Here at MLSsoccer.com, we're always looking for new ways to cover the North American soccer scene. On Friday, we'll give a few fans the chance to help us out, when we send five "fan reporters" to New York Red Bulls training ahead of the club's important match on Saturday against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park (1:30 pm ET, NBC).
They'll spend the day covering the club, interviewing the players, doing some video reports, and tweeting out everything they're doing. Training starts at 10 am ET.
We want you to follow along and give them feedback. Suggest questions they should ask. Let them know what you want to find out.
Here are their Twitter handles:
And use the dedicated hashtag:
We'll see how they all do.
If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire... Jozy Altidore.
The Vancouver Whitecaps' Jay DeMerit doesn't go through the motions very often. He's too Midwestern for that. (Respect!)
But attach a bunch of diodes to him and ask him to impersonate -- interpret? -- Manchester City's controversial Mario Balotelli, and he'll gladly fake it. (It's a pretty good impersonation, actually.)
Check out DeMerit and teammate Alain Rochat shadow-playing the beautiful game for EA Sports.
Say what you'd like about the current AT&T MLS All-Star Game format, one thing is for sure: It certainly lends itself well to a little trash talk.
We don't mind a little banter now and again here at MLS Digital, so with the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game coming up on Wednesday, we thought we'd give you a chance to do just that with a new Facebook app that allows you to write your own special message to the Chelsea crowd. Just try and keep it clean.
Best thing about all this is MLS Gear has joined in on the fun. They're going to be giving AT&T MLS All-Star jerseys to the masterminds of the five most popular posters, so make sure you tell all your friends about what you've just told Chelsea.
What if you're not one of the winners? Well, there's still a whole heap of fresh All-Star swag that you can pick up to remember Wednesday's match.
And for all the Chelsea supporters reading this, you can get in on the fun, too. We guess.
Here are a couple of our favorites so far. But the voting isn't up to us so click on the ones you like and give them a thumbs up.
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.
This week marks Canada Day (July 1) and American Independence Day (July 4), and you know what that means: barbeques, tailgates, parades, friends and family. It's also an opportunity to thank the men and women in the armed forces who work to maintain our many freedoms every day.
Are you, or is someone you know, in the military?
If so, from 10:30 am - 11:59 pm ET on Tuesday, July 3, tweet us a photo @MLS wearing your favorite Major League Soccer team gear with a description of your role in the U.S. or Canadian armed forces. Be sure to include the hashtag #CelebrateFreedom. One random person will be selected from the first 10 eligible photos received to win an AT&T MLS All-Star jersey.
(UPDATE: Congrats to Philadelphia Union supporter @dixonij on being selected as the winner.) Check out the Facebook Album to see the photo submissions.
On the Fourth of July, we’ll feature our favorite photo submissions in a gallery on the MLS Facebook page. Please read our Official Social Media Giveaway rules to make sure you're eligible.
7 pm ET Montreal Impact vs. Sporting KC
9 pm ET FC Dallas vs. Toronto FC
9:30 pm ET Colorado Rapids vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
10 pm ET Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders
10:30 pm ET LA Galaxy vs. Philadelphia Union
Now get to tweeting, we can't wait to see your photos!
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
We picked out a few of our favorites, below. Like them? Hate them? Think you could do better? Get over to Facebook and prove it.
Tune in to the San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy game tonight, June 30, at 10:00 PM ET on ESPN2 and find out which fans got it right.
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…
Way to go, MLS fans.
You may have broken one of the most prolific communication tools to ever exist. Literally the minute we announced AT&T #MLSAllStar twitter voting was live, the platform stopped working. In fact, it was so dead that users didn't even get the Twitter whale to share in their tweetless solitude.
We may not be thinking scientifically here, but we're having a good time theorizing that this timing couldn't be coincidence, and instead was due to the onslaught of #MLSAllStar tweets occurring at that very moment. Seems plausible right? At least a few folks agreed with us.
It must have been all the #MLSAllStar voting that killed Twitter today.
— Ben Heart The Soccer (@thelosthooligan) June 21, 2012
— J.J. Compton (@okchrlib) June 21, 2012
#MLSAllStar is trending. WELL NO WONDER TWITTER BROKE.
— Pope (@Pope_hates_you) June 21, 2012
Luckily, Twitter is back up and running and there is still time left to vote for your favorite players. Here's the scoop:
Tweet a vote for your First XI players. Voting is open until Friday, June 22, at 11:59 PM ET.
- An eligible vote consists of #MLSAllStar and the player's name (first and last required), with or without a space.
- A user may vote for multiple players in a tweet; however, a user may not vote for a single player multiple times within one tweet.
- There is no limit to the number of tweets a user may submit for any one player.
- All users must follow @MLS for their votes to be eligible.
- Choose from the 114 eligible players below, pre-determined by a panel of select media members.
Click here for the Twitter ballot, and remember to watch the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on July 25, 8:30 pm ET on ESPN2/TeleFutura/TSN/RDS!