Chelsea’s King in Yellow

The other day I was reading The King in Yellow, a collection of macabre short stories, and thought of Chelsea Football Club. In The King in Yellow, the early stories revolve around a mythical and fatal play. Any individual who dares to read said play dies by Act II.

And this brought to mind Mourinho’s Act III as Blues manager. Continue reading “Chelsea’s King in Yellow” »

MLS Stadia Updatery

As you know, I am your favorite contributor to VICE Sports. Please note that I can no longer refer to it as “VICE Deportes” anymore because that site actually exists and, no, my soccer stadium writing is too boring for those hip folks from Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula who speak-a-the-Spanish. But not for you. In addition to being handsome, rugged, ruggedly handsome, and handsomely rugged, you loved my contributions because I did quite a bit of research in those MLS stadium posts for VICE. Since their publication, though, major developments have happened. At least in Minnesota and Miami.

Here’s the big story(ies). Continue reading “MLS Stadia Updatery” »

Reflections on Rafa’s Early Tenure at Real Madrid

I’ve written about Rafa Benitez for Squawka a few times. First, I noted that Rafa loves to rotate players wherever he goes. I still have saved the angry tweets of LFC fans wondering why Javier Mascherano wasn’t starting a league game vs. a bottom-feeder. I also wrote about Rafa’s preference for the 4-4-2 and how Ronaldo fits into the system.

Now that Rafa has had a few months as coach, it’s time to reflect on the team. Continue reading “Reflections on Rafa’s Early Tenure at Real Madrid” »

Your Totally Not Sponsored Daily Fantasy Futbol Tips!

Remember a few years ago when I wrote that long diatribe about why I hate fantasy sports? Well, to be honest, I lied. I was riding high on a counterculture trip; I was in a standoffish mood. I knew that you liked fantasy sports before me, so I played down my own interest. That way instead of getting “early adapter” street cred, I could salvage my ego with some contrarianism. I am sorry. In all truth, I love daily fantasy sports.

And who doesn’t need more fantasy in their daily life? Continue reading “Your Totally Not Sponsored Daily Fantasy Futbol Tips!” »

The True Conundrum of US Soccer

The US lost to Mexico, and to many American fans it hurts. I get this. After we under-performed at the recent Gold Cup, fans see a string of bad results. They want to hold either the coach or the coach’s boss accountable. I also get that.  Right now, the debate has nicely diverged into two camps: those who blame the Coach, and those who blame the players. For the second group, they claim the US lacks elite players who are in-form and simply couldn’t stack up with Mexico’s players. On the US team, a single player, Fabian Johnson, plays on a Champions League team. Conversely, Mexico’s roster was stacked with players on teams that regularly qualify for Europe’s top competition.

I don’t want to regress into this debate, though. I also don’t care for the “compared to Bradley” line of historical revisionism that also includes a nice bit of cherry-picking. Let’s all take a breath at look at the big picture. Continue reading “The True Conundrum of US Soccer” »

Ask An American Soccer Fan: CONCACAF Cup

October 10 at the Rose Bowl in California, the US and Mexico will square off as recent Gold Cup champions in a single playoff game. At stake is a berth in the Confederations Cup, the “prep” summer tournament held a year before the World Cup. That means both North American teams will be fighting for a summer trip to Russia in 2017.

We asked US fans to break down just how excited they are at this monumental opportunity. Continue reading “Ask An American Soccer Fan: CONCACAF Cup” »

My Article on Arsene Wenger From Last Thursday

Editor’s note: technical difficulties meant we could not post this article last Thursday as planned. Luckily, nothing since then has changed as all sports writing focuses on eternal Platonic truths, not the passing whims of fans based on a single result.

I am a fan of Manchester United, but have always respected Arsenal. And not just because of all the celebrity fans. Rather, Arsene Wenger has prudently managed the team’s finances and won some silverware over his 20 year (almost) reign. Talent recognizes and respects talent. Wenger has oozed class and brilliance for years. Yes, the Invincibles’ season seems like an eternity ago, but you don’t just qualify for the Champions League year after year by magic. Or at least that’s what I thought from the outside looking in.

All that changed on Wednesday when Arsenal lost to Olympiakos. Continue reading “My Article on Arsene Wenger From Last Thursday” »

Safe Spaces?

For the past few years, writing (and writing about soccer) has been a privilege. P-R-I-V-E-L-E-G-E. I am a college-educated professional who works a 9-5 and has Saturdays and Sundays off. Thanks to this free time and a computer and internet connection at home, I was able to blog with very vague dreams of financial remuneration. The point was writing. I enjoyed writing. I also liked interacting with a handful of you in the comments. Eventually, these funny people called “editors” started to contact me about writing for money. Of course, I also cold-pitched hard, spreading a wide net. But that’s besides the point. I had the money and time to write at home for free for a few years, then started to get paid.

However, one thing is missing from that narrative. I’m also a man. Continue reading “Safe Spaces?” »

Scorched Earth “Hot Takes” Worthy of Diego Costa

Diego Costa. You hate him. You love him. You love him because some hate him. You hate him because others love him. He’s basically taken the mantle of “abrasive striker” left vacant by Luis Suarez at Liverpool. He scores goals, but is a colossal prick. You would not enjoy playing a game of soccer against him, unless of course you’re into the whole mosh-pit-meets-UFC thing.

Words have been written about Costa. Takes of various degrees of heat, some tepid, some lukewarm, others toasty, have made rounds around the internet. Yet if an image says a thousand words, then a GIF says about 5-10,000 words because it’s about 5-10 images. Thus, enjoy this long-form return to Listicle GIF form. Continue reading “Scorched Earth “Hot Takes” Worthy of Diego Costa” »