4.30.2007

Pssst. You Wanna Know a Secret?

So this dude I know hipped me to this site whose name I won't mention . At said website you can watch damn near every movie and TV show ever made (sadly there are no reruns of "Falcon Crest" available). One of the movies that you can stream there is a bootleg of the sequel to a movie that came out a few years ago named after a certain piece of soccer equipment that is not the ball.

On Television, Betting, and the Like


RSL have resorted to praying, begging for a win.

I don't know about you but with the wealth of hot, steamy MLS action on TV over the past few days I had to take yesterday off. I was starting to get bed sores from being on the couch, and bed pans are just sooooo unsexy so I decided it would be best to get off my ass and leave the house on Sunday.

But after my yard time yesterday I'll be back in full effect tonight for the lovers spat between the two mile-high clubs. RSL v. Rapids has gotten pretty interesting in a short period of time, what with Checketts & Mastroeni trying to turn the hate-o-meter up to 11 last season. Should be good just for the fact that I can watch one half of the game before Heroes and the other afterward (there's never anything on TV on Monday's, not even Chappelle's Show reruns…and that shit is on like, all the time).

In case you need to relive any of the magic from this weekend (EJ spilling red wine all over Toronto's gown at her coming out party for example) you need to check out the new
Quick Kicks feature on MLSnet. Not only does it have all of the highlights from this weekends games going back to late last season, but each game is broken down so that you can click on & search individual moments throughout the game. Additionally you can keep a playlist of favorite clips much like Youtube. With the lack of traditional exposure for soccer in America I'm so happy that MLS is finally getting smart in the new media dept.

Hey, here's a question for the comments….which of these would Tony Soprano bet on happening 1st?


  • Sunil Gulati will relieve Bob Bradley of his duties as interim national team coach

  • Mo Johnston fired at TFC, replaced by assistant coach Bob Gansler

  • Toronto FC will score a goal

  • Red Bull will concede a goal

  • DC United will win a game

  • Tommy Soehn will be fired at DC United

Let us know what you've got your money on in the comments below.

4.27.2007

TOR Friends & Family Discount at Soho Addidas Store



If you are a cheapskate, student or poor I've got a little something to help you get kitted out without taking all of your beer/drug/food/massage money for the weekend (people cope in different ways, I make no judgements). Print out the coupon above and The Adidas Sport Performance Store in Soho will give 30% off of almost anything in the store (sorry but they aren't going to let you near the Porsche Design shit with a coupon).

It's a really rad store if you've never checked it out. I can't remember off-hand if this location has MLS jerseys but this could be a good way to get that new '07 look at an '04 price.

Friday Boasts, Claims, and Accusations


Ronald Watterus is a much better goal keeper than zoo keeper.

With his shutout streak going and really no end in sight with the next MLS match versus Real Salt Fake, Ronald Watterus is clearly the hottest goalkeeper in MLS. The ironic thing is that he wasn’t Bruce Arena’s first choice.

That’s right. Despite the glowing words this off-season, Arena’s first choice was not the well-traveled Dutchmen. In fact, Arena was after another European based goalkeeper with loads of international experience. We all know who that choice was, right?

Nope, not Kasey Keller. Jerzy Dudek. Yep, Arena and staff enquired about the availability of the now bench-ridden Polish international keeper who hasn’t sniffed much of the pitch with Liverpool this year. Look for Dudek to head to the Bundesliga this summer and join Ed Kirwan’s Wolfsburg outfit.

Want another Dutch treat? Of course you do. Before bringing in Dave van den Bergh, Red Bulls Technical Director enquired about Colombian international midfielder Elkin Soto, a left-winger who plies his trade in Ecuador. Turns out that Agoos was interested in Soto but balked at the transfer price.

Bruce still wants to add another player to the team to partner with Kovalenko’s European style influence. Word out is that he is looking at a Polish central defender, not named Jacek Bak. Why is he looking for central defense help? The coaching staff is not thrilled with Seth Stammler....rumour has it he could be on the block for the right offer. Even though they like his versatility, his inconsistent performances have soured them to his overall play.

Oh, and St. Louis has the inside track with expansion. The NJ women’s team will play at Rutgers for at least their first year. And Marvell Wynne did have an attitude problem.

4.26.2007

Kearny, NJ: It's like the Nashville of Soccer

A couple of weeks back I finally did something I have been meaning to do for years; I got drunk in Kearny, NJ. Even though I lived 5 miles away in Jersey City for 5 years I somehow never managed to get my ass over there, always saying "I'll go next time" whenever an offer presented itself. But as it was the RBNY home opener, I decided to take a ride over there to hit The Scots Club before the game with a few buddies who are members and, as I was to discover, much better shuffle board players than I am.

My fascination with Kearny began back in the early 90's when I heard a TV commentator mention during a US nats match that 3 players where all from that same town. He described it as "Soccertown USA" and I let my young imagination run as wild as Fabien Barthez's keeping. I pictured it as this land that time forgot, where the children & grandchildren of Scots, Irish, and Portuguese immigrants kept the flame alive like nowhere else in America.

Truth be told it's not quite the throwback that I had imagined years ago but it is definitely a one of a kind place. There are small soccer pitches where you would typically see a basketball hoop, and when you go drinking in a place like The Scots Club the walls are covered with photos and memorabilia from local son John Harkes, touring Celtic teams from the 1940's and visitors like Pele & Eusebio. If you are the average soccer fan in America this is the type of place you never knew existed.

How did this happen in a seemingly random location? The short answer is immigration, and textiles but that doesn't really cover it. For an thorough explanation read Roger Allaway's Ranger, Rovers, & Spindle's; it's a little dry in places but what a history lesson.

The clip above is another Youtube gem; Rob Stone rocking a seriously 90's haircut, Rhett Harty in his "going out shirt", and 2 of the most Jersey children I have seen in a long time. Oh and Harkes tells us that Tab Ramos has really sexy underwear. OOOOOOOOKAy.

I Still Hate Rossi


I usually love Frank Dell'Apa's writing; along with Ives, & Goff he is one of the best in the country. And I don't think this article is bad actually, but his idea to bring Rossi back to the States to play in MLS is as wrong as jellied eels.

Why should Major League Soccer, an institution that was formed not only to further the game in the US but also to further the American player, want invest it's resources in a player who has repeatedly snubbed the US? I'll admit that he's a gamer with incredible skills but he's not a name that will draw people in to see him, and trying to make him into a star while he is a) on loan & b) not a part of the larger US soccer picture makes as much sense to me as dancing about architecture.

Even the idea of it reminds me of those dysfunctional people who defend their abusive lovers....no matter how good-looking he is if he hits, curses, mocks and degrades you why would you want to have his baby?

Furthermore, I don't believe he would ever even consider it; if he this kid thinks that playing for the US Nats is beneath him do you really think that he's going to be up for playing in a 3/4ths empty Gillette Stadium on a Weds. night? I doubt it...and they don't even have a Prada outlet in Massachusetts.

Frank if you are reading this, I mean no disrespect. But if we show Rossi love, the terrorists have won.

4.25.2007

Too Much TV Can Be a Good Thing



If you've been searching for an excuse to add a DVR and the Direct Kick package to your homes audio-visual arsenal, look no further. Over the next 6 days there is an MLS match on TV every day except Friday. That's bordering on an MLB-level of game glutony the likes of which is rarely witnessed.

I kind of thought I went mad or something when I noticed it but then I double & triple checked and it all seems to be correct. Check out the slate below. It's a thing of real beauty.....there is Monday night football this week and we won't have to hear from Hank Williams Jr.& his beard once during the broadcast!


Wednesday, April 25
Toronto FC v. Kansas City Wizards

Thursday, April 26
New York Red Bulls v. FC Dallas

Saturday, April 28
Kansas City Wizards v. Toronto FC
D.C. United v. Columbus Crew
Chivas USA v. Los Angeles Galaxy

Sunday, April 29
New England Revolution v. FC Dallas
Chicago Fire v. Houston Dynamo

Monday, April 30
Colorado Rapids v. Real Salt Lake

TORtv 4.25.07

OK I admit it, I'm slipping this week. I usually try to update TORtv on Monday's but real work was calling me all day so please accept my apologies. In the latest installment we lead off with a 60 yard goal that is probably the slowest moving strike you are ever going to see. That is followed by the best bit from the long-awaited Ronaldo cameo on The Simpsons, and this week's MLS goal compilation courtesy of Climbing The Ladder.

And be sure to watch the last clip since it tends to get removed by NBC pretty often; the now-mythic "LA Galaxy Small Talk" moment on the Conan O'Brien Show. What makes the clip so classic is that this kind of conversation only happens on a message board or at a tailgate…never in the real world or by casual fans.

Money Changes Everything



Oh how quickly we change our tune when the prospect of having pockets deep like a Rimbaud novel comes around. Faced with such a possibility Arsenal shareholders have decided that their stance on selling to Colorado Rapids owner Stan Kroenke is "reversible".

Ladies & gentlemen of the Arsenal board, where is your spine? Oh that's right…it is in your body which is firmly, yet comfortably encased in a 3K worth of luxurious Armani business-wear, non-chaffing silk undergarments and enough mink to repopulate the species throughout western Europe. And you're just this close to ensuring that it will remain that way.

Desmond is a Tim!



So I have a busy night in front of the TV ahead of me, what with KC vs. Toronto and 'Lost' both on. What's as random as Pick 6 lotto numbers is that there is a Celtic connection to both. You probably know that TFC coach Mo Johnston played for the Bhoys back in the day but did you know that bearded future-seeing freak Desmond is a Tim?

Check out the clip above (and ignore the editorial as it was obviously put together by a Hun) from last week's episode. Seems that the boy can belt out a pissed up "Grand Ole Team" with the best of them. Hail, hail indeed.

4.24.2007

Bright Like Neon Love: An Open Letter




Dear Red Bull New York-

Hi Baby. I know this is kind forward but I just can't hold it back any longer. The last few weeks together have been really special; I have had feelings stir in me that I haven't felt in years (ever since I broke up with with Dallas after she left me for that piece of trash in
Southlake). It's early days I know but you've really knocked me tits-over-tail with your creativity, aggressiveness (I like it when you're on top), and your non-judgemental views on tail-gating.

I also appreciate the way that you have bettered yourself for me; anyone can get lypo but you've trimmed the fat-Tony, and gone the extra step and had augmentation (Angel, Mathis, Reyna, Watterus). I want you to know that I appreciate that and it signals to me that you are in this relationship for the long haul, not just a quicky in the toilets at Marquee. And if I haven't told you already your
ball-handling skills kinda turn me on.

It hasn't always been so easy between us, I know but I'm just really feeling you right now. And I'm not the only one who feels this way. Your name seems to be on every ones lips these days but I'm OK with it. I just hope that all of the accolades, compliments, &
Goals of the Week nominations don't go to your head; remember who was down for you before you had famous friends (Shakira, Wyclef, et al).

But I'm not writing to complain about your success as it's nice to be with a winner….for once. And don't worry, I'm not fickle. I'll be by your side as long as you 'stand by me'.

Yours
SF

P.S. I'm warming up to you wearing white around the house, I think I can learn to love it.

Michael Essien Busted For Drunk Driving



Who does he think he is? DaMarcus Beasley? Edson Buddle? Either way it's pretty lame. That's what he gets for this hit on Claudio though. Payback is a bitch homey.




4.23.2007

Ned Grabavoy: The Roc is in The Building



If I ever had to shortlist buildings that 'The Roc' would definitely not be in, Columbus Crew Stadium would be up there next to the Vatican and the Grand Ole Opry. But there it is, courtesy of Ned Grabavoy after he scored on New England last Thursday. Yes, a man named Ned is trying to keep it street in Ohio; America truly is something.

Next up for completely random goal-celebration of the week...big Kenny Cooper to crip-walk across the 18-yard box at Pizza Hut Park.

Monday Evening Quickhits


Seriously John Cunliffe, why the long face? You look like that one bully on The Simpsons, Jimbo Jones. That's not what I'm trying to talk about here, but I'm sorry it just had to be said.

But keeping it Chivas related I just wanted to give a shout to Ante Razov for his 100th goal. Also I am officially appointing Maykel Galindo king of the "Expansion Class of 2005 Reunion". 2 breakaway early goals....good on you comrade.

And what was RSL's problem? Cunningham and Adu better start putting up some numbers quick or people might finally call bullshit on the Freddy hype. Oh, this just in.....bullshit has been called.

Speaking of hyping up young players (or more accurately not hyping up young players) you have to love how RBNY skipper Bruce Arena refuses to give into the game and continues to be on the mellow in regards to Juice Altidore. Let's hope that his play will continues the way it has but without the air of expectation that has dogged Freddy.

Lastly a bit of USL news. I really try not to come off as too much of a hater but I think I may honestly hate the USL 1 expansion team, or at least I hate their name. In case you haven't heard they are called the Carolina Railhawks. I checked with the Audubohn Society and they have no record of that bird on file.

And just to add 40lbs & a lisp to an already unattractive guy they have gotten themselves an unpronounceable shirt sponsor, Novozymes. This makes me take back everything I ever said about the name and jersey of the San Jose Clash.

Irony Defined: Arctic Monkeys Create Summer Anthem



When I tell you that I played this song approximately 22 times driving in the car this weekend I am not kidding you...it's that good. Particularly in a used Mazda with a questionable record of reliability, windows down, sun shining, and a trunk full of Icelandic vodka that I scored for free. It could get no better. Until Jozy "Kid Dynamite" Altidore roofed one past Pat Onstad for what is now a famous Metro victory.

But I digress. By August you will have this song so firmly lodged in your skull that you will need an Andy Herron elbow to the face to get it out. Seriously, this shit will be the indie rock "Crazy in Love".

Swedish Taboo



Newly installed US Mens National Team coach ________ will take his side to the Most Blonde Kingdom of Ikea in August for a friendly against the Swedes as they tune-up for their next round of Euro qualifiers. No word on whether this match will be a one-off or part of a larger European vacation (hopefully the USSF does not have Clark Griswald on the payroll). Also the jury remains out at to whether Neneh Cherry will be performing the Swedish national anthem, which I regret to inform you is not "Buffalo Stance".

But truth be told, the who gives a shit about a non-competitive match when the opposition has fans that look like this?! Shit, they should sell this one out on away support alone. You see that guy in the back? He's the happiest man this side of Berlin (he doesn't smile to much though, as he is German). But put a Sam's Army T-shirt on him, drape a flag around his neck and he could be you. Don't know about you but I may have to go on a photo safari....better start digging out those passports now!

4.20.2007

Go Shawny, It's Your Birthday




That's right it's my birthday, so it's on. I just ate a buffalo steak (as in bison, not beef covered in buffalo sauce...although that is something to try) and I am so full that I feel like rupturing all over my keyboard. So I'll try and pack this end before this gets messy since I don't think those little air-canisters that you use to get the dust out from between the keys has the power to push out bison-chunks.

According to the oddly-titled website Gambling911.com (doesn't that sound like it should be a help-site, not an enabler-site) Becks move to LA should bring an increase in MLS wagering. It's something I've never thought too much about, but I wonder if Vegas would take odds on last night's Columbus v. New England match? Speaking of that match, even with free tickets, $1 sausages, and all-you-can-drink beer Crew Stadium still wasn't packed.

If Thursday night is going to be the showcase match on ESPN it really might help attendance, and viewing numbers to have the games a little later because the current time slot is ridiculous. I'm not sure who they think will be watching at 7pm Eastern…no one is home from work yet in Philly, let alone in Denver. Maybe they are going after middle-schoolers and pensioners as they are the only people I know of who are just chilling at 6pm on a weekday.

In other news, it looks like
San Jose is the new Salt Lake City. It seems that potential Earthquakes 3.0 owner Lew Wolff & SJSU officials couldn't come to an agreement. Sucks for San Josers, and the league actually, if they can't find an alternate plan. It's sucks for me because I will have to alter my "Expansion Fantasy 3"…the three cities that I'd like to see get us to the 16-teams-by-2010 league that Don Garber wants. It was San Jose, Philly, and a team in NYC (Queens or Brooklyn). If they can't get it done in the bay I'm going Philly, a team in NYC (Queens, or Brooklyn), and....I don't know actually.

All of the other cities that I get hard for are USL 1 towns & could have negative repercussions to other teams/cities if they were to make the jump to MLS. For instance I love the idea of Vancouver or Portland, but if one of those teams makes like George & Weezie and moves on up where does that leave Seattle? Those 3 clubs are so Isolated from the rest of USL 1 that they rely somewhat on the close proximity of each other to make their operations financially viable.

I'm also down for Montreal (who just
broke ground on a new 17,000 capacity SSS), but with their current government-owned, non-profit model I'm not sure the community money pool of MLS is for them. And as far as the perennial also ran Rochester goes you've heard the reasons why not more often than you've heard Rob Stone scream orgasmicly, painfully over the air. Did you hear him scream "Oh my, TAYLOR!!!" during last night's match? Shit was creepy and borderline sexually aggressive. Taylor, I think he likes you. It that kind of way.

Reader Response to Red Bull-Canadiens Rumor



Someone emailed this photo to me in regard to the Red Bull in talks to takeover the Montreal Canadiens rumor. I can't say I share his point of view but in the interest of welcoming all opinions, there it is. The original link to the story is here.

4.19.2007

Mo Johnston Makes More Deals Than Scarface


Mo: "Pack your bags, the airport is that way"

In the past 72 hours Mo Johnston has traded somewhere in the area of half a dozen players (if you count draft picks) to and from Toronto FC. In addition to acquiring Marvell Wynne, Kevin Goldthwaite and that Dichio guy that no one has ever heard of he's just sent Richard Mulrooney and Conor Casey packing. I swear if this whole coaching thing doesn't work out we'll see him on a TV commercial for MoJo's Motor City..."the largest used car dealership in southern Ontario".

Now I'm no jouranlist nor do I have any inside info on this; I'm just speaking as a fan and observer just like you. Something tells me that with all of the hype, unheard of season ticket sales, and cash spent our Maurice is already on the hot seat to produce a team that doesn't play like what it is: an expansion team. This much wheeling and dealing at this point in the season, not pre-season and not far enough into the season to have really evaluated problems over time, reeks of full-on desperation.

The problem is that he keeps getting into these high-profile, high-pressure gigs. In NY he was in a situation where he took over as an interim coach at the end of a nightmare season, and was handed the riegns full-time only to become a "dead man walking" by opening day due to the Red Bull takeover. Now in the TO he's under a spotlight the likes of which no other new MLS franchise (or coach) has ever seen. The only way he can come out on top is to make at least the semi-finals out of the box. It's not impossible (ask Chicago fans) but not likely.

Hopefully everything works out up there for him, the club, and the supporters....if they can play well and retian the already large fanbase they'll be one of the premier clubs in the league. I just pray they have a little patience, like that one Guns n' Roses album. If not...hopefully BMO field won't be dubbed another "mistake by the lake".

Houston to Wear Virginia Tech Colors

Why D.C. United isn't doing instead I don't know but this is a classy move on Houston's part. From ESPN.

Video: Messi Makes Likes Maradona

WARNING: If you haven't seen this footage yet you might want to take a seat, and have some water and a respirator nearby. TOR takes no responsibility for heart-attacks or loss of breath brought on by viewing said footage.

Moneyball



``We think it will make a huge impact,'' [John] Skipper [ESPN's executive vice president of content], 51, said in an interview. ``It's like putting Nathan Lane in a Broadway play.''

Never a truer statement has been made, but the real question is which of the 2 do gay men like more? That and other relevations, mostly of the financial variety, can be found this Bloomberg report on Beckham's impact on LA bottom line. A bottom line that looks to be the best in the league months before the circus has even begun. A bottom line that has already had the the first 2 years of Becks salary generated since the buzz began about his signing. Again, all of this before he has even kicked a ball or sold a new Gals jersey with his name and number.

Now haters, do you still think that this experiment will fail? If making enough money to have the entire HDC wallpapered in $100 bills is a failure please sign me up for summer semester at Loser U.

When God Frowns Upon You



When was the last time you heard his highness Pele publicly make a remark that could be seen as negative or critical? It doesn't happen that often in public (behind closed doors is another matter) but it can't always be sunshine and bicycle kicks.

In today's edition of the London Metro he levels a sly one at Beckham's decision to play in LA. The odd thing is that you can't tell if he's saying that it is too early for Beck's to go to America (which is debatable) or that he is saying that LA is not the place for him (which is so off the mark it isn't even debatable). Read it and judge for yourself.

4.18.2007

Drama in North London

It seems that all the talk of a Stan "You know I listen to Steely Dan just by looking at me" Kroenke takeover at Arsenal has caused a major palava. According to Bloomberg News "David Dein quit as vice-chairman of Arsenal because of ``irreconcilable differences'' with the board, amid continuing speculation that U.S. billionaire Stan Kroenke may bid for London's most successful soccer club. "

Man, this one has the potential to get almost as ugly as the Man U buyout, but that might be a stretch on my part. Arsenal is a big club, but Man U is a HUGE club. I have to say though that I actually would like to see an MLS owner with a club in the EPL....maybe we would get to see Henry recover from his injury in a Rapids uniform (on loan of course, I'm not completely delusional).

Enter the $hogun


The video clip above is reason number 410 that I love Youtube. Not only can I find all kinds of obscure music videos, and clips of jackasses "ghost-riding the whip" into utility poles but it's also chock-full of weird & random soccernista propaganda footage.

Check this guy $hogun out. I think he did this before the World Cup but there was just so much stuff out there at the time that this fell thought the cracks for me. I'm not sure who he is or what his deal is but I think he may be a genius; he may also need a prescription or two but hey, whatevs. Allegedly this guy got a lifetime ban from Bigsoccer...how the hell do you do that?

He has a whole channel full of original stuff on Youtube but this one is my favorite….it just gets more bizarre/brilliant as it moves towards the inexplicable ending. In this clip he gives a history lesson on Greece that is pretty original & disturbing; did you know that back in the day you could be executed over there "if you didn't pee straight"? Quite a revelation don't you think?

Crazy Day Yesterday, Even Worse Today

A word of warning that I am busier than a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest today but hopefully I will drop a little something on you later this afternoon. I won't comment on the Marvell Wynne trade (not a bad move, but surprising), Toronto's acquisition of yet another forward (Mo is putting together a side of random Brits like most of the early NASL clubs) or Schelotto (how did Columbus pull this off, especially without using a DP slot) as you have by now read 72 different takes on them. So sit tight while I am doing the day job, and I should be back on the block later today.

4.17.2007

Oh Good God! The Return of Andrew Shue



Party people, your dreams have now been fulfilled. This movie has it all; muscle cars, feathered seventies hair, and the return of every one's favorite random actor/mediocre footballer Andrew Shue. Yes, I'm afraid to report that he is the best America has come up with as an answer to Vinnie Jones.

But don't let that stop you from checking out the clip...it looks like a pretty ok movie (or at least better than The Game of Their Lives/Miracle Match). I'll tell you what could make this trailer better though; unreleased nude outtakes of Shue's MILF-tastic sister Elizabeth, who is also in the movie, from Leaving Las Vegas.

C-O-N Spiracy




First off I apologize for my crap photoshop skills but the picture was not copy & paste-able from the original source, but integral to the story. TOR reader J Ray sent in the following note:

"Conspiracy guys will love this, how about Kilinsi can't coach the US Nats because of his lifetime adidas contract????? Check out the kicks he is sporting in the UK Sun photo....I guess this means its a done deal now right? "
Link here.


Done deal? I wouldn't go that far but it does make me question the man's sense of brand loyalty. Personally I think he could be a fantastic coach depending on how good his knowledge of the American player pool is. But I would only offer the gig to him under the proviso that he force Torsten Frings to make a formal apology for the 2002 handball that I will never, ever get over.

Red Bull at it Again?


Herr Mateschitz: Lord of the Red Bull Empire

Sorry for all the energy drink related news today, but the hits just keep on coming.

The cold winds of change may roll be rolling into Montreal as word is spreading that Red Bull mastermind Dieter Mateschitz is deep into uber-secret negotiations to purchase the Canadiens. I know that I don't need to remind you of the Metrostars takeover/re-branding or the similar events with Salzburgs soccer team so you know what is in store if this happens. And he's no stranger to Hockey as he owns Red Bull Salzburg in addition to auto racing teams and various random sports holdings (Crashed Ice anyone?).

The jury is still out on the Metrostars take-over but it is certain that there are a few hearts still broken. But trying to take over a hockey team, in Montreal no less, will be no walk in the park. If this went down I predict a Quebecois riot from Old City to The Plateau the likes of which have not been seen since McDonald's took away poutine off the menu that one time.

Download: Kaiser Chiefs "I Predict a Riot"




It's Official: Juan Pablo Angel is a Red Bull


Looks like Bruce's boys might go from zeros to heros this year. Word is that RBNY is picking up the remainder of his contract from Aston Villa but there is no transfer fee. At 80K a week he'll be the second most expensive player in MLS.

4.16.2007

Is Puffy Out to Become the Spike Lee of Soccer?



So after giving Becks "the backing of him and all of his people" the artist formerly known as Puffy, (and avowed Arsenal fan) Diddy is now hanging with Man U's Rio Ferdinand; the dapper duo have also announced that they are putting together a peace concert "for the children" for later this year.

Let me break that down for those of you who are not as familiar with the tabloid escapades of these two as I am (don't you judge me). Check out their
Wikipedia pages for the full rap sheets but between the two of them we are talking about:
  • sex scandals (Ferdinand with the alleged help of Frank Lampard, and Kieron Dyer)
  • aggravated assault (Diddy)
  • missed drug tests (Ferdinand)
  • the ever popular gun charge (Diddy)
  • homophobia (Ferdinand)
  • bribery (Diddy)
  • drunk driving (Ferdinand)
  • implication in the death of Tupac Shakur (Diddy)

Thank God Winston Churchill is dead because Britain's youth are in much better hands with this lot. Rule Britainnia bitches.

MLS Anthem....Now With 20% More Funk!



So I heard the new MLS anthem live for the first time this weekend at the now-annual New York Opening Day Rain-a-thon and I think I'm really down with it. But the club rat in me in still fiending for the remix.

The first entry to make it in for the 1st Annual TOR Totally Unofficial and Completely Bootleg Remix Challenge comes from my man Charlie C. a.k.a Noddable Industries ("The Mash Up King of Chicago"). He chose to go minimal with things and added a nice little beat to it to give just a bit of bump. Hear the results
here and be sure to check out his Myspace page....his Outkast vs. Depeche Mode joint touches me in a way that is not unlike that of an assertive, but tender lover. And I won't even talk about what he does with Slim Thug and 90's college rock hero's Swervedriver.

This is a start but we're still looking for that banger. Keep 'em hot and keep 'em coming.

TORtv 4.16.07

I know that the Boomtown Rats aren't the only ones that don't like Mondays so I've updated that little box thingy up in the right corner known as TORtv to hopefully put a smile on your miserable mugs. In honor of Kansas City's impressive opening salvo of the 2007 campaign I'm dropping a Wizards "three-fer" on your ass; a Jogo Bonita micro-doc on Eddie Johnson, a bit of information on their new Argentine signing, and a Beat Street-caliber break dancing performance form Willie Guaderamma a.k.a Willie Speed.

And following the obligatory advert for the The Official Vodka of TOR is the new video by NYC DJ/producer du jour Mark Ronson. It's called "Stop Me" and it's a throwback soul version of The Smiths classic "Stop Me if You Think That You've Heard This One Before" that I am currently enamored with. Some may cry heresy but word is that both Morrissey and Johnny Marr have given there blessing so what else is there to say...watch and decide for yourself.

4.15.2007

When The East is in The House (Oh My God Danger!)

People always get cliche and talk about the "wild wild west" but only 2 weeks into the 2007 campaign it looks like the Eastern Conference is going to be any one's for the taking...except for Toronto maybe.

I know, I know...it's early. But when the 2 clubs with the best regular season records in MLS (FC Dallas and DC United) get schooled by 2 of the East's cellar dwellers of 2006 (RBNY and KC) you know shit has truly gone tits up. Add to that New England's dominant performance over TFC, and the fact that Columbus hasn't managed to lose yet and it becomes a lot more interesting (and thank God for that).

Hopefully DC won't run away with it this year and it will remain some sort of race for a few more months at least.

Download: Blahzay Blahzay "Danger (When the East is in the House)"

4.14.2007

LA Schedule Now As Crowded As Salma Hayek's Brassiere


Everyone & their mutha this side of Calcutta wants to jump on the Beckham money train.


The Galaxy's Canadian skipper Frank Yallop will be in Vancouver for a press conference on Monday and is expected to announce that the club will play a friendly there against USL 1 side Vancouver Whitecaps. 24Hours.ca has the lowdown.

When will Lalas & co. stop the madness? As it stands they will already play MLS, EPL, K-League, J-League, USL, SPL, and FMF opposition this calendar year. What's next? Should I get my nephew's under-5's Boys Club team on standby? They have a free Monday in September.

4.13.2007

Y'all Know I Love Claudio But...


"And they called me Mr. Glass...."

This is so damn cliche it's almost funny, but not quite. Kinda like when someone goes to jail, and they come out with a Muslim name. Sad, but so stereotypical that your brain almost melts becuase you just can't believe it.

Reyna suffered a "dibilitating charlie-horse" in his 1st game as a Red Bull. I pray to God that he can go on Sunday otherwise we will never hear the end of this from the haters, even though a fluke injury like this could happen to anyone. Ugh.

Jozy Altidore Superstar



Everybody's talking about what Jozy Altidore has the potential to do on the field:

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C


But let's talk about what he's got going on off the field. What other MLS star not named David is getting snapped with women as fine as Petra Nemcova, rappers as famous as Wyclef, and is featured in 2 commercials at the moment? None. Not even one named Freddy.

Jozy is having a moment right now. Dude is shining like something from Jacob the Jeweler and I can't be mad at him for it. If he can continue his blistering play from the end of last season, and continue to get all of this love it can only help to raise his profile and that of the league. And we could use a bit of glamour in American soccer right now. Last nights Galaxy home opener was somewhat of a wake-up call; we all know that come the end of July the paparazzi and Entertainment Tonight will be swarming all over Carson, but for now ain't a damn thing changed.

That's why we could use a Dope Young Hope like Jozy (who is not a Hot Young Hype like Freddy) to give us just a little bit of sparkle and sexiness to hold us over until the world turns platinum this summer.

Tribeca Film Fest Tickets On Sale Today


A scene from "The Power of the Game".

Heads up if you are in New York, tickets for the Tribeca Film Festival are on sale today. This years festival features several soccer-themed films including the much-talked Michael Apted (Gorky Park) film "The Power of the Game ". Also showing this year is "Sons of Sakhnin United" (about an mixed Jewish & Arab soccer team in Israel), and "The Road to San Diego" (a rural Argentinian makes an epic journey to visit an ailing Maradona in the hospital).

Seems like every year TFF is down with a few footie flicks; did you know that they premiered "Goal: The Dream Begins" and "Once in a Lifetime" both here? I highly recommend coming through if you have the chance as the non-soccer movies are pretty amazing as well.

Kroeke Buys More Arsenal Shares, Up to 11%


The Gunners are transforming before your eyes.

I told you that the ITV shares were just the beginning. Anyone want to put out the over & under on him becoming majority owner by Christmas? Sky Sports has the scoop.

Did you know Stan & his moustache are married the Wal-Mart heiress? Between the two of them they have enough cash to buy France if they so choose, let alone Thierry Henry's club. So just maybe the grand result of all this will be someone in Little Rock, Arkansas being able to purchase an Arsene Wenger bobblehead at their local Wally World. And that is why America is the greatest country on earth.

North Country

Just a quick word to the wise, if you haven't got your tickets for the U-20's up in Canuckistan this summer you better get your shit together. Word on the street is that they are moving faster than Tyrone Biggums heading to the 5 o'clock Free Crack Giveaway. Seriously, read it here.

I'm thinking of heading up to Montreal to support the Yankee Young'uns when they take it to Brazil and the other 2 victims that have been assigned to them. If anyone else is heading up there and wants to hook up for drunken shenanigans in the Plateau give me a shout...I know a great Greek joint that will get you trollied on Ouzo for damn near nothing.

Cisse Joins Angel on list of Red Bull Targets




By now you've heard that RBNY where in pursuit of Aston Villa striker Juan Pablo Angel as a potential cure to what's ailing them at forward. Add freaky Frenchman Djibril Cisse to that wish list. Big Apple Soccer has the scoop on both players.

If I had my choice of the 2 (which, let's be honest RBNY doesn't but work with me here) I'd take Cisse and run; although he had a horrific injury in the past the cat is only 25 and has more personality than all of MLS combined.

4.12.2007

ESPN2 MLS Coverage Begins Tonight


Not much to say other than set your TIVO's or DVR's if you are gonna be out in the streets tonight. ESPN2 begins their MLS Primetime coverage tonight with the Galaxy vs. FC Dallas and I got $5 and 40oz. that says that the production will be no where near the fatal car-crash that was FSC's season debut. This one will be special as it will be the on-air return of the soccer nation's conquering hero Eric "Clubber" Wynalda.

Now if we can only get ESPN and MLS to agree to do another MLS Gamenight videogame we would be in armchair footballer heaven. Or we'd be on the couch longer a bit at the very least.







A Baseball Story


This photo was not from last night, but you get the idea.


I went to the Mets game last night. They lost 5-2 and were miserable to watch. The most exciting thing that happened was a stray cat run through the outfield during the 6th inning. Funny thing though...every time Jose Reyes stepped up to the plate 40,000 heads would let out a spirited adaptation of the "ole, ole, ole" chant adapted to "Jose, Jose, Jose".

It was pretty cool to hear since we don't get that many voices singing in unison on our shores very often. It was almost like some sort of sports-culture olive branch was being passed. And being in Queens I saw soooo much soccer wear that it was downright shocking; DC United jackets, an Argentina track top, a guy with an ESC scarf, and some idiot with a sleeveless Barcelona shirt (it was 35 degrees out). Maybe those guys that are always talking about putting a team in Queens are onto something.

Since I was in New York and at a Mets game I thought maybe I could adapt some old Metrostars songs to fit the occasion; Mets and Metrostars are similar enough so a few things sorta worked. But trying to fit Philadelphia (their opponents on the night) into a song was damn hard work....there's just too many syllables and I didn't have a thesaurus with me.

That being said, the Sons of Ben have their work cut out for them should a team actually materialize for them to support. Trying to find a word that rhymes with "Philadelphia" is like trying to find a word that rhymes with "orange". Personally, I think they should retain the services of a really talented MC to ghost-write their rhymes for them.

I mean Philly has got some real MC's right? So somebody should really think about getting Black Thought and Malik B. from The Roots on this shit stat! It might take them longer to come up with the rhyme than it will take Philly to come up with an owner/investor, and a stadium.

Aston Villa to Take on Columbus, Toronto



Birmingham's finest will conduct a brief trot through the states this summer, touching down in Toronto and Columbus. Good thing they aren't going to drop in on the newly claret & blue Denver Rapids (that's been left to the Chinese)...it would be the Bizzaro-World Cup to see them play one another.

4.11.2007

Seriously, Where Is The Mexican Talent?



No, not that kind of talent. But let me explain not that I have your attention.

Every Tuesday morning I pick up the Newark Star-Ledger and read it on my bus ride into Manhattan. Why Tuesday's? Because that's when Frank Giase's excellent weekly soccer column and assorted bits come out. One of the things he touched on in this weeks edition was the international make up of various American sports leagues.

Not surprisingly, MLS has one of the highest amounts of foreign-born players (the NHL holds the title though with 81% of it's players coming from abroad, mostly Canadians).

Currently, 33 percent of MLS players were born outside the US, again with Canadian-born players (13) making up the largest group thanks to the expansion into Toronto. The shocker of the whole deal is that there are only five Mexican players in MLS. FIVE.

Am I the only one that finds that a little out of whack with what the league is trying to do? You have the premier soccer league in North America at your back door, yet there are more Jamaicans, Argentines, and Englishmen in your league than Mexicans. I'm certain there have been points in MLS when there were more players from the south side of the Rio Grande before (the inaugural Chivas USA side had more than the whole league has now) but this shouldn't even be a contest. For my money MLS clubs should have scouts all over the place from Tijuana to Matamoros to Cancun (and stay out of Carlos & Charlies please).

Maybe if coaches brought in more Mexican talent we wouldn't have to suffer through that experiment that is begging to be out down, Chivas USA; I know they garner great support on the road and bring in serious sponsorship dollars but their home opener had more empty seats than a chair storage warehouse. If they can't fill the seats, the only checks they'll be seeing are the bills from Ante Razov and Sacha Klejstan's hair colourist.

Ronaldo's Cartoon Cameo



Would Homer Simpson be a better ref than Mauricio Navarro? I'll bite my tongue but if you can find me in Giants Stadium parking lot 16A on Sunday I'll give you the answer. If you can't make it though, that's cool. Hopefully this upcoming episode of The Simpsons can shed some light on it for you (from The Offside).

Remember that old episode where they went to Brazil? The part they didn't show you on air was Bart getting nabbed at the airport in Miami with a kilo and an illegal iguana in his shorts. So gangta.

Jimmy Conrad Embraces Old School Radio


In his noble quest to become King of All Soccer Media, Jimmy Conrad & his posse (i.e. Sean Wheelock) have a new radio show in Kansas City that begins airing today. If you are in the heartland and still own an a.m. radio tune into the show which will begin at 6 p.m. tonight on Sports Radio 810am. Or do Jimmy one better and be in the live audience at 810 Zone on the Plaza.

And just so all of you outside of Wizards country don't feel left out, you can tune into the online stream of the show via the stations website. This is awesome and all, but when is MLS Radio coming back?

Cookie Sacked

See what happens when I talk about Fulham? Bad things happen. I didn't say it for fear of jinxing things but coaches leave (or are dismissed from) clubs when the begin the slide toward relegation as well as players.

Typically when a manager gets the boot I don't get too sentimental about it because most times it is what is best for the club...and the club always comes first! But with Cookie it's different. He was still playing for Fulham the first time I went to Craven Cottage. I was having breakfast at Croc's the morning that news broke about his career ending car crash. And certainly no European coach has brought in more MLS players than he has. The man has my heart (but not in a gay way).

If you are a fan of Fulham or yanks abroad have a drink today and poor a little out for Chris Coleman.

4.10.2007

Hand (held) Ball!


Being that this year has seen more tragedy for Arsenal than all of Shakespeare's combined works, this is the perfect time for the club to offer it's supporters a morale raising treat; the club has partnered with Sony to allow fans to watch matches live on their PSP's. Can we please, please, please get this technology stateside asap.

Faltering FC


I have tried to refrain from writing about Fulham lately because I can be kinda irrational about it. For instance, did you find it odd that the Cottagers didn't have a game on FSC for close to 3 months once Clint Dempsey signed? Prior to that they had featured fairly regularly on the channel and in the last week they have been on twice. The crazy, conspiratory part of me thinks this was intentional and that Fulham's matches where given to premium services Setanta, & In Demand while their was a buzz about the 3 yanks to milk me, the faithful fanatic, for more cash. Mad thoughts like that you see…I just can't be rational when it comes to Fulham.

I'll break my self-imposed silence today though. Fulham are dangerously close to the relegation zone and their form has been as bad as Sanjaya's singing. When a defender (our boy Carlos Bocanegra) has been the only one to score in the last 2 games you know it's all going Pete Tong. But as I have seen Fulham in the 1st Division before I know it is not the end of the world, just close to it. But should the club not be able to hang on to their place in the top flight, we might see a few names look to jump ship a la Juventus after their match-fixing punishment was handed out. How much more tempting does a return to MLS look to Brian McBride when you compare away matches to Columbus Crew to away matches at Crewe? Something to think about.

One of Boca's 2 goals in as many games was on Timmy Howard of Everton. That folks is the yank abroad equivalent of black-on-black crime in my mind. Also of note is that in the second match, against Man City, DeMarcus Beasley scored for the opposition.

LA Ink


Becks got a large, new piece done on his forearm. Between him and that Santino Quaranta there will be no ink left in California by the summer transfer window. Inmates at Los Angeles County Jail will then be forced to cry real tears as opposed to having them needled on.

Anthem for a New Soccer Nation


Paul Oakenfold: Wembley 1992

If you saw the Opening Kick this weekend on ABC you got an earful of the new Champions League-like MLS anthem. It's good stuff but could use a bit of thump to it....it's the year of Beckham so we need a banger, right?.

So we're gonna throw it out to any DJ's, producers, and laptop rockers out there to compete in the 1st Annual Completely Unofficial & Totally Bootleg TOR Remix Challenge. Whether you want to go all symphonic hip-hop a la Kanye's "Diamonds" or maybe grow your bangs out, & regress into some 1988 Pet Shop Boys orchestral pop shit is entirely up to you. Just make sure it moves the crowd. Personally, I'd like to see this make a comeback....


Just a Thought...

So read this piece in the Houston Chronicle about one of biggest dilemmas facing MLS; how does the league rope in the hardcore fan....the "Eurosnob" and the Mexican fan? Now the guy in the article lives in LA so I can't for the life of me figure out why he hasn't gotten his ass of the couch and down to the HDC. I like going down to the bar on Saturday morning and getting blind drunk before 10am as much as the next guy, but you just can't beat live atmosphere, live support, and the sound of the ball hitting net live.

I love watching Fulham on FSC, but I don't daydream about it like I do when it comes to tailgating for 5 hours before the game (to beat the parking nazis), catching up with my boys that I pretty much only see at the game, marching in to the stadium, and singing wildly inappropriate songs at the opposition. At any given match roughly 25% of the tickets are comps; wouldn't it be a good idea for clubs to give these tickets to their hardcore supporters (their most vocal evangelists) to use to recruit for their supporters groups? If they are successful not only does the group gain new blood, but the club also gains more vocal support and a new season ticket holder.

Download: Gnarls Barkley "Just a Thought"

4.09.2007

Chinaglia, Unsurpisingly, Says He Could Run MLS Better

Here's a nice, tasty morsel for all of you who don't ride the NYC subway every morning. The free newspaper METRO has an exclusive interview with one of the most opinionated men in soccer, Giorgio Chinaglia . And with a mouth as big as his of course everybody also has an opinion on Georgio as well. Soccernet's talented young jedi Kristian Dyer gives us a look in on the ex-Cosmo and gets an earful of his take on the state of MLS, which now leaves Regis Philbin as the only person who has not given his thought on the topic.

This was not available online anywhere so below is a transcription of a pdf file. The article reads as follows.


Weekend, April 6-8, 2007
Wrong direction
Despite signings, ex-Cosmo star Giorgio
wants more from Major League Soccer


Giorgio Chinaglia can’t help it. With Major League Soccer beginning its 12th season tomorrow, Chinaglia — one of the star members of the New York Cosmos — remains a voice of discontent amidst a sea of positive moves in the league. Despite the recent landmark television deal with ESPN and the signing of English national team star David Beckham to a record deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy, Chinaglia is dissatisfied with the league’s direction.

“I don’t think they have good leadership, to be honest with you, they don’t come from the world of soccer,” said Chinaglia, now host of his own show on Sirius radio and a television personality. “They have no clue. It is sad what they do in the league office.” Brash and unapologetic, Chinaglia, who played with the Cosmos from 1977 to 1983, was never afraid to be a lightning rod for criticism. “PelĂ© was the brand,” said Peppe Pinton, the last manager of the now-defunct Cosmos. “But Chinaglia, he was the franchise.”

While the old franchise thinks the signing of MLS’ new franchise player is a great deal, he thinks the move will be fruitless unless it comes with other changes. “They all thought that the signing of Beckham would bring other great players,” said Chinaglia, with a slight laugh. “It hasn’t.” The main reason for this, he points out, is the salary cap of roughly $2.2 million dollars for the 28-man roster is inadequate to attract starpower. The MLS has adopted a “Beckham rule” for teams to exceed the cap limit to bring in a big-name star.

Despite the criticism of the outspoken Chinaglia, MLS can point to many signs of growth beyond the signing of Beckham. More than half of the national team’s players in the 2006 World Cup currently play in MLS, with several more having spent part of their career in the league before moving to the more lucrative European leagues. And the New York franchise was purchased for $100 million by Red Bull last March. Still, Chinaglia thinks he could make it even better.

Just look at the Cosmos. Could a MLS team stand a chance against the Cosmos? “Are you kidding me?” Chinaglia said, breaking into a laugh. “Not a chance.”

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Could Chinaglia run Red Bull better? If you believe that I have some Champions World stock I would love to sell you. You remember
Champions World don't you? He went bankrupt booking foriegn clubs for exhibitions in the states....the same thing that SUM is doing now (and much better) and making money hand over fist for MLS.