For the first time in weeks it seems like, there was only a single helping of Premier League action for Jeremy and D.J. to cover on the podcast. And that means that there was ample time after the BPL round up — which includes discussions on Liverpool’s blowout victory over the Gunners and Gary Monk being the league’s second player manager since the turn of the millennium, among others – to dive into some other topics for a change. So what’s on tap? The guys share their thoughts on the quasi-announcement hosted by David “Beckman” and MLS in Miami, and a lengthy and in-depth response to a listener question about the best mobile apps to use to follow soccer while on the go.
A week of travel for the real world job has cut into my football life this week. But worry not, I still have some goods for you this week. But before I get into my favorite links from the last week or so, allow me a quick moment to pay my respects to the “Busby Babes” of Manchester United that died in 56 years ago yesterday in the Munich Air Disaster. Regarded as the greatest tragedy in United’s long illustrious history, nine players – Roger Byrne, Tommy Taylor and David Pegg along with Eddie Colman, Mark Jones, Bill Whelan, Geoff Bent and Duncan Edwards — coach Bert Whalley, trainer Tom Curry and club secretary Walter Crickmer were all killed along with eight journalists. That a club could ever bounce back from such a catastrophe is mind blowing in its own right, let alone the heights that Red Devils have been able to scale since.
That said, on with the links!
You can still watch the Premier League during the Olympics. – broadwayworld.com
“Six degrees of… Bruce Arena”? – lagalaxy.com
Brazil’s biggest clubs support Brazil ahead of the World Cup.
This is brilliant business by the American third tier league. – uslpro.uslsoccer.com
West Ham clearly don’t understand the laws of the game. – telegraph.co.uk
Playing in Manaus this summer won’t be that bad. – inbedwithmaradona.com
Beckham’s announcement was little more than a political pep rally.
Though unlikely, I already hate the rumored “LA Gunners”.
WSOTP Pod: Season 1 Episode 12
With D.J. alone taking in nearly a dozen full matches this weekend — including six in the Premier League, four MLS Playoff games, and attending a live PASL match for the local Cincinnati Saints — figuring out what to actually discuss in this week’s edition of the pod was no easy task. But somehow, we managed to discuss all three topics at length. Additionally, we also talk about listener Dave’s suggested topic of American parallels to European soccer’s competitive penalties, Team Beckham to Miami, Hugo’s head injury, the trend of MLS players dreaming to retire to become farmers, and much more.
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.
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
More clubs should go this route with their kits. – footballshirtculture.com
Team Beckham in Miami? Only one way it will work. – miamiherald.com
Yes, I’m well aware that I’m jumping the gun on this week’s “Pic of the Week” by posting it six days earlier than normal. But considering how I haven’t exactly kept this “regular” feature very regular to this point, I hardly think anyone will kick up too much of a fuss. Anyway, this picture is far too important to wait until next Monday, so buckle up…
In this week’s POTW, you’ll see too extremely famous people at the conclusion of Game 7 in the NBA’s Eastern Conference Semifinals. On the left is Lebron James: basketball superstar, Liverpool minority investor and likely the most famous athlete on the planet now that the man on the right has retired. That man on the right is David Beckham: retired footballer, global brand ambassador and a regular in this POTW space. “So what?” you might be asking, “Stars from different sports hang out with one another all the time.” And in most circumstances, that would be an accurate statement. This time, however, there’s plenty to read into something as small as a handshake between two of sport’s biggest names.
Rumors have long swirled that Beckham still has an active clause in his previous MLS contract that allows him the ability to purchase an MLS franchise. Whether David can do so at a discounted price or not isn’t really relevant here, but what is relevant is that he’ll need additional investors to prop up a successful club. Additionally, there have been whispers that Golden Balls is eyeing up Miami as a potential location for Club Beckham. And that’s where this overly friendly handshake comes into play. Lebron is a) rich as hell, b) has bucket-loads of clout in Southern Florida circles, c) is apparently prone to backing soccer clubs given his involvement with Liverpool, d) and adds further star power to a potential bid.
If you ask me, the stars are not only figuratively, but also quite literally look to be aligning.
So this week’s Pic of the Week is several pictures, so I’m kind of cheating. But honestly, it would be pretty hard to deny any of the members of England’s so-called “Golden Generation” the opportunity to grace this sacred space on the week they all called time on their (mostly) glittering careers. I mean, could you really pick just one?
Take for instance Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher (top right), who ended his 17 years at Anfield in front of a Kop that’s long sung his name. Across the channel, David Beckham’s PSG teammates (bottom left) gave him a proper sending off by quite literally tossing him off the pitch at the conclusion of the penultimate match of globe-trotting career. Michael Owen (top left) completed his five-year fade into footballing obscurity as he made a late cameo bow at the end of Stoke City’s 1-1 draw with Southampton. And Paul Scholes (bottom right) capped his final appearance in Manchester United red by receiving a yellow card for one last trademark horror tackle… making for possibly the most poetic retirement moment of all time.
So while they all had varying degrees of success as their careers intertwined and went their separate directions, one things is for certain: the world of football will be a very different place without them on the pitch.
Short of the (future) children of the royals, Brooklyn, Cruz and Romeo Beckham (L-R) are most likely the most famous children in England along with their sister Harper. And given their parents’ fame, it’s not so infrequent that the little rascals show up in the news. But are Beckham’s kids really so important that they should get to buzz about a PSG training session and have kick abouts with some of Europe’s most elite footballers? Come to think of it, the little bastards also took the pitch in LA and Madrid, too. Does David make sure there’s a provision in his contracts where his kids can enter the field of play at any time they please?
Now maybe I haven’t been to enough professional level training sessions; maybe it’s pretty normal to see the players’ offspring wandering around the grounds. And it’s possible that I’m just slightly jealous of the access given to Golden Balls’ progeny. But that doesn’t change the fact that it seems just a little unsafe to have your children anywhere near so close to the Zlatan.
This week’s “Pic of the Week” brought to you by… privilege.
Yo dawg… I heard you like David Beckham’s new underwear, so we put Beckham in with a bunch of Beckham’s underwear so you can help him earn more money while giving him your money.
Sorry, I had to.
Though I was tempted to use a picture from Friday’s epic battle in the snow in Denver, I’ve already devoted an entire gallery post on the US Mens National Team’s now-protested victory over Costa Rica. No need for overkill there. So instead we get a shot of Golden Balls at an unveiling of his new H&M underwear line in Berlin. He even signed underwear at the event, so his fans could have even more David Beckham in their David Beckham underwear. Xzibit, no doubt, approves. How this guy has time to promote his underpants in Germany, slip and fall on his ass while in China as their “Global Football Ambassador” and play for PSG — all in one week — is a bit beyond me.
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.
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.
A photographic essay of grassroots football in third world countries.
Beckham’s kids old enough to be called full kit wankers. – angelcitybrigade.net
Carlos Tévez’s paystub will make you very jealous. – dirtytackle.net
Shout out to local Casey Weddle for being named All-American.
“We need to be more assertive,” mumbles Rosický to nobody.
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
Now that league champions have been crowned, and European places are (almost) finalized, everyone’s attention has briefly transitioned from on-field matters to off. Transfer speculation is in full swing, managers have been hired and fired, and agents are busy trying to count their chickens before they’ve hatched, Even the American President has gotten in on the action.
And like every other seasons’ end, I’m struggling to finalize post drafts that I’ve been working on for weeks/months. Some will be trashed, while others might yet see the light of day. So as I busy myself with making such important decisions, here are ten of my favorite links from the last week to satisfy your quench for footie-related goodness.
In case you’ve not seen it, here’s The Two Escobars. – youtube.com
A minimalist’s history of the World Cup. - andrefidusi.com
City might be making another Džeko if they sign Llorente. – inbedwithmaradona.com
Spurs’ new Under Armour kits are… surprisingly acceptable.
How the players reacted when Hodgson was named England manager.
What it takes to put on a live MLS broadcast. – philly.com
United’s signing of Bébé always smelled fishy. – theoriginalwinger.com
Canada and Umbro team up for centenary kit sexiness. – blog.umbro.com