Since it's April Fool's Day, we at the Brotherly Game were thinking about what sort of prank to play. Perhaps a fake signing? Live-tweeting a Union friendly that wasn't actually happening? Then we thought "Why do that when we have been witness to some of the funniest jokes around?"
8.) Uncle Bob's Potato Salad
Back in 2010, the Philadelphia Union Front office was still (mostly) new to the whole "running a Major League Soccer team" thing. One of the people who wasn't entirely new was Vice President Tom Veit, who had previously worked for the Tampa Bay Mutiny as a VP of sales and marketing. For those of you who don't remember (or weren't around) back then, the "You Suck Asshole" controversy was raging, and the Sons of Ben and Front Office were going head to head over it. At one point, Veit quipped to Chris Vito of the Delco Times:
"This is a family picnic and we have to talk to Uncle Bob about getting himself under control. It's like, 'Hey Uncle Bob, go grab the potato salad.' - Tom Veit
The joke was on Veit though, as when he showed up to RFK Stadium for a match against D.C. United, he was given a container of potato salad with a "DOOP" sticker on it. To his credit, he took it graciously and had it with him throughout the match.
7.) Rais M'Bolhi's Gift to Robert Earnshaw
After a dismal start to 2014, the Union were still in playoff contention with a four matches to play. The Union managed to go up a goal against Chicago at home, then this happened.
That pretty much sealed the fate of the Union, who were doomed to miss the playoffs for a third straight season.
6.) Toni Stahl's First - And Last - Match
March 25, 2010 - the Union's first ever match in MLS, on the road against the previous year's expansion darlings, the Seattle Sounders. Toni Stahl and Danny Califf were the center back pairing for the first match, and 33 seconds in Califf was shown a yellow card for delivering what would become known as "The People's Elbow". Not to be outdone, Stahl got a yellow in the 22nd minute for a challenge on former underwear model Freddie Ljungberg, and then got a second yellow for kneeing Fredy Montero in the back on a challenge in the 39th. Those 39 minutes were all the time that Stahl would see in a Union uniform. Speaking of...
5.) The Gold Uniforms
The Union's first year home jerseys are the classic navy ones with the gold strip up the center, which is the basis for their current uniforms. Their away jerseys though... It must have seemed like a good idea to have gold uniforms with a navy strip up the center. They were however rather unpopular, being referred to by at least one person as "C3PU's" - a reference to the golden droid of Star Wars fame. The final straw was when they were first used on television, and the players looked naked.
4.) "Seitz" Goes From Noun To Verb
Before her was a decent goalkeeper for FC Dallas, Chris Seitz was a terrible goalkeeper for the Union. And while most of MLS will remember him as the guy who sat out part of a season for participating in a bone marrow transplant, Union fans can be forgiven for always remembering this:
He just Seitzed.
3.) Aaron Wheeler At Center Back
In 2014, former Manager John Hackworth thought he'd found the answer to the club's woes at center back when Austin Berry went down injured. Play Ethan White, the center back the club got in exchange for Jeff Parke? Pick up a free agent center back? Hell no. Not when he had Aaron Wheeler on the roster. Wheeler was Hackworth's answer at center back, except there was just one tiny problem - Wheeler had never played center back at any level. Somehow he was able to earn Team of the Week honors for his play against the Chicago Fire, however it became obvious shortly thereafter that he was the weakest link in a chain full of weak links. In Wheeler's defense, he wasn't getting many minutes at forward (his actual position) and probably figured any minutes were better than no minutes.
2.) The Three-Headed Goalkeeping Monster
After Colombian legend Faryd Mondragon left at the end of 2011, young Zac MacMath was left to be the number one keeper. After a disastrous 2012 season (for the Union and the young MacMath) and an improved 2013 season, 2014 looked like it would be the year where MacMath finally became the guy. Until the Union traded up in the SuperDraft to acquire Andre Blake - the Jamaican National Team's goalkeeper. While this made no sense, it somehow made more sense than when the club acquired Algerian goalkeeper Rais M'Bolhi with MacMath and Blake still on the roster. Nothing against any of the goalkeepers, but I can't think of a way to describe that situation without using the word "cluster".
1.) Freddy Adu
I don't need to say anymore, do I?