Archive for December, 2010

Report: Nottingham Forest Set To Sign Robbie Findley

Fleet-footed Findley goes across the pond...

Sky Sports has the report–this one we think you can trust since it’s not The Daily Mail–that Robbie Findley will sign for Championship side Nottingham Forest. That’s a good move for the American striker and here’s hoping he can show a thing or two in English football.

Nottingham Forest currently sit at the 8th spot in the table.

As for Wolverhampton, this statement was released via their offical twitter earlier today, suggesting the EPL side passed on the US World Cup starter after they couldn’t get him in for a trial:

I wouldn’t read too much into ‘Forest steal Findley’ headlines by the way. Fair to say Wolves could have made a move……

(Note: The BBC is reporting this hasn’t happened yet, but Sky is usually spot on.)

More from the Birmingham Mail here.

Messi No Le Lanza!….Messi Don’t Dive


The took down the terrific Messi Don’t Dive video below. But here is another ditty showing the hits the Argentine takes in the line of duty:


Sorry we’re late to this.

This past weekend Heart Attack Ray Hudson issued an opine (2nd video) on Lionel Messi during Barcelona’s 5-1 thrashing of Espanyol….and recommended a little YouTube ditty on the star from Catalan country (1st video) showcasing Messi’s refusal to go down.

We would be remiss not to give Messi–and Ray Hudson–their just due, especially after we witnessed Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli yesterday seemingly get blown over by the wind on multiple occasions…..and the con jobs so often issued by other forwards and strikers.

And Ballon D’Or or not, he’s, right now, the #1 player in the world.

Messi Don’t Dive

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Finally, Phase II: The USMNT Needs A New Crest!

The 1950 one still musters up the air of authenticity even now...

First, your champion here is Nick Kern. Way…way…back in September, Nick sent us an email (below) about the need for US Soccer to replace their crest. We fired up the “Get-Fired-Up” machine–or you know the anti Dimitar-Berbatov-machine whatever you prefer–and gained a whole slew of valuable commentary. Nick even did a powerpoint.

And then Bob Bradley-Jurgen Klinsmann happened.

The the October friendlies and TSG Interview Week. And then the entire USSF machine got usurped by the World Cup bid process.

…and Nick…and you…waited. We did speak to USSF and they said that whatever the TSG audience put together the marketing team would look at.

So today…finally…TSG on behalf of Nick Kern and our audience will submit the following brief .ppt to USSF and see where it goes (and diligently follow-up). We’ll ask for written feedback including a potential roadmap to a new crest…and TSG will ask that they consult Nick Kern who so fervently followed up with TSG for the past three months.

It’s not like they have a World Cup to prepar….forget I said that.

Thanks for your patience Nick…and everyone.


From September 7, 2010…

Love receiving reader emails. Today, this one was funny, on point and made me think, “Yes, Nick, you’re right….unless Nike owns the rights to the old one.”

A plea from TSG reader named Nick. Should we rev up the TSG Stir-It-Up Machine?


Dear TSG,

I’m a loyal reader and first time emailer. As the on the field product continues to get better, one thing about the program continues to bug me….

The current logo (right) was adopted in the early 90′s and, as far as I can tell, was developed into a modern badge by 1995. “Saved by the Bell: The College Years” made it abundantly clear that Zach Morris and AC Slater had no place outside of the late 80′s/early 90′s and I feel similarly about our current badge.

The old style pentagonal soccer ball with the implied motion of a “vapor trail” is what bothers me the most. I’m happy that US Soccer restrained themselves from having the ball rip through a net or asteroid field, but it still looks ridiculous. The “US” font style also looks a dated (and not dated in the timeless classic sort of way.) Also, why not “USA”? Seems a bit informal to go “US”. Blue/White stripes (vs. Red/White stripes) and the triple star formation are not objectionable, but still somewhat of a WTF for me.




What should a proper badge look like? The 1950 version was far superior given its simplicity and classic look. A simple “USA”. The stripes are actually red and white bear some resemblance to another symbol of our great nation. It’s not as if US Soccer completely forgot about the badge either. They again saw the light of day when Nike got throwbacky on us in 2003, 2004, and most recently, in 2006. Hopefully, the older badget or one of similar quality would inspire better and more consistent uniforms from our friends in Eugene.

I ask you, TSG…scratch that, I *implore* you to lead a campaign to change the future of American soccer. I know I can’t do it alone. I need you. Your country needs you.

Can we make it happen?! Who’s with me….


Man City versus Everton

Baines, running the show from the left.

TWEEEEET TWEEEET TWEET. Everton defend superbly, spearheaded by Tim Howard, who has his best game of the season, as the Toffees leave Manchester with a valuable 3 points. Will this jump start their season? Will City recover to continue to challenge for the title?

94:00 - Two yellows in about a minute for Kolo Toure, and he gets first shower for City.

92:00 – Howard with another good save as Tevez unleashes one. Corner kick comes to nothing though.

88:00 – Yaya Toure cracks a shot, that Howard gets his finger nails on that goes just wide. Howard duly screams at his defenders.

77:00 – WOW. Great keeping from Howard as Toure sends a great ball to Balotelli who does everything right by dinking it over the Everton keeper (who takes out Balotelli). Ball hits the post and comes back into play as both Howard and the Italian go for it. Ball comes to Tevez, but his shot is blocked by Howard. A lesser ref, might have given a penalty but this one let everyone play. Good for everyone.

74:00 – City and Tevez looking for the equalizer as they immediately attack. This should be a great 15 minutes of football.

73:00 – GOOOOAAAAL. An own goal from Jagielka of a Yaya Toure shot. Too much pinball finally goes City’s way. City 1 – Everton 2

72:00 – AHHHHH. MY EYES MY EYES. Camera pans onto the crowd and one mad man is standing there with a shirt off. its MINUS 6. He looks like a ghost.

70:00 – Barry latches on to a blocked shot by Silva and his volley is just over. Everton living on borrowed time here. Can they hold on for 20 minutes.

68:00 – City work it well, but Adam Johnson’s pass is how we say…”piss poor” and Everton easily clear. Zabaleta who is bandaged up is playing very well. A replay is shown the City should have had a penalty from a Neville handball.

66:00 – OHHHHH the useless possession stat, which shows that City have two thirds of the possession. Sadly for sky blues, they have zero to show for it.

64:00 - Game is disintegrating into poor football. Fouls, bad passes and wasted shots oh my.

60:00 – Anichebe who was about to be subbed, gets sent off for a second bookable offense. That was rough for the young Nigerian forward as the first one was harsh. Everton down to 10 men.

51:00 – “The Disease” (TSG’s new nickname for Kolarov) is teed up by Tevez and his howitzer fizzes inches wide. I like the Serbian player. He’s exciting.

47:00 – Howard makes a great save from a Kolarov thunderbolt. City starting off with a little more verve then the previous 45.

46:00 – TWEET TWEET. Everton start of the second half.

45:00 - Half is about to come to a close. First 2o minutes were all Everton and then City picked it up but Everton’s parking of the bus did the job. PEEEP. Halftime.

42:00 – Say what you will about Tevez, but he does work his tail off in every game he plays. He doesn’t dive and when you look up “tenacious” in the dictionary, you see a picture of the Argentine. I really don’t think it’s about the money. He just made a VERY VERY poor decision as far as agents go.

36:00 – City get a free kick in Kolarov territory. No that is not a plague infested area, but the sort of distance away from goal, that the City defender can whack them past a keeper. The kick is well taken and Howard gets an out-stretched hand and pushes it away for a corner.

34:00 - Felliani gets the first card of the game. Actually his hair gets the card for a rough, but fair tackle on Tevez. Should not have been a card.

32:00 – Human pin ball in the Everton box, as City players line up to take shots which keep being blocked by various parts of the Everton players body. Might have been an inadvertent hand ball in there, but ref correctly waves play on. City are dominating the game.

28:00 – Balotelli might be a handful to deal with, but my is he a skillful player, as he first time volleys a corner that goes just over the bar. Good skill. Everton need to keep on their toes.

27:00 - City string some nice passes around the Everton defense who have 10 players back and eventually win a corner. Howard goes ape as well he should as that was City like defending from the Toffees.

22:00 - City don’t seem to care that they are 2-0 down and that first place is on the line. The only player who is showing any heart is Tevez, who per usual is running around like a man possessed.

19:00 – CONTENT MY ASS. GOOOOAAAAL EVERTON. What a well worked goal. Anichebe centers the ball to Cahill who lays it off to Baines who places it beautifully past a hapless Joe Hart. City are moving at a slightly slower pace than mollases moving up hill. Everton 2- City 0

18:00 – Game has calmed down (not that it ever took off), but City seemed to have woken up ever so slightly and Everton are content with their 1-0 lead.

11:00 – City attack and Yaya Toure chips a lovely ball over the Everton defense to David Silva, but his well struck shot is wide and takes out a beautiful looking camera. As a photographer, my heart breaks.

9:00 – Everton dominating the wings as Coleman and Baines are having their way with the City full backs. Meanwhile the rest of the City players need some coffee or Red Bull.

4:00 – GOOOOALLLL – EVERTON. Cahill easily heads it in after awful awful defending by City. Coleman cross’s it in and Cahill easily heads it in. It was the simplest of goals. Pathetic from City. Everton 1 – City 0

1:00 – It is cold enough to reconfigure the anatomy on a brass monkey out there and yet shorts and short sleeves for most of the players. The fancy ones though are wearing a snood (see Spurs players sporting the latest trend)!

TWEEET and City kick it off. Sky blue versus dark blue.

Tevez making up with officials. Best way to do it with the fans is to score some goals.


Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kolo Touré, Kompany, Kolarov; Milner, Barry; Silva, Yaya Touré, Balotelli; Tevez.
Subs: Given, Richards, Wright-Phillips, Adam Johnson, Boateng, Vieira, Jo.

Everton: Howard; Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Coleman, Rodwell, Fellaini, Osman; Cahill; Anichebe.
Subs: Mucha, Hibbert, Bilyaletdinov, Saha, Beckford, Gueye, Yakubu.


Line ups coming out soon


Most of this weekend’s games in the EPL were postponed, but not this match up of the red headed step children of Manchester and Liverpool. Often in the shadows of their more illustrious neighbors, this is a big game for both teams. A win for the “richest” club in the world, puts them on top of the league. A win for the blue half of Merseyside puts them in mid table and could jump start a so far poor season.

Not to be outdone by their red counterparts, City, too have a petulant forward. After much hemming and hawing about wanting to go home, Tevez has now withdrawn his transfer request and has committed to the club. No discussions of money yet, so lets give the bulldogish Argentine the benefit of the doubt and assume it was all about respect and relationships with club officials.

Your Last Minute Quick Soccer Gift Guide

First, thank you to everyone that reaches out asking us to evaluate their products from the big guys like Concave and Adidas to the specialty guys like LiveBreatheFutboll and ThreeFourThree FC.

In the spirit of a little fun, a little humor and throwing some last minute things out there. A concise holiday gift guide. Drop your ideas in the commentary as well.

Can't go wrong with a "McBride" kit...especially from 2002.

• The USA Throwback

Lots of different options here. You could always go with the denim kit from 1994 or this one right here says, “Hey Nike, if you won’t give us a red jersey we’ll go retro and get this one.”

But your best option here for both relevancy and some authenticity, grab the jersey on the right (worn in qualification for the Yanks in the lead-up to 2002) and pick your favorite retiree (Brian McBride) or present day champ (Frankie Hedjuk). (You could go with the original here; or you could use that scratch to pay for 50-yard-lines for the Gold Cup Final (for two).)

I guarantee no matter what MLS team you follow, you head to the rivals stadium and you’ll still get street cred….or rather the person you bought it for will.

Well done Adidas...

• Top Cleat: The Adidas Predator

First, let me get this off my chest–sniffle–I could never wear Copa’s…my foot was just too, well, fat for the narrow fit of them.

But the Adidas Predator? Hands down the best cleat that I’ve worn. Endorsed for both soccer and ultimate frisbee folks.

Why? First, it’s probably the most comfortable cleat going. Second, it balances weight with “substance” near perfectly. Most of the Nike cleats I’ve tried eschew substance (and corresponding strength) in favor lightness, bad move. Too flimsy unless you weigh 90lbs or something.

The Predator’s are expensive, but you can always go get last year’s models on Zappos and other places. As note, don’t go for the synthetic, stick with the leather. (I prefer kangaroo leather, but I know some folks take issue with this.)

• Sand Soccer Ball

Ever go to the beach in the summer and think…you know I don’t want to throw around a pigskin, I want to kick a soccer ball. You break out your favorite field soccer ball and then realize, “If I kick this thing without a cleat on, I’m going to need Metatarsal surgery or something.”

Enter the sand soccer ball. Big difference, more accurate on the grains and a unique gift. Plus, if you’re heading to World Cup 2014, you better get your sand game going.

• For Your Buddy Recovering from an ACL Tear: The Mini Trampoline

I still use this...

Raise your hand if you’ve torn your ACL. (I would have three hands raised). Raised your hand if you know someone who’s torn their ACL.

Pretty much everyone is raising their hands right now.

Best therapy beyond the cute PT chick that just graduated two years ago from Arizona State and mixes triathalons in on the weekend? (I digressed). A mini trapoline. Knee bends while watching a USMNT game or Champ’s League. Great therapy.

• For the guy that drives you to practice: Victory

Pele…and Sly Stallone star in this one game for freedom. Classic, sort of. The 1981 flick, a cheap, but effective present.

• T-Shirting…

Tons of great shirts out there, including the following faves:

The Cantona, from Live Breath Futbol (available soon), ↓ the Formation, from Three Four Three FC and the Kaiser Chiefs Amokhosi Supporter shirt from Objectivo.


For that White Elephant Party…

You can’t go wrong with this. (Cheerleaders not included. 22 emails per week? Maybe.)

Your White Elephant gift....

• And finally, a gift not to get…

This probably won’t go over well.

All yours and not just for a limited time only!

As the tagline says, “Become your favorite Team USA Hero!”

An official product of Nike and US Soccer National Soccer Team.

Only $92 and 44 meager cents.

No discount, no coupon. No….really. The 2010-11 Eddie Johnson Away Soccer Jersey.

Hotcakes I’m telling you. Hotcakes.

And some other ideas:

» Need team kits. Choose, good guys.

» Books? Filip Bondy’s Chasing the Game, Jonathan Wilson’s Inverting the Pyramid and Franklin Foer’s How Soccer Explains The World.

Charlie Davies Up From Reserves, Faces Bordeaux Sunday

Oh momma I can feel this coming....

Update: Sochaux tied Bordeaux 1-1. Chuck Deezy stays rooted to the bench, but that doesn’t really matter, does it?

Update: Sochaux hosts Bordeaux Sunday at 11am EST, 8am PST. FSC will have the game now that Chelsea v. Manchester United has been called off.

On the move, hooray for Davies. Regardless of your disposition to Charlie’s accident, a story of perserverance from the brink is a feel-good and motivator for all.

Without wrecking the moment, this is a good move for Sochaux as well. It rewards Davies for his work against the team that he deposited last year against Bordeaux just a little over a year ago. (Might help some ticket sales as well…kind of cold in France these days.)

Finally, it possibly showcases Davies for a possible loan–as Sochaux coach Francis Gillot intimated was a possibility a year ago.

The most anticipated game of Sunday starts shortly. Below Davies doubles-up against Les Girondins in November of 2009.

Earlier today….

According to the Sochaux web site, Charlie Davies, who scored his two goals against Bordeaux in Ligue One last season, has been called up from the reserves for the first time since his terrible car accident to face the same Bordeaux tomorrow at home.

The US striker has battled for over a year to return to senior team fitness after a horrific accident in Washington D.C. left him fighting for his life in late October of 2009.

Congratulations Charlie from the entire community here at The Shin Guardian.

The Google translation of the Sochaux web site here.


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