KYW Philly Soccer Show

KYW Philly Soccer Show: Dave Rowan

Photo: Earl Gardner

The ongoing changes at Philadelphia Union is the topic of the latest KYW Philly Soccer Show.

KYW’s Greg Orlandini and PSP’s Eli Pearlman-Storch sit down with Union Executive VP and CRO Dave Rowan to talk about the addition of Earnie Stewart as Sporting Director for the team. Rowan also talks about how the team has been interacting more with fans to hear their needs and concerns.

Greg and Eli then continue the discussion about Stewart, a former U.S. National team player who appeared in three World Cups for the Stars and Stripes, who brings a wealth of knowledge from his time as an executive in Dutch league, where he spent the last five years with AZ Alkmaar. Greg and Eli talk about the some of the challenges facing him as he gets to work on making the Union a contender in MLS.

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To listen to the pod, click on the player above or visit the Philly Soccer Show iTunes page. Follow the pod on Twitter at @KYWPhillySoccer.


  1. “The same Philosophy from the first team down through A ball.” (Philosophy)
    “Every single department working together on the same goals.” (Plan)
    “The best salesperson is a ‘W’ – “a Win.” (Vision)
    Yes. Yes. Yes.
    78 degrees outside. Sunny. No clouds. A breath of fresh air.
    Excellent interview men. Put him to task with some good, relevant questions.

  2. Here’s my question(s) related to USL and building BSFC-

    A. What kind of “Old heads” are you referring too, are there players who have stuck with USL and NASL long enough where theyre now old but still are clinging to the dream of First division play? If so who are they?

    B. is it important for a new team like Beth Steel to show immediate success or are the USL II’s (redbull 2, Portland 2, BSFC) really just place holders while a team like Rochester or Carolina are true contenders? Do they play for something different then a team like BSFC or Monarchs? is there a gradient?

    C. Do any Union players get downgraded to USL? Who in MLS SHOULD be on a NASL or USL team yet is playing first team minutes? Why a USL side and not a NASL side? Whats the future with this team/best case scenario with no Pro-Reg?

    • a.
      burke has already said in his press conference that there are some older second and third division players that he knows that he is going to try to bring in. he didn’t mention them by name. i don’t think the idea will necessarily be that these are guys that are desperately hoping they’ll make the first team but more that they are good people that will take to the larger organization well
      i would imagine that although the primary reason bsfc exists is to give younger players development, they will still be trying to win- burke had an incredible winning record with reading united. the second division mls teams were very competitive this past season. i think LA might have even won the season.
      i think some of the older players will be playing for bsfc next season and off of the union’s books. the reason mls uses usl as its lower division league is that they formed a deliberate partnership and usl was happy to take on that role. nasl barely even accepts that they are second division and if i remember correctly sometimes calls itself an alternative first division. it is hard to see them partnering with an mls team. i would say bsfc will consider itself successful if it wins in usl a lot, produces first team players, and draws interest in the lehigh valley.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        These are all good questions, ones that we will definitely be posing to Brendan Burke when we have the opportunity to have him on the podcast, hopefully very soon.

      • I think that’s right. The USL teams affiliated with MLS clubs will definitely play to win, but when the parent club tells the USL affiliate it needs player x to get 90 minutes on a particular Saturday, the USL team obliges. From what I’ve read here, that was the problem with Harrisburg. The City Islanders were under no obligation to follow orders or do anything that benefited the Union. If it didn’t also directly benefit CI, then forget it.
        Rochester Rhinos won the USL cup this season. Beat LA2 in the finals.

      • The Rochester Rhinos can win all the USL Cups from my POV.
        Bethlehem Steel FC is a minor league club with the one purpose of readying players for MLS.
        Every once in a while BSFC can make a run for a title..all good…. maybe it turns out they are perennial ass kickers… even better.
        It is all about development of the individual player within the club wide philosophy of play.
        What I want is BSFC playing the same way Philadelphia Union plays… with seamless transitions for players moving up. Step right in… get comfortable with the pace of the game…. contribute. Immediately.
        1. Move on to a greater opportunity abroad — or stay local and play out your career in Chester as a legend for the club.
        1a. Produce World Class players.
        World Class.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        In 2014, John Hackworth had 30 roster slots with the Union and came out of training camp with both Conor Casey and Pedro Ribiero hurt. He had average injury numbers and two extra slots. Meeting the deal with Harrisburg for up to four players on loan was possible, and Hackworth was in sustained frequent communication with Bill Becher. Richie Marquez played every minute, leading The entire league in minutes. Pedro Ribiero filled in at center back until Cody Andrews recovered from a broken ankle, and the Union needed no injury rehab minutes at goalkeeper
        In 2015 coming out of preseason Jim Curtin had an injured goalkeeper, two fewer roster slots, and suffered a rash of injuries or other roster depletions at the very beginning of the year. Harrisburg kept slots open for Union loan players who never materialized, and Harrisburg had to build a team without the certainty that there would be anybody available.
        And on the basis of not direct evidence whatsoever I will speculate that Curtin and Becher did not have the same rapport as Hackworth and Becher. Curtis was having trouble finding 22 to practice and 18 to dress and was in no position to help the USL affiliate. Be her had a team to construct and realized no McGlaughlin, Marquez or Ribiero would be forthcoming, because Bird was hurt. Bird would have had to win a spot, but was not available at the beginning to compete for it.
        Harrisburg is not solely to blame.

      • Good insights. You’re probably right about Curtin/Becher — I didn’t mean to make it sound as if H’burg was to blame. Rather it is an independent club. My guess is that will not be the way Bethlehem is run.

  3. Any truth to the rumor (which I’m just starting now) that Earnie Stewart will be your guest on the show that is posted on January 6?

  4. Great interview. Great listening. Thanks!

  5. James Lockerbie says:

    Love Dave Rowan! great sports guys that gets “it”

  6. Good to hear that now everyone in the Union organization are now all moving in the same direction. That message was delivered loud and clear by Dave Rowan.

    Great pod, fellas.

  7. I will be interested to see what, if any changes are made at the academy coaching level once the new Sporting Director is here -if he assesses whether or not the current structure is capable of implementing the philosophy of play he desires…
    This goes deeper than just the head coach of the first team…
    I wonder I wonder I wonder.

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