Soccer In America – A Photographic Journey

Filed under: Culture & Lifestyle, MLS News, Highlights, Videos, and Scores | Major League Soccer Highlights, Soccer in America, Soccer News

SIA - Alexi

On set for the ESPN broadcast of the AT&T MLS All-Star game, Alexi Lalas shades himself from the Portland, OR sun on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. The MLS All-Stars beat Bayern Munich 2-1 at Providence Park.

~~ sdlenhart.com  / Twitter: @soccer_watcher

To be included in our Soccer In America – A Photographic Series, send your Pictures to dunny@bumpypitch.com and include your Twitter & Instagram handles

Added on November 20th, 2014 by

Watch :: “Face to Face with the Arsenal Family” Commercial

Filed under: Arsenal, Sponsorships

If you can see this, then you might need a Flash Player upgrade or you need to install Flash Player if it's missing. Get Flash Player from Adobe.

Bearing a striking resemblance to their famous footballer relatives, all is not as it seems as uncle Kenny Wilshere, Trudy Mertesacker and Darren Oxlade-Chamberlain reveal what it’s like to be ‘related’ to an Arsenal superstar. Talented in their very own ways – from a poetic plumber (of sorts) to a world beating baker and a plane spotter nicknamed The Shrub – they offer us an exclusive peek into their lives as they move their way to a match day and beyond. – by Europ Car UK

* This commercial is greatness. I have a hard time deciding who and which story line is my favorite, but I’m going to go with Jack and Kenneth Wilshere. I’d almost say that I need Uncle Kenneth to have his own series…

I’d love to see video of the “philosopher….midfielder….plumber….philosopher.”

Shouts out to reddit by the way. I happened to see this video this morning on one of my feeds and it blew this video up. There were only a couple hundred view this morning but now its up over 70k.

Added on November 19th, 2014 by

Temryss Lane #Respect

Filed under: Culture & Lifestyle

This morning I was asked to give a talk on my Lummi identity at the Federal Correctional Institution, Terminal Island, San Pedro. I accepted the offer for a couple reason: 1) I take opportunities to share w/ others who we are as Native people, abolish stereotypes and reclaim relevance 2) it scared me to be amongst prisoners. This was a unique experience which I'm not sure I've fully processed. I took a tour of this luxurious facility- not an exaggeration, water front property, top medical/dental facilities, sports fields, weight room, a chapel, a sweat lodge, employment opps and self-monitoring (no visible correctional weapons)- and was amongst the inmates who had a gentle presence. I briefly shared my life, my Indian name, being Lummi Indian, passion/life of soccer, and told that of Chris Wondolowski's, the 1st Native American to play at the World Cup. I left w/ a feeling of gratitude and appreciation of acknowledgment & freedom. Apparently there's a population of 40 Native inmates here… today I showed up for you. Hy'shqe 'si'am! #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth

A photo posted by Temryss Lane (@temrysslane) on

Luckily, in the position that we are in, and what we’ve decided to do here with Bumpy Pitch, the Original Winger and Ninety+, we have been able to meet some really great people.

Some we’ve all collectively gotten pretty close to, and some we’ve individually become really good friends with. We consider everyone fam. Some people we’ve known before all of this even started.

One of things that you may have noticed with some of our posts, is that we’ve always tried to share some of the stuff that friends and family of ours are out there doing for several reasons: 1) we like to support our friends as much as possible, 2) usually its something that we think our readers would appreciate, respect and get something from; but most of all, we like to do it because we know that they are awesome people. That they are doing great things. And we want everyone to know about it.

Read the ig post that Temryss posted a few hours ago because its awesome. And she’s awesome. And this is something that should be shared.

You should be following Temryss anyway on ig, but if you aren’t here is the handle @TemryssLane – go ahead and throw a like on this.

Tem, what does “Hy’shqe ‘si’am!” mean?

** Updated ** We have definition **

Added on November 19th, 2014 by

The FIFA Chronicles :: Qatar Bid Whistleblower Offered FBI Protection

Filed under: FIFA, Qatar, World Cup

If you can see this, then you might need a Flash Player upgrade or you need to install Flash Player if it's missing. Get Flash Player from Adobe.

Earlier today, Beans wrote a piece called The FIFA Chronicles that offers a pretty good perspective and asks some good questions that I’m sure a lot of us were thinking or a lot of the TOW readers have amongst themselves much like we discuss it over adult bevys.

I happened to be doing a little thumb surfing on the twitter and saw this pop up from Sky News: “FIFA Whistleblower Offered FBI Protection” … the headline is a shocker.

But, when you look at the case that Beans makes and some of those questions and really think about how crazy this all is, it just makes sense. Its wild to hear it from her own lips though. Man.

Added on November 19th, 2014 by

Frustrations Of A USMNT Fan

Filed under: Clint Dempsey, Jurgen Klinsmann, Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley, Sacha Kljestan, Soccer News, US National Team, us soccer

american-outlaws-soccer-in-america

Over the last week and a half, we were left with two final friendlies for the US Men’s National Team for 2014 and the results were clearly less than ideal.  Less than US fans expect from the team at this point with the bar being set so high.

If you go to any number of soccer sites that cover the US team, you will see stories breaking down tactics, what’s going wrong with the team and exploring the problems that seem to be affecting the group as a whole. Examples :: The ability or inability of US players. The system. Giving up late goals. Players being played out of position. Etc, etc, etc….  And if you start reading the comments, things start to get real opinionated and kind of wacky real quick. That’s a rabbit hole you want to be careful of going down.

There are certainly a lot of good points being brought up about what is going on with the US team. Their record over the last 11 games or so is pretty paltry. Late goals have been conceded in the majority of them and the team hasn’t looked great. But I don’t want to get into all of that. That is already being talked about, and then some. I’ll leave that to the folks who really do the analyst thing.

Instead I’ll bring up what I’m feeling as a fan and I think much of what US fans in general are feeling right now. And I think it boiled own to two words:

Confusion and frustration.

Here are things I think we as fans have questions about ::

- I think we have all been confused for quite some time about ‘the system’ and ‘style of play’ we were promised when Klinsmann took over.  He said he was going to play an attractive, energetic and attacking style of play. The team was going to press. Make things difficult for their opponent. We were going to have possession and try to keep the ball and play. Instead we get tactics that require the team defends for the majority of the game.

- The lack of possession and defending inevitably leads to the team having to chase the ball and defend for long stretches. This is incredibly tiring for players and is very likely a major part of the reason so many late goals are being conceded. And these late goals are extremely frustrating for everyone involved. The issue of giving up late goals is really hard to take. And this hasn’t been happening in just these friendlies. This happened throughout the World Cup as well, even with how hard we try to forget.

- Players playing out of position. Jermaine Jones at center back? Michael Bradley as an attacking midfielder? Clint Dempsey as the lone striker? Experimenting is fine, but playing players out of position is confusing and frustrating. Especially in the World Cup when Klinsmann was given 23 spots and had no like for like ‘replacement’ for an injured Jozy Altidore.

- Players look tired. I get it.  We all get it. They have had a long year. But so have countless players from countless countries that also participated in the World Cup. Frankly, I don’t really get it. I’m confused by it. Reports are that USMNT training camps are pretty grueling with multiple training sessions taking place daily. Is the approach of ‘getting players to that next level’ placing added fatigue on the players with such a short time of training together ahead of games?

- JK continues to say players need to play at the highest levels in Europe. Over and over and over again since taking over the USMNT. But then he brings in a player like Miguel Ibarra (who’s playing in a level BELOW MLS) and Jordan Morris (who is just a Sophomore at Stanford). Yet a guy like Sacha Kljestan is the only outfield American player who is starting Champions League matches and isn’t even being invited to camp. Listen, this certainly isn’t a knock on Miguel or Jordan. I actually like the fact we’re turning over rocks to find the hidden gems and it’s great to give them a look. But what is being preached is obviously not always what is being practiced.

- Landon Donovan being left off the World Cup roster. This is old news now and in the past, but I still think this decision pisses fans off with the ‘what could have been’. It certainly confused many fans, especially when there is a seemingly growing levels of questions surrounding the tactical approach and decision making behind the scenes.

- Tactics. I get that coaches want to tinker with tactics and formations. They need to see what works best and what the individual group gives them. And maybe they have a couple of different styles in mind based on the upcoming opponent. But when tactics constantly change and not necessarily for the better, fans start to get frustrated and confused. Maybe there is a bigger picture and plan in place, which coaches often times say, but a lack of consistency always creates questions.

- I’ve read some things about the players just not being good enough to compete with other countries. That’s an argument for another day, but we have some very good players.  Technically gifted players who read the game well. But they need to be put in positions that allow them the greatest chance to succeed. And when that doesn’t happen, we as fans naturally lash out. But I think there is certainly talent in the pool and that we’ve come to the point where we can and should expect more from them.  Aren’t great coaches ‘supposed’ to get that out of players?

I think it’s probably a very good thing that there aren’t anymore games left in 2014 for the USMNT, because I think they need a break. MLS guys have been going at it for almost 12 months.  European based players can focus on their clubs and individual form. The new year isn’t all that far away and sometimes we all just need that so we can start fresh again.

I’m sure the January camp will be filled with lots of new, young faces and it’s pretty exciting to think about the next round of up and coming kids that can hopefully make that next step.

Added on November 19th, 2014 by

SJ Earthquakes Announce 10-year Stadium Partnership with Avaya #AvayaStadium

Filed under: Business, Culture & Lifestyle, San Jose, Stadiums

Today, the San Jose Earthquakes announced that they have granted the stadium naming rights to a company called Avaya, a Santa Clara based multinational which engineers, designs, manufactures, and sells as a global provider of business communications and collaboration systems.

The company supplies contact centers, networking (routers, switches and other networking hardware), SDN, unified communications (UC), and video products (integrated hardware and software) services. This is all a major part of the announcement as President Dave Koval made many references to Avaya Stadium being the first “cloud based” stadium in the world. Some of the examples that the team prez has given are part forward thinking, social, and absolutely critical to improving the in-game experience for fans.

“We’ll have this cloud-enabled stadium that Avaya is powering which enables us to create a better fan experience for our customers,” Kaval said. “It starts with our app, our Avaya stadium app which we’re now launching. It will allow people to handle commerce, things like actually having their ticket on their actual app, and they’ll be able to use that to scan into the building; being able use it on concessions and things of this nature, and for ordering in some parts of the venue, which is great.’

This is the kind of stuff that I absolutely love. One of the things that I have never been able to figure out, is why the wi-fi and cellular reception is so terrible at sporting events. I get that teams dont want half of their crowd looking down at their phones and tablets* all game long, but here is the reality, we are so addicted to our phones that having bad reception and wi-fi in stadiums makes it worse because we are constantly checking it to see if something has come in, or if we have enough dots to make a call, or if our bars are up, etc.

If I know the signal is hella strong, I wont be looking at my phone. Plus soccer supporters still pay attention to games that are in front of them.

Also, in game experiences can always be better. Instead of having some ridiculous half time show (some are cooler than others) I’d much rather my in game experience be improved by how I navigate around the stadium and it makes my life easier. Lets be honest, most of us have a 50 inch flat screen or better at home already, and the fact that my kitchen is full of food and my fridge full of adult bevys are within a minutes reach, I don’t want to go to a stadium and have to sit in line forever. An app, since there is an app for everything, that makes my in game experience incredible, like this one seemingly will do, is something I am all about.

I feel like this was very well thought out. It wasn’t just about being the biggest and best looking stadium, but it also is about function. I’ve come to expect these kinds of things from a team in NorCal beit the Warriors or the 49ers, and now the Quakes since they are all up and close to silicon valley. It makes sense that bright people are working for these companies and after what the Niners did at LEVY Field, I expected the Quakes to do something just like this. Can’t wait to experience it in person.

* No tablets. Nothing bigger than an iphone mini, 6+, Galaxy S5…anything else needs to chill. Although, I’m sure there will be a lot of tablets out at the games with so much good stuff to do. If you do break out a full size tablet at a sporting event, dont take pictures with it please. You look lame.

Avaya, Quakes partner to provide first cloud-enabled stadium – sjearthquakes.com/newstadium

Awesome photo series on The Facebook : Quakes unveil Avaya Stadium

Added on November 19th, 2014 by

Trailer Alert :: “We Stand Alone” fka One Legged Stars

Filed under: Africa, Culture & Lifestyle, Soccer Saved My Life, Social Issues

A few years back (three to be exact) I came upon a short video on vimeo and I decided to post it and write this:

I spotted this trailer on vimeo last week titled “Liberian Soccer Film,” and was immediately curious as to what it was all about. Was this going to be a full length feature, was it going to be a web series, were they going to do profiles on all the players?

But there was no description on the vimeo page and I couldn’t find anything on google other than the trailer when searching Liberian Soccer Film … so what did I do?

I shot, Aubrey Lethbridge and Evan Neuwirth (the folks behind the video an email) and they hit me back today saying that they were currently raising funds (doing well), and will be headed to Accra, Ghana during the first week of October to film the All-Africa amputee cup of nations. The Liberian team (the Lone Stars), are preparing to make their first title defense since they became the All-Africa champions in ’08. From there, we plan to return with the team to Liberia and follow a few of the players individually for at least two, but possibly up to six months.

* Well, we’ve kept in touch, and they did just what they set out to do. They’ve renamed the film, We Stand Alone, and it tells the story of the Liberian national amputee soccer team and their bid for the 2011 CANAF Cup in Accra, Ghana.

The 53 minute film chronicles the daily hardships and triumphs of these players–many of whom fought on opposite sides of Liberia’s tragic 14-year civil war–both in Ghana and at home in Liberia.

we stand alone trailer

They showed the film at the 2014 Mt. Hood Independent Film Festival in Hood River, OR and We Stand Alone won Best Feature Documentary.

There will be another showing, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on December 2nd to commemorate International Persons With Disabilities Day.

This showing, which is free, is going to be a huge screening with a taped statement from Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee, a panel of VIP guests and multiple U.N Permanent missions in attendance. If you are in New York, you should definitely try and make it to this one and let us know here at TOW about it.

The tickets to the screening ARE FREE and you get to see, what looks like an incredible documentary. Go here to their website for more information and FREE TICKETS to the We Stand Alone screening.

Added on November 19th, 2014 by

A Boot Story – Dan Kennedy

Filed under: Adidas, Boots, Culture & Lifestyle, MLS News, Highlights, Videos, and Scores | Major League Soccer Highlights

dan-kennedy

Every soccer player has their own unique boot story, a story about pairs in their past that made a significant lasting impression on how they remember the beautiful game. Sometimes it relates to a pair that produced that one magical moment during their career, maybe a spectacular goal or the time they played against a certain player. For others, it can be a connection to a period of personal growth or prosperity while they played. We all have an individual story to share because we love our boots.

In this series we are calling “A Boot Story”, we bring you personal insights from players in the game and the reason they hold a particular silo at the front of their memory.

As one of the leading players to have ever played with the franchise, Dan Kennedy holds legendary status within Chivas USA. The club might be disbanded, but Danny is ready and awaiting his next challenge – he finds out where that is on November 19th when MLS holds a Dispersal Draft. Any guesses as to the player that is likely to head most clubs list? We caught up with him in his down time to find out which boots make up his “Boot Story”.

Growing up I always wore Adidas boots, usually the Copa’s were the cleat of choice. I remember they would last me exactly 1 year if I took really good care of them. As a goalkeeper I always watched pro GK’s and tried to emulate the way they played. Kevin Hartman and Kasey Keller, were guys I really enjoyed watching. But when I saw Oliver Kahn play for Bayern Munich and the German National Team, I was blown away. Very focused, extremely intense, commanded his area very well, and was a winner. This guy just seemed to have another level of intensity to him.

So of course when I was at El Dorado High School, I started to try to emulate Mr. Kahn. And that started with the Adidas World Cups, the original six stud cleat. I wore these cleats all the way through college. My most memorable match in those cleats was the National Championship Game in 2004 vs. Indiana. We played that game at the Home Depot Center which has become my home stadium for the past 7 seasons with Chivas USA. We went on to lose that game, but those cleats took me from an amateur player to the professional level. And of course to match those cleats I had to wear adidas gloves. Today, going into my 11th professional season you will still see me in Adidas cleats and gloves.

Added on November 19th, 2014 by