Category Archives: A Newcomer’s Guide to the Philadelphia Union

A Newcomer’s Guide to the Philadelphia Union

Welcome to the Philadelphia Union. I’m sorry . . . I’m so sorry.

Jokes aside, welcome to the Union. Here is most everything you need to know:


Manager: Jim Curtin (Interim)

Captain: Brian Carroll

Vice-Captains: Amobi Okugo/Maurice Edu


First Season: 2010

Nicknames: The U, Zolos

Stadium: PPL Park

Training Facility: Chester Park? C’mon Bro!

Channel: Usually on The Comcast Network (8)



2010: Expansion year. Losing record despite Sebastian Le Toux heroics.

2011: Union make the playoffs off the back of strong defending. The Zolos were in the hunt for the Supporter’s Shield until a late season meltdown. First round defeat to the Houston Dynamos.

2012: Nowak has a meltdown, and Hackworth is hired. The Zolos are characterized by being just as likely to get in a fight as they are to score a goal. Losing record.

2013: Hackworth’s Union underachieves and gets a losing record. The team is characterized by losing and tying when up a man throughout the year.


The State of the Union

After splashing the cash to bring Christian Maidana, Vincent Nogueira, Maurice Edu, and Austin Berry in the offseason, the Union slump through the first half of the year. After firing John Hackworth, the Union have shown signs of improvement under interim manager Jim Curtin.

Looking forward, the Union are two US Open Cup wins away from winning their first trophy ever. Playoffs are a possibility, but they look unlikely. The main focus of the team is winning the Open Cup and finding a new manager.


Star Players

Vincent Nogueira (French/#5): Nogueira arrived this offseason from French side Sochaux. The midfielder has consistently been the best player for this team all season, bossing the middle of the field while linking attack.

Cristhian “Chaco” Maidana (Argentinian/#10): Chaco is a creative attacking midfielder who is one of the Union’s best passers of the ball. Like Nogueira and Edu, he joined this past offseason. Former manager John Hackworth once called him a bad parent.

Sebastian Le Toux (French/#11): Mr. Philadelphia Union. Seba is the closest thing to the face of the team. He was the cog that drove the Union forward in their first two seasons. The midfielder/striker is a fan favorite who goes out of his way to interact with the fans.

Maurice Edu (American/#21): The defensive midfielder was a big name signing this past offseason. While being a talented player, many fans feel he has underperformed considering the expectations when he signed. Narrowly missed out on the World Cup squad after playing in the 2010 World Cup.

Ray Gaddis (American/#28): An unsung hero, the rightback is one of the best 1 v1 defenders in the league.  Few players in MLS can match Ray’s speed.


Hot Prospects

Zach Pfeffer (American/#27): The midfielder is a highly regarded USMNT prospect that spent the 2013 calender year on loan at Hoffenheim’s academy. Zach is a staple of the UMNST U20 side.

Jimmy McLaughlin (American/#20): Jimmy is a right-footed winger that likes to try to dribble past players. He has spent the past few years on loan at Harrisburg and has become one of their top players this year.

Cristhian Hernandez (Mexican/#23): The midfielder plays on loan at Harrisburg. He is known for scoring the loan goal in a friendly against Everton. Hernandez won academy player of the year before signing with us.


Notable Alumni

  • Freddy Adu
  • Danny Califf
  • Kleberson
  • Justin Mapp
  • Faryd Mondragon
  • Alejandro Moreno
  • Michael Orozco-Fiscal
  • Veljko “Ol’ Serby Bastard” Paunovic
  • Carlos Ruiz


Former Managers

Piotr Nowak: 2010-2012

John Hackworth: 2012-2014

Jim Curtin (interim): 2014-present