Although Jeff Parke missed the first part of Union training camp while of U.S. national team camp, the Union’s new defender has still managed to impress Hackworth in just a short time.
“He’s a quality player and he’s an experienced professional,” said the coach. “I haven’t been around him a long time, but in the short time I’ve been around him, I’ve been really impressed by how he prepares himself. He takes advantage of every little thing he can -- whether it’s nutrition, hydration, massages -- everything he can to be a better athlete, it’s impressive. The best part is that he’s a good player. Already, he has come in and shown the quality the national team saw.”
Hackworth also noted that Parke, a Downingtown native, joined the Union in Philadelphia just prior to the club’s departure for Florida, where they will finish training camp and pre-season.
Injury bug bites Hernandez, Wheeler
It wouldn’t be a training camp without injuries and illness, and unfortunately for forwards Cristhian Hernandez and Aaron Wheeler, they were bit. Hernandez, a Union academy graduate, suffered a high-ankle sprain, while Wheeler, acquired this off-season, is being kept out because of illness.
“Right now, the only two guys out are Wheeler and Cristhian Hernandez,” said Hackworth. “Cristhian has a high-ankle sprain and we hope he’ll be back before the end of this Florida trip. High ankle sprains are trough to recover from. He’s doing everything possible in rehab and we’re hopeful he’ll be back with us sooner than later. Aaron, we hope to have back with us next week. It shouldn’t be as long.”
Change in the booth
In an official release on Thursday, the Union announced they will continue their relationship with broadcast partners WPVI-TV/6abc, Comcast SportsNet and the Comcast Network through the 2013 season.
6abc will air three club matches, while CSN will broadcast 20.
"We are very excited about our expanding team of broadcast professionals and looking forward to what will be a new look and format to Union broadcasts,” said Philadelphia Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz. “We've listened to our viewers and have worked very hard in the off season to provide the best possible viewing experience for Union fans.”
The change comes in the broadcast booth. Union original, Venezuelan national team forward and ESPN color analyst Alejandro Moreno will replace Bob Rigby, joining fourth-year Union play-by-play man, JP Dellacamera.
In his 10-year MLS career, Moreno scored 52 goals and played in 272 matches.
CSN will also renew its magazine show, “State of the Union,” which is in its third season.
“Local soccer fans can once again count on Comcast SportsNet and The Comcast Network to provide unparalleled Philadelphia Union coverage, with 20 high definition games and the return of the “State of the Union’ magazine show,” said Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia President Brian Monihan.
“The State of the Union” airs bi-weekly on Friday nights.