“Now it’s about working towards citizenship and, hopefully after that, playing for the national team.”
“Now it’s about working towards citizenship and, hopefully after that, playing for the national team.”
NBC’s coverage of the Premiere League has been excellent so far this new season, and today’s Super Sunday September 1st Bonanza could not have been better timed. Fresh off of College Football’s first Saturday, American sports fans were primed for more on-the-field action Sunday morning. With the NFL not kicking off for one more week, the NW England and North London derby match-ups slotted in as cheekily as Daniel Sturridge’s goal against United. Furthermore, there are hardly 4 teams with larger US support than the 4 that performed today.
NBC’s EPL coverage has been really spectacular thus far, with the in-studio portions linking all the live coverage as smoothly as Arsenal’s link-up play leading up to Oliver Giroud’s winner against Spurs, and the thorough Match of the Day recap nicely allowing all Arsenal and Liverpool fans to languish in their team’s success well into the evening.
The popularity of Soccer is growing in the United States. I remember roping all my American friends into watching the World Cup in 2006 on my new, state-of-the-art HDTV, being grateful that I had access to every match of the tournament. Now, not only can I watch every single match of each EPL round, the scores from the top leagues are given the same prominence on ESPN’s bottom ticker as “Popular Tim Tebow’s” release from the Patriots. NBC’s coverage of the EPL is leading the sport in the right direction. Even the MLS is getting some snazzy new spots which will hopefully help lift all ships with the rising tide. I for one am one fan who counts himself lucky.
They are logoless. They are homeless. But they sure has hell ain’t moneyless.
Welcome, New York City FC. The freshly announced expansion club set to join MLS as it’s 20th team in 2015.
Conceived by newlywed sporting giants Manchester City FC and the New York Yankees, New York City FC was birthed this very morning, a procedure facilitated by Commissioner Don Garber. Imagine him, little medical cap, surgical mask taut across his face hiding his biggest-ever grin as he cut the umbilical cord to his latest and greatest genetically modified soccer baby, lifted it to the sky for all the soccer animal kingdom to see, as MLS nurses belted the chorus of “Circle of Life.” What a scene.
Wait, that may sound a bit negative, but this is too huge to really get pessimistic quite yet. This is the league’s biggest stride yet in trying to reach what some call, “the big time”. If the MLS wants to be one of the top soccer leagues in the world in the next 10 years, this is a vital step.
However, despite it’s single entity business model, MLS has long strived to facilitate the existence of its own “superclubs”, like the world’s biggest leagues enjoy, behind it’s own curtains. For NYCFC, a future superclub, it really couldn’t have arranged better parents for. Oil-blooded Man City and the f*cking Yankees. Two of the biggest, richest brands in world sport have invested in a soccer team in a league where salary caps and revenue sharing exist to cultivate competitiveness and equal growth in a socialist sporting atmosphere. So yes, people are skeptical. Skeptical of the loopholes and advantages they may give to their new blonde haired, blue eyed preciousness. Kind of like they did for LA and Goldenballs. It’s a risk MLS is taking. But love it or hate it, one probably worth taking.
As for the stadium, Queens is still the preferred location for an SSS, but plans are still in the works. An interim venue will be chosen to host them in 2015. Where? Who knows, but a poorly chosen home for their debut season would be catastrophic.
As for the logo, many have already jumped on NYCFC’s assumed branding. Sky blue and white, Man City font. It’s all a bit too obvious. Should we also expect pinstripe kits? Rightly so, a true fanbase will want original branding that captures the identity of urban NYC. Not a regurgitation of ‘American Man City’. That’s not a good way to get Man United, Liverpool, Arsenal, or, screw it, supporter’s of any other PL club to adopt your club.
Some words from NYCFC’s proud new parents:
“We are pleased to be associated with this major move by MLS to increase its presence in the New York market and to enhance the opportunity for New York soccer fans to enjoy high-level play in their own city,” gurgled the Hal Steinbrenner.
“We are thrilled to contribute to the energy and growth of New York City Soccer. In the Yankees, we have found the absolute best partner for developing a world-class sports organization and a winning team that will carry the New York City Football Club name with pride,” Ferran Soriano, Man City CEO, said while trying to contain himself as Steinbrenner pinched his butt.
Lastly, you may be thinking, “What the hell happen to the Cosmos?” Well once the iconic NY club decided to join the second-tier NASL in December, that pretty much ticked Garber and MLS suits right off. But don’t worry, you didn’t buy that hip Cosmos track jacket for nothing. You can catch them this August when they kickoff their NASL campaign at Hofstra University.
So Cosmos to MLS is dead. NYCFC is alive, goo-gooing and ga-gaing on its first day of a pampered existence. What do you think?
Many fans of the United States men’s national team already read the news. Players are unhappy, and the situation in the American locker room likely reached its boiling point.
An article by Sporting News writer Brian Strauss outlined the major rifts between USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann, several players and other influential members of the side.
Wowzers, what a lovely hat-trick from the little Bradley Cooper look-a-like. Rarely given the option to play up-top, the lad seems to score a decent amount of goals when he does. At 28, he’s no spring chicken but he could certainly still impact the US National Team for the better. He’s creative, he’s extremely athletic, he’s fit and he’s versatile. Raise you hand if you think he’d make a fantastic spark plug from the bench for Jurgen and Co.
The desire of MLS big-whigs to place another franchise in the New York City mega-market has been an open secret. They’ve been both coy and open about the idea, playing the political middle-ground. On one hand, they desperately want the Cosmos brand back in the world’s biggest city and on the other, they don’t want to alienate the likes of Orland, Miami, and Atlanta who are serious contenders for expansion teams. In comments made yesterday during his annual state of the league address, the commissioner, Don Garber, finally offered a concrete time-table for the Cosmos to make progress on a new stadium and future integration into the MLS. About the possibility of a deal being struck to build a stadium in Queens, Garber was frank:
“If we’re not successful we’ll throw our hands up, and it’ll be far sooner than three years we throw our hands up… then we’d take a step back and see if there’s another market. Three years is too long. I don’t want to put a year limit on it. But if it’s not making progress, the time will come. There’s a lot of activity in other markets.”
He did note that it was worth the tough battle and challenge because, well, it’s New York. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also the most prestigious club brand in North American soccer history that the MLS wants to rejuvenate. So is there any way the league would actually be prepared to move on if this project needs four or even five years to take off? The rumors of a new stadium in Orlando are attractive, but not as attractive as the names the Cosmos have brought into the front office: Pele, Eric Cantona, Shep Messing, Cobi Jones and Carlos Alberto.
Perhaps Garber is a little annoyed, evident by the comments he made about the Cosmos joining the NASL:
“They had a choice to make, vie for an MLS New York City team or go into the second division,” he said about the Cosmos. “They decided to go into the second division.”
It’s hard to know what has been said or done behind closed doors. What we do know is that the city of New York has so far been unwilling to provide funding for a new stadium, leaving the league to foot the bill almost entirely. Keeping that in mind, this seems like more smoke and mirrors from Garber rather than an actual ultimatum. Even so, it could be a kick in the Cosmos backside that may result in them being more aggressive about making a Belmont Park (video above) or Corona Park ground a reality.
Do you believe Garber’s ultimatum? Do you think he’s blowing smoke? Have your say below.
On Saturday the New York Red Bulls once again failed to get a victory at Gillette Stadium against the New England Revolution.
When Darius Barnes headed in a cross past RBNY goalkeeper Bill Gaudette and into the back of the net well after the four minutes of injury-time had already been eclipsed it tied the score at one and increased the Red Bulls franchise winless streak in Foxboro. The last time the franchise won at Gillette Stadium, in either the regular season or the playoffs, was June 29, 2002.
What was going on around that time?
Philadelphia had a pretty strong soccer fan base before it was granted an MLS team, namely with the Sons of Ben. Now the Philadelphia Union is in its third season in the league and Big Philly Fan wanted to show his appreciation.
In a video parody of The Wanted’s “Glad You Came” Big Philly Fan is incredibly “Glad Union Came”. H e sings, he dances, he made up lyrics and he knows all of the guys on the Union’s roster.
He may not be Fred Astaire but his praise of Freddy Adu and the rest of the team is positive for MLS and fan relations. At least he cares and is proud to show it. Good for him.
We’ve all wondered what it would be like to hang out and have a drink at a bar with our favorite players. We always envision our heroes to be cool dudes that want to spend time with us.
Well some Vancouver Whitecaps fans got just that when they ran into captain Jay DeMerit at a pub in Portland after a 2-1 loss to the rival Timbers.
A USA Today article says that a group of 25 fans, called the Handbags, were at a pub drinking away their sorrows after the game when DeMerit walked in. Even though DeMerit and his team had just lost, he stayed with the fans, chatted with them and sang some songs too.
Not only did he hang out with them, but he even footed the tab.
Here’s a belly laugher for ya. In the closing moments of Wednesday night’s club friendly between Stoke City and Sporting KC at Livestrong Park, the Potters saw a coveted preseason victory disappear with a fortuitous header by KC defender Kyle Miller in extra time. A most memorable first career goal if I’ve ever seen one. Better take what you can get, hoss.
It was certainly a more exciting goal than the match’s first, an 81st minute penalty kick by Michael Tonge. Hey, when you host Stoke City for a friendly, you best expect a snoozefest.
H/T – Deadspin