the WSOTP fantasy league is back

WSOTP - Blog - Premieraliga 14-15.fwAfter a successful debut season with nearly 60 participants — and after receiving quite a few inquiries to see if it would be making an encore this year — it’s been decided that the WSOTP Premieraliga Fantasy Premier League will indeed return for a second season!

And just as with last season’s edition, the winner of the 2014/2015 league will win a free shirt from the WSOTP Shop of their own choosing.

The steps to join are simple enough:

  1. Head on over to the Official Site and create you team.
  2. Once your account is created, you can join the WSOTP Premieraliga by entering the code “421971-109957″ in the League tab. Or you can click this link to join automatically: http://fantasy.premierleague.com/my-leagues/109957/join/?autojoin-code=421971-109957
  3. Pick your team before the season kicks off on Saturday, August 16th.

You’ve got a few weeks yet to join, but better to do so sooner rather than later. If you’re anything like me, it will skip your mind and the deadline will pass before you’ve had a chance to throw your name into the hat. I picked my team today for that very reason… not that it will matter, since I tend to suck at these things anyway. And I won’t be awarding a shirt to myself. Anyway, I’ll also try to provide sporadic updates on the table throughout the season, so that way you know whether you’re paying the league adequate focus or not.

FYI: upon the season’s conclusion, the winner will need to provide their shirt selection, shirt size and an address shipping address. I promise I won’t stalk you after receiving it.

So get on it fantasy land kids, and good luck.

 

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cincinnati enquirer world cup preview

WSOTP x Enquirer

I am excited to share this short excerpt from my first ever printed article. To read it in its entirety, pick up a copy of the Monday, June 9, 2014, edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer, my hometown newspaper. Or you can read it online by clicking here or the link at the end of the excerpt.

Summer: Everyone’s favorite season is finally upon us.

It’s a time when many look forward to taking a break from their normal lives. Reds baseball, time away from work, a chance to travel, warmer weather, summer vacation from school, barbecues, pool parties … everyone has their own reason.

But for a sizable contingent of the world’s population – with estimates reaching in excess of 1 billion people – this summer will be planned around one event in particular.

The 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Stretching June 12-July 13, soccer’s world championship is arguably the planet’s most popular sporting event. And after long being a fringe event in our neck of the woods, the World Cup’s popularity is finally starting to catch on in the United States

You might call me an “early adopter”: my obsession with the World Cup stretches back to my earliest days. I was born in the middle of the tournament in Spain in 1982. Attending the 1994 World Cup finals here in the U.S. was probably the most seminal moment of my childhood. My loving wife even allowed me to plan our wedding around the last World Cup, ensuring neither I nor any of my guests would miss the action.

So why is the World Cup such a big deal to me and a billion others? Like summer, everyone has their own reasons.

WSOTP in the Cincinnati Enquirer

a shot of my world cup preview on the front page of the sports section in today’s print edition of the cincinnati enquirer.

Many are in it for the spectacle. For some, it’s the coming together of people from all four corners of the globe. And for others still, it’s a way of life that’s been ingrained in their country’s culture for decades.

If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, no hard feelings. But if you’re letting the old preconceived notions of the game keep you from watching this summer – it’s boring, it’s full of cheaters, and the U.S. isn’t any good – you’re doing yourself a disservice. Though soccer isn’t without faults, its greatest spectacle is packed full of enough drama and action to convince even the most hardened critics. So long as you give it a chance.

Still need convincing to give the World Cup some of your attention this summer?

Continue reading “Why the World Cup is such a big deal” on Cincinnati.com →

watch WSOTP’s first game in the broadcast booth

That’s right kids, the day has finally arrived. Myself and WSOTP Podcast co-host Jeremy Lance will be taking to the broadcast booth tonight as we commentate our first ever game for the Cincinnati Saints!

And even if you can’t make it down to Over-the-Rhine’s Stargel Stadium to watch the match in person, you can take in the match and our orations via a live stream right here on Wrong Side of the Pond. Click below to watch us live at 7:30pm tonight. And if that doesn’t fit your busy schedule, you can always check back and watch at a later time.

WSOTP - Saints vs Erie Admirals ICRC TV

Be kind in your evaluations of our commentating efforts… it’s our first run through, and neither of us has ever done this before. But know in advance that we’re aiming to at least clear the low bar set by FOX’s professional team of Gus Johnson and Eric Wynalda.

UPDATE 5/27/2014: Apologies for the inability to stream the match live on Friday, as we experienced some technical errors on the production side. That said, the stream is now available for your viewing pleasure on the ICRCTV.net website. We’ve also received assurances that this Friday’s (5/30) match against Detroit City FC will be available to livestream on YouTube.

announcing the winner of the WSOTP premieraliga fantasy league!

WSOTP Premieraliga Fantasy League

I’m not sure if you remember, but way, way, way back in August of last year, I started up a competition to win a free shit from the WSOTP Shop for whatever one of you could manage to win an EPL fantasy league organized by your’s truly. And despite the winner’s protests, I haven’t forgotten about it at all. That’s not the case at all: I’ve just been busy.

All told, fifty-nine teams were entered into the league alongside the official WSOTP XI side. And while you would think my position as an “expert” “soccer journalist” should have given me a leg up in the competition, it most definitely didn’t. I finished in 39th spot, 520 points behind the league winner; not quite in the relegation zone, but definitely not even mid-table. Embarrassing, though I admittedly didn’t pay it much attention to it so I could run this site and all. Excuses, right? Anyway, if you’re interested in having a look at the full table, you can do so here.

So, who ended up lifting the hypothetical WSOTP Premieraliga trophy after all?

WSOTP Premieraliga 2014 Results

Lippadonna***** — a long time friend and teammate of WSOTP — was the runaway winner. Not only did he amass an enormous lead over my own team, but he also managed a nearly 80 point lead over the second place finisher of ★★ Red_Devils ★★. And for that reason, he’s a very fitting winner of a free shirt of his choosing from the WSOTP Shop. Being the diligent man that he is, good old Lippadonna has already made his selection, choosing to promote the site by going with a black version of the WSOTP Logo Tee.

For those of you who didn’t win, thanks so much for participating! This will absolutely be a competition we’ll be running again next Premier League season. In the mean time, be sure to take advantage of the sales going on for our new “Going to Brazil” line of shirts ahead of the Wolrd Cup!

win a free spurs track jacket from campo retro!

WSOTP - Blog - Campo Giveaway 2It’s been a minute since we’ve given anything away around here, so its high time we change that.

And once again, my good friends at Campo Retro — the world’s finest purveyor of retro and retro-inspired kits and track jackets — have answered the call to kindly provide you the chance to pick up some excellent retro gear “on the house”. My fellow Tottenham fans might want to pay particularly close attention.

You see, it’s been a rough years for us Spurs faithful. A summer full of hope and promise gave way to a slow start, which was then quickly followed by André Villas-Boas’ sacking, which was then proceeded by a small lift after Tim Sherwood’s appointment, and now another slump at the end of the season ahead of a summer of uncertainty. And though little can be done to take away the sting of failed expectations this season, some free Lilltywhite garb might do a little to dull the pain, right?

So, beginning today, literally anyone in the world has the opportunity to win a 1978 Spurs Admiral Track Jacket and free delivery courtesy of Campo Retro and WSOTP! All you have to do is ample this one, ridiculously simple question:

“What stadium do Tottenham Hotspur play in?”

Email your answer to competitions@camposports.com with the subject “WSOTP Giveaway” before May 31, 2014, and a winner will be selected from the correct entries and notified by Campo Retro via email soon thereafter. Seriously, it’s that simple.

And if you’re feeling a little squeamish on giving out your email address for potentially nothing, rest assured that are bare minimum, all entries will also receive an exclusive discount to use at http://www.camporetro.com. So, I’d wager it’s well worth a shot.

The clock is ticking… best you get on it!

we’re bringing the world cup to fountain square

myself and the rest of the saints media team will be on hand for this summer's biggest soccer event in cincinnati.

myself and the rest of the saints media team will be on hand for this summer’s biggest soccer events in cincinnati.

The wait is finally over. 2014: the summer of the World Cup. We made it!

Well almost… though we are less than two months away from the big production kicking off in São Paulo on June 12th. So while the long wait for the return of the world’s single most popular sporting event is nearly up, the next question becomes: where are you going to watch it?

If you’re not lucky enough to count yourself among those who are heading to Brazil to catch the matches in person — sadly raises hand – finding a place to watch with your fellow fans is a near necessity. And for that reason, you might find it useful to take a look at the WSOTP Soccer Pub Atlas, which could help you to find the closest of 270+ soccer bars across the United States and Canada.

But if you happen to be anywhere remotely close to Cincinnati for any of the US Men’s National Team matches this June, you might want to clear your calendar…

WSOTP - Cincy Saints - Fountain Square Flyer WhiteWSOTP - Cincy Saints - Fountain Square Flyer Black

Alongside the Cincinnati Saints, 3CDC and Hoist Rapid Hydration, Wrong Side of the Pond is pleased to be hosting World Cup Watch Parties for all three of the US Men’s National Team’s first round matches on Cincinnati’s famous Fountain Square!

After some wrangling with FIFA and ESPN to gain approval, the Saints Media team are pleased to be bringing soccer to Fountain Square for the first time on a scale like never before! And hopefully soon you’ll start seeing the WSOTP-designed posters above popping up around town to remind you to come down this June.

So what can you expect from the events, aside from being able to watch the US side take on world powers Germany, Ghana and Portugal on the Square’s 627-inch — or a little over 52 feet — Fifth Third Video Screen? Beside taking in the matches with hundreds (thousands?) of your fellow soccer fans, you’ll find drinks from local breweries to cheers with after goals, food you can scarf down to calm your nerves, appearances from Saints players and staff, activities for the kids, gear giveaways, live recordings of the WSOTP Podcast and more! Further details will be announced as we get closer to the first of the three dates, so be sure to stay tuned.

While it’s an optimistic goal, I know we would love to make this the largest gathering of US supporters in the country during the World Cup this summer. So grab your closest friends and make the trek down to the city center and take in a match with the Cincinnati Saints, 3CDC, Hoist and Wrong Side of the Pond and maybe help us set a record or two!

Click here to peep the official press release from the club, and be sure to check out the video announcement — starring myself and my fellow Saints Media Team members — below!

new shirt alert: brazil, england and germany added to the “going to brazil” line

Without a doubt, the first design in the WSOTP Shop’s Going to Brazil line of shirts — a US Men’s National Team homage featuring every player that’s made an appearance during this World Cup cycle in the shape of the United States — has easily proven to be the most popular shirt I’ve put out so far. In fact, one of the guys whose name is on the shirt — Columbus Crew captain Michael Parkhurst — is even a fan and snapped a picture of himself rocking one.

But almost from the minute that I dropped the last shirt, I’ve received numerous requests to produce similar shirts for other teams that will be making an appearance in Brazil this summer.

Well, your cries were heard.

Today I’m pleased to announce that three additional countries have been added to the Going to Brazil line of shirts: the Seleção of hosts Brazil, the Three Lions of England and Die Mannschaft of Germany! Click past the jump to see the shirts in their full glory…

Continue reading

new shirt alert: the going to brazil line

Image

WSOTP - Twitter - USMNT 2014 Shirt Preview.fw

I’m a little ashamed to admit this, but it wasn’t until around a month ago that it dawned on me that I didn’t have a single design in my stable of shirts in the WSOTP Shop that paid tribute to the US Men’s National Team. And with this summer’s World Cup just around the corner, that seemed almost criminal.

So earlier in this week, I dropped a teaser for a design that I’ve been working on for the last week or so that I think is suitable to fill the gap… and it’s spawned much more than I could have ever imagined!

The design I settled on: one that featured the name of every man that coach Jurgen Klinsmann gave a cap to in the lead up to Brazil 2014, neatly arranged into the shape of the country they’ll aim to represent in South America this June. Interest in the shirt has been through the roof, as my email inbox and mentions on Twitter have been spilling over the brim, all of them wanting to know, “Where can I buy that shirt?!?!”

Well I’m happy to report that it’s available right freaking now in the WSOTP Shop! I’ve also included it in two other colors aside from the original red, with heather grey and white joining the fray. And my good friends at CincyShirts.com have generously given us a limited time $5 discount… so you can nab this shirt now for just twenty bucks! So be sure to jump over and buy your’s now…

WSOTP - Blog - USMNT 2014 Light Shirts.fw

But that’s not all, my friends. In addition to all of the positive feedback I’ve gotten for the American-inspired design, I’ve also had loads of requests to come up with designs for other countries playing in Brazil this summer, too. So I’ve got a number of teams already in the works: Germany, Spain, England, Italy and hosts Brazil… thus forming my first ever “line” of shirts! If there’s sufficient interest in other teams, I’ll be willing to make one for them, too. Be sure to watch this space and follow me at @wrongsideofpond for updates on the next countries to be added.

one small step for man, one giant leap for WSOTP

Wrong Side of the Pond... commentating a game near you.

Looking back over what has become a nearly been a five year endeavor, Wrong Side of the Pond has come a long way from its humble beginnings.

Originally, it was nothing more than a way for me to pass the time while living in a new town. And I can easily say that I would have never imagined at the time that my blog would grow to have well over a thousand Twitter followers or nearly five hundred Facebook likes. And to see it evolve to become a resource for people to find a place to watch and share beers with fellow supporters, have it gain me media credentials at MLS stadiums around the country, or co-host a weekly podcast? Well, that’s just mind-blowing.

However I’d also be lying if I said that, deep down, I didn’t have dreams of it some day becoming more.

I’ve always had a desire to somehow stay involved with the game I grew up with and that gave so much to me. Yeah, I still play regularly. But as my fitness and athleticism fade with age, sharing all of the knowledge I’ve picked up over the years of playing and studying soccer seemed like the logical next step. There have definitely been some lucky breaks here and there, too. Bundle all of that with a desire to create and share, and maybe the blog and its growth makes a bit more sense after all.

So with all of that in mind, today, I’m pleased to announce the next very exciting stage in the site’s evolution…

WSOTP - Blog - Cincy Saints Announcement 2.fw

Wrong Side of the Pond will be partnering with the Cincinnati Saints for the upcoming National Premier Soccer League season and beyond!

Specifically, my fellow WSOTP Podcast co-host Jeremy Lance and I will provide the official live match commentary for all home broadcasts for the Saints’ 2014 NPSL campaign. In addition to calling the matches at Over-the-Rhine’s Stargel Stadium, we’ll also provide pre-game, half time and post-match analysis and content alongside sideline reporter Amy Hellkamp. More information about broadcast availability will be forthcoming, but for the time being, every home match will at least be available via a free live stream on YouTube — which I’ll be adding as a link in the sidebar prior to the season.

Furthermore, we will also be working together on a number of marketing endeavors to help further exposure of both the Saints and WSOTP. Exciting things are already in the works, so keep your eyes on this space for further updates in the weeks to come.

In short, I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity and I know we’re all excited to see where things go from here. Many thanks to everyone who’s supported us along the way, and we look forward to cheering on the Saints with you in the summer!

MORE ABOUT THE CINCINNATI SAINTS
The Saints will be embarking on their inaugural season in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), a semi-professional soccer league in the fourth tier of the American soccer pyramid. Founded in 2009, the Saints organization also features a men’s indoor side — competing tomorrow in the Professional American Soccer League (PASL) playoffs — as well as women’s indoor and outdoor sides, too. For outdoor matches, the black and blue will call Taft High School’s Stargel Stadium near downtown Cincinnati home. The first home match of the season will kick off at 7:30pm on Friday, May 23rd. Click here to see a schedule of matches.

If you want to read the full press announcement on the Cincinnati Saints’ website, feel free to click here.

the WSOTP x Campo Retro cheer up a spur holiday giveaway

With it being the holiday season and all, despite Tottenham being in complete and utter turmoil, I have to admit I’m still feeling the holiday spirit. I know not all of my fellow Spurs supporters are feeling so festive, the gloom dimming all of the bright holiday lights. So I thought I’d do something to help improve the mood.

WSOTP has teamed up with retro-kit makers Campo Retro to offer Spurs supporters the world-over an opportunity to win a free customized retro Tottenham Hotspur shirt!

Campo Retro Tottenham Giveaway

Whether you want to Ossie Ardilles shirt from 1978, a 1983 Glen Hoddle shirt or a shirt of your choosing with your own name across the back, this is your chance to take home some old school Spurs’ threads for free! Campo Retro has a wide range of Spurs retro shirts available among their collection of classic shirts and track jackets ranging back from 1962 to 1991 for a wide variety of clubs and national teams.

And unlike some of my prior competitions on WSOTP, there is no geographic restriction for this giveaway. So whether you’re a local lad in North London, an Australian supporter down under or if you’re American Spur like myself, you should absolutely throw your name into the hat.

So, how does one throw their name into the hat?

It’s quite simple actually: just answer the simple question below by emailing your response to competitions@camposports.com on or before January 27th, 2013. A winner will be selected from the correct responses soon after the deadline and will be notified by Campo Retro via email; you’ll be asked to provide information on your desired shirt size, personalization and a delivery address. And the question you need to answer:

Who is Tottenham Hotspur FC’s all-time leading goal scorer?

See, I told you it was simple. And even if you don’t win, Campo Retro will still send you an exclusive discount on any of their excellent retro apparel… so it’s worth it either way, right?

Just remember to send Campo Retro your email response by end of day January 27th. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to give WSOTP a follow on Twitter and Facebook as well as the same for our friends Campo Retro’s Twitter and Facebook pages, too. So chin up fellow Lillywhites… the Christmas fixtures needn’t be so glum after all!