USMNT coach Jürgen Klinsmann may believe the MLS offseason is too long, but with two months to go until the regular season kicks off there's no shortage of Union news. Here's a quick Barcelona-esque tiki-taka look at what's going on with the U.
Kerith Gabriel, subbing for Jonathan Tannenwald on Philly.com's "The Goalkeeper" blog, says rumors of PPL Park hosting the MLS All-Star are just that at this point - rumors. Gabriel quotes Union CEO and managing partner Nick Sakiewicz as stating "I've spoken with the commissioner, but there has been no official announcement from the league to our organization that we won hosting rights."
Freddy Adu, who just finished a ten day training spell in Madrid with La Liga side Rayo Vallecano, tells ESPN's Arch Bell that his sights remain firmly set on returning to Europe. I understand his desire to return to a top tier European league, but he didn't exactly distinguish himself upon arriving in Philly. I'm an admitted Adu apologist , but there's no better way to get on the wrong side of Philly fans than talking about how you'd rather be somewhere else.
Speaking of Adu, he joins Union teammates Zac MacMath, Jack McInerney, Amobi Okugo and Sheanon Williams in being called in for the US U-23 camp. The five Union players were called in by head coach Caleb Porter as he goes about determining who will make the Olympic qualifying roster. Eleven MLS players were called in, five of them are from the Union.
Michael Farfan, he of the cheeky chip against Real Madrid, reportedly will train with English Premier League side Sunderland. Soccer By Ives tweeted the news on Tuesday.
Diego Gutiérrez, the man responsible for bringing in Carlos Valdes and Faryd Mondragon, is confident that Josué Martínez, Gabriel Gómez and Porfirio López will enjoy similar success with the Union. Gutiérrez, the Union's head of scouting and player development, has a veritable pipeline to Central America and Colombia.
Zach Pfeffer, the Union's first ever homegrown player, has been called into the US U-18 camp.
The MLS Super Draft is set to take place in Kansas City on Thursday. Here's a mock draft from the MLS website.
Finally, Steve Davis looks back at how far MLS has come in the ten years since the league contracted the Tampa Bay Mutiny and Miami Fusion. As Davis points out, it's amazing that a league forced to contract two teams now has 19 teams in the fold with 13 soccer specific stadiums.
If you watched Monday night's Phillies loss at the hands of the Colorado Rockies, you probably weren't very entertained -- unless you're a Rockies fan.
But if you followed the game on Twitter and happen to follow the Rockies' account, you may have been slightly more entertained.
They tried something we haven't seen from an opposing team just yet. They tweeted throughout the game using only quotes from the Rocky movie franchise.
Now, you can debate how successful of a move this was but you have to at least give them some points for creativity. And it's not like this was a playoff game with high stakes. This was a relatively boring Monday night game in the middle of May.
You can read our recap of the Phillies' 8-1 loss right here. Or here's how the night transpired on Twitter:
All week on Philly Sports Talk on CSN, we examine how our teams got to this point and where they are in the rebuilding process.
On Tuesday, Sixers Insider Jessica Camerato takes a look at the state of the Sixers.
How did we get here?
By now, you all know about “The Process.” The Sixers last competitive season was five years ago when they reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2012. They began dismantling that group, and the following year, went 34-48 under Doug Collins.
The Sixers then entered a three-year period of dismal basketball with a revolving door of players coached by Brett Brown that culminated in a 47-199 record. During that time, they stockpiled injured players, draft-and-stash prospects and a handful of future picks through transactions made by then-general manager Sam Hinkie.
Hinkie stepped down from his role with a memorable 13-page resignation letter last April. The Sixers hired Bryan Colangelo as president of basketball operations, marking a new chapter in the organization.
The 2016-17 season was the first glimpse into the potential of “The Process.” They finished 28-54, including a 10-5 month of January. Joel Embiid made his NBA debut after two years. While he was limited to 31 games because of (another) injury, he quickly proved he can dominate when healthy. Dario Saric came to the NBA two years after being drafted in 2014 and emerged as a Rookie-of-the-Year candidate after Embiid was shut down for the season. The Sixers landed the number one pick in the 2016 draft and are waiting on the debut of Ben Simmons, who suffered a Jones fracture in training camp. This season, the Sixers established legitimate pieces for their future, rather than players who could be on the summer league team.
Are the Sixers on the right path back to prosperity?
The Sixers are on the right path back to prosperity, and it starts this offseason. They have the third pick in the 2017 draft, with the possibilities of adding another young talent or packaging the pick to land a more established player. The Sixers have flexibility with plenty of cap space — which they could use to acquire a key free agent. The team has maintained they will not rush into making a trade just for the sake of it — Jahlil Okafor’s future with the Sixers is still uncertain — or spending money just because it’s available. The Sixers showed flashes of potential last season. If they gather the right pieces this summer and — a big “and” — they stay healthy, the Sixers will continue to move toward an upward trend of rebuilding with the longer-term goals (this isn't happening overnight) of becoming a contender again.
Coming Wednesday: A look at the Phillies' rebuild