So I'm going to break my radio silence on this Cosmos thing today because I am now intrigued by the schism that has developed between soccer fans and MLS fans when it comes to the self-proclaimed "Kings of New York."
As I've watched each announcement and event come and go over the past few months I've been struck by how, with the exception of a party at the Times Square Planet Hollywood (shudder), tasteful and stylish everything has been. Everything from the names associated with the project to the merchandising have been pretty cotdamn sexy and I love it. But since there's no team, stadium or even league associated with the revival yet that may be the problem for some: all style, no substance.
As I read Tweets from and/or about the Cosmos 2011 Spring Collection launch party last night I was struck by how different the reaction to the event was. People I follow who are soccer fans but not really MLS fans loved the event and seemed to be enjoying an evening of free booze, food and soccer talk with like-minded people. On the other hand the tweets from people I follow who are known MLS aficionados such as myself where pretty much just condescending; I certainly see the knock on the organization not having a team or a league but apparently skinny jeans are a really bad thing because (dunh dunh dunnnnnnh!) hipsters wear them.
And I think there lies the root of the schism, the word 'hipster' and its seemingly-solid grip on the new Cosmos brand.
See the thing is 'hipster' is like the N-word of the middle-class; depending on who you are it is either a positive & negative. I'm certainly not placing the same yolk of history or hatred on the former that the latter holds. Nor do I condone the use of the latter. But you can't deny that while some people see Chloe Sevigny and think "check out that cute hipster girl" others say "look at that f*cking hipster."
I may be past my prime, overweight, church-going and married with children but I do know quite a lot about the hipster as I spent a lot of time in their native habitat, the L.E.S, during my former life in the music industry.
You know why people hate them? Because they live & look like rockstars without having a single gold record or Oscar nomination to their name. We don't mind when Russell Brand or Kings of Leon dress fashionable, sleep with models or drink Jack Daniels with every meal. But when Tim from Accounts Receivable does it we can't stand that sh*t. And you know what? It's uncalled for...let a player play.
But the other side of the game is this: don't tell me how you're Arsenal through & through, been to the last 2 World Cups for "a photography project" and play every Thursday night at Chelsea Piers but can't be bothered to get on the train for 20 minutes to go see Dane Richards run game on a slow-ass left back. Don't. And for the love of God don't you dare have the audacity to do it while dressed like a guest on the Alexa Chung show (R.I.P.).
I don't know what else to say about it. I've probably rambled far too long about this already so maybe that's a good thing. But in short this sh*t is ridiculous and will hopefully stop sometime soon. MLS fans: be cool, let the 'hipsters' live. Hipsters: quit talking about soccer, support American soccer.
THERE SEEMS TO BE SOME CONCERN AMONG BOTH FRIENDS AND STRANGERS ALIKE AS TO MY CURRENT PENCHANT FOR CAPITALIZATION. IT COULD WELL BE BECAUSE THIS IS, TO SOME, A SOCCER BLOG AND THAT'S WHAT MANY OF US SOCCER BLOGGERS DO: YELL AND MAKE NOISE ABOUT ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING WHETHER IT NEEDS TO BE A BIG DEAL OR NOT BECAUSE, JUST LIKE TNT, WE KNOW DRAMA. SO PERHAPS IT'S A STATEMENT BUT I'M NOT SURE.
IT COULD ALSO BE DOWN TO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
- I'M BORED WITH THE TOR LOOK
- THIS IS A CRY FOR HELP
- I'M PRETENTIOUS AND ART-DAMAGED
- I'M RUINING MY SITE IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE NEW GAWKER
- THIS IS A GOOD WAY TO KEEP BLOGGER X FROM LINKING TO ME AGAIN
- IT'S A CODED SIGNAL TO THE REBELLION THAT THE TIME TO ATTACK IS NOW
- BECAUSE HELVETICA IS AN IMPORTANT FONT, MADE MORE SO IN CAPS
- A MISGUIDED ATTEMPT AT BEING 'PUNK ROCK' AND/OR 'AVANT'
- BECAUSE I THOUGHT CARLES MIGHT THINK I'M COOL & LINK TO ME
- A SYMPTOM OF A BLOGGER MIDLIFE CRISIS
- TO WEED OUT THOSE THAT ARE NOT DOWN TO PARTY
- All or none of the above
A LITTLE OVER TWO YEARS AGO I MENTIONED SOME "SH*TTY LITTLE KIDS FROM EAST L.A." CALLED FUNERAL PARTY. I DUG THEM. STILL DO. UNFORTUNATELY FOR THE BAND MY COLLEAGUES AT MTV DID NOT.
AFTER SWITCHING LABELS, RECORDING IN THE MARS VOLTA'S STUDIO AND SURVIVING GIGS IN GANGLAND THEY ARE FINALLY READY TO RELEASE THEIR DEBUT ALBUM, "THE GOLDEN AGE OF NOWHERE"; IF YOU ARE READY FOR THE LEFT COAST'S ANSWER TO THE STROKES & THE RAPTURE WITH MORE MELODY & MELANIN BUT LESS MID-2000'S COCAINE STRUT, COP IT ON MARCH 29.
IT IS ONE THING TO EXAGGERATE. IT IS SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY THOUGH TO GRAB A DUDE'S ARM AND PUNCH YOURSELF IN THE FACE WITH IT. SERIOUSLY, THIS GUY SHOULD NEVER HAVE A CALL GO HIS WAY AGAIN UNLESS IT'S HIM GETTING CALLED A 'JACKTARD'. [VIA @MLS_ANALYST]
WANT TO KNOW THE BEST TIME TO CATCH NICKY RIMANDO ON THE TWITTERS OR THE BOOK OF FACES? MATCHDAY. APPARENTLY DUDE SPENDS HIS TIME BEFORE GAMES THE EXACT SAME WAY MY 18 YEAR-OLD SISTER DOES: ON A COUCH '@'ING AND 'LIKING' PEOPLE. THANKFULLY THOUGH HE USES FAR FEWER EMOTICONS :).
THIS HAS BEEN MENTIONED BEFORE BUT THIS VIDEO IS THE REASON THE ORIGINAL NASL FOLDED AND BLACK FOLKS IN AMERICA STAYED AWAY FROM SOCCER FOR A LONG-ASS TIME. THE SONG WAS THE JAM THOUGH AND REMINDS ME OF WHEN I WAS TOO YOUNG TO BE UNHAPPY. IT ALSO SERVES AS A REMINDER OF THE DANGERS OF DUDES IN SHORT-SHORTS.
THE PGE PARK RENOVATION IS MOVING WITH ALL THE PACE OF USAIN BOLT ON A 4-DAY NODOSE BINGE. HAVING LAID DOWN THE NEW CARPET AND WITH NEARLY ALL OF THE NEW SEATING COMPLETED, THE FOOTBALL STADIUM-TURNED BASEBALL STADIUM-TURNED SOCCER STADIUM IS ALMOST READY FOR GUESTS. WHICH IS GOOD BECAUSE I'M COMING TO TOWN FROM MARCH 16TH TO 18TH FOR THE DAY JOB AND I WANT A PEEK AT THE PARK. AND GOOD BEER.
IF YOU WANT TO CHECK OUT THE NEW-LOOK PGE BUT AREN'T ON A SUBSIDIZED SOCCER-TRAVEL BUDGET, TAKE A TRIP OVER TO DROPPINGTIMBER.COM TO SEE THE LATEST IMAGES FROM THE ONGOING RENOVATION; IT'S MUCH CHEAPER BUT SEVERELY LACKING IN HOPS.
ALLEGEDLY CHIVAS USA ARE SIGNING THIS GUY. I DON'T KNOW WHO HE IS BUT HE'S A MEMBER OF THE GHANAIAN NATIONAL TEAM AND HAS A MIXTAPE LONGER THAN THE LAST DROPDEAD ALBUM SO SURELY HE'S SOMEBODY TO SOMEONE. QUESTION IS "IS HE SOMEONE THAT CAN DISPLACE JIMMY CONRAD, HEATH PEARCE OR ZAREK VALENTIN?"
FYI if you are in the NYC area and need a 'lil something to get into after the RSL-Columbus CCL match I've got a suggestion. TOR favorite Jamie XX is spinning at LPR tonight and you should go because A) he's dope and B) my 18 year-old sister called me over the weekend to see if I could recommend any good Dubstep to her so go see one of the genre's big names kill it before the whole thing is declared "over". I love my sister to death but once the TX panhandle is hearing about a scene it's a pretty good indicator that the sh*t is about to die.
Do you love soccer but hate your boss and/or family? If so I AM PLAYR may be just the all-consuming timesuck you need to make them hate you back. A Facebook-based game that occupies the previously uninhabited no man's land between cinema and gaming, I AM PLAYR is equal parts fantasy futbol, "Choose Your Own Adventure" and Guy Ritchie Nike advert. Looks promising...and addictive.
USMNTer Alejandro Bedoya is trying to make like The Jeffersons and move on up; dude has left Orebro SK in Sweden and is on trial with Birmingham City. If he ends up moving there I'm calling for a straight up, All-American party house in Birmingham with Bedoya, Eric Lichaj, Michael Bradley and The Brads complete with off-season keggers and a deportation-worthy 4th of July party. America, F*** Yeah!
I know it looks like I am all up on Vancouver's jock right now with two Whitecaps-related posts in a row but I kind of have to give praise where it's due. I'm feeling their "Countdown to Kickoff" video series because A) it's pretty to look at, B) it has a lot of great old people in it and B) they feature custom club-branded sushi.
If you haven't seen the other clips head over to the Whitecaps Youtube page and get caught up. Then go find the first geriatric soccer fan you can get your hands on then invite them out for dinner at your local Japanese place; they'll appreciate it so much they might even leave their teeth in their mouth when they pick them after the meal.
Personal goal for the 2011 season: get to a night game in Vancouver before they move downtown as Empire Field looks absolutely radiant under floodlights. What I would give to see an epic game in the rain there.
Aside from the nocturnal look at the 'Caps temporary home there's a lot of great footage of some of the old-school 86ers/Whitecaps fans and the mobs that greeted the team after they won the 1979 SoccerBowl. Seeing the throngs of supporters filling the streets you can't help but wonder where the game would be in the U.S. & Canada today if the NASL was better run and still surviving. Perhaps places like Toronto and Seattle would be the norm, not the exception.
This isn't anywhere close to the best cut off of the Cutters' latest record but it's the first video so I feel obliged to acknowledge it. Also this video contains an "easter egg"; if you look closely you'll see what I believe is the MLS model of Jabulani making a cameo at some point.
Think you have what it takes to mind the nets at RFK Stadium? If so, then ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you Pat Onstad in disguise?
- Do you know what a partial allocation is (and if so could you tell us)?
- Would it offend you to be acquired in a trade for Kurt Morsink?
Seriously though, why not Grant Wahl for FIFA President? It's not like the incumbent has some crazy, specialized qualifications that are essential to that job. Hell, most of us have zero idea what he did for work before he took this gig so it can't be that important. Plus with Grant in office he'll bring in a lady to end the FIFA ExCo sausage-hang. That alone is worth my vote...I hate clubs full of dudes.
Can you believe this? Dude appears to actually be wearing a snood in his mugshot! Surely this is the most soccer-specific arrest photo in history. It's a bummer to see but it's good to know that even if he is not playing he is, at the very least, keeping up with the sports' latest apparel trends.
In case you were to old, too young or too tired to make last night's 11:30 pm start time here is the entire Red Bulls-Chivas match from last night. Even if you don't make it all the way through, stick around to see Dane Richards' sensational goal; nice to have that first "wow" moment of 2011 under our collective belt.
New Jersey barfights, soccer and hair product: Danny Szetela, this is your life.
While the players are away, the stadiums play. This is pretty dope...almost makes me wish I was physically fit enough to get strapped in and shoot off to Stratton or someplace for the weekend. Sadly, with my love of BBQ & Chinese food being what it is the only thing I would be good for is keeping the fireplace going and mixing the drinks because weebles don't ride well.
Remember when Mo Johnston was running New York and he brought in that random Scots guy Peter Canero? And do you remember when Mo Johnston was running Toronto FC and he brought in those random British guys like Rohan Ricketss and Andy Welsh? Same thing looks like it might be going down with new Toronto head man Aron Winter; dude's bringing in a trio of Dutchmen you've never heard of to help right the good ship TFC. Change the coach all you want but old habits die-hard in Ontario I reckon.
Other than news of soccer-specific stadiums being miraculously granted overnight to all MLS cities that don't currently have one, I can think of no better way to wake up than to the sultry sounds of The Black Keys paired with the sublime acting chops of "Sir" Todd Bridges and a misunderstood blonde, black-widow assassin. Happy Tuesday y'all.
This is a fitting clip to start off Valentine's Day with. Why? Because when it comes to romanticizing "the good old days" of English football there are few stadiums that can hold a candle to Craven Cottage. Plus, if you are into feet there's a bit of discussion about Clint Dempsey's socks (and he scores a brace as well, natch).
[H/T to BQ.]
So a few days ago K.C. cut Sunil Chhetri. Now there are reports that La Liga's Racing Santander is after him. Really?
You're telling me that a guy that only appeared as a sub twice --once in the Open Cup and once against Manchester United-- is being seriously looked at by a La Liga side? I don't care if the owner is Indian as well, this is just...c'mon now.
We can argue all day long whether or not this guy who ran onto the field at the Georgia Dome last night is a proper streaker because he's wearing a jock strap and didn't go full-nude. What we can't argue is that this guy may have set a record for longest pitch invasion ever. Dude even gets a chance to walk at some point. This has to be the least-hot pursuit in the history of Georgia law enforcement; somewhere in Hazard County Roscoe & Cleetus are not amused.
Shout out to the man Mike Chabala for lending his face to the NOH8 campaign because being an asshole isn’t cool.* I’ve always thought soccer was a little different than other sports in America because it seems less-saturated with that bullying, jock mentality that often permeates football, basketball, wrestling, UFC, slap-boxing, cock-fighting, etc. so maybe in some way his participation confirms my thinking. Or not. Either way he’s my dude for doing this. Respect.
*I know a thing or two about being an ass because unfortunately I have been one on occasion, even on this very blog. Hell, some people might think I’m being one at this very moment. My bad. I’ve been working on it and asking myself “what would classy-ass Bob Redford do?” before posting things in an effort to curb my periodic douchey episodes. Hopefully I can avoid these altogether sometime soon.
If reports out of Russia are to be believed --and honestly I'm not sure I believe anything written in an alphabet with such a shocking resemblance to Wing Dings-- Dema Kovalenko is hanging up his blood-stained boots and retiring. If you are a fan of any of the club's he's played for I think you know the sadness I'm feeling right now. When he played against your team you hated him and thought he was bastard. But once your team got a hold of him he was your bastard.
I'm going to miss the card-magnet, I really am. Question is though, who becomes the new Hardest Man in MLS™? Jamison Olave? Rafa? The options aren't endless but there isn't really a clear-cut favorite for me; who else but Dema would stab his Gran in the eye for porrage?!
I have no idea how you could be a Salt Lake City-area soccer fan and NOT buy tickets to see this team. If the fact that they're pretty good isn't enough, this advert by TOR favorite T. Issac Halasima makes them look like straight up superheros; surely this is Eurosnob kryptonite.
What is it with Scotsmen on draft day? There must be something about being "on the clock" that just makes those bhoys go absolutely batty because they seem to be the most habitually-active players come draft day. Seriously, if you thought Mo Johnston was unique you'd best think again.
If you don't believe me watch this latest installment of Inside the SuperDraft. Dom Kinnear is working the room like "a God among bros" at last call in an effort to close an 11th-hour deal with anyone he can. And John Spencer? Dude is down for whatever...so long as someone shows him some cotdamn money. The only one missing from the party is Stevie Nicol but since Wake Forest wasn't about anything this year he didn't really have anyone to chase.
When I grow up I want a voiceover voice. Those things rule. Except for when you're trying to talk dirty I imagine, then it would just be weird. But when you are selling the virtues of a soccer-specific stadium to interwebs it's just down-right awesome. Almost as awesome as this stadium is going to be.
Apparently our Landon has been D-Town down this week and has worked the Super Bowl party scene like a total and complete champion. Dude's been spotted all over town at everything from the Playboy party to Direct TV's Celebrity Beach Bowl. The shot above was from Pepsi's party (which was, tragically, DJed by Pauly D.) where he posed with tennis Goddess Serena Williams.
LD if you have taken a break from ballin' outta control to see what's going on on the internets this a.m. I'm just going to put this out there: if you two aren't married at 35 y'all should just go ahead and do that for the good of the sports nation (and their respective Q ratings). Can you imagine the offspring these two are capable of producing? With his skills & soccer IQ + her athleticism, competitiveness & thighs? OMG it'd be a straight-out BEAST baby.
The Friday night anthem. I'm spinning at The Annex tonight and this will be ON BLAST.
It's not much but it's beautiful. Who thought a year ago you would ever see CD9 beat a guy to a ball in the corner even in a practice game (and in an MLS kit to boot)? Whatever happens, you can't say the dude isn't a fighter.
A TOR late-night special. If you're down with brown liquor and the use of a lot of negative space in music, James Blake is your guy. He's somewhat reminiscent of Jamie Lidell and really influenced by both The XX & D'angelo so he's instantly "my dude"...even if he is the Michael Bublé of glitch-hop.
Typically I display an overall lack of interest in European soccer unless there is one of my people involved. But this Fernando Torres video is just so over the top I can't leave it alone. Anytime they wheel out Chris Martin from Coldplay to do his sad bastard routine over close-up, HD slow mo footage I have to wonder about the mental health of the creator of the clip; judging by the melodramatic editing on display here I am concerned that he may be cutting himself as I type this.
Remember help is often just a phonecall away, even if you are a West Bromwich supporter.
Houston, are you ready to holla & pop bottles on Saturday? Hope so but even if you aren't a whole lot of us around the "New Soccer Nation" will be doing it on your behalf when the Dynamo break ground on your new downtown stadium. The place looks like it'll be pretty hot (both temperature & design-wise) and I honestly couldn't be happier for you.
So that just leaves San Jose, D.C. and New England to go. Not to get all "I remember when" but I do remember a time (2005) when there were only 3 SSS in this league, not three only 3 teams in need of an SSS. Baby's growing up fast.
This kind of looks like it was a good time. Seattle-based, soccer-centric energy drink Golazo had some party somewhere with 3v3 cage soccer, bike polo and loads of young attractive people; it reminds me of college but without the drunkenness, student poverty & STD scares.
And speaking of drunkenness Golazo are one of the sponsors for the American Outlaws rally in Las Vegas on March 4th & 5th. If you've got the time, the cash, a gambling and/or stripper problem (you know who you are) and the urge to mob up with a few hundred of your fellow footie freaks I highly recommend attending. Registration ends on Friday though so get your sh*t together, will ya!
Last night while sipping Oban with my dude Brent in the bar at the Hudson Hotel I did something truly rare: I thought of John O'Brien. This was because Brent brought him up when waxing nostalgic about about the 2002 World Cup, JOB's command of the U.S. midfield against Portugal while Claudio Reyna sat the bench and the feeling among many U.S. fans that this dude was the future.
On some level what's going on right now with Charlie Davies is very similar. Kid had game, did work in the relative anonymity of one of Europe's less glamorous leagues, shined on the international stage just long enough for everybody to catch feelings for him and then he got injured. Now he's trying resurrect his career --if he's deemed fit, focused and worthy-- by coming to play in MLS for the first time. It's kind of a surface comparison but there's no doubting the parallels.
Having said that I hope the CD9 story ends better than the JOB story; O'brien ended up signing for Chivas USA and only made a single appearance before calling an end to his career. But I'm getting ahead of myself as we'll have to just wait and see if he even passes muster in D.C. first before worrying about him getting actual playing time. Tell you this though, this week in Ft. Lauderdale will be DCU's most scrutinized week of pre-season camp since the Freddy Adu days.
Young Jozy arrived at his new club in Turkey today and was greeted at the airport by reporters and a f*cking oboe player. Does anyone actually like the oboe? And is that the appropriate way to greet The Boy King of New York & Jersey™? Dude needs to hear "6 Foot 7" or "No Hands", some sh*t he can swag off to not snakecharmer music.
[H/T to SBI for the clip]
I haven't seen Michael Bradley smile in...maybe ever actually. Some people call him Robocop because of his all-business demeanor & chrome-dome but I'm sure the guy has a laugh every now and then -possibly when people report that his old man has given a farewell speech to a team he's not been fired from for instance.
Apparently he's all smiles in Birmingham. And why not? He's 23 years-old, he's just signed for a fairly-large club in the BPL and they've already got him shilling for tickets for your probable debut against Fulham. I don't know about you but if it was me you couldn't tell me sh*t. Go on son, be happy.
Damn Charlie Davies, you just put the c***block on the All Star Game announcement. Well no, you didn't at all actually --Steven Goff maybe did just a 'lil bit though-- but news of your possible move to D.C. United dropping about 10 minutes after the All Star Game announcement was like a clusterbomb of MLS-related Twitlines.*
I mean c'mon it's the off-season, can't we spread some of the news out? Otherwise it's feast then famine; I may be satiated now but by 5p.m. I'm going to feel like snacking again.
*Twitline = Twitter headlines. I may have just made that up.
Y'all seen the new RBNY away kits? It's the thingy in the image above. Love that they dropped the Tour-de-France faux-zipper/button thing of the last few years and brought in something minimal. I think for the first time since the rebrand they've actually produced a jersey that I would wear outside of a matchday.
For the first time since the Clinton administration the MLS All-Star Game is coming to New York. Or New Jersey to be more specific since Red Bull Arena is hosting the event which is great for me because that means I won't have to go away anywhere and sweat for a week. I get to sweat at home!
It's great for all y'all too because this most likely means I get to properly plan an All-Star week party to top all parties. Seriously, it's going to be some crazy sh*t like out of those SNL skits with Stefon; models, bottles and fire-breathing horses. Can't Wait.