Fans' View

Fans’ View: Sleeping giants

The Union will be a world powerhouse one day.

Ok, before you stop reading the article, please let me elaborate.

This journey begins with the most rooted club in Spanish soccer. Real Madrid? Barcelona? No, in my opinion, the greatest Spanish soccer roots trace down to Atletico Madrid. What does this have to do with Philadelphia? Hold on, I promise you will see the connection. In the early 20th century, the Madrid derby was budding but the club that ended up reigning supreme was Real. After many dismal years for Atleti, they were dubbed “El Pupas.” What does that even mean?! “El Pupas” means the unlucky ones or the jinxed ones. Murphy’s Law was the rule of the day for Atletico: relegation to the second division, injuries, late goals, missed chances, referee blunders. Sound familiar?

But the most famous story is when one of the presidents of Atletico shut down the academy. The youth players had nowhere to play so they explored other options. A certain player from Atletico went to Real Madrid. That player? The legendary, Raul. Losing was expected and embraced. In fact, it became part of the culture there as Atletico fans experienced decades and decades of heartbreak. Relegation in 1999 represented an all time low. But the club’s fans never lost their passion as even in the second division, Atletico sold out every match – a remarkable feat. And after 14 years of not beating Real, they faced them in the Bernabeu in the Copa Del Rey final and they won. A late goal from Miranda sealed the win and the goalscorer said after the game, “This is for my son who gets made fun of at school by Madrid fans because he supports Atletico and because his dad plays for them.”

By now, I hope you see where I am going. It always gets better.  The Union have struggled as they have made some mind boggling decisions. They even have lost club icons such Tranquillo Barnetta. But no matter the weather, Union fans show up. My dad, his friend, my friend, and I used to have a saying, “It don’t rain in Chester!” Any time rain was on the forecast, it would always blow over and never rain. No matter what was going on, nobody ever cared because we were gonna support the team ’til the end.

The Union are just biding their time.  Dynasties eventually crumble and things change like a New York minute. Look at where Seattle was last spring. Now, look at what they did in December to win MLS Cup. So let’s all take the good with the bad. The Union are just sleeping giants.

Hey Union fans, it could always get worse. But it will always get better.


  1. el Pachyderm says:


    And on the pedestal these words appear
    My Name is Ozymandias, King of Kings.
    Look on my works, ye mighty! And despair.
    Keep up the writing sir.

  2. John Harris says:

    Well written, young man. Philly should demand better owners to wake the giants. Union ownership is pretty typical in their parsimony.

  3. Robert Deckert says:

    Keep up the GREAT WORK!!!!
    We Love reading your pieces!

    Love you!!
    Mom and Dad

  4. Timothy Cerrito says:

    That is a great piece of writing!!! Great job keep up the good work kid!!!!

  5. The Truth says:

    How rosey.

  6. OneManWolfpack says:

    I share your optimism. I really do… even though some of posts don’t always display it. My friends break my stones about soccer and the Union and all that, but deep down I believe in the team and the sport and I really am optimistic that this team can be a dominant team, academy, brand etc. Being here since Day 1 just makes it hard to slog through all of the crap, but hey like you said “it could always get worse. But it will always get better.” Excellent article man.

  7. Scott of Nazareth says:

    Great write up!

    But for the record – 2 years ago we stood thru a summer monsoon in Chester…

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