Young soccer fan whose emotional Christmas video went viral got to meet Union star Keegan Rosenberry

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Dave Zeitlin

Young soccer fan whose emotional Christmas video went viral got to meet Union star Keegan Rosenberry

In a couple of days, Keegan Rosenberry will report to his first U.S. national team camp.

Ethan Chambers, a 9-year-old from Pottstown, got to congratulate the Philadelphia Union right back in person. And tour around the Union’s training facility with him. And play a game of pool against him.

“You don’t get to play pool with a famous soccer player all the time!” Ethan gushed to reporters at the Power Training Complex on Friday.

You certainly don’t. But then again, this 9-year-old has been enjoying a lot of new things these days.

It all began on Christmas when his parents, Shawn and Tanya, surprised him with Union season tickets and a Rosenberry autograph. Shawn then posted Ethan’s emotional response on Twitter (not an avid social media user, he enlisted help of some younger people), at which point his phone practically buzzed out of his pocket.

As some news outlets caught wind of the story, so did the Union, who reached out to the Chambers family about coming to Chester to meet Rosenberry, who absolutely loved Ethan’s reaction when he first saw it on Twitter.

“I think I was just as excited as Ethan was,” said Rosenberry, the 2016 MLS Rookie of the Year runner-up. “What makes our job so special is playing for people like that, playing for people that love the team so much. That’s what makes the home games special. And it’s anybody that has that passion but especially the kids. To see how emotional he was and how happy he was to be here today was incredible for me.”

Ethan was a little shy at first as Rosenberry greeted the family and told him, “I’ve never seen someone so excited to get tickets.” But he warmed up as he received his own jersey and toured the building, checking out the locker room (the carpet was soft enough to his liking), the pool (both the swimming and billiards variety) and the film room (“They even have a movie theater?!” Ethan exclaimed). By the time they got back to the weight room, Ethan was smiling and a seasoned pro at giving interviews to both the TV and print media, explaining why he loves soccer so much.

“I tried the other sports and they just didn’t work for me,” he said. “But with this, I understand it and I love it.”

Ethan went to his first Union game in June — a 3-2 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps — with his Pottsgrove Force club team. Loving the view of the Delaware River and how close the seats seemed to the field, he’s been hooked ever since.

“We’re all huge sports fans but I can honestly say I was never a soccer fan until he started playing because I didn’t understand it,” Shawn said. “We watch all the [Philly] teams and this is the only team where he’s like, ‘Can we watch the Union tonight?’”

Shawn added that the “accessibility” of Union players sticking around to sign autographs after the game is a big reason why the team is catching on with a younger generation — and why the sport should continue to grow. Friday’s tour, of course, was another example of that kind of accessibility.

“With the big teams [in Philly], you don’t necessarily think about soccer,” he said. “But it’s all we talk about in our house.”

They’ll have a lot more to talk about in their house now after getting an up-close look at where the team trains, with the Union’s brightest young star serving as their personal tour guide. Here are some photos from what turned out to be a nice little event in Chester:

Dallas Cowboys player arrested, cut from team for allegedly stealing from Wawa

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Dallas Cowboys player arrested, cut from team for allegedly stealing from Wawa

This story has it all: a potential case of mistaken identity, a Dallas Cowboys receiver in trouble, an arrest, and hopefully a Wawa iced tea.

Yes, another Dallas Cowboys player found himself in hot water this week -- or perhaps to be more accurate we should say former Cowboys player. WR Lucky Whitehead was cut from the Cowboys  on Monday after reports of his arrest for shoplifting reached the team.

Of importance to Eagles fans: he reportedly shoplifted from a Wawa store in Virginia.

Sacrilege. 

But that's not the strangest part of it. Whitehead is attempting to claim it wasn't him.

From the AP:

Whitehead said he "didn't know about" the case in his home state of Virginia as he was escorted off the field by a member of the Cowboys' public relations staff after the first morning walkthrough practice Monday morning. He was released before the full workout in the afternoon.

Prince William County Police Sgt. Jonathan Perok said 25-year-old Rodney Darnell Whitehead Jr. was arrested around 1:30 a.m. June 22 for taking about $40 worth of food and drink from a convenience store.

Perok said he couldn't confirm that the man arrested was the Dallas receiver, but online records matched his name and birthdate. The Cowboys' media guide lists Whitehead's given first name of Rodney.

According to online records, a court date was missed July 6, leading to another charge. Another court date was set for Aug. 10.

Whitehead's agent, Dave Rich, called it a case of mistaken identity and disputed whether an arrest was made.

Rich said his client didn't arrive in Virginia until about 10 hours after the reported arrest, suggesting that either police had the wrong date on the report or that someone used Whitehead's name and address in Manassas, Virginia, where he played high school football.

The Cowboys moved swiftly in releasing Whitehead after two defensive players were arrested during the offseason.

Let this be a lesson to us all: always pay for that late-night shorti.

Torrey Smith's son T.J. the standout star from Day 1 of Eagles training camp

Torrey Smith's son T.J. the standout star from Day 1 of Eagles training camp

There's typically an unexpected standout star in the first few days of training camp every summer, but most times that person is over three-feet tall.

The Eagles kicked off their training camp activities at the NovaCare Complex in South Philadelphia on Monday morning and most of the rookies were there to go through drills.

But it was little T.J. Smith, son of veteran free agent wide receiver Torrey Smith, who stole the show. The two were seen on the field throwing the pigskin around with camera crews filming for a segment for TheUndefeated website.

You see that arm? Nick Foles better not look over his shoulder.

CSNPhilly camera crews also caught up with Smith and his son, the smaller of which is already well versed in doing Eagles chants. Great parenting if I must say.

You can watch that footage in the above video.