Olympic Soccer 101


The only Olympic preview you'll need to read. Courtesy of ESPN's Jeff Carlisle.

Debacle! Red Bull Park Construction Hits Another Snag


From today's Kearny Journal:

"While construction of a new Major League Soccer stadium and adjoining parking garage have halted due to an ongoing eminent domain case winding its way through the court system, the Red Bulls franchise is still seeking final approval for steel construction to begin at the site.

The franchise is slated to appear before the planning board on Aug. 12, more than two weeks before the eminent domain case will be heard in Hudson County Superior Court on Aug. 27.

"Obviously, they will be impacted by the court's decision," Lauro said of the Red Bulls.

The case centers on several former owners of the property who claim that the Harrison Redevelopment Agency failed to properly notify them of its plans to pursue eminent domain before seizing their properties last year."

I really try to be a positive person, and brush off JMFD (Jaded Metro Fan Disease) as often as possible, but when I read this buried in the bottom of an article about New Jersey condo development --all the while RBNY is saying that steel is going in this month-- I can't help but feel like God does truly hate Metro.

Read the article, which goes on to say that work was halted on the site due to a judicial order, here if you want good afternoon bummer. I know getting anything built in New Jersey is a pain akin to an awake root canal but c'mon now Red Bull, why must you bullsh*t your fans by saying that steel is going in this month and you're on track for a mid-season '09 opening knowing that your construction site has been shut down and that eminent domain cases can last longer than this year's MLB All-Star game. All I ever did was love you...why can't you love me back?

That's alright though. Mrs. Diana Ross has been through it and she feels our pain; behold the official Red Bull Park anthem.

Props to Metros11 for the heads up.

Photo of the Day: Becks and His New Best Mate


I heard a while back that our David was going to make an appearance on Sesame Street this season, but all I knew about it was that he was alleged to have beef with Oscar the Grouch. And now that I have seen a photo of him on-set I have more questions that I did before. Questions like, who's hairier, Becks or Elmo? Which of these two has a higher-pitched voice? And does working with the bunch of muppets that make up LA's back line make it easier to work with real muppets?

Pretty Pictures

Aw, remember that one? What a classic that was. It's no American Gothic but around these parts it's what passes for high art.

Below are some of my favorite photos and captions from TOR's past. My love of marrying a good photo with periods and Helvetica may have gone to far on occasion but that's no reason to stop. Or is it? Has it become too rote? Should I find a new visual style?

Ponder that and give me some feed back if you have a minute. You can also let me know what the best TOR caption ever was. Below area few contenders that I picked but feel free to suggest others that you think are top of the table.





Video: The Language of Football

Apropos of nothing, how cool are these new promos for BBC Sport? I don't know about you, but they are definitely speaking my language.

I Hope Even Ivan Guerrero Hasn't Unpacked Yet


Things are indeed looking up for San Jose's Ivan Guerrero. Why? Because he is now DC United's Ivan Guerrero. How's that for going from ashy to classy?


Questions? Nelson Pizarro Has The Answer


Unless you were there, you probably didn't see Nelson Pizarro's goal for the Wizards against Atlas last week. To go from landing a spot on an MLS team in an open tryout to scoring against one of Mexico's most loved teams in the course of 3 months has got to be a smile-inducing experience. I mean look at that photo; kid either just scored for the 1st time...or he just scored for the 1st time.

Earlier today I started to write the questions for the TOR inquisition of the young Kansas City midfielder, but then I had a better idea that would be far interesting (and far less work for me). I'm going to let you guys ask the questions. Just send your question for Nelson to TheOffsideRules [at] gmail.com by Friday August 1st and we'll have Nelson answer the best of the best. And by 'best' I mean original, revealing, possibly funny and marginally off-color. And just to make it interesting we'll send some sort of prize or something to whoever whoever makes the most interesting query.

Photo of the Day: Duece Bigelow is a Cockney Git


Not much to say other than I would suspect the Mike Myers would win the award for Former SNL Cast Member Most Likely to be Photographed Drunk in a Football Kit.

Video: Unaired Pilot for "Football Star" TV Show

Let's start the morning of with a trip to "Backinthedayville" and some video from the entirely non-existent TOR video vault. It's an un-aired pilot for a British television show entitled "Football Star" in which a young blighter from Blighty (Woking to be exact) called Sam get's gifted a trip to America to live the life of a pro footballer with Freddy Adu.

Now being that this is clip originates from Backinthedayville, our Freddy is still playing in D.C. So what was his life like back then? Training (obviously), a fine European motorcar (of course), ironically out-sized breakfasts (he's growing boy after all), golf (Tiger, Tiger Woods y'all), a Pespi machine in the kitchen (because he can), and pre-match rendezvous with pop-Lolita ex-girlfriend JoJo (as one is want to do when they have pop-Lolita ex-girlfriends).

It's a long video so you might want to wait 'til lunchtime. Or you can just throw all pretense of having a work ethic in the garbage next to the upcoming --and wholly unnecessary-- Sugar Ray album and watch it now.


There Should Be a "?" After "Taylor Twellman 2.0"


Kenny Cooper is staying in Dallas and I am quite happy about it. But is Kenny happy about it? That my people is the $4 million question. And if not do unrequited European transfer desires make him this years TT? I don't claim to know, but feel free to discuss how The Keeping of Cooper™ may affect the rest of 2008 for FC Dallas and MLS.

Pipe Dream: Jason Shackell from The Hills to Silicon Valley


Before I really begin this post let me preface it by saying, "no one is asking". By that I mean I know that no one is asking me what I think MLS should do in regard to signing players nor would I ever feign being qualified to tell anyone over there what to look for in a player. I say this because I don’t want this post to come across like one of those that you read on some other blogs where a guy who's got less access and insight than the janitor at HDC tells you who Chivas USA should sign, so please don’t take it too seriously.

Having said that, you know San Jose should sign? Norwich City defender (and 2007 captain) Jason Shackell. Not because he's a quality central midfielder and Eric Denton is serviceable at best. And not because Darren Huckerby needs another Canary to sing with. Just sign him because he's been on The Hills.

If you didn't know, Shackell made a cameo on The Hills last season when a drunken Lauren Conrad picked him up one night at Les Deux. I meant to mention this months ago but I slept. And slept. And slept...until FourFourTwo reminded me. Now, I work at MTV so The Hills pays my bills. So when I tell you that this show is to women aged 14 - 30 what Oprah is to women 35 and over, I really mean it and am not just trying to make a funny. They will talk, text, email, IM, blog & bark about anything associated with that show until their fake nails crack under the strain.

So imagine if there is an Andrew Shue for the 21st century, and this one can really play quite well. The sports press might have one hell of a laugh if he were to play here, but it sure would be nice to have a soccer player on TMZ other than Becks and CR7; the blogs would love it, US Weekly might come calling, and we could see an uptick in the amount of short-shorts in the stands (like we see when Goldenballs comes to town). And that is certainly not a bad thing.

Video: Young Soccer Girls Take it to the Hole

Doctored? Possibly. Awesome? Definitely. Like the girl says, "Let's see Mia Hamm do that."

NSR: New Kevin Smith Trailer is The Year's Dirtiest Movie

The clip above is the teaser trailer for Kevin Smith's new film "Zack & Miri Make a Porno". Needless to say that with a title like that there is bound to be a bit of filth surrounding this film. So perhaps in an effort to warm everybody up to a potential NC-17 rating, Mr. Smith has released this Seth Rogen-infused teaser that keeps all it's cloths on but still warrants you turning your speakers down to watch it in the office.

With Kung Fu Panda, Step Brothers, the soon to be released Pineapple Express and Zack & Miri... dropping this year, 2008 is officially Rogen's year.

Video: Houston v. Pachuca 2.0

Don't sleep on tonight's rematch of last year's Superliga shocker (2-0 to Houston at home) and CONCACAF CHAMPIONS CUP rock n' rollercoaster (5-2 to Pachuca at home). It's all kicking off at Telefutura 10pm EST. Can't wait.

Neven Subotic: Borussia Dortmund's $5 American Man


Hello young world. I've got loads of stuff on my plate and I am going to be busier than a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest today so the post will be brief. Not that you'd ever expect any Spangler-esque epic's from me.

So with that I give you this piece from Jeff Carlisle on prodigal son Neven Subotic; there is more to his story than ill-advised corn rows and a U-20's snub.


Did Anyone Else Forget That Everton is in America?


I sure did. Coloradoans, don't miss out on your chance to see our Tim Howard and his fellow Toffees do their thing at DSG Park this Sunday. For just $12 --less than the price of a case of Coors-- you can watch Mr. Howard stonewall your local club's scoring efforts repeatedly. I know that doesn't sound like fun but please don't let your stadium look like it did this Sunday; our Timmy deserves better doesn't he?

RSL & TFC Will Save You From Watching Nashville Star


Being that it is Monday, I'm not sure if this is included in the MLS free preview that was going on this past weekend but RSL & TFC are at it in Utah tonight. And Chad Barrett is in this house for Toronto...how strange would it be if he played before any formal announcement about the McBride deal was made? We just might find out tonight at 9pm EST!

Soccer-Lovin': It's Not Just For Basketballers

It seems like forever that Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver and big mouth Chad Johnson has been threatening to show up for 2008 in a jersey other than that of the Ohio players. He sort of made good on that threat by showing up to Bengals training camp today in a Sporting Lisbon kit. Somewhere, in the Ohio Valley a lone Portuguese man is watching that ESPN clip and laughing until Vinho Verde comes out of his nose.

Our Sacha Loves Olympic Soccer, Dairy Products


With the Olympics sneaking up on me all Viet Cong-style, I figure there may be a few others out there who are also on the verge of ambush. If you go over to NBC's Olympic website there's all kinds of video, bios and stories on the competing athletes, including the soccer players.

From the US pool I found this gem on frequent flying Sacha Klejstan --whose mustachioed mug is soon to grace the new Milk campaign-- amongst the riches. Also be sure to check out the match schedules so you can begin planning which days to come into work late.

Jozy Altiodore Loves Nap Time & Other Spanish Stuff


Young Jozy (aka the player formerly known as The Boy King of New York & Jersey™) is out in Hong Kong at the moment training with the Olympic team and whatnot. But before he left for Dim Sum country he dished to FIFA.com about life at his new Spanish home, Villarreal.

And just in case you missed it he also wrote a lengthy post about Spanish life for the New York Times' Goal last week which is probably the most insightful guest-blogger post I've read in a long time. He's also talking to NBC about the upcoming tournament as well. Hopefully we'll hear more from him in China...if he's not too busy enjoying a siesta.


Everybody Wants Some of That FrankenCooper (Except Bob Bradley)


So y'all know that Big Kenny Cooper is being courted by Norway's Rosenborg right? But did you know that they've upped it from chocolates and flowers to diamonds and pearls? Or did you hear that in the face of losing one of it's best girls to some foreign dude, MLS has offered FrankenCooper a new & improved contract? Even if you heard that you probably hadn't heard that last year's FA Cup finalist Cardiff City want a piece of that ass too and is working on the transcontinental cock-block.

Where did I hear this? Your mom. Just kidding. Or am I? I'm not...if your mom is Steve "Skyline High" Davis; he's not the most high profile soccer writer out there but he is one of the best and most consistent. He's got the word on Cooper, Toja and the McBride deal/epic sqaubble in this week's "Five-A-Side". Get stuck in.


Michael Parkhurst for Adidas

Wu Tang is for the children. So is Michael Parkhurt.

[H/T The Original Winger]

DeRo: Grateful & Shirtless

Not that this clip is particularly interesting, but one of my respected readers has just informed me that I haven't done a thing for the ladies and homosexualist in while. So here you go...don't say I haven't done anything for you lately.

It is worth noting how humble the guy is. Who'd a thunk it after seeing his cocky "I just scored on your sorry ass", slow-motion sasquatch walk that he does for a goal celebration a hundred times?

Some All Star Week Photos You Might Not Have Seen






Freddy Adu Gets His Swagger On


A tinted-out late model Mercedes. An exotic European capital. D&G shades as black as coal at midnight. And Weezy on blast the whole damn time. Even though he spent most of his 07/08 Benfica campaign on the bench, don't feel sorry for The Biggest Midget in the Game™. ESPN The Magazine caught up with our kid and found that 1) he's out to win some Mr. T at the Olympics and 2) he's definitely getting his swagger on.

And bear in mind that this piece was done before his recent signing with AS Monaco. You think he's doing big in Lisbon...shiiiiiiiiiit. Wait until dude is ballin' outta control on some yacht in the Mediterranean and running around Casino Royale like his name was James Bond. I dunno about you but I'm putting it all on black.

Watch 'Kicking It' For Free

Just a quick note that you should check out SnagFilms. It's a website where you can watch movies from the interweb without fear of FCC prosecution. Of the hundreds of documentaries and films available is "Kickin It", a film about the Homeless World Cup that is apparently a big favorite of Don Garber.

McBride Trade's Sacrificial Lamb is.....


Chad Barrett aka the poor man's Wayne Rooney. At least that is what Goal.com is saying this morning. But since there is no writer attributed to this story I'm wondering if a) no wants to put thier name on it for fear of pulling a Trecker, b) whoever wrote it knows they shouldn't have written it or if c) it's even true. I guess we'll find out if it's the latter later today.

Oh and don't forget to cop his "Greatest Misses" mixtape.


Pssst! The After Party is at DeRo's Place


If you are in TO tonight, hometown hero DeWayne DeRosario is holding the after party of all MLS All Star Game after party's at Inside on Richmond St. Now I've never been there so I can't fully co-sign on the place but as this video clearly shows at the :29 second mark the venue is not a stranger to sexy, Asian girl-on-girl action. So with that said I know you want to go so get all the details below, then call your boys and tell them in your best Yung Joc voice "meet me at the club, it's going down".


Hammers Fans Drop East End Voodoo on BMO Field


That green stuff is FieldTurf. That black stuff is the rubber gunk they pepper into the FieldTurf to make it softer and give the blades more support. And that shiny circular thing? That is the "lucky quid" (a pound coin) that some traveling West Ham hid in the corner of BMO Field's pitch yesterday in their attempt to make there own luck tonight against the All Star team. If anyone in Toronto reads this, do us a favor and get over there with a metal detector stat!

Photo of the (Slow News) Day


What if I told you I had a photo obtained courtesy of the fine ladies at Kickette of what appeared to be Atletico Madrid’s Tom├ís Ujfalusi being caught in the midst of a good tit-wanking by his trashy-hot ex-wife in the stockroom of a late-1970's Ikea store? Would you believe me? And would you be offended if I showed it to you? Yes? Sorry too late.

MLS Cup Tickets Now On Sale


If you have enough blind faith that your club will turn it up to 11 during the final half of the season and make it to the MLS Cup final in November, Ticketmaster will be glad to take your money....now. Even if you don't fancy your teams chances but you need an excuse to go to LA I'd recommend making the trip...hell, I may even make an appearance this year if I've got any LA left in me after the VMA's (which are in LA and thankfully not Las Vegas this year).

NSR: Party Like/With a Rock Star

If you're in New York and looking for own personal jesus All-Star Game after party might I suggest an evening with Martin L. Gore of Depeche Mode. You know Martin; he's the blond guy who sings sometimes, plays the guitar & keyboards, is semi-secretly black, tends to wear a lot of leather, drinks too much and wrote all those songs your new wave older sister and her friends used to dance to in the 80's & 90's. He also plays a bit of footie on occasion. Not that I know much about him or anything though.

In addition to all that he DJ's some good, minimal techno from time to time and is doing do at Hiro tonight. His birthday was yesterday so this is kind of his birthday bash so it's sure to be festive in the room. Just don't request any Depeche songs as he probably won't play them, except for some dark, dance floor remixes perhaps. Like Ricardo Villalobos dank rework of "The Sinner in Me".


Will Ferrell: Kicking & Screaming Might Have Rubbed Off

I love Will Ferrell. I've enjoyed almost everything he's done from SNL, to Funny or Die, to Semi-Pro. Shit, I wasn't even mad at him for doing that horrible Bewitched remake. I'm telling you, I really trust this guy and just like Ron Burgundy will read anything you put on the teleprompter, I will watch anything that Will Ferrell is in.

But his choice in outerwear yesterday has got me thinking "how well do I really know this guy?" Hopefully this clip --which I was tipped off to by my boys at The Original Winger-- does not make it's way into SW6...if so he better get over any aspirations that he may have of being able to get a table at La Perla.

Listen to The Don's State of the League Address


Here's a link to The Don's State of the League address that was alluded to earlier today in a post about expansion. Click here to find out what's what on expansion, the standard of play on the field, fixture congestion and all kinds of other stuff that will be 13 page threads on Bigsoccer before the sun goes down. Usually this is available to listen to live on MLSnet but for whatever reason they decided to break from tradition and hold back on the live broadcast.

Another break from tradition is that this is expected to be the final State of the League address to be given at the All Star game; going forward it will be the exclusive province of MLS Cup.

Steve Ralston Prefers Older Men


So that's 1 point for Shep, 1 kabillion for Becks. Not that anyone is keeping score, I just needed an excuse to use this image.

Aston Villa Collecting US Keepers Like Beanie Babies


First they got Guzan, now Ives thinks they're getting Friedel as well. The photo says it all.

FieldTurf's Unnecessary Press Release


I just read a press release trumpeting the unfortunate fact that the All Star game will be played on FieldTurf, "the latest in synthetic turf innovation." Folks, this is like bragging about getting some hot, Fleshlight™ action from some girl you brought back from the club; I mean it'll do, but it's probably not something you want to go around telling people.

This Just In: The Don to Raise Expansion Ceiling


Allegedly at least, according to some Canadians. Now everyone repeat after me: "We are NOT the NASL. We are NOT the NHL. We are NOT Starbucks."