Week 16 Recap: The Kids Are Alright

By Siobhan Nolan, Contributing Writer

It’s likely that the Union will want to get on the plane back to Philadelphia and forget that this road trip to Florida ever happened. A loss to Orlando City SC and a tie (that was very nearly a loss) to Inter Miami will give Jim Curtin and his players a lot to think about as they take a week-long break from games.

Despite coming into this game with a meager eight points and the worst record in the league, Miami controlled possession for a large majority of the game. While they weren’t always engaging in threatening counterattacks of their own, they made sure to slow down any offensive push from the Union by having diligent one-on-one man-marking and easily dispossessing the visitors.

The midfield, made up of Jose Martinez, Leon Flach, Alejandro Bedoya, and Jamiro Monteiro wholly failed to impress. While Martinez was able to hold down the base of the midfield diamond, Flach and Bedoya looked lost trying to move the ball out of their own half, while Monteiro and Daniel Gazdag failed to move the ball into any remotely dangerous scoring opportunities.

After mercifully ending the first 45 minutes in a scoreless deadlock, Miami were able to find the back of the net in the 71st minute. Robbie Robinson was allowed entirely too much space at the edge of the box, and gleefully took advantage of an absent Union back line to bend the ball past goalie Matt Freese.

Curtin then decided to put fresh legs on the field for the Union, surprisingly taking Monteiro off to swap in Sergio Santos in an attempt to generate some offense. Ilsinho also saw game time for the first time since a groin injury sidelined him in April..

However, and perhaps unsurprisingly, substituting Quinn Sullivan was the difference-maker in this game. Much like his performance off the bench against Orlando, Sullivan immediately made an impact. He was creating space to move the ball up near the box, maneuvering around pressing Miami defenders, and unselfishly distributing the ball to a wide range of areas in front of the net.

Sullivan ultimately ended up creating the game-tying goal, after an elegant pass exchange with Gazdag fed the 17-year-old a well-placed backheel pass. Sullivan was able to hit it perfectly to Kacper Przybylko, who promptly placed it in the back of the net.

Man of the Match: This easily goes to Sullivan. He always livens up the offense when he steps onto the field, and many of the Union’s best scoring chances come from his skill in moving the ball forward. Although Przybylko is officially credited for the goal, it simply wouldn’t have come close to happening without Sullivan. It makes a fan wonder why he doesn’t start more often…

The Main Takeaway: It’s clear that something isn’t working in this Union team. It could very much be attributed to the absences of Andre Blake, Cory Burke, and Alvas Powell (who will now return to the Union after Jamaica was knocked out of the CONCACAF Gold Cup by the United States). It could be that playing almost every single game this season is finally catching up to certain players. It could be that there needs to be some new signings (or a more regular presence of younger players) to inject some creativity and new life into this side. At this point, it’s difficult to say for sure. But one thing is certain—Curtin needs to pinpoint it and solve it, and he needs to do it quickly.


YWT: The Philadelphia Flyers Podcast - YWT #120 - Mood Swing

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The YWT Podcast is back and it was an extremely busy two weeks for the Flyers. It started last Saturday as Ryan Ellis was acquired by the Flyers from Nashville for Phil Myers and Nolan Patrick. Then, after Carsen Twarynski was selected by Seattle in the expansion draft, the Flyers traded Shayne Gostisbehere and two draft picks to Arizona to free up cap space. They they acquired Rasmus Ristolainen from Buffalo for Robert Hagg, their 2021 first-round pick, and a 2023 second-round pick. Finally, they closed out draft weekend trading Jake Voracek to Columbus for Cam Atkinson

Kyle Collington and Kevin Durso are here to discuss it all, going through each trade, as well as looking at GM Chuck Fletcher's comments about gaining more energy and changing the mood in the locker room. 

You can listen to this episode of the podcast below and be sure to subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Amazon Podcasts and Podbean

You can also watch the episode and subscribe to watch all episodes of the YWT Podcast on YouTube.

As always, we want you to follow the podcast on Twitter @YWTpodcast and follow Kevin Durso on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.


Phillies: 2021’s Cost for Kimbrel

 

By Tal Venada, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

While the Philadelphia Phillies faithful waver between quietly hopeful and skeptically vocal, Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations, is in various stages of negotiating with selling franchises to shore up some roster holes. Ergo, due diligence!                   

 

Deadline Fixes:

For the Phillies front office, they can’t acquire a difference-making talent without offering value in return. And even though fans will balk at the cost, contending organizations will easily outbid unattractive proposals. But the bottom line is top-tier stars are more expensive.

IN OTHER WORDS:

“When you're building something, you know all of the trade-offs.” - Nolan Bushnell

For July, the Fightins are 12-8 (.600); and they must play .600 ball, be within range of the division lead, and be moving in the right direction. Basically, they will be at the 23-game mark on July 28, and a 14-9 record (.609) is within reach with two victories out of the next three contests.               

The Phils have been facing clubs in the same position they are: having to win for the higher-ups to be buyers prior to the July 30 deadline on Friday. But since they have evened the season series at 2-2 with the red pinstripes, the New York Yankees lost three of four to the Boston Red Sox.    

The Fightins are now 9-7 against the Atlanta Braves --7-3 at the Bank. Yes, both teams must win to add pieces for the stretch drive, but Atlanta has a five-game away set versus the New York Mets, while the Phillies have four home contests with the Washington Nationals.               

Continue reading "Phillies: 2021’s Cost for Kimbrel" »


With Dani Dennis-Sutton On Board, Can Penn State Maintain Momentum In 2023 Cycle

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Penn State landed it's top recruit on Thursday afternoon with Dani Dennis-Sutton choosing the Nittany Lions over the likes of Alabama and Georgia, though he may have given fans a brief jolt of fear when he reached for the Georgia hat only to put it down and put on the PSU one.

Dennis-Sutton is currently the 50th overall player in the recruiting class and has been rising for the past year. He becomes the top-ranked player in Penn State's 2022 class.

Not only is the commitment important due to his talent and who they beat out, but DDS plays a position of need and represents the third of Penn State's success in its top overall targets. The Athletic's Audrey Synder wrote in late June that the Lions landing two of DDS, Nicholas Singleton, Ryan Brubaker, and locking in Drew Shelton would be huge and even just landing Dennis-Sutton would be major. While Brubaker chose South Carolina, James Franklin and Co. made out by getting Drew Shelton 107% locked in and Singleton and Dennis-Sutton on board.

The class can now make a real case for the best in school history, all after a 4-5 season in 2020.

Continue reading "With Dani Dennis-Sutton On Board, Can Penn State Maintain Momentum In 2023 Cycle" »


Steven Nelson Joins Eagles Secondary

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Eagles have agreed to terms with free-agent cornerback Steven Nelson, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

The deal is worth just $4 million for one year.

Continue reading "Steven Nelson Joins Eagles Secondary" »


2021 Offensive Depth Chart: Low Expectations

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LJ (@ljharrell54) and Connor (@connorten) are back to breakdown the Kelly Green Hour projected 2021 offensive depth chart. We talk what can a healthy offensive line look like and who will win the LT battle. Do the Eagles keep five or six wide receivers? The Eagles have quantity at the RB position, but who makes the most sense in a Nick Sirianni offense?

The guys also talk about the recent memo from the NFL league office about Covid vaccines and potential forfeiture. We also address the Green Bay situation with Aaron Rodgers and Devante Adams. Should Howie pick up the phone?

Make sure you rate, review and subscribe wherever you listen! Also, check out our partners over at Sports Talk Philly for all your 4 for 4 Philadelphia Sports content on Twitter @sportstalkphl and online at sportstalkphilly.com.


Another Day, Another Phillie Under Covid Protocols

COVID cases are spiking across the nation, as the Delta variant of the virus that ravaged India continues to spread throughout the United States.  In step, the Phillies COVID cases continue accordingly.  Once again, the Phillies have placed a player on COVID protocols.

The Phillies announced that Travis Jankowski is the latest player to be placed on the COVID-related injured list.  The move comes at a time in which the playing time of Odubel Herrera was diminished and the Phillies were counting more and more on Jankowski.   Jankowski was batting .316 and carried an .830 OPS.

The move lines up with the return of pitcher Chase Anderson.  Anderson returns from the COVID-related injured list after being away from the team since June 6.  He made several rehab starts at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

The Phillies also optioned pitcher Cristopher Sanchez to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.  Sanchez gave the Phillies six innings with three earned runs allowed in his latest promotion.  Sending Sanchez to Triple-A allows the Phillies to have a fresher arm in the bullpen.

Also returning is outfielder Mickey Moniak.  Moniak was playing quite well for Triple-A Lehigh Valley, batting .360 in the month of July. His power came forth in July, hitting four home runs and driving in 19 runs.

The Phillies conclude a four-game series against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday afternoon.  There could be more moves coming for the Phillies.  The July 30 trade deadline is just five days away.

 


Fletcher: ‘We Need to Change the Mood in the Room’

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(Photo: Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

It started with a deal for Ryan Ellis a week ago, adding the much-needed top-pairing defenseman the Flyers lacked last season. Then Shayne Gostisbehere was sent to Arizona in a trade to open up cap space. That was followed by another defensive acquisition in Rasmus Ristolainen. And on Saturday, Chuck Fletcher capped off an incredibly busy week with his fourth trade, sending Jake Voracek to Columbus for Cam Atkinson.

For the better part of a decade, the Flyers have utilized the same core group and struggled to consistently put together successful seasons. After their most frustrating one to date, Fletcher knew action was necessary.

“We just can’t keep bringing the same players back year after year and expect different results. We had to make changes this year,” Fletcher said. “The players that we’ve added are all what I would call high energy, competitive people. How often have we talked about our slow starts over the past two, three years since I’ve been here and allegedly a lot longer than that? 

“We need some juice. We need some energy. We need to change the mood in the room and the energy in the room. It’s nothing against the players that we had here before. It’s about trying to create a new group, a new leadership group, new chemistry. All these guys we have acquired besides being good hockey players bring a lot of those qualities, bring a lot of experience, bring a lot of professionalism to our roster.”

Continue reading "Fletcher: ‘We Need to Change the Mood in the Room’" »


Flyers Make 6 Selections on Day 2 of NHL Draft

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

After wheeling and dealing four times over the last week, it was a relatively normal afternoon for the Flyers from a draft standpoint. They entered the day with six picks and made each of them with no more trades taking place to move draft capitals and acquire or move additional picks.

Here is the list of the six new Flyers draft picks entering the organization.

Continue reading "Flyers Make 6 Selections on Day 2 of NHL Draft" »


Phillies Add South Jersey Native; Haseley hits COVID IL

The Phillies made a couple moves on Saturday afternoon.  It was not a blockbuster trade, but the Phillies did add a young pitcher.   At the same time, the Phillies placed yet another player on the COVID-related IL.

Todd Zolecki of MLB.com is among those to report that the Phillies have added pitcher Tyler Phillips via a waiver claim.  The Phillies have space on their 40-man roster, as multiple players remain on the COVID-related injured list, which is not subject to the 40-man roster.   However, the Phillies will have one other space, thanks to an additional COVID-related move.

The 23 year-old Phillips was recently designated for assignment by the Rangers.  Phillips was drafted in the 2015 draft out of Bishop Eustace High School.  Phillips is from Lumberton, New Jersey.

In 10 games, which included nine starts combined at Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock, Phillips was 1-5 with a 6.70 earned run average.  He will likely serve as starting pitcher depth in the Phillies system.  In 2018, he was named Rangers pitching Prospect of the Year by MLB Pipeline.

Outfielder Adam Haseley had been rehabbing in Clearwater after being placed on the Triple-A injured list with a right groin strain.  He was assigned to the Florida Coast League Phillies on July 12.  Placing him on the COVID list will give the Phillies a little extra wiggle room on the 40-man roster as they look to make moves before the July 30 trade deadline.