- RT @WEXP_RADIO: The 15th Person to Retweet this wins a FREE pair of #EvilDead tickets to use at your leisure. 1 month ago
- Bring on adu I guess. Need a spark or something 8 months ago
- Quote of the night so far "Duka your family is here and they are mine" #doop #crew 8 months ago
- Enjoying this #elclassico just making tonights game better! 8 months ago
- Excited for tonight. The union walking away with 3pts 8 months ago
Category Archives: Around The World
August 22, 2012Posted by on
I am writing this post out of curiosity, to find your breaking point. To find out what would cause you to leave your team, and to stop supporting your national team. I am writing this from a perspective of a man who love the Philadelphia Union. I am going to throw scenarios at you and make you think would you ever abandon your club. For the most part my scenarios can be twisted and contorted to fit any club. I am well aware that this situations will never happen (Hopefully).
Would you still Support the Union if
1. Reffing never improved in MLS: We all live in an era where reffing in MLS is constantly effecting games and outcomes. A lot of fans believe that in a few years MLS will direct focus and fix this plague. But what if the reffing never improved? Year after year, big games and big decisions get affected by poor reffing. I have seen people tear up season tickets because of this. Constantly feeling that your team does not have a fair shot at winning because of the officiating may cause a few fans to lose it.
2. Every off season the team imploded: Would you be able to support your team if every off season the management sold top players, fan favorites and young players with brought in inadequate replacements? It happened to the Union this off-season and it was tough on many fans. The Union lost fans when the team waived bye bye to all notable players. But what if this happened every year? Would you be able to stomach it. Having every player you love be replaced every year.
3. Philly got a new team: What if Philadelphia was gifted another soccer team? What if that stadium that was suppose to be built in Bristol actually got built? Philadelphia would have two soccer specific stadiums. and two MLS teams. Say this Philly team two was able to bring in a big star like Kaka, or Gio Dos Santos, along with some USMNT players like Carlos Bocangra, Joe Corona and Hercules Gomez. A wealthy of talent, experience and youth. Say the Philadelphia second soccer team also signed players like Le Toux, Danny Califf and Roger Torres.
4. Made tickets unfordable: What if Union tickets cost as much as Eagles tickets? Would you still support them? Would you still get season tickets, an travel?
5. Ownership questions your morals: Say the ownership began to question your morals and put you in morally conflicting spots. Would you be able to support a team that had an owner that openly hated gays, Jews, Muslims, and or minorities. What if the owners supported Fascism, Communism or were Nazis? What if they were publicly backing the Lords Resistance Army in Uganda? Would you support a team that had an owner that was in a Sandusky like situation but got off without conviction? If the team you loved put you in morally conflicting situation would you stop supporting?
6. You were banned Unjustly from the stadium for life: What if you were in Teddy Montoya’s shoes? You get banned from the stadium where you team plays and you did nothing wrong? You have 0 chance of ever seeing your team play at home ever again. Could you still support that team?
7. The supports section becomes overrun with fake fans: Say the River End gets filled with fans who don’t understand soccer just want to drink and yell. Gradually the fun of the game deflates. The people in the supports section cause more troubles and the chants begin to die and it is all crude cursing.
8. Financial problems strike the Club: What if your team got into some hot water financially? Problems so bad it caused them to be demoted. Say if the Union had to join the USL Pro or NASL. Would you still go out week in and week out?
9. Your team losses 99 games straight: Take a moment and sink in this one. Say your team loses 99 straight games , would you still be able to watch? Would you lose all interest? 99 games is over a season FYI. So we are talking about years without victory. Would you still be able to go to the stadium every week?
Everyone has a breaking point what is yours? Would any of these or any combo of these make you stop supporting your team? Did I miss something? Take a moment let it digest. Personally it would have to be a mixture of 2,3,4 and 5 to make me stop loving the Union.
August 12, 2012Posted by on
Its that time again folks, Shark Weeks a coming and in honor of this great week I am going to do something special. I am going to write a post that combines this JAWsome week with the beautiful game. It is sure to be FINtastic. Sharks come in all different shapes and sizes and shark has individual traits that allows them to survive. I am going to take some of the top sharks and compare the similarities between Shark and soccer player.
********Side note, I am using the MLS and US players**********
The Great White/Abby Wambach: The great white shark is the ultimate predator and the most prolific hunter in the sea. They are fast, and powerful with a bite force second to none.If a great white grabs a hold of you, the chances of you getting away in one piece are slim. Great White’s have an hora about them, with a reputation of being one of the most dangerous animals on Earth. Abby Wambach has some of the same traits, she is a prolific striker who instills fear in the hearts of defenders. Abby has great vision and sense, along with being physically dominate. The Great White and Abby also share one more quality that is very unique, they both are deadly in the air. Great Whites have been known to jump out of water to feed on seals, Abby is known for getting airborne and netting spectacular headed goals.
The Bull Shark/Chris Wondolowski: The Bull Shark is a ruthless killing machine just how Wondo is a ruthless goal scoring machine. Alot like Wondo, Bull Sharks are coastal animals that are very versatile. Bull Sharks can both be in oceans and rivers. Bull Sharks are medium sized sharks but have a very imposing force, just like Wondo. Bull Sharks get their name from their tenacity along with their tendency to head but prey. A lot like Bull Sharks Wondo is known to stay shallow in the defense and strike with precision. Also a very unique characteristic they both share is they are both overlooked. Wondo has been hands down the best striker in MLS for the last few years but does not get the attention that Henry gets. Bull Shark’s could be the most dangerous shark but do not get the attention or stigma the Great White has.
The Tiger Shark/Thierry Henry: Another two voracious predators are Tiger Shark’s and Mr. Theirry Henry. Both are lethal hunters who attack with precision. Tiger Sharks are found allover the world just as Mr. Henry’s reputation. Tiger Sharks have a very long life span and Henry’s career feels like it has been going on forever. Tiger Sharks have been known to swim in deep waters along with swim outside their habitats. Henry has been known to play out wide or drop down into the midfield. The similarities continue, a Tiger Shark is a massive shark very large could grow up to 13 feet. Henry stands at a towering 6’2.
Mako/ Dominic Oduro: The Mako shark is a medium sized shark that is not very bulky, they are slim and slender. Mako’s and Oduro are both known for their blazing speed. The Mako is the fastest shark and Oduro maybe the fastest player in MLS. Alot like Oduro, Makos are not that dangerous, their high speed offers up a form of shock but they are not prolific. It may take a Mako a few strikers before they kill their target. Oduro will score goals but by no chance is he an elite finisher in the league.
The Goblin Shark/ American’s in Germany: The Goblin Shark is the most mysterious animal. Every time I plan on educating myself on thees oddly shaped creatures I am met at a cross roads of what to believe. I am always hit with opposing and contradictory statements. It reminds me of some US players who are playing in Germany. When I first learned about these guys I was told that Fabian Johnson was a outside mid, Danny Williams is a holding midfielder and Timmy Chandler is left or right back. When in reality they can all play almost every position. I watched a Hoffenheim game once and witnessed Fabian Johnson playing right mid, left mid and left back while Danny Williams played on the wing and then in holding mid. I have seen Chandler play winger, striker, mid and defense. Like the Goblin Shark it is hard to get a read on thees guys. Does Chandler want to play for the US or for Germany? All I know is that like the Goblin Shark I want to see more of them.
Any comments? QUestions?
August 5, 2012Posted by on
With the soccer tournaments winding down in London, and the US women marching on with grace and style to what could be a gold medal, it’s hard not to feel a sense of frustration that the men did not qualify. Especially with the build-up that this US team had, with such talents as Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams, Joe Corona, Brek Shea and Terrance Boyd. The Olympics would also be a chance for the Union to show off some of their youth products with Sheannon Williams, Freddy Adu, Zach MacMath, Jack McInerney, Amobi Okugo and maybe even a Farfan or two being considered for the team. With the way the Farfan’s have been playing it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that they coul have gotten a call up. The Olympics would have been a great showcase for the Union to show off some talent and for the youngsters to gain experience. Even for the Farfans, Williams and MacMath who likely wouldn’t have started, the international stage would have given them a great chance to grow as players.
Going into the MLS season it was expcted that the US team would qualify for the Olympics, and many Union fans were excited at the chance to see players like Okugo and McInerney who had, at the time, seen limited minutes for the club over the last two seasons. Of course the US didn’t qualify and the Union imploded. Piotr Nowak imploded, the team got rid of many players, and they were almost entirely eliminated from any hope of the playoffs before Nowak left. If the US qualified it would have been the worst thing for the Union hands down. This run they are going on, which may be saving the season, would likely never have happened. With Okugo and Williams (and possibly others) gone the Union would have to resort to playing Albright, Jordan, Gaddis, or even Lopez (ugh). It would be ugly, not saying Gaddis wouldnt do a great job but Williams is starting for a reason. Who would be in net? I love Chase Harrison, but he is not Zac and more importantly has never held down a starting job. Plus it would not help to play the second string goalie with an alreaedy weakend defense. There is of course the arguement that the Union have Soumare to help out on defense, but he would have been barely coming into fitness while Okugo was in camp tuning up fro the Olympics. Hack would have had to rush him back to fitness, which he hasn’t shown any intrest in doing with Okugo available. Now lets look up top. With Adu and Mac gone who would fill in? Hoppenot is great off the bench but asking him to carry a team is a very different thing. Pajoy would have to step up along with Perlaza, Martinez or Hoffman or whoever Hack might have had to bring in. Lots of inexperience. Adu would be replaced by the injured Roger Torres who has looked less than impressive in his brief moments since getting back to fitness.
The US missing the Olympics has saved the Union for the short term, but also the long term. WIth players like Okugo getting minutes in the Olympics it wouldn’t be surprising if a European club made him an offer he couldnt refuse. He is no high-roller here in Philly and a lower division European club could pay him more then he would make here. The same could be applied to any youth player. Of course whether or not the Union would sell, or what they would get back would make it very interesting.
So to really think about it, I along with many Union fans were excited about potentially seeing some Union players represent the US. I got what I wished for, in the sense that I am now watching players who were not getting alot of minutes, just not for the US. Do not get me wrong, as a Union fan and a US fan I would love nothing more then to see Union players contribute to the national team at any level. But for now its in the best interest of the club that the US missed the Olympics. It is crazy how the world works. This is not the ideal scenario. The season has been a dissapointment. The ideal scenario would have included Nowak keeping Le Toux, Mwanga, Califf et al. and putting together a winning season. Ideally the Union would be in contention for the top spot and the some Union players would be thriving in the olympics. Ideally we would have our cake and eat it too, but we dont.
In short, the Olympic woes of the men’s national soccer team benefits the Union and keeps a slim sliver of playoff hope alive. To quench your US soccer thirst, watch the women they are playing amazing football right now as usual.
July 25, 2012Posted by on
Both the Men’s and Women’s Olympic soccer tournaments begin today, two days before the opening ceremonies. Unfortunately the US only qualified one team for this tournament, but the Women’s team will start their run at a medal today so here’s a bit of a preview of that tournament. The US Women’s team includes a few local names, including Heather O’Reilly of East Brunswick, NJ, former Independence GK Nicole Barnhart, Christie Rampone, from Monmouth University and Point Pleasant, NJ, and Villanova’s Jill Loyden, from Vineland, NJ who will be the alternate GK.
12 teams are entered in to this summers tournament, 11 made it through qualifying including 2 from every confederation and one from Oceania along with Great Britain. Unlike the men’s games is a full senior competition so there is no age limit.
The twelve teams which will be competing are Great Britain, Japan, North Korea, South Africa, Cameroon, United States, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, New Zealand, France, and Sweden.
The favorites in the tournament have to be the US and Japan. Both are currently ranked in the top 3 (second ranked Germany missed qualifying), and were the finalists in the most recent World Cup. Sweden, Brazil, France,Canada, and North Korea (along with England who is a large part of the Great Britain team) are ranked in the top 10, leaving Cameroon, South Africa, New Zealand and Colombia as the most prominent underdogs.
While many expect a rematch of the World Cup Final, between Homare Sawa led Japan and the American squad, this is a deep tournament which will surely see strong competition.
Players to watch:
Alex Morgan, USA Age 23, Breakthrough Athlete of the Year 2012 ESPY Awards
Hope Solo, USA Age 30, US Soccer Athlete of the Year 2009, Golden Glove 2011 World Cup
Abby Wambach, USA Age 32, AP Female Athlete of the Year 2011, US Soccer Athlete of the Year 2010, 2011
Homare Sawa, Japan Age 33 2012 World Player Of The Year
Marta, Brazil Age 26 2005-2010 World Player Of The Year
Cristiane, Brazil Age 27 Leading Scorer Olympics, 2004, 2008
Christine Sinclair, Canada Age 29, Canadian Player of the Year 2005-2010
Marie-Laure Delie, France Age 24, 41 Appearances 36 Goals since 2009 with France
Ellen White, Great Britain Age 23, 19 Apparences 21 Goals from 2008-2010 with Leeds Carnegie Ladies
Lotta Schelin, Sweden Age 28, Diamond Ball Winner (Swedish Female Footballer of the Year) 2011
July 18, 2012Posted by on
While many have been hoping that Mo Edu and Carlos Bocanegra, not to mention Alejandro Bedoya, would stop playing in the SPL as soon as possible, it has taken quite a long time and a few interesting turns to have them released (Bedoya’s still stuck there though). Edu, Bocanegra and Dorin Goian have been given the “blessing” of the Rangers Newco owners to leave the fourth division Scottish club. Each of the players are at very different points in their career and will likely have very different options available to them.
Carlos Bocanegra is largely expected to come home to MLS this summer, most likely joining former USMNT CB Jay Demerit in Vancouver.(Edit: As Pat mentioned in the comments I somehow forgot that Vancouver lost their allocation spot in the Union’s Soumare deal. Therefore it would be New England at the top of the allocation order instead of Vancouver with first dibs on him. I’d say its more likely New England trades the spot, than takes him, but of course that’s assuming Bocanegra wants to come back to MLS already anyway.) The odds of this happening seem fairly high, but maybe I’ve just heard too much of it recently. Other teams have also expressed interest in Bocanegra’s services in the defensive third. Greek club Olympiakos, which has a decent shot at Champions League has expressed interest and it has been assumed that clubs in France and England would have a look at him too. Bocanegra confirmed his interest in retunring to MLS at some vague time in the future, about a week and a half ago while playing softball in Kansas City.
Maurice Edu also has an expected club, although these rumors are a bit more recent and a bit more haughty. The latest rumors have Edu moving to Valencia C.F. where he would likely have to replace David Albelda who is a local boy and has been the captain of Valencia for nearly a decade to earn a starting spot. While it’d be great to see Edu move to one of the top mid-table teams in La Liga, if he’s rotting on the bench he may as well be better of playing in Scottish lower divisions. This transfer makes sense both for Edu, to move to a club which will likely be playing Champions League soccer, and for Valencia, who are a bit cash-strapped themselves and will likely get Edu on a free transfer. It would also mean another step forward for U.S. players in general. With Michael Bradley joining A.S. Roma, Americans are being welcomed into the more prestigious clubs. Again if neither of them starts this year neither deal even merits a mention, but if they do these could be two of the most substantial transfer in USMNT history.
To bring things back into perspective Edu also has sparked interest from Turkey, Bursaspor and Trazbonspor have both expressed interest. Even if not Valencia, and not Champions League quality, the Turkish league is substantially ahead of the SPL. While Bocanegra could potentially bring fans out in MLS and Edu could have a great Champions League run with Valencia, pretty much wherever they end up is better than them playing another season in Scotland.
July 16, 2012Posted by on
Friday night marks the kickoff of the Mexican liga MX. Although the Liga MX may not be the most popular league to the average American soccer fan, but it is certainly worth paying attention to. I am going to provide to you a Gringo’s guide to Liga MX that will include; reasons why you should watch, what teams to follow , and notable opening weekend games.
The Mexican league is a great league that is often underrated and overlooked. It offers up a high quality play that talented players. A lot like the MLS the league is very unpredictable and it is a toss up every year. Often the winner of the Apertura (first championship) is not the winner of the Clausura (second championship).
Why you should watch:
1. No Thy Enemy: Mexico is The US’s biggest rival it can not hurt to understand the league and understand the players. This is not just an international affair, MLS clubs battle Liga MX clubs in Champions league. I have gained a lot of respect for El Tri since I started following F.M.F.
2. Attractive Style of Play: Expect an opened, free flowing style with box to box end to end action. The game is very easy on the eyes.The passion runs deep with the players and it shows on the pitch. The theatrics of the coaches helps create a great show. Next time your watching Club America watch Miguel Herra, he is always good for a laugh or two.
3. Its Always on: Liga MX is covered by more then a handful of Spanish speaking TV stations. Telemundo, Galavision, Univision, Telefutura and Azteca America just to name a few. Every weekend you will be hit with a bevy of games. If you happen to be bored and looking for some footy Liga MX will be on.
4. The Colorful Announcers: Mexican League Announcers are some of the more colorful and vibrant ones in the business. Andres Cantor and Pablo Ramirez both offer up unique and entertaining styles of commentary. You may not understand the language but you can understand the passion.
5. Americans in Mexico: One of the biggest if not the biggest factors is the American connection. A handful of young American’s working their way up the youth systems in Mexico. Plus you get to see players like Demarcus Beasley and Joe Corona. Not to mention Herculez Gomez who is currently the hottest American striker.
Teams with Americans on them:
Tijuana Xolos: Greg Garza, Joe Corona and Edgar Castillo.
Santos Laguna: Herculez Gomez.
Santos Laguna: Michael Orozco Fiscal.
Pachuca: Paco Torres
Jaguares de Chiapas: Dereck Mckuper, and Adrian Ruelas.
Chivas: Ponce (Okay so he isnst American but he was born the USA.
Atlante: Sonny Guadarrama
Opening Weekend Games to watch:
Tijuana v Puebla: One of the first games to watch has an interesting USMNT twist. Former USMNT start DeMarcus Beasley going against up and coming star Joe Corona. The Xolos are entering their second season in the top flight and going against Puebla who have become a staple in FMF/Liga MX. Expect some creative midfield work with an uptempo pace.
Atlas v UNAM: I am a big UNAM fan so naturally I have to put them in. Pumas will be taking on Atlas and I know not many people see this as a big match considering the mid table finishes last year by both teams. Pumas has some explosive like Martin Bravo and some young and exciting players like Javier Cortes and Eduardo Herrera.
Santos v San Luis: Santos look to keep the trophies coming as they kick off the season against San Luis who finished 16th last season. This game is great opportunity to watch Gomez apply his trade against a team that let in the second most in the Clausura. Sit back and watch Herculez and the Saints go to work.
All in all I am just a gringo who loves USMNT and the Philadelphia Union. Prior to the Union in my down time I experimented with other teams and leagues. During my experimentation phase I found out that, Liga MX is great league, and highly underrated. After weeks of watching Pumas I found myself ordering a cheap jersey religiously watching every game that was on TV. The language barrier is a bit cumbersome but makes it fun. If anything start watching for the Americans and you will eventually learn to love the league.
July 15, 2012Posted by on
This morning Associazione Sportiva Roma (A.S Roma) announced the signing of USMNT player Michael Bradley from Chievo Verona. Roma dealt €3.75M to Chievo to obtain the services of the American star. Bradley, who is 24 years old, has signed a contract extension which will keep him with the Giallorossi until 2016. After weeks of flirtation and courtship this transfer has finally come through. Bradley has been rumored to move to a bigger club since the season ended. Bradley had a phenomenal season in Verona, making 34 appearances and was arguably the team’s most effective player. He showed a superb ability to manage a game, control the tempo and jump-start the attack. Bradley had been scouted by many teams throughout Europe.
Bradley has done much traveling since he left the New York Metrostars in ’06. He transferred from MLS to the Netherlands playing for SC Heerenveen. Shortly after the transfer, Bradley began making USMNT appearances under his father. After two years in the Netherlands he made the switch to Germany playing for Borussia Monchengladbach. During his stay at Gladbach, Bradley became a fixture for the national team. After an unsuccessful loan spell in the EPL with Aston Villa, Bradley moved to Chievo Verona.
A.S. Roma finished 7th in the Serie A and are looking to make a run at the top four this year. This is a significant step up for Bradley whose Flying Donkey’s finished 10th in the same league. Lots of departures from the Serie A may make Roma’s goals more achievable. With AC Milan, Lazio, Napoli, all losing big name players and Inter getting older, Roma’s chances are greatly improved.
Roma have recently gained a very strong American presence. With American owners an American star, Roma are clearly America’s team in Italy. USMNT fans will be able to see Bradley when Roma starts their preseason American tour. Roma take on Polish side Zaglebie Lubin in Chicago on July 22, then Liverpool in Boston on the 25th and El Salvador at Red Bull Arena on July 27.
February 29, 2012Posted by on
Without Landon Donovan, Timmy Chandler, Jose Torres, Oguchi Onyewu, and Kyle Beckerman the US has looked very good against Italy. The attack has been solid, the defense a bit shaky butnothing terrible. Although if Italy we’re a half step more patient they could have about 4 goals by now. They’ve ben called offsides on just about every chacne.
The starting lineup today got me thinking abotu what an actual US starting lineup would look like.
Ultimately there’s a few more pieces that can be added in and a few that can be taken out.I think (after seeing Fabian for a single half at LB I’m willing to throw him in to the starting lineup there. He’s impressed me the last time he played a different position and his crosses look better than Chandler’s did from that spot.)
I’m looking at Chandler slipping back to the right where he had more success and splitting time in any real tournaments to give both Donovan and Cherundolo a bit of rest that they’ve begun to seem to need.
Along with filling out the roster (to a somewhat arbitrary 22) a bit more down below.
Jones, Edu, Williams
Goodson, Cameron/Parkhurst, Chandler
A team with promise that hasn’t quite been realized yet for sure.
February 3, 2012Posted by on
Whatever you think of Bob Bradleys tactics, he’s a classy guy. After the riot that broke out at the Ahly-Masry game, and the ensuing riots that broke out across the country in response Bob Bradley was in Sphinx Square today with his wife Lindsay today. He was marching in the streest with protesters. I have personally never had more respect for Bob Bradley. He was asked by an Egyptian newscaster why, as a foreigner he decided to come out and responded “It’s very simple. … When a tragedy like this occurs, I think it’s important to show respect.” He’s right, but his method of respect will surely put a big target on his he, although he has surely gained a large group of unmoveable fans. This is possibly the most important diplomatic step from any American towards the situation in Egypt.
February 2, 2012Posted by on
A lot of people have complained about our teams loses over the past week but its impossible to compare with what has happened in Egypt last night. We knew the country was in a state of absolute turmoil but no one wants this to happen. The last number I saw was 74 dead from the incident. In a match between Al-Masry and Al-Ahly, major rivals in Egyptian soccer, which ended with the host Al-Masry winning dozens of people were killed in the flooding of the field that insued. Fans rushed the field and chased the opposing team off of the field while security seemed to have done very little to control the situation. How much could have been done is up for debate. Egyptian Ultras are a serious issue for the countrys sporting population, and the rivalry with Algeria has been known as one of the fiercest and most aggresive in sports. They have also been cited as a part of the revolutionary force in the country.
It’s an absolute shame to see anything like this happen anywhere, but especially in a country where the government and media will surely spin it in the worst of ways. Although even the numbers on the field tonight wonn’t compare to the number who have passed in the streets of Egypt over the past year it’s a harsh reminder that emotions there are extremely high strung. Hopefully things will calm down in the near future and we won’t see these kinds of tensions in the streets or in the stands.
Update: It seems that the Egyptian league has called an indefinite suspension of games.
“Al-Ahly goalkeeper Sharif Ikrami, who was injured in the melee, told the private station ONTV that dead and wounded were being carried into the locker room.
”There were people dying in front of us,’ he said. ‘It’s over. We’ve all made a decision that we won’t play soccer any more. How will we play soccer after 70 people died? We can’t think about it.” It’s unclear if this means that they will stop playing temporarily or permanently but the manager of Al-Masry, Kamal Abu Ali is resigning in protest. Of course all sides are already translating these events in the context of the political turmoil and trying to find someone to blame. Despite a seeming lack of action from security, along with a definitive lack of availabilty and action by police in the surrounding are, most of the blame seems to be falling on the protesters. If you’re a praying person, Egypt is a good place to send your prayers.