Archive for June, 2008


6.19 Chat With Sakiewicz

New Philly MLS team owner Nick Sakiewicz was kind enough to once again chat it up with the Philadelphia soccer faithful on Thursday night.  The 45-minute online discussion helped keep the fans in the loop on the latest developments.  Here are a few of the highlights…

Adidas to sponsor team uniforms…
According to Sakiewicz, the MLS along with an outside consultant are developing options for uniform designs, which will be shared with the public in the upcoming Fall campaign.  Break out your old Sambas!!
Season ticket sales continue…
Sakiewicz noted 25% of the 18,500 stadium seats are already accounted for in season ticket deposits.  One chat participate noted this figure has already placed Philly 6th in season ticket sales for the entire league — we’re still 2 years from first kick, people!!  Amazing!
Nick also mentioned the strong possibility of instituting a season ticket cap, but at this point they are still unsure of the exact cap figure.  The team is also still working out the season ticket packages (i.e. full-season versus partial-season availability).
Building a team…
When asked about the timeline for hiring a coach, Sakiewicz said the first thing the team will do is hire a Technical Director on or around January 1.  From that point they hope to be able to bring in a head coach within 6-8 months depending on candidates and availability.
As for a questions regarding the new TD’s duties, Sakiewicz responded with, “win championships, recruiting, and player development… in that order”  You have to love that winning spirit.  
Focus on youth…
One fan asked Sakiewicz how much emphasis would be placed on youth development.  His response was, “they are the cornerstone of everything we do.”  Nick noted his experience developing the first MLS youth program that has turned out players such as U.S. National Team goalkeeper Tim Howard as well as 2001 MLS Rookie of the Year, Rodrigo Faria not to mention several other college scholarship and pro players.
Public transportation to/from new stadium…
Along with the existing local train and bus transportation, Sakiewicz hopes to put in place a shuttle service that will run directly to and from the two train platforms in Chester.
Draft philosophy…
The question was raised as to how much the team’s player selection would be influenced by the fact that MLS players participating in national team play often miss games due to the MLS schedule overlap.  Sakiewicz noted the team is focused on developing as much depth on the bench as possible to counter the potential and periodic loss of national players. 
On a side note, one fan asked Sakiewicz about the possibility of holding another “Meet the Owners” night at one of the Sons of Ben hangouts, Dark Horse.  Let’s hope it can be worked out.  The Philly Midfielders are never opposed to lifting a pint or two for the sake of good soccer conversation.  
Stay tuned for future posts regarding the latest team updates.

6.05 Chat With Nick Sakiewicz

Team owner, Nick Sakiewicz held an open chat with SoBs and other Philadelphia soccer fans tonight.  The faithful continued to pick Nick’s brain on the latest developments.  Here are some highlights from the discussion:

Early Season Ticket Success!
Sakiewicz reports the team has already exceeded the 4,000 mark for season ticket deposits and is fast approaching 5,000.  General Admission seating will likely be available, but details on this will have to wait until the team determines how season ticket sales continue to play out. Sakiewicz noted the possibility of placing a cap on season tix if necessary.  Go to the team’s site to reserve your tickets now.
Stadium Design Update – 
The stadium’s current plans call for 18,500 seats, but the design also includes the possible future expansion of up to 30,000 butt cushions.  The final design for the stadium (including the seating layout) is scheduled to become available to the public prior to groundbreaking, which is planned for this coming Fall.  Nick also confirmed that a roof is still an “important part of the stadium’s design.”  It is also part of the plans to incorporate Philadelphia’s pro soccer history in into the stadium’s design; a la the wall in Ashburn Alley, Citizens Bank Park.
MLS Draft – 
The team will participate in two drafts.  The first will be the expansion draft after the 2009 season, where the team can pick up some unprotected players from other MLS teams.  The second draft, the Super Draft, will be held in January, 2010 right here in Philly.  Get ready for a party!  This is your typical draft in which the squad will fill out with youth and college players, as well as players from other leagues.
Youth Development – 
The new club plans on building a “very complex and developed youth system” similar to what is used at Premier League clubs in England.
Etc’s –
The team will have a game program called Free Kick, and season ticket holders will receive their own “inside newsletter.”
SoB stadium entrance will provide storage space for drums, banners, flags, etc.
Soccer United Marketing (which the Philly team has an investment in) has been asked to bid on bringing the Italian Super Cup to Philadelphia.
The next chat is scheduled to take place in two weeks.

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June 2008
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