ten words or less #89

DC United forward Chris Rolfe

friend of WSOTP, chris rolfe will find himself in new digs this weekend after being traded from chicago to DC.

It’s been ages since my last links round up piece — okay, so it’s just been over a month. But a month can seem like ages in a house with an infant. And in the spirit of full disclosure, I needed to get this latest Ten Words or Less published before some of the links below become no longer relevant. And with the collection of links below spanning nearly the entire spectrum of professional soccer — from World Cup stories to the Premier League, from the Major Indoor Soccer League to USLPRO to Major League soccer, and from footie gear to soccer broadcasting — this is a links round up not to miss.

To new beginnings. – mlssoccer.com

Ian Darke stars in probably the best ESPN commercial ever. – youtube.com/espn

I really wish Chelsea would stop making kits I like. – footballfashion.org

The MISL is dissolving and it’s getting really ugly. – thebluestatement.com

BeIN Sport have made a vuvezela that changes the channel. – therichest.com

I am 100% behind making this the next MLS rebrand. – thegoatparade.com

Please don’t tell me this is a permanent home. – daytondutchlionsfc.com

Some people prefer Spanish commentary… I’m not one of them. – npr.org

I’m a non believer, but these football Tarot Cards rock. – designfootball.com

Some day… Nike will send me these, too. Some day. – theoriginalwinger.com

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ten words or less #82

it’s fair to say that mexico are feeling very thankful this morning.

So, about last night? Pardon my french, but last night was fucking crazy. While World Cup qualifying drama reared its head in both Europe and South America, the real drama was saved for those of us here in CONCACAF. In a space of just two minutes, Mexico — who lost 2-to Costa Rica — went from not qualifying for their first World Cup in 24 years to being back in thanks to an injury time equalizer by none other than their hated rivals to the north. The unexpected swing in fortunes induced the now-famous maniacal response from Mexican commentator Christian Martinoli, which just so happens to be the first link below. And it felt eerily similar to Manchester City’s last-gasp title-winning goal in the Premier League two seasons ago.

Anyway, the magic of yesterday’s moments serves as yet another excellent reason for why this is such an amazing sport. If you couldn’t get into that madness, then you likely lack a pulse.

“We love you forever and ever! God Bless America!” – businessinsider.com

De nada, México. De nada. – bumpypitch.com

Will the US bid for 2026? If rules are redefined. – si.com

Why Januzaj likely isn’t United’s next Pogba or Morrision. – strettynews.com

8bit Football drops a killer historical USMNT effort. – 8bit-football.com

Chivas USA are actually looking for their own home. – mlssoccer.com

Qatar just sounds delightful, doesn’t it? – spiegel.de

Spain’s national team more like the USMNT than you’d think. – soccernet.com

Did Arsenal’s 2014/2015 Puma kits just leak out? – footballshirtculture.com

Organizing and finding pickup games is about to get easier. – kckrs.com

ten words or less #81

torres fans can take comfort in knowing fernando’s cat-like scratch of vertonghen’s face wasn’t viewed as ridiculous as luis suarez’s bite.

I don’t know if anyone else is feeling this way, but my cup runneth over with football at the moment. I already felt like my cup was full with the increased availability of Premier League coverage this season, but that’s feeling even more full given that the Capital One Cup and European midweek fixtures regularly on the calendar again. The MLS season has reached crunch time, providing a myriad of playoff races to and storylines satisfy one’s needs. And don’t forget: another round of World Cup qualifiers is just a fortnight away, too.

So with my attention span being pulled in a thousand directions at the moment, it’s been a bit difficult to crack out full-length pieces. But worry not, I’ve got you covered with the eighty-first edition of Ten Words or Less. And if I do say so, this one has some delectable links. Also, be on the look out for Episode 8 of the WSOTP Pod to drop later this afternoon, too. Though with both posts hitting you in short order, you might feel like your cup is running over too.

United fan marrying into City family trolls with his toast. – youtube.com

Dunny provides insight into how Generation Adidas got it’s start.
– theoriginalwinger.com

Spurs-Chelsea last weekend was a tactician’s dreamworld. – zonalmarking.com

Hey Geoff Cameron: less about you, more about the team. – espnfc.com

Would you eat — or pay $40.58 for — a Zlatan Burger? – guardian.co.uk

I back academies, but there are decent arguments against them. – latimes.com

For no other reason than tweaked nostalgia, I need these. – hypebeast.com

I’m no El Tri fan, but I dig me some Jorge Campos. – inbedwithmaradona.com

Great insight on year one of the MLS-USL partnership. – philly.com

This seems way more like something Sterling would do. – fanatix.com

ten words or less #77

i’m sure you’re about as interested in hearing my excuses as wayne rooney is in staying at manchester united.

It’s Friday and nearly four days since my last post on the site, so I’m feeling a little panicked. I have four pieces in the works, but all aren’t quite ready for the big time for one reason or another: one needs more research, another needs editing, the next one is still a rough draft and the last one can’t be announced yet. And yes, that last one was hinting at something big to come — so definitely be sure to keep your eyes on this space.

In my defense, I have been really busy with things for the blog. I had to travel up to see Wigan take on the Dayton Dutch Lions, which will result in an article. I also had to conduct a phone interview one night this week, necessary to produce yet another piece in progress. And I also had to play soccer last night… but that’s just so I don’t become fat and die. Nobody would be writing the blog articles here if that hadn’t happened, so technically, it’s still for the blog.

So to buy myself some more time to complete at least one of the articles I’ve got in the pipeline, I present a smattering of my favorite links from the last week.

Wonder what the agent’s cut was for this unorthodox transfer. – goal.com

Sadly, Adidas would never make this cool concept ball. – behance.com

This is clever: a Super Mario ode to Sir Alex. – theoffside.com

This is how you properly breed a supporter. – dirtytackle.net

The new Sacramento USLPRO side branding is sexy as hell. – sacrepublicfc.com

Reddit user digs out a referees rule book from 1919. – reddit.com/u/MashedHair

Office work with Suarez? As bad as you might expect. – youtube.com

Apparently, some pro players are given access to tanks. – espnfc.com

More clubs should go this route with their kits. – footballshirtculture.com

Team Beckham in Miami? Only one way it will work. – miamiherald.com

ten words or less #74

we check back in with dribble 4 toledo, who now find themselves in paulding, ohio.

we check back in with dribble 4 toledo, who now find themselves in sherwood, ohio.

It seems like everyone is hitting the road these days. Premier League clubs are playing one another in Yankee Stadium. Or how about Neyamar, who’s packing his bags and leaving Brazil for greener (potentially) pastures in Barcelona. Better yet, remember the guys I wrote about back in early February? You know, the band of four dudes from my hometown who were making an epic trip across the state with only a soccer ball at their feet and the goal of raising money and awareness for the poor of Toledo in their minds?

Well at the close of the ninth day of Dribble4Toledo‘s 250 mile route, I’m happy to report the guys already find themselves well over halfway through their journey from Monroe to Toledo. Along the way, they’ve had some interesting detours along the route, so be sure to check out their Facebook page to chart their progress and see what they’re getting themselves into. And congrats and safe travels again to the boys as they continue their path across Ohio!

And to keep the trend going, I’ll also be hitting the road this week… albeit in significantly more lazy fashion, as I’ll be in a car and not hoofing it like the boys from D4T. First, I’ll be heading North to watch the US Men as they take on a Spurs-rich Belgium side in Cleveland. Then at the weekend, I’ll be sliding over to Chicago’s Toyota Park to watch the Fire battle DC United and kick off the next big project here at WSOTP. All told, it will be over a 1000 miles worth of driving just so I can fill these pages with content and keep your prying eyes coming back for more. Don’t worry, you can thank me later.

In the mean time, enjoy these excellent links from around the interwebs.

NYCFC’s logo won’t look like this; and that’s a shame. – mwillis.com

A brilliant breakdown of the reasons behind Falcao to Monaco. – reddit.com/u/nikcub

But will Monaco even be allowed to play in France? – guardian.co.uk

Neymar will either prove he belongs or crash and burn. – espnfc.com

The end of a beautiful friendship: Cosmos switch to Nike. – footballshirtculture.com

Trying to get into the Champions League Final… for free.
- supportersnotcustomers.com

Americanisms vs Britishisms. Funny thing: there is no right answer. – bbc.co.uk

Cesc on a mission to play for everyone I hate. – foxsports.com

This one is for mi amiga colombiana… crazy Colombian hair! – thebeautifulgear.com

Everton redesign their kit: fans hate it. Club’s response: surprising. – evertonfc.com

ten words or less #73

Sir Alex Ferguson

as we say goodbye to one of the legends of the game, i can’t help but hope the door hits him on the way out.

Ever since the rumors of his imminent retirement in the early portion of the week, I’ve toiled in vain to write the perfect opus for Sir Alex’s career. Yet with all that is being penned on the great Scotsman in the time since, it’s been hard to find not only a unique angle… but also an appropriate way to express my feelings towards Ol’ Red Nose. On one hand, I have mountains of respect for a man that’s won more titles than entire leagues of clubs combined, has managed to adapt his game several times over to match the prevailing playing styles of the time, and has corralled egos larger than your average Walmart Super Center. On the other hand, I hate Fergie for his influence over the FA, the fear he invokes in referees, and the times he’s pried away Tottenham’s best players.

So since I’ve been unable to tap out an appropriate homage to the greatest manager I’ll likely ever see, I’ll do the next best thing and link to the best piece I’ve read about him so far. And that’s how I’m starting off the latest edition of TWOL.

Fair well, Fergie. Here’s hoping you have a long and lovely retirement… and that Moyes drives United to hell in you absence.

Even receiving a hairdrying invokes respect for Fergie. – sportsjournalists.co.uk

Hey… this looks familiar! – theoriginalwinger.com

Kobe Bryant’s new kicks looked to on-pitch inspiration. – thebeautifulgear.com

The Vatican not only has a league, Americans boss it. – wsj.com

Despite erratic form, I still love me some Benny Assoun-Ekotto. – guardian.co.uk

American soccer re-imagined… a familiar design for Over-the-Rhine.
– pcgdstudios.com

Nike’s updated R9’s will hit you right in the 90’s. – nikeinc.com

Stellar MLS art: For Cub and Country. – behance.net

Cool… until they use it to buy Bale next year. – theoriginalwinger.com

One of the most important debates in American soccer. – mlssoccer.com

ten words or less #69

Tottenham's Gareth Bale celebrates scoring against Arsenal

look at the joy and elation on every single face in this photograph. including the face of one gareth frank bale.

While I don’t want to gloat over Tottenham’s North London Derby victory on Sunday, I am going to bask in the glory of that victory for just a moment. I want to marvel at Gareth Bale — while we still have him, at least. Can I also shine a spotlight on André Villas-Boas, who so many had doubted, decried and dismissed for a recall of his predecessor before he had even had a chance to prove himself? And too, maybe I should take a second to apologize to Daniel Levy, the man I often attacked during Spurs inactivity during transfer windows. Because right now, sitting in third after a 12 game run that’s gone WTWWWTTTWWWW, I’m feeling pretty good about Spurs.

Though with a tricky trip to Anfield to face a surging Liverpoolside at the weekend — not to mention a Europa League match against our old friends Inter in the midweek — things could go off track quickly if Spurs get too far ahead of themselves. So if for no other reason than to get my mind out of the clouds, here are some of other links to keep me from daydreaming of greatness quite yet.

One reason why Bale is taking the world by storm. – guardian.co.uk

Soccer once had the mighty MLB shaking in it’s boots. – twitter.com/pothunting

This USMNT 2002 photo shoot will haunt your dreams. – nytimes.com

Stylish playmaker prints to hang on your wall. – behance.net

Commitment to a soccer publication can change your life. – inbedwithmaradona.com

Brian Phillips’ intriguing take on El Diego’s past and present. – grantland.com

Alexi discusses football corruption, simulation on the Colbert Report. – colbertnation.com

Berba’s talents are literally endless. – dirtytackle.net

Can’t complain about not being able to watch games anymore. – giltedgesoccer.com

Alright… who wants to get me this? – whoareyadesigns.com

ten words or less #68

Cristiano Ronaldo's headed goal against Manchester United

ronaldo was literally jumping through the roof over all of the football on tap during this stretch of the year.

Without a shadow of a doubt, mid-February has to be one of my favorite portions of the entire footballing calendar. The major European leagues are entering the home stretch of their seasons, with the races for final league places really heating up. The Champions League knockout stages have kicked off, presenting us with loads of truly world class football to admire. Add in a sprinkling of World Cup qualifiers here and there, and factor in that MLS First Kick is just around the corner, and you can start to understand why I’m so infatuated with a month normally hated by most American fans.

But with so much soccer to take in, my very A.D.D. brain often has a hard time digesting it all. Which means my efforts to pump out full-length postings becomes infinitely harder. I’ve probably started a dozen new drafts in the last week; my guess is only around a third of those will end up seeing the light of day.

So while I strain out the garbage and identify the gold in my writings, I present you with a sampling of my favorite links from the last week. Bon appétit.

All goal line technology implementations handled by just two officials.
– bigdsoccer.com

How “what could have been” in Manchester was derailed. – inbedwithmaradona.com

Jorge Campos-inspired posters remind me of the 90’s. – behance.com

For a few Nigerian prostitutes, it’s time to pay up. – dirtytackle.net

This Genoa centenary shit just exudes retro awesome. – footballshirtculture.com

Screw? Loose. Other shoe? Waiting to drop. – guardian.co.uk

I love soccer and dinosaurs. I don’t love them together. – kckrs.com

Just five minutes playing in Turkey… Drogba gonna Drog. – youtube.com

The official MLS #TrueColors posters are (mostly) pretty sweet. – facebook.com

See: Move to capitalize on Indian market exposure. – nikebiz.com

ten words or less #63

With my wife sick, this past weekend presented itself as an opportunity for a whirlwind of football viewing here at WSOTP. I’ve not kept any statistics on this kind of thing, but I can say with confidence that I watched more soccer this past weekend than I ever have before. Saturday included a marathon of five straight live games which, between Twitter and A.D.D., my brain had a hard time handling.

ONU Men's Soccer in the Final Four

seeing my alumnus polar bears make their way to the national title game might just have been the highlight of my weekend.

The morning started well with Spurs bagging a win, Arsenal and Chelsea both losing, and an unexpected, entertaining shootout between Manchester United and Reading. And while the (oddly timed) midday MLS Cup Final might have seemed the marquee match, I was really looking forward to watching my former college team — the Ohio Northern University Polar Bears — play in our school’s very first NCAA Division III National Championship match. My former teammate Milky even stopped by to take in both the late matches, also allowing me a solid four hours of Liverpool jibes…

Much to our chagrin, ONU were quickly picked apart by an admittedly impressive Messiah College side. But the result doesn’t dim my pride in my old team for everything they accomplished this year. Considering the program only had 8 winning seasons prior to my class’s arrival on campus, and had never made the National Tournament prior to Milky’s, to see the program continue to build on our successes — even despite a heavy loss — had us both beaming. The sky’s the limit from here, boys.

Anyway, below are some of the better links from around the world of soccer from the last week.

The perfect gift for your soccer fan? Sexy Managers Calendar. – yahoo.com

A photographic essay of grassroots football in third world countries.
– jessicahilltout.com

Beckham’s kids old enough to be called full kit wankers. – angelcitybrigade.net

Carlos Tévez’s paystub will make you very jealous. – dirtytackle.net

Hot Chip makes a seriously WTF FIFA-esque music video. – kckrs.com

Shout out to local Casey Weddle for being named All-American.
– ohiodominicanpanthers.com

“We need to be more assertive,” mumbles Rosický to nobody.
– fistedaway.wordpress.com

Floridian city most likely to land an MLS side… Tampa? – theoffsiderules.com

Once again, Spooky captures how I’m feeling about Spurs. – dearmrlevy.com

 A top-25 list for boots from Sneaker Report… I’m in. – sneakerreport.com

ten words or less #62

With tomorrow being Thanksgiving here in the States, it’s the time of year when many reflect upon all of the things in their lives for which they should be thankful. Things are no different here at WSOTP. And while I’m especially thankful for a wonderfully patient wife, a loving family, and that Spurs’ UnderArmour kits aren’t as hideous as I had anticipated — among other blessings — amongst other things too, of course — I do have one gripe I want to air about the holiday.

Thanksgiving Turkey Soccer

The dearth of usable Thanksgiving-themed soccer images on the internet is roughly equivalent to the amount of soccer normally on TV on Turkey Day.

Between the NFL and NCAA, the American-flavored version of football seems to go hand in hand with Thanksgiving. Games will be on all day tomorrow, and many families across the country will gather around their TV’s to watch as a part of their annual holiday tradition. But as my fellow soccer fans will attest, we’re normally left in the dark on Turkey Day by the major networks. This year, we’re lucky enough to have Europa League matches to occupy us, but they’re typically not high-profile matches. And while that’s enough for me, that doesn’t mean everyone else in my family will prefer round football to egg football this year. But since the festivities are being held at my house this year, the rules will be different… a new dawn for Thanksgiving traditions is in the cards.

But if your family won’t budge from their normal traditions, here are some links to help keep you from feeling neglected. Happy holidays everyone!

This article convinced me to subscribe to Howler quarterly. – whatahowler.tumblr.com

I want prints of these for my [imaginary] office. – 8bitfootball.wordpress.com

Or “Why fading European stars like to play in MLS.” – metro.co.uk

Old Italian men are weird. – dirtytackle.net

Little cheer at Wolves this season, except this brand refresh. – weareraw.co.uk

More Howler: maybe the USSF wants to forget its past? – theoriginalwinger.com

Next, bring this to the States. – fantasista.co.uk

Foolish man records tornado hitting soccer ground… for our enjoyment? – youtube.com

This defense of American soccer culture hit close to home. – sbnation.com