Thursday, December 30, 2010

Best FBM Columns of 2010


We here at the FBM appreciate great writing. Problem is that it rarely happens here! We find it tough to string words and sentences together, let alone full articles.

But every once-in-while, like a blue moon, rarity happens. We manage to write some good stuff.

Here are some of our personal favorites and yours from 2010:

* "Free Beer Movement in Action: MLS Cup 2010" (January 6th)

*"De-Constructing Stupidity: In Defense of American Soccer" (March 18th)

"23 Beers to South Africa: The United States National Brew-ski Team" (March 24th)

"Soccer War of Independence Art Gallery"(May 22nd)

* "Donning America's Boomstick: A Drinking Guide for US-England" (June 11th) - Guest Post on "The Shun Guardian"

* "The Greatest Story Never Told - Aboard Air Bradley One" (June 11th) - Guest Post on "Yanks Are Coming"

"World Cup Punditry With Robert Green's Shattered Mental State" (June 14th)

* "Slovenian Sauce: A Drinking Guide for Slovenia-US" (June 17th) - Guest Post on "The Shin Guardian"

* "Algeria Bombshell Shutdown: A Drinking Guide for US-Algeria" (June 21st) - Guest Post on "The Shin Guardian"

* "The Most Interesting Man in the World" (June 25th)

* "The American Soccer Commercial We'd Like to See" (June 29th)

* "Basketball Will Never Be America's Sport" (July 12th)

* "In Bob We Trust - Time To Get On Board" (September 8th)

* "You'll Always Want McBride on Your Side" (September 8th)

* "FBM Six-Pack Interview: MLS Insider Shawn Francis" (September 20th)

* "What Not to Wear: Sports Edition" (September 23rd)

* "The ABCs of the USWNT" (October 26th) - Guest Post on "The Shin Guardian"

* "The Frailty of American Soccer" (October 26th)

* "The Twelve Days of US-Mas" (December 23rd)

* "The Free Beer Movement's "2010 Person(s) of the Year" (December 29th)

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Free Beer Movement's 2010 Persons of the Year

For 2010 there were so many heroes in the little world that we cover. Landon Donovan scored, perhaps, one of the most important and memorable goals in American soccer history, Sepp Blatter changed the course of the World Cup in the 21st century (for better or worse), Bob Bradley survived South Africa to remain head coach of the Men's National Team, and Cincinnati Bengal's wide receiver Chad OchoCinco wow'ed the world with his dream of playing for Barcelona. All worthy choices for the most influential people in the soccer world.

But, lest we forget that our humble little website has another master to satisfy when we consider the top person, people, or group of 2010. We cannot forget that beyond our place as the home for unabashed support for American soccer we are also enthusiastic supporters of beer. In our opinion, beer is what can (and will) make the American soccer world go 'round and grow it.

In that vein we announce the "2010 Free Beer Movement Persons of the Year".

Ladies and gentlemen... please give a rousing ovation to....

Hamburg (Germany) design agency Nordpol+!
(Silence.... Crickets....)

Alright... alright.... hold on just one second. Let's clear up the confusion. Let's set the stage for you all.

In Hamburg, Germany there is a wonderful little soccer club called FC St. Pauli and in 2010, after years in the lower tiers of German soccer, managed promotion and a return to the 1. Bundesliga.

Despite their middling success in German soccer St. Pauli is one of the most popular teams in the country and has grown into one of the nation's "kult" clubs.

Nordpol+ are huge St. Pauli fans and in conjunction with the club has re-designed some of the stands into a VIP arena of sorts. Normally when we think of "VIP" its overpriced food, watered down drinks, and stuffed shirts glad-handing each other instead of watch the match (maybe we're just jealous, though...).

The agency has converted an old hut previously used by the police and the stadium announcer into the best seats in all of global soccer. Straight from the stadium's kitchen runs a model train that, at five-minute intervals, delivers fresh bratwursts to the patrons in these seats. Underneath the "Heart Attack Express" are a series of small flat-screen TVs to follow the action when you collapse on the floor from clogged arteries.

That train and the TVs are nice, but the real kicker (and why we're chosen them as our "persons of the year") is the third innovation Nordpol+ debuted in St. Pauli's stadium. Beer seats. The trifecta is complete.

Don't mind the brand of beer. We'll find a suitable
 (and better) replacement.
To be a little more specific, Nordpol+ has installed mini-kegs of beer ("pony kegs") under a dozen or so seats in the VIP area. Further evidence, as we've started before, that German's love the Free Beer Movement.

And we love the Germans and their innovation and their door-opening for American soccer. This, ladies and gentlemen, is why we've chosen Nordpol+ as our 2010 "Persons of the Year".

Soccer and the spread of the sport in the United States through the power of beer has just received a huge boost. For the soccer newbies that are skeptical of attending their first game the comfort of a beer offering is massive boost to willingness to be converted.

Nordpol+'s brilliance has the chance to break the Free Beer Movement wide-open stateside. Imagine Major League Soccer clubs sliding a keg under people's seats! No NFL, NBA, or MLB team can offer that. Pioneers in American sports fans' love of beer, MLS would rake in press coverage and new fans (brought in by beer, held onto with the product) beyond their wildest dreams.

We're willing to guess that this idea could've saved soccer in our city of Austin (ha!). But more seriously this type of fan-centric and imaginative type of marketing is just what American soccer needs. Lose the bouncy castles and bring in a bratwurst train. Ditch the cheerleaders and put some kegs nearby. Sports have plenty of children and perverts at them (hopefully not in the same place... mind you), why are we marketing to them?

Moving forward for American soccer means being bigger and bolder that the other major sports. It means marketing in a creative way and not trying to replicate the things that bring people to football, baseball, or basketball games. (It also means putting more stock in the home-grown talent each club has and less of the flash-in-the-pan-DPs.) It doesn't have to be risky, but silly sometimes works. That's why we have the Free Beer Movement.

Nordpol+'s laid out the path. We've even heard that they advertising agency is getting looks at installing similar sections in some of the stadiums of Germany's larger clubs. Their massively awesome idea is out there and ready to be taken up (and improved upon) by the great tradition of American innovation.

Beer and soccer. Together once again. Free Beer Movement-style.

American soccer.... your move.

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VIDEO - ESPN Remembers American Soccer's 2010

ESPN Soccernet's "Press Pass" remembers the roller coaster year that was for the USMNT.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

VIDEO - Sporting KC's Teal Bunbury's Got Skillz


Teal Bunbury is one of the hottest young "Americans" up-and-coming on the USMNT. We say "American" because he's actually Canadian, but was recently capped for the good guys against South Africa back in November.

And what better to signal your arrival on the American soccer scene then your own YouTube compilation video?

Courtesy of our friends at "723 Football Films" (subscribe to his YouTube channel is you want some more awesome American soccer videos).

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Monday, December 27, 2010

The USMNT's Eric Lichaj Has a Bright Future, But....


You heard it here first. Aston Villa and USMNT youngster Eric Lichaj is the heir apparent to the throne vacated at right back by our man Frankie Hejduk.  We, and Bob Bradley, have been searching for the solution to that position since Frankie's reign ended in Denmark in 2009.

Make-shift defenses, employing Captain Carlos Bocanegra or Jonathan Bornstein were valiant efforts, but the time is now to move forward and starting thinking about the Gold Cup this summer and 2014 in Brazil.

Eric Lichaj is our man and the natural successor to the Free Beer Captain's spot in the back line.

There's just one thing missing.....

Now that's better!

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

NEWS WATCH - U.S. Fans Reaction to Donovan's Goal Named MLS "Celebration of the Year"

Major League Soccer is rounding out 2010 with a series of "Best of..." awards and fans of the United States National Team (including many, many of our compatriots in the American Outlaws) were honored with the "Celebration of the Year" for their captured-by-video ecstasy following Landon Donovan's dramatic late winner against Algeria in the World Cup.

If you're an American soccer fan you've probably already seen the awesome YouTube compilation of all the people going nuts after the goal, but it's worth another look-see just for the memories and just to relive where you were when this all went down.

We were on top of the world at this moment:

Where were you and what were you doing when LD10 scored?

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!


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Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Twelve Days of US-Mas

We're in the holiday spirit here at the Free Beer Movement. For us, it means more time off, a return to the FBM motherland (Wisconsin), and a chance to try all sorts of tasty Midwest brews.

That doesn't mean we've jumped away from our soccer minds, though. Here's our wish list for 2011 in a catchy tune you may recall as "The Twelve Days of Christmas". We, however, always of soccer and beer minds presents....

"The Twelve Days of US-Mas"

On the first day of US-Mas my true love sent to me....

A Sepp Blatter punched on TeeVee...
Must see TV.

On the second day of US-Mas my true love sent to me....

Two Bradleys Balding!

Rogaine, anyone?

On the third day of US-Mas my true love sent to me....


We'll get you this year, FRANKIE!

On the fourth day of US-Mas my true love sent to me....

Four Calling Darkes ("Go go USA!")!

On the fifth day of US-Mas my true love sent to me....

 (if we win this coming summer)
Locked and loaded.

On the sixth day of US-Mas my true love sent to me....

Six Deuces-A-Laying Waste to the EPL!
Drink up!

On the seventh day of US-Mas my true love sent to me....

Seven Stu Holdens-A-Styling!
And Guz, too.

On the eighth day of US-Mas my true love sent to me....

Eight (actually eleven) Maids-A-Winning (the World Cup in Germany)!

Ladies. Got. Game.

On the ninth day of US-Mas my true love sent to me....

A fit, real "number nine" striker!
Keep on truckin', Charlie.

On the tenth day of US-Mas my true love sent to me....

Ten MLS playoffs teams!
Oh boy.... think the regular season was worthless before....

On the eleventh day of US-Mas my true love sent to me....

Eleven TIMMY Howards between-the-pipings!

On the twelfth day of US-Mas my true love sent to me....

Twelve Beers-A-Brewing!
Beer and soccer. What a novel idea....


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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

VIDEO - Landon Donovan Behind the Scenes of "Outside" Magazine Photo Shoot

Cover Boy.
We swear the Free Beer Movement site isn't turning into some sort of Landon Donovan Fan Club page (or Robbie Finley for that matter.). LD10 has just been turning a lot of heads lately, and frankly, is the most visible/marketable American soccer player right now.

Donovan is featured on the cover and in a feature article for the January 2011 issue of "Outside" magazine. A nice story about Donovan and what's transpired in his life since the USMNT rode off into the sunset in late June. What we came away with was an intense respect for Landon's work rate (See that there? A compliment for him and we're on a first-name-basis.) and desire to contribute to the Nats in 2014.

Along with the article was an "exclusive!" behind-the-scenes look at the photo shoot that led to the cover shot and others in the article. We've never been a fan of shooting process videos that lead to still frames. It always kinda makes the subject look a bit foolish and Donovan jumping around in the waves doesn't change our theory one bit.

Lastly, not to hang one on "Outside" Magazine since they're giving Donovan and American soccer some coverage, but their whole soccer-in-the-ocean shots they did for this article are almost exactly the same as the shots they took of LD when he last appeared in the mag in June 2006 (thanks to our crack research dept. at FBM for this one).

Donovan Video:


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Donovan's Decision to Stay Home is Good for American Soccer


Landon Donovan is not going on a Euro-trip this winter. The all-time leading scorer for the USMNT and the Los Angeles Galaxy has decided to pass on any potential loan deals when the transfer window opens January 1.
“While I enjoyed my time at Everton last season and still appreciate all the support their fans have given me, I feel that it is important to continue to rest and recover this offseason as opposed to going on loan,” Donovan said. “I never considered being loaned to a club other than Everton, but I have been playing nearly non-stop for the past two years and I believe that this decision will allow me to perform at my best for the Galaxy and the National Team throughout the upcoming year. I look forward to re-joining my Galaxy teammates for the start of preseason training next month and beginning our quest for another MLS Cup championship.”
Personal opinion (That's why you're hear, right? No? Too bad... you're hearing it now.)?

We're glad he's sticking around. LD10 hasn't stopped playing soccer since, like, 2001, so it might be a good idea for him to take a break. The poor bastard was dragging ass after the World Cup and the Galaxy really have the tools to make a serious run at the MLS Cup in 2011 with Juan Pablo Angel, Edson Buddle, and, of course, FRANKIE HEJDUK filling out the roster.

Would more European experience been beneficial to Donovan? Yeah, sure, but he's proved he can make it at the European level with his stint at Everton last winter/spring so those haters can lay off. Donovan isn't going to be signed to any long-term deals in England and so they loan move would be for...?

And, well, he's the poster boy for Major League Soccer so having him hang around is a huge boost to the profile of the league. If I were him there's enough bank in that alone.

People that are complaining about Landon not moving abroad and then complaining that MLS isn't "high profile" enough and/or should retain top talent can't have it both ways. With Donovan committing fully to the domestic season (minus the Gold Cup) with the Galaxy and the league he's sending a powerful message that the league CAN and WILL retain some of its best players and CAN and WILL raise the league's profile by having America's star international player show his stuff stateside.

We want top American players to play in our league. That's the end goal. And until players start making that decision (although risky, still) Major League Soccer will not be a destination for the best American soccer has to offer. This is a positive step forward for MLS. Not one that every American player will make, but still forward momentum.

Lastly, if you're an American soccer fan you want Donovan rested and ready for that Gold Cup this summer. This is a top priority for the USMNT. Taking the GC title this June will mean a place in the Confederations Cup in Brazil in 2013 and everyone knows what happened last time we played in that.

Glad to have you home, Landon.

Source: Los Angeles Galaxy website

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

NEWS WATCH - Bradley Names Roster for January Camp in Preparation for Chile Match


Coach Bob Bradley and U.S. Soccer announced the players that will join the January training camp (Camp Cupcake! with mostly MLS-based players) at the Home Depot Center. Bradley will name players to suit up for the international friendly against South American side Chile on the 22nd (also at the HDC) at a later date.

GOALKEEPERS (4): Dominic Cervi (Celtic), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Matt Pickens (Colorado Rapids), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (9): A.J. DeLaGarza (Los Angeles Galaxy), Sean Franklin (Los Angeles Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles Galaxy), Ugo Ihemelu (FC Dallas), Zach Loyd (FC Dallas), Ryan Miller (Halmstads BK), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls), Anthony Wallace (Colorado Rapids), Marvell Wynne (Colorado Rapids)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Eric Alexander (FC Dallas), Alejandro Bedoya (Örebro), Sam Cronin (San Jose Earthquakes), Mikkel Diskerud (Stabaek), Jeff Larentowicz (Colorado Rapids), Dax McCarty (D.C. United), Brek Shea (FC Dallas)

FORWARDS (4): Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Justin Braun (Chivas USA), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)


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VIDEO - Donovan's Goal Vs. Algeria Voted ESPN's "Best Play of 2010"

Oh! That goal.... Now, we remember.
So ESPN's "SportsNation" (a show where the collective sports-world rabble speaks their minds) hosted a contest for the "Best Sports Play of 2010" and LD10's game-saving, epic goal against Algeria was thrown up in the bracket. Even got a number one seed. Now, the cynical part of me thinks ESPN and their notorious soccer hating seeded the goal so high just so it could get upset.

But the soccer gods would not have it. Facing the fourteen seed, a Blake Griffin dunk (a Cinderella story, for sure), Donovan's goal withstood the challenge and won "Best Play of 2010".

Check out the clip. There's some other great goals from South Africa along with a great "USA!" USA!" chant from the five members of the studio audience.

Here's the link to ESPN: (sorry we had to disable the embedded clip on the site.. it was f-ing up things)

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Sheriff of Nottingham Forest?

The Nottingham Forest strike force. Finley on far left.
We've already devoted more words on this site that we would have originally imagined to the oft-maligned forward, Robbie Finley. Now he's off making us look like fool!

Definitely not on the field, of course, but in the world of transfer rumors; the "silly season" as it is referred to, anything can happen.

Yesterday we wrote about the Finley's possible move to Wolverhampton, as reported by the Daily Mail. Now a more reliable report from Sky Sports, and backed up by our friends as "The Shin Guardian" (who we consider the be-all-end-all of determining the legitimacy of such "silly season" reports) has Finley moving to Championship side Nottingham Forest.

Whether Wolves or Forest we're still holding back judgement on Finley in England.

We're waiting for you to prove us wrong, Robert.

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NEWS WATCH - Stu Holden Named "Prem's Best Player" at Mid-Season


Supporters of Stu Holden, the USMNT player and former Houston Dynamo star, have been singing the midfielder's praise all season for his breakout role with Bolton. Now Holden, in his first English Premier League season, is also getting recognized by the fans there as well.

Readers of "The Guardian," using their average player ratings for each EPL match, have chosen the American international as their "best player so far this term".
"No player embodies this alluring blending of industry and invention better than Holden, who, as a bonus, over the last month has also added goals to his game. His average mark for the campaign so far, according to readers, has been 7.4."
Certainly there have been many other stars in the Premier League this season, including other Americans Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey who have shown for Everton and Fulham, respectively, but for such a relative newcomer like Holden to be noticed so quickly for his workmanlike performances is great feather in his cap.


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Monday, December 20, 2010

NEWS WATCH - Major League Soccer Announces 2011 "First Kick" Home Openers


Major League Soccer announced the opening week of the 2011 season today with all 18 teams in action, including two expansion teams.

Home club listed first; All times Eastern (schedule subject to change)

Tuesday, March 15

Seattle Sounders FC vs. LA Galaxy, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Saturday, March 19

Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Toronto FC, time TBD

D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.

New York Red Bulls vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 7:30 p.m.

FC Dallas vs. Chicago Fire, 8:30 p.m.

Houston Dynamo vs. Philadelphia Union, 8:30pm

Colorado Rapids vs. Portland Timbers, 9 p.m.

Chivas USA vs. Sporting Kansas City, 10:30 p.m.

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake, 10:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 20

LA Galaxy vs. New England Revolution, 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 26

Chicago Fire vs. Sporting Kansas City, 4 p.m.

Columbus Crew vs. New York Red Bulls, 4 p.m.

Philadelphia Union vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 4 p.m.

Toronto FC vs. Portland Timbers, time TBD

New England Revolution vs. D.C. United, time TBD

Real Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy, 9 p.m.


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NEWS WATCH: USWNT Names Roster for January Camp in Preparation for Four National Tournament

The United States Women's National Team will began their preparation for the Four Nations Tournament in China by inviting 26 players to camp at the Home Depot Center on Jan. 8-13.

Coach Pia Sundhage will then select 23 for the final roster for the tournament that will pit the USWNT against Sweden, Canada, and the hosts, China.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position

GOALKEEPERS (5): Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Ashlyn Harris (Western New York Flash), Jill Loyden (Out of Contract), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Out of Contract)

DEFENDERS (5): Stephanie Cox (Out of Contract), Whitney Engen (Western New York Flash), Becky Sauerbrunn (Washington Freedom), Meghan Schnur (Out of Contract), Brittany Taylor (Sky Blue FC)

MIDFIELDERS (12): Jordan Angeli (Boston Breakers), Yael Averbuch (Out of Contract), Tobin Heath (Sky Blue FC), Meghan Klingenberg (North Carolina), Kristine Lilly (Boston Breakers), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Joanna Lohman (Philadelphia Independence), Kristie Mewis (Boston College), Kelley O’Hara (Boston Breakers), Leslie Osborne (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Out of Contract), Lindsay Tarpley (Out of Contract)

FORWARDS (4): Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), Sydney Leroux (UCLA), Alex Morgan (California), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence)

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MLS Rumors: Finley to EPL's Wolverhampton?


Rumors out of England have former Real Salt Lake forward and USMNT World Cup flop Robbie Finley catching the eye of Wolverhampton Wolves coach Mick McCarthy.

The Daily Mail (UK) reports that Finley impressed the Wolves manager during this past summer's World Cup.

We're all for Americans moving aboard if it helps their development, their contribution to the National Team, and raises the profile of the sport at home, but this little tidbit has us perplexed. Finley was completely ineffective up top for the Yanks in South Africa (we would've rather seen Edson Buddle given his hot streak in MLS) and contributed to the second straight scoreless World Cup for U.S. strikers.

What, exactly, that McCarthy saw from Finley in June (and the rest of his MLS season) that would warrant a run out in England has us running back to this summer's game tapes.

We'll happily eat crow if Finley proves us wrong, but at this moment we're thinking this looks a bit weird from this side of the pond.

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Kasey Keller's Vision of Soccer in America

Weird, Kasey Keller...I had the same dream the other night, too. Only I wasn't wearing any clothes and was being chased by a pack of wolves. Scary stuff, for sure. OK. Maybe we had two completely different dreams, but I'm still on the same page as Keller.

Keller, speaking Friday at a press conference announcing his contract extension through the 2011 Major League Soccer season, talked about the future of the sport in the United States:
"We’re the first group that grew up truly playing the sport," Keller said. "My kids — and Adrian’s (Sounders' GM Adrian Hanauer) future kids — we can now finally come and take our kids out into the yard and play the game. My father couldn’t do that.
“It was a case where they didn’t grow up with the game. It was very difficult for my dad to take me to a Sounders game in the ‘80s, and have him jump and cheer because of a goal and have me tap him on the shoulder and say, ‘Dad, that was offside. Sit down.’
“It’s that generation that grew up playing the game and wanting to watch the game and wanting to be a part of the game are now embracing that with their children. That’s going to be a huge thing for this sport over the next 10 to 20 years."
Keller was (and still is) an American soccer pioneer and we hope his word prove to be true. This is our dream as well.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

What a Tease!


We know.... we know....

Certainly it wasn't expected that Charlie Davies get some PT today for FC Sochaux, but by throwing the rehabbed USMNTer in the 18, American soccer fans got their collective hearts up, hoping that the kid would see some first-team minutes. The first since his horrific car accident back in October of 2009.

Perhaps we'll see CD9 this Wednesday as Sochaux faces Monaco?

If you're looking for a silver lining to the whole morning... we did manage to watch the first 90 minutes of France's Ligue 1 that we can remember that didn't involve one of their sides getting hammered in the Champions League.

So we got that going for us.... which is nice.

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Frankie Watch: Our Man is on the Move


Major League Soccer held their "re-entry" draft which sounds more like something NASA would do, but whatever. MLS veterans released from their clubs have a chance to get drafted by other clubs and negotiate career-saving contracts. Players like Juan Pablo Angel, Jeff Cunningham and, one, FRANIE HEJDUK were chosen by new clubs. Hejduk was released by the Columbus Crew, among others, at the conclusion of the playoffs.

Originally Mr. "Future FBM Spokesperson" was selected by another Midwestern hell-hole, Sporting Kansas City, but after some wheeling-and-dealing the Free Beer Captain landed in Los Angeles with former USMNT coach, and Frankie career-maker, Bruce Arena.

MLS must have arranged some sort of "lifetime achievement award" for Hejduk for the former National Teamer. An avid surfer Hejduk now gets to set up shop near the beaches of SoCal.

Surfers... keep an eye out for this guy hittin' the waves with a brew in hand.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Most Punchable Faces/People in Soccer

It's this easy....
Soccer is a game of undeniable beauty, but there are times of tragic ugliness. That ugliness is no more apparent than when a player crosses the TV screen or right in front of your face at the stadium that just gets your blood boiling. So mad that you just want to punch that mother f*cker right in the face!

Oh... sorry. See what we mean?

Our list isn't definitive so please feel free to leave your additional suggestions in the comments sections.

We present.... "The Most Punchable Faces/People in Soccer".

Enjoy.... or hate....

* Cristiano Ronaldo
The great thing about this picture is that you could punch him in TWO places.

* John Terry
I just ate a sh*t sandwich and f*cked your girlfriend!

* Sepp Blatter
Huh? Corruption? Whaa?

* Conor Casey
In my dreams I always imagine this ball smacks him in the face.

* Wayne Rooney
Not Rooney's hand, but mine about to jab his eyes out.

*John Harkes

*Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson

Both are ALWAYS complaining about something each week.
I kinda wish they'd just punch each other in the face.

* Koman Coulibaly

I just booked a nice little vacation to Mali to pay him a visit.

* Joey Barton

Better get him before he gets you.

*Freddy Adu
You were supposed to be better....
* Rafa Marquez
You kicked Timmy Howard, I bet your fragrance smells like dog piss,
 and, well, you play for Mexico.

* Jack Warner
You are a corrupt piece of sh*t and everything
you've done has been terrible for American soccer.

* Andrei Arshavin

No. Words. Needed.

Did we miss any? Probably. Leave your suggestions for more punches to the face in the comments section.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Photo Essay: Texas Craft Brewers Mini-Festival at Black Star Pub and Brewery Co-op


The Free Beer Movement had the privilege to check out the Texas Craft Brewers Mini-Festival this weekend. The event was held during the grand opening weekend of the Black Star Pub and Brewery Cooperative in Austin, Texas. A dozen local breweries were on hand including some established names and few very exciting upstarts in the Austin-area craft brewing business.

More Photos and Information After the Jump....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Shin Guardian Deserves Your Vote


We don't often get personal on the Free Beer Movement site. No one knows our favorite Major League Soccer team. We haven't said "boo" about which English Premier League side we support. We try to keep it about you, the fans, the supporters of the FBM, and, of course, the American game.

That being said... we're about to get a little bit personal. And for good reason. Today is the final day for voting in the 2010 "Best of U.S. Soccer Awards". If you haven't cast your ballot yet there are loads of categories ranging from "best goal" to "best team performance" to "best fan photo" to "best soccer bar".

The category that we're most concerned about it "best soccer blog". And no.... this is not a solicitation to vote for us. We can't imagine ever being considered for something like this!

What we are asking you to do is to follow this link and please vote for The Shin Guardian as the 2010 "Best Soccer Blog" for the U.S. Soccer Awards.

The Shin Guardian has been around for just about the same time as the Free Beer Movement site and from the beginning TSG and their head writer, Matthew, have been absolutely phenomenal supporters of the work here. We have authored several pieces on TSG and spent countless hours reading their top-notch work and commenting in, what we feel, is one of the most insightful and entertaining communities in the American soccer Inter-Net-Blogo-Sphere.

If you haven't yet checked out The Shin Guardian, yet,  please do. If you're a fan of American soccer (and some European jaunts as well) you owe it to yourself to become a regular reader of The Shin Guardian.

Their coverage of the American game is unparalleled. Their drive and ability to get access is unmatched.

Just this week TSG ran interviews with former New England Revolution and USMNTer Taylor Twellman on his playing days and his painful struggles with concussions. An fascinating, if not, heartbreaking piece. Something that has not been featured on any other American soccer site, but a story worth telling.

Just this week TSG ran an interview with rising USWNTer Alex Morgan, who we bought a beer for a few weeks back. No one else is talking to this young starlet. TSG is.

Just this week TSG broke down possible invitees to the January camp for the USMNT. No one else is thinking about that. TSG is.

TSG breaks down every USMNT game. Squads, coaching, analysis... no stone left unturned when it comes to examining the state of the American game.

This may all sound like a bunch of hyperbole, but no other American soccer site covers the game quite like The Shin Guardian does. And, no, this is not a paid endorsement. And, no, TSG does not have any compromising photos of "Danny Beerseed" to force us to publish this.

The Shin Guardian has been a fantastic friend to the Free Beer Movement and the least we can do is implore our readers to check out their site and please, please vote for them for the 2010 "Best of US Soccer Awards".

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Moving Past, Moving Forward After the 2022 Bid Failure

On Thursday morning we watched with bated breath for FIFA's 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts announcement. And in a single moment our hopes for the United States to be the home for the world's largest sporting spectacle in 12 years time vanished like a fart in the wind.

When Sepp Blatter pulled "Qatar" out of that plain white envelope my heart sank. I was gutted. In my head (and the feeling in my stomach) I immediately flashed back to the moment the whistle blew for full time against Ghana. All the promise, the hope, the excitement... gone. For both you're left wondering what could've been.

In 1994 I was 12 years-old. I came to the sport late; this was the first year I touched a soccer ball. I didn't even know the World Cup was in the United States. My family wasn't a soccer family. I became, in a sense, a soccer pioneer. My introduction to the spot would lead to both my sisters playing and motivate my father, a red-bloodied football and basketball guy, to first paint every line on every field in town (just to get to know the sport) and later to roam those same chalk lines as a coach.

For me 1994 was an opportunity missed. One, that even if I had gone, I probably wouldn't have comprehended what I was a part of. Knowing this, though, made it all the more important and special for the World Cup to return to the U.S.

That was all for naught. We can dwell on the unfairness of it all; that the U.S. bid was the safest, most prepared, projected to be the best attended and most profitable. We can dwell on the suspicion of the payoffs and corruption of the process. But what is done is done.

At the end of the day, and everday, the World Cup in 2022 is in Qatar and not America.

So where do we go from here? We move forward. Strength in defeat.

If we're learned anything from our lost bid is that, as supporters of the beautiful game in the United States we have a long way to go. The journey of soccer in America has never been easy nor straight forward.

The United States has a long and complicated history with soccer, but not hosting the World Cup in 2022, while it would have been a major boost to the sport here, will not deter its overall upward movement.

Jason Davis (of the wonderful American soccer site Match Fit USA), writing for Canadian Soccer News, said it best:
The best way to answer “where do we go from here” is to say “keep doing what we’re doing.”

Because the truth is an American World Cup wouldn’t be a magic bullet. Soccer’s struggle in the United States is a cultural one, one of small strides from year-to-year and making sure to hang around long enough for the stigma that unfairly clings to it to wear off. It’s getting sportstalk radio to include soccer in the general conversation, kids to stick with the game past the age of twelve, and ESPN to make up its mind about truly treating soccer (especially the domestic kind) as an important product. When drive-time blowhards aren’t using soccer as a whipping boy but are actually covering the big stories and ESPN isn’t following up soccer broadcasts with talking head shows that take shots at the sport, then some progress will have been made. It’s debatable that a World Cup, twelve years and counting away, could have done much to effect that change. Mostly, it’s just waiting those people out.

American soccer will be just fine, in the same way it’s just fine now. If you buy what I’m selling - that the World Cup here in twelve years wouldn’t have had some kind of transformative impact but might have sped things along just a bit - then we can all just go about our business knowing that soccer isn’t going anywhere and will probably continue a slow upward arc. Disappointment is fleeting, especially when there are games to be played, stadiums to build, kids to coach, and our own internal issues to address. As the sport grows, World Cup or not, things will only get more complicated. Especially when MLS is involved.

Hell, maybe in the end, FIFA has steeled our resolve. Charity just makes people soft. Disappointment builds character. Yeah, let’s go with that.
We as supporters of the American game need to just keep on truckin'. The 1994 World Cup brought soccer in the States out of the ashes, launched Major League Soccer, and began that rise of the Men's National Team from international laughing stock to perennial qualifier and up-and-comer on the world's stage.

We've come too far to let Qatar 2022 get us down or hold us back.

John Santos, Los Angeles Chapter Head of the American Outlaws penned a brief on the AO site imploring everyone to "just keep swimming":
There will be victories, and there will be losses. But lets not forget the progress our favorite sport and our national teams have made.

This isn’t the time to stop believing in Soccer, it’s time to start supporting it even more. If the national team is in town (regardless of gender or age) get to the stadium come hell or high water. Wear your best United States gear on a date, to church, to school, at your graduation, etc.. If you live near an MLS team, go support it at least a couple of times a season. Same for the WPS. If an international club team comes town to play yours, be sure you stand by your club to show people that you care about Soccer in this country. Get out there and show your pride in our sport anyway you can.
These are the times where being a part of something like the American Outlaws or the Free Beer Movement is crucial. To be a member in something that is helping as AO puts it "strengthening and uniting" American soccer fans and the sport as a whole. The greater the fan base, the greater the passion, the greater the community means the greater the sport in the United States. A cold beer can do that all.

And last, but not least, the best way to move on from such World Cup bid disappointments is to just "win the whole damn thing" says Sean McElroy at "Yanks Are Coming":
Let's act like the world power that we are. Lets beat the shit out of whatever shitty CONCACAF teams Warner throws at us. Dempsey scoring 6 on St. Lucia. With 50,000 American fans screaming at the tiny island nation’s pathetic national team? Lets have a manager who goes up at the press conference before our World Cup quarterfinal against England and says, “Well, England may have some good players, but I think that we can definitely outplay them.” It doesn’t matter if it isn’t true. What matters is that we stop whining about how the United States is some sorry ass little third world country who plays soccer like fucking Qatar. No, we play like Americans, and that means we play to kick your ass. Period. So here is what we do to make the United States a team that truly embodies the ass-kicking spirit that makes America so wonderful.
America endures and so does its soccer community. The best way to move past this all?

Move forward.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Help the FBM Win the 2011 Texas Social Media Awards!


Dear Friends and Fans of the Free Beer Movement -

It is not often that we send requests out to the whole of the FBM community, but we thought this was an extraordinary moment for us.

We were recently nominated for the 2011 Austin-American Statesman Texas Social Media Awards. Many of you know that FBM HQ is in Austin, TX and to be recognized with this nomination is great.

But we'd certainly like more than to just have been nominated... we'd love to win!

Please take the time to follow this link to add your voice to our nomination. Voting and commenting is simple AND NO REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. It will only take a few moments to type out a message of support for the FBM as we pursue this award.

Certainly the FBM would be nothing without the hard work you all put in helping spread American soccer one beer at a time and so please take the opportunity to help raise the profile of our Movement and help us win this award!

Many Thanks in Advance,

"Danny Beerseed"

Founder, The Free Beer Movement

Graphic Courtesy Of: Austin-American Statesman

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

VIDEO - Highlights from MLS' "Generation Adidas" Win Over Real Madrid Reserves

This should've been the team's crest.
The kids are alright.

Major League Soccer youngsters Teal Bunbury, Brek Shea, Juan Agudelo, Dilly Duka, and more are in Spain showing La Liga's best reserve sides how its done in America.

Led by MLS Cup 2010 runners-up FC Dallas' coach Schellas Hyndman the Generation Adidas squad beat Real Madrid's reserve side 2-1. Duka and Bunbury tallied for GA.

Highlights and reaction from the match (great minus the terrible music):

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