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The Philadelphia Union are piling up the shutouts but they’re not sure if anybody realizes

The Philadelphia Union are piling up the shutouts but they’re not sure if anybody realizes

If you’re a Union fan and somebody asks you about the team’s defense, you might point to how they traded or loaned away top center backs Danny Califf, Carlos Valdes and Bakary Soumare over the past year-and-a-half. Or that they’ve struggled to find a natural left back after sending away Jordan Harvey and then Gabriel Farfan. Or that they’ve decided the best course this season was to put a natural midfielder (Amobi Okugo) at center back and a natural right back (Ray Gaddis) on the left side.

You might even harken back to the dark days when the Union finished their inaugural 2010 season with the absurdly low total of two shutouts. Or perhaps you’d bring up how they’ve twice let in five goals in a game this season while giving up four in another one.

What you might fail to mention is that, heading into Sunday’s nationally televised showdown against the San Jose Earthquakes (11 pm ET, ESPN2), the Union have already matched a franchise record for shutouts with 10, a total that’s tied for second in the league.

Gaddis – who’s started at left back most of the season but filled in at right back for last week’s scoreless draw against the Montreal Impact – believes that shutout total “gets overlooked a lot of times.”

“As a defensive unit, we don’t necessarily get enough credit,” Gaddis said. “But we are okay with that.”

Perhaps one reason why the shutout number gets overlooked is because the Union have conceded 37 goals this season, the second-worst total in the Eastern Conference. But the main reason for that is because of those few games when the floodgates have completely opened.

For them, one of the most important defensive metrics is shutouts. In fact, one of their preseason goals was to get 10 clean sheets, which they thought was part of the formula to make the playoffs.

Does it simply come down to the Union’s tried-and-trued mantra that they don’t get enough leaguewide respect?

“If they don’t respect us, they don’t respect us,” Gaddis said. “Of course you feel that maybe we should get some more respect. We’ll just go out there and continue to do our job.”

And their job, Union defenders have said time and again this season, is to get shutouts. Remarkably, the Union have held the opposing team scoreless in five of their last seven games. And if they can do it again Sunday, it would be quite the accomplishment, considering Okugo is suspended for his second straight game and the Earthquakes feature a strong attack led by 2012 MVP Chris Wondolowski.

But maybe then, people will begin to pay attention to those shutout stats.

CSNPhilly Internship - Advertising/Sales

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CSNPhilly Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

The Giants are a bad football team

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The Giants are a bad football team

It sounds like Giants coach Ben McAdoo is growing tired of Eli Manning doing Eli Manning things.

Manning’s season is off to a horrendous start, and by extension, the Giants are, too. New York’s record fell to 0-2 on Monday night, as the franchise’s two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback was responsible for blunder after blunder in a 24-10 loss to the Lions.

Manning only threw one interception, but it was so bad, anybody could plainly see it was destined to get picked off the moment the ball left his hand. With 10 minutes remaining and down by 14, Manning decided to look short of the sticks on 4th-and-3, which resulted in a turnover on downs.

But the play that seemed to grate on McAdoo the most after the defeat was a penalty for delay of game in the third quarter. Trailing 17-7 in the third quarter, the Giants lined up to go for it on 4th-and-goal from the 2-yard line. Somehow, Manning didn’t get the snap off in time, New York was penalized five yards, and the team wound up settling for the field goal anyway.

"Sloppy quarterback play," McAdoo said via Jordan Raanan for ESPN.com. "Quarterback and center need to be on the same page there. We need to get the ball snapped."

It’s not very often you hear an NFL coach be so bluntly and specifically critical of one of his players. Then again, most NFL coaches don’t know the joys of coaching Eli Manning, who does this kind of stuff all the time.

"Because we have a veteran quarterback who has played a lot of football and I expect us to get the ball snapped," McAdoo said, explaining why he didn’t call a timeout with the play clock winding.

Translation: That was entirely, 100 percent on Manning.

Granted, Manning isn’t to blame for all of the Giants’ problems. Not unlike the Eagles, the offense can’t/won’t run the football, averaging 3.4 yards on 18 attempts against the Lions. The pass protection isn’t any better, either, allowing Manning to take 5 sacks and 8 quarterback hits – also reminiscent of the Eagles.

Yet, unlike the Eagles, people were strangely afraid of the Giants coming into the 2017 season. A lot of people had this team pegged as a contender for an NFC East championship, and while it’s too early to rule it out, I’ve never quite been sure why.

Manning and the Giants’ offensive struggles date back to last season, as the team hasn’t eclipsed 20 points in its last eight regular and postseason games – since November. All the only real upgrade the front office made in the offseason was to sign 33-year-old wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

Sure, New York’s defense is excellent. This isn’t 2007 though. It’s not good enough to overcome this level of offensive ineptitude.

Barring a sudden and dramatic turnaround, the Giants are a bad football team. The offensive line stinks. They have no ground attack to speak of whatsoever. Odell Beckham is the offense’s only viable threat, and he probably isn’t 100 percent. And Eli Manning is as mistake-prone as ever, except he’s 36 years old now and almost certainly is not putting the same mustard on the ball like he used to.

The Eagles host the Giants on a short week this Sunday. Make of that what you will.