Round 1 of the 2013 MLS Fantasy Soccer: Manager season is officially in the books. Some of your favorite soccer personalities are battling it out in the ExtraTime Experts League, so here’s the run down on how they started.
TheCrew.com's Ashleigh Ignelzi (Iggy FC) was the top scorer this week in her 99-70 victory over Soccer By Ives' Ives Galarcep (SBI United). She did it with goals from Robbie Keane (captain), Álvaro Saborío, Federico Higuaín and Graham Zusi. She also managed to rack up four clean sheets from three defenders and her keeper. Ashleigh’s 99 points currently ranks her 18th among all players in FS:M.
"My first week of MLS fantasy wasn't too bad. I expected a bit more from my midfield but I also didn't expect Seattle to lose at home or for Chicago to lose so poorly on the road. All my strikers had a great opening weekend so hopefully they keep it up and I don't make any rookie mistakes!"
ESPN's Taylor Twellman (ThinkTaylor) and MLSsoccer.com's Jason Saghini (Newborn FC) each put up a respectable 80 points and currently sit in a tie for third place after cruising to victory lane rather easily.
The closest match of the week was between Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl (Danny Szetela’s Afro) and FoxSoccer.com's Kyle McCarthy (Undisclosed Terms), with Wahl squeaking out a 58-56 win over the New England Revolution writer.
Former league champions TV announcer Jonathan Yardley (Fort Nonsense SC) and ESPN's Max Bretos (COLOTERORITA) both lost, as did MLSsoccer.com's Greg Lalas (Tesla’s Revenge) and Simon Borg (Borgussia Borgmund), although Borg did put up a respectable 71 points in his 75-71 loss to ESPN's Alexi Lalas (SlurpeeRatt). Lalas had some friendly words for his fellow competitor:
"For many, taking down the Borg would be cause for celebration. I, however, see it as no more than the natural course of events and completely expected. I didn't even use Saborio and I still won. Unlike most things in Simon's life, there can be no debate over this outcome — I owned him."
Big misses from Brad Davis (captain) and Will Bruin helped MLSsoccer.com's Andrew Wiebe (Meara’s French Licks) edge out a win over me, 67-63. Although, watching Diego Valeri score one of the nicest goals of the weekend early on against the New York Red Bulls did give me a little glimmer of hope.
For all the latest news and advice regarding MLS Fantasy Soccer: Manager follow @MLSFantasy.
Key Matchups in Round 2
Upset Alert in Round 2
The other day US women's national team forward Abby Wambach was apparently lavished with a Chipotle gold card, which guarantees her Chipotle burritos for life.
It's not the first for an American soccer star. Current ESPN analyst and US World Cup veteran Alexi Lalas received a 7-11 card in the aftermath of the '94 World Cup that gave him free Slurpees for life.
That got us thinking: Which food spot would you like a liftetime supply of, for free? Tell us in the comment section below.
Last night a group of USA fans gathered at The Hill in Midtown Manhattan to watch the Yanks take on Guatemala in World Cup Qualifying courtesy of ExtraTime Radio.
With stomachs full of free sliders, mozzarella sticks and potato skins, the bar cheered as Landon Donovan drove up the flank and passed the ball to Fabian Johnson, who dished it to Clint Dempsey to score the opening goal. Enjoy the grainy reaction footage and tell us where you watched the US pick up the road point.
Two weeks into the season in MLS Fantasy Soccer: Manager, and it looks like the newbie, Andrew Wiebe, is the man to beat right now in the ExtraTime Radio Experts League.*
"It's a combination of research and luck," Wiebe told MLSsoccer.com this week. "Sometimes your research pays off. Sometimes your luck gives you the extra push you need. Without both, well, you're Allen Hopkins."
Obviously showing no sympathy for the low man on the totem pole, Wiebe has turned success in the ETREL into some new publicity: He appears on the latest editon of the ExtraTime Radio podcast.
But he is being chased by that crafty Canadian, Luke Wileman, whose team, Great White North, is just three points behind. Can Wiebe hold off the competition in Week 3, when his Bed-Stuy Brawlers face off against the Elusive Playmakers, a.k.a. Kyle McCarthy of Goal.com?
"I definitely can," Wiebe said. "He's got some weak spots on his roster. I think I've got a 15-point win in me."
Bad Idea Jeans = Marc Connolly, ESPN
BadRowePun = Dan Haiek, MLSsoccer.com
Bed-Stuy Brawlers = Andrew Wiebe, MLSsoccer.com
FC Curse of Caricola = Grant Wahl, Sports Illustrated
Elusive Playmakers = Kyle McCarthy, Goal.com
FC Empty Bucket = Jonah Freedman, MLSsoccer.com
Etienne Barbara FC = Simon Borg, MLSsoccer.com
The False DM = Jen Chang, SportsIllustrated.com
Fort Nonsense SC = Jonathan Yardley, FC Dallas TV
Great White North = Luke Wileman, TSN
Ill Eagles = Matt Gaschk, SoundersFC.com
kingDOMEtt = Taylor Twellman, ESPN
Land of Confusion = Jason Saghini, MLSsoccer.com
Leanderthal Albion = Leander Shaerlaeckens, ESPN.com
MLS Reggae Boyz = Mark Rogondino, Fox Soccer
Otis Redding United = Greg Lalas, MLSsoccer.com
Rainbow in the Dark = Max Bretos, ESPN
SBI United = Ives Galarcep, FoxSoccer.com
Slurpee Ratt = Alexi Lalas, ESPN
Witham's Whippers = Katie Witham, freelancer
Ya Mo Be There = Allen Hopkins, Fox Sports
* "Experts" is used loosely here. Kind of like Kim Kardashian's use of the word "marriage."
There are some days when I wish I weren't one of the hosts of ExtraTime Radio. Usually, it's when Simon Borg -- bless his big heart -- starts making absurd declarations like, say, Clint Dempsey should sit on the bench for the USMNT.
But there are other days when, for whatever reason, I miss the show and I really, really wish I could've been there.
Yesterday's episode is one such day. I would've given anything to be there when Sporting KC's Aurelien Collin started giving Simon fashion advice. "Suspenders!" It's the only time I've ever heard Simon ask for advice. Magnifique!
Then, New York Red Bulls manager Hans Backe drops this whopper: He wants to win the US Open Cup. Considering how he shrugged off the USOC last year, that's pretty amazing.
If you haven't heard it, check it out here.
On Thursday's edition of ExtraTime Radio, we all got into a discussion about the best songs by Thin Lizzy, the 1970s rock band led by the incomparable Phil Lynott. (Look 'em up, kids.)
We bandied about "The Boys Are Back in Town," "Cowboy Song," "Jailbreak," and my personal favorite, "Fighting My Way Back." Suffice to say, it was a rocking show, one that I'm sure Houston Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear -- a diehard Thin Lizzy fan -- would appreciate.
In the aftermath, an @ExtraTimeRadio fan on Twitter sent this tweet:
@Gaetjens Glad you guys brought up "Cowboy Song," but "Emerald" is Thin Lizzy's captain and midfield engine.
— Jason (@chestrockwell14) February 3, 2012
That, naturally, set off a back and forth about Thin Lizzy songs and where they would play on the field. Naturally.
So here's the Thin Lizzy Starting XI, according to me and @chestrockwell14.
I'm sure there are plenty of music snobs (don't we all fall into that category, really?) that have a beef or two with this. Fine. What musical Starting XI would you come up with?
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.
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.
All the questions you ever wanted to ask Steve Zakuani.
What did he say to Brian Mullan? How close did he come to the end of his career? Did they actually consider amputating his leg when things got really bad?
And don’t miss when LA Galaxy manager Bruce Arena sounds off on Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Omar Gonzalez and Jurgen Klinsmann’s quest to find the American style of soccer.