The 10 players chosen by the Philadelphia Union in last month's expansion draft met the public for the first time last night at a Center City bar.
And while Philadelphia's fans might be known for their cynicism, the players actually like it here.
"I was really taken back by how pretty the skyline is, and how beautiful downtown is," said midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi, who came to Philadelphia from the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Goalkeeper Brad Knighton, who previously played with the New England Revolution, said he expected the Union to quickly become rivals with his old team and the other clubs in the Northeast Corridor.
"The fans are behind the teams here 110 percent and it's not going to change with us," Knighton said.
The Union's first game, in Seattle against the Sounders on March 25, will be a homecoming of sorts for forward Sebastian Le Toux. The native of Mont-Saint-Aignan, France, was picked from the Sounders in the expansion draft.
"It was a great environment," Le Toux said of playing in Seattle, which averaged more than 30,000 fans per game at Qwest Field in its inaugural season. "Next time I will be in the other jersey, but I'm very excited about that."