Union share spotlight with Phillies

John Hackworth is used to directing soccer players on the field, not throwing baseballs off a pitcher's mound.
John Hackworth is used to directing soccer players on the field, not throwing baseballs off a pitcher’s mound.

 

Union manager John Hackworth is used to pacing the sidelines of the pitch, waiting for the right moment to make a tactical move for his team’s success.

Yet, during Wednesday’s cross-promotional night between the Phillies and Union at Citizens Bank Park, Hackworth dealt with a pitch he wasn’t used to before, one from the mound to the plate in front of 30,000-plus fans.

“We were joking around with him at practice today and gave him a water bottle to throw and it didn’t look too good,” said Union defender Sheanon Williams. “Hopefully, he’ll stay off the SportsCenter not-top 10 list.”

Hackworth did make it over the plate into the outstretched arms of the Phillie Phanatic. It symbolized the growth of the Union franchise into Philadelphia’s elite over the past three years.

“It’s great to have the teams mix with eachother,” said Williams. “We had some of their guys down at our stadium the other week. Any time you can promote your team and your sport in the city that you play in is a tremendous opportunity. We want more and more people to get into soccer and come to the games.”

The Union as a team have shown tremendous growth as well. They sit fourth in the Eastern Conference at 10-8-9 and just three points out of first place. The team looks solid from top to bottom.

“The growth is just astronomical,” said Allison MacNeill, a member of Major Molly’s Army, a group of young women who serve as ambassadors for the Union. “Seeing [Sebastien] Le Toux and [Jack] McInerney working together and the bench getting deeper and deeper each year is proof. Now players are fighting for their spots and that’s when you start to see the most growth on the field.”

Phillies fans were happy to sign autographs with Union players and pose for pictures. One even handed the team a baseball to sign. The club hopes to draw in a few of them for the team’s final three home games in the next two months (Remaining home dates include: vs. Houston, Sept. 14, vs. Toronto, Oct. 5, vs. Sporting KC, Oct. 26)

“The Union stands for passion,” said Amy Oristaglio, the events director for the Sons of Ben. “It’s on every single one of the lockers and the billboards, and it’s really a word that says everything about them. The excitement from one game is enough to convert you forever.”

Union
Union manager John Hackworth throws out the first pitch Wednesday night.
/Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Phillies

News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.