Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Freddy Adu Stays Put and A Look to 2009



Monaco's head coach, Ricardo Gomes, has put an end to the speculation over Freddy Adu's status with the team by stating that he will remain with the team for the rest of the season. It's nice to see that Freddy is still wanted at the French club, but it would be even better to see that transfer into some more playing time for the young American. At least he found time in 2008 to score the sick goal posted above (and in high quality).

Also, check out this article, as Jeff Carlisle looks ahead to 2009 and what the US MNT and it's players have to look forward to. It's a big year with WCQ and the Confederation's Cup, let's make it a good one.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bradley Names January Camp Roster


Bob Bradley announced his 25-man roster for the January training camp today and those complaining about young players not getting a shot, don't have much to complain about. Marvell Wynne, Charlie Davies, Kenny Cooper, Stuart Holden, Robbie Rogers, and Chad Marshall were all called in as well as veteran defenders Danny Califf and Cory Gibbs (Brown University represent). This camp should give Bradley a good chance to look at some of his younger players in preparation for the friendly against Sweden on January 24th. Check out the full roster in the link at the beginning of the post or over at the MNT blog.

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A Little K-OS to Liven Up Your Day



I know it's Tuesday, so the title of the song doesn't go along with timing, but I needed a little uplifting music to get me through to New Year's Eve. K-OS has been around for a while, but most people have been sleeping on him because he's from Toronto (Blame Canada); Oh and the fact that he keeps his music as diverse as Rick Rubin's production credits. Check out "Sunday Morning" above and check after the jump for another one of his refreshing songs.





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Revs Sign Videira: Boswell Ponders Exit


Looks like patience has paid off for the New England Revolution. When taking Mike Videira (pictured above) in the 2nd round of the 2008 MLS Superdraft, the Revs knew the Duke midfielder planned on trying to make it in Europe. Try he did, but after one injury-riddled season with Hamilton of the Scottish Premier League, Videira has signed with the league and as a result of being drafted by them, the Revs. Although this is a good signing, I still think the Revs need to make some bigger signings in order to place themselves back among the MLS elite.

Also, looks like Bobby Boswell might be taking off to Europe, as Antalyaspor of the Turkish Super Lig look to be pushing for his signature. According to Soccer 365, Boswell is currently in Turkey getting to know his potential new club. Houston knew that Boswell might take off after his solid campaign with the Dynamo last season, and as a result swung a trade to bring in the young CB Julius James from Toronto FC. If Boswell leaves, you might hear his Dynamo teammates saying some things reminiscent of his old DC United teammates.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

American Soccer Roundup - Holiday Edition


Since I was slacking on posting updates over the past few days, I figured I would link a few of the more interesting stories that I came across over the break. In a big move for the reigning MLS Cup Champions, the front office resigned Chad Marshall to a multi-year contract with the Crew. Andrew Hush over at ESPN posted the second part of his interview with Clint Dempsey (Part 1 is right here), and Buzz Carrick continued his series of articles profiling the college seniors we might see in the MLS draft. Check out the lists for midfielders and defenders. O and last but not least, check out this article from Steve Davis for ESPN, profiling the power players of professional and international soccer in the United States. Davis gives us a nice glimpse of the people behind the scenes of the leagues and teams that we follow.

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US MNT - Goals of 2008



Courtesy of the generous YouTube page of US Soccer, I present to you the 2008 MNT Goal Compilation. Nice little holiday gift from US Soccer, now if I could just find out when I can get my tickets for the Mexico game.

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Dempsey has his Swagger Back



With 3 goals in his last 3 games after regaining his rightful place in the starting lineup, Clint Dempsey has to be smiling. After leading the Cottagers with 6 goals last campaign, Dempsey started the season on the bench after the arrivals of Andy Johnson, Zoltan Gera, and Bobby Zamora. Now, 19 games into the season, Dempsey is back in the starting eleven and is tied for the team lead in goals with 4 (with Andy Johnson). His consistently impressive play can only mean good things for Fulham and the United States. Check out the video for his two goal performance against Chelsea this past weekend.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Neven Subotic to Play for Serbia


Well that blows. First Bakary Soumare decides to play for Mali, and now here comes official word that Neven Subotic will be plying his trade with Serbia. Well, at least people can stop talking about this on message boards and concentrate on the real important stuff, like will John O'Brien make his long awaited return to the game of soccer (just joking). On the real, this is very disappointing. But with Orozco and Torres recently choosing to play for the US, I believe that we are taking the right steps to make sure we can prevent this from happening as much as possible. Makes you appreciate Chad Marshall that much more, doesn't it?

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ESPN Interviews Dempsey, Part 1



ESPNSoccernet recently did an interview with Clint Dempsey, and you can check out part one of the conversation right here. Nice to see a happier Clint (after regaining his starting spot) talking about his current situation over at Fulham. I have always liked Dempsey. He's always had that American swagger about him that I think is missing in a lot of American soccer players. Unlike in the NBA and NFL, where it pretty much oozes out of better players. Basically he knows he's the man, and let's hope he shows it and the upcoming qualifiers, just like he did with this banger (our only one of the tourney) in 2006. Oh and I apologize for the weird music playing in the background of the video, I guess the person who uploaded this is trying to set the mood.

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Galaxy Sign Jamaican GK, Ricketts


The Galaxy have a new keeper, and they went for experience with the Jamaican international, Donovan Ricketts (pictured above). Considering their goalies' combined goals against per game was 2.07 last year, we knew a goalie had to be coming, and it's not that bad of a pick up. With 67 appearances for the Reggae Boyz, Ricketts should help steady a defense that was horrible last year. Here is the official statement from the Galaxy, and some commentary from Kyle McCarthy over at Goal.com. Okay Bruce you got your keeper, now how about we focus on some defenders so that your goalie isn't too busy between the pipes, that's the point right?

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

MLS Making Moves; US Soccer Announcements


While is MLS is out getting that TV money, US Soccer is announcing awards and youth national team news. Kudos to MLS for expanding its global brand; more exposure can only mean good things for the future, especially when you are getting over $10 mill in the process. Props also go to US Soccer for getting it right by honoring Tim Howard, Carli Lloyd, Sacha Kljestan, and Kristie Mewis as US Soccer's players of the year. Howard and Lloyd took home the overall awards, while Kljestan and Mewis took home the yout player awards.

Now for the YNT news: Newly appointed U-18 coach Mike Matkovic called in a buttload of players for his first camp, while the U-20's wrapped up their recent camp down in Florida with a couple of victories. Zac MacMath (pictured above), who just helped UMD to an NCAA Championship, is a notable inclusion in the U-18 camp. Danny Cruz, Sheanon Williams, and Sam Garza chipped in the goals that helped the U-20's top Haiti and Canada, 2-0 and 1-0 respectively.

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Goal.com Previews Honduras


Goal.com has been previewing the teams playing in the CONCACAF Hexagonal in order of expected finish, starting with last and going to first. Here is there third installment and it previews Honduras, who they expect to finish in fourth place. Check out the previous articles profiling T&T and El Salvador here. Although Amado Guevera (#20 above) and Honduras will be looking to qualify for the World Cup finals for the first time since 1982 (their only finals appearence), I do not think they will be able to overcome the superior talent of Costa Rica, USA, and Mexico to finish in the top three; then again there is always the home and away with the fifth place team from COMMEBOL that could get them in.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Lots of News in the World of MLS


I have been slacking. Even though it's the offseason, there has been an insane amount of activity over the past few days. Freddie is hurt, Borgetti might be coming (say it ain't so), and Buzz Carrick is putting out lists of potential GA prospects, and the top goalies that might be coming to MLS. Also, the Crew got a new coach (picture above), but he might be without his best defender next year. Oh yea and apparently DC United might have passed on signing Stephen Appiah, while Houston is trying to acquire an up and coming Mexican player.

Don't forget there are also some American still playing overseas, and some of them are putting in notable performances. Dempsey bagged a goal in a winning effort, Friedel got a shutout to send his team into 3rd place, and Bocanegra and Gooch played the full 90 as both their teams were victorious. Check for Dempsey's goal after the jump.





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Preparing for the MLS SuperDraft......


The 2009 MLS SuperDraft is approaching fast, and will no longer be followed by the Supplemental draft, which has given us solid MLS contributors like Jeff Larentowicz, Devon McTavish, and Aaron Pitchkolan in the past few years. Check out some commentary on the change here and here. At first, I was opposed to this move but the more I think about it, at least this way players will get a chance to try out where they would prefer and test the waters for better contract offers, instead of a situation like this occurring again. USL-1 teams should be excited to reap the benefits of the MLS' cut in roster size and the elimination of the reserve league.

Also, I am going to go ahead and guess that the University of Maryland just might be Don Garber's favorite college squad. They basically are a feeder team for MLS with Omar Gonzalez, Jeremy Hall, and Rodney Wallace all set to leave school early and sign with MLS. Seniors Graham Zusi and AJ Delegarza should also find places on MLS rosters next year, as should Matt Kassel if he decides to leave early.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Royce Da 5'9" and DJ Premier




Here's the first single from Royce da 5'9" off of his upcoming album "Street Hop". Royce has been around for a minute and has been one of my favorite artists for a while. So when I was surfing around today I was understandably excited when I saw this banger. Keep them coming Royce, the more Premo the better, can't wait for the album to drop. Check after the jump to see some more of their classic chemistry.






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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sacha Wins Best Goal for Olympic Strike



Sacha takes home the award from US Soccer for "Best Goal: Men" in 2008, courtesy of his classy goal in the Olympics against Holland. Can't really argue with the selection, as the goal had me jumping off the couch cheering, even though it was early as hell and I had to go to work after. The rest of the winners can be found by clicking here and watching the videos. The winners of the Best Athlete awards will be announced later today.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

American Transfer Developments


Despite all the transfer speculation surrounding Oguchi Onyewu, it looks like he might be wearing the jersey in the above pic just a little bit longer. I guess the sporting director believes that Gooch's services for the rest of the season are worth more than 3 million euro's that he could fetch for his transfer. And he isn't the only American with transfer possibilities, as Sacha Kljestan has been receiving interest from multiple teams and apparently Neven Subotic might be on his way to Napoli (Where the hell did that come from?). Then again these are all rumors, so after the January transfer window, Gooch could be wearing a PSG jersey, Kljestan could still be wearing a Chivas USA jersey, and Subotic could still be rocking a Borussia Dortmund kit. Where do you think they will/should end up?

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US vs Mexico: Should Be Quite a Trip



When it was announced that the US vs Mexico game on Feb 11th would be played in Columbus, I figured I would have good time watching the game on my couch, drinking a few beers. Then my brother suggested that we go, and reminded me that the game falls on one of my good friends' birthdays. Now I am hyped. If all goes to plan, I will be watching this game in person thanks to cheap flights from Southwest and a cheap hotel room thanks to Holiday Inn. US Soccer put up the video above on their Youtube page as promo for the game. Gotta love the fact they include a few shots of Gooch making Borgetti his bitch. Anyone else plan on making the trip?

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WCQ: El Salvador and Trinidad & Tobago


With the Hexagonal getting closer everyday, it's time to take a closer look at the five teams the US will face in the final round of world cup qualifying. Goal.com has begun to preview the teams in the order that they think they will finish, starting with El Salvador in last, and Trinidad & Tobago in fifth. Here is the preview for El Salvador and Elisio Quintanilla (pictured above in blue) and the preview for the Soca Warriors (pictured above in red). Think these are appropriate places for them to finish, or do you think one of these teams will surprise us? I will link the rest of the previews as they appear.

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US to Face Mexico In Columbus



The US Men's Soccer team is heading back to Columbus to face Mexico in their opening game of the Hexagonal on Feb 11th. Although there was speculation that this game might be played in Seattle or at Real Salt Lake's new stadium, it was always going to be Columbus. The last two times that US has faced Mexico in the final round of WCQ, the games have been held in Columbus and the US has prevailed 2-0 on both occassions. What's that? Dos a cero, damn right. Let's hope Tim Howard and the boys can bring some of that magic again, and that Mexico still hates playing in cold weather. Check the video above for footage of the US vs. Mexico game in 2001, courtesy of the guys over at the US MNT blog.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sigi Schmid Named Coach of Seattle


Sigi Schmid was introduced as the Head Coach of Seattle Sounders FC on Tuesday. Click here for the official announcement from Seattle's website. Seattle is not playing around. With a DP in Freddie Ljunberg, a veteran GK in Kasey Keller, young prospects in Sebastien Le Toux and Sanna Nyassi, as well as a solid group of players picked up in the expansion draft; Seattle and Sigi Schmid look to have a much better foundation for success than Chivas USA, TFC, and RSL had. Oh yea, don't forget that they already have about 18,000 season ticket holders lined up, not bad for a new franchise. What do you think of the signing? I have to say it's looking like a pretty good move right now.

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Frankie Simek Injured Again


Frankie Simek is unlucky. In his second consecutive game starting for Sheffield Wednesday after a long injury layoff, Simek had to leave the field after 38 minutes due to a hamstring injury. It now appears that his hamstring injury is a serious one, and he will be missing up to another six weeks. Here is a Q&A with the American defender before he found out the extent of his injury , courtesy of Soccer365. Hopefully, Simek can bounce back again because when healthy he adds quality depth to the fullback position for the US.

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Charles Hamilton is Growing On Me



Charles Hamilton is growing on me. The up and coming emcee has been pumping out mixtapes the past few months and is definitely on the rise. Check out his blog for updates on what he's doing and check out the video above for his new single, "Brooklyn Girls". If he keeps developing he is going to be a force to be reckoned with; listen to his mixtapes over at hiphopdx.com for evidence of his ongoing evolution. Also, listen to "Change gon' come" with Charles Hamilton, B.O.B., and Asher Roth after the jump.





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No Votes For Dos a Cero? Congrats Ives


In what I can only call a travesty in vote calculation, http://dos-a-cero.blogspot.com/ did not win the best American Soccer blog award given out by US Soccer. Nevermind, that I was not nominated and have only been in existence for a month, but that is just ridiculous. In all seriousness, Ives Galarcep won the award for his Soccer by Ives blog beating out the Soccer Insider by Steven Goff (both linked on the side). Both are incredible blogs, as are the other nominees, and deserve all the recognition that they receive. Other winners announced yesterday were Angelo's Soccer Store (Penn.) for Best Soccer Specialty Store, the Globe Pub (Chicago) for Best Soccer Bar, and Jeff York for Best Fan photo. Check out the official announcement here.

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Good Morning, Where Have You Been?


Sorry for the lack of posts over the weekend and yesterday, I was busy trying to get my room/house into a respectable condition. And after I got tired of that, I was mainly just slacking off, and that can take a lot out of you. So let's see what I missed over the last couple of days; Maryland won its 2nd National Championship in 4 years after UNC had upset Wake Forest in the semis and Seattle prepared to make a major announcement (Welcome Sigi). Also, in the Yanks Abroad category, Heath Pearce earned a rare start, Jose Torres started in the Club World Cup, Dempsey went the full 90 again, and Bradley returned to his place in the starting lineup in Germany. Oh yeah, and Jozy put in another significant stint (33 minutes) for La Liga power, Villareal. Finally, after some dealing on Friday, it looks like some other MLS teams might be looking to make a splash on the trade market.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

De Rosario Heading Home to Toronto



Dwayne De Rosario is heading back to Canada. Today, Toronto FC and the Houston Dynamo announced a trade that sends DeRo up north, and Julius James and some allocation money down to Houston. Ives chips in here with some insider news about the trade. What do you think of the trade? Will this finally propel TFC into the playoffs, or has Houston given up a player on the decline for a center back of the future? As it stands now, it looks like TFC got the better of the trade, but we'll have to wait to see who Houston brings in with that allocation money. Houston might be regretting this trade a year from now if he can recreate some goals for the Reds like the one shown above.

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Gen-Adidas Conclude Trip, Spector Returns


South African-born, Davide Somma (in the center above), dropped two goals for the Generation Adidas team in their final game of their England trip. But it wasn't enough, as the West Ham Reserves won 3-2, on two goals from Fred Sears and another from American-international, Jonathan Spector. Nice to see the MLS squad put some goals in the back of the net, and even nicer to see Jonathan Spector putting in 67 minutes with the reserves after a long injury layoff. Hopefully, Spector will be back on the field with the first team (and the US) as soon as possible. With him and Frankie Simek getting back to form (even though Simek picked up a knock in his last game), they should provide some depth at fullback for the US, and hopefully phase out the ageless, long-haired Frankie Hejduk.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

College Cup Starts Tomorrow


In honor of Giovanni Dos Santos keeping it college, I might as well go ahead and post about the 2008 NCAA Men's College Cup that starts tomorrow at Pizza Hut Park in Dallas. Wake Forest will take on North Carolina (5:30 pm, ET) first, with Maryland battling with St. John's (8 pm, ET) in the second game. Both games will be televised on ESPN2. I am taking Wake Forest and Maryland in the semi's with Maryland upsetting the Demon Deacons in the final. It's a good think I have no reason to be biased at all, I only live about 5 minutes from the University of Maryland.

I am looking forward to the games though, should be a good display of the top young, college talent in the US. A few of the players we see this weekend will hopefully be making an impact on your favorite MLS team next year. Check here for a preview of this weekends games and here for a closer look at the college game. Let me know who you think is going to make it to the final and take home the championship.

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Tottenham is Keeping it Classy


I know this is not American soccer or music related but this is too good to pass up, as it includes drunken footballers, beautiful women, and an up and coming Mexican star getting carried into a car (see above). Looks like the boys Tottenham need to blow off some steam (more pics) before their clash with Manchester United this weekend, as Giovanni Dos Santos, Kevin Prince-Boateng, and Allan Hutton hit up the bars for a few beverages, with Dos Santos keeping it very college at the end of the night. I'm all about living the life that your star status affords you, but let's be a little more smooth next time, and maybe not go out right before you play last year's EPL champions.

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Jimmy Fallon and......The Roots?



So Jimmy Fallon is coming to late night, and he's bringing my favorite hip hop group of all time, The Roots, with him. I know a lot of people aren't that excited for Jimmy Fallon to take over for Conan, but at least he's got good musical taste. Check out this article from MTV, for some of the reasoning behind the Roots decision to become the house band. Although, I'm sad I won't be seeing them as much on the road, I can't really hate on ?uesto for not wanting to tour 265 days of the year. So props go to the Roots on getting their new job, I'm happy with you, as long as you keep cranking out bangers like the one below of course.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Combine List and Gen-Adidas News


Shout out to my former teammate, Rhett Bernstein (pictured above). who was included in the list of players invited to the 2009 MLS Player Combine that will take place from January 9-13 down in Florida. Also, make sure to check out Ives Galarcep's list of possible Generation Adidas targets for the upcoming MLS season; Omar Gonzalez from Maryland is a player that jumps out to me as a potential solid MLS defender.

Speaking of Generation Adidas players, a select group of them who are currently on a trip in England, got spanked today by the Chelsea reserves, 4-0. The select team wraps up their trip on Thursday with a match against West Ham's reserves, with Yuri Movsysian available to the team for the first time after taking care of travel issues.

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Charlie Davies on the Move?


Coming off a 15 goal, 4 assist season with Swedish club Hammarby, Charlie Davies was sure to get some attention during the January transfer window. In the last few days it has come to light that a lot of that interest is coming from Sochaux, a French Ligue 1 side that currently sits 18th out of 20 in the standings, and in the drop zone. With only 15 goals this season through 17 games, Sochaux could certainly use some of Davies' dynamic ability. It remains to be seen whether Davies would want to jump the Hammarby ship for a French team struggling to stay in the first division. Personally, I think Davies is a star on the rise, who is constantly overlooked due to his younger National team teammates, Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore. I can't wait to see what he could do with the senior team with some more opportunities. Check the video below to see some of the damage he has already done in the Swedish league.


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Well That Didn't Take Long


Sigi's gone (well at least off to Seattle), Parkhurst is gone, and so are Davino and Marinelli (probably not in the way that they had hoped). The annual exodus of players from MLS has begun and is certainly not done. Some players like Alejandro Bedoya, may even skip MLS and go straight to Europe. But do not fret my friends, with the transfer window opening at the beginning of the New Year, and the 2009 Superdraft coming up we are sure to get a new influx of talent in our favorite domestic league.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Universal Mind Control



Common, fresh off acting gigs in Smoking Aces, American Gangster, and Wanted, drops a new album today called "Universal Mind Control". The follow up to "Be" and "Finding Forever", UMC is entirely produced by the Neptunes and Mr. DJ, featuring only a guest verse from his regular producer Kanye West. The critics haven't been too kind to the album, but since Common is one of my favorite artists, I'm sure he'll at least hit us with a few gems. Besides, Com is a legend in this game and now that he's making that movie money, I am pretty sure he can do whatever he likes. Check out his performance on Jay Leno above, and follow after the jump to check out the two official videos released from the album, "Announcement" being the better one in my opinon.









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Generation Adidas Team Drops First Match of Trip


The Generation Adidas team, comprised of young promising players from MLS and coached by Frank Yallop, lost 1-0 to Reading's reserves yesterday, in their first of three matches on their trip. Here is the lineup used below. It looks like Yuri Movsisyan (RSL, 21, F) and Marvell Wynne (TFC, 22, D) might have missed out on the trip (or picked up injuries) as Tim Ward has been called in, and Davide Somma (SJ, 23, F) comes in as a replacement forward. Here is a post from Rob Valentino (NE, 22, D), checking in over at the New England Revolution official blog.

Chris Seitz (46: Josh Lambo); Tony Beltran, Bakary Soumare, Rob Valentino, Amaechi Igwe, Anthony Wallace, Eric Avila, Bruno Guarda (46: Davide Somma), Roger Espinoza (60: Tim Ward), Alex Nimo (Ciaran O'Brien), Abdus Ibrahim

Update:
Bakary Soumare has made a post over at Luis Arroyave's blog, The Red Card, about his experience on the trip so far.

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Brazil U-17's vs Us U-17's - Round 2 Highlights



Coutinho is ridiculous. After two goals in the first game, the #10 for Brazil once again showed his dominance in this match, with some nifty footwork and an assist(Classy first goal for Brazil). I posted about this game yesterday, but here are the highlights above. US definitely showed better in this one, and with some better finishing could have won the match. Nice to see a little glimpse of Stefan Jerome's potential in the 72nd minute, when he won a slide tackle and did a good job of beating his defender and getting a shot off. Too bad I missed this game on Sunday and had to settle for highlights, because this looked like a pretty entertaining game for 17 year old's.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Marshall, Parkhurst, and the Ghostbusters



This was intended to be a post about the MLS' potential loss of two promising, young American center backs, in Michael Parkhurst and Chad Marshall. But, Steven Goff and Ives Galarcep beat me to it. Why you might ask? Well to make a long story short, they are very good reporters, while I am a guy who loves soccer that has a lot of time on his hands. As I concede to their superiority, check out their posts' about Parkhurst and Marshall; and then check the video above for a preview of the upcoming Ghostbuster Video game featuring all the voices of the original Ghostbusters (Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Harold Ramis). As I recently purchased an XBOX360 and was all about these guys as a kid, I am pretty excited.

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Better, But Not Good Enough at Nike Friendlies


In a rematch of the game that took place on Friday, Brazil U-17's once again topped the American teenagers, this time by a score of 2-1. Here is the report courtesy of US Soccer. Jack McInerney put the US ahead but strikes by Wellington and Joao Pedro led Brazil to victory. Although the results were not great over the weekend (0-2-1 including a 3-3 tie with Australia), the U-17's, who used a large pool of players, can come away from the weekend with the experience of playing against top competition. Young prospects that played over the weekend for US include Charles Renken and Stefan Jerome.

Note: The US U-17's were broken up into two teams (one red, one blue) with some players playing in both Brazil matches and others playing against Australia. The photo above comes courtesy of the YNT blog over at US Soccer.

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Yanks Abroad - Let's Focus on the Positive



When looking at the Americans plying their trade abroad this past weekend, there were a fair share of positives and negatives to take away from their matches. But since it is Monday and there is a full work week ahead, I'm trying to stay positive. I am going to ignore the fact that Eddie Johnson, Steve Cherundolo, and Jay Demerit missed out due to injury, and I am going to overlook that Michael Bradley lost his starting place (although he did make a 23 min sub appearance) in a 3-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen. Instead I am going to focus on the good stuff, like Jozy Altidore making his second consecutive league start and going the full 90 in an incredibly entertaining 3-3 tie with Getafe, in which Villarreal was down 3-0 at half (video above). I'm also liking Damarcus Beasley starting and playing 78 minutes in a 7-1 victory for Rangers, Clint Dempsey going the full 90 in a 1-1 tie for Fulham, and Freddy Adu actually getting off the bench to play 9 minutes in a 1-1 tie for Monaco.

Update: Can't believe I forgot Frankie Simek returning to the starting lineup and going the full 90 for Sheffield Wednesday in a 1-1 tie with Southampton.


It's nice looking at the weekend with a positive slant, that is why I am focusing on UMD Men's soccer team making their fifth final four in seven years, and how the Terps' basketball team crushed GW last night; definitely a lot better than facing the harsh truth that my Washington Wizards suck and the Redskins have lost four out of their last five games.

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Brazil Youngsters Dominate US in First Match



On Friday, in the first of two games that were played between the Brazil U-17's and the USA's U-17's this weekend, Brazil thoroughly dominated and came away with a victory and a 3-0 scoreline. Coutinho had two goals for Brazil, and almost had an incredible third, courtesy of some masterful dribbling. Check out the video above. Not too much in this first game to talk about from the American side, I will be back later with the result from the match that took place yesterday.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Get Healthy, I Dare You



After searching around on the internet for a few days for some Benny Feilhaber news, Yanks Abroad did my job for me and talked to the young midfielder. It's nice to hear that his recovery is going well, but it seems like a long time ago when people were penciling him in as a MNT starter for years to come. Hopefully he gets his health and his swagger back (He's only 23); there aren't many players that can do what he does in the video above. Let's hope he bounces back like Ronaldinho rather than fade away like John O'Brien.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Auto-Tune Parody Courtesy of B.O.B.



With T-Pain, Lil' Wayne and Kanye dominating the charts, we all have heard the auto-tune effect used on many occasions. And although I really like Kanye's new album, we can all agree that the use of auto-tune has gotten a little out of hand. Up and coming artist B.O.B. put what we were all thinking into song with the parody above. Most of you might be scratching your heads as to who B.O.B. is, but I saw him perform on the Rock the Bells side stage a couple months ago and came away very impressed. He was named one of the Top 10 Freshman of 2009 (along with Wale) by XXL and is backed by T.I.'s label. Check after the jump for a song from him you might have heard before.



B.o.B - B.o.B feat. Rich Boy - Haterz Everywhere


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Gooch leads Standard to the Knockout Stage



Standard Liege are legit, I do not care if they play in the Belgian First Division. So far this year in Champions League and UEFA Cup, they have tied Liverpool, tied and beat Everton, beat Sevilla FC, and crushed Sampdoria. No wonder Oguchi Onyewu has been attracting a lot of attention, he has been rock solid in the back and dominant on set pieces. Check the video above to see Gooch score off a corner in a 3-0 victory yesterday over Sampdoria. The victory sent Standard Liege into the knockout rounds of the UEFA Cup.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Freddy, Not Much Playing, But Lots of Talking


Freddy hasn't been playing much lately (except for a nice little performance for the US) for Monaco but he did find the time to do a few interviews recently. Here is the link to the ESPN article that was already linked over at the Offside Rules, and here is another one over at Yanks Abroad. Finally here's another story for Goal.com about the young talent, even though I think some of the quotes were borrowed from Freddy's blog for the Monaco website.

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Two Teams, Two Big Time Players, One Contract


As the Columbus Crew and NY Red Bulls prepared to face off for the MLS Cup two weeks ago, there were a few players on the field who were instrumental in their team's success. Players that fit in that category were Juan Pablo Angel, Chad Marshall, Dave Van Den Bergh, and Guillermo Barros Schelotto. The latter two made the news for opposite reasons yesterday, GBS signed a fat new contract and became Columbus' first DP, while DVB is understandably upset that his club his low-balling him. Check out this article by Kyle McCarthy at Goal.com and this article by Michael Lewis over at Big Apple Soccer for some more information on this developing story.

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Jay-Z song from upcoming Biggie Biopic



Interesting video for Jay-Z's new song off the soundtrack of the upcoming movie, "Notorious". Song is growing on me (it's always nice to hear some new Jay), and since we'll probably never get an official video for the song, this interpretation by Evan Roth more than does the trick.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cristiano Ronaldo beats out Messi, Torres for Ballon d'Or



Cristiano Ronaldo is officially the best player in the world, at least according to France Football magazine. Although, I think Messi and Ronaldo are about equal at this point, an incredible season by Ronaldo in which he scored 42 goals and led his team to EPL and Champions League titles, most likely tipped the scales in his favor. I know that this is not American soccer news, but these guys are just incredible to watch. Peep the video above.

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Wale - Nike Boots



I present to you the premiere of the "Nike Boots" video by Wale directed by Chris Robinson, and shot right in my backyard, beautiful Washington DC. A lot of the concert shots were shot at Howard Homecoming this year and even though its a simple, performance-driven video, its nice to see the up and coming Wale work with a well known director like Robinson. The song is a little old around here, but on the national scene it isn't, so hopefully MTV and BET will pick up the video and run with it. Check out http://www.walemusic.com/ and http://elitaste.com/blog/ for news on Wale.

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Generation Adidas Team to Go to England


MLS has announced a squad of 15 players (with a 16th to be announced) to represent Generation Adidas on an upcoming trip to England. The team will play games against the reserve squads of West Ham, Chelsea, and Aston Villa. A nice collection of inexperienced young players (like Chris Seitz and Abdus Ibrahim) and established MLS starters (like Bakary Soumare and Marvell Wynne) will be coached by San Jose coach Frank Yallop on the 8 day trip. The full list is below:

Josh Lambo (GK, FC Dallas, 18)
Eric Avila (M, FC Dallas, 21)
Bruno Guarda (M, FC Dallas, 22)
Anthony Wallace (D/M, FC Dallas, 19)
Tony Beltran (D, RSL, 21)
Chris Seitz (GK, RSL, 21 on Dec. 3)
Alex Nimo (M, RSL, 18)
Yuri Movsisyan (F, RSL, 21)
Amaechi Igwe (D, New England, 20)
Rob Valentino (D, New England, 23 on Dec. 21)
Marvell Wynne (D, TFC, 22)
Abdus Ibrahim (F, TFC, 17)
Roger Espinoza (M, KC, 22)
Ciaran O'Brien (M, Colorado, 21)
Bakary Soumare (D, Chicago, 23)

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U-20's, Rongen Learn from Madrid Trip


Thomas Rongen and the US Men's U-20 team had a rough time during their camp in Madrid, going 0-2-1 over a 8 day span, against the likes of Real and Atletico Madrid's reserves. Andrew Rogers over at ESPN has a nice recap of the trip, and it seems as though Rongen has come out of the camp with a deeper talent pool and a better idea of which players he will be relying on during qualifying. Can the U-20's repeat their performance of 2007, or will this team fall short of expectations without the likes of Freddy Adu, Jozy Altidore, and Michael Bradley.

Update: Goal.com has a profile of one of the players who took part in the trip, Guiseppe Nazzani, an Italian who does not speak English but qualifies for an American passport through his mother.

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Got Skillz?




Skillz is back with another video from his "Million Dollar Backpack" album that came out back in July. Underrated and overlooked, the Virginia-born Skillz has toured the country with The Roots over the past few years and always puts on a good show. Saw him a couple of years ago in DC, and he stayed around for about an hour signing autographs after the show. Always nice to see an artist getting in touch with his fan base. Check it out.

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Some Reading After a Long Weekend

I apologize for the lack of posts over the last couple days, but too much turkey, stuffing, and winter lager can do that to you. To get back into the swing of things and to catch up on all the American Soccer news over the long weekend, here are a bunch of links to the news and happenings of the last few days. Apologies to Bruce McGuire over at the duNord blog for borrowing your posting style for a second, but there were a lot of good articles written over the last few days.

MLSnet's Season in Review Articles so far:

Colorado Rapids
Rapids face long wait 'til next year
Five big questions for Colorado

DC United
Ambitious United fell short of glory
Five big questions for D.C. United

FC Dallas
Talented Hoops hope to mature in '09
Five big questions for FC Dallas

Kansas City Wizards
Once down, Wizards rose to task
Five big questions for the Wizards

San Jose Earthquakes
Strong '08 provides a foundation
Five big questions for San Jose

Toronto FC
Positive 2008 lends TFC bright future
Five big questions for Toronto FC

Other Articles

Freidel Sets a Record
Article about little known American defender, Eric Lichaj, of Aston Villa's reserves
Jeff Carlisle, on Coach Bob Bradley's player pool
Houston Advances in CONCACAF Champions League
Andrea Canales with the Crew's real secret to success
Mike Petke is back in New York

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Following Players Get to Rock These....


Seattle Sounders FC took the following players in the expansion draft that took place today:

1. Nate Jaqua (F, Houston)
2. Stephen King (M, Chicago)
3. Brad Evans (M, Coumbus)
4. Khano Smith (D/M, New England)
5. Jarrod Smith (F, Toronto)
6. Jeff Parke (D, New York)
7. Tyson Wahl (D, Kansas City)
8. Nathan Sturgis (D/M, RSL)
9. Peter Vagenas (M, Los Angeles)
10. James Riley (D, San Jose)

So I guess I am not very good at predictions, as I only guessed 4 out of 10 correctly. For me the selections fall into 3 categories: Nice pick, Wait and See, and Really?.

In the nice pick category, I have Nate Jaqua (Seattle boy, solid target forward), Stephen King (cheap, versatile midfielder out of Maryland), Tyson Wahl (Young, solid defender to pair with the veteran CB yet to be signed), and Brad Evans ( cheap, talented, box-to-box midfielder).

In the wait and see category, you got Khano Smith (tall, athletic winger, but with a heavy first touch and an occassional attitude problem), James Riley (versatile defender played lots of minutes for San Jose but did not consistently impress), Nathan Sturgis (young defender will turn out to be a great signing if he can stay healthy), and Jeff Parke (Solid, proven back but one who still has a suspension to serve and might bolt for Europe).

Finally, in the "Really?" category, there is Peter Vagenas (veteran midfielder would have been a great pick-up a few years back but at 30, a step slower, and with a $144,000 price tag seems like a strange pick) and Jarrod Smith (a young New Zealand international who only played in 6 games last year for TFC). These last two seem odd to me with talent like Jorge Flores, Aaron Pitchkolan, Johann Smith, and Francis Doe available. Seattle did not choose any players from DC, Dallas, Chivas, or Colorado.

Let the offseason trading begin....

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As We Wait For the Expansion Draft



The Expansion Draft takes place at 1 pm, and should kick off some player movement around MLS. Here are the highlights from yesterday's Champions League match between Bayern Munich and Steaua Bucuresti, two teams with connections to MLS; Landon Donovan is expected to be playing for Bayern soon and former FC Dallas player, Juan Toja, is on the books for Steaua.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Expansion Draft Tomorrow


Although every blogger and soccer reporter has already talked about this story, I figured I might as well share my opinion. Plus American soccer news is slow today, so sue me. Last year, the San Jose Earthquakes used the expansion draft (as well as some trades) to build their team from the back to the front, and it served them relatively well. Unfortunately, their lack of firepower up top caused them to start the season horribly, until some mid-season trades (Darren Huckerby, Arturo Alvarez) helped them solve that problem.

Look for Seattle to focus on defense in the expansion draft as well because unlike San Jose last year, they already have some quality players on the roster. They have already signed Kasey Keller (GK), Sebastien Le Toux (F), Sanna Nyassi (M), and their DP Freddie Ljunberg (M). With these players available, who would you take? Following these rules, my picks are after the jump.


Player (Team, Pos., Salary)

1. Nate Jaqua (Houston, F, 156,000)
2. Brandon Prideaux (Chicago, D, 72,000)
3. Pat Phelan (New England, D/M, 33,000)
4. Brad Evans (Columbus, M, 33,000)
5. James Riley (San Jose, D, 33,000)
6. Tyson Wahl (Kansas City, D, 33,000)
7. Jorge Flores (Chivas USA, M/F, 17,700)
8. Aaron Pitchkolan (FC Dallas, D, 33,000)
9. Francis Doe (DC United, F, 33,000)
10. Michael Randolph (LA Galaxy, D/M, 33,000)

I wanted to take Eddie Gaven (Columbus, M, 165,000) and Nate Sturgis (Real Salt lake, D/M, 75,000), but I thought the price tag was too high for Gaven (when you already have 2 outside mids on the roster) and I am not convinced that Sturgis will ever be able to stay healthy.

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Jake One is the Truth




Jake One has got beats for days. Got his new album "White Van Music" a little while ago and it has been on constant rotation since. With cameos from Royce da 5'9", M.O.P., Busta Rhymes, Bishop Lamont, Little Brother, Young Buck, and Freeway; the album has an interesting mix of mainstream and below the radar artists rapping over Jake One's productions. The full video for "The Truth" by Jake One featuring Freeway and Brother Ali is after the jump. Check it out and I'll be back later with some soccer news, that's the point of this blog right?




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Frank Ribery as the Pink Panther




I usually stick to the realm of the US Men's National team and hip hop, but after seeing this over at http://elitaste.com/blog/ I had to post it. Nice to see Ribery showing off some of his acting chops, and his always beautiful smile. I am sure all the players out there who love the Nike Mercurial Vapors and have Cam'ron on their ipods, are especially excited for these boots to hit the stores.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

An Early Reason to Give Thanks



In order to cash in on early holiday shoppers and boost their numbers, Ludacris and Kanye West are dropping their new albums today. Now you can get a "The Theater of the Mind" and "808's and Hearthbreak" a day earlier than expected. Above is "Undisputed" from Ludacris' album and you can check out the first single from Kanye's below.

Personally, I'm excited to hear some experimentation from Kanye (as long as he hits us with a classic hip hop album next time) and am always pleased with what Luda brings to the table. I plan on picking these up later, but if you already have, let me know what you think.


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U-20 Friendly Result and Qualifying Dates



Thomas Rongen's U-20 squad finished up their camp in Spain with a 2-0 loss to the Rayo Vallencano reserves. The team went 0-2-1 on their trip but the time together should have given Rongen a good chance to evaluate the talent he has available for the upcoming qualifiers.

Speaking of the qualifying tournament, it will take place in early March, in Trinidad & Tobago. Here is the link to the announcement from US Soccer, and a highlight video from the highly entertaining US vs. Poland game, from the last U-20 World Cup. A little taste, to get you excited for upcoming tourney.

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Columbus Wins and Other MLS News



The Columbus Crew are MLS Cup Champions. GBS put in a masterful performance, Chad Marshall continued his aerial dominance, and Frankie Hejduk capped off the game with a goal and his first MLS Cup during his long tenure in the league. No complaints should be heard from soccer purists, as the team with the best record in the regular season went on to win the cup.

That's not all that happened this weekend, as Commish Don Garber delivered his State of the League address and the draws for the Hexagonal and the Confederations cup took place. To get the full recap of all the news, check out this post over at DuNord.

I'll be back later with some more soccer and a little music, as some big releases are coming out today.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

MLS Cup Preview



Here is the MLS Cup preview courtesy of ESPN. The winner of the Supporter's Shield, Columbus Crew, taking on the resilient, and surprising New York Red Bulls. Who do you have taking home the cup? I am going to go with a 2-1 victory for the Columbus Crew, behind goals for Alejandro Moreno and GBS, with Juan Pablo Angel pulling one back for the underdogs. Think differently? Let's hear your predictions in the comments section.

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Getting Fired Up Courtesy of Bergkamp



MLS Cup is today. Two teams without a championship, and one will not have to wait much longer. I leave you with a video to get you hyped for the beautiful game on national TV today (3:30 pm ET, ABC). I know it is not MLS related, but every time my old roommate wanted to get our house ready for what we were doing, whether it was a game, or a night out at a fine drinking establishment; he would blast this video, whether we liked it or not. Hats off to Bergkamp, he never gets the respect he deserves; and good luck to New York and Columbus, let's hope they give us a classic final.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

U-20's Come Up Short in Spain


In their first two games during their week-long camp in Spain, the US U-20's lost to Real Madrid's reserves 5-3, and tied Atletico Madrid's reserves 0-0. The trip will conclude tomorrow after a match with Rayo Vallencia's reserves. It's nice to see Rongen bring together a strong squad for camp, before the team reconvenes for U-20 WCQ early next year. Notable players from the MLS include, Tristan Bowen (LA Galaxy), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas), Abdusalam Ibrahim (Toronto FC), and Josh Lambo (FC Dallas). While lesser known players plying their trade abroad include, Bryan Arguez (Hertha Berlin), Vincenzo Bernardo (SSC Napoli), Kyle Davies (Southampton FC), Gregory Garza (Sporting Lisbon), Jared Jaffrey (Club Brugge), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), and Giuseppe Nazzani (Bologna FC).

Flores, Bowen and Ibrahim tallied against Real Madrid, while Josh Lambo played the full 90 in net in both games so far.

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Keep it Moving



Here's the new video by Q-Tip off his tight new album, "The Renaissance". Cool, mellow song to get you through Friday and welcome you to the weekend. Kudos to Rik Cordeiro to having the entire underground hip hop music video scene on lock. From videos by The Roots, to Nas, to Wale, he has been putting it in all year. Nice to be able to see the visual presentation of the music we love, from artists that don't have Britney Spears-type budgets.

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Dos a Cero, Sound's about right



Sorry for the delay, I took a day to bask in the glory of victory and annual leave. Nice performance put in by the young fellas, emphasized by the poor display by the visiting Guatemalans. Solid defending, two quality goals and some nice confident ball movement. Those who had been calling for Kenny Cooper had to be happy with the result, as he finished well after a quality move and pass from Jozy. With Beasley, Dempsey, Donovan, Bradley, Edu and Davies available for the Hexagonal, let's see how big Bob does with some tough personnel decisions.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Wait is Over



Let's hope the boys have carb-loaded for the game like Michael Phelps, and are hyped for the game despite being through to the next round. I'm picking the US to win 2-1, getting at least one goal from Jozy. Give a prediction. Will the young Americans rise to the occasion, or will a desperate Guatemalan side overcome an inexperienced American side like Trinidad before them? Let me know what you think. Thanks go to the MNT blog for the preview above.

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Let's Take it Back to the Concrete Streets



Just when you thought they were gone, Jurassic 5 returns with a Deluxe Reissue of their classic self-titled EP. Buy it here and check out the video above for that classic, refreshing sound that J5 always brought. I still regret not buying tickets to their show my freshman year in college when they played at my school.

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Preview of Things to Come?



Let's hope Freddy brings some of that magic he usually saves for the youth tournaments, and Jozy puts the T&T game behind him and makes the big boys look small. After work, and after picking up a few adult beverages, it's back home to watch the young Americans eliminate Guatemala from World Cup Qualifying (ESPN Classic, 8 pm ET).

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