Guest Column

Ronaldinho and 28 hours of mystery

I found out about Ronaldinho’s pending “free agency” when, as I was walking my dog, I looked at Twitter and Union Hulk told me.

Sometimes, and I hate to admit it, sometimes I get my news from satirical Twitter accounts like Union Hulk (@HulkUnionSmash), @FanSince09 (who does news in his own satire, sort of Andy Kauffman-esque), and Dr Pizza. I’ll see their updates, and then look into it, and sometimes, that’s how I’ll hear my news (Full disclosure: I also sometimes get my news from The Daily Show). When I saw Union Hulk’s Ronaldinho update, that started off this 24 marathon Ronaldinho think tank:


8 am:  Ronaldinho is a free agent! The Union could REALLY use that guy.

8:30 am: Ok, he’s DEFINITELY coming to the Union. Big market, MLS, he’ll do GREAT! I’ll buy “Rico’s Lounge” right near the stadium because people will come from all over to see “Philadinho” do his thing.

10:15 am: Why hello there, logic. We don’t have a coach. We don’t have training fields.

11 am: Rejection kicking in. Fighting off the whining “Well Orlando and NYCFC got fancy players and they’re not even IN the league yet” feeling. Turn on some Radiohead. Cry along with them.

2 pm: Acceptance. Ok, if the Philadelphia Union don’t get Ronaldinho, let MLS get him, he’ll be a fun addition, and we can do that whole “Philadinho” thing when he comes to visit. This does, however, completely cancel my plans to buy “Rico’s Lounge.” Maybe some other time, Rico’s, maybe some other time.

4 pm: Have a look at Twitter, and I’m wildly inspired by tweets in every language from all over the world from fans who want Ronaldinho to play for their team. Soccer is a beautiful game, look how small the world just got over one talented player. I explain to my wife, “Ronaldinho really could have been an all time great, he never seemed to care about status or brand though, he just seemed to always just be chasing happiness,” And, you know what, there’s something respectable to that.

6 pm. Ronaldinho is announcing his new team on Wednesday! Fun. Best of luck to whoever it may be, and their fans. (sounds like I’m being a good sport right? I’m saying it through gritted teeth.)

9 pm. WAIT A MINUTE WAIT A MINUTE, the Union have a “MAJOR” announcement on Wednesday as well! Could it be the same announcement as Ronaldinho’s? COULD IT BE?

11 pm. Speculation all over about the major announcement: Sponsorship deals? World Cup goalkeepers from Algeria? Coaches? Carlos Valdes? No one knows. Oddly refreshing in the 24/7 world.


8 am. ANNOUNCEMENTS? WHERE ARE THEY? Oh, ok, LA getting Klejtan? San Jose has a player announcement coming? Can’t be ‘Dinho right? I mean San Josedinho? Doesn’t have a ring to it. QPR in England may want him? Queens Parkadinho Rangers? Actually that sounds kind of cool. 24th hour of questions about my team. Just a few hours away now.

11:47 am: A picture of the Union presser set up released! Three seats! One for Nick, One for Jimmy and a third MYSTERY SEAT,

12:00 pm! OK Union press conference! And the news is……(drumroll)

Okay, it’s Rais M’Bohli, Algerian goalkeeper who, for many USMNT fans, ywill be familiar from him being on the business end of that Landon Donovan World Cup goal in 2010. Like many Union fans, I think I’m confused by the signing.

That said, no Philadinho for us (today anyway!) but sometimes it’s nice to let your mind wander with the “what ifs”. But the Union have had me feeling positive lately with their play, so let’s see where this all goes.

Still, Ronaldinho setting up goal chances for Conor Casey? Would have been a beautiful thing.


  1. John O'Donnell says:

    To dream, the impossible dream. I wish Sak would boldly go where no MLS team has gone before. Philadinho could have been epic in the summer of 2014. Even at this stage in his career, he would have packed PPL for the rest of the year.

  2. Im sorry but that was the biggest pipe dream I have ever heard. No way in the world he goes to Philly and if you actually checked the news clips that were coming out it never was even close to being Philly…Ever.

  3. kingkowboys says:

    Has anyone actually watched Ronaldinho play? He’s an excellent dribbler but he has always shown a tendency to go down. He doesn’t play defense, and at 34 he’s a liability for match fitness and injuries. At this point I think he’s just a big name. Philadinho is cool but first fall down turn over no call and it’s old. I think our money is better spent elsewhere.

  4. kingkowboys says:

    Rumor is he’s going to Pink Cows, ROFL.

  5. He would have been lazier than Ruiz off the ball.

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