Totti's Free Kick

New England Soccer Enthusiasts,

There was finally a buzz around Fenway Wednesday night for the first time since possibly Opening Day. Maybe longer? The stadium was decked out in Liverpool red. There was a flood of soccer jerseys throughout the city. In the midst of the recent rejuvenation of soccer fever in the U.S., people were excited to get their fix of the beautiful game.

Liverpool were in desperate need to have a quality performance for new manager Brendan Rodgers in hopes of taking a vital step forward with the Premiereship season weeks away. Sadly, their best effort could only muster a 2-1 defeat. What’s worse is more than a few key first teamers for Liverpool (Skrtel, Carragher, Aquilani) were on the pitch. Possibly even more troubling is that the score could have easily been tipped even more unevenly in Roma’s favor had it not been for the stellar play of Hungarian keeper Péter Gulácsi.

Those of you at the game already you know this, but for those who weren’t – there were two stories going on. Continue reading Liverpool Falls 2-1 to AS Roma At Fenway »

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Liverpool/Roma Friendly at Fenway

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Soccer is back at Fenway this summer! Fenway Sports Management announced last Wednesday that Liverpool will play Italian club AS Roma at Fenway on July 25 as a part of Liverpool’s preseason North American tour. Yes, the last time the beautiful game graced the friendly confines of Fenway Park was during the summer of 2010 when Sporting Lisbon took on Celtic FC. I was at that game and minus a few spilled beers and a lost umbrella, it was great raucous and jovial environment for the game (other than the vuvuzelas). The match this summer could prove to be even better. Continue reading Looking Ahead to Soccer at Fenway This Summer: Liverpool vs. Roma »

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MLS SuperDraft

Similar to many American workers over the past 15 years, MLS players might be the only American athletes feeling the pinch of globalization. The Wall Street Journal’s headline this week basically sums up the problem with an article previewing the upcoming SuperDraft as “The Most Meaningless Draft in Sports.”

The SuperDraft is limping along like a dog on three legs. It used to be the premiere event in the American soccer world. With piggy-backing the event with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America conference, it was an opportunity for the industry to get together and advance the entire operation. The draft used to be 6 rounds with similar traditions to other, more well known, American college drafts. MLS draft picks would get their team scarf, shake the commissioner’s hand, and have a day to remember. Continue reading With MLS SuperDraft Fading Into Obscurity, What’s Next? »

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Suarez and Meireles (John Sibley/ Action Images)

On October 15, 2010, New England Sports Ventures, the investment company chaired by John Henry (and now called the Fenway Sports Group), completed its purchase of Liverpool FC from George N. Gillett, Jr. and Tom Hicks.  Henry’s purchase of the club, which was concluded despite the protests of Hicks and Gillett (who believed that the club was worth far more than the £300 million Henry paid), brought a close to one of the most controversial periods in the history of Liverpool FC, both on and off the field. In 2005, two years before Hicks and Gillett bought the club for £218.9 million, Liverpool had been crowned European champions, having defeated AC Milan on penalty kicks in a thrilling final. Only a few months after they bought the club in February 2007, Liverpool once again appeared in the final of the Champions League, this time losing to AC Milan. However, by the end of Hicks’s and Gillett’s tenure as owners, Liverpool had receded to the depths of the English Premier League, residing in 18th place (out of 20 teams) when John Henry completed the purchase of the Merseyside club. Continue reading A Closer Look at Liverpool FC’s American Owners »

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Jurgen Klinsmann (Hunter Martin/Bongarts/Getty Images)

We all know who the girl on the train is. She’s the girl on the commuter rail who looks mysterious, intriguing, and dangerous — all at once. Of course, you don’t talk to the girl on the train, because it’s 7:57 in the morning and no one wants to start their day off with flirtation. And, of course, this only adds fuel to the already brewing stimulation.

And what is that stimulation exactly?

The GOTT (girl on the train) sparks the intangible “it” feeling. You can’t pin-point how you feel about the sentiment, or the person. I suppose this is because you don’t really know her, and thus you don’t know if the vertigo is actually justified. Thereinlies the dilemma with the GOTT. You can’t quite circumvent that palatable feeling persistently evoking, because you don’t what she is. And it doesn’t help you inexplicably act with the smoothness of a 17 year-old before prom around her. Consequently, the GOTT becomes a cross between fusion energy (something real that cannot be harnessed) and also the lochness monster (a speciously construed creature). You are left with expectations that cannot possibly be met, which only adds to the quagmire that is the GOTT. You don’t want to meet the GOTT because you’d rather imagine her for what she is to you rather then what she ACTUALLY is — if that makes sense. The perception before interaction is more important than the reality. Perception creates promise and potential; reality creates limits and disappointment.

The reason I bring up the GOTT is not to make you become more introverted (seriously, talk to the girl if you like her), but because the GOTT appeared in the form of coach recently. And The United States Men’s National Soccer Team did the unthinkable. They took those last couple hundred words I wrote about being pensive, and said “Eff you.” Continue reading Jurgen Klinsmann’s US Soccer Coaching Debut Ends Anticipation »

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Revolution vs. Manchester United

Legendary Manchester United, the world’s most popular soccer (or futbol) team and world’s richest sports franchise, paid a visit to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. on Wednesday night to take on the New England Revolution, the worst team (3-8-7) in the MLS’s Eastern Conference. It’s a classic David vs. Goliath… but more like David’s infant son (the Revs) vs. five Goliaths (Man U).

Yet, after 45 minutes, the 51,000+ fans at Gillette Stadium and the thousands of others watching at home on ESPN were witnessing a potentially stunning result: the Revs starting lineup had dueled to a 0-0 draw with Wayne Rooney and the Red Devils at halftime. Continue reading Manchester United Tops Revolution 4-1 in Friendly Match »

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U.S. Men's Soccer Team (© MEXSPORT)

The United States men’s soccer team did what it was supposed to do, making it to the Gold Cup Final. Right? Jozy Altidore and Stuart Holden both were not available for the final due to injury, or it would have been a different game. Right? Steve Cherundolo’s injury was a deathblow and the U.S. was playing an away game on home turf, justifying a 4-2 loss to Mexico. Right?

Wrong, on all counts.

The failure of the USA to win the Gold Cup cannot be looked upon as a shortsighted setback. Continue reading U.S. Soccer: After the Gold Cup, Where Do We Go from Here? »

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