The Cult of Juan Pablo Angel

Jimmy Conrad may have a posse, but if you believe everything you see in the papers Juan Pablo Angel has a cult. According to the cover of todays' New York Daily News the man's mug has been popping up all over the city lately. Hey, when you can't get publicity there is nothing wrong with buying it.

A great next step would be to produce a slew of free t-shirts and stickers with only his likeness and a web address (for a site that goes along with this theme, not the MLS.net address) for a viral campaign to tie it all in together. Red Bull if you're listening think about it for next season.

Seattle Expansion: SBI Gets the Clothesline

Yesterday you may have read some stuff about MLS expansion into Emerald City on Soccer By Ives. Sounders owner Adrian Hanuer tells the Seattle Times "not so fast bitches".


The Only American Soccer Trivia Book You'll Ever Need

Looking for another reason for your missus to contemplate conducting an intervention for your footie addiction? Perhaps you've an interest in regaling uninterested friends & family with useless information? Or maybe you just need more ammunition for the next time you try to drunkenly out-geek your buddies at the tailgate (remember, he who talks loudest is right!)?

If you're one of those guys this book is for you. Jamie Clary's “The First American Soccer Trivia Book” is out now and ready to help you part with your money and prepare you for that dream job as a color-commentator for FSC that you're never going to get. Buy it today!

Or not; Mr. Clary is on the executive committee of the Tennessee Republican party so something tells me he's good on green fees at the moment.

Hope Solo Tells it Like it Is

According to deposed US women's keeper Hope Solo, coach Greg Ryan knows nothing about soccer, you can't live in the past and Brianna Scurry is as over as Ja Rule's career. She didn't mention Ja Rule, I threw that in. But the other stuff is all Solo, who spit straight venom in the ESPN-provided clip above.

Kind of reminiscent of DeMarcus Beasley's comment's after the Italy game, but maybe with a little more fire even. After the 4-0 ass-whippin' to Brazil the next question is "is Greg Ryan done as the US skipper?" I don't claim to know but that team may not be big enough for the 2 of them. I say they take PK's to settle it.

The People Have Spoken: JPA is a Sexy Hombre

People En Espanol has listed RBNY striker and late-game bail out guy Juan Pablo Angel as one of it's 10 sexiest men. Or hombre's rather. If you fancy an eyeful of him and other sexy hombres, go here. I'll agree that he's a handsome guy and all but dude's wife really should have a sit down with him about the unibrow. He's starting to look like the long lost Colombian Gallagher brother and that is sooo unsexy.


KC Paper Has No Love for Wizards SSS Efforts

Damn y'all. The Pitch, "Kansas City's leading source of sophisticated information" has
a piece on the Wizards and their efforts to get a stadium built that is borderline scathing. Well maybe not scathing but at the very least it's extremely snotty and pointed. Amongst the boasts, claims and accusations are that the Wizards FO price gouged the Beckham game, and that they have little faith in their product.

But it's the following quote that is most likely to make smoke come out of The Don's ears:

"Major League Soccer's business model is pretty shameless. As I've written, the league essentially exploits children to get what it wants."

That's some shit right? Child exploitation? C'mon now. Last I heard the league's kits weren't made by The Gap so child exploitation might be sensationalising a bit. It's not surprising though, being that this same publication has compared the league to trench-coated kiddie-fiddlers in the past (see the 2006 article entitled “Here, Kiddie, Kiddie,”).

In the end this type of story just shows that the league is growing up. MLB, NBA, and NFL teams have had these sort of battles in the press for years in regard to getting new buildings. Now as soon as Taylor Twellman is in the paper for sleeping with an intern in his truck, then we will have truly arrived.

Beckham Hung with Cobi & Kanye; Got Punk'd

A couple of the big gossip sites have mentioned today that Becks finally received his Hollywood baptism last night by being seen out at LA paparazzi-magnet Hyde for the first time (with his 'lil buddy Cobi Jones and chatting with Kanye West). Personally I am shocked that it took him 3 months to show his slightly hairy face in there as everyone with a remix deal and a reality show seems to be snapped exiting the place. But when you have his level of fame the attention really can become a bit much. Not that I feel sorry for him in any way because let's be real, the paparazzi are partially responsible for him reaching the level of fame that he has.

But believe it or not Goldenballs can be more than a little camera shy as evidenced in the clip above from a UK version of Punk'd hosted by Rio Ferdinand. David has to resort to lying on the floor in the back of a car to not be photographed on the way to a meeting. In the end the meeting isn't real (and neither is the annoying Cockney driver) but it does give a glimpse at the rarely seen hassle's that the famed footballer has to endure.

Next time you should try going to a sports bar David, no one will have any idea who you are there.

KC Offer Potential Jet Pack Tragedy in Lieu of Beckham

What do you do when you have upwards of 25K people coming to game that less than 10K actually want to be at? You give then free parking. You give them a Beatles cover band. You give them fireworks and autographs. And obviously you give them a damn jet pack, a device in which every flight seems to have a good chance at going tits up.

These are just a few of the consolation prizes being awarded to Wizards ticket holders for tomorrow nights match versus the Beckham-less Galaxy. Hey, at least it's not free hot dogs and pony rides for the kids. And for once this season the ESPN game will actually have a big crowd on hand. Check out the slate of events…I'm more of a scotch or whiskey man but I might be down to hang out on the Martini Corner.

- Parking lots open: 3:30 p.m.
- An "expanded" Soccer Celebration: 4-7 p.m.
- Liverpool (A Tribute to the Beatles): 4:30-6:30 p.m.
- Stadium gates open: 5:30 p.m.
- Players warm-up: 6:05-6:43 p.m.
- Cobi Jones tribute: 6:45 p.m.
- Jet-pack delivers game ball: 6:58 p.m.
- Kickoff: 7 p.m.
- Fireworks show: 9 p.m. (approx.)
- Wizards autograph session: 9:15-9:45 p.m. (approx.)
- Post-game celebration at Martini Corner: 10 p.m. - close


DC United Should Look Into Energizer as a Shirt Sponser

Don't forget to set your DVR's or make it home early from happy hour tomorrow night as D.C. United play the real Chivas (the one from Guadalajara) for the THIRD TIME THIS SEASON! The crazy thing is that none of these were exhibition games, but legitimate competitions.

A lot has been made of the Galaxy and their out-sized schedule, but D.C. has had a pretty packed year as well. In addition to the regular season, they have competed in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, CONCACAF Champions Cup, and Superliga. They already need a vacation and still have the playoffs and another tournament beginning tomorrow night when they begin their Copa Sudamericana campaign. Assuming they play at least 2 playoff games they get my vote for club most in need of a group vacation to Sandals.

Tune in info for tomorrow night is as follows:

Fox Sports en Espánol
Wednesday, Sept. 26
Quarterfinal # 5 - at Washington DC
DC United (USA) vs. Chivas Guadalajara (Mexico)
8:45 PM ET / 7:45 PM CT / 5:45 PM PT

IT People Suck at Soccer. FACT.

Since I know I'm not alone in my love of The Office I thought I'd hip you to a similar show out of the UK called The IT Crowd. It's about a group of socially inept IT workers at some British company or other, and if you're into the uncomfortable laughs that The Office trades in you might be down with this.

I keep hearing that the show is coming to America as a mid-season addition, then I've also heard that the plans have been scrapped. Either way, if you can get past the canned laugh tracks (and if you like British humor) the show is really funny.

The most illicit site on the web, TVLinks.co.uk, has every episode available for streaming if you fancy taking a crack at it. Hopefully you are better at using the Internet than these 2 are at footie.

Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan: Chelsea Fan

2 things you need to know about me if we're going to make this relationship work and not end up acting all awkward in therapy like those couples on Tell Me You Love Me. I hate frogs (the amphibians, not people from France) and I love Depeche Mode. Greatest band to ever touch the face of the earth. Period.

Having said that, the singer Dave Gahan made a solo album 2 years ago that was as awful Columbus' last 2 seasons. However I think he's turned the corner with the sleazy, electro-grind of his new single "Kingdom". Listen to it without prejudice...he's listed on Chelsea's website in their list of celebrity fans but I don't hold it against him, and neither should you.

He's also been known to take to the pitch as well; nothing says Cold War-era, pre-unified 80's Germany like Depeche Mode playing soccer in black & white.


Video: Morrissey Adds Chivas Kit to His On-Stage Wardrobe

Dang y'all, Mozz ain't bullshittin' with the whole Chivas USA thing. It's one thing for him to make an appearance at the game wearing the jersey, but now dude has been recorded on stage in the Goats kit. The cherry on top is that it was a show in Tijuana. He may as well just apply for Mexican citizenship now.

Can You FIFA 08: Ronny, Rooney & Ribery Videos

As mentioned last week I've got a bunch of excellent stuff from my boy Craig Melchiano's shoots for the CanYouFIFA08 campaign to share with you guys. The clip above is one of three shorts that where shot for the European market. In addition to Ronaldinho's Brazilian BBQ bad-assery there is one featuring Miroslav Klose and Franck Ribery running roughshod through a tailors and my personal favorite, Sergio Ramos and Wayne Rooney golfing excursion-cum-finishing clinic.

B-Ballers Are Coming Out as Footie Fanboys

From Hoopsvibe.com:

Tony Parker chills with childhood chum Theirry Henri. Chris Bosh wants season tickets to Toronto FC, while Steve Nash plays pick-up footie with New York’s MLS club. And Kobe Bryant hangs with Brazilian star Ronaldinho.

Now Kevin Garnett has come out of the soccer closet, admitting that he follows the English Premier League.

NBA players used to dream of being rappers. Now they aspire to play the beautiful game.

On Hunchbacks, Scoring, and Sex Tapes

As tempting as it is to pre-empt all footie coverage today to focus on the possible Meg White (as in the White Stripes) sex-tape leak, the show must go on. On to Chicago to be more precise, where a crowd of over 20K took in the Fire-United match yesterday.

Both of the goals in the highlight clip above are just as entertaining (and substantially more work-safe) as a celebrity sex tape. In the first one The Hunchback of Bridgeview™ sets up Chad Barrett's goal by sending him a pass that is 1980's Dan Marino perfect. The second goal is unbelievable; almost no angle and smoothly threaded through the eye of a needle by Jaime Moreno. Straight ill.

But speaking of sex tapes, who do you think will be the first American player to put out a sex tape? Leroy Lita's done one for the European market, but what about us? It may not endear them to the soccer mom crowd, but I bet it would get them into the pages of US Weekly which is completely uncharted territory. We all know who I'm pulling for.


The Most Bourgie Expansion Article Ever

From the most unlikely of sources, Conde Nast Portfolio, comes news on one of the three Seattle expansion bids. It's all about Joe Roth, the Hollywood movie mogul that's teaming up with USL owner Adrian Hanauer to get an MLS team in Jet City.

The most interesting thing that I take away from this is that, from how this article reads at least, if they were to be successful in their bid the team would be called the Sounders. But who knows if these 2 will get this done...the dude produced the box office Hindenburg disaster that was Gigli so his track record is less than perfect.

"Football" by Gaby Dellal

Here's something you may or may not know about me. I went to film school. Actually I majored in film but all film students say they "went to film school" because they think it makes them sound cool. In actuality it makes them sound like pretentious cunts, which they/we are....which is precisely why I never did anything with that degree.

But filmmakers like Gaby Dellal are ok. She did this great short entitled "Football" that follows a young kid who has been footie-minded since birth from the cradle to the World Cup. It's great stuff, particularly Helena Bonham Carter as the chain-smoking, gin-soaked "Mum". If you have 7 minutes to spare I'd suggest pouring yourself a gin and checking out this excellent clip.

If you have a problem viewing the short in the player above you can also watch it at AtomFilms.com.

So I've Got to be the One to Bring Up Ruiz's New Hair?

Please excuse the graininess of the photo but it's the only evidence that I could find so soon after the match. What do you think? A faux-hawk with an asymmetrical blond streak on one side, and dual racing stripes shaved into the other. Dallas people help me out here...has El Pescadito been seen hanging out in Deep Ellum lately (if that's where the freaks still hang out)?

Personally I think it is a bold move on his part and I commend him for bringing a bit of style to the pitch. But perhaps it really is a bit too Sigue Sigue Sputnik for him to get away with. What do you think?

TOR Exclusive: FIFA 08 European Promos

The images above are the work of Craig Melchiano, art director extraordinaire. Formerly of New Jersey but residing in Amsterdam as of late, he's been traveling the world to spend some time photographing a few of the best footballers in the world for the 08 campaign of EA's FIFA franchise.

These ads are for European print only so TOR is the only place you'll see them. In the next few weeks I'll have some more exclusive FIFA 08 related content, including video and shots from exclusive photo sessions with Miroslav Klose, Wayne Rooney & others.

He's No Ice-T But He Does Know a Bit About Keeping

So yeah, TV cop and futbol fanatico Anthony LaPaglia wants to buy an MLS team to go along with his Australian team. And you wondered why there is a tag for "Celebrity Glory-Seekers". Yahoo's increasingly excellent Martin Rogers (who really IS the love child of Liev Schriber and Paul Rudd) has the story.

And for a bonus track, he's also given a bit of ink to "the world's most famous pub team", Hollywood United.


Lupe Fiasco is a "Superstar"

Y'all this shit is KILLING me right now. Remember that kid Lupe Fiasco who performed at the All-Star game in Chicago a few years ago? The clip above is from his performance at this year's Lollapalooza in the same city. The song is called "Superstar" and once this track drops he is destined to become one for sure.

You have to hear the album version truly feel the Kanye-Meets-Keane flavor of it. You really need to download it below. Your iPod will love you for it.

Download: Lupe Fiasco f/Matthew Santos "Superstar"

US to Play S. Africa, Risk On-Field Decapitations

The Fed has confirmed today that the rumored match between the men's team and South Africa will indeed happen. Somebody better start blowing up the local witch doctor's Blackberry now because as the video above clearly shows, Mother Nature is a moody cow and has been known to throw a hissy in Ellis Park Stadium.

Bob Bradley's selection should be pretty interesting for this one. It falls on an official FIFA international match day, but it just so happens to be the day after MLS Cup. I'd be shocked to see the likes of Taylor Twellman or EJ get on a plane for 23 hours to play in a friendly after finally winning a cup; my uneducated guess is that the side will be split between Euro-based guys and the cream of MLS Cup non-winners.

MLS: The "L" is Not For "Lesbians"

Beckham, free t-shirts, Shakira; soccer teams have done a lot of questionable things to get people to go to games before. But thank fuck we haven't had to resort extortionist lesbian date-rapes during a lull in the action to boost the ratings like the WWE has.

Mind you a good portion of the audience would welcome it and it probably would boost ratings but damn it we have standards in this game! Plus, everyone loves Wyclef.

Giants Stadium to be Down Sized for 2008

From Metrofanatic comes news that Giants Stadium aka "The Swamp" aka the most inappropriately large MLS venue will be downsized for the 2008 season. Tickets will only be sold for the side of the field that the TV camera sees, with the exception of section 101 which is home to the Empire Supporters Club.

In addition to filling out the seats for the cameras, this will allow for fewer staff on game day since 3/4ths of the stadium will be closed. New England has been doing this for close to 5 years now and while I agree with the economics of it (since RBNY lose money every time they play in Giants Stadium) it makes for an absolutely horrible fan experience. As an RBNY season ticket holder I will take this opportunity to launch the following plea out into cyberspace.

Please for the love of God and soccer, don't do this. Most soccer fans in the area already think this team/league are a joke. Why supply them with another punchline if this is (allegedly) to be the last year in this stadium? You are rich, so why not skip on Christmas bonuses this year for your employees and do a solid for your fans.

I know at least 2 Red Bull employees read this blog regularly so maybe they will hear my cries. But even if they do they will probably ignore them since I have just asked for their boss to Scrooge them out this year.

UPDATE: Word from RBNY front office is that this only applies to new season ticket holders and single game tickets. Existing season ticket holders can keep there old seats...but apparently they really want you to move and are prepared to offer you an autographed photo of Juan Pablo Angel in exchange for relocating.

The Obvious Story of the Day...

Like Chris Rock said in Bring The Pain, "the Purple Rain tour can't last forever". The "special one" is out at Stanford Bridge. Say what you want about Jose but as The Guardian points out, the 'lil dude was a scrapper.

Jose now joins Juergen Klinnsmann, Fabio Capello, and Zinedine Zidane as the most over-qualified & unemployed people in soccer. Yet somehow Steve Sampson is getting a check on the 1st and 15th. Mind-blowing.


Death From Above (and on the Pitch) in Toronto

Middle age really hit The Beastmaster hard.

Not only does BMO Field have a problem with a team that hasn't scored a goal in 800+ minutes of play, it also has a serious sea gull infestation. I'm not sure infestation is the right word but sea gull's are basically larger, coastal versions of pigeons who are flying, feathered rats so it does seem to fit.

Apparently the potentially gruesome yet effective way to get rid of sea gulls by feeding them Alka-Seltzer is myth and the use of high-powered shotguns in front of a match day crowd is frowned upon. So the powers that be
decided to get a hawk in there to do the dirty work for them, which is outstanding.

WTF y'all? Was
Harvey Birdman too busy prepping for the next OJ trial to take this gig? What makes it even more special is the hawks name is "Bitchy" and according her trainer has "a bit of an attitude". And if that is the case TFC could really use her in defensive midfield role.

With the scoring drought reaching dust-bowl proportions, a bit of live Animal Planet carnage would be a welcome sideshow to keep the punters occupied; a bit of "bread & circus" never killed anyone…well except maybe for the Sabine women.

Journalist's Still Jones for Jozy

Like dudes that still insist on wearing trucker hats, Soccernet's Doug McIntyre is late to the party. By now we all know that Jozy "The Black Beckham" Altidore is shining and is the best young American prospect since Hayden Panettiere. But for those off us who are A) Jozy's grandma, B) Jozy's stalker, or C) have been living in the International Space Station you can read it all again here.

Expansion: Even the Indoor League is Getting in on the Act

MLS ain't the only league hoping to ride a wave of expansion fever straight to the bank. The MISL is looking to fatten up it's coffers as well with talk of a new club in Louisville (which I am told is pronounced "Lou-uh-vul"), KY. The club would be a tenant of the new downtown arena along with the Fire of the Arena Football League and U. of L Cardinals basketball teams.

I have no idea what the market is for soccer, indoor or outdoor, in Appalachia. Any players of note come from the bluegrass state? If anyone has a clue of knows anything else about this story give us a shout.


This Just In: Frank Leboeuf Bidding on Seattle MLS Team

Did you realize that there are 3(!) legitimate groups bidding for an expansion side in Seattle? I sure as shit didn't. Aside from the Keston group that got a few mentions earlier in the summer and the owners of the USL Seattle Sounders there is a third group, Atletico Seattle which includes French World Cup winner Frank LeBoeuf.

Atletico Seattle is looking at no more than 7 different sites to build a stadium but some of them seem to be on land that is in some way a deathtrap, due to pollution or earthquake risk for example. Nice.

Hopefully all 3 groups will fail miserably. NO MLS IN SEATTLE WITHOUT PORTLAND AND VANCOUVER!

Team Turnpike: The New Jersey Best XI

The dude Ives G. put together his All Jersey Best XI today and I'll be damned if it isn't a squad that could certainly compete in MLS, if not abroad. What's interesting is that he picked only players that are currently playing; no Garden State greats from the recent past (Harkes, Meola, Ramos) and back in the day that we've read about 100 times. The amount of youth on the squad is matched only by the amount of talent it holds.

I'd encourage you to read the entire story, complete with the where they are and why they made the cut, here. But if you are on a time budget or have ADD and just want to see the list of players, check it out below.


Giuseppe Rossi, Clifton.
Jozy Altidore, Newark.
Alecko Eskandarian, Montvale.


Claudio Reyna, Livingston.
Michael Bradley, Princeton.
Danny Szetela, Clifton.
Eddie Gaven, Hamilton.


Gregg Berhalter, Tenafly.
Jason Hernandez, Englewood.
Matt Sleece, Clifton.


Tim Howard, North Brunswick.

One Year Later: Red Bull Park Groundbreaking

Are they digging up or burying hope for their own stadium?

From Frank Giase's "Etc" column in this morning's Newark Star-Ledger:

"Tommorrow (Sept. 19th) is the one-year anniversary of the Red Bulls' stadium groundbreaking. In a time frame that has seen other Major League Soccer teams complete or nearly complete new facilities, the Red Bulls are still trying to clear the land and establish a date when construction will begin."

What is going on with Red Bull Park? No one wants a return to the time of "60-90 days" announcements every other month but RBNY is so much more tight-lipped than the previous regime when it comes to discussing progress of the much-maligned project. They may be taking it too far, leaving people to start making up their own stories (partially due to a frozen webcam); with rumours of AEG's stake in the facility being bought out and Red Bull opting to move into the new Giants-Jets Stadium that is under construction swirling, wouldn't it behoove RBNY to make some sort of statement?

If they aren't careful, the silence will start to get deafening. At what point do New York fans (not to mention the taxpayers of Harrison, NJ) begin to question that this place is really going to get built? At what point does The Don & co. at MLS HQ say "enough is enough, get on with it or get out"? And at what point does some reporter, ANY REPORTER, decide to get the stones to start asking some hard questions about the holdup?

It is somewhat odd and troubling that no one in the NY soccer press, national press, or even the Harrison High School newspaper has really dug their teeth into this one. Perhaps someone has and but hit the wall of silence head on or they're wary of damaging their relationship with the club in the process. Either way no one seems to have got down to the heart of this matter, which leaves it & the New York fans in a state of limbo. And that, unlike New Jersey, is not the place for a pro sports franchise to be.

This Man Could Be Your Gaffer

You know what would be fucking awesome? Having Pete "Kate Moss' drugs bin boyfriend who at one time was one of the most talented musicians of the last 10 years" Doherty as the manager of your club. You could get away with anything; birds, booze, blow, you name it. Gascoigne would come out of retirement to suit up for Doherty FC…it would be that fucked up.

Las Vegas Handicaps MLS Expansion Canidates

Who's next to plant a flag on this map? Only The Don knows.

Whilst out on the lash in Las Vegas last week I found myself seated in the sports book area of one of the casinos wondering what the latest was on the Las Vegas MLS expansion bid. There hasn't been much that has been much recent public discussion (i.e. press) about it but apparently the Las Vegas Sports and Entertainment Group and MLS have been doing a bit of gabbing about it behind the scenes.

This morning's Las Vegas Sun touches on just that in an article about the Sin City expansion bid. And in true gambling-addiction enabler fashion (isn't everything in LV about helping you part with your money?) they have handicapped and given odds for all of the expansion candidates. TOR is being a conservative bastard by taking the safe bet and putting it's money on the following 4 cities to join the bigs: St. Louis and Philly, followed by New York and Las Vegas.

You ready to take the tough odds and double down on the ATL or Milwaukee? Tell it in the comments.

Photo: Morrissey in a Chivas USA Kit

Photo courtesy of Cristina Velasco/Bulbo

What's odder: An eccentric asexual in an MLS kit or vicar in a tutu?


I've Sided With Portland and There is NOTHING You or Seattle Can Do About It

I never use the Picture in Picture function on my TV. I just don't. It's one of those things that you think is so cool on the showroom floor but in reality you'll never get around to doing it. Sort of like putting mp3's on any cell that's not an iPhone.

I did for about 30 minutes last night though, watching the Houston-LA match at the same time the Portland-Vancouver match. Whether it was because the Houston-LA match was pretty much meaningless and the Portland-Vancouver match was the second game of the quarterfinal playoffs I don't know, but the USL match was infinitely more entertaining. After 30 minutes I left the Dynamo to abuse LA at there leisure and devoted myself fully to the Timbers-Whitecaps match.

I've never declared myself a fan of any one USL club but I have to say the beautiful bunch of noisy freaks that make up section 107 in PGE Park have got me ready to claim Portland as my side of choice. Those guys valiantly do the seemingly impossible job of making a baseball stadium with turf that is as consistently hard as Ron Jeremy feel like it was made for the game. If any of you read this, I salute you and would love drink some form of brown liquor (Ron Burgundy and I love scotch) with you all some time.

With Portland advancing to play Atlanta in the semi's, I actually find myself praying that Seattle can do the business against Puerto Rico and advance to the final as well as the Timbers. A Portland-Seattle final would be a dream for the fans, the clubs and the USL; their beef goes back to the Carter administration and would probably make for an atmosphere more intense than any MLS final pairing that could happen this year bar DC-NY (but we've got a better shot a socialized medicine).

So when you pray to your God of choice tonight pray for Portland, pray for Seattle.

Video: Clint Dempsey Scores Again for Fulham

Some footage of the Dempsey goal from this weekend finally showed up in my inbox. I spent a good part of the weekend looking for this, along with the Morrissey-Chivas USA photo (which still hasn’t turned up). Thank God for the Euro-blogger who came through.

Neither Fulham nor the Nats are actually winning games at the moment, but regardless Clint Dempsey is looking pretty damn good as of late. Dude is on a scoring tear as of late with hopefully no let up in site. If McBride can play like he did last year when he comes back from his knee injury and Deuce keeps up his current form, Fulham could well have the most potent American attack force in Europe since D-Day.

I Can't Think of a Witty Enough Caption

So why don't you give it a shot? Do your worst in the comments.

Watch "Zidane: Like a Dream" in English Now

Say what you want about copyright law and Youtube, but if watching unauthorized footage on there is theft then I am a sinner. I take an attitude similar to Whitney Houston in that one song: "It's not right, but it's ok". If watching bootleg footie clips and videos of the dramatic groundhog are the worst things I do in life I think I am ok with it.

And if you're ok with it you can find some really nice peanuts amongst the poop. Like this English language dub of the Zidane documentary "Like a Dream" (not to be confused with the film " Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait" that came out last year), which I have never been able to find on DVD in North America. You can watch the entire film here.

Also, the same Youtube user/bootlegger who posted this also posted that Cosmos disco-documentary, Once in a Lifetime, in it's entirety as well. If you haven't seen it it's an absolute must, but I would recommend buying this one since you can actually find it in stores.


PTI Confuse Tifo With Hooliganism

I know I shouldn't even address such this but the talking heads on PTI are equating a smoke bomb with the potential rise of hooliganism in America. In other "let's just create a story" news O.J. is facing thievery charges, so obviously L.A. is about to burn again. Word is that Paris Hilton is stocking up on canned goods and shotguns as we speak.


Chivas USA: The Movie!

I am exactly one year late on this one but I'm guessing that I'm not the only one who is 100% oblivious to the fact that Chivas USA have a DVD out? Generally speaking I'm not a fan of any of Jorge Vergara's endeavors but a documentary about a fledgling pro sports franchise is definitely intriguing. Make that team an American soccer team and I'm down as dirt.

Since this was filmed during the clubs inaugural season, most of the players in the film aren't with the club today but it's still interesting to see what was going on with the club at that time. And in the scheme of things it's a good thing those guys are gone because they really sucked as a unit. The current squad that 'The Candystripers ™' are fielding are quite the opposite and after last nights defeat of LA sit atop the Western Conference.

Speaking of last night's match, apparently Morrissey was spotted on the sidelines wearing a Chivas kit. If anyone has a photo of him dressed in one of those barbershop pole shirts please forward it to me.

You can buy the 'Chivas USA: Si Se Pueda' DVD over at Amazon.com.

DC United is Looking for Passion (and Aren't We All?)

From the DC United website:

D.C. United wants you to showcase your Passion for the team in the form of a video. Submit a video clip that you feel best displays your Passion for the Black-and-Red and you could be the winner of a fabulous prize. It's as easy as that!

TOR is in no way associated with DC United, MLS, or any of it's partner companies but I implore every United fan out there to do this. Why? Because I could really use the content.

And go all out when you do this. Anyone can face paint like Puddy on Seinfeld, but what we'd like to see is supreme levels of devotion combined with a frightening level of idiocy. Get the team crest tattooed on your taint or something like that...actually if you do do that I don't think I or anyone else wants to see it.

1985: A Great Year for Sideboards, Preki, Irene Cara

What's more 80's than Michael Jackson carrying Emanuel Lewis with a still-chaste Brooke Shields on his arm?

Indoor soccer highlight clips set to the theme from "Flashdance" and a song that sounds suspiciously like Billy Squier.


Take a Look at an MLS Developmental Contract

A few weeks ago Soccernet ran a story on the low-dough nature of MLS Developmental salaries. I've already given you my 2 cents on the topic so I won't regale you with repetition. What I will do is give you a look at an actual developmental contract complete with bonus structure, extension options etc.

One thing I should point out is though this is an authentic contract, the names have been changed to protect the innocent. No team on earth would be foolish enough to sign
Dirt McGirt aka Russell Jones.

Download Dev Contract PDF

Douche of the Moment: Jason Perry

People do stupid things during scoring celebrations; remember the "Icky Shuffle"? About 24 seconds into this clip Rochester defender Jason Perry is so fired up that he decides the rip down one of the banners for the Montreal supporters group. This is a jackass move on his part that is only made more asinine by the fact that he wasn't the goal-scorer. Shit, he wasn't even on the field...he was on the sideline wearing one of those school crossing-guard vests so why is he so damn excited?

Like I said though, lashing out at the supporters like that was such a weak and classless move. I didn't mind so much when Pablo Mastroeni was goading and baiting the crowd in Salt Lake City last year...it was all talk, no action and very WWE-like. But Jason Perry crossed the line; you don't put your hands on a fan or his possessions (and you certainly don't destroy them). How this guy was given an award in 2006 for community service I will never know.

His parents must be sooooo proud.

Zidane, Messi to Kick it in Houston


We hate to be the bearer of bad news but you might have to tell the kids that Christmas is canceled. Tell them that Daddy has to go all the way to Houston, which is far away in a magical place called Texas, on December 22nd and is likely to have a heart attack from all of the excitement while he's there. After which Daddy will be hospitalized, ok?

Why is Daddy going to have a heart attack? Well Daddy wants to go see something called the Free Kick Masters, which is going to be like the seeing the Superfriends of soccer. Except instead fighting crime yadda yadda yadda they are going to be putting bulges in the back of the net.

Who's going to be there? Well for starters:

Ronaldinho Gaucho
Rafael Márquez
Lionel Messi
Alessandro Del Piero
Luis Figo
Alvaro Recoba
Bernd Schneider
David Villa
Jay Jay Okocha
Franklin Salas
Subait Khater Fayel
Sun Xiang Sun Ji

Kasey Keller
Vojislav Dragovic
Oliver Kahn
Francesco Toldo
Santiago Canizares

And a man named Zidane is going to be there as well. So Daddy may be in the hospital on Christmas, but don't worry we can do presents next year.


For Less Than the Price of Feeding a Starving Child You Could Own a USL Franchise

Can you believe this? It's insane....not Kanye West "I didn't win an award so I'm gonna behave like a petulant child" insane, but crazy nonetheless. Apparently the cat that bought the Virgina Beach Mariners shortly before their unfortunate demise was beyond broke, driving around a 22 year-old hooptie and filing handwritten bankruptcy papers.

And what's crazier is that it seems that no one, not the city, the league, or the previous owners saw fit to actually find out if this dude had any money. How negligent is that? Man you can't even by a good used car without a background check, much less a pro sports franchise?

I guess since they sold it to him for $1 (yes, $1) they were pretty confident that he could come up with the cash. If they would have seen him rooting around in his car for loose change before the sale though I'm sure it would have been a red flag.

Radzinski: "The turf didn't really appeal to me."

Reason #13 not to have field turf in your stadium. When the best players with international experience your country has to offer are stating it as the reason they don't want to play for you it may be time to consider going down to the local Home Depot (they spend alot of sponsorship dollars so give them your money not Lowe's) and buy some fertilizer and sod.

Brazil v. Mexico: Live, Tonight, and In Color!

If you are within spitting distance of Gillette Stadium tonight do yourself a favor and try to squeeze into the Ronaldinho show tonight when Brazil take on Mexico. This should be as serious as any friendly can be and over 60K tickets have been sold already so the atmosphere is guaranteed to be festive.

If you aren't in the greater Boston area, nor are you in possession of a private jet you can watch it on Telemundo at 8pm EST; feel free to make yourself a caiphirinia and do a little samba in your living room.

A Reminder about US Women

So this PR guy by the name of Jim Mike has been blowing up my inbox about the US Women's team. Dude seems a little off but there is something compelling about his relentlessness so I decided to throw him a bone. He pointed out to me that the Women's World Cup is going on as we speak and that the American ladies are once again in the mix to take that cup.

I already knew this but since a lot of other folks apparently don't I thought I'd mention that they've got a new website that is fresh like the farmers market and that you should go and check out. Also I would suggest that you get up at the ass crack of dawn (5.am. EST) on Friday and watch the birds do battle with Sweden.

Toronto's Other Football Team Thinking of Moving In

See that thing there? Somebody is talking about putting one here. You can read all about it in today's paper. The Globe & Mail is a fine publication for sure but I do question the merit of the article a bit seeing as it doesn't have a single quote from anyone in the Toronto FC organization, and I am sure they would have lots to say about shacking up with the likes of the Argonauts.

If the Argos were to move to BMO, how would that affect TFC? Would they still be the number one tenant or would they then face the scheduling dilemmas that plague teams like New England, New York, and Kansas City? It's also worth noting that a Canadian football field would in no way fit within the cozy confines of BMO and would require one serious overhaul; basically it would be like reverse engineering Star Jones.

One thing that is for damn sure is that if they were (and this is all if at this point) to share space TFC players can throw out any chance of ever getting rid of the field turf there. Dudes better make like supermarket bag boys and learn to love that plastic.


St. Louis Expansion Site Opens Up Shop

By now you may have heard that 'the Lou', as favourite son Nelly likes to call it, has taken a big step closer to getting an MLS side. The brain behind the bid, Jeff Cooper, has put together a cracking site to keep interested parties up on all the latest developments related to the project, St.LouisSoccerUnited.com.

With a blog, news, incredible renderings of the proposed stadium, and a raft of info on MLS and St. Louis soccer history it's probably the most comprehensive and informative site ever for an expansion project. There is also a widget that let's you forward site and ticket info to friends, a move designed to grow interest (and season ticket holders) organically and virally.

"Evangelising" the fans is a very forward thinking move that on their part that quite frankly is so simple that none of the current MLS teams have been smart enough to do it. If the MySpace generation has taught us anything it's that people would rather be introduced to something by their peers than by "the man".

Although they don't have a club yet, Cooper & co. are a testament to the increasingly savvy ranks of new MLS owners. Hopefully they will have the opportunity to impress as MLSE in Toronto have and not be the disappointment (and on some level disgrace) that Jorge Vergara and Chivas USA is.

Heck maybe, they could do a lot of us a favour by buying/moving Chivas USA.

I Survived Vegas and The VMA's

But just barely. That is my emergency room armband from the hospital last night. Some people bring back debt or a 'trick baby' from Vegas, I got a suspected case of food poisoning; learn from my experience and don't eat the sausage at the $5 breakfast buffet if it is still pink in the middle, no matter how drunk/hungover you are.

I hardly saw any soccer while I was away, only the US-Brazil match (Michael Bradley is growing up quick y'all) and the Portugal-Poland match. Oh and I some footage of Dema Kovalenko in a Bill Lambeer-style face-mask. Dude looks scary enough to star in the first footie themed horror movie. I saw a lot of other things out there though, some highlights (and in some cases low lights) were:

-Lemmy from Motorhead doing beer bongs with Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age at the Foo Fighters party in their suite.

-The nail in the coffin for Britney Spears career.

-People going funeral quiet every time Suge Knight walked by.

-Dave Grohl sitting on a lifeguard stand with a half-empty bottle of Jagermeister at the Palms.

-50 Cent. Like 5 times. Seriously, dude was more omnipresent than chlamydia and that shit is everywhere.

-Approximately 150+ models in Justin Timberlakes suite. Say what you want but that kid is living the dream.

-In what had to be the most inappropriate and innuendo filled moment of the weekend, Jamie Foxx pouring vodka into Jennifer Gardners mouth straight out of the bottle at the Belvadere party.

-Tommy Lee getting straight out decked by Kid Rock in a beef over Pamela "Clown Tits" Anderson.

-Strippers dressed as sexy LAPD officers in Fall Out Boys suite…which if you can look past all the police brutality stuff was actually kinda hot.

-Fall Out Boy doing damage at one of the buffet's. Those little emo kids can eat.

-Justice absolutely killing it on the turntables at their party at Beauty Bar.

-Foo Fighters covering Prince's 'Darling Nikki' with Cee Lo from Gnarls Barkley on vocals…why can't he just sing on all their songs? Watch it here.