Friday, November 27, 2015

Philadelphia Union unveil new third jersey, inspired by Bethlehem Steel

Bethlehem Steel rose to local and national prominence in the 1910's and 1920's.

Philadelphia Union unveil new third jersey, inspired by Bethlehem Steel


Now it's official. After lots of rumor and speculation - and some leaked photos on the internet Tuesday afternoon - the Philadelphia Union finally unveiled their new third jersey during their Meet the Team event at Xfinity Live.

The black, white and red color scheme is a tribute to Bethlehem Steel, the famed club from the 1910's and 1920's that won five U.S. Open Cups. 

Led by Archie Stark, Bethlehem Steel rose to local and national prominence in an era when soccer was a huge deal in America.

At that point in the country's history, the east coast's vast population of European immigrants hadn't truly assimilated yet. Baseball was only starting to gain mass appeal, and professional football was far inferior to college football in terms of popularity.

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Anyway, back to the present day. Here are Sébastien Le Toux and Antoine Hoppenot modeling the new jersey. It was reported earlier Tuesday that the Union will wear this ensemble in their season-opening game on Saturday.

You can buy the jersey in most of the usual places, including the team's shop. It's $120 before customization (if you want it), and only available in authentic. There's no replica version. Authentic jerseys are cut slimmer than replicas, so you may have to go up a size when ordering one.

Yes, that's manager John Hackworth alongside them, showing off the team's new all-black scarf.

To answer a question that was asked in the comments: the Bimbo Bakeries logo is an old one, to fit with the throwback motif.

Here's a photo from the popular soccer forum that features details of the Bethlehem Steel motif:

And here's a photo that was sent to me on Twitter by @_magowan. On the inside of the jersey, there's a Bethlehem steel logo behind the Union logo that's on the the outside:

The Meet the Team event, by the way, drew a huge crowd. I was told that over 900 season ticket holders signed up to attend, and that's before whatever walkup crowd came out at the last moment.

I took this picture from the balcony to try to capture the scene. This is only half of the room:

Below, you can watch me try to shout over the crowd while narrating a video about reactions to the jersey from Union staff and fans.

What do you think of the jersey? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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About this blog
The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, the National Women's Soccer League, the U.S. men's and women's national teams, and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Jonathan Tannenwald
Lauren Green Inquirer Staff Writer
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