Philly Soccer Page Info

A transition at The Philly Soccer Page

Today, Ed Farnsworth goes back to being a normal human being.

As he revealed today, he is stepping down as The Philly Soccer Page’s managing editor. He will remain part of the PSP team in a lesser role, writing soccer history articles, breaking news and helping out behind the scenes, albeit to a lesser degree.

That means you’ll be seeing some significant changes and transition at PSP, some of which I’ll explain below, but before I do, let me talk a little bit about Ed.

Ed Farnsworth: Kind of superhuman

When we first started kicking around the idea of The Philly Soccer Page during a Casa Soccer League board meeting back in 2009, either Mike Servedio or Adam Cann (I forget which) suggested we contact this guy named Ed Farnsworth. Of the original eight-man team, Ed was the only one I didn’t know.

Go figure.

For the last six years, Ed has put in an effort at PSP so herculean that I spent 2011 to 2014 arguing with him that he should do less work. Eventually, I gave up. Ed is that sort of guy.

PSP readers have seen his incredible output: 3,170 posts since November 2009. (No other PSP contributor has exceeded 1,000.) His daily news roundups have become the most meticulously curated daily American soccer digest available anywhere. His writings on soccer history have garnered wide respect from fellow historians. He routinely produces breaking news pieces for the site, and if you’ve depended on him for your TV soccer listings or transcriptions of Philadelphia Union press conferences, you know just how thorough he is.

What you don’t know is what Ed has done behind the scenes every day at PSP. Let’s just say it’s a lot.

We started PSP with a pretty good idea and a good core group, but the reality was that, had Ed not stepped up to run the site when I moved away from Philadelphia in 2011 and, for a while, wasn’t sure whether I could still write for the site, PSP probably would have faded into obscurity years ago.

Ed has become a unique treasure in the Philadelphia soccer community, and not just because of PSP. Maybe you have met him as a part-time bartender at The 700 pub in Northern Liberties, which is the best place to watch European soccer on weekend mornings not because they serve great food – sorry, there’s no food – but because Ed and the regulars there shaped a really cool environment in which to catch a game. Many of the region’s soccer luminaries, including Union players and coaches and the occasional soccer hall of famer, have made pilgrimages down to The 700 to talk soccer with Ed or just hang out and catch a game. Ed is the biggest soccer fan I know.

I’ve known for a while this would be Ed’s last year. I just didn’t know when he would decide it, and I hoped we’d keep him through the MLS season. It turned out that we’re losing him now.

If you can’t tell, I’m sad to see him go, but I’m also kind of happy that his life has changed to the point where it’s full enough to draw his eyes elsewhere. Life changes when you get married, as Ed did last year. As one PSP contributor told me, he hasn’t seen Ed this happy in the 10 years that he’s known him.

We’ve seen this before at PSP, and we’ll see it again. Eli Pearlman-Storch met his current wife, and it was only a matter of time before we lost him. Jeremy Lane and his wife had a child, so he ratcheted back his involvement. I started moving all over the world, and my son was born, so my level of involvement had to drop. Most of you didn’t know Kyle Mathiot, but he was crucial behind the scenes in fixing what was in 2013 a very broken website. We lost him when he got a job with the Union. So it goes.

It’s an all-volunteer team. Nobody gets paid.  Life happens. People move on.

Good people need to replace them.

Transition at PSP

PSP will see significant transition this year. We’re going to change the way we do certain things, and we need to bring in some smart, reliable, new volunteers to help cover the Union. Here is what to expect.

Some content will disappear, at least temporarily.

  • TV listings will not be continued.
  • Transcribing of press conferences may end too –that will depend on how much time and desire for this task other volunteers have – although we plan to continue to post video here when available.
  • Daily news roundups will cease until we find a new volunteer to take on the task. (Note: We do not expect anyone to be as detailed as Ed has been with roundups. Rounding up the top 10-15 soccer stories of the day, with a focus on Philly, will suffice. So if this interests you, let us know.)

On the flip side, we plan to change the ways we recruit new contributors and plan our coverage so that we provide more MLS and Union content.

Over the years, we have been too cautious and slow to offer new volunteers the opportunity to write about the Union and MLS, and we intentionally limited our Union content because we were wary of oversaturating our readers with too much Union at the expense of other soccer news. That’s going to change. We are now looking for volunteers to write specifically about the Union and MLS, including looking for 1-2 people to be groomed to join our rotation of Union beat writers, led by Mike Servedio, who are in the press box during games and in the locker room afterward. Look for more on this next week.

If MLS can move onto v. 3.0, then so can PSP.

Things may be a bit bumpy over the next couple of weeks as we sort our post-Ed existence, but we’ll figure it out. We’ll just need your help to pull it off.

69 Comments

  1. I’m sad to see Ed go but wish him the best. I’m sure PSP will continue to bring great coverage of the Union.

  2. I’ve always been amazed by the amount of effort that went into those daily update posts! While I’ve never met Ed in person, my interactions with him over the last few years as a Fan’s View writer, reader, and twitter follower have always been warm, friendly, and at times humorous. Thanks for everything, and I’m glad to hear you’ll still be contributing to this great site!

  3. As he steps away from his editorial duties at the best soccer website in the U.S., I want to express my thanks to Ed Farnsworth. Back in 2012, he gave me the opportunity to write up match reports for Reading United A.C.. I had never done this type of writing in my life, but he embraced me and my terrible grammar. I’m grateful for all the doors that opened for me thanks to Ed taking a chance on me. I’ve gotten to cover Reading, the Philadelphia Union, multiple MLS SuperDrafts and met a helluva lot of really awesome people within the Philly soccer community.
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    When I joined Reading United as their social media director, I had to slowly transition away from writing for Philly Soccer Page, but Ed always allowed me to contribute to the website when I could. I wish him much success and happiness in his future ventures.
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    Good luck Ed, and thank you!

  4. i honestly would pay to keep the content provided. reading that piece last week about the lack of coverage for MLS teams made me appreciate what you’ve collectively done more.

    the daily roundup is the best, comprehensive, concise, at times funny and i’m sure the reason the reader audience is loyal and grew.
    Ed and it will be sorely missed.
    ________
    going forward, things i’d like to see continued:
    – i actually like the periphery content about the foreign leagues. i’ve learned a lot through the posts here. bringing in someone(s) to cover (even skim) Asia to England would be great
    – continued Women’s leagues, especially the national team. i have to believe there is more than a few women who are Union and footy fans that are untapped to contribute.
    – i listen to the soccer show (keep it going!)
    – Pulisic!

  5. Best of luck to Ed. I love this site and I hope you can maintain the stellar quality that keeps me coming back here on a daily business. You can tell the intelligence of the writers by the intelligence of the commenters. (And how many websites are there, on ANY topic, about which you can say that??)

  6. Thanks to all of you for this site. I am in no position to volunteer, but have enjoyed all of what you have done. I will keep an eye on this site, and wish all of you well as you move forward. I agree that this has always been a site for intelligent soccer discussions, putting the lie to the old saying that rugby is a game for thugs played by gentlemen while soccer is a game for gentlemen played by thugs. Here, I have always found gentlemen in the discussion, and an intelligent discussion at that.

  7. Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

    Dan,

    So the synopsis of your piece is that weddings negatively affect local soccer coverage?

    On a more positive note, can Pachy get a weekly column highlighting all of the teams around the world about to be relegated? 😉

    • You forgot about kids!

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Magic.

    • Love this idea.

    • I’ll take a daily or weekly Rantings and Musings type column from Pachy!!

    • Well … Pachy? What’s it gonna be?

    • I got a fever, and the only cure is…More Pachyderm.
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      The progression of this news went through my head something like this:
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      Ed leaving greatest soccer web site?
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      Ed married?
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      (Ed will soon be running greatest porn site.)
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      On a MUCH more serious note, THANK YOU Ed for all you have done for this site and the Philly soccer scene in general.
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      As a relative soccer neophyte compared to many of the others here, “your” PSP (and it’s many contributors) has been a fantastic way to immerse myself in all aspects of the game: Domestic and aboad, major and minor leagues, players and coaches, tactical and technical nuance, fan culture and front office thinking.
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      I’m sure I would have still loved soccer without PSP, but I’m even more sure that without PSP, I wouldn’t know why.
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      Absolute best of luck in whatever you choose to do with your time going forward. I hope to heck to meet you in person one day and enjoy a conversation.
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      Again, T-H-A-N-K Y-O-U

  8. Thank you Ed, you have helped make the best soccer website that exists (in my opinion)

  9. Ed will definitely be missed. This site is truly remarkable. I can’t think of anything like it online that’s run on a volunteer basis like this. I’ve long marveled, not only at the quality and quantity of the content here, but also of the passion of the commentators here. I’m sure the guys at Brotherly Game wish they had 40+ comments on every post. I know it’s a big part about why I come here. You got good posts and equally strong discussion every day.

    To add to what chris said above about paying for the content here, I would consider (1) light google advertising if for no other reason than to earn a few bucks to pay for the server space and the domain renewal, and/or (2) give readers the opportunity to contribute to those costs to keep everything running.

    I wish I had time to pitch in. You guys — Ed, Dan, Adam, and everyone else — an amazing job.

  10. I get antsy by Thursday waiting for Footy on the Telly. Jesus, now I’m going to have to google stuff. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
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    Nice work Ed!

  11. This site has been probably the biggest contribution to my latest Union/soccer knowledge base and for that I gotta thank Ed and the rest of the crew. The roundup is something I avidly check for daily around 10am.

    Congrats on moving on the next life milestones (I’m working on that myself) but am also super proud how much of the most legitamate coverage of the team/league is done on this page. Going to ESPN or FoxSoccer is such a joke; no major news outlet knows what the hell they’re doing with this sport. It’s been through this great collaboration at PSP, Kinkead, De George, et al that have indulged my inner soccer geek and that’s likely to continue.

    As an engineer, I’m not much of a writer, but this happening may actually convince me to consider producing some content that would be up for consideration.

    That said – good luck Ed, and thanks for all you’ve done and continue to do for the community!

  12. Echoing what others have said, I want to thank Ed for his amazing contributions and for all of the PSP staff. This is an amazing site and the quality of the content is fantastic.
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    Depending on cost, I would be willing to pay a monthly subscription to keep the daily roundup going. I haven’t found anything else on the internet that is as comprehensive and inclusive of quality content as the daily round-ups.
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    Congrats to Ed on the marriage and I wish him all the best in the future. Thanks again for everything.

  13. Earl Gardner says:

    Without Ed, there is no Superstar Earl Gardner.

  14. I know I’m going to miss Ed, but I also know I can’t really wrap my head around how much and how long I’m going to keep missing Ed.

    But also… I am so flipping happy that Ed is doing what he wants. He edited this site like a professional while still responding to every twist and turn of each Union season like an emotionally invested, cynicism-resistant, love-of-the-game fan. I do not know how he did it, but it impressed and amazed me every day.

  15. Thank you Ed! Thank you, THANK YOU!! Please take a needed step back in your responsibilities here, but please don’t be a stranger to the site. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Union and the soccer world in the occasional comment.
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    This place is special. The content, the comments section–this site has no peer. Thank you to Ed, Dan, Eli, Adam, Mike, and everyone else who have built PSP from scratch.
    .
    To echo what others have said, you can monetize this site through Google banner ads, fundraisers, and Amazon referrals without going full SBI. You likely won’t bring in enough cash to quit your day jobs, but you should get at least some compensation for all the work you put in.

  16. Ed thanks for all the hard work. The Daily Round Up was a treat for me every morning – especially during stressful work days. PSP is a great reprieve for me during those tough stretches. This site continues to be THE BEST soccer site that I am aware of. I am confident that the current staff will continue to deliver excellent work and that new writers will continue were Ed left off.
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    Best of luck Ed!

  17. I Am Citizen Insane says:

    Funny I chose yesterday to highlight how cool this place is and to give thanks… and today transition. So take yesterday’s comment and pull it over and all is balanced.
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    Good luck Ed.
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    I’d also hit a PayPal button though I’m curious how many readers would and more importantly are there to make it worthwhile. If one were to scan back through – it’s pretty much a usual suspects game here each day…20 maybe- then in season the number bumps some more.
    .
    .. certainly would volunteer to cover games- thing is..work gets in the way on weekends. I’m squarely in the middle of the space some of the founders here find themselves in: 4 youngish kids, work, this this that and this. IDK.
    .
    I genuinely hope in Ed’s departure the Page continues to find new helpers..and that PSP doesn’t go the way of the SoB- which like it or not is adrift and in need of leadership, to retain and grow the core while reaching out to the casual.
    .
    Good luck, Philly Soccer Page. Pulling for you.

    • I agree with your sentiments. While I don’t contribute often if ever I do read this page religiously. I didn’t realize a lot of what I love about the site is what Ed has written.

  18. I have to echo what everyone else has said. Ed is the reason I started writing for this site, and — consequently — he is responsible for all of the wonderful opportunities I have had as a writer for PSP. It won’t be the same without him.

  19. Ed, you are an absolute legend, and we are all lucky to have you as a friend and fellow footy freak. Can’t wait to see you in Lot A come March. Up the Union!

  20. Ed, thank you for all that you have done and how you have served so many.
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    All the best to you as you open the next chapter.

  21. Just another shitty move in a shitty offseason! WHAT ARE YO-
    .
    Sorry, sorry, reflex. Despite my, well, what some would call pessimism, the roundups kept me coming back here every day. Best of luck to Ed, and I’m sure PSP will get back on its feet soon!
    .
    If you need somebody to do a more bare-bones news recap for a few weeks just to get the daily content and basic news out for people to discuss until a more permanent replacement can be found, I could probably manage that.

  22. Thank you to all who work on this site – Philadelphia is better directly due to what you guys produce!

    Thank you Ed for everything that you have done over the years. Good luck with the books!

  23. Thanks for all the great reads. If my bosses knew how much time I spend on here I’d be a dead man.

    Would PSP ever consider taking donations?

  24. Where can we write to volunteer?

  25. As life progresses for me I may have some free time to volunteer. I am on the site daily so I will be sure to be in touch if I’m available. Thanks again to everyone who makes PSP great!

  26. Thanks Ed! I don’t have the drive to be a contributor. Other than in the comments section. I was going to put a thank you out for all the hard work when I got home from Florida in a few days… Visiting my college student in Daytona… But this bumped it up! Thanks again! The footy lovers on this site wish you all the best!

  27. The Realist Brian says:

    This sounds like a power play and you have unfairly pushed Ed aside!!! Total Bullshit and I smell a conspiracy of the highest magnitude! I heard the Uncle Ted and Sunil played a roll in the dismissal. I will fight anyone of you that says a bad word about Ed or his work.
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    JUST KIDDING! Ed- Love ya man! Enjoy the rest and good luck to the new person taking over the role. Let’s keep it going!

  28. Knee Over the Ball says:

    Thank you ED and Good Luck! I enjoy filling my day with checking the latest on the Union, MLS and soccer here at PSP you will be missed.

  29. What a bummer!!! Loved reading his roundup daily. Guess now I have to upload that Daily Mail app…. Thank you, Ed, for all that you have done; you have been stellar! Hope I can still see you in 700 now and then. Hope you do not disappear in obscurity now that you are married (like Eli). Think we will all look forward once an occasional article from you gets published on this site.

  30. Sad for the site, happy for Ed! Thank you so much for your hard work over the years. I’d gladly contribute myself were I still in Philly. I lean on this page to keep me connected to soccer in my hometown and continue to be grateful for everyone’s hard work!

  31. I seriously want to weep. Ed, you are a legend. Your round up was a scheduled break in my day. Thank you for the work, and also, as Dan so eloquently said, this is a good thing for you and that makes me happy, but . . .

  32. Thank you to everyone who has commented here. It says a lot about Ed that so many of you feel obliged to do so, and trust me, though he probably won’t pop his head up to comment here — as you can expect, he didn’t want me to write this post — trust me, he noticed. 🙂

    • “He didn’t want me to write this post”.
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      Oh YEAH!?
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      Well “he” (who shall NOT be named again) doesn’t have that SAY anymore now DOES he???
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      Take THAT Ed!!! (Oops!)
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      No good soccer page abandonin’, back turnin’, livin’ my life like a normal person rat bastard…
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      (Hey look! I think I may have hit the next phase of mourning already.)
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      😉

  33. Good Luck Ed, and thank you. You and the work you’ve done have been the biggest influence on my soccer education. Waiting every day in anticipation to see what is posted. Following links. Then the first postings and the debates begin. Thanks for more information in one place with more substance than any one else could provide.
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    You’ve done great work. You all have.

  34. Ed! Congratulations…and you suck! I had this whole work-life routine that hinged on reading the daily news roundup. You have put a wrench into my life now for which I will require hundreds of hours of therapy. I’ll send you the bill. But seriously, I think you’ve made a tremendous impact on the Philadelphia soccer community and me personally. It has been an honor to occasionally have my writing appear alongside yours. You’ve made us all collectively more informed and passionate about the game, and it’s not hyperbole to say that you’ve contributed significantly to the growth of the sport. Count me forever grateful.

  35. I met Ed (and his beautiful dog, Stella) at the 700 during my college/post college years living in NoLibs. It was the first “soccer bar” I ever experienced in life and I loved spending my weekend mornings with Ed, drinking spicy bloody marys, watching footy on the telly, and shooting the breeze with likeminded individuals. To this day, its the only bar I ever felt comfortable going to alone because it was the kind of environment where you could always make a friend. Ed and company reignited my passion for the beautiful game years after my playing career came to an end. I subscribed to Ed’s email newsletter (always my favorite email of the week) which then lead me to the PSP, by far the best soccer website in the game. The dynamite work done by Ed (and everyone else at PSP) have fueled my love of the game and my fanhood for the Union. Mostly, I just wanted to say THANKS. I salute you, Ed!

  36. Thanks Ed! PSP is probably the website I visit the most. I’m not sure what I will do with out the daily round up of soccer news. Everything you do will be sorely missed!

  37. The Little Fish says:

    Number 1: I’d gladly pay a monthly fee to PSP. Number 2: Ed, I hope you take a nice big break but just cannot bear to stay away. It’s not just your content bro but your thought process and opinion that will be sorely missed as well.

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