ten words or less #116

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See, the blog isn’t dead yet! Though I’m guessing the less than 100 words below linking to content that isn’t my own probably isn’t the thing I should hang my “the blog isn’t dead yet” hat on. If nothing else, it’s something for you to chew on to end your weekend/get your week started.

Too, I’ll be dropping further information on my future plans for the blog in the coming days, too. So be sure to stay tuned so you know what’s up, right?

I mean at some point, it has to stop. Right? – worldsoccertalk.com

Can’t accuse them of beating around the bush. – manchestercity.com

Come fall in love with Dele Alli. – youtube.com

The USMNT once played in the NASL; it went disastrously. – mlssoccer.com

My inner 15 year old is losing his mind. – 8by8mag.com

Aw man, the “Deadline Day” banana video is fake!?! – squawka.com

Should Canada have its own league? Yes! But can it? – canadiansoccernews.com

Futsal fire. – youtube.com

US Soccer sues the USWNT… everyone has to pick sides. – futfanatico.com

D’oh. – washingtonpost.com

WSOTP pod: the magic of the cup

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If you worried there wouldn’t be a new #Pondcast this week since there haven’t been any Premier League games since our last episode, worry no longer… we still managed to squeeze out a full program for you last night. So what’s on the agenda in lieu of the league? The most exciting round of the FA Cup — the third round — gifted us a number of surprising results. We bet you’d like to talk about the FIFA Gala/Ballon d’Or. There’s the January transfer window to keep an eye on, too. The US Men’s National Team also announced their January camp, so we dive in there as well. And despite it being the offseason, it’s been a surprisingly busy week all around the American domestic leagues, too. So trust us when we say there’s plenty to talk about.

Want to play a part in a future show? Hit us up via the social media links at the bottom of the page or drop an email to contact@wrongsideofthepond.com to send us your questions and topic suggestions. And don’t forget to subscribe using the links below to automatically receive the newest podcast each Tuesday.

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WSOTP pod: joy and sadness in ohio

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It’s been a busy week for professional soccer in Ohio. Most of it was great, but some of it was not so much. In Dayton, a new team revealed their identity. In Cincinnati, another team announced their first class of players. And in Columbus, the biggest game on the domestic soccer calendar was staged — unfortunately, the home side fell short in dramatic fashion. And for those reasons, we put all of that the forefront of our 102nd #Pondcast, even though the Premier League provided some fireworks of its own this past weekend.

If you want to get involved in the conversation, be sure to get in touch with your questions or topics for next week’s episode by way of the social media links at the bottom of the page or an email sent to contact@wrongsideofthepond.com. And don’t forget to subscribe below to automatically receive the newest podcast every Tuesday.

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ten words or less #113

It’s been pretty quiet ’round these parts the last week or so. No new posts on the blog in over a week, and there wasn’t a new podcast out this week either. For the limited few of you who consider yourselves “WSOTP Superfans” — Hi, Mom! — hopefully I’ve not left you suffering from withdrawal symptoms. It’s almost as disappointing as the USMNT against Brazil the other night.

Trust, however, that I do have a plan… which I’m not sure we can say about Klinsmann and the national team.

For the gear heads out there, I’m currently scribbling my first ever boot comparison piece about the Nike Magista Obra’s and the adidas Ace 15.1’s. The first new shirt to be added to the WSOTP Shop in over a year will likely go up, and I’ve also begun work on a line of MLS shirts, too. For you local kids, I’ve got something cool up my sleeve for FC Cincinnati. And believe it or not, I might even have some more breaking news to reveal in short order.

So in short, my apologies for being so negligent in my blogging duties recently. But as always, the wait should be worth it. Key word there being “should”. In the mean time, have some links that may or may not keep you satisfied until then.

This was actually a really surprising fact. – skysports.com

Unfortunately, the gender gap isn’t closing any time soon. – vice.com

Great TED talk on coaching language by friend Coach Reed. – youtube.com

Centered on Lampard, this actually is more damning to Terry. – deadspin.com

Excellent gesture by clubs, but even smarter PR. – espnfc.com

…and this equal but opposite reaction is so Eastern Europe. – twitter.com

Drogba scored a full debut perfect hattrick for Montreal. – streamable.com

Resetting expectations at QPR will be easy, Les. </sarcasm>  – theguardian.com

Iceland as a template for US Soccer moving forward? – si.com

Damn right he shouldn’t buy a red car. – independent.ie

weight off their shoulders

Abby Wambach Celebrates

Legacy and expectations are tough companions, particularly so during the pressure cooker that is a World Cup.

Ask anyone on the US Women’s National Team, and I’m sure they’d agree. Living up to the prior greatness of US teams of the past is a heavy burden, one that’s taken a long, tedious 16 years to fully realize.

It’s not like these are a group of push overs or anything either. Morgan, Rapinoe, Solo, Wambach and company represent one of the most talented core of players the American women’s program has ever had at their disposal at one time. And even if they’re not the most talented, they at least take the crown as the “most marketable” group the US women have ever had.

Yet even for names of their stature, the glory achieved 1991 and 1999 still loomed large and proved exceptionally difficult to replicate. But why?

The aforementioned legacy issues obviously play a part. Hamm, Akers and Lilly are giants of the game. Too, winning two World Cups means you’re expected to win every World Cup. Mediocrity is something that American women’s soccer fans — and sponsors for that matter — tolerate very well. And while it’s hard to call finishing at least third in every World Cup since ’99 “mediocre”, as famous American Ricky Bobby is known to say, if you’re not first, you’re last. 

But high expectations coupled with the gut wrenching loss to Japan in the final of the 2011 World Cup; that’s a tricky combination. And it was clear that approaching Sunday’s 2015 Final, the insecurities from each were still very much at play. Sure, the girls had an Olympic gold medal to console themselves with after having their hearts ripped out four years ago. But as anyone who knows half a thing about soccer will tell you, there’s really no substitute to hoisting the World Cup trophy.

However, it wasn’t just those feelings that had me doubting anyone that named the US as a favorite prior to the blowout they dished out to Japan on Sunday.

Continue reading

WSOTP pod: live from the square for the women’s world cup

WSOTP Podcast - Live from the Square for the Women's World Cup Final

Well, I’m not sure how we did it. But somehow we must have appeased the soccer gods enough to once again trick people with power into letting us host the latest #Pondcast on Cincinnati’s Fountain Square, in front of thousands of people. And this latest rendition of the pod is the result. And unlike last year, audio is much improved — so your listening experience will be far more enjoyable.

Recorded both before the USAvJPN final, at halftime and a monologue from Jeremy at home to help tie it all together, you won’t only get our own assessments of the US women’s national team and their opponents. We also welcomed players and coaches from the Cincinnati Lady Saints to offer their opinions on their opinions on the Women’s World Cup and the USWNT’s run to the final. There’s also a really cringe-worthy segment with some fans that didn’t quite know the “I Believe” chant — somewhat redeeming DJ’s own flawed effort from last summer.

So tune in to our second summer installment of the Wrong Side of the Pond Podcast, and stay tuned as we’ll be back in the booth again soon for analysis on the Gold Cup and DJ’s impending trip to the MLS All-Star Game. And as always, if you have questions or comments for the guys to cover on the next podcast, hit us up via the social media links below, or via email at contact@wrongsideofthepond.com.

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soccer is coming back to the square

During last summer’s male rendition of the FIFA World Cup, a wave of national pride washed over the country, blanketing major cities with watch parties numbering in the thousands for each of the four US Men’s National Team matches.

It was no different here in Cincinnati, where the enthusiasm often transformed into euphoria as the boys were able to survive the “Group of Death”. Over seven thousand people showed up in Cincinnati’s city center to watch the action unfold on the big screen. If you weren’t able to make it, here’s a glimpse at the insanity:

So with the US Women’s National team in action this summer at the Women’s World Cup in Canada, the calls to return to Cincinnati’s Fountain Square were loud and frequent. And while there was absolutely interest to do so from last summer’s hosts — the NPSL’s Cincinnati Saints and Hoist — pre-existing conflicts on the Square’s calendar meant that regular watch parties just weren’t a reality like they were for the men.

Obviously, we were a bit bummed. As the emcee’s for last year’s events, it was absolutely electric experience to be a part of, and we wanted it to happen just as much as anyone.

But luckily, the stars have aligned for the biggest game of the tournament.

Despite a sputtering offense and some uninspiring performances, the US women’s absolutely airtight defense — which has a rather ironic 513-minute shutout streak going — has helped them navigate the tricky waters of their own “Group of Death”, through the knockout round and into their second straight World Cup final. And as it just so happens, Fountain Square had nothing going on during that time slot.

So you know what that means…

WSOTP - Cincinnati Saints Fountain Square WWC

That’s right kids: WE’RE HEADING BACK TO THE SQUARE!

Beginning at 6pm — immediately following the always enjoyable Art on Vine — on this coming Sunday, July 5th, the Cincinnati Saints and Hoist are once again bringing a US Soccer Watch Party back down to Cincinnati’s Fountain Square. And the Wrong Side of the Pond Podcast team is delighted to have once again been invited back to emcee the event!

As with last year, there will beers and drink specials to wet your whistles and keep your vocal chords ready to cheer. Of course there will also be food trucks there — like the delicious Urban Grille — to keep your belly satisfied, too. We here at WSOTP will once again be recording a live podcast prior to kickoff and during halftime, offering our analysis of the action, too.

And oh yeah, there’s that whole opportunity to stand united with thousands as we cheer on the ladies in their efforts to enact revenge on Japan’s 2011 World Cup final win. As of the time of writing, 500 people had already confirmed their attendance on the event’s Facebook page… just two days after it was posted.

So if you’re within 100 miles of the Queen City this Sunday, you’d do best to throw on your US kits and/or red, white and blue garb, grab all of your friends, and bring your best supporter’s faces to the Square to hopefully watch our girls lift the cup.

PS: the weather is looking aces for the weekend, too.

WSOTP pod: a fifa summer spectacular

WSOTP Podcast - A FIFA Summer Spectacular

Well, the Season 2 finale didn’t last that long: two full weeks to be exact. But with a hectic summer soccer schedule — plus just a little bit of news about a supposedly corrupt world governing body — D.J. and Jeremy just couldn’t help but turn back on the mics. Though we did give you fair warning that would be happening several times throughout the summer. We just delivered earlier than anticipated. So in addition to the guys’ reactions to all things FIFA scandal, we also delve into the Champions League Final, the US men’s suprising shootout with Holland, and of course the ladies of summer and the Women’s World Cup.

Have anything you want us to cover over the course of the summer? Drop us a line at contact@wrongsideofthepond.com and we will likely happily oblige. And to make sure you don’t miss any of our summer audio offerings, automatically receive new episodes on your favorite mobile device or RSS feed by subscribing using the links below.

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the girls of summer

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This is a short excerpt from my latest featured post for the blog of Over-the-Rhine’s original sports bar, Rhinehaus, located in my hometown of Cincinnati and home to many WSOTP Watch Parties and Events. To read it in it’s entirety, please click here or click the link at the end of the post.

Last summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil was a breath of fresh air in American sports. Freed from the constraints of rivalry with one another, fans coming from nearly every corner of American sports fandom convened together to cheer on the US Men’s National Team in spectacular fashion.

Bars across the country like Rhinehaus were packed wall to wall with not only their normal Saturday and Sunday morning Premier League patrons, but swaths of new fans ranging from casual supporters to die hard patriots. Public spaces in major cities filled with chanting fans by the thousands — as was the case in the Wrong Side of the Pond-hosted event down on Fountain Square with the Cincinnati Saints — to watch on jumbo trons. It was damn near impossible to not get caught up in the excitement.

And if you’re feeling nostalgic for the outpourings of love the beautiful game received in 2014, worry not: you can get a taste of that excitement in the summer of 2015 too.

Starting tomorrow, the FIFA Women’s World Cup will be kicking off another month long soccer extravaganza in cities dotted around our northern neighbors Canada. And unlike the men’s tournament last summer where we were belabored underdogs, our ladies are actually among the favorites.

Continue reading “The Girls of Summer” on the Rhinehaus blog. →

ten words or less #110

Well, it’s fair to say a bombshell was dropped on world soccer yesterday. I’d hoped to get out a full-length piece on it last night or today, but the rapid developments with regards to the FIFA corruption scandal has made it difficult to stay on top of and write accurately. So I’m giving it another day or so to fester before unleashing the dragon. And while you wait, there have been hundreds of miles worth of online column space already written on the topic — so you won’t be wanting for reading material.

To hold you over, as usual, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite links from the past week or so. The first four of which are directly related to the ongoing firestorm. So enjoy reading the selections below while the world outside burns.

FIFA meets the long, bad ass arm of American law. – justice.gov

How to boycott FIFA without hurting soccer. – independent.co.uk

Sponsoring the World Cup is an endorsement of their practices. – theverge.com

The NASL is in some serious shit. – northernpitch.com

Adidas “smart ball” teaches you to bend it like Beckham. – androidpolice.com

The Minnesota MLS stadium situation is… tricky. – vice.com

Snow skiing plus soccer? Super impressed… if this is real. – youtube.com

An insurance plan to protect against missing the Champions League? – bloomberg.com

Beer and soccer. You don’t need to know more. – soccerbible.com
Thanks to my man @MPFaessler for pointing this out.

Wambach’s turf war paying dividends, just not how you’d expect. – soccerwire.com