Union Plan to Build Training Facility Near PPL Park

Union Plan to Build Training Facility Near PPL Park

Last night the Union held a special fan forum for a group of season ticket holders who accumulated the most points through the team's loyalty points program. Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz, Executive Vice President Dave Rowan, and Union television commentator Bob Rigby participated in the event.

The Union posted live updates and highlights of the event on its Twitter account (check out The Philly Socer Page for highlights). Unsurprisingly, the bulk of the information posted was club friendly fluff (the club is spending money, the new players are ideal fits, the young players thrust into starting roles are ready, etc.) However, there was a bit of news to emerge.

The update that most caught my eye was this:
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@PhilaUnion
Philadelphia Union Sakiewicz: Designs for 20,000 sf training facility close to @PPLPark. Two fields: 1 grass, 1 artificial. Hoping to break ground in 2012.
Feb 24 via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

 

Certainly, this is good news for the team. But that is not why I found it so interesting. The reason I found it noteworthy is that in the course of Sebastien Le Toux figuratively setting fire to everything on his way out the door he took a shot at the Union's training facilities.

From Chris Vito's piece in The Delaware County Times following his sale to Vancouver:

"Being with this team and being a guy, not to build around, but to help this team, was what I wanted. … They must have wanted to sell me for money because they needed money. We don’t have a nice practice facility and that is something they promised since I am here. It’s terrible."

Well, it certainly looks like the Union are in the beginning stages of building that nice practice facility. Le Toux certainly painted a bleak picture of a cash-strapped organization desperate for money. Investing capital, or taking on debt, to build a new training facility would not seem to jibe with that assessment.

I am curious whether this news does anything to win back the minds of Union fans whose opinion of the club changed following the Le Toux interview.

Instant Replay: No. 1 Villanova 78, Providence 68

usa-josh-hart-villanova-providence.jpg
USA Today Images

Instant Replay: No. 1 Villanova 78, Providence 68

BOX SCORE

Seniors Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins combined for 44 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists and No. 1 Villanova held off Providence, 78-68, in a Big East game at the Wells Fargo Center Saturday afternoon.
 
Villanova extended a four-point halftime lead to as much as 20 points before hot-shooting Providence closed to within nine with five minutes left. Villanova then went on a 13-3 run to put the game out of reach.
 
Hart had 25 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Wildcats, and Jenkins added 19 points, four boards and four assists. Both shot over 50 percent.
 
Sophomore Mikal Bridges scored 15 points, matching his Big East career high, and also had three rebounds and three assists, and Jalen Brunson contributed 13 points to go with three rebounds and four assists.
 
Providence stayed in the game by shooting 13 for 26 from three against the No. 3 three-point shooting defense in Division 1.
 
What it means
Villanova improved to 19-1 overall and 7-1 and in first place in the Big East. The Wildcats have won five in a row since losing at Butler on Jan. 4.
 
Providence fell to 13-8 and 3-5 in the conference and 1-6 on the road. The Friars have lost six of eight since an 11-2 start.
 
Villanova is now 47-34 all-time at the Wells Fargo Center but 14-2 in its last 16 games at the South Philly arena.
 
Stat of the day
Providence shot better from three (50 percent) than two (44 percent). The Friars made 13 threes and just nine two-pointers.

Turning point
Providence trailed by just four at halftime at 35-31, but Bridges opened the second half with a steal and fast-break reverse layup and a jumper from the top of the key to start an 8-0 run that gave Villanova a 12-point lead. The Friars never got any close than eight points the rest of the game.
 
By the numbers
• Providence’s 50 percent shooting from three is the highest against ‘Nova since North Carolina shot 65 percent in the national championship game on April 4 in Houston.

• Villanova’s bench scored just two points.

• Providence’s 13 threes are the most by a Big East team against Villanova since Doug McDermott and Creighton had 21 in a 28-point win three years ago this week.

• Rodney Bullock led Providence with 17 points (3 for 5 from three), Jalen Lindsey added 14 (4 for 7 from three) and Isaiah Jackson came off the bench to score 12 (3 for 3 from three).

• Darryl Reynolds' last two double-digit rebound games have both been against Providence.
 
What's next
Villanova travels to Milwaukee for a Tuesday night game against Marquette. The Golden Eagles are 12-6 overall and 3-3 in the Big East with a game later Saturday at Creighton.
 
Villanova has won nine straight games against Marquette, since the Golden Eagles — then ranked No. 17 — came back from 18 points down to win 82-78 at the Wells Fargo Center in January 2012.