The Philadelphia area has been thirsting for a champion or even a playoff team for the year as the Flyers, Phillies, Eagles and #LOLSixers have failed and failed and failed and failed. We just wanted something positive. Some shred of dignity. And Carli Lloyd came to our rescue! That’s right, we get to claim her. The soccer star, who scored three goals in the first 15 minutes of the Women’s World Cup final against Japan, is from South Jersey.
Elsewhere in Philadelphia sports, the Eagles are about ready to start grownup summer camp, the #LOLSixers don’t even call players they trade for and the Linc is about to host a major U.S. soccer game. It’s the July guide to Philadelphia sports for people who don’t follow sports.
Update: Eagles season is getting close to starting but not before the interminable slog of training camp and the preseason games. For the players, this month of practices and games that don’t count is basically like being transported back to high school. For the NFL, it’s a way to make a few extra dollars while exposing players to risks of heat exhaustion and giving them the opportunity to sustain a few dozen more hits to the head before things get really serious.
For you, Philadelphian who doesn’t watch sportsball, consider the preseason games a blessing. If a friend wants you to go to a game this year, you could do worse than to make it one of those. It’ll be cheaper than the regular season, and the lines for Chickie’s & Pete’s crab fries will be much shorter.
The good: As someone who doesn’t pay attention to the Eagles, you’re in great shape for this season when it comes to learning about the players. Hardly anyone on this roster is recognizable, at least in terms of being longtime members of the Eagles. Only 14 of more than 70 players who were on the team when Chip Kelly became coach in 2013 are still on the roster. It’s like “True Detective.” Just because you missed the first season doesn’t mean you can’t watch the second. Of course, like “True Detective,” all the new pieces might not fit together.
The bad: We mostly won’t be able to watch the Eagles’ training camp. Before Kelly took over, the Eagles camped in Bethlehem for a couple of weeks. The players mingled with us regular folk, and nearly every practice was open to the public. People who couldn’t afford tickets had the opportunity to watch the Eagles in person as much as they wanted. For the third straight year, the Eagles will now hold training camp at Franklin Field. Only two workouts will be open to the public.
This lack of openness especially sucks because of the presence of Tim Tebow. Who wouldn’t want to watch Tebow fail/thrive/morph into God while throwing a pass? Unfortunately, the only people watching will be Kelly and the other coaches and players. If Tebow throws a 50-yard touchdown pass while singing “Lord, Make Me An Instrument of Your Peace,” we’ll have to take their word for it.
Update: How did Lloyd’s hometown of Delran, N.J., celebrate the Women’s World Cup victory and the dominance from Lloyd? The best way possible: By walking into a Wawa naked.
Lloyd visited her old stomping grounds last week as host of 200 girl soccer players at the Carli Lloyd Soccer Camp.
Big-game alert: The Gold Cup Final will be played at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday. Hopefully, the United States will be in it. The U.S. faces Jamaica on Wednesday in a semifinal for the tournament. The Gold Cup takes place every two years and features all the soccer associations from Central and North American countries, as well as Caribbean countries.
Update: Joel Embiid broke the same bone in his foot that kept him out this last season, and he’ll be out for the entirety of the upcoming season. Expect #LOLSixers GM Sam Hinkie to say he never expected Embiid to play for the duration of his four-year rookie contract or something like that, but this is a nightmare. While no one would have expected Philadelphia to do much this year even with Embiid, this is the type of injury that could haunt him for the rest of his career. The last prominent player to have it, as Bob Cooney of the Daily News pointed out, was Yao Ming. And he had to retire early.
The good: The #LOLSixers stole a first-round pick from the Sacramento Kings earlier this month. In a trade, they obtained 2014 first-round pick Nick Stauskas, two other veterans, a 2018 first-round pick and the option to swap first round picks with the Kings for the next two years. What did they give up? Almost nothing. The #LOLSixers traded the Kings two of their second-round draft picks from this season.
Stauskas wasn’t too impressive last year, averaging about four points a game, but he’s a good shooter, something the #LOLSixers could really use. Stauskas also has his own hot sauce, stemming from a closed-captioning mishap that gave him the nickname “Sauce Castillo.” And you can already buy the sauce here in Philly!
Phone probs: You know how you’ll sometimes hang out with a guy/girl for a few days or weeks and then all of a sudden they leave you hanging? No text. No call. The #LOLSixers are that guy/girl. Except they’re even worse. Keith Bogans got traded to the team last fall. Earlier this month, he said no one from the #LOLSixers bothered to call him after the trade. Then, about two weeks later, they cut him. They didn’t call him about this, either. The #LOLSixers basically asked Bogans on a date, never showed up, told all of their mutual friends they were together and then announced they were breaking up to everyone except Bogans.