in review: MLS jersey week 2015

Featured

WSOTP - Blog - MLS Jersey Week 2015

Maybe it’s just me, but it sure feels like the Major League Soccer off season is getting shorter and shorter every year.

It seems as if it was just days ago that we were watching the Galaxy hoist their fifth MLS Cup trophy. Perhaps that’s due to the near constant stream of news now pouring from the league during the winter months. Expansion rumors, CBA negotiations, seemingly an entire generation of US players migrating to North American shores, the Garber v Klinsmann storyline, a litany of drafts, both of New York City’s clubs trying to out-PR-disaster one another… it’s been non-stop. And with clubs winding down preseason training and the regular season now just days away from kicking off, it’s only going to get worse.

But one particular MLS custom that I look forward to most of all the stories that come out during the offseason is the annual Jersey Week. The league finally got around to announcing that the 3rd Annual Jersey Week will begin this coming Saturday, February 28.

Though it’s not really a “week” this year like has been in the past, and we’ll get into that shortly.

Unfamiliar with Jersey Week? Beginning two seasons ago MLS decreed that each club should debut at least one new kit per season, and they’re all supposed to debut them this week. Some clubs put zero effort into it, issuing a regular release to the press and dusting off their hands. Others go all out with reveal parties packed full of supporters and local celebrities. Regardless of how they’re presented though, the internet subsequently explodes with opinion/rant/hate soon after they’re revealed. It’s grand fun, particularly for a gearhead such as myself.

And just as was the case the last two seasons again — here are my 2013 and 2014 Jersey Week reviews — WSOTP is back again in 2015 to offer up my thoughts on every new kit debuted too.

Now, I had grand designs to do things a little bit differently this go around. Instead of doing one long post at the end of the week as I have in year’s past, I had hoped to review each day’s worth of releases the day they drop, updating the same article with my reactions as each new shirt was debuted. Of course, half of the shirts leaked out ahead of time this year, thus taking a little of the wind out of my sails. But even in the disappointment, I still plan on proceeding with the course I had decided on anyway. I’m no quitter. Be sure to check back nightly starting this Saturday for my hot takes on the shirts.

Anyway, to skip ahead to your club’s review (assuming it’s done), click on their name below:

WESTERN CONFERENCE EASTERN CONFERENCE
Colorado Rapids FC Dallas Chicago Fire Columbus Crew SC
Houston Dynamo LA Galaxy D.C. United Montreal Impact FC
Portland Timbers FC Real Salt Lake New England Revolution New York City FC
San Jose Earthquakes Seattle Sounders FC New York Red Bulls Orlando City SC (H) (A)
Sporting Kansas City Vancouver Whitecaps FC Philadelphia Union Toronto FC

Otherwise, feel free to scroll on through the entirety of the reviews to see how every club fared. And if you care to share your thoughts — or your thoughts on my thoughts — hit up the comments at the base of the article or holler at me on Twitter.

Continue reading

ten words or less #106

ClintDempsey

If you haven’t noticed, things have been pretty busy around these parts lately. Podcats have been coming out rather frequently. There’s been an uptick in original written pieces lately, too. We’ve gotten back into hosting events as well, as was evident with our Derby Saturday watch parties at our favorite soccer bar — Rhinehaus — here in Cincinnati. And believe it or not, the results of our WSOTP Promotion & Relegation Survey should start filtering out here soon too.

We hope to keep the content continuing to stream out here on a more regular basis, but as you might expect, we can’t give you original stuff quite every day. So to keep you entertained in the mean time — as if the numerous league, cup and preseason matches going on right now around the globe and a new US kit to complain about weren’t enough — here’s another sampling of our favorite stories from around the web over the last week or so.

WSOTP tabbed as “MLS blog to read ahead 2015 season”. – dranandvora.com

The Premier League TV deal forcing others to take action. – espnfc.com

USL has that ambition bug. – americansoccernow.com

Spurs rightfully made to pay for a prior sin. – bbc.com

Deuce is too old, but Dom Dwyer could work… – theoriginalwinger.com

There’s a lot to the Arrigo Sacchi racism comments. – theguardian.com

So does Barça like Cincinnati for it’s talent… or money? – cincinnati.com

 Cue Catalunyan outrage. – football-shirts.co.uk

Free agency is inevitable. The league needs it. - prostamerika.com

David Bentley is still playing… just not as you’d think. – independent.ie

WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 26

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 26

Despite suffering numerous technical difficulties this week, surviving a “horrible” snowstorm and seeing confusing midweek English fixtures throwing everyone’s schedules off, the #Pondcast is back this week and better than ever. Not only do the guys discuss the latest Premier League action, FA Cup 6th Round Draw and preview the return of the Champions League, but we also welcome back Reckless Challenge‘s Chad Hollingsworth (@ChadHoll) to talk about all the headlines streaming out of the newly rebranded third division — or is it second division? — USL. And of course, Fantasy Update, Championship Watch and Winners & Wankers are all back again to keep you in the loop, too.

We also broke new ground on the Pondcast this week, as this was the first time we ever recorded with D.J. and Jeremy in separate locations. Though we actually physically got together on Sunday night and recorded as normal, the Macbook Pro on which we do our recording decided to eat the audio file — thus forcing us to re-record on Monday night, which was taking place in the middle of a snowstorm. So if things sound a little different, our apologies.

Don’t forget to hit us up with your questions and topics for next week’s pod at contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com, on the social media links at the bottom of the page, or in the comments below!

WSOTP Podcast on iTunes WSOTP Podcast on Stitcher WSOTP Podcast RSS Feed

longing for the good ‘ol days

Featured

WSOTP - Blog - Anger.fw

The new US away kits officially dropped on Monday. It was impossible to miss, with images of the new blue-streaked shirts littered across social media by everyone from Nike, US Soccer, current mens and womens players to blogs, news agencies and randoms alike.

But if you weren’t paying that close of attention, you could be forgiven for thinking that someone had instead dropped an atom bomb on the USSF headquarters in Chicago, such was the negative reaction to yet another American soccer decision.

Whether or not it was a majority is up for debate, but it’s clear a sizable portion of the American fan base hated the jersey. Their ire seems to be pointed in multiple directions too, with Nike, US Soccer and even Sunil Gulati receiving poignant 140-character tirades since its official release. It was described as “ugly”, “effortless” and “unneeded”. Some were angry that it replaced the beloved “bomb pop” kit dawned by the US men in Brazil last summer — which, if you recall, also received a fair bit of scorn when it was first released.

Whether or not you like, I don’t really care. I’m a fan. But then again, it’s my opinion and we’re all entitled to our own. It’s all subjective anyway and it’s no skin off my back if you don’t like it.

But the outrage that followed the new kit release wasn’t an isolated incident.

Continue reading

WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 25

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 25

There was no shortage of tantalizing soccer to enjoy this weekend — both the men’s and women’s national team’s friendlies, the African Nations Cup Final, plus a full round of Premier League action — and the Pondcast team took it all in. The last of those included a pair of derbies, with the second editions of the North London and Merseyside Derbies drawing considerable attention. And with your normal installments of Fantasy UpdateWinners & Wankers and a newly re-branded Championship Watch, there’s plenty stuffed into this week’s WSOTP Podcast.

Don’t forget to hit us up with your questions and topics for next week’s pod at contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com, on the social media links at the bottom of the page, or in the comments below!

WSOTP Podcast on iTunes WSOTP Podcast on Stitcher WSOTP Podcast RSS Feed

ten words or less #105

WSOTP - Blog - Derby Saturday 2015.fw

You might have noticed the slight uptick in activity on the site over the last week, with four new posts going up. That’s not that busy, but it is when compared to the previous few barren weeks that preceded it. Things have finally slowed down a bit at work after the turn of the new year, and my now 13-month-old daughter has become slightly more self-sufficient. As such, I finally have time to write again. Which has been nice.

And honestly, he timing of this slight increase in free-time couldn’t have been any better. A hot-ticket weekend of derbies in Europe — and of course, WSOTP will once again be hosting further watch parties at Cincinnati’s Rhinehaus bar for the North London and Merseyside Derbites this weekend! MLS preseason is also in full-swing now too, meaning the trickling faucet of stories on the domestic front has suddenly morphed into a busted, gushing fire hydrant. I already have a half dozen articles in the works, so hopefully you’ll see the fruits of those labors in the coming days.

In the mean time, be sure to come join us this weekend for the Derby action if you happen to be in Cincinnati. If you’re not, the latest links round up will have to suffice.

Me, every Super Bowl. – foxtrot.com

Well this is awfully crappy of Manchester United. – thesportsbible.com

Why expanding the MLS playoffs is a bad idea. – soccergods.com

Qatar’s World Cup template had a Beta version in handball. – slate.com

The MLSPU’s take on the ongoing collective bargaining agreement talks. – orlandosentinel.com

Someone get me all of these sneakers, please. Thanks. – theoriginalwinger.com

Maybe something is finally brewing in Miami… – miamidade.gov

Watching someone’s greatest moment ever is fun. – vine.co/FilGoal

The story behind Toronto landing Giovinco. – torontosun.com

the WSOTP guide to #MLS hashtags

WSOTP MLS Hashtags Guide

To my fellow Twitter-holic soccer fans out there, the hashtag is quite possibly one of the most important aspects of your day-to-day life. Which is a little sad when you think about it, but I’m going to give myself a pass if for no other reason than to feel better about myself.

Regardless, the use of the hashtag is a perfect way to not only get your tweets seen by a larger audience, but also keep tabs on the general thoughts and opinions of those talking about a similar subject matter.

Problem is, finding out what hashtag is going to give you the best reach and or broadest range of responses can be a difficult task. So back in March of last year, I attempted to gather all of the “official” Major League Soccer hashtags for each team into one singular location.

Anyway, back when the Columbus Crew rebranded to Columbus Crew SC, a debate sprung about within the Crew fanbase as to what the “official” hashtag would be for use on Twitter moving forward. Would the legacy, club-endorsed #Crew96 be sticking around, or would it be replaced by #CrewSC, #CCSC or something else entirely?  Though lines were being drawn in the sand between supporters, nobody was exactly sure the answer to that question.

So when Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt attempted to set the record straight by deeming #CrewSC as the new officially club endorsed hashtag, the reaction from the support was predictably chaotic.

But it did make me think. You know: the list that I made a year and a half ago is probably way out of date. And it was. New teams have come into the league, new designations have been developed, and poor Chivas USA has gone the way of the dodo. And that means things are horrendously out of date.

So I’m redoing it. Today. You can you find it past the jump, just in time for the upcoming 2015 season.

Continue reading

WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 24

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 24Last week, the guys foolishly took the week off from the #Pondcast as they licked their wounds after seeing both of their sides tumble out of the FA Cup. This week they’re being made to pay for it with a fortnight’s worth of football to cover. So what exactly is on deck for this week? How about a recounting of the FA Cup third round, a look at how both Spurs and Chelsea recovered in the midweek to advance to the Capital One Cup final, a virulent weekend in the Premier League’s battle for the European places, an examining of Major League Soccer’s CBA woes and — oh yeah — a little diddy called Transfer Deadline Day. Plus your weekly Fulham Watch and Winners & Wankers segments make their usual appearances too. It’s a lot, and we know you’re at least a little more excited than Aaron Lennon is about his move to Everton.

Was there a topic we glanced over that you want us to cover next week? If so, or you have a question you want D.J. and Jeremy to tackle, hit us up at contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]comju or by using the social media links at the bottom of the page.

WSOTP Podcast on iTunes WSOTP Podcast on Stitcher WSOTP Podcast RSS Feed

beckham and new york city: a match made in MLS heaven?

WSOTP - Blog - Beckham to RBNY.fw

From its very beginning, Major League Soccer’s proposed return to Miami has seemed a bit off. It’s an exciting market, but one that professional soccer had yet to conquer.

Under the stewardship of global superstar, two-time MLS Cup champion and owner of a discount MLS expansion agreement, David Beckham, the goal of bringing professional soccer back to Southern Florida got under way with a bang. A glitzy press conference featuring Golden Balls himself, smiling and answering questions with fellow investors and MLS commissioner Don Garber.

Pledges to build a spectacular new soccer-specific stadium in the city and on the waterfront were used to hype the handfuls of fans in attendance. Garber spoke of the promise, know how and star power that Beckham and his team of investors possessed. Quickly, a full fledged supporters groups sprung up, club names were debated, kits and crests were floated and stadium renderings filtered out through the media. The hype was real.

Too, the February 2014 announcement that Beckham intended to put his discounted MLS club in Miami came right in the middle of a slew of similar league expansion press conferences. First was New York City FC in March 2013, Orlando in November, Miami was next in February 2014, Atlanta in April and then Los Angeles FC in October.

Of course, the key word in that previous paragraph being “similar”.

None of New York, Orlando, Atlanta or LA have had MLS completely fail there. Miami has — though one could argue that it wasn’t Miami alone that ushered the Fusion to contraction, as the team actually played in Ft. Lauderdale. And while Los Angeles did see Chivas USA fail before too, the city also features the trump card that is the pride and joy of Major League Soccer in the five time champion Galaxy.

But more importantly, unlike the other four cities in that list, Miami’s press conference featured words like “contingent” and “if”. In order to get the Beckham his club, he and his team of investors would have to first secure a stadium. In downtown Miami. And since that announcement nearly a one year ago, we’ve not really heard any good news from Miami, Beckham or MLS.

And it’s that stadium issue which has proven the biggest stumbling block thus far.

Continue reading

ten words or less #104

The Crew's Justin Meram playing for Iraq

Yes, I’m well aware that things around here have slowed down a bit lately. Posts have dropped off. Our Twitter feed has been relatively quiet. And I’ve not written much elsewhere either. Sorry. But I promise there’s been a lot going on behind the scenes.

A considerable amount of my time recently has been poured into the launching of our new podcast network, Background Noise FC — not to mention the entire site and branding on the link for it below. I’ve also spent a hefty amount of effort recently working on a potential redesign for this website — though whether the new coat of paint sees the light of day remains a big if at this point. And we’ve also been hard at work on a number of other side projects.

Those are nothing but excuses though, right? Right. Well, I do have some things in the works for this space, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to get at least one of them up this weekend. But as I normally do when trying to keep you entertained while I get my ish together, here’s a new link round up to hold you over.

Check out our new podcast network, Background Noise FC. – backgroundnoisefc.com

Dear Pro/Rel proponents… – twitter.com/greekfooty

I’d watch this State of the Union Address every time. – washingtonpost.com

The Crew’s Justin Meram has enjoyed a crazy Asian Cup. – si.com

Umbro blind tests their new Velocita boot with the press. – soccerbible.com

I want this as a print to hang up in my hypothetical office. – inbedwithmaradona.com

Mino Raiola for… FIFA president? Ummm…  –  prosoccertalk.nbcsports.com

Kane has torn it up this season. Here’s why. – espnfc.com

A long awaited FIFA backlash… or a coincidence? – telegraph.co.uk

This is how you appropriately fade into the sunset. – goal.com