I arrived at 9am to an empty field. I figured since the Rowdies started at 9 yesterday, other teams would, too. It was closer to 10 when a Philadelphia Union van pulled up and the driver and passenger started unloading the equipment and carrying it to the field.
Shortly after, a bus pulled up. It stopped right in front of me and I figured this is going to be easy, but as people began stepping off the bus, I wasn't recognizing any of them. They did all have USA emblems on their
Minutes later, vans full of
I thought I was going to be getting autographs and watching a practice, instead, I got to watch a full game. Oh, and obtained some autographs.
The head coach of the Union, Jim Curtin was the first one I got.
The next guy I got was interesting. A lot of Brazilian soccer players go by just one name, players such as Pelé, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and Kaká. Today, I added to my collection, Fabinho.
He isn't my first single name autograph, though. Last summer, Mets prospect Amed Rosario signed a card for me with only his first name. Perhaps he's emulating the ways of the Brazilians.
Former Los Angeles Galaxy player and current Union technical director/assistant coach signed this card for me.
Had to wait for the game to end before I got the rest of these autographs.
Unintentionally, I got two of the Union's French players to sign back-to-back for me. Though, they were several minutes apart when I met them.
First was Vincent Noguiera.
Next was Sébastien Le Toux, who had scored 2 goals, or a brace, for those who know their soccer lingo.
Sébastien asked if I wanted him to add my name to the card. I didn't want to say no and give him the idea that I was going to try and sell it, so I gladly told him my name. I don't mind
Here's a pic of Le Toux scoring a penalty kick just past the diving goalkeeper.
He is now the sporting director of the Union.
I'm happy that I was able to tell him that he's a big reason why I'm still such a fan of this sport. The autographed card from him was a big thrill.
I promise, it's not all going to be soccer talk on here. Look what I bought today after getting all those autographs.
I'll post about those cards in a separate post. I wouldn't want to bore my new soccer readers.