Fans' View

Fans’ View: It’s working

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

It happens every year.

Somewhere during the summer, I hit my own personal fan slump with Philadelphia Union. Perhaps it’s been the team’s typical heat-induced slump in form. Perhaps it’s just other summer interests and vacations taking precedence. It seems every summer I hit a patch where I check PSP less often, maybe forget to schedule the DVR until the last second, or miss a goal while reading my Twitter feed.

Something changed on Saturday against the Revs. It wasn’t just the excitement of seeing Alejandro Bedoya take the field in a Union jersey (although a much needed boost personally after the loss of my favorite ever in Vincent Nogueira). And it wasn’t just the score line.

It was the style of play that was evident from the kickoff. High pressure, possession with purpose. You could see it. Combine that with the understanding of all that is happening off the field (eloquently described by Dan Walsh this week), and you just got the feeling that…it’s working.

Everything we hoped to see with the addition of Ernie Stewart is starting to happen. It’s working.

And then, to cap it all off, Jim Curtin gave me a pure moment of joy. Shortly after Richie Marquez’s goal in the 54th minute, the camera cut to Jim and showed him encouraging the players to…keep going for more!

That’s right. Mr. MLS Defender-of-the-Year, grind-out-a-1-0 win, you-have-to-prevent-goals-first, told his team who were up 3-nil to keep going for more!

I was elated! Finally recognition that we were dominating a game and could kill off a team by continuing to dominate rather than fall into a shell and leak goals for the next 35 minutes. It was brilliant. We kept the foot on the gas and destroyed any confidence the Revs were hoping to stoke. They flat out gave up.

Now, whether what I saw was accurate or not, I don’t really care, because the on-field performance showed the most important change: belief in the players. They believed that they were the better team, the better club.

And we believe it to.

It’s working. There is a vision and a plan for the club that is evident in the signings, business operations, and on-field performance. The single greatest signing in Union history will not go down as Sebastien LeToux, Maurice Edu or even Bedoya. It will be Ernie Stewart.

Because…it’s working.


  1. the tingle tells you it’s working.

  2. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Full credit to Mr. Sugarman for making the hire.

    • … and finding his checkbook – Richie Graham has probably helped with that as well as with a push for success and quality.

  3. Right on Scott! It IS working! That V.P.P. We all were waiting for…it’s here ..and it is working! Thanks to Sugarman for making it happen…just like OSC said!

  4. Yep. My understanding is that Richie Graham really made the connection and convinced Ernie to come. The academy was probably a big selling point.

  5. While I agree with the premise……the Revs gave up because the same line-up played three days earlier……..they knew it was “one of those nights” and were in sheer damage control. A good club should be able to take their foot off the gas and absorb pressure. To me, if Jim is up three nil…and telling them not to take their foot off the gas……it shows a little bit of distrust with them that they don’t absorb pressure that well…….conceal your weakness.

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