12.31.2007

Rumor of the Day: Figo to Some AEG Team or Other




I worded the title ambiguously like that because this more-than-likely piece of crap article is equally ambiguous. Allegedly Figo has signed a 2-year deal worth $10.2 mil to play for an unnamed AEG-operated MLS side, which despite what the hopelessly uninformed writer will tell you would be either LA or Houston (AEG no longer owns Chicago, and Figo is not a forward).

I doubt it but it could be true...who knows. I heard in August of 2006 from someone at AEG that LA was going to sign Beckham and due to the absurdity of the notion (at the time) I choked on my scotch in a fit of uncontrollable laughter. But for now I'm going to put this in the file next to the Figo to RBNY and Figo to New England rumors in 07 for what could be the first MLS transfer rumor troika.



12.30.2007

Eddie Gaven's Big Fat New Jersey Wedding.

Eddie Gaven The Offside Rules MLS Colombus Crew

You may have noticed that I (along with the vast majority of the soccer blogosphere) haven't posted much in the last week. Aside from Dempsey & Bocanegra scoring repeatedly in the name of Fulham's futility, there has been precious little going on. Which means precious little to write about.

How bad is it for American soccer content right now? So bad that I'm posting freaking wedding announcements for Columbus' Eddie Gaven. Congratulations my dog...and welcome to the terrordome.

The best thing about a wedding is that it's like adult Christmas; you get to make a list and people buy you everything that's on it. Since you'll always be a Metro to me, I'll see what I can do about helping you get that registry at Target fulfilled. I'll get you the sushi board, but someone else is going to have to come through on the porcelin 4-section relish servers.

12.29.2007

Dorman Done in Foxboro

Andy Dorman image for The Offside Rules

New England's English attacking midfielder Andy Dorman has left the club for the big European payday by signing with....St. Mirren? You may be asking yourself what exactly is Mirren the patron saint of, so I'll tell you; officially, the town of Paisley...unofficially, marginally lateral career moves.

I know the guy has thinking of returning home to ply his trade back in Britain for a bit now, but for a player of his talent an SPL side that is currently sat at 11th in the table just seems like a waste to me. He's a player that could help San Jose not play like an expansion team, or provide Angel & Altidore with some much-needed service in New York. And what's the best he can hope for with St. Mirren? Finishing in the top half of the table?

So here's a question? Why have all of the Revs ace midfielders tried to get the hell away from there in the last few years? Dempsey & Dorman wanted out and got out. Joseph wants out but can't get out (but he did get a raise). What the hell is going on up in Foxborough to make all these guys who've all been so integral to the team's success want to leave like a bunch of deadbeat Dads? I've no clue but if someone has photos of Stevie Nicol in full midfielder seduction-mode, I'll draw my own conclusions.



12.25.2007

Lock Up Your Daughters, Freddy is Back in Town

Adu Wizards image for The Offside Rules

Because he's a good kid, The Biggest Midget in the Game came home to see his mama for Christmas. But you know how it is when you go home for Christmas and as soon as the sun goes down and your parents go to sleep, you wanna head to the bar. You go out with a bunch of dudes you ran with in high school, and inevitably run into chicks that were hot back then and have fallen off hard or girls that weren't hot but now are like walking habenero peppers and you sweat them like there is no tomorrow. Because there isn't...you have a flight back to wherever you live now and need to close this deal tonight.

Since Freddy is not of legal drinking age (in the States, Portugal is whole 'nother matter) he skips the high-school reunion and opts for court side seats at the Wizards-Hawks NBA game. And I'm sure being an international footie sensation doesn't hinder him in the least when it comes to making those love re-connections.

Happy holidaysto you young
baller...may you sit next to Spike Lee and Jack Nicholson one day soon.

12.24.2007

Merry Christmas from TOR



And Merry XXXLmas from Chunky Pam aka the Fleshy Joe Pesci aka the Curvy Fergie aka the Chubby Wonder. Holler.

12.21.2007

Beckham Off to Arsenal in January. Sort of.

Arse Becks image for The Offside Rules

Arsenal skipper Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Goldenballs will train with the north London side this off-season, but won't play for the team. So hopefully that will put paid to all the Becks loan deal rumors that were going around a while back. But then again, I'm sure a new rumor or injury will just originate from his time there.

I'll start: David Beckham is the real father of Jamie Lynn Spears baby.

Goalies Are Keeping U-Haul Busy This Off Season

Norway Troy image for The Offside Rules

DC United goalkeeper Troy Perkins has officially left the Capital for the land of snow & herring. Or at least that's what I'll assume since he's in Norway shaking hands with some dude while wearing the jersey of Norwegian side "VĂ¥lerenga". Apparently Stevey Goff can read Viking though, because he's saying it's a done deal.

Lot's of goalie movement this off-season, right? Waterreus retiring, Wells leaving Houston....good thing this is America though, since we produce keepers and reality shows like no other place on the planet.

MLS Cup Auctioned Off To The Highest Bidder

Fantasy Futbol image for The Offside Rules

So some lucky son of a bitch is has won the MLS Cup auction. Basically they auctioned off the right to keep the 2006 or 2007 cup from Christmas Eve until the 26th, taking that time to do with it what you may. I've no clue what the winner will do but it can't be as good as the artist rendition of how I would roll.

What would you do? Have it melted down for bling or perhaps use it as a marital aid? Christmas is for sharing, so let us know below.

12.20.2007

The Obligatory Judd Apatow-Related Post



Soooo not soccer-related but very worth your time. And with holidays looming I know that you're all not doing shit at work this week because while actual new content is down, page views are up this week.

This is like the Justice League of 'now' comedy: that guy from the Mac vs. PC commercials, Darrell the warehouse guy from The Office, the chunky kid from Superbad, and Paul Rudd from Knocked Up come together like Voltron to invent the viral-video-as-sketch-comedy-marketing-tool school of comedy. Watch it while you check Facebook for the 9th time this hour.

Schopp Closed: Red Bull's Austrian Player Retiring

Markus Schopp MLS Red Bull New York The Offside Rules

So my dude Pebble told this funny story about RBNY's Austrian midfielder Markus Schopp once...

An older couple was watching RBNY practice. The older gentleman knew all of the players, their strengths, their weaknesses, and where they fit best. The older woman knew soccer well enough but wasn’t too aware of who the players were.

The woman turned to one of the young men that was running around and said, “What is your name, son?” To which he replied, “Marcus Schopp.”

“Well, hello there Marcus,” she continued. “Where are you from?”

“Austria.”

“Oh, Austria,” she said with a smile, “Well I wish you the best of luck and I hope you make the team.”

The husband nearly fell over with laughter as he had to explain to his wife later on that Mr. Schopp was the captain of the Austrian national team and was an already established professional footballer.

Turns out that he's no longer a professional footballer as he's decided to call time on his lengthy career. A mid-season acquisition in 2006, he only played played in 3 games in 07 and never really made an impact. Except on the club's bottom line where he was on the books for 175K (and allegedly more off the books).

But with Schopp, Ronald Watereus (200K), and Clint Mathis (410K) gone in 2008, Red Bull has a nice chunk of cash to rebuild with. If Osorio is smart enough to jettison Santino Quaranta and his 105K salary New York has close to $1 million to augment their side with a quality central attacking midfielder and back-line help...2 things they need desperately.

Bearing in mind the league's salary cap rules, who do you think they should pursue? Let me know below.

12.19.2007

Why Sports Illustrated Got It So Wrong on the Veron Story

Soiled image for The Offside Rules

So last Friday SI.com jumped the gun in it's attempt to be the first kid on the block to report that the Veron to D.C. deal was done & dusted. Like many of you I was wondering how a known qauntity like SI could make such a rookie move. After doing a little digging, it seems more like it was SI writer Arash Markazi who jumped the gun on the story. In his efforts to break a soccer story this guy left the dick of the nation's leading sports publication flapping in the wind during a razor blade storm. Sound painful? It gets worse.


To keep with the penile theme, Markazi ran the semi-flacid story on Friday but the inside word is that the deal actually went soft on Thursday...so any suggestions that the deal changed AFTER his "breaking story" are as false as Tila Tequila's boobs. But what should you expect from someone so seemingly wealthy/completely irresponsible (judging by the piece Deadspin did on his over the top travel expenses), totally vain (self-penned Wikipedia page anyone?), and passively sleazy (what creepy, near date-rapeish mud wrestling skills you have Mr. Markazi). What. A. Prick.


Also note that he's not even one of the go-to studs of SI's stable of soccer writers; I have trouble believing that Luis Bueno, Jonah Freedman or the dapper don himself Grant Wahl would have ejaculated so prematurely. The lesson here is never get a fluffer to do a job that only Ron Jeremy is suited for. He may take credit for SI hiring FSU cowgirl Jenn Sterger aka The Filthy Filly, but I'm not convinced that he got all the credits required for his journalism degree…I wouldn't even do something that jackassed and I'll publish anything.

Wayne Brady Sings the Songs of Soccer



See, this is why you have to love Drew Carey owning an MLS club. Do you think for one second that if Oprah was in on the Seattle job that she would rig a skit on her show to suit her own agenda? Absolutely not, she's got far too much integrity for that (she'd just put it on her list of favorite things and make millions for someone else).

Carey on the other hand is one of us. Did you know that he wears those glasses because he is blinded by passion? You know he heard football, basketball, lacrosse, badmiton, and curling all yelled out by the audience but then he has the stones to say with a straight face "Soccer. I heard soccer first". I love him. And the other fella…you know, Wayne Brady bitch!

12.18.2007

Inside Juan Carlos Osario's New York Coronation

Your Face Here image for The Offside Rules

Another year, another coach. Such is the way the that the MLS world turns in New York. I'm just back from the Juan Carlos Osorio press conference/coronation at the Gansevoort. If you're a Chicago Fire fan, please feel free to look away….now.

First off it has to be said that despite whatever your opinions may be of RBNY's product on the field, the quality of hors d'oeuvres at team events has really excelled. Dan at Metrofanatic said this the other day and after inhaling a few of these tiny steaks served on croutons I'd have to agree. There was also coconut shrimp with a mango salsa that I passed on and some delicious-looking mini-burgers that never made it back to me because certain starving reporters housed the entire plate before it made it half-way across the room. Now if you went to an event back in the Metro days you'd see cocktail weenies simmering in a crockpot filled with BBQ sauce; serious gourmet shit for sure.

Vittles aside, the other marked difference in an RBNY presser and a Metro one is the amount of people that show up. Bruce's inauguration had a full house for sure, and so did Osorio's. It's worth noting that if there was any thought of reeling in more Hispanic press with this hire, they hit the upper 90; looking around the room where I was (unusually) not one of the only folks of color, you would have thought the original Ricky Martin-led lineup of Menudo was announcing a reunion tour. The post-conference interviews with Osorio was even broken into two parts, one English & one Spanish, with the Spanish portion definitely appearing like more of a mob scene.

All the usual suspects were in the house, including but not limited to RBNY employees (Jeff Agoos), ex-players (a suave & suited Steve Jolley), pundits (Shep Messing), ESC members (Manimal & Onionsack), lesser known soccer-siblings (Greg Lalas) and well-known soccer scribes (Ives, etc.) Too bad all of these people probably think I'm crazy because I could nerd-out with these people for days.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Before the interviews, RBNY GM Marc DeGrandpre and JCO took to the dais to each give a statement and answer a few questions for those assembled. De Grandpre's statement was very flattering, stating that JCO's "values & vision mirror Red Bull's". Osorio was wise enough to play to the crowd, addressing the room in Spanish before English. I never gave issues of ethincity a thought with this hiring, but the more I think about it a Hispanic coach in this market could be a move that could go miles toward making inroads into a largely disinterested community.

Then it was time for questions and it can't be said that NY's soccer press is afraid to flash some sharp teeth from time to time. First up was the ever-incredible Jack Bell from the New York Times who pulled no punches and brought up allegations of "tampering charges" in regard to the New York franchises' second coach-poach of Chicago. If you happen to have read the transcripts of DeGrandpre's press conference after Bruce Arena left, you know that he's not afraid to ask the questions that people don’t like to answer.

As you can guess DeGrandpre denied such allegations, which were also of interest to Brian Lewis of the New York Post who asked if there was contact with JCO after Fire GM John Guppy denied the club permission to interview Osorio; DeGrandpre again swatted the idea away, and Osorio revealed that it was he who pushed for the interview. Also interesting is that DeGrandpre revealed that it was Jeff Agoos who initially suggested JCO for the job; so for those of you wondering about Goose's job security I think he might be OK for a while.

A reporter from the Associate Press asked JCO what makes him think he can get the job done (that is rescue NY from futboling mediocrity) where so many others have failed, to which there was a reply but not really an answer if you know what I mean; the more things change, the more they stay the same.

And then the venerable curmudgeon Paul Gardner of the New York Sun came through with the funniest, most awkward moment of the afternoon. Addressing DeGrandpre he says (and I'm paraphrasing here) "Bruce Arena was fired for not winning a championship. Will Juan Carlos Osorio be required to win a championship to keep his job next year?" DeGrandpre quickly answered saying that Bruce Arena resigned and was not fired, to which Gardner just says "Really? Oh" in the most condescending, dryly sarcastic way that only an Englishman of a certain age can pull off. I swear to Pele I've never in my life heard a room laugh so quietly to itself.

Lastly, I'll say that it does seem that Osorio has done his homework. Asked what he thought were the teams strengths and weakness's he was quick to point out that the club was third in goals scored, but that the defense needs help (read: is shambolic at times) and that some attack on the left flank is much needed. All in all I think RBNY fans are in capable, if not a little inexperienced, hands. He certainly can’t do much worse than his predecessors.

MLSnet's New Show to Cover Olympic-Bound Players



At some point today MLSnet will unveil a new series of original programming entitled "Dreaming of Beijing". For all I know this is a sequel to the Joy Luck Club starring Sasha Klejstan and will feature several high stakes games of Mahjong since I a press release wasn't sent out about it. Maybe I'm just not big-time enough to one.

Judging by the trailer, it's more likely though the show is about players that may be headed to the Olympics. I don't know what time this thing kicks off since the website just says that it starts on Tuesday, but if you're interested in checking it out stop by MLSnet and keep hitting refresh.

Basketfootball




Obviously you shouldn't be able to use your hand in soccer. But should you be able to use your feet in basketball? Can you use your feet in basketball? I don't know but I think the Knicks might be able to get me to a game (no matter how crap they continue to be) if they had this guy at guard.

12.17.2007

Posh says Becks' manhood as big as a 'tractor exhaust pipe!'



This type of information is absolutely uncalled for. Even I think this is too much, and I'll print anything. Someone doesn't know where the line is.

Houston Dynamo Likes to Play Dress Up

Dynamo Freakshow image for The Offside Rules

Satan. Borat. Lance Armstrong. Two Chippendales.

Surprisingly this is not the guest list to Elton John's engagement party. It's a bunch of Houston Dynamo players in their Halloween get-ups. Well maybe they are costumes for DeRo and Brad Davis. If your attack has ever been foiled by Patrick Ianni you might think he is, in fact, the Devil. Additionally Stuart Holden & Mike Chabala look way too comfortable in those outfits, so perhaps those are uniforms for night jobs that don't get talked about.

Has someone shown this photo to Bobby Boswell yet? He's going to feel right at home in this group of freaks.



Props to IM for the photo.

Snoop Goes for Goal, Becks Goes For Chicken & Waffles


Have you seen Snoop's reality show yet? Dude is a ridiculous caricature of himself now, but it's funny. I know a lot of folks hate reality TV but with the screen writer's strike going on & on ala Erykah Badu, you may as well get used to it. And if you're gonna watch it you may as well have a laugh.

He had this one episode on the other night where he took his kids to the David Beckham Soccer Academy fro private lessons. Now at this point I'm 98% sure all the reality went out of this television show because these 3 kids looked like the could give a rat's ass about being there, particularly Snoop young daughter who was trying to play while carrying an umbrella to shield herself from the sun. She is that precious. The other indicator that this was not a fantasy camp for any of those involved was the fact that they all showed up in "house shoes" aka slippers.

But Becks sorted them out with some proper gear, ran through some drills, and put Snoop on his ass a few times. The Doggfather is also a crap goal keeper who ducks from the ball as if it was a Suge Knight-fired bullet.

For me the best bit was when Snoop Crip-walked across the 18 yd box after scoring…something I had actually hoped Big Kenny Cooper would do one day. Oh and the part where Becks is covering for Snoop to his wife when they go to the infamous Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles after practice.

Seriously, I smell odd couple buddy movie.

Real Madrid Summering in the US, Barce & Liverpool May Tag Along

Spanish Summer image for The Offside Rules

I read in The London Times this weekend that Liverpool are tipped to provide the opposition at this year's All-Star game up there in Canuckistan. Which could be fun; maybe Crouch will come up with a new dance for the occasion to keep us all entertained. And if they are coming over for one game, why not play two? The Times speculates that a second match could happen in Montreal against Juventus.


I too have got some early word SUM-mer friendly news for you this morning. Last week Real Madrid dotted the I's and crossed the T's on contracts for a US tour this summer, including another stop in Salt Lake City. It's highly unlikely though that they will play the match in RSL's new digs as Madrid's tour will occur just after the Spanish season, before the new stadium is expected to be completed. The upside though is that a larger venue would mean more people will have an opportunity to attend and SUM/MLS/RSL stand to make mo' money…which is always a good thing.

Also a second US tour from Barcelona is also in the works for summer 08, but the deal isn’t done yet. Don't get your hopes up for the two Spanish goliaths to play each other on American soil though; where as Madrid is coming early in the summer, Barce is coming late (think August). But that shouldn't stop them from filling houses like they did in summer 06. Hell, they may actually even do better this time as it would be the North American debut of Thierry Henry in addition to usual suspects Messi, Eto'o, and Ronaldinho.

And in case you are wondering/ready say I'm full of shit, the source is that same person who hipped me to Barce's match against RBNY a full 3 months before it happened in a former blogging life.

12.14.2007

Miami's MLS Return Is Kinda Heating Up

Lockhart Stadium image for The Offside Rules

Man, the Miami re-expansion talk just got real with the revelation that Mark Abbott spent Wednesday in Magic City. How random would it be if south Florida was back in the mix? Maybe they'll pull a Salt Lake City and come out of left field to leapfrog St. Lou and Philly.

I know it wasn't pretty the first time around but The Don has already shown that he's not afraid to go back for a fallen comrade with San Jose's upcoming rebirth. Maybe that should be the new league expansion motto: leave no man behind.

Spotted: Alecko Eskandarian on Trial at Gooch's Club

ESKI & Gooch image for The Offside Rules

Last seen poking around the front office of D.C. United for work, Eski has popped up in Belgium looking for a job at Standard Liege. If that name rings a bell it's because it's Gooch Onyewu's club. Apparently Eski is on trial there (not like for war crimes or anything, just to try out for the team).

Have you ever been to Belgium? I have and it was the most boring place I have ever been to. And I went to high school in west Texas! Maybe the whole place isn't bad, but Brussels is amazingly lame. I ended up hooking up with a co-worker (which I soooo don't recommend unless you are ready to update your profile on HotJobs the morning after) out of boredom in the toilets at an Underworld gig.

The only other thing to do there was eat. Belgian waffles. Rabbit. Pomme Frites. Chocolate. Mussels. All kinds of stuff I never eat but seemed to be drawn to inexplicably. Oh well, it beats living in Salt Lake City.

Thanks to JayDelight for the heads up.

SI.com says Veron to DC, Veron says 'uh, no'

Veron image for The Offside Rules

I was about to link to this SI.com piece on how the Veron to D.C. deal was done & dusted. But things are so fluid when it comes to transfers that if you don't know how to tread water you'll drown before the ship even sinks. By the time I finishing cropping the image to go with the post another link popped up from Setanta saying that the deal was off.

While Sports Illustrated is a trusted name that's been around since Jesus was QB at Bethlehem U. (who do you think invented the Hail Mary pass), the article doesn't quote anyone at all. Not his agent, not anyone from DCU. The Setanta bit has Veron himself saying that it ain't happening. Who should we believe? Goff, that's who. Hopefully he'll be able to give us the 100% street official word on this asap.

12.13.2007

Guy Walks Into a Bar, Tries to Slip Heather Mitts the Tongue

Mitts Dude image for The Offside Rules

Wouldn't you like to put your arms around Heather Mitts while revealing your mouth snake to her? I would. But I am a married man and can't. And I'm fine with that, really I am.

So I will live vicariously though this young, privileged mystery man. I don;t know who he is or what the story is with this photo. Using my CSI: New Jersey detective skills I can only deduce that it was summer, drinks were had, and he didn't get any. Yet still, he is legend (like Will Smith).

If anyone knows this guy please tell him that if he's going to get that close he has got make a real move and not make a mockery of the moment. I hate (I mean it really is raising my blood pressure) to quote Eminem, but like he said "you only get one shot".

Seattle Expansion Tremors Already Being Felt in USL

Victoria B.C. image for The Offside Rules

You may recall that I was less than jazzed about Seatlle getting an MLS expansion side for more reasons than I feel like recounting right now. Today I'm about 70% o.k. with it. But one of the big reason that I was not down with it was the effect it would have on other USL teams in the area, namely Portland and Vancouver. So when I read this article in today's Vicotoria Times Colonist (which is about the most imperialistic name possible seen for a print publication) I couldn't help but have an I told you so moment.

That's not a good thing by any stretch though; sometimes you hate to be right and this is one of them. Victoria B.C. was deep in the throws of working toward a USL1 club for the island a few months ago. But once Jet City went big time, and Vancouver & MLS started up with a bit of PDA they got shook. Now they only want a minor, minor, minor-league PDL team.

Said Alex Campbell, the businessman behind the push "[USL-1] is a moving target and we need to sit back and see how things unfold. The Seattle Sounders have pulled out and the Vancouver Whitecaps could be looking to do the same in future years. There may not be much left of the USL-1 on the West Coast of North America."


Sad shit y'all. With the California Victory folding after a single season and Seattle having only one season left, Portland and Vancouver's day's may be numbered as well due to eventual financial strain brought on by isolation and the disappearance of a great rivalry. Here's to hoping that the Seattle USL franchise ends up in Tacoma next year.

A Side Project That's Better Than Temple of the Dog

Sam image for MLSUnderground

Click the pic. Drop me an email if you want to help.

12.12.2007

LA May Get A-League Sister Club

Gold Coast 09 image for The Offside Rules

Are the LA Galaxy a superclub yet? No. But who would have thought there would be a day when they would have offshoot clubs in foreign countries? If this Gold Coast Galaxy thing gets off the ground in 09, they may be the Chivas USA of the Hyundai A-League. Whether you view that as a derogatory statement is subject to opinion.

Whether a partnership with the Gals would really mean anything is an unknown. MLS club partnerships with overseas teams have mostly been about the press release, and not much else. But still, reading this article makes Donovan's statements last month about playing in OZ seem somewhat prescient.

Beckhams Get Animated



Everybody loves cartoons. Especially ultra-topical, celebrity-baiting footie themed ones done by Al Gore's Current TV. It's no Family Guy but it's still pretty funny stuff, especially the Larry King appearance and the promise that America will start caring if they promise to release a sex tape. See I'm not the only perv out there who thinks it's a good idea.

And Speaking of Soccer Sex Tapes....

Hand Ball! image for The Offside Rules

Aston Villa and England youngster Ashley Young decided it was a good idea to beat off on camera for some slapper he met on the internet. No wonder they lost to Russia if fuckers are spending the wee hours before crucial ties experimenting with their bodies (and a high-speed webcam) until all hours.

I'm not trying to judge him or anything, but this was a bad move. I mean seriously son you've got the money for phone sex; It's just as good and there are no cameras to prove you were there (or small).

Beckhams Hit Strip Joint, "the scene looked like a jail break"

Becks 2 Fist image for The Offside Rules

What would be the best way for MLS to shed it's juice box-innocent reputation? If your answer is star players taking their pop star wives out to Vegas for a weekend of alcohol, prize-fighting, Scientologist's and fake titties you might be on the right path.

It seems that the Beckham's were in Vegas for the weekend and in addition to having din-din with TomKat and checking out the Mayweather fight, spent 3 whole hours in a private room at Spearmint Rhino -the NoBu of Sin City strip clubs. I love it. We're moving ever closer to our 1st sex tape by the day!

Incidentally I am now adding a new tag entitled "Ballin' Outta Control".

12.11.2007

Boswell's Got a Lady for Each Finger

Bobby's Harem image for The Offside Rules

So one mentioned Bryan Namoff's wedding photos in the comments of another post so I had to check them out. That's where I found this gem. For all the grief BB got about his play this season and for other incidents you have to give him some credit; if he pulled any two of these birds at the wedding he is officially ballin' outta control.

Re-spect!

Beckham's Gets Gay for Pay...Which is in No Way A Shock

Becks image for The Offside Rules

So the 1st of the new Armani ads featuring Becks is out and I think it is pretty clear who the target demo is. It is also clear that he stuffed his crotch with a billiard ball for the shoot.

Upon seeing this photo, one lady co-worker said "It's not that women don't want large penis's, it's just that we don't want to be shown a picture that would make us scared of someone's penis". She also said that women don't like there men "greased up" and wouldn't buy her man these underpants because they're "too euro, too gay"

When I shared this photo with one of my homosexualist co-workers he a) gasped loudly, b) said "I bet he has a magnificent cock" and c) said that he's "soooo going to buy some of those" underwear.

As for me, a heterosexualist male, I'm fully committed to 90's underwear icon Markie Mark and Calvin Klein boxer-briefs. Not that anyone around here ever wondered what type of drawers I wear but there you go. You never have to ask me what I want for Christmas or my birthday again.

Osorio Officially Resigned, RBNY Might Be Doing Too Much

THE OSORIO MAGAZINE image for The Offside Rules

If you haven't heard by now....you probably have a life away from a computer monitor. But since some of us don't, Chicago Fire coach Juan Carlos Osorio has officially resigned from his post siting "family & personal reasons". More like "I'm trying to get paid reasons" but whatevs, I'm certainly not mad at him for it.

When it is officially announced, this will be the second time that the New York club has 'coach poached' Chicago; remember when Metro extracted Bob Bradley a few years back?

Osorio is a pretty damn good coach and a lot pf praise has been heaped on him for his half-season turn around in Chi-town this year. But I can't help but wonder if the honchos over at RBNY even saw the Fire play this season. RBNY wants a team that wins, but it also wants a team that plays exciting soccer and for the most part Osorio's brand of soccer is not to be described by the word 'exciting'. As my buddy Erik said to me last night "welcome to Bob Bradley's Bunker Ball part 2" New York.

The one thing that concerns me about this is that while there is a salary cap for players, teams can spend whatever on coaches, training facilities, stadia, etc. While the salary is likely to never be revealed, Osorio's salary will probably be second only to Ruud Gullit's monster payday. Add this to 2 DP's, the state-of-the-art training grounds and best of breed stadium Red Bull is building and LA's "Jewel of MLS" title is really and truly challenged.

While MLS has worked hard to keep player salaries on an even keel to prevent financial free-wheeling, it might be time to start regulating some other aspects of how teams are run before keeping up with the Jones' becomes a very real problem.

Has Arena Maybe Considered Using Monster.co.uk?

Arena image for The Offside Rules

Bruce Arena needs job bad y'all. Less than 3 months after leaving RBNY he's already sold the house in Jersey and is pounding the pavement hunting for a new gig. I have a bunch of leaves in my yard that need raking if he needs the cash, but for some reason I feel that he'd be offended if I ask him.

But he's really letting it be known that he's down to work. Yesterday he was pitching woo toward Scotland, while today it's Ireland. Basically The Bruce is interested in a job anywhere that was once a subject of the crown. Is Canada, South Africa, Barbados, or Australia hiring? What about Canada? It isn't that far of a drive and they still have the Queen on their money.

12.10.2007

Arena Wants To Invade British Football

Bruce Arena image for The Offside Rules

The Bruce is going to put his name in the hat for the vacant Scotland manager job. Huh.

I'm not really sure how I feel about this one. Obviously I wish he was still at NYRB but since that ain't happening I guess i just wish him all the best. And if that is a job leading the Tartan Army then so be it. But do you think that they anyone in British football would hire an American as head coach of a national team or an EPL side for that matter?

That's the $10 million question and I think it's the soccer equivalent to whether or not America is ready to elect a woman or a minority to the White House. We've come a long way in global competition, and are now fairly common throughout the British leagues but are the inventors of the game ready to take direction from someone whose people have been looked down upon for so long?

I don't claim to know but would love to start a dialog on the topic. Hit me up in the comments, and I'll hit you back (I promise not to leave a bruise).

Baby Bradley Performs Rabbit-Less Hat Trick





Good things come in three's. Take the women of Destiny's Child for example. But that's not what we're here to talk about, although I could go there happily. We're here to talk about Michael Bradley and his three goals against Groningen.

You read that right, an American with a hat trick in Europe. If you need convincing that this rarity actually occured, watch the clip above...basically it's like seeing a tape of a unicorn.

12.07.2007

Twellman's Diary: Bonus Footage

TT Ballin' Outta Control image for The Offside Rules

Here's a photo from TT's Diary that was left on the cutting room floor. It's him and fine as all get out supermodel Izabel Goulart at The Estate nightclub in Boston for a screening of the Victoria's Secret fashion show. Dude must be feeling alright to be out ballin' like this.

Shout outs to TT's missus for being brave enough to let her man get this close to a woman this hot in a darkish room where they serve alcohol. You madam are very comfortable in your relationship.

Beckhams Are "Interesting", Dead Body at Red Bull Park



I can't believe that I'm asking this question but, um….did you see the Barbara Walters special on ABC last night? No? Maybe you were too busy dumping a body at the Red Bull Park construction site to tune in (as reported on New York One this morning). Ok then, I'll just let you watch the clip above to get caught up after you take a shower, burn your clothes and peel the tape off of your fingertips. Nothing says "clean getaway" like covering your tracks!

At this time Perez Hilton is not a suspect in the slaying though as he has posted an alibi video in case someone tries to finger him. For the crime I mean, not for...you know what I mean. I suspect it's not a real dead body, just a prop left over from a Sopranos taping.

Jozy, Didn't Mama Ever Tell You Not to Talk to Strangers?



I'm sad to report that I'm the only kid on the block that doesn't have FIFA 08 yet. This is mostly due to my PS2 going the way of the Dodo bird and not having the funds for an XBOX 360 (which I desperately want to get my mitts on if anyone knows a good hookup). I hear it's the titties though.

The guys at Sportes are the titties as well; I don't know much about them but their Youtube clips are always worth a laugh or two and I imagine that at least one of these 2 likes to smoke that shit. Check out this clip where they call up Jozy for some FIFA tips.

And I have a tip for Jozy…don’t give out your number to stoners unless you want to end up driving them to White Castle at 1 a.m.

12.06.2007

What's Twellman Been Up to Since, You Know....

The off season is soooooooooo boring. There is nothing going on but the rent until the January transfer window, the odd coaching change aside. What is a man to do to keep himself entertained during the long cold winter? Have a laugh at Taylor Twellman's expense.

I don't think regular updates on what TT might be doing to numb the pain of repeated defeat while on the doorstep to victory is the most entertaining thing, but hey it beats me becoming an MISL junkie. So with that here is the TOR exclusive, TT's Photo Diary.


TwellmanNOV19

After the tearful flight back to New England, TT went straight from Logan Airport to the mall at Copley Place. Needing a boost in self-esteem TT loitered with intent outside Forever 21 looking to get recognized. Said two Brookline teens who got their photo taken with the down trodden star "we got our picture taken with him which was OK, but it would have been tons less creepy if we knew who he was before he asked us if we wanted to get a picture with him."


Twellman NOV20 image for The Offside Rules

After spending 24 straight hours crying into a 325 thread count pillow case, TT needed an escape from the barrage of consolatory phone calls, emails, and casseroles from family & friends. Deciding to leave the house, he hit Bill's Bar on Landsdowne Street with a vengeance shocking many of the patrons inside. "I suggested he take it easy" said a waitress who preferred to remain nameless, "He suggested I "stop acting like I'm the boss of him".


Twellman Nov22 image for The Offside Rules

During a beer run for more Bud Ice, TT ran into this pair of young twins. Once again Twellman posed for a photo that seemed to be more for him than the people he posed with. Quipped the pretty twin "he thought we where twins from one of those Budweiser ads from the 80's and was all excited to show his friend Franchino the photo. We weren't even born when those ads were on but we didn't have the heart to tell him we were only in Mentos commercials".


Twellman NOV23 image for The Offside Rules

The following evening at an event for Crown Royal, the striker fell victim to harsh words from once famous rapper-turned-DJ Biz Markie. After annihilating the dance floor by dropping the hip hop classic "The Bridge is Over" by Boogie Down Productions, the cartoonish MC was heard to yell "The bridge is over, just like your chance at one of these". He then flashed a bootleg MLS Cup ring purchased on Canal Street in New York's Chinatown.


Twellman Dec1 image for The Offside Rules

After nearly 2 weeks in the wilderness of his underachieving mind, Taylor hit rock bottom and was looking as haggard as as a 6 a.m. Amy Winehouse. Not helping matters was his insistence on spending of hours listening to nothing but Johnny Cash's rendition of Nine Nails' "Hurt" on repeat.


Twellman DEC5 image for The Offside Rules

Feeling a bit better and heading toward the light, TT and his missus hit the red carpet at the Regal Cinemas in Framingham, Mass. for the premiere of the MLS Cup 07 film. More than one observer reports seeing him "gritting his teeth to point of self-harm, but he didn't cry". He was on the way back.


Twellman DEC6 image for The Offside Rules

And here we are at the present. He appears to be back to his old grocery store-opening self. Shit, judging by the table full of food he's now even eating things other than that beef jerky they sell on the counter at liquor stores. Welcome back Taylor...you'll get' em this year for sure. Maybe.

Injury is Nothing Compared to This Insult



It's bad enough you have to come out of the game due to injury. To add insult to this injury, you get to be on the receiving end of some ass to mouth action in front of 20,000 people due to having the stupidest (or most brazenly perverse) medic in the entire world. Sucks to be you chief.

12.05.2007

The Gift for Dynamo Fans & The Women Who Love Them

Dynamo DVD image for The Offside Rules

So are you done with your Christmas shopping yet? Didn't think so. If you have a Texian Army soldier or an alcoholic Revolution player who plans on spending the holidays drinking while watching TV in the dark this is the perfect gift; the official MLS Cup 07 DVD.

It is available for pre-order from Amazon now, but it doesn't come out until Dec. 18th. Order now to avoid having to watch FSC rerun matches on the 25th.

KC Stadium Vote is Next Week, Haters Sharpening Swords

KC Fly By image for The Offside Rules

Even through the obstacles, the Kansas City Wizards roll Jesse Jackson style and try to "keep hope alive' about finding themselves a permanent home. Next week the city council votes on the issue of knocking down Bannister Mall and replacing it with a gargantuan1.1 million square foot redevelopment plan that will include an 18K seat soccer stadium, practice fields, housing and retail.

KCTV has some video on the issue and believe it or not there are actually folks out there who don't want the city to do away with an abandoned shopping complex and replace it with a tax-free economic catalyst. I can tell you that you can watch the video here. What I can't tell you is the mailing address of the hater who wants to give the mall "to the people".

Becks Finds New Area of Body to Injure

Tender Becks image for The Offside Rules

Becks picked up a broken rib on the Galaxy's Oceania trip. Which really is no big surpise, since soccer players pick them up like rappers pick up gun charges. I just thought I would put this out there for any fans that may not have known since it's not listed on their websites' injuries and hasn't been mentioned by the sports press.

Then how did I hear about it? Strangely, PerezHilton.com is the biggest American outlet to give it the time of day. You can read all about it here, along with the half-million dollars in jewels that he gave to the Spice Girls. Be warned though, there is mention of the kind of pearl necklace that can't be bought at Zales.

Seriously, could you imagine the catastrophic damage that would occur if he and Claudio Reyna collided in the midfield at full speed? This is all that would be left.

Sex Pistol is A Gunner

If you know your pre-Bad Religion punk history, you know that Johnny Rotten is not a man to keep his opinions to himself. But did you know that's he's an Arsenal supporter? I didn't. And if you know your Sex Pistols history you know that they, like England, were once managed by a man named McClaren who was equally destructive and detrimental to his charges as Steve. Unbelievable I know, but completely true.

Check out the video below to get Rotten's quick take on the state of football, nationalism and Man U. Try not to get spit on through the screen.






Shouts to TOR reader Peter W for the heads up.

Changes Potentially Afoot in Toronto

MoJo image for The Offsdie Rules

In this mornings wee hours the first new post in 3 months appeared on the popular/salacious blog MLSUnderground. In addition to mentioning that the blog is now under new management, there was a bit about TFC coach Mo Johnston potentially leaving the sidelines for the front office and taking a GM role with the club. There was also something in there about a New England coach -Mariner or Nicol- taking up the coaching position.

Funny thing happened on the way to the office though: by the time the sun rose, the post was edited to only mention the management changes at MLSU, with all mention of Toronto omitted. Curious wouldn't you say? Either MLSU realized it had stinker on the line that was just an unfounded rumour or they got it right…a little too right perhaps.

It could be a good move for TFC but only time will tell but either way MLSU is back.

12.04.2007

Ironbound to Ironmen: ESC Invades Newark

Meat image for The Offside Rules

You see those glistening mounds of slow roasted deliciousness? That is what I like to call 'perfect'. It's actual nom de meat is prime rib and it comes straight off the roasting spit and on to your plate at any Portuguese or Brazilian bbq joint worth it's salt. I defy you see that photo, read that description and still not believe in God.

Unless you are a vegetarian...in which case your probably getting sick right now. My Bad.

But anyways, that succulent meat miracle was served up to me and another 30-odd members of the Empire Supporters Club at Brasilia Grill in Newark, NJ on Saturday night prior to the home opener for the New Jersey Ironmen, an MISL expansion side. The famed rodizio was the 1st stop on own boozy, brilliant evening in Brick City that began in Portuguese section of town known as the Ironbound.

If you've never heard anything good about Newark, I'm going to tell you something good now. This food, this restaurant, and this neighborhood is the truth. And it's less than one mile from the future site of Red Bull Park. Also, one of guys delivering meat to our table looked like exactly like Kaka, seriously.

Following the meal Binks, Uncle L & I made our way to Newark's sparkling new arena, the Prudential Center for a pre-game VIP party that included an appearance by the great one himself, Pele. I say appearance because the man ran the gauntlet of the room in about 12 minutes total and it was absolute and utter....

Pele image for The Offside Rules

Pandalerium isn't a real word but somehow it seems to be the one that works the best to describe the scene. That child he's holding in the image above? Someone just thrust the kid into his arms like he was a healer or some shit. It was also probably the only time in the history of Newark -a city that is 100% mentally ill with it's race issues- that a white child was given over to the care of a black man ever. It was that crazy.

Following this scene we headed into the media room for a press conference staring Pele, but also including Sunil Gulati (who said exactly zilch), the owner of the team, the commissioner of MISL, and up & coming political starlet and mayor of Newark, Cory Booker -whom I tactfully corralled into a photo op.

SF & Mayor Cory Booker image for The Offside Rules

We ended up sitting behind Ives Galarcep, who was full of wit and wry observations on the equally chaotic proceedings. We didn't ask any questions but it was a pretty insane feeling to be sat 15 feet from Pele as he waxed poetic & cracked wise in broken English.

After the press conference we totally got lost in the bowels of the arena a la This is Spinal Tap. I made my way up to the seats but Binks and Uncle L ended up in a crush of little kids teams that were part of the opening match ceremonies and actually ended up on the field.

Bumrushed image for The Offside Rules

After all of the kids and pitch invaders were removed Pele again made another appearance -which if you just paid him 55K to show up you better make him work for it- and told us some other stuff about soccer, the world, and life and yadda yadda yadda. Then he told Tony Meola some secrets about something, possibly to do with retirement funds and Viagra.

AARP image for The Offside Rules

And just before kick off, we saw an olde friend of New York soccer fans.

Metro Dog image for The Offside Rules

That dog used to be Metro Dog and he lived at Giants Stadium with the Metrostars. Then he disappeared and was presumed to be "living on a farm". But he has been found alive and well with the Ironmen and is now known as Irondog. It's always weird when people change a pet's name. I imagine it's like that scene in Roots when they try to change Kunta Kente's name to Toby and he's really not into it. But who knows, maybe he's just happy to be able to live indoors now.

Game On image for The Offside Rules

Finally it was game time and it was a good time. We where well lubricated by this point and with 34 people up for a song and brew, we were definitely the loudest group in the place...although the kids from St. Benedict's Prep (alma mater of Claudio Reyna and Greg Berhalter) where trying there best to give us a bit of banter. Alas they where no match for "One shoe".

One Shoe image for The Offside Rules

As for the game itself I would totally recommend you go in group: for only 8 bucks you can sit so close behind the goalie that you can whisper "You look like a broke-assed Will Ferrell" and he'll hear you. I didn't whisper though, I yelled it loud enough that he damn near walked to the half-way line to get away. Good times.

After the watching the Ironmen hang on to an 8-6 victory I was invited over to the Scots' Club up the road in Kearny. Every time I am in there it wigs me out when I see stuff like this on the wall.

Scots Club image for The Offside Rules

That's a photo of Liverpool vs. a Kearny select team from 1947. People overuse the word 'historic' in the soccer community but this place deserves it hands down. And after downing a few pints of Magner's I wanted to put my head down and made my way to the exits, saying my goodbyes, reeking of meat, beer & happiness. I love match days.


Shouts to Jen, Binks, & Uncle L for the photos since my camera went to that great charging station in the sky. No thanks to Nikon for making such a piece of junk. Double shouts to Binks for organizing the entire caper.