6.29.2007

Is "Scorgy" a Word?

After watching last nights Copa America defeat I had a convo with one of my boys about America's lack of attacking soccer. Basically my buddy (who it must be said was drinking Glenfidditch at an alarming rate) thinks that we will never have it at the national level until we get it at the MLS level. While I was hesitantly agreeing with that statement, he stepped over the line (he, like Rick James according to Charlie Murphy, is a habitual line stepper) and said that he has never seen a single MLS game that displayed true attacking soccer.

While it is true that EJ and Lil Taylor Twellman didn’t even get a wee cocaine-novice sniff of the ball for the majority of the match, to say that there has never been "a single MLS game that displayed true attacking soccer" is a pretty uninformed statement.

So here is exhibit A. The buckwild 10 goal "Scorgy™" between San Jose & the Metrostars back in 2004. 10 Goals. If you haven't seen this before it is damn near impossible for me to convey to you the excitement of watching this game. It was like Def Lepard's "Hysteria" album (you know the one where 7 of the 12 songs on the album where singles); every time you thought the shit was done, the hits just kept on coming.


R.I.P NFL Europe

While you're tailgating at the SSS of your choice this weekend, pour a little out for your pointyball loving continental bretheren. The NFL has decided to pull the plug on thier European vacation today and tears are certainly flowing on US military bases accross Germany.

Meanwhile, NFL, Canadian and Arena football GM's are rubbing thier hands together fiendishly at the thought of so much available talent; up in Buffalo the Bills didn't even wait until the body was cold.

Funnyball



I love British humour. So much so that I just spelled with two "u"'s. I watch Extras and Little Britain faithfully and that if it weren't for Knocked Up I'd say Hot Fuzz is the comedy of the year.

As fresh as these new jacks are they don't have shit on the O.G.'s of Anglo-laughs, Monty Python. And for me Python's all about John Cleese....and who's better than him to teach you "The Art of Football"? Sure he's not the most qualified but he's definitely the most likely to keep your attention with being physically attractive (like Heather Mitts) or actually, you know a soccer player.

Today's Winner Is....

"Estebanbeso" is today's winner. Congrats and thanks for reading TOR. I'll have another winner on Monday so feel free to spend your weekend daydreaming about what you'll do with your prize if you are the next lucky SOB to win.

Fred Loves Jesus, MLS Could Go Either Way



So let's talk about hypocrisy for one second. I'm not in the business of bashing MLS nor am I prone to outbursts of religious zealotry. And I am definitely not fond of mixing the game with spirituality. But for the life of me I can’t see how a league with multiple teams pushing "Faith and Family" nights (i.e. bring your church group and we will create a Christian-tinged experience for you at the game) and actively promotes itself as wholesome family entertainment is justified in issuing a yellow card to a player for lifting his shirt to reveal the message pictured above.

And to be clear, I'm not saying this to endorse the statement. There is a little read document called the Constitution that lays out all this stuff about America and free speech and yadda yadda yadda. Dude could be wearing a KKK shirt (which I don't advise or condone) or a Nation of Islam shirt (which I also don't advise or condone) under his kit and we should be ok with that; not the message, but his right to display it.

But regardless of what my alleged liberal ass thinks, the ref called Fred for excessive celebration for lifting his shirt. If that's the FIFA rule and not a league rule (as has been pointed out to me) so be it. But Clint Dempsey can feign hitting home runs, perform every move from Dance Dance Dance Revolution, and roll around on the ground as if he is on fire, but no one can lift their shirt? If this rule is to stand I would advise all players to have their slogans, endorsements, and messages for the masses tattooed on their legs, forearms, and foreheads post-haste. And do it in Olde English lettering as it makes you look like really, really hard.

6.28.2007

Hey kids, It's Prize Time!

Well loyal TOR readers it's 6.26 and the U.S. begins it's Copa America campaign tonight. That also means that it's time to start giving away all of the free stuff that I mentioned last week. We've even got a couple of new additions to giveaway as well like "The Mix Up", the brand new instrumental album from The Beastie Boys.

I'll be giving something away every week day until all the booty is gone, so if you haven't put your name in the hat yet it's not too late. Just enter your name in the box at right to subscribe to The Offside Rules and you might win some swag. Or don't and you won't.

So who won today? That would be someone who goes by the handle "danceDiscodance", which I always approve of. Especially after a couple
absinthe cocktails; I'm particularly fond of the 'Casino' but it'll put you on your ass quicker than a Wladomir Klitschko uppercut if don't know your limit.

"Dos a Cero" to Mexico and a Little Inspiration


Mexico's Nery Castillo (photo courtesy of Sporting Life UK)

What a difference a week makes. Last Thursday I was shocked that Mexico had just squeaked by non-country Guadelope1-0 in the Gold Cup semi's. On Sunday they lost the final to the U.S. at a downright raucous Soldier Field and I thought just for a moment that El Tri's trip to Copa America might morph into a Hugo Sanchez farewell tour.

But quicker than a trannie on rollerskates they've turned their fortunes around with a dominating performance & upset victory against Brazil. New boy Nery Castillo was completely on fire to the point that the Greek Football Federation is probably binge-drinking Ouzo right now for not locking him up for their national side when
they had the chance. And with Guillermo Ochoa guarding the goal like it was his hair product stash, they pulled of an incredible victory that just might take the heat of them for a bit.

And as much as it pain's my Sam's Army heart to say it, their upset win has inspired me to think positive thoughts about tonight's U.S. v. Argentina match, which has much of the socceratti talking "
lambs to the slaughter ". While I agree that it will be no easy feat, it can be done. If Mexico can do the job against a team that everyone expects them to get spanked by why can't we.

If you know your history, you know that the U.S. beat the Argies 3-nil at the Copa in 1995. Sure those were different teams and circumstances, but we did the job few expected us to. And Argentina are not invincible. I mentioned something a few months ago about them playing a friendly against Brazil in the states in March that got a fair bit of
attention for this site. Do you know why that match never happened? A source who was deeply involved in making it happen says it was because their coach Alfio Basile didn't want to lose before Copa America. Even he knows that they can be beat.

Doubters, think about that absolutely fucking awesome day in 2002 when we took it to Figo & company in Korea. I say to you all (in my best General Patton/Sam Houston voice) "
Remember Suwon"…have a little faith, wish for a little luck, and pray like hell.

6.27.2007

Futbol meets Football: That Becks vs. Bush Adidas Ad



David Beckham meets Reggie Bush. This is my New Orleans Saints and Man U.-loving brother's wet dream. It is also the soccer-hater and soccer purists worst miscegenation nightmare.

Posh is a Closet Freak

Hey dudes. If you get a little bent out of shape because your lady will sometimes spend a few hundred bucks at Anthropologie on some shit that makes her look like a peasant-girl without consulting you, relax. At least you are not enabling Posh's absolutely despicable tastes by funding her off-the-charts shopping trips.

According to housewives & star-stalkers favorite magazine In Touch, Mrs. Beckham has designed a $500,000 closet for their new L.A. mansion. It supposedly has a leather floor, Baccarat crystal chandelier, $80,000 Andy Warhol shoe print, a computer that tracks when she wears items of clothing and a camera to give her a 360-degree "cat scan" of her outfit before she steps out.

Who the hell needs a leather floor? Who are you,
Reagan-era Eddie Murphy? Have you somhow managed to join Judas Priest without the press getting wind of it? But believe it or not I'm actually down with the computer to log and preview her outfits….maybe it will prevent me from having to eat my own eyeballs to erase the memories of seeing her in a dress that looks like it was created from whore's lace and bouillon cube wrappers.

MLS Anthem Remix, The Verve Pipe Dreams, & Kanye



Remember way back when (like, April) when I put the call out to all the laptop rockers and digital DJ's out there to take a stab at remixing the MLS anthem? I only received a handful of submissions but props to all who threw their work out there for us.

In the end though the first remix that we got, from
Noddable Industries, was actually the best. He didn't go over the top for a complete over-haul, but added just enough low end and percussion to make it into a head-nodder. What would really be the heat though would be if he could get fellow Chi-Towner and 2006 MLS All-Star game performer Lupe Fiasco to spit over the top (because we know that he doesn't have the champagne and Louis Vuitton budget to get Kanye to do it). Hear the full length here.

And while we're talking about it, who the hell is playing the All-Star game halftime show this year? I haven't heard a peep about it so I'm going to give my unwanted, unsolicited, and unrealistic suggestion; the newly
reunited Verve . People are always going on about how to get all those EPL-loving 'Eurosnobs' to watch MLS…I'll bet my cat that you'd turn Colorado into Camden Town for the day if you could make this happen.

6.26.2007

OH. MY. SHIT. The Verve Are Back!



Brit-poppers rejoice! If you were ever in doubt that there is a God in heaven, you better march your ass down to the nearest church, synagogue, ashram or temple with a quickness. Why? Because "The Last of the Great Rock n' Roll Bands ™" is back.

Much like Benny Feilhaber's strike against Mexico this news came out of nowhere and had me on my knees with my hands held high to heaven. A new website for the band has popped up not only stating that all 4 original members are back together in the studio but that they have also announced live dates in the U.K. for the fall! Needless to say I'm already pricing plane ticket to catch them in either London or Glasgow.....I just have to check Fulham & Celtic's schedule to see if either of them have a home game that weekend.

The only bad thing about this whole thing is that I am now too fat to fit into my flares, I need a new pair of Clarks, and anoraks have gone back out of fashion.
Relive the glory, beauty & insanity that was Haigh Hall, Wigan 1998 below.


This is The Northern Block



Sheffield, England is well known for quite a few things other than being grim (all northern cities in England are, apparently). For the better part of the last 120 or so years it's been two very average soccer teams. In the 80's it was artsy fop-rockers like Human League, Heaven 17, & Thompson Twins (not to mention spandex-endorsers Def Lepard and more recent indie bands Pulp, and Arctic Monkeys). More recently the city has become a bastion of bleeding-edge designers and firms like Universal Everything and Designers Republic.

From this well of creativity comes design firm-come-fresh t-shirt merchant
The Northern Block. Formed by Jonathon Hill in 2006, The Northern Block t-shirts utilize high-quality screen-printing and 100% organic cotton to "bring a sense of wit, colour and style to the mainstream marketplace". Amongst their noirish designs are a few football-based designs that are some of the finest around. In addition to the 'Football Systems' shirt pictured above, they have a new David Beckham shirt coming that's a great example of understated minimalist class.

WANT THE SHIRT IN THE PHOTO? ENTER
THE OFFSIDE RULES GIVEAWAY BY JOINING THE EMAIL LIST AND YOU COULD WIN IT! OR NOT.

A Letter from Orlando




Brant Parsons, resident futblogger for the Orlando Sentinel has penned a heartfelt plea for Goldenballs to play his trade anywhere but LA. While at this stage that is as likely as Sigi Schmid ignoring a buffet, but it makes for a great read.

I have to give props to Mr. Brants blog; it's one of the select few that is associated with a newspaper that doesn't come across dry and reigned in. Not that I have a problem with legit journalism outlets co-opting a tool of the masses, but often times they lose the spunk & funk that makes blogs appealing in the first place. The Other Football does not suffer from such an ailment...I'd advise you to add it to your bookmarks ASAP.

6.25.2007

WTF? Henry's Goodbye Looks Like it Was Produced by a Video Dating Service

Man, I know hearts are breaking all over North London right now and it's probably not the time to make jokes, but this video is cracking me up. It looks like it was done by one of those video dating services that they had back in the 90's (you know, before you turned Match.com and the 'casual encounters' section on Craigslist into your own personal booty-call black book).

He looks like he is about to cry but I'm sure he'll get over it when he realizes that Barcelona's front six will now consist of Henry, Eto'o, Messi, Ronaldinho, Xavi & Deco. Where's you Galatico's now Real Madrid fans?

Rumoured: Dunivant traded for Goldwaithe?

That's the word out on the web today. True or not, Bruce's boys need the help now so it would make sense on his part if Dunivant is still injured. But does Mo want Dunivant bad enough to take him even though he's injured? I'll keep my ear to the street on this one, but y'all be sure to holler at me if you hear anything.

As a side note, Dunivant is the one on the left in this picture snapped last year with Taylor Graham and Amado Guevara. Sadly if Dunivant goes, the worst player in this picture will be the only one still with the club.

UPDATE: This one looks to be the real deal. BigAppleSoccer with more details .

Checketts Takes Another One to the Face

Remember this? Ain't gonna happen as RSL chief Dave Checkett's has been given the gas face by the TV networks current owners . Those of you hoping Ray Hudson would become the local color commentator for RSL can read it and have a good cry here.

Add this to multiple fines from the league, the stadium saga, the coaching debacle and a horrible record in the league and this season has somehow managed to be less successful than Crystal Pepsi. I sure hope dude drinks because that will make everything better...at least that's what Amy Winehouse tells me.

Frank Leboeuf's Love Don't Cost A Thing

A quote from today's issue of The Guardian:


I'm sure it would be possible to find new Zidanes all over the US. But they're most likely Hispanic, Afro-American or of poor European stock so they won't find clubs - because soccer here has become a rich kids' sport" - California resident Frank Leboeuf fails to explain why a wealthy World Cup winner such as himself can't find a MLS club, despite offering to play for free.


Frank is 39 years old, a World Cup winner, and one hell of a defender. If you ran an MLS club in need of defensive help would you take him for free? Bruce Arena & Jeff Agoos, feel free to chime in.

Like Nobu & Drugs, Galaxy Are Expensive

I have been fairly critical of the Galaxy's 'Bucks for Becks'™ 2007 tour thus far, what with the random matches against random opposition in random locales. And I'm not about to do a u-turn on my position that the club's John Holmes-length schedule is going to one of their worst enemies, not only for this season but next season as well.

But I will say that if the minimum
appearance fee is a half-million dollars , I sooooo understand why you would want to put this club (to quote the great 20th century poet Too Short) "out on that stroll". 500k for an MLS side to show up and play is crazy money y'all. It's the kind of money that when people get it the lose their minds. You know, like how MC Hammer built a $40 million dollar mansion in Oakland (you could buy the whole of Oakland for that). Or how someone might think that MLS is better than the EPL .

But you know to fair this isn't shit compared to the globe-straddling 1968 tour that Lamar Hunt's Dallas Tornado undertook; 7 months, 45 matches across Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific and Asia including a stop in Vietnam where there was oh, like a war going on! And all of this before they team ever set foot in Dallas.

6.22.2007

6.21.2007

You Don't Have to be Cheap to Want FREE STUFF!

Today is The Offside Rules 9 month birthday. It's not especially significant but I need an excuse to celebrate the fact that 6 months ago TOR was getting about 50 hits a day; today this little patch of the blogosphere gets about 1400. Thanks to you all!

So after taking up your valuable time for the past few months I'd like to do what athletes and musicians do when they first start to get a little notoriety. No, I'm not going to buy my momma a house or get an Escalade; I'm going to give something back to the people. Lots of FREE STUFF to the people! So there aren't actually any kittens but there's other rad stuff like....

FIFA 2007 (PS2)
Pro Evolution Soccer (PS2)
FIFA Street 2 (PSP)
World Tour Soccer (PSP)
T-shirts from Futbolr
2007 U.S. Soccer Yearbooks
Red Bull
Futbol de Calle DVDs
Dave Wengerin's
Soccer in a Football World

All you have to do to have a chance at getting sorted out with some of this loot is enter your email address in the box at right. In addition to putting your name in the hat for the some fabulous football booty, you'll receive TOR as a daily email. That way you can have one less website in your favorites, and one less thing for your boss to firewall. I'll announce winner's beginning on June 26th...the day Copa America begins!

6.20.2007

Ultra(s) Vivid Scene



So there's a never ending thread on Bigsoccer of the best American supporters photos. This video hijacks a whole mess of those photos, adds in some choice video, and tops it off with a bit of chyron text to create one big ass slab of flag-&-smoke bomb porn. Props to the creator and the cast for showing true passion.

As a side note if you aren't familiar with the reference in the title but musically adventurous, get schooled here.

Rapids Make $1.5m Offer to Jose Luis Calderon

Allegedly. According to a report on this website that I have never, ever visited before in my life.
If it's true I have to wonder if Fernando Clavijo is high off of Juan Pablo Angel's productivity to offer a $1.5 million one-year contract.

Make no mistake Calderon can play, but who in this league pays that much for a 37 year old striker with a little better than marginal profile (i.e. his name won't bring too many new faces out to The Dick)?

This Just In: Sarachan Gets The Boot



This is so unsurprising that even Ray Charles say it coming...and he's blind (not to mention deceased). Our man Luis Arroyave has the scoop on his blog . I'm not a Chicago hater but, damn, why did it take so long for this to go down?

Hoops Want To Help/Stripmine America's Youth

Random piece of trivia about your man SF: I have almost been killed 3 times. The first time was when I was booked on flight that eventually crashed (a fiery, jet fuel-soaked death was avoided by my dad's 11th hour decision to drive instead of fly). In regards to the second and third time I was almost lost to you all, Celtic was intimately involved on both occasions (in the third occasion a several members of Her Majesty's Royal Navy were accomplices). But I still I love the Hoops….they never meant to try to kill me (Delta Airlines I'm not so sure about though).

You just may fall in live with them for their latest move as they try to further their American interests beyond their new radio show and summer friendlies.
Scotland's Daily Record has the story on the clubs efforts to launch a massive 30 academy's in the US and Canada with the aim of using "the power of soccer to deliver positive lifestyle and educational messages while increasing awareness of the club in a market". Oh and to get a jump on getting thier mitts on young talent before anyone else does, much like a porn scout recruiting outside the Greyhound station in LA.

Key to the plan is a focus on inner city, urban youth and promoting "a healthy lifestyle". How you do this with with the help of McDonald's (burger heiress Joan Kroc is on this one) is beyond me though. But you have to give them a modicum of credit for trying unless you're a Rangers fan and hate them like tornado's hate trailer parks (that's why they always attack them) so all the charity in the world won't soften your hard, hard heart.

The Consigliare Says Stay Away from San Jose



Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff says that he needs to know in the next 30 days if MLS will grant him a franchise for the 2008 season, even without firm stadium plans. Not that he has asked me but I am going to act as Consigliare to The Don on this one.

My simple advice, don't do it Don. As much as many people would like to see a return to the bay area and an even number of teams, stand strong Don…don't buckle. We're already going down this road of non-commitment with our friends out in Utah and look at what a saga that has been.

If I were you I'd run this thing like you would run a backroom card game in a strip joint: be strict on your ante requirements and show these cats that are interested in getting into our game that you are 100% for real…$30 million and a deed to their own house. Not just plans and an appointment with a loan officer, you want to see closing papers in hand!

6.19.2007

Luke Wilson Nabs Ronaldinho's Secret Love Child?

How old does this kid look to you? 8, 9? I won't go as far as to say this is the Jeri Curled Genius ™ kid but does anyone know if Gremio played any games in southern California around 1998? If so I think the dude left a little something besides his phone number on the nightstand.

And after seeing this photo (snapped by
the LA Times at game two of the 2007 NHL Western Conference Semifinals) of the mystery kid with funny guy Owen Wilson I've got a great screenplay idea for a 'Raising Arizona'-meets-'Million Dollar Baby'-style movie called 'I Stole Ronaldinho's Kid!'

Luke plays the GM of a struggling USL franchise facing closure unless it can salvage it's season & put some asses in the seats. While attending what he suspects might be his last soccer convention he falls for a single mom (played by Eva Longoria) whose soccer-prodigy son bears an uncanny resemblance to a certain Brazilian footballer. Wilson hatches a plan to kidnap the precocious wunderkind & use his talent and looks to save his club and his job. Now if he can just pull this off without losing the love of his lady….

What do you think? We get Jud Apatow (
Knocked Up, 40-Year-Old Virgin) to direct, maybe get Sean William Scott in there as the xenophobic youth coach who knows nothing about soccer (he's only the coach because it's part of his court-ordered community service), maybe a final scene cameo by Ronnie himself….surely this would make as much money as the Reno 911 movie.

And speaking of movies, Your Captain Needs You has been updated today...go there now!

San Jose SSS Stadium Meeting & Technical Difficulties



Not sure if you noticed or not but TORtv is on the fritz. Youtube seems to have some gremlins, so I am forced to put this next bit of information front and center (which isn't a bad thing actually).

An intrepid San Jose Sharks fan was good enough to capture some footage of the San Jose City Council's meeting with Earthquakes revivalist Lew Wolff about the proposed construction of a SSS near the San Jose airport. It's fairly bland stuff but if you are a NorCal footie fan this must see TV.

6.18.2007

Slate on U.S. Soccer's Kit Crisis

Excellent, excellent, excellent is all I can say about this Slate.com article on the U.S. lack of consistency in the kit department. If I where writer interested in American soccer and had a platform on the Internet to get my work out there to the people, this is the kinda stuff I would do. Smart, well-informed, multi-media extravaganza's presented in a manner that is so tasteful and stylish your would swear Prada was involved.

Until that day arrives though I will write short missives about other peoples work, link to Youtube footage that is obviously an infringement of copyright, and make the occasional dick joke.

If This Man Can't Get Women Into Soccer, Nothing Will

I'm not gay (but it would be okay if I was) and I am pretty secure in my standing as a heterosexual male. And I don't have a problem with going on record that in addition to being a bad-ass on the pitch that Juan Pablo Angel is a handsome guy. Now if I were to go one step further and quote one of my women friends who recently laid eyes on him for the 1st time, he's "a nice piece of man-candy".

Now I can't go there, but she can….and did. So this begs the question "why isn't Juan Pablo Angel's face (and abs) out there"? In him you have fit, handsome, bilingual, worldly, goal-scoring machine that is perfect for Cold Pizza, El Diario, Jay Leno and People Magazines' 50 Most Beautiful People issue. So why isn't RBNY or MLS pimping him out like they were Heidi Fleiss?

Could it be that he's not at young as Freddy? Is he simply a victim of arriving in the year of Beckham? Maybe he simply has no interest in being anything more than a player? Or is it all due to Red Bull's non-marketing plan for 2007? I don't claim to know the answer but I do know a missed opportunity when I see one.

An Earful from Don Garber

Please keep the Mighty Mouse references to yourselves, but check out this full length streaming audio interview with The Don courtesy of the Salt Lake Tribune. The commissioner chats about Dave Checketts, expansion (with a veiled reference to meetings held in Vegas last week), the pain in the ass that is getting a stadium built and the league's effort to reach out to the African-American community.

No major revelations but all in all a good way to waste 11 minutes without involving lubricant.

An Ugly Scene at the Bernabeau



And it had nothing to do with the play in the pitch. TomKat (Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes to those of you who do not read US Weekly or watch the E! network) were present to witness Becks & co win the La Liga title this weekend. No word on whether or not the celebrity scientologist arrived by spaceship.

From left; a Beckham child, Posh, Posh's boobs, Cruise, Holmes. At Bottom; a man with a suspicious gaze, yet another Beckham child, double proof that not all blondes are hot.

Nets for the Mets?


Soccer players at Shea Stadium: a sign of things to come?

During the halftime interview of last weeks MLS Primetime Thursday match, The Don made mention of a second New York team as an expansion candidate. I for one am not mad at the idea, particularly if their ground is built in Queens. Which is what the New York Mets are said to be interested in doing.

Say the Mets do pony up and build a SSS in Flushing for 2010…by then Red Bull will have moved into Harrison with a larger & more passionate following who would not be too quick to share the footballing hearts of the tri-state area. On the other hand RBNY would be up against a club that no doubt would open shop with a world class DP or two, several top players courtesy of the leagues dubious allocation process, and a very football savvy local fanbase who will no doubt bring Wu-Tang levels of ruckus.

Someone with much more clout than me said a while back that as New York goes, so goes the league. If that statement is true (and isn't everything you read on the Internet?) can you imagine how far the league would go with a passionate crosstown rivalry that would make LA-Chivas look like handbags at 30 paces?

6.15.2007

Has Rochester Broken Up with Soccer?



As recently as 2 years ago it seemed that Rochester, NY was this mecca-in-waiting for the American soccer head. You'd always hear these stories about how they had better attendance than some MLS clubs, had a SSS on the way, and were the only USL side to defeat an MLS side in the Open Cup final. And due to all of this you would always hear their name bandied about when expansion rumours started to float around.

But as Biggie said 'shit done changed'. It seems that there a variety of theories, hypothesis', and reasons behind the citizens of Rochester allegedly falling out of love with their club, the Rhinos. Rochester Democrat & Chronicle blogger Devo lays it all out in a passionate manner that I think all futbol fans can appreciate....hopefully it won't fall on deaf ears.


RSL to Lose to Everton, Boca Juniors

Real Salt Lake, the official soccer team of the 'jello belt', have announced that they will suffer loses from EPL side Everton and Argentina's Boca Juniors next month at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

The team looks to continue a rich tradition of defeat by
foreign clubs looking for a paid holiday in the states that began with hosting Real Madrid in 2006.

All jokes aside, how did they manage to have their only win of the season so far against shit-hot Kansas City?

6.14.2007

EA Sports Announces FIFA 08 Exclusives

I know that sounds (and spells) a little weird but that's what the press release says. A "Footii Party". Whatever, just so long as there are no creepy toe fetishists involved I'll go along with it.

Apparently this party is one of the new features - along with "Table Soccer" and "Shoot Off" - of FIFA 08 that will be a Wii exclusive. The game will also includes the ability for you to play as a self-created "Mii" character and unlock the chance to play the game's cover star Ronaldinho for world footballing supremacy or something.

Personally I'm not a Wii fan; the motion-based controllers require you to jump around the living like a some fat dancer rejected from the last Justin Timberlake tour and that makes me feel like a jackass. I will stick to the PS2, PSP and Xbox 360 versions of the game.

You can get more info from the press release here.

6.13.2007

Beef: It's in Seattle

Fuck whatcha heard about Seattle being a friendly, peaceful land filled with tech-millionaires, gourmet coffee, and precipitation. Ok, well the stuff about tech-millionaires, gourmet coffee, and precipitation may be true, but it ain't all peace & hippydom in Jet City.

It seems there's a bit of beef brewing in the local soccer circles centering around the redesign of the website SoundersCentral; what was once a space dedicated to the local USL side has now widened it's scope to focus on soccer in Seattle, with a particular interest in the city's MLS chances.

So what's the problem there? Some of the Sounders fans are crying sellout, and
Seattle Weekly is pouring petrol and Everclear all over the fire. Can't we just all get along and be one soccer nation under a groove?

Free Read: Soccer in a Football World

One of my goals when I started this blog was to create a platform for me to recommend and discuss the small but growing world of soccer literature. Sadly, I have been pretty lax in achieving this goal; the time required to write something of sufficient quality as to not disgrace the works that I wish to discuss is something I just don't have. But today I came across something that is too great not to share.

As you may or may not know, I am currently curating The Largest Library of Soccer Related Literature on the Jersey Shore ™; Jeff Bradley lives a few towns down from me but I've got him beat. Last summer I added Dave Wangerin's 'Soccer in a Football World' to my collection and I have to say it is probably the most enjoyable, least academic, and definitely most current read on American soccer out there. How current? The final chapter is entitled "Take Me Out to the Soccer-Specific Stadium".

If you go to
Books.Google.com you can read most of the book for free in a nice, big pdf-style display. As this book is without a distributor in the U.S. I highly recommend you check it out (and then buy it from Amazon.co.uk). And yes you read correctly, it's a book about American soccer that is unavailable in the states. Ironic, but so totally & completely unsurprising.

Pop Stars for a Soccer Safe World

So by now you may have heard that musical chameleon (remember when she dressed all "Lilith Fair"?) and current hot-ass pop starlet Nelly Furtado is pimping the local MLS sides onstage on her current tour. Apparently she was rocking a Fire kit in Chicago and pulled on United's black strip of doom in D.C. (photographic evidence courtesy of BobbyBoswell.com).

That's awesome and all but to quote James Brown we can't forget to "give the drummer some". Well not her drummer, but The Killers drummer Ronnie Vanucci. Apparently this Vegas baby is repping for FC Dallas...or at least he was when the bands tour hit Pizza Hut Park on April 15th.

It's nice to see someone other than Drew Carey and "Hellboy" give the league an endorsement. Now if only Oprah will will put "
Soccer Against the Enemy" in her book club, then we'd really see the meat in the seats.

6.12.2007

Victoria Beckham's Dodgers Day



She threw out the first pitch. I threw up a little in my mouth. Link courtesy of Canada.com

Rangers Interest in Beasley Confirmed


DeMarcus Beasley may be ready for his close-up with Rangers.

See, I'm not always wrong (contrary to what my ex-girlfriend might say). As I mentioned yesterday, Rangers are after Run-DMB and it looks like it could all go down rather quickly. The Daily Record has the scoop.


Not Like You Forgot...


Suspension served, will we see Gooch return to the line up tonight?

...but it is my duty as your enabler/pusher to watch the boys play El Salvador tonight in their final group match of the Gold Cup. Set your DVR's to record at 7 pm EST on FSC....is that enough acronyms for you?


6.11.2007

Summer Essentials '07


BBQing. Doubleheaders. Indiscriminate hook-ups. Wearing less. Drinking More.

Yes, yes y'all…it's finally summer and it's time for The Offside Rules Summer Essentials! TOR is officially lifting the veil on the sweaty-season and we are going to help you get turned on to a few of the hottest games, gear, gadgets, grub & whatever else we can get our dirty little mitts around. I may do a few more of these as the season goes on so if you have any suggestions, hit me up.


So let's get to it, shall we?

Essential Clothing: Hollywood United T-Shirt

Don't make big money but want to dress like it?


Put away that Abercrombie t-shirt and represent for Hollywood United, a member of Los Angeles' Olympic soccer league that boasts such names as Frank Le Beouf, Vinnie Jones, Eric Wynalda, and the Sex Pistols' Steve Jones amongst it's ranks.

Available from
www.bumpypitch.com





Essential Event: Superliga

Sure we've got the Gold Cup, Copa America, the U.S. Open Cup, the World Series of Football, and the MLS season to keep us in footballing heaven for the next few months, but don't forget that theirs a new player in the game this summer with the inaugural edition of Superliga.

Pitting 8 of the best clubs from Mexico & the U.S. in a Champions League-style tournament for a cool $1 million in prize money, Superliga ups the ante (literally) for international club matches in the USA.

Tournament info available at
MLSnet.


Essential Beer: Shiner Bock

This is sort of a selfish pick, but most Texans and anyone else who drinks this brilliant brew will tell you that it is the shit. Period.

Concocted at a single, small brewery not too far from Austin, Shiner Bock is damn near a lifestyle choice for some people; I for one have been known to fly to the east coast from down south with a case of the stuff tucked into the overhead compartment just to get it north of the Mason-Dixon line. It's that good.

Sadly, northeasterners will have to just drink Yuengling as they don't distribute Shiner north of Philly. Bastards.

If you want to get the scoop from the Spoetzel Brewery, visit them
here.


Essential Grill: Bread Breaker Dual-Fuel Hybrid Grill

Can you imagine the looks of murderous envy

you'll get when you pull up to your next tailgate
with this fucker in the back of your truck (and you'll need one to haul this behemoth around)?

This Humvee of grills has a one-of-a-kind hybrid grilling system that uses wood, charcoal, gas, or a combination of the three to make even your burnt ribs taste flavorful. With 864 square inch main grilling area, an infrared (infrared!) rotisserie cradle system, & 154,000 BTUs you could cook a baby T-Rex on this.

If you've got a big appetite and $12K to burn,
get one.


Essential Beach Gear: Beach Soccer Net

Possibly the most essential item for the summer because this will let you take your game to beach in proper fashion....no more using garbage cans for goals!

Made from super strong aluminium sections 100 x 120 mm, with welded corners, stable aluminium net hanger, and coated in yellow plastic, this goal will enable you to finally become a perfect combination of Ronaldinho and beach volleyball-Tom Cruise from Top Gun.

Ready to pony up for it? Get it
here.


Essential Movie: Goal II: Living the Dream

Don't front: you saw the first one, and you'll see the second one.

This second part of the trilogy finds Santiago Munez traded from Newcastle and taking his place amongst the Galacticos at Real Madrid. A kid plucked from the Latino leagues in LA now plying his trade in La Liga you say? Hey, that's Hollywood baby!

While the film may hurt a little due to the fact that some of the players featured in the film have already moved on, it's still fun to root for the underdog (not to mention having a big-budget footie film out that has the possibility of being in theatres for more than a week).

A North American release is slated for September 14th...which is one of the last weeks that you can get away with going to the beach in a lot of the country so we're going to let this one slide in.


Essential Music: Smashing Pumpkins "Zeitgeist"

I can't begin to tell you how stoked I am about this. Maybe it's because I am a man of a certain age and I have some uncontrollable need to relive my alt-rock youth. Or maybe it's because Billy Corgan's band is still one of the smartest, and most rockin'-est endeavors going.

With a revamped line-up (which thankfully still includes Jimmy Chamberlin on drums), a world tour already under way and new album due in July I am as excited as pervert in a peepshow about this.

Download new song "
Starz" recorded live last week at Germany's Rock Am Ring Festival.

Overheard at a Bar


So the North American Rangers supporters club had their annual convention down in Florida this past weekend. A TOR reader (and drinkin' buddy) was in attendance and got to spend a little time with several hundred other supporters-in-exile in the presence Rangers skipper Walter Smith. Between drunken outbursts from the gathered fans on the topics of "fenian's", "Ulster", "papes", and other sectarian concerns Smith was actually able to get a few words in about football.

My man tells me that when asked about transfer targets, he mentioned DeMarcus Beasley as being high on his list. Again, this is all bar talk with the lads so take it for what it's worth. Could be a good move for the currently homeless Run-DMB if it were to come to pass though, although personally I believe he could play in a more competitive league.

And just so this doesn't turn into some "Wynalda-Gate" blogging incident, I am assured that Mr. Smith did not offer to let anyone felate him.

Jesse Marsch Knows the Score



If you've even spent one day on one of the myriad of soccer message boards out there on the world wide interwebs, you have heard at least 645 reasons why network______ has the worst production or announcers. Sometimes those arguments are valid (I like Max Bretos but if I hear him say that another match that is necessary at best is "historic" I may have to write a letter), while other's are just the Monday morning crazy talk of the futbol zealot.

This season I think that FSC (aside from that opening weekend howler of a production) have certainly improved upon their prior MLS coverage, notably adding pre & post-game coverage. But just like the game that they cover, you need to have the fundamentals down before you start trying to get all fancy with it. For instance, knowing who won the game and which team your interviewee plays for helps when you conduct a post-game interview.

Check out the clip above. The look of incredulity on Jesse Marsch's face when Jeremy St. Louis doesn't even know which team he plays for is priceless.

6.07.2007

Posh Promises To Keep It Real (Fashionable)


But seriously, WTF is she wearing? My teachers never rocked it like this.

Forget about commitments to clubs. Forget about commitments to country. In the grand scheme of things that shit means nothing, nothing.....unless you've made a commitment to fashion!

See while her old man is stuck between a rock and a hard-on with the whole club (read: $) versus country (read: credibility) thing, Posh has her priorities in order and has promised shit-hot clothing designer pal Tom Ford that she will carry on "looking like a 1940s headmistress" and not "drop her own style in favour of a laid-back, hippy L.A. look. "

Thank fuck for that because Kyle Beckerman has the hippie thing on lock for American Soccer. If she went there as well it might come down to a 'walk-off'...and no one wants it to come to that.

Goldenballs Injury Scare!



Will he be fit for this weekend's crucial Real Madrid match? Will he be fit when he arrives in the states? Will British newspapers ever learn to quit being so damned alarmist? [Eurosport UK]

6.06.2007

The English Get Us, Even if Our Countrymen Don't


The "Where's Waldo" of U.S. soccer: can you spot yours truly in the photo?

The Guardian has the most excellent thing I have read since the headline "Paris Hilton Goes to Jail" was splashed across my monitor a few days ago. It's a piece giving a big shout out to the MLS and US Soccer supporter's groups! Our countrymen may not be paying attention but apparently the British can hear us all the way in bloody London!

Read it all
here. Although it starts out telling the tale of Sons of Ben (who don't have a team but apparently they've got a shit-hot publicist because I've read at least 3 stories on them in the past 2 months), but then everyone and their mother gets a shout: ESC, Barra Brava, Riot Squad, Section 8, Sam's Army. It's basically a Wu Tang-style posse cut of American firms.

So pat yourselves on the back, have a celebratory drink and song boys & girls...you're hardcore, you know the score.

Big shouts to my Russian cousin over at NewlyLostEdge for tipping me off to the piece.

Everybody Loves JPA, Except TFC


Juan Pablo Angel! There's only Juan Pablo Angel! Juan Pablo Annnngel!

If you have Direct Kick, MSG, or TFC season tickets you're a lucky son of bitch (and I say that in the nicest, most Southern way possible). MoJo's Mapleleaf Militia & Bruce's Taurine Army do battle for the first time tonight in Toronto and I'm actually really stoked on seeing this one. TFC have taken it upon themselves to throw down the gauntlet and talk a little pre-game trash to the Toronto Sun. They also threw out a "your momma" in Metro Toronto. I love it...game on.

But the opposition seem to be the only ones who aren't ready to give Juan Pablo Angel a tongue bath right now. Right out of the box the dude is killing in the league like Prince killed with the ladies in the 80's. This morning alone he got enough press to make this post into a mix-tape; he was praised by New York Times soccer-stalwart Jack Bell (sidebar: you absolutely must read this interview Adam Spangler did with Mr. Bell at This Is American Soccer), fetted-over by Frank Giase in The Newark Star-Ledger, and the Toronto Star thinks he's just swell. I don't get that much love in a month...and I'm Shawn Francis!

6.05.2007

Musical Fixation of the Moment: Sonny Jim

So I've been DJing for about 15 years now and a by-product of too many late nights, too much music, and not enough sleep is a condition called DJ-ADD. To my knowledge I am the only documented case but I'm sure there are others out there who are affected but sadly go undiagnosed. The main symptom is that I listen to music like I'm DJing even when I am not; 2 minutes into a record I'm already thinking about the next thing I'm going to play.

So when I do get stuck on something it's man-bites-dog momentous. And right now I am stuck on this track called "Can't Stop Moving" by Sonny Jim. Imagine the Jackson 5 (for obvious reasons), The Avalanches, Justice, and Fatboy Slim all swapping spit and this is pretty much what the end result would be....a perfect throwaway summer dance hit.

There are a few other tracks on dudes MySpace page that are also pretty fun. And randomly he lists New York Cosmos under his influences so he's one of us. Check out the video above.

Shouts to Stereogum for the tip-off.

Peeing is Believing



Every bar, pub, and stadium should have urinals like this. The ad above reads “Soccer is good everywhere, but it is much better on ESPN”. While that may not be a fact, I do believe that taking aim at a tiny ball is infinitely more entertaining (and easier to move) than a hockey puck-sized urine cake.

I imagine that after 5 pints of Harp you have enough force built up in you that you could just rip right through the back of the net. I also envision a good number of overzealous "Toilet Tevez's" will probably spray themselves with their own marinade in the process.

6.04.2007

Revs to Limit Tix Sales vs. LA, So They Say


Please let it be noted that I have nothing against Revolution COO Brian Bilello, his organization, or MLS. Now having dispensed with the disclaimer I would like to make the following statement:

I'm calling bullshit on Mr. Bilello's statement in The Boston Globe that no single-game tickets will be sold for the New England stop on the "Bucks for Becks" (TM) North American Tour '07, and that they will ticket sales to only 30,000.

You can read the whole story here, but remember kids that just because someone wrote it on the Internet doesn't mean it's true. Does anyone really believe that this club (or any MLS club for that matter) is in a position to turn down a payday this big? Are we expected to believe that once they've sold 30K tickets, that they won't sell another 10K if there is the demand? And for what...just to prove a point?

A major upside of the Beckham signing is now MLS finally has a team that can draw the type of crowds that usually only show up for high-profile friendlies; you get the big crowd (and subsequent financial windfall) of a Barcelona match but without having to pay the other team to come to town. I understand that they are trying to create a demand and that this is all part of the marketing strategy, but as a fan & consumer this type of thing comes across as not being fan-friendly and hurts both ways. If I'm forced to buy 4 tickets just to see one game, I'm going to be less than happy; if I want to see your product and you have the room but just choose not to make it available to me, I'm not going to be happy.

I can't see how this is the best strategy to get people coming back. They should savor the 30K that show up this year...I doubt a large part of them will return next year.

Stylewatch Los Angeles



Could these be the new Galaxy colours? This dude Dashiel on B.S. seems to think so. Not a bad scheme actually if this is the new look.



But what of these new t-shits that Jaqua and his dude have been spotted rocking out in Carson? Could this be the new colours and crest? If it is, thank God the crest will be nice and small in the corner because to quote my man Kubrik this shit "looks like something out of late 70's major league baseball". Additionally, there are also some photos going around of the teams new training gear which also hints at a deep space blue in the color sheme.

I swear there hasn't been an MLS-related style watch this fun since Landon and Bianca's wedding. Personally, I wish they would keep the old kits; say what you want about green & gold (with a sash even) but you have to admit that they do stand out in a league full of teams who all read the study that red or blue uniforms sell the most.

6.01.2007

Montreal SSS Construction Under Way



Man, it can't be said that the Canadians don't mean business when it comes to putting up an SSS; apparently AEG, & the Hunt Sports Group don't have any under their employ. USL side Montreal Impact are well into laying down foundation for their new facility, Saputo Stadium, and on track to open the doors for the 2008 season. Check out the construction photo below and the video of the renderings above.

Placed in the shadow of Olympic Stadium and it's iconic tower, the stadium will open with a capacity of 13K-15K (depending on who you ask) with the ability to be expanded to 20K. The clubs owner has stated a desire to attempt to move up to MLS in a few years and if MLS were to come knocking I wouldn't be mad at 'em.

Shit, if KC and RBNY keep delivering these ass whuppin's to near empty houses & don't get their stadium acts together I say deportation proceedings should commence....and I'm even a fan of one of them!