10.31.2007

BobbyBoswell.com's Ringtones Are Better Than Crazy Frog

Good call

Here's a question. Why isn't the brain (whoever that may be) behind Bobby Boswell's website running more than just a single player site? Seriously, this would make an excellent model for player blogs around the league. Outside the realm of the official team website they are able to do some things that are a little looser, more engaging and smarter than the average bear.

Case in point: they now have ringtones. Seems like such a small thing but sometimes it's the little things that make a big impression. I think there may actually be some call for this; what serious supporter wouldn't want their club's anthem to alert them to calls from creditors, baby-momma's, and potential booty calls?

One thing that is odd about Bobby having his own dedicated blog is, well, why Bobby Boswell? No offense to him but he's kind of a middle of the pack as far as profile goes. It's not like he's The Hunchback of Bridgeview™, Landycakes or Grown Ass Man. He's not even Eddie Pope. It just strikes me as funny that the one of the few players with an online presence is a defender who many MLS fans couldn't even pick out of a lineup.

(Full disclosure: I've never met Boswell but went to high school with 2 of his brothers, one of which married a friend of mine and the other bussed tables with me at Steak & Ale back in the day, so I might have a small affinity for him).

Video of the Worst Defending Since Pearl Harbor



Dear sweet creeping Jesus. This is the most shocking display of defending I've ever seen. Taylor Graham, Facundo Erpen & rookie season Brad Guzan couldn't even combine to such pathetic effect. And the kid dancing after the goal? Pffft, he'd not seen anything that funny since they took The State off the air.

The Bruce Arena Halloween Witch Hunt

Bruce Arena image for The Offside Rules

It's Halloween and throughout this great country of ours all manner of vampire, ghoul and fiend are feverishly sharpening their fangs and claws for the dark night ahead. And if you look closely, in a few ill-lit cubicles, you also find a small number of soccer writers sharpening their knives for Red Bull New York coach Bruce Arena.

Yesterday's Goal.com headline screams to anyone within eyesight that Il Bruce "doesn’t seem so brilliant anymore" and Yahoo! Sports thought his criticism of Juan Pablo Angel was off-target. In today's New York Sun, Paul Gardner's opening paragraph (or is it salvo?) wonders if Arena even enjoys coaching the Red Bulls. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but surely someone else will have something to say about the Bruce.

Maybe he's just a victim of his own past success and that's what's driving the criticism, but it seems like EVERYONE is all up in his shit like Charmin. The only other coach with as much talk centering around him is Frank Yallop. And that's what's crazy because Bruce in the playoffs, 3 games away from lifting a third MLS Cup while Yallop is busy prepping his side for a barnstorming tour that may turn into his farewell tour.

Also of note is Ivesinho's bit yesterday about how RBNY needs a creative midfielder, a sentiment that I completely agree with. But in some ways it reads like it was written with an emphasis on drama. If you look at some of the choice quotes like "Arena is no longer counting on Mathis to be a major factor" and "The ones who deserve blame for the absence of a playmaker are Arena and technical director Jeff Agoos", you might think that Ives moonlights as a writer for ER (where it seems every episode is billed as "the most dramatic ER yet").

I dunno gang. Maybe I'm over-analyzing things. Maybe these writers are over-analyzing things. Maybe we're just not ready to fully understand the thinking and tactics of Bruce Arena. The only person that probably does is his wife and until she starts blogging that knowledge will be kept well away from our needy hands.

But you know that won't stop the witch hunt if the Red Bulls don't make it past the first round this year. As Radiohead sang a few years back "knives out, catch the mouse".

Crew Stadium Goes Under the Knife, Getting Stage

Columbus Crew Stadium image for The Offside Rules

One of the most down-low stories of the year is finally starting to come to pass. The center of the north end of Columbus Crew stadium is being torn down to make room for the hated, but profitable stage. You can't be mad at Hunt Sports Group for trying to make the house that Uncle Lamar built generate more cash, but you sure as hell can be a little sad.

That north end was where Sam's Army was posted up for the 2001 World Cup Qualifier between the U.S. and Mexico (now known as La Guerra Fria due to sub-freezing temperatures) that the U.S. won 2-0. And if you are new to this MLS game, it must be pointed out that Crew Stadium was the first soccer-specific stadium in the league. Whether you can call it soccer-specific now is debatable.

That's not saying this re-jigging is a bad thing though. For a small market club that has seen a downturn in attendance and has been shit on the field, a permanent stage will bring in some additional concerts and conversely some much needed cash. It's not ideal for the fans or for the sake of aesthetics but for the bottom line it is a thing of beauty.

But no matter how I try to justify it it's still pretty lame, right? If you have a 40oz within reach today, do pour a little out for the north side.

10.30.2007

Steve Nash on Tottenham: “I’d like to be an owner”

Nash: Ballin'

Yesterday's potential celebrity soccer owner was Drew Carey. Today it's Steve Nash. The Canadian orange-baller's love for the game is as known as Carey's but runs much deeper. Nash was a soccer player well before he got balls-deep into hoops, and it's somewhat of a family business; his brother is on the Canadian national team and the Vancouver Whitecaps while his father played professionally in South Africa.

There's a load of great footie-related bits in this piece from the New York Times magazine Play, the tongue in the kiss being that he's flying to England soon to discuss business opportunities. “I’d like to be an owner,” he says. “It’s something I could do for the rest of my life after my little window of popularity dies.”

You should do it Steve. Or better yet don’t do it and buy 2 MLS franchises…one in your native Vancouver and one in the states (cough, Portland, cough). Why not give a little something back to the country that made you a rich, rich bastard?

Because Everybody Loves Some Them Crazy Ray



Last week I mentioned the Hudsonia blog, which is dedicated to nothing but the finest in Crazy Ray Hudson ramblings. I wasn't the only one who gave them props though; within 3 days Sports Illustrated, Time and the greatest publication of all Du Nord where all singing the praises of this completely irreverent, wholly brilliant endeavor.

So to pay tribute to the tribute, I'm posting this video of a Ray Hudson classic. Shit is priceless...he's a true national treasure for "the new soccer nation". And don't forget that before he got in the booth he was on the sidelines, as the clip above illustrates. Can you imagine what the locker room was like at half-time when he was coaching? I bet dudes came out of there more confused than when they went in.

Take the Party Inside: Meola Rules in 1st Ironmen Game



For those of us that where too wrapped up in the playoffs over the weekend to notice, the world kept turning. Some things that happened while you were drunk due to the jubilance of victory or the depression of defeat were the Red Sox winning the World Series, Obama was involved in some gay drama and the MISL season began.

And the Goalkeeper of the Week award went to Big Tony from Jersey. I know a lot of people out there don't give the indoor game a look, but with the off-season doldrums due to set upon our grass-stained souls might I suggest a trip to your local arena for some hot (literally) indoor action.

Being that we're in the midst of MLS playoffs and have less than 4 weeks of outdoor soccer action left I am already dreading the off-season withdrawal. I don't get tremors or shakes like someone who's trying to detox or whatever, but I do get bored with watching overseas games on TV. Sure the EPL and La Liga have amazing players with amazing skill. But there is just something so detached about it; after you spend so much time in the stands for your local side it just seems so far away.

I know precious little about the MISL and I may sound crazy for saying this but I think I'd rather gather up a bunch of dudes, get some beers in and be really loud at an indoor game than wake up at 7am on Saturday to watch some random Euro clubs.

But that's just me...some have a one-night stand while others would prefer phone sex .

10.29.2007

Momma Said Knock You Out!



This little bugger has power. He-Man on PCP power. When Mike Tyson sees this he'll cry a single, mournful tear of nostalgia for a time when he made people fall like that.

NKOTB: Toronto Globe & Mail Soccer Blog

Globe & Mail Socer Blog image for The Offside Rules

Just a little FYI alert for those of you out there who don't have enough blogs to read. The Toronto Globe & Mail have joined the ranks of footie-friendly newspapers looking to get in on this whole soccer thing like by starting a soccer blog, which is called "On Soccer" just to, y'know, keep everyone guessing.

More and more newspapers are blogging about the game these days, from big papers like the Washington Post (Soccer Insider) to papers so small that they've never even been used to line a birdcage like North Jersey Herald News (Soccer By Ives). And while they may sometimes carry the stale odor of co option, it's often good stuff that you'll get nowhere else due to them being written by legitimate journalists instead no-cred fanboys with a penchant for making grandiose statements (TheOffsideRules).

Anyway, I have a thing for Canadians so I wanted to give them a shout. Add them to your blogroll or you may be subject to death by Moose.

Marginally Substantianted Gossip: Drew Carey 4th Investor in Seattle Expansion Bid

Drew Carey image for The Offside Rules

Seriously, how much money to they need to get an MLS side up and running in Seattle? Between Joe Roth and Paul Allen alone you could potentially buy an entire league. Now there is talk in the press and in the land of gossip that Drew Carey -the official comedian of US Soccer™- is the mystery 4th investor in the project.

While I personally still have reservations about a Seattle team, but the presence of Carey would be quite comforting as he's probably the owner most likely to succeed Uncle Lamar Hunt as the league's most passionate owner. Additionally, he would be our Jon Bon Jovi (owner of an AFL team) or Jay-Z (owner of the New Jersey -soon to be Brooklyn- Nets); someone in the mainstream who would further advance MLS into the pop cultural lexicon.

The best bit about having Carey involved though is that a) he never misses an opportunity to eat a hot dog, b) write a great dick joke and c) co-op an interview to proselytize for the game. I mean what other straight man is going to get on national TV and say they are "gay" for Goldenballs?



Video: Adu Rescues Benfica with Another Late-Game Goal



Damn y'all, Freddy is really trying to make it hard to hate on him lately. The Biggest Midget in the Game scored his third late-game goal in a month to keep Benfica on the winning end of things vs. Maritimo. He might go down in history as the world's most hyped super-sub.

10.28.2007

Toronto's Last Dance of the Year in Portland

Portland Timbers image for The Offside Rules
All you Portland and Toronto players & fans get one last shot at footie glory before the long, cold winter. Toronto visits PGE Park tonight in a rare post-season friendly. Hopefully for Toronto's sake they get a better reception than those other Canadians that frequent the city.

UPDATE: The Timbers beat 'em like the stole something. 4-1 to Portland. Mark 2007 down as the year USL owned MLS.

10.26.2007

Stephen Colbert's MLS "On Notice" Board

OnNotice.php

If only he would do this for real. Until then you'll just have to make do with me.

San Jose to Play at "Bunk" Shaw Stadium

buckshaw

You know what is wierd? Is that I was gonna mention today that I saw a homeless man outside of the Port Authority wearing an Earthquakes shirt and that the irony was as thick as the smell of 40oz that was on him. But it's not as relavant now since one of the worst kept secrets in MLS is now out in the open.

The Earthqaukes 3.0 will play the majority of thier home games at Santa Clara University's Buck Shaw Stadium. If I can't say anything nice then I won't say anything at all. But if this is how it's gonna be I'll be a trooper and have faith that their retrofitting makes it look much better than it does now.

Dear Don Garber....

Thedon

If I can show my age for a second here without judgment I would appreciate it. You remember on Family Ties how Alex P. Keaton loved Ronald Reagan? That is how I feel about Don Garber. The man will lead us to the promised land, I swear it on Jimmy Conrad's mother's grave.

That's not to say I agree with all of his decisions, but you have to admit that if it weren't for him, with his painful calls (the Florida debacles) and smart moves (eliminating the shootout, moving into Canada) we would be looking at a much different league all right now...if we had a league at all.

The Don took time out of his busy schedule of evaluating expansion markets to invade, and drinking Coke from a wine glass to answer a few questions out of the mailbag at SI.com. All of the usual suspects are there as far as topics go; relagation, expansion, DP's etc. Unsurprisingly no one asked about his political contributions in New Jersey, where I'm pushing for the new state slogan "New Jersey, the indictment state!"

Video: Rolfe's Banger vs. DC, Houston Playoff Propaganda



In case you missed Chris Rolfe's banger against DC last night here it is. THAT is how you do it in the playoffs! Get hyped for the Texas derby on Saturday with some Houston Dynamo propaganda via the video below. I'm going to pick H-town 3-1 over FCD.

NY Times Examines the Soccer-Football Concessions Divide



Wanna get all hi-brow about the differences in the fan experience between futbol and football? Go here and read this. But don't read this...because they are biters (but then again so is everyone on the net so who am I to judge).

I love both sports so I don't feel the divide too much...mostly because like many American soccer fans I take in my footie in an American football stadium. They sell the same food that they do at an NFL game, the only difference being that they don't bother to open all of the concession stands for soccer.

And tailgating...Shit, I plan on tailgating tomorrow at a soccer game; my time parking lot will outlast the game by 2 hours on either side. No matter how Eurosnobish the soccer fan, they'll always take the chance to get blind drunk, and filled to the point of bursting with sausage. It is our right as Americans. And if we don't the terrorist have won!

"Landon Donovan sucks ass and so do you."



You really should watch this. You can skip the 1st minute as it is just the show opening. But after that Patrick N., host of "On the Offense" spends the next six ripping Landon a new chocolate starfish. Whether it's warranted or not I won’t say. But I have to give props for referencing Die Hard, "the Konami code" from Contra and the use of my favorite word 'jackass'.

No props though for bringing up the awful gay porn-ish photo shoot from a few years back. Let it go people, let it go.

What Wynalda Said

Ivesinho seems to think that Waldo might be sent to Abu Graib or something for his little Section 8 "looks like California" comment last night. (While a shot of flares in Section 8 was shown on tv, Waldo commented that it looked like California right now, what with the fires and the burning and the tragedy and all.) I think he may be the only one who noticed, but then again it only took one person in the press to notice the history behind the name "Houston 1836" and look how that turned out.

Will this rival "BJ-Gate"? Something tells me no. But just in case we don’t see Waldo around for a while, let's remember him at his finest; scoring against Ireland at Foxboro back in the day.



UPDATE: Someone emailed me suggesting that I should have included the definitive Wynalda free kick v. the Swiss instead. I'll add that in...which do you think is more likely to inspire wood?

Houston Looking at Downtown Stadium, Players Antsy

houston

From the "what ever happened to that?" file comes news on the Houston efforts. The news is that there is not much news that anyone can really speak about. Seems to be a trend these days that makes both fans, and as the Houston Chronicle article points out, players a bit antsy. Just like cocaine!

It's somewhat interesting that those involved with building stadiums seem to fall into one of two camps; diarrhea of the mouth or the "guard all information like it is the crown jewels". There's not to much balance from my vantage point.

The best bit worth noting is that AEG is really interested in building this park downtown, near the Astros stadium. That would be J Lo's butt-excellent as it would keep the team from leaving Houston for the suburbs (we're looking in your direction FC Dallas & Chicago Fire) and hopefully better integrate them into the city's sporting lexicon by being posted up near Minute Maid Park.

People of Houston, get all Journey and "don't stop believing".

10.25.2007

Video: The TFC Mass Pitch Invasion



When was the last time you saw people rush the field at a MLS game like they were the Stanford band on "The play"?

The Best/Worst Footie Prank. Ever.



Holy shit does this guy have balls. Big, chrome balls of steel. He truly has an armadillo in his trousers.

Basically dude decides to go around to different bars in Amsterdam with a bunch of remote controls while Holland is playing a Euro qualifier...and turn the game off. What a dick. But what a genius!

Only in Holland could you pull some shit like that off without getting your face imprinted with the sole designs of several leading shoe makers. Try that next door in the Krautlands or in the UK and they'd use his head for a kickabout.

"Every Minute U Waste Is Another Day U Will Spend in Hell"



Because there is more to time wasting than reading this blog.

This Just In: Nick Sakiewicz in on Philly Stadium



Am I the last to know this? With all the good vibes going around about Philadelphia getting a SSS built, I would have thought that Nick Sacks involvement would have been at the forefront of the story.

Screw the Sox, B.C. and Virginia Tech: It's Playoff Time

playoffs

That's right folks, the 'second season' jumpoff is tonight. DC v Chicago on ESPN2 at 8.30pm EST. If you are with a 90 minute drive of Bridgeview I implore you to get your sweet ass down there and provide some atmosphere for those of us watching at home. If you can't be there, turn every tv in your house on to the game (we need the ratings help).

Every man, woman, and child who loves the game should have their eyes glued to this one…if anyone is going to beat D.C. right now it's going to be the wild-card Fire. But as the match preview video below shows, United have a different idea.


City of Vancouver OK with Weed, Soccer Not so Much

Vancouver image for The Offside Rules

Local governments are like reproductive organs. They can be all sweet and beautiful and down for whatever. Or they can be filthy, ugly and nightmarish to even think about dealing with sober. When given the chance to erect a new stadium in their area, some governments roll out the red carpet, give you enough land to build a feudal estate and hand you duffle bags full of cash ( 'Now go and get yo money little duffel bag boy'…sorry, but I've got that Lil' Wayne hook stuck in my head). Others won't even let you build a stadium with your own money on land that you already own.

That's what is going on in Vansterdamn. We're talking about a city where you can grow weed in your garden and smoke yourself blind with little fear of arrest or prosecution. But a nice shiny soccer stadium FOR FREE is bad, bad, bad. What the hell is going on?

I guess no one has told the Mayor that 40K BCers have already purchased tix to see the Galaxy play an exhibition match there. I'm sure those voters will note his opposition to the stadium in the next election cycle.

Video: David Beckham Picks His Top 5 MLS Goals of 07



I'm not certain that Becks himself picked the goals, but I am certain that he at least narrates them. Unless they sound some 19th century Englishman who stumbled out of some Dickensian novel right on to a sound stage in west Hollywood. Not to give it anything away but I think #4 should be number one for the year, if not the decade.

10.24.2007

KC Starting XI Girls Love Botox, Free Stuff




Or at least like it enough to wear the t-shirts. Skip the office girl a the start of this clip...she's boring and so is her office. Go to the middle were the blonde comes in and it gets a little better; I think one of them even unnecessarily grabs her own boobs while trying on shirts marked "Botulism". Which is somewhat fitting as I am sure a couple of them have the potential for a lucrative career as a trophy wife and might develop an intimate relationship with Botox. Fun stuff from the buckle of the Bible belt.

Jozy Altidore Signed My Pumpkin

Jozy Altidore's Pumpkin

That is a gourd we found in the bar last night at the Red Bull party. Why there were gourds all over a place that serves alchohol I don’t know but it will possibly end with a very unhappy cleaning person. But without them the story of what will heretofore be known as "Jozy and The Drunkin Punkin" would never have been possible.

To mark my meeting with The Boy King of New York & Jersey™ last night I needed an autograph. As I had no photos or merch with me but had 4 drinks in me, I grabbed the first thing that wasn't nailed down. It turned out to be a pumpkin. The kid looked at me like I was mad as hatters, but being the consummate professional that he is he inked it anyway.

So now I have the ultimate in rare, bespoke soccer-themed Halloween accoutrement. But what to do with it? As we are a mere week away from an evening of shelling out candy to those damn neighbor kids and possibly finding out the hard way that the stranger you'll take home from the costume party looks better in disguise, we've got to be quick about it.

Should Jozy's mug be carved into the opposite side? Should there be a raffle for it at the Giants Stadium tailgate this Saturday? Should a 'playoff pumpkin pie' be made, and sent to Jozy to dine on after the game if New York wins? There are many options but time is ticking. Feel free to add something to the suggestion box ASAP.

DC Player Spills Haterade All Over Adu Live on the Radio

Freddy Adu image for The Offside Rules

Beef. It's what's for dinner and what's possibly at the craft services table inside DC radio station WJFK. From the Edgell Supporters blog comes news of a Marc Burch radio interview where he dished the dirt on the teams feelings about The Biggest Midget in the Game™.

Junkies (EB): Is everybody happy to be rid of Freddy, does anybody talk about Freddy these days?

Burch: We don't really talk about him, and a lot of people are happy to be rid of him. He's a little bit of a cancer in the locker room, we have good team chemistry right now, and I don't think anybody is really missin' him. I don't really care too much about Freddy so...

Junkies (EB): Did you think he was a dick, you never really played with him though right?

Burch: I think his ego is a little bit bigger than he is, he's 5'1" and his ego makes him 7 feet all.

Junkies (EB): Did other guys on the team agree with you, without callin' them out?

Burch: You're friends with your teammates, but it gets to you eventually, people like that, sometimes you can't stand them.

Junkies (Cakes): You're basically saying he's just a diva, who's had everything handed to him by the MLS, and he's not nearly up to the level of his press clippings?

Burch: He's as good as he can be, for his age.

Junkies (EB): Did guys on the team believe his advertised age?

Burch: Uhhh, no comment on that one.

The Complete interview audio is here. Cancer...ouch. Doesn't sound like there will be a Christmas card from the old gang for the kid this year. But wowy, wow, wow, wow is the no comment on the age interesting. People have always accused Freddy of being older but I've never paid attention to that stuff, just chalked it up to Haterade. But maybe there really is something there.

How crazy would that be if that came out that dude was really like 23 or something? It would rock the league and the Fed like a hurricane. If you think the Becks injury backlash was bad, this would be the Pay of Pigs. $5 and one of those protective head gear things that Eski wears says that there has already been an email or phone call about this one; Dude is soooo gonna get silenced.

A Night on the Rocks with RBNY

Joe Vide

I went to a Red Bull do last night. They always throw a good party and last night was no exception. Hopefully these photos will tell 1000 words because I am feeling slower than a kid on the short bus this morning so I'll give you most of it in pictures. That's Joe Vide up top who even after doing shots has more energy than a class 3 nuclear reactor. Oh to be young again.

Woly

John Wolyneic: Coolest cat since Sammy Davis Jr. Dude I would most
like to hang with over a 5th of scotch.

Juan Pablo  Angel

Do I look fat in this picture?

European union

(From L to R) Dema Kovalenko, Ronald Waterreus, Markus Schopp,
Siniša Ubiparipović and Dave van den Bergh. I was told that they were
ribbing Dema about a Ukraine loss to Holland that he played in. I would
like to think that they were discussing something really continental like
fine cheeses or their favorite socialist movements of the 1970's.

Jozy Altidore

Jozy Altidore is an adult both physical stature and demeanor. Meanwhile I
am 31
years old and may or may not be throwing up signs for a gang in which I am in no
way affiliated. There was also a thing with a gourd that I'm not sure I'm proud of.

10.23.2007

San Jose Earthquakes Look to Cure Fútbolitis


Fútbolitis: WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Persons afflicted with Fútbolitis may display one or more of the following symptoms:
  • Chanting
  • Compulsive juggling (with feet)
  • Impromptu re-enactments of championship matches
  • Fanatic cheering at pee-wee games
  • Subscriptions to soccer magazines in languages you don’t speak
  • Lapsing into a British accent
  • “Soccer ball” shaped rashes or bruising
  • Feelings of hope whenever there are reports of an earthquake

Will Luciano Emilio Take His Golden Boot and Split?



DC United feted vintage MLS bad-ass Marco Etcheverry last weekend, but this week it's all about keeping an eye on the new classic. Even though the race was all but over in the wee hours of Friday morning, MLS had to treat it like a pregnant fiance and make it all official. The press release came out today officially naming DC United newcomer Luciano Emilio as the winner of the Golden Boot for the 07 campaign.

Toast the dude tonight if you get the chance. He's definitely been one of the top signings of the year, and is a definite candidate for newcomer of the year and league MVP. But when a player comes into a new league with this much fire there is always the worry that he'll be gone before long.

Hopefully he sticks around, but something tells me he's not going to for his current salary.

Run DMB T-Shirt



Because I was inspired by someone in the comments of the earlier Beasley bit today. Would you buy one/wear one or do you feel it is an offense to one of the greatest hip hop logos, not to mention acts, of all time?

Video: Adu's Equalizer for Benfica



You may have missed it, but The Biggest Midget in the Game™ scored the equalizer off the bench in the 90th minute for Benfica this weekend. Hopefully he'll get another chance for heroics against Celtic tomorrow in Champions League.

Keller out "3-4 months" for Fulham



Torn bicep. Sounds dead painful. I hope he's not a southpaw because I bet you couldn't do anything normal like unzip your fly without grimacing. Hopefully he an McBride will both return to the fold in time for this season's USA Day at Craven Cottage.

Video: First Look at FIFA Street 3



After a year away FIFA Street is back, and with an absolutely anorexic-looking Ronaldinho in tow. Oh well, let the nutmegging and shit-talking begin.

Run-DMB in Champions League Today v. Barcelona



Run-DMB may see action today -if healthy- at 2.30Pm EST on ESPN2 versus Messi, Henry, Ronaldinho and the rest of the Catalan murderer's row. God speed my son.

Chris Rolfe's Headbanging Nike Ad, Website



More players need their own websites. Seriously, if you're not going to promote yourself who will? Unless you're named Adu, or Beckham chances are you will receive a minimum of focused effort around building your name as a brand. In the digital age there is no better, effective, easy and inexpensive way to do that than by having your own website.

There are very few people playing in America that have a website or blog (at least that I know of). Type in JuanPabloAngel.com, or CarlosRuiz.com and you will only be disappointed. Even LandonDonovan.com brings up a page for his management, WMG. There are a few out there who do realize what day and age it is, the excellent Bobby Boswell and seldom-updated but well designed Clint Dempsey blogs come to mind.

Chicago Fire's Chris Rolfe (not to be confused with Rolfe from the Muppet Show) had the good sense to create a website for himself, complete with a schedule of appearances, wallpapers, links to Rolfe-related articles, videos, an informative blog, and a bunch of photos of him and his boys tailgating and drinking out of red cups at country concerts. They've also posted Chris' recent Nike advert in which he knocks daydreaming, pansy-assed goalkeeper into unconsciousness with little to no remorse.

If you know of any other MLS, US soccer, or USL players with their own websites or blogs, let me know in the comments.

First Rendering of Proposed Philly Stadium



Click the image to see it in all it's hi-res, full sized glory. Props to Dillon for sharing.

10.22.2007

MLS Radio Show: Around the League in 90 Minutes

So I didn't know there was a weekly MLS radio show on CSRN until yesterday. CSRN is lazy type for Champions Soccer Radio Network and they have a dozen different streaming soccer radio shows and podcasts on their site.

One of which is an MLS shows Around the League in 90 Minutes. They also have a dedicated Chivas USA and shows dedicated to Arsenal and Liverpool amongst others. Tune in, turn on and geek out to last week's episode below.

LA Confirm Vancouver Friendly



Can you call it a victory lap if you didn't win anything? Why the hell not when there is merch to sell and a brand to be built.

The Galaxy have confirmed the Vancouver date of their post-season Bucks for Becks World Tour™ for November 7th. This will come 3 weeks ahead of their trips to Sydney, Australia and Wellington, NZ. The following week there is an exhibition match in Minneapolis (the oddly titled Copa Minnesota) and there is rumor of an off-season tour of Asia.

I bet they'll sell a boat load of merch on these trips. T-shirts, posters, mugs, and the ubiquitous jerseys with the number 23 on the back. Enough merch to keep Xavier in bleach, Landon in Rogain, and most importantly AEG in extra green to bring in some new players for next season.

Coach Yallop and Becks are saying that they don’t need a major overhaul and that they only need a few players but let's not kid ourselves. Maybe FSC could do a "Pimp My Side" show where they will be given the team's budget to tweak it to perfection. Just so long as they don't get Xzibit to host…that dude needs to give it up.

Hudsonia: The Ray Hudson Greatest Hits Blog

Ray Hudson image for The Offside Rules

"He's like a tyrannosaurus rex with hemorrhoids" - talking about Italy's Gattuso.

"Just like a Turkish belly dancer on a surfboard, Ronaldinho skipping through the tulips" - December 2006, Barcelona v Real Sociedad

"Kovalenko for me was outstanding also in his football, not just his gritty performance. He's a footballer; he's got great feet. He's a good link man, a great outlet, he challenges ... he would stab his grandmother in the eye for another bowl of porridge." - on RBNY's Dema Kovalenko

Yes, over the years GolTV announcer Ray Hudson has said some things on the mic that even Das EFX would find confusing. Ever since he left coaching the likes of DC and Miami (R.I.P.) for a blazer and TV studio in Florida he has been filling the airwaves with some of the most twisted & terrific commentary in the country. Rob Stone and Max Bretos could learn a thing or two about how to creatively channel their enthusiasm by studying him. Or they could just learn how to act like a bat-shit old Brit, which is still completely entertaining.

I just learned that there is a blog dedicated to Hudson's quest to "invent a new language in English". What does that even mean?!. It's called Hudsonia and features quotes and audio files of some of Hudson's best/most bizarre work. You have to check it out just for the sheer brilliance of it. I can't believe it took this long for someone to realize the endless goldmine of content their is with this guy as a subject. Prepare to have your mind blown wide the fuck open.

The Greg Ryan Post-Career Press Conference



USSF President Sunil Gulati and Secretary General Dan Flynn will address U.S. women's national team coach Greg Ryan's status during a media teleconference at 4 p.m. (Eastern) on Monday. Somewhere, Hope Solo will be hosting a margarita happy hour immediately afterward.

Somehow I don't see this topping the reigning best press conference ever, but nothing ever will. Unless The Stone Roses, The Smiths, and the Jackson 5 (with a black Michael) announce their reformation at the same time that Christiano Ronaldo to RBNY and Ronaldinho to a Queens expansion MLS franchise is announced, with said press conference hosted by a semi-clad sexy celebrity of the viewers choice.

Because a Golazo Waits for No Man. Or His Bowels.



Admit it. You may not have gotten caught but you've done this before. It's OK to admit, you're amongst friends. Just remember to wash your hands before touching the remote again.

10.21.2007

Chicago Make the Playoffs, LA Make it Interesting



All I have to say is that if it weren't for Joe Cannon this one would have been decided well before the stoppage time game-winner. The man was a big, fat, moving wall for 90 minutes.

10.20.2007

Delaware Co. Agrees to Funding for Philly Stadium




Developers. Usually they do douchey things like abuse eminent domain to get people out of their homes that they've owned for years so that they can put up new condos for the nuevo riche. But I'll be damned if these same people aren't going to be the ones to take MLS to the next level by getting a fleet of new stadiums off the ground. And for this, I ain't mad at 'em.

D.C.'s new real estate tycoon owners are trying to get an SSS built as part of a redevelopment plan for one of the poorest area's in the district. The long-planned Red Bull Park is part of a massive retail, hotel, and residential development in Harrison, NJ. And on the expansion front St. Louis is going to go this route if they get the chase.

The same now applies to Philadelphia as Delaware County has agreed to spend $30 million and kick in land toward $300 million soccer specific stadium complex with residential and retail space included. There still loads of work to be done, and money to get (including funds from the state) before this could happen, but it's certainly worth talking about. Especially if you are a DC or RBNY fan in need of a new neighbor to despise.

10.19.2007

Mulleted Red Bull Keeper to Retire



Sorry it wasn't easy for you chief. You are now free to pursue your lion-taming dreams.

Video: Jozy Altidore on the Glenn Davis Show



I spoke to Wyclef yesterday and all he had to say about Jozy was "that kid is cold"...and you can't really argue with that. At times I'm sure it may seem like I have a mild-to-disturbing affinity for Jozy Altidore. I'm sorry, but I'm just trying to hitch my wagons early so that when the kid blows up Hindenburg-style (and he will) I can say I was down way back when. Then maybe he'll give me job as his official documentarian.

I'll catch every moment of his evolution for posterity. I will be there when he starts his first World Cup game. I'll get footage of him dining with powerful people who'll admire him like Sepp Blatter, Bono, and Obama. I will meet with him late nights in fashionable European hotel bars so that he can relay his story to me with complete frankness over a 5th of scotch. And I will be there when his marriage to Hayden Panettierre makes him more popular than socks.

The Houston Chronicle's Glenn Davis has given me a head start with this great interview with The Boy King of New York & Jersey™ from 2 weeks ago that apparently no one saw. I'll file it next to my rare Reyna footage.

New Drogba & Essein Track < The Superbowl Shuffle



It's been a while since we had some proper footballers in the studio. And even longer
since we had any that actually had some talent. To this day John Barnes' verse on New Order's "World In Motion" is still the gold standard and that shit came out in 1989.

Chelsea boys Didier Drogba and Michael Essien has dropped some guest vocals over a Wills & the Willing track for an upcoming BBC anit-racist charity album. Although on the pitch they posses moves than are sicker than a SARS victim on roller skates there mic skills are about on par with Frankenstein. It's a good cause though so bless 'em.

You can checkout the video here if you want to waste a few minutes of your life that you'll never get back. Or you can go back in the day and sing for England ('En-ger-land!') below.

The Marco Etcheverry Testimonial, Limited Ed. Shirt



Maybe it's just because Cobi & Eddie are retiring, but it seems like there has been a whole lot of reminiscing to the early days of MLS lately. And that certainly not a bad thing -like Ziggy Marley sang "Don't know your, you don't know your future". In keeping with that theme of honoring the old school, DC United will pay tribute to one of the greatest number 10's in league history by honoring Marco 'El Diablo' Etcheverry with a testimonial match before their game this weekend vs. Columbus. A side of DC & MLS players from years back will suit up America's Wealthiest Soccer Team™, Hollywood United.

For you kit & tee whores out there, there is also a brilliant limited edition shirt for sale to commemorate the event. The T-shirt pictured below will go on sale this Saturday as part of honoring Marco & the 1997 Championship Team. These were produced in in a limited quantity of only 500, so you'll have something to brag about other than your "Don't Tread on Me" kit.


10.18.2007

Just Because Today it's All Beckham, All the Time

Craig Ferguson's Bad Comedy, Becks Bad Ankle



I watched this and thought to myself "Self, this is not very funny". And then I saw this KNBC report stating that he re-injured the world's most discussed ankle again in practice. At that point it went from being not funny to eerily prescient. Perhaps Graig Ferguson is behind the breaking of Beckham (he is Scottish after all).

Conspiracy theories aside, I'm starting to hope that he doesn't touch the pitch again this season. I would like to see the comeback feel good story of the year as much as anyone, but it's slowing becoming a tragic comedy. Let the man heal so that he can take us to promised land next year...we've waited this long, what's another 6 months.

10.17.2007

MLS Back on the Expansion Trail in Portland



Today is one of those rare days when both US Men and US Woman are playing on the same date. The boys take on the Swiss at 2.30PM on FSC live from Basel (just like The Stones!). The ladies play Mexico in Portland and will have The Don & MLS league president Mark Abbott in the audience. A return trip by the bigwigs to further evaluate the city's prospects is excellent news for Portland fans who hope to live to see another day to hate on Seattle.

The duo are in town to check out PGE Park in soccer-mode, something they haven't had a chance to experience in their previous trips to town. I've said enough about Seattle already so I won't go there. And even though this is all apples & oranges, just because I feel the need to share my opinion I will go on record as saying that Portland's stadium situation is boatloads better than San Jose's, no matter how temporary it is meant to be. 3 years of this is just too depressing for words.

Watercooler Chat: Newcastle Scouts Eddie Johnson



I have press pass for Giants Stadium. With it I am privy to good parking, some post-game access, and a birds eye view of things from the Press Box. I never feel welcome though...like the real journalists look at me like "who is this freak". Maybe it's because I don't do khaki's.

The one writer that I've never seen in khaki's is Ivesinho, although I'm sure that he has a pair that he wears for PTA meetings and the like. Anyways, while I was feeling like a 12 year old girl at a dance, he was getting the scoop. Dude said he saw a scout for Newcastle at the KC-NY game on Saturday that was there to scout Eddie Johnson aka EJ aka Grown Ass Man.

He also says that the mystery scout was seen shaking hands with Jozy Altidore (The Boy King of New York and Jersey)...make of that what you want. Read the piece in the link above to get the whole scoop, but Ives makes a good point about EJ being desirable; he's young, work permit eligible, has international experience, and no transfer fee.

And and as an added bonus he keeps it real, as the above photo shows.

And Now an Inspirational Message from TOR



The playoffs are coming...make them yours.

"Before Their Was Kobe, There Was Cobi"



Since a lot of people in SoCal -and the rest of America for that matter- think that LA soccer begins and ends with Goldenballs, it's a good time for Grahame L. Jones of the LA Times to remind folks who the O.G. of the Galaxy is. With his club's unlikely comeback and Beckham's long awaited comeback looming, it will be easy for his anticipated retirement at the end of this season to get lost in the shuffle, forgotten about until after the fact.

Grahame L. Jones won't forget though. On a personal level my older brother & I certainly won't forget, because for 2 soccer-loving black kids growing up in Texas in 1994 Cobi Jones was a near deity; he was the footie equivalent of Living Colour (the rock band) and In Living Color (the sketch TV show)....someone who looked like us doing stuff we'd never seen people like us doing.

And what's he done? How about reping for the Yanks at the Barcelona Olympics and the 1994, 1998, AND 2002 World Cups. How about suiting up for a record 164 U.S. caps in 28 different countries. He has played a record 349 games for the Galaxy, his only MLS club, which he has been with since the first year of the league. He also has a team record 76 goals and 104 assists. He scored the first-ever Galaxy goal and helped Los Angeles win two MLS titles, the U.S. Open Cup and the CONCACAF Champions Cup.

In New York some people refer to Clint Mathis as "13 Legend". I've only met Mathis once, but I'm reasonably sure that he wouldn't mind sharing a nickname with another number 13. So let it begin here...Cobi Jones, 13 Legend.


10.16.2007

Video: Coaches Comments on the DP's



By now you have heard me, and countless other people give their half-educated, half-drunk opinions of the initial class of designated players. Hell, you've probably done it yourself; "Angel is a lock for MVP", "Reyna has been a bigger disappointment than a three of the new Star Wars movies combined", "Blanco has turned out to be a better signing than Beckham", and "Denilson is done like Ja Rule's career" are just a few of the things I have heard in this blog's comments and emails.

And it's great that we all have an opinion and a place on the worldwide interwebs to share it. But what do the people who know them better than anyone have to say about the DP's? I haven't got a clue because their wives, mistress's, and cleaning ladies have been mum so far. But here's what their coaches have to say about them since I guess they're the next best thing.

MLSnet + Guns n' Roses = WTF?



Folks, if working in the music biz in this day and age has taught me one thing, it is that you have to diversify. Record sales alone will not keep your Hummer gassed up; you need to tour, get a sneaker endorsement, a clothing line, a ring tone deal and a line of custom dog collars just to keep yourself in Cristal.

The same can be said for the business of soccer, or at least I'll assume it because
inexplicably MLSnet is operating the online shop for Guns n' Roses. Maybe this was Juan Toja's idea? I dunno but this is probably the most random thing I have ever found on the Internet. Well maybe that thing in the sidebar with the female bodybuilder and the Rubik's Cube is a little more random, but this is definitely up there.

Anyone know what the story is with this? Even if no one comes forward with the scoop on this, we might have still learned something. With this information I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the real find in this is that I think we now know why we are STILL waiting on "Chinese Democracy" to be released.....Nick Sakiewicz is producing the album.

Mardona on Maradona



If you are an Englishman of a certain age you may want to click on the red "x" at the top of the screen right now for we are about to discuss to an Argentine whose name rhymes with "Marijuana" but whose drug of choice was cocaine.

I asked my buddy Joe the Gap Model (he's not really a Gap model, he just looks enough like one to get all the play at the bar when we where at college) to engage in a game of word association with the name Diego Maradona. Being an Englishman his first reaction was to groan & shudder visibly. Once he got past his initial bout with England's national emotional baggage, he spat out the following results: "Handball. Egomaniac. Hero. Drugs. Communism. Amazing. Womanizer. Handball. Greatest goal of all time. Possibly the greatest player of all time." I won't say that's all there is to his story but it kinda says it all.

Egomaniac? He's the only person on earth with use of both eyes that was upset that Pele was awarded footballer the century. Hero? He has a religion named after him. Drugs? Surely I don’t have to tell you about this one (or the handball). Communism? Donated the Cuban proceeds of his autobiography to Fidel Castro. Amazing? Here's exhibit A. Womanizer? Who doesn't have an illegitimate Italian heir these days? Greatest goal of all time? Only Messi even has a case to argue but he's too reverential for that.

But this is just the head of the dick that is Diego. If you really want to get down to the shaft and balls you have to read his autobiography "Maradona, the autobiography of Diego Maradona", which has finally been given a long-overdue U.S. pressing in English.

Told in his own words, the immortal & controversial player recounts the high points of illustrious career, and the points in his illustrious career when he was high. It's dramatic reading and an essential addition to any footie-book hoarder's collection. Buy it now from Skyhorse Publishing. Or Amazon.com.