This thursday, March 25th, the Philadelphia Union, Philadelphia's first MLS team will play it's first match against the Seattle Sounders at 9:30 pm. As a soccer fan, this is a somewhat exciting development despite the lackluster play that often is the hallmark of Major League Soccer. I am more a fan of National team soccer than anything else. I grew up liking names such as Ramos, Wynalda, and Hanks. When the MLS first opened shop, these were the players who gave up more lucrative deals abroad to help jumpstart domestic soccer. MLS now basically serves as mini farm system for Americal players who can cut their teeth stateside and move abroad once they establish themselves as good players with potential.
I realize that, for tv purposes that the Union want to play in a stadium made for soccer, however, having a home stadium outside of the city doesn't seem to outweigh the benefits of using Lincoln Financial Field. For one, I know fans like myself, do not want to deal with having to drive half an hour or taking a long bus ride to the field. I would be much more inclined to go to the games if they were at Lincoln Financial Field and only a short subway ride away. The first home game will in fact be played at the Linc but the shine will soon wear off and people will be less and less likely to travel outside the city for second rate soccer.
The Union stands to benefit the most from the success of the Phillies. Due to a recent run of success that includes 3 straight division titles, 2 world series trips, and 1 world series victory, Phillies tickets have become near impossible to obtain on a single game basis unless you go through a scalper or Stub Hub. With families still wanting to attend events in the summer time at outside venues, the Union will initially flourish. The question is, can they build upon their initial popularity or will they fade into obscurity once they are no longer the "new thing" in town.