About D.J. Switzer

Soccer player, writer, fan, podcaster and enthusiast... in no particular order. Writing from an American footie fan's perspective at www.wrongsideofthepond.com from Cincinnati, USA.

WSOTP pod: live from the square for the women’s world cup

WSOTP Podcast - Live from the Square for the Women's World Cup Final

Well, I’m not sure how we did it. But somehow we must have appeased the soccer gods enough to once again trick people with power into letting us host the latest #Pondcast on Cincinnati’s Fountain Square, in front of thousands of people. And this latest rendition of the pod is the result. And unlike last year, audio is much improved — so your listening experience will be far more enjoyable.

Recorded both before the USAvJPN final, at halftime and a monologue from Jeremy at home to help tie it all together, you won’t only get our own assessments of the US women’s national team and their opponents. We also welcomed players and coaches from the Cincinnati Lady Saints to offer their opinions on their opinions on the Women’s World Cup and the USWNT’s run to the final. There’s also a really cringe-worthy segment with some fans that didn’t quite know the “I Believe” chant — somewhat redeeming DJ’s own flawed effort from last summer.

So tune in to our second summer installment of the Wrong Side of the Pond Podcast, and stay tuned as we’ll be back in the booth again soon for analysis on the Gold Cup and DJ’s impending trip to the MLS All-Star Game. And as always, if you have questions or comments for the guys to cover on the next podcast, hit us up via the social media links below, or via email at contact@wrongsideofthepond.com.

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soccer is coming back to the square

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During last summer’s male rendition of the FIFA World Cup, a wave of national pride washed over the country, blanketing major cities with watch parties numbering in the thousands for each of the four US Men’s National Team matches.

It was no different here in Cincinnati, where the enthusiasm often transformed into euphoria as the boys were able to survive the “Group of Death”. Over seven thousand people showed up in Cincinnati’s city center to watch the action unfold on the big screen. If you weren’t able to make it, here’s a glimpse at the insanity:

So with the US Women’s National team in action this summer at the Women’s World Cup in Canada, the calls to return to Cincinnati’s Fountain Square were loud and frequent. And while there was absolutely interest to do so from last summer’s hosts — the NPSL’s Cincinnati Saints and Hoist — pre-existing conflicts on the Square’s calendar meant that regular watch parties just weren’t a reality like they were for the men.

Obviously, we were a bit bummed. As the emcee’s for last year’s events, it was absolutely electric experience to be a part of, and we wanted it to happen just as much as anyone.

But luckily, the stars have aligned for the biggest game of the tournament.

Despite a sputtering offense and some uninspiring performances, the US women’s absolutely airtight defense — which has a rather ironic 513-minute shutout streak going — has helped them navigate the tricky waters of their own “Group of Death”, through the knockout round and into their second straight World Cup final. And as it just so happens, Fountain Square had nothing going on during that time slot.

So you know what that means…

WSOTP - Cincinnati Saints Fountain Square WWC

That’s right kids: WE’RE HEADING BACK TO THE SQUARE!

Beginning at 6pm — immediately following the always enjoyable Art on Vine — on this coming Sunday, July 5th, the Cincinnati Saints and Hoist are once again bringing a US Soccer Watch Party back down to Cincinnati’s Fountain Square. And the Wrong Side of the Pond Podcast team is delighted to have once again been invited back to emcee the event!

As with last year, there will beers and drink specials to wet your whistles and keep your vocal chords ready to cheer. Of course there will also be food trucks there — like the delicious Urban Grille — to keep your belly satisfied, too. We here at WSOTP will once again be recording a live podcast prior to kickoff and during halftime, offering our analysis of the action, too.

And oh yeah, there’s that whole opportunity to stand united with thousands as we cheer on the ladies in their efforts to enact revenge on Japan’s 2011 World Cup final win. As of the time of writing, 500 people had already confirmed their attendance on the event’s Facebook page… just two days after it was posted.

So if you’re within 100 miles of the Queen City this Sunday, you’d do best to throw on your US kits and/or red, white and blue garb, grab all of your friends, and bring your best supporter’s faces to the Square to hopefully watch our girls lift the cup.

PS: the weather is looking aces for the weekend, too.

#forcincy match poster 5: saints vs erie commodores

WSOTP - Cincinnati Saints Matchday Poster 5

This week has been a madhouse for me personally, so getting the things that needed to get for the website took a bit of a backseat. As such, I was way behind the eight ball when it came to getting up my next match poster for the Cincinnati Saints’ NPSL match posters. Normally, I try to publish them at least three days ahead of time; this week’s game is tonight and I’m just now publishing. Yikes.

Anyway, the Saints welcome Erie Admirals FC Commodores FC to town tonight for their fourth home match of the NPSL season. As such, I thought a nautical theme would be in order for the match poster this week, given that Erie’s crest and name focus on the same. And I thought there would be no better way to capture the mood for the match than to have the Cincinnati Saints be the “sea monster” to Erie’s ship. Those of you familiar with the Kraken Black Spiced rum commercial will see the inspiration with the design that I utilized this time around.

We here at WSOTP will once again be bringing you the live match commentary on the Saints live stream of the match, plus on ICRC local access television. So if you’re not willing to brave the rainy forecast, or you want to watch this split screen with the USWNT tonight, check out our Match Commentary page for links to the stream.

If you want to see all the designs from my season long series, click here.

pic of the week 6/22-6/28

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EnglandWomenBanner

I know I’ve been a bit negligent around these parts lately. And for those of you who have been asking for additional Women’s World Cup coverage, I hear you too. Summer time is busy, what with a seemingly a game kicking off every 30 minutes over the last two weeks between Canada 2015, the Copa América in Chile, European Championship qualifying, Youth World Cups, international friendlies, the American domestic leagues and my broadcasting responsibilities. As such, finding time to scribe hasn’t been the easiest.

But if there’s anything that will wake me from my slumber, it’s commenting on others in the world of soccer making horrendous errors in judgement. Case in point, the English FA’s attempt at supporting their surprisingly plucky ladies’ team in Canada.

Yes, that’s real. No photo shop involved. In fact, it’s so real that the cast of the Bend it Like Beckham Musical — which is apparently a thing now — posed with it to help support the Lady Lions.

Look, I know it’s common place in England for a team’s supporters to shout “Come on you, ____!”. But you can’t tell me that at least one person in the chain of approval for this didn’t think, to themselves “Maybe this could be interpreted differently, no?” Did anyone look at this before they decided to give it the seal approval? And while I’m also aware that the English are suckers for a snarky pun or crafty joke, this would have to be a little too misogynistic to let fly, right? If not, why not go for the full monty and hire Ron Jeremy and Peter North as your spokesman and Milk as an advertising partner?

there’s more than one way to skin a cat

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I’ll start this by saying I know this post is going to inspire some ire. It will be taken the wrong way. Some will take it personally, even though that’s not my intention. Angry emails will be received, my mentions will see the same, and I’ll probably have to tweet out another 5000 words on Twitter to defend my intentions. Suffice to say, I know what I’m getting myself into.

What exactly is it that I’m about to get on about that requires such an opening?

My growing annoyance with the ever-increasing childish tendencies of American soccer supporters groups, that’s what.

Now, that’s a pretty broad brush stroke I just painted with: I’m well aware that not all supporters groups or supporters group members are bad apples. So when I mentioned earlier that some are likely to take this personally, if you already feel like I’m attacking you, take a deep breath and give me a minute. I might not be talking about you or your group specifically at all. I could be, but it’s statistically not likely. In truth, most of you are great. But some of you are annoying as all hell. Read on to learn on which side of the divide you fall.

Also, before I get too far into this, let me also dispel any thoughts of me being against supporters groups on the whole. I’m not. I’m actually a bandana-brandishing member of the American Outlaws — Chapter 154 in Dayton, Ohio — and a card-carrying member of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

In fact, I mostly love what supporters groups bring to American soccer: energy, passion and some absolutely fantastic human beings. The fanfare they provide makes for great atmosphere, and has been one of the largest contributors to the vastly improved match day experience at American professional soccer games.

But I mostly love that from afar. While I have plenty of close friends and acquaintances in supporters groups who I love to catch up with at the pre-match tailgate and post-match at the pub, I usually keep my distance from the actual supporters’ sections in the stadiums themselves.

Again, this isn’t because I dislike what those sections have going on — it’s just not how I personally like to take in a match.

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#forcincy match poster 4: saints vs detroit city fc

WSOTP - Cincinnati Saints Matchday Poster 4

It’s a Wednesday of a Cincinnati Saints match week, which means its high time for me to share the latest poster in my series of designs for the 2015 NPSL season. And while poster #3 of the series was for a match against our rivals to the north up Interstate 71, my fourth poster of the campaign is for the visit from one of our northern neighbors up the other highway — I-75 this time — in Detroit City FC.

If you’re not familiar with Detroit City, they’ve made quite the splash in the fourth tier of American soccer thanks in large part to their exuberant fans: the Northern Guard Supporters. The DCFC hardcores regularly pack their Cass Tech Stadium with thousands of supporters, and often show up with considerable numbers on the road too. Last I’d heard, they were expecting to send a bus load in our direction this Saturday.

So with Detroit so well-known for their support, I thought the perfect theme for Saints-City match poster would be to highlight the Saint’s own supporters: the Seven Hill Crusaders. No, they don’t have near as many members in their ranks as the visitors can contend. And they’ve not received near the same accolades or attention that their rogue-colored counterparts, either. But that doesn’t mean the Crusaders trail behind NGS in passion or love for their team. And as such, there seemed no better way to pay the Crusaders tribute for their fandom than to give them a poster of their own in the lead up to a match against one of the most well-supported lower league clubs in the country.

Of course, just as with all of the other 2015 NPSL home matches this season, you can catch the game — and yours truly and #Pondcast co-host Jeremy on the call —  live on local access television and via live stream online by visiting our Match Commentary page.

Want to see all the designs from my season long series? Click here.

#forcincy match poster 3: saints vs afc cleveland

WSOTP - Cincinnati Saints Matchday Poster 3

Next up in my series of match posters I’m creating to celebrate each of the 2015 NPSL home matches for my hometown Cincinnati Saints is a poster for tonight’s duel with AFC Cleveland. It’s a little later than when I had hoped to post it originally, but at least it’s up well before tonight’s kickoff.

The second leg of a “I-71 Cup” series between the Ohio fourth-tier foes — the opener which the Saints lost 0-1 on the road last weekend in Cleveland — provides the home side a real opportunity to claim their first ever silverware, at least when you consider their 100% record at the friendly confines of Withrow High School thus far in 2015. The name of the cup being contested between the two sides was clearly the driving inspiration for this game’s poster, which was fashioned to resemble one of the many highway signs that dot the 239 miles of Interstate 71 that separate the two cities. Admittedly, adding the reflective elements to the design was a huge pain, but it paid dividends in helping to give it a more realistic feel.

As always, we’d love for you to join us if you’re in our neck of the woods this evening, but if you can’t, you can always tune in and watch the game live online with match commentary provided by WSOTP by navigating to our Match Commentary page.

If you want to see all the designs from my season long series, click here.

WSOTP pod: a fifa summer spectacular

WSOTP Podcast - A FIFA Summer Spectacular

Well, the Season 2 finale didn’t last that long: two full weeks to be exact. But with a hectic summer soccer schedule — plus just a little bit of news about a supposedly corrupt world governing body — D.J. and Jeremy just couldn’t help but turn back on the mics. Though we did give you fair warning that would be happening several times throughout the summer. We just delivered earlier than anticipated. So in addition to the guys’ reactions to all things FIFA scandal, we also delve into the Champions League Final, the US men’s suprising shootout with Holland, and of course the ladies of summer and the Women’s World Cup.

Have anything you want us to cover over the course of the summer? Drop us a line at contact@wrongsideofthepond.com and we will likely happily oblige. And to make sure you don’t miss any of our summer audio offerings, automatically receive new episodes on your favorite mobile device or RSS feed by subscribing using the links below.

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the girls of summer

WSOTP - Blog - WSOTP x Rhinehaus2.fw

This is a short excerpt from my latest featured post for the blog of Over-the-Rhine’s original sports bar, Rhinehaus, located in my hometown of Cincinnati and home to many WSOTP Watch Parties and Events. To read it in it’s entirety, please click here or click the link at the end of the post.

Last summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil was a breath of fresh air in American sports. Freed from the constraints of rivalry with one another, fans coming from nearly every corner of American sports fandom convened together to cheer on the US Men’s National Team in spectacular fashion.

Bars across the country like Rhinehaus were packed wall to wall with not only their normal Saturday and Sunday morning Premier League patrons, but swaths of new fans ranging from casual supporters to die hard patriots. Public spaces in major cities filled with chanting fans by the thousands — as was the case in the Wrong Side of the Pond-hosted event down on Fountain Square with the Cincinnati Saints — to watch on jumbo trons. It was damn near impossible to not get caught up in the excitement.

And if you’re feeling nostalgic for the outpourings of love the beautiful game received in 2014, worry not: you can get a taste of that excitement in the summer of 2015 too.

Starting tomorrow, the FIFA Women’s World Cup will be kicking off another month long soccer extravaganza in cities dotted around our northern neighbors Canada. And unlike the men’s tournament last summer where we were belabored underdogs, our ladies are actually among the favorites.

Continue reading “The Girls of Summer” on the Rhinehaus blog. →

a way to track the ladies

I’ve been trying to publish this for the last three days. Check Twitter out if you don’t believe me. Unfortunately, the selfish jerks over at FIFA kept stealing all of the limelight. But despite their greatest efforts to upstage one of their own prestigious tournaments, I’m not going to go allow them to continue putting the ladies on the back burner.

So today, I’m pleased to announce that WSOTP is bring back our WSOTP World Cup Hub as a special space on the site devoted entirely to our Women’s World Cup coverage!

Whether it’s a new piece I’ve written that focuses in on the events transpiring in Canada, or a new podcast where Jeremy and I wax poetically about our love of Alex Morgan and the rest of the USWNT, you’ll be able to find it all in one convenient spot. And just as with the men’s tournament last summer, we’re launching the release of the WSOTP World Cup Hub with something special…

My original 2015 Women’s World Cup Wall Chart!

WSOTP - Bracket - Women's World Cup 2015 Wide

As was the case last summer too, you can download a hi-res (4080 x 2550 pixels) copy of the WWC Wall  Chart to hang on your cubicle wall, your fridge at home, or even blow it up huge and hang it in your soccer pub to help your patrons track the tournament! In addition to the blank version shown above, you can also head to the World Cup Hub page to download updated wall charts as the tournament progresses.

So be sure to give the WSOTP World Cup Hub a look, download your Canada 2015 Bracket, and check back regularly for ongoing coverage of the ladies this summer!