Hello Cargo

TheOffsideRules.blogspot.com is over. As of today TOR will move exclusively to TheOffsideRules.com. I'll keep this address as an archive of good times-past and as a parachute in case both you and I agree that the new look is whack in the long run.

Pretty much the only thing that is changing is the layout/user experience, which is kind of a big deal but not really. Also, this is the official divorce decree between TOR and Helvetica Bold. Sorry kids but it's for the best that we split; the thrill was gone.


Goodbye Blogspot

Things are going to get real weird around here in a little while & you may well hate me for it.

Seven Minutes in (Timbers) Heaven

Portland’s debut MLS season may have come to a halt but the misty-eyed memories and goosebump-inducing flashbacks live on in Portland Timbers, We Adore You. A no-narration documentary chronicling JELD-WEN Field’s inaugural MLS match, the seven-minute film drips with both tasteful camerawork and nostalgia for the recent past. There is also a little bit of odd timing as well as opening day was 8 months ago but that is of little consequence when the finished product to so damn pretty to look at.

Add in a handful of highly-stylized Adrian Healy soundbites and the end result is something any reasonable fan of American soccer would deem worthy of watching*. Twice.

BONUS TRACK: Alaska Airlines recently did their own JELD-WEN Field opening flashback video. Watch it.

*Reasonable fan ≠ a closed-minded Sounders fan who blindly hates anything associated with Portland.

Marsch's Montreal Have Anelka on the Brain

How’s your French? Merde? Better ask for Rosetta Stone for Christmas then because if you really want to know what’s what with the Impact you’re going to need to read and listen to a lot of it. But if you are like me and only speak French after a bottle & a half of Bordeaux (and poorly even then) you can check out the latest episode of the SoccerPlus podcast because it features an English-language interview with Montreal coach Jessie Marsch.

The headline here is that he says the club are still batting around the idea of making a play for Nicolas Anelka. I repeat, Nicolas “Not Claude” Anelka. Marsch says “it’s still a possibility” and they “haven’t closed the door on it.” It would be one hell of a get, much better than that raft of aged Italians that’s been bandied about as possible DPs. Plus with him being French he could actually understand what the local socceratti are writing about him.

On second thought maybe that’s not the best move for a player as, erm, emotional as Nico.

Section 8: Not The Best at Suicide Prevention

Wrong. Just wrong.

Josh Gatt is Ready for His Closeup

Here’s the glorified-public access profile on Detroit-bred Molde striker Josh Gatt that we’ve all been asking for. All jokes aside, I know precious little about this kid other than what I read in random yet seemingly regular tweets when scores so I, for one, could use the education.

Also please try to make it to the end of this clip if you can because the sign off is absolutely classic.

Wanted: 2 Girls Who Like Soccer & Creepers from San Diego

OK boys fess up. Which one of you wannabe ballers from SD posted this on Craigslist?

Galaxy MLS Cup 2011 - $20 (home depot)


I know whoever placed this ad has high hopes that the respondents to his offer will resemble the Beckhamistas above in more than one way but trust me my dude, you are only setting yourself up for disappointment. This is Craigslist, not Jacques (NSFW); you will count yourself lucky if your dates are not "pros"/con artists and have all of their teeth.

[H/T to @TheDenimKit]


MLS Cup 2011 Brought to You By AEG

Here we are with one game left to go on the MLS calendar and it's an all-AEG affair with the Galaxy pretty much hosting the Dynamo. So we can all rest assured that Tim Leiweke will be standing atop a podium in an AEG-built venue with a trophy, named after Uncle Phil Anschutz himself, at the end of 90 minutes come hell or high-water and I ain't mad at that.

However I am upset about the fact that rumors of MLS Cup being "Phil Anschutz Bobblehead Night" are just that, rumors. Still, if ever there was anyone in modern, American soccer worthy of being immortalized in miniature form and distributed to fans it is Mr. Anschutz. Without him MLS Cup doesn't exist.

3NIL x Zizou


Typically I restrict myself to talking about wet, hot American soccer but if there is a player with no North American angle that I can make an exception for it is Zidane. Have you seen the Zizou shirts from 3NIL? So necessary. I'm going to cop one in hopes that it will make me look worldly. You should too.

Reigning Champ x Gastown F.C.


Gastown FC is kind of like the Canadian version of Chinatown FC: an amateur squad of urban, arty-types with more style and merch than most professional clubs. And God bless them for it because they provide some excellent options for those who what to rep the game without going to obvious; there are some times, some places when a jersey just isn't the best look.

GFC have a nice little online boutique stocked with all of their wares and then some. If you like your footie gear bespoke, classic and just a little pricey check them out here. And if you want to sort me out with a Christmas gift I'm feeling the scarf/snood collaboration they've done with Reigning Champ. Must. Have.


Are You Ready for #LAvRSL? The Galaxy Sure as Hell Are

Sweet Cobi Jones' ghost the promos for the #LAvRSL match are sexier than a couple of MFers. Even Bruce Arena looks like a badass. Can. Not. Wait.

Expansion & The Aging Italian


Should the Impact place their maiden MLS voyage in the hands of the elderly? One Montreal writer dares to brave the icy, Italian-flavored waters of the DP dilemma and what it could mean for the 2012 expansion side if they dare to splash the cash on a slew of Azzurri players old enough to get birthday shout-outs from Willard Scott. Como se dice "Cocoon FC is a bad idea?"

NSR: Amy Winehouse + Nas "Like Smoke"


Last night Funkmaster Flex debuted the soon-to-be released Amy Winehouse - Nas collabo "Like Smoke" and it is fire. Straight, hot, Camden-to-Queensbridge fire. Makes me remember how much I'm going to miss her voice and just how ill(matic) Nas can be when he wants to be. They "bodied" this.

KC v COL: The Mixtape

When I watch this clip I can't help but think that the visual makes people want to score goals against a club they hate while the music makes people want to score ecstasy at a club in Vegas. That's possibly the most Deadspinish thing I have ever written but c'mon, you know I'm right.

Luke Rodgers Would Like to Behead You


Apparently beheading is still "a thing" among the English. Or at least that's the impression RBNY's Luke Rodgers gave when he almost Ned Stark-ed a lady with pitchside seats at the HDC tonight.

Look how close that ball is to the side of her head. She could probably hear New York's MLS Cup hopes gently whispering "buh-bye" in her ear as it sailed past.

[H/T to KyleSheldon.com for image]


Robbie Rogers: Player, Clothier, Model


With his season over and his future in Columbus somewhat uncertain, Robbie Rogers has got to find some other sh*t to do with his time. Things like being a clothing mogul/male model with the Halsey line. Sure hope he doesn't get to beefing with Hansel; you never know what that guy will do.

The Don x Sporting Kansas City

The Don was in KC for last night's playoff match and used his now-traditional pressbox scrum to testify to all that is good and holy about the rebirth of the Kansas City franchise. This is good...I like that it's not me for once.

As much as I love what's going on in the PNW and with apologies to my brothers and sisters in PDX who made one hell of a MLS debut this spring, Sporting Kansas City is the story of the year. Y'all may laugh now but let Vermes & Co. win MLS Cup this year and see how many writer-types and Twitteratti jump on the bandwagon; guarantee it's going to get crowded.

Damn-Near Every Afro-Germerican™ Called Up


Damn y'all. U.S. Soccer just went in on the Afro-Germericans™. Between the senior and U-23 callups there are 10 of 'em ready to suit up for the Yanks. Crazy. This has to be the biggest piece of Afro-German news since Milli (or was it Vanilli?) passed away.

Former MetroStar Diego Serna Returns to New York


And when I say "New York", I mean New York State. And when I say "returns" I mean playing indoor soccer upstate. Which isn't totally bad because A) there is a good beer garden in Albany and B) he's not "upstate" which in NYC hood parlance means "he's in prison."

Cosmos Experiencing Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

This landed in my inbox last night:

Management Update from the New York Cosmos

November 2, 2011 (New York, NY) - There has been a buyout at The New York Cosmos and management changes have taken place in various areas of our organization. This also results in a full restructure of both our business and staffing, which will continue to be assessed by the new leadership team that is expected to be appointed within the next 60 days. It is unequivocally the goal of the current ownership to become an MLS team in the most expedient manner possible, and decisions for the club will be made with this in mind.

Craziness. Or is it really so crazy with the reputation Paul Kemsley had? Who am I to say.

It appears though that real change is in the air over at 75 Greene St., with executive director Joe Fraga already asked to leave. All jokes aside, good luck and godspeed to all those whose jobs may be on the line.

Now with all jokes front and center, please let Busta Rhymes re-record a new version of "Arab Money" with the Borough Boys choir. Could be their terrace anthem.

Photo of the Day: Death to CJ


This was the scene last night at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park after CJ Sapong put the Rapids' chances of advancing to the Conference finals all but out of reach. I know it's a celebration shot but it kind of looks like a band of demons have come to drag his soul to hell. Blame Kei Kamara's gloves, which were apparently left over from the "Skeleton Boy" video shoot.


Andrew Wiebe x Robb Heineman


Like John Shaft, Sporting Kansas City president Robb Heineman is a complicated man and no one understands him but his woman. That actually might not be true because I actually have no idea if he has a missus or not.

That's pretty much the only thing he doesn't talk about in this wide-ranging interview with Andrew Wiebe that touches on everything from officiating to jersey sponsors to playoff format. I imagine he does OK though; young, good-looking guy with his business game tight and a piece of a pro sports franchise won't be single long unless it's by choice.

Osvaldo Alonso Is "The Honey Badger"

Honey Badger
don't care and neither does Osvaldo Alonso. Also, Brek Shea is a bird.

[H/T Sounder at Heart]

SKC Fans Keep Afroman's Legacy Alive Through Kei Kamara Worship

Remember Afroman's "Because I Got High"? Much like Alanis Morrisette's "You Outta Know" it was one of those rare late 90s/early 2000s pop songs that managed to sneak a blatant oral sex reference onto America's most mom-approved radio stations. Subsequently, many of us experienced that awkward moment where you are in a small confined space (i.e. a car) with one of your parents and you are both forced into uncomfortable silence by the knowledge that you are both thinking about sexual activity at the same time.

All that potentially scarring, therapy-worthy stuff aside, Sporting KC fans have found another use for Afroman's 2001 weed-rap anthem: flipping it into an ode to Kei Kamara. Witness the grandeur for yourself, recorded at last night's playoff rally in downtown KCMO. Nice work guys.

H/T to @JweavKC and @Eighmee.


NSR: Teenage Bad Girl "X Girl"

There are 2 artists in my iTunes whose names are quite likely to get me investigated for dirty old man-ery: Teen Girl Fantasy and Teenage Bad Girl. If you like poppy, playful club cuts with a pervy, R. Kelly-arousing name you should check them out; the track above is by TBG and is called "X Girl" but it should probably be called "Fake Go! Team Song."

Tim Howard is a Sophisticated S.O.B.

I want to got to Tim Howard's dinner party. Sounds like it would classy as hell.

One More Keller Thing...


If it was possible to "win" Halloween, this kid ran away with it and grabbed a hat-trick & a clean sheet along the way. Simply outstanding.

Spotted via TDK.

Story Time With Kasey Keller

Those of you that know me in the real world know that I like to tell stories, some of them even entertaining ones. I enjoy this. It makes me feel like I have something to contribute.

Old people love to tell stories for the same reason; the only difference is that they do it not because of low S.O. but because they want to get everything out there before they die. Or retire.