Greetings from Chester, where Philadelphia Union is holding a press conference this afternoon to introduce Piotr Nowak as its first coach.
As John Smallwood wrote in this morning's Daily News, Nowak is a very good choice. He won MLS Cup as a player with the Chicago Fire in 1998 and as a coach with D.C. United in 2004, then led the U.S. men's Olympic team to a creditable 1-1-1 record in Beijing last year.
It is of no small consequence that Nowak rose to the coaching ranks after being a playmaking midfielder on the field. Yes, he's a fiery guy, and I think that passion will play very well with Philadelphia fans. But he and his teams have a track record of playing attractive, attacking soccer.
I watched that 2004 D.C. team in particular quite a bit, and arguably the biggest reason why it won the championship was Christian Gomez's playmaking. Then last year at the Olympics, the U.S. was the only team in its group that scored a goal in every game.