blog

nick firchau

26 May 11:13 pm

Here's a look at the first two goals from the US national team's 5-1 romp over Scotland on Saturday night in Jacksonville, Fla. More to come thoughout the night, but also make sure to check out the recap and final stats here.

WATCH: Donovan puts US up early

WATCH: Bradley's half-volley from distance

WATCH: Donovan gets his second

WATCH: Donovan finishes his hat trick

WATCH: Jones completes the rout

13 April 7:12 pm

When he wants to be, Bruce Arena is one of the best quotes in Major League Soccer. He’s seen it all and said it all by now, but he somehow continues to throw out one-liners with a snarl or a Cheshire Cat grin that are some of the best in the league, again and again.

But Arena might have missed some of his audience with his latest line, doled out on Friday ahead of the team’s matchup against the Portland Timbers at the Home Depot Center.

Of course the questions in Galaxy camp are in the “do-or-die” vein these days, with LA reeling a bit and stuck at the bottom of the Western Conference. So when reporters expectedly asked the requisite “panic button” question, Arena went the rarely taken “Bay of Pigs” route with his answer.

“It’s like the president who’s got the black bag close, if you’ve got to send off the missiles and stuff, we’ve got it ready in case we have to do it too,” Arena said. “It’s time for us to start winning, no question about it. Is it the panic button? No, but we’ve got to win games.”

Not a bad metaphor, right? Oh wait, you have no idea what the “black bag” is? You’re not alone.

Arena’s going a little bit old school on this one, calling out a somewhat dated reference to the “nuclear football” that’s been around since the Kennedy administration. That’s right: Arena just went all Cold War on you and you didn’t even know it.

The “black bag” is actually a 45-pound leather briefcase that follows the president around at all times, and it’s stocked with a classified nuclear war plan. It first appeared in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the government saw a need for the president to have nuclear decision-making tools at the ready, even when away from the White House.

The bag still follows the president around to this day (the instructions on how to use the football is still considered the ritual that symbolizes that change of power on a new president’s inauguration day), so Arena’s reference is a relevant one. But considering that the largest demographic of MLS fans is somewhere between 18 and 34 years old, there’s a huge chunk of folks who were born long after Kennedy stared down the Soviet Union, and most probably think the Cold War has something to do with Ivan Drago in Rocky IV.

So don’t blame Arena if you don’t know your history.  Just be glad he didn’t compare Landon Donovan to the 1973 oil crisis.

23 March 5:03 pm

Rarely in the brief history of MLSsoccer.com has there been a controversy that has riled up the fans like this one.

No, not the “crabs or wolves” debate. Not the Power Rankings. Not even Shaman Simon.

The issue at hand? The recent mysterious disappearance of the beloved logo for the Kick Off.

For more than a year, the Kick Off Mug (above, right) was the calling card of each morning dispatch curating all the best headlines around MLS and beyond. Now, his replacement (right) is doing his job admirably, so we were admittedly stunned that there was such a backlash, which has grown from a steady trickle of complaints at first into a stream of mug-related discontent.

So here’s the word. It was a sad day when the Kick Off Mug strolled into our offices and told us he was done. He’d adorned his last article, greeted his last reader. It was a career full of highs and lows for the Kick Off Mug, which was the brainchild of a graphic designer who was understandably too upset to comment for this blog post.

He was, without a doubt, the most respected mug on the site. He had his own desk in the office, his own direct phone line from the MLS executive committee, his own coffee mug. He was friends with folks around the league and the world of soccer. All other mugs wanted to be him, all the lady mugs wanted to be with him.

But now the Kick Off Mug has set sail on the sea of retirement, and we wish him well. We’ve asked him to stay in touch and to send us photos as he hangs up his handle in style (above), traveling the world and seeing all those places he never saw while he was hard at work on MLSsoccer.com.

So from all of us, thank you Kick Off Mug. Stay in touch.

25 February 4:17 pm

Location: Wilmington, Delaware

Time: Saturday, 2:55 p.m. ET

The MLS Road Trip to First Kick is officially on the move.

The East Coast crew kicked off the trip on Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods outside Philadelphia, where they were joined my former MLS star and current ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman to meet and greet some fans, give away some great gifts and kick off the tour in style.

Check out the group's intro video above, and stay tuned for their Q&A session with Twellman about the upcoming MLS season, what's next for the Philadelphia Union and how he's adapted to working in the booth instead of working on the field.

Stay tuned for posts from the West Coast crew as Fox Soccer's Brian Dunseth and Drea Avent of Fox Sports kick off their trip at the Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson.

And don't forget to stay in touch with the crews via the latest updates from Twitter, and find out where they're headed next on the Road Trip itinerary.

23 February 12:55 pm

Get ready for the road.

The MLS Road Trip to First Kick presented by Dick's Sporting Goods and adidas is back and bigger than ever this year, as we send two different teams of brave road-trippers up and down both coasts to celebrate First Kick and the start of the 2012 MLS season.

It all starts on Saturday in Philadelphia, where former MLS great Taylor Twellman joins me and Fox Soccer's Temryss Lane to kick off the trip in style at the Dick's Sporting Goods Brandywine location. We'll be giving away tickets to the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game at PPL Park and merchandise, and Taylor will take questions from the fans and sign autographs for those in attendance.

Let us know what you think and keep up with all the latest updates on the trip via Twitter as the crews travel more than 5,500 miles and do their best to keep up with all the sights and sounds along the way. You can also find complete coverage on MLSsoccer.com.

21 February 6:41 pm

Here's a look at one of Sporting Kansas City's new billboards, featuring striker and reigning Rookie of the Year C.J. Sapong.

Find it at:

  •  I-435 and 350 Highway (February 20)
  •  I-70 and Indiana (February 27)

Breakout star Graham Zusi will also be featured on a billboard located at I-35 and Cambridge Circle beginning Feb. 20. CLICK HERE for more information.

 

 

16 February 9:37 pm

In honor of the Columbus Crew's new jersey sponsor, Simon Borg takes out the razor and shaves with a can of Barbasol live on the set on ExtraTime Radio. Listen to the entire show here.

02 February 5:57 pm

Last night I had the great pleasure of accompanying MLSsoccer.com's Simon Borg to the movie theater to see The Grey, reportedly his first trip to see any movie in the theater since 1995.

He was understandably confused about certain elements of the modern movie-going experience, but it was a thrill to get ET Radio's main man out of the house and into public to see if Liam Neeson could previal in a fight against a pack of wolves in the Alaskan wilderness.

Here's a look at our night out and our review of the film. Stay tuned for future adventures.

01 February 4:17 pm

The Canadian Soccer Association is set to make a few big announcements on Thursday, but who saw this one coming?

Rumors are that the CSA will not only announce the sites for Canada's World Cup Qualifying matches on Thursday, but it appears they'll also drop the news that Canada will host the US sometime in a friendly tuneup before the qualifiers. The US - who beat Canada in Detroit during the group stage of the CONCACAF Gold Cup last summer - have not played in Canada since a 3-0 win in Vancouver in 1997.

The Canucks lead the series 6-3-1 in matches played in Canada all-time, dating back to 1925. (CBC Sports - Canada to face US in World Cup qualifier tuneup)

 

27 January 1:52 pm

The crabs vs. wolf debate on ExtraTime Radio has reached a new level, and Simon and I haven't even gone on our man-date to see The Grey yet.

If you haven't been listening, the debate for the last few weeks has been whether or not you'd choose to fight 300 crabs or one wolf.

We've weighed in, the listeners have offered their thoughts, and now there's some actual proof that four guys with microphones are indeed mightier than 300 of Alaska's finest fighting crustaceans (crabs are crustaceans, right? Just checking)

A listener sent this image in to us after some heavy duty (and top notch) photoshop work. You can check out his Off The Laces blog here. Nice work.