The Art of Futbol

If only yesterday's iteration of El Clasico were as nice to watch as this animation of Barca's 5-0 lashing of Real Madrid earlier in the season. Engrossing stuff.

A Special "Morning After" Dedication to RSL

Look at it this way guys: even Prince had to end the Purple Rain Tour some time.


Dempsey Drops a Deuce on Bolton

Give it up to Fulham's new EPL-era scoring leader. 1, 2 oh my god.

RSL Without Beckerman Tonight. Are You Scared?


I'm sure I'm supposed to be saying something grand and epic about RSL's massive match tonight but I kinda feel like it's all been said already so why write something fro the sake of it? I will say though that the absence of The Great Unwashed™ due to yellow card accumulation has the potential to open the door for Monterrey.

No offense to Ned Grabavoy or whoever takes his place in the middle but the Morales-Beckerman tandem is arguably the best central midfield combo in the league right now and their chemistry is the bedrock on which this team is built. I know Kreis doesn't have a choice but this is like introducing a new drummer to the bass player during soundcheck just before you record a live album at the Hollywood Bowl; you gotta do what you gotta do but there potential for a rhythmic disaster to be be seen by all and for eternity.


Mike Petke's Talking Trash and Kicking Ass Mixtape

Mike Petke: Instigator. Because "Mike Petke: Sh*t-disturbing bad-ass" is just too much.

At Home With Holden

Stuart Holden has a broken leg but what's your excuse sitting around playing FIFA11 all day?

Agudelo & Bunbury Give MLS Its "Twilight" Moment


ZOMFG Teal Bunbury and Juan Agudelo have a Twitter beef! So awesome. Sure it's not a "somebody's going to end up shot on the Las Vegas strip"-beef (these are American soccer players after all) but I'll take it since I am all for the Twilightification* of MLS.

Seriously, if this thing plays out right it could be a merchandising boon for both parties. I want to see Team Bunbury-branded, K.C.-style BBQ sauce. I want to see Team Agudelo sweatbands in my local adidas store. I want Teal dropping a diss verse on the next Drake remix. I want to see Juan score then get a yellow card against K.C. this Saturday for lifting his jersey to reveal a shirt with a picture of Teal's face with a line through it a la the Ghostbusters logo.

I'm telling you this could be big, "straight-to-DVD Agudelo vs. Bunbury movie sold exclusively at Hot Topic"-big.

*Not a real word.


Kyle Beckerman Wears Massive Tam, Is More Irie Than You

Who wants a piece of The Great Unwashed's™ birfday Rasta cake?! (cue airhorn) I do. You know why? Because fat guys love cake, especially when there's ice cream on the side.

Did You Know Chris Rolfe Still Plays Soccer?

Nice work by Chris Rolfe over the weekend in Denmark. I'd place it right up there with his "mythical" golazo against A.C. Milan back in the day. I'd actually forgotten that he still played because the Danish League may as well be the Martian Premiership. Good to know he's still alive.

Beckham Still Talking About Taking a Seat at the Owners Table

In case you missed it over the weekend, FOX Soccer --they're moving away from the whole "FSC" thing-- dropped one of the lengthiest interviews with Becks that we've seen in a while. Or at least one of the lengthiest interviews that didn't take place on the couch of a late-night talk show.

I'm fascinated with his continued talk of owning a club after he retires. Outside of New York and Miami I can't imagine where he would set up shop; no offense to the good people of Atlanta, Detroit, San Diego or North Carolina but I just can't see him going anywhere that doesn't have some air of superficial glamor. I know it's all about business (unfortunately) but can you really see him reviving the Tulsa Roughnecks or some sh*t like that?

Actually now that I think about it there is one old NASL market I could see him dropping paper on. It's probably a long shot but sweet Lord in heaven it would be one hell of a road trip.


Viva Futbol #71

Alarazboy x Lupe Fiasco: aside from the Seaside Heights-ass hook, it's a match made in footie mixtape heaven.


Photo of the Day: The Frenchman & The Mayor


I know the Cosmos think they run New York but who have they got sitting courtside at the Knicks game with Bloomberg? And don't tell me Pele. I want a player, not staff.


NSR: Friendly Fires "Live Those Days Tonight"

I mentioned this track a while back but now there is a video to give context to the lyrics so it deserves a rewind. Actually the video itself is a rewind back to the early days of rave and for an olde, reformed ravehead like me it's a trip. Can't believe some of the crap clothes and even worse dances we used to rock. F*** me.

Happy Earth Day Y'all


It's Earth Day. Treat yourself right with soft-assed T-shirt from Bumpy Pitch.

Titi Talks American Fans in Dirty Red Bull Arena

Two things tell you that this interview was filmed in pre-season. The first is that the pitch at Red Bull Arena looks like it is ready for tractor pull. The second is that, following the "incident" in the San Jose game last week, there is NO WAY his answer about his relationship with the fans would be so bland.

5 (Count 'em, 5!) Burning Questions

Run-DMB back to MLS? This is the first I'm hearing of it. Did ESPN just make this up to have a 5th question?


This Just Happened


D.C. v. New York: The Beef Is Back!

Yes, yes y'all! The original MLS big beef is back tonight and I for one couldn't be more stoked about it. With all due respect to the Trillium Cup-ers, the LA derby duo and the Rocky Mountain Cup crew this is the O.G. must-see game. Seriously, there is more hate going on between these two towns than in the entire collected works of Clayton Bigsby. Can't. Wait.

Just Because: Talking Feilhaber with Kyle The Curls

Kyle "The Curls" McCarthy on New England's acquisition of Benny Feilhaber.

Today in Celebrity Glory-Seeking


The Union have claimed one of Philadelphia's favorite sons, ?uestlove from The Roots, as one of their own today by lacing him with the custom kit. If this new relationship ends in the annual Roots picnic being staged at PPL Park I will call it a success. But as Chad Ochocino's closet full of custom kits from the Crew, D.C. United and Sporting K.C. has shown us gifts don't secure celebrity loyalty.

And can't NY make a claim to him as well? Dude stays in the city now that he's on Jimmy Fallon everyday.

Speaking on NY there's a celebrity soccer match at Chelsea Piers on Saturday. It features everyone from John McEnroe to John O'Brien, Ethan Hawke to Ethan Zohn and is in conjunction with the Tribeca Film Festival. If you are in town and down to gawk at Gael Garcia Bernal and Cobi Jones you should come through.


BTW Y'all..

...I'm on the birthday tip right now. Talk amongst yourselves.


VIDEO: Street Soccer New York Trailer

For a minute I thought NYC street soccer was finally going to get the And1 Mixtape Tour treatment. But then I Googled this film and found out it was about street soccer aka homeless soccer not playing soccer in the actual street. Still good stuff though, check 'em out on the interwebs if feeling inspired is your cup of tea.


NSR: Jamaica "Short and Entertaining"

Ever wonder what Phoenix would sound like if they were produced by Justice, engineered by Daft Punk and dressed like the dirty heshers that hung out in the off-campus parking lot in highschool? No? Too bad because Jamaica actually DO sound like Phoenix, WERE produced by Xavier from Justice AND used Daft Punk's engineer on their debut album.

I totally forgot about these guys but they played 3 shows in the city this weekend and it kind of reminded me how awesome uber-French pop music with Camaro-rock & coke-house tendencies can be. Get familiar (if you're not already) and catch them live before they f*** off back to France.

Oh and BTW that's Iggor Cavalera from Sepultura on drums but just just for the video. Weird, right?

VIDEO: LIVESTRONG Sporting Park Peek

Our man Beans from TOW recently took a walk through LIVESTRONG Sporting Park with Teal Boon Boo Ree. Place is coming together, right? Loving the roof; after staying dry during the monsoon at the RBNY game this Saturday I feel like they're the move that pushes your stadium from Kip Winger to Kanye West on the ballin' outta control scale. Nothing says "luxurious soccer experience" like defying the elements.

VIDEO: Soccer Shrines Trailer

Love the concept behind this upcoming documentary/travel series on the world's great stadia for GolTV. Somehow, I doubt that Michigan, Ohio State or Penn State's stadiums will be included.

Hey Look, Vancouver has Supporters Too

There's been loads of talk about the Cascadia clubs and their supporters this season but I feel like one thing has been conspicuously absent: Vancouver supporters? Those guys get ZERO attention...and when they do it's for the wrong reasons. But apparently they've gone the route of a half-dozen or so small groups instead of one large mass so maybe that's the reason for the low visibility.

So in lieu of the love afforded their counterparts in Northwest from the media, the 'Caps have taken it upon themselves to talk up their supporters. I would like to make a joke here but nothing comes to mind. Feel free to make your own.


Oh Snap! Feilhaber Signs with MLS!

Benny is coming to MLS for the first time and I for one am excited, so much so I could sing. But our Benny does it so much better so I'll leave it to him. Take it away cousin...

Last Night's Party: Portland v. Chicago

Get Microsoft Silverlight

I'll leave the deep & heavy talk about the Timbers debut last night to someone else (who will probably utilize the overused word "historic" in their piece) today because there is plenty to go around but can I just say one thing using another overused word? Yes? Good. Here goes.

I know everyone throws the "D" word around alot in U.S. soccer circles, ("Miami deserves an MLS team", "Qwest Field needs to have grass, the fans deserve better", "Bring back the Cosmos, New York deserves a team in the 5 boroughs") but last night was awesome, even as a neutral, because damn it all Portland DESERVED it. Those fans treated their team like a Ferrari even when it was Ford Focus; the fact that the club was a "minor league" team in USL really seemed to matter little.

Just for the sake of very simple comparison look at Seattle's numbers from 2001-2008, the years they played in the USL/A-League alongside Timbers, then look at Portland's numbers. The Timbers' lowest yearly average is higher than Seattle best year. Hell, in 2009 they only drew 100 fewer bodies on average to games than FC Dallas and in 2010 they outdrew them by 110.

I'm not saying it makes the Oregon folks better than the Washington or Texas folks or anyone else, I'm just saying that the people in PDX have been showing up for years and last night got was they deserved for all their lust for soccer.

They got a night in the spotlight. They got a win in their first MLS home game. They got America (and the world) talking about them. And they finally got a return to this country's top flight.

I'd like to say that you really can't hate on that as an American soccer fan but we all know that's not the case. Portland has been taking its knocks for years, mostly from Seattle and Vancouver, but now the "Portland is full of meth & hippies" comments will come from far and wide.

Oh well, I'm sure they can handle it. Welcome to the bigtime boys.


Manic x Cosmos Mixtape


Ringleaders FC --a Quebec-based soccer site for tasteful ballers such as yourself-- recently stumbled upon an old NASL program for a match featuring the Montreal Manic and the New York Cosmos and decided to share some of the photos held within.

Naturally such a discovery calls for a mixtape in it's honor. Compiled by Montreal DJ Patrik_Eks, Manic vs. Cosmos features joints by Detroit's Claude VonStroke, New York deep house fixture Osunlade and indie-electronic here/villain of the moment James Blake. You should cop it. Or not. It's really up to you.

VIDEO: Becks Talking Refs in Canuckistan Last Night

"I'll probably get in trouble but it's gone on too long."

Game Trailers Are the New Black

Seems these days like every match isn't a big match unless it has a high-production value trailer to go along with it. I get it for rivalry games or matches with big, emotional sentiment for the fans attached to it. But friendlies? C'mon now.

I say that but on the other hand you have to promote games if you want asses in seats...so you may as well do it in style.


VIDEO: Dallas Cup Gets Done Up

Good lord. Nike has done the impossible, which according to adidas "is nothing", and actually got me hyped-up for a youth soccer (shudder) tournament. Incredible. Is there anything in soccer that they can't make sexxxy? Oh wait, I forgot about last year's Air Maxs...those sh*ts were dreadful.

Things I Meant To Address Yesterday But Didn't Pt. 3: RSL & This Whole Twitter Thing

Apparently there is a "Twitter craze" in Salt Lake City and RSL are the "kings" of it. Also, Andy Williams is a "Master Tweeter." Or is he a "mastertweeter?"*

*Mastertweeter: noun; someone who retweets themself on Twitter.

NSR: Toro Y Moi Live

A little lunchtime luxury: South Carolina's Toro Y Moi live in the ATL. This is simultaneously the most & least Southern thing you'll see on TOR this week. That is until I get drunk on mint juleps late one night and start twanging about the good ol' days of the Southwest Conference...but that's an entirely different blog all together.

Things I Meant To Address Yesterday But Didn't Pt.2: JELD-WEN Unveiled

So after months of renovation work --which followed months of civic debate-- The Stadium Formerly Known as PGE Park™ is ready to open for business tomorrow. I visited the newly macked-out stadium last month and even in an unfinished state the place was pretty dope. Also dope is the fact that a baseball stadium has become a full-time soccer stadium; take that Jim Rome, SportsCenter and assorted talk radio shows hosted by the soccerphobic.

If you want a deeper dive than the video above --or this video-- can offer, take a trip to Dropping Timber where Paul Sepp has more Timbers Media Day articles, videos and photos than I am prepared to post at this time for fear of being called a "Timber Lover" again (not that there is anything wrong with that).

Out of curiosity, where would you place JELD-WEN Field on the MLS Stadia scale? I'd like to put it in the top five for reasons of location, unique layout and noise-capturing roof but the turf thing is a big bummer. What do ya'll think?

Things I Meant To Address Yesterday But Didn't Pt.1: Snoop, Becks & Babies


Do babies really need shoes, let alone "house shoes"? And should they need such an item, do they need designer "house shoes"? And should said designer footwear be created by the famed "house shoe" enthusiast Snoop Dogg and Brand Beckham?

Personally I think "why not?" People have been dropping cash on $100 Baby Jordans for years even though their kids can't walk, let alone dunk in them. So why not let your babies lay in the cut while rocking the random product of a relationship cemented over chicken & waffles.


Viva Futbol #70

Alazaboy runs the mixtape game; I'm officially crowning his ass now.


NSR: Kings of Leon's Talihina Sky (NSFW)

I didn't feel the latest KoL record like I felt Only By the Night but I'll probably check out their documentary at Tribeca Film Fest later in the month. In lieu of any footie flicks this year a good rock-doc should fill the void nicely. Especially if it has some good, ol' fashioned Pentacostal holleration in there; nothing says "wrong side of the tracks"-rock like messed up Southern preacher's kids.

Video: Total Skills Volume 38

After the last mixtape I posted someone asked me if I knew of "any good footy vids without raps about titties, partying, etc?" Sadly for America's youth they are in short supply but today a tamed tape has magically appeared like some kind of Loch Ness Unicorn. So here you go (you're welcome).

The Backflip PK Rant

Did you see this clip that's going around of the kid who does the backflip PK? It's real special. Because he pulled it off everybody thinks this is cool but we all know that if he would have missed he would have been the subject of 263 "fail" posts.

BTW have I mentioned how over the whole "fail" phenomenon I am? It's dated, lazy, unoriginal and I just can't deal with it anymore. At this point it is the meme equivalent of doing the Budweiser "whaazuuuuuup!"

So while I'm whinging and moaning this a.m. here are a few other things that I just can't handle any more.

-Attendance jokes, particularly on Twitter: if you think we ALL don't know which teams have thin crowds, and that the reasons for this can be explained in 140 characters or less you need to stop reading this blog right now and call the phone number listed on this page. The ironic thing is that the same fan who calls out another club's attendance woes will go all bristly the second any Jim Rome clone makes mention of it. This is like badmouthing your mother then wanting to fight because someone just said "your momma's so fat she has to iron her clothes in the driveway."

-Calling games between teams not located in the same city "derbies": If the two teams involved are not part of the same Nielsen Ratings DMA it is not a derby.

-Open letters: If you really want a certain person or entity to hear what you have to say on a particular topic you really should contact them and not everyone else. Google is amazing for tracking people & organizations down and most of the time they will appreciate you reaching out to them rather than blowing them out on the internet. Or don't. But just be warned that when you write an open letter you look like the guy who rants at town hall meetings or his niche blog.

-Me: I need to lose some weight, maybe get my teeth fixed. And I should stop being miserable all the damn time. Remember back when TOR first started? Sh*t was all light and jokey and happy. Hell, I think I was happy then. WTF happened? Life.

-Trying to be hard at a soccer game in North America: Why are you trying to be hard at the stadium on Saturday evening when you were being Mr. Mom and watching Nick Jr. on Saturday morning? Do you realize that the American soccer fan has the highest median income of fans of any team sport in the country? Do you know that most of the players on the field went to college, many on only partial scholarships so they still had to actually have some money to pay for school and be smart enough to actually graduate on merit, not star athlete status. AND despite what songs we may sing at each other ALL of our parking lots are full of SUV's because in North America the beautiful game is "the bourgie-ful game." Sh*t you probably paid for your ticket & Fred Perry attire with a credit card...how the hell is being bank-approved worthy of hard man status*? Just saying.

-Friend requests from people I do not know: If we've never met, emailed, swapped comments or tweets why should we be Facebook friends? And why would you send me a friend request without a note explaining who you are if I don't know you? And if I don't know you why would you want to see pictures of my kids or my vacation? That's weird, right?

-People who are offended by this post: Why is everything about you all the time? Ugh. It's so exhausting.

*Have you seen this Tipped Pique Cardigan from Fred Perry? So bourgie, so hard, so dope, so me.


Fight For Your Fight Revisited (NSFW)

Below is the full cast for the upcoming Beastie Boys short-film Fight for Your Right - Revisited. It's pretty much insane and features every American comedy star that's made you laugh in the last 10 years aside from Aziz Ansari & Chris Rock. It also, inexplicably, features Mike Mills from R.E.M.

Fight for Your Right - Revisted cast:

Jack Black
Will Ferrell
John C. Reilly
Seth Rogen
Elijah Wood
Danny McBride
Susan Sarandon
Stanley Tucci
Orlando Bloom
Kirsten Dunst
David Cross
Will Arnett
Amy Poehler
Jason Schwartzman
Adam Scott
Rainn Wilson
Steve Buscemi
Chloƫ Sevigny
Alicia Silverstone
Martin Starr
Ted Danson
Rashida Jones

Is it bad that I'm more excited about the promo movie than the actual new album, Hot Sauce Committee Pt.2? Probably but I might actually buy the album just to get the accompanying 30-minute film.

The Timbers Have Game. Or at Least a Game

Get Microsoft Silverlight

What do you get when you cross Angry Birds with the Portland Timbers? Timbers Axe, the new (and free) app from the guys in green. It's no Deadball Specialist but I'm sure it's good for killing some downtime on the MAX.

VIDEO: Justin Beiber Training with Barcelona

Here we find pop superstarlet Justin Beiber --who despite the rumors is not a lesbian-- playing soccer on Youtube for the second time this week. But instead of playing in a Barca kit he's now playing with Barca. Crazypants.

I'm just to going to put it out there to Vancouver and Toronto: one of y'all needs to let him into your academy or file a discovery claim or some sh*t. If y'all think Ochocino's training stint in K.C. was a PR boon just wait until the Beiber babies start showing up en masse to your ground; you'll top the Twitter trend charts for weeks on end and sell enough merchandise to buy yourself a championship.

Traci Lords x Soccer x A Ghost Husband x Bison x A Trannie

So check this out for a random film premise. 80's flesh-flick icon Traci Lords is a widower raising two kids and 50 head of bison --which are delicious BTW--in rural Kansas. She needs an extra set of hands so she hires a Norwegian semi-pro soccer player who's "not gay, just European" to help out. She may or may be haunted by her dead husband and the town may or may not have a lone trannie. Are you sold? I am.

The film is called Au Pair, KS and if it looks eccentric enough for you and you live in or around Kansas City you should go to the premiere next week and report back to me. Very curious as to whether or not this film is quirky good or just plain-assed bad.

[H/T to K&S]

Eric Hassli: C'mon Son

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Eric Hassli, did you really pull off your jersey and throw it into the crowd while already on a yellow card? C'mon son. I know you are French and have been playing in Switzerland and everything but that's a yellow anywhere in the world, INCLUDING CANADA.

And you had another identical jersey on underneath? C'mon son. Didn't someone do that same routine just last week? And did you think you were going to fool the ref --who happens to be one of the most card-happy officials in CONCACAF-- with that move? Like, he was going to be all "I thought I saw him take off his shirt and throw it to the crowd but he obviously didn't because he's still wearing it." C'mon son.

And not to put too fine a point on this dude but you were ejected from the last match you played in, you're a DP who was benched, came on as a second-half sub and scored on a PK that you didn't draw. Now I'll give you that at that point in the match it could have been the game-winner but c'mon son, now is not the time for you go to over-the-top with the celebrations. It's just not good look for you right now -particularly when you get ejected for doing it.

But that's just me, that's just where I'm at with it. So let's just look at the numbers because, allegedly, they don't lie:

3 games
3 goals
2 red cards
1 c'mon son

It could be worse but seriously, c'mon son.


NSR: The Frenchest, Most Futurist Thing You'll Hear Today

Do you like French bands with a penchant nostalgic trips into 1980's suburbia while simultaneously being fixated on creating all manner futuristic soundscapes? Oui? Bon. Voila!

VIDEO: RSL In Costa Rica

It's going to be on and cracking in Costa Rica tonight. RSL are down there to play Saprissa in the semi's of the CCL and I for one think they're going to take it. I probably just jinxed it but oh wells, the media will never blame me for it if they lose so I'll say it again: they've got this.

My man @3dimes is down there with the team and filming the whole thing for the day job. The clip above is his latest dispatch from the land of this. Oh how I wish I was there.


Red Bull Arena Hype Video

For no reason other than the fact that it's pretty.

NSR: Mobroder "Rush (Nile Delta Remix)"

Mobroder is the new Italo-Disco project from Naeem Juwan from Spank Rock. I suspect it may also be a tribute to Giorgio Moroder as well but I cannot be sure. I also cannot be sure if this is a joke or not. Either way the video is funny and the mixtape is entertaining if you're down with that old, appreciated-bassline disco sh*t; cop it at Mobroder.com.

John Rooney is Ready for His Close Up

Meant to throw this up this Sky News feature on John Rooney up the other day but recent developments in the RBNY midfield --developments that will put J Ro further down the pecking order-- kind of got in the way.

But here it is anyway, tardiness be damned. I like the kid and hope he can hang on but it's getting crowded in Harrison; could he be the next Irving Garcia?


VIDEO: Total Skills Volume 37

It's Friday night...press play and shake ya ass.

Kasey Keller is a Keeper, Not a Dancer

FACT: Seattle Sounders are the least-funky team in MLS. Still, despite their lack of dancefloor swag it's pretty cool to see an MLS side in a video game advert. When was the last time we saw that? MLS Extratime 2002?

VIDEO: Bunbury, Shea & Agudelo in New DSG Advert

Surely Juan Agudelo has just shattered some soccer/sports-marketing record by being included in a national TV advert before appearing in more than 4 professional matches. Oh wait, that was Freddy Adu. Nevermind.

Video: Becks Does Kimmel

For my money the best bit in this clip (and part 2) is the revelation that his son still has to tryout for a soccer team. Can you imagine the roster squabble that will inevitably ensue amongst the local youth coaches when they realize that the lanky kid with the accent is a S.O.B. (Son of Beckham)? $5 and a used copy of Miracle Match says that someone gets brained with a Gatorade bucket in the resulting melee.