Crap, Dallas is Out

Just watching a little MLS … and it turned into playoff action when FC Dallas went down 1-2 to Real Salt Lake (stupid gay name) and needed to equalise to keep their playoff hopes alive. We were making progress on the attack … but alas, RLS scored a third goal in the 86th minute to secure their post-season spot while snuffing out Dallas’ last hopes.

Go Chivas!

UPDATE: Dallas (Pablo Richetti) just got its second red card. Does anyone know … do bookings carry over to the next season?

The Manchester United Experience … in China

Check it out, coming soon … one of the big draws to The Venetian Resort and Casino in Macau … The Manchester United Experience:

Football fans get ready for Asia’s first interactive football experience opening this November at The Manchester United Experience. Come experience the passion of the world’s most celebrated football club as you step into the boots of your favorite footballers. Immerse yourself in an interactive history of the club, lace up your boots and compete against fans from around Asia in our training zone, get a virtual tour of Old Trafford and see football like never before in our 4D Theatre of Dreams.

I have no idea what a 4D Theatre of Dreams might be. But the best I can tell it’s a combo museum/store — sorta like a Hard Rock or Planet Hollywood of Man-U soccer.


Everything You Wanted to Know about Soccer on TV (but were afraid to ask)

Came across a good soccer podcast — The episode below is more than a year old, but total Football geeks like Sang will find it either intriguingly prescient or at least worthy of vitriolic disagreement and thoughts of riot. The guest is none other than Oliver Tse (a pal of mine from the poker-biz). I had almost forgotten that Oliver, creator of the now-defunct, has been following soccer on TV (the business of it, not so much the actual kicking) since the mid-90s (when internet communications were limited to email and usenet groups).

Click here to download/listen to the Oliver episode. On it, you’ll hear him discuss:

  • Detailed EPL ratings numbers
  • The history of soccer on TV, specifically American TV
  • MLS ratings
  • The appearance of Budweiser’s Chinese language ads at Old Trafford
  • The importance of the American audience for Mexican soccer
  • The increasing proliferation of video game tournaments on TV
  • EPL’s efforts to reach Asia
  • World Cup rights fees in America (exceeding those of the rest of the world)
  • Prediction: HD soccer broadcasts coming Christmas 2008? (Maybe 2009)
  • The Brazilian soccer channel
  • Argentine/Paraguayan/Venezuelan soccer on TV

Damn, that’s a lot of good background info (and data for forward thinkers). And though Soccerati’s new readers may not care, I know any Pokerati tagalongs will find it fascinating that Tse was one of 60 who vote for US Soccer Player of the Year.

Soccer Is the New Poker Is the New Soccer Is the New …

There’s some interesting discussion going on about rule enforcement over at our baby-sister site … in which they are discussing the (theoretical, for now) possibility of using red and yellow cards in poker … and comparisons of tournament directors to soccer referees.

What’s in a Name?

So I’m kinda-sorta getting into the CONCACAF Champions League — currently watching Marathon vs. DC United … but the game before it …

Joe Public vs. CD Olimpia? What kinda name is Joe Public? (They might be my new favorite Trinidad & Tobagoen team.) Seriously, I know I am just learning this game here … but even with a Google search, had they not recently bounced the New England Revolution out of Liga Campeones, I would think they are either an Oregonian soccer team or “new jack swing” band from upstate New York.

Stoked for pain

     For anyone who knows me the one thing I enjoy more than anything, within a sports context, are blowouts.  Huge ugly blowouts that breaks the hearts and souls of those on the receiving end of a massive thumping.  It was for this one reason I found myself constantly rooting for the Denver Broncos througout the eighties and nineties.  Well I should elaborate, I rooted for the Broncos and horse faced Johnny Elway to make to the Super Bowl knowing full well that once they reached the biggest championship game in American sports they would choke like a first time porn starlet on her first on camera blowjob.  To know that 24-0 was only the beginning of a long and miserable day for a large segment of the American populace was icing on the cake come January. 

      So with this rather Un-American proclivity for witnessing the needless hammering of athletes pursuing their passion and joy, I was fully prepared for the EPL’s version of the Mariana’s Turkey Shoot this past Saturday.  Liverpool winner of 18 League championships, 5 European Cups, yadda yadda yadda taking on Stoke City, recently promoted Stoke City, “just happy to be here, Hello my name is James Brolin” Stoke City.  At Anfield no less.  And I could sit here and list all the reasons why Liverrpool should have won, blah blah blah.  And all the faults Livepool displayed.  I could point out that the striking corps at Livepool played anemicly,  how creativity seemed to have taken a holiday to Blackpool.   Yet other more qualified individuals have already pointed out all the failings of a Liverpool side that seemed intent on gifting a point to a Stoke side desiring only  survival.  No my main sticking point has mainly to do with the massive blood letting I deserved witnessing, but was denied.  Once the final whistle blew I felt very much like a 15 year old after my first “make out” party: befuddled and confused knowing full well I had been short changed.  I had fully expected a massacre like last year’s Liverpool’s trouncing of Derby County, instead I witnessed a punch and judy show of kick it out of bounds and hope for the best.  Did Stoke play with cynicism, with a lack of creativity and verve?  Not my place to hurl such accusations at such a storied club as Stoke City nor a manager with the credentials of a Tony Pulis( And for all the smart asses out there I know after Notts County Stoke is the oldest club in England and Pulis has never managed a relegated club, you shits).  But… yes the sarcasm drips rather harshly, but football takes no prisoners much like a Vegas stripper when the car payment is due.  Yet this may be the future of sports.

     With the millons of pounds Sterling at stake what responsible manager will take a Proustian approach to the beautiful game?  A new age has slowly dawned on the EPL, an age where the point all alone to itself is as meaningfull as three.  Many will argue that more than a few championships have been deceided upon such parameters, but in no way can such conservatism help the game into the 21st century.  Not very long ago a Kevin Keegan managed Newcastle United came to Anfield needing a win to maintain a precarious claim to the championship.  For those with a long memory and an appreciation of how much pain sport can deliver the details need not be revisited.  For the others, read up on football.  Is it possible to see such drama played out on the pitch again?  Or will the drama still exist but in a more truncated form, fleeting to the point where we are not aware of its importance till too late.  And if this is the case in no way is that sport in its meaningfull sense.  It is sport as business, as dictated by economics and accountants, and not by the passion of competitive suvival.  In short I may never ever see the complete and utter destruction of a footballing side unless of course Leyton Orient gets promoted.

P.S.  Sindazed says hi.

MLS Better than EPL?

OK, maybe this is the wrong thing to say … but I watched the LA Galaxy vs. DC United yesterday, and just now Chelsea FC vs. Manchester Utd.

And I gotta say, the Galaxy/DC game was better than Chelsea/Manchester. In terms of pure entertainment value. Is this blasphemy?

Wigan hangs on, manager checks out

My favorite bottom-of-the-barrel Premiership team, Wigan, has survived relegation … but their manager, Paul Jewell, has said he’s had enough and will be taking a break from football.

Interestingly enough, it was the Wigan loss against Arsenal — whereupon he mouthed off Mark Cuban-style about the ref — that really got me into the game … and appreciating the beauty of the threat of relegation! Paul Jewell may be gone, but here at Soccerati, he will not be forgotten.