it otherwise would be. For something that’s a labor of love, our readers make it worth it. You’re a pretty cool bunch.

Thanks for reading, everyone.

25 Comments

  1. Thank YOU for all the hard work you all do. Hopefully it is as much fun to write as it is to read. PSP has become my first to-to site for soccer. Congrats on three years!

    Now quit patting yourselves on the back and start harassing Jay Sugarman to spend some money in the off-season! Seriously, an interview with him would be great.

  2. Thanks and Happy Birthday PSP! Cheers to the many Doop filled years to come!

  3. Good job. This is easily one of the best sports blogs I go to, let alone the best soccer/Union one.

  4. Ed Farnsworth says:

    Thanks to my fellow contributors for all of their hard work and for putting up with my incessant mothering. And thanks to my fellow readers for keeping us honest.

  5. Happy Anniversary PSP ! Thanks to Dan and Ed for the opportunity to write about college soccer this year. Your support and guidance is greatly appreciated. And a special thanks to all of our readers !

  6. Happy Birthday PSP and thanks for all of your great work.

    I only wish that I would have discovered PSP earlier. It’s a go-to site for me now.

  7. Great job everyone! I found this website about a year ago and now check it one, two, sometimes three times a day. Love the daily news round-ups, TV viewing guides, pre- and post- Union game breakdowns. Just THE BEST Union / Philly soccer site around.

  8. Thanks for the hard work you guys do a great job. I was doing an internship in Pittsburgh this summer and wasn’t able to watch many games. I used your recaps and player evaluations to keep me up to date with the team. Can’t wait to see what you guys add to the site.

  9. Awww shucks guys. Thanks for the shout out. If I thought I would get called out it would be for my crimes against grammar and spelling. Thanks.

    And happy birthday.

  10. James Korman says:

    Great site! Happy Birthday! Keep on Keepin’ on…!!!

  11. Hands down best Union site on the web. Thanks for all your hard work and excellent analysis!

  12. nice! glad yous are around

  13. Thanks for all your hard work. I’ve only been reading the site for a little over a year but I look forward to it every day!

  14. Thanks for recruiting me during the first season. I’ve had a great time taking pictures for the site and playing a professional photographer on the sidelines.

  15. Great work! Literate, informed, fearless, funny, fair, insightful, inclusive, clever… I appreciate your efforts to inform and stimulate a dialogue that balances passion for the U and the game with reasoned analysis grounded in the stats. Keep the focus on Philly to avoid becoming “a mile wide and inch deep” and never forget that we love you guys, but we are Philly fans and if you don’t give us your best game, we will eat you alive!

    • Wow. Do you work in advertising or book reviews? This sounds like the best book review ever — on all points, including the last. If you don’t mind, I might use this quote somewhere. 😉

  16. Congrats! Great review. Looking forward to many more years!

  17. Thanks for a great site.Been reading for about a year and enjoy it every time! Hope you get all the stuff on your wish list! Happy 3 year anny!

  18. Richie The Limey says:

    Happy birthday! A huge thank you for all the work you lads put in.

    I do have to correct one assertion, though “We went to Orlando to report on the Union’s preseason trip. No other Philly media did.” The DoopCast had a reporter at the game and we did give a full rundown of the match in our podcast as well as posting photos on our FaceBook page, so you weren’t completely alone. Who could forget Porfirio Lopez’s first “touch” in a Union shirt? Talk about foreshadowing!

    Thanks a million again for making this a great resource for all of us.

  19. Happy Birthday PSP!

  20. Nicely done, people. I also am relatively new to this site, but have enjoyed some of the best “discussions” on soccer that I have had for years. I also appreciate the responses that I, rather unexpectedly, get. Keep up the good work.

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