WSOTP x AO: just for tonight, let’s be lovers


WSOTP - Blog - WSOTP x AO.fw

This is a short excerpt from my first featured post for the American Outlaws — the largest and most well-known US soccer supporters group — and their newly launched blog, ‘Voice of the American Outlaws’. After applying in December of last year, I found out in May that I was one of nine lucky entrants to be selected. The site soft-launched in September, and will soon be pumped by the AO mothership. To read my debut piece in it’s entirety, please click here or click the link at the end of the excerpt below.

As things currently stand, there are apparently two types of American soccer fans these days: those that are for Jurgen Klinsmann, and those who are not.

When he was first appointed back in July of 2011, Klinsmann was heralded as everything from “the first big manager in the U.S. men’s national team history”, to “the American soccer messiah”. Like President Barack Obama’s first term in office, Jurgen arrived at the helm of the national team with charisma and talk of change. His personality was bubbly and buoyant, and he promised to deliver wins with a style that should reflect our mentality and culture. The media mostly gushed about him, and fans were practically foaming at the mouth.

Nearly four and a half years later — much like our president — Klinsmann finds himself in a very different spot.

Continue reading “All Tomorrow’s Parties” on IBWM. →

EXCLUSIVE: cincinnati saints on the move


At some point or another, we’ve all been told the old adage of “don’t run away from your problems”. Throughout life, we’re taught that if we take on our problems head on, the outcome will be better and less painful.

For the most part, that rings true. But sometimes, running is the preferred option and the best way to actually face a problem head on. In the case of the National Premier Soccer League’s Cincinnati Saints, it appears that is exactly the case.

Over the last six years of the club’s existence, the Saints have met and overcome a litany of hurdles. Making the jump from a Sunday League team into the semi-professional ranks was the first of those. Then came outmaneuvering a series of in-town competitors. And for the last year, it’s been the slow battle to win over an often indifferent market in the Cincinnati public and media spaces. Small victories have defined the club during that stretch, due in large part to the perseverance of CEO and owner David Satterwhite.

But with the arrival of the USL in town, courtesy of the nascent FC Cincinnati and their billionaire backing, the Saints may have finally reached a hurdle too high to clear.

Despite their six year head start and a steadily growing presence in the Cincinnati soccer community, the Saints resources are realistically no match for the financial might of their new neighbors. Nor can the Saints — playing in a fourth division that’s best known for allowing students athletes a competitive space to play without soiling their collegiate eligibility — match the star power that FCC’s deep pockets can bring to town. They can’t be expected to net a home as “luxurious” as the redeveloped Nippert Stadium at the University of Cincinnati. And the connections to high ranking city officials and people of power in the community boasted by the new USL club are unlikely to develop now that another name with more clout has stormed in to their minds.

Faced with those realities, it was clear the Satterwhite and the Saints had some decisions to make.

Option one is to continue on fighting the good fight, and try to persist with carving out a slice of the Cincinnati market to call their own. While that might be a possibility, it’s probably more likely that the size of the new kid in town would cast a long shadow that would make it very hard to get noticed. The Saints might be able to live on that way for a few more years, but it would ultimately result in a long, drawn out death.

Option two is far more blunt — and dire. The Saints could call it quits. Throw in the towel. Close the curtain. Cease to be. This option, in spite of all of the energy and heart and knowledge gained, could still be on the table.

But there is still a third option available to the club: looking for a new home.

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WSOTP stadium guide: colorado’s dick’s sporting goods park


WSOTP - DSG Park - Stadium Interior Looking West Match.fw Welcome to the WSOTP Stadium Guide, the latest major undertaking on here on Wrong Side of the Pond. With traveling supporters steadily becoming a fixture at MLS matches, there aren’t a lot of great resources for visiting fans to research ahead of their travels. Over the next few seasons, I aim to visit and provide an up close and personal look at each of the 20 (soon to be 22) MLS stadiums to help fill that void. I’ll also take opinion from the locals, as the Supporters who call each stadium home know it far better than I ever will. To see the full list of stadium reviews, click here.

Address 6000 Victory Way
Commerce City, CO
Home Club Colorado Rapids
Soccer Capacity 19,680
Opened April 7, 2007
Soccer Specific Stadium Yes
From Out of Town?
Driving In
Public Transport
Parking / Tailgating
Prematch Pubs
Tickets / Where to Sit
Supporters Sections
Suites & Special Seating
Food & Beer
Fan Activities
Player Facilities
The Field of Play / WSOTP Pitch Pass
Meeting the Players
Hidden Gem

After having only visited one stadium in 2014 — and not posting that guide yet due to some “delays” in getting necessary materials — 2015 hasn’t exactly gotten off to a better start.

But I’ll make do considering stop number six on the WSOTP Stadium Guide Tour was for the 2015 All Star Game!

My wife, daughter and I were lucky enough to score some tickets to the July 29th match in the Colorado Rapids’ now eight year old Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The experience, as to be expected, was amazing, helped in no small part by the opposing team for this year’s game being my favorite European club, Tottenham Hotspur FC. I’ll try not to dwell on that too much, as I know the league’s marquee summer event isn’t exactly the average fan experience at DSG Park.

If you’ve never been to Denver, that’s reason alone to make a trip to catch a game at the Rapids’ home stadium. Perhaps best known as a wintertime destination due to the city’s proximity to the Rocky Mountain resorts, there’s even more to do in the summer time in Denver. Innumerable breweries, excellent outdoor offerings, fantastic museums and scenery that few other MLS cities can match are just a few of the things on offer. I hadn’t been to Denver in a decade, and it’s truly incredible to see how much the city has grown in size and culture.

As always, before we get started I wanted to give a special thanks to my excellent hosts — the Rapids’ Director of Public Relations and Communications, Diego Garcia, and Centennial 38’s David Wenger —  for showing me around and getting me acquainted with yet another spectacular American soccer stadium and city.

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lofty ambitions


WSOTP - FC Cincinnati Jeff Berding Press Conference.fw

Sitting in an auditorium on the campus of University of Cincinnati yesterday morning, before the press conference had even started, I  got the feeling that what was about to unfold at today’s official FC Cincinnati unveiling was going to change the face of soccer in the Queen City forever.

I’ve been around the Cincinnati soccer scene for 25 years — seeing “professional” clubs come and go as a player, a fan and a member of the media — and I can honestly say that I’ve never before had that kind of feeling about anything soccer related here before.

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i want: nike free flyknit mercurial



If you’ve followed my I Want series for any length of time, you’re probably well aware that I have what you might call a shoe addiction. In fact 5 of the twenty-five posts I’ve made in the series so far have been some sort of shoe — be it boots to be worn on the pitch, or sneakers to wear off it — far more than any other category of things I want. And the latest pair to get added to that list is the fire that is the Nike Free Flyknit Mercurial.

Fusing the DynamicFit sock-like neck, Flywire and leather upper inspired by soccer’s Mercurial Superfly with the uber-comfortable Nike Free running shoe outsole, these stylish mids would look great when paired with the jeans, khakis or joggers of your choice this fall. And since they apparently come in not only the “dark grey” beauts above, but also wolf, platinum and volt (from last summer!?!?) colorways too, there’s a pair for everyone. Of course, that’s presuming you’re willing to drop some coin. Though they show as “COMING SOON” on Nike’s site under “Flyknit” shoes for $200, the item page itself says the shoe is “no longer available”. And scouring the likes of eBay or Amazon, you can expect to drop anywhere from $250 to north of a $800.


why does this even need explaining?

When it comes to American soccer, outside of World Cups, there’s nothing that quite captures the attention of the American public like USA-Mexico games. I won’t get into the main talking points you usually hear tossed about for ahead of the game; everyone is else writing about that, so there’s plenty for you to read there. But there is an aspect of the game that I feel like isn’t getting proper attention ahead of the game tonight…

Why the hell is US Soccer doing advertising this game as a “Dos a Cero” before the first ball has even been kicked?

I get it. If you’ve watched ten seconds of Sports Center this week, you know that U.S. has dominated the rivalry over the last few years and mainly by 2-0 score lines. To be specific, the Americans have won 8 of their last 23 matches since 1990 with that score. 

But with the U.S. team being the victors with that scoreline so frequently in the near past, it’s easy to forget that Mexico have netted a few Dos A Cero’s themselves. Four, actually. And El Trí still lead the series with 33 wins to the Yanks’ 19.

So labeling a crucial match with real importance riding on the result a “Dos A Cero” seems to be a major case of putting the cart before the horse. It’s disrespectful of our opponents and the ability they possess. It’s not like it’s a given that U.S. are going to win this game. But we’re making television commercials that center around and social media campaigns centered upon a name that should only be applied after a 2-0 result is actually secured?

Karma doesn’t take nicely to that kind of stuff.

So because the US Soccer Federation has forgotten — and since many, many, many fans are following their lead — I’ve made the handy guide below to help everyone remember when it is, and isn’t, okay to label a game a “Dos A Cero”.

WSOTP - Blog - Dos A Cero

WSOTP pod: this is not a dos a cero

WSOTP Podcast - This is NOT a Dos A Cero

This past weekend had it all: an Arsenal-United smackdown, a five-goal masterclass from Sergio Agüero, yet another Chelsea trip up, one manager quitting despite a positive result, and another manager losing his job after a somewhat positive result. Oh yeah, and there was USA-Mexico roster release that’s inspiring loads of questions of yet another manager, and MLS playoffs creeping up on us. You listeners also piled on the questions/topics enough to warrant a mini-mailbag. And all of that comes on top of our weekly Fantasy UpdateLeague 2 Watch and Winners & Wankers segments.

Whether you have new questions/topics for us next week, or if you want to contribute to the show for the first time, hit us up via the social media links at the bottom of the page or drop an email to And don’t forget to subscribe to automatically receive the newest podcast each Tuesday.

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pic of the week 9/28-9/4


Carragher and Henry react to Rodger's Firing

This week’s Pic of the Week not only captured a moment in time when several people received news they weren’t quite expecting, but also the different reactions that surprise news can induce within that group of people.

On the right, we find an unnamed Sky Sports host breaking the news to the in-stadium studio panel after Arsenal-Manchester United that Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers had been handed his marching orders by the club brass. On the left, we have three very different responses to said news:

  • On the far right we find former Liverpool player and manager, Graeme Souness. Confusingly for a man who has such deep ties to the club, his face doesn’t show much emotion at all — particularly compared to the other two. But it does seem as if he’s either A) contemplating whether or not his name might be on Liverpool’s shortlist of replacements, or B) eyeing a meat pie on the food cart off camera.
  • In the middle, we find a man who routinely terrorized Liverpool back lines and fans alike for a decade in ex-Arsenal hit man, Thierry Henry. Henry’s reaction is awesome. He not only looks surprised, but also quite possibly bemused. As for whether the light placement of his hand on the other former Liverpoool man’s leg to his right was a purely innocent gesture or straight trolling? I’m hoping its the latter.
  • Last but not least, the man on the far left, Scouser-for-life Jamie Carragher, reacts to the news with a face that’s clearly concealing really, really, really clenched teeth. Is he angry at Rodgers? Maybe. Is he sad for his old club. Possibly. Did someone just tell him they planned to kick his dog? I wouldn’t rule it out. And believe it or not, the look he gives immediately after this shot might make it even better. But one thing I am absolutely sure of: I don’t think Henry’s consoling touch is doing anything to put out the rage out in Carragher’s eyes.

If you’re taking any joy in looking at the scene above, be sure to catch the video of the incident — its predictably awesome.

an extra hot seat

brendanrodgersLet’s start this off by acknowledging that in the world of modern football, there is nary a manager that isn’t in a hot seat. Results matter more than ever — thanks 24-hour news cycle — and any changes in management must produce results immediately. If they don’t, cutting your losses and moving on is the norm. It’s very much a world of “what have you done for me lately”.

So when a club does stick with a manager who isn’t consistently meeting expectations, his seat tends to burn hotter than the rest. Like an ant under a child’s magnifying glass, it sears from the focused heat of a thousand media pundits over analyzing every decision the manager occupying it does or doesn’t make. Fair or unfair, that’s the nature of the job.

Of course, certain jobs bring more pressure than others.

The seats of those attempting to guide one of Europe’s mega clubs — your Bayerns, Real Madrids or Barcelonas — are obviously permanently scorching. Expectations there are so high, even the mere thought of failure can crank up the heat on the man in charge. While the allure of leading one of the big boys is strong, the burns that can be suffered in the process can be severe. Anyone brave (foolish?) enough to take one of those jobs knows that going in. You don’t agree to take the job at Madrid and expect leniency from the fans, media, board and general public as you try to bed in your system. At the biggest of clubs, as Ricky Bobby’s father famously said, “If you’re not first, you’re last”.

Even hotter than the seats at the elite clubs, however, are those of the managers at clubs who were formerly big clubs.

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WSOTP pod: we might end this shirtless

WSOTP Podcast - We Might End This Shirtless

Trust us when we say that while D.J. was excited that his Spurs knocked off mighty Manchester City at the weekend — and that we made time to fully analyze City’s sudden drop in form and Spurs’ improvements — but this past week’s world of soccer events just seemed so run of the mill. There was a normal weekend of Premier League action to review, MLS playoff races to analyze, League Cup “drama” to cover and more FIFA officials getting what’s been coming to them to discuss. And yet I could have written that same sentence about 20 other weeks a year. So the guys do their best to shake things up and keep it fresh and relevant, despite the “normal” nature of the events that unfolded since our last Pondcast.

Want to be like one of the lucky listeners who had his or her question/topic tackled on this week’s pod? It’s as easy as hitting us up at the social media links at the bottom of the page or sending an email to Plus, be sure to subscribe using the links below to automatically receive the newest podcast each Tuesday.

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pic of the week 9/21-9/27



As football becomes more and more integrated into American culture, it should be expected that we’ll be treated to ever more frequent mash-ups between the sport’s biggest stars and the star names from the world of entertainment. Like Kobe Bryant showing up in the latest EA Sports’ FIFA 16 ads, actors doing segments on the Men in Blazers show and Drake showing up and ruining everyone’s party.

Yet despite knowing all that, it still tickled my fancy when Kevin Hart showed up in the latest ad for H&M’s David Beckham line. Just look at him, standing there beaming like an idiot next to super serious, and slightly disgusted Goldenballs. That alone makes this worthy of the Pic of the Week honors. But even better is the nearly seven minute long video (below) that accompanies it. The future-Sir David even seemed a quasi-decent actor in the thing too — either that or he’s actually playing this thing how he would treat the entire experience.

I now want all of that clothing so I can be as cool as David Beckham/Kevin Hart — damn it, marketers!!!

WSOTP pod: the drama club

WSOTP Podcast - The Drama Club

Welcome to the point in the yearly soccer calendar when there is literally too much going on to pay attention. The domestic regular seasons are winding to a close and the playoffs soon to begin. Across the pond, the European leagues are now old enough to have developed narratives and full-fledged drama. Just in case you valued your freer midweeks for getting things like work and spending time with your family checked off your to do lists, the Champions League and other cup competitions have also resumed in full. And international soccer, somehow, is just around the corner again too. So if you haven’t had time to catch up on it all, here’s the Pondcast just in time to give you the Cliff’s Notes — not to mention all of our other weekly segments.

Whether you have new questions/topics for us next week, or if you want to contribute to the show for the first time, hit us up via the social media links at the bottom of the page or drop an email to And don’t forget to subscribe to automatically receive the newest podcast each Tuesday.

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commentary: xavier musketeers vs bucknell

WSOTP - Match Commentary Xavier vs Bucknell 09192015Look, I know it’s late notice. But I’ve got some news for those of you who don’t have any engagements for this Saturday evening.

You’ve got plans now. And if you already have them, break them.

For the second time in as many weeks, I’ll be manning the commentary booth for the NCAA Division one match up between the Xavier University Musketeers and the visiting Bisons of Bucknell. Kickoff — weather permitting, as I learned my last time out to call a Xavier match — will be at 7pm tonight.

A live link to the webstream on can be found right here.

So not only will you have the privilege of hearing me talk live tonight, but you’ll also have the added bonus of watching a really solid Xavier side in front of what should be a raucous crowd courtesy of the often 1000-plus Xooligans supporters group.

The Muskies are coming off the back of a massive midweek win over the No. 2-ranked Nortre Dame fighting Irish in a traditional “catholic college derby”. Though the win was truly huge, Xavier aren’t exactly chumps either: earlier this season they themselves were ranked as high as 10th before falling in successive games to Lipscomb and Virginia Tech, the latter of which I called. Hopefully I won’t prove to be a bad luck charm for the home side.

As for the away side, Bucknell will look to carry momentum over from their win 4-0 win over Seton Hall last Sunday. But will the longer layoff have refreshed their legs enough to make up for the long journey in from central Pennsylvania?

So be sure to tune in to find out how things play out, and here me try my best to explain it.