Monday, May 31, 2010

Beer-tastic World Cup Jerseys: Group A

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Here we are! Under two weeks to the greatest sporting spectacle the world has ever seen. No... not the monster truck rally at your local convention center. The World Cup! The pageantry, the globe's greatest teams and players, the crazed and delusional fans (looking at you, England).

But what about the team's jerseys? Every four years, and sometimes even more frequently, the National teams of nearly every country roll out new threads for materialistic consumers to salivate over and spend their hard earned dollars, yen, Euros, etc on.

How will you ever sort through all of them to decide which jersey you'll treasure for the next month?

Worry no more! The Free Beer Movement's Nick Sindt is going to walk you through all 32 teams' home and away jerseys and rate them based on (what else?) beer!

The Ratings System

Here’s how the ratings will work; I’ll be ranking each kit on its design/uniqueness and purchasability (from a home fan’s standpoint) and the rankings will of course be done in beers as follows:

- John Smith’s Extra Smooth = An Excellent design that deserves to be toasted with a fine beer; you don’t need to pound these back to look at it, but it’s beer and it’s the World Cup so we know you’re going to.

- Summit [Insert Local Brewery Name Here] Extra Pale Ale = A solid design though it may not satisfy everyone’s pallets. You’ll only need two or three of these excellent brews before you lose your inhibitions and purchase the kit online in the middle of the night.

- Miller Lite = A shallow and pedantic effort by one of the “big names” in the world, but it’s still an average beer/your national team’s kit so you can’t hate it, right?

- Coors Lite = Thankfully Coors tastes and goes down like water because you’ll be drinking a lot of it to drown out the abomination that is this iteration of your team’s kit.

- Bartles & Jaymes = Shennaigannery! Travashammockery! This kit is such an abomination you’d rather punish your liver, taste buds, and stomach with a wine cooler. If the kit is extra horrible, you’ll even get to whittle some wood with Pauly Shore.

Group A

South Africa Home ------------------ South Africa Away



With the South Africa kits I’m a bit torn, they’re not awful by adidas standards. But, this is the host country, would it be too difficult to give them a something more than their national colors on the “B” template? The stitching around the neck, and the faint subliminal patterns (of what though?) makes this shirt a little unique, but overall I’m bored.

Home and Away Design = Coors Lite

Home and Away Uniqueness = Coors Lite

Home and Away Purchasability = Coors Lite


France Home -------------------- France Away

The French home kit follows adidas’s futuristic tech-fit template, which is the “A” template this year, with some nice splashes of individuality thrown into the mix. The red and white stripes across the stomach continue the nice homage to the 1998 home shirt that we’ve seen in the recent years. And, as always, the three stripes on the shoulder mimic the French flag. The downside to this shirt is the modern tech-fit “thingy” across the back and shoulders mixed with the stripes angling downwards will always remind me of the 80’s and 90’s sci-fi/action Predator movies.

Home Design = Summit EPA

Home Uniqueness = Summit EPA

Home Purchasability = Miller Lite

It seems like the French away kit is always an after-thought for adidas, remember the all red shirt they wore in Euro 2008, and this year’s is no exception. The pinstripes are at least a little unique for an adidas “B” template, but overall this is a boring shirt that’s ugly to boot.

Away Design = Coors Lite

Away Uniqueness = Miller Lite

Away Purchasability = Bartles & Jaymes


Mexico Home ---------------------- Mexico Away

For the home kit, adidas reverted from the astroturf green to a more Christmas-y version of the color, slapped it on the “B” template and added the tech-fit things, and as a bonus this year some sublimations that don’t really look like they have anything to do with Mexican culture (in-fact they look like upside down dradles).

Home Design = Coors Lite

Home Uniqueness = Coors Lite

Home Purchasability = Coors Lite

The Mexico away shirt is a different story altogether even though it’s exactly the same as the home shirt, but in black with mostly red and a little bit of green trim. The choice of a black away shirt deviates drastically from every other Mexico away shirt I’ve ever seen, and makes me think of ninjas. Ninjas + tech-fit thingys = not horrible.

Away Design = Miller Lite

Away Uniqueness = Summit EPA

Away Purchasability = Miller Lite


Uruguay Home ----------------- Uruguay Away

Uruguay has always been known for their Smurftastic home shirts, though Puma splashed them up with the sunburst sumblimations (adidas, are you paying attention? This is how you incorporate something cultural into a subliminal pattern) and a colar. It’ll be interesting to see if this shirt is worn with the traditional black shorts or white ones. The colar and khaki trim are interesting touches and make me wonder whether this should be worn while playing the beautiful game or a round of golf. Either way, a decent shirt. The only thing that is missing are the two gold stars above the crest to comemorate their two World Cup victories.

Home Design = Miller Lite
Home Uniqueness = Miller Lite
Home Purchasability = Summit EPA


The away shirt is extremely plain and is a (typical) reversal of the home shirt’s colors. However, there is some beauty in its simplicity.

Home Design = Miller Lite
Home Uniqueness = Miller Lite
Home Purchasability = Miller Lite

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

One Goal In Its Entirety

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In honor of today's vital pre-World Cup warm up clash against Turkey we present to you One Goal's beautiful documentary of U.S. soccer supporters during the qualifying stages in its entirety.

Enjoy!

Part 1:



Part 2:



Part 3:



Part 4:



Part 5:



Part 6:




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Friday, May 28, 2010

Going Suds Up: Your Soccer and Beer Pairings for Upcoming Game

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By Kirsten Schlewitz

What with the excitement of so many of my twitter-mates over their travel to Philadelphia this weekend, I’m starting to wonder if I’m the only soccer fan in the country not making the trek to see US v Turkey. If you’re like me and stuck at home, you’ll find it live on ESPN2, at 1PM CDT.

Whether you’re kicking back on the couch or buzzing it up at a bar in Philly, my job is to tell you what you should be drinking when the USMNT kicks off for the last time before heading to South Africa. Now, I realize this is an American game, and what advertisers are going to tell you is that you need to be drinking the great American lager. This is incorrect. Put down that straw-colored, over-carbonated, tasteless macrobrew. Knocking back ten of those babies won’t make you a better supporter of your team. It will just make you fat, and then how will someone mistake you for Clint Dempsey when you’re walking around in your number 8 kit?

Sam Adams is certainly not a microbrew; its parent company, Boston Beer Company, is the largest American-owned beer company, but this week I’m trying to recommend something that is widely available and likely to be on tap and, as always, still delicious. That's my job right? Would I lead your astray? (Ed: Despite Samual Adams massive size they still stay true to craft brew principles.... read about founder Jim Koch.)

East-coasters shouldn’t have a problem tracking down Sam Adams beer. However, I am suggesting you skip their core beers, such as the standard Sam Adams lager, and branch out to their seasonal pours.

When you find Samuel Adams Blackberry Witbier, stop, pause, sip, enjoy. I promise we’ll be visiting other witbiers this summer, so this is a great way to acquaint yourself with the style. It pours a hazy copper color with visible bubbles and little head. Strong aromas of blackberry, sweet malt, and wheat. The palate is a little thin and moderately carbonated, so it’s a perfect baby step from the typical lagers. Although the taste disappears quickly, it’s refreshing, with plenty of berries and sweet malts—a good summer sessions beer. And considering it’s named after a revolutionary war hero, what beer would be better at getting you in the mood for USA v England?

I know you’re going to watch USA v Turkey. If you’re reading this column, it will be your must-see match this week. But because I’m nice, I’ll go ahead and give you a backup match. Yesterday brought the sad news that St. Louis Athletica, a club in the Women’s Professional Soccer League, has folded due to financial reasons. This brings the WPS down to seven teams—so if you’re looking for something to watch on Sunday, give the ladies your attention. The Washington Freedom take on the Philadelphia Independence in yet another opportunity designed to remind Americans of their revolutionary past. You can find it Sunday on FSC at 5pm CDT, and streaming live on the WPS website.

These women are a rare breed, underappreciated, devoting their lives to sport for very little reward. Why not salute them with a style of beer also underappreciated by the female population? Imperial IPAs are often not enjoyed by women, as we have a much higher sensitivity to bitterness than males. But just as soccer skills need to be developed, you can also train your palate to appreciate bitter hops. Try Un*Earthly, from New York brewer Southern Tier. This one pours a honey red brown with a thin cream head and minimal lacing. The first aromas are of caramel and dough, with typical hop smells of grass and floral following. Some yeast in the taste, followed by floral notes before finishing with bitter citrus peel—all typical of an IIPA, but not overwhelming in the way some West Coast ones can be. With an 11% ABV, in no time you’ll be cracking amusing puns about the unearthly skills of the women footballers.

Meet Kirsten:

Ever since Brazil caught my eye during the 1994 World Cup I’ve considered myself a soccer fan, but it wasn’t until the summer 2008 that I decided to find a club. I focused on the Premier League and eventually chose Aston Villa. Initially drawn in by the pretty clarets and blues, I found I liked their organization, their owner and their manager. I fell hard and now it’s too late—I can’t give them up. As for MLS, that was easy, as I live in Seattle. I also support Exeter FC, SSC Napoli, FC Koln, Estudiantes Tecos and Tooting & Mitcham FC, all for a variety of reasons including cider, tattoos, scarves, owls, and a soccer player texting while on the pitch. I’m the Managing Editor of SB Nation’s Aston Villa site, 7500 to Holte. I also will be contributing to Two Footed Tackle after the World Cup.


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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

War of Independence 2010 Art Gallery

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With under two weeks before the epic battle against England we thought it was appropriate to re-visit some "art" that we created many moons ago to commemorate this upcoming game.

For those students of history the United States has a knack for wiping the floor with the Brits. For soccer it was 1950 (and the the Nike uniforms), but we're going a bit further back for our inspiration.

Enjoy as we create the "War of Independence 2010".

"Tim Howard Denies Wayne Rooney"

"Yankee Doodle Landy and Co. Take Out David Beckham"


"Bradley Crosses the Deleware"


"Bradley and Donovan Accept Fabio Capello's Surrender (with John Terry) at Saratoga"

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

America! Fuck Yeah! International Friendly World Cup Warm Up Game Day Edition

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U.S. jersey? Check.

Red and white "Waldo" hat (game day tradition)? Check.

Pre-game and game day reports from The Shin Guardian? Check.

American Outlaws: Austin Chapter set up? Check.

Beer? Shit... where did we put our beer? Found it! Check!

If you're in Austin the Free Beer Movement and the American Outlaws are at the unfortunately-named Mister Tramps Sports Pub starting at 6:30pm.

Kick off is at 7:00pm.

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We Love Hope Solo

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We've honored U.S. Women's National Team Goalkeeper Hope Solo before. In fact she was one of the very first to be bought an imaginary (but hopefully real someday... like Pinocchio!) beer. Just this weekend the hottie between the posts led her #1 national side to a 4-0 beat down of #2 ranked Germany in Cleveland.

But that's not why we think that Ms. Solo is one of the greatest women to EVER live; kinda like Amelia Earhart, Dolly Madison, Jane Addams, Ida Tarbell, and Cheryl Cole.

Today it is because of her commitment to the FBM cause.

We received an e-mail from a friend in St. Louis who let us know that Hope was fighting the good fight to "spread American soccer one beer at a time".

From Free Beer Movement fan Bradley:

Hey, this happened a couple weeks ago, but I thought it worthy of a Free Beer mention. Hope Solo who plays for both the national team and St. Louis Athletica sent out the following invitation to all the Soccer Supporters Groups in St. Louis both men's and women's:

However, she also bought one of the pre-game tailgate tents and 20 tickets to give out for free to anybody who wanted them. I don't know how many tickets she ended up buying, but it was more than 20 and I know there was a lot of beer being drank in her name and a big chant from the supporters in the corner during the game was "Hey Hope, Thanks For The Beer!".

Normally I would say this was just a team write-off with her name on it, but a friend ran into Hope yesterday and while they were talking she said something to the effect that she ended up paying for a lot of beer that night. She really did buy the beers herself out of her own pocket. Surely she is worthy of recognition by the FBM. I wasn't there, but I wish I could have been to tell the tale of when Hope Solo bought me a drink.
Video from the Laclede's Army Atheltica Supporters Group:



So this basically makes Hope Solo the female equivalent to Frankie Hejduk. That's a good thing, by the way....

A fantastic goalkeeper, a great human being, and, even if she didn't know, a member of the Free Beer Movement.

We love Hope Solo.
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Monday, May 24, 2010

Who We're Buying a Beer For...

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The day we published out last "Who We're Buying a Beer For" honoring a handful of soccer-savvy lawmakers the U.S. World Cup Bid Committee gave us one more to add to our list.

Last Monday GoUSA Bid announced that former President Bill Clinton will become the honorary chairperson for the 2018/2022 effort to bring the World Cup back to America.

And even though we tackled politicians last week we couldn't let this one slip through the cracks. We're that comprehensive in our coverage! Now we've heard that Mr. Clinton is more of a cigar aficionado (cheap joke... we know... we're not above it), but hopefully he doesn't mind a free cold one from us with his smoke.

Clinton is the latest in a long ling of high-profile figures to join the bid committee, including Landon Donovan, Mia Hamm, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomburg, Henry Kissinger, Spike Lee, Oscar De La Hoya, Ahh-nold, and many more.

While star power isn't everything to the bid having such public figures on board with the U.S. campaign puts the bid committee's efforts in the limelight and helps build American soccer, whic, in case you all didn't know... we're strongly in favor of.

Alongside one former Prez is one current National Throwball League star Chad Ocho-Cinco. Despite have a name that looks more at home on the back of an XFL jersey the Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver is a huge soccer fan and recently said that if the NFL went locked out players for the 2011 season he would try his hand at playing the real football for Barcelona.

And even if he couldn't crack it on "Dancing With the Stars" who says that he couldn't crack the starting 11 for one of Spain's greatest teams? He already made The Shin Guardian's All-Non-Soccer Soccer Team at right-mid so that's a start.

OchoCinco proved he can smack the ball when he nailed that extra point during the throwball season last year so maybe, just maybe he could hack it. While Barca might be a loooooong shot what about having some Major League Soccer team call him into camp just for the press? Maybe roll him out in a pre-season friendly? Since football would be out of season, why not? It'd get some great press for the league and the team. Maybe not on par with Michael Jordan and baseball, but it'd probably end better that MJ's shot at multi-sport stardom. Chad's just that crazy to take up the offer.

Columbus Crew... you're in his neighborhood. Hint, hint... wink, wink... we're looking at you.

"Frankie Hejduk. Passes to OchoCinco streaking down the right wing. He cuts inside. Fires away. Goooooooooal!!!! Hejduk and OchoCinco tap a keg and slam a beer near the corner flag. Great stuff, fans!"

Whether or not OchoCinco ever finds himself donning a soccer jersey for a competitive match his love and support of the "Beautiful Game" is beer-worthy. Another big name siding with soccer! Obviously our soccer players in this country are fans of other sports and so it's nice to see players like Steve Nash and OchoCinco lining up for some mutual appreciation.

Lastly, just because he asks almost every week when we release our beer-buying list, we're going to offer up a beer for Devin Howard aka usofarsenal and we'll even make it two when he gets his brilliant "From the Spot" project going (think: an American version of SkySports FanZone). Howard's been a good supporter and a nice imaginary internet friends of the FBM from the get-go. Hopefully that will get him off our back now!

So, if you bother us enough you can probably get mentioned in this article. A little food for thought....

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Chaaaaaaaaampioooooooons!

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A great opportunity for some Free Beer Movement! Grab some soccer newbies and treat them to some great beer and a great Champions League Final between Inter Milan of Italy and Bayern Munich of Germany.

All the action kicks off at 1:45pm on your local Fox channel.

If you're in the Austin, TX area the Free Beer Movement will be at the new home of American Outlaws: Austin Chapter, a great soccer bar, the unfortunately-named Mister Tramps (8565 Research Blvd, (512) 837-3500‎).

We'll be taking our own soccer newbies out and passing out our new FBM stickers as well. Join us!

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Going Suds Up: Your Weekly Soccer and Beer Picks

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By Kirsten Schlewitz

Hello friends, and welcome to the latest edition of my column—which now has a name! After an extensive twitter vote which included ballots cast aside due to cats not having opposable thumbs, “Going Suds Up” won by a single vote.

If you’d like to participate in future votes/beer/soccer chat, follow me @7500_Kirsten. Credit to Chris King (CaryFC) for crafting the winning title, and honorable mention to Aaron Campeau (7500_Aaron) and Steven Stoehr (stoehrst) for the runners up.

With the shameless self-promotion over, time to move on to this week’s matches. The game of the week this week is…

Seattle Sounders v San Jose Earthquakes: 2pm CDT, Fox Soccer Channel

That’s right, the Seattle Sounders, in their infinite wisdom, have scheduled a match at noon PDT—fifteen minutes after the start of the Champions League final. Before anyone gets snippy with me and says that people should support their hometown side over a club halfway across the world, let’s be clear: this isn’t me wanting to stay home and watch an Aston Villa match. The Champions League final is the biggest annual event that football sees. It’s like scheduling a WHL game during the Stanley Cup final, or hosting your NCAA Division II game during the Super Bowl. It is a slap in the face to a fan of the sport. I love donning my Osvaldo Alonso jersey and heading out to cheer on my Sounders, but this logic defies reason. It would have been so easy to schedule the game later in the day, and allow fans of soccer to watch two of the best teams in the world before tuning in to their local match.

If you’re like me and going to Qwest Field tomorrow, stop off at Elysian Fields before the game, conveniently located just across from the stadium. While many of their standard offerings—porter, pale ale, IPA—are a typical mid-table beer, their special brews are certainly in the running for Champions League competition. But even if you can’t find any of their seasonals on tap, the Elysian Avatar Jasmine IPA is always worth a drink. This fun IPA pours golden brown with plenty of bubbles, leaving behind a beige lacing. The smell is exotic and flowery with a bit of sugar mixed in. The jasmine certainly comes out in the taste as well, but the flower isn’t overpowering, as it is tempered by orange spice and peppery hops. At 6.3% ABV, after a couple you might find your anger dissipating. And if you can’t make it to Elysian tomorrow, Avatar Jasmine is one of the few Elysian beers available in bottles, but alas you probably won’t be able to find it too far outside the west coast. I suggest you come experience a Sounders match day, and hit up Elysian beforehand.

Bayern Munich v Inter Milan: 1:45 CDT, Fox

If you’re not going to be watching your favorite MLS team take the field at inappropriate hours, you’re likely to be joining the rest of the world in watching the Champions League final on Saturday afternoon. Bayern Munich take on Inter Milan at the Bernabeu in Madrid, with both teams seeking a treble. Will the Special One succeed? Will RibĂ©ry regret not being on the field? Hundreds of stories have been written about this match-up already; I’m not here to replicate them. Instead I’m here to tell you about Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock, arguably the best dopplebock in the world and an excellent example of Bavarian beer (for those of you who didn’t pay attention during Geography, Munich is in the region of Bavaria in Germany).

Celebrator is a deep brown brew that holds a decently foamy tan head. It has a primarily malty aroma, with a bit of chocolate and a slight hint of smokiness. This beer is smooth and creamy, with a very faint alcohol burn at the end. It tastes mostly of toasted malts, chocolate, and smoke. Celebrator is available nationwide, and with an ABV of 6.7%, it is the perfect glass to raise when Bayern Munich take the field. Plus, the bottle has a little goat charm hanging off its neck—challenge your friends to a head-to-head action figure battle during halftime!

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Meet Kirsten:

Ever since Brazil caught my eye during the 1994 World Cup I’ve considered myself a soccer fan, but it wasn’t until the summer 2008 that I decided to find a club. I focused on the Premier League and eventually chose Aston Villa. Initially drawn in by the pretty clarets and blues, I found I liked their organization, their owner and their manager. I fell hard and now it’s too late—I can’t give them up. As for MLS, that was easy, as I live in Seattle.

I also support Exeter FC, SSC Napoli, FC Koln, Estudiantes Tecos and Tooting & Mitcham FC, all for a variety of reasons including cider, tattoos, scarves, owls, and a soccer player texting while on the pitch.

I’m the Managing Editor of SB Nation’s Aston Villa site, 7500 to Holte. I also will be contributing to Two Footed Tackle after the World Cup.
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

How Did I Get Here? - FBM Founder Dan's Story (Part 1)

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(Editor's Note: We're looking for your "How Did I Get Here?" story to win some pretty great prizes from us and the American Outlaws. Please click here to see them and read the details of the contest. Submissions must be in by June 4th.

For "inspiration," and what we're kinda looking for, read the Free Beer Movement's "Founder" Dan and his tale.

I don't like to often pop up on the Free Beer Movement site, personally. I like to do that with my "voice," but the FBM is not about me personally, but about an idea and how that idea can build American soccer. This will probably be one of the few times "Dan" actually shows up on the site. But I did think it was useful to share my "How Did I Get Here?" story with those who stop by the site to maybe understand how and why this Movement came to be.)

--------------------------------------------------------------------

I have never been particularly talented when it came to soccer. I played sparingly at forward in high school, my shinning moment when I scored two goals in one game (my hat trick incorrectly ruled offside... I have tape to prove it!) and promptly got benched for the following game for reasons unknown to me. Occasionally I played goalie when our starting keeper would run into something and get knocked unconscious, something that happened more often that one would assume. I still play that position with great mediocrity. Despite a handful of college intramural titles under my belt, the pitch and I have an unremarkable history.

I have always been a realist and when it comes to acknowledging my complete lack of skill when a ball was at my feet. I knew that my love affair with the sport of soccer would take place outside the white lines of the field (and frankly most of my playing career was there on the bench anyways!).

My first major soccer memory was, unfortunately, not the 1994 World Cup in the United States. I always regret the fact that I was too young and my family to distant from soccer to have been able to attend the event. It was the following contest, across the ocean, when I happened to be in France during the tournament by complete happenstance. I had been playing youth soccer for years, but always because it was clear that my sports sense was even worse in all the other "major" sports. Despite this I was hardly connecting to the sport itself.

Returning to the U.S. after seeing what a nation brought alive by the World Cup looked like I started watching the remaining tournament games including Dennis Bergkamp's magical goal against Argentina in the quarterfinals and the Zidane and company's triumph over Brazil as the people of France filled the street I had vacated only weeks earlier.

The global connection I now had with soccer now filled my head. Fox Sports World (ahhh... memories) was now showing EPL games and I fell for Liverpool with my kindrid #17 spirit Paul Ince and wunderkid Michael Owen and I was glued to the TV for anything soccer related.

But even still something was missing. Playing soccer was fun, really fun, but I knew it would never take me back to the place where I had experienced the true passion and excitement of soccer for the first time. It was like an addiction... I had had a great high and was trying to get back to that place without success.

In college I met like-minded addicts. In high school I played with soccer players, but not fans. Here I played with fans. In September of 2005 several of my friends, my dad and I packed up a van and drive to Columbus, Ohio for a World Cup Qualifier against Mexico. This was one of the famed showdowns in Columbus that would become the graveyard for many of Mexican qualifying hopes. The result and the experience was epic. The U.S. left with another 2-0 win and had booked their passage to Germany 2006.

I finally got that high back that I had been craving since France. The game, the crowd, the brotherhood of U.S. soccer fans that I never knew. It was awesome to experience such an electric atmosphere in the United States. That night we painted the town red, white, and blue. I was probably drunker than I had ever been before and since. I drank with Marcelo Balboa. 'Nuf said.

To Be Continued....




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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ask Yourself: "How Did I Get Here?" - The Contest is On!

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Beer and soccer. Never too far away from each other.

The prizes are set and your quest has been presented! We're already getting submissions in our e-mail and placed in the comments section about American's personal stories about how they become fans of the game.

Get yours in today to win some great things, including a Free Beer Movement T-shirt, an American Outlaws scarf, and FBM stickers!

Click or scroll down to the post below for more details and what, specifically, we're looking for.

The deadline for submissions is right before the World Cup (June 4th) kicks off so we can share the winning stories before the globe's greatest tournament.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How Did I Get Here? - A Free Beer Movement Contest

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We here at FBM HQ apologize. We're really sorry. We've been sitting here on a gold mine of great stuff and holding back from you all. In the last couple of week we've been waiting patiently by the mailbox waiting for all sorts of goodies to roll on in for us to give away in a contest.

And finally it's all present and accounted for!!!

Today we're launching our very first contest for our dear readers to participate in and we've got a bunch of cool prizes to hand out.

Let's be honest... you're really saying to yourselves, "I love winning free shit. I'll do anything. Just tell me about the prizes first. I don't care what's I gotta do."

As the great Ace Venture once said, "Alriiiiighty then."

First place

You've seen them featured prominently on Objectivo, the American Outlaws, and Red Card Clothing now you can have your very own.... Free Beer Movement T-Shirt!



Second Place

They bleed red, white, and blue... they're the loudest, drunkest U.S. supporters...they're often times disguised behind bandannas... it's the American Outlaws and they want you to have one of their brand-new.... AO Supporter's Scarves!


Third Place


Last, but certainly not least (and technically not last at all... clearly you're beating out plenty of other people to get to 3rd place) you'll be the first kid on your block and, frankly, the entire nation to have you very own stack of.... Free Beer Movement stickers!

We just had a huge batch printed with the new crest and not even our mom has one yet (sorry. mom!) They look great, as you can see, as beer labels. But we'd certainly allow you to put the dozen or so that you'd win where ever you'd like.

Now that you know the prizes it really begs the most obvious question, "What do I have to do to get my hands one of these three fabulous prizes?"

Like the iconic 1980 song by the Talking Heads "Once in a Lifetime" we're asking the question "How did I get here?" We at the Free Beer Movement, builders of American soccer, one beer at a time want to know how you, dear reader, became a fan of soccer and how you show your devotion.

We're looking for stories (and pictures) that define how you became and how you are a fan of soccer in this country that is on the verge of embracing soccer. Your story is important in shaping our collective soccer past and forging forward in our soccer future.

So please ask yourself, "How did I get here?" Write it down (attach a couple of pictures) and send your stories to freebeermovement (at) gmail.com OR leave your story in the comments section (no pics then!)

Have your submission in by the close of business on Friday, June 5th and all winning submissions (and maybe a few "honorable mentions") will be featured on the site the week before the opening of the World Cup!

Tomorrow we'll feature FBM Founder Dan's story for an, errr, "inspirational" example.

Good luck!

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Who We're Buying a Beer For...

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It's best that we keep up this whole "consistency" thing and so we march on with another weekly edition of "Who We're Buying a Beer For". This column honors people, places, and whatevers that are helping building soccer in America. And since we are the Free Beer Movement what better way to honor these tireless warriors of the game then through free beer.

So far we've never actually had to follow through on these honors, but don't worry we've got a list that we keep in our wallet so if we ever run into the hundred or so people we've so-far locked in as beer-honorees they'll get one right quick (maybe Sir Alex in Houston this summer?).

This week's first honoree isn't actually helping the game in the U.S., but we couldn't ignore the efforts of the Toronto City Government in expanding bar hours to serve customers for the early morning World Cup matches broadcast back from South Africa. Given that the big, bad government is the target of so much ire these days it's important to high-light when these fat cats get it right.

We're willing to bet that there's a few places in the United States that are still in the drinking-dark-ages and thus should follow Toronto's lead and frankly, any fight to support drunkenness before noon, is good in our book. American Jr.'s good fight is honorable and just, much that that of the American Revolution (think what you could've had if you joined us Canada...)

So now Toronto-ites (?) will be able to join the legion of the morning-buzzed just like their southern counterparts and cross-pond cousins. Drink up... the first morning breakfast beer is on us!

Speaking of government, President Barack Obama has had a couple of rough weeks. Though not his fault he's busy tackling a Gulf oil spill, an attempted bomb plot in New York City, and, just in case that wasn't enough, pushing a Supreme Court nominee through. Whatever your political leanings (we're crazy apart of the crazed, and under-reported, Beer Party) it's important to remember that we've got a big soccer fan sitting in the Oval Office. The self-professed West Ham fan has also indicated that he's making plans to attend the World Cup in South Africa (to watch the U.S. lift the trophy?).

So despite the day-to-day chaos that surrounds being President of the greatest-freakin-nation-in-the-world Obama found some time a few weeks ago to ditch the traveling circus that is the White House Press Corps and quietly catch his daughter playing soccer Saturday morning.

Now we cannot confirm whether or not Mr. Obama was there just quietly watching his daughter's vital re-WC tune up, throwing lawn chair around like a certain former teammate of our's dad, getting sloshed according our beer-to-soccer-level conversion chart that mandates seven, sneaky drinks, or really even there at all!

The real morale of the story. Soccer rules, this president likes it, and we're going to give him a beer for it. Just as long as he doesn't save it for some silly "beer summit" between two adults that should really not need the President of the Free World to sort out their little spat.


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Friday, May 14, 2010

Guest Column: This Weekend's Perfect Soccer and Beer Pairings

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(Editor's Note: We continue another great series on the Free Beer Movement site. Meet Kirsten, a massive soccer fan, a beer aficionado, and, coolest, a girl and enjoy her second column on the site. [Her first column here.] Each week she will bring you a great game of the week and a beer to pair with it plus a little bonus soccer and beer. Any comments and feedback are welcome below.)

We also have another great guest writer on the post below. Nigerian Mugwayne Nanfusu, helps educate Americans about soccer and to help American soccer fans educate their friends. Check it out!
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By Kirsten Schlewitz

I bet you thought this week’s match to watch might be awarded to MLS, what with the Premier League, Bundesliga, and Ligue 1 all crowning champions last weekend (although the French games continue this weekend). Italy’s Serie A and Spain’s La Liga have races that will come to a tight close this weekend. In La Liga the usual suspects, Barcelona and Real Madrid, are fighting for the title, while Sevilla and Real Mallorca are each trying to capture Spain’s fourth Champions League spot.

In Italy, FC Internazionale Milano are two points clear of AS Roma at the top of Serie A. It would seem as though Inter has an easy time of it on Sunday when they face Siena, who have already been regulated. However, Inter’s quest for the Champions League trophy next week might distract their attention from the scudetto. If Inter draw or lose, a win at Chievo means that Roma will take the title.

Siena –Inter Milan, 8am CDT on Sunday, May 16h—Fox Soccer Channel

Chievo—Roma, 10am CDT (tape delay) on Sunday, May 16th—Fox Soccer Channel


A couple early matches for American fans. Obviously, Italy is much better known for its wines than its beers (please, avoid Peroni), so this week, I’m recommending a beer whose taste is more wine-like than the straw-colored, grainy lagers revered as American beer. Beers that are listed as “sour” are often ones that are recommended for wine-lovers who believe that all beer is bitter, weak, and unremarkable. The sour that set off my obsession with the style was Duchesse de Bourgogne, which remains one of my favorites; it exemplifies a sour.

Crisp, with a tart cherry and apple flavor, everything in this beer works in balance. One of its best elements is its smell: deliciously sharp sour apple aromas. Bottles of Duchesse are easy to find in most bottle and beverage emporiums. Check the Belgium section. The royalty of the Duchesse fits well with the bourgeoisie supporters of Inter, so go ahead and pull the cork for the early game.

Sours are also a great breakfast beer, because it’s almost like having one of your servings of fruit for the day! You’ll want something mildly flavored to munch with this beer—I would actually suggest something that includes either cheese or chocolate. Use this as an excuse to welcome the day with a chocolate cannoli and truly celebrate Italy.

Kansas City—Chicago, 7pm CDT on Saturday, May 15th—Fox Soccer Channel.

With summer dialing up full-strength in some parts of the US, and spring finally creeping in in other corners, it’s quite possible you don’t want to abandon your lovely Saturday evening to tune in to FSC’s only MLS game this weekend. Particularly since it’s Kansas City, who managed to get themselves beat by DC United thanks to my magical powers of saying that DC United was going to win, against Chicago, who got themselves thrashed 4-1 by Toronto, who I have chosen to support this week.

My little Sounders are at the bottom of the West and face RBNY who are leading the East, so we’re going to pretend that game doesn’t exist and encourage everyone to watch Wizards v Fire. It’s like a twisted game of Paper, Rock, Scissors: Incendio! No, my powers shall win! Aguamenti! I predict a stalemate. Goalless draw.

Although Kansas City apparently has an excellent brewery in Boulevard Brewing, I have never tasted any of their beers, so instead we’ll have Chicago importing their beers into Kansas. For this match, grab a four-pack of Goose Island Matilda, which is a fairly new offering for the brewery, most famous for its Bourbon County Stout.

This Belgian comes in elegant bottles, perfect for impressing whomever you’ve decided to woo over the soccer match. Be sure to serve it in a tulip or trappist glass, however, unless you’re really fancy and you have a Matilda glass (and if you do, can you please send one my way?) The ale pours orange amber with very little head. Spicy aroma, with fruit and sugar, which apparently comes from the rare yeast they use. Dark fruits, clove, sugar and spice in the taste—a typical Belgian ale but done very well. At 7% ABV, even if the game does turn out goalless, at least you’ll get a nice buzz going.

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Meet Kirsten:

Ever since Brazil caught my eye during the 1994 World Cup I’ve considered myself a soccer fan, but it wasn’t until the summer 2008 that I decided to find a club. I focused on the Premier League and eventually chose Aston Villa. Initially drawn in by the pretty clarets and blues, I found I liked their organization, their owner and their manager. I fell hard and now it’s too late—I can’t give them up. As for MLS, that was easy, as I live in Seattle.

I also support Exeter FC, SSC Napoli, FC Koln, Estudiantes Tecos and Tooting & Mitcham FC, all for a variety of reasons including cider, tattoos, scarves, owls, and a soccer player texting while on the pitch.

I’m the Managing Editor of SB Nation’s Aston Villa site, 7500 to Holte. I also will be contributing to Two Footed Tackle after the World Cup.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Foreigner's Guide to.... Hands

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(Editor's Note: This is the second column of our new guest writer, Mugwayne Nanfusu. Check out his first piece here.)

Helllloooo you Americans! It has been such a week since I first wrote to you. I have read from London that there are many exciting things going on "across the pond" as they say here. Career naked-woman Pamela Anderson was removed from "Dancing With the Stars" and I hear that a woman named Kendra is appearing in many sexual intercourse tapings. How scandalous! More seriously, I hope all of your cars are moving fine with the spilling of oil on your gulf courses.

How rude of me! I have only written one column for the Free Beer Movement so maybe I should not be talking so familiar with you Americans so quickly. Allow me to introduce myself again.

My name is Mugwayne Nanfusu and I am a fund manager from the Bank of Nigeria, but I currently live in London and am a big fan of all things American. Most importantly I love soccer as you Americans call it. It is my job to help you Americans understand the sport better.

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Today I will be taking about "hands". No, no, no... I know what your are thinking! Ha ha! I am not a doctor... I already told you I am a banker. There will be no hand-washing checks today.

I talk about the fact that you Americans are very puzzled about the fact that soccer is played mostly with our feet. You Americans are always asking, "Mugwayne, why do you play that silly sport with your stinky, smell feet?"

I laugh and say to you Americans "Why are you always running around in your sports with so many sticks? Someone is going to get hurt!" You see in soccer only one player, the keeper of goal is allowed to use his hands. Everyone else must only use their feet (unless it is a "throw-in" from out-of-bounds).

You Americans have a very funny relationship with feet. American women are always cramming them into very weird shoes that rise very high and American men are always wearing sports shoes they rarely play actual sports in. It seems like only children and dirty, backpacking college kids expose their feet to the air.

Growing up I always wished I had four feet instead of two hand and two feet. It is funny because one of my friends of childhood did have four feet, but that was because we lived so close to a Shell oil drilling station back in Nigeria. Surprisingly, he was not very good a soccer. He mostly laid around and complained of headaches. I would have used all those feet so well!

Think now, you Americans, I know that you are always moving about in your Sports Utility Vehicles and Hummers from place to place, and think of feet as something that get in the way of the TV, but for someone who walked to the neighboring village for school six miles both ways to use your feet in such a beautiful way is to make them sing with a ball!

I love hands, though. They are they fantastic ends of an out-stretched goalkeeper making a great save. In your American sports they fuel pitcher's duels, game winning touchdowns, and slap shot goals. You Americans always think that the using of feet in sports is somehow backwards, but really it is the highest form of art. Yes, yes.. having thumbs that are opposable or grabbing things is nice, but we've been able to do that for millions of years. Only the animals are jealous of that today. But to play with your feet!

Feet are a whole beast to tame! Like bringing a tiger home as a pet (not recommended... sorry mzazi!) they are wild at first and must be brought under control. Anyone can pick up objects with their hands like simple tools, but to move and shoot a ball with your feet takes much, much skill. To make so much with one's feet almost seems like those crazy "opposite days" you Americans like so much. To manipulate a ball with you feet is so much harder than to do so compared to your hands.

Do you understand? This soccer game is one that speaks with the feet. You Americans love your hands... that is probably why your sports players, moving picture stars, and politics men are always using them on lady people! Ha ha! Another joke!

I love to see American sports that use the hands. Like a powerful slam dunk, but to see a powerful blast of a shot from a foot curling into a goal many meters away, avoiding the hands (see always trying to get away from the hands!), for a score is love at first sight.

Thank you and until next time!

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Free Beer Movement on the American Outlaws Podcast

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It's all the craze over the Inter-net-blogo-sphere right now!

No, not the release of Coach Sweatpants provisional 30-man USMNT roster...

And it's definitely not Justin Bieber (seriously... what the fuck?)

It's the release of Episode 14 of The American Outlaws Podcast!

If that wasn't brilliant enough it features words of wisdom from FBM Founder Dan along with some fancy-pants "real" journalist from ESPN, Jeff Carlisle. Best of all almost everyone (although we can't speak for Mr. Carlisle) involved in this endeavor was intoxicated or on their way to being so.

Listen to Dan wax poetically about the Free Beer Movement, insult the fair leaders of the Outlaws, outrun stray dogs in South Africa, and defend a 17-0 trashing in FIFA from eight years ago.

Long-time readers know that we're strong supporters of the American Outlaws and their mission to "strengthen and unite" U.S. soccer supporter's across the nation, but recently AO signed on to partner with the Free Beer Movement as sponsors to help promote the Movement with all of its members and chapters. We're tickled pink that the Outlaws saw enough in what we're doing here to endorse us and we hope that if you're not a member of AO yet that you head on over to their site and sign up right away. (For only $15 you get a year's members ship, a sweet T-shirt, and an American flag bandanna, plus great discounts on Continental fights to US game cities, Big Soccer discounts, and more.)
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Monday, May 10, 2010

Who We're Buying a Beer For...

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We took a few weeks off from our beer buying column to work on a few other projects in the pipeline (including a contest we're announcing later this week!). This week we're back with a bang to honor a bunch of soccer-in-America leaders.

We're honored Sir Alex Ferguson in the past with beer, but this week we're loading up the ol' "SS Free Beer Movement" with some brews to make the cross-pond journey for his club, Manchester United. The worst kept secret in American soccer media was that the Red Devils would be showing up stateside to face the Major League Soccer All-Stars in Houston, Texas.

Additionally, United will be scurrying around the continent with games in Toronto, Philadelphia, and Kansas City in the run up to the clash in Houston.

This is obviously great news for all soccer fans in the U.S. and great for our domestic league to attract such a high profile opponent to face the MLS All-Stars. In years past the MLS's best have played games against fellow English Premier League sides Everton and West Ham, which are nice and all, but don't have the draw or the level of competition that Manchester United will bring to the States.

One of the world's most popular clubs their U.S. tour will continue to raise the profile of the sport in America and its especially encouraging that United will face American opposition in the form of MLS's All-Stars and several other domestic clubs. This will continue to increase the exposure of the league and highlight its players to the rest of the nation.

Of course we don't want to ignore the fact that there are many other clubs making U.S. tours this summer (Boca Juniors, Manchester City, AC Milan, etc), but the Red Devils tour and match up in Houston is certainly the highest profile match this summer (besides the obviously World Cup tournament going on!).

Manchester United has been chasing after Asia's money for the last couple of seasons so its a welcome turn to see them back stateside.

Also, great that the Free Beer Movement will be making the journey to H-town to witness such a great event and will be bringing soccer newbies along for the ride.

Beer worthy we say!

England, in general, is awesome. Obviously the U.S. is going to destroy the Three Lions come June 12th, but don't even think about saying anything bad about how they conduct an election. The FBM learned this week that in the British Isles pubs are often used as polling stations and it's not even frowned upon to vote drunk! Fantastic!

Even though this is hardly connected to soccer in America we thought it was worth noting (we'll buy a nice warm one for the new Prime Minister whenever they sort out the power sharing agreement) as a great system that we should emulate. Considering the fact that less than half of the eligible voters in the United States vote why not have polling stations at your local watering hole?

School, churches, and local VFWs are nice and all, but even once you look past the obvious benefits of drinking and voting there's the camaraderie that we'd all feel hanging around the bar celebrating American democracy (actually we're a republic or representative democracy). Plus, the prospect of food and drink deals for voting, we think, would really up the electorate participation.

I guess if we're going to stretch and connect this to soccer we'll try: if we all voted at bars and there happen to be a Champions League match day on a election Tuesday how great would that be to host a voting/free beer match day at your local bar/polling station!?!?!

Not buying it? Hey... we tried.

Lastly we're really loosening the ol' budget belts for another entire team, the Atlanta Beat, for their grand opening of the first Women's Professional Soccer soccer specific stadium

If you were glued to Fox Soccer Channel like we were Sunday night you would have had the chance to view the beautiful 8,300-seat home for women's soccer in the ATL. Quite a site that most men's teams (Austin included) would be jealous of. A great turnout for the stadia's debut as well despite the 1-0 loss.

Every single soccer-specific-stadium that's built in the U.S. is a step in the right direction and its great for the city of Atlanta and the investor-group of the Beat to have decided that there was enough support for American women's soccer in their town to push this endeavor forward. If you build it they will come. These are the sorts of efforts that the growth of American soccer is built upon.

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