On the outside looking in at Craven Cottage

31 05 2011

It’s been three weeks since the night I went to Craven Cottage, a little soccer stadium that is home to Fulham Football Club, an English Premier League team.

The plan was to see Fulham play Liverpool. I talked to a few people in the days leading up the match and got the sense that tickets weren’t hard to come by; just walk up and buy them.

It had worked in Italy when I went to a Serie A match. I hoped for the best. After all, it had already been a good day touring central London, including a stop in Trafalgar Square to pose with the London Olympics countdown clock and a very fine lunch at the famous Harrod’s department store.

I had strolled to and past 10 Downing Street and gone back to Westminster Abbey, now it was time to see what I really wanted to see, soccer.

We took the subway and when we arrived at the right station for Craven Cottage, the tickets hawkers were already there. I decided to avoid them and head to the stadium. We were there fairly early. PLEASE READ ON…

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“Pothunting” for an L.A. Aztecs shirt

7 10 2010

One of the various web sites I have contributed to, theCup.us, does a solid job with all things U.S. Open Cup, if you soccer fans haven’t seen it already.

I participated in a live chat on the site on Tuesday night when the Seattle Sounders won the Open Cup with a 2-1 win over the Columbus Crew, before actually writing about the match.

Unbeknownst to many, I had also been looking for an L.A. Aztecs T-shirt, and it all came together when Pothunting.com popped up on theCup.Us as an Internet ad. I clicked, made contact, and soon enough, I had my shirt.

It’s the perfect blend of things I’m into: Soccer and culture. Thanks to pothunting.com for making it happen. Check it out, they have all kinds of unique shirts.

Winston Reid!

15 06 2010

Has to be the goal of the World Cup so far, New Zealand’s Winston Reid with the header in injury time of the second half on the All Whites’ last chance to equalize vs. Slovakia. First ever point in the World Cup for the Kiwis!

June 15, 2010 - Rustenburg, South Africa - epa02203155 New Zealand's Winston Reid (C) celebrates after his goal during the FIFA World Cup 2010 group F preliminary round match between New Zealand and Slovakia at the Royal Bafokeng stadium in Rustenburg , South Africa, 15 June 2010. New Zealand's Chris Wood (R) chases Reid.

Now THAT was great to see. Love an underdog, don’t you?

In our country, the U.S. Open Cup begins tonight for several teams in the field. One is the Bay Area Ambassadors of the NPSL. Here’s a glance at the Ambassadors that I wrote for TheCup.us.

I wish every team well, but tonight, one team I will be supporting is the one playing the Ambassadors. You know I have to stay with my Northwest roots!

One way to avoid watching “Design Star”

14 06 2010

OK so the Portland woman survived the first cut. That’s all I know. I was busy cranking out stories.

Let me share them with you. First, my take on those pesky vuvuzelas. Music to my ears! Not really, but I am against any banning of them. Loving the World Cup and everything that is a part of it!

You know me, I just keep writing about soccer. So much so, that I completed two previews of USASA/NPSL teams in the U.S. Open Cup for TheCup.us. You know, those teams with the cool names that are semi-pro/amateur? Learn about my local club, the Arizona Sahuaros. I also wrote about a team from the Bay Area, the Ambassadors. Bay Area plays the Kitsap Pumas tomorrow, Sahuaros are at Ventura County Fusion of the PDL on the small field at Ventura College, where the Sounders trained in Feb. 2009.

I saw Marion Jones play hoops (and good game, USA)

12 06 2010

Let’s start with the Americans. I’m sure most people stateside will take the 1-1 draw, while the pundits and critics in England bemoan those two lost points they probably figure they should have had.

I’m thinking bigger picture here. The U.S. could use a good World Cup run, anything to boost our chances of getting the mundial over here in 2018 or 2022, as I write.

And speaking of soccer, today in my hometown they unveiled the MLS crest for the Portland Timbers. A definite nod to the past of Timbers soccer, so maybe it was best to play it safe and keep the tradition, not change things up so drastically. A good logo.

My buddy Ives Galarcep is in South Africa doing what he does best, and oh yeah, his blog got a good mention in the latest Sports Illustrated. Since I am a contributor, I feel like I’m a tiny part in the accolade but of course, those who read and enjoy Soccer by Ives know that the man is at the top of his game and deserves the best.

And last but not least, I got paid to cover the WNBA game between Phoenix and Tulsa tonight. Just finished my recap for AP, this one is the condensed version.

I saw two people in sports whose time in the spotlight has passed for one reason or another; nevertheless, Marion Jones and Nolan Richardson are doing what they love. Here’s the ex-sprinter:

And below that, here’s the former NCAA title-winning coach, now on the sidelines for the Tulsa Shock:

Links, links of all kinds

11 06 2010

Oh what a long and busy day in the desert. Soccer in the morning/afternoon, baseball at night here in Phoenix. The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-2 in just a putrid performance by the home team, 16 runners left on base. More on that somewhere else, but here is the recap.

Here’s just a quick synopsis of the ballgame, and why it was a stinker if you are a Diamondbacks fan.

Today I spoke with my friend Steve Clare from Prost Amerika about the Mexico-South Africa match. Here is the podcast of that conversation. I come on about the 4-minute mark.

And, these are the Seattle Sounders on June 11, 2010. A sort of state-of-the-team with the World Cup break giving Major League Soccer a hiatus.

What a day, now I’m going to try and get up to watch the early Cup game tomorrow. Buenas noches.

How Mexico’s draw is a win

11 06 2010

Many will say Mexico blew a golden opportunity for three points today in its World Cup opener. I say El Tri is fortunate to get one point, based on everything it was up against.

Soccer City Johannesburg World Cup 2010 South Africa v Mexico Match 01 11/06/10 Rafael Marquez (Mexico) celebrates equaliser with Giovani dos Santos Photo Roger Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

Loud and vocal South African crowd. The presence of some of the country’s legends and dignitaries. An opponent with nothing to lose playing for national pride. A 55th minute goal that put S.A. up 1-0, and a shot that hit the post near the end of the match.

Rafael Marquez helped Mexico get something out of a day that clearly didn’t belong to them. His goal in the 79th minute made up for several missed chances earlier. Now Mexico is still in position to advance out of Group A, maybe even win it.

But so is South Africa although that seems less likely. That team was impressive in making adjustments and settling down from one half to the next, and it will be a tough opponent for France and Uruguay.