Spanning The Weekend Soccer Globe……….. Point Break Edition

This piece by the TSG staff collective

Ruiz is to Dempsey as Utah is to Bodhi. Book it!

News of a Point Break remake hit TSG like someone telling you Curt Onalfo was taking over your favorite footie club.

We wretched, screamed “dear god, no” and then immediately pulled out our tattered DVD case holding a copy of Keanu’s finest hour with Mr. Roadhouse Patrick Swayze (RIP) supporting. We collapsed on the couch downing junk food from the Circle K to get even more nostalgic.

Sneaky hot at the time to a high schooler...

Order was restored promptly with the bad girl scene of Tyler Endicott (played by Lori Petty…yes that Lori Petty of made-for-tv-movie “The Karate Dog” fame. A classic.) changing in public after an apparent hardcore surf session.

For the footie-alone fans, I think if Onalfo was your director on the set, you’d need the trifecta of perfection and sideline reporting prowess of Jackie Pickering, Katie Witham & Rebecca Lowe to cleanse the palette.

And that may not be enough.

Anyway, in the spirit of the 1991 classic, we take our jet ski out and whip into some glassy overhead-plus match-ups this weekend.




Pappas on Johnny’s hunch about the Dead Presidents being his surfing crew:

Pappas: “…last time you had a feeling I had to kill a guy, and I hate that… It looks bad on my report”

» Match-up: Portland tries to make their way far off the Oregon Trail up in Tea Party country.

--No caption needed---

Well, we’ve got that feeling too and with a tear in our eye we read off the following stat line: 27 games played, 22 starts, over 2000 minutes, 60 shots, only 21 of them on target, a mere four in the back of the net.

It looks bad in the report and it looks bad on the field.

By 5pm yesterday, Portland should’ve rid themselves of the Sniper Formerly Known as Kenny Cooper. He’s looked just as bad as his stat line.

With the P-Town thriving–okay, not thriving, but managing well–with the PERLAZA MEGABUS up top and the speed of Sal Zizzo, handles of Darlington Nagbe and the steel of Jack Jewsbury, the Timbers missed an important window to get some value for Cooper.

No interest from Dallas? Houston?




Pappas: “Twenty-two years. Man, L.A. has changed a lot during that time. The air got dirty and the sex got clean.”

» Match-up: Arsenal Red Rover, Red Rover over to Elwood to face Blackburn

Cesc is out, Mikel and Mr. Porn Stache are in!

And a lot still hasn’t changed.

This is the Lipstick-On-a-Gig Match of the Weekend!

When the summer transfer season was over Arsenal still didn’t have a goalie, it still had Spaniard in the midfield–albeit the Discover card version instead of the AmEx–and it still didn’t acquire the necessary parts to have the depth to make a run at the Barclays or make it deep into Champion’s League.

Quick question here: When do the Arsenal fans and media folk start snooping around the Colorado Rapids organization and find out that reclusive owner Stan Kroenke is certainly not in line for any awards.

Here, the latest on Kroenke’s other organization and its supporters.

Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta took a pay cut to go from one team who didn’t want to spend money (and couldn’t) to another one that has a little more but holds on to it and chooses to let its much-maligned (and excellent) manager take the heat in the media. Sure there aren’t a ton of top 20 tops in the world (there’s, um, 20), but still…..

Oh and we haven’t forgotten you Blackburn.

When new owner Venky’s took over, there were whispers from Elwood Road of “Beckham” and “Raul.” Meanwhile all the Rovers have to show for the current campaign are horrendous performances on the field for all…except Phil Jones….who of course now plays for Manchester United.


Tyler & Johnny...

Tyler meets Johnny by rescuing him from a washing machine tumble in some kiddie pool waves.

Johnny Utah: [shouts from the shore] The name’s Johnny Utah!
Tyler Ann Endicott: [paddling away] Who cares!

» Match-up: Attack-minded Everton welcomes the dazzling offensive unit that is Wigan

For those that don’t know. TSG considers itself a casual Toffee follower. Reason we choose Everton? There difficult financial situation, the exact inverse situation of following our childhood baseball team, the New York Yankees.

And now I sympathize with the the true faithful.

While Jermaine Beckford and Yakuba were not huge losses in and of themselves and Arteta has failed to showcase the form that had the Goodison faithful crying for joy upon European football a few years back, Everton still lost three players for a team that is about as deep as a sidewalk puddle.

Moreso, losses that saw Davie Moyes insert the powerful and experienced striker duo of Fellaini and Cahill up top.

Everton one’s lone signing that is to be the difference maker? Royston Drenthe, cringe. Remember how Ryan Babel played out down the road at Anfield folks? Well, Drenthe has nearly the identical make-up. Rapper wannabee, Dutch-raised, poor-decision making on the field.

You remember him Galaxy fans, right?


Serie A

Bodhi 2.0...once upon a time

Johnny Utah: “Bohdi! This is your wakeup call I AM AN F… B… I AGENT!”
Bodhi: “I know, isn’t it wild

» Match-up: Roma hope to raise morale against the Inter-lopers

Fresh off back-to-back defeats to Palermo and Trabzonspor, Inter manager Gian Piero Gasperini will be hoping the third time is the charm as Inter roll out the welcome mat for Roma.

Although Gasperini has the backing of club president Massimo Moratti, he must be feeling his seat getting warm under him – especially after seeing what happened to Rafa Benítez last season (Rumors of successors already being lined up are probably not helping Gasperini’s confidence).

It will be interesting to see if Gasperini abandons his trademark 3-4-3 formation to something a bit more, well, traditional.

At Palermo, the backline and midfield were run ragged by the counterattacking Sicilians and allowed four goals. Roma, coming off their own defeat at home to Cagliari to kick off Serie A, are under a bit of pressure as well; however, manager Luis Enrique has been declared “untouchable” by the powers that be.

Earlier this week captain Francesco Totti–perhaps the only athlete that could successfully reprise Bodhi–paid for a team-building dinner in an effort to raise morale and camaraderie amongst the squad. Bodhi 2.0, turning the tables and issuing the wake-up call.




Angelo Pappas is aims the butt of a gun at the drug smuggling surf crew.
Pappas: “Speak into the microphone, squid brain!”

» Match-up: Sounders take on visiting FC Volkswagen

Look I got nothing on this Seattle game. Seattle’s home, has Mauro Rosales and is firing. DC United’s win last week against Chivas was an aberration as Chivas’s backline–the backbone of their entire team build-up–was a mess and let Charlie Davies shoot lay-ups from in close.

That and United’s possession weapon in Chris Pontius is down for the count with a fractured leg.

But it is Seattle and we have a matching quote for our favorite Seattle fan. Oh and the Sounders, they win it in a walk, 3-0.


The Dead Presidents ready their last bank raid.

Bodhi: “It’s basic dog psychology, if you scare them and get them peeing down their leg, they submit. But if you project weakness, that promotes violence, and that’s how people get hurt.”

Roach: “Peace, through superior firepower.”

» Match-up: It’s La Liga West: Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting KC

A big one as the season ebbs here.

Sporting KC crushing–for the most part–lately with the comforts of home being nearly ever present with the opening of LIVESTRONG. Real Salt Lake, after fumbling around post-Javy Morales injury and projecting weakness, has recovered its swagger and looks awfully like the Colorado Rapids did as they pulled up and in to the playoffs in 2010.

Get Morales back and integrated and with the maturation of Luis Gil as a change-up in October-November it gets real interesting.

Sapong for KC...

On the opposite side, a little Twitter dialogue on Sporting KC star freshman CJ Sapong. Sapong, 6’1”, offensive force in college….yet not even a single US Soccer experience on his resume. How does that happen?

I don’t believe it’s just a “late bloomer” situation because, well, then how did KC know to take him as high as they did in the SuperDraft earlier this year. He played D1 ball too.

Here’s what I would have done if I were a sleazy NCAA agent and Sapong was rippling the nets in college in the late 2000’s.

I would have glommed on to the hype around the “next generation” soccer player of one Mr. Jozy Altidore, a hulking true “power” forward and associated Sapong’s name to him at every turn.

Sure they’re different players, but someone would have bit.

Camp Cupcake for CJ this year.


The 50-year storm hits Bell’s Beach and Agent Utah looks to apprehend Bodhi and extradite him to the States.

For whom the Bell's tolls (terrible, just terrible)

Bodhi: “Look at it! It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, man! Let me go out there and let me get one wave, just one wave before you take me in. I mean, come on man, where I am I gonna go? Cliffs on both sides! I’m not gonna paddle my way to New Zealand! Come on, compadre. Come on.

» Match-up: The Galaxy whitewash the Whitecaps just west of Compton.

Look MLS Soccer. You did a great job with getting Opta to provide data for all your games.

Now do away with the Castrol Index.

Any ranking that suggests Mike “Freaking” Magee is the #9 best player in the league (while Vancouver’s Eric Hassli is ranked nearly 90 spots below him) just reeks with….well it just reeks.

Oh and hey, why hello September at HDC. Time for Bruce Arena to burn out his starters again by playing them full time in meaningless games against cellar dwellers.

The Galaxy take this one, say 3-1, but feel the effects of it when they try to keep up with Seattle this year in the playoffs. Last year Edson Buddle did the paddle to New Zealand in September.

Bruce Arena, ladies and gentlemen!




"Utah...get me two..."

Utah and Pappas getting hungry while staking out the Dead President’s final bank.

Pappas:  “Right around that corner, there is a sandwich shop. They sell meatball sandwiches. Best I’ve ever tasted. Would you go get me two? Come on partner. Two. Thank you…

Utah, get me TWO!”

» Match-up: The Old Firm: Celtic vs. Rangers

The most classic throwaway line of the flick is appropriately reserved for the classic Old Firm match-up….for a throwaway league.

Two new Americans see the pitch in this one, the Ambassador to Brazil Ale Bedoya and Captain America Carlos Bocanegra.


Johnny is undercover and after snaking a wave finds that he needs the help of Bodhi to avoid a beatdown at the showers:…

Johnny Utah: Okay. I get it. This is where you tell me that “locals rule”, and that Yuppie insects like me shouldn’t be surfing the break, right?
Bunker Weiss: [smiling] Nope.
Surf gang: That would be a waste of time…
Lupton “Warchild” Pittman: We’re just gonna fuck you up!

» Match-up: The Cottage plays host to the Citizens of Manchester

Instead of getting slammed by the punk surf tribe at the local break–including Chief Chili Pepper Anthony Keides–Bodhi arrives on the scene and he and Johnny Utah get their handbags on, karatasizing the tough-guy local crew.

Utah is played here capably by Fulham’s Bryan Ruiz who had a shocker of a first session last week in the Prem.

Dempsey comes to the his rescue as the savvy Zen Master of London and Manchester City’s swagger dissipates this weekend as they let down on the road to an inferior Fulham side who they fail to take seriously after their Champion’s League battle with Napoli.

Ruiz and Dempsey clean house. Mark it down. Score one for the underdogs.



Pappas: “Let me tell you something, Harp. I was in this bureau while you were still popping zits on your funny face and jacking off to the lingerie section of the Sears catalog. But there’s something I’ve learned in all my years… “

Ben Harp: “Why don’t you astonish me, shitbrains.”

Pappas: [Pappas punches Harp] “Respect for my elders!”

» Match-up: The Reds go uptown to take Spurs downtown.

The clash at White Hart Lane brings forth the second level of teams who are basically vying for the coveted 4th Champion’s League spot. Before last week’s result, Liverpool may have reigned as the team most suited to challenge the top three, but despite dominating they were sent packing by Stoke showing that while they can control the game, they still lack that killing finish to be title contenders.

Two managers who’ve been around the British game for hundreds of fortnights, they get their message across by having been there and through….respect.

Always ready with a comforting arm, King Kenny and ‘Arry can be ruthless and are to be respected. They might not throw a punch, but you don’t want to piss them off. Players, media, grounds crew and tax collectors included.

Liverpool boast two of the venerable old guard, Gerrard and Carragher. Both feisty Liverpulians, the Reds may welcome back the former, who would easily serve as as the Busey influence to Andy Carroll’s Keanu Reeves.

Same goes for Carragher and Coates.

Spurs are off to their usual awful start but after a good win against Wolves are looking to build upon it as they march their way up to the table. Their questions? Do they have the depth and the finishing?

The game will come down to the motivational and tactical prowess of the two managers. Edge to Dalglish. Liverpool roll out 2-1 winners.

More on Liverpool and Stevie Gerrard, here.


Bohdi’s prepping to drop out of the plane as a bullet-riddled Roach lays on the floor, losing blood like Avram Grant loses games.

Roach: “Hey Bodhi, I’m cold man”

Johnny to Roach in the airplane: “You’re cold because all of the blood is running out of your body, Roach. You’re gonna be dead soon. I hope it was worth it.”

»  Match-up: The marquee one: Mighty high-flying United welcome the men from the ‘Bride who are all still trying to fall in line.

Congratulations Fernando Torres and good night. Like Roach you were living the good life. Then you got greedy. Bad things happened.

And then, you spoke about them in public.

You’ve jumped the shark. You cajoled your way out of Liverpool; in fact making similar statements about their style of play and here you are at Chelsea. One goal to show for the hundreds of thousands you are pocketing each month.

Got news for you big guy. You may play against United because Drogba got his bell rung last week, but if you don’t produce bring yourself some sunflower seeds because you’re going to be having cush parking spot right off the touchline.

“Torresgate” may now be history, but I hope it was worth it ‘Nando.


Serie A

Johnny to Bodhi as he prepares the plane to leave after the failed heist:

“They will nail you wherever you land. They’ll use something new called radar, maybe you’ve heard of it.”

» Match-up: Napoli draw City this week in the Champ’s League, now takes on Milan in the league.

"Rafa" .... of the universe! "Rafa"....ahh....

…and bookending that Fernando Torres comment is the debut of Rafa Benitez blog.

A double appearance for the Spaniard in our piece today!

Much like Torres, the former Liverpool luminary took to new pastures last year–for Rafa it was the sloppy seconds of Mourinho’s Inter–and much like Torres’ early tenure here in blue, Rafa’s was disastrous.

The man who Mourinho could rile up like no other is still out of work and seems to be hocking his expertise on his own Web site.

His most recent piece on Wednesday’s champion’s league match-up between Manchester City and Napoli had this searing piece of wisdom:

“However, what was a strength for City in attack was a weakness for them in defence when Napoli regained the ball because they could counter attack with the 3 forwards they had left up.”

I’m sure Milan manager is scouring for other pearls like this deep down in the archives.

Let me tell you, if I’m Benitez’s agent, I’m spending a few thousand dollars on some denial-of-service attacks to bring Benitez’s personal, um, “fraud detection” system down.

Here’s TSG’s Serie A expert Eric Giardini with the true analysis:

This is also a can’t miss match from the peninsula with the top two clubs in Italy. Fresh off of midweek away draws in the Champions League, both clubs will be battling injuries as well as each other in Naples. Napoli playmaker Ezequiel Lavezzi’s status is very much in the air after picking up a knock in Manchester, while Milan is having a bit of an injury crisis of their own. Striker extraordinaire, and overall crazy person, Zlatan Ibrahimović has been ruled out for the next month.

Captain Massimo Ambrosini has also been ruled out for a month with a shoulder injury and Kevin Prince-Boateng looks to be a late decision after suffering a rib injury in Barcelona. Finally, Robinho is another possible casualty as it is unclear if he has recovered from a groin injury. Even with some big names out, there is still enough firepower between the squads that this should be a wide-open affair in Naples.



Capt’n Harp scolds Utah for what he feels is f*cking around on the job:

"Uh, you're playing for the US, right...buddy?"

Ben Harp: “You know nothing. In fact, you know less than nothing. If you knew that you knew nothing, then that would be something, but you don’t.”

»  Match-up: FC Chandlerburg hope to send the River Islanders of Werder Bremen downstream.

To you, the US fanbase (no true disrespect intended mind you) for haranguing Tim Chandler.

Let’s lay out Timmy’s scenario again for the uneducated: Last year toiling in the Bundesliga 4 for of Eintracht Frankfurt U-23. Chandler has no hope of making Frankfurt’s senior team.

Scouts under the direction of Nurnberg head man Dieter Hecking see something they like from the player and brings him over to Nuremberg.

Hecking ignites his career. Chandler’s found to have an American passport and after our good friend Brian Sciaretti digs that up Tony Sanneh introduces him to USSF.

Chandler thrills in appearances against both Argentina and Paraguay under Bob Bradley in March; meanwhile Nurenburg thinks Timmy’s something special and wants to protect his usage so they shut him down over the summer.

And what data did we get this week? A single tweet from Tony Sanneh–who wasn’t the first person astonishingly to even unearth the young phenom–saying that Chandler’s desire is to play for Germany.

Good, let’s toss the afro-hasselhoffer out. No just kidding.

Honestly, let’s consider a few things here. One, we haven’t heard from the player and two, that player needs to make a life for himself.

He’s externally grateful to Hecking and number one for any player should be providing for themselves and-or their family and then a national team call-in? How would you feel if you were in Chandler’s spot and your current coach rescued your career from oblivion.

A little loyal to say the least, no?

Don’t begrudge Chandler whatever decision he makes.

And, if he decides to play for the grand ole’ flag, saying that he’d like to play for Germany is a very good PR move since he’s going to play most of his career likely in the Bundesliga.

Let it ride. We know less than nothing.


The Schalke faithful will be taking aim right back at the Bodhi in goal for Bayern...

Bodhi makes his getaway by jumping out of the plane with the stash of money.

Bodhi: “You want me so bad Johnny, its like acid in your mouth.”

» Match-up: Schalke 04 skirmishes with Bayern Munich

League leaders Bayern travel to Gelsenkirchen to take on sixth-place Schalke.

Once again, don’t expect Jermaine Jones to play a role in this match, but it marks the return of Manuel Neuer to his hometown club.

If this were the Cleveland Browns or Oakland Raider home turf, Double-D batteries and lug nuts would come flying at the goalkeeper.

Neuer, who joined Schalke at the age of four, left in the summer to join “the best club in Germany”(his words, not mine) and he’s prepared for an icy greeting. Unfortunately for Schalke, their supporters can’t help the club score goals because Schalke will need all the help they can get.

Neuer and his defense have only allowed one goal in five matches this season – including three straight clean sheets.


It’s a 100% pure adrenalin soccer weekend….

80 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jared on 2011/09/16 at 4:53 AM

    Bill Simmons would be proud to put out something this good these days.

    I especially loved the quote regarding the Chandler situation. That definitely sums up what we were all freaking out about.


  2. Ahhh Point Break….definitely a classic, gonna go watch it on the DVR now.


  3. Posted by EFG on 2011/09/16 at 6:49 AM

    Oh, Francesco. Be still my heart.


  4. Posted by dikranovich on 2011/09/16 at 7:16 AM

    chandler could have sat the bench for the usa during the gold cup and this situation would be a non issue. he didnt, so it is.


    • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/09/16 at 7:34 AM

      No, he would have actually had to enter a game. And, of course, he wouldn’t have been awarded a spot on the bench without actually training.


      • Posted by Crow on 2011/09/16 at 7:37 AM

        Although Chandler just sitting on the bench probably would have been an upgrade compared to some of Bob’s other “choices.” 🙂

        The one thing that I feel is under JK the depth of the team will be alot better.


      • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/16 at 8:22 AM

        Easily could have called him with the promise to Nurnberg that he would only play at most 5 minutes. Wouldn’t that have been enough to tie him to the US?


        • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/09/16 at 12:02 PM

          Nurnberg’s only say in the matter was the pressure they put on Chandler. If he really wanted to be there, he would have been.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/09/16 at 7:42 AM

      Agreed — cost him his job naively in the Final when Dolo went down who didn’t rest at all through the tourney. That was poor.


      • Posted by Martin on 2011/09/17 at 4:20 PM

        “Steve Cherundolo did well out of position at left back in Hannover 96’s 0-0 draw with Standard Liege.”

        Cue speculation


  5. Posted by crow on 2011/09/16 at 7:32 AM

    I agree with whoever in the comments said that Germany would seem like the natural first choice for Chandler just like it would have seemed that the USA should have been the first choice for Rossi. The one thing I agree with Sunil Gulati with was his view that as soon as a player appears for a senior National team, that player should be tied permanently. Even if they just played in a friendly. For instance, jermaine Jones would not have been able to switch to the USA and Chandler would not be allowed to play for Germany now. Based off of his comments I think Chandler will play for the US unless he was just spewing off BS about the USA team being different in a good way. I remember an interview with him on Yanks Abroad. I can understand if he chooses Germany but i will be heartbroken as I’m sure others will be since Timmy “led us on”. At least Rossi never acted like he was interested.

    Maybe I’m mixing personal problems with girls with soccer.


    • Posted by Crow on 2011/09/16 at 8:11 AM

      The one question I asked Sunil during the Fan Forum last March was what goes on when it comes to communicating/”recruiting” potential dual-nationals?

      He basically replied that there is a dialogue- there was with Rossi, Subotic, etc. but in the end it just comes down to what the player wants. Sometimes its an issue that they want their international games to be in Europe because that is where they play professionally.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/16 at 8:43 AM

      I disagree with comparison to Rossi. Rossi only lived in the US until he was 12 or 13. He then spent his formative soccer years in Italy with Parma before Utd snapped him up. I don’t even think Chandler had been to the US until he showed up to play.

      I don’t mind players being free to change without a full international appearance in a FIFA sanctioned competitive match as long as it’s a one time switch. Maybe the key would be that the national team would have to agree to release the player. So Jones could play for the US because Germany wouldn’t want him but Chandler wouldn’t play for Germany unless he was released. That way the national team would be less reliant on when certain competitive matches are played in different regions.


      • Posted by Crow on 2011/09/16 at 11:24 AM

        To clarify- Rossi not playing for the USA was ridiculous to me because he grew up here, but he always stated he wanted to play for Italy, so it wasn’t like we didn’t know it was coming. I think Chandler should play for Germany for the same reason that Rossi should have played for the USA. However with things being the way they are, and after having already played for the Senior Team a couple times, I hope Chandler stays with the USA or it will even look worse than anything Rossi or Subotic did.


        • Posted by Martin on 2011/09/17 at 6:32 PM

          Crow and Jared,

          “Rossi not playing for the USA was ridiculous to me because he grew up here”

          And what does that mean?

          He moved to Italy from New Jersey when he was 12. Twelve isn’t grown up yet.

          Michael Hoyos moved to Argentina when he was 15. Subotic moved here when he was 11 and only played a few years before he moved back to Germany to join Mainz when he was about 18.

          Rossi, Chandler, Hoyos and Subotic all made very personal decisions. It’s different for everyone and their reasons for doing so are nobody else’s business.

          It’s not for us to determine how “American” someone is. If they have a valid US passport and meet the FIFA regulations then they are eligible and that is the end of the story. People’s perceptions of “Patriotism” or the desire to “fight for the flag “ do not enter into it.

          The England team used to be lauded for such patriotic spirit and where has it gotten them the last 40 some odd years? If Chandler’s “patriotic spirit” lags and affects his play to where he is not as good as the guy behind him in the depth chart then Klinsmann will sub him out. It’s pretty simple.

          Chandler never played for the German senior team friendly or otherwise.

          He apparently had some experience with their Under 15 team, did not like it and never went back.


  6. Posted by Crow on 2011/09/16 at 7:34 AM

    And no love for Philadelphia/Columbus? A pretty big match, no? Was there no quotes that fit or is the East that much of a laughingstock?


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/09/16 at 7:49 AM

      Word count — editor stopped me — pushing for more entries. :>

      Big game — Freddy Adu still play for the Union?


      • Posted by Crow on 2011/09/16 at 8:21 AM

        Understood. This was a huge post and there is alot going on in the soccer world this weekend.

        Freddy took his goal nicely in the comeback vs. the Revs.

        As for the Philly Union lineup. I don’t understand Nowak. He’s the anti-Bruce Arena. Use every player on the active roster, and rotate constantly. I think he’s even started some of the concession workers this year. I don’t know if the Union secretly play in the Champions League during the week and us fans don’t know about it or what, but he takes roster rotation and “bringing up players slowly” to a whole new level.

        Or maybe he’s just like Raymond Domenech and uses tarot cards and astrology to pick the lineups for him. I don’t know.


  7. Posted by John on 2011/09/16 at 8:00 AM

    Watching Kenny Cooper this year had been a bit like watching Fernando Torres in the past year/this year. You kinda think he is going to turn the corner, he assists on a few goals, but then he shows up in front of goal with the ball on his preferred foot and it is sent wide.


  8. Posted by Crow on 2011/09/16 at 8:13 AM

    The “Perlaza MEGABUS” was hilarious. They should have a promotion- how many goals he scores determines the bus fare. 0 goals= free. 1 goal= $1, etc. Or do they already do that?

    I think they were actually doing that with the New York City MEGABUS to Harrisburg, PA. They always had free promotions I guess because Angel was never scoring any goals. 🙂


    • Posted by John on 2011/09/16 at 8:19 AM

      With season tickets to the timbers, fans also got transit passes for game day. This was to alleviate the parking/traffic as there is really no room for the cars around the stadium in general… much less on game day.


      • Posted by Crow on 2011/09/16 at 8:23 AM

        That is a nice provision. I have much respect for the Portland fans. I think they put us Philly fans to shame. Incredible atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field. I get chills watching games that take place there.


        • Posted by John on 2011/09/16 at 8:52 AM

          Just as an FYI they (the timbers) are removing some of the tarps tonight for the Revs game as a test to see if they can do this long term. (issues with bathroom lines and very crowded concourses). So there will be an extra 1,200 in the Timbers Army and a few other reserved spots in the Stadium. This will push the total attendance over 20K for the Revs and Houston home games.

          This will mean going from Raucous to Raucous + (although not google + because that would be empty)


          • Posted by Crow on 2011/09/16 at 10:23 AM

            Nice! I would love to see Portland grab a playoff spot as a reward to their fans- as long as it doesn’t cost the Union.

            Hey, I like Google+! I refused to use most/any social networking utilities until I tried Google+ out and now I use it.

            I know TSG has such an affinity for Google. Here is a question- would the Black Sox ever “sell out” if they were offered a lucrative kit sponsorship deal from Google?


            • Posted by John on 2011/09/16 at 1:18 PM

              Just got off the phone with the Season Ticket rep for the Timbers. The waist list for season tickets is getting close to 4000 people.

              Good grief.

  9. Everyone knows Chelsea are going to hand United their high-flying arse this weekend.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/16 at 8:45 AM

      Especially since Carrick will most likely have to play due to injury to Cleverly.


  10. Posted by John on 2011/09/16 at 10:02 AM

    “On Sunday, Fox’s network channel will show the English Premier League’s Chelsea play at Manchester United. Depending on whether the local Fox station shows an early or late NFL game, the soccer will be broadcast at 2 p.m. Eastern or 4:30 p.m. ”

    Found this on Grant Wahl’s twitter feed, but Fox appears to be going “all-in” with the BPL coverage. The good news is moar soccer, the bad news is #1 most people who follow the game are already going to know the score, #2 fox would never have done this for the MLS (which actually shows their games during times in which people could watch them live), and #3 moar Michael Strahan?

    That said, I still have to say that I could not have imagined this happening 5 years ago.

    So this Sunday… Seahawks, Steelers, Broncos, Chelsea, Manchester United…. wow.


    • Posted by EFG on 2011/09/16 at 10:24 AM

      The question is: Will the tape delay replay be shown in HD? For me, I would be fine missing it live to watch it taped in HD as I don’t get FSC in HD…stupid Comcast.


      • Posted by Crow on 2011/09/16 at 10:30 AM

        Oh my- don’t get me started on Comcast (I’m from PA). I wrote to the Union and threatened not to buy season tickets if they agreed to a kit deal with Comcast. LOL. Bimbo bread is so tasty… MMMMMM. Comcast makes even AT&T and Ticketmaster look like Amazon.


        • Posted by EFG on 2011/09/16 at 11:30 AM

          Haha, that’s dedication. I don’t have a problem with Comcast in general per se…I just want FSC HD, Fox Soccer Plus, and GolTV in HD. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

          Similar topic: Does anyone have foxsoccer(dot)tv? Is it worth looking into?


          • Posted by kaya on 2011/09/16 at 11:50 AM

            I have a problem with Comcast!
            I’ve been wondering the same thing about foxsoccer. I really want to get rid of my cable TV, I almost never watch anything on it, but once in a great while there’s a game on, but I’d just as soon watch it online if something like foxsoccer .tv were worth it. I’ve seen a lot of complaints about ESPN’s soccer coverage, but I friggin love espn3 so much (when they show soccer) that I can’t bring myself to complain.


            • Posted by Crow on 2011/09/16 at 12:07 PM

              I just recently cancelled DIRECTV’s mega package+ Sports Pack (Gol TV HD, FSC HD)+ Fox Soccer Plus because I couldn’t stomach the cost anymore. It was worth it for a few years after being deprived of satellite growing up, but now I need to save money to move. I would never have a Comcast product in my house or I would be the biggest hypocrite in the world. And I don’t want any of their “services” anyway.

              The only ISP available in my area does not have an agreement with ESPN3. It makes me very angry.

              Hopefully, things will improve in a few months, internet-wise at least, when I move from redneck central PA to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

              I too am curious about FoxSoccer.TV and the MLS online subscription. With PSN adding Sunday Ticket to MLB.TV, etc., it would be nice for them to add a soccer service. Or I’ll watch it in my browser.

            • Posted by EFG on 2011/09/16 at 12:14 PM

              Soccer is all over ESPN3! And with the upgrade made on the Xbox platform, it is the best. I can watch multiple Serie A games at once in HD instead of watching my terrible FSC feed.

            • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/18 at 5:38 AM

              Comcast sucks. I contacted them today to add the Sports Pack so I could watch Man Utd v. Chelsea live and then have it going forward. They wanted to charge me a $1.99 fee to add that service. How ridiculous is that? I’m willing to give them another $6.95 per month and they want to charge me to do that. So now they don’t get my $6.95 per month.

    • Posted by Crow on 2011/09/16 at 10:26 AM

      I must say I am impressed. Maybe FOX can show ESPN how it should be done. However, I am worried we are going to have to listen to Michael Strahan explain to us the differences between soccer and football. I was cringing the entire time during the Champions League Final in May.


      • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/16 at 10:57 AM

        You really think Fox is the one to show ESPN how something should be done? Have you missed ESPN’s coverage of the World Cup, Euros and Premier League? Far better than either Fox or Fox Soccer have been able to deliver.


        • Posted by Crow on 2011/09/16 at 11:19 AM

          I’ve aired my greivances with ESPN already. In no particular order- John Harkes, Leander, the USMNT blog, showing WCQ on ESPN Classic/U, moving the National Team games from channel to channel, not showing any games anymore to a true national audience on ABC, etc. etc.

          I guess ESPN is better than nothing but they have a lot of improvement to make in my eyes.

          “Maybe FOX can show how it should be done”. That was more of a blind hopeful statement that I don’t have too much confidence in.


          • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/16 at 12:06 PM

            ESPN is where most sports are shown and it’s tough to argue that it’s not a true national audience. Isn’t it available in something like 100 million homes now?

            Would you rather ESPN not show the WCQ at all? That’s the other option if you don’t like them putting it on Classic or ESPNU. How many times have they done that recently?

            If they didn’t move the games from channel to channel then people would complain that they didn’t show the game in its entirety. They are in a lose lose situation on that one.

            I just think when you look at the other options out there ESPN does a pretty good job of covering the sport when you look at the economics involved.


            • Posted by Crow on 2011/09/16 at 12:27 PM

              I just think it is insane that there were more US National Team games on ABC in the ’90’s and early ’00s then there are now. That is the only way I could watch soccer growing up. Now I know ESPN is in more households, but not everyone has ESPN2, Classic, U, and alot of people are cutting their cable/satellite.

              True- there is ESPN3- and even though they have added alot of ISPs, many still do not have agreements (I blame that issue more on the ISPs whining about bandwidth use than ESPN).

              Should I be happy that someone is covering soccer? Yes.
              Is it reasonable for me to expect marked improvements? Yes, too.

          • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/16 at 12:37 PM

            There used to be a lot more of all sports on ABC in the 90’s. With the ESPN/ABC Sports merger under the Disney umbrella that has changed. The only thing left on ABC is college football and even that is ESPN branded.


        • Posted by kaya on 2011/09/16 at 11:56 AM

          Yeah, as bad as Harkes is, the commentating I’ve heard on fox soccer (which it’s been a looong time since I won’t pay comcast the huge package fee necessary to receive the channel) makes Harkesy look classy.
          As much as moving the matches around from channel to channel is lame, if everyone had access to espn3, it wouldn’t matter. Can’t dvr’s be controlled remotely by now? You’d think that an html interface would be a no-brainer by now.
          Can’t figure out why people love their teevees still so much…. as far as I’m concerned, espn is way ahead of fox.


          • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/16 at 12:07 PM

            I can control my DVR with Comcast via the internet and could do the same when I had TIVO and the TIVO I had was a couple generations old at least.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/16 at 10:27 AM

      That Michael Strahan piece on the Champions League final set soccer back in this country by a decade. They treated everyone in this country like we were 5.

      I will be avoiding the score to watch it on delay on Fox in the hopes that it will be in HD.

      For every good thing Fox does with soccer it seems that ESPN does 2 or 3. Good thing Skipper is so invested in seeing the product do well and treating it with the respect it deserves with the exception of John Harkes.


      • Posted by John on 2011/09/16 at 10:37 AM

        YMMV but DirectTV is reporting English Premier League soccer in HD on Sunday on Fox.


      • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/09/16 at 7:25 PM

        I too, was so disappointed by the Michael Strahan debacle. But I think we all need to put this into perspective. Yes, the coverage seemed geared to a bunch of elementary school children but for many that is very apt.( I base my opinion not on peer reviewed research but on ratings,attendance, etc.) We have been blessed with forums such as TSG where the true football brain abounds, is nutured, and develops! But we are preaching to the choir here, we must educate the masses who don’t know about the true football or are biased against it for a myraid of reasons. So we need to reach out to them, hence Michael Strahan as Barney teaching my us the pretty colors of the rainbow.
        Yes, its cringe worry at times, but we can’t measure how many people were reached or are now considering exploring football(soccer) due to this light hearted pablum.
        Now let me preach that the education has begun ( or Indocrination you may say)
        Yes, its slow going but the kids are playing in the streets, the tide is turning! Lets embrace the changing tides bemusedly, water seeks its own level, the more fans want more soccer the more they will seek out the forums.blogs, coverage like this one. So it is hopeful. ( hey call us the enlighened ones!)


        • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/16 at 7:37 PM

          The problem with the Michael Strahan piece was that most people in America have a basic understanding of the game. Kids have been playing soccer in large number for a long time in the US now in numbers that dwarf all other sports (15 mil in 1987 compare that to Pop Warner which claimed to only have 260,000 in 2006 per this article So more people in the US should know the basic terms that Strahan brought up than know the basic terminology of football just based on participation.

          The issue is getting the game to be taken seriously by those that didn’t play and most people that bothered to tune in were probably intelligent enough to know the terms already or to at least perceive that they were being talked down to.


  11. Posted by Crow on 2011/09/16 at 11:21 AM

    I disobeyed and posted a link of Klinnsman’s depth chart on the US Soccer forums. It is receiving a good bit of love and just a little scorn. Some discredit the article because they think the writer has a bias vs. Michael Bradley.

    My main problem with Michael Bradley is that he hasn’t played a game for a club in 2011.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/16 at 12:10 PM

      That’s not true. He played for Villa in the Carling Cup back in March.


      • Posted by Crow on 2011/09/16 at 12:22 PM

        LOL. I forgot! Although I don’t think he played a full 90, right?


        • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/16 at 12:37 PM

          Nope, he was apparently awful that day and was yanked. I believe that was the last time he played for them.


          • Posted by mbw on 2011/09/16 at 1:15 PM

            I think he played twice more after that, but only as a late-game sub. It might be worth noting that the last few times he got on the pitch — definitely not the Carling Cup game vs. Man City — he was pretty good.


            • Posted by mbw on 2011/09/16 at 1:17 PM

              “definitely not the Carling Cup” = he was definitely not pretty good in that Carling Cup game.

          • Posted by dth on 2011/09/17 at 7:07 AM

            He was OK in the carling cup. Aston Villa sent out the sacrificial lambs for City.


  12. Posted by kaya on 2011/09/16 at 11:45 AM

    First time I’ve ever read a post by TSG and a movie became obligatory viewing. I think I understood the jist of the upcoming games, anyway! How could I possibly have missed watching such a great classic?


    • Posted by Crow on 2011/09/16 at 12:35 PM

      Next up we need TSG to somehow tie in the “Bay Area” cult classic- Birdemic: Shock And Terror to a soccer column.

      Or maybe Kicking And Screaming- Klinsmann can pull the Will Ferrell role. But instead of saying: “Just pass it to the Italians” he’ll say :”Pass it to the German-Americans or hispanic born players”


      • Posted by John on 2011/09/16 at 12:39 PM

        My next column should clearly be…

        “The parallel between Showgirls and Arsenal”

        Great to watch, hard to understand….


  13. Posted by Alex Song on 2011/09/16 at 1:33 PM

    Arsenal already had a goalie.

    Szczesny is a monster!


  14. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/09/16 at 2:37 PM

    Mateo kovacic. Dinamo Zagreb. You heard it here first


  15. Posted by Kevin on 2011/09/16 at 4:41 PM

    There was interest from Houston for Cooper. If you look at the trade between Houston and Portland earlier this year, Palmer and Chabala were sent to Portland in exchange for Moffat and Allocation money, but the allocation money was only there because the original agreement was for Cooper and someone above Spencer stated that Cooper was to remain in Portland. Spencer had no choice but to renegotiate and instead of giving Cooper he gave some allocation money.


  16. Posted by EFG on 2011/09/17 at 6:43 AM

    If Wenger put this run of results together while managing in Italy (or even Chelsea) he wouldn’t make it out of Blackburn still as manager.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/17 at 7:35 AM

      He shouldn’t make it out of Blackburn even at Arsenal. That’s just embarrassing.


  17. Posted by dth on 2011/09/17 at 7:10 AM

    I’ve been one of the loud proponents of the idea that there’s something rotten in the state of Arsenal, but I never thought it was this bad.

    The sad thing is that it never had to be this way. Totally preventable tragedy.


    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/09/17 at 7:52 AM

      The real question with Arsenal is how ugly will it get. Unless they spend major money in Jan I don’t see how they can stay in the Champions League and missing out on the Europa League is not out of the question. Which can start a very negative spiral

      Spending major money in January is always dicey and generally means you have to overpay.

      Not cheering for harm but this could get very ugly.


      • Posted by dth on 2011/09/17 at 3:20 PM

        The thing is, the only option for them might be to overpay in January. They’re locked in a vicious cycle. Overpaying in the last summer better than winter better than next summer.

        The other thing is, not only have they not been spending much, but what they have spent recently has been poorly spent.


        • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/09/17 at 4:23 PM

          100% agree. If they lose out on CL it will just get harder to sign the top talent and they will have to overpay even more. They need to hope to buy some Chelsea/Man City extra parts in January (each of those teams seem to bring 4 or 5 players in for every player that leaves).

          I just have a hard time believing that after all the holding the line and not overpaying they are going to end up pulling the equivalent of 35M for Carroll.


    • Posted by EFG on 2011/09/17 at 11:41 AM

      I tend to pull for Arsenal in England because of their style of play, but lately everything with the club as gotten too “smug.” Players, manager, front office, and the fans have just been overcome with this smugness that has become too much. I don’t want to say I’m actively cheering for them to miss Europe entirely, but I think it might be good for the club in general.


  18. Posted by dth on 2011/09/17 at 4:58 PM

    16 year old Zach Pfeffer making the start for Philadelphia.

    I’ve seen Pfeffer play exactly twice, and during that time he reminded me a bit of Stuart Holden.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/09/17 at 5:05 PM

      Meanwhile poor Amobi Okugo can’t get off the bench. DON’T THEY REALIZE WHAT THEY HAVE THERE? The possible mutant combination of Maurice Edu and Ricardo Clark with a dash of Ramires* NEEDS HIS REPS.

      * exaggerated…but my rough opinion of his upside.


      • Posted by Martin on 2011/09/17 at 6:43 PM


        You are saying Pfieffer and Okugo have a lot of potential.
        Some applicable quotes from Bill Parcells:

        “The definition of potential is that you haven’t done (blank) yet.”

        “I think he’s got good potential, but he needs a lot of work.”


        • Posted by dth on 2011/09/17 at 6:48 PM

          Well, look, people like to say these things…and then wonder why the U.S. doesn’t do well with development.

          You need to give players a chance to play. It’s the old job hunter’s dilemma: can’t get a job because you have no experience and can’t get experience because you don’t have a job. Now, Pfeffer’s 16 years old, as I’ve said, and I’ve only seen him twice, so I have no idea whether or not he’s going to be a good player or not (which is why I said a bit in my original post). Okugo’s where the problem is. If you have a player who might be a really good one, it’s malpractice not to give him a shot and instead give players like Andrew Jacobson (last year when, to be honest, he sucked) or Kyle Nakazawa PT.


          • Posted by dth on 2011/09/17 at 6:49 PM

            And of course, I was exaggerating–hence the ALL CAPS, which I thought was a reliable enough indicator of tongue-in-cheek. Jesus Christ.


            • Posted by Martin on 2011/09/18 at 8:40 AM

              You protesteth over much.

              It’s not Nowak’s job to develop players for the USMNT.

              I don’t follow Philly and know nothing about them but I’m pretty sure Nowak’s job is to win games for the Union like right NOW.

              I’m pretty sure if he felt playing your guys today were his best chance to do that he’d do it. It’s a bad ecomnomy to be unemployed.

              If the USSF is worried about it then maybe they can broker a deal to get those guys someplace else. Otherwise, they will just have to wait their turn and hope either Nowak sees your side or someone else does and deals for them.

            • Posted by dth on 2011/09/18 at 8:49 AM

              It’s not Nowak’s job to develop players for the USMNT, but it is his job to develop players for the Union. Okugo has far more upside than some of the guys he’s playing, and it’s not as if they’ve been playing terribly well. Given the poor play of the Union, it’s not as if his judgment looks particularly sterling overall, so maybe he should give players a chance.

              Like I said, I’ve only seen Pfeffer play twice and I don’t really care about him. Okugo is the real wasted talent here.

        • Posted by crow on 2011/09/17 at 7:39 PM

          Ive seen Amobi Okugo play multiple times including against Everton and it is clear to me that he should be an automatic starter. I wanted him to get a National Team call up. I’ll repeat my Nowak to Domenech comparison when it comes to lineup selections.

          It’s nice to see Le Toux get on a roll late in the year. And yes the Union have a lot of young guns in their arsenal. Some of the academy players were very impressive vs Everton and Real Madrid.


  19. Posted by dth on 2011/09/17 at 6:54 PM

    Agudelo with an assist in the first half versus Dallas…other than that, very quiet. His passing–aside from the assist–has continued its “meh” that’s characterized his Red Bulls passing this season. Red Bulls continue to be a really weird team and are being much too English in their approach today, directing punts to Agudelo’s chest–I really hope they don’t try and turn Agudelo into Heskey.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/09/18 at 3:58 AM

      He needs to get away from Red Bull asap. That whole club is messed up and the coaching staff isn’t helping him or the team in general.


  20. Posted by Jared on 2011/09/18 at 6:13 AM

    MB90 starts on the bench again today.


  21. Posted by Jared on 2011/09/18 at 6:57 AM

    Dalglish’s whining about the officiating last week certainly seems to have backfired. Down to 9 men.


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