the double standard

MLS commissioner Don Garber

should a trend of inequality in the league be that concerning?

Sometimes, I like to imagine that time travel is a reality and that I’ve been given the opportunity to fast forward ten years into the future. Predictably, it can be fun to try to guess how much that world will differ from the one we currently live within. But, for me at least, it’s even more fun to try to envision how that world will look back upon today. How will they judge the events of our time, our reactions to them, and the decisions we made?

For example, take the current world of Major League Soccer.

This is a fascinating time for the burgeoning North American soccer league. Attendance, despite being a hair down from last year, is on a positive growth trajectory. New stadiums dot the league and more are on the way. The league is attracting new talent and holding on to their own good players longer. And expansion… how can we not talk about expansion? There’s been a massive influx of not just new clubs into the MLS, but successful ones at that. Two new teams will be joining in 2015, and another three are expected prior to 2020.

So the future is bright for the league, right? Most would agree that’s the case. And for the most part, I do too. But all those points aren’t necessarily enough to guarantee that we’ll look back in ten years time and judge this the “golden era” of Major League Soccer. Issues new and old persist in a number of areas.

Continue reading

About these ads

WSOTP pod: episode 6

WSOTP Pod: Season 1 Episode 6

WSOTP Pod Episode 6

what city will be the next to have an MLS club awarded to it? d.j. and jeremy cover that and more in episode 6.

Recorded just a mere four days after our Dos a Cero Special for Episode 5, what could we possibly have to talk about on the latest edition of the Wrong Side of the Pond Podcast? A lot actually. Not only did we have another full weekend of Premier League fixtures to discuss — well everyone save Swansea-Liverpool from Monday, since we recorded on Sunday night — but we also had a weekend of MLS action to cover, not to mention delving into all of the wild speculation that currently surrounds the MLS expansion debate. We’ll also profile another bar from the WSOTP Soccer Pub Atlas… and this time Jeremy has actually been to it!


ten words or less #76

Paulinho in Tears at his last press conference for Corinthians

for some players, like new spurs acquisition paulinho, transfer season is so intense that it brings them to tears.

The European transfer season is upon us, and players, agents and club chairmen are crisscrossing the globe in search of pay days, pay days and pay days respectively. Keeping up with it is nearly impossible — there are those who try, with some better than others – and not something I plan on attempting any time soon. What rumors are true? Is that source safe? For many fans, filtering through it all every summer can be extremely stressful. And still for others, it’s a time of excitement. But regardless of how you feel about it, one things is for sure: with all of the wheelings and dealings set to go down over the next two months, it’s easy to be left with your head spinning.

So if you’re looking for a little break from the rampant speculation and baseless hype, I’ve kept the transfer fodder to a minimum in this week’s TWOL. 

Want to know why transfer windows are called silly seasons? – sbnation.com

The MLS All-Star shirt is unique, maybe even cool. – foortball-shirts.co.uk

Practice safe sex with Ronaldinho and Atlético Mineiro. – kckrs.com

Peep the excellent Crew fan art of Massive City FFC. – massivecityffc.com

Freaking out about Baldini at Spurs? You shouldn’t be. – goal.com

Buy me any of these and be my new BFF. – hypebeast.com

OKC goes from zero to two clubs: a good idea? – newsok.com

Why Abramovich, Qatar, Abu Dhabi have bought their football clubs. – youtube.com

Nike can turn any open space into a pitch. - mipista.es (WARNING: Spanish)

Orlando plans to join MLS: hectic but well-planned. - scoringthird.com

all tomorrow’s parties

This is a short excerpt from my first featured post for the acclaimed In Bed With Maradona, an award winning collective voice of some of the world’s best football writers, bloggers, journalists, photographers and artists with more than two million readers. If football is involved, IBWM is there. To read it in it’s entirety, please click here or click the link at the end of the post.

WSOTPxIBWM

what came first: the supporter or the club?

It’s often said that the lifeblood of a soccer club is its supporters. Without them a club is nothing. The most easily recognized aspect of fans’ importance lies in their support of the club: motivating the players with their enthusiasm, cheering and song. They give their clubs personality and culture.

In a more basic sense, supporters enable the club to exist. They provide a revenue stream with which the club pays its players. From ticket and merchandise sales, to sponsorship dollars paid by companies hoping to capitalize on the legions of devotees already known for brand loyalty, fans are a club’s most valuable capital. Without them, they could never pay the bills.

But is this dependence two-way; can supporters exist without clubs?

When it comes to European clubs and their analogous supporters groups — many with century-long relationships — determining which came first is quite the chicken or the egg debate. Were there fans of football before the club, or were fans drawn to a side already assembled? While someone undoubtedly knows the answer to that question when it comes to Europe, I don’t.However, the great thing about being in America at this point in our country’s football evolution — where most clubs and their supporters’ histories only stretch back a little over a decade — is that we’ve been able to watch that answer unfold before us. So, in the US at least, which came first: the soccer club or the supporters groups?

Continue reading “All Tomorrow’s Parties” on IBWM. →

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 #57

As you might have been able to tell, things have been hectic around WSOTP Central of late. Between two trips to New York for real world work, a family vacation in Charleston, South Carolina, and out-of-town weddings, it’s at least felt like a struggle to find the time for the blog. Which is odd, because I’ve actually done a lot for it lately.

Tottenham's Gylfi Sigurdsson

i know it’s only preseason, but gylfi is already looking like one hell of a signing for spurs.

While in New York I was able to sit down with the guy who runs the country’s greatest soccer pub. In Charleston, I had a chance to meet the awesome travelling support from the Orlando Ruckus when the Battery hosted recently-crowned USL Champions Orlando City. And I’m also running a giveaway for some swag from Storelli, and all you have to do is Like my Facebook page to be entered!

And believe it or not, there’s still more exciting stuff on the way. So hang in there a little bit longer for some of that delectable original content that keeps you coming back for more… or something like that. These links should get you your fix in the mean time…

It seems like D.C. wants to lose United to Baltimore. - washingtonpost.com

Would a Boca return to MLS be worth the investment? – theshinguardian.com

“Please please please please don’t call me a racist”. Brilliant. – fitbathatba.com

Did Chevy’s Manchester United Deal get their CEO fired? – adage.com

Glen Johnson’s claim to be an American sports fan debunked. – youtube.com

Continuity under Tito seems almost assured for Barça, right? - reddit.com/user/Atald

Settled on the new Vapors… then Maestri III’s came out. – soccerbible.com

A foosball badass, too? Disco Benny is a legend. – hamhigh.co.uk

“World’s first bio-engineered soccer ball, grown from living cells.”
- pigsbladderfootball.com

And first to market with a GLT-compatible ball is… – select-sport.com

ten words or less #49

Today’s the first official day of Spring, even though the season actually arrived weeks ago in Ohio (and the world in general… global warming, anyone?). But despite the onset of warmer temperatures and all the benefits that come with them, I’m still having mixed feelings.

soccer fields in the springtime

spring's warmer temperatures mean soccer in the states will finally ends its long winter hibernation.

On one hand, I’m thoroughly looking forward to my Sunday outdoor league starting in the next few weeks. On the other hand, I’m not in nearly good enough shape to make the move to the larger pitch and the additional running it requires. Just the same, while I’m really looking forward to writing about the increased amounts of footie we get to see with the arrival of warmer temperatures in the US and congested fixture lists in Europe, the warmer weather also means that a sizable chunk of my normal writing time will now be consumed by lawn and garden maintenance. The joys of being a full-fledged grown up, right?

So to keep you distracted from your own Spring time obligations, I figured I could pump out a quick TWOL with ten of my favorite links from the last week or so.

Okay, maybe Orlando isn’t so bad a pick for MLS. – inbedwithmaradona.com

Turkey’s Eskisehirspor: the spiritual home of 4chan/Reddit trolls. – dirtytackle.net

Worried that you’re a football fan hipster? Diagnose yourself here. – thefcf.co.uk

Barcelona’s purported ulterior motive: aiding Syrian rebels with arms smuggling.
- theoffside.com

Ganso’s got the vision. – ojogobonito.net

Tottenham and Arsenal have a lot in common this summer. – soccernet.com

My Spurs match-day routine, as seen on The Fighting Cock. – thefightingcock.co.uk

Where oh where will Rolfey end up? – mlssoccer.com

England’s National Training Ground… bloody brilliant. – youtube.com

Digging the “mango” colorway on the new Vapor 8′s. – soccerbible.com

ten words or less #48

london 2012's "the albert"

for a ball with such an awesome name, couldn't have adidas gone with a slightly less faded 80's design for the official ball of london 2012?

With less than 30 minutes until kickoff between Spurs and United, I’m a literal train wreck. I’m stressing over Tottenham’s extremely weakened line-up squaring off against a solid looking starting XI for the Red Devils, and the potential repercussions of fielding such a weak squad in such an important match.

The only thing that could keep my mind from going into complete meltdown mode was to finish up this week’s TWOL post… though admittedly, it’s just a temporary reprieve for my fingers from the endless nail-biting that awaits over the next two hours.

This is how you know footballers make too much money. – theoriginalwinger.com

Every Euro 2012 Kit… who’s your favorite? – football-shirts.co.uk

Sadly, this might be the best pitch in Cuba. – kckrs.com

Chelsea are sunk because of… Napoli’s three in the back? – guardian.co.uk

MLS eyeing Florida for expansion; apparently doesn’t learn lessons. – soccerbyives.com

French kiss… quite literally. – kickette.com

I will actually watch more Crew games because of this. - thecrew.com

Suprisingly relevant Will Ferrell link: he apparently loves Chicharito. – dirtytackle.net

If this happened to me, I’d literally shit my pants. – youtube.com

How can one properly celebrate while sitting? Answer: you can’t. – soccernet.com