five things i’m looking forward to about balotelli to liverpool

Mario Balotelli in red

When Liverpool’s mercurial striker and leading man Luis Suárez departed for greener Catalunyan pastures this summer, it left a massive hole on the club’s squad.

Not only would they need to fill the void of the league leading goal tally that Suárez provided, but for those of us who aren’t fans of the Mereysiders, we all needed a new player to mock Liverpool supporters about. And who better to give them grief about than Mario Balotelli?

If the rumors are to be believed, Super Mario will be leaving Italy and returning to England to be the new leading man in Liverpool’s attack. I for one love this idea, because the Italian front man is a non-stop bag of laughs. Not that I want to see Liverpool sign a player of his class, but I’ll at least be guaranteed a few moments of brilliance and ridiculousness for my troubles.

And below, I narrowed down my top five reasons for why I’m looking forward to Balotelli’s return.

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WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 2

WSOTP Pod - Season 2 Episode 2

louis van gaal’s first match in charge of manchester united may have had him wondering, “what did i get myself into?”

The first weekend of the Premier League now in the books, Episode 2 of the season sees the guys offer their thoughts on the results and some of the surprises that worked their way in. We also take some time to pick our favorite and least favorite kits for the season — though we didn’t have time to read the entirety of listener Mel B’s epic rundown of her thoughts on the top 6 sides’ kits. Also on tap: the bounty of goals provided by the weekend MLS action, a few listeners questions answered sprinkled within, this week’s Winners and Wankers and Jeremy and D.J. fessing up to their Fantasy failures.

Have a question of your own? Drop us a line at contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com and we’ll squeeze your’s in too!

 

Subscribe to the WSOTP Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, or search for “Wrong Side of the Pond” in your favorite podcasting app to listen to us on your mobile device!

ten words or less #94

WSOTP - Matchday - BPL Opener 14-15

come watch the premier league with WSOTP in cincinnati.

Have you fully recovered from the World Cup yet? With the weekend marking the return of the Premier League, you better be.

Though I’ve not really had much of a break this summer thanks to the World Cup and MLS and working the TV broadcasts for the Cincinnati Saints, I’m surprisingly still amped up for the return of the world’s most popular club competition. No burnout for this guy. Yet anyway. If you need to get a preview of the season still, be sure to check out the Season 2 opening episode of the WSOTP Podcast — we’ll be sure to help get you in the mood.

As is normally the case, WSOTP will once again be helping to host an opening day watch party at Cincinnati’s Rhinehaus. Be sure to come and join us on Saturday morning, when we’ll be joined by the Lyric: Food that Rocks food truck for some delicious brunch to pair with your beer and footie.

And before I forget, here are ten of my favorite links from the last week.

Why exactly does nobody care about the US Open Cup? – topdrawersoccer.com

Ted Lasso is the best. – youtube.com

BVB throwing a tiny kitchen sink at Reus to stay. – transfermarkt.de

(WARNING: Link is in German)

The folks in Sacramento seem pretty damn confident. – recklesschallenge.net

Not sure why, but I really dig the new Bayern aways. – football-shirts.co.uk

The girls really don’t want to play on plastic. – washingtonpost.com

Whether wanted or not, third party ownership is football’s future. – espnfc.com

I’m sick of the promotion/relegation debate. – sportingnews.com

Bob Bradley lays it down on a Norwegian commentator. – facebook.com

Now a commentator myself, I’ll take this as dogma. – theoriginalwinger.com

WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 1

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 1WE’RE BAAAAAACK! That’s right soccer audio lovers: the Wrong Side of the Pond Podcast is back. And we’ve made our return from our summer break just in time to offer you D.J. and Jeremy’s takes on the upcoming 2014/2015 Premier League season, including: top four predictions, relegation candidates, award winners and story lines to watch out for. We also delve into the recent headlines from MLS, as well as reveal some of our findings from the “American Soccer Fandom” survey many of you filled out for us over the summer.

Season 2 on the WSOTP Pod will also offer — thanks to input from listeners — some overall changes from the first, too. We’ve introduced a new weekly segment entitled “Wankers & Winners” where the guys will offer up their nominations for those deserving of such titles from the previous week’s football news. Too, we’ll be reaching out for some outside opinion on a more frequent basis, with guests ranging from professional players to professional pundits. And though we didn’t hold to this on the first episode this season, we’ve also answered calls to keep things a little more brief this time around: most podcasts will not exceed an hour in length. Of course, we’re still more than happy to field questions from listener base as well. So hit us up at contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com and you might just hear us dish on air.

Anyway, without further delay, enjoy the first episode of season 2.

 

Subscribe to the WSOTP Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, or search for “Wrong Side of the Pond” in your favorite podcasting app to listen to us on your mobile device!

appropriate reflections

England's Steven Gerrard

can a “poor” international career really dull the luster of one of england’s greatest ever players?

There are all sorts of types of greatness in football. Some players are handed the title of great due to sustained excellence in performance. There are also players who are considered great for being long-timer servants of their club. And still others can be given such status for a memorable moment of greatness and glory.

But in exceedingly rare cases, such as with Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, one player easily checks all three of those boxes.

The Englishman’s glittering sixteen year career with the Reds places him near the top of the club’s list of greatest ever players. Gerrard’s bagged 111 goals in 475 appearances for his hometown club to this point — or just under a goal every four matches — an impressive tally for a midfielder. Have a look at his CV and you’ll find a list of individual and team accolades to which few other footballers can lay claim. And of course many will fondly recall Gerrard almost singlehandedly hauling Liverpool back into the 2005 Champions League Final.

But making mention of his now recently ended international career, one that didn’t exactly see him set the world on fire, and suddenly Gerrard’s greatness is cast into doubt.

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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.

 

ten words or less #93

DC United's RFK Stadium

after taking a week off for vacation, i’m diving back into the blog with the latest stop on the WSOTP stadium guide tour: DC’s RFK stadium.

Ah vacation… you were much needed. After a month of World Cup to digest, my brain and Twitter feed certainly needed the rest. So after spending a week with my family on an isolated lake in South Carolina, I’m now back and ready to dip my foot into the pools of world football once again.

But instead of just easing back into things, I’m kicking things off with a bang. Tonight I’ll be making my next WSOTP MLS Stadium Guide stop by the above pictured RFK stadium in our nation’s capital to watch the Eastern Conference leading DC United take on a surprise Chivas USA side that’s punching well above expectations. You can expect a full detailed write-up to visiting the league’s oldest — and possibly most historic — stadium later this week.

In the mean time, here are a collection of some of my favorite links from the last few weeks to tide you over.

The greatest match of soccer you’ve never heard of. – medium.com

MLS All-Stars to face Bayern is very USMNT-heavy. – mlssoccer.com

Things are getting pretty bad in Ukraine. – mirror.co.uk

When no space for a pitch… make one. – theoriginalwinger.com

Brazil won’t be winning any fans back with this choice. – espnfc.com

RSL adding a new affiliate — and stadium — in Salt Lake? – sltrib.com

If it ain’t broke… – estaticos.sport.es

Wonder who Klinsmann will take to Russia? Start here. – sbnation.com

Everybody hates Jack Wilshire. – sportsmole.co.uk

This pub played the odds during Brazil-Germany… and lost. – bbc.com

WSOTP pod: world cup special #1

WSOTP Podcast - Live World Cup Special #1

listen in to our first ever live podcast before the US-ghana game!

Welcome back listeners! After taking a few weeks off this summer to rest our voices so Jeremy and D.J. can commentate matches for the Cincinnati Saints on LiveStream and local TV, we figured it was high time to bring the podcast back for that big tournament that’s going on in Brazil. And thanks to our previously mentioned employers, we got to do record our first ever live session and “World Cup Special” in a special spot: Cincinnati’s famed Fountain Square. Not only that, but we got to do so in front of nearly five thousand rabid US soccer fans that were there to watch the boys in the bomb pops.

Fair warning: our audio equipment didn’t quite work as expected, so the recording quality isn’t the greatest. But you can’t definitely make out our ramblings on the World Cup action thus far. You’ll also be treated to some commentary from Saints players, a listen in to the reaction to John Anthony Brooks’ electric game winner against Ghana and more.

And as further reminder, be sure to join us for the next “Big Game on the Square” this Sunday at 5pm for the next edition of the podcast and the USA’s match against Portugal!

Subscribe to the WSOTP Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, or search for “Wrong Side of the Pond” in your favorite podcasting app to listen to us on your mobile device!

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!

WSOTP pod: episode 39

Well, this first season of the Wrong Side of the Pond podcast has been one crazy ride.

WSOTP Podcast - Season 1 Episode 39

on the season finale of the podcasdt, the guys talk city capturing their second title in three years and allow a liverpool fan to eulogize the season.

So on this week’s episode, we look back at our very first predictions at the beginning of the season, and take a team-by-team look at how every club in the Premier League fared this year. We also found time to sing the praises for NBC’s stellar broadcasting efforts this season, review last week’s MLS action and more.

And just in case you’re still in the dark, this week’s episode is actually the grande finale for this first go around. After 39 straight weeks of recording, I’m pretty sure Jeremy and D.J. deserve the break, if for no other reason than to appease their very generous and understanding wives. But worry not, listeners. We’ll undoubtedly be back again for the start of the next European campaign for Season 2 of the WSOTP Pod. Plus, we’re planning on doing a few special edition World Cup episodes in the summer to tide you over — some of which will potentially be recorded live on Fountain Square ahead of our USMNT watch parties! Stay tuned for further details.

So to all of you out there, thanks so much for listening in to our first season and we look forward to talking to you all again next season… cheers!

 

Subscribe to the WSOTP Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, or search for “Wrong Side of the Pond” in your favorite podcasting app to listen to us on your mobile device!