Euro’s and Trumpies, The American Fan’s Pickle.

Well it’s time to dust off the ole cobwebs and see about kicking this blog back into reality.  It really is amazing what happens when you get out of the golf operation side of things.  This “free time” the rest of the world speaks about is not too bad.  Also, it’s nice not looking at weekend with a disdain hatred because of all the fun the rest of your Facebook newsfeed is having.  People coming home from their wild Friday night as you’re waking up to go get your head ripped off by 60-65 year olds that are pissed that they played in 4:27 instead of 4:25 wears down a man.  Anyways…enough about that and let’s chat sports.  Today’s topic is addressing the insecurities of Europe and Trumpies.

 

Sorry in advance Tucker as we’re going to offend some people…..

 

A little back-story on how this whole topic came about, I woke up this morning to being tagged in a post from Colin McKellar (Chelsea scum) where a group of 7-10 Atlanta United supporters were doing their best to rally the other 10-15 supporters there.  Truly did look pathetic.  See below….But then I did a little research into the video and saw that this was merely a pre-season game.  Like c’mon man?  Really? Europeans going to come rip American soccer fans, ATL United, for a pathetic looking video making fun of American fans doing what they deem as “not worthy chants” at a preseason game for an expansion team?  How many Crystal Palace fans would travel to Norway for a pre-season game?  I’ll put the O/U on 50.  You would never hear about that though.

 

So here is the basis of the article, assuming the American readers all are still with me and haven’t given up on a soccer story, which is the pickle that true American soccer/football/futbol fans are in with Euro snobs and Trumpies as I call them.  One cannot just be an American soccer fan and post openly about it without a rash of response from people.  I actually find it funny when a European and, well since y’all Brexit-ed I should address the UK separately, come at me for soccer knowledge.  Like bruh you realize I get access to EVERY.  SINGLE. GAME. On live television.  Every single premier league game, every single champions league game, most relevant La Liga, Bundesliga, Seria A and Ligue 1 games.  I will go out on a limb and bet with anyone who doesn’t illegally stream games that the die-hard American fan of the game will watch more games than any fan in the UK.  Enjoy the United/Bournemouth game today because you’re about to get blacked out for all the 10 AM games.  Oh, America you didn’t know?   Yeah, in the UK you don’t get access to all of the games.  Imagine watching the College Gameday crew sit around and watch the college games that you can’t watch and react on live Television.  That is what they watch.    No highlights, no live game, nothing.  Shocking really for a country that lives, eats, breaths, fights, kills for soccer/football.  So why is it that you all can have superiority of American fans?  Not sure actually the more I think about it.  To be honest I am not sure why there is such an insecurity towards us anyway?  It will never be the number 1 sport here so it’s not like we’re going to take over the world with it, unlike our political policies.  At the end of the day the true fans who dedicate time and effort to keep up with the European games/leagues just want to be able to sit at the table and have a conversation about it that we don’t normally get to have with other Americans who DGAF.  Don’t worry we know the elephant in the room is the fact that we call it soccer and you call it football.  Unfortunately, that just won’t change so just deal with it.

Now that I have ripped the Euro’s, it’s your turn America.   What is it with you Trumpies and complaining so damn much about soccer fans?  Like what are YOU so insecure about?  It will never pass NFL, College Football, or the NBA so who cares?  Subtle shots fired at MLB and NHL fans.  Oops.  Anyways, you treat soccer fans like we’re Putin, or I guess Trump likes Putin which means you like Putin, so more like Kim Jung-Un?  Anything progressive in this country is not okay apparently.  Which is not shocking.  I’ll ask you this, what else are you watching from 7-11 AM on a Saturday/Sunday?  Your 12th re-run or SportsCenter?  Some would actually enjoy the idea of cracking open a cold one and watching your squad at 8 AM.  It would make sense if it was keeping you from watching Lakers v Celtics or Alabama v Auburn, but no, instead it’s keeping you from watching some cooking infomercial.  On Tuesdays and Wednesday when Champions League is on and I ask for the bartender to put it on at 2:45 instead of watching the 3rd re-run of first take I could do without the random comment from the end of the bar.  I don’t care that YOU don’t like soccer.  I care that you care that I do like soccer.  If you like Zaxbys more than Chick-Fil-A who cares if I saw you’re wrong? If you like it more than Chick-Fil-A go  then keep eating that Zaxby’s.  Make YOU happy.  As Corinne would say from The Bachelor, “You do you.” If you stop liking Zaxby’s then you’re a sheep.   Little heads up, we’re not going to stop posting, writing, watching, soccer just because you say you don’t like it.  I remember when Women’s Rights and Civil Rights were thought of as annoying, pointless and a waste of time. We’re not here to tell you to watch it like the bible thumpers do.  We’re just here to tell you to piss off when you tell us watching a sport we enjoy is stupid.

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I’ll be at the Orlando City home opener this weekend, assuming there isn’t some riot by the american people to stop the game.

Game Blouses.

Is it Football Season Yet?

Well Ladies and Gentlemen we’ve entered it.  That black hole of sports between the time that football ends and when football begins.  I know I’m not alone here.  Tons of people are so bored with their lives they completely forget the college football performances the year before and choose to vest all of their interests on watching what can really only be described as the Olympics Lite.  I lost all respect for this process when a wide receiver couldn’t catch a ball but because he was the reincarnate of the Flash, Darrius Heyward-Bay, first of his name, king of the butterfingers, lord of the terrapins, and the khaleesi of the grass sea went 7th overall.  I would like to say there is hope but there’s not.

dukesucks1Let’s start with the closest upcoming event.  March Madness.  As a Florida State fan, I’m really excited to see us maybe get to the Sweet Sixteen, so I can get my hopes way up only to see them dashed like a baby bird on a sidewalk.  The best part of March Madness for me is seeing Duke and Kentucky fans having this same devastation on their title hopes.  But here’s the problem Happy.  You aren’t any good.  Or at least not good enough for them to experience the same pain that’ll I’ll suffer.

Sticking with basketball… Cavaliers vs Warriors.  Even with Kevin Durant hurt, can we just please hit the fast forward button to get there please?

Oh wait I forgot Spring Training is here!   To me the best part of Spring Training is having an excuse to sit outside in Arizona and Florida the only time of the year it is actually bearable to be outside in those nursing homes that call themselves states.  For the rest of us who are stuck fighting the bartender at Buffalo Wild Wings asking her to please put on the Champions League matches but she can’t because some Braves fan is on his 3rd lip and 4th Michelob ultra is enjoying the only time this year his team isn’t 6 -252, it sucks.  Run on sentence?  Moving on!

“Great now Tuck Sauce is going talk about how soccer is the only exciting thing going on.”

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                                          Steven Glansberg eating dessert by himself

Well f*** off imaginary voice invented by me to get the point of this article across.  The title race is over.  Chelsea have won it not because they’re incredible; it’s just the rest of the top 6 are garbage.  Liverpool have won twice in twelve matches, Mourinho is too far back, Arsenal will end up fourth and Tottenham… Well that joke is just too easy.  And continental soccer is even worse; unless you like French football which let’s face it, not even the French like.  So unless I want to watch Swansea and Middleborough battle for 16th, I’m stuck watching Champions League highlights on YouTube while taking my afternoon BM like I’m Steven Glansberg. (9-5 is so much fun).

But wait there is hope.  Yes, that bastion that keeps me sane through the roller coaster of Virginia winters.  That gentle music with Jim Nantz’s voice emanating through.  Yes, the only event on tour that even Tiger’s absence and Johnny Miller’s presence can’t ruin.  The Masters.  Chances are I’ll probably get the *flu* on Thursday and won’t move except to drink and ummm process Bud Lights until Sunday evening.  I know some of you are saying “Gold Jacket, Green Jacket who gives a shit,” but again imaginary dick head f*** off.  CMON JORDAN!

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Chelsea, He does Mata

Like any good sailer Mourinho has seen a sinking ship and offered a life line. Notmata that the life line will come cheaply because well lets face it if its between life and death cost doesn’t Mata. If you’ve yet to figure out what I am talking about from my thinly veiled PUNs, I’ll give you another hint. Its Juan Mata. And yes just like Mourinho has said all year, the Spaniard does have a price tag attached to his curly head. However the talk of Mata being transferred to Manchester United would be a devastating blow to Chelsea. Not only would they be giving hope to a squad that most Chelsea fans find deplorable, but sacrificing one of their best players with a busy summer upcoming could prove fateful. While Chelsea’s midfield is currently deep and deadly, it may not remain that way.

mourinhoLet’s start with why Mata is such a crucial piece to any teams puzzle. While he lacks the defensive prowess that Mourinho desires in a number 10, his ability to pick a pass, while just above average for a Spaniard, is world class. We haven’t seen much of it this year with his lack of playing time, but in the previous two years he’s been the lynch pin to Chelsea attacks. The chipped pass to Demba Ba last year is a perfect example of his capabilities. Mata opens up shut games and used to provide a spark to a sporadically flat side. For this he has been awarded with the love of the Stamford Bridge faithful, but not that of the special one.

Chelsea also has some questions they will have to answer this summer with

My New Favorite Player Frank Lampard

many of their stars. Lampard, Cole and Terry are growing closer to the end of their careers and are in the last years of their respective contracts. PSG is knocking on the door for Eden Hazard and it doesn’t look like Chelsea can put a price tag high enough on the Belgian to discourage the Parisian giants. Additionally, David Luiz, who seems to have found a home alongside fellow Brazilian Ramires, is a target for Barcelona. On top of that, Ramires seems to be on the wish list for Barca’s big rivals Real Madrid. Combine this with 2 strikers who have both admitted to exit strategies from Stamford Bridge, and you have a potential recipe for chaos.

chelseaChelsea do have some advantages. The obvious is the brilliant mind of Mourinho. The Portuguese boss actually seems to do better with change then consistency. Oscar, Willian and Schurlle also all look like they are set for the long haul at Chelsea. Plus a lot can happen in a month. However, Chelsea’s strength this year isn’t in their starting 11 but in their depth. And while fielding the strongest team possible is important, what Mourinho does best is working his way through a campaign. With 38 games, plus a Champons League push, hopes of an FA Cup, and a stab at the League cup, depth is important.

I am not saying that Chelsea can’t afford to sell Mata. In fact if he is not going to play, selling him for 40 million and in turn spending that money on a striker could prove beneficial for the Blues. I am also not an expert on whats going on in the minds of those at Chelsea. I do know that Hazard is a PSG fan. I do know that for many South Americans it is a dream to play at Camp Nou or the Bernabeau. I also know that all three teams have pockets deep enough to make those moves happen. Despite all this though, Chelsea can’t afford to sell Mata to Manchester United. The Reds are living on a prayer and the introduction of the Spaniard combined with the return of Van Persie and Rooney could prove to be just the spark that United need.

For more on possible January moves check this out!

If you also wonder what team does the best with their cash check out this Hambino article!

The Ugly Swan and Cowardly Lion Podcast 1.13.14

 

We start with Gene Deckerhoffs radio call for the Florida State National Championship game winning touchdown.

0:00-0:25

College Football

-Including our 4 teams that we think will make the playoffs next year!

0:25-24:45

 

NFL

-We talk NFL playoffs.  Who we think will win and what teams the hottest.

24:45-37:30

 

Premier League

-Suraez keeps up his run of goals. Another terrible officiating call costs a Premier League squad a chance at a point.  Even go over the game going on live in Aresnal v Aston Villa. We go over it all.

37:30-49:10

 

Transfer News

49:10-61:45

 

Lads Banter

Random chit chat.  The best part of our shows as always. Rory McIlroys future plans.  Whose hotter?  Messis wife or Ronaldos girlfriend?  We discuss Anchorman 2. CHELSEAAAA!

61:45-71:20

Toronto Springs Early, Hull City Balks and Mega Deals Still Loom

No one would’ve guessed the big mover so far this January would be Toronto FC, yet they seem to be the only organization getting anything done. The addition of Michael BradleyAmerican star Michael Bradley means big things for a club that finished above only two teams points wise in the MLS last year. However, I’m not convinced the move is healthy for Bradley or American soccer. While having the Center Midfielder back in the MLS will certainly help sell jerseys and build excitement in Toronto, there are aspects that he will miss out on. Before his injury, Bradley was a critical player for Roma, who looks destined for a Champions League birth next year. The amount of games the Italian club would take on would mean Bradley would get time on club soccer’s largest stage. As an athlete, this is a step back for Bradley, who will most likely never get another chance to play at this level. However, the paycheck he will receive might make up for it and it is a great move for Toronto.

Toronto’s other big move is more conducive to both parties. Jermain Defoe has jermain-defoeapparently been told by Roy Hodgson that he still has a chance to make England’s national team, and coming to Toronto could be the chance for him to get the playing time he needs. With Walcott’s injury and Sturridge’s injury issues England will be desperate for quality strikers. However, since Defoe hasn’t really played this year we don’t really know if he is in better form than say a Rickie Lambert. The move to the MLS could reignite Defoe’s game much like it has Robbie Keane’s, which means goals for a club that is desperate for them. Last year only bottom dwellers DC United scored less than Toronto, and Defoe should be able to give the club the goals they need to be competitive.

Shane LongWhen the sun rose over England it seemed that Shane Long was leaving West Brom, either by loan or a 5 million pound sale. However by the afternoon, Hull manager Steve Bruce denied any such transaction. This wouldn’t be a story if Hull’s front office was a little easier to predict and I’m not completely sold on Steve Bruce’s claim that no such talks have happened. The media did jump the gun, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Bruce has held talks over the Irishman. Long’s work effort and his ability to hold the ball up would make the Tigers a harder club to deal with and could potentially add goals.

January broke with a crash as AC Milan signed Japanese international Honda. HondaLewandowski also agreed to a deal with Bayern for next years campaign. This should just be the start of the festivities though. Real Madrid has reportedly joined the chase for out of favor Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata. If Los Blancos are serious about their bid, the move makes since for both parties. The addition of Mata would mean that the Bernabeu would take the best attacking midfield title away from Bayern Munich. Mata would also get playing time in Spain surrounded by some of the best players in the world, hopefully securing his place on Spain’s World Cup Squad. Paul Pogba’s stock seems to be rising as well as PSG have joined Chelsea in trying to convince the Frenchmen out of Juventus. It is hard to see Pogba leaving a club he is performing so well at, but the pockets that PSG and Chelsea could be deep enough to tempt.

Xabi AlonsoWith all the rumors circling, some of the blockbuster deals have dissolved. Real Madrid resigned Xabi Alonso to a new deal that included a 1.6 million pound bonus. Confusingly, Arsenal seem to have taken their foot off the gas in the search for a big name striker, despite recent injuries to both Giroud and Walcott. The Gunners have been mentioned in a loan deal for Real Madrid striker, Morata, but Wenger may perfer to have his fellow Frenchman Benzema in the line up. Arsenal has been hurt in the past by not making moves early enough, and this could prove true in this window as well. A possible option for Wenger is out of favor PSG striker Lavezzeti who has apparently turned down a transfer move to Inter Milan. PSG seem to be more then willing to unload the Argentinian and would be a crucial asset to many Premier League clubs.

Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, PSG and Real Madrid all seem poised to do something this January, but for now we have to play the waiting game. Reports say that Moyes is looking to clear his books, a move that Barcelona are interested in. Apparently they see Vidic as viable option for their center back woes, but don’t expect this move till summer. Until then, the Scotsman has been promised cash to go out and spend but with so many leaks its hard to see where Moyes puts his finger first. The other 4 are looking for the edge to put them over the top both domestically and on the Champions League stage. The combination of a lot of money to spend and a lot of big name players looking for a move means this January should get a lot more interesting.

For more MLS news check out our expansion plan and why US Soccer needs a Goliath

Luis Suarez: Player of the Year 2014

“I learned to recognise the thorough and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two natures that contended in the field of my consciousness, even if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically both,” Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Luis SuarezI’ve never read something that truly embodies a soccer player more than this one does Liverpool striker Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan has built his mental home somewhere between these two natures, and in the past has struggled as he bounced between polarities. His magnificence on the pitch leaves fans and players alike stunned and breathless. He sees the game in a way that only a Cruyff could. Yet he leaves us all confused with his antics. He has bit 2 players in his career on the pitch, leaving even his biggest supporters without a leg to defend him on. All except Brendan Rodgers who has fought for Suarez like a father, both in the media and in the board room. How does Suarez reward the Northern Irishmen and the Anfield faithful? With absolute brilliance.

Suarez is the leading goal scorer in the Premier League this season, despite a Suarezsubstantial suspension to begin the season. He has outscored 7 of the 20 teams that make up England’s top flight. Even more impressively he has more domestic goals then any other player in the top 5 leagues in Europe. He has already hit the 20 goal mark for the season and looks to be a shoe in for the Golden Boot in a League not know for huge goal scoring years.

The Little Uruguayan has always been a genius goal scorer but what has prompted this incredible explosion of goals? Brendan Rodgers deserves a lot of credit. To an outsider for years it seemed that Suarez felt he wasn’t loved at home. Like all neglected children, Suarez lashed out for attention on both the media and Ivanovic’s shoulder. He felt like he was being held back at Liverpool because he thought he deserved to play in the Champions League. Yet somehow Brendan Rodgers was able to sooth the tormented genius, and Suarez has responded well. He now feels comfortable enough to sign a deal that either keeps him at Anfield until a Bale like bid comes in for his services.

This is not to say that Suarez has lost his anger. The opposite is true. AngrySuarez Bites geniuses thrive at the medium where their anger and creativity collide. Much like a Sith Lord, Suarez has found a way to channel his anger into a powerful force. It is a dangerous line though. One more incident like the one that happened last year could mean the end of Suarez’s large stage career. The English FA would have no issue banning the repeat offender if he loses the control. While Suarez could still find work, many clubs would be unwilling to pay him the amount of money he may deserve because of his internal Dr. Jekyll.

It has been a long time since someone realistically challenged Ronaldo and Messi as the top player in the world. Ronaldo’s speed and athletic ability make him a handful for any defender, while Messi’s technical ability and goal scoring has won him the last 4 Ballon D’hors. Suarez is a different animal though. In a world of clubs seeking a pure number 9, Suarez floats the bill. His pace, elusiveness, goal scoring ability and touch him make him one of the most complete footballers in the world and my favorite for 2014’s Player of the Year.

January Transfer Guide: Liverpool

Liverpool-badgeI’m going say something I never thought I would say about a top 4 side.  Liverpool need to get better EVERYWHERE.  The magical ability of Luis Suarez and the goals of Daniel Sturridge have glossed over some of the huge cracks that the Liverpool side possesses.  Their captain is old and injury prone, their midfield is too young, and there isn’t enough depth up top.  While they have played their way into a good run thus far, the Reds definitely need help.  Especially if they hope to take this year and translate it into Champions League success…

Daniel Sturridge has always had injury problems and Luis Mohamed SalahSuarez has always had, well, other problems.  Iago Aspes has not had the success that Liverpool expected from him and Swansea look like they are willing to buy.  Some players just don’t thrive at Anfield and it is definitely time for Liverpool to deal him on before he is no longer an asset.  This does put the front of the Liverpool line in a quandary, since they have promised Suarez he will never walk alone.  While Raheem Stirling has added to the excitement the last few weeks I am sure Brendan Rodgers isn’t banking on his youth.  There is an interesting option coming out of Switzerland, where Egyptian Striker Mohamed Salah has been linked with a move to Merseyside.  He has certainly shown his capability on the real stage with a big goal against Chelsea in Champions League Play.  He is also an attacking player that enjoys being out wide and would be an excellent compliment to Suarez and Sturridge.

Liverpool’s next target is on the opposite end of the country where both Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana putAdam Lallana on a show last week.  Lallana would make an instant impact in the middle of Liverpool’s 11 with his ability to connect the play from back to front.  His ability to govern the field could make him the natural successor to Gerrard, if Liverpool is able to acquire him.  Southampton seem to be putting on an iron wall to protect their best asset and Liverpool will have to come up with some major cash to land him.  Jay Rodriguez would be another player that could complement Suarez or Sturridge when they are in lone striking rolls with his ability to play out wide.  He will also be easier to pry away from Pochettino then Lallana come January.

Javier Pastore                Buying players in England can be expensive business, especially when it comes to buying from a team that, like you, is competing for a Champions League spot.  However, there is another attacking option coming from the continent and from a historically cheaper league.  While Paris Saint Germain don’t meet the standard that their French brethren uphold, they are still in the market to sell out of favor midfielder Javier Pastore.  The Argentine won’t be cheap but at least he is not on everyone’s radar like Lallana.

Liverpool’s final purchase needs to shore up their back line.  Brendan Rodgers loves changing from 3 to 4 to 5 backs depending on the situation and luckily there is a player that can help.  The popular name that has been swirling around is Ashley Cole, who is in the last year of his contract with Chelsea.  Cole has also found himself sitting behind Spanish right back Cesar Azipilcueta, who was converted to left back when Cole sustained an injury.  Mourinho may be unwilling to give up a talented player who means so much to his backline, both on and off the pitch.  The more likely solution for Liverpool is Ryan Bertrand, who seems to have fallen off the Earth at Stamford Bride.  The Englishman would join fellow Chelsea outcasts Victor Moses and Daniel Sturridge.  Plus for a Liverpool side that is looking to add a lot, he is a cheaper option.

Luis Suarez                With all these additions someone will have to depart from Anfield to make room.  Earlier in the article, Aspes was mentioned to go to Swansea, which would clear room for the likes of Rodriguez and Salah.  Jose Reina will be sold eventually, possibly to Barcelona, but since he is already out on loan his future may not be a January priority for Rodgers.  Besides that I would be careful about auctioning off some of the squad.  Suarez is the man that can lead you back to glory and without Champions League Football, he will leave.  While his contract does have a 100 Million Pound buyout clause that Real Madrid will certainly try to scrape together the money for, Liverpool must try to keep him at all costs.  So Tom Werner, break out the check book.  Time to go to work.