Archive for May, 2008

23
May
08

Update: Nick Sakiewicz Chat

Philadelphia team owner Nick Sakiewicz held a hour and a half chat with Sons of Ben members on the current state of the team. Here are the important parts:

1. Stadium – The team will break ground on the new Chester Stadium sometime this fall, though no specific date has been announced. The field will be natural grass – NO TURF! (Sorry Vet-lovers) The stadium will feature a section dedicated to the SoB with their own tunnel leading to the section shrouded in SoB signage. The ownership wants to have Philly-based food options in the stadium (ala the Phillies and C.B. Park) and hopefully, as per Nick’s request, a pub with Boddingtons on tap! Cheers to that! Also, the team is still looking for a training facility because they will not train on the field.

2. Uniforms/Colors – The color scheme will be announced Fall 2008 and the ownership wants YOU to be involved in the colors and logo design. Kits, jerseys, and other merchandise will be available late 2009 with preliminary merchandise being released in late 2008.
3. Team Stuff – The team has already begun interviewing coaches but will not make a decision until 2009. The same goes for the players as the team has begun scouting and recruiting but no one will be signed until late 2009. Local players – time to get into shape. Philadelphia will have an Academy designed to groom and develop 200-250 young talents (ages 8-16) as well as the team will have a series of open tryouts and invite only player combines for local players in 2009.
4. Everything Else – The team is still working on a TV deal to broadcast all non-nationally televised games. The team will also try to bring international opponents to the stadium for tournaments and friendlies. Since the team will begin play in a World Cup year, the team will try to bring World Cup Qualifiers to the new stadium as long as US Soccer is OK with the deal. To that end, the team will also open up the stadium for World Cup events.
22
May
08

Goooaaallll!!!


Since the late 1800s, pro soccer in Philadelphia has run the gamut from winning franchise to league laughing stock, and from financial stability to down right investment nightmare.  It seems quite apparent, however, the more than 100 years of pro soccer experimentation has finally paid off.

Twelve years after MLS took the field, professional soccer has finally come back to Philadelphia. In February, 2008, the league announced the decision to make the City of Brotherly Love home to its 16th team starting in 2010.  The official word couldn’t have come a moment sooner for Philly’s soccer faithful.
The city just beat out St. Louis in its quest to obtain the pro team.  Philly was able to get all the necessary pieces of the puzzle to fall into place at the right moment–the investors, the State and City Government financial support for a new stadium, and of course, the fan base.  St. Louis had everything but the new stadium deal, and in the end Philly nailed the free kick while St. Louis clanked it off the crossbar. 
No doubt, St. Louis will continue its pro soccer endeavor, and as the MLS plans to continue its expansion over time, they will surely have a team of their own some day.  But, it’s not this day, and what can be more Philadelphian than savoring our moment while St. Louis suffers. 
Getting everything in line to please the MLS Lords wasn’t the easiest of tasks, but if there was one thing the city had all along it’s the fan support.  In 2007, a fan club for a team that didn’t even exist came onto the scene to get the ball rolling for this whole project.  The Sons of Ben was founded by Bryan James, Andrew Dillon, and Dave Flagler.  Since its inception, the club has grown to more than 2,500 members.  They not only lobbied harder than any other group to bring a team to Philly, but have also began a strong drive for committed season ticket holders.
For the fans, 2010 cannot come soon enough.  Regardless of how our nascent squad competes early on, the faithful will be there in force; bringing with them the Philadelphia attitude the locals have come to love and expect for professional sports.  
The Philly force finally provides the MLS the platform it needs for serious success–a true fan base–a Philly fan base.  Let the games begin, and dare I say, Yo! St. Louis, we’ll be waitin’ for ya!

 
22
May
08

Welcome

Welcome to the new blog for the new Philadelphia Major League Soccer team set to begin play in 2010. Any and all news we come across, we will pass along to you, the Philadelphia soccer fan.