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Soccer Culture

07 February 3:09 de la tarde

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...

 

07 February 1:34 de la tarde

Cheerleaders: love 'em or hate 'em they are an inextricable part of the American sports landscape. But for many of the MLS fans that weighed in on the league's Facebook page yesterday they aren't part of one sport: soccer.

Or so they believe. Ask fans of England's Southend United or Mexico's Santos Laguna and they'll beg to differ. But what does the staff of MLSsoccer.com think of pitchside pom-poms? Here's a sampling.

"I don’t understand this notion that cheerleaders don’t belong in soccer. Cheerleaders have been around the game forever. Maybe not in Europe, but if you look at Mexico, Colombia and most of all the other Latin-American countries, you will see that many of those clubs have had cheerleaders for many years and the game didn’t get ruined. They get to cheer the crowd at halftime, when no one has anything to do other than eat, drink and wait for the second half.  Cheerleaders are not going to change what happens inside of the field, and that’s what I care about. So I say, sure, bring them on." - Edgar Acero

"When it comes to soccer, cheerleaders are nothing but a distraction. Then again, that's pretty much their purpose in just about any setting. But by that definition, so are concession stands, play areas that give parents a much-appreciated outlet for their offspring and just about anything that happens away from the field during the course of a match. Many people spend 90 minutes fixated on the play itself, but countless others scarf down giant, salted pretzels, play around on Twitter or ogle pretty girls with pom poms. Who am I to say any of those things don't belong? To each his own." - Andrew Wiebe

"I’m opposed to cheerleaders in MLS, but only because I’m opposed to cheerleaders in general. It adds nothing to the product on the field, and anyway, why would you spend money on tickets if your only goal is to see scantily-clad women? You could just as easily stay home and use man’s greatest invention: the interwebz." - Nate Sulat

"I'll admit that as a former Texas high school football player I have a strong association with cheerleaders & pointyball. So as much as I enjoy pretty women, team spirit and soccer it just seems a little odd --not to mention possibly degrading-- to me. Not because it's "Americanizing" the game, as some allege, but because they just remind me of autumn Friday nights in Anytown U.S.A. Also, rejection. - Shawn Francis

What's your take on cheerleaders in soccer? Let us know in the comments below.

06 February 1:21 de la tarde

This is the first post for the Out of Focus blog here on MLSsoccer. Many MLS fans know I spend a good deal of time arguing with my ExtraTime Radio cohort Simon Borg, but the rest of the time is spent working with a great group of videographers and editors who produce content for the site. (You’ll eventually meet them all on here.)

This blog is now our outlet… our way of taking you behind the camera and telling our stories as we journey around the continent covering the game we love. But it wouldn’t be a video department's blog without a play button, so you should expect to see videos on here more often than not. At times we may ask for feedback on content ideas or players/teams/events you’d like to see featured, but we’ll also entertain you with clips that may not be the right fit for the main site.

Bloopers, outtakes, off-the-cuff debates, classic video that we turn up and anything else we think will amuse you will be found in Out of Focus. I hope you all enjoy it. For now, I’ll leave you with some outtakes from last week’s Daily

 

03 February 5:08 de la tarde

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:

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?

01 February 4:17 de la tarde

It's been a frustrating few days for Union fans.

As has been well documented here at MLSsoccer.com, Philadelphia parted ways with 2011 stalwarts Faryd Mondragon and Sébastien Le Toux this week. From the very start, neither move went over particularly well – a massive understatement – within the club's core fanbase, which has been making plenty of noise online and elsewhere in the wake of losing their offensive and defensive MVPs from last season.

Particularly frustrating for MLS fans in the city of Brotherly Love was the way Le Toux characterized his treatment by the club. The Union's reponse was simple: They are building for the future and Le Toux was in the final year of his contract. The trade was simply a calculated business move with Danny Mwanga and Jack McInerney waiting for their time to shine.

The following tidbit from manager Peter Nowak didn't exactly endear him to fans attached to Le Toux, though – “feelings are not included in my job description.”

Feelings are certainly a large part of Union fans' job description, however, and they've apparently been giving Nowak an earful (monitor full?) on Twitter today.

So much so that Nowak felt compelled to clear the air a little bit. The following tweets are Nowak's response Wednesday afternoon. Clearly, some people are having a hard time keeping their emotions in check.

26 January 6:57 de la tarde

This just goes to show you that, if the opposition can sell the alleged infraction, you will always get a card even if the referee is not watching.

25 January 1:14 de la tarde

Different people do different things in the offseason. Some players go to Vegas while others go hard in the gym. This year, one player went on TV.

Following a 2011 campaign that saw him stuck behind Jon Busch on the depth chart, former San Jose Earthquakes and D.C. United keeper Andrew Weber spent his winter traveling the world as a competitor on CBS' The Amazing Race. His teammate for the 25 day around-the-world race toward a $1 million cash prize? Twin brother Elliot.

Having seen the inside of many, if not all, MLS away team hotels I'm sure Andrew knows a thing or two about travel and how to make it tolerable. But 25 days through maybe a dozen different countries with your brother is a recipe for drama...which is precisely why I'll be watching when the show debuts on Feb. 19th.

Good luck to them and good luck to Andrew in Seattle, where he is currently in camp with the Sounders.