Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jersey Count- the really really late edition

So I got a little lazy and forgot to update the Jersey Count for March. Or April. Or May. In fact, I've already started on my new Jersey Count for this school year since I'm back. So instead of doing each month's update, I'm just going to do the overall year update. These are fairly skewed by the jerseys I wear (I finally saw someone else wearing a USMNT jersey, but only once), so statistically they aren't really that sound because I was technically manipulating the variables myself, but whatever, this is all done in good fun.

USA 20
Arsenal 14
Liverpool 13
Real Madrid 11
AC Milan 10
Barcelona 10
Chelsea 10
Manchester United 10
England 8
Holland 4
Inter Milan 3
Italy 3
Galatasaray 3
Germany 3
Columbus Crew 3
Republic of Ireland 2
Argentina 2
Valencia 1
Marseille 1
Brazil 1
Aston Villa 1
Japan 1
Tottenham 1
Boca Juniors 1
Celtic 1
Sweden 1
Everton 1
France 1
Mexico 1
Bayern Munich 1
New York Red Bulls 1
Spain 1
Czech Republic 1

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

on the (personally) awesome soccer month of march

This month is shaping up to be an excellent month for me on the soccer front. MLS is (supposed to be, at least) starting up again, and that makes me happy. But it's not just that. Let's start at the beginning.

I got the new USMNT away jersey in the mail last Thursday (along with a free Jabulani mini replica ball!) and honestly, it is a good looking jersey. I know a lot of people think it looks like a ~beauty pageant sash~ or whatever, but I think it looks awesome, especially against the navy. Adding to my jersey collection is always exciting. I have quite a few, and maybe one of these days I'll go through and talk about them individually. Actually, that would be a really good post. So I'll do that eventually.

I spent a decent amount of time the last few months trying to convince my parents that we should go up to Columbus for a Crew game. Unfortunately, that didn't really pan out. But when US Soccer announced the send-off series finale against Turkey in Philadelphia on May 29th, I decided this was the game that I wanted to go to. So as soon as the game was announced, I set out to convince my parents that we should go. 11 hours in the car won't be that bad, we can extend our trip and do some sight-seeing up north since we've never been there, and most importantly, it'll be the last game before the World Cup so the atmosphere should be great. They were iffy at first, but on Saturday my mom caved and bought us all tickets. I'm a bit disappointed we won't be sitting with the American Outlaws, but we're supposedly right along the tunnel where the players come out, so that should be pretty awesome. Regardless of where I'm sitting though, I'm finally getting my first cap!

Finally, I will be going to my first "MLS" games in 10 days! I say "MLS" because it's just preseason, and only one of the games will feature two MLS teams (Toronto FC vs. Real Salt Lake, then DC United vs. Charleston Battery), but it's still just as exciting. Especially since it's the last weekend of preseason and the teams should be pretty much full strength. I can't wait.

The Crew play tonight in CONCACAF Champions League, so I have a couple extra weeks of excitement to get me pumped up for First Kick on the 25th. I'll still be home for Spring Break so I'll have people to watch the games with (my family, but it's better than nothing). Basically, March is shaping up to be exactly the kind of month it needs to be to get me back into soccer after I spent most of February obsessing over the Winter Olympics.

February Jersey Count

In January, I added another jersey to my collection- the 2008-2009 Columbus Crew jersey! Unfortunately, it wasn't ever warm enough to wear in January once I got it, so it made its debut in February. Also of note: the Ronaldinho Barcelona jersey was spotted playing soccer in the snow on the SAC fields. Pretty cool.

USA 2 (Bradley 1, all me)
Chelsea 2
Liverpool 1
Barcelona 1 (Ronaldinho 1)
AC Milan 1 (Pato 1)
Real Madrid 1 (me)
Columbus Crew 1 (me)
Manchester United 1

Friday, February 5, 2010

A woman's perspective on the John Terry saga, the thrown-together PG version

What a disgusting piece of scum. I'm not sure there's really any other way of looking at it, to be honest, unless you're a pig-headed guy who thinks he's awesome for sleeping around (and if that's the case, I have nothing more to say to you). Even looking past the fact that Wayne Bridge was a teammate, even if it was just some random girl, the heart of the matter is that he's still married with children. Just because you make ridiculous amounts of money and are an international celebrity, that doesn't give you an excuse to cheat on your wife. As for the impact it'll have on Chelsea and England? I honestly could care less. It's an interesting dilemma, but since it doesn't affect me directly, I'm not going to worry about it. Forget Team Bridge, I'm Team Toni all the way.

Side note: this has nothing to do with the fact that he plays for Chelsea and England. If he was a Fulham player, a Crew player, a USMNT player, or just some random guy on the street, I'd feel the same way. That being said, every stupid remark John Harkes makes while calling a game will now sound even stupider to me.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

January Jersey Count

January was a slow month. I'm going to go ahead and blame the cold weather for that- really, there were only a couple days where it was warm enough to actually wear short sleeves, but I did see other people wearing jerseys so I'm going to actually add to the count this month. February will probably be slow as well, but whatever.

Arsenal 2 (Fabregas 1,me)
Chelsea 1
USA 1 (Bradley, me)
Real Madrid 1 (me)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

on atlanta's selection as a bid city

This afternoon, Atlanta was named as one of the 18 cities that would be included in US Soccer's bid to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup. As a current resident of Atlanta, and a lifelong Georgia resident, I'm obviously beyond thrilled that Atlanta was selected. There's obviously no guarantee that it'll be among the final 12 cities if we actually get the bid from FIFA, but the fact that it was among the 18 has me feeling quite proud to be an Atlantan, so I've decided to draft up a few reasons why I, as an Atlanta resident, think the city deserves the World Cup (this will, eventually, be followed up by a more negative post about MLS expansion, but that's for another day now):

  1. We've proven we can host international matches. A friendly between Mexico and Venezuela this summer drew over 50,000 to the Georgia Dome. The AC Milan-Club America game, which I attended, also got over 50,000. I can't speak for the atmosphere at the Mexico game, though I'm sure it was amazing, but the Milan-Club America game was fantastic. Fans everywhere, cheering, singing, taking over the CNN Center food court before the game…it was awesome. Oh, and we hosted a little event called the 1996 Olympics, which you may have heard of.

  2. We've got the support. Over 14,000 people signed the GoUSABid petition for Atlanta. The only city with more signatures? Seattle, with over 19,000 (and I've got a strong feeling the Sounders had a lot to do with that). The Georgia Youth Soccer Association made a strong push for people to sign the petition and make a donation to the GoUSABid committee. Did anyone else do that? Not that I know of. (though I just found out about Atlanta's donation today, so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong)

  3. It's our time now. Atlanta has always gotten the short end of the stick for soccer. No MLS team, the Silverbacks sitting out the USL season in 2009 and then being dropped from the new NASL/USL second division, never hosting USMNT games, the Beat coming in as an expansion team and not automatically getting two USWNT players like the other teams did…it's time for Atlanta to finally step up and show why they shouldn't have been passed over all those other times. Shine on, Atlanta.

Monday, January 11, 2010

on being a crew fan in georgia

I guess I have to start this off by stating, for those of you who didn't know, that I'm a Columbus Crew fan. Through 2007, I just sorta casually followed MLS, watched whatever game was on, not really cheering for anyone in particular because I didn't have a team within 9 hours of me, so there really wasn't much of a reason to. At the beginning of the 2008 season, however, I decided that I was going to really get into the league and pick a team and stick with them. It was a couple of weeks into the season when I settled on Columbus- they had US National Team players I liked (Frankie Hejduk, and to some extent Robbie Rogers), they had players I knew I would like (a crafty Argentinian midfielder, a Scotsman who scored a rocket of a goal, a keeper who looked like Ricky Bobby, a goofy blonde kid who looked like a Cabbage Patch doll, to name a few), they played a nice passing game which I respected, and, just as importantly as the other reasons, they wore yellow, one of my favorite colors. So I started following the Crew, and either I'm good at picking winners or I was actually their lucky charm; regardless, the Crew won the Supporter's Shield and MLS Cup and I was a content fan. In 2009 I was still a Crew fan. They only won the Supporter's Shield this season, but at least that's something.

I'd become really attached to the team, which I suppose is a good thing, but being a fan of a team nine hours away from you can pose some problems. For one, I've never met another Crew fan. Actually, I can broaden that by saying I've never met a fan of any MLS team outside of my family, who I've pretty much forced it on, but that's a whole different story. So other than a couple people on Twitter and, if I dared, Big Soccer, I don't really have anyone to talk to about anything specifically Crew-related. (My mom will listen to me rant and ramble, but I doubt she takes most of it in.) Another downside is that I can't just decide I want to go to a game and then go. I'd have to get a plane ticket and a rental car and a hotel room and find someone to go with and as much as I'd love to go to games all the time, it's just not feasible.

I had a nice long paragraph here about not being able to find Crew merchandise, but it just sounded really whiny so I scratched it all. I only have one piece of Crew merchandise, and it's the MLS Cup Champions t-shirt. It's also a mens large, since that's all they had in stock, so I can't wear it out anywhere. I plan on getting a jersey when the new ones come out in February, but I have nothing now. Recently, however, I took up knitting, and I bought yellow and black yarn and knitted myself a Crew scarf.

It's my first project, so it's not at all perfect, the stripes are different sizes and the stitches are loose in some places, but it's something at least. Of course, everyone is going to assume it's just a Georgia Tech scarf, but they don't know any better.