Posts for soccer

You Watched and Maybe Even Enjoyed the World Cup – Now What?

Kevin Kinkead - July 16, 2018

The Monday after the World Cup final is when most casual fans stop giving a shit about soccer.

Eagles training camp is 10 days away, the Phillies are rolling into the home run derby and All-Star Game, and some people actually go outside and enjoy the summer weather.

But if you found the World Cup entertaining and want to see more of the sport, there are a few ways to keep the momentum going into the fall:

1. Watch the English Premier League

The EPL starts on August 10th, so you really only have a little more than three weeks until the world’s most popular domestic league kicks off.

The great thing about the prem is that it’s very accessible, with games taking place on Saturday and Sunday mornings and existing outside of the typical viewing windows in which we watch American sports. For example, if you’re a 40-year-old parent with two kids, you can get up at 9 a.m. on Saturday, make your kids pancakes, and flip on Arsenal vs. Liverpool at 10 a.m. That then takes you into college football at noon and carries you throughout the day. Same thing on Sunday, when you can watch the Premier League as a lead-in to a 1 p.m. Eagles game or NFL Red Zone.

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Sifting Through Bad Takes to Explain Why U.S. Soccer Failed

Kevin Kinkead - October 11, 2017

There’s a lot to parse after Tuesday night’s embarrassment but I’ll start with this: That team was not prepared to play and looked like it didn’t even give a shit.

I’ve never seen a more appalling display of effort in 27 years of watching United States soccer, and that was a constant theme throughout this debacle of a qualifying cycle.

That’s on head coach Bruce Arena, who was equally casual in his post game press conference, claiming that no drastic changes needed to be made after a country of 300,000,000 people was just eliminated from the World Cup by an island nation of 1.3 million.

He should be canned for that offensive nonchalance alone.

The next thing to do is fire U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati and move on from the aging veterans who no longer have a future on the national team. It’s a sad way to see the likes of Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard to go out, but the silver lining is that this pathetic charade is over and we can now focus on fixing the problems.

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Sports Betting Updates

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Five Reasons to Watch the United States Men’s National Team vs. Panama on Friday Night

Philip Keidel - October 6, 2017

“There are 17,380 hockey fans in Philadelphia,” the old joke used to go, “and they all go to every game.

It may have been true for hockey. It’s very true for Philadelphia soccer, where the Union rarely get that many fans to Talen Energy Stadium to begin with.

Soccer remains a hard sell here, and it’s especially hard to get people in this town to pay attention to the United States Men’s National Team, a haphazard conglomeration of players from Major League Soccer and a few from leagues abroad pulled together intermittently to represent our country.

Further dampening enthusiasm for the USMNT is the protracted mess that is CONCACAF’s hexagonal qualifying tournament for World Cup places. The USMNT’s first 2018 World Cup qualifier took place almost a year ago and they still have two more matches to go.

But seriously, listen… they’re really big matches, starting with Panama on Friday night.

“Why should I care, and why should I watch?” you ask.

Here are five reasons:

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A Discussion with NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz on His Union Past and Lacrosse Future

Kevin Kinkead - September 19, 2017

Nick Sakiewicz never left town, he just changed jobs.

The former Philadelphia Union executive resurfaced as National Lacrosse League Commissioner last January following 21 seasons in Major League Soccer.

That was three months after his split with Union majority owner and principal investor Jay Sugarman. The pair brought soccer to Philadelphia in 2008, but parted ways at the end of 2015 when their relationship became strained following years of on-field struggles and disagreement on how to move the franchise forward.

For some of that time, Sakiewicz was seen as public enemy number one in Chester, a CEO and Operating Partner who became the face of an underachieving club. In fairness, that was something he never really disputed.

“Someone has to answer and take the heat, I guess,” he told the Delco Times a few months back.

To that point, I viewed Nick as a person who covered for Sugarman’s shortcomings by repeatedly falling on the sword. There was never a doubt that Sakiewicz was a smart businessman, but a lack of resources stunted early Union gains and quickly brought an end to the club’s honeymoon period. Whether he helped his cause or not, most people realized that this was a thrifty franchise with a young coach, no scouting department, and no general manager.

But those days are long gone, and Sakiewicz is now building a new foundation for the NLL.

Attendance is up and expansion is underway. There seems to be stability and foresight for a league that has existed for quite a while now, but for most of that time just spinning its wheels. In many ways, Sakiewicz’s experiences with a rapidly growing MLS made him an ideal candidate to oversee the growth of another niche sport with similar upside.

I ran into Sakiewicz for the first time in two years at last Thursday’s NLL Philadelphia expansion announcement. He agreed to speak further about his lacrosse gig and Union departure, and we followed up on the phone this week. Continue Reading

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This Prank a Turkish Soccer Fan’s Girlfriend Played on Him Is My Greatest Fear

Kyle Scott - June 17, 2016

I know we’re a day or so late on this, but this is one of the funniest things I’ve seen, even if it’s fake as shit. This is my greatest fear, the TV going out during a crucial moment in a big sporting event. As I’ve said before, this is one of the main reasons why I haven’t cut the cord. If my feed had gone out during the final seconds of the National Championship Game, I would’ve, no joke, suffered irreparable harm to my mental well-being. Cable, still, is most reliable, but there’s nothing we can do, as a society, to protect against this. You can take all safeguards – backup stream, sports bar, Sling TV emergency backup from a friend – but if your power goes out, a cell tower goes down, or the sports bar you’re at didn’t bother to pay its waiters tips and they revolt and rip the cord out at the big moment, you’re SOL. For real, imagine Brad Lidge delivering the 0-2 and then your TV cutting to color bars or some shit. What would you do? How would you go on knowing that you missed the clinching moment of the only sports championship in 30 years? Do you just shut it down as a sports fan after that? Heartbreak even in glory? I don’t know. I don’t want to think about it. So, I feel for the Turkish guy… even if he didn’t miss anything. Turkey lost to Croatia, 1-0.

Mexico’s Head Coach May Have Punched a Journalist at Philly International Airport Today

Jim Adair - July 27, 2015

saiyan

Would you mess with this dude?

According to Mexican journalist David Medrano, Mexican national team head coach Miguel Herrera punched TV Azteca’s Christian Martinoli in the neck at the airport today and challenged him to a fight. Mexico was headed back home after winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup over Jamaica at Lincoln Financial Field yesterday, but that doesn’t mean Herrera was cheery. As Goal.com writes, Martinoli had been critical of Herrera during the team’s Gold Cup run, and “he ran into the Mexico national team when he got past security at the airport.” Once around the team, he says Herrera punched him in the neck and another source said that “Herrera told Martinoli they should leave the terminal and head to the street to ‘fix this like it should be fixed.'”

After every big international event, especially those in which the U.S. does well, the question is always “Is soccer becoming more popular in the United States?” I don’t know the answer to that, but if there were more airport neck-punchings, I’d certainly pay more attention.

Fußball Friday: Transfer rumors, making fun of Tottenham, and Rademal Falcao

Kyle - June 6, 2015

Crosswalk

This post is part of The Crosswalk, Crossing Broad’s reader submitted section. While checked for basic quality and readability, it is not edited by Crossing Broad, and all opinions expressed are those of the author, for better or worse. If you’re interested in having your work appear on Crossing Broad, fill out the short sign up form here.

Hi, my name is Doug, and I used to hate soccer.

I imagine that sounding like your run-of-the-mill A.A. group that meets every Tuesday night in the church basement.

Anyway, after the World Cup last year I have become completely hooked on ‘futbol’. Now, I am a card scarf-carrying Arsenal fan.

You may remember Kyle’s English Premiere League primer from 2013. If you don’t, go read that now. I’ll wait.

Good, now that we are down with the same JARGON, let’s get into why we’re here: the EPL season has ended and Chelsea has won the league (gross). However, in nary a month the transfer window will swing wide open, allowing all the teams across the world to throw Chris Christie-size piles of money at each other for their players. Continue Reading

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Team America: World Police Just Brought Down FIFA

Kyle Scott - May 27, 2015

Voila_Capture 2015-05-27_08-33-21_AM

GODDAMMIT! FIRE UP THE LEE GREENWOOD— THE UNITED STATES JUST TOOK DOWN FIFA, EMBARRASSED PUTIN, AND BROUGHT ALONG THE FREE PRESS TO DOCUMENT THE WHOLE DAMN THING. SOMETIMES I’M PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN, BECAUSE AT LEAST I KNOW I’M FREE.

From The Daily Beast, which will help you wave the flag this morning:

In dawn raids on a five-star hotel in Switzerland on Wednesday, several of the sport’s most powerful executives, including FIFA’s vice president, were placed under arrest. This follows lengthy corruption investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States will ask the Swiss government to extradite the six FIFA executives. Further arrests are expected.

Despite hosting the World Cup in 1994, the U.S. has always been seen as an outsider in a sport that is the undisputed number one crowd pleaser in most other countries.  Wednesday’s arrests, however, cast the United States as a central player in a dramatic intervention that has turned the entire soccer world upside down. Billions of dollars in advertising and television rights controlled by FIFA could be at stake, and there is even a chance that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin could face the humiliation of losing the 2018 World Cup. Steamy, tiny, too-rich little Qatar may also be forced to give up its implausible claim on the event in 2022.

What’s more, is that they brought along reporters and photographers from the New York Times to document to whole thing. Top lieutenants, but not President and chief evildoer Sepp Blatter, were detained, peacefully (they were allowed to bring their FIFA logo-bearing luggage), covered in white sheets so as to avoid the invited(!) press, and questioned by Swiss authorities, who are working on that whole extradition-to-the-United-States thing. Officials also raided a CONCACAF office in Miami.

How, on Earth, does the US have jurisdiction anwywhere on Earth? The NYT ‘splains dat:

United States law gives the Justice Department wide authority to bring cases against foreign nationals living abroad, an authority that prosecutors have used repeatedly in international terrorism cases. Those cases can hinge on the slightest connection to the United States, like the use of an American bank or Internet service provider.

Switzerland’s treaty with the United States is unusual in that it gives Swiss authorities the power to refuse extradition for tax crimes, but on matters of general criminal law, the Swiss have agreed to turn people over for prosecution in American courts.

You can see the list of the 14 officials indicted here. As you make your way down, they look increasingly like unsavory creatures far from far-flung galaxies in Star Wars, but especially this guy– Rafael Esquivel, who may harvest baby organs during his leisure time:

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But the best part in all of this is that besides taking down top FIFA officials and embarrassing Putin, the United States may wind up landing one of the two World Cups now in limbo. FIFA had been considering the US as a backup if the 2022 World Cup in Qatar got nixed – President Clinton, representing the US, was seated in the second row when the announcement of the winning bid was made in 2010, telling you all you need to know about the shady cats in the first row  – and Philadelphia was on the list of potential host cities, though the officials not currently being interrogated say they have no plans to put things up for a re-vote. We’ll see.

In case you’re not aware, FIFA has long been accused of accepting bribes, corruption, money laundering, and other general insidiousness over the years. The definitive guide to their corruption – as is the case with most injustices – is John Oliver’s take on Last Week Tonight last year: Continue Reading

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