We are two days into the New Year which for us means a fresh start, clean slate...whatever you want to call it.
And although the 2012 MLS season is in the books, we here at philadelphiaunion.com wanted to take one final look back at Union season No. 3.
There were a lot of good quotes to choose from, but we wanted to include snippets from local officials as well as players and managers from opposing teams. We didn't limit the list to just post-game quotes from our guys.
The Best Quotes from 2012:
“I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Peter Nowak. He and I had discussions about what it would be like to work together and to start a new franchise. Peter’s a dear friend of mine and a lot of things we did together I’ll remember forever, and I’m very thankful to him for those opportunities."
- Manager John Hackworth, following the mid-season departure of former head coach Peter Nowak
"I think it's pretty clear to everyone in the league that the interim label should be removed and he should be the head coach here."
- Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan, on John Hackworth's future with the Union
“I guess while shaking him off, he hit the ground pretty hard and that triggered something in his head that he needed to headbutt me.”
- Antoine Hoppenot, after receiving a vicious headbutt from Montreal defender Nelson Rivas on August 4th. The incident left the Union forward with a nasal bone fracture.
“He didn’t do that for us, did he? No. That’s how it goes. We can’t finish and they can, that’s the difference from where we’re at and where they are.”
- Sheanon Williams sounding off on former teammate Lionard Pajoy, who scored the lone goal in D.C. United's 1-0 win at PPL Park on Sept. 20
“That guy’s a Union killer isn’t he? “Every time he comes here he scores goals. I don’t mean to make light of that but we need to defend those (crosses) and we didn’t. He showed why he’s so dangerous.”
- Then-assistant coach John Hackworth, after Steven Lenhart's second half brace sealed a 2-1 San Jose win at PPL Park on April 28
"I'm not gonna lie, I absolutely do have a chip on my shoulder. I believe that I can be at that level. I just believe that I need time to develop and I'm very happy where I am right now. I think I've developed a lot here. I'm ready to go and show the fans that I've developed and I'll continue to develop over the next couple of years."
- Harrisburg winger Morgan Langley, ahead of the U.S. Open Cup semifinal between the Union and the City Islanders. Langley was released by Philadelphia after the 2011 season.
“[Coach] Hackworth just said to be ready and I just said, ‘Yes sir.’ That was the end of the conversation.”
- Union fullback Ray Gaddis, prior to his start in Philadelphia's 3-1 win over Houston
“Ray was roasting people, huh?”
Sheanon Williams, after Gaddis' performance against the Dynamo
“You could see last season how talented he was and how much he was improving. When you try and score, you have to go through tough defenders. I think that Carlos is one of the toughest defenders around. He’s big and physical and he’s so strong on the ball. I think the sky’s the limit in terms of potential for him.”
- MLS Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski on the improved play of Union captain Carlos Valdes
“He’s a stud. He’s so talented and he anchors their backline. Tough, tough player.”
- Another take on Carlos Valdes, from D.C. United manager Ben Olsen
"It’s something that we dream of as kids, to play against the European champions. It’s an amazing feeling, especially to do it at home in front of the Sons of Ben, and all of our friends and family.”
- Union midfield Michael Farfan, following his substitute appearance at the All-Star Game
“Beautiful stadium. You couldn’t ask for a better backdrop with the river right there. It’s perfect for the United States, and for this league. It suits soccer and this league really well. With the fans here, it gets very loud. D.C. came to play at a packed house and it was really loud. It’s always a really good environment, even as an opposing team, to come and play in.”
- D.C. United forward Chris Pontius, when asked about playing the All-Star Game at PPL Park
“I don’t think you should underestimate the league. I really don’t. I know Scotland came over here a couple months ago and got well beaten by the American national team. I don’t think you can undersell it. I think there are some really good players over here. I think it’s really an improving league, no doubt about it. We’re in for a hard game, a really tough game.”
- Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert, prior to his squad's 1-0 friendly win at PPL Park
“It’s a big challenge to come here to play. The game is completely different. It’s one thing for guys like Arne Friedrich and Torsten Frings to play a different game and take on a new challenge. The other thing is having Jurgen Klinsmann as the United States national team coach. That’s another incentive for (Germans) to play here. There’s already a connection in Klinsmann. Everyone in the Bundesliga still looks at Jurgen Klinsmann as a mentor, as a person to look up to. So that’s a big part of it.”
- Schalke 04 manager Huub Stevens, when asked about the quality of MLS and intrigue among German players and fans
“This is extraordinary. This has been a long time coming. This is good for the fans, good for our supporters, it’s good for the Union."
- Union vice president of Business Relations Carl Cherkin, following the debut broadcast of "The 90th Minute" on Sports Radio 610 WIP-AM
"It's amazing. It's amazing what can be accomplished when everybody works together as one unit and works for the kids. We're looking out for the future of the kids. It's an excellent project to keep the kids off the street and be in an environment that's safe, and they can get some exercise at the same time. I couldn't ask for anything more; I'm excited about it."
- Dr. Tony Watson, superintendent of the Chester Upland School District, following the July playground build at Science and Discovery High School
"I'm very pleased with the success of the Union. The team is selling out almost every game, they've got a good commercial base, they've got strong media support. Frankly, it's worked a little better here than we thought it would have."
- MLS Commissioner Don Garber, at the press conference that awarded the All-Star Game to Philadelphia
"People will really get to see a spectacular park, a fantastic team, the great city of Chester, and the Philadelphia region. This is our time to shine. We're looking forward to not only a great game, but three great days of promoting one of the greatest cities in the world. The City of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Union, the City of Chester, the Philadelphia region –this is our moment. We'll certainly do well."
- Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter, ahead of the 2012 All-Star Game
Contact Union writer Kevin Kinkead at firstname.lastname@example.org.