I'll wager that 90 percent of our views here at The Brotherly Game last year were people that love the Philadelphia Union. The other 10 percent are probably composed of New York fans and our lovely friends in Washington DC. I know for a fact that everyone I've come to know and appreciate through this website loves the Union. And I know everyone who shows up to every match, rain or shine (or dust storm) loves the Union too.
However we are all currently in one of the most bizarre positions as a fan base, as writers and as people who want to see a successful team win trophies all while sweeping this region off their soon to be soccer loving feet.
I mean, for crying out loud I'm probably buying season tickets later today.
And for what? To go out and complain about how bad the coaching is? About how we have 13 players signed to the main roster? To talk about how Ray Gaddis is so close to being a shut down defender on paper but may never get there? With these reports coming out, I feel like it's no longer "that's so union lol." This is a damaged club, from the foundation. And instead of taking it out on brand new hire Earnie Stewart or entering his second full year of being a professional manager of a soccer team Jim Curtin I think we need to talk about how we need to get behind this club again.
Yeah, these reports are all kinds of messed up, but the reason that this all hits home for me personally is that I want to be proud of our community again. Don't get me wrong, I hate Sak. No, I don't get how there's no money in this club either even though every year we are inexplicably linked to Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Jeff Larentowicz or some other marquee MLS name. It hasn't happened in our history, and I won't be surprised if it doesn't happen for awhile. What we know now, however, is that this club has had so many issues, from the locker room to the front office that I honestly think even if we pulled off those trades, they lead to more former Union players selling vacuums on Twitter.
Don't get me wrong, I want us to be mad at Nowak for going on monster.com and refreshing the MLS page until he found something he liked. I want us to be mad at Nick Sakiewicz for only being fired because of a mutiny. I hate that instead of having this gleaming sense of pride and involvement in something that is gaining momentum, every time I open twitter it's more depositions and Mr. Redacted's who said that no one has money.
I hate that I feel like we as supporters are all jilted lovers, made a bridesmaid again by a team from some sexy soccer market in the Western Conference coming to our house and taking our trophy. I hate all these funeral processions happening now. I hate that we seemingly have forgotten that Nowak and Sak are no longer with the organization. I hate that we haven't looked at Earnie Stewart's track record and need to give him more time to work in a league that doesn't exactly have the easiest verbiage when it comes to transfers and money. I hate that we all sit around and ask where the "good" Zach Pfeffer went. He's only 21. I hate that we're all complaining about how we have 13 players and it's before the draft.
That doesn't change that I love the Union.
I think what we forget sometimes is that most of the people who are involved with
this our club are human. Most of these people would not have taken whatever they do for this club - from the guy who wears the arm band on the pitch to the people who sell you tickets - if they didn't love our club. Right now we have new people in charge, who are trying to do something that we all desperately want to happen. They want this Union team to finally give a largely patient, terrifyingly loyal, and on the whole a charitable and loving fan base a team they can be proud of again.
So please, in the days before the draft, go yell in your streets, wear all black, blow up Sak's twitter talking about how much you hate him for being terrible. On draft day and moving forward I just beg for one thing. Do not hold the mistrust and ill will against the people who are here now. Do not let the terrible mismanagement of the club by people who are no longer here divide us.