ten words or less #111

So 2015 has been the summer of soccer to end all summers of soccer. There has been at least one — and often times two or three — “major” international tournament(s) going on each week, ranging from the less-prominent youth World Cups and Gold Cups to the more prestigious Women’s World Cup and Copa America. Those fell on top of all of the normal domestic action still on going and the ever-moving river of transfer news that consumes every summer. And to think we’ve not even reached the summer tune-up friendlies all of the European sides will be playing out around the globe in the weeks to come.

I’m not going to lie: it’s been exhausting to cover. As you’ve probably noticed, between watching all of the action, my commentating gig with the Cincinnati Saints, designing match posters and emceeing watch parties with thousands of people — finding time to write hasn’t exactly been easy. Not to mention job, home and family responsibilities. I’m making excuses here, but I honestly have missed writing.

So with that in mind, I’ve been hard at work on a number of stories both local, national and international. And hopefully you’ll end up seeing them in a timely fashion, too. But in the mean time, I’ll attempt to appease you with some of my favorite links from the last week or so.

Pathetic… but predictable. – espnfc.com

You can’t do anything by “lol” anymore. – bbc.com

So maybe MLS could be investing it’s money more wisely. – topdrawersoccer.com

The outcome here could seriously shake up US youth soccer. – vice.com

Adios, San Iker. Everyone will forgive you for the tears. – youtube.com

Tevez heading back to Boca is kind of awesome.tu – juventus.com

All of the Stoke jokes must have finally got to Shaqiri. – telegraph.co.uk

May as well get rid of it if Messi doesn’t want it. – mundodeportivo.com
(WARNING: Spanish)

Absolutely love. Probably want. – football-shirts.co.uk

Typical English “supporters” being “nice” to a former player.
– manchestereveningnews.co.uk

WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 38

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 38

The fates of two Premier League sides were decided this past weekend, with Burnley and QPR both officially relegated. And a similar fate awaits one more, but who that is — Sunderland, Hull City, maybe even Newcastle? — remains to be seen. And in Episode 38 of the #Pondcast, the guys delve into those sides and their remaining fixtures. Also on this week, our thoughts on the first legs of the Champions League semifinals, the upcoming FIFA elections, the first ever MLS New York City Derby (or whatever you want to call it), and much much more.

Have a question that you want to ask on next week’s podcast, reach out to us by email at contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com or hit the social media links at the bottom of the page. And subscribe below to automatically receive new episodes on your favorite mobile device.

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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.

Continue reading

WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 15

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 15

Club football’s return this past weekend — both domestically and across the pond — meant the boys had plenty of football discussion on their plate for Episode 15 of the podcast. On that European side of the plate: City’s struggling wins, Geoff Cameron’s horror show in the booth and on the field, whether or not Liverpool should/will sack Brendan Rodgers and the rest of the Premier League weekend. On the domestic half of the plate: fresh hot takes on the MLS Playoff Semifinal first legs, thoughts on further MLS expansion, and a quick reaction to the USMNT’s loss to Ireland. We also offered desserts of our bi-weekly Bundesliga update from contributor Christopher Wieland, plus Fulham Watch and Winners & Wankers.

And don’t forget to drop us a line at contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com to have us answer your questions or cover a topic of your choosing. You can always send them to us on social media using the links at the bottom of the page, too.

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and the award goes to…

WSOTP - Blog - Award Envelope.fwMajor League Soccer announced their end of season award nominees this week.

A good chunk of them come with their own title sponsors, as is the case with the Xbox Individual Fair Play Award, the MLSWORKS Humanitarian of the Year, the AT&T Rookie of the Year, the Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year and of course the big one, the Volkswagen Most Valuable Player. But there’s also the sponsorless awards like the Newcomer of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, Defender of the Year and Coach of the Year. Not that I think these awards are any less important. In fact, I’d sponsor one if MLS would accept just $100 bucks for it. But they won’t.

Anyway, since the shortlists were revealed, the debate over which of the lucky candidates will take home each of the coveted prizes has raged.

But just like with my piece on the FIFA Puskás Awards from last week, ultimately, these are all very subjective decisions. You may like one better than me, I may like one better than you, and that guy over there may like completely different options to both of ours. But winners will be picked by popular consensus — the official rules on how that consensus is reached can be found here — and then we’ll all get on with our lives.

However, since I didn’t get an invite to participate in the voting (#fistshake), I’m going to cast my votes here. A WSOTP MLS Awards, if you will.

So jump past the break, and find out who I would cast my votes — and why — if MLS had deemed my votes worthy of gathering.

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WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 13

WSOTP Podcast - Season 2 Episode 13

Despite it being a mostly “meh” weekend in the Premier League, there were a few storylines worthy of discussion on Episode 13 of the Pondcast. City, Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal have all seen their form continue to slide, while Chelsea, Southampton and Newcastle have seen their stock continue to rise. The midweek Champions League action also merited similar talking points. There was of course plenty to talk about with the MLS Playoffs now in their later stages. We also made time to chat about the friendlies the US team will play out in the British Isles during the upcoming international break. And that’s all on top of our normal Fulham WatchWinners & Wankers and listener question segments.

If you have a question or topic you want us to delve into in next week’s podcast, send us an email to contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com, or you can reach out to us on social media using the links at the bottom of the page.

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WSOTP pod: season 2 episode 12

 

WSOTP  Podcast - Season 2 Episode 12I feel like it’s getting a bit redundant when I say there was a lot for us to talk about this week on the Pondcast — a new nickname for the podcast that we’re adopting thanks to clever /r/soccer user TommyShambles — but once again it was true. Even though the Premier League featured a bunch of so-so fixtures, there were still enough talking points to keep us busy. MLS also served us a full plate of content between 1.5 rounds of MLS Playoffs and a new “expansion” side being announced in LA. Our Bundesliga contributor Chris is back with another update on all things Deutsch. Winners & WankersFulham Watch and WSOTP Fantasy League updates all made their appearances too. We managed kept it tight for you though, and for that you are welcome.

Have a question or topic you want us to touch on in the week’s to come? Drop us an email to contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com, tweet them to us or post it on our Facebook wall using the links at the bottom of the page. And last but not least, don’t forget to subscribe below!

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WSOTP pod: episode 38

WSOTP Podcast - Season 1 Episode 38

the look on a dejected scott parker’s face was probably shared by many american fans this past weekend.

While there’s a strong desire to call this latest episode of the podcast the “Cinco de Mayo Special”, Jeremy would probably prefer we call it the “Nose Picking Special” thanks to this hysterical fan shot from this weekend’s action. But there was way more than nose-picking to talk about this week. For instance, an all-Madrid Champions League final has now been set. And over in the Premier League we had time to talk about Fulham’s sad demise, Liverpool “slipping” up once again, City taking the psychological advantage, Manchester United’s managerial plans, and D.J. tries his best to not nod off to sleep as he is forced to talk about a Spurs’ lackluster already-on-the-beach display.  We also take discussed some of the weekend MLS action, including the Crew getting dominated on the road in Kansas City.

And as a written reminder, we’re looking for pod listeners and blog readers to submit their eulogies of their clubs’ seasons to share on next week’s season finale for the WSOTP Podcast. If you feel like summing up your club’s abysmal/amazing campaign, send it across via email to contact[at]wrongsideofthepond[dot]com.

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!