Soccer players Teal Bunbury (left) from Akron, Jack McInerney from the U.S. Under-17 National Team, Austin da Luz from Wake Forest, and Brian Perk from UCLA, try a cheesesteak from Carmen's in Reading Terminal Market at a press conference in advance of the MLS SuperDraft. (Sharon Gekoski-Kimmel/Staff Photographer)

Welcome to Philly.com's new soccer blog. As we begin a very big year for soccer in Philadelphia and across the country, the time seems right to give the sport its own space here on Philly.com.

For the past few years, I've written about soccer every so often on Soft Pretzel Logic. Now we're about to have two professional teams in town, and tomorrow morning the National Soccer Coaches Association of America convention will kick off at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Over the next few days here on The Goalkeeper, you'll find live coverage of the Major League Soccer SuperDraft and the Women's Professional Soccer draft. You'll also find video features and as many other stories from the convention as I can cram on here.

Throughout this summer and beyond, you'll find complete coverage of the Philadelphia Union, the Philadephia Independence, U.S. national teams, the World Cup, and the rest of the world's most popular sport.

We'll get things started right away. I was at Reading Terminal Market this afternoon to meet some MLS folks, including a few players whose names will be called in tomorrow's draft. They came to Reading Terminal to get their first cheesesteaks. It made for some funny photos, as you can see above.

You might be wondering why this blog is named The Goalkeeper. There are a lot of good reasons, but here's one to think about. You soccer buffs know that goalkeepers can be a bit eccentric. If you've read my writing at Soft Pretzel Logic, you know I cover a lot of ground in a lot of ways.

Soccer is a game that inspires passion and energy from fans around the world. My goal on here is to not just explain what happens on the field, but off it as well. And you can be sure everything on here will be interactive. I welcome your comments and emails, and hopefully there will be a lot more to come.

I know how long many of you have waited for professional soccer to return to Philadelphia. The time has finally come, and I'm looking forward to being on the journey forward with you.