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Soccer Culture

18 July 4:39 am

Es el jugador más representativo de Seattle Sounders en el medio del campo, y muchos dicen que incluso es el mejor jugador actualmente en la MLS.

Ese es Osvaldo Alonso.

Claro está que no lo es en todas las posiciones de la cancha, tal y como muestra este video, donde el estelar cubano es vencido en la portería por una pequeña jugadora de fútbol.

Zapatero a sus zapatos.

12 July 1:14 pm


Courtesy of NBA.com

Steve Nash has all the skills needed to succeed at the professional level of his sport: vision, agility, an incredible feel for the game.

And oh yeah, he's pretty good at basketball, too.

In an interview with Lakers.com's Mike Trudell, the recetly-acquired point guard was quick to admit that the Beautiful Game has been vital to his basketball career.

"I didn't play basketball until I was 13," Nash said. "I wouldn't have been an NBA player if I didn't play soccer."

Nash joins an already soccer-crazed Laker squad that includes perennial All-Star and proud Barcelona fan Kobe Bryant, and actual Barcelona Basquet product Pau Gasol, who was in attendance to watch Spain win the Euros in Kiev on July 1.

Playing alongside offensive threats Bryant and Gasol, the NBA's fifth all-time assist leader will be poised to add to that total significantly. It's no coincidence that Nash is one of the best passers to ever play the game, and he credits his vision in large part to his soccer background.

"The ideas, the ability to see and anticipate, all of that is a part of my basketball game," Nash added. "It really was developed in soccer. It's been good to me in many ways."

10 July 5:15 pm

Remember that age-old mantra reminding you to be comfortable in your own skin? Well, a couple of US national teamers went a step further.

Men's captain Carlos Bocanegra and women's superstar Abby Wambach were not camera-shy when ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue came calling. Both Bocanegra and Wambach shed some skin – and some visual insight – into what the soccer bodies look like from two of America's best.

The body of a soccer player, like any athlete, is defined as much by its impressive and imposing physicality as it is its ability to withstand the daily beating it takes.

"When you play soccer, you are going to get cut, you are going to get bruised," explains Wambach. "If sitiches have to happen, if staples have to come, that's just part of the game – just take it."

Also included in the fourth annual publication are the NFL's Rob Gronkowski, the WNBA's Candace Parker and the NBA's Tyson Chandler, among others.

 

09 July 11:27 am

Pavel Pardo, la leyenda mexicana y actual mediocampista del Chicago Fire, cambió la cancha de fútbol por la de beisbol  este fin de semana para para hacer un lanzamiento de conmemoración en el U.S. Cellular Field de Chicago en celebración de los White Sox y el “Orgullo Sox”.

Además del lanzamiento de la estrella azteca, un excelente grupo mariachi le dio un sabor mexicano al himno de los Estados Unidos cuando entonaron una versión especial del Star Spangled Banner.

Juzguen ustedes mismos.

05 July 6:23 pm

EA SPORTS is running the Imagine Yourself Here sweepstakes on MLSsoccer.com that could win some lucky fan two seats in the Sideline FIFA Soccer Lounge at the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, taking place July 25 at PPL Park.

Sounds pretty cool. And it got us thinking about what the sensual experience of sitting sideline might actually be like.

So we asked New York Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty

If someone has a sideline seat, what can he or she expect you hear?

McCarty: Honestly, it’s a mix of Al Pacino in Scarface and Tupac. It can get a little intense with the heat of the competition. Things get said that you wouldn’t say to your Mom. But there’s also lots of communication. It’s like you have 11 guys all playing quarterback, barking out instructions, encouraging other guys.

What will they see?

McCarty: The subtle connections players have, like the movement of, say, the right back and right midfielder. You’ll see the playmaker’s subtle movements and the runs off the ball. For example, if the center back has the ball, you’ll notice a guy like Thierry Henry breaking off to run onto a long ball. You see the play before it happens.

What will they smell?

McCarty: Ha! Dirty laundry. Or a locker room. Definitely odors you don’t experience in the second deck with the hot dogs and nachos. It’s musky. You also can sometimes smell freshly cut grass. And dirt when the turf comes up on a slide tackle near the sidelines. But the muskiness outweighs the grass.

What will they taste?

McCarty: The moisture and the sweat of 22 guys running around. But it’s also metaphorical. You can taste the effort.

What will they feel?

McCarty: You might feel the grass under your feet. You feel how hard the field is or how soft it is. But mostly, you feel the emotion. You feel how much everyone wants to win. 

30 June 6:20 pm

Dave Wangerin, author of Soccer in a Football World and Distant Corners: American Soccer’s History of Missed Opportunities and Lost Causes, died on Friday, June 29, 2012.


I never knew David Wangerin, but I feel like I did.

His life story is eerily familiar: born in the Midwest, in love with writing, fascinated by soccer’s rich and woefully overlooked history in America.

His articles for When Saturday Comes and his 2006 book, Soccer in a Football World were — and remain — required reading for anyone in the US soccer scene. His regular appearances on various podcasts were always enjoyable.

Wangerin chronicled soccer here from its immigrant beginnings through the 1970s disco heyday of the NASL to the launch and slow rise of MLS. It was all part of his story.

Sadly, we will only be able to imagine the stories he might have told about the future of the game he loved. 

What some of my colleagues have said:

RIP David Wangerin, US soccer history expert, who wrote the excellent book "Soccer In A Football World"

— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 30, 2012

Enormously sad to hear about the passing of David Wangerin, author of the wonderful "Soccer In A Football World". Far, far too soon.

— Tom Dunmore (@pitchinvasion) June 30, 2012

28 June 1:17 pm

Thanks to KickTV, this blog post is your one-stop shop for the salient highlights from the annual American soccer tradition that is the Steve Nash "Showdown in Chinatown."

When you're done watching all four videos, tell us which highlight you enjoyed most.

1. Steve Nash gets abused by ex-Crew midfielder Robbie Rogers:

2. Elton Brand with a stomach-turning whiff:

3. Jimmy Conrad shows them how it's done:

4. Mike Dunleavy, Jr. takes it like a man - in the face:

26 June 5:33 pm

Ya se anunció que el 15 de agosto llegan los rivales de la selección mexicana, Estados Unidos, al Estadio Azteca para un juego amistoso, que de amistoso tiene muy poco, dada la rivalidad de estas selecciones.

Jurgen Klinsmann, director técnico de EE.UU,  ha llevado su equipo a juegos amistosos este año ante Italia y Brasil. Dice el DT que quiere exponer sus jugadores a los mejores equipos del mundo.

“México ha demostrado ser unos de los mejores equipos del mundo, entonces para nosotros esta es una gran oportunidad”, dijo Klinsmann en el comunicado de prensa.

Espera, ¿que dijo el DT de las Barras y Las Estrellas? ¿Qué México es una de las mejores selecciones del mundo? ¡Wow, por fin alguien norte del Rio Grande lo admite! Aun no dice nada Landon Donovan al respeto, pero no se preocupen mexicanos, aun falta mucho tiempo para que el delantero diga algo que le prende fuego a la rivalidad.    

La historia dice que estos equipos se han confrontado 60 veces en 43 partidos oficiales y 17 amistosos, donde 33 resultaron triunfos para El Tri y 15 para las Barras y Las Estrellas, y 12 empates.

¿Qué marcador podremos esperar de este próximo amistoso?

Charlas con Chicharito:

Por si no lo sabían, Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez ya tiene Twitter oficial. En menos de 24 horas @CH14_  ya tiene 168, 922 seguidores. Bienvenido Chicharito al año 2006, ahora platícanos de la selección por favor.

26 June 4:43 pm

Y Marco Pappa se unió al Equipo Pepsi.

Como ya es costumbre en muchos de los comerciales de Pepsi, varias de las estrellas del fútbol mundial hacen parte de sus inteligentes y graciosas propagandas, incluyendo a estrellas como Kaká, David Beckham y en su momento hasta a Roberto Carlos (como olvidar este).

Sin embargo, para este 2012, la presencia emelesera se hizo sentir con la adición de Pappa del Chicago Fire en su último comercial.  El volante guatemalteco actúa junto a estrellas como  Lionel Messi, Didier Drogba, Sergio Agüero y Fernando Torres en el comercial “Donde hay Pepsi, hay fútbol”.

Juzguen por ustedes mismos…

25 June 2:57 pm

Whoa.

Timbers Army brought the heat this weekend at JELD-WEN Field, adding another epic tifo to the growing list of massive displays that seem to serve as the precursors to Portland-Seattle matches. (See Portland's King of Clubs and Seattle's Decades of Dominance for example.)

As you can see above, the banner stretched across the entirety of the north end of the stadium, creating an absolutely stunning tribute to the city of Portland and its soccer past. The Timbers Army hit all the right notes with this effort: the Portland skyline, city and cascadia flags and Clive Charles right smack in the middle as a focal point. That's soccer art, for sure.

Sounders beat writer Jeremiah Oshan wraps it all up here with a little more detail.

I'll leave you with one more image from the match, which had no shortage of talking points.