Tag Archives: soccer

Yedlin Brooks Bedoya

The US National Soccer team will fail in Brazil. That is our prediction and we believe that they will not so much fail but fail fairly miserably without aplomb, or even verve. It doesn’t really matter anyway because we’re all grown men watching a child’s game but it’s fun and we like to watch it and make predictions. Sure, we will even spend thousands of dollars on plane tickets and Cachaça and travel to distant lands for it so it must matter a little bit, right? The DJ reminds us that we still must live our lives with just a little passion, for what else is the point?

We’re all Americans here for the most part and as such we enjoy cheering for our countrymen. I’m sure people cheer for Brazil in Brazil and for Spain in Spain, for Italy in Italy, for les Bleus in France. The US National team will be painful to watch this summer, indeed they have been excruciatingly painful to watch for a really long time. As horrible as the 1994 US National Team was it is forever seared into memory as the most entertaining American team to ever take the pitch, a colorful cast of oddballs and amateurs bumbling their way to the knock-out stage with personality and luck. Leonardo fractured Tab Ramos’ skull and US Soccer has never been the same.

With the exclusion of Landon Donovan, the 2014 US National Team World Cup roster is virtually unrecognizable. Who the fuck are these guys? Sure, we recognize a few names. Clinton Dempsey comes to mind. Timothy Howard. We’re even familiar with the goal-scoring journeyman Christopher Wondowloski. At a stretch, we can recall a quality cross made by Mix Diskerud. But who the fuck is Alejandro Bedoya? DeAndre Yedlin? John Brooks?

Landon Donovan is an easy cat to hate, what with his constant whining and what-not, but the fact remains that he is the most recognizable American soccer player of all time. We remember Tab Ramos, but no one else does. And for all of his so-Cal douchiness Donovan was the most entertaining and productive American player to watch over the past decade and perhaps ever. For the all the chat about Lando Donrisian having lost a step or two, remember that speed does not a great player make and that young Landon, now old Landon, has grown and matured into a very, very good soccer player. The same cannot be said for so-called better players, once hailed as prodigies, who fizzle out too soon. 

Watch Donovan’s pass at 3:54. A perfectly weighted, delectable one time touch pass which completely destroys the Costa Rican defense. It looks painfully simple and to the unappreciative eye  is just a forgettable blip which comes before Brek Shea’s awful, sloppy finish, but the truth is that few players have the ability to make a pass like that; for it is not just the pass itself but the drawing of the defenders away from the streaking Shea, the hitting of the ball one time on the half volley at the just right time, and the sheer accuracy of the pass which defines Donovan the player of today, how good he is, and how much he has grown as a player. With the exception of maybe Bradley, there is no one else on the US team that can make a pass like that. And indeed, it is likely Bradley who will captain the ship come June; and while we support him in his captaincy, there is no mistaking who is really behind the wheel.

 

Football is Serious Business: Scenes from the Superclásico

These people are animals…

Back, going back again to a time and a place far far away where an appearance at the superclásico was just a glimmer in the lazy eye of a thick-haired young manchild summer dreamin’ in his apartment on the beach watchin’ classic soccer games on VHS tapes from 70’s and 80’s …

But this was back when Boca vs. River meant something.

Back when Argentine football was near its zenith.

…back in the day when a lone gaucho might carry a football in his saddlebags along with the classics..

Scenes from the Superclásico: Fast forward a bit to the present. Although glimmers remain, the football is no longer with us, having been jettisoned somewhere in middle america during the exodus from the east…as the apartment floats somewhere off in the Atlantic never to be seen again.

River vs. Boca now and at the hour of chaos: Epic scenes indeed from inside the Monumental as we’re squeezed into a moshpit of filthy Millionarios and we can only celebrate inside as Boca comes from behind to tie the match in its dying moments.

A sea of swirling humanity. Smoke bombs and fireworks. No beer, but everyone is getting high. It’s a party y’all, but you get the feeling that shit could get real bad, real quick. Lots and lots of neck tattoos and one remembers that we are defenseless, our belt having been confiscated at the gate and pants held up by only the flimsiest piece of twine

Boca Pig and the Soccer Mafia: Those not in the know should take note that large swaths of Argentine football are controlled by the Barras, soccer hooligan thugs who deal in the seemy soccer underworld and operate more or less like mafia. I couldn’t get my belt in but the Barras from the plata managed to sneak a giant inflatable pig wearing a Boca jersey inside, and I guess helium bottles also to float it up in front of the Boca fans. No love lost however as the Boca boyz pummeled one of the Monumental security guards in a gaudy spectacle of revenge.

 

Bonus Track: No trip to BsAs would be complete without a visit to the footballing cathedral of La Bonbonera, seat of all Bocadom. Played out a week before, Boca vs. Estudiantes was an interesting prep for the meeting at the Monumental. Enjoy!

 

Less a God…

Back, going back in the wayback machine across the pampas the plains and through the mysts of time we remember the epoch of Maradona, the last great king of the pitch, and the indellible stamp his tiny little boots left on earth planet.

If Argentina should be associated with anything, anything at all, it should be Maradona.

We all know Che.

…Evita?

Somehow they survive the ages, the cult of personality that strong but in a perfect world aspiring dictators and wives of dictators fade away and only the artists remain.

Remember that Maradona never killed anybody.

 

 

Yet.

And so we celebrate the legend, but less the legend and more the truth preserved for all time on grainy television footage sourced from the last baktun.

A nod is given to Pele but little more as we celebrate the man as much as his pitch heroics. We appreciate the fact that Maradona was thrown out of the game for using cocaine, that he robbed England, that he robbed England and then referenced it comically in the press conference following the match, that he had gastric bypass surgery, that he is friends with Fidel Castro, and that he is 5’4″. We appreciate Maradona because he is the quintessential anti-hero, more person less  PR robot, and that he was the best at what he did for all time, even if that was the only thing he did best.

 

Maradona be praised

Footballing’s true King

But less a King

More a God.

But less a God.

More a Man

…but a God nonetheless.

In Maradona we trust.

Hasta la victoria.

Siempre.

Amen.

 

A full head taller, the lumbering Peter Shilton lazily attempts to punch the pelota but is outwitted by little Diego, a better player and, indeed, a better person.

…un poco con la cabeza de Maradona y otro poco con la mano de Dios.

Happy Birthday Dude

Soccer Tennis Anyone?

The worlds noblest sport has been resurrected once more. Dusting off their atrophied muscles and emerging into the sun from their dark dens of winter, hooligans Marlo Leelan Brown and Pipe Adams met at the famed Massapequa platform tennis courts to harken in the days of spring in a ritual of sport. Symbolizing Saturn, LuLu rotated on her axis and served as head referee.

Both Marlo’s and Pipe’s winter cobwebs were completely and totally evident, as both struggled to control the ball on the tiny platform tennis courts. Sweaty and out of breath, the number of games played reached only four, a far cry from the days of yore when the number of games played could easily reach fifty. A sad state of affairs no doubt, the boys both agreed, for the court must be too small. Not enough of a challenge, they said, and plans were etched to move the next round to a real life-size tennis court, next-time they meet of course. Since the Soccer Tennis Accords of 2008, the game has existed in it’s present form on the Massapequa courts and it is time for a change.

The rules are simple and as follows: Participants must serve on a half-volley. The ball may only bounce once after crossing the net. After fielding the ball, a player is allowed one additional bounce before the ball must be returned cross the net. Points may only be garnered on serves.

The American Soccer Tennis Association represents a corruption of the original teachings of the game as set forth by the hooligans many moons ago. The ASTA defiles the sport by introducing the concept of red cards and by wheeling aged former professional soccer players (cmon, Mauricio Cienfuegos? He has to be in his fucking fifties. Leave the game to the young bucks Thomas Dooley. The young bucks who are fast approaching their thirties. Regardless, our games are more entertaining than the ASTA’s hand-picked highlight reel. They possess NO off-colour banter (fuck red-cards). This is what the hooligans are fucking famous for! You’re not going to hear Luis Hernandez make a fucking Milan Kundera reference, trust me. Dude probably can’t even read.) onto grass cut tennis courts.

Whatever, nothing matters or exists anyway.

 

Where is Brady?