Want to lose even more of your workday to the blackhole of the internet? Then go to Dragsoccer.com right now and begin your initiation into a netherworld of dragging, clicking and scoring that is hands-down the most addictive, non-sexual way to acquire carpel tunnel syndrome.
It's sort of like a digital version of Subbuteo that uses simple mouse-clicks to pass shoot and sent "players" on runs. It's no FIFA replacement by any stretch, but with it's retro fonts, smooth action and a TORiffic black is beautiful background it's definitely easier on the eyes than some never-ending XL document that tracks TPS reports.
Let's start looking ahead to MLS Primetime a day early this week. As Johnny Harkes and JP lay out in the clip above, Toronto has got to watch out for Jozy...and with Angel out I think he may be the only one worth watching (New York, I love you but you're bringing me down). Toronto on the other hand brought in three new midfielders since opening day and are playing unrecognizably well because if them.
But I'll stop there with my amateur analysis: I'm not a sportswriter or TV pundit so why would anyone want match analysis from me or any other random blogger? I'm here to entertain and converse, not to play (as Bob Costas recently put it) "Jimmy Olsen on Percoset".
So be smart and get your in-depth match reporting from people who actually have access. Or not. Or go one better and hear from the players themselves. Whichever you decide to do is fine with me. And if you need to brush up on what their prior meetings have been like, see below.
This isn't an earth shattering post by any means, but about one minute and twenty four seconds into this video there is some great footage of the Rapids at Arsenal Emirates stadium filmed during the pre-season. But whats the deal with foreign journalist referring to MLS as the "Major Soccer League" or MSL? I feel like I'm seeing or hearing this a lot and for some reason it's kind of annoying.
Regardless of that, this may be the only time Rapids fans --or the Terry Cooke for that matter-- ever hear Terry Cooke referred to as a "star English midfielder" so be sure to mark down the date and time that you watched this.
Tonight I'm going to party like it's 1998. I never got to see the original line up of The Verve before they broke up 10 years ago but tonight I get a second chance to relive my collegiate Brit-rock years and space out at MSG Theatre to the sounds of King Richard, space rock guitar-God Nick McCabe & co. Pray for me: that I don't slap anyone who screams out for "Bittersweet Symphony" and that I don't dance like Ian Brown at any point.
Boxing. It's the sport of the past, but in MLSville it might be the future. Or at the very least it's the headwaters of a new revenue stream. Revenue from Oscar De La Hoya to be more specific (no, he's not in the picture above but let's see you find a better picture that's related to box soccer and pugilism).
He's already gotten in bed with MLS by sinking $10 million or so into the Dynamo, and now he's going to fight in the first ever boxing event at the Home Depot Center. That should put some cash in the coffers of both AEG & Oscar, who will be wearing a Dynamo orange accented shorts & robe combo emblazoned with Houston's logo especially for the match.
Let's hope his fighting form is better than his team is playing right now...the defending champs have yet to win a game in '08.
Something is going on with Landon lately. In the last few weeks he's grown increasingly confident in his attitude with the ball and without. He's been kicking ass, tacking names and taking no shit. Basically he's like Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction without the Jheri Curl.
The dude is putting balls in the back of the net and getting in the faces of more people than a dentist. If I didn't already know better I would swear that this was all down to him getting some for the first time but we all know that's not it. Goal.com examines the last appearance of the new & insane Donovan and tells a tale of Chuck Norris-esque brass. Wives be scared for your husbands.
Unfortunately-named TOR reader D Earkle forwarded the video above to TOR headquarters this morning. Sorry to bring up old sh*t, but seriously y'all how is this not one of the best places in the country to watch a soccer match?! For the love of Eddie Pope (for he is a defensive God) and all that is holy, would some rich people please find a way to get this town an MLS team...Seattle needs someone to hate on them!
This is it y'all. Gallardo's extreme angle volley into the roof has to be the Goal of the Week. Although Kljestan's was the illest motherf*cker from here to Gardena, it was damn near a carbon copy of the one he slayed Columbus with a few weeks ago. Gallardo's on the other hand was the kind of a one in a million banger that we may not see again before my 15 month old plays in his first MLS Cup (the kid is small but he's got a wicked left foot I tell ya.)
Now go out there vote like it's something important like American Idol.
Not to get all Project Runway on y'all but this right here is a hot mess of trannie fierceness. You will be reading about this all day. Normally I'd try to stay away from something that everyone will be posting about but this is just too good to ignore. I'm sure that the underserved trannie soccer moms and non-trannie bloggers of the world will really sympathize with this story.
In the 13 years that the Colorado Rapids have been in existence they've tried everything from airborne explosives to heavy metal-themed advertising to get butts in seats. Naturally the next move is wet-T-shirt or Marcello Balboa "Hair Care" night, but that might be frowned upon by certain parties. So what else is there to do but transform the pitch at DSG Park into the squared circle of Lucha Libre.
On Cinco De Mayo you can do one of two things. You can go to DSG Park for “FutboLucha 2008” and see the Rapids play DC United followed by the first ever officially sanctioned Lucha Libre match in the US. Or you could spend it seated on a bar stool next to some wasted cougar at your local Chili's drinking crap margarita's and getting food poisoning from toxic guacamole.
Personally, if I were in the Denver area I would pick the masked men in tights as they are far less scary than the bar at a suburban chain restaurant on Saturday night (I should know, I live in New Jersey).
Everyone knows that career Jesus Juice enthusiast and OCG Nice supporter Micheal Jackson is dead broke. What everyone doesn't know is that he has resorted to selling his clothes to US U-20's coach and Chivas USA sporting director Thomas Rongen for nose-job money. You heard it here first.
Here's the kinda hard thing about being David Beckham. He's an assist man --and a damn good one at that-- and since assists don't have the same highlight reel-appeal as goals, people (myself included) can easily get sidetracked into talking about everything but his game.
Take yesterday's Daily Mail for example where his new facial hair has called into question whether or not he has any association with the Taliban (no chance, he's too stylish for that life). And maybe those two hairy pork chops on the sides of his head are the reason that homosexualists are now rating Joe Cole above him on the "people to play tummy sticks with" scale. That or it's because he's allegedly got his missus in a family way for the forth time, so it's pretty much a lock that he's not down for the man-love.
So do you see what I mean? It's just so easy to talk fugitive terrorists, gay stuff and preggers gossip instead of real soccer shit like divine crosses and sweet passing sequences. Maybe I'm just superficial or watch too much E! Network or something....hmm, I wonder if they're hiring.
I saw this photo on the Columbus Dispatch's soccer blog and it instantly struck me. You know how His Ginger Majesty, the new guys up in Seattle and The Don are always talking about clubs becoming global brands? I think a photo of an ultra climbing the fence at La Bombonera in a Crew jersey is the unlikely embodiment of that.
This is the side of signing DP's and international players that doesn't get talked about much. You see Blanco can put butts in seats and Becks can sell more merch than KISS, but they also make people outside the US aware that the league and it's clubs exist. Take my landscaper Juilan for instance. A true tapatio, the guy is a die hard Chivas fan...but now follows the Fire as well because of the presence of Mr. White.
Traditionally speaking, it's as unlikely to see a Chivas supporter rooting for an ex-Club America player as it is to see a Crew kit in Buenos Aires, but maybe not for much longer. We're making inroads but there is still a long ride ahead...buckle up.
Here's something you may or may not know about your man SF: I like to eat. What I enjoy even more is cooking. I like to make all manner of pasta, BBQ until the snow comes, and I even make General Tsao's chicken in my own kitchen. My project right now is perfecting the roux in my momma's (and her momma's) gumbo recipe.
As it's Friday and I'm sure I won't be the only one with my grill up & burning this weekend, I thought I'd get all Gordon Ramsey on you and talk recipes. Not my recipe's though. Some of the players in Kansas City are apparently pretty deft in the kitchen as well as on the pitch. The Wizards Wives Club put the recipes for some of their best creations together on their website, and it's former Wizards Nick Garcia's Carne Asada that wins the Blue Ribbon. Check it:
Nick Garcia'sCarne Asada• Juice of 1/2 lime
• 1 (16 oz.) flat flank steak
• 1 tablespoon Mexican seasoning
• 1 (16 oz.) can ranch-style pinto beans
• 1 cup hot cooked rice
• 2 tortillas
Squeeze lime juice on both sides of steak. Rub Mexican seasoning on both sides. Place steak in zip-top bag and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes. Heat beans in saucepan. Grill steak to desired doneness. Slice and serve with rice and tortillas on the side. Makes 2 servings.
I'll tell you why this is great recipe. Because it is simple (i.e. drunk proof), portable (i.e. tailgate-appropriate), and delicious (i.e. this sh*t is banging). Personally I like to tweak it a little by adding a bit of lettuce, grilled Spanish onions and some salsa that's as spicy as that Penelope Cruz lesbian make-out music video, but without the creepy 'sisters kissing' thing. Eat up!
Goal.com did this bit on the best places in America to watch a soccer game. Now I'm not trying to throw rocks at their list, but I would be remiss if I didn't speak on behalf of two glaring, super massive black holes. 1st and foremost the North End of Portland's PGE Park simply has to make the cut. This is where USL 1's best & boldest fans do their thing; on it's worst day it still makes Blackbaud Stadium --which made the list-- look as exciting as a khaki-wearers convention.
Also, where is the Home Depot Center? Pizza Hut Park makes the list but not the HDC? Bull. Shit. You may not agree with me now but wait until Saturday's SuperClasico and you'll see beef and intra-city rivialry like no other. And that is something no other ground in the country can claim.
Steven Goff says that is time for the return of the mack in Glasgow, and that DaMarcus Beasley is healthy and back on the scene. It seems like the dude has been gone so long that I don't even remember what his number is anymore. In his absence I also forgot to post this video from all the way back on 2007.
Beautifully produced (I always give 2 points for stlye) by US Soccer, it features Rangers gaffer Walter Smith and some other British-type people talking 'bout how Run-DMB is the illest thing since the Raising Hell tour and that when it comes to our kid, we should all be as proud as a gradutate's grannie. Well maybe it's not those exact words put you get the idea. Watch and recollect…I can't be the only one who's a bit rusty on the Beas.
Did you know that David Beckham was on Ellen today? With Goldenballs on the dancing lady's show, 60 Minutes, CNN and Leno in the last month in addition to being healthy enough to play well & score that this is how it was supposed to be. Hopefully he and Landon can either inspire some improvement in their teammates or get some help and make the post-season this year. Actually the Gals may want to sign Ms. Degeneres…in the clip above she actually knocks one in while our David is left with nothing.
That's OK though because people got to see him try to bend it, and he's smart & accommodating enough to give the people what they want. What certain people i.e. the ladies and homosexualists also want to see him taking it all off. Being the gentleman that he is, the man obliges. Straight men and children should look away now.
Now if you've hung with this post this far you probably want to see the actual interview. It's below but features no bending of balls or shameless pandering to the will of flesh-freaks.
The following video is my obligatory reminder for you to watch the MLS Primetime Thursday match tonight on ESPN2. Additionally my completely farcical & unlikely prediction for this match is as follows:
FrankenCooper will have problems putting one past Matt Reis. Matt Reis will in turn have issues keeping Big Kenny out of his onion bag. Whoever wins this battle will dance victoriously accross the 18 yard box to MC Hammer's "Addams Family Groove".
When youth fades, it moves to Florida. When glory fades it moves to eBay. And in some rare cases, that once shining youth and glory get a party house in Naples and move in together.
Our man MetroAG pointed out on Metrofanatic this morning that Former NY Cosmos skipper --and current Sunshine State senior citizen-- Eddie Firmani has put his 1978 and 1979 NASL Championship rings up for sale on eBay at the staggering price of $15k & $10k respectively. Basically for the same price as Nick LaBrocca's salary you can front like you where stacking chips & rocking Samba's during soccer's disco days.
Whether or not that is worth $15K depends on the potential buyer. Personally, if I wanted to go all NASL-chic I would order one of these left over Cosmos player robes that are available online. Nothing says 1970's disco glory like a single gold medallion nestled in excess chest hair that is peeking out of a terrycloth robe.
My buddy Gary hipped me to this shirt this morning. Apparently that Steven Cohen has been known to wear one on air during his Fox Soccer Channel call-in show. With an such meticulous, nerd-knowledge packaging details as a "not available in Europe" disclaimer it's pretty special, even if you're not a Landon-hater like him.
The work of Who Are Ya Designs, it's just one of a slew of witty soocer-themed shirts that I would not be ashamed to wear. Check out their site for the full line, including some of the MLS-centric jawns below.
You may have read the BBC recent article on the world of shady football agents and their outrageous handling of African prospects in Europe. These 'street agents' are known to entice players and their families to them pay ludicrous fee's by feeding them a load of empty promises of European football glory. To make matters worse the players often end up abandoned, broke, homeless and worse on a foreign continent when things don't work out the way they'd been pitched.
The video above compliments the BBC article nicely, but there is nothing nice about the story. For every Eto'o, there are 100 kids who's story does not have a happy ending...just something to think about.
A few weeks ago, TOR wondered aloud if Freddy Adu's 15 Minutes were up? I'm now starting to think not as the most unlikely of cheerleaders seem to be keeping his flame alive: rappers.
If you were reading this blog a few months ago we covered this in a post about Jay-Z dropping the name of the Biggest Midget in the Game on his American Gangster record. The last to spit it is the Ivy League-educated Chicago duo Kidz in the Hall (apparently they don't teach spelling at Harvard though). Their new single "Driving Down the Block" they sprinkle in talk of "bass kicking like Fred Adu" atop Masta Ace sample's and deft metaphors. Plus the video has a 'Faux-rarri' in it, which is always worth a chuckle.
The Germans are coming, but I'm pretty sure it won't be a bad thing like in that Turning Point video game. Borussia Monchengladbach --the most unwieldy name in world football-- is headed stateside this summer as part of it's pre-season training and is slated to play games against FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids. Hop over to the New York Times' Goal blog for the full scoop, then pull out your English-to German dictionary that you put away after the 2006 World Cup and figure out how to say something other than "another round please".
We haven't had one of these in a good while, but damn was it a doozy when it arrived. TOR reader KMA pointed this one from the Kansas City Star over the weekend. They had an article previewing the Wizards-Chicago match that was heavy on the Blanco & Lopez as former teammates angle...good stuff that I'd not read anywhere else.
I know I may be playing it a little immature on this one but damn y'all, I'm not sure that anyone --male or female-- has really been clamoring to see Blanco's "O face".
You may or may not know this but TOR is a SuperDelegate (unofficially) when it comes to Goal of the Week voting. With that in mind I would encourage you to follow my lead and vote Altidore for Goal of the Week. It's not the prettiest (or even as pretty as the photo above), but it is the gutsiest and that counts for something. Plus, I'm Jozy-biased.
Remember folks it's about electability. Sure, Landon's diving header might be great now but will it be able to compete with Sasha Kljesten's in the November Goal of the Year elections? We've got to think not just about the now, but about the future.
This message brought to you by the Committee for a Soccer Specific America.
A few weeks ago we got word that Red Bull New York Managing Director (read:GM) Marc De Grandpre was leaving his post with the Taurine Army. A few wondered aloud where he would end up and prayed it wasn't with their team. Good news: it's not with your team unless there is a second beverage-built club out there that I don't know about.
He's taken some job peddling some açai juice drink called "Purple", which in and of itself isn't worth mentioning. But coupled with the fact that a few other former MLS associates are trying to make a little scratch on the rare Brazilian berry it's sort of weird. Joe Max Moore is like the supreme prohpet of this stuff, with Eric Wynalda playing the role of chief disciple. Kinda random innit? Somehow though I don't think it'll be replacing Gatorade on the sidelines anytime soon.
H/T to Buffalo Soldier
We hear that the whole 'public urination' thing didn't actually happen, but I'd hate to see Barkey's work go to waste.
Damn, that didn't take long. Are they breaking up the band in New England? Given recent events maybe it's best to do it before they start trashing hotel rooms and dating Lindsay Lohan.
C'mon now, admit it. You know you've imagined Abel Xavier in the salon a million times before. Studies have shown that between the LA Galaxy defender, Djibril Cisse and Christina Aguilera there will be no hair bleach left in the world by the year 2012. Fact.
You want another fact? Apparently the employees down at the sweatshop that makes Cisse's new clothing line can't tell their sunny-haired, black soccer dudes apart: the blind bastards didn't bother Googling their benefactor before stamping his image onto the spring line and ended up with some decidedly Abel-looking results...
What's Dennis Rodman doing these days? I'm sure he'd appreciate some misprints/publicity.
As much as I enjoy Johnny Harkes and JP Dellacamra's 5 Burning Questions, TOR has 5 questions of it's own:
5. Where do you find an LA Galaxy jersey in Iraq?
4. Will the real DC United please stand up?
3. Will Don Garber's new blog avoid power rankings, season previews, match reports and all of the other played-out content that plagues the soccer blogosphere?
2. Who in the hell is Adam Moffat and why is he kicking so much ass?
1. Did you remember to enter to win Euro 2008 from EA Sports?
TOR has been accused on occasion of having an 'east coast bias' which I will firmly deny to death. But for the sake of being an equal opportunity blog I'll through out some Midwest bits & pieces to keep the dogs at bay. Next stop, Kansas City.
Kerry Zavagnin was on the Big Breakfast show on KC's Jack FM this morning talking about being the old man of the Wizards and other soccer player type stuff. He looks really at ease doing this type of thing…maybe he and Jimmy Conrad should join forces when they retire and muscle their way in to a couple of jobs at FSC.
In other Kansas City news they have some tasteful, new advertising and marketing plan on the way that is rumored to be fresh to death. Wanna peek at it?
And lastly I'd like to give a ol' huge man-hug to Wilman Conde for sacking up and apologizing to his team for his trade demands and the telenovela that followed. Good to see him get over and get down to business. Y'all buy him an Old Style if you see him.
Remember this guy? He had a little bit of something going on for a minute and it really seemed like he was gonna be big. Then he took off to do his own thing, which didn't really go the way he would have wanted, and the hits quit coming.
Well he's back. Whether he's got another "Ghetto Superstar" in him though is in serious doubt since the ODB passed away and Mya's career is as dead as Rohan Ricketts.
Props to BRN for the photo.
What's the best way to become the most hated player on the Revolution? How about being a guy from New York and getting ejected from Fenway Park for being an all-around douche bag in a Yankees jersey to those around you? That should do it...and it is exactly what Revs defender Gary Flood did last night with the help of his good buddy Drinky Joe Franchino.
In an off-the-meter display of drunken idiocy and brass, Flood showed Beantown where his true loyalties lie. If there is any way in hell he can be traded to the Red Bulls today, someone please make it happen; with New England playing RBNY this Saturday the hype might actually be big enough to get a mention on SportsCenter. This is how rivalries are made.
This is also some of the best ammunition the ESC could ever ask for ahead of a home game.
[Update: This just gets better & better or worse & worse depending on what side of the fence you are on]
After going without midweek MLS action last week Primetime Thursday returns to ESPN 2 tonight. [Note: Kansas City did host New England on Wednesday and I'm convinced that is was done as a way to deftly sidestep the issue of not broadcasting from KC this season; they are the only team that will not host a Thursday night game on ESPN2 in '08.]
It's Columbus (who's April 12th attendance was so bad that MLSnet won't even reduce itself to listing it) at D.C. United in what is being billed as the "Yankee Superclasico" and it will feature more Argies on the field at RFK than their were in the battlefield of the Falklands so it should be a real good time. If you don't believe me just ask Allen Hopkins.
So I was clicking through CNN.com this a.m. to find out what happened in last night's Democratic debate when I stumbled upon this interview with Becks. It's almost 7 minutes of some guy called Terry Baddoo trying to conduct one of the most negative interviews you'll see all day. Seriously, what's with people always asking questions about soccer in a negative tone, particularly when it involves Goldenballs?
Maybe I'm just being defensive this morning, I dunno. I'm no Galaxy fan but I am an MLS fan so as I watch this I just feel like this guy is one of that breed of condescending British writers who just wants to slag our David -and he is our David now- off for the sake of it. I don't know you guy, but damned if I don't like you. How can you honestly hate on a man who's rapport with children is this irreproachable?
I know that there is a least one person who checks out TOR regularly that works at CNN. If you see this guy in the commissary today feel free to spill his coffee on him for me.
So I'm fairly certain that this is one of the finest footie commercials currently in circulation. Actually the word commercial doesn't do this 2 minute long, 12-inch mix of an advert justice. It's something of a mini-movie/cautionary tale about how poor choice in footwear -specifically soccer boots- can lead one to some very bad places in their career. And no, those places aren't teams in USL2.
Aesthetically, this breaks the ankles of it's peers. Visually, it's as gorgeous as that French exchange student whose sense of style was 5 years ahead of everyone else in your school. It also doesn't hurt to have a soundtrack by Phil Mossman of Sabres of Paradise & LCD Soundsystem fame.
Anyway the ad, entitled "Damn Boots", is for new-school footwear company Nomis which was founded by the brain behind one of the most iconic boots of the last decade, the Adidas Predator. Their whole thing is all about making a product that is not only comfortable and high-performance, but actually doesn't jack you up by giving you blisters, bunions and other gross shit that will hinder your game. You'd think someone would have thought of that by now but I guess Nike were too busy bankrolling Ronaldinho.
So today there was this thing that came out in ESPN The Magazine on how Beckham is well on his way to usurping Jack Nicholson as the Lakers number one celebrity glory-seeker. But this photo (courtesy of TMZ) from last nights game versus Sacramento has to make you wonder; is he there for the game or the superb view that only court side seats can obtain?
Now I'm not accusing him of anything but I'm just saying...
Hands up if you love The Don.
OK, I'll put my hands back down because I need them to type.
The MLS commissioner was once again a guest on Bloomberg News talking about how this is going to be the best year yet for the League of Extraordinarily Underpaid Gentlemen. And you know what? I believe him. I also believe that he should run for President because this primary has gone on way to long and is coming completely off the rails.
With Don "G Love" Garber in office we could curtail exorbitant corporate bonuses by instituting a hard salary cap, and end bipartisan politics by injecting a single-entity structure into our existent 2-party system. And while I'm not sure where he stands on contraction in Iraq & Afghanistan, I'm pretty sure there would be no further Canadian expansion. The Garber '08 movement starts here.
If you've had your box rocked by them live then I'm sure you've already picked it up. If you have not had the opportunity to bear witness to the most ridiculous display stadium rock extravagance and virtuosity since Queen, please use the precededing video as a reference point. Then go get this DVD!
I imagine that I'm not the only one out there who hasn't thought to much about the state of New Zealand soccer. What with Ryan Nelson, Simon Elliott and Simon Elliott's crap haircut having departed for Jolly Olde, I think the only time I have given the Kiwi's any recent thought was when the Bucks for Becks World Tour™ rolled through last November.
But other people, namely Soccernet, have been doing enough thinking about it to actually write a concise article addressing how the US has played an intricate role in the further development of New Zealand football. And here I was thinking all we were good for was rock-solid goalies and totally awesome, devilishly wry observationist electronic rock music.
Kiwi's, you owe us but don't worry too much about us coming to collect. The only thing we'd want it Crowded House but they're too old now.
[UPDATE] Ironically Toronto FC have cut NZ defender Andy Boyens today...it's a curse!
Every so often you see one of those long-range shots that just curves and floats so gracefully that it could easily be mistaken for Catherine Zeta Jones moving in slow motion. This goal by Sasha Kljestan is one of those. It's amazing...it's almost like this was filmed bullet time. So fresh, so clean.
How long do you think I can make this post without using the annoying phrase "It's Bouna Time!"? Oh damn I just did. Ugh...I'm so cliche. Well watch the video and maybe that'll erase the memory of how played out that saying is.
Good to see that Victoria is expanding her Hollywood social circle beyond Katie Holmes and Eva Longoria. She brought my favorite Diet Coke drinker, Kate Beckinsale to the Toronto match this past weekend; is it just me or is she starting to look like Sheryl Crow?
Remember that crew of Brazilian dwarfs we talked about last week? Our man PH hipped me to some footage of those guys in action and it's incredible. I thought Dane Richards was fast, but these guys have some real wheels.
This summer there will be nothing more entertaining than watching Anglophiles gaze upon Euro 2008 longingly from afar. The only thing that is even in the running for second will be kicking their self-loathing asses at Euro 2008 on PS3 because they can't play with any team that doesn't have Rooney on it.
TOR and EA Sports wants to help you get stoked for a summer full of sore thumbs and nations full of tearful, newly-eliminated Europeans by giving away 3 copies of Euro 2008 for Playstation 3. Why? Because both TOR and Euro 2008 f*cking rule. Unless you are an England fan.
To get a shot at being the winner your mother always said you are, just subscribe to TOR by submitting your email address in the box at the top right of this page by 4.21.08. If you are already subscribed, you're already eligible.
Liberians rejoice. Former Red Bulls striker Francis Doe has resurfaced in MLS; he's now on trial with DC United. The Forward Formerly Known As Grandpa (TFFKAG) made only 8 appearances in 2008 but did manage to score twice. If this ratio was in relation to his appearances at the bar over number of times he pulled, he'd be doing OK. As a striker though it's only so-so.
Should he make the cut, Doe will join a list of players who have run the gauntlet between The Meadowlands and RFK which includes such greats as Eddie Pope and Jaime Moreno.
In other DC United news, it seems they may have found a shirt sponsor and if you'd like to ask Brian Namoff a question like "What's worse: getting benched by Ray Hudson or losing 4-0 to RSL?" you can do that tomorrow with the help of ESPN.
All off season the Red Bulls have been talking about signing a few left-footed players. Too bad we don't know who this kid is, otherwise we might be able to hook him up with one hell of a summer job. He's got the kind of accuracy that can go upper 90 with frequency.
So it's time to address the 2008 Major League Blogging Credibility Table. With Amado Guevara having finally landed in Toronto, let's recap what some people had to say about it. SBI 1st reported on this back on March 18th. Then Soccer Insider and it's "reliable sources" put the brake's on it. Toronto's On Soccer blog said a lot without saying anything at all. And MLS Rumors, citing someone they heard on the radio, said it wouldn't happen.
Now player negotiations are always fluid, but I would be remiss if I didn't award points to SBI for sticking to their guns on this one. At the other end of the spectrum, MLS Rumors and Soccer Insider said the whole thing was a wash so they get nothing on this one points-wise, and Soccer Insider will lose a little something in the Power Rankings.
As for MLS Rumors I think the right thing to do here is to relegate them. This is a decision not taken lightly. An effort was made toward giving them a chance to run with the big boys that they un-humbly made a point of equating themselves with (using a chart full of dubious traffic figures), but at the end of the day when positioned alongside the competition they really are a bit out of their depth. Additionally, they seemed to express some trepidation about their major league status.
Another blog, Sideline Views, also expressed something bordering on disdain for the Cred Table. They're seeking credit for being the the 1st one's out their with Carlos Ruiz's injury. Problem is they want credit for a misdiagnoses; they said the injury was "a right medial collateral ligament sprain" but his surgery was for "tear of the meniscus in his right knee". Now Ray Charles could have seen that his injury was serious and would lead to some bench time so the question is "is writing that enough to give them credit for being the 1st to report?" Personally I think you have to get the injury right, but I will call it a draw and give them 1 point.
Anyway they, along with MLS Rumors, imply that they're not about breaking stories, but then both point out instances where they were the 1st to present some bit of information. It's a puzzling response which leaves the impression that some people are quite serious about playing reporter until someone suggests there may be potential flaws in it; you can't have your cake and eat it to.
And speaking of flaws I will be the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and last person to admit that the Credibility Table --and this blog for that matter-- is flawed. How does everyone feel about a change in formats to the 2008 Major League Blogging Relevance Power Rankings? Or are you opposed on the grounds that the name is just damned unwieldy?
Lastly, the Table is not here to hurt anyone so please don't take it --or me-- too seriously. You'll only end up disappointed.
Many people don't like USA Today. Some who deem the paper to be a shallow read call it "McPaper". Others purchase it only for the purpose of providing their butler with something to shine their shoes on; these people are called "sailing enthusiasts". So as they are not soccer fans...screw 'em.
Today's "McPaper" has an excellent and --it must be said-- obscenely long Q&A with New Jersey Ironmen keeper Tony Meola that is certainly worth the 75 cent purchase price and potential self-loathing. The former US, Metro/RBNY and Kansas City keeper is currently neck-deep in
And how awesome is that photo? Meola and John Harkes overlooking Sheffield back in 1990. Meola was on trial at Sheffield Wednesday but never latched on; he's possibly the last #1 US national team keeper to not be based abroad.
Is Cobi making a play to be the new Bo Jackson? First he does the Joga Bonito ad for Nike. Then he follows that up with making appearances with Ronaldinho. Last week he gets spotted hanging in a skybox at the Home Depot Center, and now he's juggling ball's during the warm up of the other LA Derby (with Becks once again court-side). Somebody could be angling for the first 2 sport endorsement deal we've seen since the Reagan administration.
Props to Odeen for the video.
If you go snooping around deep enough in the Dynamo website you'll find a page for their dance team, the Dynamo Girls. Now no doubt they are all fit birds, but on an idividual level no one stands out in particular. Check out their bio's and you'll see what I mean.
But put them together like in the photo above and something a lil' bit magical happens. You know how whiskey, Bailey's and Guinness are fine on their own but when combined the have a devastating effect. It's like that. Exactly like that. But with nice legs.
Mansally to Nyassi, then Nyassi to Mansally.
Taking a page from Donovan and Beckham's reciprical hijinks a week ago, New England's 2 young African aces stuck it to Kansas City last night. While most of us were getting our annual CONCACAF reality check, these two were complimenting each other like PB & J. It's still early days but...is it too late to get that Taylor Twellman money from Preston North End?
I'd like to take a moment to 'big up' Shep Messing and Greg Lalas' new-look Extra Time show. They seem to have found a bank worth robbing and spent the money on a nice new set and a pair of suits that make them look dead professional. Or at least as professional as those Canadian guys on FSC.
If you've never watched ET before, give it a shot; there's some good info on there and it features Shep Messing, who always tells it like it is. When I grow up I want to be just like him…but shorter and and with more body fat.
No press release that I can link to yet but Red Bull Managing Director Marc De Grandpre has left the barn for greener pastures. I wish him all the best in the future and thank him for one of the most memorable and perplexing press conference's ever. Well, the most memorable press conferences not featuring Dennis Green.
So a few days ago I was on some other sh*t about how US fans of the beautiful game rarely get to see much of their country men playing abroad outside of the EPL. Even one of the "biggest" US soccer stars ever, Freddy Adu, is playing in something close to a Witness Protection League. That is when he plays.
If you're an astute fan who is glued to his broadband service you may know that The Biggest Midget in the Game hasn't seen the field in Portugal in a while. Hell, he hasn't even dressed for the past 2 matches. He's not injured and has been in great form for the Olympic team. As Talking to the Doll puts it, "how can Benfica afford to leave out a player that in 305 minutes has scored 5 goals?"
I don't claim to know the answer and won't make an ass of myself by regaling you with a load of supposition based on nothing. The thing that I'm trying to get to is this: are Freddy's 15 minutes up already? Not with the soccer fanatic, but with the general populace. As the Bernie Mack clip so elegantly points out, he may have drifted into "that black kid in the socks they put on that pro soccer team" territory.
Think about it for a minute and you begin to realize that in the past year --a few national team appearances aside-- his stateside profile has become as low as a the Unibomber's. When was the last time you saw him in a Sierra Mist or Campbell's Soup commercial? Where is all that $1 million Nike contract love? And it's been a hella long time since I've seen him downstairs in the halls of the TRL studio.
I had a footie convo with a guy on the bus the other day. After about 20 solid minutes of Becham-centric MLS talk he said to me "What ever happened to that Eddy Abu kid? Does he still play?" It's kinda lame to me. As much as I've given him (and Landon) stick, I do like the guy and wish him nothing but success...particularly in a US uniform. I guess it's just sad to see how quickly one of our biggest stars can be eclipsed. Or even worse, fall from the sky completely.
When you are a famous and beautiful person you don't have to pay for a lot of things. Which is odd because you can actually afford to pay for things like designer jeans and court side seats to the Lakers but they still insist on giving you them for free. So it's only fair that they have to pay for some sort of ticket sometimes.
Yes, it's a slow news day.
Dear sweet Jesus! It may be too early in the morning for me to be excited about some random rumor, but I'll be damned if the thought of Juan Roman Riquelme playing stateside doesn't get me all hot & bothered. Obviously if he were to come to MLS he wouldn't be with my team as we're all DPed to the max, but can you imagine how dangerous Chivas USA would be with this guy running their attack (and putting asses in seats)? How about him going to Dallas to feed balls to Big Kenny Cooper and erase all memories of their previous DP? Or Perhaps he's the guy Seattle brings in to make a big splash?
Now again this is just a rumor, but over the last year I have run my mouth to anyone who would listen --even a club GM or two-- about how this guy would be the perfect DP signing; an amazing attacking player with a big name and a big time international pedigree to match, Spanish-speaking and UNDER the age of 30. Dear sweet Lord in heaven let this one actually come to pass.
Either dude is really nervous in front of the camera or he is nervous in front of women. I don't know which, but something has got him all giggly. He answers a slew of questions in this Eurosport piece (they got loads of clips with Kljetan, Noonan and others testifying about their products on Youtube) that may seem innocuous but give you more insight in him that you had before. I love this stuff random stuff; it's nice to see some personality from players.
I'm no Fire fan but you just have to love slow-motion footage of shocked, sad, angry and confused New England coaches and players set to tear-stained opera soundtrack. Magnifico.
Just for the sake of being contrary I'm going to start handing out the "Goal of the Weak" this season. Basically any goal whose existence is owed to a goal-mouth scramble, keeper error, idiotic defending or is in some way a gift to the team it's awarded is eligible.
The inaugural "Goal of the Weak" recipient is RBNY's Kevin Goldthwaite. This lucky son of a bitch was able to cash in on Will Hesmer's folly and Juan Pablo Angel's overall bad assitude by borderline falling foot-first into the ball. And that's not me trying to take away from the guy's goal, that's just saying what's what. See for yourself...
So congrats to Goldie. And as the first recipient of this major award you are entitled to a Shiner Bock and the snack cake of your choice on TOR if I ever run into you.
Now that most are done analyzing the MLS salaries that were released last week, I have just one comment to make. The Fire's unhappy camper Wilman Conde--the look on his face in that photo says more than 1000 words could about his feelings on being in Chicago-- is getting paid a little over $150,000 to sit the bench because the powers that be at Bridgeview wouldn't even trade baseball cards with New York right now.
Despite what my therapist might tell you, I understand not wanting to look like a chump or play the role of doormat to NY. I understand completely. But on the real, is it worth losing $150k in cap space, an International Player slot, a wasted spot on the 28-man roster and dealing with the the locker room drama just to prove a point?
The thing is that someone needs to grow up here. They say no one ever choked to death swallowing his pride so it might be time for Mr. Guppy and his people to grab a fork, and a bib. Either that or for Mr. Conde to quit acting like a stroppy child. In a league where money and talent is as tight as it is, this is just ridiculous.