Union and Sounders
Shed Expansion Franchise Tag
Seattle Sounders FC vs Philadelphia Union
October 6, 2011
Flashback to March 25th, 2010. First Kick, the inaugural match for expansion Philadelphia Union, and start of the 2010 season.
The stadium formerly known as Qwest roared with thirty-six thousand Sounders fans and a national TV audience that descended on the young Philadelphia Union.
Twelve minutes in,
Steve Zakuani carved out a pass to BradEvans who neatly finished for an early 1-nil lead. A goal the young traveling Union neverrecovered. Possibly in awe of Sounders home fans, but more likely phased by the pace of play. Seattle played fast, so Philly had to counter with physical play to stay alive. Theircentral, back-line tough-man put his stamp on his clubs début. Danny Califf put a roughknee-check into the back of Freddie Ljungberg, resulting in a straight red-card ejection.Sounders went on to win 2-nil. It's the type of play expected from most expansion clubs.
Sketch by Gabi Campanario - 8/5/09 at Barcelona Friendly
The 2009 expansion Sounders FC raised the bar for future franchiseexpansion. Not only by Major League standards, but by expansionstandards of clubs in any sport. The Sounders were an exception that left Philadelphia a tough act to follow.
One year later both clubs are in second place in their respective conferences. Both clubseven hold mathematical possibilities of winning their conferences. Nothing remains of either clubs frenzied expansion pace. Both clubs now have settled into confident almostchampion like skin.
The Union took beloved Le Toux from the Sounders but missed the playoffs