The Big Pat On The Back To…..You

Well done TSG Community.....(photo courtesy: Matt Mathai)

A rousing and heartfelt thank you to our community and audience. The Shin Guardian officially turned 6 months old over the weekend. Once again, here was our very first piece.

We’re celebrating our 6-month this week by being down at US Soccer January Player’s Camp at the Home Depot Center. If I suggested that we would even be celebrating a 6-month, let alone celebrating by interviewing Dax McCarty when we started…well lying wouldn’t be too strong a word.

It is a tribute to our community and your continued galvanizing commentary that not only have we sprouted so fast, but we’ve maintained the quality of commentary on our site–at least in the comments section.

So bear with us as we offer a few thank you’s:

• To Dan, Nick and the entire Free Beer Movement contingent, thanks for taking an early interest to our publication and always lending a valuable piece of data, commentary or suggestion. Thank you.

• To Neil, Michael, and everyone at the United States Soccer Federation, for working with us and bearing with us as we harangued and barraged you with questions….and always responding to those in a timely manner. A shout out to Sunil Gulati himself for being quick with replies to our inquiries as well.

• To Clark Haptonstall of the Haptonstall Group— I don’t imagine any up-and-coming players read our site, but if you want to talk to an efficient player rep and publicist, Clark is always considerate to the best of his ability with both our time and those of the athletes he represents. Class act, Clark Haptonstall. Thank you Clark for always giving us the time of day.

Dilly Duka in 2014: Yes We Can Antonio

• To Connor, Charles, Patrick, Tuesday, Kevin, Greg and everyone who continually voice valuable and well-thought-out points of view on our site. Oh what the hell, to Antonio as well, despite his infatuations with Dilly Duka–we know, we know “Duka in 2014, Yes We Can!”–we’ve got the shirts in the mail already. Kidding Antonio.

• To Shaun Webb and his column additions at TSG. Shaun helps balance our commentary with his European-born tint. May Rafa keep Torres, inspire Gerrard, and lead your Reds to the Champion’s League once more.

• To Small Bar Chicago and Danny Coyles San Francisco, for aiding us as we investigated close caption programming during the Honduras “fiasco.” Thank you.

• To Miss Shinguardian (my girlfriend) and Mrs. Shinguardian (Mark’s wife) who have managed to plead “stop writing on that thing” less and less.

• To the Justin and all the American Outlaws, one of the finest support groups any team could have. You guys are killer. Looking forward to watching the Honduras game in a few weeks and getting my ear drums blown out.

• To my brother, who balances out my aggressive behavior and my commentary with unique takes on the beautiful game, soccer history and issued one of our most popular piece’s “Soccertown, USA.” Those that don’t know, Mark was on this soccer stadium/Soccertown USA soccer tip long before Bill Simmons chimed in.

• To Kyle Rogers at Hillcrest Road blog for soliciting us to interview Coach Peter Vermes as we were getting going. Thanks Kyle. Oh and nice job on getting Hillcrest Road nominated for best blog this year.

• To Mac and all the guys at ESPN, for being gracious hosts upon our visit for the World Cup draw and taking our phone calls as we got started. We know your job sometimes puts you in a precarious position to answering all our questions, yet you guys handle it oh-so-tactfully. Thank you.

• To Kartik Krishnaiyer…a great partner in crime on our ESPN excursion.

• To the knuckleheads Chris and Scott–kidding–at Die Hipster Brewing Company, thanks for the Beckerman and McCarty brews. We are currently en route to see if Dax does in fact approve of his mash mix. Die Hipster….those guys are legit. Thank you.

• To Matt Mathai, for some of the best photos that you see on The Shin Guardian….including the one above.

• To the USMNT primarily, may your path to glory in South Africa be both long and short, thanks for the content.

• To all we’ve missed, write us and we’ll make sure to update the piece.

Happy 6-month to our entire TSG community. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

21 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by brian on 2010/01/11 at 2:18 PM

    6 mos. is fairly young. I’m somewhat of a newbie to TSG, but I was under the impression that TSG had been around for a while. Anyways, I love the running commentary


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/01/11 at 2:24 PM

      Thanks Brian…great feedback.

      “Shaun, you hear Brian! He wants more running commentary!”


  2. by far and away the first site I check every day. keep up the good work fellas.


  3. Posted by MichaelN on 2010/01/11 at 3:40 PM

    can’t wait to see your impressions of some of the guys in camp….here’s to the next six months


  4. Posted by Kevin on 2010/01/11 at 4:22 PM

    Congrats and thanks for the shout out. Ten times better than Ives or clueless match fit USA. You give thanks to your readers a lot but sometimes it doesn’t seem like you give yourself enough credit.


  5. Posted by Oliver Gaspard on 2010/01/11 at 5:21 PM

    Just discovered this site about a week ago and I have to say i’m very surprised it’s so young. Despite finding out about it so recently it’s become one of the first sites I check in the morning (but never before WestHamTilIDie, of course). It’s so well done that I was under the impression that you guys had being doing this for a couple years. Quality site, keep it up.


  6. Posted by Max G on 2010/01/11 at 5:24 PM

    Great site, here’s to another six months and beyond


  7. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/01/11 at 5:38 PM

    Hey guys, this is Matthew. Mark and I are going bright and early to Home Depot Center to watch U.S. camp…..

    Thanks for all the kind words.

    Also use the comments to suggest things we could do better or types of features you want to see more of.

    If we can, we’ll oblige.

    Cheers and thanks again,


  8. Posted by patrickhattrick on 2010/01/11 at 7:21 PM

    Great blog, guys. I discovered this little gem a month ago and it quickly surpassed SBI as my leading national soccer provider because of the personal-ism. It’s a great setup, (my dream is to get into the comment Hall of Fame), I love the sidebars, glad to see another LFC fan out there, and I like the touch of originality and funnyness in all of the posts. Keep it coming, guys!


  9. I’m glad you guys got into this. You are definitely one of my “must reads” every time you post.

    Keep up the good work.



  10. Posted by Arcticules on 2010/01/11 at 7:49 PM

    I really like your perspective – it is critical, sophisticated, and injected with just the right amount of humor. Keep up the good work.


  11. Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/01/11 at 8:28 PM

    This is my favorite post of all time. You guys posted a picture of Duke. I love you guys.

    I think of Dilly as Benny!’s little brother. they look the same, they play the same. Now I’m starting to think of Louis Gil as Dilly’s little brother. I won’t start now.

    p.s. thanks for the shout out and for starting the newest campaign. I wish TSG all the best of luck & commenters & communal/personal discussion. Allez TSG.


  12. Posted by K.M. Morris on 2010/01/11 at 9:11 PM

    Guys, congrats on the great blog. I was also under the impression that you’d been around forever. Quite an amazing job you’ve done in such a short time. Also glad to hear that 1/2 of you attended school in the snow capital of America.


  13. Posted by dino1er on 2010/01/11 at 9:20 PM

    u guys are awesome been reading since the beginning, by the way when is practice open to the public i would like 2 go

    thanks dino,

    american outlaws la chapter


  14. Posted by Mark T on 2010/01/11 at 9:23 PM

    It has been quite a six months for Matthew and I. This has always been about connecting with others around this great sport of soccer and enjoying the discussion we can foster through our writing. Where we are in such a short amount of time is a testament to the entire community.

    I’d like to make it a point to thank Matthew whose idea it was to start TSG and whom most of you come here to read. I knew he was quite learned about the beautiful game, but he continues to surprise me with his knowledge.


    P.S. I know Matthew has been the workhorse on here of late, but as long as you guys don’t mind, I plan on balancing out the writing now that I am no long traveling around the country as I have been the last 2.5 months.


  15. Posted by donumdei on 2010/01/11 at 10:20 PM

    I too was under the impression that TSG had been along for longer, a happy misunderstanding born of the sheer quality to be found here day in and day out. Ever since I stumbled upon your writings it has been the first source for USMNT news I check each day and the last. Arcticules, I couldn’t have said it any better.

    On one of the few notes more important than the beautiful game, I’d also like to extend my appreciation and respect to the whole TSG community, including my fellow readers, with regards to the sheer class demonstrated here with every click of the ‘submit’ button. It’s a point of distinction that is worth boasting over that TSG’s pages are absent of the kind of barely civil, senseless fan(aticism) that unfortunately blemishes so much of the sporting world’s periodicals with virtual screaming contests and ugly put downs. It’s also great to have actual fans for the team whose devotion allows for honest and informed discussion, admitting our weakness as well as our strengths.

    In short, thanks for helping put the beautiful in the game. Keep up the great work


  16. Posted by Kevin U. on 2010/01/11 at 11:12 PM

    Great website I read it everyday keep up the good work


  17. Thanks for shout-out gentlemen. Like everyone else here who writes brilliant commentary, I must say that I am only able to contribute so frequently because the pieces are so well thought out, interesting, and amusing. Keep up the good work and enjoy your trip to camp Cupcake. And, here’s to the next six months.


  18. Posted by Matt Mathai on 2010/01/12 at 7:46 AM

    Thanks for the nod. I love this blog – it’s one of my must-reads. Congratulations and good wishes for the future.

    Am I the only freak who’s already getting pumped up for the summer? I find myself thinking about it when I need to be working…


    • No you’re not the only one who’s jacked up about it. I’m “working” as we speak but my thoughts are constantly elsewhere (either my indoor match tonight, my summer team that’s getting put together, and most often the US and WC2010).

      Me: We should start a support group. Hi my name is Nick, and I’m a diehard. WC2010 is already ruining my productivity at work and starting to alter my moods.

      Everyone: Hi Nick!


  19. Posted by ernj on 2010/01/12 at 9:30 AM

    My newest must read. Can’t believe you guys have only been around for 6 months. Love the personal touch and in depth looks.


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