The old adage is that “bad things come in threes.”
Well, Saturday proved that in more ways than one.
The season finale at PPL Park, left a bad taste, namely from a 3-0 loss at the hands of rival Red Bull New York – a rival that still has at least another week of soccer courtesy of qualifying for MLS postseason play.
You were also left with a sour pallet because losing in that fashion felt like a deserved end to a tumultuous season, one that in all honesty mimicked a reality show still in need of a working title.
But it was the little things we noticed after the dust settled that were beyond bizarre in that all these events wrapped up with “three.”
Some minor, some major...but all ironic.
Whether it was in my former role as the Daily News beat writer or now as the club’s newly minted digital media manager, I have covered the Union in some capacity since its inception. When PPL Park was built one of the personal positives for this guy was the media dining room which had soft pretzels that looked like the Union insignia and a fountain soda dispenser. For two years and 16 games, this soda machine has always taken care of my thirst.
But on Saturday it was busted. Flat out didn’t work for the latter part of an hour.
Minor but weird since it never happened.
If you were at PPL Park, you noticed that our trusty public address system went KA-BOOM just before game time. Again, never happened. And what’s weird is that Wednesday while in Kansas City, the pregame music blasting through the speakers at LIVESTRONG Park was deafening. Someone suggested that for our finale we should do the same. I believe the term was to make PPL Park “louder than loud,” the same words that don the stadium banner across the club section, if I recall.
Well, we did and…
However, thanks to our supporters the PA system didn’t matter, it was loud enough in the stands and because of them – especially during the national anthem – it made for a great showing.
The third was losing, 3-0 of course, but three additional things we noticed…
- Kenny Cooper, who scored a brace, is No. 33 for New York.
- Former Union forward Sebastien Le Toux was one of three substitutions for New York in the loss.
- Oh and New York’s win made it a three match season sweep.
Okay, I'm done with this, starting to get irritated reminiscing on the year that was…
This week marks exit interviews and final physicals for players. In these interviews, coaches go over individual numbers, evaluate players and for some players the conversation ends their last as a Union player. Of course, we don’t know who these players will be until later in the month.
Fortunately for Union boss John Hackworth; he won’t have to decide which players to protect as this will mark the first offseason that won’t follow with an expansion draft.
Speaking of Hackworth, the manager will deliver his final end of season exit interview on Monday, Nov. 5 at 1:30 p.m. Hack’s interview was scheduled for this Wednesday, but Hurricane Sandy put a damper on those plans.
Sandy did keep her paws off PPL Park as both the field and stadium didn’t grab any damage. The same can’t be said for the ceiling directly above my cubicle.
Soccer by Ives named rookie defender Raymon Gaddis to his All-Rookie Best XI, the full rundown is here.
While we have no confirmation that this season could be his last, according to Gabriel Gomez, don’t be surprised if it is. On Saturday, Gomez told Philly.com's Jonathan Tannenwald via translator:
"I do not know about my future with this team, but I do not think I will continue. I have option years [in my contract] but I do not know if the team will take them. I am waiting for a meeting [with the coaching staff] this week to see what will happen in my future."
On Twitter, soccer writer Leander Schaerlaeckens (say that five times, fast) noted the vast improvement in MLS attendance with this post:
“MLS sets new attendance record of 18,807 per game. That, folks, is higher than French Ligue 1. Which is to say, that is very significant.”
Considering that number trumps both last season's NBA (17,274) and NHL (17,455) attendance numbers, we say "significant" is an understatement.
Contact Kerith Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Kerith on Twitter @sprtswtr