With Le Toux Returning, Nowak Puts Team and Fans First

With Le Toux Returning, Nowak Puts Team and Fans First

During yesterday's press conference Union coach Peter Nowak was asked what appeared to us to be a very typical question when a player returns to play his former team for the first time, "what do you expect the atmosphere to be like" on Saturday?

Peter Nowak then asked the reporter if he was being serious or if he was joking. Twice. Then he didn't give the standard answer one might think a coach would say about his former star player.

Here's what would have made for a harmless safe response that would have probably pleased everybody: "Sebastien was a very good player for us and helped this team a lot over our first couple of seasons. He was a fan favorite while he was here because of his tireless style of play. I'm sure the fans will show their appreciation for that on Saturday. But once the game starts, they'll be 100% in support of the players wearing Union jerseys. No doubt."

But Peter Nowak's job is not to please everybody. It's to coach his soccer team.

Instead, Nowak actually got a bit terse. "Maybe confetti, maybe parade, maybe banners. I don’t know." Perhaps he was being sarcastic, but it simply didn't come across well at all.

After the press conference was over, Nowak reportedly tried to clear the air a bit. I believe he came across much better when talking with the Daily News' Kerith Gabriel.

"I am sick of this ‘face of the franchise’ crap," Nowak told Gabriel. "You know who is the
face of the franchise? Our fans who come every week to support us, the
team. They are the face of this franchise. That’s who we play for. Not
some individual player. I’m not dumb, I know fans loved [Le Toux] and
will cheer him, but at the end of the day, it’s about the team, our
team, and that’s where the focus should be."

Fair enough. Can't argue with putting the fans in the front, especially with the transient nature of the MLS.

Nowak is much more comfortable talking about the action on the field than the former player's return. Hopefully they can get a win under their belts on Saturday so we can start enjoying that talk a little bit more.

See you in Chester on Saturday? We'll be there.

[hat tip to Philly Soccer Page]

Carson Wentz named Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week

Carson Wentz named Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week

As Carson Wentz rolls out of bed, he wins an award. Brushes his teeth, wins an award. Eats breakfast, award.

This time, the Eagles' rookie quarterback has been named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week for his performance against the Steelers in a 34-3 Week 3 win.

Against the Steelers, Wentz completed 23 of 31 passes for 301 yards, two touchdowns and a 125.9 passer rating. He beat out Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott, Browns CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun and teammate Wendell Smallwood.

This is the second time in three weeks that Wentz has been named the NFL Rookie of the Week.

Here are the awards Wentz has won so far this season:

- NFL Rookie of the Week for Week 1
- NFC Offensive Player of Week 3
- NFC Offensive Rookie of the Month for September
- NFL Rookie of the Week for Week 3

Wentz won't have any chances to win more awards this weekend as the Eagles are on their bye. They'll play again on Oct. 9 in Detroit.

Tonight's lineup: Howard batting 5th with Herrera batting 3rd

Tonight's lineup: Howard batting 5th with Herrera batting 3rd

Ryan Howard is batting fifth to begin his final series with the Phillies.

The 36-year-old first baseman, who has donned red pinstripes for 13 seasons, did not play in Thursday's 5-2 loss to the Braves, but he is expected to start all three games against the Mets this weekend.

The Phillies have a lot of speed at the top of the lineup, even with Roman Quinn likely done for the season. Cesar Hernandez leads off with Freddy Galvis and Odubel Herrera right behind him. The trio lead the Phillies in steals with a total of 59 this year. Herrera has 25 while Hernandez and Galvis each have 17.

If you're wondering, Howard has not stolen a base this season, but he was caught stealing once. He hasn't stolen a base since June 26, 2011, before his Achilles injury. He only stole more than one base in a season in 2008, when he swiped eight bases.

Cameron Rupp returns to the lineup at catcher. He'll bat right behind Howard, followed by Jimmy Paredes and Aaron Altherr in the corner outfield.

Here's the Phillies' full lineup:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Ryan Howard, 1B
6. Cameron Rupp, C
7. Jimmy Paredes, LF
8. Aaron Altherr, RF
9. Alec Asher, P

And the Mets lineup:
1. Jose Reyes, 3B
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Yoenis Cespedes, LF
4. Curtis Granderson, CF
5. Jay Bruce, RF
6. T.J. Rivera, 2B
7. Lucas Duda, 1B
8. Rene Rivera, C
9. Robert Gsellman, RHP