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Interview

26 April 4:57 de la tarde

Look who it is, that’s right, it’s the expected No. 1 pick at this year's NFL Draft, Andrew Luck.

With the Indianapolis Colts stating on Tuesday that they will pick Luck to plug the mammoth gap left by Peyton Manning at quarterback, you can excuse Luck for being a little overwhelmed.

If he is, he’s not showing it. He spoke with Jimmy Conrad from Kick TV about the upcoming draft, Clint Dempsey, the Houston Dynamo and his general love for soccer. What a gentleman.

And don’t forget Luck’s father, Oliver, was president of the Dynamo from 2005 until 2007.

MLS is in his blood and it's obviously there to stay.

26 April 1:51 de la tarde

Liverpool FC are going to open their doors to the public, Hard Knocks style, during their preseason tour of the US and Canada this summer.

Cameras will be following the players and coaching staff’s every move in the up close and personal documentary, which will be aired on FOX Soccer in a six-episode series entitled, "Our Liverpool: Never Walk Alone."

The Reds are taking on Toronto FC as part of the World Football Challenge on July 21 at the Rogers Centre.

Emmy award-winning producer Scott Boggin — mastermind behind the 24/7 HBO series, which has showcased the lead-up to the Ricky Hatton vs. Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather vs. Victor Ortiz  boxing matches as well as the NHL's Winter Classis between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals — will follow Liverpool on their North American tour as they prepare for the 2012-13 Premier League season.

FOX Soccer had this to say about the award winning producer:

"Scott's body of work is remarkable, giving fans a true peek behind the curtain into the lives of sport's biggest teams, athletes and coaches. Scott has proven his ability to capture these inner workings in a truly organic manner, and now he has the opportunity to tell Liverpool FC's rich story to a global audience."

The big question is, will the crew be able to understand conversations between Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher in their heavy Scouse accents? Let alone pick up manager Kenny Daglish’s Scottish brogue when he’s off-duty?

Only time will tell, but the show is sure to raise the Reds profile in North America and beyond.

25 April 3:38 de la tarde

La amistad y cercanía de los jugadores de Seattle Sounders Fredy Montero y Osvaldo Alonso va mucho más allá de la cancha. Eso no es noticia para nadie, ya que se trata de dos de los jugadores latinos de más duración en la franquicia esmeralda.  

Sin embargo, en una entrevista con Félix Fernández de Republica Deportiva durante las pruebas de Sueño MLS en esa ciudad, el colombiano y el cubano revelaron la particular historia de cuando se conocieron, de su rápido acercamiento por el idioma y la cultura que los rodeaba, siendo ambos los únicos jugadores de habla hispana en el equipo.

En las palabras de Montero: “Un día yo vi a un muchacho flaquito, blanquito, sentado en el hotel y dije ‘este es americano también’ y lo miro y él me dice a mi: ‘¡tu eres el colombiano!”

Aquí la entrevista:

22 April 12:16 de la tarde

Michael Ballack était l’invité de l’émission Das Aktuelle Sportstudio à la ZDF (chaîne publique allemande) où il a donné une longue entrevue d’un quart d’heure, ponctuée de nombreux témoignages. Il y a évoqué son parcours de ces dernières années en club et en équipe nationale, mais aussi la suite de la carrière.

L’ancien capitaine de la Mannschaft a confirmé que son avenir ne se situerait plus à Leverkusen, mais a rassuré : « Le feu brûle encore ». Sa motivation à jouer encore au plus haut niveau est intacte et il a été interrogé sur la possibilité de jouer en Major League Soccer.

Il n’a pas caché son intention de traverser l’Atlantique et a paru assez gêné quand on lui a demandé s’il y avait des offres concrètes. « Je ne peux rien révéler d’exclusif », a-t-il souri, confirmant quand même qu’il y avait eu des discussions et qu’il était intéressé.

Vous voulez l’entendre de sa bouche (en allemand) ? Voilà son passage complet à l’émission, et la vidéo démarre au moment où il est interrogé, de manière très précise, sur la MLS :

17 April 10:50 de la mañana

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.

31 March 12:24 de la tarde

Leave it to Jimmy Conrad to liven up media day, a normally subdued affair defined by the same five questions and lots of fringe players waiting patiently for someone -- anyone -- to meander over and stick a recorder in their face.

Conrad and the KickTV cameras made their way to Red Bulls media day a little more than a week ago to ask the hard-hitting questions normal journalists don't have the courage to ask. You know, things like whether Victor Palsson prefers yogurt or cereal. I won't give anything else away, other than to say Thierry Henry wasn't particularly amused by Jimmy's line of questioning. Seems to be a theme there.

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I had the pleasure of being on the other end of the microphone during media day a few years in Kansas City when Conrad was still knocking heads in MLS instead of cracking jokes in front of the camera. Let me tell you, it was nothing like this.

22 March 5:04 de la tarde

The link between Fulham Football Club and the US soccer world over the years has become so strong that they are often colloquially referred to as “Team America” in the UK. 

It’s hard to argue with that playful nickname and their long history of enticing players from the US to try their luck in the EPL is one Fulham are very proud of, according to the Cottagers website.

Several US national team stars such as Brian McBride, Carlos Bocanegra and now Clint Dempsey have turned out for the West London side at Craven Cottage, all earning high praise for their performances from fans and pundits alike.  

On Fulham’s official club website on Thursday they highlighted an article coming up in the clubs Fulltime magazine. The EPL side, who are led this season by US superstar Dempsey with 18 goals, are quick to point out their strong links with MLS soccer in particular.  

“While our Premier League rivals are only now just discovering the delights of America’s top league, it’s fair to say that we’ve been unearthing its hidden treasures for 13 years.”

So just like any good relationship, the benefits are reciprocal. Former Fulham and US national team captain Brian McBride explains.

“Fulham have been major players in increasing awareness of what American soccer players have to offer,” said McBride.  

Well said Brian, long may the loving relationship continue.

13 March 3:51 de la mañana

Después del partidazo que los Portland Timbers le ganaron a Philadelphia Union en su debut en la temporada 2012, me topé con José Adolfo “El Trencito” Valencia, el joven delantero colombiano que tuvo que ver sentado (y con muletas al lado) el encuentro. Sonriente por el triunfo de su equipo, pero triste de no poder participar, el Trencito le mandó un saludo a su afición y nos dio un pequeño informe del progreso de su lesión y su vida en Portland. Aquí va:

05 March 12:09 de la tarde

Creativity is definitely a collaborative process. In this case, the idea was to have Jay DeMerit try to fit the names of all seven dwarfs into his recent interview with Temryss Lane (watch the interview HERE if you're not sure what I'm talking about), and the collaboration came between Jay and I after a sunny Whitecaps training session in Orlando last week. We had pitched the 1-on-1 interview to Vancouver's PR Director and I was following up with Jay to discuss the specifics and the timing of meeting him at the team hotel, and we both thought that adding some kind of gimmick to the proceedings would make things a bit more fun.

As the team captain and a veteran of the professional game, Jay has become more than accustomed to these standard sit-down interviews, so some variety here would be a good thing for all parties involved. My first thoughts were about the various goofy games the characters in "Super Troopers" played, primarily when the one guy (pretty sure it was Foster) had to fit "meow" multiple times into his interaction with a motorist (played quite ably by Jim Gaffigan), but there wasn't a real logical connection there. Being at Disney World, however, we quickly came up with the idea of the seven dwarfs, though I don't think either of us could name all of them off the top of our heads. Going through the ones we did know, we figured "Doc" and "Happy" were going to be pretty easy, then came up with possible uses for "Dopey" and "Grumpy" as well. The team left shortly thereafter, and the rest was going to be up to Jay.

Our next task (besides researching the whole list) was trying to keep the secret from Temryss, who was conducting the interview. I told her we were going to try doing something a little different, and for her to just to keep the interview going as she normally would, but it quickly became apparent what was going on when Jay lost it after dropping "Bashful" the first time (the first clip in the video). By the time the second clip happened, she was onto it, and when Jay threw "Grumpy" in there, she couldn't hold it together. As Temryss was wrapping up the interview, Jay had fit six of the seven in, and I was off camera pointing to the word "Sneezy" on a piece of paper. He thought quickly, and came up with the sneeze at the end, but hadn't really thought out what else to say to conclude, so that funny exchange (clip three in the video) resulted. All in all, it was a blast to collaborate with such a funny guy, and made for a great time throughout the entire production process. "Work" can indeed be fun.

02 March 3:33 de la tarde

De vuelta en Orlando, Fla. para el juego pretemporada entre FC Dallas y Toronto FC, me topé con Zarek Valentin, el defensa del Montreal Impact que nos compartió su alegría por la victoria que obtuvo con el equipo preolímpico de Estados Unidos sobre México en un crucial amistoso esta semana… pero ojo, se le está olvidando el español por estar aprendiendo francés.