Community

17 December 8:55 am

This year, the Philadelphia Union Foundation partnered with Southeastern Pennsylvania Soccer Hall of Fame for the annual Coats for Chester Coat Drive. A grand total of 2,115 coats were donated to four separate locations in the Chester area: The Bernadine Center, City Team Ministries, Mount Pleasant Church, and St. Katharine Drexel.

On Friday, December 12th, the coats were distributed with the help of the Father Judge Men’s soccer team. At each stop, the crew was welcomed with much gratitude. At one of the final stops, the volunteers were greeted by Darla McCready, from City Team Ministries, whom spoke to the gratitude felt by those that use the coats. It was an extremely successful event that will help to keep members of the community warm this upcoming winter season.

15 December 11:03 am

With its roots deep in the community, the Philadelphia Union Foundation strives to serve as a helping hand to in not only the city of Chester, but in the Greater Philadelphia region. 

Below is a look at some of the recent and upcoming events on the Foundation calendar. To learn more or to get involved, contact the Philadelphia Union Foundation at foundation@philadelphiaunion.com

Or visit our website, philadelphiaunion.com/foundation.

 

Holiday Toy Drive and Boys & Girls Club Holiday Party

When: Nov. 1-Dec. 15

Union and Foundation collected toys for area Chester children. Thanks to donations, the Union surpassed its goal of 300 toys.

All toys will be distributed to the Boys & Girls Club of Chester for their Holiday Party: http://boysgirlsclubchester.com/index.php

Last year, this toy drive supplied all of “Santa’s Gifts” for the party.

SoB Help Kick Hunger

On Saturday, Dec. 13 the Union's vocal supporters group the Sons of Ben held its annual Help Kick Hunger event at Brauhaus Schmitz (8th and South Sts., Philadelphia).  This is the groups' big fundraising event that they do every year as they look to donate as much food and money to Chester's Bernadine Center ahead of the holiday season.  For more information of the Sons of Ben and how you can get involved, visit the Sons of Ben website.

Soccer 101

With the Soccer 101 initiative, the Philadelphia Union Foundation infiltrates Chester Charter School for the Arts’ physical education classes for two days.

Crew of coaches teach drills, skills and life-skills all through the game of soccer, working with kids ages 5-14.

City Team Ministries Food Sorting/Packing

Lead by food service corporation Ovations, the Union front office will once again take part in City Team ministries food drive by assisting with sorting and packing donated food items.

Location: City Team Ministries, 634 Sproul St, Chester, Pa. 19013

Date: TBD. For more information, http://www.cityteam.org/ or visit the Union Foundation website: philadelphiaunion.com/foundation.

Toyota Food Drive

On Dec. 12 from 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m., members from the Union Corporate Partnerships department and Technical team connected with the other Philly sports teams down at the Philabundance warehouse to help with a morning of loading and sorting donated foods. The food was then driven from the collection spot, by Toyota vehicles, to the warehouse. Along with a host of Union front office types, Union midfielders Danny Cruz and Sebastien Le Toux donated their time for this endeavor. 

SEPA Hall of Fame Coat Drive

South Eastern PA Soccer Hall of Fame has collected coats since mid-October with a goal of delivering 2,000 coats by the end of its campaign. The collection started at the pre-game festivities of two October Union home games. The coats were distributed on Dec. 12 to several locations in Chester including: Bernadine Center and St. Katherine’s of Drexel Church.

Philabundance Community Service around MLS SuperDraft

This year’s community project in association with the MLS Draft will take place at the Philabundance warehouse in South Philly. Community Relations Conference attendees along with MLS draftees will make their way to the location on Jan. 14 at 12 p.m. to assist in the massive food sorting and packing assembly line that Philabundance runs. MLS W.O.R.K.S. and Philadelphia Union Foundation will make a donation to Philabundance for the efforts in eliminating hunger in Philadelphia.

 

25 November 4:21 pm

Philadelphia Union played an integral role connecting Cozen O’Connor and Orlando City SC with the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida in a community service outreach effort Saturday, Nov. 22.

Cozen O’Connor attorneys traveled to Central Florida for a retreat and spent their time teaming up to refurbish rooms in a homeless shelter and create Thanksgiving centerpieces with residents. Cozen O’Connor also donated $5,000 to the shelter.

"This collaboration in support of Cozen O'Connor and their community service project in Orlando during their all-attorney retreat is just another example of how Philadelphia Union used the power of relationships to connect Cozen O'Connor, Orlando City SC and the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida,” said Rick Jacobs, Philadelphia Union Vice President of Community Affairs. “We were pleased to support this effort."

For more on Philadelphia Union Foundation, visit: philadelphiaunion.com/foundation

31 October 1:42 pm

The Philadelphia Union is excited to give back to children in our surrounding community for the holiday season with a Toy Drive! We will greatly appreciate your help with this initiative to benefit economically disadvantaged children between 0 and 17 years of age. We request that all donated toys are new, unwrapped, and preferably around the $10 or above price range.

This years goal is to collect 500 toys. All toys will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Chester. 

Dropoff locations:

  • Front Office: 2501 Seaport Dr., Chester, PA, 19013
  • Angelo's Soccer Corner: 288 W Swedesford Rd., Berwyn, PA
  • Angelo's Soccer Store: 2074 E County Line Rd., Huntingdon Valley, PA

Please refrain from purchasing toys that contain:

  • Military themes
  • Weapons/Law Enforcement related items
  • Candy
  • Chemicals (i.e. experimental labs, acid, crystal projects, etc)

Can’t make it to the toy store, but still wish to donate?
We will buy it for you!

Amount

Suggested items for each age group division: 

0-2 years 2-5 years 5-9 years 10-17 years

Cloth or Plastic Books

Soft Squeeze Balls

Hanging Toys

Stacking Rings

Rubber or Soft Blocks

Soft Dolls

Push and Pull Toys

Short story/action books

Building blocks

Crayons, nontoxic finger paints, clay

Transportation toys

Simple puzzles with large pieces

Dress-up clothes

Tea party utensils

Hand puppets

Balls

Bicycles with helmets

Crafts

Electric trains

Paper dolls

Jump ropes

Sports equipment

Card games

Computer games

Table and board games

Sports equipment

Hobby collections

 

 

 

 

 

 

21 October 3:02 pm

Thanks to fans like you, many members of the Chester community will be warm this winter as the fifth annual Coats for Chester drive was yet again a success at PPL Park.

Fueled by the SEPA Hall of Fame and assisted by the Philadelphia Union Foundation and the Sons of Ben, over 520 coats collected over a two week campaign beginning with the Union’s Oct. 11 match against Columbus and ending – at least on Toyota Plaza and the SoBs tailgate area – before Saturday’s win over Sporting Kansas City.

And while the drive may have ended here, there is still plenty of time to donate your gently worn coats to the cause, by going onto SEPAsoccerhall.com and finding a location near you.

Bob Kozlowski, president of the SEPA Soccer Hall of Fame said that this year’s drop was the most collected over the years at PPL Park calling the support a “great vehicle” for getting the word out.

“A big thank you to everyone at the Union for helping kick off our Coats for Chester coat drive with two successful collection nights at the Oct. 11th and Oct. 18th games,” Kozlowski expressed via email.  “Between the Sons of Ben collecting at their tailgates and the SEPA Hall of Fame collecting on the Toyota Plaza, we were able to acquire 520 coats. This is a great start as it way more than we have gotten at these games in past years…we also talked to many fans who walked by, explaining they could drop off coats at the many locations listed on our website (www.SEPAsoccerhall.com)   until November 30. The response was encouraging and I think that we are going to do well.”

Winter can be harsh, but the support from fans willing to take time out and donate a coat to someone who may need it, goes a long way in showing the dedication, gratitude and warmth all of us have towards the greater Chester community. 

Have questions on how you can get involved? Send an email to info@sepasoccerhall.com.

08 October 10:28 am

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Soccer Hall of Fame, as part of its mission to “Build the Future,” is continuing its successful “Coats for Chester Program” for the fifth straight year. The city of Chester, PA is the site of a lot of excitement in the Philadelphia area by playing host to our Major League Soccer team, Philadelphia Union. At the same time however, Chester holds the distinction of being the poorest city in Pennsylvania.

The SEPA Hall of Fame is committed to do its part to mobilize the soccer community in helping the needy people of Chester. We will be collecting coats throughout the Southeastern Pennsylvania area. Collected coats will then be distributed in Chester to: The Bernardine Center Food Bank, St. Katharine Drexel Food Cupboard and City Team Ministries Homeless Shelter. In the first four years of our collection program, we have collected and distributed 4,860 coats.

HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS

For two months this fall, from October 1, 2014 to November 31, 2014 we will be collecting donated winter coats from throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, and distributing them to needy families in Chester. Members of the SEPA Soccer Hall of Fame, along with volunteers from various soccer organizations, will be handling the collecting and distributing of the coats.

Shortly we will be posting on our website a list of organizations that will be collecting coats along with the various drop-off locations. If you would like to participate in our “Coats for Chester” program please contact us with an email sent to info@sepasoccerhall.com.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

  • When: October 11th or 18th match
  • Collection Locations: Toyota Plaza and Sons of Ben Tailgate
  • Donations: All coats to be donated to three locations in Chester
  • ***If you donate you will be entered to win a team autographed ball

 

26 September 11:58 am

“The opportunity of a lifetime.”

That’s how Philadelphia School District special education teacher Nastassja Falterbauer described Saturday’s Special Olympics Unified Soccer match at RFK Stadium for students at Martin Luther King High School.

Thanks to a partnership between Philadelphia Union, D.C. United and the Special Olympics organization, a 5v5 soccer match between Special Olympics Pennsylvania and Special Olympics District of Columbia will take place immediately following the Union-United match. The two teams will be honored at halftime and then are scheduled to kickoff around 6:15 p.m.

In total, 11 players will make the early-morning road trip to Washington, D.C. The 5v5 match consists of two 15-minute halves. Falterbauer said she hopes the two teams can play again next year at PPL Park, allowing the D.C. players to also have the opportunity to play at another stadium outside of their home city.

“It’s a really great experience for the players,” said Falterbauer, who also serves as team coach. “Opportunities like this don’t present themselves often. It’s great to be able to go to another city and play against other players.”

Falterbauer and her players received the opportunity by winning the Philadelphia Regional district championship. The team was honored at PPL Park at halftime when the Union hosted the Houston Dynamo, Saturday, Sept. 20. But for many of them, all aged 17 or 18, taking in the action was their first MLS experience.

“The kids were elated,” she said. “They had never experienced anything like that – to be able watch them play, be down on the field… they were just in awe of everything.

But now, for a chance to share the same pitch as Union players?

“That excitement of [watching the Union play] is great,” she continued. “But to be able to play at the same stadium is even more incredible. It’s all they talk about.”

This is the first year of the Unified Soccer program within Special Olympics. So it’s a new experience for everyone, not just Falterbauer and the players.  And that experience has been just as important for the Philadelphia Union.

“The relationship that has been developed these past six months between MLS Works, Special Olympics DC, Special Olympics PA, DC United and Philadelphia Union has truly been a lesson in camaraderie and single mindedness of purpose,” Rick Jacobs, executive director of the Philadelphia Union Foundation, said.

“That purpose has been to provide an opportunity for young people to share in a common goal while using the game of soccer as a conduit to reinforce all that is good about sport,” Jacobs continued.  “We are proud to participate in this inaugural unified match. We are excited because the authentic experience coupled with the inclusive nature of the participants, speaks to who we strive to be each and every day at Philadelphia Union.”

Added Falterbauer:

“The Union and MLS have gone above and beyond what we expected them to do. From supplying uniforms and equipment, they’ve really given these players an unbelievable experience. We hope we can make the partnership grow from year to year.”

For more information about Special Olympics Pennsylvania, visit: http://www.specialolympicspa.org/

- Article written by Chris Winkler, Philadelphia Union Communications 

23 September 8:33 am

Save the Date: Celebrating "True Colors"

Philadelphia Union Foundation Presents the 3rd Annual Cocktails & Cleats

  • Date: March 11, 2015
  • Location: Vie, Philadelphia
  • Time: 6:00 P.M.
  • Attire:  Festive Cocktail Attire (Sport the Blue & Gold Colors)

Meet Philadelphia Union Players + Technical Staff | Extraordinary Cocktail Hour | Top Shelf Bar | Plated Dinner | Silent & Live Auction | Valet Parking

The Foundation programming is empowering the youth of Chester & Greater Philadelphia Area.  Join us on our mission to bridge the gap and make connections for the kids we love.

For ticketing & partnership opportunities, click here

For more information about Cocktails & Cleats contact foundation@philadelphiaunion.com or call event producer, Kathy Swanson, 973-796-4332

Visit PUF website for Cocktails & Cleats event registration in January 2015 

We look forward to seeing you on March 11, 2015! 

 

  

19 September 2:12 pm

When it comes to the River Cup, everyone is a winner.

The Philadelphia Union front office came through in penalty kicks over the Sons of the Ben to capture the recently-held fourth annual River Cup. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Philadelphia Union foundation, which supports programming in Chester and the Greater Philadelphia Region.

According to Rick Jacobs, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Union Foundation, proceeds from the River Cup were in excess of $30,000.

“Each year, it has evolved with different things working within the partnership and stadium and global side,” Jacobs said. “We’re very excited about it and what it’s about. It was an idea and we’ve taken it as an opportunity to raise money for a very worthy cause. … It’s a process and our feeling is we’ll go back and look at everything involved in the presentation to drive interest and see where we can increase money raised and interest raised for the foundation.”

When the River Cup was complete, guests were invited to stay and participate in the inaugural “Delaware River Craft Brewfest” held on Toyota Plaza.

The Delaware River Craft Brewfest included live music and entertainment, gourmet food options and a variety of vendors, including over 100 breweries. The event featured a sampling of the best crafts, imports and ciders from the United States and around the world. Samples of limited-release beers such as Goose Island Bourbon County and Scratch Series from Troegs were also available.  Breweries on site include Victory, Troegs, Anchor, Rogue, Full Sail, Evolution, Starr Hill, Long Trail, Goose Island, Old Dominion, Lancaster and Magic Hat.

"In addition to the on the field rivalry the Sons of Ben have with the front office we also rival on which one can be the most charitable," said Sons of Ben president Kenny Hanson. "This gives us another chance to help out the Philadelphia Foundation...Chester is really like our second home a lot of the members of our organization spend a lot of time in Chester. We think it's important to 'pay where you play' a lot of what we do in and around Chester we try to use local businesses, when we want to give back to a community we feel as though it's important to first give back to the city of Chester and as we continue to grow [as a supporters group] we hope that with that we are big in helping our community grow and the proceeds raised from this game go a long way into doing that."

Every dollar raised from the River Cup will go to good use. It’s an event which has grown so much in four years.

“We’ll look at what we’ve done in the four years,” Jacobs said. “We know who we are and what we ultimately what the event to be. It’s a process which we’ll get together and talk about more and see what it might take us in the future.”

Contact Union writer Andy Jasner at andy.jasner@yahoo.com

10 September 5:03 pm

The first team was off, so philadelphiaunion.com spent the day with the kids at YSC Academy.

With classes officially underway in addition to all three divisions preparing for the 2014-15 season, it was pretty good to see the YSC complex and state of the art school alive again with student athlete and (fingers crossed) future first team players.

Sad when a 14-year-old (this one being U-14 player Max Owens) can juggle better than you, isn't it?

In addition to our presence, the school had another special visitor today as New York based Bloomberg Sports sent a photojournalist to profile the school and the rise of soccer-specific academies in the United States. The reporter said that the story will be out towards the end of the month, so we’ll be on the lookout here and be sure to share once it’s up and running.

Also soon to be up and running are the rosters, schedules and the return of the monthly academy notebook. Check for all three on Monday next week.

Moving on…

Big news today as the club released that Union defender Ray Gaddis inked a multi-year contract extension that will keep “Gaddis Island” afloat through the 2016 season. In cementing this deal, interim manager Jim Curtin, called it a decision that makes him the “happiest [he’s been] during his short tenure as manager.”

"I get a smile on my face because this is one of the things I’m most happy about in my short tenure as the coach to get him rewarded for all his hard work,” said Curtin following Tuesday’s training session. “Off the field, this is a tribute to his parents. They’ve raised a kid who has as good of character as I’ve ever seen in a human being.”

Curtin also believes that if he stays on the path he’s on, Gaddis could receive a phone call from U.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann very soon.

“He’ll be a guy that if he stays on this pathway, he’ll be a U.S. Men’s National type player. He’ll be a January camp guy and I think he can break into that – he’s that good. One-on-one with the ball, Ray Gaddis is the best defender in our league right now. I will go out and say that – and I believe it.”

Does Gaddis’ newfound fortune mean he’s picking up the tab at the next team meal? His fellow teammates certainly think so...

So the pot was apparently stirred after word broke of Union CEO and operating partner Nick Sakiewicz’ European trip this week. Sakiewicz, overseas attending a soccer symposium in addition to a variety of meetings was also rumored to be conducting a coaching search as well.

Sakiewicz quickly debunked the rumor with this statement released to media this afternoon:

"The coaching search has been suspended for several weeks," said Philadelphia Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz.  "No decisions have been made.  Our focus is on preparing the team to play the New York Red Bulls on Saturday and competing for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Championship against the Seattle Sounders on Tuesday night.  The search will resume at a later date."

Some stuff you should read:

The guys at Philly Soccer Page continue to kill it looking at vintage Open Cup championship teams, their latest a look at the then Philly based Ukranian Nationals team  that captured the Open Cup in 1960. Written by historian Roger Allaway, it gives awesome insight into just how dominant these guys were… MLSSoccer.com and CSNPhilly.com writer Dave Zeitlin penned this piece chronicling the rise of Union soccer spearheaded by the truest form of a Philadelphian, Jim Curtin.

Both are good fireside reads if you have the time tonight.

Until tomorrow…

Contact Union digital editor Kerith Gabriel at kgabriel@philadelphiaunion.com