MLS Philly: “The Stars are Aligned”, Expansion Inching Closer

I know, I know. Yet another article about how the deal is so close, but not quite there yet.

This one is a little rosier. And the coverage on the deal in the Philadelphia Inquirer has now gone – dare I say – daily? (well, three days in a row that is). Or does Domenic Pileggi’s editorial count as one?

Yesterday’s article was a back-and-forth between city officials, members of the ownership group, and a bunch of pessimistic sports economists.

Today’s – however – is much nicer to look at as “Sources” say that it is not about the “if”, “hows”, and “whens” anymore.

People familiar with the work accomplished during the last two weeks – since Gov. Rendell announced the award of state funding – believe the Philadelphia bid has assumed an aura of inevitability, capable of being derailed only by an impossible-to-foresee cataclysm.

“It’s definitely Philly,” said a Major League Soccer source, declining to be quoted by name in advance of an official announcement. “It’s the market size, the ownership group. These are wealthy people. They’re going to be strong owners.”

For many, the appointment of Nick Sakiewicz really cemented that ‘aura of inevitability’ around the deal. I’m still treading lightly as I don’t want to get my feelings hurt, but damn will it be a good day if and when this team is announced.

Should I dare to ask for predictions? If a team is announced for 2010, who will be MLS Philly’s coach – prospects? Who will be their first signing?? Former SJ product (Delran), Peter Vermes as Coach?

Notable Philly-based Players

Bobby Convey [Reading]
Chris Albright [New England]
Dan Gargan [Colorado]
Jim Curtin [Chivas USA] – from Oreland, PA
Jeff Curtin [Chicago]
Jeff Larentowicz [New England] – captained FC Delco, Chestnut Hill Academy
Danny Cepero [RBNY] – UPenn graduate
Jeremiah White [AGF Aarhus] -FC Delco Alumni
Chris Wingert [Colorado] – FC Delco Alumni
Jeff Parke [RBNY] – Drexel graduate

Miss any?