Yesterday we gained our fiftieth new ally for May. Today we continue a week of looking at teams with the most allies before this drive with the Philadelphia Union.
Eight Union players are on the allies list, including one recruited by a fan who asked just a few weeks ago: Danny Cruz, Michael Farfan, Ray Gaddis, Michael Lahoud, Sebastien Le Toux, Zac MacMath, Amobi Okugo, and Carlos Valdes. Michael Lahoud also participated in the NOH8 Campaign, being the first professional athlete to pose for a picture with a teammate.
The Sons of Ben honored Robbie Rogers during the first half of the Philadelphia Union’s season opener against Sporting Kansas City with a simple, moving display.
Soon after the dooping died down after Sebastien Le Toux’s opening goal, the fans in the River End of PPL Park held up cards simply saying, “RR.” They stood with the cards silently for the 18th minute of the game, number 18 being Roger’s jersey number when he played for the Columbus Crew.
A few friends of the site in Philadelphia caught the display at the game.
Chick-Fil-A is sponsoring a booth at today’s Philadelphia Union game (and presumably all of them.) If you want to respond, we’re here to help.
Print out this card, sign it, and politely give it to anyone associated with the Chick-Fil-A promotion, Philadelphia Union staff, or anyone you want to share this message with.
Yes, a corporation whose “charity” donates money to groups that are vehemently against families that don’t fit their standard of what a family looks like are sponsoring a “Family of the Game” contest with the Philadelphia Union.
If you’re not okay with this partnership and are looking for a way to voice your concern today, here’s one polite, reserved way you can do so.
Can a team’s new jersey be so good it brings a tear to your eye? Yes, and for me that was the case with the Philadelphia Union’s new third kit.
Maybe I need to provide some background information. I grew up in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania in a town so small and slow its German name roughly translates to Snailtown. My dad grew up in Bethlehem and went to high school next to Steel Field, which had been home to the most successful team in the early decades of American soccer, Bethlehem Steel F.C.
Bethlehem Steel won the American Cup six times and the competition now called the U.S. Open Cup five times. Their home Steel Field was the first American soccer field to have stadium-style seating. They were so good they toured Europe on several occasions to show off their skills.
The new Philadelphia Union third jersey is a fitting, and moving, homage to Bethlehem Steel and the soccer history and heritage of Eastern Pennsylvania.
The banner at the top of the Philadelphia Union website asks, “What do you stand for?” After seeing the club announce a Chick-Fil-A giveaway night this season, it’s a question I have for them.
I have been a Union fan since season one and a Sons of Ben member since season two. When I saw this news from the team I loved this morning, it hit me like an arrow to the heart. It hurt.
Donations from Chick-Fil-A’s charitable foundation to anti-LGBT groups is well documented, and became quite well known last year. Millions were given in 2010, including to an organization identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and to Exodus International, a psychologically damaging “pray the gay away” ministry.
Do I expect every MLS club to check the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index every time they enter into a partnership with a business? Of course not. But the troubling donations by Chick-Fil-A and subsequent backlash were headline news last year with people both protesting and supporting the chain. The Union should have easily known that they are a hot button that isn’t worth pressing.
We are halfway through our countdown of our favorite hot draft picks this MLS preseason, so it seemed like a natural time to check in with last year’s favorite: Chandler Hoffman, Philadelphia Union forward.
We talked about memories of the 2012 SuperDraft and his first professional season, as well as how preseason 2013 is going and what the season ahead looks like with some seasoned veterans now part of the Union attack. And of course, he passes on his crown and sash with some advice for his hottest draft pick successor.
Ally Week, a celebration of straight allies who stand up for the LGBT community, wraps up tomorrow with Spirit Day.
Today we get thoughts from Philadelphia Union defender and US U-23 team member Amobi Okugo:
I’m an ally because I support the cause and like what this group is doing to raise awareness in the sports community. One of my best friend’s brothers is gay and he dealt with that by hiding his personality just to fit in with the soccer team he played on. I know how hard it was for him so when I saw this chance, I said ‘why not’. . . .An ally to me means that I should set an example and practice what I preach in terms of treating everyone the same way.
Portland and Seattle added one Soccer Ally each over the last few days, and today and tomorrow we reach the top of the heap: the two teams with the most allies on the list before we start recruiting as part of this May push.
The first of the two is the Philadelphia Union.
Chronologically, new trade Mike Lahoud became considered an ally last year when he did a NOH8 Campaign photo shoot. Amobi Okugo was the first to sign on via twitter in January, with Gabe Farfan and Zac MacMath joining in February, and Carlos Valdes and Krystian Witkowski joining in March. Thank you all!
But Philadelphia has a very deep Twitter roster and lots of opportunity to add even more. Who will be next? Will one of the teams like Philadelphia with the most allies continue in that spot when all is said and done? Ask the players below to be a #soccerally as we wrap up MLS recruitment this week.
Great work by our Philadelphia writer Janine for making this happen, and to our allies the Sons of Ben for letting it happen. It was great to see on the NBC Sports Network coverage right behind The River End goal.
The Philadelphia Union’s 3-1 loss Monday to the Portland Timbers was an extremely disappointing event, to say the least.
There were highs and then there was the last 3rd of the match. As the resonance from our collective facepalm dissipates, we are left to hope that the Union’s individual talent just needs to marinade a little longer. But there is an upside: the 2012 kit. The blue uniforms looked great on TV and Zac MacMath’s muted orange kit wins the evening.
Lime green; seen it. Bright yellow; been there. Light Blue; so last season. Black? Really? Isn’t the point to stand out and draw the eye to you? Nope. Orange. US National Team Goalkeeper Tim Howard’s favorite color, but be sure to avoid distraction so you won’t get in an auto accident, then you’ll have to ‘borange all the way to the stadium’!
What a wonderful addition to last year’s offerings.
Follow me at @JerseyJ9 on Twitter. DOOP!