Archive for March, 2012

Video: Speaking On Behalf of the Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire defender Dan Gargan, boisterous about the Fire’s chances always on Twitter, goes video with a build-up to Saturday’s game.

As Brian McBride has retired, the ambassador gauntlet has been thrown down. Gargan is running with it.

Caleb Porter & The US U-23’s Open Olympic Qualifying With Cuba

Caleb Porter, hoping for the US to stick out in the CONCACAF crowd...

Editor’s Note: No in-depth preview here today.

Jay Bell will be covering the Olympic qualifying semi’s and final at Livestrong Park in Kansas City for TSG.

The United States Under-23 Men’s National Team opens Group A play in the 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament against Cuba at 9 p.m. ET Thursday, March 22, at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn.

Can't really call this post "Orange Slices"...so "bits" it is...

Broadcast: The match is televised live on the Universal Sports Network, Mun2 and CONCACAF.com.

• Digits

13 players on the roster have played in at least one World Cup at the youth level, and four players – Adu, Jared Jeffrey, Shea and Sheanon Williams – have appeared in both the U-17 and U-20 tournaments.

4 Players who were coached by Caleb Porter at Akron (Teal Bunbury, Perry Kitchen, Kofi Sarkodie, Zarek Valentin)
4 Goals scored by Freddy Adu during the USA’s 2008 Olympic Qualifying
8 Players who have earned a cap with the U.S. senior team

Last Time at LP for the U-23‘s: March 20th, 2008

In the semifinal on March 20 against Canada, midfielder Freddy Adu scored a pair of goals and Sacha Kljestan added a third as the U.S. cruised to a 3-0 win and a spot in the Olympic Games in Beijing.

The U.S. lineup that: 1-Chris Seitz; 2-Marvell Wynne, 3-Michael Orozco, 17-Jonathan Spector, 5-Nathan Sturgis; 16-Sacha Kljestan (14-Robbie Findley, 88) , 6-Maurice Edu (capt.), 10-Dax McCarty, 7-Stuart Holden; 11-Freddy Adu (20-Eddie Gaven, 82) 12-Jozy Altidore (9-Charlie Davies, 75)

11 At The Whistle

A possible deployment. *Disclaimer, review of U-23 has been infrequent here at TSG to date.


Gaffney: The Slithering Path to Brazil 2014 Continues…

Professor Christopher Gaffney updates TSG on Brazil 2014.

Chris Gaffney

About: Professor Gaffney is a visiting professor at the Universidade Federal Fluminese in the Department of Architecture and Urbanism. His research and teaching at the university are focused on the urban and social impacts of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Gaffney, also, is the author of “Temples of the Earthbound Gods” an annal that explores the history, geography and culture of stadiums in Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires.

Finally, Professor Gaffney currently serves as the Vice President of the National Fans Association (ANT – Associação Nacional dos Torcedores, torcedores.org.br).

Professor Gaffney has written exclusively for TSG on the impending disaster of Brazil 2014 over the past two years.

You can find more of Gaffney’s writing on his own publication, Geostadia.

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The past month has not been pleasant for Ricardo Teixeira.

The coming month will be even worse for João Havelange.

Teixiera. Out.

Citing reasons of health, Teixeira has resigned from his positions as the president of the CBF (Brazilian Football Confederation), president of the Brazil 2014 Local Organizing Committee, and FIFA Executive Board member.

Teixeria had been at the helm of the CBF since before the Berlin Wall fell and it was a position for which he was never qualified, either personally or professionally.

Well, personally, he was connected through marriage to Havelange who TSG readers will likely not remember as the president of the Brazilian sports federation CBD from 1956-1974 but will remember him as president of FIFA from 1974-1998.

The nonagenarian Havelange was admitted to the hospital last week and appears to be getting worse.

These two have been linked to the ISL/FIFA corruption and bribery scandal laid open recently by Andrew Jennings.

An anonymous plaintiff has petitioned the Swiss courts to hold the incriminating documents, ostensibly until the ink has dried on the obituaries.

Havelange and Teixeira leave a twisted, opaque legacy that will take years to sort through.

Havelange and a twisted legacy

As head of FIFA, Havelange coddled dictators in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay as well as in Africa and Asia. The one federation, one vote policy of FIFA (where the F.A. of São Tome e Principe has the same voting power as the USSF) allowed Havelange to exploit his significant wealth and influence to maintain power. It is important to note that Havelange’s family was extraordinary wealthy, their fortune coming from the international arms trade which ol’ João also reportedly dabbled in.

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MLS Mornings: Pre-Game Roasts & Brews

Eric Giardini spills the beans on what should be in your mug….the first in TSG’s MLS Travel Series

Morning...

It’s 7:00 in the morning and you’re settling in on the couch to begin a long day of soccer viewing.

What are you reaching for?

If you are like me, perhaps 7:00 is a bit too early for beer (and if it isn’t, you are my hero).

Perhaps you need something else. Something that can wake you up for a long morning and afternoon of games.

Or, if you’ve ever road tripped to see your club or national team play and have had to leave first thing in the morning, what are you in need of? If you are anything like me, you are reaching for a cup of coffee.

Coffee, much like beer, has undergone a revolution in recent years. Gone are the days of the giant tubs of pre-ground coffee, scooping it into a machine and hitting “Brew.” Coffee is becoming more and more like beer with localized roasters fine-tuning their craft around the country, which allows for a higher quality, fresher product.

And so, piggybacking off the success of any of the beer focused pieces we’ve done in the past, we though we’d reach out to local roasters in cities with MLS clubs and compile a list of those doing great things with coffee.

Our goal is to provide a resource for places to grab a cup when in town for a match, or beans to brew at home. We contacted roasters in each of the 19 MLS cities and, while we weren’t able to hear back from all of them, we had quite a few that were more than happy to participate and were gracious enough to send samples. It was a difficult task drinking fantastic coffee every morning from some of the best roasters around, but I did it for you.

(Also, I’m not a professional taster so forgive my amateur tasting notes. Thank you in advance.)

Eastern Conference

Old City....Philly vintage...

Philadelphia: Old City Coffee

Founded in 1984, these guys have been a staple in the Philly coffee scene for 27 years. Roasting in small batches guarantees that the freshest coffee will be available at either of their two café locations in Philadelphia. I was fortunate enough to be able to taste their best selling Old City Blend coffee, and I can see why they sell so much of it. The Old City Blend nicely combined the earthiness that South American beans tend to give with the more floral, citrus notes of Ethiopian beans. If you find yourself in the Old City District of Philadelphia, stop by their location on Church Street.

Kansas City: PT’s Coffee

While technically not in Kansas City, we would have been remiss to leave out a former Roast Magazine Roaster of the Year out of Topeka. After beginning as a single café in 1993, PT’s has grown and supplies coffee around the country. Of the coffees we were able to try, the Guatemala Finca El Injerto was my favorite. The caramel and chocolate flavors were pronounced; yet overall the coffee remained round and well balanced.

The "make-it-happen" team at PT's

And to tie this into soccer, PT’s has partnered with the Prodigy Youth Soccer Association in Topeka to help Topeka-area youth soccer players receive the funding to offset annual dues. Through the sales of Flor del Sol, PT’s hopes to raise $1500 for the Jon Kaspar Memorial Scholarship Fund in memory of a former barista and soccer player in the Prodigy Soccer set up. The Flor del Sol is only available for a limited time, so if you are into great coffee and helping youth soccer players and their families, act quickly. I know I will.

Dynam-ic

Houston: Java Pura

With five cafes in the Houston area, there are plenty of locations for Houston coffee drinkers to find Java Pura. Named the Best Coffee Roaster in Houston by the Houston Press, Java Pura’s mission is to provide drinkers the freshest, locally roasted coffee possible. Many of their coffees are Fair Trade and organic. The Costa Rica “Don Teofilo” was sampled and the earthy, nutty aroma was balanced with chocolate and citrus flavors to create a very enjoyable cup.

Western Conference

Portland: Stumptown Coffee; Public Domain Coffee

Stumptown...hard to go wrong...

Not surprisingly, two roasters from Portland participated in our guide. Stumptown is a fairly easy-to-find coffee that can be purchased by the bag across the country, and they have cafés in Portland, Seattle, and New York City. The Hair Bender blend is their most popular coffee and most versatile as it worked well in my French Press or as espresso.

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Selected Images: DC United Falls To The Los Angeles Galaxy

Matt Mathai’s eyes are back! About time…..


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Video: A Peek In On The U-23’s Where Freddy Adu Is Now Captain…

Freddy Adu, made captain of the U-23’s today….

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