Monday, May 14, 2012

We've Moved!

9 comments
We got some new digs.... head on over here. Cheers!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

VIDEO - Chicago Fire's Dominic Orduro is Fast, Freaky Fast

2 comments



What happens when Dominic Oduro puts his salary on the line to prove how fast he is?

Well.... that's a lot to fight for. And you can only imagine how fast one of the fastest players in the league is going to run to protect his earnings.

"@FreakyFast8" on Twitter easily claims his end of the bet, a jelly donut from "Touchline TV" host Brendan Hannan.

Next up? Usain Bolt?


Get the NEW Free Beer Movement "Pint Glass" shirt! Only from Objectivo.com

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Announcing "The Austin Aztex Project" Documenting the Building of American Soccer

2 comments


Last September the Austin Aztex, under new ownership, announced their return to the American soccer fold. Almost a year earlier the first incarnation of the Aztex had packed up for greener pastures in Orlando, leaving supporters in the lurch and a bad taste in the mouth of the local soccer community.

Austin is a city with seemingly perfect demographics for success: a booming population full of young professionals with disposable incomes, a great place for raising a family, and a strong Latino community. But for all of these factors leaning in their favor former Aztex 1.0 owner, Phil Rawlins cited a lack of local  investors (in a tough, recession economy), geographic isolation from the league's other teams, and an awkward stadium situation that gave them team downtown real estate, but a place (since it was high school American football field) where no alcohol could be served or corporate suites be added..


The relocated club ditched the Aztex name and re-branded as Orlando City Soccer Club and went on to immediate success, winning the United Soccer League's PRO division title in 2011 and stoking speculation that the Central Florida team was on Major League Soccer's shortlist for expansion.

Back in Austin, the soccer community found little comfort in Orlando's on-field and off-field success. Behind the scenes, though, a former minority owner, David Markley, was working to bring some team, any team back home.

USL's David Winner, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell,
and Aztex owner David Markley.
Photo Credit: Austin Aztex
On a sunny late September day Markley would stand side-by-side Austin's mayor Lee Leffingwell and USL President David Winner and make the much anticipated news that soccer was indeed returning to Texas' capital city. A return to the USL, however, would be at a different level of the American soccer pyramid than the recently departed Orlando side.

Austin's American soccer journey would begin like its predecessor, in the USL's Premier Developmental League, a confederation of regional and sub-regional leagues populated by mostly local, college-aged kids trying to keep their skills sharp in the summertime. Thus, the first disappointment of this new team had emerged; any potential clash against Orlando would have to wait until Austin built strong enough local support to garner a "promotion" (not promotion in the global sense, of course) out of the PDL.

The excitement of the return of live, local soccer was, though, the overwhelming feeling of the moment, overshadowing the fading, bitter memories of last fall.

But now the main task stood front and center.

How would this Austin Aztex organization, version 2.0, be able find success where the other had not?

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Regular readers may or may not know this, but Free Beer Movement HQ is located in Austin, Texas so the loss of the original Aztex were quite a blow to our American soccer laboratory. With the return of live, local soccer to our community we wanted to take the opportunity to not only go out and support our local American soccer team, but to tell the story of the return of the Austin Aztex.

The FBM is about using the power of beer to open newbies to the idea of American soccer, but more than just that, our website has always been about documenting the culture that surrounds it and the growth of the game. With a new team beginning in our backyard it only seemed appropriate to follow this story wherever it took us.

Over the next few months, we'll have unprecedented access to the new Aztex ownership, coaching staff, players, and fans in order to document the highs and lows of building American soccer. 

At several points through the season we (FBM and Austin-based "The Other 87 Minutes" writer Eric Betts) will observe soccer in Austin from three main angles: the front office, the tactical/team side, and from the fans' perspective. Through exclusive interviews with all these parties we'll try and gather what it takes to try and build a successful soccer club in the United States.

Welcome to "Building American Soccer: The Austin Aztex Project".


Get the NEW Free Beer Movement "Pint Glass" shirt! Only from Objectivo.com

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

D.C. United Players Just Want to Bang on the Drum All Day

3 comments
Photo Credit: D.C. United
When most professional athletes (and European soccer players) can't suit up for a game they're usually seen living the good life up in a luxury suite with the owner and/or their wife/girlfriend, but not Major League Soccer players.

Photo Credit: D.C. United
If you want more evidence of why American soccer is so great look no further than scenes from last Saturday's D.C. United home match against the Seattle Sounders. Despite the 0-0 scoreline defender Brandon McDonald, who was suspended, and midfielder Andy Najar, who was sick, took the the supporters section to bang on the Barra Brava's drums alongside other supporters, the Screaming Eagles and La Norte.

Players joining the supporters during matches are nothing new at D.C. or even the rest of MLS. The most famous example of an "off-duty" MLSer is, of course, our main man Frankie Hejduk slamming beers with Columbus Crew fans before a match against Los Angeles he was suspended for.

American soccer might be getting bigger and bigger everyday, but the league players continue to be as humble as ever. Signing autographs forever after matches and at practices, showing up at local bars and restaurants and mingling with fans, even buying everyone in the room Chipotle.

This is American soccer and the closeness we, as fans, feel to our teams and players is one of the most vital parts of what makes our version of the sport, and it's authentic growth, so enjoyable.


Get the NEW Free Beer Movement "Pint Glass" shirt! Only from Objectivo.com

VIDEO - All Your Base Belongs to MLS and adidas

2 comments



Many Americans continue to wonder about Snooki's weight (98 pounds!) who's going to be eliminated next from "The Voice" or what twists and turns will happen next in "Game of Throne"/"Madmen".

The computers, well, are preparing to take over the world. The upcoming Major League Soccer All-Star Game on July 25th in Philadelphia will feature the first world's first "smart soccer match" where all the players on the field will be tracked by adidas' miCoach system and the data will be available instantly for analysis.

Sounds pretty cool. Hopefully ESPN gets some of the data to share in-game with views.

We're just glad they didn't call it SkyNet. We're safe for now.

Right?


Get the NEW Free Beer Movement "Pint Glass" shirt! Only from Objectivo.com

The Tuesday XI: Piano Man Edition

2 comments


By "The Other 87 Minutes" / Senior Unemployed English Major Correspondents  
We're stepping back into the music world this week in honor of last week's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions (We're pro-Beastie Boy.). Except instead of putting together an team of musicians, we're lining up songs, specifically famous title characters from songs, into a harmonious XI.
I don't think that's the right one.
GK – Macho Man – Uses his inflated ego, and pectoral muscles, to deflect goal-bound shots.
LB – Minnie the Moocher – Bought a diamond car with some platinum wheels with her first top-flight paycheck.
CB – Bad Bad Leroy Brown – Something a throwback to the old-timey center-halves of yesteryear. If the baddest man in the whole damn town doesn't get the ball, he's going to be sure to get the man.
CB – Superfreak – Definitely not the kind of player you'd take home to mother. TheYouTube highlight reel is topped only by the outlandish off-the-field antics. Imagine if you crossed Marvell Wynne with Mario Balotelli.
RB – Eleanor Rigby – Picks up the ball, on the flanks, in the space, where the winger has been. Crosses like a dream.
Not exactly...
DM – Iron Man – Has really raised his game in the center since he was turned to steel in the great magnetic field.
CM – Baba O'Riley – Fights for his meals out there in the field, and always gets his back into his motoring up and down from box-to-box.
AM – Mack the Knife – Someone's sneaking behind the defense, ghosting late onto crosses or to collect drop-offs from our center forwards. Could that someone, perhaps, perchance, be Mack the Knife?
LW– Jumping Jack Flash – Hits defenses like a cross-fire hurricane down the left side.
Fine, whatever.
CF – Man in Black – It says it right there in the song, “Up front there oughta be a man in black.” You want to argue with a guy who only dresses in all black?
RW – Voodoo Child – Provides craftiness and guile up top to balance the speed of Jumping Jack Flash and the power of the Man in Black. He’ll move mountains to get our side a goal, or at least chop them down with the edge of his hand.



What is this new site we're exposing you too? We'll let them explain:
The Other 87 seeks to provide something that’s not instant analysis or eve of matchday previews. Think of us as the good bits of your favorite soccer coverage: the profiles that examine what makes a certain player tick, the historical background that sheds some light on how the sport has evolved to the present day, the silly features that are more than just tacking names on a list, but considering and explaining why each one deserves to be there.

O87 wants to be a home for soccer writing that makes you think, but that also treats the game as just that, a game. The greatest game, the one we obsess over and fixate on, to the point where we can’t read that gas costs 3.43 a gallon without thinking of Ajax’s 1995 Champions League winning team. But a game nonetheless.

“When you play a match, it is statistically proven that players actually have the ball three minutes on average. The best players – the Zidanes, Ronaldinhos, Gerrards – will have the ball maybe four minutes. Lesser players – defenders – probably two minutes. So, the most important thing is: what do you do those 87 minutes when you do not have the ball…. That is what determines whether you’re a good player or not.” –Johann Cruyff

Get the NEW Free Beer Movement "Pint Glass" shirt! Only from Objectivo.com
Get the NEW Free Beer Movement "Pint Glass" shirt! Only from Objectivo.com

Friday, April 6, 2012

Making the Case - No More Trolling

7 comments
This is a case of beer. We are making an argument or case about something. See the connection?
By Mike CardilloThat's On Point

"Crawl. Walk and then run." -- Clay Davis

"I'm just a troll who's intentions aren't good, oh lord please let me be misunderstood."  -- Anonymous

Where are we as soccer fans in America?

Certainly past infancy and the terrible twos. Perhaps we're now in the petulant teen mode.

(I must file a strongly-worded letter to the
maker of this graphic, post haste!)
We want everything -- immediately. Right now! Every game, every second, every play should be a World Cup final multiplied by the Champions League wrapped in the 5-foot-7 frame of Lionel Messi with a cooing Ray Hudson shrieking in the background about champagne bubbles. 

Right or wrong behavior or mentality, that's sometimes how it seems. Yes, sure, it's progress from the "modern" era of U.S. soccer that began with the 1990 World Cup, but maybe it's a little unrealistic.

One place where we can all, as American soccer fans, agree is that we probably need to grow up -- or at least grow a thicker skin -- when the old, dying wave of media members with an ingrained hatred of the Beautiful Game open up their yaps or get behind their keyboards and spew garbage, as Joe Queenan, a "humorist" did in the Wall Street Journal, trying to frame the U.S. U-23 team's failure to qualify for the London Olympics as proof nobody in America cares about the sport.

At the same time last week, apparently, UFC president Dana White called soccer boring in advance of promoting a fight at a soccer stadium in Brazil, leading to some banter back and forth on Twitter.

My question: why give these trolls any credence?

The Queenan story in the WSJ was so fraught with factual errors it was actually hilarious and, come on, does anyone truly care if the UFC president does or doesn't like something? Does it cause you to lose sleep at night?

Same thing goes for the King of American "soccer haters," Jim Rome. His schtick is about as fresh as rollerblades, stuck somewhere in 1993 where calling your listeners "clones" was considered edgy.

Truly, why engage people who are have nothing left to cling onto other than the fact, as has been proven for years, that America soccer fans have the softest skin in the world? (I, like all of us, is guilty of this, admittedly.)

Look, in a way, trolling especially via Twitter and other Internet means fascinates me. Gun to may head, the ultimate troll account, @Fansince09 might be the most hilariously brilliant use of the medium out there. If you don't get the joke, I feel bad for you.

As it is, when you go onto an online forum whining -- yes whining -- about the mean things a Queenan writes or a Rome says, you're playing into their hands when realistically these idiots are no better than a pranking troll like Fansince09, albeit much less offensive or hilarious. For decades there was no lazier sports' columnist trope than writing how soccer was for commies or would never be accepted in America, and watch the teary-eyed fans lash back and retort.

More than anything, as soccer and soccer fans mature in America, shouldn't we be past worrying about who does or doesn't like the sport? Sure, the anchors of "SportsCenter" still can't pronounce half the names correctly when they read a highlight -- but soccer plays are a almost a daily fixture in their "Top 10" plays.

Over the weekend when New York Cosmos legend Giorgio Chinaglia died it garnered more attention than was expected, all with the proper amount of reverence -- especially for a player who was most famous for playing in a league that became extinct nearly 30 years ago.

And let's face it too, when the NASL died in the early 1980s soccer did nearly fade away from the American sports landscape. Nowadays you almost can't go a day without a major soccer event on television. Just look at this week, starting with the weekend's European action, the Monday Manchester United/Blackburn game, the (UEFA) Champions League and CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday and Wednesday, MLS and Europa League on Thursday ... there's never a dull moment.

That's not even to mention the new generation of kids on playgrounds kicking a ball around or sitting in their bedrooms trash-talking me when they beat me at FIFA, who've grown up not knowing a world where soccer wasn't part of the mainstream American sports culture.

So yeah, if you want to fall into the fading, desperate trap in the last wheezing breaths of the soccer-haters, be my guest. Yet when people leap to the defense of the sport they themselves end up coming off as preachy, evangelists. It's a free country. People can like or dislike sports as they please. Personally, I loathe professional golf and tennis. I understand why people are interested in it -- maybe not rooting for an individual golfer who probably wouldn't piss on them if they were on fire -- but it doesn't bother me one way or another. Yet no matter how much purple prose is waxed poetic about Roger Federer, I'm just not going to care. In one ear, out the other.

Granted, soccer fans have had thin skins for years of being told that their sport sucks, is for fancy European divers and will never be popular in America. At the same time, trying to convince someone why they MUST like something gets tiresome after a while (EDITOR'S NOTE... No... never.).

In the world we live in circa 2012, shouldn't we all better than that? There's enough high-level soccer easily accessed that a person can decide on their own whether or not they like it. (ANOTHER EDITOR'S NOTE: Free beer does help, though)

Shouldn't we all have grown up, if only a little?

And isn't one of the biggest leaps from teenager to adult learning to be comfortable in your own skin and not worrying about what everybody else thinks?

Get the NEW Free Beer Movement "Pint Glass" shirt! Only from Objectivo.com

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

National Free Beer Movement Weekend 2012

1 comments
Soccer newbies demand you buy them a beer.

This Saturday is "National Beer Day," the unofficial holiday in which Americans celebrate the return of delicious beer and spirits to the nation's bars and stores with the end of Prohibition in 1933.

Millions of Americans lined up at their local bars, pubs, and taverns ("New Beer's Eve") awaiting this moment when at twelve midnight they could drink again without fear of their suds confiscated or their speak-easys shut down. Happy days were here again. (In fact, 4,207 liquor licenses were issued in Milwaukee alone on April 7th!)

To celebrate the resurrection of beer drinking in the United States we are encouraging each American soccer fan to exercise that Constitutional right to drink beer and do it this weekend at a soccer game with a soccer newbie.

Celebrate "National Beer Day" by making this weekend "National Free Beer Movement Weekend".

Without the repeal of the 18th Amendment we wouldn't have delicious, delicious beer. And without said beer we wouldn't have the greatest motivator in the world to build American soccer.

This weekend when you're attending a Major League Soccer game... bring a friend. When you're watching English Premier League match Saturday and Sunday mornings.... bring a co-worker. When you're pulling up a seat to any soccer game that's live on on TV anywhere in this great nation or from anywhere in the world.... save a seat for a family member.

All of these people, in all of these situations, are potential soccer fans and they just need the proper setting, the proper education, and the proper brew, all provided by you, for them to be exposed to the wonderful world of soccer.

This is the perfect weekend to participate. All across Europe there are matches that will make-or-break title contenders and games that will decide the survival of other clubs. And, of course, in our domestic league, the love of our life, the MLS season (and the NASL is kicking off) is in full swing. First Kick has come and gone, but the newness of the season is still alive. Every team is still alive and optimism still reigns supreme.

There are tailgates galore to grab a brew, bars abound ready to fill your pint, and fridges fully stocked to host a gang so why not bring a few new fresh faces along and expose them to the beautiful game?

We want your to share your beers and buds with us. Share the beers you're drinking across the country and the friends that you're introducing soccer to with us. 

Tweet or Facebook us with your photos of FBM in action this weekend, National Free Beer Movement Weekend 2012.

Cheers!

Historical Note: For many beer nerds, December 5th is the ultimate Prohibition-ending holiday called "Repeal Day" in honor of the final necessary 2/3rds of states (Utah, of all places) ratifying the 21st Amendment. For the Free Beer Movement we're going with this day to honor when President Franklin D. Rooesvelt signed Cullin-Harrison Act became law, official ending the failed Prohibition experiment and allowing beer and other alcohol to flow freely again. Also, since this date falls during the MLS season it makes even more sense.


Get the NEW Free Beer Movement "Pint Glass" shirt! Only from Objectivo.com

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

VIDEO - Becks on BK

2 comments



"Handsome Man" David Beckham has sold a lot of things in his day on either side of the Atlantic, watches, fancy-pants underwear, fast cars, but these new Burger King smoothies are something we might actually be able to afford.

Given his benching by Bruce Arena this weekend put money on Becks sipping on one of these on the sidelines if he's there again this week.

That's product placement for ya.


Get the NEW Free Beer Movement "Pint Glass" shirt! Only from Objectivo.com

The Tuesday 10: Ten Most Interesting Events in Soccer Since We Started As A Blog One Year Ago

1 comments

By "The Other 87 Minutes" / Senior Unemployed English Major Correspondents 


Our friends and contributors from "The Other 87 Minutes" celebrate their one year blog-versary!


1. US Women lose the World Cup to Japan. That World Cup run was amazing in many respects, but ultimately we were all left with that bitter feeling of not meeting expectations.

2. Messi becomes Barcelona’s All-Time Scoring Leader. Cue comparisons with Pele, Maradona, Jordan, Armstrong, Ruth, Dimaggio, Gretsky, and Phelps. None of them unjustified.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo goes a year without crashing his Ferrari. Wait did he? We’ll have to check on that one. Oh, he didn’t, but one did break down on him.

4. At least six Clasicos were played. UEFA drastically increases the quota for the number of yellow and red cards a ref must have on his body during a match.

5. Manchester City finally took its spot among the major players in the Premier League. Now if only a Saudi sheikh would buy out everyone else, it’d be the least bit fair.

6. Wayne Rooney got hair plugs. Well he had to spend that hard-fought and won contract money on something. Next up, fake biceps.

7. AC Milan broke the Inter Milan deadlock on the scudetto. The Italian FA opened a symbolic match-fixing investigation. #neverforget

8. Fernando Torres scores a goal. No really! I mean, we didn’t see it, but we heard from someone who did.

9. Neymar becomes the next Messi. And then is savagely outclassed during the Club World Cup by the old Messi, who hit the Brazilian with his walker and told him to get off his lawn.

10. The LA Galaxy win another MLS Cup, their first with David Beckham. To celebrate, they all went out drinking and revelling. Beckham suspiciously disappeared about 30 minutes before the bar tab appears.
 





What is this new site we're exposing you too? We'll let them explain:
The Other 87 seeks to provide something that’s not instant analysis or eve of matchday previews. Think of us as the good bits of your favorite soccer coverage: the profiles that examine what makes a certain player tick, the historical background that sheds some light on how the sport has evolved to the present day, the silly features that are more than just tacking names on a list, but considering and explaining why each one deserves to be there.

O87 wants to be a home for soccer writing that makes you think, but that also treats the game as just that, a game. The greatest game, the one we obsess over and fixate on, to the point where we can’t read that gas costs 3.43 a gallon without thinking of Ajax’s 1995 Champions League winning team. But a game nonetheless.

“When you play a match, it is statistically proven that players actually have the ball three minutes on average. The best players – the Zidanes, Ronaldinhos, Gerrards – will have the ball maybe four minutes. Lesser players – defenders – probably two minutes. So, the most important thing is: what do you do those 87 minutes when you do not have the ball…. That is what determines whether you’re a good player or not.” –Johann Cruyff

Get the NEW Free Beer Movement "Pint Glass" shirt! Only from Objectivo.com