SoccErotica: Peeping Tom Busqy Edition

Oh, hello again dearest readers. If you recall from the last edition in this series, there’s nothing sexier online than writing in the second person. Wait, what’s that you say? Hmmm. Adolescent vampires in high school? Well, yes, I suppose with the right facial structure, they could be sexier than the second person in online writing. Sorry, come again? Ummmm, well, sure, listicles of images of shirtless soccer players may be some people’s cup of joe I guess. I concede both those concepts may be erotic for some. However, I am about to write some soccerotica second person for the entire world.

You see, during last Saturday’s Clasico, people missed something. Something big. Your eyes filled with pleasure, but you didn’t know why. As SoccerErotica (TM) poet laureate, I will now put your feelings into the neatest of words, the finest of sentences, the paragraphiest of paragraphs. And our journey begins (and ends) with Sergio Busquets. Continue reading “SoccErotica: Peeping Tom Busqy Edition” »

An Open Letter on Sports and Truth

You follow soccer and only occasionally catch the odd American throwball (“football”) game, but you know this happened thanks to your Twitter timeline: Cam Newton celebrated during a game by dancing. Shortly thereafter, a mother complained in an open letter that she could not explain to her children what had just happened.

This lady is so lucky she does not watch soccer. Continue reading “An Open Letter on Sports and Truth” »

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!” »

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” »

Making the Anglo Cup Work

The Commissioner for MLS has floated an idea: MLS and EPL clubs regularly play one another in a so-called “Anglo Cup.” Of course, teams from these two leagues regularly play each other in friendlies. However, the Don would like to solidify the relationship. The general idea is some sort of tournament, akin to the Emirates Cup but 10% more (or less) creditable.

As a baseline, dear reader, I know you are cynical. Also, the proposal also lacks detail. However, I looked past my doubts and thought of a way to make it work. Continue reading “Making the Anglo Cup Work” »

Soccer Jam

The year is 2004. Zinedine Zidane has just announced his retirement from Les Bleus¬†and international football. Instead, he wants to focus on his club career at Real Madrid and also try to play professional ping pong, which was his dad’s greatest dream for him. Sadly, though, Zizou’s serve lacks the spin and precision for him to advance past the semifinals at any of the major pro ping pong (PPP) tournaments.

At the same time, trouble brews in the galaxy. An Intergalactic Amusement Park complete with non-rolling coasters and wheels not  named after Ferris Bueler is having serious attendance problems. The place is named Seven Flags after some famous clone-ware related battle and resulting truce, but nobody can remember the exact details. All they know is that attendance has dropped precipitously. Even with 20% discounts on season passes and free meals (chicken tenders and fries) for kids ages 6-10 on Tuesdays, folks fail to turn up.

Thus, the nefarious Seven Flags CEO, Mr. HammSwindler, devises a dastardly plot: he sends his minions, the PotLucks, to Earth. Continue reading “Soccer Jam” »

The Most Sincere Manchester United Story this Transfer Window

This past summer, Real Madrid fans were dumbstruck when Sergio Ramos said he wanted to play for Manchester United. At least the stupid ones were. You see, Sergio Ramos was in the middle of contract negotiations with Florentino Perez. Sergio has won every trophy imaginable, but here’s the dilemma: he is very close to 30 and in a few years may lose his pace. From the club’s perspective, a long-term deal and a pay raise were not warranted because his future production will probably decline. From the player’s perspective, his peak years are 28-32 and he has been a loyal (and successful) servant.

Thus, Sergio went public and said he wanted a move to Manchester United. Predictably, no such move materialized and instead he got a beefy new contract. Continue reading “The Most Sincere Manchester United Story this Transfer Window” »

Tactics Talk: Pellegrini’s Positional Dilemma for Sterling

What is it about City? Andy Johnson. Shaun Wright-Phillips. Jimmy Milner. The Eastlands is where promising English wingers go to collect paychecks and place their development in stasis. Still, hope, or rather “self-delusion”, springs eternal. This past summer Raheem Sterling raised a fuss, called in sick, and forced his move to Manchester City. Still, key questions remain unanswered.

For a player who has never scored more than ten goals in a season, City paid over thirty million pounds. That’s a hefty price tag. Can Sterling live up to it? Unlike Johnson, SWP, and Milner, Sterling has at least performed pretty well for England and shown a great soccer brain to match his dazzling speed. Still, a lot will depend on Chilsean coach Manuel Pellegrini. We are to ask and analyze: where will Raheem fit in at Pellegrini’s 4-2-2-2? Continue reading “Tactics Talk: Pellegrini’s Positional Dilemma for Sterling” »

Power Ranking & Journo Grades for Quintessential American Essays on “How to Pick Your EPL Club”

One of the beauties of covering the same sport for several years is learning to read the subtle changes in the tides of said sport. Indisputably, July is normally low tide for footy. Gold Cups are played. Rich English clubs go on preseason tours in America and Asia, where said clubs field reserve teams for entire halves and charge you over $50 for parking.

Then, after Mexico wins the Gold Cup final, we enter August, high tide. Previews proliferate. Predictions are predicted. Games get played. Most importantly, lots of American sports columnists invite you, the American and therefore assuredly “novice” soccer fan, to choose and root for an English Premier League Club.

Frustratingly, this mass of articles lacks a single, simple formula. Thus, using a secret algorithm I gleaned from reading dozens of player grade and power ranking “articles”, I have put this together. Enjoy. Continue reading “Power Ranking & Journo Grades for Quintessential American Essays on “How to Pick Your EPL Club”” »