The Best Last Names in the EPL

What’s in a name? Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet, as Shakespeare asked? Maybe. But maybe not. Names and words and language are important. They give structure to our thoughts, dreams, hopes, and values. When you learn to speak a second language and start to dream in it, you can float about and feel emancipated. A whole new world opens up for you.

Which is why I wrote this post about last names. Because they matter. And there are some amazing ones in the EPL. Continue reading “The Best Last Names in the EPL” »

What does your pathological dislike of Jurgen Klinsmann say about you?

Hating Jurgen Klinsmann is so common, it’s passe. A GenXer columnist would write “it’s jumped the shark” and millenials would mock that columnist just for writing that trite expression. Even fedora-wearing creative types in Williamsburg have gotten over the Jurgen hate. Still, your hate fascinates me for different reasons: not because it is novel, or even very logical – it’s not. Rather, all hatred comes in different shapes and sizes, flavors and forms. And, simply put, I love variety (and haters).

Thus, I have used painstaking, peer-reviewed research (NOOOT) to create a guide to US fans based on how/why they hate Jurgen. Continue reading “What does your pathological dislike of Jurgen Klinsmann say about you?” »

Gawking About

As a blogger born and bred in the roaring 2000′s, I owe a tremendous debt to Gawker Dot Com. No, not in the dollars and cents sense. Rather, in a tailwind sense. Gawker Dot Com, for me, will always stand for two principles: (1) Cynical, at times caustic, observation and (2) Fearless journalism.

What’s so remarkable about Gawker is how neither of those principles is either new or revolutionary. Allow me to elucidate. Continue reading “Gawking About” »

Some Quick Soccer Lynx

Friends, countrymen, countrywomen, and elders – I know this summer has been a rough one. The summer tournaments came fast and hard. The Pogba transfer captured all our hearts and imagination. We crossed our fingers, held our collective breath, and dared to ask: why would anyone kidnap the Lindberg baby? Why haven’t they found Amelia Earheart yet? And why on Earth does it now cost a whole dime to ride the doodlebug into town?

Rest assured, fans of my writing, I have not been idle: rather I have been lurking, scheming, plotting, idling. Well, not the last one. Maybe a little bit. Still I have found some time to create content, so enjoy it. Continue reading “Some Quick Soccer Lynx” »

Posted in MLS

The Re-Education or Miseducation of Pep Guardiola?

Pizza. Pizza was the key. For all the smart and well thought-out words about Leicester City’s run to an unlikely EPL title, only one fact was undeniable: Italian manager Claudio Ranieri treated his players to pizza parties. If the team got a clean sheet, then Ranieri would take his players to Peter Pizzeria – and he obliged them to make their own pizza.

The EPL is a cruel, intense dog-eat-dog world, and a place where only player-eats-pizza tactics can work. The strong devour the weak, along with some pasta and plenty of Olive oil.

So how come nobody told Pep Guardiola? Continue reading “The Re-Education or Miseducation of Pep Guardiola?” »

Hungover Dispatches from Htown: Messi Walks on Water Edition

Futfanatico is closed for the summer as per usual. In fact, the only editor is not even in the United States of America: how dare him! Thus, this random dispatch from GonzoBro is even less edited and less relevant than ever, yet we need pageviews so here goes.


“On assignment” means one thing to baller freelancers like me: watching adult films on the company dime late at night while staying in some roach-infested Howard Johnson motel in the crummy neighborhood of a somewhat major metropolitan area. That fact may creep you out, but honesty and fidelity to truth at all costs are the trademark of GonzoBra.

Every time you see a byline at The Guardian like “Tom Dart in Dallas“, I think: how many Debbie films did this guy catch between flights during his cursory three-hour stay at a Day’s Inn? “On assignment” means “on our” means stags will be stags roaming the wild and its always ever so much fun and glamorous and they don’t serve peanuts in coach anymore and you have zero space to rest your elbows but you are paid to travel hence travel is suddenly fun.

Yet this odd thing happened: Lionel Fucking Messi and the the Argentinian national team came to play a game vs. the US in my own backyard: Houston. On Assignment suddenly meant zero travel, just futbol. Of course, the codo mofos at Futfanatico couldn’t land me press credentials. Should I bother? Could I cook up some content to get paid to pay back a relative who stopped talking to me a few months ago?

The Heavens answered, shouted, cried out: HELL YEAH. SMy wife of all people insisted we attend the Argentina-US match…but not actually pay to enter the stadium. I had no clue what this bonita broad was cooking, but I lapped it up and was ready for whatever whenever. Continue reading “Hungover Dispatches from Htown: Messi Walks on Water Edition” »

Some Lighthearted Soccer Linkery

Friends, I am on a blogger break, remember? Me neither. Nevertheless, the capitalist freelancer in me has sold some prose to wonderful soccer content producers. You should visit their sites, turn off your AdBlock plus, and just download anything that shows up on your PC and/or enter your credit card numbers and any national personal ID number as well. Continue reading “Some Lighthearted Soccer Linkery” »

Requiem for a Team

When Florentino Perez hired Zinedine Zidane as manager, the prevailing narrative was simple: he had messed up the hiring of Rafa Benitez in the summer, and Zizou would play the part of the Di Stefano “player-coach” who filled in coaching gaps. Instead, he’s showed a touch of Del Bosque: a manager with a gift for managing egos and clear tactical ideas plus a bit of game-planning.

Which is why he will be fired much too soon by Real Madrid. Continue reading “Requiem for a Team” »

MLS, Liga MX, and Theory vs. Practice

Everybody wants to talk about TV viewership and make unflattering comparisons between MLS and any other league. As a fan of MLS, I know intimately well both the current challenges, the flaws of the league, and just how far the league has come in the last decade and how much more work is left to do. However, the people who paint Liga MX as some paradise and paradigm to follow are perhaps misguided.

Yes, a bit more flair and technical play in MLS would be fun. However, I honestly dislike split seasons and, in many ways, lots of general public interest and money prop up and gloss over the problems in Liga MX. And these are problems MLS should not ignore or try to replicate. Continue reading “MLS, Liga MX, and Theory vs. Practice” »

In the News and What Not…

I remind you that I am technically on a “blogger break“, but spoiled you with some cutting and amusing blog posts as an early summer treat.Thus, this is a link post when I usually hate link posts, but, hey, gotta spread that PageRank love before Facebook trending renders all this hard “work” obsolete.

To that end, VICE Sports published my reported feature that looked up close at the Olympic Stadium deal in London. Basically, it was bad (the deal, not my reporting), and, after a thorough examination, may be worse than reported. What’s funny for me is the fact-checking brigade: as someone who sent FOI requests to lots of places in London, I am well aware of the complex web of legal entities behind the stadium. I also aware that “London” can mean many different things because I hounded police departments all over that town/area/region/metropolis.

Basically, writing a reported feature for a savvy and sophisticated audience in London (the metropolitan area) and also general interest Americans is tough because we speak a similar language with nuanced differences. When I reported on the stadium scandal in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, I faced the same deal: lots of sub-municipalities and local governments were also involved, but I said “Monterrey” because the layreader will get it and I wanted my cousins to slide into my DMs and send me angry emails. Which they did. Continue reading “In the News and What Not…” »