Everybody…welcome to the weekend.
It’s Friday and things are pretty quiet around Union HQ, but we are awaiting the return of boss John Hackworth next week to provide insight into his five-day South American scouting excursion.
Hack has agreed to pen another “Final Whistle,” his inside letter upon return and while we don’t expect him to name names, just knowing the nature of the trip would be great. If you don’t know, Hack left Sunday with Union new director of international scouting Ricardo Ansaldi to hunt diamonds in the rough.
Union homegrown midfielder Zach Pfeffer left today to report to the latest U.S. under-18 national team camp in Carson, Calif., along with academy goalkeeper Zack Steffen. The two will have Thanksgiving dinner together as the weeklong camp ends next Saturday, but for Pfeffer, who trained by himself and with Union teammates at YSC Sports in Wayne all this week, these trips are totally worth it.
“I take a lot from these trips because you are training not only with the best coaches but you are up against the best players in your age group in our country,” Pfeffer told philadelphiaunion.com. “It’s an honor and a privilege for me to represent my country and get better at the same time. Yeah missing Thanksgiving with my family will [stinks], but this is worth it.”
As my old boss would say, “switching gears…”
With the NCAA tournament in full swing we ran this story today of players with ties to the Union academy currently playing with their college teams for a shot to be at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala. in four weeks. We counted six schools and nine players. Also, we had high school lacrosse in the house Friday at PPL Park as the Philly Charity Showdown kicked off this afternoon. The event which raised money for HelpHOPELive an initiative which empowering individuals and families to overcome financial barriers related to catastrophic injury features some of the top prep school teams in our area and around the country going at it.
In the news…
MLSSoccer.com writer Dave Zeitlin caught up with Union forward Jack McInerney who said scoring in the double digits next season should "not be a problem." Considering Jack Mac ended up with eight league goals playing just two-thirds of the season, we think it’s feasible, too…CBS3 weather personality and crazed Union fan Katie Fehlinger created this feature with the Farfan brothers that aired this morning. Fehlinger is proof that just because you are hella fit doesn’t always mean you are coordinated. Ha! just kidding…Fehlinger was fantastic and a great sport, we are looking forward to DOOPing it up with her in 2013! As we mentioned yesterday, voting for MLS year end awards were released yesterday and Michael Lahoud is up for Humanitarian of the Year. The complete list of nominees is here.
That’s all we got, enjoy your weekend and root for “That Boy” Clint Dempsey who will be introduced to his first North London derby when Tottenham travels to Arsenal on Saturday morning (7:45 a.m., ESPN2).
Contact Kerith Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Kerith on Twitter @sprtswtr