With the Twitter world working overtime during the MLS season, every Friday we'll post five of the most inventive and interesting tweets from the North American soccer community from the previous week.
The best snippets of entertainment, knowledge and intrigue from inside the world of North American soccer will be displayed here, so be sure to keep up to date on what the players, coaches and journalists are tweeting about.
In our first week, we see how SI.com's Grant Wahl is having pet issues, USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann addresses his squad and an MLS star enjoys early morning word puzzles.
So here they are: our five favorites from soccer's Twitterati:
Well done to @clint_dempsey for scoring his 13th Premier League goal of season, extending his own American record. #USMNT.
— Jurgen Klinsmann (@J_Klinsmann) March 31, 2012
This man @BigAfrika88 wakes up at 6:40AM guess what's the 1st thing he did? No not brush his teeth, "Starts playing Scramble wit friends SMH
— Kei Kamara (@keikamara) April 2, 2012
Big last-second win for Dallas vs NE. In other news, my 5-pound poodle Coco tried to take on a 130-pound Bernese mountain dog.
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) April 5, 2012
Nagbe is ballin, @MLS is on the rise! #MLS
— Jozy Altidore (@JozyAltidore) April 3, 2012
There's nothing quite like a feud between Marc Burch and Daniel Woolard to get the neutrals pumped for the weekend.
— Kyle McCarthy (@kylejmccarthy) April 6, 2012
TORREÓN, Mexico – Toronto FC's hotel on the eve of the Canadian club's CONCACAF semifinal second leg against Santos Laguna was a scene of tranquility.
Only one state police car waited outside, watching on.
The legions of fans that Aron Winter was expecting to be chanting, banging drums and keeping the players awake throughout the night did not turn up and the Reds arrival was decidedly low key.
Not that it should lull the Canadian club into a false sense of security, as could be witnessed when I reported the above via Twitter last night.
“The hell will be tomorrow … we don't need to disturb them today,” responded Santos fan Braulio Rodríguez.
Fellow Guerrero Nick Simonis summed up the mood: “Don't you know … it's the calm before the storm.”
A sellout is likely at the Estadio Corona, with 25,000 tickets sold by yesterday afternoon, the Santos Laguna press office confirmed to MLSsoccer.com.
On-form US striker Herculez Gomez – fast becoming a legend in Torreón, according to locals – did his bit to promote the game yesterday, teaming up with Santos Laguna teammate Marc Crosas to buy and then give out 100 tickets to local fans.
Around town this morning, there are plenty of green-and-white Santos Laguna shirts and a sense of excitement is building, with los Guerreros and their fans determined to reach the Club World Cup.
Toronto FC, on the other hand, have already achieved more than most expected by reaching this stage of the competition.
Is a surprise in store? We'll find out a little later, but at least the Toronto boys go into the game after a good night's sleep.
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America. E-mail him at email@example.com.
Malgré le résultat et la fatigue du voyage, les supporters de l’Impact étaient heureux de leur première expérience de groupe loin de Montréal.
« Pour un début, chez un adversaire qui n’est pas un rival, être à 200, chanter 90 minutes et faire autant de bruit que les 13000 locaux : ça montre un excellent esprit, résume Michael Murray, qui avait effectué le déplacement pour supporter Montréal à Santos Laguna lors de la Ligue des champions 2009. À part la bière trop chère, l’accueil était bon : même quand un fumigène a été allumé, la réaction de la sécurité était mesurée, contrairement à Montréal où elle est vraiment violente. »
Depuis dix ans, les supporters de l’Impact ont toujours autant de plaisir à encourager leurs couleurs à l’extérieur, mais il y a désormais les avantages de la MLS. « Ça ressemblait aux déplacements de D2 : on fête dans le car, on arrive en ville le matin et on y vit des aventures, résume Daniel Nahmias-Léonard, qui était déjà des voyages en 2002. Par contre, New York, ça change de Rochester ! Et il y a l’encadrement de la MLS, régulièrement en contact avec les supporters pendant l’année, ainsi que des clubs, habitués à voir des supporters adverses. Maintenant, il faut que davantage de gens s’intéressent réellement à l’Impact et s’habituent aux déplacements afin d’attirer plus de monde. »
Voilà qui donnera plus de travail à des organisateurs déjà bien occupés. « C’était difficile car c’était notre première en MLS, et avec tant de participants, reconnaît Denis Lebrun, responsable du groupe Ultras Montréal 2002, en charge du voyage. Et pour rendre les déplacements attractifs financièrement, nous avons décidé de traiter directement avec des transporteurs plutôt qu’avec des organisateurs de voyages. On vise 6 ou 7 déplacements cette saison et on aimerait avoir à chaque fois 2-3 autocars pleins pour les villes distantes comme New York, Philadelphie ou Toronto. »
Le match New York – Montréal a été marqué par le premier déplacement en nombre des supporters de l’Impact depuis l’entrée de leurs favoris en MLS. Trois autocars avaient pris le départ de Montréal ce vendredi soir et roulé toute la nuit en direction du New Jersey, rejoints sur place par des Québécois venus par leurs propres moyens.
Si Manhattan n’a pas été marqué par son après-midi en ville, la délégation forte d’environ 200 supporters bien en voix s’est fait entendre au stade malgré sa large infériorité numérique. Jamais ils n’avaient été si nombreux à l’extérieur, eux qui soutiennent leurs couleurs en dehors de leurs bases depuis dix ans.
Heureux de leur prestation, les supporters Montréalais ont également été très présents visuellement et le kop bleu-blanc-noir a alterné entre la folie furieuse, lors des moments où leurs joueurs ont mené, et de périodes certes plus calmes mais toujours animées malgré le score.
Qualifié de « très bruyant » et de « génial » par des responsables de la MLS rencontrés à la mi-temps, le groupe de supporters de l’Impact semble aussi avoir fait bonne impression en haut lieu…
The US Olympic team may have crashed out of the CONCACAF Qualifying tournament earlier this week, but Kansas City is still going to be a happening place for soccer this weekend. And I'm not even talking about Mexico vs. Canada or Honduras vs. El Salvador.
I'm talking about Budweiser Poolball. If you haven't heard of it, which you probably haven't, check out the video below. As someone who enjoys the occasional game of pool and takes any opportunity to kick the ball around, this is a beautiful marriage of footy and nightlife entertainment. Kansas City had the good fortune of having a couple of these tables set up around the city on Thursday and Friday for the lucky residents to enjoy.
If you gave me a day to mess around on one of these tables, if that's the right term, without limit, I would ask for three. Seriously. It's that awesome. I'm sitting at my desk imagining trick shots, seeing-eye combos off the rails and chips cross table. The possibilities are literally endless.
Even more intriguing, what if MLS organized a Poolball tournament around All-Star Weekend? Who wouldn't want to watch Dwayne De Rosario and Graham Zusi go head to head? Thierry Henry vs. David Beckham?
Maybe this new proven goalscoring tactic could become commonplace in MLS? Fans of goal-shy Montreal, Toronto, New England, Chivas and D.C. may want to look across the Atlantic to see how one group of fans helped to turn their side into a goalscoring machine....well they scored once at least.
Fans of German side Magdeburg took a different approach to their team's scoring drought. Instead of booing and hurling abuse at players and coaches, fans of the Regionliga Nord side (Germany's fourth tier) made the task a little easier for their team.
Supporters assembled behind the goal their beloved team was attacking, holding up giant colorful arrows to point their team in the direction of the opponents goal!
And remarkably it worked.
American forward Chris Wright scored the bottom club's first goal for five matches and ended their 558-minute goal drought. However his equalizer wasn't enough for a point as the home side slumped to a 2-1 defeat and remain rooted to the bottom of the standings, scoring just 16 times in 25 league games.
Either way, it’s a novel approach from the German fans. A for effort.
Leave it to the Timbers to create new boundaries for extreme MLS fandom.
I have no doubt there are plenty of MLS fan tattoos out there*, but I can't think of another organization that would be willing to create a contest around the concept and pay for the ink themselves.
But that's the contest Portland dreamed up, and winner Nathan Kensinger recently got his custom designed "Timbers Tattoo" by Igor Mortis at Tigerlily Tattoo in northeast Portland.
Check out footage of Mortis applying his artwork to Kensinger's calf below and watch Eric Brunner and Jake Gleason narrow the field to the winning design.
*I would love to feature MLS fan tattoos here on "The Sideline." If you want to show yours off, tweet me at @AndrewWiebe_MLS with a short explanation of your ink.
Granted, I don't have a complete grasp on everything that's floating around on the internet these days, but something tells me this joint is going to be hard, if not impossible, to beat. In fact, go ahead and crown "Welcome to the District" by Rene Guzman the cream of the unofficial MLS anthem crop for 2012.
Eye-pleasing production? Check. Legitimate flow from Guzman? Check. Lyrics that reflect the D.C. United story? Double check.
Check out the full lyrics and full music video below.
Think there is something better out there or just want to share something cool that should be on The Sideline? Tweet me at the handle below.
Vamos DC, United and Free
Black and Red be the colors we bleed
Since nine-six, here with pride and tradition
United till we die baby, Welcome to the District
My heart is two stripes, three stars above
Black and Red and the colors I was born to love
Home of the brave, where champions are made
Bubbles in the air, let the three stars wave
Original 12th man, we pioneered the way
My DMV brothers feel exactly the same
What more can I say, United till I die
96 and forever, your my heart and my pride
Let them all know, we're legends in the making
Whether home or the road, it's our for the taking
Scream Eagles Scream, carry the team forth
Let them hear our song, from Barra to the North
Vamos United, take your place on the throne
Black and Red forever time to bring the cup home
United to the end, through blood, sweat and tears
Forever your my friend, you'll always have me here
After Real Salt Lake got things started with the "Believe RSL" anthem that got considerable internet love, the New England Revolution have added their own offering to the genre.
The team announced on Monday that “New England Revolution Anthem,” written and performed by Josephin Shlomit Madden, a local from Abington, Mass., has been selected as the New England Revolution’s official 2012 victory song.
I dig the punk rock vibe, and Josephin did a great job putting together something authentic and catchy at the same time. She's got a big voice and presence that fit the anthem well.
The only thing left is for the Revs to win, something that hasn't come easy through two games in 2012. Fortunately, they'll have another chance to pipe this bad boy through the Gillette Stadium sound system on Saturday when Portland come to town.
Check out the video below and let us know what you think. How does it measure up to Believe RSL?