Archive for October, 2010

Holloway Lambastes Wayne Rooney

Thought Blackpool was feisty on the field, well it’s due to manager Ian Holloway…who lets loose on Wayne Rooney right here.

Cue, applause…

Mark Schlereth: Indirect Commentary On Soccer

Update: You’re right.

Oops. My bad.

As I’ve mentioned before on TSG, the best part about this publication is the astute, well-thought-out replies that exist in the commentary section.

A number of good points in there today regarding this piece.

I do still maintain, despite the author not being as qualified and despite invoking soccer (both which he can be taken to task for), that Schlereth’s points on the “contact nature” of football as driving popularity are valid.


One of the things I preach in business and is a common business phrase is the question “What are you solving for?” I ask myself that when I write any piece. It’s important not necessarily to have a clear goal of what you want to get across (that comes out in the writing) but have, well, a grasp of what issue, point that “you are solving for?”

Failed miserably in this piece this morning. I took a piece that was a commentary on the NFL that wove a disparaging remark on soccer into it and used it as a basis for commentary on how the beautiful game is played.

My bad. I’ll chalk it up–incorrectly–to being up at 4am with the newborn who, despite being a baby girl, fairly looks like Carlos from the Hangover these days.


I put the video up below because it actually plays well if you’re a sports fan in general.

I love when people take a stand for what they believe in right or wrong.

Mark Schlereth rants on the NFL–calling it the National Hypocrite League–in this video and it’s a good one. He makes a one-word reference to soccer around the 3:30 mark, that taken out of context reads, “We’re selling videos! The reason why the NFL is popular? You take away the contact away guess what you are . You’re soccer. That’s (contact) why Americans love football.”

….and Schlereth is spot-on!

His rant is not a knock on soccer and by no means should be taken as such.

In fact, it’s accurate commentary on why soccer is a less popular sport in the United States because American’s appreciate contact. (Can you say MMA?)

Contact, in soccer, is huge part of the game….perhaps Schlereth doesn’t understand how much (that is a fair criticism of his statements here)…but it’s not the object of the game at all turns.

In fact, soccer is a beautiful game, in my mind, because it combines ferocious contact at times immediately juxtaposed against ballet-like grace.

Hockey is the only other game that has that beautiful dicotomy of play in the same range. It’s what makes both great.

Wondomania Sweeps MLS Wednesday Night

Kerosene on his MVP campaign? You bet. (Still not quite there in TSG’s book…top five though).

At $48,000 per year, San Jose Earthquakes forward-striker Chris Wondolowski just has his coming out party this year….at the spry age of 27.

Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara last night played the stage to Wondo’s latest exploits. A hat trick against Chivas in much less than 90 minutes of work.

$48K per? 17 of his team’s 33 goals?

You certainly earn a post on TSG with the highlight video that the San Jose Earthquakes put out quickly on YouTube for you last evening. Well played.

After the page break, post game comments from Wondo who earlier in the day said he would vote for Edson Buddle for MVP.

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Wednesday Follow-ups: Champs, Rooney, LD10

Wednesday follow-ups:

• Champs League:

Champ's League'ing

Mo Edu and Jermaine Jones cut the grass in Champion’s League action today.

Edu and ‘Gers take on Mata and Valencia who have been on form all season.

Jones and Schalke host Hapoel Tel Aviv. The only recognizable name for on Tel Aviv is former Espanyol and Portsmouth man Ben Sahar. Sorry folks.

Both are listed as starters.

• Niggling for Houllier:

Shaun sent me this text on Saturday after we both watched Villa draw Chelsea: “I still wish the US had courted Houiller. That was an all around top performance from Villa and they should have won it!”

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Ho-Hum: Lando To Everton…We’ve Got Better

I'll talk about this kit in a minute...

We’ve heard it before Landon Donovan wants to go to Everton.

It’s not truly newsworthy.

When a player goes to the media and says something–witness Wayne Rooney this week–it’s a signal that ranges somewhere between they are either not happy or they want something to happen OR–witness Robert Mancini’s Man City Landon comments in the summer–just a issuing courtesy, a nicety, to the audience (the radio show was in Merseyside) that will hear the report.

You be the judge of the interview which you can find here.

The key quote perhaps, “It would be hard to say no. I really hope that, if it’s not this year, I get to go back there and play again.”

We’ll take the “news” in a different vector this morning.

Inspired by TSG community member Nick Poleto via Twitter this morning, I just jotted ten things Landon Donovan could have told BBC Radio Merseyside radio instead of “I’m interested in Everton.” that as Nick says would have been “awesomely refreshing.”

Please add some in the comments so I can replace the 9 out of 10 stinkers in this list.

10. “Nah, Everton stink and the weather is atrocious, I’m staying in LA”. Ha! (courtesy @NickPoleto)

9. There’s a tiger in my bathroom.

8. I’m only coming over if you let the Followtonians guys on the pitch and they grant me my freaking interview request. Those guys are so hard to get a hold of!


7. Remember then I was on the Kyle Martino show and said I didn’t think that Bob’s going to be back? Well, that’s because that Gazoo-look-a-like Sunil told me he had the contract wrapped up with that pasty-skinned German and now I look like an idiot.

Had to even cancel my weekly low-key drink night with Klinsy at Chez Jay!

Thanks Sunil. That’s what I get for Algeria.

6. We had to trade Alan Gordon because the guy would just not leave me alone. All he wanted to do is go out in Hollywood and he kept saying “We’re L.A’s strikeforce”…we’re going to get all the ladies!

I still see him around HDC now but now he is focusing his schtick on that Tom Brady doppelganger Justin Braun. Good luck with that one SuperBraun.

5. Who the f*ck puts a title game in Toronto just before the freaking winter. Of course, I’m pushing for a transfer!

Get rid of these kits and I'm in!

4. If you fix your defense, stopping pushing Fellaini forward to point forward, drop Leon Osman, somehow make Luis Saha actually give a damn, try that Mucha guy out in goal and get rid of those silly Sears Highlighter picture kits, then I’ll consider going back.

Don’t tell Timmy that Mucha part though. Can you strike that when it goes live?

3. Landon: “I am Everton’s golden god!”

Landon: “And you can tell the good folks of Goodison that my final words here today are… I’m on drugs!”

Bianca in the background: “Um Landon, you sure you want to say that?”

Landon: “Okay, I got it, I got it. Last words…last words…I dig……football!

Bianca: <whew….>

Landon: “And I’m on drugs!”

2. Don Garber is the motherf*cking anti-christ!

1. I’d rather play for Liverpool!

Odds & Ends: Tuesday Edition

Some quick quips to start out Tuesday:

This Nike curse is no joke, huh?

Update via an Alex Ferguson press conference:

Wayne Rooney was stretchered off in practice today with an ankle injury. (Odd for a club to share that if the player is to be moved…)

♦ Fergie: “the player says he’s adamant he wants to leave

On Wayne Rooney: as we tweeted Sunday, something about this Wayne Rooney situation is eerily familiar.

Our Twitter rumination: It’s like Fergie knows when a player has lost a step & under the cover of “a feud” gets more than fair value (Beckham, Heinze, Van Nistelroy) and now perhaps Rooney?

Something eerily familiar.

Frequent TSG contributor Ryan Rosenblatt sends us this piece here that says a FIFA loophole might short circuit Manchester United’s leverage in a transfer and more importantly make a $5M buyout of Rooney’s contract a possibility next summer. Digging into this Tuesday.


• As we’ll learn with our opus on Preston Zimmerman, it’s not always peaches, cream and playing time for Americans in the Old World.

Fix that hinge!

» A report (best translation available) out of Norway suggests Marcus Tracy, who TSG last saw hobbling-jogging around the pitch at January Camp 2010, is out through January 2011 and battling some serious knee trouble that might put him out for the year. Best wishes to the former Demon Deacon.

» A report out of Belgium suggests Sacha Kljestan has slipped way down the Anderlecht depth chart after starting off with a bang. Look for more here.

» Captain America-Bocanegra out three weeks with a sprained neck. Who’s getting a ticket to the South Africa friendly with Heath Pearce? Very interesting…


• From the vaults: (found these nuggets hiding in the “Drafts” closet of TSG…oops)

» Bill Hamid psuedo-Death Wishes:


This is "safe" from Hamid...

As if D.C. United need to deal with any more this season, this past week month has brought some funny moments from ginormous-but-shelved keeper Bill Hamid.

For nearly an entire week in September, he tweeted about how he couldn’t wait to get a motorcycle (1, 2, 3) and his motorcycle license. Especially great 140 character limericks from Hamid given he’s now recuperating from shoulder surgery.

He followed that up with a cryptic “Bye Bye World” tweet which forced United’s media guy Kyle Sheldon–already likely scrambling at the time from Ben Olsen-Dominic Kinnear fisticuffs–to placate worried Hamid twitter followers with a tweet that Bill wasn’t depressed.

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Off Topic: Your Top Documentaries

Okay, purists I know I may offend you.

The doc that got it started...

Welcome to the 1st column ever on TSG that is not of and or related to soccer. We’ll try to bring in as many soccerisms as possible.

As a note, I almost penned a piece on George Steinbrenner during his passing. Digression.

The US Ambassador to Brazil Ale Bedoya asked the Twitterati innocuously about some documentaries recommendations yesterday. In the true spirit of kinsmanship, twitterness and whatever else, many in our “Social Network” weighed in and thus our first non-soccer column was born.

And the TSG recommendations below. Please weigh in in the comment section with your ratings, lists and recommendations…and then we’ll be back to soccer.

Lionel Messi Class: For those documentaries that are sublime in skill, creation, drama and finish.

1. Man On Wire

You can’t beat it. What’s astounding about this documentary is you know the outcome before you even watch the movie. I’m going to tell you and frankly it’s not going to give away anything.

Dude walks on a tightrope between the World Trade Center towers.

The story and cinematography will grip you in this one as will the prose of the protagonist. For those that the grew up in or around NY, a degree of wistfulness here.

TSG Rating: 99


2. The King of Kong

One man’s quest to beat the high score on Donkey Kong. I’m not sure ever “in real life” I could really relate to someone who sat in front of a video game all day long.

Somehow though this documentary made me identify with the ecstasies and agonies of the challenger to the record.

It’s got an excellent villain too.

TSG Rating: 89



Maicon Class: For those documentaries that are powerful yet compelling and “soul-jerking” with a hint of machoism

1a. Murderball

The story of the paraplegics who play represent the States and play full contact rugby.

It’s better than a Rocky film…and it makes you cry.

TSG Rating: 91


1b. Touching the Void

Here’s my tip here. Ever been on a surfari, bike journey or merely trekked Europe with a friend? Watch this documentary with them. A significant other would be a suitable replacement.

That’s the machoism. Can’t tell you more or I’d ruin it.

TSG Rating: 91

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