This is actually a couple of months old but I don't think I was able to find an embeddable version of this around the time of the event. But it has Rivers Coumo, Brendan Canning from Broken Social Scene and Michael Cera being Michael Cera so for me it' worth the rewind. Welcome to the off-season content-lull.
Ahead of Friday's 2010 FIFA World Cup Draw, ESPN wonders what the event could hold for the U.S. If you asked me (and you didn't but I'm going to go there regardless) the simple one-word answer is "pain". I'm as RahRahGoUSA as they come but after the last 3 games I'm just not feeling to pumped up about our chances.
Maybe we'll go and beat Poland in January (seems they're always good for a result for us) and I'll feel better but right now the draw seems like a pick-your-poison death sentence for me. It's like the moment your teacher handed you your report card when you knew all along you where going to get an "F"; it's a confrimation that you have a whippin' ahead of you when mom gets home from work.
Good morning all. I'd like to take a moment to shine a little light on a couple of other sites that I have been meaning to shout out for quite some time. If you have the time and inclination I suggest you visit the following:
First and foremest is No Clean Sheets by a multi-talented kid out of Dallas named Ed Sherrell. He hasn't updated in a few weeks so I don't know if I waited entirely too long on this one but if so the archives are still certainly entertaining. Read this post about talking to his priest about the difference between a Jheri Curl & an S-Curl over tequila and cheese grits. Twisted, imaginative stuff...love it.
If you like all that foreign & international soccer stuff that is so popular with the kids these days, check out Richard Farley's World Soccer Digest. A new blog on the block, it's good place to stop for a regular dose of what's going on in soccer outside our borders (i.e. in Europe because no one ever seems to give C. America, S. America, Asia, Africa, Australia much attention, in English at least, but then again it doesn't seem like too many people who speak English care).
JimmyConrad.com is technically more of a full-on website than a blog but it has a blog in there somewhere. If you want a good laugh courtesy of the clown prince of MLS & his merry men, a good bookmarking of this address is in order. There is also the added bonus of the opportunity to purchase Jimmy Dean sausage parody stickers & apparel.
What it is y'all? I'm back from Seattle but not back from the land of sleep deprivation so cut me some slack if I make even less sense than usual. The trip was fantastic and being that I am officially working for The Man now I got to see things from the most intimate of vantage points. Like this one for example.
That's just one of many cool things I saw out there. I also learned a lot out there as well. Here's but a sampling:
- MLS in Seattle is such a different reality than MLS in New York and probably most other places. I wasn't even out fo the airport before I had seen 3 different signs promoting MLS Cup and/or the Sounders. Once our taxi hit downtown I was assaulted with banners hanging from a multitude of lamposts promoting the game. And when I hit the hotel...let's just say I was unsure if I was going to the Superbowl or MLS Cup.
- James Riley runs Seattle. Dude is seriously the mayor; if he goes in the expansion draft I predict an average annual loss of $3000K to every good nightspot in town
- Did you know there is a bar in one of the tunnels leading onto the pitch at Qwest Field? You can't see it on tv, but it's in there right under the tarp. That is where all the cool kids where kickin' it before kickoff.
- And speaking of bars, Kells pub is divorce/compromised sobriety in a box. Any place that is capable of safely containing a combustible mix of bloggers, fans, players, coaches, ex-players, and scandalous women to a soundtrack of M.I.A, MGMT, Phoenix and T.I. is alright by me. Plus John Harkes damn near climbed the bar to lead a sing-a-long of NJ anthem "Living on a Prayer"
- Don't believe everything you read about Stuart Holden transfer rumors. That's all I have to say.
- Steve Davis is the nicest guy in the history of nice guys.
- Press boxes are really, really quiet places. If games happened more often I might take to meditating or attending mass in them.
- Someone is lying about Donovan Ricketts' height. There is no way he is only 6' 4".
- I should drink whiskey or beer. I should not drink whiskey AND beer.
'Sup ya'll. As I am working on the company dime this weekend most of my stuff will be at MLS Insider. I'll drop a few things here or there here but I'll be "working" until Monday. Holler.
FINALLY on the ground in Seattle no thanks to 2 hours sitting on the runway upon departure (damn you crashing air traffic control computers!). I've got to run downstairs and try to catch the Galaxy arriving at the hotel but I didn't want to forget that punk rock business I mentioned earlier in the day so here you go. And I'll have even more hot, soccer-rocker talk tomorrow at MLSInsiderBlog.
Y'all know I love Alarazboy but......."Shake Yo Tailfeather"? Really? You gonna try and bring that back? Puffy and Murphy Lee? C'mon now. That's not even old enough to be old school yet, it's just that awkward in-between phase. Whatevs though. At least the cuts (in the editing & on the field) are tight.
I'm typing this post from the rear seat of a town car on my way to the airport for MLS Cup madness 2009*. So while float over the country and plot my assault on Jet City may I suggest you listen to RSL skipper Jason Kreis talk coach stuff. Then later when my feet are back on the ground we can talk punk rock stuff. Mmmkay?
*I think I now understand why geriatrics drive town cars; these things are really comfy. In fact, sitting here is much more comfortable than my couch
There is a great piece over at The Original Winger; an interview with Gino Rossetti of Rossetti Architects. Get inside the head of one of the people who is shaping --somewhat literally-- how soccer is perceived in America.
If you'll pardon the double dip, allow me to re-purpose something I knocked out for MLS Insider yesterday. I got to talking to Nick Rimando for a minute and he pointed out something that I didn't think of; he basically closed out his buddy Brandon Prideaux's career with that save in the shootout (they were teammates at D.C. United).
That's something has got to be tough in a world as small as American soccer. It would seem like almost everyone would know everyone else and that could sometimes get awkward, even painful. Perhaps that's just a part of being a professional that a fan can never really understand.
The other thing that came out of that convo was that RSL lost the conference to RBNY last year and are now in the final. So place your bets now that the circle will remain unbroken and that 2010 will see Chicago in MLS Cup.
From the country that brought you “Maradona, the coach”, even greater wisdom has now conceived the Plan for Argentina to Win the World Cup™: a virtual petition demanding Messi get the perm job Maradona wore to the ’86 Final. I love this; the best people's movement since the petition to bring back Family Guy when it got canceled.
This website gives both scientific (aerodynamics, mainly) and mythological (self-evident, really) explanations in the “por que?” section, as well as compelling testimonials from some dude named Rugelio who claims to have given Diego his luscious, luxurious curls back in ’85, after convincing him that blowin’ it straight just wasn’t the right look. Add a mustache and a clarinet to Messi in this rendering and you’d have the start of a great Klezmer band.
It's on. The first ever full meeting of the 5 Designated Players families is finally set to happen at MLS Cup. Ives, Bruce, Adam, Beans, Dunny & the rest of the TOW crew will be posted up along with yours truly at Kells Pub from 9pm on Friday night. If you're in town and have $5 to spare (they charge a cover on Friday nights, out of our control) come through and hang, drink & talk trash with us; we're looking to make some new friends and meet some old ones.
Can I take a minute to testify? Thank you. I'm now 33 years old with little time for exercise and a penchant for rich cheeses and savory meats. It is for this very reason that I possess a body type that could be described as "rotund" and why many soccer jersey's come off like meat casing on my frame.
So tomorrow when I root, root, root for the Yanks I will not be wearing a U.S. kit but the shirt above: it conveys the message that I am A) a U.S. soccer supporter and B) somewhat fashionable while leaving something about my burgeoning belly to the imagination. I know I am not alone in my love of all things U.S. Soccer and bacon-wrapped______ so if you find yourself embroiled in the same struggle as your man SF, go to Soccerpro.com and get yourself sorted with one of these Nike “Don’t Tread on Me” shirts (or perhaps another one of their soccer shirts if you have an irrational fear of snakes printed on 100% cotton).
Now if you'll excuse me, I think there is a cake in the office pantry that needs my attention. Don't you judge me.
You know how when you are really, really cold --so cold that you don't even shiver-- you just get so still that if you are not talking you might be mistaken for dead? I think that's what's going on here with Kammarman. Dude looks like he is in real pain. Somebody get that man a parka.
Whilst skimming the business section of the Times of London this morning (because that's what baller-assed suits such as myself do in between Powerpoint presentations and breakfasts of California Condor eggs over easy) I accidentally spit mimosa all over my keyboard when I read the following about the alleged recent purchase of the New York Cosmos name by former Tottenham Vice-Chairman Paul Kemsley:
"Pele will be president of the company. Simon Greenberg, Chelsea football club’s departing communications and public affairs director, is also said to be on board. It is unclear whether there will be any role for Kemsley’s other pals, including Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley or Topshop’s Sir Philip Green.
The club’s first game under new management will be held next summer in Central Park. It will see the Cosmos play Kemsley’s beloved Spurs."
Feel free to read this and incredulously spit up your own breakfast beverage of choice. Should you feel the need to discuss your feelings on "President Pele", Mike Ashley, any club not known as Central Park Rangers playing in Manhattan's oasis, the specter of the Cosmos and it's place in American soccer history or the need to put said ghost in a grave once and for all please feel free to do so.
Shep seems to think that Bruce Arena's performance this season is proof that the coach RBNY should hire one that they already fired. He also believes that set pieces win the game and that fly-away cuffs are the look for fall/winter 2009.
I'm putting my money on Shalrie Joseph for MVP; as Al Hopkins says, he played out of position, scored goals and put his team in the playoffs. Who are you putting your money on?
There is something I should tell you. It shouldn't come as a surprise but I'm cheating on you. But it's purely professional...you understand, right baby? Just 'cause I love her doesn't mean I don't love you too.*
*Don't ever try to say sh*t like this to your girl in real life. It'll only end in your car being keyed and crank calls to your momma's phone (and you know your momma don't like anybody playin' on her phone).
Now this is what I'm talking 'bout. It's very rare that we get a hot mixtape dedicated to someone with a blue passport but BBianchi9 did us all a solid and gave Lando the flossy & glossy treatment usually reserved for Zlatan, Eto'o et al. How long do think it will be before ESPN hires one of these guys to do promos?
What do you guys think? Should there be a concert effort to get the Scottish football following public behind Scotsman Stuart Holden and the U.S. at the World Cup? Or is it too hokey to play the ethnic card? Discuss.
WTF is going with the Space Needle? It's a mystery...but I know the answer. I can't say right now because I would be fired --and that would so not be a good look when I am on the cusp of a trip to MLS Cup on the company dime-- but here's a peek. All will be revealed in due time though kids so keep it locked.
Tonight, tonight, to-ni-ight
We could make it right tonight, to-ni-ight
I already have loads of respect for the Riot Squad because of the hospitality that they showed the New York supporters at MLS Cup last year; anyone who treats me to tacos, beer and bike jousting after such a crushing defeat are my people for life.
But I will love, love, love you guys even more if you brush up on your Genesis in time to sing the hook from this song during tonight's game. I'm not taking sides or anything (publicly) but I just think it's high time that the Phil Collins oeuvre contained at least one terrace anthem.
All-out footie mixtape king Alarazboy has figured out exactly why the likes of Zlatan, Henry & Messi are so rigoddamndiculous; they're all mutants. Surely FIFA has something in the rule books about that right? If not they will just as soon as "Super Baby" Benjamin Aguerro, son of Sergio Aguerro/grandson of Diego Maradona, reveals to the world in an Argentine U-3s match that he has the ability to both levitate during set pieces and disappear/reappear at will a la Nightcrawler.
Until then you shouldn't think about it too much or your head will explode. Just entertain yourself with the director's cut of the video above: 8+ minutes futbol freakishness.
You know what's great about soccer? I will tell you what's great about soccer. That a man named "Iygor" who is from Nigeria is concerned about a club in west London and has his questions answered by an Irishman in Connecticut. You just do NOT get that in pointyball people.
There's some really incredible stuff coming out of the Ireland-France World Cup 2010 Playoff game slated for Saturday. I've no idea if this is a hoax or not --and there is a fat-Ronaldo sized chance that it is-- but either way it's comedy gold. Read on about what could be the origin of the Gaelic-Gallic soccer war at Irish Soccer Insider.
Ignore what this fool says about taking your shirt off; you will receive a yellow card and most likely be reported to Human Resources. I would just suggest you nod your head and drop your jaw instead as it's by far the safer course of action.
You may have recently read that Bruce Arena received the award for Coach of the Year for rescuing the LA Galaxy from the depths of the last few seasons all the way to the Western Conference final. The most high-profile part of his salvage job was the healing of the San Andreas Fault-sized rift between Lando & Becks. So how healed is that relationship these days? In only a few months time it's gone from Falcon Crest-esque drama to dudes being so in-pocket with one another that Becks blames no one in the organization for The Great Soccer Beef of Summer 09™ and Landon is so damned mature about it that he can say that they were both maybe a little in the wrong.
All I can say is A) it really does seem like the dramz is over so I guess it's officially time to move on and B) Bruce Arena needs to get a Noble Peace Prize or a gig as Secretary General of the United Nations for this one.
This right here? This sh*t right here? Pfft, blogger please. This is one of the most fiendish, most diabolical, most ridiculous, most swaggerrifc footie mixtapes ever committed to microchip. Watch your back Alarazboy...they're gunnin' for your number 1 spot.
Also you might want to use headphones to watch this unless you work at MTV, a jail or the back office of a strip club. DMX has been known to use language that one might describe as "foul".
This new monster from Toyota suffers from somthing of an identity crisis as it's got D.C. colors but it's called the Midnight Rider but it's just so outlandishly baller that I'm just going to let that sh*t slide. An ode to pre-game gluttony and American automotive excess it's got "a Grill N Chill cooking space with countertops, infrared barbecue, beverage tap and an ice chest, an electronically operated tonneau cover, and a bed-installed 42-inch HDTV".
Basically all you need to bring is beer, a ticket to the game & some trim and you're striaght. Maybe a PS3 for the flat-screen but at that point you might be trying to do too much.
I just read this bit in the Boston Herald about how our Taylor and his brother (who knew there were two of 'em?) where in this crazy near-death experience in Chicago this week; the driver of a cab they were in had a heart attack as they approached an intersection and hit a wall. And just to make it all weirdski's, this isn't the first time the Twellman Brothers --which sounds like a C&W band-- have been in a crash & bang situation.
But they're both OK so I'm not too concerned about him on that front. My concern is with whatever it is he is doing in the photo in the article. Whatever it is, it just doesn't look right.
Apparently feeling nostalgic for the year 2004 and all those Campbell's soup ads, the Beeb got all Tweet-stalker and tracked down The Biggest Midget in the Game™. It's servicable piece but that's probably all you can get when your "interview" is conducted via fax. Still, it's worth a read if only to remind you that Freddy is A) still talented and that B) his lack of playing time may not be entirely his fault.
The first time I ever heard of Bryan James was at the Superdraft in Bodymore, Murderland about 2 years ago. Dude was down there with his merry men from Philadelphia and were stuck in amongst the rest of the supporters groups. The thing was though they didn't even have a team yet but that didn't stop them from singing, hollering and carrying on with the rest of us zealots. It was a little odd but you had to respect the passion.
Fast forward to 2010 and he not only has a team, but he and his boys played a role so key in it's acquisition that I just might start calling him "Kwikset". The Original Winger has a post penned by James that you should check out if you get the time. As a fan it's pretty awesome to see another regular guy go all out and make an impact on the U.S. Soccer scene, but on a bare & human level it's just inspiring when some gets a dream realised.
(Cue "Don't Stop Believing".)
Sorry for the light posts the last two days but I've been living in a hole for the past few days getting ready for some cool, MLS Cup-centered doings that I'll have for you guys next week. But if I weren't in that hole I would be all curled up and comfy in the G-Hole (that stands for "game hole" you perverts/men) with a copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. It's available in stores today, and it will be wrecking homes & GPAs nationwide by tonight. Ooo rahh!
My brothers from another mother, Unprofessional Foul, pointed out today that this whole girlfight thing is getting well out of hand in ladies soccer at the moment. If a magical third incident occurs in the next 10 days you can be damn sure Oprah will do a show on it, Judy Foudy will have to testify before congress and Lil Jon will have a go at reigniting Brooke Valentine's "career" with a remix of "Girlfight" featuring 16 bars from Elizabeth Lambert.
For real though footie-playin' ladies of America, can we take it down a notch? It's like y'all are all trying to be the new MMA or something. And that will never work out in the long run (see G.L.O.W).
This is a photo of Las Senadoras --of Republica Deportiva fame-- getting their mitts all over the Philip F. Anschutz trophy. For this it is The Luckiest Trophy in the World, Today™. Also it should be noted that there was an obvious caption for this photo but it was just too obvious, even for a blogger as hackey yours truly.
I spent yesterday morning/early afternoon with my missus & our offspring taking in the rare 70+ degree November day at Coney Island; we hit the aquarium, at funnel cake, listened to a random psycho-surf blues band, decided to learn Russian (Coney Island is Mini-Moscow) and watched crazy people swim in what is essentially the ass-end of New York harbour. It was good times for sure; a perfect, unique and unrepeatable New York day that can only be made from the sum of all these small things and more.
Chingy's OMFGoal against Seattle yesterday was exactly the same. Something great, glorious and unique that, try as you might, can never ever, ever be repeated again. It was a moment in time that will live on in the minds of Dynamo fans for an age but just like your most scandalous one-off, late-night hookup it should only live in your mind because some good things are best when not repeated.
His Ginger Majesty, Stoner and J Fo preview this weekend's MLS playoff matches from the ESPN mothership in Bristol, CT. Now that Columbus has been knocked off it really seems likes it's anyone's game and anything can happen at this point. I for one have already had to rip up my bracket and we haven't even reached the Conference Finals yet...so something tells me the next two weeks are going to be very interesting.
Real Salt Lake are in Ohio and attempting to maintain the upper hand on Columbus when they get it poppin' at Crew Stadium tonight (ESPN2, 8pm EST). The Nordecke will be out in force, Kyle Beckerman's dread will be sweaty and I will be watching. So will God I imagine (not just because the bumper stickers tell you so but because baseball is finally over). Will you?
Some pretty damned lucky Fire fans recently got their grubby little hands on the shirts right off of the players backs (with autographs even). But we can't all be so lucky so you what they say: if you can't win 'em, bid on 'em.
Y'all mess with Lethal Bizzle? He's kinda nice in that Dizzee Rascal/Akala/Wiley U.K. Hip Hop-Grime way. If you have the inclination check out the video for his re-rub of The Clash's cover of Eddie Grant's "Police on my Back". And if you have the time see what he has to say about how he met footie star/film producer/publisher/cornrow enthusiast Rio Ferdinand.
For as bad a stadium as The Swamp could be, Giants Stadium was the backdrop for a few of the most outlandish goals you'll ever see. Mathis' marathon goal against Dallas, Woly's infamous upper 90 banger, and Youri Djorkaeff and Juan Pablo Angel's zero-angle game-winners were all set in that soccer purgatory in East Rutherford. Relive those and a few more memories in the clip above. And once that's done erase that place in your mind forever and never, ever, ever go back there again because the next time you see the New York franchise hit the field it will be this one.
If you follow this blog with any regularity you know that unlike most soccer blogs, English people who are not under the employ of the LA Galaxy are a sighting as rare as goals by goalies. But when someone like Sunderland's Darren Bent decides get custom boots branded with his Twitter handle and Twitter logo it's kind of special. Not as special as Jozy's life-in-a-Northern-town Twitvid, but special nonetheless.
I could go on a tangent about how every time a new technology or digital medium makes a real impact it gets co-opted for all manner of foolishness but I'll refrain in this case; dude is kind of on fire right now with 8 goals in 11 games so his feet are probably getting crazy airtime via highlights and those slow-motion close-up replays that they show during the broadcasts so this makes loads more sense than most things you've see out there.
But where does it go from here? I'll tell you where. By First Kick 2010 dudes are going to start wearing those Bill Lambeer-style face masks with their Facebook address on them. Yes my friends the end is truly nigh.
Rejoice fanatics, rejoice! I thought ESPN might forget about us once the postseason came about but I guessed wrong. Which is a good thing because that means that we get more of the most attractive MLS highlights package around. I still think this would be amazing on ESPN2HD, you know on actual TV, but I guess we'll all just have to be patient little soccer-monks for a while longer before we get that kind of clout. A man can dream though...
According to TMZ, "David Beckham didn't grab the mechanical bull by the horns -- but dude definitely appreciated the busty, jiggling ladies who did last night at the Saddle Ranch." What, no love for Alan Gordon? The only thing featured more prominently in this clip than his mug is the bull's ass. And he was the co-star of The Beckham Experiment for Christ sakes!
If awards where given out for Best Supporting Character in a Non-Fiction Book, Gordo would have won that sh*t in a rout this year. And you know what? He could even cry like Halle Barry during his acceptance speech and I wouldn't be mad at him. But it all means nothing if the paps won't acknowledge you. That's alright though; if TMZ won't believe in your celebrity Alan I will.
According to Behind The Badge, D.C. United coach Tom Soehn "has removed his name from consideration for the club's head coaching position". The short-shorts enthusiast joins TFC's Chris Cummins as the first occupants of the 2009 off-season coaching carousel; perhaps if they sit close enough together they can share some reading materials amongst one another.
It is the end of autumn/edge of winter here in NYC. It is damp. It is cold. It sucks. I want to be somewhere sunny, somewhere foreign. Somewhere where people are outside reenacting the better portions of FIFA Street with Edgar Davids along for the ride. Someplace where the Italian's know Italian words that aren't swears or food. Somewhere where it isn't the off-season. I want a vacation!
The Beardy Boy Wonder talks to Marvelous Martin Rogers about taking a title with a third team. It's part one of a three part series over at Yahoo! Sports. Part 2 is here and part 3 is here; get 'em while it's hot i.e. before the next match when this all becomes completely dated.
A bit of pure, uncut, straight playoff dopeness from Chivas USA. I love this clip: a superb mix of behind-the-scenes footage, highlights, press-conference and locker room quotes it's kind of the total package. I have two words for the guys in LALAland who put this together: more please.
One of my favorite MLS promos popped up out of the blue on Vimeo today. The funny thing is that with the way he played early in the season this could have been produced in 2009 instead of 1999.
The Fire and the Revs have met in the playoffs 8 times. 8 TIMES! It's getting way too predictable, like Lakers v. Celtics in the Reagan-era NBA Finals. A handful of Chicago players and coach Denis Hamlet took a minute to talk about the most consistent post-season pairing since the Buffalo Bills and "choking". Watch it...or I'll talk about your Momma.
Peep the new video for the upcoming KickSwerve iPhone app. I mentioned it a while back but they took down the original clip before they dropped this one. Looks like they've got Nike on board to flesh out the experience with the game-ball and signage. Can't wait; I could use a little more distraction in my life.
You know what would be bad ass? If Becks would shave the beard but keep the mustache. I really feel like what we need right now is a return to wide-brooms and "real ales" beards. It's kind of sad that Shep Messing --who has been retired for more than 20 years-- is the dude who's really holding it down for consistent and prominent facial hair in the American soccer diaspora.* I'm telling you if Goldenballs just butched it up all Magnum P.I.-style on the regular we could see a return to a time when bristly hirsuteness was mainstream, acceptable sexiness within 3-months.
*Playoff beards are a short-term gimmick lacking in true dedication to being bushy and thus do not count.