11.30.2008

Washington Post: Michael Parkhurst Off to Denmark

Parkie

"Once again, we are seeing a quality American player leave behind the domestic league for a secondary European circuit." -Steven Goff, Washington Post

"Bunk" - SF, The Offside Rules

11.28.2008

Make Room Landon, Big Kenny's Thinking Germany as Well

Cooper

Did you read Steve Davis this week? Dude came with a story about Eintract Frankfurt being interested in jumping on the Kenny Cooper train, y'know, the one that Cardiff City and Rosenborg missed at the station. Good for him is he can A) get the deal done and B) get some playing time. But as much as he'd gain from a move like that, I think MLS fans will lose out on seeing stud of striker week in week out.

But as Davis youches on in the article, for whatever reason U.S. strikers don't get paid in the U.S. Oh they get paid as in they recieve a check for thier services, but they don't get PAID as in they can buy a house for thier Momma outright when they sign thier contract. It's kinda of like some Josephine Baker shit for them; your talent doesn't recive the appreciation as you think it should at home so you have go to Europe to get it.

11.26.2008

MLS Cup Be Damned, It's Not Over Yet!

OneRoad

Did you know that Houston's playing tonight? And here you thought the MLS season was over, which it technically is. But DeRo's Dynamo have hung in there to be the last American man standing in the inaugural CONCACAF Champions League as well as being the last MLS team playing meaningful matches in 2008 and I think that's worth drinking to. I dunno about you but I having The Last Drop...what's your poison?

Back in the Day MLS Commercial



Rev. Run before he was a Reverend, up in the club with DMC, the late Jam Master Jay and a stack of cheese asking the important question: "What rhymes with Cienfuegos?". Possibly the best MLS advert ever.

11.25.2008

NSR: Obligatory Justice Documentary Post




FINALLY. A Cross the Universe has been released. Download it now, freak out to it later.

Don't Let the Trophy Fool You, Things Are a Little Uglier in Columbus Than They Appear at First Glance

CBusChick

The Crew and it's staff should just be chillin' and not thinking about anything more pressing than "What cut of steak shall I have at dinner tonight?" right now; this is their Purple Rain tour. They won the league and by all rights should be spending the week poppin' bottles, picking up chicks because they are now champion athletes (the single guys) or (the married guys) sending their kids to grandma's for a few days so Daddy can remind Mommy that he's still the man in very expensive hotel room somewhere.

Instead they're wondering whether unprotected players Eddie Gaven, Adam Moffat, or Pat Noonan will end up in Seattle. They're curious as to whether Defender of the Year Chad Marshall or Robbie Rogers will take up more continental pursuits like tapas and wearing a beret next season? Will the club pony up and pay Schelotto the DP money needed to pay his salary next year? And they're definitely worried that Sigi Smalls (who apparently didn't have the last word on which players to protect in the expansion draft) will fly the coop for an expansion team; there is even talk that tampering charges have been filed against Seattle.

It's all too much drama to deal with when you should be holding court at a beach-bar somewhere drinking something with an umbrella in it while someone tanned has their hands on you and is laughing at everything you have to say. But I guess there is no time for all that when you are at the top and want to stay there.

"A Cotton Candy Cadillac Driven by Abraham Lincoln with a Beard Made Out of Diamonds"



The election may be over, but the arguing isn't. Go on...Get Your War On.

Greg Lalas and I Are in a Love Triangle

GoodTimes

Greg Lalas cranked out his Ode to the Passion of MLS Fans today and I thank him for it. It's always nice to see some acknowledgment that it's often the devoted that keep many games from being about as exciting as warm milk.

So while praise is being showered like so much celebratory champagne, I'd like to give shouts to the ESC and the rest of the New York traveling contingent; we may not have come out on top but we brought the ruckus for 90+ minutes and no one went to jail (but almost).

I'd also like to shout a holler to the LA Riot Squad for being ridiculously awesome hosts and for dulling the pain of a New York defeat by plying us with tacos, beer and brotherhood. They also introduced us to the twisted pleasures of bike jousting. You guys were all class (and your women were cute, especially a certain red head) and I have nothing but love for you guys; I hope that you can make a trip out east sometime so that we can return the favor.

Seriously, this is how it should be. We can talk all manner of sh*t before the game, and we should sing until our throats bleed during the game but afterward there's really no need to play the tough; I had more fun chatting and boozing with cats that are in the same boat as I am than I ever will trying to dodge bottles being thrown by bad actors hoping for a cameo in Green Street Hooligans 2. Can't we just all get along?!

Photo by Skijerze.

Journalist As Stoked For Red Bull Arena as I Am

RBA

The NY Daily News' Filip Bondy is a soccer man. Unfortunately he has to write more about basketball and other sports more often --hey, a guy's gotta get a check-- but make no mistake, he is down. What he is not down with is Giants Stadium, just like most people.

He blogged today about how he is like most Gotham footie fans and can't wait for the Western Conference Champion Red Bull New York to get into their new digs because "there is nothing worse than viewing soccer from the sealed pigeon roost that passes for the press box at Giants Stadium." He also says that you won't be able to keep him away from soccer games when the new spot opens (RBNY communications dept., please take note of this).

See this is why Red Bull Arena might be one of the most important things to happen to the league post-DP rule. If this new building can get journalists in the nation's largest & most important media market as hyped as fans to take in match, (Warning: hyperbole alert!!!!) it may change the quality, quantity and frequency of coverage for the club and the league forever.

Tuesday is the New Monday

Crashed

What's up you world? I'm back from the Left Coast today and I think I'm finally lucid enough to type something. When I headed out west I was all hyped up and excited to go out and kill Los Angeles; it was going to be all poppin' bottles, Spaceland and Tao. Yea-uh...it didn't quite go down like that.

For the sake of brevity, I will say that this photo sums it up. After being awake for 36+ hours when I landed and not getting to bed until another 15 hours later I was so tired that at one point I decided that the paper goods isle of the Torrance K-Mart was as good a place as any to catch a nap. You'll be surprised to learn that in addition to be absorbent, Bounty is quite comfy.

It was a good trip though, although for the life of me I can't figure out why I did not rent a car. Who tries to spend a weekend in LA without renting a car? Someone who thinks it's appropriate to sleep in a K-Mart apparently.

11.21.2008

MLS Cup: The Press Pass Preview



All the players think Coulmbus are going to walk away with it without a real fight. Tommy Smythe is the only one down for New York and will be the only to feel the love if they pull it off.

Jozy Altidore: The John Harkes Interview

Videos: Confederations Cup Draw Much Sexier Than Expected



Forget going to South Africa for the Confederations Cup or World Cup. I should have gone down there for Miss World; that's where the real talent is. Good to know I'm not the only one interested in mixing flesh and footie.

Video: Best MLS Cup Moments



Magic moments y'all. Drink them in.

If you don't hear from me for a few days it's because I am in LA and can't be bothered to blog as I'll be with the boys and drinking and ballin' and singin' and whatnot. If you're out there and you see my ugly ass around the HDC, give us a holler.

The Curse Lives!: Angel Injured During Practice

Needle

This could only, ONLY, happen to The Team Formerly Known as Metro. Hopefully it is nothing. But if you are the betting type now might be an OK time to place that bet on Columbus, y'know, before the bookies get wind and go changing the odds.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get up and close the door to my office while I have a fit.

Sigi Schmid Has This Video on A Loop at the Crew Hotel



I don't even know what to say. I'd like to blame the head injury but I dunno.

Video: The Power of Ballack




Unlike the Alonso and Gerrard clip from earlier today, this one could be all too real for it's victim.

Video: Goal.com Goes Inside Alexi's Red Bull-Drinking Training Camp



Bravo sir, bravo. This is the very embodiment of the expression "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Then mix that sh*t with bourbon" and I applaud you for it.

Now I made that last part up about the bourbon but what I'm saying is you gotta know how to make a whack situation less whack. And one of the best ways to do that is to take the piss out of yourself. Good on ya Alexi. But when RBNY win, you still might want to make some room in the fridge for the inevitable onslaught of liquid taurine that is bound to come you way. People aren't going to forget too easily.

UPDATE: (Booooooooooooooooooo. Someone doesn't appreciate a good laugh. So in lieu of this video I'll leave you with the second funniest video to feature Alexi.)

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: (It's back!)



The Ballad of Dave van den Bergh

DVB

I like this Dave van den Bergh. He's not the youngest or fastest guy on the RBNY wing (Richards is) but he's intelligent and a great crosser of the ball (Richards isn't). At the end of the o7 campaign many fans --myself included-- weren't sure if he would be around for the beginning of the 2008 season; thankfully he was since he's become one of the leaders of a team that was in need of a bit of guidance.

Before his arrival in NY, DVB played a single season for Kansas City but was traded to NY for a third-round pick in the 2007 supplemental draft. That gave the Wizards a total of 3 picks for the round. Where are those picks now? One is playing in Ireland, one isn't playing at all and one is playing on a prison team. Meanwhile they guy they traded away is playing in MLS Cup.

Shooting Clay Pidgeons With Gerrard & Alonso



No guns required.

Juergen on Landon: The Soccernet Interview



The man responsible for the Landon loan sat down with Soccernet and gives 7+ minutes accolades and insight. Great interview. I'm really starting to enjoy ESPN's footie videos more & more and I'm so glad this stuff is now available on TV more often; set your DVR because Press Pass is now available on ESPN Classic twice a week. I can't speak for you but I think this is a welcome alternative to Fox Football Fone-in.

The Don Speaks and a Reporter Listens. And Writes.

nickgreen

So I just read this piece on Don Garber's speaking engagement at USC last night on 100 Percent Soccer. Allegedly at one point The Don said something he may have had second thoughts about and followed it up with "I hope there's no media people here, they'll get me in trouble for this." Personally I don't think what he says was that controversial or too off base but for his own reasons he thought better of it afterward.

Now if you're a writer sitting in an audience what do you do? Do you take that as a wink from Garber and keep mum in the name of goodwill or do you let your predatory instincts get the better of you and take the bait? I have my own opinion but I'm just a fan and not a member of the press so I don't pretend to have full knowledge of how something like that would typically get played. I do know that a couple of proper writers read TOR on occasion so if any of you would like to comment anonymously on whether or not you would spill Garber's beans in exchange for a story, please do so. I'm quite curious.

Photo of the Day: Air Red Bull Flight 101

AirRedBull

Caption contests are fully the domain of Ives Galarcep and Anderson Cooper so I usually respect that and leave it to them to own that content type. But just this once I am going break the self-imposed embargo because I have MLS Cup fever. Illness...it makes you do funny things.

So here's a shot snapped yesterday of Mike Magee, Dave van den Burgh and Kevin Goldthwaite aboard the LA-bound private plane of Western Conference Champions Red Bull New York. As you can see I threw my 2 cents in. Whatchu got? Do your worst in the comments below.

11.20.2008

Kickin' It With Al Hopkins: MLS Cup Edition

ESPN Press Pass: The Donovan Debate


The leperachan and co. debate Donovan's Munich move.

Schellotto Is Sportsman/Hustler of the Year

Schelotto

So yeah, GBS is MVP and IMHO that is AOK. FWIW this piece in SI is also AOK.

Cristiano Ronaldo Will Choke You Down

say what cronaldo

People always call CR7 'soft' or a slang term for the female reproductive organ. But as my dude FERENGi® pointed out to me, it kinda takes some balls to go into Estadio Bezerrao and try to choke down a Brazilian. Do you know how easy you can get cut for doing that type of sh*t!? Dude better not show his face in the favela's...he might get dealt with.

Bearded Ladies, and The Crew Arrive at LAX

Conditioner

Attention housekeepers. If you are currently employed by any one of the moderately-priced hotels in and around Carson, CA be on the lookout for these two notorious conditioner enthusiast. They may look like out of work musketeers but they are in fact Frankie Hejduk and Gino Padula of the Columbus Crew.

These two have been spotted at LAX are certain to be on the way to looting your place of work for every last bottle of Pantine Leave-In Conditioner that currently occupies that little cart you push around. Don't be fooled by their smiles or tales of Eastern Conference Championship glory for these men want for only two things; an MLS Cup and long, luxurious tresses of man-mane.

John Wolyniec Takes The Ferry to Practice

Woly

John Wolyniec gets the local-boy-done-good treatment from the Staten Island Advance in advance of MLS Cup. I have to say of all of the players I have ever met (not that I've met a crazy amount though) he's easily the nicest and the one I would most like to shoot the shit with over a highball drink. I hope he scores the game-winner then does the "Thriller" dance again to horror and confusion of the uninitiated watching at home.

What Do You Do When The Playoffs Skip You?



All I can say is thank God that no one said they were going to "find themself".

Oh and Before I Forget....

Cooper

Poor form to be the "I told you so" guy I admit, but damn y'all, we waited so long.

Last Night's Party: U.S. in Cold-arado.

12OMG

Dos a Cero and for once it wasn't the Mexicans that we hung it on. I liked what I saw from the young folks and 80's Babies that got the run out v. Guatemala last night. I particularly liked they way Jozy, Kenny, Freddy, and Sacha work together in the attack; throw Landon in the central mid and you see what might soon be my preferred U.S. attack force.

I'll tell you what I didn't like though: the crowd. 'Nuff respect to those that showed up and gave it go but damn, you really shouldn't be able to read the word "Colorado" clearly in the seating. Seriously, who books a game in Denver a week from Thanksgiving? A Wampa?

Ridiculous

Economy Got You Down? Can't Get a Loan? Call MLS Today!

Hallo

The economy is in the crapper. And when times are hard businesses often begin implementing new strategies to make make money and try to offset some losses that may be coming. Perhaps that is why the 2008 off-season will be forever know as The Year of the Loan.

Becks is making a well-publicized trip to Italy. The Hunchback of Bridgeview™ is headed to Santos Laguna for some sun and an escape from the brutal Chicago winter. D.C. United's Fred is back where it all began for him, the Hyundai A-League. And now our Landon is on loan to Bayern Munich. I wonder if Blogspot will loan me out to Deadspin?

Xtreme Soccer brought to you by Snap Into a Slim Jim™



I don't really follow indoor soccer. When it comes to indoor soccer I'm kind of like most Americans are about outdoor soccer; I'm down to play it but I'm not really one to watch it. But I might not mind 3v3, fog machined steel-cage match indoor soccer to a big-beat soundtrack. That's what going on in one of the MANY leagues going by the name Xtreme Soccer (Google it, you'll see what I mean).

I bet this would take off if they signed, say "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and the British Bulldog and took it on the county fair circuit. And judging by the diving header that the one guy scores --on a three foot high goal no less-- Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka would be All-County in this league as well.

11.19.2008

Gooners Want Gazidis



Who would have thought that MLS number 2 man Ivan Gazidis would be the EPL's hottest MLS prospect of 2008?

How Do You Say "Damn, That Looks Cold" in Spanish?



The Crew + Spanish language TV + Nu Metal = Eastern Conference Championships.

Juan Pablo Angel is the Jackie Robinson of DP's

JPA

Since the inception of the Designated Player Rule there have been eight men to hold such a title. This Sunday Juan Pablo Angel will be the first to participate in MLS Cup. I hope he wins but if he doesn't I'm going to buy him this ribbon to mark the occasion.

Goal.com's Pat Walsh studied the whole DP situation
and came back with this piece today. Basically New York has come up trumps in the DP stakes thanks to JPA's scoring and leadership. Not bad at all considering he's not got the name recognition of Blanco or Beckham nor is he surrounded by the same quality in supporting cast that Emilio and Gallardo.

Video: U.S. Men Pre-Gaut Pre-Game



Tonight's lineup is going to be like that Kelis song from a few years back; young, fresh & new.

Sigi Smalls Key to Columbus Success

BigPoppa

How sweet would it be if you were Sigi,Sigi,Sigi and you got to win MLS Cup in the home of the team that last fired you --when you were top of the league no less-- while they didn't even make the post-season? He may not be that kind of vengeful guy but you just know it would be sweet like chocolate to have all his hard work over the last three years pay off in the house that AEG built. I just wish he wouldn't have to beat RBNY to do it.

The Reason This Blog Has a Freak Shows Tag



When you see this display of, erm...unique skill, what is your initial reaction?

Uncle Lamar Raised his Boy Right

Clark

Remember a few years ago when New England was in MLS Cup but Bob Kraft went to the Patriots game instead? Clark Hunt ain't going out like that.

The Case for Viral Videos (and Dance Teams)




This is sooooo much better --and much more appropriate-- than the official video for 'Sex on Fire'.

Edson Buddle Predicts The MLS Cup



It was going to happen eventually: 2 of the 33 clubs that Edson Buddle has played for in the last 5 years are meeting in MLS Cup. And sadly for him neither of them are his current club...it's like he's the eighth caller when the ninth one gets club seats to the World Cup final, a Maybach and an intimate evening with Meghan Fox.

All I Wanna Do is "Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop" and Take Your Trophy

Nerf

It's a bit hypocritical of me as I spent a substantial portion of my childhood playing Army in the wooded areas that snaked through the town I grew up in (Denison, TX) but I'm not a fan of kids with guns. I'm not talking about the song, I like that, but children playing with fake guns. All I have to do is look around at the violence that sometimes plagues the community I currently call home to know that our youth has become beyond desensitized to gun imagery; I actually saw a a kid no older than 12 at the corner store last week wearing a pair of jeans that was polka dotted in Glock 9's.

Having said that...I sooooo want a fully-automatic Nerf vulcan cannon. No, I NEED a fully-automatic Nerf vulcan cannon. It shoots three darts per second and that is nothing but a good thing. I wonder if Nerf products are on the list of items banned from the HDC?

Marc Burch Gets in Touch with His Inner Kutcher

CarWrap

You know how some people get all paranoid about their luggage when they fly and get their bags wrapped in up like mummy's in the airport? Marc Burch kinda decided that he need to do that to Santino Quaranta's car the other day for some inexplicable reason. Behind the Badge can explain the whole thing a bit better than I can.

I will say that I do appreciate this kind of prank; no one get's hurt and the damage to personal property is minimal. If you're reading this Santino --and let's face it you're not-- I have a suggestion for revenge...Liquid Ass.

Now before you assume that Liquid Ass is a condition resulting from an evening spent at a dodgy taqueria let me set you straight. Liquid Ass is a "super–concentrated liquid that evaporates, filling the air with a genuine, foul butt–crack smell with hints of dead animal and fresh poo." Sounds yummy doesn't it? Perhaps replacing Mr. Burch's gym bag with one marinated in this fine concoction would be appropriate retribution? Or perhaps replacing his shower gel or hand sanitizer with something more "aromatic"? You have to admit it beats toilet papering his house.

11.18.2008

Hello New York, Are You Paying Attention?

Faithful

The Hudson Valley Times-Record says no one is excited about RBNY. As this photo of the crowd at Nevada Smith's last Saturday shows, they are just asking the wrong people. What's your problem Hudson Valley?

Mind you he's not totally off base; we all know that the NY market hasn't lived up to it's soccer potential since the Carter administration. But I think that an improbable RBNY victory on Sunday could be Act One in the story of The Resurrection™. Act Two would be using the designated player slot once occupied by The Retiree Formerly Known as Claudio Reyna on a respected, marquee international player; rumored names likes Alessandro Del Piero or Thierry Henry would do quite nicely. The Third and final act in this dramatic tale would be actually getting Red Bull Arena open before the closing scene of the 2009 season.

It's fanciful for sure, but well within the realm of possibility. Still I wouldn't go running calling the bookmakers unless you're ready to lose your kneecaps and join your local Murderball league. But if this trifecta of soccer blessings descended upon Gotham in short order I think its repercussions would result in a change in the market, and subsequently the league, for the best.

RBNY Success Fathers More Theories Than The X-Files

note

From Glenn Davis' piece in the Houston Chronicle on MLS Cup:

"The Red Bulls have been organized, workmanlike, resilient and lucky, all at once. Opponents have hit the post six times over the past two games. Their coach, Juan Carlos Osorio, is obsessive about tactics and preparation and has gone through challenges ranging from losing Jozy Altidore (Villareal) to having Claudio Reyna retire (a blessing, with all due respect) and on to the suspensions of keeper Jon Conway and defender Jeff Parke."

There are approximately 264 different theories of why the Western Conference Champion Red Bull New York is in MLS Cup. Here are a few of today's best in no particular order:

-Notebook-toting coach Juan Carlos Osorio is a tactical genius.
-They are not a soccer team but are in fact the Justice League of the sports world.
-They have mastered the ancient art of the dreaded counter attack.
-Simple. They quit putting up with Claudio Reyna.
-Danny Cepero is giving them far more than they are paying for.
-(To the tune of Guantanamera) Juan Pablo Angel, there's only Juan Pablo Angel.
-They are taking advantage of their ticket to The Second Chance Dance.


Crew Listening to LL's "Goin' Back to Cali" on Repeat

CalMassive

I just read this piece in the Columbus Dispatch about how every third person associated with the Crew has some California roots. Sigi, surfin' Frankie and a slew of other Left Coast exiles are making due and making a home for themselves in Ohio but they all seem pretty stoked at the chance to lift the Anschutz Trophy back in SoCal. So I'm sure that everyone and their Momma (literally) will be in the HDC come Sunday.

Baseballer Gets in on The St. Louis Bid

Albert

Daaaaaaayuuuuuum. Stevie Nash ain't the only pro baller trying to get his expansion on.

Video: The Javi Morales Mixtape




You really have to give it up to Javi Morales. When he came in last year he was just one of three Argies that were airlifted into Utah at about the same time and he didn't really stand out to me. But this season he was essential to RSL's recently-conceded campaign of not sucking. He really showed up in almost every way; dude was scoring goals, feeding balls and conducting English as a Second Language classes on-camera with The Great Unwashed™. Certainly deserving of a highlight reel, no?

You Wanted The Best and They Got The Best!

Best

Designated Players Soccer By Ives, DuNord and the blog currently known as TOR are amongst the nominees for U.S. Soccer's Best Blog for 2008. Also amongst the ranks of contenders are the Dean of D.C. Steven Goff, my boy Kyle @ Behind the Badge and funny-guy James Tyler from Unprofessional Foul. Who do you think will win it? Ives or Goff?

In the unlikely event that TOR brings it home I vow to make a Peter Griffin-esque 'thank you' speech where I thank both God and the Devil. If you've never seen this speech it's in the "Patriot Games" episode of Family Guy but I have transcribed it for you below.

"I want to thank God. I want to thank the Lord God because it is really not up to me, it is up to him and I want to thank the devil too because you know that is why God is there. He is minding the fence to make sure that guy never comes back. You know if it weren't for the devil God would have probably gone insane, blowing he's brains out from boredom. Everybody likes to feel useful....it make a da world go around."

Community Service: It's Not Just for Criminals Anymore




Pat Noonan is doing it frat-boy style. Adam Moffatt is doing while sounding Scottish. Steven Lenhart is doing it while being (and sounding) blond. So you really have no excuse not to get involved in doing some kind of service.

I really believe that you don't need a court order or a platinum record to "give back to the community". If you're looking to make an impact on those around you may I recommend the following causes; these are merely my suggestions, not endorsements...so if any CEO's of these corporations get axed for being caught with a dead girl or a live boy don't blame me. If you have a suggestion feel free to knock it into the comments.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America

America Scores

United Way

Boy Scouts of America

Girl Scouts of America

Friends of the Otters (who doesn't love otters?)

Goodwill Industries

Green Festivals

11.17.2008

Road to MLS Cup




This is definitely the best one so far. I can't place the actress...wasn't she on MadTv or something?

Goal of the Year: Vote or a Kitten Dies



Now y'all need to make your own call but this is my pick for Goal of the Year. RSL's Will Johnson just got so sick with it on this one that not even the combined casts of E.R., Gray's Anatomy and Trapper John M.D. could save him. Goal of the Year voting ends tomorrow so if you want to put your stamp on this year's proceedings go to MLSnet and vote right now; voting ends on Tues. Nov. 18th so don't get wait too long or you'll find yourself disenfranchised.

Soccer Mom Heaven: The Wizards meet Coldplay

cp photo-1

There are two people in this photo who get paid to travel around, see the world and play music; those people are Chris Martin (sitting) and Will Champion (short hair, beard, best name ever) out of Coldplay. I'm sure you've heard of them as your missus and your mother listen to them when they need a good cry about how you're not doing what they want you to do.

There are 4 other people in this photo who get paid to travel around, see the world --or the country at least until they make CONCACAF Champions League-- and play footie; those people are (l to r) Tyson Wahl, Ryan Pore, Kevin Souter (obscured by Will Champion's head) and Jonathan Leathers. I'm sure you've heard of them as they may have made you cry this season because they did your team in or because are your team.

My man Kyle from Hillcrest Road hipped me to the fact that last Thursday a bunch of Wizards players were let in backstage to the band's show in K.C.; they're huge soccer fans and arranged for 15 players to meet-and-great the band. I hear Jimmy Conrad did a pretty good interrogation job to find out who they support back in the U.K; Chris supports Exeter City, Will apparently has a thing for lost causes and Southampton while guitarist Johnny Buckland is down for Tottenham. No word on the preferences of impossibly handsome bassist Guy Berryman (I just want to punch him in the face to level the playing field...it's unfair to the rest of us) but as he's a Scot I'm going to project my own tastes onto him and declare him for Celtic.

Video: Press Pass on Americans Outsourced to Europe



Ameri-cuns, f*ck yeah! Guisseppe Rossi, f*ck off.

MLS Cup: The Term "Hollywood Ending" Might Get Thrown Around a Lot

JPACINDY

What would you pay to see this film? I'm spending $380 and flying cross-country for the privledge.

On Musical Credability, The Roster and Frankencooper



Personally I would have preferred the INXS take on this; I firmly believe that no one really likes Dylan, they just say they do because they are supposed to. Same thing goes for Patti Smith. But whatevs, I just love that U.S. Soccer is pop-culturally astute enough to announce the roster for the match v. the 'Guats this way.

Oh and uh, yeah...FrankenCooper cometh! Hallelujah!

11.16.2008

Video: The Victory Celebration in New York



This was the scene last night at venerable NYC soccer bar Nevada Smith's. Skip to about 1:45 in and you'll see a jubilant scene that usually only seen in this place for World Cup's and Champions League finals. Folks wildin' out in Manhattan for the local side...a rare sight that brings a tear to my eyes.

What Was That Alexi? Your Gonna Do What if RBNY Win?



His Ginger Majesty didn't think that New York could do it against RSL. And that's fine. He also said that if RBNY did defeat Real Salt Lake he would shotgun a can of Red Bull on national TV. Well you know what? I hope he's got some vodka on the side to make a few cocktails because I have a feeling he's going to get handed enough of those little cans to send an elephant into cardiac arrest.

I don't think it's an idle threat either and I fully expect him to tap the taurine; say what you want about his skills as a GM but the one thing you can say for certain about him is that for better or worse, Alexi Lalas is a showman. Mind you it won't be the first time Red Bull has made him look like a fool.

Video: Lalas on ESPN Press Pass



Professional franchise destroyer, nice guy and --as SBI calls him-- crap footie prognosticator Alexi Lalas stopped by ESPN Press Pass this week to dish the real dirt on LA Galaxy. Problem is he responds to every question without actually giving an answer; dude should really think about a career in politics.

11.14.2008

SI.com on MLS Latin Heat

83007357MS012_Colorado_Rapi

I know that image is really large but a big picture is fitting for Luis Bueno's piece about the recent Latino influx in MLS, which is great from the league's big picture. Angel, Schelotto, Blanco, Javi Morales are the heart of their respective teams and bring in style and skill that hasn't been seen since the days of Etcheverry, Graziani and Savarese. They also bring in the Hispanic fan that has at times eluded the league's ticket sales force. Will they be an influence on MLS Cup 08? Si se puede y'all.

Video: KSL's Yura Movsisyan Profile



Here's a video piece to accompany the Yura Movsisyan article I linked to earlier this morning. He wants to know what he can do for America in exchange for the blessings that America has given him. My suggestion is to keep improving, get your citizenship and get capped; I'd love nothing more than to sing "Yura Movsisyan is a proud American!"

NSR: Friday Funkyness with Friendly Fires




I'm feeling funky today so I'm gonna drop this Friendly Fires on you. I hung out with these Limeys a few weeks ago during CMJ and they were really chill. They're from St. Albans and they totally dress like it; they look like a band made up of accountants and professors and have singer who moves like an epileptic Mick Jagger. If that sounds like it may be your thing, "jump in the pool".

“I Was Watching That Game on Sunday, Cheering for New York, Jumping Up and Down on my Sofa”

Cleetus

I've mentioned before that I think Metro-era Clint Mathis was Major League Soccer's first truly transcendent player. How loved/known is Cleetus in Gotham? He doesn't even play here anymore yet he's still in the sports pages. Albeit it's a small piece (longer online version here) but still, I don't see any of the current Red Bulls getting on the cover of the sports section of a New York paper (free or otherwise) with a daily circulation of nearly half a million readers. (UPDATE: RBNY on the cover of NY Times sports today...that never happens.)

As for that caption, I'm vaguely alluding to him being on the other side of the ball from New York but I also felt the need for a random Erykah Badu reference. "Whatchu gonna do when they come for you?"


RSL Should Really Send Gorbachev a Fruit Basket and a Thank You Note

RedArmy

Real Salt Lake's Dema Kovalenko and Yura Movsisyan are getting a little ink lately and I ain't mad at that. Along with Javi Morales and The Great Unwashed™, the toughness and skill of the reformed Soviets has been key in RSL going from zeros to heroes this year. So why not give 'em some press?

Kristian Dyer at ESPN spent some time talking with Dema and apparently came back with all of his fingers. Which helps since he's a writer. The piece seems to offer Kovalenko the chance to shed his image as the of the Iron Mike of MLS but I'm not buying it as it's hard to sell when he refers to himself as "crazy".

As for Yura, he get's the sentimental, brief bio treatment about his difficult upbringing in the former U.S.S.R. He's done alright for himself since those turbulent early days, becoming a star for RSL and scoring one of the most clutch goals of the playoffs; can you believe K.C. traded a prospect this hot for a 2009 3rd round SuperDraft pick and a 2009 1st round Supplemental Draft pick?

On the Road Again: ESC to SLC

ESC
Photo courtesy of M.R.

As evidenced by the strong showing by Chicago's fans in Columbus last night, there has been some great away support during this year's playoff run. New York's ESC have been struck with a particularly virulent case of "Max Out My Credit Cards and Go Get Loud and/or Drunk on the Road Because it's the Playoff's" fever; a traveling contingent of about 25 members got sweaty --and a victory-- in Houston last week and are scrambling to La Guardia airport in Queens for a flight to Salt Lake City as I type this. Chaste women and drinking holes of Utah, you have been warned.

11.13.2008

NSR: Call of Duty's World at War



Try as I might, I just never seem to get tired of shooting the bad guys. Especially the ones in jackboots. Thankfully there is a new Call of Duty out this week to help satisfy my thirst for digitized Nazi blood.

The Columbus Playoff Attendance Crap Shoot

CBus

So what's it going to be tonight Ohio? Will you give a big, Didier Drogba-sized middle finger to the cold temperatures and fill Crew stadium tonight? Or will the same dedicated 11K that were at the K.C. match be without the aid of 9k more frozen arses in seats? If you don't show up for the team at least show up for Sigi...he gets a check if the place is sold out tonight and he's been hankering for new hot tub.

Anyone want to take a guess at what kind of crowd they get tonight? I'm going to say 15K give ot take 500.

New Season, New Look from Bumpy Pitch

BP

Allow me a moment to big up my guys Beans & Dunny at The Original Winger for their new Fall collection from Bumpy Pitch. They've got new BP logo tees, they brought back a few of the classic NASL logo shirts and went waaaaaay back to the days of leather balls for a few ASL teams. They're all 100% dope and 100% designed and manufactured in the USA (they're helping to keep our people working y'all).

If you're looking to bribe me, buy me a holiday gift or perhaps you're just offended by some of my poorer wardrobe choices I'm partial to the shirts of the old ASL heavyweights: Fall River Marksmen, Bethlehem Steel F.C. and Brooklyn Wanderers.

BP2

Get them online here or at select retail locations.

The NY Times & I Are Getting Way Ahead of Ourselves

Richards
Image courtesy of Diego Valenzuela.

Club vs. Country: WWDD? (What Would Dane Do?)

Kickin' It With Allen Hopkins: I'm Gonna Be Contrary Edition




With all due respect to both Mr. Hopkins and Mr. Morales, Guillermo Barros Schelotto has to be the playoff MVP (so far), league MVP and Aregentine ex-pat MVP. FACT.

11.12.2008

I Honestly Forgot That Eddie Johnson Still Plays Soccer

EJ

Maybe it's an "out of sight, out of mind" thing but I seriously forgot EJ was still playing. Apparently he's been found alive and he wants to stay at Cardiff City. Too bad some of the club's followers would prefer Axel Foley.

H/T to Yanked Abroad for the find.

And the Oscar Goes To...Park City TV for Rio Tinto Stadium!




When it rains it, uh...gets you wet. So let me just soak down this afternoon with even more stadium p0rn for that ass. Park City TV put together a gorgeous and immaculately-produced piece on the reigning beauty queen of American soccer stadiums, the Rio Tinto. Feel free to watch it above but if you want the full HD effect jump over to Vimeo.com.

Aesthetics aside, this piece is also informative in that it let's the players tell the story of why their new house is some full-on baller sh*t; who else in MLS has an all-seater with in-house hot tubs and some of the finest grass this side of Humbodlt County? And as much as I would love to give RBNY "The Edge" this Saturday and cheer them on to an ironic Western Conference title at home, I'm actually quite glad that the nation will see this instead of this.

Shouts to Behind the Shield for the hook up.

Video: Interview with Zidane Filmmaker




If you haven't added Douglas Gordon's stunning film Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait to your Netflix cue, I'd highly recommend you get on that. With all of it's wide-screen shots it's probably a film best seen in the cinema but if you didn't get the chance to experience that you should still get stuck in on the widest, flattest, most HD television you can get yourself in front of.

Anyway, there's this great interview with Gordon on Hobnox.com that was conducted via a couple of Macbook video cameras. Insightful stuff from a very talented (and footie-minded artist/filmmaker).

Being Juan Carlos Osorio & the Art of Peaking Late

JCO

ESPN the Magazine has a brief bit on the trials and tribulations of Juan Carlos Osorio. When you suck, everyone hates you but when you are rolling everyone wants to fellate you. It's like that everywhere but in New York that sh*t is magnified x50. And even though the New York club is going to the Conference finals for only the second time in history I'll bet you one Miami Fusion throw blanket --the most useless item ever produced for a South Florida sports team-- that there are still folks who will call for his head if he doesn't win MLS Cup (if they make it there).

It's a crap position to be in but such is the agony and the ecstasy of being an MLS head coach.

Stadium P*rn: Red Bull Arena Steel Erection Animation




I realize that I am probably offending the Google Safe Search gods with the words "porn" and "erection" in the title but hey, I like to live dangerously. Especially if it involves showing off the improbable beauty that is Red Bull Arena. If you've checked out the webcam recently you've noticed that the steel is flying up with all the speed of Dane Richards running from a rabid dog. The animation above gives you a look at what the framing will look like once complete and in what order it will go up.

Do you really need another reason to buy season tickets for next year?

Extra Time Special with Big Sigi Schmid



You win Coach of the Year, you get your own special. That's how it works.

11.11.2008

"It's That Chester Sh*t It's So Outrageous, Don't Know What to Do"




Oh. My. Shit. MLS done hit it into and out the back net of the upper 90. For this year's MLS Cup they got Pharrell's latest proteges and Ivy League hipster-hop sensations Chester French for the pre-game entertainment. I'm not kidding you when I say that I have been waiting a solid year for them to release She Loves Everybody and it's Neptunes-meets-Weezer freshness (it's out today).

If you haven't heard of them, check out their tour diary and get familiar. Also check their Jay-Z remix. And certainly don't sleep on The Jimmy Choo's. This is MLS's best performance selection since Lupe Fiasco.

Vote Early, Vote Often: U.S. Soccer's Annual Best Of Awards

Bestof

U.S. Soccer is doing their annual Best Of and you should vote. I don't mean to sway you in any way but for Best Blog I would recommend the mighty DuNord and for Best Soccer Specialty Store you can't go wrong with Onionbag.com. Just sayin'.

NSR: The Cutters Are Coming (Again)




Dance + Rock + Aussies + Awesome = Cut Copy. They just announced a new U.S. tour for spring 09; it's the final one for "In Ghost Colours" so don't sleep.

Cut Copy 2009 Tour Dates
FRI 3/6 AUSTIN, TX @ Stubb's BBQ
SAT 3/7 DALLAS, TX @ Granada Theater
MON 3/9 POMONA, CA @ The Glass House
TUE 3/10 LOS ANGELES, CA @ Henry Fonda Theater
WED 3/11 LOS ANGELES, CA @ Henry Fonda Theater
THUR 3/12 SAN FRANCISCO, CA @ The Fillmore
FRI 3/13 LAS VEGAS, NV @ House of Blues
SUN 3/15 DENVER, CO @ Bluebird Theater
TUE 3/17 ST. LOUIS, MO @ The Gargoyle
WED 3/18 CHICAGO, IL @ Vic Theater
FRI 3/20 TORONTO, ON @ Circa
SAT 3/21 NEW YORK, NY @ Terminal 5
SUN 3/22 BOSTON, MA @ House Of Blues
MON 3/23 WASHINGTON, DC @ The 9:30 club
TUE 3/24 CARBORRO, NC @ Cat's Cradle
THUR 3/26 ATLANTA, GA @ Masquerade
FRI 3/27 ORLANDO, FL @ Club Firestone

The Real Salt Lake 2008 Mixtape



The hits just keep on coming. Last week I laid down year-end highlights from FC Dallas & Chivas USA; today I've got that uncut RSL sh*t for your golazo-loving ass. You're welcome.

Auf Wiedersehen: Donoavan Is Back in Germany

lando

Damn y'all. Seems like our Landon might be as serious as a heart attack about going back to Europe. He's in Germany (shudder) training with Bayern Munich and their coach/his homeboy Jurgen Klinsmann for 10 days. Now I won't jump to any conclusions and start spouting off about how this is his first step toward a continental return and that he's definitely leaving the Galaxy and that they'll never be able to replace him and that without him Becks is going to be miser-a-ble et cetera etcetera because there are already 13 other bloggers and legit writers constructing that version of the story as you read this.

What I will say this; I honestly do not believe that there is any way that LA Galaxy can be any better next year without Landon Donovan. Call me naive, ignorant or uninformed if you like but I just can't see them improving without him as a foundation to build around, even if they retain Beckham. Someone mark this down and let's revisit in year...and if I'm wrong tell me.

Veterans Day Post

Vets

Happy Veterans Day to any and all servicemen and women who may or may not read this hulking wreck of a blog. Your sacrifice and service is not lost on me and on behalf of my family I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart. The significance of today is particularly poignant for us this year because my nephew, Army Staff Sgt. Michael Beck, returned home safely from a 13-month tour of Iraq this past Saturday; here's to him and his brothers & sisters in arms.

11.10.2008

NSR: TV on the Radio on TV



I haven't watched The Tonight Show since Carson was on there until last night. I sure can pick 'em because by sheer happy accident the show I stumbled upon featured a live performance from TV on The Radio, natch. Get on on your "Dancing Choose" and enjoy.

Video: Cepero and Richards on The Bayou City Beat Down



My apologies if it seems like I'm rubbing the RBNY victory all up in anyone's faces today. But you have to let me be over-the-top just the once; it's not something that I ever do or have the excuse to do so please bear with me.

You heard what little I had to say about the win. You saw what Shep had to say about the win. Now see what Danny Cepero and Dane Richards have to say about it. (Bonus: if you want more from Richards on it, Jack Bell just spoke with him for the New York Times.)

NSR: Oh Happy Day! Chappelle Returns to TV Tonight!

Dave

For the 200th episode of Bravo's long-running interview series Inside the Actor's Studio they've pulled out the big gun: a rare TV appearance by Dave Chappelle. In the years since his Comedy Central hit quit challenging you not to pee on yourself on a weekly basis he's been seen about as often as Bin Laden. But tonight he is crawling out of his self-created rat hole to spend some more time with James Liption's creepy self (one of his last TV appearance's was on the same show back in February of 2006) and to possibly remind us that he is one of the great comedic minds of our time. Set you DVR's to "BWAHAHAHAHAHA"

Video: Shep's New York-Houston Post-Mortem

ESPN's 5 Burning Questions



This week there should be 2 bonus questions. The first should be "How many celebratory shots are RBNY's Dane Richards and Danny Cepero entitled allowed to have bought for them before it starts to look like they are taking advantage?" The second is "Does Houston's (and New England's and DC's and Chivas USA's) grossly overloaded schedule play a part in their early exits this year?"

11.09.2008

Next Time Dane Richards Speaks You Should Take Notes

Dane

See, no one involved with the Houston Dynamo has the internet. If anyone down there did they would have known that Dane Richards was coming down there to do work and pretty much said so well in advance of stepping on Texas soil. Next time, listen.

11.07.2008

The Chivas USA 2008 Mixtape




Not to be outshone by FC Dallas and their "all goals, all day" 2008 highlight reel, and since I kinda cracked on them in the post before them here's the Chivas USA 2008 highlight reel --complete with growly Dave Grohl and Sacha "The Karate Kid" Kljestan. Si se puede y'all.