KYW Philly Soccer Show

KYW Philly Soccer Show: Earnie Stewart

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Earnie Stewart is tasked with guiding Philadelphia Union into the future and he’s guest on the latest edition of the KYW Philly Soccer Show.

The Union’s new sporting director discusses his player personnel philosophy with KYW’s Greg Orlandini and PSP’s Eli Pearlman-Storch and stresses the need to have the right structure within the team for success. Stewart brings a wealth of experience to the Union, having spent the last decade as an executive for teams in the Dutch Eredivisie following a long professional career that included more than a hundred caps with the US Men’s National Team.

After that, CBS3’s Kevin Kinkead joins the Greg and Eli and the guys break down the the player moves the Union has already made and what the Union need to do going forward.

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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. I am very pleased and I can’t wait to listen this evening. Kids in bed. Scotch four fingers neat, smoking robe… and I don’t even drink…. or smoke.
    Thank you Greg and Eli and Kevin.

    • Eli you were mining hard…. kept coming up with a pan of rocks and….
      Good try boys. I think your analysis after interview is pretty spot on though.
      The heads of state have highlighted their Core Values amongst themselves….I’ve pontificated myself below. We will see in time what those values are more specifically… if never spelled out directly.

  2. Every time I hear the term Blue Collar in relation to the Union I want to scream.

    • At least he hasn’t used “Philly tough” yet. It’s a good point though. I would bet there are a few more white collars than blue at a typical Union game.

    • You are so right! That is BS propaganda. Yes we expect players to work hard and give it their all but we also want to be entertained. What I don’t want to hear is the constant “Philly Tough” BS and all of the other tired cliches and talking points used to brand the Philadelphia narrative. The Flyers in the 70’s were not only tough they were skilled and talented. Look at their stats not just the PIM. They had players who competed for cups and individual awards(my hockey dads aka the LCBline). You can hustle and run hard on a treadmill but where are you going? Just sayin!

    • I take those comments a little differently. More like saying “…and blue collar.”
      In other words, I don’t think it is the first thing they are looking for in a player but certainly one of the themes. I think they are trying to say that they understand we want to see not just talent but also desire.
      As good as Maidana was, since he has been traded, you can find tons of comments by fans about how frustrating he was because he did not cover enough ground or put in enough defensive work or always drifted away from the middle (which did not help the team).
      Don’t get it wrong, first and foremost we want talent and I believe the front office and coaching staff wants it too. But we also want see that that talent has a fiery desire to win and not just act aloof on the pitch looking out for only themselves.

    • Agreed. For the love of God. As a default – and Eli pointed this out – you should be giving 100% to the team and fans through practice, the season, and the offseason. That is a given. Such a terrible scapegoat mentality.

    • Larry the Cable Guy says:

      Sieve – Perhaps you scream because you have heartburn. Try some Prilosec OTC and GIT ER DONE!!!

  3. Great pod, I actually like the fact that Stewart is playing things close to the vest and not revealing his plan just yet. It would be easy to pander to the fan base about playing free-flowing attacking soccer, but those things would just be empty promises right now. He’s got a big job ahead of him in building out the Union’s and Bethlehem’s rosters right now so it’s smart to not reveal too much at this time. There will be time to do that when he’s further down the road with this project.

  4. Good interview. I take his answer about coming on board 5 or 6 weeks ago that he signed off on the Pontius deal.
    I too share Eli’s concern that first team additions will come late and that sooner is better. But I’m going to remain optimistic that now we do indeed have a plan of attack with the requisite money and organization to pursue it.

    • Also, I really want to know what the U’s plans are for Fernandes. Would love to read an evaluation… Is he MLS starter caliber? How would he fit the system (though he can only guess what that might be at this point)?

  5. I understand and agree that a “playing style” should and will be addressed at a future time… But can someone in the press please ask what these so called team values are that are supposed to be the foundation of this style. It may not tell the destination but at least it will show a direction.

    “Philly Tough”… never speak of this again.

    • I think the club has hinted it wants a more attacking style and something resembling a more attractive brand of game. Attractive football is a core value.
      The grind it out 1-0 mentality, which they sucked at, is not a default brand that will engender viewership. Earnie Stewart, it is my understanding built teams that played a bit more open on the attack…
      …I expect a certain Dutch fastidiousness will emerge in the short term to mid term and become a club hallmark… that is a core value.
      I think Barnetta and Noguiera and Pontius speak to that. Technical. High IQ players.
      I also think it is abundantly clear the sporting director expects the club youth to matriculate and play. That is a core club value. It was only bullshit legalese to this point but I suspect that will change within the next 18-24 months.
      I do not AT ALL expect this season to resemble the ‘finished’ product… but I do expect a certain cleanness to their play that most certainly should be a core value.
      As for Philly tough… it is who we are… and it is its own kind of beautiful… As Rocky says, “We fill gaps.”

      • turns out the ‘Philly Tough’ comment didn’t come up. Sorry.
        I’m with you. I want skill. Swagger. Moxy. I expect hustle and busting ass. The blue collar thing is trite and passé. Time to move on from it.

  6. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Substitute “superbly conditioned” for the cliched “Philly tough.”

  7. Fat Uncle Phil from Urkel says:

    The angst around the “blue collar” thing cracks me up. When will you guys realize that they are just giving you sanitized coach-speak in these interviews? He’s trying to make deals for players. A lot of players. He isn’t going to tell you what he is looking for or what play style he’s going for.

  8. Do Lahoud and Blake still take up International roster spots? If so I count the Union as having 5 spots occupied and possibly a sixth if Fernandes makes the team and is still counted as Brazilian. That would leave the Union with only 1 spot to use as a result of the Williams trade last year. That alone would make me focus away from Aristigueta and Fernades.
    Ayuk/Barnetta/Nogueira/Blake/Lahoud (believe it was established Fabinho got his green card towards end of season)
    Finding 9 quality US born players to improve the roster would not be a very easy task.

    • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

      As far as I’m aware, Blake has his green card. I think Nogueira does, as well. Lahoud is a US citizen.

      • Blake does. I don’t think Nogueira does though.
        Both Nogueira and Fabinho were mentioned leading up to one of the Cup games this past year as players the team were looking into seeking a green card for. Then it was announced that Fabinho got one and Nogueira’s name was never mentioned about it again.

  9. Rudy Gestede as the big man up top would be great, his head connects with more balls than casey’s does. and he’s having a hard time playing with villa which bodes well for a decreased price or possible loan, which would be amazing!

  10. Every time identity or “figuring out who we are” gets mentioned in every interview:

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