Corey Furlan celebrates the Sons of Ben's lone goal.

Daily Doop: Back to practice, new trialist, Meet the Team, Sons of Ben love and more

Four days before the start of the regular season.

And on the first day of practice since a return from Florida, manager John Hackworth and the rest of the Union technical went back to the basics.

Sequential passing and receiving drills, possession drills and finishing were all on the menu for Tuesday at the Union’s impromptu training site at Episcopal Academy in Newtown Square. The drills were designed to get guys back into the flow of training; given the flight home Sunday and Monday’s off day meant two days had passed since their last session.

“There are two parts to it,” Hackworth explained. “One is you have to be good at the fundamentals. But when you come off a travel day Sunday and a day off yesterday, instead of throwing everything at them, players traditionally need to get back into a training mode. So we did a lot of technical work today, a lot of finishing work, we played a possession game that wasn’t easy but was easy to understand and then a game for some competitiveness. [Today’s] session was designed to build in with the ones that will come [later in the week].”

Speaking of competition, there was a new face at training this morning as the staff is currently giving Brazilian midfielder Eber Henrique Ferreira DeBessa a look.

Some points from this morning’s session:

  • Jack McInerney looked sharp in the finishing drill. He generally finished to corners and when he didn’t he still managed to keep the ball on frame.
  • Danny Cruz and Chris Albright were the vocal and physical presence during the possession drill, with Cruz keeping count of the number of completed passes.
  • Cristhian Hernandez told he’s feeling “much better and happy to be back in Philly.” Hernandez also participated in full practice and looks to have no residual effects from a high ankle sprain that saw him miss much of preseason.
  • Sheanon Williams was really effective pushing up high from a right back position during the short-sided scrimmage; he continues to add an interesting dynamic on attack.

Moving on…

Don’t forget tonight is our “Meet the Team” event and jersey unveil, the full uniform (which has yet to be leaked) will be on display tonight when we unveil everything in its entirety beginning at 7:35 p.m. Season ticket holders get in the door beginning at 7 p.m. and at 7:30 p.m. we are open to the public.

We hope to see you all tonight. And don’t forget about our new Instagram profile and contest that kicks off tonight at Xfinity Live! Take a unique picture from the event post it via Instagram and include the captions: @PhiladelphiaUnionMLS and #MeetTheTeam2013 if we like it, we’ll announce the winner in tomorrow’s “The Daily Doop” and send the winner a prize relating to the third kit.

The Sons of Ben received some print love from the Inquirer and today for an upcoming documentary about their existence and how their dedication helped forge a team in Philadelphia. Writer Jeff Gammage caught up with film director Jeff Bell for an inside look at what to expect when the movie gets released early next year.

Also, our season previews kick off tomorrow on as we break down each position over the next three days so you are all set for Saturday’s 4 p.m. First Kick at PPL Park.

Until tomorrow…

Contact Union writer Kerith Gabriel at


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