Algunos de ustedes ya saben que por unos días dejé a un lado la pretemporada de la MLS en Orlando para “pegarme la rodadita” a Miami y ver el partido amistoso entre la selecciones de México y de Colombia.
Entre las muchas caras conocidas que vi en el entrenamiento de la selección de México estaba Fernando Fiore, el flamante presidente de la Republica Deportiva de Univisión, y de una vez me dije “imagino que debe tener una opinión muy particular del partido”. Aunque sé que la tiene, no me la dio, pero si tuvimos una pequeña – y ventosa – charla sobre este juego y Rafa Márquez… aquí les va:
If you have a spare few minutes I implore you to check out this clip on Kei Kamara and his reluctance to join Sporting KC, who were still the Wizards at the time.
It's kind of hard to believe now that he's one of the faces of the franchise but KC was a place the erstwhile Houston striker really didn't want to be and he told coach Peter Vermes exactly that. Mind you the Kansas City franchise of 2009 played on a tiny field in a minor-league baseball park and, subsequently, weren't too high on the wish list of many MLS players. My how things have changed.
Admit it: You can’t stand noobs. They’re always just a little too quick to pull out the over-the-top display of enthusiasm for whatever it is they don’t know how to do.
This week’s episode of IFC sketch comedy show Portlandia highlights the problem with newbies when Peter and Nance, an eccentric, overly eco-conscious couple played by the show’s stars — Saturday Night Live mainstay Fred Armisen and indie rock veteran Carrie Brownstein (Wild Flag, Sleater-Kinney) — go to their first Portland Timbers game with a flag they designed to show their support for the team.
Yes, it is as tragic and funny as you imagine.
“It’s funny and weird because I’m not usually a sports person and I don’t live in Portland but I love Portland,” Armisen said when reached via phone last week.
“One of the things I love about it is that it reminds me of England a little bit, and the fact that they like soccer there as much as they do just makes it seem that much more vaguely European. We had to get them in the show somehow.“
He’s not saying that the wild passion of JELD-WEN Field’s section 107 is a put-on, though.
“It’s not an affectation, they really do love it,” Armisen said. “When we first met the people from the Timbers Army we knew it was a very real thing.”
Brownstein, a Washington native who now lives in Portland, testified to the region’s well-documented fervor over football.
“When I was a kid I went to Sounders games in Seattle, where I grew up, and I played soccer. I think for everyone in the Pacific Northwest it’s the obligatory sport you play.”
Like the character she plays in the episode, which airs Feb. 24 at 10 pm ET, Brownstein has yet to see the Timbers in action.
“I haven’t been to a game [in Portland] yet, but when we shot the episode it made me want to go,“ she says. ”Portlanders are eager for communal experiences and the Timbers are perfect for that. “
“Also the singing is really great, even just at the shoot. It’s all pretty intriguing so I really want to go.”
Armisen and Brownstein aren’t the only comedy titans taken with what’s going on in JELD-WEN’s North End.
“[Saturday Night Live creator] Lorne Michaels read that article in The New York Times about them,” said Armisen, “It was funny because he was immediately fascinated by them.”
This week’s show won’t be the Portlandia debut for a few members of the TA though, as they were cast for the “Allergy Pride” sketch that aired earlier in the season.
“If you watch the parade, they’re the Soy Punks,” Armisen said. “They were perfect for it because they were so good at shouting and shouting angrily.”
Not everything we shoot gets edited. Last year we shot a few "Cribs" style features with rookies in MLS while on the road. We never found time to edit them together and these first year guys lost a great opportunity to shine off the field. With a bit of downtime in the lead up to the season and some un-cut content laying around we decided to give them their due and put the features together... albeit a bit late. So here's the 1st of a couple "Rookie Livin" pieces that features Servando Carrasco, Josh ford, Michael Tetteh and their home in Seattle.
Player interviews go up on our site and the team websites pretty much every day, but sometimes what you see on camera doesn't tell the whole story. After Monday's Seattle-Vancouver pre-season game, just such a situation arose. A couple of veterans, a rookie, and an impressive amount of focus ensue...
It looks to be Spain or bust for Giovani dos Santos. And it appears the 22-year-old Mexican starlet is going to have to be content with bust for the time being.
Currently, dos Santos is training with Tottenham and pulling on a uniform every now and then in order to sit quietly on Harry Redknapp's bench. He has made just four appearances this season in EPL action, all as a sub, and in four years with the club, he's made 15 starts and gone out on loan three times (Ipswich Town, Galatasaray and Racing Santander). Clearly, that isn't enough playing time for a player who should be on the cusp of his best days as a professional.
Dos Santos acknowledges this. He wants a move. According to his representatives, clubs in Russia and the United States have made offers for him, giving "Gio" an immediate avenue out north London after a career-stalling stint with Spurs.
Apparently, though, Major League Soccer isn't of any interest to the 22-year-old Mexican starlet.
Here is the MLS-centric quote from dos Santos' representative, Vicente Montes, to cancha.com, which hit the web on Monday:
Ouch. At least Montes used the "with all due respect" precursor.
On first glance, Montes' words sound pretty harsh, especially if you're a fan of MLS or a young 20-something plying their trade on these shores. These 24 guys, especially, might have a bone to pick with that assessment.
Honestly, though, I can't really begrudge dos Santos (or his management) for having that mindset. He feels entitled to what he considers a fair shot in Europe. I get that. Fair enough. After all, this is a guy who scored a few scattered golazos for Barcelona as a youngster and has the talent to score absolutely filthy goals on the big stage.
Then again, nobody seems to be willing to pay Tottenham's asking price to bring dos Santos to their club, which should be a wake up call for a guy with tons of talent but little to show for it away from action with El Tri.
Is Montes' statement fair? Or is it ignorant blathering from a guy working for client who only has eyes for Spain?
On a more entertaining note, how would you respond to Montes using the "with all due respect" prelude?