Photo by ISIphotos.com
Peter Nowak had some harsh things to say about Freddie Ljungberg last week, but the Philadelphia Union manager had a revelation after watching what he felt were questionable moves by Ljungberg and preferential treatment by referees toward Ljungberg.
Nowak realized he just might still be able to play in MLS.
The former Chicago Fire star has decided to come out of retirement to help give the Union the central midfield spark the team is sorely lacking. Though he is 45 years old and eight years removed from his last season in MLS, Nowak believes MLS is an easier league to play in now and he feels he can still contribute to a team sorely needing on-field leadership.
"I watched Freddie Ljungberg and I figure if nobody can touch me then I can play in this league until I'm 50," said Nowak, who led the 1998 Chicago Fire to an MLS Cup title. "I can still run a little bit and if anybody hits me I will fall down and wait for the whistle like Mr. Ljungberg."
Nowak has signed a veteran's minimum contract with the Union ($40,000) and is expected to be in uniform when Philadelphia faces D.C. United in its home opener at Lincoln Financial Field on April 10. Nowak led D.C. United to the 2004 MLS Cup as its head coach.
When asked if he thought he was too old to play professionally, Nowak scoffed and pointed to some of the other older players in MLS.
"Kasey Keller is over 40 and Pat Onstad is older than me," Nowak said. "If you have the heart and the legs, you can play this game."
The news came as a surprise to Philadelphia Union players, many of whom are young enough to be Nowak's children.
Okay, so we had to give it a shot. I realize that this still isn't as good as our 2008 April Fool's Joke, but I suppose I was hoping to catch at least a few of you.
Good luck not getting fooled today. And if this post fooled you, please don't be afraid to admit it.