Soccer MLS

Four Reasons to Look Forward to The Philadelphia Union’s 2013 Schedule

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Philadelphia Union's 2013 Schedule: Four Reasons to Look Forward to it

Philadelphia Union
Photo Credit by Paul Rudderow

With the complete Major League Soccer schedules being released last week, the Philadelphia Union has a much better schedule than 2012 in many ways. Below are four reasons why this year’s schedule is good for Sons of Ben and other Union fans alike. The off-season has been a busy one for the Union, and the announcements of the MLS schedules for all 19 teams means that kick-off will be here before we know it.

There are many things to look forward to when analyzing the Union’s 2013 MLS Schedule. Sons of Ben and other Union fans have been asking “is it March yet?” and are excited for preseason. With the 2013 MLS Combine winding down and the 2013 SuperDraft on Thursday, let’s look at some things to look forward to on the Union’s schedule. Not making this list, but very important to mention is that it will be John Hackworth’s first season without the interim tag as team manager. If the second part of the 2012 season is any indication, he should start where he left off, and lead the Union to success in 2013.

Before we know it, the Union will be in Florida for preseason training and the MLS season will have started. Four reasons to look forward to the Union’s 2013 schedule this season: Defending MLS Champions visit Philadelphia, Nationally televised games, rivalry games, and the Union starts and ends its season at PPL Park.

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Defending MLS Champions Visit Philadelphia

LA Galaxy
Photo Credit by MLS Soccer

The L.A. Galaxy will visit PPL Park on May 15th The game will happen under the lights starting at 7:30 p.m and looks to be a great game. Sure David Beckham and most likely Landon Donavon won’t be playing for the Galaxy, but the Union and the Galaxy are both talented clubs. The River End will be even louder and clearer come this game.

Union players will look to beat the MLS Champions two years running, and are jealous that they haven’t made an MLS Cup final yet. LA is always a quality team and the Union should be able to keep up with them. Last year the Union defeated the Galaxy 2-1 on the road.

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Nationally Televised Games

PPL Park
Photo Credit by Philadelphia Union

It seems lately that the Philadelphia Union has found themselves on national televised games a lot. 2013 will be no exception as they are on national television 10 times. If the Union play well during this games especially, they will be able to show that they aren’t just a mediocre team like in 2012, and are actually true contenders for the 2013 MLS Cup. Also if they have success during the early part of the season, they may find themselves on more nationally televised games come 2014.

This means two things. One more people will get to watch the Union on television, and two the Sons of Ben and their crazy and doop filled celebrations will be capture for the national audience. If the Union score in these games, which they should, watch for the television cameras to show these celebrations.

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Rivalry Games

DC United-Philadelphia Union
Photo Credit by Getty Images

Like every season, the fans look forward to the season starting up again. Once the season starts, they can’t wait to take on the rivals. Last year’s rivalry games are still fresh in the fans’ heads as well as the players from the teams. Even better this year, is that five of the six games against the New York Red Bulls and D.C. United is on national television. With its matches against United on Aug. 10 and the Red Bulls on Aug. 17, The Union will have back to back rivalry games on NBC Sports.

If referee Mark Geiger referees any of the games like he did last year, look for another “Geiger Show” as D.C. United Coach Ben Olsen said of the match between Philadelphia and DC last year. It should also bring some added drama to the games as well.

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The Philadelphia Union Starts And Ends The Season at PPL Park

Sporting Kansas City-Jack McInerney
Photo Credit by Sporting Kansas City

It will be the first time ever that the Union will start its season at home. The home opener is scheduled for March 2 with a 4 p.m. kickoff. If that wasn’t good enough, they will also end the season at home. Both games with be against Sporting Kansas City. The final regular season game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. kickoff and will be shown on NBC Sports.

For anytime it is always great to start and end the season in front of your home crowd. If the Union are in a tight playoff picture late in the season, having a home game as the last game won’t hurt their chances. Also with a home game to start the season, the Union hope to start off their season with three points and a win.