This Saturday night sees our Orlando City Lions play host to the Philadelphia Union in league play, the first match after the end of the transfer deadline. It's unclear whether any of City's newest acquisitions will be available for selection.
We do know we won't have to worry about the visiting fans getting their hands on any snowballs here in sunny Orlando.
The fans of Philadelphia, hell, the population as a whole, are absolutely ruthless. I spent a year living in this city and I can tell you this: when they aren't yelling over each other about the best place to get a cheesesteak or how to pronounce "gyro," they're yelling over each other about how great their sports teams are.
Even when it's painfully obvious that it isn't that great at all. Even when they're 16th in possession percentage. Even when they're 15th in passing percentage. Even when their team is in dead last.
No, this team isn't eatin' thunda and crappin' lightnin' and looks to be in tough shape if it wants to go the distance. Sitting five points below the Lions, it'll be important for City to work hard to bring in the three points.
Working hard is something Philly's finest like to claim is their lifestyle, but, from the Tacony to West Chester, you just wouldn't notice it. The 76ers have set up permanent residence in the basement of the NBA. The Eagles traded a Pro Bowl quarterback for a man who gets paid to be a professional patient for physiotherapists everywhere. The Phillies have the worst record in baseball. The Flyers missed the playoffs, again.
Where is all this hard work?
We'll give them credit for bringing in Tranquillo Barnetta. As Jim Curtin noted, the league is getting heavy on star center mids, and the Union needed to keep pace with the times. Tranquillo had a tough start to his Union career, conceding a penalty. He could probably use a bit more practice with the team.
Of course, you can imagine how the Philly faithful will respond to that.
Philly's own Ben Franklin once said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes," but I disagree. I say it to be certain that the Union aren't ready for the Orlando playground our Lions call home, and there are no rich uncles in Bel-Air to save them from surrendering three points this Saturday night. Where will you be watching?