Union Introduces Players to Philly; SoB Help Kick Hunger
It was an evening that was years in the making. We've all been to Tír na nÓg before for various occasions but this one was just a little different. This time, it was the Union. This time, it was the players. The first eleven. The Union Eleven. The pub was packed for the event with members of Sons of Ben as well as the general public. The event was scheduled to start at 6:30pm but the crowd was already in place well before hand. The press were there to get their standard quotes from the guests of honor but the players interaction with the fans was what everyone was looking forward to.
During the pre-event the Sons of Ben were collecting donations for the annual Help Kick Hunger campaign. Not that it was needed, Philly's always been generous with their giving to this effort, but an added incentive to donate this year was the chance to win an autographed authentic Philadelphia Union jersey signed by The Union Eleven. From the charity standpoint it was a massive success and was highlighted by the drawing for the jersey. The winner, Viggo Nightbay of Philly was the lucky winner.
The event started right on time with loud cheers, chants, and applause. We've spent so much time looking forward to these moments that it immediately sunk in and was summed up perfectly for one member: "@#$% we have a team!!". After a good laugh the Union brass got on with the program before the player introductions. Coach Nowak then took the mike and really got the crowd going. Starting with Keep Chris Seitz, Nowak went introduced all the players to the city with each receiving a very loud reception.
Alejandro Moreno drew the task of addressing the crowd for the players. Keeping it short and simple he said exactly what we all knew already. It's our team. They'll play hard every game. They'll do everything they can to win and bring a championship to Philly. It's what we expected but he could of said anything and we would have eaten it up. It didn't matter. We were there for our guys. Our players. Our team.