Fans' View

Fans’ View: Nothing bold (and blue) can stay

Photo: Earl Gardner

On this, the week that we found out one of the greatest — if not the greatest — players to wear a Union uniform will depart, I’m left to contemplate many things.

The end of the season draws near. The Union will hopefully reach the playoffs for only the second time in franchise history. And generally speaking, the Union product has uniformly improved. (Except for not being able to tailgate on the yard surrounding the new team building. That was sweet and they took it away.) So why, why can’t I find myself excited?

Is it because I’m a Union fan and that’s my nature? Or is it because maybe there are some things that shouldn’t have happened this year and they did and I just can’t shake that sinking feeling that nothing gold can stay?

I think that’s it. Usually when you have a really long question with several different tangents, it’s because that’s the one you care most about. Just a little tip there.

It started with Nogueira leaving this year. That makes me long for what could have been and I think we could have been something very special this year with our little French maestro had he remained for the rest of the season.

And how Maurice Edu was “supposed” to return sometime during the summer. Still, we wait.

And now the Swiss Mister is headed home.

Can I begrudge any of these moves? Yes. But not really. Vincent left out of personal need, Mo has had a tougher time healing than expected, and Barnetta wants to return home to where he started his career. These are all really great reasons to do something.

But they point to something that I hate to feel, but feel I’ve earned.

Why do all the great ones go?

And it’s not just Nogueira and Barnetta, it seems like it’s many, many of them. Who even knows how long Mo is here for? It’s just a “multi-year contract.” Andre Blake’s too good for us, isn’t he? Pontius was only signed to a one-year deal to begin with. There are so many balls up in there.

Man, that got depressing. I mentioned gold earlier in this post, I guess there’s a good reason the Union’s other color is blue.


  1. I share this sense… of almost inevitability tinged with a shard of nihilism at times— the closing line of this article is lovely… well thought out.
    All that to say, I feel clearly this team is ‘on the turning the way’…. my hopes are buoyed by this belief we are going to become the FC Dallas of the eastern conference. If this happens, if we become a turnstile to fresh and young and emerging talent, I will watch gladly as they feed the needs of this team briefly then are sold or lent abroad for grander things and the inner urging to test themselves against the best the game has to offer.
    What I struggle with is this notion of high priced foreign players who clearly play with a different level of class coming and going just a quickly as the star that brought them…. Thank you Vincent. Thank you Tranquillo. Thank you Carlos…. you could ‘drag me over the rainbow’… but I am left wanting by your sudden departures.
    I understand this will happen to a degree but it seems all to common ‘down by the river’ .

  2. Section 114 (formerly) says:

    Why don’t you ask the top NCAA basketball and football teams about the kids who stay for 12 years. Or any minor league baseball team.

    MLS is a minor league for top talent. The best move on after a short stop. Guys who were at their peak stop through on the way down, maybe. And guys who are average are replaceable and so move on and around as the micro-circumstances warrant.

    If we are lucky we will every so often find a player who is going to peak as a MLS talent and who wants to be a career Philadelphian. Frankly, we might have a few on our backline now. But, generally, anyone we want to star on this team is likely to be here for only a few seasons. Let’s embrace them while they are here and root for them as they move on.

    • This. To get long-term MLS players in MLS, they have to be guys who are good enough to solidly keep their spots, but not quite good enough to make it in Europe. It’s a fairly narrow window. I agree that Marquez might be just that guy; Fabinho is kinda becoming that guy (in part because LB is a tough position to fill); it’s too soon to say about Yaro (good enough?) and Rosenberry (too good?).

      • to Scott and everyone else who thinks Keegan Rosenberry is destined for a top league, try watching a European match this weekend, then watch the Union match afterward, then get back to me
        not hating, but please

  3. 114 – I assume your “12 years” should be 12 months. With that adjustment, i commend your insight and attitude.

  4. Barnetta is great footballer and has had a more distinguished career than most we’ve had………but I still think Nogs was the best to ever wear a Union kit, he definitely had a bigger impact, we still are getting over that one……..

  5. I accept disappointment and hope for something better – I am a fan of the Philadelphia Union. The Trust Process clock ticks on.

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