Battle of the brothers one of a handful of intriguing storylines for Friday's Union game against Chivas USA

Battle of the brothers one of a handful of intriguing storylines for Friday's Union game against Chivas USA

Chivas USA and the Philadelphia Union are not rivals, nor is Chivas USA any good. In fact, the “other” team from Los Angels comes into Friday’s game vs. the Union at PPL Park (7:30 p.m., The Comcast Network) with the worst record in the Western Conference.

Normally, then, this might be a blah type of game. But it’s not. It’s actually a game filled with a lot of interesting storylines. Here are five of them:

1. Remember the Farfan twins? Those guys who looked alike and played together for the Union in 2011, 2012 and part of 2013 until one of them – Gabriel – was pulled from the loving embrace of his brother – Michael – and sent to play on the other side of the country? Yeah, well, Gabriel will take the field at PPL Park for the first time since being traded away by that home-wrecking Union manager John Hackworth and will certainly be out for vengeance. And Michael would like nothing more than to destroy Gabriel for that one time when they were kids and he stole his bag of chips (that probably happened, right?). Actually, a couple of days before the game, Michael was spouting out lines like “I’m not going to treat him any differently” and “I don’t think too much about it” … but never mind that! On Friday, Philly will become the City of Brotherly HATE.

2. Another opposing player Union fans will want to watch is new Chivas acquisition Carlos Bocanegra, the former captain of the US national team and the greatest American player whose last name translates to “black mouth.” The 34-year-old defender has been out of MLS for the last nine years but has returned to try to resurrect his career in time, perhaps, for one last shot at the World Cup next summer. And Friday’s game should be his first one back, so maybe don’t boo him quite as much as the other players, Union fans.

3. Speaking of new players, the Union will have their two transfer-window signings available for the first time: German goalkeeper Oka Nikolov and Brazilian defender Fabinho. Both players will likely start their MLS careers in a reserve capacity. But if the starters at their positions – goalie Zac MacMath and left back Ray Gaddis – falter, perhaps they could be called into action. At the very least, it gives the Union a lot more cover on the bench and another Brazilian with one name.

4. The Union will also have a lot more players at their disposal now that Michael Farfan and Danny Cruz are healthy after missing Saturday’s 1-0 loss in Houston. One more player who could return from injury is Kleberson, the other Brazilian with one name  who hasn’t played since June 1 because of what was originally believed to be a mild quad strain. If he can get back on the field, it will add a different element to the Union’s attack. If not, the team’s midfield play could still be an issue, even with Farfan and Cruz back in the lineup.

5. Picking up the three points is obviously critical for the Union, considering they’re coming off a tough road trip and are playing one of the league’s worst teams at home. There’s also another benefit: handing Chivas a loss could help Philly’s draft hopes in 2014 as they hold Chivas’s first-round pick from the Farfan trade.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

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Joel Embiid 'surprised' by amount of playing time in Sixers' opener

Joel Embiid 'surprised' by amount of playing time in Sixers' opener

WASHINGTON — In the end, Joel Embiid’s playing time was a non-issue.

After days of frustration leading up to opening night, Embiid played just three seconds shy of 27 minutes against the Wizards. That far surpassed the 16 minutes he anticipated a day earlier on Tuesday. 

“I was surprised,” Embiid said following the Sixers’ 120-115 loss (see observations). “I was expecting way less than that, but it just shows you they trust me.”

Brett Brown had maintained Embiid’s minutes were going to be more flexible than last year and he wasn’t locked into a specific number by the medical staff. Initially, Brown projected Embiid would play somewhere in the teens, but the game presented an opportunity for him to log more. 

Embiid had played 21:38 through three quarters and it seemed, based on last season, he was done for the night. The coaching staff calculated Embiid had over 20 minutes to rest between the third and the fourth quarters, so Brown put him back into the game with just over five minutes to play. He finished the game with 18 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, a block and four turnovers. 

“It’s a range,” Brown said. “It’s more of a plan that we have this year than a restriction. When you look at and you feel the flow of the game, that’s where the variables come in.”

Embiid wants open lines of communication between him and the medical staff — for him to know what its planning and for him to be honest about how he is feeling.

“It’s on me to not lie to them and tell them how my body feels when I’m tired,” Embiid said. “At some point through the game I was tired and I told them to take me out.”

Embiid is ready for a new outlook on his availability moving forward. 

“We’ve got to stop calling it 'minutes restrictions,'" Embiid said. "There’s a plan with that — it’s just go out and play. If you’re tired, get out because injuries happen more often when you’re tired.”