The Soccer Report: On The State Of American Soccer, And Why It Could Succeed This Time

July 26, 2007

 

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Brendan McCarthy is our existentialist soccer guy. So in honor of MLS Primetime Thursday, we’re giving him the platform since he’s better… equipped to handle this sort of thing.

Not too many things in sports frustrate me as much as the dismissal of soccer by the general public. Not steroids, not time outs in basketball, not Michael Vick and his side business.

In life, there’s always George W. to match any displeasure I might feel, but in sports, it’s different. Through time, I’ve come to terms with many of the emotions that arise whenever a Joe Schmoe condemns soccer with frivolous logic [Ed note: we don’t know what you’re talking about]. I’ve dealt with the anger, the befuddlement, and the disappointment because I realized that conversations (or lack thereof) neither change any opinions on the sport, nor do they affect the success of sport around the world. The ignorance only affected me and those like me in the United States. In a way, it resembles the utter helplessness a thinking person feels in this American political decade. We know the facts, we have the arguments, yet people just keep ignoring the truth.

But maybe the time has finally come. Maybe the country is finally ready to accept the original football. There is certainly much to be done, no arguing about that. Yet, is it not impossible to see the future of soccer in America as a sky’s the limit sort of deal? While America’s sporting world trips over itself, the young, adolescent MLS is becoming a man, and it is eager to prove its worth in the adult world of entertainment. And if it is, truly, then there is a bit to consider for how and why.

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The Moment You’ve All Been Waiting For

July 18, 2007

The image “https://i0.wp.com/www.metroactive.com/metro/12.28.05/gifs/quakes-0552.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Wait for it.

Wait for it.

Waiiiitttt …

The San Jose Earthquakes of the Major League Soccer, um, league will return to the Bay Area in 2008!

Unfortunately for you six Earthquakes fans (we kid, we kid), the reincarnation of the team will be an expansion team, not a return of the previous version, which is currently winning championships in Houston under the alias “Dynamo.”

As we are wont to do with most soccer issues, we consulted our resident soccer gazeteer/avid goal scorer Brendan McCarthy on the matter. Here’s what he had to say:

It will be difficult, as we don’t get back our championship team (see: Houston Dynamo), we have no stadium built yet, and the league has improved since our last go-around. But the Oakland A’s owner is driving it (good or bad?), and there is an interesting idea around that the team could “float” around the area playing in different venues for different type games, including Kezar for a small game, etc. I personally think it’s rad (yes i did) that an MLS team could play at Kezar one game and the Coliseum the next. Should build a bigger base for the franchise. Go Quakes!

There you have it. We must admit that there is no venue in the city that gives you that “old school San Francisco” feeling like Kezar. If only the Niners would play one game a season there. That would be fun.

Anyway, now that David Beckham is playing in LA, soccer will totally be popular by 2008.

Soccer aftershock: Quakes coming back [SFGate]


If Only Stephen Jackson Could Do This

July 13, 2007

Soccer has a lot going for itself. For example, we like any system that punishes crappy teams by demoting them to Triple-A. We also enjoy the red card and think it imperative that baseball, basketball and football incorporate it into their respective rulebook.

Maybe someday, people will play soccer in America.

[via The FanHouse]


The Soccer Post: United States Can Only Defeat Central America Economically

March 29, 2007

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Soccer gazetteer Brendan McCarthy is an avid fan, a prolific goal scorer in his recreational semi-pro league and an all-around metahuman. Residing in “Texas,” he continues to follow the game he loves (along with about seventy gabillion other people). Brendan will share his thoughts about fútbol on a regular basis here at Say Hey. His words follow.

U.S. 0 Guatemala 0

You know what really upset me about this game? Guatemala. From their line-up to their play to their demeanor, the Guatemalan desired outcome was a nil-nil draw from the moment they boarded their plane in Guatemala City (clever name). If truly that is the case, then we might as well say, “Guatemala wins!!!” But wait, this was not the opening match of the Gold Cup in June, nor was it a part of World Cup qualifying. No, it was just a friendly; a meaningless game played to learn more about a country’s players and abilities and an opponent’s players and abilities. So, naturally, the Central Americans guarded the goal with nearly all eleven players in the oh-so-classic 4-5-1 formation. The one man up front, Carlos Ruiz, in between falling down and grabbing appendages, heroically carried the offense against the North Americans with maybe two shots from 30 yards out.

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The Soccer Post: Just In Case You Missed The National Team’s Impressive Win Against The Ecuadorians …

March 27, 2007

soccer.jpgSoccer gazetteer Brendan McCarthy is an avid fan, a prolific goal scorer in his recreational semi-pro league and an all-around metahuman. Residing in “Texas,” he continues to follow the game he loves (along with about seventy gabillion other people). Brendan will share his thoughts about fútbol on a weekly basis here at Say Hey. His words follow.

I am sure you were wide awake well before the 12 p.m. ET kickoff time—applying the stars and stripes over a bowl of Cheerios and/or trying out your fresh, new blue Nike fits, preparing for the most sublime day of days: U.S. Soccer Sunday. So, needless to say, you are very aware of what a tremendous display the young men of United States Soccer put on for you and me against Ecuador. But just in case … just in case, let me walk you through the most meaningful meaningless game so far on the fledgling road to 2010 South Africa.

The score first: 21-7 United States. 21-7? How is that possible? Well, in a new twist to make soccer more interesting to the American public, goals are now worth 7 points. Want more high scoring games? Fake it like American football! … Just kidding, of course. But the real score, 3-1, was absolutely high enough for those who stumbled upon ESPN2 on Sunday. Forty-five seconds into the game, Landon Donovan ripped a left-footed shot into the back right of the net. ‘Twas a stunning opening to a competitive game. It could have turned out so differently; another boring opening 50 minutes of little shooting and mistimed passing—Landon passing up opportunity after opportunity, frustrating fan after fan. Instead, the newly-married Donovan seemed to rise to the occasion of his captaincy, proving that when he is ON, he is the best player on the field.

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El Informe Del Fútbol: They Just Don’t Make English Goalkeepers Like They Used To

March 19, 2007

In this week’s Premiership action, Manchester United and Chelsea continued to occupy the league’s top two spots by a healthy margin. After that, it’s a dogfight between several teams, including Tottenham, who had the goal of the month thus far. Is it any wonder that Watford is firmly entrenched in the Premiership cellar? Suffice to say, plays like this will not allow you to escape the doldrums of last place.

Today’s most popular video on all of The YouTubes, post-jump.

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El Informe Del Fútbol: Your Italian League State of Affairs

March 15, 2007

soccer_player_italy.jpegIn Serie A, the race for the four Champions League berths is heating up. Inter Milan (currenly dominating and our favorite) and Roma are ensconced in the top places, but only six points separate third-place Lazio and sixth-place AC Milan. The Cinderella team is Fiorentina however. They lie in seventh place–still in striking distance–but the real story is how they overcome a 15-point penalty in the aftermath of the match-fixing scandal. Fans and experts alike initially thought that the penalty would be insurmountable and would land the Florence-based team in Serie B.

On a related note, wouldn’t it be fun if poor finishes relagated all teams to a shittier league? We think it would make things pretty interesting if those high-spending, underachieving big-city teams (Knicks, Celtics, Cubs, our Giants, etc) had to avoid demotion. Well, I guess we kinda have our own version here. Go Niners?

Fiorentina aim to push European bid [Soccernet]