a “great” day for soccer with fc cincinnati

WSOTP - Blog - FCC Tryouts Rain.fw

One of the many peculiarities of soccer is that whenever you happen upon a day where weather is dreadful — think 45º F and driving rain — just about everyone you talk to will describe it as “this is a great day for soccer!” If not that saying specifically, a variation of it will likely fill its place — “now this is soccer weather” or “this is weather made for soccer”.

Newsflash: nobody actually likes playing in that kind of weather.

And predictably, I heard that common colloquialism uttered no less than a dozen times in the several hours I spent out taking in the action at FC Cincinnati’s open tryouts last Saturday.

A dreary, wet and cold Cincinnati greeted myself, a handful of other journalists, and the 127 players who made their way out to UC to see if they could earn a spot on the USL side’s maiden roster. Though I stood huddled under a tent at one end of the pitch, trying my best to minimize the amount of rain sprayed on me by the frequent gusts of wind, I was also counting my lucky stars. I had a proposal to participate in portions of the tryout with a GoPro strapped to me rejected due to liability concerns. No part of me wanted to be out playing in that mess, even if it would have made for some awesome content.

As coach John Harkes and his staff made their way over for the post-tryout media session under the tent — his clothing soaked and clearly a bit frozen — I asked if this reminded him of his time playing in England. “This is colder,” he replied, inciting some chuckles from the gathered crowd.

Continue reading

WSOTP pod: celebrating a century with chris rolfe

WSOTP - Blog - Season 3 Episode 16.fw

Two and a half years ago — despite nothing more to go than an occasional Twitter interaction and a fleeting encounter watching Wigan play at a podunk little high school — two guys that barely knew each other started a soccer podcast. Now into their third season and 100 episodes later, they’re somehow still making it happen.

To celebrate our 100th episode, D.J. and Jeremy welcome on longtime friend of the blog, Dayton native and DC United frontman Chris Rolfe to reflect on the 2015 season, talk Eastern Conference finalists Columbus and New York, and his famous hair/headband. The guys also did their normal Premier League rounds — including Leicester City and Jamie Vardy’s rise to the top, Chelsea remembering how to win and Spurs hot run of form. Too, D.J. recounts his freezing but pleasing trip to Columbus for the Crew-Red Bulls first leg, and your League 2 Watch and Winners & Wankers weekly segments are in there, too.

And as always, if you have questions, topics or suggestions you want us to tackle on the 101st episode, give us a shout on social media or drop us a line to contact@wrongsideofthepond.com. And do us a favor and subscribe — and maybe even a review/rating? — on iTunes, Stitcher or via RSS using the links below.

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pic of the week 11/16-11/22


WSOTP - Blog - Freddy Adu the Marketers Dream

Professional athletes endorsing products for financial gain is so common place these days that we hardly ever bat an eye at it. And whether it’s maned NFL players hawking anti-dandruff shampoo, NBA players pushing video game delivery services, or a world-famous Frenchman little-known to most Americans selling us razors and shaving cream, it’s generally accepted that you’ve well and truly “made it” once companies start asking you to pimp their stuff. Well, most of the time anyway.

This week’s picture of the week comes to us via the Twitter feed of former US soccer prodigy, Freddy Adu. Once an incredibly active tweeter, Adu’s social media presence took a bit of a dive as his career went from full of promise to sliding off the edge of a cliff. Now back in the States playing for NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies, the guy who once was (foolishly) labeled American soccer’s Pelé is now being electronically social once again… including an odd #sponsored tweet for Hoover. And for some reason, it feels oddly sad.

I don’t mean to knock Adu; get that money where you can, son. But Freddy is also a guy who once had an endorsement deal with Nike and featured in prominent national television ads for Sierra Mist alongside the man he was (foolishly) compared to. Now? He’s doing fairly unprofessional Hoover endorsements on Twitter. At least we think, anyway.

I mean, we can’t rule out this being a desperate attempt by Adu to show potential suitors that he still has the marketer’s charm, can we? Or is he trying to send us a subliminal message? It really sucks down here in Tampa, ya’ll. 

Whatever the case, keep up the hustle Fred. Hoover’s not paying me to post about their cordless vacuums… though we can change that if you want, Hoover.

WSOTP pod: how many concussion symptoms am i showing?

WSOTP Podcast - How many concussion symptoms am i showing?

Though international breaks normally provide less action for us to orate about on our weekly #Pondcast, this last week of “break” was anything but. Off the pitch — but not by much — the guys touch on how the atrocity in Paris will have an impact on the professional game. Too, we also welcomed back FanDuel managing editor and sports injury specialist Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) to discuss recent US Soccer legislation aimed at reducing youth head injuries. On the pitch matters were discussed as well, with the USMNT’s return to World Cup qualifying, the NASL’s entertaining Soccer Bowl and European qualifying all in the mix.

For the first time in ages, we were blanked on the question front this week. So next week, we expect loads of questions and topic suggestions from you listeners! Got it? Good. So make sure to hit us up via the social media links at the bottom of the page, or drop an email to contact@wrongsideofthepond.com to send them along. And don’t forget to subscribe using the links below to automatically receive the newest podcast episode each Tuesday.

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WSOTP pod: pop goes the microphone

WSOTP Podcast - Pop goes the microphone

You’ll hear about it when you listen in, but I may as well give you a heads up here, too: we unknowingly experienced some technical difficulties on this week’s #Pondcast that will have an impact on the audio quality. About 5 minutes into recording, the guys heard a loud pop but couldn’t ascertain what it was and recorded as normal — apparently that was a mic, and it put a nice grainy noise over top of the recording. Jeremy did his best to clean it up, but it’s definitely not our best sounding pod. Which is a shame, because the content on this week’s episode is excellent.

Not only did we get to continue ragging on Jeremy for Chelsea’s woes on top of D.J. celebrating a solid point in the North London Derby, but there was also an absolutely stunning round of MLS Cup Playoffs to discuss. Plus, there’s an excellent chat about the latest USMNT roster, and the rest of the weekly segments.

Want to contribute to the show? Hit us up via the social media links at the bottom of the page or drop an email to contact@wrongsideofthepond.com to send us your questions and topics and we’ll include them. And don’t forget to subscribe to automatically receive the newest podcast each Tuesday.

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of course we know what we’re doing

New York City FC coach and former Real Salt Lake player Jason Kreis takes the field before the team's MLS soccer game against Real Salt Lake, Saturday, May 23, 2015, in Sandy, Utah. (Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)

Make no bones about it: while it may not have been the case ten years ago, Manchester City Football Club are truly one of the biggest clubs in world football these days.

Some have suggested that their struggles in European competitions dismisses their claims as a “big club” — and that argument does hold some water — but I’d still argue that three domestic cups lifted in the last four seasons in one of the most competitive countries in Europe is something that earns them that distinction. Plus, their ability to attract the world’s top talent, pay top wages and sign some of the most lucrative sponsorship deals is enough for me to class them as such.

Personally, I find City’s meteoric rise from perennial Premier League underachievers to annual title contenders to be one of the most fascinating storylines of this era of world football. Admittedly, the club and their Abu Dhabi-backed City Football Group ownership team made that happen by dumping in excess of a billion pounds into the club. But for those who say that they’ve done nothing but buy their prestige, that’s a huge oversimplification of their success. There have been plenty of billionaires that have thrown massive sums of money at a club with the hopes of turning them into a power — Leeds, Monaco and Anzhi Makhachkala, to name a few — and have walked away with very little to show for it other than debt.

It’s clearly not a fool-proof method, but Manchester City have found that success that’s eluded so many other billionaire-backed clubs. And that potentially means that they’ve done a better job of investing those sizable cash injections.

Sure, they’ve splashed on players — many of whom haven’t exactly panned out — but they’ve also dumped money into scouting, coaching and huge improvements in the clubs infrastructure and facilities. And those investments have brought success, even if measured.

So whenever the overarching City Football Group make really odd decisions with their MLS side — New York City FC — I really do try to give them the benefit of the doubt.

But damn do they make that difficult. Continue reading

WSOTP pod: this is legitimately a crisis


WSOTP Podcast: This is actually a crisis

You don’t need a description to entice you to listen to this week’s #Pondcast — and I don’t really have time to write one anyway. But you should listen. Because Mourinho, if nothing else.

If you want to get your own question or topic discussed on the next edition of the #Pondcast, be sure to drop us a line at contact@wrongsideofthepond.com or by getting at us on social media. Plus, you need to subscribe using the links below to get new episodes automatically delivered to your device of choice.

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ten words or less #114

The words have again slowed to a trickle here at WSOTP recently, and as I usually do, I’m plugging the hole with another links round up. It’s not that there isn’t plenty to write about — I have a really long list of items that I’d like to get to — I just haven’t had the time  to do so lately. But trust that I have still been hard at work on a number of projects behind the scenes that will hopefully see the light of day in the near future. And new #Pondcasts are still dropping regularly on Tuesdays, so we’re not leaving you totally deprived of WSOTP’s perspective — check back tomorrow for our latest episode!

In the mean time, I hope you feel satisfied with these interesting links from around the world of soccer.

Why haven’t you signed up for our FIFA Tournament yet? – wrongsideofthepond.com

Sepp Blatter is clearly an old, delusional man. – tass.ru

While awesome in theory, can the players take it on? – bloomberg.com

Could MLS be over doing it on social media? – helltownbeer.com

And you thought your last match’s referee was a prick. – mirror.co.uk

Are Getafe about to get Wimbledon-ed? – as.com

The American lower leagues are experiencing some growing pains.
– theouterdrive.wordpress.com (FYI: audio Link)

You rarely hear about player’s fandom these days. – theguardian.com

Zlatan to Miami in 2017? The team start in 2018… – nbcsports.com

A deeper (historical) look at MLS’ new salary data. – philly.com

WSOTP pod: fifteen goals for D.J.

WSOTP Podcast - Fifteen Goals for D.J.


While last week’s abridged version of the podcast gives way to this week’s 71 minute show, we’ve been forced to stuff in everything from MLS Decision Day, Champions League recaps, Chelsea’s continued meltdown to a lackluster Manchester Derby. Plus, the guys provide their weekly Winners & Wankers, a League 2 Watch and even name some winners in our fantasy MLS leagues — not to mention a slew of listener questions, and whole lot more.

If you want to get your own question or topic discussed on the next edition of the #Pondcast, be sure to drop us a line at contact@wrongsideofthepond.com or by getting at us on social media. Plus, you need to subscribe using the links below to get new episodes automatically delivered to your device of choice.

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WSOTP pod: a-klopp-alypse

WSOTP Podcast - Season 3 Episode 11

Dulled from a particularly grating international break, the guys dip their toes back into the healing waters of the Premier League on this week’s podcast. Thoughts on the top three rolling on the weekend, Chelsea’s return to winning ways and some guy named Jürgen Klopp were all major points of discussion. Also in this week’s episode is a look back at an evolutionary 2015 for USL and a recap of their Championship game from last Friday, MLS playoffs and the guys’ takes on the Cincinnati Saints closing up shop. Worry not: your weekly segments are in there, too.

Questions or topics to suggest? Send them our way to contact@wrongsideofthepond.com or by getting at us on social media. Plus, you need to subscribe using the links below to get new episodes automatically delivered to your device of choice.

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