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Union-United on April 10

The Insider told you exclusively last week that Philadelphia Union was considering the NFL's Lincoln Financial Field for its home debut next spring against D.C. United, and today the club formally announced that the home opener will indeed take place at Lincoln on April 10 against DCU.

The new stadium in Chester won't be ready in time and it remains unclear when Union will move into its new home. I have heard that the club will end up playing several games at Lincoln, but construction and weather issues will ultimately determine the schedule.

"Since we now know that our stadium will not be ready in early April, we made this decision to enable the league to move forward with its plans" to announce home openers this week, Union executive Nick Sakiewicz said. "Construction is moving along rapidly, and I can assure everyone that we will play the vast majority of our games in Chester this season."

MLS is planning to announce the 2010 home openers for the other 15 clubs Thursday. Last I heard, United will visit Dallas on the first weekend and host New England the following week. As reported by the Insider last week, Philadelphia's debut match is tentatively scheduled for March 25 at Seattle and New York's grand opening of its new stadium will occur April 10 against Colorado.

However, the schedule has been revised several times and could have changed again in recent days.

By Steve Goff  |  September 23, 2009; 5:40 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  
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Yeee-haaa! Sign me up...what time do I need to be on the Barra Brava bus?

Posted by: yobigc | September 23, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Cheesesteaks, yummmm.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | September 23, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

We need start times!! Will one of those games be in the afternoon, making it possible to attend the Red Bulls' home opener and the Union-United match? I realize that times are usually not set until TV schedules are worked out, but it seems to me that the league should move quickly on this -- so, fanatics can work on getting tix to do the double.

Posted by: fischy | September 23, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

road trip.....!!!

Posted by: seahawkdad | September 23, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

fischy needs start times 23...almost seven months from the opener. You need start times TODAY.

Holy kee-riste are you people feeling entitled.

Posted by: very_clever_username | September 23, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Anybody else feeling that the Philly franchise will be somewhat of a bust? I mean they have only sold about 10,000 season tickets so far, their stadium is in a really weird location and Philly already has very well established franchises in the other four major sports that hog all of the attention. I hope I'm wrong and a great rivaly breaks out between us and them as well as them and NYRB, but I'm just not feeling any excitement like when Seattle or Toronto started. I wonder how many people they will get into Linc for that April 10 opener. I'm sure DCU fans will make up a large percentage of that..

Posted by: rademaar | September 23, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

A large percentage? Have you seen the crowds at RFK in April recently? How many do you really think will make the trip to Philly? It will be hundreds, not thousands.

Posted by: fischy | September 23, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

@very_clever_username -- not clever enough to note that I had tongue firmly planted in cheek. But, I was making the point that I would like the times to firmed up as soon as possible -- so we know, when tickets go on sale, if it will be possible to attend both games.

Posted by: fischy | September 23, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

@rademaar- 10,000 season tickets a bust? I don't think any other club besides Seattle and Toronto has that many. I don't have the exact numbers for 2009, but at least in 2008 only 2 addition clubs (DC & LA) had season tickets totals above 5,000. They'll be fine this first year. With any expansion club (Seattle & Toronto included), the test is to see if they maintain that after 3-5 seasons.

Posted by: ricecloudnine | September 23, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Union executive Nick Sakiewicz said. "Construction is moving along rapidly, and I can assure everyone that we will play the vast majority of our games in Chester this season."

Where's the obligatory "60-90 days" reference, Nick?



Posted by: jayrockers | September 23, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Which means we can actually expect the home opener within 60-90 days of April 10th.

Posted by: B_A_ | September 23, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Oh, come on Jay!

Posted by: B_A_ | September 23, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

@rademaar -- just for historical comparison, TFC did not have 10000 season ticket holders as of Sept 23, 2006. They didn't get to 10000 season ticket holders until Becks signed in 2007, a few months before the home opener.

Philly will be fine. 10000 season tickets sold with 7 months to the season is awesome.

Posted by: hendrix | September 23, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

10,000 season ticket sold in September is GREAT for Philadelphia.

But then Philadelphia has been a soccer hot spot for a very long time. In the 70's the area public schools had soccer programs in junior high school as well as high school. These were strong programs -- my high school won states a couple of times. They were strong because of the local soccer clubs; many of my friends learned the game watching their fathers play club ball. That history will translate into far more season ticket sales than 10,000. I'm just hoping there's a ticket available for me the first time United plays in the Philadelphia/ Chester stadium.

Posted by: Curious99 | September 23, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Crew with some nice moments in the first half, but defensive blunders have let the MLS team down. Cruz Azul 2 - Crew 0 in the 44th.

Posted by: hoyanick1 | September 23, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Alright! we'll have a RFK North a little closer to home! lol

Posted by: invncbl | September 23, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Philly's fine. I'm worried about us.

Posted by: sire1 | September 23, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Well I seem to be mistaken from the responses... Not convinced yet though in the crowded Philly sports market. I can't beleive there is no second team in New York yet, I was reading a demographical report of the greater New York City area and there really needs to be a team in Brooklyn asap.

Posted by: rademaar | September 23, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

@rademaar -- Queens is much more likely. Generally more accessible to the soccer-playing suburbanites on Long Island and Westchester, and Queens has by far the most diverse community in the country in terms of representation of different nationalities. These are people used to having a local team to cheer. Plus, land is cheaper and there is more land to work with in Queens. Right now, even the Nets' plans to build an arena in Brooklyn are on the verge of final collapse. To build a soccer stadium, the Shea Stadium site would be ideal for all the above reasons, and its accessibility to the LIRR, subway and highways.

MLS wanted the Mets' owners, the Wilpons, to bid in the round that went to Vancouver and Portland. For whatever reason, they surprised everyone and did not bid. Then the Madoff scandal broke, and so did the Wilpon's financial fortunes. Not clear if there might be another ownership group to step in -- but MLS dearly wants it (even if Red Bull isn't 100% thrilled with the idea of market competition).

You probably know all that, but I thought it bears repeating.

Posted by: fischy | September 24, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Philly probably wouldn't want anything to do with the Carolina Challenge Cup would they?
Who wouldn't want to go down to Charleston if DCU, Philly, and Toronto got invited?

Posted by: DadRyan | September 24, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

I love the fact that there will be another team so close by. Other than that, I'm too focused on this year right now to worry about next year.

Posted by: croftonpost | September 24, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

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