Grassroot Soccer Charity Gala in NYC This Thursday


Hey y'all. If you are in the Gotham area and you'd like to aid in helping fight AIDS in Africa, have a $125 tax write-off in February, and get trollied in the presence of all manner of Soccerati™ you should really think about coming to Ethan Zohn's blowout at Marquee on Thursday night.

Please excuse the ghetto Photoshop job I did on the flyer but I thought that I'd mention some of the names that are expected to be in the house in hopes of enticing you into joining me and a few of the other DP's for a good night out for a good cause. Get tickets here.

And by the way, if you've never been to Marquee it is truly some baller sh*t worth checking out. It's also probably in the top 5 of Places in New York to Meet & Woo Aspiring Models. Also there is a celebrity charity match in the works for Thursday as well, stay tuned for all the details.

Red Bull Player Named USL All-Star


He may not play in the league anymore but USL-1 has named taller than all get-out Red Bull New York striker Macoumba Kandji to it's 2008 All-League team. Congrats to my dude on the accolade and the precision assist in your MLS debut. Now get to scoring.

Video: Usain Bolt is Gold Medal Glory-Seeker

The world's fastest man is Jamaican and surprisingly his name is not Dane Richards. His name is Usain Bolt and he's a huge (and misguided) Manchester United fan with a bit of a thing for Ruud van Nistelrooy. Too bad he's not a Red Bull fan; it'd be great to see him and Dane face off in a 120yd sprint on the Giants Stadium turf in the All-Irie Footie/Track Speed Supremacy Challenge built by Makita.

Video: New England's Loss Wasn't The Only Pie in the Face at Foxboro

Admit it. It may not have been Revs commentators Greg Lalas or Brade Feldman, but you've wanted to do this at least 213 times to some announcer at one time or other. For me it was always Marv Albert; the perv is the reason I never got into basketball.


NSR: Japanese Motors Break the SF SoCal Punk Embargo

I've never really taken to punkish music originating from southern California. When it comes to P.U.N.K. Rock! Rock! Rock! my tastes have traditionally pointed toward England, D.C., and New York. The one exception would be Social Distortion, although every time I see them live or read an interview with him I'm always on edge because I feel like you could say or do something ignorant enough to be a deal-breaker at any moment.

But right now I'm f*cking with this L.A. band called Japanese Motors. They're a new act from Costa Mesa and they're probably reviled by the L.A. punk establishment but they're getting the love out in Silverlake so I guess it all balances out. The video above is for "Brand New Everything" and captures their basic but engaging live show pretty well. The video below is for their new joint "Single Fins & Safety Pins"; summer's over but at least you fantasize about next year while watching this Gigdet-goes-to-CBGB's-and-gets-her-butt-pinched clip.

Video: US Fans Use Pub-Lic Transit in The Chi

A quick video from US Soccer of US supporters taking booze buses from a couple of Chicago bars to the Trinidad match at Bridgeview. Watching it reminds me that I'm going down to D.C. for the US-Cuba World Cup Qualifier next weekend. I'll be embedded with the North Jersey Brigade, who are rolling down to the nation's capital 60 deep. If you're going to be there as well feel free to shout me a holler; I'm looking for a few tailgates to crash and a couple of grills to hover over like a vulture since we're busing it down sans grill.

RBNY's Loss to Colorado in a Word and Photo.


Hunt Family May Divest Some Interest in Columbus Crew


How crazygonuts-desperate are rich people to invest some cash in MLS? Some of them, Vegas people with Vegas money for God's sake, want to buy part of the Columbus Crew. Yet surprisingly I can't think of a punchline for this, most likely because I am hushed by their completely dominate play as of late. I hate when bad teams play well...there is just no fun in it.


ESPN: 5 Burning Questions

Forget questions 1,2,4 & 5. While they are valid, it's question #3 that is the juiciest, most-debatable one of the bunch. Have at it in the comments.

Video: Kickin' It With Allen Hopkins

I'm 5'9". Am I shorter than my dude Al Hopkins? He's definitely in better shape than me but I think I have an inch or two on him.

NSR: Return of the King


Don't sleep.

John Conway's 1000yd Stare Haunts My Dreams


John Conway looks absolutely mental in this photo. It's the crazy eyes. It makes him look like he is quite prepared to do what Iron Mike Tyson would only threaten to do and literally eat your children. But hey, if that psycho-stare of his is enough to keep Colorado from putting 4 past them like last time, run with it. Hopefully a bit of crazy-keeper will offset the "No van den Bergh Effect" enough to help RBNY win the turf war.

Image courstey of Red Bull New York and the Daily News.

NSR: Kings of Leon Could "Use Somebody"

Damn y'all I don't know what it is but I'm tits-over-tail for this new Kings of Leon record. I never liked their first two LP's of dirty Southern twang, and only thought their last record was OK. But this new one, Only By The Night, is killing. I'm still not over "Sex on Fire" yet, and now they're dropping the U2-Meets-Journey anthem "Use Somebody" on me. It's enough to make me forget that I like DJ music and start wearing skinny jeans & drinking PBR.

It's Raining, So I'm Going to the Movies Tonight.

I know the reviews have been lukewarm but I think I'll give Miracle at St. Anna shot anyway. It's got a lot of the things I like in a film: it's long (2hrs 45mns), Mediterranean women, a pinch of spooky business, early-80's New York and since it's in WWII, (I assume) some dead Nazi's.

US Begins Futsal World Cup Campaign Next Week

That's some cold, And-1 sh*t right there. If he could finish on a move like that the U.S. might have a shot at not looking like chumps next week in the FIFA Futsal World Cup. The Yanks are one of 20 teams competing this year and are in group with Italy, Thailand, Paraguay and group favorites Portugal. If only this were televised I bet it would turn so many people on to soccer; moves this sick just can't be denied.


For Wealthy Americans, EPL Clubs Are the New Black


ESPN: The Magazine weighs in on the portfolio-enhancing pull owning an English soccer team has on wealthy American sports baron's. It's nothing we haven't read before, but worth 5 minutes of your time if you have it. And I know you do because you're reading this blog instead of spending another minute in Excel hell.

Finally an Excuse to Use This Mike Magee Photo.


Goal.com says Mike Magee is making his presence felt. Looks more like someone is trying to feel his "presents" to me but that's just semantics.

Want a Soccer Job? So Do I.


D.C. United are looking for some help with a new website that they're putting together that, if BehindtheBadge and BobbyBoswell.com are any indication, may be a leap forward in Major League Soccer's online efforts. They are in need of a Senior Web Developer and a Front-end Developer for this new endeavor and asked me if I could help spread the word, which is what I just did. Job done.

And by the way, if anyone of influence is reading this I might need a new job very soon. Anyone need a versatile 'Guy Friday' like myself with new media, marketing, PR, and writing experience? My email address is in the column at the right if you've got a spare lifeline sitting around.

The Thursday Night Hype: A Team Edition


ESPN2 will be all Chi-town down tonight when the Galaxy comes to town to finally give us the Becks-Landon-Lewis vs. Blanco-McBride-Mapp match that we missed out on a few weeks back. Even though both teams haven't exactly been pissing excellence as of late (LA's result against D.C. aside) I'm more excited to watch this than any of the CONCACAF Champions League games/ass-whippings that were on this week.

It should have it all. Big foreign names, domestic heroes and playoff implications. It's a recipe for the dramz and you have to love that. Unless your missus is bogartin' the DVR tonight with Grey's Anatomy and ER. Then it's just too much.


Photo of the Day: DC United's Honduran Locker Room


How qaunt. It reminds me of the waiting room at the oil change place except it lacks a stack 18 month-old Time & SI magazines. They sure know how to treat thier guests in Honduras, don't they?

Hopefully D.C. United will rise above the less-than-lux treatment and provide MLS with at least one win in CONCACAF Champions League. See how it all goes down tonight at 8pm EST on FSC. And if you you want some more photos and on the ground reports from Honduras, head over to BehindTheBadge.


Did Bruce Arena's Father Ever Serve In The Navy? Perhaps Stationed In or Around Venezuela?


Is it just me?

I Love WWII And Soccer So I Love This Video

I'm just going to piggyback onto The Original Winger here and salute the twisted genius of Bill Archer.

Anelka: "If I had to leave London, I'd go to the States or the Gulf"


Ok. Bring it. I think you'd make a bang up replacement for Donovan in LA if there is anything to all the Landycakes-to-Europe talk. Or you can come to New York and be French with Youri Djorkaeff on your days off. Or perhaps you are feeling adventurous...I bet Seattle could use someone like you.


USL's MLS Hopefuls Making Headlines


Two of the men leading MLS expansion charges get the ink from their local papers today. Québécois dairy tycoon and Montréal Impact owner Joey Saputo has an enjoyable Q&A in the Montréal Gazette, while Portland Timbers impresario Merritt Paulson reveals loads of revenue and attendance related dirt on the Rose City club.

I find it interesting that all these young, rich guys are hot under the collar to get involved in MLS; I'm told that these two as well as fellow expansion contenders St. Louis' Jeff Cooper, & Vancouver's Steve Nash along with Chicago Fire owner Andrew Hauptman, KC's Rob Heinemann, and Houston's Oscar De La Hoya & Gabe Brenner are all under the age of 45. Remember back in the Uncle's Hunt, Kraft & Anschutz days when you couldn't buy into this league without a valid AARP card?

Photo of the Day: Soccer Returning to Tulsa?


There's a soccer field in some official images that show the layout of the AAA Tulsa Drillers new ballpark. It's totally and completely irresponsible of me to make vague and spurious connections between seemingly unrelated events but perhaps, just perhaps, it's related to that long-distance call from Tampa to Tulsa that we talked about back in May.

Video: 17 Minutes of Savarese

When it comes to Venezuelan soccer sensations in NYC Giovanni Savarese is Columbus, Cichero & Rojas are just the pilgrims.

NSR: Return of The Killers


Nice to see them drop the Springsteen-chic of Sam's Town for a return to their former maudlin, dance floor glory. Their new single is entitled "Human" and the new Stuart Price (aka Thin White Duke a.k.a Jacques Lu Cont) produced album drops Nov. 25th.

I Bet Dempsey Would Look Good in a Green Jacket


This morning SBI is askedreaders "if you have seen Clint Dempsey please contact SBI. He has gone missing since returning to Fulham." TOR is asking "has anyone checked the golf course?".


Video: Ian Joy is the Fixture Predictor

Call your bookies kids. RSL's Ian Joy is giving you the scoop on who's going be classy and who's going to be ashy in European football this weekend. How does he know? He's got an accent so he must know what he's talking about, right? All I know is that he used to play at St. Puali for I while so perhaps he knows that the fix is in.


Video: Becks on the Word "Persistence"

Good thing you know the meaning of the word my dude; it's what you're going to need if you want to make the playoffs. or beat DC United tomorrow.

The Don Talks About Everyone's Favorite Topic


If I were to list in order the topics that get the most referrals, generate the most traffic and ignite the most debate in the comments of this 'lil blog it would look like this:

5. That Benny Feilhaber video.
4. Free stuff.
3. All things Beckham.
2. Anything with the 'Flesh' tag.
1. Expansion talk.

ESPN's 7 Players That Should Join The Bradley Bunch


See here's the thing. You and I (assuming you have as little access and professional influence amongst the soccerati as I have) can scream "Cap Kenny Cooper now!" as loud we want and no one is going to listen. We're just the crazy, homeless guy with a brown bag of booze standing on the corner of Soccerville Lane & Internet Road talking about how the end is nigh et cetera, et cetera; you pass him off as a nut, walk past and think nothing of him...until it starts raining frogs or Ted Koppel is on TV encouraging you to stock up on canned goods and shotguns.

So our Ted Koppel also thinks Cooper needs more caps. So does Jozy. And Freddy. And four other impressive young Americans. Will anyone listen now? Probably not but I do feel a little more justified in my lunacy.

Video: Frankie Hejduk Drinks From The Nordecke Cup

I've never been a big fan of Frankie Hejduk on the field; I think he's a liability for the national team (but really, who on our D isn't capable of being one at some point) and that rainbow he scored against RBNY doesn't help his cause.

But off the field I wish we had 100 players like him. Personable, action-sports friendly and unafraid to drink a beer from a communal cup with the fans after a hard-fought win. Frankly I love it Frankie...now put a shirt on and go get a haircut because you're starting to look like 'early man'.

Props to John C. for the video.

Video: Bocanegra Scores in UEFA Cup

I've had at least 3 conversations this week about how there were no Americans playing in the UEFA Champions League. So while debating the positives of Villarreal leaving Young Jozy off of their CL roster (and I really think there are some) I totally spaced on the fact that in addition to Gooch and Timmy Howard, Carlos Bocanegra is playing in the UEFA Cup.

'Los took the opportunity to remind me yesterday via his game-winning header against Holland's FC Twente. Incidentally I would love to see a compare-contrast graph at the end of this season of how many headers were scored for Fulham before, during & after the Boca-McBride era; the middle would probably be as steep as Everest.

Shouts to CS for the heads up. Props to 101 Great Goals for the clip.


I Think I May Date RSL's Stadium Until Red Bull Arena Is Ready to Commit


You know the one thing that was missing from the RSL stadium advert I posted yesterday, currently the all time sexy MF of MLS stadium porn? The stage end of the park. That's probably because it was still under construction but I ain't mad at that since they were smart enough to fill out their stage area with removable seating, something that Pizza Hut Park & Toyota Park failed to do that will make this place feel as intimate as your lady's special Valentine's Day apparel.

If you are within shouting distance of The Temple and you haven't bought season tickets yet, you should do so. And although they won't sell you any booze at Rice-Eccles Stadium, you should definitely drink to the death of playing on FieldTurf this Saturday during RSL's final game there. Here's to all-seaters and real, live grass.

The Thursday Night Hype: RBNY v. Columbus


It's so on tonight y'all. The east-leading Columbus Crew vs. Red Bull New York, who's sex is currently on fire. With Schellotto not expected to play, the newly tough RBNY have a much better chance at snatching 3 points and putting a little more space between themselves and D.C. United. But Dave van den Bergh is out for them so perhaps they're back at square one.

Juan Carlos Osorio is calling this the biggest game of the year for his club. That may or may not be true (but since it's on the internet it must be) but I do love hyperbole so I'll back him on it. Get the full pre-game report here and get ready for some (proper) football.

Video: 5 Burning Questions

My answers are as follows:

1. Yes.

2. Meh.

3. Quite possibly.

4. I'll take a pass.

5. San Jose

Clint Dempsey X T.I.A.S.: The Final Chapter


If you haven't seen it, the fifth and final chapter of This is American Soccer's epic Clint Dempsey mini-series "The Game Don't Care" was posted yesterday. You should definitely check it out if you haven't and if you didn't read the first four installments you should quit sleeping on it. Personally, I think it's the best & most in-depth piece on a US player this year.

Spangler, if you're reading this, thanks for doing this...you slayed it son. Now when can we expect the book to drop?


The Don Makes Time's Top 20 Sports Executives


Time Magazine has just published it's list of Best and Worst Sports Executives of 2008 and Don Garber came in at number 14, four places above Roman Abramovich and his scary self. Some of the other footie luminaries who made the list where Sir Alex at No.2, EPL boss Richard Scudamore, and Inter Milan capo Massimo Morretti.

The real head-scratcher is Liverpool's unloved ownership duo, George Gillett & Tom Hicks, in at number 35; so obviously there were no voters from Merseyside included in this little experiment.

RSL Advertising to Six Feet Under Fans

Pretty isn't it? This video makes me want to hop on the next flight out of JFK headed toward Sandy, Utah and just sit there in the upper deck waiting for my Red Bulls to come through on Oct. 9th and pop it's lush, green cherry. It also makes me want to buy a Mac, a fine European automobile and something from Starbucks (and I don't even drink coffee).

Video: VW Plotting MLS Cup Pwnage

Here's clip someone sent me from the event everyone is talking about, the Sports Sponsorship Symposium. Seriously, I hear this thing is hotter than Comic-Con and the Conventioneers Convention. Anyway, the Volkswagon suit who stars in this video alludes to some big plans VW has for MLS Cup this year, including professional players. My completely spurious prediction: David Beckham vs. Jesse Marsch in a half-time automotive death race through the streets of Carson.


Video: The History of Seattle Soccer

Because it's been alleged that I have a Portland bias (and believe me I do).

Johnny Exantus Leaves RBNY Youth System for Europe


Johnny Exantus has been in the Red Bulls Academy since it was the Metrostars Academy. He was supposed to be the next hot young prospect to come out of a system that produced Jozy Altidore and Micheal Bradley. But that's not to be as some 4th division Belgians have got him now. Whatever happened to all that talk of the investment in the youth system and how children were our future yadda yadda yadda that was going around a short time ago?

NSR: The Return of TV on the Radio

Dudes are back and on some Prince sh*t. I love it.

Harkes: US "is playing too safe"


Johnny Harkes thinks that the US mens national team still has room to grow. He says “we’re playing well, but we’re not playing great.” He is captain for life after all, so he may know what he's talking about. Plus, he's bucking for more caps for Freddy & Jozy so I'm kinda feeling what he's saying.

Ottawa Unveils SSS, MLS Plans


They had a press conference in Ottawa today. They also opened a website. Doesn't that stadium look exactly like the old mock-ups of the stadium in Harrison when the Metrostars 1st floated the idea?

Video: RBNY v. RSL on MSG

Morning all. I've got something of a busy day today so please don't expect too much. That way if I do post something good it will be really impressive.

So with the bar being so low today, here's MSG's Shep & Steve with the RBNY v. RSL post-mortem; two blown calls by Kevin Stott gives NY three badly needed points and it's all attributed to "professionalism" not luck. These two should go into politics.


Clint Dempsey X T.I.A.S. Episode 4


It's still all Clint, all the time over at T.I.A.S.

This Week's Unsigned Hype That We've All Been Waiting For: Charles Ranken


I have no proof that this is going to happen, but in my head I see Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore meeting in Andorra or somewhere in the Pyrenees mountains this week on a day off from training. They'll sit at the bar, order a rare cognac (because those two are sooooo legal in Europe) and then one of them will hold his snifter aloft and belt out the following toast:

"To Charles Renken, the next "next big thing" in American soccer. May you break ankles, survive the hype & backlash while keeping the spotlight off of the both of us as long as we all shall live. Salute."

Video: Kenny Cooper Cannot Be Put in a Box

And to think there are people out there that think he should just sit up in front of the goal and wait. Those same people also often say that he doesn't use his body enough. Watch this goal in slo-mo and you can't tell me those people aren't Amy Winehouse-in-a-crackhouse-crazy.

Unprofessional Foul: The Huckerby Inquisition


Do you ever read Unprofessional Foul? If you don't, check it out sometime. Good guys who are kinda funny and are pretty well-rounded in their footie coverage, although if I could request more American coverage I would (wink, wink if you're reading this UF).

Today I get my wish because they've got an excellent interview with San Jose's British bad-ass Darren Huckerby. Dudes been dropping bombs since he made the move and has helped to take San Jose from ashy to classy in a very short time. I may change my mind tomorrow but right now I feel like it's players like him, Rojas and Schelotto (paid better than average but not DP's) that can really impact a team on the field without putting a lot of money in one basket (cough Beckham, Denilson, Reyna, cough) that are the future of the league.

Boot Camp for Red Bull Arena Staff


In the foyer of the Bull Eye Pub, Red Bull's member's bar at Giants Stadium, there is a n architect's model of Red Bull Arena. It's about the size of really thick, wide cake and to my SSS-starved sweet tooth it looks equally delicious. It's snapped the photo above of it Saturday night; please excuse the glare and spots (the iPhone's camera is it's weakness).

I have mentioned previously that I really believe that the delays with the stadium have (in some ways) worked out for the best and that this franchise can't get out of Giants Stadium fast enough for a myriad of reasons. Now you and I haven't talked about it much here at TOR but the security and stadium staff at Giants Stadium are not exactly fan-favorites. But when Red Bull gets their own house expect a kinder, gentler and possibly Taurine-enhanced crew working the isles, turnstiles, and concession stands.

In a piece in today's Sports Business Journal (subscription), RBNY honcho Erik Stover says "We have to be very cognizant of how we represent the brand as a whole because a negative in-game experience can impact the entire company". So to achieve this goal they're hiring consulting company Global Interface to create a 4-6 week Cliff's Notes version of "Red Bull College" that all1500 Red Bull Arena staff members will undergo prior to the opening of the stadium.

Corporate brain-washing or Motown-style finishing school? Dunno. I don't really care though because frankly if it helps them to have building full of helpful people with a great attitude and not a barn full of swine jacked-up on testosterone & failed dreams, I'm behind it whole-hog.


Video: The Soccer Farm

The term "farm team' takes on a whole new meaning when you see the clip. Eat your heart out Kevin Costner, these are my fields of dreams. The heartland, no America, is changing and it makes me very, very happy.

Clint Dempsey X T.I.A.S. Episode 3


Part three of This Is American Soccer's Clint Dempsey chronicles is live today. You know, there may have been a book in this...it's that long. And that's certainly not a complaint. Dare I say it, but this may be the deepest look into the life of any current US soccer player since the days of Freddy mania.

Things That make You Go Hmmm: Yellow Card Edition


How is it that taking off your shirt is an automatic yellow card, yet Khano Smith aimed a fire-arm (it was a musket loaded with blanks, but still) at the crowd after scoring against Chivas USA and got nothing? I'm not mad at him at all for it, I just don't get how that is not excessive celebration. If he's getting away with that, then Ante Razov is by all rights free to dry hump the person in the Goat costume at Chivas matches.

Ottawa Is Still On The Ass of Vancouver & Montreal


The funny thing about the MLS expansion race is that you don't hear a damn thing from anyone for months but then all of a sudden one group says "We're still trying to get a team" and this avalanche "Hey, we're still in this too!" articles comes flying at you.

Portland started off the latest round of madness last week, quickly followed by Vancouver and some overgrown children who carry dolls. Yesterday the Mets waved the flag around for the endeavor with the biggest sense of entitlement attached to it, Queens NY, and today Ottawa's Eugene Melnyk reminds us all that they exist and that they have a press conference coming next week to announce their plans for a soccer-specific stadium.

Next up? MLS to Asbury Park, NJ...you heard it here first.


Remember This Name: Eric Valentine

Jozy Altidore hipped me to this clip of 8 year old nasty-boy Eric Valentine via Facebook this afternoon. All you need to do is watch the first 55 ankle-breaking seconds to know that this kid is the truth. Or Clint Dempsey 2.0.

This kid is just straight up outlandish. And he's repping for Prince William Sound Courage U-9's out of Mananas, VA so if you are reading this DC United, get those Discovery Claim forms up & poppin' ASAFP. I just hope we don't find out that his parents are from ______, Europe anytime soon.

Just So You Know...


FYI I did DuNord today; it's the post entitled "Sigi Smalls News".

New York Mets Not Sleeping on MLS Efforts


Prepare yourself. You are about to hear a strange, loud sucking sound that you have never heard before. It's the sound of every member of the Borough Boys gasping aloud then crying joyously at the same time. Why? Because they are about to read the following statement from Major League Soccer communications honcho Dan Courtemanche in regard to the NY Mets plans for a second MLS side in New York: "We've had preliminary discussions".

Take it for what you want (and believe me, people will) but you can hear what's really what from the Mets executive vice president for business David Howard on Bloomberg Radio's "On The Ball" program Sept. 13th.

Scot Lake City: Population 2

Folks this is entertainment of the highest order courtesy of Behind the Shield. Real Salt Lake's Ian Joy and Kenny Deuchar are keeping it all 'Highlands-chic' on the Wasatch Front and pushing the very limits of the "Does this need subtitles?" threshold with accents as thick as Guinness and colorful phrases like "I'm sweatin' like a beaver in a wet suit". Kyle y Javi are great, but this...this is hysterical.

If only they were allowed to do this segment with six pints of the black stuff and a half a bottle of Glenmorangie in each of their bellies, then we'd be talking DVD release, an appearance on Conan and talks with Ricky Gervais about an adaptation for the The Food Network. But I'm fairly certain that drunken Caledonians rummaging through a specialist grocery in officially sanctioned team videos is frowned upon by the powers that be, no matter how entertaining.

NSR: SF For President

Change you can laugh at.

FIFA 09 Is Now Officially Divorce in a Box

As mentioned yesterday, you can now download the FIFA 09 demo from the Playstation Store and XBOX 360 Live Marketplace today. While you are doing that, ponder this clip above. Other than the ability to do 'the robot' one of the new features that's got me the most stoked/scared is the Adidas Live Season mode. The guys in the video explain it much better but the basic premise is that players in the game are updated weekly to reflect their real-life form; basically if Micheal Owen is playing with all the skill & grace of a three-legged blind man in real-life, he'll be equally crap in the game. So wrong yet so right.


Just Like Wu Tang, The Revs Are for The Children


If you're heading to the Revs match versus the Goats tommorrow night I'd encourage you to bring a deflated soccer ball. Strange request I know but hear me out. The Revs are collecting deflated soccer balls on Thursday at match to ship to Iraqi children. The initiative, dubbed Operation Soccer Ball, is a humanitarian effort to spread universal goodwill, camaraderie and friendship between nations and provide hope to the people of Iraq through the "universal language" of soccer. Each ball will be delivered to an Iraqi child who does not have the means to obtain a ball to play the world's game so please help if you can.

So let it be know from Boston to Baghdad that the Revolution, like Wu Tang Clan, is for the children.

Liverpool Fans Are Going to Loooooove FIFA 09


You know what one of the best things about the upcoming FIFA 09 is? You can do 'the robot' after you score if you so choose. All I can say is thank f*ck they've got some old guys on the development team, otherwise we'd see Jozy doing some Souja Boy "Crank Dat" sh*t. And no one wants that.

In non-dance related FIFA09 news, starting tomorrow you can download the demo from the PS3 Store and XBOX 360 Live Marketplace. The fully playable demo features Chelsea, AC Milan, Schalke 04, Olympique de Marseille, Real Madrid and Major League Soccer's own Toronto FC. So um, yeah. You know what I'm doing tomorrow night.

Red Bull Arena: So This Thing is Really Happening!


So I've been geeking out all week long on the new Red Bull Arena webcam. To most people watching a stadium being built is about as entertaining as watching paint dry but without getting a contact high from the fumes. But if you are a Gotham soccer fan watching this process feels like being introduced to your one true love a single, supple body part at a time.

Over at Red Bulls Reader they've got some new photo's up today of the first bits of steel for the lower bowl that have gone into ground today. Now obviously this project has had years of delay but it can't be said that now that they've started building in earnest that they are not shagging ass to get this house raised as soon as possible. And when you compare what's being built versus what would have been built if the original plans went according to schedule, it was worth the wait and will actually be for the best in the long run for the team, the fans and the game in North America.

Image courtesy of Red Bull New York and the Daily News.

Clint Dempsey X T.I.A.S. (Continued)


Part two of Adam Spangler's extended 12-inch mix of an interview with Clint Dempsey is available now for your reading pleasure. This is kind of the heavy portion of the show with economics and death playing an integral part of the story. I really hope that once Clint made some money he did the cliche thing and bought his Momma a house; it can't be said that the man's family has not held him down since the jump.

Read it at This is American Soccer.

MLS Man to Man City? So Says the BBC.


You have to be careful when putting much stock in rumors emanating from the U.K. And even though this one is coming from the BBC I'm still skeptical since it's listed in the "other gossip" section, but hey, who knows. It would be a little more believable if they spelled his name right though.

It would be kind of funny though that this year's biggest & only MLS transfer to the EPL would be an executive. It would also be one hell of a testament to the league's leadership and it's abilities, contrary to what the message board mafia might tell you.


www.imeem.com/blocparty. I'm in...are you?

The Thursday Night Hype: Chivas USA v. New England

I don't know if Kyle Martino will be on the mic again for this week's MLS Primetime match on ESPN but I'd like to give him props for being totally not awful last week. He & Stoner are no Harkes & Dellacamera, but who is. Still I'd like to see him stick around, perhaps teamed up with Glen Davis as the permanent backup team.

Just out of curiously, who do you guys prefer as far as announcers go? And don't you dare say this guy.

It's a Slow Week So Here's Some Flesh

I think I just became a Derby fan.


Wait a Minute...There IS Something Good in Colorado!


In an effort to balance out what could be viewed as a negative statement about the Colorado Rapids that i posted earlier today, I'm going to mention the fact that they are going to help you get drunk on October 4th. That's when the club will be hosting it's annual Oktoberfest at DSG Park. There will be German food, dancing, and enough beer to drown an impossibly large catfish. And perhaps they'll have beer girls like the one's in the photo above. Somebody call me if the one on the right shows.

Real Soccer 2009 for iPhone


I've been debating getting a new phone for months now. It's been a toss-up between an iPhone or just going all-out and copping the outlandish Nokia n93i. While the Nokia would be insane for the Carl Zeiss optics I think the iPhone might be the move.

Especially now that Real Soccer 2009 is now available for purchase in the iTunes App Store today. With touch-screen controls, 198 FIFPRO® licensed teams with real players’ names and 12 real stadiums also rendered in 3D this is enough to make me put my PSP on eBay this evening and buy an iPhone tonight. Oh and you play perform throw-ins, penalties and corners using the iPhone tilt-motion sensitivity. So fresh, so clean.

Peep some in-game video here for a quick taste of how it plays.

And Now It's Time for a Commercial Break

This advert says that "soccer is life". Well if your soccer is Rapids soccer....your life kinda sucks right now. Not to be a hater, but damn that team is awful this season. What happened to the cardiac kids who blew out LA 4-0 on opening night?

Video: It's All Vaudeville & Slapstick at RBNY Practice

I ganked this clip of RBNY defender Gabriel Cichero getting a pie in the face from Red Bulls Reader. My only request is that they have a "Pie in the Face Night" at Giants Stadium before the season is up. That way the next time Cichero gets carded (he has received one yellow & one red in only 3 games played) he can be showered of of the pitch; it won't help the situation but I may help the fans deal with their emotions in a way in which no one gets hurt.


Jozy To Put a Little Chocolate in America's Cream


Damn, that's one of the most loaded headlines ever. But fear not confederates, this post has nothing to do with Jozy Altidore coaxing JoJo back over to soccer's dark side or earning himself a place at the Palin family Thanksgiving table through carnal means. He's just joining Sacha Kljestan as one of the new faces of milk. Chocolate milk.

Clint Dempsey X T.I.A.S.


Blogger-in-arms & fellow Designated Player Adam Spangler spent a mess of time in London at the tail end of last season with Clint Dempsey. They were getting mobbed by school kids and rolling through SW6 to a soundtrack straight out of Houston's 5th Ward. If only I was there, then it would have been truly ridiculous.

In typical ThisIsAmericanSoccer.com fashion he's put together an epic 5 part story documenting his time with deuce. The first installation is up and the next parts are in the pipeline. Now go get your read on.

NSR: Love Lockdown

Y'all know I have a love-hate relationship with Kanye West. I have to be honest though when I say that after his hook on Farnsworth Bentley's surprisingly tight single "Everybody" and last night's unveiling of the brooding, paranoid groover "Love Lockdown" I'm kinda feeling him right now. If he'll quit with his average rhyming and focus on his extraordinary production and new-found fondness for crooning we may be alright. So long as he keeps his mouth shut otherwise & pops his inflated head.

R.I.P. Shep Messing's Moustache


Today the American soccer community mourns the loss of one of it's true icons with the midweek discovery that Shep Messing's mustache is dead. This unexpected loss was first made public by Mr. Messing when he appeared on the set of episode 67 of ExtraTime without what one female acquaintance remembers as "the most enjoyable ride in New York that isn't at Coney Island."

Although his exact date of birth has never been confirmed, Shep Messing's mustache certainly lived a long, colorful life. From it's time as a froth catcher during Messing's beer-soaked days at Harvard to it's most recent post as a mic duster in the broadcast booth, Messing's mustache has always been a constant in an ever-changing world. And for fans of the beautiful game who grew up with it it is like losing an old friend. "I can't believe it" said a clearly saddened Skip Martell of Neptune, NJ. "First (John) Oates (of Hall & Oates), now Shep. I haven't been this sad since Freddy Mercury's c*ckduster bit the bullet."

Funeral arrangements are unknown at this time however there is a memorial service (sponsored in part by Just For Men™ Brush-In Moustache Gel) scheduled for Sept. 9th at the little-utilised Bronx Parkway Annex of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. A number of celebrity admirers & facial hair contemporaries are slated to speak at the engagement including the mustaches of Ron Jeremy, Tom Selleck, Carl Weathers, Robert Goulet, Wade Boggs and The Muppet Show's Sgt. Floyd Pepper.


In Memorium: American Soccer Forever Changed By...


Hey guys. The VMA's are about to air so I'm in dispose to say the least. I'm still trying to get the details but check in to TOR tommorrow to find out the death of an American soccer institution. Is it some old guy? Field turf? Single-entity? I can't say yet but thing's will never be the same...I'll even have a tag that I will never get to use again.


It's Free Stuff Friday

I've got some more shwag to give away so get your random information skills together. In the clip above Cobi Jones is seen at SafeCo Field in Seattle...why is he there? The first person to email the correct answer to that question to TheOffsideRules [at] Gmail.com wins a copy of Gamebreakers AND The History of MLS Cup on DVD. Good luck.


Photo of the Day: In Cuba EJ is The Louis Vuitton Don


As TOR reader/informant FERENGi® pointed out to me via email this is straight out oxymoronic, communist-stuntin'. You see Eddie Johson does not care to limit his couture to Craven Cottage or any one place in particular. After all he is a grown-ass man and Cuba is not his momma.

On one hand I'm thinking perhaps US Soccer should have given the team one of those awkward cultural sensistivity classes like they did that one time on The Office and maybe mention something about how we're viewed as materialistic and "capitalist pigs". But on the other hand I'm all "Screw that red govenrment. If EJ can't exercise his right to ball outta control via the use garishly expensive luggage in a not-quite-third-world country, then the terrorist have won."


Video: Vancouver Woke up Today To a Hot Cup of MLS Talk

Not to be left standing with their d*ck in their hands, Vancouver Whitecaps have made the next move in the Pacific Northwest MLS Expansion Death Race 3000™. One day after Portland fired it's shot across the bow, they launched a two-pronged attack today on both the world-wide web and, as seen above, British Columbian morning television.

It's always nice to see a club put the supporters get put out front as they are in the opening segment above. You can see the other two segments --featuring Whitecaps owner Bob Lenarduzzi-- here and here. How great is it that the Timbers & the 'Caps are rivals even when the stakes are off the field? Perhaps it's because the team that doesn't join Seattle in the big leagues has a good chance of ceasing to exist? Just sayin'.

Tim Regan Rides Again, Chivas USA Forwards To Celebrate


By now you have read at least 13 articles about how depleted Toronto FC will be this week due to national team call-ups. The situation is so dire that they are looking to staff members to fill out the side; team scout Tim Regan, formerly a defender with the Metrostars/RBNY and Chivas USA, looks likely to get one last shot at 90 minutes of MLS glory. If he doesn't work out, they can always try and get Michelle Lissel to lace 'em up; at the very least she'll draw a crowd.

Video: Bobcat Soccer is Far Superior to Xtreme Soccer

The wife comes from a Ford family so when it comes to automobiles I should encourage you to buy American. Last week we bought a VW though and since they spend their sponsorship dollars with MLS I'm good with them. But damn if Nissan's dual appeal to both the footie fan and daredevil in me doesn't have me feeling a bit of buyers remorse.

Sigi Schmid a.k.a. Sigi Smalls for Coah of the Year?


Hopkins seems to think so. I'll back him up and say Sigi's the front-runner but only if the Notorious P.I.E. grabs the mic strong during his acceptance speech and belts out "The Warning" to the astonished and appalled crowd. Do that and I'm down for life. You can watch the clip below and cast your own vote.

Video: TFC Attend Premeire For North America's Most Exclusive/Elusive Film

So after more than a year of distribution delays, Goal 2: Living the Dream is now in North American theaters. A few of the boys from Toronto FC attended the Canadian premiere, which was recorded for posterity by TFCtv.

If you're interested in seeing this one, good luck; it seems to only be showing in Canada, California, Illinois, Arizona, Texas, Kansas and Vegas so you might need to cash in some of those frequent flier miles you've been hanging on to.


Gomez Leaves Colorado's Peaks for KC's Fruited Plain


In an effort to prevent Jimmy Conrad from being the team's Golden Boot winner for 2008 the Wizards have augmented their attack by signing Herculez Gomez from Colorado. Basically that means that if Claudio Lopez can't get the job done, it will be up to Gomez to keep Jimmy's head from becoming as vast as the Kansas plains.