MLS has lived for less than two decades. While the recent wave of expansion has paid homage to US soccer’s NASL roots, trophies, stories, and anecdotes from that era have fallen into a black hole. They certainly are not to be seen as MLS soccer-specific stadia. Sporting KC’s stadium is lovely, but makes no mention of the KC Spurs (or their title). Thus, the short history of MLS lacks many of the intrigue and mystery a fan derives from, say, the Red Sox’s old (and now antiquated) “Curse of the Bambino.”
However, this last MLS cup was not all smiles, after parties, and Landon Donovan stubble sightings. Lurking in the shadows, tragedy struck. Continue reading “The Curse of the MLS Cup” »
Life isn’t always easy as your preferred niche blogger that spews sarcastic jokes about a multinational conglomerate that parades itself as a soccer playing entity. Sometimes, we get ahead of ourselves. Sometimes, we overreact. Sometimes, we suffer cerebral fatigue. Sometimes, instead of thinking about the game at hand, we ponder about mathematics and formulas and spend all night constructing an algorithm for Madrid winning La Liga based on a probable result between Rayo Vallecano and Levante.
Often, instead of addressing the team we face, we suffer thinking of the team behind us. Barcelona. Four points. Not ten points. Four. Six less. Less than half. Oh, and Atletico de Madrid. Continue reading “Real Madrid v. Atletico de Madrid – the Preview that Only Talks about Barcelona” »
Messi has won every possible tournament at his club, FC Barcelona. Argentina regularly produces world class soccer players that excel in Europe. Argentina has also won two World Cups. So, the question arises: why hasn’t the pulga lifted any trophies with the albiceleste?
Theories abound. Some claim that Messi relies on the midfield brilliance of Barcelona players Xavi and Iniesta. Others point to generational talent gaps in his national team. A decade ago, Argentina rode a wave of creative midfielders with Veron, Riquelme, and Aimar. Now, however, they feast on forwards like Tevez, Aguero, and Higuain. This lack of balance complicates team formations, especially since Ever Banega plays enganche about as well as he sets his parking brake. Some point to the long shadow of Diego Maradona. The pulga cannot escape the legacy of the pibe diez, they speculate.
All these theories are quaint. They are also wrong. Why? Because they are myopic. The soccer universe has constructed an elaborate lexicon and discourse to explain itself, yet this closed system chokes off alternative explanations. Messi, and Argentina, won’t win anything for the foreseeable future and it has nothing to do with soccer. Allow me to explain. Continue reading “Explaining Why Messi & Argentina May Never Win Again” »
For the last year’s Champions League quarterfinal, we speculated that Barcelona just may embody the spirit of a high school full of vampires. We were pretty close in the comparison and the prediction. Ultimately, despite solid Arsenal resistance, the Cules drove a stake through their hearts.
But the Clasico exceeds in self-appointed grandiosity any old run-of-the-mill Champions League quarterfinal clash. Thus, flash forward several months and add millions of dollars to the movie’s budget. Plot-wise, the vampires have since graduated from high school. They and their werewolf double agent allies have plotted to take over a small pioneer town by the name of Bernabo Bay. Only one thing can stop them: Cowboys. And one more thing: Aliens. And one last thing: Predator. Continue reading “Real Madrid v. Barcelona Preview: Vampires vs. Werewolves vs. Cowboys vs. Aliens vs. Predator” »
I will keep this short and sweet in the interest of time. FIRST and foremost, Xavi’s hair will look like an iguana. No, I don’t refer to that pet iguana you had in grade school that eventually died because you forgot to plug in the hot rock. No, I refer to some sort of wickedly cool animated iguana who wears a Hawaiian t-shirt, travels by skateboard, constantly gives the thumbs up, and endorses a variety of delicious fruit-tasting snacks which contain little to no fruit.
SECOND and also quite importantly, Dani Alves and Sergio Busquets will continue their perpetual audition for the Catalan tumbling team. Somewhere in the stands at the Nou Camp, a man in a trench coat and with a mischievously large mustache will write on a small notepad numerical scores for their respective tumbles. At the end of the night, only one of them will be selected for this elite honor. And the other will be heartbroken.
THIRD and also kinda important, Mourinho and Pep Guardiola will fool you into thinking that they shake hands. However, in reality, their hands will get super super close but not actually touch. It will be more of a close-to-touching-hand-vibration with more wobbling than actual shaking. Mourinho may also wear a special hand colored glove just to be safe. Continue reading “Barcelona vs. Real Madrid – the Predictions to Bet a House On” »
I will keep this short and sweet for today’s group matches. Benfica v. Lyon will be the most attractive match with wide open, attacking football. You will regret having missed it. Schalke will play Hapoel Tel Aviv. Despite having just read that last sentence, any consciousness you may have had of that game will immediately dissipate. Werder Bremen will play FC Twente at the Weserstadion, a name that inexplicably elicits chuckles each time you say it out loud to yourself. Harry Redknapp’s tactics will fail to get Spurs a result at home against Inter. Despite Peter Crouch’s brilliance. Bursaspor will show why they are the top Turkish team ending in the syllable “spor”, but play out a drab goalless draw with United. Maurice Edu will not score two goals in the Valencia-Rangers game. Barcelona will eek by FC Copehagen, and Rubin Kazan will briefly stop hacking chat-roulette to defeat Panathinaikos 1-0.
Whew. Almost ran out of breath.
So, in the spirit of WAATP shit look-a-likes, I stumbled upon a delightful feature film which I think sets the course for Jose Mourinho’s coaching career at Real Madrid. That film? Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining.” So grab a bag of fresh popcorn, tuck your kiddos safely into bed, and get ready to be terribly amazed. Continue reading “Mourinho’s Shining Talent Meets Madrid” »
Ahhh vacation, when the neurotic micromanage time into tiny tidbits not long enough to melt 24 hours into eternity. The American vacation, not necessarily synonymous with occupation of a foreign nation, usually revolves around “to do lists”, “guidebooks”, and breakneck walking as we try to see the Eiffel tower, the Mesquite de Cordoba, and the Coliseum all in one day. In sum, we need vacations from our vacation. And that time has come.
My original plans for this Premiership preview were quite simple – I would link to Brian who would link to Fredo. Last year, SIATS blew everybody’s collective mind by accurately predicting to the tenth degree every single Premiership fixture and 75% of the Cup thinger-ma-jigger-whatever(s). It was as if Nostradamus had broken the outer lens of the the Hubble telescope, turned it into a peace pipe, and graciously passed around some of that knowledge.
Alas, I am afraid it appears Bedorarrci has drugged the protagonist and I must carry Frodo to the promised land. With help from Kate Perry of course. So here you have it – a Premiership preview in terms of vapid pop songs that plagued the airwaves in the US of A. Or, alternatively, “how to improve mobility and decrease risk of cardiovascular illness your next stay-cation.” Vamos. Continue reading “Primping & Preening Premiership Preview” »
Despite the parakeet, the octopus, and an assortment of other animals, only one entity can accurately predict the World Cup final: Slovenian philosopher and critical theorist Slavoj Zizek. We had a quaint chat with the man to wax Marxism, the Lacanian real, and Mark Von Bommel.
What he had to say will probably only confuse you, unless of course you obtained a doctorate from the European School of Philosophy. But not the University of Chicago – everybody knows those hacks just say really big words. Ahem. Now onto the interview! Continue reading “Slavoj Zizek Predicts the World Cup Final” »
The typical suspects have overcome group stage difficulties to rise to the top. However, no smoking gun has appeared to point out the single culprit most likely to win the tournament. Using a really big magnifying glass, a trench coat, a smart talking sidekick, and intuition, we embarked on an investigation of the remaining teams in this World Cup quarterfinals, searching for clues in a sea of uncertainty. Our conclusion as to who will win the World Cup?
All signs point to…. Continue reading “World Cup Quarters – "& Then There Were 8"” »