Archive for July, 2011

Not To Be Outdone? Ode To O’Reilly

The actual email exchange below.



i saw the rapinoe song friday and knew i had to make one for heather o’reilly, so i did:
i had already been thinking of making a team song…i was gonna rhyme rapinoe with “neato”.  casino is a much better choice.

anyway, when i heard someone had made one for rapinoe i had to hurry up!  made in less than 1.5 days. (i’m kinda proud how quick it came together) hope you like it.



American Idoly-type stuff.
This will go up now.


(Now if someone does one in 45 minutes for Hope Solo to Bette Midler’s “The Wind Beneath My Wings” I might literally die.)

Women’s World Cup Final Primer: US vs. Japan

Update: USA vs. Japan: Live Commentary…right here

TSG’s Maura Gladys almost home with her primer for the Women’s World Cup Final.

Rodriguez will start of course...

There’s really not much to talk about at this point. We can talk about tactics, strategy and lineups for hours, but it won’t do any good.

The U.S. is big and physical.  The Japanese are short and speedy.

Rapinoe's version of the Haka...

Amy Rodriguez will start. Megan Rapinoe will not.

The United States will probably looked frazzled at some points.

But for all intents and purposes, what’d done is done. After 90 minutes (hopefully) tomorrow in Frankfurt, a new Women’s World Cup Champion will be crowned, and either team competing for the title will be deserving.

What we do know is that the two friendlies that the teams played in May, which the U.S. won by identical scores of 2-0, are inaccurate reflections of both teams.

Japan still plays the same disciplined, possession style that they did in May, but on top of that, they’ve added a creative, dynamic attack and a willingness to mix it up and take outside shots instead of always trying to play into the box.

The United States, for as much as they talked about switching to a possession-based style at the time, has been making it’s living off of aggressive play and set pieces.

As different as the two squad’s seem, they have some striking similarities, that could factor into tomorrow’s match.

Sawa on Wambach

Homare Sawa, the team’s unquestioned veteran leader, has, as her counterpart for this situation, Abby Wambach, put it, “literally [put] her team on her back and [carried] them to the final. “ She’s done this with four goals in five matches, three of which were scored with her head.

Sound familiar? Wambach only has three goals, two with her head, one with her shoulder, but the sentiment is still there, and it’s clear that Wambach, one of the team’s veteran leaders, has done as much as Sawa to inspire her own team.

The two teams also share an adeptness for set pieces. Japan has the brilliant Aya Miyama who has three assists, and can bend or float a ball to a certain spot at will.  The U.S. counters with Lauren Cheney and Megan Rapinoe behind the ball and, of course, the head of Abby Wambach towering over defenders.

One other potential factor is who scores first. Against both Brazil and France, the United States jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, then sat back while their opponents continuously gunned for a leveler. If the U.S. is going to score first, it would almost be better if it came a little later in the game. This way, the squad would already be settled into a rhythm and wouldn’t just be pleased with its great start.

In the end, and we know this going into it, this game is about heart, and hope, and all that good stuff that we talk about when we know that it’s about more than a game. Both teams have already displayed a remarkable amount of intangibles to get to this point, and you almost don’t want to see either side lose, if only for the compelling storylines that come out of a victory. Either Japan brings glory and happiness to a wounded nation, or the U.S. writes a happy ending to its fairytale. Either way, hearts will be broken tomorrow.

But don’t worry about that for now. Be excited. Let the Megan Rapinoe song get stuck in your head, pump up some “Never Solo” and tonight, let the sweet sweet melodies of Pia Sundhage’s version of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Feelin’ Groovy” lull you to sleep.

2011 Transfer Time: Silly Season Is Going Down! Bottom’s Up!

Ah it’s silly season…when rumors of Wayne Rooney heading to Barcelona, Manchester City signing every player from Barcelona and AS Roma signing all the Americans run rampant.

Let's sell some papers....AND it came true!

First, stop what you’re doing. If you haven’t read our piece from last transfer season about how most US (and pretty much any nation’s) transfer rumors are really just a stupid spiral of creating clicks from your computer to some failing online newspaper, be sure to do that.

Here’s the equation again, if you don’t want to fall into our trap of clicking on one of our columns:

US (or any) Player + Newly promoted team with budget OR Team with history of employing players of same ilk as Player + Dodgy, Sensational Publication = Suspect Rumor

Keep that one in your back pocket as you hear the ridiculous rumors of Wesley Sneijder bound for City, Landon Donovan for Newcastle or RVP for Mars. (Not sure even Mars wants to deal with Van Persie’s ego….unless he’s healthy.)

Oh and by the way for all the bbbbbuzz about AS Roma picking up every American from Jermaine Jones to Jack McBean, the tally of Americans at Daniel De Rossi’s stomping grounds is precisely zilch.

So let’s kickoff our silly season coverage with the following:

• Here’s what’s gone down (over the past week)

• Here’s what’s rumored to be going down (some more incredible than others)


• Here’s some hypothetical trades….if there were, you know, trades between teams and leagues.


Shouldn't this be Cesc in this picture?

Here’s what’s gone down (over the past week)

» Stewart Downing rolls from Aston Villa down to Liverpool to join newcomers Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson

The skinny: Along with the addition of Sunderland up-and-comer Jordan Henderson and Blackpool standout (though apparently locker room villian) Charlie Adam, Liverpool’s front six (with a healthy Andy Carroll presumed) is taking on a very lethal appearance….and perhaps more importantly doesn’t need to rely on the health or wistfulness of one Steven Gerrard (might Gerrard be Fed-Ex’d somewhere shortly?).

Just yesterday, Liverpool scooped up the Revivalist Known as Stewart Downing. Once the heir apparent to David Beckham on the Three Lions, Downing went down with Middlesborough in relegation a few years, was procured by Aston Villa, proclaimed his allegiance to the club and became a mainstay on the flank for them. He’ll get the same chance at Liverpool and add width to an attack that includes carbo-burner Dirk Kuyt as well. Scary…scary as well for Joe Cole who now may need to look for work in Germany…or Turkey? … or the Red Bulls….(now that would be good rumor starting right there….)

Seems like Liverpool’s Carroll splash has done the job, no?

» Gervinho to Arsenal

The skinny: The Eduardo that Arsene Wenger never had. TSG is predicting a fantasy explosion for the Lille forward winger. With Andrei Arshavin motivated by (night)club appearances and Samir Nasri playing “He loves me; he loves me not” with Wenger and the Emirates, a solid pick-up here for the London powerhouse.

Another Riise....really?!!!

» John Arne Risse’s left boot and that’s about it inbound to Fulham from Roma

The skinny: Unfortunately this isn’t the 2002 version of Risse. It’s real nice that Risse wants to link up with his brother Bjorn (also at Craven Cottage), but if you’re trying to appeal to the wandering eye of Clint Dempsey or Brede Hangeland, there’s got to be something better up the Cottagers sleeve this month or that Michael Jackson statue is going to get vandalized by frustrated fans.

» Ashley Young once a Villian, now plays a Red Devil

The skinny: Ashley Young to Manchester United–that’s going to be a nightmare for opponents. So now United possess two capable and true wide players in Antonio Valencia and Young, either of whom can be offset or rested for Nani.

As in Nani, the 1st half MVP for United last season.

Fergie has figured out that to give life to Wayne Rooney, it’s not follicles that are needed, but license to drop deep for ball reception and linking, with acreage provided ahead of him by the off-ball movement of Chicharito. Scary. United are going be a bundle for their foils next year with a formation that’s going to look more like a 4-2-4 with a diamond at the top.

» Brad Freidel to carries a Rednapp(sack) next season.

The skinny: Hmm, stay at Villa where the management is in flux and the club is hemmoraging attackers OR….or…head to Spurs and challenge Heurelho Gomes for a starting role and the right to watch Bale’s rumbles from an excellent vantage point?

Where do I sign?

The days of playing in the snow with Robinho are over for Micah Richards

» Gael Clichy, just your everyday Citizen.

The skinny:  That sound you just heard? Either it was the thud of coin hitting Clichy’s bank account or it was Micah Richards hitting the treadmill realizing that the good ol’ days are over unless he restricts the waistline.

» Mourinho gets his man, Fabio Coentrao

The skinny: Ashley Cole’s number has just been deleted from Mourinho’s contacts. This is the year for Real Madrid if it ever will be under Ye Old Special One.

Malaga...yes we come!

» Malaga. Okay, who wants to join Malaga?

The skinny: Malaga has been downright insane this offseason. They’re like Manchester City’s bastard child or something.

Here’s who they’ve already rolled the dice on: Jeremy Toulalan, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Joris Mathijsen, Isco, Martin Demichelis.

There like your buddy in your fantasy league who buys on reputation…from 2004 and he may get real lucky….or not.

Next up, Lucho Gonzalez or Damien Duff? How ’bout Michael Owen?

» US national David Yelldell with a doozy of an opportunity at Leverkusen

The skinny: Okay, you make the call. More amazing? Yelldell is a solid American goalkeeper and he has hair or incoming from Duisberg Yelldell finds himself in the thick of a battle for the starting spot at the #2 team in the Bundesliga because ace keeper Rene Adler is out with knee surgery.

Yelldell, perhaps the most interesting American abroad to watch as the 2011-2012 campaign gets underway.

» Fabio Quagliarella, Andres Pirlo to Juventus

The skinny: Wedding season at Juventus as they pick up something old in midfield maestro Pirlo from Milan and something new, “Q” who should set the league on fire freed from a Napoli team that often wasn’t enough about him.

Continue reading

Freaking Fantastic: The Megan Rapinoe…Song

I laughed. I cried.

I’ve played it like 350 times already.

SF Local: The Jay DeMerit Story Shines This Saturday

As Chali 2na would say, “Bay…….AAAAAREA!”

If you’re by the most golden of gates this Saturday, stop into Danny Coyles on Haight Street to catch a showing of “Rise & Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story.”

The good crew behind the production is looking to make it into a full-fledged movie release and is oh-so-close to doing it. They’re just 5% away from their goal of $215,000 needed, sitting on $207,908 at the time this promo went to press.

They’ve got 1,681 backers already. Just throw a few dollars their way after reading this or come out on Saturday and enjoy the festivities with San Francisco’s chapter of the American Outlaws supporter group and see the belief that all the “investors” currently have.

Remember, this Saturday, July 16th at Danny Coyles on Haight St. in San Francisco. You can attend the event on Facebook here.

And if you can’t? Please, please donate here. (Fantastic poster above done by Live Breathe Futbol….and they’ve got shirts.)


….oh you want more?

Some of the most interesting parts of the film are these moments when these people open up about how unique and inspiring a tale Jay has woven.

Lewis said the whole project took about a year and landed the crew on three continents.

“There’s a story within a story about how this film was made,” Lewis said.

He continued, “In a lot of ways it was just like Jay’s story.

The Shin Guardian was the first publication to review the documentary and speak with the filmmakers. You can read all about it here.


TSG: So the relationship you have with Jay, is it more like Mork & Mindy, Laurel & Hardy, Robbie Rogers & Sacha Kljestan or Bob Bradley & Sunil Gulati?

Chopper: I like to think we get along well. Though we are different, we have a respect for each other and our mutual goal. Kind of like a Starsky and Hutch. And we even have the car…

The Shin Guardian also interviewed Jay DeMerit’s……BEARD! Yeah, that’s right. His name is Chopper….and it was fascinating. You can check that out here.

Report: Jozy Altidore Heads To The Eredivisie

Talking Turkey...

US national and Villarreal club goer Jozy Altidore is expected to don the red and black of AZ Alkmaar in the Netherland’s highest division the Eredivisie. Shut out of a role up top for the Yellow Submarine, Altidore will head northward to compete under the watchful of former US national Ernie Stewart who assumed the Technical Director role at the club just last June.

It was originally reported by Greg Seltzer at MLS Soccer that Alkmaar–4th in the table in the last campaign–was looking at Altidore, but needed to make some personnel moves of their own. Fox Soccer confirmed the move Thursday evening.

This represents the fourth club that Altidore will play for in a little over a year. Altidore concluded the 2009-2010 season at Hull City, then in the Premiership in England. He headed back to Villarreal and found playing time tough to come by for the early part of the 2010 season and ended up on lone to Bursaspor in Turkey’s top league to close out the 2010-2011 campaign.

It’s unknown whether this is a permanent transfer for seasonal loan at the time.

USWNT: Amy LePeilbet Infographic, plus Lloyd-Cheney Review…

Got a little curmudgeony this morning–apologies.

Lloyd always does the dirty work in the US midfield...

The disposition was due in part to the suggestion that Carli Lloyd hasn’t upheld her part of the bargain in central midfield for the US given Lauren Cheney’s move their in yesterday’s game against France. Some quick observations:

» Lloyd played nearly double the amount of time that Cheney did against Brazil. Lloyd of course plays the more, say, tedious and responsibility-driven role of CM for the USWNT.

» The USWNT soon introduced the soup-du-jour Megan Rapinoe after Cheney’s move inward. Rapinoe’s energy, runs, possession and overall gnat-like impact on the other team can not be understated against France

» France–as Maura Gladys aptly pointed out in the review–gambled with 3-deep and adding an extra attacker against the States. The States in turn: a) pushed up and b) controlled the run-of-play up the field as the move backfired for France manager Bruno Bini.

Cheney's been lending Amy a hand, leg, foot, what have you as the WC has progressed...

Anywho…all this got me thinking that the crickets around Amy LePeilbet’s play at left back have sought pasture with the ones exterminated by Abby Wambach coming on like gangbusters.

Found this interesting infographic below floating around the World Wide Web that compares criticism level around LePeilbet to the amount of cover that’s been provided over top of her against various opponents. Interesting, huh? Big difference for LePeilbet has been Cheney taking a little less venture-forward-and-hopefully-get-back-role at left mid as the tournament has progressed as well later match cover (against Brazil & France) by both Megan Rapinoe–predominantly–and Heather O’Reilly (early against France). Early on Cheney did a lot of in-cutting and left LePeilbet basically to fend for herself–not the same on the Krieger-O’Reilly flank.

(Okay, I didn’t find the graphic it happened upon my Google spreedsheets this morning.)



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