WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 30

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 30

After spending all day Saturday emceeing Cincinnati’s downtown St. Patrick’s Day party, it was a tad tricky for the Pondcast team to take in most of this weekend’s action. They made do, however, by huddling around a tiny laptop stream for hours on end to catch it all so that we could provide you with the adequate coverage on this week’s podcast. And in this week’s episode, we delve into matches across, Major League Soccer, the English Premier League and UEFA Champions League. And in addition to weekly segments like Winners & Wankers and Championship Watch, we also made room to tackle the debate surrounding the American Outlaws and the furor that’s caused. So saying this episode is jammed tight is putting it lightly.

Questions made it back into this week’s podcast, and we’re hoping to field them next week too. So make sure to send your’s our way by email  (contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com) or by social media using links at the bottom of the page. Also, if you haven’t yet subscribed, be sure to do so using the links below to get the WSOTP Podcast on your favorite mobile device automatically.

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WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 29

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 29While there was still Premier League and FA Cup action to cover, this week’s episode of the Pondcast takes on a decidedly domestic feel as we do a full-scale preview of the already started 20th season of Major League Soccer. And to help us talk it over, we brought on a man who’s watched every one of the previous 19 seasons from Columbus Crew SC’s broadcast booth: Dwight Burgess! We chatted with Dwight about how he landed his gig, how the game has changed, his outlook for the Crew and much more. And if you come for Winners & Wankers, Championship Watch or Fantasy Update, we’ve got all that for you again this week too.

We didn’t have room in this week’s podcast for listener questions, but we will make room for this week’s and more on next week‘s podcast. So make sure to send your quesetion or topics our way by email  (contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com) or by social media (links at the bottom of the page). And for the lazy, don’t forget to subscribe using the links below to automatically receive the latest episode of the WSOTP Podcast on your favorite mobile device.

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in review: MLS jersey week 2015

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.

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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!

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WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 19

WSOTP  Podcast - Season 2 Episode 19

As 2014 winds down to a close, the world of soccer continues on at a torrid pace. And since you’ll probably have ample downtime to fill as you suffer through the annual family gatherings, the latest episode of the “Pondcast” is a perfect way to keep yourself entertained. Listen in as the guys talk about a throng of world-class finishes from last weekend’s highly interesting slate of Premier League matches, offer up a review of the Champions League Round of 16 draw, and chat about an MLS offseason that continues to throw news at us at an almost breakneck pace — among other things. You’ll also find weekly Winners & Wankers, Fulham Watch and Fantasy League Update segments, per usual. So find a secluded corner at Grandma’s house and grab your headphones, as we provide you a solid 80 minutes of soccer listening.

If you happen to think of question or topic you want us to cover on next week’s episode — yes, we’ll be offering you up one more before 2015 — send it our way via email to contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com or hit us up on the social media links on the bottom of the page.

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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.

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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