PSP readers poll: Upgrades at PSP

Close PSP readers know we’ve had a major transition over the last few months. We’ve been changing how we do things, spreading around responsibilities, bringing new people in, trying some new ideas, and trying to improve the product.

You’ve been very patient and supportive as we’ve done so. Many readers have donated to PSP, and we remain extraordinarily thankful. Not only do we appreciate it, but it provided a huge morale boost here. PSP is an all-volunteer effort. What began as a journalism experiment has become a labor of love and really a community in its own right, or at least we are now part of this larger Philadelphia soccer community in a different way than we once were.

With that in mind, there are some more changes we’re considering, but frankly, we want some feedback. We know certain things we have to improve, but we don’t know everything and we don’t believe we have cornered the market on bright ideas or even an understanding of what our product actually is. You see it from the outside looking in, and that view is in many ways more valid than the view from the inside looking out.

So, we have some questions for you. They’ll inform some decisions we make going forward.

Please take a moment to vote in the poll below and elaborate on your thoughts in the Comments below. If there’s a question we didn’t ask but should have, toss out on your thoughts on the matter in the Comments section. If you prefer to email, hit me up at dwalsh@phillysoccerpage.com.

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Thanks for weighing in! We really appreciate it.


  1. John Ling says:

    Dan – looks like the 2nd questions (“What do you want more coverage of”) is only allowing one answer.

  2. This is a great website. The only suggestion I have is a better formatting of the comments section. It can get kind of impossible to read on my phone when the threads get long

    • +1 I almost exclusively read from mobile Web.

    • +2…reader comments are one of the best parts of PSP, but they are only readable on mobile screens unless in landscape mode. I also like that authors often respond to reader comments.

      • Agreed. I always look for the comments back and forth with the authors. Makes it more personal as if you are connected not just reading someones thoughts.

        Maybe with less of an indentation on each level of comments it would be easier to read on the phone but landscape does help.

      • Chris Gibbons says:

        This is super helpful. I wasn’t sure if I should comment, let the article speak for itself, add context, etc… Thank you.

    • scottymac says:


    • Agree. Plus, it would be easier for the entire articles to appear in larger font on an iPhone.

    • +1 The comments frequently run off the page, especially on mobile. A comment add-on like Disqus would be really helpful and honestly would encourage users to comment more.
      The only other feature I’d like to see is a daily or weekly poll & post to generate discussion on a variety of topics. The Dan Patrick show does a great job incorporating this into their live show and website. Polls can quantify feedback and be fed to your podcasts for further discussion.
      Other than that, everything is great as is

      • Dan Walsh says:

        Good idea. We talked about doing polls on a weekly basis a while back and just didn’t keep with it. If I can find a dedicated person to run it once a week, we’d be set.

      • I agree, I love Disqus. It alerts me when someone comments on my post on an old article, which allows the conversation to continue.

      • John Ling says:

        Disqus is a good interface. That said, from a purely personal POV I’d hate to see it implemented here, because something with my employer’s firewall and/or web filters prevents me from logging into it.

      • i’ve actually been discouraged from commenting on sites using comment services like Disqus. we’re not poring over 300 comments on an article and i’m not really needing to know when someone comments. largely, an article has a shelf-life of maybe 24 hrs. after that, no one really interacts with a comment.

      • I am echoing this idea too. Disqus would make the comment section easier to view.

    • Dan Walsh says:

      Do you mean that the trees of comments are basically difficult to read when it’s a reply to a reply to a reply? That sort of thing?

      • yes, exactly. it doesn’t take long for the words to be basically displayed in a vertical column and it bleeds over into the grey background. at that point reading the comments becomes pretty daunting

      • HopkinsMD says:


      • Dan Walsh says:

        Please take a look now and see if it makes a difference to you. Basically, this is what is called “nested comments” — a reply to a reply to a reply. With each one, it indents the replies. We had it set to go to five levels. I’ve changed it to three. (I can change it to 2 or 1 if necessary.) See if it makes a difference to you and let me know.

        (And I’m intentionally replying to a comment that would normally be on the 4th nested level because you should see a difference here.)

      • Yeah exactly Dan.

      • i just looked at this on my phone, it is a lot better this way. is there a way to alter it so the indent isnt as severe? i don’t know anything about building websites so this is probably not as simple as i think

      • Dan Walsh says:

        Probably, but it’s a heavy lift.

        I can cut the nested replies down one more level if readers on mobile phones feel it makes a difference, but going further will make the Comments section a bit confusing because you won’t be able to see who is replying to who. (In fact, cutting it down one more level isn’t optimal either, but it can be done if it’s really that bad for mobile readers.)

    • This is the only problem on phones the comments move into a gray area thats hard to read.

    • The Realist Brian says:

      +3 especially on the smartphone

  3. Jeff Feldman says:

    On the layout issue, I don’t know if it’s specific to me or my phone, but reading the comments under a PSP article on my smartphone screen is nearly impossible because of the way that one comment is inset with a greater left margin than the next. The comments wind up being a near-vertical string of letters that are occasionally overlapped by shaded areas. It’s a minor annoyance, but if PSP is working on the format already, it might be worth looking into.

    I support PSP on Patreon because PSP, to me, is the best source for daily Union information. It’s made me a more educated fan, and it’s also helped me share my love of the team with my kids, especially over the summer when they’re away at camp without electricity or Internet access. I print the articles and mail them to them, and they are able to follow the team along with me — it gives us something to share and write about. I also think that we’re lucky in Philly to have a fan/supporter blog that is taken seriously enough to merit responses from the team’s ownership.

    Although I will continue to support PSP “no matter what,” I like the ideas for encouraging/rewarding sponsorship.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Regarding the comments, I agree. I guess optimizing the site for smart phones would be a nice upgrade. And while I use terms like “optimize”, unfortunately I am in no position to help with this. Haha

    • Dan Walsh says:

      Jeff, thank you, re: Patreon. I started emailing all the donors personally and couldn’t find the time to finish. But we greatly appreciate it. And I’ll take your comment into account, with regards to asking.

      Separately, re: Comments — try it now. See my comment above. I’ve made a change to how deep our comments “nest.” Please let me know if it’s improved enough in your opinion.

  4. We have good local College teams (D1, D2 and D3 ones). Like to see more coverage.
    Like the new feature that one get emailed of follow-up comments. A ‘like’ button for stories and comments would be nice as well.

  5. pragmatist says:

    Question #2 asks “Select as many as you would like,” but then tells you that you are only allowed to choose 1. I have 3 areas I’d like to select.

  6. pragmatist says:

    New Feature suggestion: a PSP Fantasy Soccer League. If you want to go all out on it, have a draft party at a Philly bar, with a post-season wrap-up party. (Not asking PSP to foot the bill, just arrange a gathering.)

    • Dan Walsh says:

      If we had someone volunteering to run a fantasy league, we could absolutely serve as a conduit for bringing people together for a gathering.

      Any volunteers?

      • pragmatist says:

        We have time to cycle back to that, since it would likely start next season. The MLS Site is a good and easy league. Maybe by next February I’ll be motivated to help set that one up. That’s usually when everyone’s raring to go!

      • Dan Walsh says:

        Sounds good! We talked about running one a few years ago. In fact, I think maybe we did for a year. So we’d be on board for helping out as a conduit.

    • I really hope this doesn’t come off salesy, but I actually have a fantasy soccer startup that simplifies fantasy soccer to make it easier to pick lineups and follow the fantasy scores (we use clubs instead of individual players). Right now, we just have some basic functionality and games on the site, but I’m always looking for new features to develop.
      I’m a huge fan of PSP (and a Patreon contributor) and come here every day. I would love to figure out a fantasy soccer feature that PSP and the readers might enjoy.
      If not interested and/or you want to stick to traditional fantasy soccer, I understand. Or if you just want to use a regular fantasy site for something like this, that’s completely fine too. I just wanted to throw this out there.

      • Dan Walsh says:

        Nope, it doesn’t come off as salesy at all. You’re part of the Philly soccer community. Of course we’d want to support what you’re doing.

        Please lay out your idea here, as other readers may weigh in with ideas about how to implement it here. (And when you have time, please shoot me an email as well so we’re in contact there.)

        Also, thank you for supporting PSP via Patreon. I mentioned above that I just ran out of time to email all our contributors individually, but we really appreciate you supporting PSP financially.

  7. I access the site via Twitter or Facebook links (couldn’t choose both above). I’d go direct, but my work blocks the site these days. Monsters.

  8. We used to have an annual PSP get-together during the MLS Cup final or other big game at Ed’s bar. Why was that stopped?

  9. scottymac says:

    It’s good stuff. Lot of voices. Lot of viewpoints. I’m not as interested in the youth or academy stuff but I get others are. I think it’s because I waited so long for a team and he academy is by default, about waiting.

    • pragmatist says:

      Also, some of us have kids, or we are coaches, or both, and that topic helps us relate to programs in the area. I am relatively new to coaching, so I have the problem where I don’t know what I don’t know. This site is a lifesaver for me, but there is much more out there that I don’t know.

  10. Two things:

    1 – Better comments section.

    2 – It may just be me, but I would like a more persistent placement of Match related threads on the homepage. While every article here is great, match recaps/ratings/analysis I think holds a more important meaning throughout the week until the next match.

    The problem is that as the week passes more content is placed and the Match related threads disappear and die. However, I feel like those match threads are important and provide discussion that can be had for much longer than the day or two they appear in the massive top header section.

    Thus, I think some sort of specific sub header that maintains the most recent Match threads until they are replaced with the newest match. This way we can promote discussion related to matches and performance and tactics throughout the week (which I feel is probably the most important type of discussion on this site and should be promoted consistently throughout the week).

    Right now it feels like “you better comment within a couple hours after a match recap is posted or else the most relevant place to post your match comments disappears until the next match” type of thing going on.

    Or I’m just being crazy.

    • Chris Gibbons says:

      So maybe a fixed link to the most recent match and a second column/row of rotating content?

      • Yeah, something like that. I recommend the two fixed links being player ratings (discuss specific performances and how well people played/what they did in the match) and the Match Analysis (focusing more on tactics and things carrying over from the past matches into the current match into the next match. This is where all the formation talk mostly happens too)

    • Dan Walsh says:

      How many days would you think is reasonable?

      I usually bump it down on Tuesday (after a Saturday match).

  11. Zizouisgod says:

    I would like to see more features relating to important events (e.g. – when Hungary spanked England at Wembley in ’53) in the history of world soccer. Not everyone here has followed the game for all of their lives so it would be helpful to provide some of this history and how the game continues to evolve.

  12. I didn’t read other comments, but i think a feature like American Soccer Now has where you can project the starting XI (not for every game obviously, but at the beginning of the year, mid year, big games, USOC, etc).

  13. lopezzzz says:

    This site is great! I appreciate all the hard work put into producing daily content. Like others said, I’d like to see an update to the comment section.


    Also, I’d pay a ton of money to get my hands on one of those Philadelphia soccer history posters. Name your price.

  14. What would make you more likely to donate money to support PSP?

    –Just ask again (I donated first time around)
    –I really like the idea of a PSP event. (I remember attending the MLS finals (’11? ’12?) at the 700 with my family. You all brought in pizza. We got a chance to meet you. That was fun!)

  15. The Duke says:

    New feature: weekly comic. I feel like enough funny/satirical things happen in a game or game week that a single pane comic would be funny (So many images of Fabinho on a rocket to the sun). Granted, you’d have to find an artist.

    Worst section: The comment section. Format is not that productive, and neither are most of the comments. We get it, every loss WSSM.

    • Dan Walsh says:

      We actually had a volunteer a few years ago, and some idiot (uh, sorry?) dropped the ball on keeping up with him.

  16. As far as layout.. this is a WP site so it should be fairly straight forward to apply a more modern look/feel. I think that may attract a more casual visitor to look around a bit more.
    This site is built around its community and its comments, and the comment section is the weakest part of the site.
    A theme and an addon or two to add some umph to the comments section, do I dare say perhaps an html editor?.
    But.. this site is awesome from a content standpoint, need my daily (multiple) PSP fixes or its just not a good day…
    Thanks!!!! (I often wonder if other cities/teams have such a great resource as we have…)

    • Dan Walsh says:

      It sounds like you know WP fairly well. Do you have any specific plugin/add-on recommendations with regard to comments? Or html? (Or were you just volunteering to help with editing html?)

  17. Who to contact these days when you want something added to the news roundup? Before it was just Ed who put them together but now that we have so many it would be nice to have 1 email address.

    • Dan Walsh says:

      That’s a great idea. I can set up an email address that forwards to all three guys. That would probably also make their jobs easier, because we’d basically be crowdsourcing roundups.

  18. My comments/requests/responses in no particular order:
    1. A boss button would be nice!
    2. Would be nice if the Daily News Roundup could be pinned to the top of the page for the day…if it is one of the first posts on a busy day it quickly gets pushed out of the scrolling 4 most-recent posts at the top of the page.
    3. The scrolling 4 most-recent posts at the top of the page isn’t really necessary…would rather the page started with the list of posts in reverse chronological order, or may have all the day’s posts in the scroll.
    4. I hate adds on websites but understand that someone has to pay the bills. I love that they are absent from PSP, but would understand if they were necessary to keep the site up.
    5. This is an observation, not a complaint: I love the fantastic job Adam Cann does with the Tactical Analysis posts, but starting this season the Post-Match Player Ratings have been posted separately by a rotating cast of authors, and there is often inconsistency with the conclusions in the Tactical Analysis posts. For example, for the 3-0 win over RBNY last weekend, Adam Cann praised Roland Alberg for his defensive work rate and selfless play, but Nick Fishman rated his performance a 4, calling it ineffectual. I appreciate the differing opinions between contributors and understand that this is a volunteer effort, but this also leaves the impression that the site is a collection of independent posts rather than a cohesive publication.
    Thanks so much for all the great work!

  19. I access this site via its RSS feed. I’m an RSS junkie.

  20. BTW, I love this site. I especially look forward to your opinion columns, Dan, and to Adam Cann’s absolutely peerless analyses. I also really enjoy reading others comments (and mixing it up with everyone). There are exceptionally intelligent folks commenting here.

  21. Agree on a better comment system, but I don’t know of one that would fit the bill. Disqus is nice… Whatever it is, you’d have to make sure that you don’t slow commenting down. One thing going for the current system is that people feel free to use it. That’s worth something.

    A fresh coat of paint would be nice. I’d buy a $50 wordpress theme and go with that. No need for lots of bells and whistles, just something responsive that looks as good in mobile as it does on the desktop. You have a lot of good photos from the guy who takes them at every game. You could make your posts and home page look a lot better with those images.

    I don’t think you guys need to worry too much about expanding coverage. You do the Union really, really well. It’s a niche. I don’t know what your web traffic is at the moment, but it’s probably pretty good.

    I say go for some google ad spots. A few sidebar ads won’t kill anyone. If you can raise the money to pay for domain renewal and hosting, that would be super.

    • Dan Walsh says:

      We love this theme. Every time we think about changing it — like now, for example — I go looking for an alternative and never find one I like better.

      I’m open to recommendations though. What I like about this one is that it looks like a magazine or newspaper. It has a clean, simple, throwback look.

      What I want more of is … well, you know, I may crowdsource you guys on this later, but, for example, we need a better Twitter autoposting plugin. I need a widget to allow a podcast player to sit on the sidebar, always available for you to listen to PSP-sponsored podcasts. And a few more things too. And we’re definitely open to suggestions, as you can tell.

  22. The Truth says:

    Don’t change a thing. This layout is archaic and I like it. Getting rid of the links at right would be fine.

  23. philsoc8 says:

    Would love to see comprehensive coverage of youth/Academy/high school soccer.

    c.f. http://www.cityofbasketballlove.com/

    Perhaps partner with Top Drawer Soccer?

  24. New segment to add: Players journey.

    It would be nice to see how an player made it to the Union (i.e. youth soccer affiliations, high school, other countries they played in). Every year we end up with someone on the team that I have never heard of and it would be nice to get some information on them from your side.

  25. I’m not sure how hard it would be but it would be nice to have the standings on the sidebar. I end up linking to the Union site to check how we stand with other teams.

    Not to get to Facebook like but I often like an article, photo or comment but don’t usually want to add a (+1) on the comments. Not sure how hard it is to add a “like” button or if anyone else is interested?

    I do like the gathering idea. It would be interesting to see if different bars in the area would be interested in a PSP night where PSP would get a donation or a percentage of the sales similar to the local schools do at McDonald’s and Chick-Fill-A.

  26. Add upvotes/downvotes in the comments

  27. Collin Deckert says:

    Would love to have some type of meeting or MLS Cup get together, would be great to have a face with all the usernames. Me and my dad would love to be attending the get togethers!

  28. el Pachyderm says:

    For me this is a news site and I appreciate it is run as such.. at least in my opinion.
    I like stories having a shelf life until tomorrows news cycles through with new info. Occasionally, I check back in recent archives and visit here enough to actually know the number of comments each section has so, can tell if someone has followed up with a lat on comment.

  29. WeAreSteel 2K17 says:

    I wouldn’t change a thing. The layout may not be the most modern or whatever but I love it. Simple, but good looking. Only thing I suggested was more BSFC coverage.

  30. I would love some more ASCII art and music that played in the background.
    Correction: I would really really love ASCII art.

  31. Shadow of Vinny Nogs says:

    There’s almost too much content available here, but that’s on me for not finding time to read it.
    Always noticed the replies getting stretched out on the mobile version, but it’s not a huge deal.
    I don’t think there’s much I’d change; the site really is fantastic. I’ve yet to see a better one for any MLS team.
    That old school PSP logo like the one in the PSP Twitter avatar is great and would look good on some merchandise if you ask me..

    • Dan Walsh says:

      I have a PSP t-shirt with the logo on it. It’s awesome. Ed produced only a few of them. So I guess it’s limited edition. Great to hear that you’d be interested in it. I think we should sell them. We’ll talk about it.

      • Dan Walsh says:

        And interestingly enough, you’ll see what that shirt looks like in today’s daily news roundup. Who wants one?

  32. The Realist Brian says:

    I would like to see more focus on the Academy and youth development in general. There are some practioners out there like MaxFutbol and other trainers/centers like YSC, but a network of where parents can go to find player development is important.
    Likewise a place to post pick-up games for adults and children section. We need to get the kids playing outside of practice.
    A page on youth clubs and their culture of play would be nice. And not a flame war between the clubs.
    I really like the idea of a players journey, as in the movement from club to club like the Union Academy moves from local clubs would be a great read. Like D. Jones moving up and representing the U20’s. How cool is that story. Wow.
    Bring back Mr. Farnsworth sooner. He doesn’t deserve a break and is needed. (I kid, I kid, but seriously Ed, you have to get back at it, yo).

  33. Steve H. says:

    PSP should do a ‘beer sales’ fund raiser at PPL.
    I’d work a half pouring / selling concessions for free if some of the money went to PSP to support costs.

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