Our kid Brian M. hipped me to this awesome short film, The Soccer Project. 2 soccer-loving young adults traveling the world to play pick up games everywhere from Palestine to Cape Town to Urugauy to everywhere in between. You know you love the soccer when you'll jump on a pink bus in Kenya that says "Drive It Like You Stole It" on the back window by choice just to get a game in.
Watching this clip of those D.C. boys doing their thing at the local Fairfield Inn reminded me that I've heard that RBNY have changed their team hotel this season. Typically this is a big "who cares?" but I (jokingly) think that this decision alone will put the team above .500 this year.
Why? Because the new team hotel is the brand new W Hotel in Hoboken. If you are not familiar with Hoboken, NJ just imagine a 1 sq. mile frat/sorority house. For reals. Clint Mathis used to live there when he was that Clint Mathis.
Seriously, the city facing Manhattan from the Jersey side of the Hudson is teeming with the young, nubile & drunk; it was recently ranked the number 1 city in America for singles. It has over 100 bars/package store/liquor licenses within that 1 sq. mile staffed by some of the hottest barmaids in America. Oh and it also has a crazy guy who dances disturbingly on the corner of 14th St on the reg.
In short it is basically one of the last places you would want to drop a group of 18 young, fit, & competitive guys on a Friday night before a game. The opposition will have to really be on their best behavior and be, y'know, professional to not get caught up in the alcohol-fueled sexual land-grab that is a weekend on Washington St. Otherwise it's a hangover & a burning sensation on the turf in Giant's Stadium...and that won't be good for anyone but RBNY.
Forget all the painting the town green. Forget the 22K season ticket holders. Forget Fredy Montero fever. Forget all that sh*t. This video is the real proof that Seattle are going where no MLS team has gone before. You know you've truly arrived when you've got teenage girls holed up in their bedrooms composing post-puberty, acoustic stalker anthems to unknown rookies defenders like Evan Brown. Congrats Sounders, you are the new Twilight.
New York Times writer Paul Oberjuerge has a point. Just last night to my complete shock one of my co-workers who knows sweet FA about soccer mentioned Landon Donovan when talking about athletes she thinks are attractive. It wasn't shocking that she thinks he's cute, just shocking that she new the name of an American soccer player.
And I think I'm going to retire the Landycakes tag as he seems to have out grown it in the last year or so. Dude does seem to have toughened up a bit so I have to cut him slack...game has to recognize game.
You know what Alexi Lalas needs to be doing with his life right now? His Ginger Majesty™ should be giving Tony Robbins-style seminars on how to stay employed. Seriously, with his nose for collecting a check he could be the Suze Orman for the out of work. Just a suggestion.
His latest gig is a new show for MLSnet called The Sitter. The best line from the current episode: "So Kenny Cooper can score from 70 yards out. Now I wanna see Jeff Cunningham score from 6 yards out."
C'mon now, you know you want some of that. I can't give the whole cow away but that's just a taste of the milk on offer in the Wizards Starting XI Girls calendar. I mentioned before that they're gonna get it in next week at The Mint Lounge in K.C. Mo but I'd like to point out that if you're dirty but not local or you want to get a jump on purchasing your monthly flesh fix you can order it now from KCSoccerStore.com. So don't sleep, order yours now or your desk will be even less sexier than it is now (if that's possible).
Our kid Sterlinho hipped me to this contest the Seattle Times is doing with hometown hip hoppers Blue Scholars (who feature one-half of T.O.R cosigned rhymers Common Market). The duo are letting Times readers choose the topic of their next song by way of a poll on the paper's website. At present the topic "Sounders FC" seems to be running away with the vote (probably due to a messageboard-managed run on the polls from the ECS) with 46% of the tally.
There are other interesting topics to vote for such as "Seattle's abundance of teriyaki (14% or 151 votes)" and "Gravity is annoying (4% or 44 votes)" but I think we all know who needs to win this thing so cast your ballot here. Unless you are a Portlander then feel free to vote for "Graffiti artists: Vandals or Van Goghs?" which is always a lively debate.
FIFA.com had a sit down with Baby Bradley recently where he discussed playing in Europe, his brace against Mexico, his transfer from Metrostars to Heerenveen and other things that professional athletes talk to reporters about. Read it here.
Don't you love the headline on the article? Even FIFA's trying to keep us down. Amazing.
Predictions: will he be an Angel or a Reyna? Personally, I'm feeling pretty good about him.
Greg makes a SpectraVision reference. Surely someone who travels as much as he does knows that SpectraVision went out with the cellphone with the bag attached to it. I guess he watches his "movies" on the laptop.
Rohan Ricketts takes us on a on a tour of the infamous Three Lions, the pub-cum-soccer museum at Charleston Battery's Blackbaud Stadium. Quite the collection they've got there...certainly seems worth a trip if you're ever in the area.
Maybe it's just because I am in NYC and it would never happen here, but I find the fact that Seattle have matches and a weekly show on the local NBC affiliate completely insane. How do they do it? Color me impressed (so long as the color is not rave green).
Beans from The Original Winger and I were talking expansion last night (before Brent & I went to the fine Ladyhawke show at Bowery Ballroom) about how Toronto upped the game with it's stellar attendance and reliable, vocal supporters. So while the new San Jose brought it back down to reality, Seattle has just totally torn the roof off in it's short existence with an impeccable branding, marketing and promotion campaign. And the thing is Philly, Vancouver & Portland all look poised to do the same. Call them MLS 2.0™ if you will; a repackaged, rethought, more user-friendly & more profitable update on the existing template.
As great as MLS 2.0™ is though, it has a downside in that it rapidly makes the original product look outdated, inferior and just plain bad. There are a few bug fixes & software updates that can help breath new life into old hardware though; big time players (Los Angeles), new appropriate-sized stadia (Red Bull Arena), or a championship (Columbus) are all great ways to recharge a stagnant club.
But there are some glitches that would leave even the IT guys baffled, particularly when it comes to housing; a still-new soccer-specific stadium that rarely gets filled (Dallas), a phantom stadium (San Jose) and the occupation of NFL stadiums with no apparent exit strategy (New England) are all confounding problems that to varying degrees make it difficult to compete.
I certainly don't claim to have it all figured out but the good news is that it looks like some of the old-guard recognize that they've got to evolve or die (see D.C. United's expensive new website and Houston's recent stadium progress as evidence). Hopefully this new blood will help to usher in a new era of success not based solely on a marquee name and group ticket sales to youth teams but on bold new thinking and fan-friendliness.
Awwwwwwwesome. I can't go on the count of I'm all married and sh*t (and I'm not in D.C.), but if you're in the capital region and need to find some lovin' from someone who appreciates Jaime Moreno as much as you do, wear some clean underwear on April 17th as it just might be your lucky night.
Finally! An excuse to buy a new calendar, which I still haven't done yet and it's almost April. My co-workers have been giving me stick for quite a while now because I still have my 2008 Fulham calendar up...and it's still on September because that was Dempsey's month. So I guess it's high time I trade in Deuce for dames.
How bad is it? So bad that Forbes is covering Taylor Twellman's fantasy baseball league. If this is what the rich man is checking for right now we are all well and truly screwed. My advice to start putting all your money in canned goods and shotguns.
Frank Dell'apia's piece on Soccernet today about Portland mentions old-school Timbers Clyde Best and Clive Charles and it just reminded me that I was supposed to tell you about a book I bought over the holidays. East End Heroes, Stateside Kings is about three West Ham football players (Best, Charles & Ade Coker) who left England to make an impact in America. After the NASL Best went on to coach the Bermudan national side, Charles took the U.S. Women to the World Cup and Coker went on to paly for the U.S. before he hung up his boots. A good read if you're looking to brush up on the 70's era of U.S. soccer history.
So it's Pearl Jam week at the day job. This clip of Minneapolis avant-rap genius P.O.S. messing with their hit from back in the day "Why Go?" was shot for some promos but we can't quit messing with the full take of the song. I know the guy can't hit every note (he's a rapper, not a singer) but it seems to be working out OK for Kanye. And when I see him freak & tweak the guitar solo on the keys it's damn near impossible for me to be mad at him.
So I'm not mad at Juan Pietravallo anymore. Well, I'm still mad but I'm not going to damn him for it. Especially since he had everyone 'round his house in Argentina during pre-season and hosted dance off between the rookies (which was MCed Long Island-style by Mike Petke).
Red Bulls Reader caught it all for your amusement/ridicule. Alec Dufty brought out the centipede, Jeremy Hall jumped on the motorbike and Nick Zimmerman got freaked from behind by Pietravallo's mother, much to the horror of Pietravallo. Good times.
But why do I get the feeling that some of you won't refrain from saying it?
Like many of you out there in Soccersville, I too was perplexed at RBNY coach Juan Carlos Osorio's decision to insist on starting Juan Pietravallo. Some may say that it was due to the unavailability of Seth Stammler and the newly acquired Alberto Celades. While that is both a logical and sound conclusion to draw, T.O.R will respectfully disagree for we know the real answer behind this mystery; JCO's lineups are truly as random as they appear to be.
Not that anyone is asking but my answers are below.
2. Will Christian Gomez be able to bring the magic back to D.C.?
3. Fine. Guzan is up for whatever.
4. Yura Movsysian. And yes, Montero (but let's remember it's just one game).
5. MLS as a league. Doesn't matter who wins when the house has already been papered (Sounders season ticket holders get a free ticket to MLS Cup so at the current capacity MLS Cup is pretty much already sold out).
We see you Section 231. Orange-folk represent! Now put the camera down and start petitioning the powers that be for a proper groundskeeper as your pitch looks dry, stumbled, and bumpy. Basically, Robertson Field has razor bumps (hey, we do have something in common after all!).
Drew Carey's in, so why not the lesser Belsuhi? Maybe he could in some needed cash to the St. Louis effort...I'm sure they'd give him loads of free beer in exchange. Sounds fair to me.
Taking the day off with my missus. Can anyone recomsnd a restarant in Boston near Fannuel Hall that isn't too touristy? Also, when will we find out exactly what damaging secrets Rojas and Pietravallo are blackmailing Osorio with for a place on the team?
Interesting gossip coming out of Oregon courtesy of Willamette Week:
"WW has learned Mike Golub, a senior advisor for Vulcan Sports & Entertainment, a sister company of Paul Allen's Trail Blazers franchise [and part owners of the Seattle Sounders], is under consideration for a new gig as the general manager for Merritt Paulson's Major League Soccer franchise."
Looks like Paulson might be trying to fish in Seattle pond already. I love it. We've seen what RBNY's coach-poach of Juan Carlos Osorio has done for the rivalry, perhaps more raids on front office's will help add fuel to the fire in Cascadia (not that 30+ year old hatreds need much fuel).
D.C. United launched a new website today that I cribbed this clip from. It isn't Seattle's but whose is? Still it's pretty damn special and you should give it spin. Of particular note is their super-wide screen video player; if you're a geek for video like me it's a total banger.
The Don talks turkey with Time, a magazine for high-minded lowlifes like me and people who like a little something to read after they hand over their insurance card.
Can you feel it? Can you really feel it? Can you "DD's in a gorilla mask and gold lemay air drumming to Phil f*cking Collins" feel it? Seattle can. So can New York.
(I told you it was going to be a weird one today.)
This is a pretty good-looking video (from a good looking site as well). The past sure seemed like a wonderful, bell-bottomed place. Let's hope they can rekindle the city's passion for the game.
What does it say about the sad, sad state of the traditional media that in the same week that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ceases publication after 146 years, the Portland Business Journal is reduced to quoting the Facebook page of a Timbers fan in an effort to not get left behind?
The revolution may not be televised, but that sh*t will definitely be open source and come via a high-speed connection. LOL :)
Last year, more than a few people commented on the lack of press bang leading up to First Kick 2008. The same certainly can't be said about 2009 though. The Beckham saga, as obnoxious as the whole exercise was, served well as a scouting mission letting people know that after a few months off the league is still doing it's thing. During phase 2, which took place earlier this week, Seattle and it's famed Corporal Drew Carey warned everyone that the season is coming...and soon.
Now comes the 3-step shock & awe phase of Operation: Dominate the News Cycle, which relies heavily on a full-frontal assault in the Pacific Northwest theater led by General Don "G. Love" Garber.
- Step 1: during a 1pm EST raid on the Westin Hotel, announce a second opening on the Canadian front with the liberation of the Vancouver Whitecaps on 3.18.09.
- Step 2: in a show of force, parade your newly-recruited 30K+ army in Seattle on live, prime-time national TV 3.19.09.
- Step 3: send a message to all doubters that you mean to take the entire region and leave no (USL-1) survivors by announcing the seige & capture of Portland on 3.20.09.
"Nothing ruins an opening night like bird carcasses strewn about the stadium. According to a source close to the team, Seattle Sounders FC has abandoned plans to have doves fly around Qwest Field on Opening Night after at least three were killed by marauding hawks."
According to Hotdog & Friends, that was the scene at the Sounders closed-door match vs. Colorado last Thursday. Apparently the local Seahawks --they are NFL mascots afterall-- wanted to send a message to the soccer folks to remind them that Quest Field is in fact their house and they will protect it. One of them even "killed a dove, dropped the carcass into the stands, and then went back for seconds."
I wonder if these birds have an agent; surely their confrontational attitude is worth a 3-advert deal with Under Armor.
Props to for Joamiq the find.
Hear me now Toronto! Push your lighters up for the #1 champion sound of Napz & Vox. Two of the Red Patch Boys chief rockers are coming at you live & direct with that exclusive dubplate fire for the man like DeRo aka "The Origianl Bandelero". Come down my selecta!
All praise to The Most High for not letting that bumbaclot Snow kill the art of toasting in Canada.
Ed. Note: This post works best when read in a shouty Jamaican cab driver voice. Also 'nuff respect to Duncan K. for the heads up.
RBNY had their annual Media Day at the W Hotel on Lexington Ave. in Manhattan yesterday. I was crazy late so I didn't bother writing it up. However NY soccer O.G.'s Metrofanatic were there and on time so they did write it up. Check out their exclusive interviews; the Andrew Boyens piece is a classic. And it goes without saying that Red Bulls Reader was in the well-appointed house also and they brought this clip along with them.
They put a scarf on the space needle. If RBNY win on Thursday can we get one of ours run up the pole? It would only be fair they got owned by JPA & co....hey there's an idea.
What if every team in the league had a flagpole or some other designated high-point in their city that when the team wins, they fly their flag but when they lose the opposition gets to have their colors up? Oh how D.C. fans would dies a thousand deaths if ever a an NY flag waved in the winds over RFK. Houstonians would laugh until Shiner Bock came out of thier noses at the sight of Pizza Hut Park shaded by orange nylon. Oh well, I can dream can't I?
Mexican assistant Francisco Ramirez gets 'slapped' with a two-game ban for slapping Frankie Hejduk last month after the U.S.-Mexico match in Columbus. I was wondering if anything was ever going to become of that. Nice work FIFA.
H/T to The Original Winger
Damn, he must be getting tired now. He lost the scarf for Regis & Kelly. I bet his neck was getting all sweaty underneath all the hot studio lights (and who wants to be sweaty in front of Kelly Ripa's MILFtastic ass?) I will bet you one genuine Cobi Jones dread that that white shirt has a collar the color of wheat bread by the time he gets back to the hotel.
If you are a Wizards fan with a standard, fugly old Firefox browser you now have a newer, more attractive option (and who doesn't like one of those?). Brand Thunder has just released a plugin for a K.C.-branded browser so that you never have to take your eyes off of your team. Which is great and all but can they make a Megan Fox browser? That's the sh*t I want to look at all-day.
Episode 1 of Texian Army TV y'all. Stuart Holden is in it as is coach Dominic Kinnear and a chicken wing-eating Bobby Boswell. The real star though is the youngster known only as Vic. This kid is all business; his answers are short, sweet and likely delivered with sippy cup breath.
Heads up y'all. Over the next few days Seattle Sounders FC owner/face Drew Carey will be all up in your face like acne. America's number 1 celebrity glory-seeker will be showing his mug everywhere to promote his new club and the new season, including Regis & Kelly, CBS' Early Show and a boatload of ESPN programs. And if you are a Sir Drew completest, you'll want to read the MLSnet piece on him today.
Just this past weekend I was thinking to myself "things are awful quiet in Philadelphia." One year out from the franchise's debut and the silence hasn't quite been deafening, but when compared with all of the noise Seattle has made over the last 12 months is doesn't seem to have as much excitement surrounding it. You also haven't heard too much about construction progress out of Chester (or at least I haven't) since the groundbreaking.
You have heard --or most-likely read-- rumors of financial issues affecting the project. You'll read about that and FC Barcelona's on-the-down-low visit to the Chester construction site in this week's Sports Business Journal; the publication is focusing on MLS this week and they'll have a slew of related content so I'd highly recommend that you sign up for the free trial subscription today.
A few bullet points form the article:
- "FC Barcelona is exploring an investment in MLS’s Philadelphia expansion franchise, which has been seeking new capital for months in an effort to further strengthen an ownership group fronted by iStar Financial CEO Jay Sugarman."
- "Joan LaPorta, president of FC Barcelona, visited Philadelphia on Feb. 28 and toured the site of the franchise’s future stadium being constructed in Chester, Pa. The tour took place days before FC Barcelona announced it wouldn’t pursue an expansion franchise in Miami."
The financial freak show has cost Sugarman more than $38 million since February 2008.
You know while we're all distracted by the Portland expansion effort it's kinda easy to get wrapped up in the headiness of it all and forget that they already have a team and they're deep in the throws of getting their sh*t together for the 2009 USL season. Obviously it's not making as much noise as the city council meetings and the marches on city hall but coach Gavin Wilkinson has been quietly picking up some decent pieces to solve his roster puzzle.
In the last 2 weeks they've signed Steve Cronin --LA's starting keeper last year--, taken in Real Salt Lake's Generation Adidas player Alex Nimo on a season-long loan, and re-signed Japanese World Cup veteran Suzuki Takayuki. Today they announced the signing of K.C. Wizards regular Ryan Pore to a 2-year deal. I'm certainly not saying that this is a crew of world-beaters by any stretch but none of these are bad pickups for a USL side. Hopefully they can get it done this year with these guys in what could be one of thier last USL seasons.
And speaking of USL, I'm really surprised that in the quest to cover every angle of MLS Expansion Death Race 3000™, none of the soccer beat writers have covered the USL angle. As of today there are 10 clubs in USL 1; 2 of which were not in the league last season, 1 of which will most-likely to fold any day now, and 2 of which are likely to join MLS in 2011. Last season they lost teams in Virgina Beach and California, and Atlanta closed thier doors this off-season. There's always a churn of a team or two every year but as of late it seems more volatile than usual.
What happen's if, as many believe, Vancouver and Portland move on up to MLS leaving the league with just 7 sides? Or what happens to Vancouver or Portland if only one of them gets in leaving only one travel expense-strapped team in the league out west? It's a topic worthy of some real talk. Ives, Goff, Bueno, Lalas, anyone...can you make it happen?
If we could I'd like to talk about Gio Dos Santos for a moment. With the surprising announcement today (to me at least) that Tottenham have loaned the the 19 year-old Mexican international to Coca Cola Championship League side Ipswich Town aka The Tractor Boys I'm wondering what it would take for someone to take a chance on him stateside.
Less than a year ago he was the next big Mexican thing and scoring hat-tricks for Barcelona and now he's not good enough to stick it on the Spurs bench? Craziness. If anyone out there has a really good handle on what happened with him please share because I'm not sure if it's a Gio issue, a management issue or perhaps even a money issue that has sent him on his apparent downward slide.
So not to slight Ipswich Town but if he's playing there, why not play in Houston, at Chivas USA or one of the other clubs that has expressed interest in getting a known Mexican as a DP? The level would be about the same, he'd get loads of playing time and I'd recon he might put a couple of asses in seats. I dunno, just a few errant thoughts I had. Feel free to share your opinion on this if you have one.
What happens when old-school gamers mess with fairly recent school hip hop joints? Nine 8-bit anthems to ride dirty & save princes to. Except these princess are rocking Air Force Ones, a gold necklace with their name hanging off of it and a fat booty stuffed into a pair of Apple Bottoms like sausage in a casing.
H/T to TrueGameHeadz
The New York Times reported last night that LA Galaxy will play Inter Milan in LA on July 16th, just one day after David Beckham becomes available for their squad and just 3 days before they play A.C. Milan, also at the HDC.
Now either "The Paper of Record" has gotten some of the details wrong or AEG is on suicide run to drain every last drop of cash from the Beckham money train before it leaves the station for good. If true, the effects will reverberate all the way to the east coast; LA's match against RBNY had already been moved from the 19th to the 16th to accommodate the A.C. Milan match and would have to be moved again to make room for Inter in LA's schedule. Are they really that hell-bent on exploiting their prize asset?
Last week the Red Bulls players picked their favorite goals. This week we get a few fan favorites that were left out including my personal favorite, Dane Richards to Angel in LA; probably one of the smoothest link up's of the 2008 campaign.
How are they just so damn good at this while everyone else seems to struggle? I don't even wear Nike products (unless they are free obviously) but their imaging is just so strong that it has somehow left me with massive brand affinity for the swoosh. Damn, they've got me twisted.
Incidentally the song is "Wasteland" by The View...one of the better cuts on their album.
It was certainly nice for the folks behind Budweiser to offer up some land for a St. Luis stadium yesterday. But perhaps it would be for the best if Anheuser-Busch avoided getting involved in soccer; they've got some very Doug Logan-era ideas that I'm not sure we're all prepared to deal with right now.
This Saturday night is no cover night at Rio Tinto Stadium. Don't ask me about drink specials or who's DJing because I have no idea. This guy is working the door though so don't even think about using your fake ID.
Would-be St. Louis expansion club investor/operator Jeff Cooper stumped for his bid, and MLS in general, on the BBC. I'm sure he's a nice guy and he certainly seems media-trained but the goatee coupled with his apparent ease with being filmed in such casual attire and in the courtyard of a local apartment complex do little to dispel the notion that his is a low-dough bid.
I promise you I'm not trying to be a jerk but dude's got to look professional if he's going to do these things; a team owner should be suited & booted, not wearing the same outfit he wears on his Saturday afternoon run to Sam's Club for paper towels and Tostidos.
Did you see the mammoth mustache that RBNY keeper Jon Conway was rocking down in Argentina during pre-season? It is as if there's a warehouse broom above his lip, just laid up in the comfortable shade of his nose. Something so regal & lush is basically enough to keep Freddy Mercury's ghost in tears for the remainder of his time in hell.
Red Bulls Reader has a fantastic clip chronicling all of the facial follicle follies that went on in South America during camp but I won't take away from their shine by posting it here, so go there now. You will not be disappointed. Unless you are a disgruntled Rapids fan who misses Mike Petke (sorry, no take-backs).
ChannelBee has a funny interview with that Jersey boy Tim Howard for their We Want Answers segment. It's good stuff but you'll be disappointed to know that he thinks the Allman Brothers are "the best band ever" when obviously that title belongs firmly in the hands of these guys.
Respect to Toddzilla for the heads up.
Fox Soccer just launched it's own console-style multi-player game for the PC, Power Soccer. It's got all the bells & whistles that you'd expect from "an interactive online experience, enabling soccer fans to create their own football clubs and emulate their real-world favorite players".
Additionally users can "build, personalize and play their own soccer teams in live head-to-head matches with other players around the globe. Users can join their favorite national and Barclays Premier League teams in the Power Soccer Fan Zone, then play cups against other fans to earn trophies for their favorite teams."
Sounds pretty hot and if you are up for it T.O.R SC is available to smash all comers. This is cool and all but can it really compete with the minimalist brilliance of Drag Soccer?