Ryan Howard Meets His "Idol", Exchanges Jerseys With Juventus Players

Ryan Howard Meets His "Idol", Exchanges Jerseys With Juventus Players

All of a sudden Philadelphia is a world soccer hotspot. Everton visited PPL Park last week. Real Madrid played at the Linc last night. Juventus has made Philadelphia its home base, practicing at the NovaCare Complex, during the World Football Challenge.

Amongst other things these world class clubs bring international superstars, a rabid media following, and incredibly funny cultural differences.

For instance, the picture above of Ryan Howard and Cristiano Ronaldo was posted to the Real Madrid website.

The caption accompanying the photo is phenomenal.

"The Philadelphia Phillies player went to Lincoln Financial Field as soon as his team's game was over to meet the Portuguese player, whom he regards as one of his idols."

Photo of Howard with Juventus players and a video after the Jump...

Apparently, in addition to leading La Liga in goals and taking his shirt off every hour on the hour, Ronaldo is also writing copy for the Real Madrid website.

Today, Howard, who somehow managed to regroup after meeting one of his
idols,  exchanged jerseys with Juventus players Alessandro Del Piero,
Andrea Pirlo, and Giorgio Chiellini. No doubt Del Piero spent the
remainder of the afternoon trying to figure out how to pop the collar on
his new Phils jersey.

Finally, as an added bonus here's an unbelievable video from Juve's YouTube page. The training montage, primarily shot at the NovaCare Complex, makes use of the what may possibly be the greatest and most dramatic 80's music accompaniment ever (Rocky training in the Russian winter included).

Many thanks to the great Philly promoting Uwishunu for alerting us to the photo of The Big Piece with Cristiano Ronaldo. The photo of Howard and the Juventus players courtesy of @philaphillies.

Former Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn signs 2-year deal with Coyotes

Former Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn signs 2-year deal with Coyotes

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Coyotes have signed former Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn to a two-year contract.

The 26-year-old defenseman had four goals and 12 assists in 72 games with the Flyers and Los Angeles Kings last season. Schenn and Vinny Lecavalier were traded by the Flyers to the Kings last January in exchange for Jordan Weal and a third-round draft pick in last month's entry draft.

In his career, Schenn has 28 goals and 100 assists in 566 games with the Kings, Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs. In three-plus seasons with the Flyers, Schenn scored 12 goals and added 30 assists.

Schenn was the first-round draft pick - fifth selection overall - by the Maple Leafs in 2008.

Coyotes general manager John Chayka called Schenn "a good, young defenseman" who will be "a solid addition" to the Arizona blue line.

- CSNPhilly.com contributed to this story.

Cameron Rupp leaves game vs. Pirates after getting hit in head by pitch

ap-cameron-rupp-phillies.jpg
Associated Press

Cameron Rupp leaves game vs. Pirates after getting hit in head by pitch

Updated - 5:55 p.m.

PITTSBURGH -- Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp left the game in the third inning after being struck on the left ear flap of his batting helmet by a pitch from Pirates rookie right-hander Tyler Glasnow.

Rupp walked off the field under his own power and backup catcher Carlos Ruiz pinch ran for him and stayed in the game to catch starter Aaron Nola.

The Phillies later announced Rupp was removed from the game as a precaution and that he showed no symptoms of a concussion.

Less than 24 hours before, Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco was hit in the wrist by a pitch thrown by Pirates starter Gerrit Cole in Friday's 4-0 victory at PNC Park. Franco left the game and did not start on Saturday afternoon. He's listed as day to day (see story).

In the first inning on Saturday, Rupp hit into an inning-ending ground out. He is hitting .276 with 10 home runs in 63 games.