Kids love meeting the manager.
Just like all of the other cool clubs, AC Milan have been spending part of their summer in America.
In these days of crazy football finances expanding your global brand over the offseason is a no-brainer and it has the added benefit of giving already die-hard fans the chance to see their favorite squads live and up close.
Hell, it doesn’t even have to be your favorite squad. I once got to geek out (with dignity of course) in the presence of some of those bastards from Manchester United.
Getting in on the U.S. outreach action, the Rossoneri recently visited the adidas store in Manhattan for a meet and greet and autograph signing for Tri-State Area tifosi. The team is in the Big Apple to face Real Madrid in the new Yankee Stadium.
In addition to the signing, there was also a special offer which would guarantee the first 150 people who purchased $75 worth of Milan merchandise from the store a special wristband and the chance to meet the team.
$75 isn’t all that cheap, but when you consider the gear is about to be filled with signatures, you have to assume that’s actually a pretty good value.
Now, me being in Boston, I could have easily hopped on a train or more likely a Chinatown bus (Fung Wah baby) and gotten the type of access to the team that I will rarely ever be offered again.
But I’m actually holding out for a much more exclusive wristband, and it’s going to take a lot more than 75 bucks.
In order to find his equal, Balotelli is forced to talk with God.
After exploding his own bathroom earlier in the year Mario Balotelli had kept things fairly tame until recently clashing with teammates in the middle of a game and being foolishly sent off against Arsenal a few weeks back.
Manchester City boss strongly implied he would have no further use for the mercurial striker and most assume he’s back off to Italy sometime this summer.
But Super Mario has since claimed to have been deeply affected by the on-field death of his former Azzurrini teammate Piermario Morosini and vows to change his ways.
He has rejected reports that he intends to seek psychological counseling but has decided to look for guidance and motivation from some more experienced footballers as he attempts to turn his behavior, reputation, and career around.
Seems like a wise, possibly even mature thought process.
That is until Balotelli revealed he has chosen none other than Carlos Tevez to be the source of his inspiration.
He's the one on the bottom.
Two men enter. One man leaves.
That’s the attitude with which this week’s player from rec soccer hell enters every challenge, and the slogan for the post-apocalyptic gladiatorial arena that gives him his name.
Meet Thunderdome, a player who, much like last week’s entrant, is taking a friendly game of soccer way too seriously.
But whereas the Field Marshal’s unique behaviors can make him extremely annoying, those particular to Thunderdome are liable to get you sent to the hospital.
This guy has posters of Nigel de Jong, Karl Henry, and Ryan Shawcross on his walls and pieces of opponents skin on his studs.
He’d actually be more graceful had he attended the Paul Scholes School of Tackling.
Monty could teach 'Arry a thing or two about TACTICS!
Soccer is a sport that, when played at a highly competitive level, requires a great deal of organization.
Managers not named Redknapp spend countless hours agonizing over tactics and team sheets all in order to put the right personnel and game plan out on the field.
Once the whistle has blown and it’s out of their hands, they must rely on vocal leaders on the pitch to help the team keep its shape and urge them to victory. This role often goes to the men at the back.
Goalkeepers set up walls and call out instructions from their full field vantage point. Center backs organize offside traps and orchestrate play from the back through the midfield.
As a former goalkeeper (who talked for nearly 90 minutes a game) I am aware that this constant chatter can be quite a nuisance to others, but when you’re playing for trophies and titles it is tolerated as a necessity.
When you’re playing at the park behind the church with traffic cones for goals on the other hand, cut that shit out.
Footwear only Tno could love.
As far as I know we don’t have any professional footballers that frequent this little blog of ours.
In order to play the sport that we love most of us are required to go down to the park to find the occasional pickup game or join a local rec league.
These can be fun, casual ways to stay in shape, meet new people, and, once in a while, to recapture that feeling of a killer pass, great save, or scoring an always satisfying goal.
They can also be great opportunities to run into some real assholes.
Inspired by a very funny and spot-on 2007 piece by Patrick Hruby for ESPN’s Page 2 (The Ultimate Hoops Game From Hell), I am pleased to present the initial installment of a recurring look at the people who conspire to ruin the fun for the rest of us.
First up, Goldenboots: the guy whose feet you can see coming a mile away.