WSOTP pod: live world cup special #3

we recorded our third and final live podcast on fountain before, during and after the usa v belgium game.

we recorded our third and final live podcast on fountain before, during and after the usa v belgium game.

Well, it wasn’t the result we had all hoped for, but the US loss to Belgium in the Round of 16 of the 2014 World Cup still managed to provide a great backdrop for our third and final live podcast recorded down on Cincinnati’s Fountain Square. Jeremy returned to rejoin D.J. after being out of action the last time out, and he also takes the reigns for the in-studio portions of the pod answering questions and talking about how fans new to the game can pick a team to follow for the upcoming Premier League season. On the live portion, we also get to hear Cincinnati Saints president and CEO David Satterwhite rejoin us on the podcast to talk about the events on the Square. And two other added bonuses: the audio this time around is at least marginally better and there were no hecklers this time either… hooray!

On a personal note, it was an absolute thrill to get to talk soccer in front of crowds of 4000 to 8000 at each of the events down on Fountain Square. Many thanks to the Cincinnati Saints, Hoist and 3CDC for allowing us the opportunity to MC the events and spread the word about the podcast.

If you’re new to the podcast, we’ll be back again weekly in just a few weeks’ time before the European seasons get rolling. So be sure to hit the links below to subscribe to the podcast on your computer or mobile device to listen in when we return on a regular basis.

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!

About these ads

WSOTP pod: live world cup special #2

WSOTP Podcast - Live World Cup Special #1

better late than never: our second live podcast on fountain square before and during the US-portugal game.

Our second “World Cup Special” podcast was recorded way back before and during the US v Portugal match. I know, nearly a week ago, and another match has transpired since then. So what gives? Well, my computer crashed and I thought the file had been lost into the abyss. Luckily, I had a back up that I’d forgotten about. Furthermore, we weren’t able to record during the Germany game, so the layoff doubled in length. We’re sorry — but better late than never right?

As with last time, our audio situation wasn’t the greatest. But the plus side to that: you won’t be able to hear the hecklers. I’m also joined by Jeremy Lance-lookalike, Eddie Driver, as my normal recording partner was indisposed this time around. But that doesn’t mean this isn’t a pod worth listening to. Eddie and I dished not only on the Portugal game, but also talked over some of the World Cup’s highlights, and we had a chance to chat with some of the lovely Lady Saints to get their outlooks on the game. You’ll find some crowd reactions to the goals, and my post match analysis — including thoughts on the Germany match and the lead up to the Belgium round of 16 thriller that awaits us today.

For those who have asked: yes, we will be recording another podcast before and during today’s pivotal knockout match. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get it before next week.

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!

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!

color me surprised

Featured

Cincinnati Celebrates Brooks' GoalI have to give it to you, Cincinnati: you really surprised me yesterday.

We’re a city that’s often forced to divide our attention and pick a side. East or west side. Gold Star or Skyline. Xavier or UC. Cincinnati Saints or that other team that we won’t speak of. And when it comes to the watching the US team during the World Cup, things have been no different.

The American Outlaws Cincinnati Chapter were back at their usual stomping grounds at Molly Malone’s in Covington, with those who attended saying the place was jammed full of American supporters like sardines in a can. My favorite soccer pub, Rhinehaus in OTR, was packed in a way that only Lil Jon could appreciate. There were some who chose to stay further out in Hyde Park, with events being held at Cock & Bull, Hap’s, and The Pub at Rookwood. And those are just the soccer hangouts: numerous other establishments around town also have spoken of larger influxes of patrons in to watch the game.

And as such, I was a little concerned that the watch party I was helping to plan — the Cincinnati Saints and Hoists’ Big Game on the Square at Fountain Square — would suffer a lower than expected turnout due to litany of choices available to the city’s soccer fans. If I’m being totally honest, I thought we would be lucky to get 500 people out to the city center to watch the US’ opening game against Ghana.

Boy, was I wrong… and happily so.

The Cincinnati downtown commission, 3CDC, estimated that there were upwards of 5000 fans in attendance. Five thousand! Even if that was a little generous, that’s ten times the amount I had hoped for. Considering this match took place on Monday night on a day where the local meteorologists were warning of pop-up storms in a place that had never hosted a soccer event before, that is freaking incredible.

Too, the atmosphere was absolutely incredible. I’d fielded some concerns that it wouldn’t “be as good as at a pub” and that the AO party “would blow it out of the water”. Those concerns, much like my own earlier, proved unwarranted.

Flags, ridiculous outfits, painted faces, a bounty of bomb pop and Waldo jerseys. There were chants of “I believe that we can win” and “I Love Ya”. The energy and noise after the goals, particularly Brook’s equalizer, was a deafening madhouse. I’m pretty sure I saw someone jump in the fountain in jubilation. There’s a zero percent chance the AO party provided anything better. And the reaction around town, even from non-soccer types, has been nothing short of astounding.

I feel incredibly privileged to have been a part of the experience and to help put on the event. WSOTP Podcast co-host Jeremy Lance and I kept turning to one another and wide-eyed saying to one another, “I can’t believe this is happening in Cincinnati!” Never mind the 30 followers I’ve picked up on Twitter and 20 new Facebook likes since then… it was an honor even without the windfall of new exposure for this site.

We’ll of course be doing this all again on Sunday, and fully expect that the crowd will grow as word gets out that Fountain Square will be the place to watch. So if you didn’t join us yesterday, give us a try this weekend. And for those of you who did, thank you for making this such an awe-inspiring experience.

Here’s hoping we’ll catch you out there again, Cincinnati.

Also, be sure to check out this awesome video of the event from local Ricky Fairrow. It really captured the vibe of the crowd.

All pictures courtesy of the Cincinnati Saints. See the full album here.

listermann brewing’s ode to the world cup

Listermann Brewing E.S. Bee World Cup Beer

cincinnati’s listermann brewing reached out across the pond to come up with their special edition world cup beer.

It’s no secret: soccer and beer go together like hops and barley.

Drinking while watching games, whether at a pub or at the match itself, is part of the make up of the game. It’s so integral that FIFA even had Brazil change their laws to allow drinking in the stadiums — though that probably had as much to do with appeasing worldwide sponsor Budweiser as it did with preserving the traditions of the game.

Either way, there are few ways better to enjoy a match than to sip down some cold suds while taking in the action, especially during the World Cup. And as such, loads of brewers have rushed to produce special batches to commemorate the big event.

My hometown of Cincinnati — a town many consider to be one of the country’s biggest hotbeds of brewing — is no different, as my good friends at Listermann Brewing have brewed a special beer specifically for the World Cup: E.S. Bee. Continue reading

watch WSOTP’s first game in the broadcast booth

That’s right kids, the day has finally arrived. Myself and WSOTP Podcast co-host Jeremy Lance will be taking to the broadcast booth tonight as we commentate our first ever game for the Cincinnati Saints!

And even if you can’t make it down to Over-the-Rhine’s Stargel Stadium to watch the match in person, you can take in the match and our orations via a live stream right here on Wrong Side of the Pond. Click below to watch us live at 7:30pm tonight. And if that doesn’t fit your busy schedule, you can always check back and watch at a later time.

WSOTP - Saints vs Erie Admirals ICRC TV

Be kind in your evaluations of our commentating efforts… it’s our first run through, and neither of us has ever done this before. But know in advance that we’re aiming to at least clear the low bar set by FOX’s professional team of Gus Johnson and Eric Wynalda.

UPDATE 5/27/2014: Apologies for the inability to stream the match live on Friday, as we experienced some technical errors on the production side. That said, the stream is now available for your viewing pleasure on the ICRCTV.net website. We’ve also received assurances that this Friday’s (5/30) match against Detroit City FC will be available to livestream on YouTube.

we’re bringing the world cup to fountain square

myself and the rest of the saints media team will be on hand for this summer's biggest soccer event in cincinnati.

myself and the rest of the saints media team will be on hand for this summer’s biggest soccer events in cincinnati.

The wait is finally over. 2014: the summer of the World Cup. We made it!

Well almost… though we are less than two months away from the big production kicking off in São Paulo on June 12th. So while the long wait for the return of the world’s single most popular sporting event is nearly up, the next question becomes: where are you going to watch it?

If you’re not lucky enough to count yourself among those who are heading to Brazil to catch the matches in person — sadly raises hand – finding a place to watch with your fellow fans is a near necessity. And for that reason, you might find it useful to take a look at the WSOTP Soccer Pub Atlas, which could help you to find the closest of 270+ soccer bars across the United States and Canada.

But if you happen to be anywhere remotely close to Cincinnati for any of the US Men’s National Team matches this June, you might want to clear your calendar…

WSOTP - Cincy Saints - Fountain Square Flyer WhiteWSOTP - Cincy Saints - Fountain Square Flyer Black

Alongside the Cincinnati Saints, 3CDC and Hoist Rapid Hydration, Wrong Side of the Pond is pleased to be hosting World Cup Watch Parties for all three of the US Men’s National Team’s first round matches on Cincinnati’s famous Fountain Square!

After some wrangling with FIFA and ESPN to gain approval, the Saints Media team are pleased to be bringing soccer to Fountain Square for the first time on a scale like never before! And hopefully soon you’ll start seeing the WSOTP-designed posters above popping up around town to remind you to come down this June.

So what can you expect from the events, aside from being able to watch the US side take on world powers Germany, Ghana and Portugal on the Square’s 627-inch — or a little over 52 feet — Fifth Third Video Screen? Beside taking in the matches with hundreds (thousands?) of your fellow soccer fans, you’ll find drinks from local breweries to cheers with after goals, food you can scarf down to calm your nerves, appearances from Saints players and staff, activities for the kids, gear giveaways, live recordings of the WSOTP Podcast and more! Further details will be announced as we get closer to the first of the three dates, so be sure to stay tuned.

While it’s an optimistic goal, I know we would love to make this the largest gathering of US supporters in the country during the World Cup this summer. So grab your closest friends and make the trek down to the city center and take in a match with the Cincinnati Saints, 3CDC, Hoist and Wrong Side of the Pond and maybe help us set a record or two!

Click here to peep the official press release from the club, and be sure to check out the video announcement — starring myself and my fellow Saints Media Team members — below!

one small step for man, one giant leap for WSOTP

Wrong Side of the Pond... commentating a game near you.

Looking back over what has become a nearly been a five year endeavor, Wrong Side of the Pond has come a long way from its humble beginnings.

Originally, it was nothing more than a way for me to pass the time while living in a new town. And I can easily say that I would have never imagined at the time that my blog would grow to have well over a thousand Twitter followers or nearly five hundred Facebook likes. And to see it evolve to become a resource for people to find a place to watch and share beers with fellow supporters, have it gain me media credentials at MLS stadiums around the country, or co-host a weekly podcast? Well, that’s just mind-blowing.

However I’d also be lying if I said that, deep down, I didn’t have dreams of it some day becoming more.

I’ve always had a desire to somehow stay involved with the game I grew up with and that gave so much to me. Yeah, I still play regularly. But as my fitness and athleticism fade with age, sharing all of the knowledge I’ve picked up over the years of playing and studying soccer seemed like the logical next step. There have definitely been some lucky breaks here and there, too. Bundle all of that with a desire to create and share, and maybe the blog and its growth makes a bit more sense after all.

So with all of that in mind, today, I’m pleased to announce the next very exciting stage in the site’s evolution…

WSOTP - Blog - Cincy Saints Announcement 2.fw

Wrong Side of the Pond will be partnering with the Cincinnati Saints for the upcoming National Premier Soccer League season and beyond!

Specifically, my fellow WSOTP Podcast co-host Jeremy Lance and I will provide the official live match commentary for all home broadcasts for the Saints’ 2014 NPSL campaign. In addition to calling the matches at Over-the-Rhine’s Stargel Stadium, we’ll also provide pre-game, half time and post-match analysis and content alongside sideline reporter Amy Hellkamp. More information about broadcast availability will be forthcoming, but for the time being, every home match will at least be available via a free live stream on YouTube — which I’ll be adding as a link in the sidebar prior to the season.

Furthermore, we will also be working together on a number of marketing endeavors to help further exposure of both the Saints and WSOTP. Exciting things are already in the works, so keep your eyes on this space for further updates in the weeks to come.

In short, I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity and I know we’re all excited to see where things go from here. Many thanks to everyone who’s supported us along the way, and we look forward to cheering on the Saints with you in the summer!

MORE ABOUT THE CINCINNATI SAINTS
The Saints will be embarking on their inaugural season in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), a semi-professional soccer league in the fourth tier of the American soccer pyramid. Founded in 2009, the Saints organization also features a men’s indoor side — competing tomorrow in the Professional American Soccer League (PASL) playoffs — as well as women’s indoor and outdoor sides, too. For outdoor matches, the black and blue will call Taft High School’s Stargel Stadium near downtown Cincinnati home. The first home match of the season will kick off at 7:30pm on Friday, May 23rd. Click here to see a schedule of matches.

If you want to read the full press announcement on the Cincinnati Saints’ website, feel free to click here.

spread the love

Columbus Crew Cincinnati Cleveland

while the crew would do well to make sure their new crest represents columbus, there are other cities the club can look to connect with potential fans, too.

There’s a quiet revolution happening in Columbus, Ohio. Despite years of near anonymity and near afterthought status, the city’s soccer franchise may finally be entering a renaissance of sorts. Under the guidance of new owner Anthony Precourt, the Crew are slowly starting to show signs of life after years of stagnation under the former ownership of the Hunt Sports Group.

Long-needed improvements to the stadium — including an updated jumbotron, speakers and upgraded “premier seating” on the stadium’s east side — should help to improve a match day experience that’s grown stale.

A partnership with USLPRO side Dayton Dutch Lions brings them in line with the league-wide development requirement and may pay dividends down the road.

Plus, the technical and playing staff assembled under the newly installed head coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter are making some intriguing moves to improve the team’s on-pitch results in the near future.

But the work of Precourt’s making the most waves, at least in the press and on social media, is the Crew’s intentions to revamp their outdated branding. The now quasi-iconic crest featuring three helmeted construction workers — the only untouched original logo to survive since MLS’ inception in 1996 — will finally get an overhaul. And the following quote in a recent interview on mlssoccer.com on the subject was particularly interesting.

“We want to be representative. We don’t see Columbus in the [current] crest. There are many things we can do to represent the capital city better. It’s not a blue-collar, manufacturing, industrial town. It’s a smart, young, progressive university… town. We want it to represent the Columbus we’ve come to know.”

- ANTHONY PRECOURT, COLUMBUS CREW INVESTOR-OPERATOR

And he’s right: their current logo doesn’t even feature the name of the city they call home. That seems almost traitorous. But it’s not just about where their from, but also representing their existing and potential fans.

When I think of Columbus, I think of a city rejuvenated, reborn. Think of the German Village and Short North areas, each seeing an influx of new restaurants, shops and galleries over the last five to ten years. These redevelopments have helped to attract new residents back to the city, which in itself helps to spurn further investment.

And though it shouldn’t matter as much as it does, the Crew conveying themselves as something that many of the city’s young residents are trying to separate themselves from — the proletariat blue-collar workers staring cross-armed from the Crew’s logo — might well be enough to turn off potential fans. So alongside the improvements to the stadium and playing staff mentioned above, Precourt and president Mark McCullers believe that aligning the brand with Columbus and it’s growing young professional demographic will help to put more butts in Crew Stadium seats.

the old “blue collar” logo won’t be phased out until 2015.

Personally, I can’t believe it took the Crew so long to focus on this segment of the fan base. Even under the prior regime of the Hunts, it seemed fairly obvious. All you had to do was look at those packing the house each time the national team came to town. Though the traditionally-targeted “soccer mom” and “entertaining professional” segments were still represented, most of those in attendance were 20 and 30 somethings. The same can be said of the growing crowds filling American pubs for Premier League fixtures each weekend.

And while I agree that putting emphasis on the “Columbus” in Columbus Crew is rightly needed, I think the Precourt and company would be wise to not limit their thoughts to just Ohio’s capital city when trying to reach new fans.

Mr. Precourt: please don’t forget about Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, Toledo and the rest of Ohio when trying to grow the club’s support.

As much as the Hunts neglected to invest in the club and it’s infrastructure, efforts to market the team outside the city have received just as little attention. Columbus isn’t an island after all; a good chunk of Ohio’s population is within a reasonable drive.

But driving distance alone isn’t the only reason why the rest of Ohio is important to the Crew. Cincinnati and Cleveland in particular have seen similar revivals to Columbus, especially when looking at their near-downtown districts of Over-the-Rhine and Ohio City. Already existing pockets of Crew supporters at the opposite ends of the state are there to build upon. You’ll find young professionals packing their bars Saturday and Sunday mornings to watch the European football, too. The traditional youth soccer target markets in those and other large Ohio cities are bountiful as well. And that’s not even mentioning the fact that much of the state is already pre-disposed to driving to Columbus to support some other sport’s team.

And yet outside of youth clubs partnering with the academy or the occasional Frankie Hejduk sighting, there have been practically zero attempts by the Crew to reach out to the rest of Ohio.

I live directly off of and commute on the I-71 corridor here in Cincinnati — a highway that literally leads directly to Crew Stadium — every single day. And yet in all my time living in this city, I can’t recall ever seeing a Columbus Crew billboard or advert. Three years spent living in Dayton went the same way. And friends in Cleveland and Toledo confirmed a similar dearth of Crew presence in their cities.

Perhaps we’ll see them reaching out to those of us outside Columbus, but signs of that kind of that haven’t really yet appeared as the upcoming MLS season fast-approaches. The closest I’ve seen to any hints of this kind of effort was in the announcement of the partnership with the Dayton Dutch Lions, which included a few vague statements on marketing cooperation.

Talk of the Crew investigating putting their own USLPRO side in either Cincinnati or Cleveland also shows they’re at least thinking about this subject, but they needn’t go that far to recruit fans to the capital. A cheaper option might be to throw some extra marketing dollars at a few strategically placed billboards and/or commercials in the state’s bigger cities. Additional club outreach — whether the popular “Find Frankie”, player appearances or just further TV/radio spots — might help to remind fans a little further from home base that there’s a professional team just a few hours away. Or if they’re feeling particularly benevolent, maybe throw the entire state a bone in the design of the new crest. That may be a bit much to ask for, but I’d think there’s merit to at least consider it.

It may take some experimentation to find out what’s effective, but it’s a risk worth taking. Just like there are fans that already supporters that come from all across Ohio, the Crew would be wise to attempt to speak to those that they’ve missed in pockets outside of Columbus.

So as Precourt, McCullers and the rest of the Crew front office look to choose a new image to make themselves in, let’s just hope they don’t forget that while Columbus should remain the primary inspiration, taking into account those on the outer fringes of their market deserve and need attention too.

dressing up cincy spurs

Though the influx of new supporters over the last few seasons has been nice, it’s not always been easy an American supporter of Tottenham Hotspur.

Cincinnati Spurs Sign

i spent some time trying to find the right way to capture the spirit of cincinnati’s official tottenham supporters group.

Often times, it’s been very lonely. I’ve been following the team for a little shy of twenty years now, and it wasn’t until two or three seasons ago that I finally bumped into another Spurs fan here in my hometown of Cincinnati. I knew they had to be out there, but I just never ran into any in any of my innumerable Saturday and Sunday mornings at the pub.

So you can imagine my delight when an official, THFC-sanctioned supporters group sprung up last Spring here in the Queen City. Their presence not only confirmed my suspicions that others like me where out there, but that they would be getting together regularly to watch matches.

Having launched the shirt shop just prior to that point, I had already been itching for a reason to design a Spurs shirt. And Cincinnati Spurs’ arrival was the excuse I’d been looking for. With the guys open to the idea, I set about working out a shirt that would not only represent Spurs, but also our home of Cincinnati.

But then I got sidetracked… for a while. A long one.

Continue reading