Everybody who is anybody in the sports business has been in Miami over the last few days for the IMG World Congress of Sports. The Don was there doing his thing and, hopefully, made time for a Cuban sandwich. I have no proof of the latter but I do have proof of the former as evidenced by the video above. Watch it.
There are two takeaways from this video. One is that if you've ever wondered what Ne-Yo produced by James Blake would sound like, The Weeknd is the answer. The second is that cocaine is officially the most 80's drug in existence and may lead to you getting shot so therefore it is "whack." So say no to snow kids.
Brendan Hannan is a PR man for the Chicago Fire. He is a talented fellow and widely-regarded as one of the most well-dressed individuals in the American soccersphere. And when duty calls he is also one hell of an announcer.
Check out the highlights from last night's Chicago-Colorado Open Cup game. The first Fire goal might be one of the great MLS goal calls of all-time and the second goal may be one of the greatest MLS goals of all-time.
While the MLSers of the USMNT were busy not getting it done in Nashville last night, the MLSers of Jamaica --Dane Richards, Omar Cummings and Donovan Ricketts-- were tied up with beating El Salvador 3-2 on the road.
Richards, once of the greatest friendly match players in CONCACAF history, copped a brace and Omar Cummings snagged the difference-making third goal. Ricketts gave up two on the other end but one of them was definitely not his fault. The other one probably wasn't either...if you ask him.
BTW the term "Germericans" was coined by this guy. He should trademark it. Also if I was young, Black and single as opposed to old, Black and married I would join the U.S. military and request a posting in Germany because brothas seem to do well with the native ladies.
Serving your country is an honor and a gift. Planting seeds (see Timothy Chandler, Jermaine Jones, David Yelldell, and even Josh Wicks) to be cultivated in a soccer-rich culture then exported to the USMNT is just icing on the cake. A big, fat, U.S. Soccer-flavored cake.
TFC rookie Demitrius Omprhoy is my dude. The kid has skills. The kid has charm. The kid has internet fame. The kid has nice ink. The kid has women old enough to know better sweating him on TV.
The kid also has MS and isn't afraid to talk about it or let it get in the way of his game.
The kid has heart.
Leave it to Sky Sports --a news outlet that is readily available in the U.K., but something of a fringe network in the U.S.-- to give us the deep-dive on Thierry Henry's life in NYC. It's kind of a shame because something like this could really help sell him, RBNY and MLS stateside.
But maybe that's not the point. Maybe this is one of those things that you do to help improve your club's status as world-renowned, international players....like hiring Eric Cantona for some old position or other.
Either way TiTi is dope and this 4-part, 45+ minute expose* is as well. We get to go to TiTi's SoHo rooftop, find out that Juan Agudelo has no idea who 2 Live Crew are and sit in Holland Tunnel traffic on the way to Red Bull Arena on match day. Take it in y'all.
Parts 2 + 3 + 4
*It's probably not a proper "expose" as I don't think there is anything unseemly about it. But "expose" sounds far sexier and just as Access Hollywood as "exclusive" does.
I know some folks are going to hate on me for co-signing on this but oh well. In an era of painfully self-conscious indie rock Glasvegas' brand of expansive, unashamedly big rock is refreshing. It's such a throwback that it (almost) sounds like a new idea for ALT music. It may not be groundbreaking but at least they're not afraid to be grandiose; this is a band that wants to play arenas and will make music accordingly whether anyone other than me likes it or not.
Can anyone tell me what in the hell David Beckham is doing on this play? I honestly have no idea. His headband is applying more pressure to his hair than he is to Javi Morales.
I keep rewinding and rewinding this and can't decide what's funnier: Becks' seeming aloofness or Javi's "I'm gonna fake like I'm exhausted then sprint like a stole something"-routine.
Y'all may not care but one of the blogs that influenced me the most is dunzo. Carles is shutting down for reasons that I way relate to:
Sup bro.I am closing because I don't really enjoy content farming any more. Blogging used to be a little bit more fun and rewarding when I had a more naive outlook on what modern journalism meant. Now in a world filled with tumblrs, twitters, listicles, and an intense meme cycle, I don't think there is any thing very fun or special about it. I probably started HRO when I was insecure and felt like I needed a tribe of people to understand me to feel validated, but now I have predictably 'grown up'.
I'm disturbed by how much I can relate to this. Pour some out for HRO tonight, a defunct blog worth blogging about.
UPDATE: Reunion tour, Carles cashes in to "save 2K11."
5 years ago this would have set off at least three different waves of irrational rumor-mongering ("John Terry-to-MLS!", "Columbus to get new kit sponsor!", "Crew to redesign logo & jersey!"). Now it just gets a reasonable, responsible and highly readable post on MatchFitUSA.
So have BigSoccer and the Blog That Shall Not Be Mentioned really fallen off? Or are we, the American soccer fan, just smarter as a people? Tough call that one. All I know is things have certainly changed in the soccersphere.
Is it just me or does the music at the beginning of this clip sound kind of like that uber-aggro song on that Navy commercial? It's a little butch for me at first but then it gets all Crystal Method (again, too frat-daddy for my tender tastes) before giving way to some serious Thomas Newman-esque orchestral heaviness. It's a real genre-hopping musical journey. You should take it.
This is possibly the best single minute of Ochocino SoccerWatch 2011™ coverage. Nice candor and a pretty decent ball into the box. Also impressive is the ability to refer ones self as an "elite athlete" with a straight, shameless face.
Remember the last time the Yanks played Argentina in New Jersey? I do. It was 106 degrees with 200% humidity* for most of the day and we decided to start tailgating at 10am for a 7pm match. By 2pm it seemed like just surviving until kickoff would have been victory enough. And then these 3 dudes from Louisiana rolled up with an RV full of boudin & venison sausage for Matt D. and I to eat while we drank Shiner Bock and shot toy guns in the parking lot. Good times.
As for the game, it was the most entertaining nil-nil freindly draw you could ever ask to see. And when it starting raining in the final, frenetic 10 minutes it officially went from entertaining to epic. There is no way hell tomorrow's game will match up to that without aid of a Juan Agudelo & Jozy Altidore all-Red Bull golazo fest but it should be fun watching them try. Go, go USA!
*These figures have not been verified by the U.S. Weather Service.
Are you rich? Do you like in the greater New York City area? Do you have cable? Excellent because The Don wants to tell you all that is good & holy about soccer. Tune in, turn on and geek out (about soccer, not about being rich).
How tough were the feet on these kids? I mean they're running over nails and splintered wood with bare feet! I bet you their soles are so hard that you could sharpen knives on them sh*ts.
They've also got soul; what else could make you build a floating, wooden pitch in what looks to be one of the most humid places on Earth?
The Fire messed around and signed Gabriel Ferrari today. Not a bad catch for a club looking to replace Brian McBride, Calen Carr and Collins John. The kid is big and can ball.
So in the name of mining old-ass content here's a conversation between Gabe and myself from exactly 1 year ago. Definitely looks like things done changed in regard to that new loan but for the better. Hope we see more Ferrari's & Davies choose to come home rather than languishing in the lower leagues in Europe...yes, I'm talking about you Freddy Adu & Benny Feilhaber.
You know what the most amazing thing about this whole Ochocino-to-SportingKCO exercise is? That soccer seems to have actually humbled Ocho. Not to the point of where he's not going to namedrop CR7 & Kaka --that would be unreasonable-- but to the point where you kind of forget about all his past madness.
I love that he says Ronaldo & Kaka would come out to K.C. to watch him play if he makes the team. It's like he adding in bonus cuts to an album before it's even recorded. How much tougher do you think it will make resisting the urge to sign the circus --for nothing-- with the promise of rings 2 & 3 now out there? Not too tough I reckon because K.C. have, you know, brains and wouldn't sign him just because.
Still if this doesn't work out there's always Ft. Lauderdale.
I really shouldn't judge anyone on their music tastes because my iPods are chock full of questionable content (Babylon Zoo or the new Lupe Fiasco album anyone?) buuuuuuuuuuuut......Shaggy? Are people still messing with him? C'mon now.
Aww sh*t y'all. Friendly Fires are back with a brand-new banger just in time for the SXSW/Winter Music Conference club orgy. "Live Those Days Tonight" is exactly what we've come to expect from FF: indie rock swathed in flawless Euro-disco accented with a hint of tropicalia/batucada percussion. I recently stopped doing my regular DJ gig but this song puts me in the mood to end my retirement before summer starts as this could be an anthem by August.
Y'all ready for the most-talked about MLS training session since the arrival of Brand Beckham? Hope so because every sports outlet in the nation is going to be all over this like LiLo on free drugs. Watch the whole thing unfold at Sporting85.com (yes, it has its own website).
Honest question: where do mixtape makers get their footage? We know they get their music from BET circa 2008 but where do you find hours & hours of clean step-over footage? Bit-Torrent? Inquiring minds (read: me, not the Feds) want to know.
I know everyone has already said it but that was one helluva first week. Not only did we get a ton of goals but a lot of them were total bangers. I honestly think I could make a case for each of the Goal of the Week nominees (and even some that didn't make the cut.)
There was all kinds of other stuff going on as well. New players, new teams, new stuff to complain about...all the things that make First Kick "fly like a G6."* In case you missed any of it, and hopefully you missed some portion of it because you need to get out more, you can get caught up via the 5-part, audio-visual juggernaut that is the MLS Review Show. Go get geeked.
*Can y'all believe I just said that? Gross.
There are few weapons more devastating than surprise. When the 'Caps signed Eric Hassli to DP money last month most folks, including myself, where like "Who Dat?" But after Saturday's performance the element of surprise may no longer be in Hassli's arsenal.
I'm somewhat hesitant to invoke the over-used term "beast" to describe him but that's what he was out there and dude has 2 goals to prove it. Sure, Omar Bravo and CD9 grabbed braces as well but neither of them posses the ultimate "bad man" tie-breaker -prison tattoos.
So with that I am awarding Eric Hassli the in-no-way-prestigious title of Baddest Man in MLS, Today™. Wear it well Frenchie.
This is like some 300 meets Harry Potter craziness. I wonder if there will be a terrible tie-in video game to go along with it.
Seriously it's like adidas got all up in my brain and pulled this advert right out of what's left of my mind after last night (late night in the hotel bar culminating in not sharing an elevator with Becks and his security guard).
It's got Messi, it's got cheerleaders and --crucially-- "Civilization", the first track to be released from the upcoming Justice album. The only way this could be made better would be by the presence of Taylor Cole. Can I get "hell yeah?"
Check out the Kearney mullets on Harsey & Meola mullet? You can't tell me that sh*t isn't luxurious. And there seems to some Kid-n-Play-esque paired dancing going on and maybe even a sighting of "The Running Man." And who let O.J. on to the set? It's no "World in Motion" but it's ours America. Embrace it, own it.
Another MLS season, another new look from Brand Beckham. But isn't dude a little too young to rock a combover? Maybe he's going for a Miike Snow look, I dunno. What do y'all think?
I'm in Seattle and it's cold, wet and gray as Pat Onstad's sideburns. I'll mostly be doing stuff for the day job for the remainder of the week as I hit Portland on Wednesday then Colorado on Friday.
Related but unrelated, check out the gnarly nubs on the dude in this video from the Sounders. Surely he was a victim of a bite from Dema Kovalenko. Regardless of that there's some talk about "fireballs" in this clip; do people really use that term? Am I just out of the loop? Or was that a 70's thing?
I once had a conversation with a very influential person in American soccer about the film Goal: The Dream Begins. He said that there was nothing in the way of undiscovered talent in America and that any player that was capable of playing at EPL level would have been on the radar of U.S. Soccer and MLS well before they would ever get a sniff at the Premiership.
I said "what about Jay DeMerit?" and he went silent.
DeMerit's real-life journey from Green Bay to Watford was certainly different than Santiago Munez's fictional journey to Newcastle but it does make you wonder who else is out there. In a nation as big as America he can't be the only guy to go undiscovered by the American soccer establishment.
[H/T to The Shin Guardian]
I like this. Dramatic but without drifting into "Dynasty" territory.
Half-naked flesh, leather-clad Italian guys and beats: are these Vancouver Whitecaps videos promoting a soccer team or a discotheque? I don't care either way as I have a thing for both but if it is a nightclub I need to know the dress code. I refuse to dance in any establishment that will not let you in wearing sneakers; you only dance in church shoes at wedding receptions.
Remember when Deuce's missus got all painted up with a few of the other World Cup-wags for SI? The results were titillating. The Whitecaps took notice and decided to bite the style for their Countdown to Kick Off video series. And you now what? I don't think I'm mad at that.
A couple of year's ago I predicted, wrongly, that crying on the dancefloor would become "a thing." At the time there was just a ton of these remixes coming out that were all maudlin & mopey but somehow club-ready at the same time. Seems like Jamie XX & Gil Scott-Heron are trying to bring that sh*t back and I'm feeling it; wondering if Carles is wondering if 'emo-house' will 'save' 2K11.
The talk is that the Dynamo are trying to line up a friendly with Stuart Holden's Bolton Wanderers in Houston this summer. I like the idea, lets the dude get some hometown shine for a couple of days.
I kind of wish there was a a whole series of these: Run-DMB's Hannover in Indianapolis, Herculez Gomez's Pachuca in Las Vegas, Jay DeMerit's Whitecaps playing in Green Bay etc. Hell, Aston Villa would have to do a whole damn tour of the country for Bradley, Lichaj, Freidel and Guzan.
It would actually be pretty cool to have a camera follow Stu around during his homecoming. Kinda see what it's like to train & travel with an EPL squad, see his old stomping grounds, meet the family and see him catch up with his old teammates. @JasonETProducer, make it so.
Yesterday sucked and I think it's because I'm paying penance for being an ass at times on this blog. I've taken some shots at people over the years and now that they're coming my way I have to sack up and recognize that. So since lists are so hot right now here's 5 of the people I'd like to apologize to (in no particular order):
- Taylor Twellman: I know you're an opinionated sports guy yourself and get being a fan but I went overboard on you at times in your playing days (and not even in the most artful manner). Since playing was your job, winning an MLS Cup was probably a goal of yours; some of my jokes about you not achieving it were over the top and unnecessary. My bad.
- Torsten Frings and the German national team: I should have been mad at Hugh Dallas, not you.
- Alexi Lalas: I talked a lot of trash back in the Metro days but he's a solid guy. Even after all the ridiculous things I wrote that he may or may not have read, he was still one of the first to reach out to me after my brother passed. That's a real dude right there.
- Freddy Adu and Little People: I was recently told by a 'little person' that the term midget is widely frowned upon in his community and viewed as derogatory. So with that I am placing the title of The Biggest Midget in the Game™ on the shelf right next to the no longer in use Landycakes tag.
- EVERYONE WHO NEEDED TO SEE THEIR OPTOMETRIST AFTER ALL CAPS WEEK. Sorry y'all, I promise to never hang my issues on you in the form of extreme font makeovers ever again; I'll start a therapy-specific blog for that.
Is it just me or are the only people still rocking Busta Rhymes people who put together footie mixtapes? Seems like the only time I ever hear that fool anymore is on Youtube. Oh well, at least he's doing better than Ja Rule these days.
My dude Nicky Firchau and a crew from the day job are out on a left coast road trip all week as they make their way from LA to Seattle for First Kick. Yesterday the checked in with Chivas USA and hassled Jimmy Conrad and went by Heath Pearce & Zarek Valentin's bachelor pad to play games on a couch (as you do). But enough from me, let Jackie & Nick tell you about it since they were there.
So I'm sat in the Las Vegas airport awaiting my delayed flight home. The AO Rally was cool and if you want to hear about that go check out the day job. Met some cool people and hope to hook up with a few of them at the U.S.-Argentina match later in the month.
Now I hate to be so brief but I'm off to the Chili's-to-Go in Terminal D before I board because after 2 nights of gambling, drink, bad food and good times it's closing time. Hollatcha Vegas.
In case you didn't know I'm currently "on assignment" covering the the American Outlaws rally in America's premier hot mess, Las Vegas. With Night 1 in the books I can honestly say that when it comes to people-watching there is no place on the planet that offers more "amazing" than Las Vegas.
In less than 18 hours on the ground I've seen much of what this fine city, and America really, has to offer: multiple arrests, a Bell Biv Devoe tribute band, disgraced bachelorettes, a man in a cream suit giving me the finger and a "f*ck you" for no apparent reason and, of course, American Outlaws. And what did those guys see? A lot of His Ginger Majesty™.
What is there to say about House of Pain other than "Jump Around" is kind of the scabies of 90's pop-rap: you often get it in nightclubs, it's kind of annoying but scratching it kind of feels good.
Outlandish step-overs, flicks and drags feel even better though so get stuck into the latest offering from Total Skills. Just try not to "get out your seat and jump around" at the office as it's more than likely frowned upon; safe the shamrocks & shenanigans for St. Patrick's Day.
Can you imagine if there were a TOR video-vehicle that just drove around the greater NYC area, playing videos and handing sh*t out to people on the street? It would be all black, rock 'My Body' 'til the speakers blew out, have a license plate in Helvetica Bold and would blow unfiltered, self-deprecating awesomeness straight out of the tailpipe. AND it would be a Prius.
D.C. United run their truck a bit differently and just roll around the nation's capital spreading the gospel of Captain Caveman like some kind of off-message military recruiting van. It's good times and worth keeping an eye out if you live within a hour's drive of the district; if you see 'em out and about tell 'em SF sent you.
Y'all know about Joe Corona? No? Neither do I. Apparently he's some San Diego kid who plays for the club with the most unwieldy name in Mexican futbol, Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles De Caliente. Never heard of them either? I could see that but since they have a hairless dog as a mascot and what appear to be out-of-work roller derby chicks as cheerleaders you might want to get down.
Also you'll probably want to keep an eye on them so that you can speak half-assed intelligently in your messageboard rant about how Joe Corona must be capped NOW because if he's good enough for Bruce Arena, he's good enough for Bob Bradley.
But at the very least he's good enough to be the guy you didn't know on Wednesday but was national team-worthy on Thursday due to the magical, instant-expectation generating powers of the interwebs; call him the American Raheem Sterling.
How about a quick, informal straw poll in the comments: has Bryan Adams aged well? I'm inclined to say "yes" because he looks like my friend Doug and if I say "no" I am also saying in way that Doug has not aged well and then I'll have to deal with that. But you guys don't know Doug so use your words and make your own call. Bonus points if you can work the phrase "Cuts Like a Knife" into your comment.
So yeah, I'm supposed to be on a vacation day and off of the computer but I guess I'm just too far gone to ever walk away completely. And with RSL v. the Crew on FSC tonight it's not like I was going to be able to totally tune out anyway.
So with the CCL being the theme if the day here is part 5 of Champions League 360, produced by my dude @3dimes. You should watch it ahead of tonight's game and get yourself hyped. Or not. Really it's up to you but I'm thinking you should because it's not everyday you get to ride shotgun in Kyle Beckerman's luxury SUV.