Union Set to Open New Stadium

PPL Park has been a long time coming for Philadelphia

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There has been a steady stream of
events since 2008 when Philadelphia was awarded Major League soccer’s 16th
franchise.

First came a name. Then an identity,
one that the city has wholeheartedly embraced and connected with.

After that came the squad, slowly
compiled by manager Peter Nowak through the expansion draft, the MLS SuperDraft,
free agency and trades.

Eventually, the MLS debut (loss to
the Seattle Sounders), the first goal, the
home debut (a win over D.C. United),
the first win.

The only thing missing was the new
home.

Now, after two years of waiting, the
Union will finally play in front of their home fans in their very own building.
Yes, PPL Park is set to open on Sunday and what an event it should be. The
18,500-seat stadium will host its first MLS match when the Union take on, as
fate would have it, the Seattle Sounders again.

Attention MLS fans: watch and learn.

As we’ve seen from the Union’s first
two home matches, Philadelphia fans bring the noise. 35,000 for the first match
and 25,000 for the second, soccer fans in the tri-state area have embraced the side.

Despite the disappointing results,
the team is fresh after the World Cup break, and they should be charged up for
the match. Rightly so. The game could end up defining the team’s season.

Seattle haven’t been playing that
well of late and the chance of taking a result is quite possible for a Union
side that must rectify the mistakes that have left them at the bottom of the
Eastern Conference.

Regardless of who comes out with the points on Sunday, the match
itself is the real milestone. It’s another event to add to the ever-growing
list of achievements in the team’s young history, perhaps the one that will
linger longer than any other.