Skills-Show: Volume 46

Check out the latest from Junior Messi, a new TOR mixtape favorite. Lots of proper naughtiness going on in this one; get an eyeful, get hyped, then get out and play!

LD Channels His Inner Neo While Shilling For Childrens Book

You know what makes this totally non-believable? Not LD's Matrix-like balcony jumps and "bullet time" kicks but the fact that a (presumably) American, male tween is reading a book in public. C'mon son, at least make it plausible by having the book be on an iPad or something electronic.


Total Skills: 2010 World Cup Edition

Probably one of the best mixtapes I've seen since the World Cup...and it's all about the World Cup. It's a little long but it's hella good so it kind of gets away with dragging on a bit.


VIDEO: Tommy Smyth's Faux-Ray Hudson Mixtape

You know what I want for Christmas next year? One game, just one single game, called by both Ray Hudson & Tommy Smyth. Can you imagine the incomprehensibly crazy sh*t that would fall out of their respective Olde English & Irish mouths? It would be like watching a conversion between someone who speaks in tongues and someone who uses Pig Latin exclusively.

ESPN Looks Back on the Year That Was for U.S. Soccer

Personally, I think 2010 was kind of blah. We made the World Cup but we didn't exactly kill it once we got there. And we didn't win the 2022 bid either but it's probably not the U.S. group's fault. But hey, we tried the best we could...and if you know your Radiohead catalog "the best you can is good enough".

Wayne's Brother to Bring That Famous Rooney Charm to the 2011 Combine


So it looks like Wayne Rooney's kid brother is going to be a part of the 2011 MLS Combine and will be available for selection in the upcoming SuperDraft. Which is great. Not because I've seen him play and think he's the second coming of his talented-but-chavtastic brother but because his talented-but-chavtastic brother owns a house in Florida and I'm hoping for a post-Combine afterparty at Shrek's place. It would be awesome...so long as Graham doesn't show up. What can I say, I'm shallow like that.


Fire Fans Should Probably Exstinguish Any Flames That Remain for Freddie Ljungberg


For any young players out there who may happen upon this post, this is how you show up in a new city where you are rumored to be this close to signing with one of its most storied teams: wearing fur and a hat with the number "69" on it while talking about debuting against your future side's most-hated rival. Screw a press conference, that is how you let 'em know you are down for whatever from the jump.


Happy Holidays Y'all

Why am I posting Quaaludes jams? Because it's Chrimbo and I'm chillin'...so don't expect much out of me for the next few days.Not because I'm on 'ludes or any other drugs, but just because it's friends and family time. Enjoy yourselves kids, talk to you soon.


Landon Donovan is Outside and Ready for His Closeup

When I think of Outside Magazine I think of TIAS because Spangler is sooooo the target demo for that 'zine: youngish, athletic, outdoorsy, childless and possessing a decent amount of disposable income (see the "childless" portion of the sentence). Other than that I usually don't think of soccer being in the mag let alone on the cover of it.

But there's Landon Donovan anyway, semi-shirtless and all the way live. I think this is what people mean when they talk about a player being able to "transcend" and crossover out of the soccer media ghetto. Good thing Landon had Andrew Shue to break the glass ceiling all those years ago, otherwise we may never have had this moment.

NSR: Chapel Club "All The Eastern Girls"

If you hate this song and are offended by my inclusion of it in today's programming send all complaints to Kevin FFSS. It's his fault that I am stuck on this like a Jabulani on Messi's right foot. But if you you find that you like it as much as I do then I will happily take the praise. See how blogging works?

How Is It That Buddle & Findley Are Two of the Most-Talked About Transfer Window Targets in England?


So in the past two weeks Robbie Findley and Edson Buddle have been linked to every English side that is not part of "the Big Four" or owned by an American. According to various U.K. media outlets (which by nature are very* trustworthy) these two have Everton, Birmingham City, Wolverhampton, Stoke City, Nottingham Forest, and Bolton all up on their collective jock right now. Seriously y'all, it's crazy.

Edson I can see, Robbie not as much. But hey out of contract strikers who are under 30 and have World Cup experience aren't too easy to come by so maybe I shouldn't be so shocked that mid-to-lower tier English clubs would want to take a chance on the likes of these two. If you're trying to ball on a budget you could certainly do worse than a player who scored 17 goals in 2010 and a player who...um...Robbie Findley is fast, isn't he?

*The italics denote sarcasm.


Deja Vu & Other Famous French Things


Have we seen this movie before? The one where a French International who plies his trade a one of the world's top clubs is rumored to join MLS for a stateside farewell tour? Oh wait this flick is different though because it's the player's brother not the player who's fanning the flames instead.

I for one wouldn't be shocked or mad to see Nico The Nose doing his thing over here. I would hope it could be a little sooner than the summer of 2012 but it is what it is. What I do find shocking is that A) people still want to interview Claude Anelka and B) there is a website called MLS-News.fr. Are we the Jerry Lewis, Josephine Baker and Pete Doherty (gasp!) of American sports now?


Viva Futbol #65

Alarazboy doing his usual thing with an assist from big Snoop Dogg. Fire!

Becks Gets Award, Gets All Teary, Gets to Talking About Another Loan

It must be nice to be David Beckham. Dude can get on stage and receive a major award from Sir Bobby Charlton with his outlandishly attractive family filling the front row and damn near cry and no one's going to say sh*t. Or at least I won't say say sh*t because I'm an artist cotdamnit, and I know what it's like to be all sensitive and whatnot. So I honestly can't hate on him for his lip-trembling.

Now this "fingers-crossed" for another loan stuff is another matter entirely. It just seems like playing for England is his number one priority (again) and that making statements like these are just his version of letting the Galaxy faithful down easily. I mean people just got over being pissed off about his last stint away. And didn't he get jacked up for 9+ months because of his last loan?

Hopefully if he didn't learn his lesson --that no matter how fit he is he's a 35 year-old man and needs to take care of his body-- the Galaxy learned theirs.


VIDEO: The Stadia of the 2011 Gold Cup

Appropriately enough this clip starts out with Mexico playing in a packed Cowboys Stadium; $5 and Jack Warner's glasses says that is exactly how the 2011 Gold Cup will start as well.

Chicago Fire Mascot Makes It Official: EVERYBODY Can & Will Teach You How to Dougie

Personally I never thought Sparky was a 'hood hound. I always thought of him as one of those sweet, harmless dogs like you see in kids movies. The kind that ride on firetrucks and sleep in your child's bed at night.

But now that he's dancing on camera to a song about how "all da bitches" love him and he just needs one of them to "back it up and dump it" I'm looking at him totally differently. For real y'all, this is exactly like the moment when you found out Wayne Brady was a thug.

The Other Side of the (Re-Entry Draft) Game


If you didn't read it yesterday I implore you to check out this post from Dunny over at TOW. As a former MLS player he's seen the other side of the trade-and-deal game, the side that we the fans do not see. Y'know, the side where you mess around and buy a house then get a phone call saying you've been traded to Dallas so pack your sh*t. If ever there was a post needed "MLS Real Talk" tag this is it.


Fahrenheit 2010 Gets Name Change, HULU Release

Back in October '09 we talked about the trailer for World Cup expose film Fahrenheit 2010 and spent the next year wondering when the hell it would be released. Apparently it came out but under a different name (which is great way to get people to see your movie) and is now available in its nearly 120-minute entirety on HULU. The 2010 World Cup may have passed but given the latest allegations against Sepp & Co. it should still contain more than a smidgen of relevance.

NSR: Toro Y Moi "Still Sound"

This might be Toro y Moi's (aka South Carolinian Chaz Bundick) best sh*t yet. Less 'chillwave-y', more Whitest Boy Alive it's got some hips to go along with his signature dreamy vocals & airy atmosphere this time around and it's refreshing; shows progression without straying so far from the template that he loses the listener.

In 5 years time I think he'll still be relevant while current contemporary Neon Indian will be nothing but the name of shot consumed at crap college bars by broke & boring undergrads.

Sepp Blatter is Crazy Y'all


Sepp Blatter is crazy and not just because John Ameachi says so. He's crazy for requesting that homosexualists refrain from sex during the Qatar World Cup because, let's be real here, it doesn't matter if you are gay or straight: if you are paying these prices for a hotel room you are damn sure going to try to make out with somebody in it. End. Of.

The Second Coming of Ken Horowitz


Once upon a time there was a guy in South Florida who wanted a soccer team, so he bought one. His name was Ken Horowitz and he was as shady as a South Beach palm. His team was the Miami Fusion and we all know how that went.

Today there is another guy in South Florida who wanted a soccer team, so he bought one. His name is Dan Borislaw and he owns Magic Jack, a product you may know from its incessant late-night commercials. He wants his newly-acquired Washington Freedom to split games between Maryland & South Florida, remove any civic affiliation from the name and call it MagicTalk " SC or FC or something like that."

I'm not a follower of WPS but this is just sad stuff for the league. On the plus side though it looks like you'll finally get your top-level soccer team Miami Ultras (but for how long who knows).


The Following Song Will be Banned From American Airwaves on Feb. 9th

It's on y'all: the long-awaited (not really) U.S. v. Egypt Confederations Cup rematch in Cairo February 9th. Expect another young American squad and 1000 stories warning of the potential for something bad to happen...like shark attacks, forced-looking pictures of the Yanks out front the pyramids and early-80's electro jams on blast!


VIDEO: That Stuart Holden Goal

Stu Holden's 88th minute game-winner for Bolton over Blackburn. Go on son.


Kyle Martino x Eva Amurri: Wifed Up


Massive, Hollywood-sized congratulations go out tonight to MLS alum Kyle Martino and his beautiful, baller of a girlfriend Eva Amurri. The two announced their engagement tonight and I couldn't be happier for them as they seem like cool people and if they reproduce we may finally get the good-looking, insanely-talented American Beckham that we've all been waiting for (whether we're prepared to admit it or not). It's a win-win for all involved.

The only remaining question is how much will Soccer America pay for the exclusive rights to the wedding photos. If Nicole Ritchie & Joel "I used to be in Good Charlotte" Madden can get 100K surely these two deserve to get paid. Just sayin'.


And Now a Message from Ghostface KIllah Regarding the Dempsey to Liverpool Rumors


That sign was ghostwritten by Mark Hughes. So y'all can just stop with the sacrilege...Deuce remains SW6 property for the foreseeable future.


NSR: Massive Attack "Atlas Air"

I'm scared and you should be too. DO NOT watch this while under the influence; you'll end up in Debo's pigeon coop sweating like a slave and the only one that will be able to get you out will be your momma.

Daniel Hernandez: Jodeci Fan


Here's the thing y'all didn't know about Daniel Hernandez: in addition to being a one-time David Beckham choking victim dude is a lover and has now gone on record as such by publicly declaring his affinity for early-90's knicker-melters Jodeci. I can't say I'm surprised at this because I remember when he was a Metro back in the day and he rocked them cornrows that made him look like a ghetto Ben Affleck. I liked that look...dude should bring it back.

Thankfully, Daniel's career trajectory has eclipsed that of K-Ci, JoJo and DeVante Swing who, as of late, are more known for passing out on-stage in Australia than for topping the charts in America. Keep freakin' my dude.


Who Wants to Hear a Smoothed Out Chivas USA Posse Cut?


You do, that's who. You want to hear Michael Lahoud ft. Chukwudi Chijindu's "Living The Life", a smoothed-out hip-hop/R&B hybrid that it just crying out for a video shot on a boat featuring the boys (boyz?) adorned in ample amounts of white linen, bikini-clad Chiva Girls and a handful of live goats rocking Kardashian-thick dookie ropes. It would be ridiculous.

The cherry on top would be an ending shot of Justin Braun aka J Money aka Daddy* "repping the 801, Salt Lake City" from the bow of the boat, arms outstretched with an unbuttoned shirt flowing in the breeze and a bottle of Nuvo in one hand as he delivers his closing lines. Magic. Somebody get Hype Williams on the phone and make this happen.

Bonus cut: the making of "Living the Life."

*Yes, he calls himself "Daddy" on the track. Riot Squad, do your worst.

The Prize: Chasing The Dream

Description from the official website:

Football. It’s the game that gives birth to dreams worldwide. Follow Lucio, Kaka, Oscar Ewolo, Nicola Legrottaglie, Marcos Senna and Cyrille Domoraud as they follow the ball to the highest levels — and discover that the real prize is not found so much in a ball, or a match, or even the sport itself...it’s found in a person.

P.S. This video is long as hell. Make sure your boss is safely ensconced in his or her office before you press "Play."

New Dynamo Kit x Brad Davis Smiling in a Dust Bin


So now that it's out officially, what do y'all think of the new Dynamo kit? I'm on the fence (shocker) because I'm still not convinced that a collar = professionalism; my old building superintendent in Jersey City wore a collar but also drank $3 vodka in the laundry room down in the basement. Mind you his shirt also had his name on the front instead of the back so maybe that's the difference.

Regardless of what I think though I'm just stoked that this photo was taken because I now have an image to use on the off chance that Brad Davis gets cut, traded or otherwise jettisoned from Houston. Expect to see this one again people.

It's All Gone Wong Wong


For y'all that like to ball, check out WongWong.com; they've got some really unique, damn-near bespoke soccer-inspired fashion that you may or may not feel compelled to cop. They also run one of the most tasteful soccer blogs ever created by human beings and not by a secret, sentient computer version of MOMA. It's not for everybody but if you are looking for something stylish and different that still says "I spend my Saturday's singing obscenities in public" this is your sh*t.

Bonus track: a 'lil something yours truly did for the day job on Wong Wong founder Stephen Wong.

Morning Show Features Hot, New England Stadium Talk

Should the Rev's local Fox affiliate be known as "Boston FOX25: our source for not-quite-breaking-but-still-quite-interesting New England Revolution news"? I think so but I'm kinda random like that. It also seems random that the Revs are on TV at this point in the off-season but hey, we take what we can get.

Still though you have to give FOX credit for giving 8+ minutes of air time to an MLS club; there's not a lot, if any, teams that have been the recipient of that kind of broadcast TV love in recent memory.


USL Pro No-No


Why? Why, why, why USL Pro? Why talk all this noise about regionalizing your league and cutting costs and yadda yadda yadda when you are just going to go and put a club out on its own out west? And in LA? Are you serious? The one market in America with two MLS teams? Y'all may as well try and open up an all-Schlitz pub in Dublin or something equally unlikely to be a success. Lawd have mercy...what will they think of next?


MLS Cup 2010: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Found among the usual Monday morning video-trawl rabble: video footage from DeRo's MLS Cup 2010 after party at Toronto's Tryst nightclub. Except it's really footage from the portion of the party while the game is still going on so it isn't really popping off just yet. But at least you can see what the room was like which should aid you in forming a mental picture of all manner of debauchery that may or may not have taken place in the club later on. Or in Dwayne DeRosario's white limousine.


NSR: The Streets "Trust Me"

This is the best 2:15 seconds I've had all day; it just screams Friday night good vibes and it's as good as "Too Numb" but far less doomy. Shame that this is going to be Mikey Streets' last record...such a unique artist.

Miami Just Making Up MLS Stadium Ideas Now


Although I'm personally not on board with the idea of a MLS redux in Miami, I have to give credit to those South Floridians who are trying to keep the flame of hope alive because those guys will not give it up. But judging by the one of the latest ideas to surface they have reached the creatively-desperate stage of their quest because someone down there is talking about turning the disused aquatic stadium pictured above into this.

Check out the Football in Miami & Beyond blog for more details on this interesting, yet flawed idea (the flaw is not the notion of a floating stadium, the flaw is the notion that a city in Florida will turn out for a sport that is not college football). Hate on me if you want but I'm just not convinced that the Sunshine State is a good market for any sport that is not Florida St. or U. of Florida football.

VIDEO: Flyover of Fly-Assed Vancouver MLS Stadia

Oh to be a modern-day MLS expansion club. You get to build on the back of the achievements of the teams who came before you and you get to keep your original name -no weird "Your name is Toby*"-period a la the San Jose Clash. You also get fresh-to-death temporary stadiums built for you to tide you over until the renovations on your downtown enormodome are completed. My how things have changed from the days of Lockhart Stadium and the Fusion expansion.

*You may need to watch Roots to get that.


NSR: Beats, Rhymes & Fights

Beats, Rhymes & Fights: A Tribe Called Quest Documentary is a film about (for my money) the Greatest Hip-Hop Act Ever in the History of Recorded Music™. It is directed by Micheal Rappaport, who you may know from the Chappelle's Show "Pop Copy" skit and is slated to debut at the upcoming Sundance music festival. Anybody got the hook up on a review copy (I can't go to Utah right now, I got warrants)?

Your 2010 Buzzband of the Year: MLS


Not content to make random appearances on the Red Bull Arena touchline --which is also Chris Tomson of Vampire Weekend's second home-- Phoenix are now sporting RSL kits on tour...and somehow still managing to look French.

Obviously this is all a precursor to the two bands putting out a split 7" on 4AD to be sold exclusively at the alleged Coldplay show at Red Bull Arena where they will obviously serve as the opening acts*. Meanwhile in Chicago, Carles has turned his attention from "H8ing" Qatar to getting a press credential for Hipster Runoff at Toyota Park and Pitchfork has given this year's MLS Cup a 4.5.

*Not really.
[H/T to Nicky R. for the photo.]

How Good is the Qatari National Team?

This good. Be scared future Group Stage foes, these boys are special.

Time to Move On


Oh well, we tried. But in the end the promise of outdoor, air-conditioned stadiums --which in all honesty sounds like the embodiment of the American dream-- and the least-boozy World Cup in history won out. It's a shame but that's just the way the funk swings sometimes. But instead of dreaming of what could have been I shall spend my time wondering what could be.

Y'know things like "how can I make terrace anthems out of the Isley Brothers' "Between the Sheets/Shiekhs" and Echo & The Bunnymen's "The Cutter/Qatar"? Or how can I find a good kidney broker...because I am going to have to sell one to afford the plane fare & hotel bill. And how long until some off-putting cable news network or tabloid makes some despicable generalization and throws up a thinly-veiled "The Terrorists Have Won" headline?

It's not all bad though.With 10 of the 12 World Cup stadiums slated to be within 20 miles of each other it's a logistical dream once you get on the ground. No 5-hour bus rides into the hinterland of the country for one game and no playing musical hotel rooms to follow your team. Sorry, but you have to love that. And I hear the beaches are nice if you are the tanning type. And if you aren't the tanning type too bad because you are are going to burn to death in that country regardless of if you go to the beach or not.

Somewhere in Zurich, Sepp Blatter is rocking the sh*t out of Busta Rhymes' "Arab Money."


I Will Never Wear These Shoes But the Ad is Awesome

Welcome to America, Li-Ning. Nice touch using Portland (U.S. home of Nike & Adidas) for the location and Ashy Larry & that one dude from 40 year-old Virgin in your "coming out" advert. Your shoes may be ugly as hell but at least you have some balls.