By Carmen Greger
2022 marks the 13th season for the Union in Major League Soccer and the many soccer loving Philadelphians who have been season ticket holders since day 1, couldn’t be more proud of their Eastern Conference Champions.
These outstanding players have come so far. They have molded themselves into excellent athletes and have gelled beautifully as a team; they have presented themselves phenomenally time and time again and have evolved into a truly spectacular organization. The skill, dedication, drive, connection and communication of the team and players on the field, orchestrated by Curtin, MLS Coach of the year, has proven to be a winning combination.
The Philadelphia Union have taken off for the Banc of California Stadium to land a win against the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) in the battle for the MLS cup.
LAFC, western conference champs are in for a shock, even on their own turf, even with home-field advantage, even with the crowd behind them speckled with Hollywood celebrities…
Philly’s gone electric.
The usual Spirit of the city of Philadelphia has transcended its norm and has jetted along for the ride (along with the over 250 staff, team members, family, and some very lucky fans).
Flyers, Eagles, Phillies, and Sixers, like the older siblings they are, have shown up in full support, encouraging, celebrating and cheering on ‘Little Billy’, taking him fully under their wing. Each and every one of the Philadelphia organizations have been outwardly praising the efforts, the skill and the potential of the Philadelphia Union team, the players, Coach Curtin and the entire Philadelphia Union Organization (aka Little Billy). The Philadelphia Union are fueled with gratitude, spirit and ambition, ready to take a seat at the family dinner table and feast on the palatable passion that fills the streets, stands and screens of Philly.
All eyes will be on the game (4pm ET, before the Flyers and Phillies play, but much more than just their opening act) and bets are on the ‘underdog’ rising up and bringing back the win.
Heads up, LA, Philly’s coming for you!
Truth be told, although Philly may not be the ‘hands down’ obvious ‘top-dog’ in this situation, they don’t really seem to be owning up to that old nickname they’ve been given and have worn by default and adopted with an interesting and temporarily productive sense of pride, claiming it gives them an upleveled drive, motivation, and extra ferocity on the field as they come in with a ‘revenge’ energy and a mission to prove themselves.
They’ve done just that, they’ve proven themselves, with an offense as tough and skilled as LAFC, likely an even match, and the MLS (Major League Soccer) Cup match they play today in LA will be their biggest one yet in Union history.
So, if the MLS Cup Trophy does come home in the hands and hearts and soul of Philadelphia Union, they may just want to unpack the ‘underdog’ mentality baggage in LA, and lighten their load. Perhaps the Union could and should intentionally leave the nickname behind before they hop on board their flight back to Philly, making room for a true and eternal ‘winner’s mindset’, paving the pathway proactively and confidently, with rightful dignity and class, for a successful future, no longer relying on the spark that a collective rebellion against negative reinforcement provides, no longer needing to prove themselves, only needing (and deserving) to show up fully on the field and express their true greatness.
They have already won the respect of their City and of the Nation and of all of the MLS Teams.
Underdogs? I don’t think so.
Win the cup.
Surrender the nickname.
What would a Union fan celebration look like back in the City of Brotherly love?
Let’s find out! Show them Big Love, Philly!
It’s time to break new ground!