There’s a lot that goes into being a captain, and each of the 19 in Major League Soccer approach it in a different way. From Shalrie Joseph’s ever-present chatter to Davy Arnaud’s work ethic, our new series “Taking the Lead” provides an in-depth look at what leadership means to those wearing the armband, as told in their own voices. The series debuts Wednesday, April 18 with Real Salt Lake captain Kyle Beckerman.
Oh, that Jimmy Conrad. He's had a good life on the soccer field.
He played in the World Cup.
He captained Chivas USA.
Oh, and he beat Chelsea when Jose Mourinho was their manager.
Behold: The jerseys for Euro 2012 have been released. And there are many sashes.
The US men's national team made waves before the 2010 World Cup by reintroducing a sash to their jerseys in homage to the 1950 team that famously beat England. And while it's not exactly unique – teams like Trinidad and Tobago and Peru have been rocking the sash for years – it's not exactly standard fare.
So from whence come the sashes? This is undoubtedly jingoistic, biased, and self-aggrandizing, but I tend to think that the US brought the design back into vogue.
Which would also mark the first time that Europeans have ever taken fashion advice from Americans. Give yourselves a pat on the back, readers.
I, for one, feel pretty good about it. I like the sash on the US jerseys. I think they'll look good at Euro 2012. Undoubtedly, you feel differently. And... discuss!
In recent weeks, MLS has been putting it's money where it's mouth is, so to speak. The MLS Disciplinary Committee has been dishing out punishments after the fact for violent tackles and simulation.
It's come down hard on embelishment, too.
In my book, there are different forms of embellishment. There is embellishment that is used -- and, really, necessary -- to alert the referee that you have been fouled. This is the type of thing you see when, say, a faster player gets around a slower defender and is impeded. It might not be enough contact to bring a player down, but it is enough to stymie the attacker.
WATCH: Cruz and Benitez battle for possession
Unfortunately, refs are reluctant to blow the whistle in this scenario, thereby actually punishing the attacker. In many of these instances, the attacker will embellish the effect of the contact, making sure the referee recognizes that there was a foul. I'm okay with this kind of embelishment.
I'm not okay with embellishment that is meant to con the referee into thinking a foul has taken place when it hasn't or a foul is worse than it really is. For examples, check out Danny Cruz's shameful writhing after being elbowed by Jair Benitez in D.C.'s win over Dallas last weekend. Or Alvaro Fernandez's histrionics a few weeks ago against Houston. It's sophomoric stuff, and both players were rightly fined for it.
It's also nice to see that at least one of the players involved isn't throwing a hissy fit about being sanctioned for his actions.
"There are different perspectives on soccer in the world," Fernandez told The Seattle Times this week. "So where I'm from, down in South America, we work on getting an advantage out of every situation that we can -- no matter what that is. It's not looked upon badly. Here it is looked upon badly. It's not a bad thing, it is what it is, and I just have to adapt to the league."
With NBC Sports continuing their great coverage of MLS for the first time in their history, check out the awesome "All Rise" promo video below.
Make sure you tune into their next nationally televised game between Philadelphia and Columbus at 3:30pm on Saturday April 14.
Hands up if your enjoying the coverage so far…..oh I see David Beckham is a fan of the production on NBC Sports!
There are lots of things you can take away from this video, and I'd love to hear all about them in the comments section. I trust you all will keep it classy, civil, and good-natured.
For whatever reason, though, I honestly thought the most interesting part of this video was that for every red card Roger "Rojo" Espinoza accumulates this year, he owes the entire Sporting KC squad lunch.
I'll point out that this ultimatum was unilaterally imposed by one Kei Kamara, and is a little bit unfair because, despite his reputation, Roger got only one red card last year on a team where seven different players earned their marching orders in MLS play.
But oh, man, there are so many questions that come up, now. Does this deal include coaches, staff, front office people? What's Roger's favorite kind of food? If it's cuisine from his native Honduras, then how easy is it to get carne asada and coconut in Kansas City?
It's worth mentioning, by the way, that one of the tiebreakers for playoff berths this season is disciplinary points. At the rate SKC are going – 3-0-0 for those who just woke up from hibernation – it won't be an issue. But still...
Talk amongst yourselves.
More bad news for TFC. They lost their midfield general Torsten Frings last week, and now, according to TSN reporter Luke Wileman, they might lose goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
No word yet from the club, but the image Wileman paints in this tweet doesn't bode well. Stay tuned.
Frei leaves the field on crutches, wearing an air cast left leg. Doesn't look good. #MLS
— Luke Wileman (@LukeWileman) March 23, 2012
El Káiser vestirá el rascacielos más prominente de la Ciudad de Nueva York con los colores de su club.
El defensa del New York Red Bulls, Rafa Márquez, iluminará el Empire State Building con los colores del equipo, el viernes, 23 de marzo previo al partido en casa ante el Colorado Rapids de este domingo.
A Márquez se unirá el Presidente de Negocios Operacional, Chris Heck, en un evento donde Rafa “subirá el switch” e iluminar una de las torres icónicas del mundo con los colores blanco y rojo representativos del equipo.
Los Red Bulls arrancan la temporada en su estadio ante Colorado Rapids este domingo, 25 de marzo a partir de las 4 pm ET.
First Kick is all about new beginnings, a chance to wipe the slate clean and start anew. For Joe Cannon and the Whitecaps it's about erasing a rough debut season in MLS and moving forward with a new coach, new players and a new outlook.
It's also about performance, at least in the short term. According to Cannon, tomorrow's match against the expansion Impact won't be about the final score but about how Vancouver plays the game. That may be true for the players but something tells be that the fans wouldn't mind seeing a result as well.