The Brave New World of MLS 3.0

Sigh. I can’t be bothered to start a “MLS Does Not Suck” column to respond to Deadspin’s coverage. The first article reeked of somebody who didn’t actually watch the league, but the second column made a lot more solid points about the Atlanta expansion situation. Take a deep breath and realize that, big picture, media coverage is a good thing. Deadspin prides itself on dumping in all major sports leagues from the NFL to the NBA – MLS is now on the radar. That’s a good thing. Deadspin will not coddle MLS. It’s your baby, not Deadpin’s.

The bottom line is that the truth hurts. While MLS is not quite two decades old, the league’s history can be categorized into three phases. And the 3.0 version looks suspiciously familiar. Continue reading “The Brave New World of MLS 3.0” »

MLS Salaries: Starting at the Rock-Bottom

One of the key things for any employee entering the workforce is starting salary: it normally sets the baseline for future earnings and possible raises. That’s why it’s so sad that management has played professional sports player unions for fools, pitting veterans against rookies in negotiations (at least in North America). Owners hand veterans with a bigger role in the union larger salaries today, in exchange for keeping the salaries for rookies nice and low. Here’s the problem: if rookies started off at a higher salary, then they’d be able to get even more in free agency. It’s common sense: starting higher up the ladder earlier is better.

MLS is no different from any other sports league in that regards. Yes, NFL players have a higher salary for rookies (entry-level employees), but it’s still well below the median and what a veteran earns. Yes, MLS salaries have gone up. DPs also make made bank. However, I took a survey of the Top 10 picks from the MLS Super Draft and then looked at their starting salaries. Then I found some other professions with equivalent salaries. The results were forehead-slapping.  Continue reading “MLS Salaries: Starting at the Rock-Bottom” »

Every World Cup Article Ever: Countdown to Countdowns

A watched kettle never boils, unless that kettle is an international sporting event watched and eagerly anticipated by hundreds of millions. The Brazilian World Cup is on the horizon, so many fine media outlets have started “daily countdowns” to highlight the number of remaining days and events that transpire. But why stop at days? Why not hours? Seconds? Milliseconds? What draws the human mind to fragment time and then stare at our beloved social construct with a microscope?

What makes this whole exercise all the more fascinating/depressing/amusing is the issues Brazil still faces (and will probably still face at the World Cup). Continue reading “Every World Cup Article Ever: Countdown to Countdowns” »

The Number One Reason Why MLS Should Expand to Topeka, KS

So, MLS is expanding all over the place. Sometimes, they occupy and share an NFL stadium. Other times, expansion cities scurry to build lovely soccer-specific stadiums. In their haste, though, they sometimes, ahem, have to clear out still-in-use churches. In Orlando City, the municipality balked at a local church’s initial asking price (tens of millions) and jumped straight to eminent-domain and litigation. Now, in Atlanta, rumors swirl that a stadium proposal will lead to the demolition of the City’s first black Baptist Church (and super-gentrification of the neighborhood Martin Luther King Jr. called home).

As someone who went to college in A-town (The term “ATL” is sooooooo 2004), I can understand why Arthur Blank wants to leave the aging (built in 1992) Georgia Dome, all tucked away down there (a mere 3-5 miles from downtown Atlanta). But, in all seriousness, if MLS teams are going to be destroying churches to build homes, I have a sweet idea for a location. Continue reading “The Number One Reason Why MLS Should Expand to Topeka, KS” »

US Players: The Winding Path Backwards & Ahead

Remember all the buzz when Jozy Altidore first signed for Sunderland? He’d just scored a plethora of goals in the Eredivisie and was ready to return to the EPL and take it by storm! Yes, the manager at the time was a bit crazy, but the team had survived relegation. Surely Jozy could knock in ten goals and guide the Black Cats to mid-table security? Right?

Then, this season happened. Continue reading “US Players: The Winding Path Backwards & Ahead” »

FutFedUp – The Totally Unexpected End of Another Era

I had a simple dream: reduce coherent thoughts to bullet points, sentences, and images. Quizzes. Listicles. Buzzwords. Retweets. I wanted to bring “social content” to soccer. I wanted a place for incomplete thoughts, unfinished ideas, and brain farts. With your help and support, FutFeed was hands down, indisputably, unabashedly the most successful week in my site’s history: we easily topped 15,000 unique visitors, which is good for a three posts-per week soccer blog with an owner too lazy to SEO-bait each post.

But therein lies the problem. And the demise of FutFeed. Continue reading “FutFedUp – The Totally Unexpected End of Another Era” »

Top 10 Pictures of Arjen Robben Trying Desperately to Keep a Secret

Arjen Robben. Bundesliga champion. La Liga champion. EPL champion. Champions League champion. Devilish winger. Bag of tricks. Powerful left foot. Many words describe the brilliant Dutchman. But few know that his truly greatest asset is his ability to keep his mouth shut: yes, that’s right, Robben is a veritable Ft. Knox of gossip.

Here are pictures of him keeping secrets. Don’t let his giddy enthusiasm fool you. Those lips are locked. Continue reading “Top 10 Pictures of Arjen Robben Trying Desperately to Keep a Secret” »

Top Ten Sherlock Holmes Story Titles that Describe James Milner’s Member

Sir Arthur Conan O’Doyle. British. Boss. His character, Sherlock Holmes, has withstood the test of time and his writings ushered in a new genre of fiction that has transcended media: the crime and the detective. Still, O’Doyle passed away in 1930. However, despite writing and publishing and dying at least six decades before the birth of James Milner, we said an odd pattern in his story titles.

They all vaguely described a certain bit of James’ anatomy. Read and judge for yourself. Continue reading “Top Ten Sherlock Holmes Story Titles that Describe James Milner’s Member” »

Top 10 Pictures of James Milner Wearing Casual (and Quasi-Casual) Attire

We love watching our Premier League footballers kicking a ball on Saturday, but what are they like off the pitch? What do they wear when out of uniform? Luckily, we scoured the webs for a closer look at England future legend and heartthrob James Milner.

Check out his finest threads when off (and sometimes on) the field. Continue reading “Top 10 Pictures of James Milner Wearing Casual (and Quasi-Casual) Attire” »

Top 10 Pictures of Ashley Young Barely Surviving a Brutal Earthquake

Earthquakes. They are incredibly powerful and in many cases devastating. They tear apart streets, they knock down buildings, and, most impressive, they can on occasion cause Lionheart English international Ashley Young to fall to the ground.

Here are ten images of the devastating might of earthquakes as they toy with Ashley Young’s legs. WARNING – they are incredibly graphic. Continue reading “Top 10 Pictures of Ashley Young Barely Surviving a Brutal Earthquake” »