O. Henry's classic Christmas tale The Gift of the Magi reminds us of the true spirit of giving when there is little to offer. Likewise, the protagonists in this Brotherly tale have little of material value. But we have our minds, our opinions (trust me, plenty of those), and the Union of course have our hearts. I asked the staff if they could give just one gift to the Union this holiday season, what would it be? The answers range from the silly to the dreamy to the cranky. And so we begin with $1.87 in our collective pockets....
We'll start with Bah Humbug
Eugene Rupinski offered nothing as he thinks the Union already received the greatest gift imagineable this year: "The Union got their gift earlier in the year when they axed Nick Sakiewicz and replaced him with Earnie Stewart."
The next two "gifts" came from a duo that didn't see each other's answers. They don't think the Union went far enough this offseason.
JC Escobar: "One way ticket for Curtin and Albright out of town."
Doug Gobrecht: "I think I would give Jimmy [Curtin] and Chris [Albright] their walking papers."
Feel that love.
Now to those practical vacuum cleaner type gifts
While I already gave the Union the gift of renewing my partial season tickets, I thought I could take it one step further and help the team on the field. " I'd like to gift them a lock down veteran center back."
The venerable John Rossi agreed but wasn't quite as generous: "An above-average center back!" That exclamation point doesn't make an above average player any better.
An improved defense is obviously on our minds as Chuck Booth gave " The gift of a completely healthy Andre Blake in goal to show the world what #BeastMode really is."
Matt Albaugh believes this upcoming draft is vital as the Union have two picks in the top six and he gave the gift of "a good draft."
Evan Villella was also thinking youth as he generously gave "The best youth system in the nation."
Matt Ralph, our resident Academy guru, thinks the Academy has a long way to go as his gift was "A scoreboard for the Academy." Got to start somewhere I suppose.
Heather Reppert was thinking offense when she found a "striker that can score double digit goals." Although if C.J. Sapong didn't break his face and get a DUI he most certainly would have tallied double digits for the Union last season.
The lofty and the silly
Heather was also thinking fashion as she wants to buy JIm Curtin, "A pair of looser fitting pants"
Andrew Stolzfus had fits and starts with his gift: " I'd give them the gift of Sak fired...wait that's happened. Let me try again..." Andrew ultimately thought that in the absence of Nick Sakiewicz that the Union might struggle to sign sponsorships. "How about an unlimited supply and sponsorship from Pepto for all the players who are #TeamChipotle."
Drew Gobrecht is still enamored with TAM, that free money that the Union just pocketed: "I'd give them some more of that sweet, sweet nectar of MLS life, TAM. No gift better than cold, hard cash. Per team and league policy, the amount of TAM exchanged has not been disclosed."
Nick Youngstein's generosity knows no bounds as he will be placing "Lionel Messi" under the Union's tree this year. Would Messi be enough to win the Union the MLS Cup? It's certainly fun to think about....
We'll end on a political thought from Barry Evans as he offers "The gift of a fan base that stops in fighting and gets behind the team for the full season."
There you have it. The needs of the Union are many and we've done our best, to well, at least highlight them.
From the entire staff at Brotherly Game, we'd like to wish you a very happy and relaxing holiday season. Go Union.