A Premature Happy Holidays & Blogger Break Warning….

Don’t you hate it when your favorite bloggers stop blogging but in the blog don’t explain why they are not blogging or when they will resume regular blogging? Luckily, Futfanaatico is totally pro. I am traveling for Thanksgiving, hosting family for Christmas, and things will be spare around these particular parts. You may catch me on Twitter, you may not. Expect this Death Star to be rebuilt and fully operational by mid-January with some erratic planetary death rays here and there.

Luckily, though, I’ve been kicking it for Soccer Gods and Paste Soccer. You have plenty to read. Continue reading “A Premature Happy Holidays & Blogger Break Warning….” »

Affable Alexi Lalas Refuses to Badmouth US Soccer Group Whose Aim is His Imminent Destruction

Alexi Lalas has long been the “big tent” pundit of soccer in the United States. Whether it’s getting in a twitter spat with a US national team player or defending a less-than-popular idealist reformer, Alexi has taken the ACLU First Amendment position that “all speech is good speech.” At least if that speech is about soccer. For Alexi, the tent of US soccer is big enough for different opinions and stronger for encouraging robust debate and dissent.

However, one new US soccer group just may have tested his resolve. Continue reading “Affable Alexi Lalas Refuses to Badmouth US Soccer Group Whose Aim is His Imminent Destruction” »

The Klinsmann and MLS Row: Draining a Fountain of Youth?

Jeff Carlisle at ESPNFC got some juicy nuggets from MLS executives: apparently, many are pretty angry that Jurgen Klinsmann and his staff have nudged MLS academy players to sign for European Clubs instead of MLS teams. At issue is pride, but also money: many MLS academies waive fees for players, and thus cost around $600,000 a year to maintain. When you factor in that MLS is a closed system where players rarely transfer within MLS for transfer fees (sometimes allocation money, admittedly), you can understand the MLS owners’ gripes. They invest heavily to groom a garden of players, many of whom won’t reach the highest level, and some bird swoops down when they turn 18 and takes away the ripest fruit.

However, Christian Hambleton and Michael Wheeler at the Vanderbilt “JetLaw” site point out that MLS owners may be themselves to blame: they are leaving money on the table. Continue reading “The Klinsmann and MLS Row: Draining a Fountain of Youth?” »

The Dirty Tackle Blog is No More….

Free Darko. The Run of Play. The list of blogs worth reading shrinks every year. For six glorious years, Brooks Peck wrote irreverent and clever posts for the “Dirty Tackle” blog at Yahoo. In fact, I can recall the time before it was a Yahoo sports blog. I was very jealous of Brook’s neat WordPress theme and ability to digest and publish obscure soccer news before anybody else.

I was honored to write for Dirty Tackle about the bleak, last year of Raul Gonzalez’s career while in Germany at Schalke. As per DT style, the narrative form was a satirical diary, an exaggerated take on the possible inner person and workings of a player who we will never personally know, but upon whom we project certain characteristics and traits based on brief moments in time. Continue reading “The Dirty Tackle Blog is No More….” »

The Unpublishable Files: Top 10 Ways to Use the World Cup to Get Close with your Token Latino Friend/Coworker!

Now that I’ve entered this odd nether region between a blogger and free-lancer, you’ve seen my writing pop up at several sites around the webs. As you may have suspected, unlike at Futfanatico, those posts get edited by a person and I get paid. That’s created a dynamic where I pitch ideas to editors, some of which they like, some they don’t. Then I submit a piece of writing that is edited.

This current post was submitted to a few outlets during the past World Cup and one accepted the idea, but turned it into a really nice and positive part of a broader piece. I kinda like the claws, though. Deep down, I just may never stop being a snarky blogger. I couldn’t publish it during the World Cup because of a family situation, but I always felt this baby had to see the light of day. Will this be the start of a series of Unpublishables? Who knows. In a sense, this entire blog has been “Unpublishables” for about six years, so why change anything?

Without further delay, enjoy:

Continue reading “The Unpublishable Files: Top 10 Ways to Use the World Cup to Get Close with your Token Latino Friend/Coworker!” »

Struggles of EPL teams in Europe are wholly unprecedented and lead to thoughtful root-and-branch analyses

Oh, hello there. Dearest reader, I am going to write this post in first to second person. Why? Intimacy. Or at least the feeling of intimacy. You see, sometimes this cold, cold world of soccer journalism can feel foreign, icy, chilly, remote. Writers sometimes without a name or credit pen words where subjects precede verbs that are then followed by objects, with an adverb or adjective here or there. They talk about clubs and you ask yourself whether plural groups should be represented by singular or plural conjugations of verbs but it just gets a little stale. A bit old. A little not spicy. A bit trite.

But not today, Dearest reader (may I call you “Dearie”?). Today, just you and me, share a secret. Continue reading “Struggles of EPL teams in Europe are wholly unprecedented and lead to thoughtful root-and-branch analyses” »

LGBT Scholar William B. Turner Spills the Beans on LVG’s Early Tenure at Manchester United

Louis Van Gaal is the coach of Manchester United. This past summer, the club splurged tens of millions of pounds on new signings such as Angel Di Maria, Marcos Rojo, Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw and also Radamel Falcao (on loan). Yet the team has had its worst start since the 1980′s. Even worse than, dare say it, David Moyes.

Is the team improving? Is it going backwards? Nobody knows. Well, except for noted Queer Studies scholar William B. Turner, author of A Geneaology of Queer Theory. Willy B took the time to sit down to talk heterosexism, Foucault, and Man U with us. Here are his answers. Continue reading “LGBT Scholar William B. Turner Spills the Beans on LVG’s Early Tenure at Manchester United” »

Some Ferocious Soccer Lynx

You know the drill. Contrary to some rumors, I am not the only person who writes about soccer. While you love my writing and would love to see three epic, full length features at this site each and every week, I’ve been pretty prolific at SoccerGods and Paste Magazine. Thus, for today at least, you’ll just have to content yourself with fine writing by other folks and links to said writing. Which is fine. I do declare. Continue reading “Some Ferocious Soccer Lynx” »

Supporting the Alianza

It’s not so often that I post a one link article. However, one of the major barriers to full youth participation in soccer in the US is the current “pay-to-play” model. I’m blessedly middle-class and can afford travel team fees for my 7 year old son Junito. I am also an educated professional and have the weekends off, so we can drive him to Sugar Land and Missouri City and even farther for tournaments. His mom is a student and can drive him to training on weeknights. Not everybody else is so fortunate. Even at Junito’s club, we see other parents that sometimes struggle to get kids to practice and games (We do our best to carpool but you can’t make a person ask for help). Junito’s club also will waive fees if you can show financial hardship.

Still, the monthly club fees aren’t that high; the time commitment is more of a barrier. SB Nation has an excellent, detailed article on Alianza de Futbol: a group trying to create a non-”pay to play” pipeline for largely Hispanic talent. They are not exactly a club, but do incredibly competitive tryouts and then the top kids get trials with clubs. Read about it here. Like, right now.