The Prodigal Son
The lost son has returned home! As a forty year old U.S. Soccer fan I can say, I watched Earnie Stewart score his goal against Columbia during the 94' World Cup. To be honest that's the last thing I can remember about Mr. Stewart. That is until his name started to circulate as the rumored candidate to be the first Director of Sporting Operations for the Philadelphia Union.
In the Bible story, a young son went out into the world and wasted his money partying. In this wonderful new tale, our son of U.S Soccer was lost overseas finishing out his playing days in Holland. In 2006 Earnie Stewart transitioned into the front office of Nac Breda of the Dutch Eredivisie. In June of 2010 ( Gee what were U doing then) Mr. Stewart became the Director of Soccer Afffairs at AZ AlKmaar. Mean while, we were here Suffering under Nick Sakiewicz. Mr. Stewart was in Holland gaining valuable experience, knowledge and he developed his vision of properly organizing a Soccer club.
Oh, how Blessed are we? Mr. Richie Graham a partner in the ownership group and Mr. Stewart had a chance meeting at a Leaders & Performance conference. Neither of them thought much of it, until Mr. Stewart got a phone call. Then a meeting in New York between Mr. Sugarman, Mr. Graham and Mr. Stewart during which they discussed his philosophies on building a soccer club. While Mr. Sugarman and Mr Graham shared, their plans for the future of the Union. Here's the amazing part, Earnie Stewart was at a point in his career, where his ambition was to return home in order to have an impact on soccer in the United States of America. As he stated during his introduction news conference," how many times does a train pass-by?" and "this was a rolling train I wanted to jump on." Mr. Stewart expressed his desire to help build something special.
So, I've mentioned plan,philosophy, Now, here we are at the top of the eastern conference! Mr. Stewart, Chris Albright, and Coach Jim Curtin are working together with a plan, armed with a philosophy and vision of where and how this club will develop, from the academy to the first team. We can now see the fruits of their hard work. The Union now have at least two players in each field position, except for a second forward. We finally have a structured goal keeper situation.
This is a new era, of Union soccer! This is the team, we deserve to have as loyal,dedicated supporters. I can't guarantee a Major League Soccer Cup or even a U.S. Open Cup. I can say, that I believe, this team will fight to the last whistle, of the last game, to attempt to bring this club it's first trophy! We have been blessed to witness the grand return of one of U.S.Soccer's greatest Heroes! Union fans, we have been blessed by the soccer gods to have our club, chosen by Earnie Stewart to be his instrument to carve out his influence on professional soccer here in America.