Peyton Manning makes funnies on former Camena haunt

Much as it pains me, I shall begrudgingly admit that the clips from Peyton Manning’s turn on SNL last night are at least mildly funny. The fake United Way ad (below) is pretty solid, if only because it included lots of bleeped Peyton Manning swearwords. Note also that said spot was filmed at the trusty ole soccer field at 23rd and Eleventh, site of many memorable F.C. Camena five-a-side tilts.

(I especially liked the tattoo joke.)

So Let Me Get This Straight

Craig Bellamy is going to hit you in your ovaries with his golf club if you fail to match his enthusiasm for karaoke.  Right in the babymakers.So right, earlier in the week Liverpool’s Craig Bellamy and John Arne Riise made the papers for getting into an alleged karaoke-fueled golf club fight (you can’t make that up) that involved the “hot-tempered” Bellamy swinging an iron in Riise’s direction. And then, in the Nou Camp against Barcelona in the highest-profile matchup in the Champions Leage Round of 16, Bellamy scores one and sets up Riise for the winner. And then swung an imaginary golf club to celebrate.

For the record, this is officially “Very 1986 Mets” of Liverpool. Getting a big win in the wake of ridiculous tabloid debauchery? And having the most ridiculous guys be the heroes? Yeah. That sounds about right.

Also, I am officially back from my imaginary leave of absence and watching a bit more soccer. Hmmm, what is it that just ended? I wonder. Anyway, I watched Arsenal yesterday and the Chelsea game today. In re: Arsenal, yeah, um, they weren’t very good. In re: Chelsea, I thought Sheva was good and feisty today, that Ballack was only occasionally in the game, that Obi Mikel is going to be really good, and that Essien is already really good.

Links:

Bellamy swings it as Barcelona are stunned
Liverpool face blanket fines for fracas from Benitez

GoldenBalls, meet Landycakes. Landycakes, meet GoldenBalls.

That's hot.So we knew this was coming for a good long while: Becks was going to quit the Spain thing and put himself out to pasture in MLS, and specifically Los Angeles, home of the meaningless regular season game and underwear-free Britney Spears, respectively. (I can imagine Landycakes pulling him aside at the first practice to explain that “You don’t have to really try here, it’s sweet”) That wasn’t terribly shocking. The shocking part was the number they quoted on the deal: $250 million.

(!)

That’s a lot of dollars. A lot of dollars for MLS (certainly), for soccer (yup), and even for American sports (where your average backup center/ stiff in the NBA makes as much as the top strikers in Europe). Turns out that the number exists mostly for PR purposes; according to the folks at FoxSports.com (and specifically Jamie Trecker, the guy who reported that Jurgen Klinsmann would be the U.S. coach!), MLS is only on the hook for $400,000 per year, with AEG and adidas splitting the rest of the bill.

In terms of the actual footie, I think MLS is going to be surprised at how physical Becks is. MLS is not a terribly physical league, and I see Becks actually shoving some dudes around (and certainly getting tossed once or twice). That’s my prediction on January 11th.

Link:
Who’s flipping the Beckham bill?

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

That isn't actually Paul Pierce

So what about this picture/ story is most remarkable?

That Wayne Rooney jets to New York when he has two days off from practice? That he would get hoodwinked into actually attending a Knicks game whilst there? That he would attend said Knicks game with Jimmy Fallon? That he’s still dating that Colleen McLoughlin person? That the article quotes height in meters?

Nope.

The answer was “That Paul Pierce actually dove after a ball that was going out of bounds.”

Thanks for playing.

Link:
Rooney nearly re-injures foot at NBA game

Which isn’t actually such a big deal since he can’t drink anyway

shaqadu.jpgErr, exactly what the hell does MLS think it’s doing with this Freddy Adu-to-Real Salt Lake nonsense?

Fresh off his two-week trial/ marketing tour of Manchester United, alleged American soccer savior Freddy Adu got shipped from D.C. United to Real Salt Lake, as in Utah? As in, the nation’s capital (and MLS’s most decorated team, inasmuch as MLS teams are decorated at all) to the team with the curbic zirconium name in the nation’s 50th largest metro area — ahead of Raleigh-Cary, NC (51) but behind Rochester, NY (49). Nike has got to be thrilled! And Pepsi too!

There’s no reason this should happen. The Adu thing has been managed from the get-go — with minimal complaints. If the Freddy Adu thing is at least part-marketing stunt, um, why allow this to happen? With two teams in LA? And one in New York? Even Chicago. Come on, folks — let’s keep our eye on the ball here.

(What an odd week for American soccer. Seriously.)

Matt Taylor for three/ (Timmy!)

Crazy goal in the Pompey – Everton game this afternoon. Pompey’s Matt Taylor caught Tim Howard off his line from about 40 yards out and one-timed a complete howitzer of a shot that froze Timmy solid in a state of bafflement, disbelief, and shame. In Timmy’s defense, Matt Taylor was pretty far away (though apparently he’s done this before — go figure). Geez, I hope Bob Bradley wasn’t watching!

Also, you can now pre-emptively blame Matt Taylor for the ridiculous forty-yard attempt I mishit into the parking lot in my rec-league soccer game this week.

Link:
The other time Matt Taylor hit from downtown.

Bradley (Sigh), Yes (Sigh).

bobbradley.jpgDude, after six months the best these guys can come up with is a freakin interim coach?

An interim coach?

I mean, I don’t want to get down on Bob Bradley (ignore previous comments in re: “retread MLS coaches”), but this just isn’t terribly inspirational from U.S. Soccer. It isn’t even like they picked the best retread MLS coach. They just picked the…I don’t even know.

I guess it’s semi-charming that I might run into Mr. Bradley at The Meetings (meaning he has a chance to see the Camena crest in person!) and that he was the coach at my alma mater while I was there. That’s kind of neat. But I’m more interested in “U.S. Soccer winning games” than I am “chugging beers with him at the P-Rade.”

(Sigh.)

Link:
Bradley to be named interim U.S. coach

Klinsmann, No?

I'm out!Err, so I guess he’s not coming after all? Oops. Cheers to all the media who got this one wrong — way to confirm your second-class citizenship in the already downmarket U.S. footy press. Great work with all that. Note: editors at ESPN and SI are not exempt from said criticism either.

I was actually pretty pumped up for Klinsmann; he seemed like an appropriate change of pace from Il Bruce, and had a certain soccer-meets-Moneyball feel about him, what with his controversial training methods and whatnot. But I guess it wasn’t meant to be. Sigh.

So now we’re looking at Jose Pekerman? If we’re lucky? Keep your fingers crossed that we don’t sign up some MLS retread. I think we already had the best one of those.

Somewhere, Bruce Arena is nursing a Bud Light and smiling.

Link:
Klinsmann withdraws candidacy as U.S. coach

Tevez and Mascherano to West Ham…and conspiracy theories abound!

tevez.jpgThe first two times I heard this, I didn’t believe it. I didn’t believe that Tevez (and Masherano, I guess) was heading to Arsenal. And I sure didn’t believe that he was heading to West Ham. This guy was the most expensive transfer in South American history, and, generally speaking, the most likeable Argentinian player since Maradona. Tevez is just that cool.

Which is not to say that West Ham isn’t that cool, but, well, you have to imagine that there were bigger clubs who were interested in young Carlos. Clubs like, wait, what’s that one in London, with the Russian guy and the smarmy coach…what’s their name again?

Could it really be that Chelsea are secretly behind the move, and are using West Ham as a feeder club to get these two boys from the unfashionable hemisphere up to speed on living in Engerland before moving them across town next summer? Could this really be true? Seems a bit of a stretch (if Abramovich wanted these guys, why not just, err, buy them?) — but hey, we like conspiracy theories.

Hammers complete Tevez, Masherano deal
Something fisy about Tevez and Masherano to West Ham deal