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  • Alex Haueter 9:06 am on October 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: huh?, , , , weird dream   

    Rooney is on his way…back to United. Huh? 

    I just woke up from the weirdest dream. I was convinced it was real, except the headline that greeted me this morning was one I would have expected: “Wayne Rooney signs new five-year contract with United.”

    OK, so onto my dream, which seems pretty ridiculous now. In it, Rooney denied publicly that he’s been suffering from an ankle injury and went on to reveal that he wasn’t interested in signing a new contract at United. Then the press went all crazy, saying he’s told everyone that his time at the club is done because they can’t guarantees about the future because of the debt the Glazer family has piled onto the club. Around that same time, Sir Alex Ferguson did some interviews with more candor than I’ve ever seen from him saying Rooney was gone. Then Rooney had a press conference to explain he was gone. Then Robbie Fowler said tongue-in-cheek that Rooney wanted to go play for Perth Glory. Then I wrote a tongue-in-cheek post encouraging Major League Soccer to table a bid and amp up the hype machine. After a dream in which a tooth fell out and another one where my car stuttered and couldn’t start and eventually caught on fire, I woke up.

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  • Alex Haueter 10:11 am on October 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: general ridiculousness, , , ,   

    Look, I can start rumors, too! 

    I won’t go too in depth about Wayne Rooney’s impending departure from Manchester United. He wants out, and everyone admits it, so I don’t know how much more ink can be spilled on that particular part of the saga until other teams actually start tabling offers. In the days since the story broke, the thing that’s piqued my interest the most is Robbie Fowler’s revelation that he’s spoken to the Roonatic and that he’d be interested in moving to Australia to join the Perth Glory. Of the A-League. In his prime. Here’s the story: http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=834508&sec=global&cc=5901

    I find that very hard to believe that an England international just entering his prime would want to jump to the A-League. I’m 99 percent sure Fowler was blowing smoke or saying ridiculous things just to see what he could get the media to print. Maybe tomorrow he’ll say he was out for a walk and was abducted by aliens, which I would actually find less ridiculous than his current claim.

    BUT, the one percent of me that thinks this is so outrageous it must be true wonders how long it’ll be before he’s talked up for a move to Major League Soccer. I’d hate to see MLS lose out on a chance to advance its stature by not even tabling a bid. An MLS club should take a shot: United will be letting him go for under his market value since he could buy out his contract this summer, and $20-30 million seems a small price to pay to actually sign a foreign superstar who’s still in his prime. I wouldn’t hold my breath on any of this, of course, as I’m 99 percent sure I would pass out, but I do think it’s worth the media attention for at least one or two MLS clubs to start publicly stating interest.

     
  • Alex Haueter 3:21 pm on October 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Qatar, , World Cup 2022   

    Qatar tries to woo FIFA with architecture 

    Qatar presented its stadium proposals to FIFA as part of its efforts to land the 2022 World Cup, for which the United States is also in the running. Sports Illustrated has this cool slideshow of models and renderings. Just to tease you, the first of them is below. Thanks to our friend (and longtime potential Kicks contributor) Kevin Zelaya for sending this our way.

    A rendering of the Doha Port Stadium in Qatar, which, if built, could take the cake as one of the most beautiful sports facilities in the world. (Photo: Qatar 2022)

    What do you think of Qatar’s chances of landing the World Cup? Before you say, “TOO HOT,” bear in mind that all of the stadiums are designed to be cooled and carbon neutral. I still think the US is the front-runner to host 2022, but I must admit, I’d start saving up now just for a chance to geek out at the stadiums if Qatar can land it.

     
    • Alex Haueter 3:29 pm on October 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/sid_lowe/09/25/qatar.2022/

      Another article about Qatar’s pitch to FIFA and how it was received by the inspection delegation. I kind of like that many of the stadiums would be deconstructed after the tournament to avoid any unwanted leftovers of the size and expense that South Africa is currently dealing with.

    • Alex Haueter 10:12 am on October 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Apparently FIFA is on the verge of throwing out Qatar’s bids for colluding with Spain and Portugal. Bummer. I guess we’ll only ever have pictures and models.

  • Alex Haueter 11:55 pm on September 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Be a Pro, Creation Centre, FIFA 11, Personality+, video game review, Xbox 360   

    Very preliminary thoughts on FIFA 11 

    I picked up the new FIFA yesterday, my first upgrade in two years. I realize some features might be continued from 2010, but I never played it because there weren’t enough new features to really convince me to part with my money, and I thought the game’s insistence that Newcastle could regularly compete for silverware was just kind of funny.

    Anyway, the big sellers on this game are the “Personality+” and the Creation Centre, which uses an online application to make custom teams and players to download into the game. That sounded way easier than pushing sliders around on the system itself.

    Personality+ has shown through almost immediately. I played games on both the professional and world class settings, and the different inclinations of players was readily apparent. For one thing, AI players never used to try skill moves; now they do it all the time, often with devastating effect, as I learned when the KC Wizards’ Ryan Smith made my defense look clumsy and porous.

    I’m disappointed with the Creation Centre. The options for the players go a long way toward establishing their personalities, which is cool, but the team creator leaves much to be desired. It’s mostly just a system of coloring in simple logo templates. I was hoping the online system would open the door to uploading your own artwork for uniforms.

    There’s also a new mode where you can play Be A Pro as a goalkeeper. It sounded fun on paper, but in reality it’s a lot of watching the computer kick the ball around while waiting for something to happen. Perhaps playing as a goalkeeper for a terrible team would make the mode more interesting.

    Of course, there’s the usual wealth of FIFA options. I was amazed at how many teams now have a third kit available to users, and for dorky reasons I was in awe of the ability to manipulate the mowing pattern and grass wear on the field, as well as the option to change the shape and tension of the nets.

    I’ll have more complete thoughts as I get into the career mode, which this year allows you to build a career as a player before moving into management. I generally lose interest in manager mode around year six, so I’m hoping the elimination of separate Be A Pro and Manager Modes will add some long-term intrigue for me, especially seeing as how I tend to only upgrade every other year.

    If you’ve played the game, feel free to add your thoughts below.

     
    • madden football 9:05 pm on January 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Have you tried the Ultimate Team yet? It’s a pretty fun game mode although it seems most just pay real money for their teams. Very addictive.

  • Alex Haueter 12:48 pm on September 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , no depth   

    Signings facepalm! 

    Manchester City is somehow short on defenders for its biggest game of the season. The team that is constantly linked to every halfway decent player and spent hundreds of millions this offseason has only three defenders healthy and available for a game with Chelsea. At this point, perhaps City should consider the rarely used 3-3-4 formation and hope to outgun Chelsea. More and more, City is starting to resemble the first Galacticos era of Real Madrid, where the team had enough attacking talent for two teams, but no one at the back. D’oh!

     
  • Alex Haueter 12:16 pm on September 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: financial crunch, soccer economics   

    Financial facepalm! 

    ESPNSoccernet’s Leander Schaerlaeckens has a very interesting article about European football debt. It’s not as thorough as you might get from one of the many books out on the subject, but it’s a good primer for what’s going on. Check it out here: http://espn.go.com/sports/soccer/news/_/id/5580467/european-football-eating-itself

    My favorite line is this: “The crux of soccer’s debt habit is this: Clubs aren’t nearly as good at generating income as they think they are.” Personally, I can’t help but wonder (in a slightly horrified way) what we’re going to see first: A series a of huge clubs crumbling under the weight of their own debt, or a revolution of club management that runs teams under the harsh light of reality instead of the floodlit illusion of grandeur.

    What do you think? Do you support a club that’s financially unstable? Which would you rather have: the danger of bankruptcy or the stability of knowing there’s a future?

     
    • Alex Haueter 12:42 pm on September 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I remember watching Leeds United capitulate. It sucked knowing that it would be a while before the club was bringing in big name players again and facing the possibility that it may never again reach the level it was right before going under. Still, a few bleak years spent reorganizing the club financially is better than going out of business entirely. At the time it seemed like Leeds was an isolated case, but now it looks like they could be the case study again for what to do to get back from the brink. I won’t be surprised at all to see a high-stature club like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool or Manchester United face the same problems and uncertainty that Leeds did earlier this decade or that Portsmouth are currently struggling with.

  • Alex Haueter 2:53 pm on September 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Franck Ribery, Gary Neville, Heath Pearce, not every mustache is evil,   

    A LEAD! Is Heath Pearce the Nefarious Mr. Ben? 

    Is Heath Pearce the Jekyll to the Nefarious Mr. Ben's Hyde?

    Heath Pearce would seem to be a little busy, what with being a starting defender for FC Dallas and all, but he certainly seems to match our artists’ representations of what the Nefarious Mr. Ben might look like. Given that the Nefarious Mr. Ben often has others do his wicked deeds for him, it’s not inconceivable that Pearce is behind all this.

    Or he could just be rocking an awkward mustache, Joey Barton style! Actually, had he not shaved the mustache, Joey Barton was probably a more likely suspect to be the Nefarious Mr. Ben, but it just seems too obvious.

    3:22 p.m. edit: It has come to my attention that Gary Neville and Franck Ribery also fit the description of the Nefarious Mr. Ben. With so many mustachioed footballers, it’s likely going to take a great deal more digging to find the whereabouts and identity of the scheming agent, the Nefarious Mr. Ben.

    I should also note that this is not an indictment of all mustaches. Not all mustaches are evil.

     
  • Alex Haueter 2:07 pm on September 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: accidents will happen, , Kevin Hartman, , ,   

    What do you make of the Henry-Hartman incident? 

    In Major League Soccer action last night, Thierry Henry’s celebration ended up spraining Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman’s MCL. Henry was attempting to celebrate teammate Medhi Ballouchy’s goal by slamming the ball back into the net, but Hartman put his foot behind the ball and ended up on the receiving end of Henry’s joy. Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman was furious that the referee didn’t yellow card Henry for the incident. Keep in mind, Henry was sitting on a yellow card picked up only moments before the goal.

    Put yourself in the ref’s shoes: Would you have shown Henry a second yellow card for the incident?

    You can also read MLSSoccer.com editors’ comments about the incident here: http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/mixed-messages-debating-henry-hartman-incident

     
    • Alex Haueter 2:19 pm on September 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t think Henry is a dirty player, but I think the refs dropped the ball on this one. Hartman shouldn’t be held accountable for not realizing that kicking the ball back into the net is one of Henry’s trademarks, and Henry should have shown a little more restraint, especially considering that in addition to Hartman there was a Dallas defender sitting on the ground inches from the ball. Do I believe Henry that this was an accident? Yes, but the ref should have shown him a second yellow for the reckless nature of his celebration.

  • Alex Haueter 12:21 pm on September 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , MLS imbalance, MLS playoffs   

    Has MLS ever looked so unbalanced? 

    It’s unbelievable how heavily to the west Major League Soccer is leaning this season. As things currently stand, six teams from the Western Conference will make the playoffs, while only the top two from the Eastern Conference will be making the postseason. Teams have between six and eight games left to play, so this could all change, but even on a points per game basis, which discounts extra games played somewhat, the West is set to claim six playoff spots this season. If the season ended today, the teams (and seeds) would look like this: Los Angeles Galaxy (1), Columbus Crew (2), Real Salt Lake (3), New York Red Bulls (4), FC Dallas (5), San Jose Earthquakes (6), Colorado Rapids (7), Seattle Sounders FC (8).

    What’s causing the tilt? Does this strengthen the argument that MLS should go to a single-table format?

     
  • Alex Haueter 11:06 am on September 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    New page: The Nefarious Mr. Ben 

    With our post yesterday about the fake Togo team that lost 3-0 to Bahrain, I was reminded by my buddy Dave of a scam email from a Tunisian Football agency that promised a place on a club team in the North African nation. Tempting as it was to seek fame and fortune abroad, I thought instead we’d put up a page for the agent, the Nefarious Mr. Ben. If you see something shady, underhanded or, best of all, utterly nefarious from the world of soccer, feel free to comment or email it to us at kickssoccer[ ]gmail[ ]com. Check out the page here: https://kickssoccer.wordpress.com/mr-ben/

     
  • Alex Haueter 2:49 pm on September 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2011 MLS, , MLS scheduling   

    MLS will play 34 games next year 

    Major League Soccer announced yesterday that it will expand to a 34 game schedule next season when Portland and Vancouver join to bring the league up to 18 teams. This likely means teams the balanced schedule the league is finally using this season will continue next year, but it certainly raised a few questions for me:

    1. When are we playing these extra four games? MLS schedules are already pretty congested as it is, at times, especially with the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, SuperLiga and CONCACAF Champions League games in the mix. Is MLS planning to start earlier or play later, or we actually going to see some poor teams playing three league games in one week?

    2. Is there a market for four more games? I could proabably argue both sides here, as I think the experience will vary from team to team. I’m sure the teams in their own stadiums will appreciate the extra revenue, but will crowds dwindle for teams that are out of contention with 14 games left?

    3. What about 2012 when Montreal joins? Will MLS play a 36 game schedule? Will it play 38 if/when New York gets a second team? Personally, I think a balanced schedule is the only way to go, but I don’t see MLS as a 38-game regular season + playoffs league.

    What do you think about any of those questions? Feel free to share any other concerns, too.

     
    • redcladloon 3:32 pm on September 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I hope they start earlier, rather than going later into the fall. MLS is virtually invisible during its stretch run, which is when the league’s intensity should be ramping up, not waning. But as it is, it gets lost amid NFL, MLB and college football’s overlapping seasons. I’d be OK with starting things up in February, even though a handful of the “loaner” players might not be able to report to their MLS clubs right away.

      This move probably needs to come with (yet more) reforms regarding the playoffs. As a purist, I’d be for scrapping the playoffs altogether and go to a balanced schedule so the regular season actually meant something. A reasonable compromise to maintain the tradition of MLS Cup might be to have champions from two divisions play one another in a one-game “final” for the league championship. That would successfully shorten the season and add more value and intrigue to the regular season.

      • Alex Haueter 4:43 pm on September 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        The timing of the league has always been awkward. A February start would actually give the league an advantage in the knockout rounds of the CONCACAF Champions League as it would allow teams to treat them as something other than preseason conditioning matches. Detractors will always argue that soccer in Philly, Boston, New York, Toronto and Montreal would suck in February, but watching a game in Kansas City, Dallas, Houston or DC during July is no picnic either.

        I’d really like to see MLS truly balance its schedule. In the past, some teams had four or five games in hand on opposition, and making any sense of what the standings actually showed was impossible. Right now, teams are all within two games of each other. I wish the league would go to match days like other leagues have and make every team play two games in a week if they’re going to make one do it.

        Agree with you on the playoffs, too. If anything, I’d like to see the same format for every matchup, not this two-game series followed by two one-offs that’s currently employed.

      • Michael Mason-D'Croz 7:25 pm on September 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I completely agree with RedCladLoon. It would be a great way to update the MLS league to have the MLS Cup be the squaring off of the top two finishers in the table. That way the Supporters’ Shield actually might mean something, and we could still have our playoff lust — just more like the original World Series in baseball.

        However, I personally view the MLS Cup as equal to the EPL Community Shield anyway.

      • Alex Haueter 7:37 pm on September 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Could consider making the MLS Cup similar to the English FA Cup or League Cup to get our playoff lust. Start the first round at a midway point of the year then play a knockout tournament, and time it so the Cup final was right around the end of the season. Supporters’ Shield are champions, but Cup winners get a CCL berth (in place of the US Open Cup winners).

    • Alex Haueter 12:08 pm on September 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      It’s good to see that along with this, MLS is expanding rosters from 26 players (24 rosters players plus two homegrown players) to 30 players (distribution of roster to homegrown unknown). Fixture congestion has always seemed like a huge problem to me in MLS because the roster limits are so tight. By August, players are tired, and when half the teams make the playoffs, it’s easy to approach a game or two with no intensity.

  • Alex Haueter 11:46 am on September 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bahrain, fake Togo, rip-off,   

    Bahrain beat a counterfeit Togo team in an international friendly: http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=823331&sec=global&cc=5901

    I’ll forgo the obvious questions, like how did Bahrain get suckered into this, how did the “Togo” team pull it off, and how did NO ONE notice, and instead simply ask: Anybody want a home game against the US National Team? I’m scheduling.

     
    • Dave 12:24 pm on September 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Obviously this was put on by Super Agent Mr. Ben.

      • Alex Haueter 2:17 pm on September 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        It’s so obvious now! I feel like I should post that email–maybe find enough people to actually start Mr. Ben’s Internet All-Stars FC.

  • Alex Haueter 3:52 pm on September 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , WTF   

    United play reserves in Champions League opener 

    Put this in the “WTF were you thinking?” file. With the Champions League kicking off, this is the lineup (and subs) Sir Alex Ferguson put out against Rangers in the opener at Old Trafford:
    GK Tomasz Kuszczak, RB Wes Brown, RCB Chris Smalling, LCB Rio Ferdinand, LB Fabio (Jonathan Evans 76), RM Antonio Valencia (Ryan Giggs 63), RCM Darren Fletcher, LCM Darron Gibson, LM Park Ji-Sung (Michael Owen 76), RF Wayne Rooney, LF Javier Hernandez.

    Did no one remind SAF that the Champions League is much more important than the Carling Cup? Not surprisingly, United tied 0-0 with the Scottish champions, who did nothing more than park the bus in front of the goal. I know there’s a big game with Liverpool coming on Saturday, but what the hell was Fergie thinking with that lineup? (PS – Antonio Valencia probably broke his leg, too.)

     
    • Dave 3:55 pm on September 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I’m glad I tivo’d the spurs game instead of this one!

      • Alex Haueter 3:58 pm on September 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Me too, because I’d have felt like a jackass for ruining it for you. And because you’d have had to watch a match where the only moment of interest was a horrifying injury that you wouldn’t have wanted to see a replay of anyway.

  • Alex Haueter 11:34 am on September 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Champions League kicks off today 

    There are eight UEFA Champions League on the docket today, all of which kick off at 1:45 p.m. CDT. Fox Soccer Channel will be televising five of these between this afternoon and tomorrow’s kickoff. I think every game is available if you’re lucky enough to have Fox Soccer Plus.

    Group A: Inter Milan (ITA) @ FC Twente (NED) (FSC, 1:45 p.m. Tuesday); Tottenham (ENG) @ Werder Bremen (GER) (FSC, 10 a.m. Wednesday)

    Group B: Hapoel Tel Aviv (ISR) @ Benfica (POR); Schalke (GER) @ Lyon (FRA) (FSC, 1 a.m. Wednesday)

    Group C: Valencia (ESP) @ Bursaspor (TUR); Rangers (SCO) @ Manchester United (ENG) (live on Fox Sports Net, delayed on FSC, 4 p.m. Tuesday)

    Group D: Panathinaikos (GRE) @ FC Barcelona (ESP) (FSC, 8 a.m. Wednesday); FK Rubin Kazan (RUS) @ FC Copenhagen (DEN)

    Any games stand out to you, either as great matchups or potential blowouts?

     
    • Alex Haueter 11:37 am on September 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      The Tottenham-Werder Bremen match interests me most out of these eight games. Bremen has been in and out of the competition in the past several years, but really hasn’t enjoyed much success. Tottenham has finally qualified for the tournament after knocking on the door for several years. Both are big clubs who fly under the radar because they’re not as big as their local competition. It should be a good match, and with Inter Milan the obvious favorite in Group A, the outcome could go a long way toward determining who else moves on.

  • Alex Haueter 11:01 am on September 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , club versus country conflict, excuses, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge   

    Bayern chief blaming FIFA for sluggish start 

    According to this Soccernet article, Bayern chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge thinks FIFA is to blame for the fact that Bayern is five points off pace in the Bundesliga this season.

    Quick summary: So many of Bayern’s players were in the World Cup that Bayern didn’t get enough time to train before the season started. What do you think? Is Rummenigge making an excuse, or does he have a point? Read my thoughts below.

     
    • Alex Haueter 11:07 am on September 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Personally, I’m getting tired of hearing about Bayern’s woes when it comes to players hurt or over-extended during international competition. Look: If you’re an elite club, you sign elite players. Elite players play for their countries. That’s how it’s always been, it’s how it always will be. If Bayern doesn’t like it, then the obvious solution is don’t be an elite club. I agree that federations should pay damages to clubs when a player is hurt on international duty (which Rummenigge bitched about a month or so back after the extent of Arjen Robben’s World Cup injury was revealed), but to suggest that your team is struggling because of the World Cup is ridiculous. Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona all seem to be getting along just fine.

  • Alex Haueter 10:37 am on September 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: extra time, , rule changes, Sepp Blatter, World Cup 2014   

    FIFA to scrap World Cup extra time? 

    Sepp Blatter said last week that FIFA was considering changes to the extra time format in the World Cup in an effort to promote attacking soccer. Two changes FIFA will consider are the reintroduction of golden goal extra time or, more radically, scrapping the extra 30 minutes altogether and moving straight to shootout. Blatter told FIFA.com, “Often we see teams set themselves up even more defensively in extra time, in an attempt to avoid conceding a goal at all costs. To prevent this, we could go directly to a penalty shootout at full time, or reintroduce the golden goal rule. We’ll see what emerges from the committee meetings.”

    What do you think about the idea? Vote in the poll, then share your thoughts below.

     
    • Alex Haueter 10:43 am on September 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      It seems to me that going straight to a shootout will do little to prevent teams from shutting up shop to avoid conceding. Too often, teams defend at all costs with the sole intent on getting the game to the crapshoot that is penalty kicks. If that style of play concerns FIFA (why the governing body should be attempting to dictate tactics is a separate debate), then going straight to shootout won’t change a thing. If anything, it’ll make it much worse because it stands to reason that defending for 90 minutes is easier than defending for 120. I like the idea of reintroducing the golden goal rule, although teams will still focus on not allowing a goal. I know FIFA is extremely conservative when it comes to changing the rules, but if it’s genuinely concerned about making the game free-flowing (read “more entertaining”), perhaps it’s time to think of something a little more creative, like giving teams extra subs or removing players from the field in extra time.

  • Alex Haueter 10:24 am on September 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: CBA, labor negotiations, , strike   

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=821733&sec=europe&cc=5901

    Huh. (Not a question “huh,” but a full sentence one.) Italian players going on strike for one week. Given that three American sports could potentially strike next season and that MLS narrowly avoided one this year, I thought this was interesting. Short summary: Italian players want a new collective bargaining agreement, so they’re striking for one weekend at the end of September.

    Question is, what makes a better or more effective sports strike? Should athletes even be striking?

     
    • Alex Haueter 10:37 am on September 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I have mixed feelings on strikes in sports as it does little for the fans except make you hate owners and players alike, but I also roll my eyes at the “you get paid tons of money to play a game so just shut up and play crowd” because professional sports seem to occupy a completely different universe than the rest of the laboring world. Long-term strikes seem to alienate fans (look at how long it took Major League Baseball to get fans back after striking in the mid-90s) and endanger league well-being (how’s that ESPN contract treating you these days, NHL — oh, wait), so a one-week strike seems a power grab on the part of the players to win fans over to their cause.

  • jdschaefer 9:43 am on September 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Let's get physical   

    http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2010/09/impossible-soccer-goal-explained.html

     
    • Alex Haueter 10:40 am on September 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Roberto Carlos was not beholden to your wussy laws of physics. That ball did what it did because he willed it to.

  • Alex Haueter 10:38 am on September 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: England, , ,   

    FIFA hails Rooney’s performance? http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=820160&sec=worldcup&cc=5901

    Brief summary: FIFA thinks Rooney was one of England’s three best players in South Africa this summer, basically because he ran around a lot and sweated. I think we might finally have concrete proof that FIFA doesn’t actually *watch* the World Cup.

     
  • Alex Haueter 8:25 pm on August 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Bob Bradley to remain coach of USMNT 

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/30/AR2010083004574.html

    Despite making eyes at Aston Villa in recent weeks, Bob Bradley has agreed to a four-year contract extension with the US Soccer Federation to remain the coach of the US Men’s National Team. US Soccer president Sunil Gulati had been in contact with Juergen Klinsmann, but the new contract with Bradley was announced Monday.

    What are your thoughts on Bradley staying on as coach of the US Men’s team? I’ve shared mine in the comments field below.

     
    • Alex Haueter 8:30 pm on August 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      My thoughts in a nutshell: Why?
      The original hiring seemed like a marriage of convenience, and this seems no different. There ARE better coaches out there. The US wants to be seen as a power player in the world soccer scene. That will never happen with a second-rate coach, which, let’s be honest, Bradley is. His players play hard for him, fine. But after Gulati said he was disappointed in a second-round exit, continuing with a coach whose teams consistently give up early goals and break down into dump-and-chase soccer against even middling opposition seems like the easy way out, especially with no meaningful games for a year. It’s too similar to what the US did in 2002 for my liking, and my hopes for 2014 just sank tremendously.

      • jdschaefer 11:15 am on September 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

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