Relive the best moments of a long, memorable and ultimately disappointing Philadelphia Union season

Relive the best moments of a long, memorable and ultimately disappointing Philadelphia Union season

With the Union’s 2013 campaign ending with a whimper (two straight losses and a 3-6-3 record over the final three months effectively knocked them out of playoff contention), it might be hard to remember the good times.

The MLS regular season, after all, is an eight-month marathon and how are we expected to remember what happened back in March when our attention spans are … SQUIRREL!

Luckily, I’m here to provide some highlights of some of the Union’s best goals and moments. (And before you think we’re getting soft, feel free to reference Steve Moore’s recent post on the team’s blown chances and all of the other cynical and negative articles that exist about a team that, while setting a franchise record for wins, did sort of crash and burn down the stretch.)

Here now are the top highlights from each month of the season:

MARCH

Don’t ask me how but in the second game of their season, the Union somehow went on the road and picked up a rare win over a playoff team (Colorado) after the game was postponed because of a blizzard. The contest also featured Amobi Okugo’s first career goal, as well as an awkwardly subdued celebration from Philly’s rising star.

APRIL

The first three months of the season were very good to Jack McInerney, who scored a whopping 10 goals by June 1 before hitting a wall. And no game was better for the 21-year-old star striker than the Union’s 3-2 win over rival D.C. United on April 21 when McInerney scored twice, including this delicious goal where he managed to split a pair of D.C. defenders. Make sure to watch the video, if only to hear the announcer exclaim, “The Jack Mac Attack has done it again!”

MAY

In another one of the season’s did-that-really-just-happen moments, much-maligned midfielder Danny Cruz managed to score twice in a one-minute span, spurring the Union to a 2-2 home draw with the Seattle Sounders on May 4. To put that in perspective, Cruz finished the season with three goals and had a total of two goals all of last season.

JUNE

This was a good month for the Union, who picked up two 3-0 home wins – over Columbus and eventual Supporters’ Shield winner New York. But of all of the goals scored in those two exciting victories, none was as cool as defender Sheanon Williams’ vs. Columbus – not only because he scored on an acrobatic side-volley that landed him on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays but also because he decided to hug a random fan afterwards.

JULY

The Aaron Wheeler-to-Antoine Hoppenot goal that led to the Union’s 1-0 road win in Vancouver on July 27 was impressive but few goals were as memorable (or weird) as Michael Farfan’s vs. Chivas USA on July 12. In the rarely seen indirect kick, Farfan rocketed one into the top of the net from about seven yards out as Chivas defenders charged at him. The goal was Farfan's only one of the season and it came in a game in which he played opposite his twin brother, Gabriel.

AUGUST

The Union only scored four total goals in five August games – and two of them came from one guy in the same game. The brace from Conor Casey helped the Union pick up a 2-0 home win over shorthanded D.C. United at PPL Park on Aug. 10 – and continued to show the value of Casey, who finished with 10 goals in his first season with Philly.

SEPTEMBER

Despite tumbling down the standings over the final couple of months, the Union still managed to pick up an unlikely 1-0 road win over Eastern Conference powerhouse Sporting Kansas City on Sept. 27. It was an impressive performance from the Union’s defense and from goalie Zac Macmath, who made five saves to earn the shutout, including one huge one on star midfielder Graham Zusi. The contest also featured quite the move from Cruz that set up the game's only goal.

OCTOBER

PPL Park has never been as loud as it was on Oct. 5 when Kleberson scored a beautiful free-kick goal in the final minutes to send the Union to a thrilling 1-0 win over Toronto FC. The goal was the first in MLS for the Brazilian World Cup veteran, who had been buried on the bench for most of the season. Kleberson also had a couple of assists in October but, sadly for the Union, this win would be their last of the year. It was still, perhaps, one of the best moments in franchise history.

Video of Marcus Vick running from the cops, getting captured at gunpoint is bonkers

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Video of Marcus Vick running from the cops, getting captured at gunpoint is bonkers

You have to give Marcus Vick credit, he still has that breakaway speed. But it's not exactly "getaway" speed as he demonstrated in his failed attempt to elude police in an incident that took place back in April. 

TMZ posted video of Vick's attempt to elude the law on Tuesday. Here's how the Washington Post described the incident back in April:

The incident occurred at Onelife Fitness when a police officer tried to arrest him on an outstanding contempt of court charge in Montgomery County, Va., and Vick ran, according to the police report obtained by WAVY.com, damaging a door as he did so. As the officer tried to grab him, Vick pushed him and, after a brief chase on foot, he was taken into custody. Online arrest records originally indicated that he was charged with a hate crime, but Newport News Police spokesman Lou Thurston told WAVY that was an error.

Vick, 32, was charged with one count each of resisting arrest, obstruction of justice, destruction of property and felony assault on a law enforcement officer. 

The video ends with Vick on the ground and the police officer whose camera caught the whole chase with his weapon drawn. Scary and strange stuff for the brother of former Eagles quarterback Mike Vick.

MLB Notes: Nationals place Stephen Drew on DL

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MLB Notes: Nationals place Stephen Drew on DL

CLEVELAND -- Unable to figure out what's making Stephen Drew dizzy, the Washington Nationals placed the veteran infielder on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday.

Drew has played just once in the past week, delivering a walk-off triple to give Washington a win over San Diego on Saturday. Manager Dusty Baker said the 33-year-old Drew has been experiencing vertigo-like symptoms and the team is sending him back to Washington for more medical tests.

"He wasn't getting any better," Baker said before the Nationals concluded their two-game interleague series with the Indians. "He was dizzy. He was kind of worried and didn't know what it was because he's had two concussions, but he hadn't had anything that would have caused another concussion. Whenever you feel woozy and dizzy and don't get any better, that's a pretty good indication that something's wrong."

Drew sat out several days last week because he was feeling ill. He's in his first season with the Nationals, who signed him as a free agent in January (see full story).

Padres: Solarte placed on family leave list
TORONTO -- The San Diego Padres made a few roster moves before Wednesday's game against the Blue Jays, recalling utilityman Alexi Amarista and left-hander Buddy Baumann from Triple-A El Paso.

The newcomers replace outfielder Melvin Upton Jr., who was traded to Toronto on Tuesday, and third baseman Yangervis Solarte, who was placed on the family leave list and will miss from three to seven days.

Solarte is batting .290 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs.

This is Amarista's fourth stint with the Padres this season. The six-year veteran is batting .239 with no homers and seven RBIs in 45 games.

Baumann joins the Padres for the second time. He made his major league debut with 1-3 of an inning against San Francisco on July 16, retiring Brandon Crawford on one pitch.

NHL Notes: Predators sign Calle Jarnkrok to 6-year, $12 million contract

NHL Notes: Predators sign Calle Jarnkrok to 6-year, $12 million contract

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Nashville Predators have signed forward Calle Jarnkrok to a six-year, $12 million contract through 2021-22.

Under the deal announced by the Predators on Wednesday, Jarnkrok will earn $1.7 million this season rising to $2.2 million in both 2019-20 and 2020-2021 before dipping to $2 million in the final year.

The 24-year-old Jarnkrok played in 71 games last season and scored a career-high 16 goals with 30 points. The native of Gavle, Sweden, was second on the team with four game-winning goals last season.

The 51st pick overall by Detroit in the 2010 entry draft, Jarnkrok was traded to Nashville on March 5, 2014, and was a restricted free agent.

The Predators also promised on Twitter the announcement of another signing later Wednesday.

Hurricanes: Head coach Bill Peters extended 3 years
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes signed coach Bill Peters to a contract extension through the 2018-19 season, general manager Ron Francis said Wednesday.

Peters has a record of 65-72-27 in two seasons while leading the Hurricanes' rebuilding project. They finished this season sixth in the Metropolitan Division with a 35-31-16 record, but earned 86 points -- their most since 2010-11, and a 15-point improvement from Peters' first year.

"We knew it wasn't going to be a quick turnaround," Peters said. "It takes time. ... I just like the direction we're headed in, and we're headed in that direction for a long period of time."

The Hurricanes used three rookies in the rotation on defense, and mounted a last-gasp -- but ultimately unsuccessful -- push for their first playoff appearance since 2009 by earning points in 12 of the 14 games that came after trading captain and franchise face Eric Staal to the New York Rangers.

Terms of Peters' extension were not disclosed. Peters was entering the final year of a three-year contract he signed in June 2014, when he was hired to take over for the fired Kirk Muller.

"You've got a head coach heading into the last year of his deal," Francis said. "It's important that if you like him and you want to have him around, you get this done."

The Hurricanes have reached the playoffs just once since winning the Stanley Cup in 2006. Carolina's seven-year postseason drought is the longest among Eastern Conference teams.

"Professionally, it's the right thing for me, and I want to see this thing through, and I want to get in the playoffs, and I want to get on a run," Peters said.