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Three thoughts for Thursday

Photo courtesy of The Philadelphia Union

Author’s note: This post was written before the Union’s midweek match against FC Cincinnati.

With a flurry of matches and the waning gibbous that is current Negadelphian sentiment, here’s a quick hit post in the theme of “Three-for-Thursday,” plus one for good measure.

Having the final say

In year’s past, the Union have been on the receiving end of late-game goals. Heart-wrenching, gut-punching, point-stealing goals that have taken away from the team a match’s worth of hard work. More than once over the years, a statistic has been bandied about that “If matches ended in the 75th minute, the Union would be in 1st place”or somewhere near. That would make the team close to being good those years, but close only counts in hand grenades and horseshoes, as the saying goes.

In 2019, it’s suddenly the Union who are having the final say. Last Saturday in Vancouver, it was Kacper Pryzbylko who ghosted past Whitecaps defender Doniel Henry to snatch a friendly second half draw from the jaws of defeat. Three weeks before that, Alejandro Bedoya bulled his way through the FC Dallas defense en route to a stoppage-time winner. The week before, two second half goals to drown FC Cincinnati.

Most of the action in a soccer match happens at the end: That’s when legs are tired and space opens up on the field. Right now it’s the Union who are capitalizing on that and earning points home and away because of it.

Fewer bodies, more players

The Union’s 26 man roster is the smallest group of players Jim Curtin has ever had as head coach.

There’s an old adage about art collectors that the measure of a real one is the quality of the pieces he has in his basement, not the ones he has on his wall. The same might be said of a soccer coach, that the quality of the players on the bench is the barometer, not those in the starting eleven.

In 2019, Curtin has had the ability to bring the likes of David Accam, Fafa Picault, Ilsinho, Cory Burke, and Jamiro Monteiro off the bench. Each of these players has spent time on their respective national teams, in the Champions League, or in a top flight in Europe (and some have done all three).

Contrast that with Curtin’s first year, when his choices included Danny Cruz and Pedro Ribeiro.

Perhaps most significantly, every player on the roster save for Fabinho (a somewhat token though deserved place for the aging Sun Rocket and current Bethlehem Steel star) and Matt Real (unexpectedly bound to the bench due to some precision German engineering known as, The Machine) has seen the field and eight of them have scored. Both of these are records for the team at this stage in the season and real reasons for optimism as the summer begins and the real work of earning a place in the standings and winning a US Open Cup commences.

Fashion!

Philly Soccer Page has spent a decent amount of air time and proverbial ink on what the Union wear on match day. From our 12 Days of Kits-mas post and our Design-a-kit Contest, to Philly Soccer Show’s two episode arc featuring the Union’s Senior Vice President for Marketing and Communications, Doug Vosik, this site has become a reliable source for the design, process, and product of Philadelphia’s Major League Soccer merchandise.

Because of this, the author has been asked to be a part of the Union’s first ever Creator’s Collective, a group tasked with writing the actual brief that will be sent to Adidas to guide them in building the team’s 2021 kit.

Until the kit is released in 21 months, there are only limited details to be shared. The video below is the first step.

Fashion! – Part 2

This picture is important (photo by Paul Rudderow).

In this jacket, Sebastien Le Toux looks like:

  • The future president of The Earth
  • The antagonist from the next Bond film
  • Simply cooler than any human alive

The answer is actually all three.

 

5 Comments

  1. I know there was a photo of Le Toux floating around of him in capri pants (I think they were green) back in his Seattle days. I remember thinking. “Only a Frenchman”

  2. Perhaps Seba’s previewing the third kit for 2021?

  3. SilverRey says:

    More jersey design content!!!!! The process and workings of jersey design has always been a black box, so any insight is great!

    • +1
      .
      Be sure to include in the requirements that the jersey can’t be something I can recreate with a blank t-shirt and a sharpie
      .
      Not that you would design something so simple, but I don’t trust Adidas to do anything interesting.

  4. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Close also counts in H-bombs, said the kid born three months after the Berlin Blockade ended.

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