Video: Chivas USA 2009 Mixtape

I feel like we don't get too many mixtape's with straight-out stadium rock for the soundtrack. It's usually something made by men with baggy trousers and more diamonds than a vajazzeled Jennifer Love-Hewitt. Very rarely do we get something by men who are known to actually play instruments on stage let alone something from a band who's lead vocalist and guitarist is even more bad ass as a drummer.

The thing that is different about this clip is that all of the OMFGoals take a back seat to series of bone-breaking tackles. I like that. Defending seems to lend itself more to rock music than that hippity hop music. So crank up the Foo Fighters and relive 2009 from the candy-stripped side of the Home Depot Center.

Things Jerry Lewis Does Not Do Telethon's For: Tifo

Photo: Marty Groark - Section 8

Chicago's O.G. ultras, Section 8, are planning some extrasuperfantastic tifo for the Fire's home opener. What's so special about it? Does it involve Rod Blagojevich setting his hair alight? Is Oprah gonna be there? Will they have Megan Fox send smoke signals to God asking for the return of Blanco while the original line-up of Smashing Pumpkins plays Gish in it's entirety?

I don't claim to know the answer but it's going to be so elaborate that they need your help to make it happen and neither Jerry Lewis or Lou Rawls is prepared to throw them a damn telethon right now and Michael Wolfson is too busy working on the new MLS website to do another Live 8*. So it seems that they are just going to have to ask for donations...y'know, the old-timey way to get paper from people.

So put your hands up soccer fans, this right here is a jack. Nobody moves, nobody gets hurt.

*Seriously, the group we're working with on the new league site is led by one of the guys who produced Live 8. Crazypants, right?

One on One With Brek Shea

Relax ladies, don't let the title fool you. This isn't some "Seven Minutes in Heaven" deal where you get to go in a closet and make out with Brek Shea so need to go get waxed (your eyebrows or anything else) just yet. It's basically just Brek talking about himself and being all "me me me, I I I". Not because he is full of himself but because he's being asked by a man with a camera and a microphone to do so. But if you do want to make out with him I suggest getting your Call of Duty game tight; I've no idea what his Xbox Live handle is but if you run into a guy who's avatar has a bottle-blonde combination mohawk-mullet it's probably him.

New Blogger on the Block: The Crew's Jed Zayner

I love the year 2010. It's all about revolution and changing the status quo: animals aren't taking our crap anymore & are rising up, Canadians are losing to Americans at hockey and athletes are telling us all about themselves via the interwebs instead of waiting for a newspaperman to do it for him. So rad. Pretty soon we'll have cars that fly and unbiased cable news networks (OK, so maybe the last one is a stretch but a man can dream can't he?).

My latest favorite web-jock is Columbus Crew defender Jed Zayner. He's got his own blog now and it's pretty fly for a Valparaiso guy. If you want to read about Schelotto rocking Springsteen records (BRUUUUUUUUUUCE!) you should check it out. If you want to see pictures of Steven Lenhart looking like Dee Snider out of Twisted Sister, this is the jump off. Perhaps you've got an interest in the angling habits of Eddie Gaven? He's got you.

For real y'all, check my man out. Even if you aren't a Crew fan you should be able to appreciate the authenticity of what he's doing; the word "blog" gets misappropriated a lot these days --is it really a blog if there is nothing personal and all you are writing 1200 word game analysis?-- but this is real-life and really intimate. A rare look at what players lives are like outside of the 90 minutes we get to see.

Chivas USA Gatecrashes the Vancouver Olympics

A Southern Californian reader of this wreck of a blog just hipped me to this video from American Latino TV. Apparently this aired during a break in the Olympic coverage the other night, presumably wedged in between Team Snowblowing and one of those awesomely MILF-tastic Curling competitions.

It's got J Bo, Union Ultras and the Legion in it which quite nice; always good to see the supporters get some airtime, regardless of which team they're backing. There's also quite a bit of Preki in this so it must have been shot before his defection to Canuckistan. Still, it's good stuff though from American Latino TV. Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go and make a call to Robert L. Johnson about getting Denis Hamlett, Damani Ralph and myself on 106 & Park.


Sign of the Soccer Apocalypse #43: I'm Agreeing With Tommy Smythe

Stop the world, I want to get off! I just found myself agreeing 100% with Tommy Smythe so this must be the end of the line for me in some way. The Leprechaun says that the U.S. needs to start learning how to score and that you'll only get a finite amount of chances in the World Cup so you'd better be able to make the most of them. I couldn't agree more with that. I'd also agree with him that the Yanks will need a damn-near perfect performance to top the English this summer.

And that's really scary to me; not that we need a perfect game to beat the Brits, but that I am now thinking like Tommy Smythe. Next thing you know I'll be talking about bulging onion bags and listening to fiddleedee music. Lord, help us all.

"It Started Out "Chariots of Fire" and Then We Threw in a Little Bit of "Great Gastby""

Did you read that title? That's how the photographer described the theme of this shoot for Outside Magazine. I've never seen Chariots of Fire or read The Great Gatsby to completion because I am the uncultured product of centuries of poor breeding and public schooling so maybe it's a little lost on me. If I were asked to describe the look these boys are rocking I might say one of the following:
  • Hamptons Halfback
  • FC Preppy Bad Guy from an 80's Film
  • The Look that Gay Guys Rocked Last Summer That Straight Guys Will Rock Two Summers from Now
She's right though about Conor Casey looking like someone out of a Guy Ritchie film (definitely not from Swept Away though). As for the other dudes Robbie Findley is Carlton, Troy Perkins just looks confused and Heath Pearce looks like he is out to steal your girl. As for Jonathon Bornstein he's got a tie for a belt and that pretty much says it all. I feel bad for my dude; seeing him done wrong like that elicits a feeling similar to seeing a beloved hound wearing the cone of shame.

Landemonium™! Keep Landon In England Movement Gathering Followers Faster Than a Cult Leader


People seem to love or hate Landon Donovan. Dude is as polarizing as tax reform in an election year. Those that aren't down with him call him names and make t-shirts laughing him off as a big fish in a small pond. Those that are feeling him call him "Sir" and make T-shirts in his honor.

The ones that love him, the Liverpudlian ones at least, also start Facebook groups dedicated to keeping him in Everton blue instead of Galazy white. In less than 2 weeks the Keep Landon Donovan at Everton group has wrangled over 7,000 fans who want nothing more than to permanently steal our Landon away for their own twisted, Euro-footballing purposes. I haven't found a Keep Landon in LA group yet so if anyone is feeling particularly offended by the notion of losing Lando to the English, there's your project for this afternoon.

Bumpy Pitch Helps You Look the Part Without Looking Like the Sale Rack at Foot Locker


Just in time for spring (unless you live in the Northeast portion of the country where spring is seeming more & more like an urban legend) my boys at Bumpy Pitch have just dropped their first run of hooded sweatshirts. Here's the skiny:

-Made in Los Angeles

- 380 gram French Terry fabric so they have a nice weight along with a super soft lining

- Heavy duty YKK zipper

- Inlaid printing on the lining of the hoodie

- Double seams on the hood so it lays flat

- Chicks dig 'em

You should buy one.


Barflying: Woodwork


Question: What is Champions League good for?

Answer: Skipping out of the office for a sneaky mid-day pint. Unless you are someone like me and it's basically your job to do so.

Today I left the Soccer Specific Sweatshop that is the digital dept. at MLSHQ and took a field trip to Brooklyn to check out the Chelsea-Inter match at a new footie-centric bar called Woodwork. It sits on the corner of Vanderbilt and Dean just a short hop off of Atlantic Ave. (go two blocks past the giant Red Bull Arena billboard on your left and you should see it on the corner) in the heart of Prospect Heights. Run by Ross Greenberg from Cosmopolitan League regulars Brooklyn Gunners FC, it's the only official-sanctioned UEFA Champions League bar in Brooklyn.

With it's distressed wood floors, exposed brick walls and an eco-friendly bar made from old oak floorboards salvaged from a century-old Massachusetts dairy farm it's definitely a different vibe from the English pubs that you typically end up skivving off to for a mid-afternoon match. But you have to remember that this in Prospect Heights so there has got to be a bit of Brooklyn realness mixed in with the bourgie-ballin', hence the pre & post-game soundtrack of Jay-Z and Kanye.


As for the food for the food and drink, the selection of the former is about quality and the latter is about quantity; the menu is small but awesome (have the truffle oil mac & cheese with pancetta, you'll thank me) while the beer selection is ample and affordable. "We have a great beer selection" says Ross, "but people come here for soccer, that's what we're about".


Prior to opening the bar, Ross -a chef by trade- was cooking at a restaurant in the south of France. He told me that the way he broke down the culture gap with his French co-workers started with one word: Drogba. "Once they knew I knew the game they really opened up and were cool with me", he says. "That's when they quit looking at me like I was the ignorant American who called it "soccer".


Woodwork may have only been open 5 weeks but they've already collected more than a few regulars from the neighborhood and have some big things on the horizon; there's a Kicking & Screening photo exhibit/competition scheduled to run from the end of May through the World Cup with Pele to judge the winner. How they're hooking that up I have no idea but if you can get the King to bless your bar you'll pretty much have a license to print money. If they keep making moves like that I think these newcomers will be around for quite a while.

If any of you yahoos know of any cool, unique or must-visit soccer bars feel free to drop them in the comments; I'm looking to make "Barflying" a regular thing and I'm taking all suggestions nationwide.

Norwegian, Swedish or Estonian?


The good people at Metrofanatic.com have created a new online game that's not only educational but fun for the whole family. It's called Norwegian, Swedish or Estonian? and it's a great way to familiarize yourself with the Northern European/Baltic revolution happening at RBNY. Give it a spin and it will probably give you a laugh in return, just be careful not to be fooled by those pesky Finns!

NSR: Kanye West Returns, Is on Some Lord of the Rings Ish

Kanye was gone but now he's back. Thank God really, as the egolibrium (not a real word, I just made that up right now sitting on the bus) levels of hipster hop had fallen to pre-"Swagger Like Us" levels for the first time in years.

And really y'all, is there anyone else out there in the game today that can mess around and combine auto-tune, cleavage and Mordor-esque visuals without coming off as a World of Warcraft enthusiast? Nope. Maybe Raaaaaaaandy can one day but right now he can't even get dudes to send in their verses for a mixtape, so bugged out otherworldly hip hop epic might have to wait a minute.


Apparently They Don't Get the Direct Kick Package in Colombia


Less than two weeks after Red Bull New York cut ties with right back Carlos Johnson, the Costa Rican/bald guy, has found himself a new job. With his old boss. Oh God.

The old boss in question is former RBNY skipper Juan Carlos Osorio who is now coaching Colombian side Once Caldas. I don't know who he convinced that getting the band back together was a good idea but I would love to sell that guy some swampland in South Jersey. Seriously, how is signing a player who isn't that good, was pretty-much injured or on red card suspension every other week a good idea?

The Crew 2010 Mixtape

Over-saturation, a bit of blood, some slow motion and slow music. These are the tricks that make a mixtape go from ashy to classy, and the makers of this clip used them all to great effect. If you have love in your heart for the black & gold this has to get your nipples hard. And if you are a Toronto fan this just makes you want to spit and swear. Can't please everyone I guess.

Video: Revs Girls Tryouts

I'm sure some of you will have a lot to say about this so I will cede the floor to you.


NSR: How to Make it in America

Have you seen this new show on HBO, How to Make it in America? I caught it for the first time over the weekend and I kinda felt it: in a way it's sort of the NYC answer to LA whack-fest Entourage. But as much as I liked it and enjoyed reminiscing about the time when I was young, single and running roughshod over downtown Manhattan on a nightly basis, it was almost too New Yorky. For example, here's a transcript of a party scene from the episode above:

Cam: "We're gonna leave with these Wilhelmina chicks."
Ben: "Already?"
Cam: "Um humh"
Kid Cudi (yes, that Kid Cudi): "And that's what's happening. We're gonna go get some grub at the Blue Ribbon courtesy of Harold's Condé Nast expense account so you in or what?"

Like I said, I was feeling the show but this uber-hip moment had me feeling a little queasy. I'm sure it's the producers attempt at authenticity -and it definitely is authentic young, moneyed New York- but it just comes off as trying a little too hard. Having said that, if someone was to offer me some free, model-accompanied Blue Ribbon right now I would be out the door in a minute: that place makes the only fried chicken I am prepared to eat in public.

The New USA Kit


I love this. It's a new twist on an old-school look and much more interesting than the last kit; this one is dope enough that I will actually wear it when it isn't gameday. The warmup top is fresh to death as well. Maybe it's just because the Vancouver games are happening right now but there is something very Olympian about them. Too bad it will be hot as balls on the East Coast during the World Cup otherwise I would rock the hell out of it.

NSR: Battlefield Bad Company 2

Seven day people. That's how long I have to wait until EA carpet-bombs America with the sequel to one of my favorite games of all-time, Battlefield: Bad Company. While the tight gameplay, fully-destructible environments, photo-realistic graphics are all top shelf, it's the wise-cracking, smart-assed banter between the four members of "B" Company of the 222nd Army battalion aka"Bad Company" that adds that special something; war is serious but it can still be kinda funny if you let it.

Danny Allsopp x ESPN x Bizarro World

Have you ever seen foreign-broadcast ESPN? It's just weird. It looks just like our ESPN but it obviously isn't because the anchors aren't loud talkers, they'll have soccer on Sportcenter when the national team is not playing and cover something as mundane as a player transfer. Could you imagine the Bristol crew dropping a segment on Benny Feilhaber's latest move? No way. Australia truly is bizzaro world.


NSR: Vampire Weekend "Giving Up the Gun"

Who is the most random person in this video? Is it RZA? Maybe it's Jake Gyllenhaal? There could definitely be a case for Joe Jonas right? And is Lil Jon even relevant enough anymore to be a surprise cameo?


Landon Donovan: The NSCAA Interview

Having been to multiple NSCAA Conventions I am shocked that they let Landon wear leather in this; those coachie-types seem to be sticklers for artificial fibers. It's like acrylic and polyester are the only fabrics known to man with those guys so seeing Donovan wearing a jacket made from something that may have children is a surprise. I wonder if the interviewer melted shortly after taping?


Things That Pro Soccer Players Do: Fashion Show Edition f/Jozy Altidore


Go to 34:25 in this video (just after the random dudes make out but before the Eurotrash in the white suit comes out) and you'll see Young Jozy walk in Naomi Campbell's Fashion for Haiti event in London last night. The kid looks good, moneyed and like a real-live professional athlete. He also kinda walks like one too...he's definitely not watching too much America's Next Top Model (and thank God for that).


Thursday Throwback: Freddy Adu on Fake ID Club

When I used to work at eMpTyVee, Fake ID Club host Sway Calloway would be in the elevator or the commissary 3/4 of the time I entered either of them. It's as if he didn't have an office, was basically homeless within the building and those two locations were his bus station and library, respectively. The other things you need to know about Sway is that he A) knows everyone in the building, B) hugs and says "What's up Ma?" to everyone in the building in possession of a vagina and C) his list of people he is taller than only has two names on it: Vern Troyer and Freddy Adu.

And in case you never saw this when it aired, watch it to the end to see the EXACT moment that The Biggest Midget in the Gamefirst laid down the mack on JoJo; it's like watching American soccer history unfold right before your eyes.

The Sound of America

With the Yanks playing El Salvador in Tampa in a week, the timing of this new all-singing, all-chanting teaser for the One Goal documentary really couldn't be better. And would you look at that? NY supporters are the lead-off position, setting the tone for everyone else. Isn't it funny when art imitates life?*

*That's not a swipe at any other group or me being biased, but I'm sure half of you won't believe me because it's easier to assume I am. Hate me if you want but if you've ever stood beside the NY/North Jersey crew & given your best for the Yanks you know I'm right.


Video: Fox News Live from Red Bull Arena

Please try to ignore the first minute and Shepard Smith's unnecessary snarkyness.

Video: Freddy Adu Scores His Second Goal for Aris

His second goal in a week. Is The Biggest Midget in the Game™ trying to make a late run at a World Cup roster spot? Perhaps. Will it work? Doubtful but keep on pushing cousin.


Video: USMNT Training Talk

I have nothing to say about this because I can't get past how sunny it looks out there. I have a 1.5 feet of snow in my yard right now so forgive me for getting just a little distracted by the thought of green grass, blue skys and warmth...oh sweet warmth!

Ghana x Kenya x Malaysia x Puerto Rico x Detroit

This really is a total and complete "WTF?" story. The inimitable Steven Goff really has the perfect line on this and it really can't be topped so I won't bother to even attempt it. I will however add my own italics for added snarky emphasis.

"So let me get this straight: A World Cup-bound squad is going to travel to Detroit three weeks before the big event being held on its home continent to play in a meaningless tournament on artificial turf against Puerto Rico and then either Kenya or Malaysia?"

And speaking of random, stateside pre-World Cup friendly tournaments here's a rumour so salacious that it must be spelled with that extra "u" in it because it's either unlikely or unbelievable: The U.S. to host Czech Republic and Turkey in May tournament with at least one game played at Red Bull Arena.


And The Winner for Best Docudrama: Soccer Catergory is..

...Rohan Blair-Mangat for A Night at the Emirates. I'm no Gooner --not that there is anything wrong with that-- but this is exquisite stuff that deserves the highest of praise. It also deserves 5 minutes of your time and a repost or Tweet if you have one to spare.

According to the filmmaker "A Night At The Emirates is a unique and immerssive documentary. Shot with a single camera on the 10th February 2010 during the game against Liverpool, the film is about the Arsenal matchday experience from the perspective of the fans." I would agree with that description but would add that it's pretty bad-ass as well; Mr. Blair-Mangat may wish to be modest but I will gladly behave immodestly on his behalf.

Viva Futbol #47

Remember Jet? They were supposed to be big right? They may never reach the "rock institution"-status of their heroes AC/DC but at the very least they have created one of the definitive stripclub/drunk-chick-dancing-a-the-bar anthems of the last 10 years. No small feat.


Need New Music

Bored with everything in iTunes today, resorted to listening to The Strokes' career highpoint. Any suggestions? Nothing to folky but nothing with loads of gun talk either (for being somewhat indiscriminate, I'm kinda picky).


Y-3 x Zidane x Top Gun-Style Guitar Solos

For their Spring/Summer campaign adidas' ultra-chic Y-3 label has teamed up with the one and only Zidane. I need to get my hands on some of this gear; it is what the good people at Smint would call a "freshness explosion".

N*E*R*D Get Tour of Old Trafford, Promptly Clown The F Out

I cribbed this from Futbolr.com and I will be shocked and disappointed if FFSS does not crib it from me. May the circle be unbroken.

Random Red Bull Arena Snow Day Stadium P0rn

Since we're still thigh-deep in "Snowpacalypse 2010" here in the Northeast, I changed up my routine this a.m. and took the overground train (read: stagecoach) in to work and rolled right past a snow-covered Red Bull Arena. The funny thing was is there was a couple of German-speaking tourists sitting directly in front of me looking at the arena and the only thing I understood them say was blah blah blah "Allianz Arena" blah blah blah.

Seriously, they said that. Now I don't know if they were saying it looks like Allianz Arena or if they were reminiscing about how they met in the toilets of Allianz Arena. I just find it interesting/pleasing that an MLS ground is even in the same conversation as a building of that stature.

The Librarian: A Beautiful Game

From the Amazon product description...

Wherever you are on earth, it's only a matter of time before you will come across children playing football. Another five minutes and you will probably find yourself having a ball rolled to your feet as an invitation to join in the game. Across every continent, football is a common language and a culture shared: a joy, a passion, an escape and an affirmation of identity understood and celebrated by children - and their parents - in every country on earth.

For this unique collaborative project, football writer Tom Watt talked to the world's top footballers about growing up and falling in love with the game: Argentina's Lionel Messi and Brazil's Gilberto Silva; England's David James and Scotland's Craig Gordon; Italy's Fabio Cannavaro, Spain's Iker Casillas and France's Franck Ribery; South Africa's Benni McCarthy and Nigeria's Nwankwo Kanu; the USA's Landon Donovan and Shunsuke Nakamura from Japan; and, the world's most famous player, David Beckham.

The player's own words are brought to life with over 130 full colour images which offer rare, emotive and striking insights into childhood all over the world and celebrate football's ability to touch the lives of children - and adults - wherever the beautiful game is played.


Happy Early Valentine's Day From a Bunch Hard Bastards

1. This is genius.
2. Am I the only one who imagines all these hardcases are from the East End (because on TV, in bad films and in poorly-written hooligan-lit memoirs all hardcases are from the East End)?
3. Sadly, I bet this Savage Garden song may actually be the New Zealand World Cup anthem.


Video: CONCACAF Takes a Look at USA Soccer

Do you think they told the honorable Micheal Lewis before he agreed to do this video that the intro was being produced by the same people who do the videos for your job's HR department?

Mrs. Clint Dempsey is Fine


Please rise for the national anthem and Mrs. Bethany Dempsey, wife of Clint. She, along with a couple of foreign WAGS, posed wearing nothing but body paint for SI's most recent swimsuit issue and the results are are just really, really special. I'm going to try and be as respectful as possible about it since it's Deuce's missus and all but on the real I think she's just lapped Heather Mitts as my personal pick for the premier All-American soccer hottie...and she doesn't even play.

Bravo lady, bravo.


NSR: The Heavy "How You Like Me Now?"

Since there ain't a damn thing going on in soccer today I'm just going to give the whole day over to music. Did you see the car commercial during the Super Bowl last night with all the kids dolls/toys going buckwild in Vegas? The soundtrack to that was a song called "How You Like Me Now?" by The Heavy. Basically if you put Fishbone & Ocean Colour Scene in the studio to do a track for a James Brown tribute album produced by Mark Ronson this would be the end product.

Now if that where a real product, I would buy it but since it's not I bought the band's latest album, The House That Dirt Built, instead. You should buy it too. Or not. I really don't give a sh*t just so long as you don't buy the Die Antwoord record then we're cool.

NSR: Delphic "Doubt"

So crazy that bands you've never heard of and that will most likely never release more than two albums are putting out videos this extravagant. To do something like this 10 years ago this would have cost a 1/4 mil and you would have to have been on a major label. And be Bjork.


Video: Jozy Altidore First Goal in England

Go Jozy,
it's your birfday,
start scoring like,
it's your birfday...

H/T to TOW


Video: Portrait of a Young Baller Abroad

From the fringes of the Americans Outsourced to Europe™ file comes Portrait of a Young Baller Abroad. It's a 5+ minute chronicle of 19 year-old New Yorker and former Chicago Fire player Erik Hort's time with Czech giants Sparta Prague (he recently moved to Israeli 1st Division side Hapoel Ra' anana). It's kinda cool but I would be lying if I said I'd much rather see something like this with a player I was actually familiar with like DaMarcus or Big Kenny.


NSR: Snooki Interviews Phoenix

She actually asks if they have Guidos in France. This will either make your day or kill it cold.

Photo of the Day: Crystal Palace Baltimore Stadium Renderings


Y'all seen these renderings of Crystal Palace Baltimore's proposed stadium? It's pretty special. I like that they don't try and do too much but do one simple thing right by making it intimate. With a full roof and three sides of mid-sized stands (as oppossed to four sides of smaller stands) this joint looks as cozy as an evening in front of the fireplace with a Snuggie, a courvoisier & the celebrity crush of your choice. In short, "if they build it, I will come".


Can you really watch FSC on you phone? Would be baller if you could but I suspect this may be window dressing for the advert (although they do have some sort of mobile match tracker I believe). Either way I appreciate the music of weird-ass NYC electrothrashpop outfit HEARTSREVOLUTION being in the commercial. They're kinda whack & bratty but kinda awesome in that they sound like video game music emanating from a Pontiac Firebird driven by the dickhead character from a 1980's teen movie. And for you DJ types out there, the Dubka remix of "Ultraviolence" mixes perfectly with "My Delirium".

Throwback Thursday: Random Miami Fusion Advert

I found this during my ritual morning Youtube trawl. I've never seen it beofre and I can't figure out if it is old or new. Why anyone would be making promo clips for defunct and not-very-loved soccer franchises is beyond me but something about the production style screams Sony Vegas...which certainly wasn't available during the Fusion era. If anyone has an answer to this minor Miami mystery you know where to find me.


The Librarian: The Boys From Little Mexico

Do you need a new book? I don't but I want one (I have 6 footie books right now that I have yet to read but my megalomania will not allow me to pass up even a paperback so I'll probably buy this one anyway). So let's read Amazon has to say about my future purchase:

Woodburn High’s Bulldogs, aka Los Perros, started their 2005 soccer season with eight undocumented students, a midfielder groomed to play for a pro Mexican team, a goalkeeper living in his third foster home, three boys who spoke almost no English, and an Irish-descended white coach desperate to lead all of them to success. Caught between a Mexico they barely remembered and an America they hardly knew, this band of brothers forged an unlikely family.

More than just riveting sports writing, this story is about the fight for the future of the next generation— and a hard, true look at boys dismissed as gangbangers, told to "go home." They played through the slurs of "pickers" from sideline crowds in lily-white Oregon. Off the field, they struggled to stay academically eligible, in a country where just over half of all Hispanic boys graduate.

The Boys from Little Mexico follows one team’s quest for its twentieth-straight state playoff appearance and first state championship. Their wins and losses along the way weave a beautiful and fast-paced narrative of how raw talent, discipline, and passion sometimes aren’t enough to capture the American Dream

A Further Reminder That Ray Hudson is Amazing

Some site called TheMillions.com has a banging 'lil essay on the magnificence of the greatest name in outré announcing, Ray Hudson. It's achingly academic but in the best ways possible; how often do you see Iker Casillas, Tom Cruise and the late Anatole Broyard* in the same composition?

Be sure to read the comments as well as there are some real gems mixed in there amongst the love and hate for ol' Crazy Ray. Though I don't share the same opinion, my personal favorite has to be the notion that someone "would rather listen to Bill Walton and John Madden call the National Spelling Bee than listen to Ray Hudson call La Liga games."

[H/T to Goff Jeezy]

*If you have any interest in the topics of Louisiana Creole history, identity & ethnicity in America and the post-WWII publishing industry I highly recommend the Anatole Broyard biography, One Drop, written by his daughter Bliss Broyard. One of my favorite books of the last few years, it's an enlightening and intimate rumination on the nature of family secrets and self-identification. An altogether fascinating read.


Bill O'Reilly & 'Nem Connect Harkes-Wynalda Drama With Terry-Bridge Affair


For the record the very last website on the planet I would ever expect to see a story paralleling the alleged Harkes-Wynalda affair to the current John Terry-Wayne Bridge scandal is FoxNews.com. That's not a typo; the story is not on FoxSoccer.com but FoxNews.com?! It's just too bizarre...I can't even comment on it any further because I'd hate to get brain matter from my soon-to-explode head all over my fellow passengers on the bus I am currently riding.

Video: One Goal Teaser

Another teaser from the upcoming OneGoal documentary. Between this, the Gringos at the Gate flick and the World Cup 2010 expose Fahrenheit 2010 this year is shaping up to be soccer-doc ChristmaKwanzaHannakuh. Hopefully they all avoid the fate of the Claudia Reyna documentary and see the light of day. Now if you'll excuse me, I have work to do.


Video: Steve Ralston on Coming Home to "The Lou"

I for one was shocking by this whole Steve Ralston to AC St. Louis press conference. I for one was expecting an appearance by Nelly but I guess I will have to wait until their home opener for that fantasy to become reality. Stevie Ralston on the other hand is getting to play ball for a living in his hometown so his childhood dream has now been fulfilled. Congrats duder.

Union CEO Says Man U, Celtic, USMNT Interested in Playing in Philly

Last Wednesday Philadelphia Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz and President Tom Veit addressed members of various Philadelphia-area Chambers of Commerce at the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce. Apparently (and fittingly) it was quite the international affair because the video above was provided by the Chilean-American Chamber of Commerce.

So what's on the video? 8+ minutes of feel-good soccer talk testifying to the awesomeness of having a real, live professional outdoor soccer team in your city. The juicy part though is Nicky Sack dropping names like a snitch drops dimes; according to him a great soccer-summer might become an "OMFG this is just all too cotdamn much and my wallet can't take it"-summer.

You can watch the whole video here but I've cut out what I think is the most interesting above. Enjoy.

If You Are Not Reading These Blogs, You Should Start

One of the rules of the streets is that game has got to recognize game. It doesn't matter if it's 125th St., Crenshaw and Blogger Ave., when somebody is doing it & doing it & doing it well you have to raise your chin and your glass to them when you see them in the club. So with that in mind TOR would like to nod at The Fake Sigi Schmid Blog and the newly-Yahoo!fied Dirty Tackle. One of them doesn't like me, which I am used to (my own father actually once tried to disown me in court to get out of paying child support so it's nothing new, but it still stings a little), but I like what the both of them are doing. Get familiar if you aren't already.

Chester Stadium to be PPL Powered?


PPL power in Pennsylvania? Perhaps. Sports Business Journal's Tripp Mickle says a $20m, 10-year deal is on the table for naming rights to the Union's new stadium in under construction in Chester, PA. That's not a bad chunk of change for Philly to get chipped off with; hell, under the current salary cap of $2.3m that damn-near covers your entire payroll for players (DP's excluded of course).

Personally I hope this happens just so I have another stadium to refer to by it's initials like the HDC, PHP, RBA and BMO. What can I say, I love acronyms.