Hey everyone here’s hoping you all had a great holiday and Happy New Year.
We checked out for a bit here at Union HQ given the season, but we are back in full swing. We have to be, considering there are only 59 days until Sporting Kansas City becomes our first victim.
So many of you have asked about when the full Major League Soccer regular season schedule will drop. MLS tells us that “mid-January” will be when the entire 34-game rundown will be announced. For those that don’t know, the holdup is generally the league’s national broadcast partners who divvy up the matches they’d like to host. While we are unsure if it’s more a lackadaisical timeframe to commit to matches as opposed to a multi-network bidding war, we do know this is generally the reason for the holdup. No exact date, but know that the schedule will be released later this month allowing you to plan accordingly.
As far as the elephant in the room is concerned…
We can’t get into great detail, in part because we are not allowed to, but I can tell you that the reports surrounding captain Carlos Valdes and his desire to train with Colombian club Independiente Santa Fe are one-sided. While it’s been written that Valdes expressed interest in joining Santa Fe this offseason, the stance of the Union technical staff is firm that the MLS All-Star does not have permission. Reports allege that Valdes is waiting on league approval, but that approval would only come after the blessing of Valdes’ parent club (that being us).
And to the knowledge of the technical staff, philadelphiaunion.com was told that no one from Santa Fe has contacted any of our four coaches seeking approval.
Our preseason trip to Florida is also on the horizon (Feb. 8-23), and while we have a nice little contingent coming to join us in sunny Orlando-Deltona, we figure the more the merrier. With that said, our marketing department will again host a chat via philadelphiaunion.com on Wednesday, Jan. 9 from 7:00-8:00 p.m. addressing Fan Trip questions.
So if you have a question on players we are grabbing during the winter transfer window or about the ridiculously awesome third kit created by adidas, this won’t be the right forum.
Speaking of the third kit…
The guys over at Philly Soccer Page did this Q&A piece with Mike Walker of adidas America who designed the alternate uniform on exactly what to expect. It’s a really good breakdown of the process, the design and thought behind it…without giving away anything.
In which case we say kudos to PSP for a good interview and kudos to Mr. Walker for being evasive; but trust us folks when we say this kit is worth the wait.
And lastly, the photo of the cute kid was sent to us by Bill Magee, a Sons of Ben founding member who submitted this picture of his grandson Thane. The email said: "2013 - The return of LETOOOOOOO!!!"
Catch you tomorrow…
Contact Kerith Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org