Get plugged in here.
Nestled amongst the articles on the push into the Chinese market, the world's top paid players and a detailed rundown on the world's most valuable clubs is that David Beckham will receive 45% of LA Galaxy jersey sales. We've all heard speculation that he was getting a large chunk of this, but this is the first time I have seen it in print. That's serious cash...enough to keep him questionable haircuts for a long time to come.
As mentioned earlier in the week, expansion talk is once again coming out of Portland. Oregon Live reports on a potential investment group today led by a local real estate mogul. Call me jaded, but something about the word "local" fills me with nightmarish visions of Ken Horowitz . I don't know these guys from Adam and for all I know they could be rich, rich, rich.
But MLS does not need rich guys in ownership positions, it needs wealthy guys. The great 21st century humorist Christopher Rock describes wealthy as "someone whose family owns the patent on the color Blue". That's what MLS needs, not the owner of the largest auto-dealer in town....that will get you a grave next to the Virginia Beach Mariners .
Much has been made of the fact that all MLS games will be televised this season and ESPN's upcoming Thursday night coverage. But one of the most exciting things to happen to soccer on TV screens this year will be Extra Time, a brand new chat show about American soccer.
"Jay Leno for soccer" is how show creator Tegan Summer describes the show. The show is hosted by Raz Adoti, known to fans of Fox Soccer Channel footie drama 'Dream Team' as "Wes Kingsley”. He was most recently seen as “Richie Rich,” in Haven his second movie with Orlando Bloom, and in Universal Pictures’ Doom, starring opposite Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Along side Raz on the couch, playing the role of correspondent is LA Galaxy and US Soccer legend Cobi Jones. And lest I forget the Chivas USA girls are also set to feature regularly on the show.
Currently in the final throes of negotiations, the weekly show (sponsored by EA Games & PS3 among others) appears to be headed for Thursday nights on a network TBD. Look for it to crash onto the airwaves by mid-April.
I for one really wish this would happen; an urban stadium could do wonders for the Revs image and attendance (although it may cut down the number SUV's with soccer ball bumper stickers in the parking lot). But the Krafts are known for being thrifty when it comes to their futbol franchise, so don't be surprised when they end up being the last MLS club still playing in an NFL stadium.
"Rangers will confirm within the next few days that they will face David Beckham's MLS side LA Galaxy on Wednesday, May 23 in a lucrative end of season friendly, as revealed in SportTimes a month ago."
Whatever. Read about it here. Does anyone know what the record is for matches played by an MLS team in a calendar year? I'm looking to you Ken Tomasch.
There is also rumour of Celtic taking on Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. So I propose a question of sorts....why not make it interesting and hold an Old Firm match stateside. You can't tell me that wouldn't make headlines and get asses in seats.
"David is a really special man. Him coming over to the States is like the Beatles going over there. He's going to be a legend...I'll help him settle in. The US is my area. He's got my full support and the backing of all my people."
-P Diddy, March 2007. [via The Sun UK]
Don Garber's tour of PGE Park this week has put Rose City on the list of cities vying for a potential piece of the MLS pie. There has been talk in the past but nothing that ever warranted much talk beyond the world of Bigsoccer.
As great as the supporters are in Portland, the only way I would like to see them come into the league is if Seattle and Vancouver came with them. Those three clubs have a great three-way rivalry that is the best in USL-1.
You can watch all three spots here .
- TORtv will now be available in an easy to digest 4-clip format, usually containing a highlight reel, a micro-doc, a commercial, and a music video. And on occasion something sexy.
- The Offside Rules is now on Myspace. PLEASE be our friend.
- The Your Captain Needs You Campaign is stepping up to phase 2. Please be it's friend on Myspace. This is super important as it will not only be a good way to send you updates on the project but the more friends it has, the better it looks to a potential investor. Again, PLEASE be our friend.
Thanks for listening. Now get back to work.
The ESPN-backed festival, which will run for 12 days, is advised by a board of sports and entertainment luminaries including MLS chief Don Garber, author Nick Hornby, and filmmaker Spike Lee (and that's kinda special). There will also be an appearance by the Red Bull New York freestyle street team as well.
Be sure to check out their website not only for show times and screening information but for Jeff Bradley's top soccer movies of all time . Game on!
Why? Because our league could like, you know really use it's very own "Nipplegate" scandal to get the tongues wagging because nothing says "big league" like big boobs.
BBC Radio Five Live's Ralf Harris has a 1-hour documentary on what awaits Brand Beckham when it lands on US shores. Excellent stuff with soundbites from everyone from "the entirely unflappable" Alexi Lalas, to John Spencer, to Ex-Sex Pistol Steve Jones (who's kind of a hater). Grab your headphones and get stuck in!
Over the next week Dallas will become Soccertown USA with a Texas-sized slate of youth, national team, and MLS exhibition matches. Check out some of the upcoming ties:
March 28: U.S. U-20 vs. Haiti U-20
March 28: U.S. Men vs Guatemala Men
March 30: FC Dallas Reserves vs. Haiti U-20
March 31: FC Dallas vs. Atletico Paranaense
April 1: Real Madrid U-19 vs. Solar SC U-19 (Dallas Cup )
April 1: Chelsea FC U-19 vs. Chivas Guadalajara U-19 (Dallas Cup)
So get in a car, call up Amtrak, or go to Southwest Airlines website....do whatever you can to get yourself down there because not only do we have soccer back home but we have the world best BBQ, Shiner Bock (ask somebody if you don't know), and really big trucks with gun racks on the back window. And if you are really lucky you may be able to meet a disgraced cheerleader or two.
Damn, I just got really homesick as I wrote that.
Not only is this competition an excellent final tune-up and test for both players and coaches, but it is also an excellent excuse for a road trip to one of America's great soccer towns. So if you are thinking of hitting the road for mint juleps, BBQ, and a little bit of soccer you'll need to download the superb inaugural issue of the Empire Supporters Club fanzine . There you will find an indispensable guide to Charleston that is sure to make you look a little less like a tourist.
The title pretty much says all there is to say, other than "What happened to the Citibank offer?". Bussinesswire has the scoop. In a separate LA Times piece by Graham Jones that I am too busy to link to it says that the deal is in the neighborhood of $3.5-$5 million a year. Oddly there is no mention that Herbalife is owned by Jorge Vergara, who owns the HDC's other tenant Chivas USA.
Also of note is the photo above; I know it is tiny like Sean Wright-Phillips, but that is Alan Gordon wearing the new sponsor-laden LA Galaxy kit, who appears to still be with the team despite rumors to the contrary. Maybe Alexi thought that photographic evidence was needed to show that he hasn't gone anywhere.
So Bill Gates lost to Rafa Marquez at FIFA, big deal. See how he is holding up his arm triumphantly? That's not because he just scored….it's because he just remembered that he could buy La Liga with the money in his sock drawer if he wanted to. Read about their electronic footie encounter at Joystiq. One reader left a gem in the comments that took the words right out of my mouth.
"What? Bill couldn't give him a Premium 360? I bet it didn't even have the Hard Drive."
I should know better than to endorse a book that I have not even read yet, but the Amazon description alone looks funnier than the last 5 Jim Carey movies. Sure it's a touchy subject, but how can you not be down with a book in which the 12 year-old protagonist tries to "spread the word about Manchester and their successes and failures against teams such as Tott Nam, made up predominantly of young Vietnamese players". OMG...I am crying as I type this!
If you've already read this, and want to give us a review hit me up.
If you have checked out TORtv at all you may have already seen this clip....but things like this warm my cold grey heart and need to be put front and center. True Game is a sweet little micro-doc following two US soccer fans on a cross-country road trip to Phoenix to watch the most recent 2-0 beatdown over Mexico. It's brief and homemade but I love it; we see so little of the American fan experience that it is sometimes easy for people to forget (or not even know) that there is a contingent of fan that does travel for both club & country. Watch and enjoy.
"People fucking hate cunts like Phil Collins, and if they don't — they fucking should"
You may or may not agree with Britain's foremost purveyor of the unibrow, but apparently someone believes that enough people like him & his band Genesis to fill Toronto's new soccer specific stadium BMO Field. They'll be just one of many acts to help owners fill out those calendar dates this summer. Here's a look at a few others who turn pitches into dance floors, honky-tonks and mosh pits.
4/15/07 Pizza Hut Park
KDGE Edgefest with The Killers, My Chemical Romance, Muse, AFI, Jet, Kaiser Chiefs & more.
05/19/07 Columbus Crew Stadium
"Rock on the Range" with Hinder, ZZ Top, Evanescence, Velvet Revolver, Breaking Benjamin, Papa Roach, Buck Cherry and more.
6/30/07 DSG Park
Kenny Chesney with Pat Green, and Sugarland
8/25/07 Home Depot Center
Vans Warped Tour with Bad Religion, Coheed & Cambria, Cute is What We Aim For, New Found Glory, Hawthorne Heights, K-OS, Fishbone & more.
A few months ago there was talk of Captain Concussion aka Alecko Eskandarian potentially being traded from Toronto FC before he even got to play for them. The chatter died pretty quickly as the news of the Beckham signing hit the same day, and the Eski trade was rubbished as a rumor by Red Bull.
But like Ronaldo, this one keeps popping up. Last time around it was a trade for a keeper when RBNY was sitting on Wattreus, Rimando, and Conway. Now I'm hearing some scuttlebutt that TFC is interested in trading the helmeted one for cracking defender Jeff Parke. That doesn't sound too far out of the realm of possibility as the back line seems to be the one place where Bruce's boys have a little (but not much) breathing room and Toronto has more strikers than a room full of disgruntled Teamsters with Edson Buddle, Conor Casey, and Abbe Ibrahim on the roster alongside Eskandarian.
As always with these things, we shall see.
RBNY GM Marc DeGranpre offers something of a rebuttal, and offers that maybe the sky isn't falling just yet, and that the team actually hit it's financial marks for 2006. He also touches on the subject of the seeming lack marketing behind the club this year.
"I've said before we do not believe in marketing an inferior product, the soccer enthusiasts in this area are too smart for that," de Grandpre said. "We are focused on turning the team on the field into a winner and once we do so, then you will see a more aggressive marketing campaign."
A user over on Bigsoccer a user by the name of "Shopping Cart Man" has posed the above question this a.m. Now I would think that the homeless would have more pressing issues to deal with like finding new ways to intimidate people into giving them money but what do I know?
It's a simple question with a simple answer really. Here's 2 scenarios, which would you prefer?
- You could be in a committed long distance relationship with a really hot Spanish chick that you where introduced to when you were an exchange student. Best sex you ever had, but aside from maybe you going to see her once every few years or her stopping to see you when she comes through the States occasionally for work, your relationship is limited to early a.m. phone sex (due to the timezones) on the weekends.
- You could be in a relationship with a local woman who is attractive for sure, but no supermodel (although she appears to be maturing gracefully). Not only do you see her regularly, but you know her family, friends and have a fairly normal relationship. Although she is no pornstar, you do get to sleep with her on a regular basis.
The choice is yours, homey.
The Daily Star (Britain's answer to the National Enquirer AND Perez Hilton) is reporting that the LAPD Swat Team is drawing up plans to deal with the threat of hooliganism. Allegedly both the department and the Galaxy fear that with the arrival of a certain new signing British ex-pats will suddenly take an interest in MLS and bring the ruckus.
One problem with that though....there is no away support in America! Other than the 4 matches a year against Chivas USA, you never see more than a handful of fans for the opposition. But just to be on the safe side, I am recommending that CCTV cameras be placed outside The Derby, no lager sales after kickoff at the HDC, and that Elijah Wood now be placed under 24 hour surveillance.
Now I have something better...The Offside Rules TV (TORtv for short). Just press play once and you'll get a few hours worth of juicy clips; nothing but the sweetest goals, coolest commercials, crackin' music videos, and the finest in mini-documentaries. I've tried to include almost exclusively professionally shot footage to keep the content quality high.
All of the clips are programmed in a playlist form so that you only have to click once; the videos will segue to the next clip automatically. You can skip to the next clip or see the last one again by clicking on the arrows or on the "filmstrip" at right.
Let me know what you think of this; if it sucks, needs more women, is too long, too short, or if you'd rather just have ESPN where Sky Sports was.
It's not surprising given the large & lovely Hispanic population and the trucks full of cash that can be made by hosting these matches. It's also not surprising given the ambition of the Atlanta Gorillas (their plans to expand their stadium to 15,000 capacity) and the popularity of Cruz Azul. What is surprising is that Issac Mizrahi is CA's coach. How does he have time to do this and design for Target at the same time?
For those of you interested an interest in Red Bull New York that is not limited exclusively to those cute college girls who hand out the free drink samples, I've got a small update on trialist Ansu Toure. Good buddy Bruce from DuNord reports that the Liberian is back in the Twin Cities to close out paperwork to obtain his US citizenship. As RBNY currently has a full roster and would have to cut someone to keep Toure this may make him look a little sweeter in the eyes of Bruce Arena & Jeff Agoos given the teams current lack of scoring options.
On another note, keep your eyes peeled the next few days for further info and another take on RB's financials later this week. It seems that there is more to the story that Ives (my favorite writer, save Angela Landsbury) wrote earlier in the week about the clubs' multimillion-dollar losses last year. And no, the loses have nothing to do with keeping Meola in McRib sandwiches.
10. You know what the following letter combinations mean:
I/O, IIRC, USMNT, IMHO, SSS
9. The letter combination "DP" no longer conjures a pornographic image.
8. You'd like to "Move KC now!"
7. The NASL's demise is the direct result of the Cosmos success. FACT!
6. You complain. About everything.
5. Making the 1st page of a thread is the most exciting moment of your day.
4. You can list every potential MLS expansion market, & why they'll never get in
3. You don't have to ask which side of the family Uncle's Phil & Lamar are on.
2. You've had multiple arguments about why Miami was contracted.
1. The word "Hmong" sends you into fits of uncontrollable hysteria.
And far more than the entire Chargers season. Figures released by the city early this week indicate the city is at least $400,000 in the red for one playoff, eight regular-season and two preseason games. Qualcomm Stadium ... the home of futbol"
How you like them apples Jim Rome? This Revelation comes courtesy of Marc Ziegler's piece in the Wednesday edition of the San Diego Tribune-Union. There are more than a few die-hard Sam's Army types out there who cringe at the fact that Los Tri play so many matches (6 this year alone) on U.S. soil. But when you see numbers like that and realize that SUM/MLS are pocketing it, it's a little harder to hate. Viva Mexico!
Yes, there are a lot of negative things being said about RBNY today and much of it is true. But how can your nipples not turn into pencil erasers when you see this image of the interior of Red Bull Park? I'll give the front office the benefit of the doubt and say that they are going to lay low this season and wait until next year to reintroduce themselves to the metro area; check out the ad blitz Colorado is doing in Denver this season with the opening of DSG Park and you get the idea.
On the other hand I was smiling ear to ear due to the simple fact that someone was wearing an MLS kit out of market. That may not sound like much, but you rarely see someone even wearing a jersey for your local side, let alone one from another market. But maybe I have a skewed view on this as the Arc of the Covenant is easier to come by than an RBNY top.
And speaking of kits, it looks like the 2007 MLS jerseys are beginning to roll out. So for all of you kit whores out there you can now pick up those Toronto jerseys for complete set for the league (if this is you, seek help). But of course the Red Bull is still pre-order only.
Now Liverpool want to have a "strategic alliance [that] will allow Liverpool FC to extend their brand in the U.S. through one of the most influential youth leagues in America,the LIJSL".
I swear some days I think that KY should really think about getting in the event sponsorship game; you will be hard pressed to find a bigger, more lucrative circle jerk than world football.
If you're feeling the need for a little island life you can get your fix on the Fiji national teams 2007 tour. Also, I'll give a prize of some sort to anyone who can tell me the name of any Fijian player ever without going to Wikipedia for the info. Tour details are as follows:
April 4 vs Santa Clara University
April 6 vs San Francisco University
April 7 vs California Victory (USL Div 1)
April 10 vs California Berkley
April 11 vs San Francisco Seals (PDL)
April 13 vs BYU
April 17 vs KC Wizards
April 18 vs Real Salt Lake reserves
To further broaden your horizons here's 5 facts about Fiji.
1. Really good golfer (and REALLY rich guy) Vijay Singh is from Fiji.
2. The tallest building in Fiji is a vertigo-inducing 14 stories tall (I've seen NYC schools taller).
3. Current president Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama took over via coup in 2006.
4. Due to said coup, Fiji lost the right to host the 2007 World Netball Championship (gotta hurt).
5. Survivor: Fiji was voted by The Offside Rules as one of the lamest shows on TV not starring a person who talks to ghosts.
Sunday's San Diego Business Journal backs that up in addition to stating that San Diego is booked to host one of those matches. I'll keep my ear to the ground on this one as any opportunity to gaze upon the pure genius that is Ronaldinho and the raw talent of Messi should be savoured.
Also, look for San Diego to possibly host a match by Chelsea as they are looking to play in another California city while in country for the World Series of Football. My wild-ass guess would have the bay area as the only other real possibilty.
Do any of you Left Coast readers recall there being "Bad Hairpiece Giveaway Night" last season?
Victory quash Fred rumour--Sportal.co.nz
These are today's headlines on the rumored transfer of Fred, a Brazilian striker/midfielder playing in the A-League. Australian champs Melbourne say he ain't going. D.C. says that they have him locked up like Charles Manson.
Who's doing the PR for Melbourne, Baghdad Bob? Not to say that The Post has a 100% track record on transfer rumors; just a few weeks ago they said that D.C had a different Brazilian midfielder, Ruy, locked up.
"The Galaxy and Chelsea FC of the English Premier League are set to finalize a date for an international friendly, expected to be July 21. A Friday news conference has been scheduled at The Home Depot Center at 10:30 a.m. "
It seems like this rumor has been floating around forever. I will be interested to see if the press conference reveals any details pertaining to TV rights for this match (and the tournament as a whole). If this is in fact going to be Beckham's Galaxy debut I can't imagine it not being televised; the question is does ESPN get this as a bonus to their TV deal, or does the league let it ESPN, FSC, & Gol fight it out since it is not a regular season game?
Apparently you buy your movies online as well. A footnote from Jack Bell in the NY Times yesterday mentioned that “Goal! The Dream Begins,” the first part of the soccer movie trilogy, was the No. 5 film downloaded on iTunes after being available for less than a week. Very impressive indeed for a movie that only had a US box office gross of $4,280,577.
Let's hope that the sales will keep coming, and that it will have an influence on whether the sequel (already showing in the U.K.) gets a domestic release.
This is only tangently soccer-related but what the hell, it's a slow news day. Have you seen this new sport that Red Bull have come up with called Crashed Ice? It's like something you would come up with if you were bored with 4 of your bro's on a cold day in Wisconsin after each drinking a case of The Beast. I admire this "fuck it, why not?" attitude that has led to this ground-breaking addition to the sporting landscape.
Basically stick a bunch of guys on skates as they jump, slide, weave, and break-bones through an iced-over snowboardcross track. How fucking fun does that sound? More fun than sitting on the couch high as shit watching Chapelle Show reruns while your homeboys girlfriend (who you always thought was too fine for his wanna-be 2 Fast 2 Furious ass) feeds you a box full of Twinkies. What, too much?
I got hipped to this from the link in this CNBC article. I'm no financial wizard or anything but I would like to point out that when this guy says that Red Bull should have never renamed the team after they bought it because "everyone does that" I had to ask myself "really, who else?" Sure there are a few clubs in Europe named for a company that owns them but who else in America has done this? Someone please correct me if I am wrong.
Until then, spend your Saturday night's at your World of Warcraft-edition Alienware PC peeping FootieTube. It's like Youtube without all of the annoying cat videos, and music videos so bad that even MTV won't air them.
In addition to all the current clips & commercials, they have a wealth of old-school footage for the hardcore fan. Seriously, where else can you see Jimmy Greaves tackle the dog during the England-Brazil match from '62?
Courtesy of Bugmenot.com, an awesome resource for accessing those registration required articles without having to actually give up your info.
It's been a while since I posted any USL news so I thought I'd bring up this piece from a few days ago. The USL's Montreal Impact have thrown down the gauntlet in regards to MLS expansion franchise Toronto FC.
"Toronto FC hasn't proven anything yet," Impact president Joey Saputo said Thursday. "We're still the best team in Canada and our goal is to continue to be the best team in Canada and, if we have the opportunity to play Toronto FC, our goal would be to prove it."
The CBC story is here. These guys certainly don't have a little brother complex. And why should they; they have higher attendance than several MLS clubs, in some cases pay better than MLS, are about to begin construction on their own SSS, and have a supporters group (UMO2) that rivals anything going stateside. And I won't even mention their high-alcohol beer, and strip clubs that defy justification.
Shit, can we get them in as the 14th team?
You hear that Rapids fans, not more extortionate Ticketbastard service fees! What's also cool about this deal is that their will be ticket kiosks in Denver area locations of Dicks Sporting Goods, a new-comer to the MLS sponsorship table who are really putting their money where their mouth is and are getting behind soccer whole hog.
Now if only we actually find some MLS merchandise in their store....
That is a quote from an article I just read about RSL playing Real Madrid while training in Spain.
Yes Freddy, YOU PLAY FOR REAL SALT LAKE! The Bernabeau is certainly a natural next-step from Rice-Eccles or the Sandy Debacle Stadium set to open in 2009.
Now look, I love The Biggest Midget In The Game(TM) as much as the next guy but will someone please help him learn to know when to shut up? I swear he alone is reason enough for MLS to have some sort of Motown style finishing school. But I guess 17 year old millionaires are never really that smart are they? They don't make that kind of money from being physicists or authors, just from being athletes, actors, or musicians.
Sorry if I am cranky, I didn't get Police tickets and it has left me on edge.
KEY DATES - 2007 SEASON
February 21, 2007:CONCACAF Champions Cup Quarterfinals Houston Dynamo at Puntarenas FC, Puntarenas, Costa Rica; D.C. United at CD Olimpia, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
March 1, 2007:CONCACAF Champions Cup Quarterfinals Puntarenas FC at Houston Dynamo, College Station, Texas; CD Olimpia at D.C. United, Washington, D.C.
March 13-15, 2007:CONCACAF Champions Cup Semifinals - 1st leg
April 3-5, 2007:CONCACAF Champions Cup Semifinals - 2nd leg
April 7-8, 2007:MLS First Kick - Opening Weekend
April 12, 2007:MLS Primetime Thursday debuts on ESPN2FC Dallas @ Los Angeles Galaxy 10:00 p.m. ET
April 17-19, 2007:CONCACAF Champions Cup Finals - 1st leg
April 24-26, 2007:CONCACAF Champions Cup Finals - 2nd leg
June 6-24, 2007:CONCACAF Gold Cup
June 30-July 22, 2007:FIFA U-20 World Cup (Canada)
June 26-July 15, 2007:Copa America (Venezuela)
July 10, 2007:Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup date (round-of-16) - 8 MLS teams enter tournament
July 19, 2007:2006 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game vs. Celtic FC, 9 p.m. ET ESPN2 DSG Park, Denver
July 24, 2007:SuperLiga begins
August 7, 2007:Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup date (quarterfinals)
August 14-15 2007:SuperLiga semifinal matches
August 18-September 9, 2007:FIFA U-17 World Cup (Korea)
August 29, 2007:SuperLiga final
September 4, 2007:Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup date (semifinals)
October 2, 2007:Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final
October 21, 2007:MLS Regular Season concludes
November 18, 2007:MLS Cup 2007RFK Memorial Stadium, Washington, D.C.
And after reading Jack Bell in the NY Times yesterday, I have to think that this person is probably now the last person on planet earth that wants Becks to be recalled to Steve McClaren's England squad. Why? Because this person (or persons) obviously busted their ass to make sure that Brand Beckham would touch down in every MLS market at least once this season, and that the league would get much bang for it's buck by giving LA the most ESPN coverage of any team. If he's called up two very important showcase's for the league new golden boy would come into serious jeopardy: the LA-Derby vs. Chivas USA and a season-ending clash with Red Bull New York, with both matches are slated as primetime ESPN games.
What's the problem you ask? England has Euro 2008 qualifiers against Russia scheduled the day before each of these matches, and the chances of Beckham suiting up in Europe then playing in a match the next day in Los Angeles are….well, let's just say it could happen, but it certainly is not ideal. Now whether you believe McClaren will go all Capello and out him back on the team is an entirely different issue.
If this were to occur, in my opinion the only person less jazzed would be the poor guy at the Gals ticket office who sold all those multi-game ticket packs and then would have to deal with the pissed-off phones calls from the international soccer neophytes for whom the "club vs. country" debate is completely foreign.