5.31.2008

Express Yourself



If you've got a moment to spare and love for MLS clubs of all types having their own house, go vote 'yes' on this poll. If nothing else it may let the suits that read this publication know that there is some public love for a DC stadium.

5.30.2008

Adrian Serioux is Probably Not Good With Secrets

schmuck

I have no criminal background or record to speak of aside from a written warning I received from a Denton, TX cop when I got caught drinking my 1st beer the day before my 21st birthday (I was born a suspect). Therefore it is probably not my place to give FC Dallas defender and Beckham-hater Adrian Serioux advice on how to be a better thug.

But I'm going to anyway because clearly this man is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. If you plan on taking a shot at A MAJOR EUROPEAN SUPERSTAR it's best that YOU DO NOT say the following IN A MAJOR EUROPEAN NEWSPAPER:

"His salary and lifestyle has a lot of players thinking, 'We've dedicated our lives to the game and will have nothing to retire on.' He's great for MLS, but me and a few others are going after him."

From what I've picked up by watching the great TV & film bad guys of our time (Scarface, Destro, and many of the guys on C-SPAN) it's best not to advertise your criminal intent. It just makes it really hard to for you to say "I didn't do it" when you've already put it out there like so much 1980's Harlem crack. Something to think about before you start planning that hit on Mo Johnston for trading you without ever playing you. Twice.

Further Confirmation That Ray Hudson is Certifiable


An oldie but a goody that's worth watching until the end. Even Rev. Jerimiah Wright would say "damn, this fool is talking crazy".

Jozy? Ego-Trippin'? Say It Ain't So!

jozyshadow

I've only had the chance to meet Jozy Altidore once. At the time of meeting him I said that "Jozy Altidore is an adult in both physical stature and demeanor." He was measured, accommodating and polite. I can only dream that my kid behaves like that at his age.

But that was then and I don't what's going on now. People are saying that the burgeoning fame is going to the kid's head and it's kinda got me bummed out if true. Everyone get on your knees and pray to the God of your choice --perhaps the one that going to be dropping blessings on the HDC on June 7th-- and pray that Eddie Johnson Syndrome is non-communicable.

On Awards and Alcoholism

DOW Scarf

Big shouts have to be given today to MLS for being named 2008 Sports League of the Year at last night's Sports Business Journal Awards in Manhattan. From contraction 7 years ago to "I'm the King of the World" today...nice. Also give props to AEG/Galaxy bigwig Tim Leiweke who took home the award for Sports Executive of the Year which I'm sure will look really good on his resume (do guys at this level even have resumes?).

Those are fine accolades to have for sure, but what about Drunk of the Week? I wouldn't recommend dropping that one into your CV but achieving that status will put you in the running for Drunk of the Year. And if you win that, well let's just say being immortalized on a lovely all-synthetic fibers scarf is right up there with being engraved on Mt. Rushmore or making the Strange Mugshot Hall of Fame.

5 Burning Questions: Substitute Teachers Edition



Today is the last day of school for many students all over this great country of ours. As we speak America's school kids are daydreaming of a summer of late mornings and weekday sleepovers. They are also talking semester tests comprised of a bunch of questions about things they'll have forgotten about by the 4th of July.

It is in this spirit of examination that I invite you to copy TOR's answers to ESPN's Five Burning Questions. Just don't let the teacher see you.

1. Beckham = Yes

2. McBride = Chicago

3. Arena = Possible

4. Seattle = C (that's what I always pick when I don't know the answer)

5. Blanco = Brilliance

Bonus answer: a healthy Patrick Swayze (the question is "Glenn Davis reminds me of someone but I can't think of who it it).

5.29.2008

When "Behind the Scenes" Becomes Too Much Information



Dominic Kinear is a George Michael fan. If he likes anything other than the Faith album and the bassline from Wham's "Everything She Wants" he deserves every bit of stick he may catch for this revelation.

The Thursday Night Hype: DC v. New England



Tuning into a DC match this season has all the crap shoot qualities of buying tickets to an Amy Winehouse concert; you have no idea if they'll even play and there are decent odds that you'll begin looking for the exits before the second half.

It's anyone's guess as to which DC United club will walk out of the tunnel tonight? Will it be the one with the crazy talent, matching high salaries and the will to win? Or will it be the one with crazy talent, matching high salaries, and a recently acquired penchant for crap play? No one knows for sure...that's what makes it exciting!

Edwin van der Sar Is Ready For His Close-Up

ED

Did you know that Edwin van der Sar is slated to to star in the sequel to 300? I didn't and I'm guessing he probably didn't either, otherwise I'd bet he'd have asked for a ton more money to do this photo shoot for the Dutch national team. There are several to check out at your lady's favorite blog, Kickette. They're all quit gritty and cool, if not visually stunning.

And Edwin should really consider getting a film agent; from the looks of those shoulders he'd make a much better Incredible Hulk than skinny-assed Ed Norton.

"WOW": Shep is in Love With Blanco



I just watched this new episode of extratime +90 in which we affirm that despite Shep Messing's Freddy Mercury-lite mustache, the dude is man enough to admit that he was wrong about Blanco and his bad assitude. He and Greg Lalas also give a little talk to what I thought was one of this past weekends best stories: The Hunchback of Bridgeview's™ cocky/innovative/disrespectful ass pass. Shep called it "absolute perfection" but I'm not sure if he's talking about the pass or the ass.

Let it not be said that they are afraid to tackle the tough issues.

Last Night's Party: FrankenCooper Scores, Houston Equalizes



In case you missed it --and there is a good chance you did since this game flew kinda under the radar all stealth bomber style-- Houston and Dallas played a pretty entertaining game last night in Frisco. 4 goals, 2 ejections and one stoppage time equalizer from the Dynamo.

While DeRo's goal to tie it up was a thing of beauty for the Texian Army and El Battalion members in attendance, it was Big Kenny Coopers 6th goal of the season that was the prettiest girl at the dance last night. It's in the video above but you have watch the replay on Quickkicks to fully appreciate the trap & placement that led to the strike. Golden Boot-contending skills for sure.

Speaking of the Golden Boot, where the hell are all of last years contenders? 1/3 of the way through the seaon Emilio, Angel & Twellman (2007's top 3 goal scorers) aren't even in the top 10. Mean while Landon Donovan has already surpassed his entire 2007 production (9 so far compared with 2007's 8).

Weird right? DC & NY might want some of that DP money back and the league might soon think that taking Preston North End's offer for TT looks much better in hind sight.

5.28.2008

All-Texas Mid-Week MLS Match Tonight



Now that all that Wembley business is over, let's get back to competitive football --in both senses of the word. Dallas and Houston will get it crackin' tonight in Frisco for the Direct Kick crowd and the interested few who will brave the 'botox & chardonnay' moms-gauntlet that is the north Dallas suburbs.

I wish I could make some educated guess as to who will win this thing, but with both team's record's being the numerical definition of 'mediocre' I won't chance it. I will however call the victor in the Dallas Unity Cup: 3-1 to Sierra Leone over Liberia.


They're Breaking Up the Band: McBride Leaves Fulham

McBride

A TOR reader whom we shall refer to as "BM" gave me the heads up that Fulham's finest and American Soccer favorite Brian McBride has made his departure from Craven Cottage official today and hearts are breaking in SW6 as well as on this side of the Atlantic.

What's unknown right now is where he's going. An MLS return almost seems like a given with the smart money on a Chicago homecoming with a Columbus return on the outside and Seattle as the dark horse. In light of the Fire's most recent ass-whipping the thought of him on the end of Blanco's passes is completely frightening.

Video: ESPN Previews the US - England Match



Game day is finally upon us and Anglophiles across the country are entering the opening stages of a drunken afternoon of self-loathing, fronting, internal conflict and split-allegiances. With the U.S. playing England at Wembley in a few hours, faux-hawked footie fans from Philly to Flagstaff are putting on their replica kits to root, root, root for...England.

If you'll afford me a moment on my soapbox for one minute I would like to express my disdain for at least 3 people I have seen today who --to the best of my knowledge-- are at least 4 generations removed from any British heritage they may have, yet are behind the Three Lions in today's match because (to quote one of these loathsome individuals) "the U.S. sucks...and Americans like a winner".

True, we are kinda into victoriousness and whatnot but we also appreciate a little loyalty. And to be honest, I tend to root for England against almost anyone...except the U.S. I dunno, maybe I'm making something out of nothing but I wish that just for once people would put aside the glamor for the grit.

Enjoy the match.

Seattle Keeps Kit Sponsor in the Family

360

Remember that photo? It's from back in October of last year when Seattle was still in the rumor phase of it's expansion bid. Some guy who was commissioned by Adrian Hanuaer did a few mock-ups like the one above that were the talk of the blogosphere for a few days in the fall that now seem more than a little bit prescient: XBOX 360 Live will be Seattle's front of kit sponsor for a cool $4million a year.

So what's all that talk about Jones Soda Co. again? That's cool & cute, but Microsoft is (in my best Posh voice) major. Ma-jor.

5.27.2008

Photo of the Day: Anatomy of a Goal Scoring Celebration

Anatomy

Since Saturday night/Sunday morning I have seen, heard about, or read a description of Beckham's fantastic longball wonder-goal about 63 times. My man Binks (the only person I know with HDnet) sent me a text message the second it happened. It was on Sportscenter. There are 23 different videos of it on Youtube and as many newspaper articles mentioning it. It's no unlike a Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction"; utterly unexpected, nice to look at and impossible not to talk about.

Immediately afterward the entire Galaxy nation --players, fans, staff-- lost their collective minds in one of the most joyous, euphoric goal/victory celebrations seen in a regular season MLS game ever. Above is a snapshot of the moment at arguably it's most "looney bin"-ish that I've taken the liberty of breaking down to it's base. And if you really want to get the most out of this, but on an upbeat jazz record while looking Ruud Gullit.

Toronto v. Montreal: Intra-Province Soccer Spectacular

Canada

In addition to a couple of MLS clubs playing in the US Open Cup tonight, the inaugural Canadian Championships start tonight when Toronto FC goes to Montreal. Now if you live in Canada you're probably well aware that the game will be carried by the CBC. If you don't reside in Canuckistan you're in luck because you can still watch the game online at CBCSports.ca so do the right thing and grab a cold La Fin Du Monde, an ergonomically sound office chair and show some love for those playing the game above the 49th parallel.

Soccer Steaker Tiffany May Has Competition



Everyone knows that soccer is bigger in Europe than it is in the states and this is the over-the-top proof. How big is the game in Italy? So big that they have half-naked, sexy pitch invaders AT TRAINING SESSIONS. And what do we get at our training sessions? Un-sexy, aged ambassadors who no one outside of The Beltway would recognize. Lame.

Video: Yanks vs. Blighty Preview



Hello young world! Did everyone in the U.S. of A enjoy their long weekend? Did everyone in the U.K. their rainy weekend? I hope so since I had a cracking time away from the phone and the computer except for that sh*tshow at Giants Stadium on Sunday. I honestly believe the words "debacle" and "revenge" might have been created specifically for use in statements referring to RBNY's epic beat down at the hands of Chicago and that up until now we have been using the words just to keep them in circulation until their true calling was revealed to all just 2 days ago.

But enough about that. Let's move away from a localized tragedy to a potential national triumph. The U.S.-England friendly at Wembley is tomorrow afternoon and I am as happy as a chubby-chaser at a Lane Bryant runway show. I think the Yanks have a shot at this one if Landon Donovan is playing up top; EJ I love you but I think that Landon is just completely on fire at the moment and should be let loose like Black Plague upon the Empire. Set your DVR's to ESPN Classic at 2.45pm EST tomorrow and get the match preview from US Soccer above.

5.23.2008

Soccer is Soooooo In Right Now

Each

I come to you this morning with a heavy heart. But I come to you with good news. I come to you to tell you that the secret is out and soccer, as a niche sport in America, is over. It is no longer 'our little secret'. With Abel Xavier all over TMZ,and every basketball player this side of West 4th St. trying to be the next Messi comes word that a few of the New England Patriots --most prominently Randy Moss-- are trying to better their football game by bettering their futbol game.

I tell you again boys & girls, you who have been down for so long, it's over.
Reading this article felt exactly like the moment you saw the jock-rocking school bully wearing a Nirvana shirt; it was cool that they were getting an audience, but you kinda knew that audience wouldn't have the same exuberence for "Floyd the Barber" as it did for "Smells Like Teen Spirit".

And for what it's worth, if I'm Bob Kraft I would glady offer private training with the Revs for any interested Pats players, in exchange for the Pats teaching the Revs how to leave a championship game with a hat on thier heads.

5.22.2008

The Thursday Night Hype: Houston at San Jose



Is it just me or has Allen Hopkins lost some weight?

Pete Doherty Is Just Looking to Get His Ass Kicked

Pete

Last week ex-Libertine, current Babyshamble and perpetual drugs vacuum Pete Doherty took part in a celebrity soccer match at The Den, home of Millwall FC. Now being both a) a suicidal idiot and b) a die-hard QPR fan he decided to make his way into the club chairman's office and relive himself into one of the club's cups from the trophy case (he was caught be security). According to The Sun "he is a huge QPR fan and thought it would be a laugh to leave a little surprise" for his cross town rivals.

Not to hold grudges, Millwall have said that Pete would be welcome back if he ever wanted to return to the club. Pete I beg of you...don't fall for it, it's a trick! You are probably just being set up to get jumped by some Millwall supporter (and unfortunately it won't be this one). The second you walk back in to that place you stand a good chance of getting glassed, stabbed and beaten to the point of sobriety (which might not be the worse thing for you matey).

Knowing the reputation that Millwall's support has you would be well served to not only never return to The Den again, but to also start touring with your own chicken wire to hang in front of the stage.

The Tom Soehn Reading List

Guide

DC United skipper Tom Soehn is probably not having a good morning...or season for that matter. After giving up 3 points to Toronto last night I'm sure he's got a lot on his mind, what with many of the American soccerati observing a death watch for his career today.

That's got to be stressful and when I'm stressed out I like to get stuck into a good book. Perhaps escaping into the pages of a good self-help tome would help him deal with the bad vibes that are echoing around the halls of RFK stadium right now. Here's a few suggestions:

-The Moving Survival Guide by Martha Page
-
Necessary Losses: The Loves, Illusions, Dependencies, and Impossible Expectations That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Grow by Judith Viorst
-Good Night Washington, D.C. by Adam Gamble
-Complete Conditioning for Soccer by Sigi Schmid

Now with that last one I can't say that I'm convinced that it is better conditioning that United need --although giving up 3 goals in the last 9 minutes against Chivas USA last weekend might build a case for it-- but it is written by Sigi Schmid who seems to be doing something right this season.


5.21.2008

For Sale: Instant Automotive Baller Status

Reject

If you're in the market for a brand-new, second-hand automobile may I suggest that you consider this Lamborghini Murcielago VT Coupe available at Autotrader.com. It was ordered by and custom made for David Beckham before he left Man U for Real Madrid but he opted out of purchasing it. It's a ride as sweet as his free kicks: powered by a 6.2-litre V12 producing a mammoth 580bhp and 479lb/ft of pulling power channeled to all four wheels, it can go 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds and has a top speed of 205mph.

And what will Goldenballs' sloppy automotive seconds cost you? Just $256,150.45, which if your name happens to be Cristiano Ronaldo is a small price to pay for the gift you owe Edwin Van Der Sar for saving you from a lifetime of hassle & abuse.

While I'm Away



This is an autopilot post that is self-publishing while I am at lunch (I'm sure you can guess where). I predicted that this match would go into PK's so if this publishes that means that this has happened.

So while I'm away watch a little TFCTV and Jonathan Bornstein throw up gang signs in Mickey Mouse gloves like a true cholo.

FYI: DC and Toronto Play Tonight

dctime

Fantasy or foreshadowing on the part of Mr. Barkey? Who knows but there is the rare Hump Day MLS match tonight so we may soon find out. Somewhere Bruce Arena will be watching the game from his recliner with a bag of Doritos and the telephone on his lap.

Man U v. Chelsea: The Musicians Match

Albarn

The whole of England has gone tits over tail for today's Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea. Every angle in being covered in every paper in the land. Even NME has gotten in the act by putting out a side for each club made up of it's celebrity fans. Thank God Man City didn't make it to the final or Damon Albarn out of Blur/Gorillaz (pictured above) might have to but up with Liam Gallagher all up in his grill again.

Video: TFC Fans Already Nostalgic for the Present



You may have heard the talk that BMO Field may become home to Toronto's CFL team. This has made some TFC supporters sad. Very sad. Like 'slow motion montage with maudlin Band of Brothers-style music' sad. And if this sadness is a prelude to such a happening I think I might shed a single, dramatic as well.

5.20.2008

We Major: Abel Xavier on TMZ



Dear sweet 8lb 6oz baby Jesus! There is an MLS player not named David Beckham on TMZ. Mind you all they ask LA Galaxy defender Abel 'manbeast' Xavier about is David but still, it's kind of crazygonuts to see MLS get some play on both Perez Hilton and TMZ in the span on 24 hours (Goldenballs dust up with Adrian Serioux was prominently featured on PH yesterday).

Now if someone can hatch a plan to get Danleigh Borman and his number one fan on Best Week Ever the trifecta of superficiality will be complete.

Video: Timbers Army All Up in Seattle's House Like Termites



The video above is from the final Timbers Army trip down to Seattle for a USL game. Last week 3 bus loads of PDX punks rolled up to King County to scream, sing, shout, and chant their side on against their hated, MLS-bound rivals. I love it. It makes me get all teary-eyed.

I know that to the uninitiated watching USL 1 games can be a bit of a hard work, but I would encourage you to watch anytime that Portland (or Montreal) are the home team. They have atmosphere engaging enough to grab the neutral fan.

Flesh For Fantasy: The Top 50 WAG's

wags

Show of hands if you could use a bit of supple, airbrushed lady-flesh this afternoon? Good. Glad to hear that we're on the same page. CO-ED Magazine --the deliciously deviant online home for all things collegiate-- has jumped on the WAG bus and is riding that f*cker all the way to the end on line.

They've counted down the top 50 WAG's in world football in all of it's scantily clad, semi-NSFW glory and it's a sight to behold. You'll find that all of the big names (and breasts) that you've come to know and love are featured and feted:
Coleen McLoughlin, Caroline Celico, and Danielle Lloyd (umph, Danielle Lloyd y'all!) are all in it. More importantly they're all as hot as Miami in August so go and get a look and a crush at CO-ED Magazine.

Who's the TOR top bird? For my money it is Chelsea winger Joe Cole's alleged missus, Keeley "Spanish Islands sextape" Hazell. She is killing it with that hair, that top and that banging body.

OMFG

Round Ball Players of the World Unite & Take Over

Comic

Today's New York Times has features a now-fashionable piece on the soccer-basketball mutual appreciation society. It's good stuff and more than anything highlights the growing international look of the NBA. There is one quote that warms my fatherly soul:

In all, six Lakers were reared overseas: Vladimir Radmanovic (Serbia), Sasha Vujacic (Slovenia), D. J. Mbenga (Congo), Ronny Turiaf (Martinique), Gasol and Bryant. Among them, they learned to speak more than a dozen languages and had one thing in common growing up.

“When they offer the first gift,” Mbenga said, “if you’re a boy, it’s a football.”

Beautiful isn't it? I just bought my son his 1st ball about 3 weeks ago (the Don Garber signature model) at Target and it was a moment that I would love to see turn into a movement. Perhaps there should be "Buy Your Son a Ball Day"? I don't care what day it is just as long as it isn't March 14th because that is Daddy's special day.

Jimmy Conrad on Officiating

ConradEski

With the likes of David Beckham supposedly facing fines, John Carver under investigation and Juan Carlos Osorio being ejected for the way he (allegedly) spoke to a linesman, this may not exactly be the best climate to go composing 1,300 word open letters to the MLS referee contingent. But when the author is Jimmy Conrad, it may actually be the best time because you know that he'll do it in a way that is a) entertaining, b) intelligent and c) won't get him into enough trouble that it's messes with his money.

Anything the begins in the following manner...

"TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN, specifically CENTER REFEREES, specifically KEVIN STOTT,"

...is a must read for me. Historically speaking I have never been a fan of Stott so the opportunity to see his 'unique' brand of officiating aired-out in public forum by one of my favorite players is as good as gold. But, like all good reads this one has a surprise ending...which I am not about to spoil.

See You Too, Morrow: FC Dallas Coach Ousted

Morrow

I hope to have more info out of Frisco soon, but my man on the ground there says that FC Dallas skipper has been shown the door following his side's 5-1 pasteing on Sunday by the Rudd Boyz. My man Jinxproofs has the following to say:

"I was sitting next to Dan Hunt (of FC Dallas' owners The Hunt Group) Sunday and he looked like someone shot his dog and his grandmother at the same time. He was not happy at all....."

When you own a pro sports team and it screws the pooch in such a spectacular fashion in front of a record crowd and a national audience it's probably worse than a dead dog and grandma. Next stop Walsall?

Video: Week 8 Coaches Quotes



Hey y'all. It's a slow day so far so perhaps it's a good time to check out the coach's quotes from week 8. John Carver is 'disappointed' in Columbus, Osorio is 'disappointed' in NY's set pieces, Frank Yallop is still Mr. Personality and Tom Soehn is still employed...for now.

5.19.2008

Inside Red Bull's Los Angeles Pre-Game Throwdown



The staffers from Red Bulls corporate offices in Santa Monica know how to throw a party. DJ, band, 5-a-side games, women, enough energy drinks to kill an elephant. But one thing was missing. It ain't an RBNY party until the impossibly over-sized glass of communal beer makes and appearance. They did have some fresh to death one-off T-shirts from Bumpy Pitch though, so they at least looked good drinking from regular sized beverage containers.

BumpyPitch

Zoot Alors! Montreal's Stade Saputo Debuts Today

Open

They're lining up, tickets in hand and ready to rock. In about 45 minutes USL 1's Montreal Impact will christen Stade Saputo --their new 13,500 seat SSS-- with a rare matinée game against Vancouver Whitecaps. Call it the battle of the MLS-fixated if you will, as both teams have "promotion" aspirations and a shot at joining the bigs of North America.

If you have no job or you hate your boss you can watch the game live on USLlive.com for $9.99 (which includes the rest of the months USL matches). As my boy Flip would say "It's Primetown m*th*r f*ck*rs!"

On Villains and Awesomeness

Villains

Villains are great for any league and this week offered a buffet of folks to hate. All of those people above were villains to somebody this week. And it was awesome. Except for referee Jair Maruffo, who was certainly not awesome since he ejected my team's best player on the field Saturday night (Dave van den Bergh) and coach (Juan Carlos Osorio) during his remarkably poor performance. For this he's officially villainous in my eyes.

While Adrian Serioux's dangerous tackle on Davis Beckham was in no way awesome, his uncalled for comment of "Welcome, baby, welcome" was just as much of an asshole thing to do as the tackle that proceeded it. Which if you are a villain-for-a-day is awesome. But not to be outdone, Becks had to get in his face in an equally dramatic way --so dramatic in fact that video of it is posted on the front page of Perez Hilton today (which is the kind of press you can't buy)-- and give the Texas crowd a big old "shhhh" following his assist on on LA's 5th goal. As the "boos" rained down on him, I wonder if he was aware that he and Serioux had just pulled off the rare "villain reach-around"?

And then of course there was Schellotto's, um performance, up in Toronto. I was of the mindset that the whole Trillium Cup thing was just a pointless attempt to manufacture a rivalry, but with Guille's Carlos Ruiz-like escapades I think that real groundwork has been laid for a beef-filled border war between the two sides; the villain as fire starter.

Did I miss anyone? Was there anyone else that should be damned/praised this week? Drop it in the comment below.

Schelotto's Tony Award Winning Toronto Performance


I work at 1515 Broadway in New York. I walk past the the Phantom of the Opera, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and The Producers twice a day and even I haven't seen a performance this dramatic since Madonna was in Evita. This was truly a tour de force...I can't wait until Blanco & he go head-to-head for on-pitch theatrics supremacy.

5.18.2008

Wanted: Problem Solver

Dc
If you can figure out this puzzle, please phone Kevin Payne about an exciting employment oppurtunity that may be available to you.

Lightning Has Struck Twice For Edson Buddle

buddle

Ho. Lee. Sheet. Edson "tradebait" Buddle put three past FC Dallas in LA's 5-1 drubbing of The Club Formerly Known As The Burn. It's been 21 months since the former Crew striker hit 3 in a single game --which was against RSL during his NY stint-- so mark your calendars as it will most likely be another 21 before he does it again. Anyone's guess is as good as mine as to where his well-traveled ass will be by then.

5.16.2008

Blanco Pitches to Both Sides of the Chicago Baseball Divide

Blanco

Baseball fans of Chicago...forgive him for he knows not what he is doing and his innocence is almost child-like.

The Don Issues a Statement on Vancouver

BCPlace

Let's play 'the uninformed speculation game' for a minute since it's Friday and you're probably doing as little as possible at your job today. So the British Columbian government announces that they are going to renovate Vancouver's BC Place Stadium and outfit it with a retractable roof. Then it's announced that the USL 1 Whitecaps will begin playing there in 2011. Now MLS commissioner Don Garber has issued a statement on said developments.

Are ducks being put in a row or am I just one of those conspiracy crazies who think that JFK was killed by the CIA if I think that something may be afoot in Weed City? Mind you similar statements were issued in the past about San Antonio (remember that episode?), the initial Philly bid in New Jersey, and the fantasy of a stadium for the Revs so maybe in the long run it will mean nothing.

Wilco: Secret Celtic Supporters?

WilcoScarf

Is it just me or are a lot of musicians secret soccer fans these days? Maybe they aren't but perhaps someone at their merchandise company is. It seems everyone's discovering their inner hooligan and have got a terrace-inspired scarf to prove it. Jersey punker Ted Leo does. Indie-preps Vampire Weekend have one too. And noisy French DJ's Institubes have a 'hooligan disco' one.

My man Bob from Murder By Baltimore informed me this morning that Chicago twang-rockers Wilco --my wife's favorite band-- have one available for sale as well. Some of the other bands may not actually know a thing about the game (Vampire Weekend), but with "You'll Never Rock Alone" written on it something tells me Jeff Tweedy has seen a Celtic or Liverpool match or two in between prescription drug addictions and giving band mates the boot.

And judging from this live clip of 'Handshake Drugs' a shockingly large portion of his audience spends a bit of time screaming at their TV on Saturadys as well. Maybe that 'Kicking Television' song of theirs has a meaning that I never really caught before.

Arsenal Reconsidering Kroenke's Overtures?

Kroenke

I'll bet you $5 of Stan "The 'Stache" Kroenke's money that you are quite possibly familiar with the following phrase: Money talks, bullsh*t walks.

I think this may apply to the aforementioned Colorado Rapids owner and his dealings with Arsenal Football Club. Back in 2007 when there was all manner of chatter about a possible Kroenke takeover bid at Arsenal, it's chairman Peter Hill-Wood said he "did not want his sort" at the club. But in the months since he's bought a 12% stake in the club, and formed some sort of partnership between Arsenal and the Rapids and there was even a scrimmage played in London earlier this year between the 2 sides.

And now Hill-Wood says "there is every reason to expect that we shall discuss further how his involvement can be extended" and that "he may well have a vital contribution to make to the future of this football club." If you ask me that's a pretty abrupt U-turn and it shows something of a lack of resolve on Hill-Wood's part...I bet Churchill would be really disappointed. But I guess it just goes to show you how far persistence, cash and power can get you.

ESPN's 5 Burning Questions: MLS Newcomers & More



No disrespect to Mansally and Davino, but when you talk about newcomers who have impressed so far in 2008 I think you have to mention Adam Moffat. His stats aren't off the meter, but that guy's just got something.

Having said that, what the hell do I really know about soccer compared to Johnny Harkes?

So Look Who's Riding My Bus Now

Spitzer

I take the express bus into Manhattan from the Jersey Shore everyday. It's a going to be the death of me I swear, but you do what you have to do. I share this little daily hell with some cool people though; an MLS Vice President, one of David Letterman's producers, one of Ralph Lauren's head designers and --very occasionally-- Jeff Bradley all run the Garden State Parkway-to-NJ Turnpike gauntlet.

Add Ashley Dupre to that list. The high-priced call girl that led to the resignation of NY governor Eliot Spitzer was on my bus on this week and definitely upped the 'sexy' factor. Funny thing is that 2 other passengers and I had a 5-minute conversation about how she was killing it in her heels and skirt combo (anything to make the commute go by faster) and didn't even clock that it was her. And here I thought I was so up on my pop-culture and "celebrities".

5.15.2008

Video: Toronto FC Are a Massive Club (To Sponsors at Least)



It appears that Toronto FC is angling for the title of "club with the most big-budget adverts in MLS". Last week I was impressed by BMO Banks Ontario redux of '300'. This week it's this cellphone-cyborg soccer thing from Samsung. How come LA or New York never have anything this nice?

And apparently though the US Soccer "Go Tell the World' ads from a few years back were never shown in the Canadian maket. Biters.

Rocky Mountain Derby: The Thursday Night Hype

Is There a Nike Spy at Adidas?

Crew

My good buddy Witz saw this over at UniWatch. How the hell did that 'swoosh' get in there?

The Verve Are Totally in the Tank for TFC

NickMcCabeTFC

2 weeks ago I was all hot & bothered about going to see the newly reunited The Verve at MSG. In a nutshell, their guitarist Nick McCabe reaffirmed my belief that he is the best guitarist of his generation to come out of the U.K. Better than Bernard Butler for sure. Better than Graham Coxon. Better than Kevin Shields. And dare I say it better than John Squire.

And now that he (along with bassist Simon Jones) has been spotted sporting an MLS kit on stage --the band played across the street from BMO Field at Toronto's Ricoh Arena the night TFC played NY-- I think I love him even more. Even more fitting was that he put it on for the encore of "Bittersweet Symphony". I'm so damned easy to please.

Kobe on How Soccer Made Him a Better Hoops Player Than You



Some folks may not know it but Kobe grew up in Italy and spent his youth on the pitch emulating the moves of his boyhood favorites, AC Milan. At a recent press conference he testified as to how footie saved his life. Well maybe that was a bit of embellishment, but he does say some good things and I would like to believe that at the very least it helped him avoid be another _________ (insert crap basketball player here).

Preach it brother!

Shaka Hislop: Keeper, Writer, Activist

football_resistance

Former FC Dallas/West Ham/Reading/Newcastle/Portsmouth keeper and all-around good guy Shake Hislop has been writing a weekly MLS column for the U.K.'s Guardian this season. It's an interesting perspective coming from someone who has played in the league and has loads of EPL and Trinidad & Tobago national team experience.

This week he went light on the MLS stuff to to talk about a organization he's involved in called Show Racism the Red Card which is worth checking out. Some people may think that this is more of a foreign issue but being that last season I heard with my own ears --and sadly from a mouth within my own supporters group-- a geographically-challenged fan suggest that people stop playing their drums because it may "make him feel like he's at home in Africa", I have to wonder a little bit.

Wizards Up the Promo Ante



Remember a few weeks back when we were talking about the new Wizards ads? One of them finally turned up on the internets (all three of them!) today, courtesy of Hillcrest Road. Good stuff...soooo much better than the "Kevin Hartman tanning at a cafe" one from a while back.

Sports Media Apologizes For Beckham Neglect

ws_David_Beckham_3_1024x768

From the most serious sports news network ever:

NEW YORK, NY In a unique gesture, the members of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association of America took out a full page ad in the sports section of USA Today, apologizing for “forgetting about David Beckham."

Last week, after being contacted by MLS commissioner Don Garber, the NSSA had a startling realization - they had collectively forgotten Beckham was in America and playing soccer.

According to sources, this led to a meeting of the minds, who thought that the right thing to do was a public apology. In part, it read, “The NSSA would like to apologize for completely forgetting about David Beckham. We realize there are a few people out there who enjoy watching soccer, and had we remembered about the MLS, we surely would have had a representative attend at least one game.”

The Root of New England's Problem's Solved



Oh how I love cartoons. GI Joe, G-Force, and Hong Kong Phooey are my holy trinity but I think I may soon make room for Skiptoons' Steve Nicol show if it ever got syndicated. I would love nothing more than to begin my Saturday morning in front of the TV in my PJ's with an out-sized bowl of Corn Pops or Honey Comb taking in the post-game wisdom of our Stevie. Especially if it features Jeff Larentowicz undergoing some sort of Frankenstein-esque surgery.

5.14.2008

TOR Ruud Gullit Photo Bounty

DutchBecks

Someone sent me this photo of the Jumbotron at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium from last night's Galaxy-Whitecaps match. If anyone has a photo of Ruud Gullit's mug up there I would be very appreciative....with the "Old Dutch" advert on the top of the screen it wouldn't even need a caption.

Mohamed Al Fayed is Ballin' Outta Control

Mo

This is the hands down quote of the year. End of.

The Vote That Wolf Blitzer Won't Cover

Allstar

It's time to talk All-Star game y'all. More to the point it is time to start voting for the team that will face West Ham up there in Canuckistan in July. Voting has opened at MLSnet and I would encourage you all to get in there and make your opinion heard (just like in the real election). Polls will be open until July 12th. Who am I going with? I've only got few secrets that don't involve the law or women so I'm going to share my picks with my people. I know that I am opening myself up to all manner of abuse with this one but fuggitt, we're all friends here right? Let's have some real talk.

This is the TOR All-Star team at the moment. As you are allowed up to ten ballots a day and there is another 6 weeks in which players can fail or triumph I'm sure my picks will change, but here goes.

Goalie: Dario Sala (Dallas) Defenders: Jimmy Conrad (KC), Hunter Freeman(NY), Frankie Hejduk (CLB) Midfielders: David Beckham (LA), Sasha Kljesten (Chivas USA), Guillermo Schelotto (CLB), Adam Moffat (CLB), Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Chicago) Forwards: Landon Donovan (LA), Alejandro Moreno (CLB)

Quavas Kirk, Dipset & Ducky in the Same Post!?

kirk

That over-sized easter egg above is DC United's Quavas Kirk. I'm just going to put it out there that this is maybe too much. Like "2004 Camron from Dipset pink overload" too much. I mean I'll rock a shirt every once in a while but not a whole suit. Ladies what do you think: pretty in pink or pimp?

He kind of looks like he's dressed for prom so maybe he's "pretty in pink", which leads me to tell you that the TOR Muxtape has been updated and inspired by the classic 80's film of the same name and theme. But it's not actually 80's music, but just music that sounds like it came from a lost John Hughes flick. There is one 80's band in there --mope-rock granddads The Cure-- but it's a brand new song. There is also the new Coldplay song that was used in the Euro 2008 commercial that was debuted on ESPN last Thursday.

Don't be afraid, explore your inner Ducky.

About That Kanye Show (Just So You Know)



It was pretty damned good, but I think the hype was too great. Without the hype, I would have thought this show was A-mazing. But for all the talk I was expecting a Biggie walk-on and for Obama and Hilary to hold a freestyle battle to decide the nominee. Instead we had 90 minutes of Kanye's 'lost in space' one man show.

What is worth seeing for sure was N*E*R*D. 'Everybody Nose' annihilated the room in a way that was truly unexpected. If you haven't heard it yet, check the video above.

5.13.2008

That Hippity Hop Music

Kanye

I'm heading out the door to go check out the Glow in the Dark Tour at the Garden. From what I am told (and from what you see in that photo above) this show is supposed to convert me from being just "OK" with Kanye into being "all up on his jock". He's been crazy secretive about this tour --or as secretive as you can be about sold out arena dates-- and has not given photo passes to any media outlets, and has had all Youtube footage pulled within hours of it being posted. The only photos out there seem to be the one's released on Kanye's blog (which is where the one above originated).

From the looks of it it should be worth dealing with one of his famous tantrums. And even if 'Ye gets all jack-assed tonight as he is want to do Lupe Fiasco, and N.E.R.D. f/Pharrell are also on the bill so that's cool. Oh, and Rhianna is playing to but whatever.

And go over the The Original Winger and to check out his new remix of N.E.R.D.'s summer anthem "Everybody Nose". It's real special.

LA Plays Some Non-TFC Canadians Tonight



Hey y'all. If you happen to live in SoCal or frequent some of the dodgy Sopcast sites out there, you can watch LA's game tonight against Vancouver Whitecaps live from Edmonton, Alberta...that's in Canada. It's KWHY Channel 22 in LA, which is a Spanish channel.

So that's an American team, playing in Canada and available only on a Spanish-language channel. It doesn't get any more NAFTA than that.

Ruud Gullit Needs to Lower His Expectations

Ruud

LA boss Ruud Gullit thinks that the Galaxy has a "lack of leadership." As the articles author Graham Jones points out, "the Galaxy's 2008 roster includes U.S. national team captain Landon Donovan, Guatemala national team captain Carlos Ruiz and former England national team captain David Beckham." I hate to say it Ruud-boy, but that is about as good as it gets in this league.

Now if you think you need to get a little more leadership out of those guys I'm sure you could get Alexi to lay out the cash to send those three to one of those Tony Robbins academies. My cousin did one of those and now he's the head busboy in charge of all the other busboy's at the Roscoe's Chicken N' Waffles on Pico.

Seriously, it's either that or digging up Winston Churchill.

Michael Owen Turning Japanese?

japOwen

Tyne-siding it in the land of the rising sun? Sounds crazy right? About as crazy as David Beckham to MLS sounded a mere 18 months ago so you never know. I'm not too up on my J-League rules and regulations but in terms of audience, size and age it's very similar to MLS. Perhaps Owen could be the player to give the league the shot in the arm similar to the one Becks has given MLS.

Having said that, if Owen is willing to consider the J-League perhaps an MLS side (I'm thinking Toronto) should think about giving his agent a call.

The Price of Oatmeal

JozyBowl

Things that cost $7million dollars
-the world's largest tree house.
-a mid-sized arena.
-a top NFL cornerback or defensive end.
-some baller-assed homes in Arizona, Montana, and Rhode Island.
-Jozy Altidore's rumored transfer fee.

5.12.2008

Before TomKat Were HDC Regulars...



Sorry for all the brief posts today; I'm at home on Daddy duty but I had to share this video though as it gave me a good laugh at 2 a.m. this morning as I couldn't sleep due to Anton Chigurh nightmares.

Jimmy Conrad Would Like to Sell You Something



Hey, at least it's not KickMedic.

Who Are Ya?: TFC Fan Snapped With Playmate of the Year

Playboy

TOR Reader Andrew came across this photo of Playmate of the Year Jayde Nicole with a very happy Toronto over the weekend. We don't know who the guy is but, his smile says it all. Anyone recognize this privledged S.O.B? Or perhaps this is you? If so please hit us up so that you may recieve the recognition you deserve.

We'd also like to know how she looked in real life...roses or ruins?

5.09.2008

This is What My Backyard is Missing



By the by, does anyone where I can find one of these? It's so much better than a batting cage, no?

USL Beef: Seattle v. Portland



If you're not up on the USL, let me remind you that the steel cage grudge match that is Sounders-Timbers takes place tomorrow and you can watch it on USLlive.com. Being that this is the last season that both sides will be in the same league it should be something to behold, especially with Portland's away support in the house. You know they must be something special when even Seattle Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer wants Portland in MLS...because their fans
the best mayne.

Eight Minutes in Ben Olsen's House

olsen

Go to Soccer Insider right now and check out Dan Steinberg's superb video piece with sidelined DC United midfielder Ben Olsen. Go. Now. It's the best thing I've seen all week and it's much better than Ben's wedding spread in Brides Magazine.

As jokey, and superficial as TOR is, I have a massive boner for tasteful, erudite reporting like this. It really makes me feel like an adult (and makes players look like real professional athletes). I stopped myself from embedding it here because I think all praise should be given to the Post for this. Regardless of what you think about the bearded boy wonder, this is well worth your time just to get visual confirmation on the fact that Zach Wells lives in his basement. Love it.

Red Bulls Have to Go to LA to Get the Red Carpet Treatment



Not so long ago New York sports TV juggernaut MSG Network paid a small bit of attention to the New York MLS club. There used to be pre & post-game shows, a mid week soccer show and even some presence on it's highlight show. Now they don't even fly the announcers out to away games. But hey, Shep has a blog now.

But with Red Bull on the road against the LA Galaxy this week, they've decided to turn back the clock and give a damn. They created some nice promos like the one above and hired a pretty well-known, trend-setting marketing company to play the role of pusher. They're bringing back the Running With The Bulls pre-game show for the 1st time this year. And they're springing to send Shep and Steve Cangiolosi out west (but probably only putting them up the Carson Super 8). It's like it's 2006 all over again.

The Fire to Spread Futbol Gospel in the Heartland

peoria

I was all primed an ready to take the piss out of the fact that the DC-dominating Fire were going to play their next US Open Cup match in Peoria, Illinois and sponsored by The Butcher Block Meat Shop...really I was. But then I realized that not only is it a fantastic way for the club to build it's brand across the region by playing a meaningful match instead of an exhibition but also that The Butcher Block will f*ck around and sell you a box of prime-aged USDA steaks, a bottle of wine and some seasoning for $39 bucks. Sorry, but I just can't be mad at that.

And is it just me or does "The Polish Two Pack" sound like a sausage & perogi combo you'd order at a deli? Sadly it's not though.

So This Blanco Kid is Kinda Good



This is the definition of "banger". That is all.

5.08.2008

Photo of the Day: Unamusement Park

ChivasDisney

Chivas USA fans, I really hope for your sake that Guzan takes those gloves off before your next match. It's not like he needs any help becoming less sure-handed. Hopefully this picture does not tell a thousand words about what kind of season you have ahead of you.

Turnabout: AEG Buys a Piece of De La Hoya's Company

HDC

If you were waiting around for the reach-around between new BFF's AEG and Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy productions, you can put down that magazine now because your number has been called. After selling a piece of Houston Dynamo to Golden Boy a few months ago, AEG announced today that it is returning the favor by buying a piece of Golden Boy.

What does that mean for you the American soccer fan? Not much other than that AEG, and in turn MLS, will further fill the single-entity pot with cash from having a new customer to fill dates at the HDC. Isn't it nice to see people paying rent to MLS clubs than the other way around.?

Chicago vs. DC United! Live! Tonight! In HD!



The obligatory Thursday night hype post. And with this being the first meeting of Chicago and DC since 2007's epic playoff battle this one is worth every bit of hyperbole. FYI ESPN will have a full 30 minutes of pre-game beginning at 7.30pm EST, with kickoff slated for 8pm. It's like almost like ESPN actually doesn't hate soccer!

Euro 2008 To Be Heavy on the Falsettos

Coldplay Euro 2008

In the age of declining record sales, carbon-copy radio stations, fewer record stores and even fewer places to watch music videos on TV, bands have to look for new and different ways to reach consumers. Some ink 3 commercial deals with auto-makers (Wilco), some pin their hopes on lending their songs to popular TV shows (Snow Patrol on Gray's Anatomy) and some just give it away for free (Radiohead). For Coldplay's upcoming Viva La Vida (Or Death and All His Friends) album they're taking their global domination plan, erm, global.

The soccer mom's favorite music will be featured in promos and ads for ESPN's coverage next month of the European Championship. ESPN will incorporate pre-released music from
Viva La Vida into match and studio production for the quadrennial tournament which begins June 7th...conveniently one week before the CD drops on June 12.

Matches will be shown on ESPN and ABC in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, South America and India with the final airing on June 29 as part of a doubleheader that opens with David Beckham's Los Angeles Galaxy at D.C. United. Says ESPN Senior Director of Sports Marketing Seth Adler, the idea is to demonstrate the global importance of soccer and create greater interest in the sport "even among American fans."

"Even among American fans" he says. When I first read that statement I was a little uncomfortable with it. But then I recalled the time that I told 2 of the guys out of Coldplay that they had made it because "even black people are buying your records" --and anyone in the music game will tell you that for a white band in the American market that is no easy feat-- so maybe I understand what he's saying there.

And before the Coldplay-bashing, free-for-all begins in the comments let me just remind you all that exit polls on their last tour have shown that Coldplay will get you laid 3 out of 5 times with college educated women over the age of 26. Fact.

TFCtv: It Beats Watching The View



Have you seen TFCTV yet? It's not a bad little production, especially if you are partial to MLS's only Canuckistani side. Apparently they've been doing it for a bit (the episode above is the sixth installment), but I've just caught today. Am I slipping or has no one else outside of the province heard about this?

The first segment contains some awesome footage of a Amado Guevara accepting a skyscraper-esque Man of the Match award then making the walk from the field through the tunnel and into the locker room. It's pretty cool footage to me because I've always wondered what it's like under the stands and it's no where near as institutional as I thought; it's like they have a lobby between the locker room and the tunnel. Oh and Rohan Ricketts looks like a black Terminator.

It's also worth pointing out how nice it is to see former Fox Soccer Report naughty librarian Michelle Lissel back in fron of a camera. I'm sure more than a few of you are members of her cult-like appreciation society so enjoy the PR-porn.

The Swedish Fish and Freddy Adu: Say What?

SvenAdu

Interesting. Mr Burns may end up coaching The Biggest Midget in the Game™. My man Binks says "that's right, the man that likes to load the dishwasher after having sex, is interviewing for the Benfica spot. My how the mighty have kept moving South. Figuratively and now literally".

I actually don't have to much to say about this potential move as I'm really not educated enough on Eriksson's managerial style to comment. But I'm sure that some of you may have opinions/tirades about the man so I'll leave that to you. The one question I have is "will Sven let our Freddy get back on the field?