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Nowak coming out of retirement to play for Union

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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.

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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.


  1. I still recalled how the news of Bruce Arena being appointed the new coach for the Mexican side jolted me (of course it was an April fools joke) & even my friends that don’t exactly follow soccer were pretty much shocked fully knowing the history of the rivarly between US & Mexico & hearing that was like..,WOW!!! (& the picture of Bruce wearing that Mexican hat was just priceless). I said to myself (after it was a hoax & trying to calm my raving heart) that St. Ives will not play play me a fool again come April 1st
    when that time of the year comes around, the first thing I think about is how foolish i was to fall for that & I actually still laugh about that, printed that picture & I archived it. When I show it to my unknowing friends, the look on their faces says it all…..”when did Bruce coach Mexico? & I (trying so hard not to laugh & give it away) come up with some crap story & I end up giving it away by laughing. So Ives, nice try, I was waiting for u on this though it caught a few people. You the best.

  2. Wow, got me. My face is still flush from the the apparent slight to Ljungberg

    (SBI-Nice, love that. Hope you got a good laugh out of it.)

  3. I didn’t fall for it only because both my professors already tried to pull jokes on me in class already. I trust nobody until tomorrow.

  4. Pretty funny. Good one.

    Not knowing Nowak’s current fitness level, it had me thinking… Wow Nowak is the man. And this has to be a ploy to fire up his team..

    Although when I saw the picture and how old those Uni’s looked, ie how long ago it really was he played.. I basically figured it out.

  5. Hahahaha, I could see the blogs/forums lining him up as a SA 2010 starter for the US if that would have the “story”.

  6. I knew it was an April Fool’s Joke from the second I saw it (I’ve been on my guard today), but I still laughed out loud. Great read, too haha.

  7. hahaha my first reaction was “please don’t be an April fool’s joke!” I’d love to see Pete back on the field with his band of youngsters.

  8. pulled an all-nighter last night. either I’m gullible or the sleeplessness is totally getting to me, because I almost e-mailed my brother about this before clicking on the jump… way to go.

  9. In other news, one-time American starlet Freddy Adu announced he was coming out of retirement to play for, well, for anybody.

    Wait, what? He didn’t retire?

  10. Definitely had me. I was already thinking of ways I could bash Nowak in my post about how it was a “classless move” and whatnot. Good stuff!

  11. Ives, good joke. I was confused more than fooled. Szetela’s trial with Union made the joke tougher to pull off. The effort is still appreciated

  12. Yeah, you got me. I’m new to the site, and by default of geography a new Union Supporter.

    Still I must say, this is not too far off from being doable/attemtable. I know it won’t happen, but it wouldn’t be a terrible idea. Think of the marketing angle!

  13. I fell for it and was thinking that Nowak was just being sarcastic or doin git to make a point about diving…lol.

  14. Ives, you might just be too soon on this story. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nowak suit up by August when he’s realized that his team is awful and they can’t bring in anymore players.

  15. good joke, I remembered what day it was, so I didn’t fall for it. But if I hadn’t just been reminded that it was April 1st, I might have fallen for it.

    Good one!


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