WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 18

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 18

With the 2014 MLS season now in the rearview mirror, we could forgive you if you thought this week’s Pondcast would be on the light side. It’s not. An interesting weekend of Premier League fixtures kept D.J. and Jeremy extra busy, as did the conclusion of the Champions League group stages and an already hectic MLS offseason. There was also a need to chat about some potentially earth moving news that was revealed by our pal Chad from Reckless Challenge, and a serious rant against one notorious member of the American soccer community that spawned against it in our Winners & Wankers segment. And of course we made time for Fulham Watch and a few listener questions.

Should you desire to hear your question or topic covered on next week’s pod — and why wouldn’t you? — send it our way via email to contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com or hit us up on the social media links on the bottom of the page. Just make sure to get it to us by this coming Sunday.

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WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 17

WSOTP - Blog - Season 2 Episode 17.fw

With two entire rounds of Premier League matches, the Women’s World Cup Draw, MLS Cup Final, Champions League group scenarios and the release of the MLS Expansion Draft list all to cover on this week’s Pondcast – plus our normal weekly segments of Fulham Watch and Winners & Wankers — you might be worried that this could be a two-hour podcast. Luckily, the boys were able to stay disciplined, keep it tight and clock in at 80 minutes. So tune in for thoughts on the “WSOTP Derby” between Jeremy’s Chelsea and D.J.’s Spurs, the USWNT’s Group of Death, Expansion Draft surprises and much, much more.

If you want to hear your question or topic discussed on next week’s Pondcast, shoot us an email to contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com or hit us up on the social media channels hashed out at the bottom of the page by this coming Sunday evening.

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pic of the week 12/1-12/7

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2014 MLS Cup - New England Revolution v Los Angeles Galaxy

Yesterday marked not only the end of 2014 MLS season, but also the end of an era in American soccer. It’s been known since the All-Star break that this would be Donovan’s last season in professional football, but what wasn’t known was how he would cap his illustrious career. And as it turns out, he capped it with the most perfect of narratives: a sixth MLS Cup championship. (For those about to scroll to the comments section to tell me “It’s FIVE championships!”, LD has won six titles: four with LA and two with San Jose.)

I’ve written before about the bittersweet feelings I would feel upon the capitulation of the “Donovan Era”, and it admittedly still feels a little weird thinking about him being done. He’s my age after all, and it feels weird that anyone should be allowed to retire at 32. But make no bones about it: Landon Donovan is the best player this country has ever produced. While he’s been the subject of lots of recent scrutiny — for taking a break, for not loving the game anymore, not appreciating his privilege, etc. — he’s more than earned the curtain call he was given yesterday afternoon. While those criticisms may or may not be fair, I think the picture chosen for the latest Pic of the Week does an excellent job of capturing the joy of a man going out on top.

And for that, I’m very happy for him.

ten words or less #102

Matchday - MLS Cup Final 2014

With a big match on the horizon this weekend in domestic football — you know, the MLS Cup Final — we thought it high time to gather the local readers/supporters together again with another watch party at our favorite local pub, Rhinehaus in Over-the-Rhine. So if you happen to be in Cincinnati this coming Sunday (12/7), be sure to swing by to have a pint with the #Pondcast team and watch as Landon does battle with Jones in the former’s last ever professional soccer match. In fact, if you are going to be in town, let us know you’re attending by RSVPing here.

In the mean time, entertain yourselves by following any of the ten links below that I dug up from around the wide world web over the last week.

TLDR; more trebles because rich teams are getting richer. – espnfc.com

If MLS sides’ shirt sponsors were local(ish) breweries. – backheel.com

Tottenham’s fall can all be blamed on John Terry. – cartilagefreecaptain.com

Interesting look at dollars spent per win/point in MLS. – dtfsoccer.wordpress.com

Classic Sepp: absolving FIFA while blaming others. – foxsports.com

Besides a few owners/league offices, everyone agrees with Robbie. – irishexaminer.com

This backheel assist from Chicharito is the stuff of legend. – gfycat.com

This most valuable clubs in the Americas list is… interesting. – forbes.com.mx

A nice gesture. But Dortmund do this every year. – independent.co.uk

Western Sydney Wanderers are Australia’s BVB. – a-league.com.au

WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 16

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 16

On the latest edition of the Pondcast, the boys run the gamut of the footballing landscape. Not only do the delve into last weekend’s round of Premier League fixtures — including the Manchester sides’ returns to form, Soldado actually scoring for Spurs and why everyone seems to be picking on Liverpool — and the completion of the MLS Playoff semifinals, but there was also time to discuss the local soccer scene here in Cincinnati and Dayton. And worry not, the weekly Fulham Watch and Winners & Wankers segments are here as well.

Your question and topic submissions are still strongly encouraged. If you have some for future podcasts, shoot us an email to contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com or send them our way on social media using the links at the bottom of the page, too.

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dayton dutch lions shuttering USL PRO franchise

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WSOTP - Blog - DDLFC.fw

In an off season where it feels there’s been a new franchise announced every week, it’s not all sunshine and roses in USL PRO.

Over the last few months, a plethora of new teams have been added to the third division league’s ranks. Those included six new MLS-owned sides — Seattle Sounders 2, Portland Timbers 2, FC Montreal, Real Monarchs SLC (Real Salt Lake), Toronto’s still unnamed side and Vancover Whitecaps FC 2. There will also be six new independently owned clubs in 2015: Austin Aztex (promoted from PDL) Charlotte Independence (promoted from PDL), Colorado Springs Switchbacks, Louisville City FC, Saint Louis FC and Tulsa Roughnecks. All told, that’s a nearly 86% increase in the number of clubs in the league.

That’s twelve reasons for everyone to feel rosy around the league. Unfortunately, there remains at least one area of uncertainty.

At the end of September, Wrong Side of the Pond exclusively revealed that the Dayton Dutch Lions would be leaving the Gem City and departing South for the Queen City of Cincinnati. The Dutch Lions have long struggled in a number of areas including attendance, media awareness and general finances. It was believed that a move south to the larger market of Cincinnati would help the club stabilize and eventually grow.

But as it turns out, the Dayton Dutch Lions future is far more grim than just a relocation.

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WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 15

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 15

Club football’s return this past weekend — both domestically and across the pond — meant the boys had plenty of football discussion on their plate for Episode 15 of the podcast. On that European side of the plate: City’s struggling wins, Geoff Cameron’s horror show in the booth and on the field, whether or not Liverpool should/will sack Brendan Rodgers and the rest of the Premier League weekend. On the domestic half of the plate: fresh hot takes on the MLS Playoff Semifinal first legs, thoughts on further MLS expansion, and a quick reaction to the USMNT’s loss to Ireland. We also offered desserts of our bi-weekly Bundesliga update from contributor Christopher Wieland, plus Fulham Watch and Winners & Wankers.

And don’t forget to drop us a line at contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com to have us answer your questions or cover a topic of your choosing. You can always send them to us on social media using the links at the bottom of the page, too.

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and the award goes to…

WSOTP - Blog - Award Envelope.fwMajor League Soccer announced their end of season award nominees this week.

A good chunk of them come with their own title sponsors, as is the case with the Xbox Individual Fair Play Award, the MLSWORKS Humanitarian of the Year, the AT&T Rookie of the Year, the Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year and of course the big one, the Volkswagen Most Valuable Player. But there’s also the sponsorless awards like the Newcomer of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, Defender of the Year and Coach of the Year. Not that I think these awards are any less important. In fact, I’d sponsor one if MLS would accept just $100 bucks for it. But they won’t.

Anyway, since the shortlists were revealed, the debate over which of the lucky candidates will take home each of the coveted prizes has raged.

But just like with my piece on the FIFA Puskás Awards from last week, ultimately, these are all very subjective decisions. You may like one better than me, I may like one better than you, and that guy over there may like completely different options to both of ours. But winners will be picked by popular consensus — the official rules on how that consensus is reached can be found here — and then we’ll all get on with our lives.

However, since I didn’t get an invite to participate in the voting (#fistshake), I’m going to cast my votes here. A WSOTP MLS Awards, if you will.

So jump past the break, and find out who I would cast my votes — and why — if MLS had deemed my votes worthy of gathering.

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WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 13

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 13

Despite it being a mostly “meh” weekend in the Premier League, there were a few storylines worthy of discussion on Episode 13 of the Pondcast. City, Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal have all seen their form continue to slide, while Chelsea, Southampton and Newcastle have seen their stock continue to rise. The midweek Champions League action also merited similar talking points. There was of course plenty to talk about with the MLS Playoffs now in their later stages. We also made time to chat about the friendlies the US team will play out in the British Isles during the upcoming international break. And that’s all on top of our normal Fulham WatchWinners & Wankers and listener question segments.

If you have a question or topic you want us to delve into in next week’s podcast, send us an email to contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com, or you can reach out to us on social media using the links at the bottom of the page.

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ten words or less #99

WSOTP - Blog - Winter Is Coming Scarf.fwThe weekend is upon us, and the football will be coming thick and fast. Tomorrow morning we kick things off with a little Liverpool v Chelsea treat and the weekend is capped off off with some MLS Playoff action. And somehow, someway, I have to manage a way to watch as much of it as possible and NOT have my wife divorce me. I just keep reminding her we’re only a few weeks away from the end of the MLS season, and that seems to be working… for now, at least.

Also, a huge FYI. That official WSOTP scarf pictured above that still remains on pre-order? Yeah, we’re dropping the price. They’re now just $18. That’s two whole dollars we’ve lumped off the cost to encourage you to buy one. (If you ordered one earlier, worry not, you’ll be getting some money back.) We’ve also added an options for picking up the scarf from me personally so you don’t have to pay for shipping. And for those who have been concerned that WSOTP is getting rich off of your purchases, all profits go right back into the site — hosting, domain registration, and podcasting equipment isn’t free and has come directly out of my pocket for the last 5 years. So your moneys will be utilized to continue bringing you the wonderful content you’ve come to know and love. Plus it’s getting cold out again, and we want you to stay warm. So click here to buy one, please! 

Once your done with that, feel free to check out some of my favorite links from around the interwebz from the last week and a half.

You should stop laughing at the San Marino national team. – vice.com

Puma had to choose a specific zipper just for Wenger. – youtube.com

So how did we end up with LAFC? – si.com

How did I not know this academy existed? – businessweek.com

Want proof that FIFA and Russia are in cahoots? – reuters.com

So African players are just a commodity? Got it. – soccergods.com

DC’s new stadium most expensive in MLS history? – wjla.com

Gary Neville and I agree: defending is dead. – telegraph.co.uk

A magnificent piece of writing on Manaus’ World Cup. – deadspin.com/howler.com

Now contemplating auctioning my daughter’s support to the highest bidder. – whoateallthepies.tv