The life of a soccer blogger

From time to time, I receive gifts or items from apparel companies or even teams in Major League Soccer. My almost seven years of covering soccer has come with some perks to say the least. I’ve been fortunate enough to get free jerseys, clothes, soccer cleats and more.

But yesterday may have been the weirdest item I’ve ever gotten in the mail. I got home from work to see a large box on my front porch that read ‘fragile’ and ‘do not lay flat’ on it. It was a large box too. I thought, maybe Becca ordered something and forgot to tell me. Or maybe worse, I ordered something and forgot all about it.

No, it was the picture above. A large frame from the soccer team in Portland. See, each year I vote in the media site of the end of the year awards for MLS. This frame was a way of lobbying for my vote for the various awards. I’ve had this happen before in years past. One team gave a plastic mug, others have given thumb drives with highlights of the players in it. Some teams are just more creative than others.

The frame is pretty cool though. It will be a nice addition to the home office one day when I get around to hanging it up.

We Are Going To Brazil!

I usually don’t mix soccer on this space too much but I’m too excited not to at this point.

The US Men’s national team is going to Brazil in 2014! Last night the US clinched a berth in the 2014 World Cup with a big 2-0 win over rivals Mexico.

I’m very excited for the US clinching a spot for the 7th straight time.

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Kansas City Trip

I meant to post more photos about this but at the end of July I made a day trip to Kansas City for the MLS All-Star Game. It was basically my mini-vacation for the summer. I drove up early in the morning on July 31, stayed in KC that night and drove back the next day.

Both days were long in the drive but it was well worth it in the end to get to see Sporting Park in Kansas City. Not to mention, I got to drive through Oklahoma and Kansas for the first time in my life. Nothing special about the drive in either state but it wasn’t all bad on the seven and a half hour drive.

Written Sample Updates

As the MLS season continues to roll on I’ll keep having items to add to my various writing samples on here. I recently added more samples to the FCDallas and MLSSoccer sections of the portfolio. Last week I was asked once again to step in for MLSSoccer.com and write a game recap and sidebar for the FCD-Colorado match.

I have to say the sidebar was a challenging one to write seeing how Dallas played down two-men for the majority of the game. Players were exactly too eager to talk afterwards as one might imagine.

Still it has been a fun experience this season getting to write for both outlets, definitely in a way a dream come true that one sense.

I voted

This story has two meanings. I voted in the General Election a couple days ago via absentee ballot. AND I voted just today for Major League Soccer’s post season awards. Kind of neat/weird getting an email the other day saying I was able to vote as a member of the media for those awards. I guess covering the game through my soccer blog has paid off to some extent.

Below are my picks. They will be on the soccer blog sometime next week once the season is officially over and the voting ends. I feel safe posting them here since I doubt anyone comes here! 🙂

And if you wanna know who I voted for in the other election you will just have to wait. Then again I am not too thrilled with that vote so I don’t know! Read more

ACL Next Weekend; Plus More

Yeah, its been a few days..or a couple weeks if you are keeping score at home since my last post. Just wanted to write a quick update on a few things:

  • Austin City Limits (ACL) is next weekend…I have my three-day pass and I am ready to go!
  • Get to see the Foo Fighters, Vampire Weekend, Beck, NERD, Gnarls Barkley, MGMT, and The Black Keys there to name a few.
  • WVHooligan.com is currently down (but not out). Had to redo some things and am currently trying to come up with a new design.
  • The Lakeview site is coming together quite nicely, more things are being added here and there.
  • Rigby (pictured above) is growing every day here, he’s a little over three months old now too! And he still bits everything and wants to chew on anything he can.
  • Today is my one year anniversary at Wieck Media. Yay, time for a raise!

Okay, that’s all for now.

Still Not Writing Much

Yeah, I know, I am terrible at updating this anymore. Work has been keeping me mighty busy and any spare time I try to spend it with Becca, her family and my family. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for blogging on the ol’ epp6 anymore. I’m not getting rid of this site though so this isn’t one of those pity-party speeches about how it was a good run or anything like that.

This is more of a “hey I’m still alive” kind of post. 🙂

I have plenty of recent photos to share, but when I get more time they will be posted! Soccer season is starting up soon, and hopefully I will have plenty of photos of that when it does!

Lucky Number Seven…

So, I totally ripped this from a year old post on Elemoose’s blog. It sounded fun, and I’m bored.

Seven Things to Do Before I Die:
1. Broadcast a World Cup Soccer game.
2. Write a book.
3. Attend every major sporting event (SuperBowl, World Series, etc.).
4. Get a radio show doing sports…maybe even soccer.
5. Get married and have a family.
6. Stay connected with friends all over.
7. Live as happy as possibly.

Seven Things I Cannot Do:
1. Eat weird foods.
2. Manage Money.
3. Stop obsessing over sports.
4. Drive a Stick.
5. Keep up with a Fantasy Football/Baseball/Soccer teams consistently.
6. Pray Consistently.
7. Decorate a house.

Seven Things that (will) Attract Me to My Spouse/Significant Other :
1. Her green eyes.
2. The way she kisses me.
3. Her way of keeping me from being stupid (sometimes a decently controlling girlfriend/spouse can help a person like me).
4. The way she dresses in work clothes and in sweat-pants.
5. How she yells at refs and cheers for teams that she likes and that I like.
6. How she loves me.
7. Her compassion for others.

Seven Things I Say (or write!) Most Often:
1. Dude.
2. Hey man.
3. Sweet!
4. Neat-o
5. Son of a bee-sting….son of a nutcracker…son of a b
6. Riiight.
7. ME WANT FOOOOOOD!!!

Seven Books (or series) I Love:
1. Harry Potter
2 1984
3. When The Relatives Came
4. Book of Acts
5. Book of Revelations
6. The Giver
7. When I Was Young in The Mountains

Seven Movies I Would Watch Over and Over Again:
1. Anchorman
2. Old School
3. Lord of the Rings (all of them)
4. Harry Potter (all of them)
5. Wedding Crashers
6. Jason Bourne (all of them)
7. Ocean’s 11,12,13

Best/Worst of 2006

So its the end of the year and I figure it is a decent time to reflect on what has transpired in the past calendar year. Amazing to believe and think that 2006 is almost over and that 2007 is just a jump away. Anyways…I have no real order to this list. Some things are life, sports, and just random stuff in my head. I will try to go month by month, if I can. If not, then sue me.

January – Best – Sugar Bowl: The year got kicked off with a major bang as WVU beat Georgia in their own dome to win the Sugar Bowl. For one, it was a great time. And for seconds, WVU actually won a bowl game! Yes, for the second time, no maybe third (I will have to check), WVU actually won a bowl game. Wow.

Best – Rose Bowl – now that was a game…one of the best I've seen in some time.

Worst – No snow in January – seriously, one of the mildest winters I have ever lived through and it was not the coldest of winters either. 

Best – Steelers win Super Bowl – Okay, I had trouble putting "best" beside this one but it was a good thing. Bettus got his ring, the entire psycho Steeler nation got their "one for the thumb" and I believe it shut them all up for at least 10 more years. Again, both my team (the 49ers) and some cryboy team in Texas would like to congratulate you on becoming a member in the 5 rings club. 

Feburary – Best – My 21st – sure becoming legal to drink is one thing but the random looks from other states when they see the id is always a laugh

Worst – Winter – okay the cold finally came as it normally does…the only bad part was standing in line at the Coliseum for games….

Worst – Mountaineer Manics – its a damn cult really. Peoplpe getting in the building early to save seats. Not just one or two but I am talking like 4 or 5 rows. It was horrible and totally wrong for the people out in the cold.

March – Best – George Mason's run – alright, nothing like a bracket buster pal. I loved it though.

Worst – Cold spring breaks – maybe that is why people go south for those things…

April – Best – Moving into new place – out with the old and in with the new…place…okay that was cheesy but it worked. Got a new townhouse here in town and got rid of an annoying couple who lived together but didn't live together. Oh, and their dog was never fed either.

Best – Honda Civic – getting a new car is always nice…don't ya think?

May – Best – Starting a new internship!!! – Dallas for the summer was great! Seriously…

Alright, I am sorta tired of the month by month thing…so whatever. After summer was fall semester and you have read what has been good and bad in the fall semester. Football, soccer and a girlfriend – good….school, school, and school – have been not soo good.

Here are some final lists that I made up. All mostly sports related I believe.

Male Athlete – Tiger Woods 

Female Athlete – Amelie Mauresmo

Best Championship Team  – Italy World Cup soccer …so I am biased on the sport…it was the only World Champion on the list really…

Coach of the Year –  Jim Larranaga, George Mason basketball

Rookie of the Year – Vince Young, Tennessee Titans

Best Game – USC 41, Texas 38 (Rose Bowl)

Biggest Disappointment – Bode Miller

Biggest Disappointment (Team) – New York Yankees

Most Overrated Story – (Tie) Barbaro and Kobe scoring 81 on the Toronto Raptors

Best Story – "J-Mac" – Autistic kid Jason McElwain scores 24 points in final three minutes of a game

Biggest Goat – Zinedine Zidane

Funniest Movie of the Year – Talladega Nights 

Alright…there is my list and best/worsts of the year…you may want to add this list to that but I don't care. I was bored and I thought "why not".  

Adu sent to Mormon Country

 Something I never really expected to see yesterday. "17-year old Freddy Adu traded to Real Salt Lake." The headline baffled me for a second because it caught me completly off guard. The time Adu has spent with a team he said he wouldn't leave unless it was to Europe, was never the greenest of pastures however when I thought about it more. In 87 games for the young phenom he tallied just 11 goals and 17 assists. Great, but not the Tiger Wood type of showing many experts thought we'd see by now.

You'd think winning the MLS Cup in your first year, and the League's Supporter's Shield this past season were a solid thing to have on a resume. It is but when there was constant trouble and disagreement between head coach Peter Nowak and young Adu over playing time and performance, you knew things weren't always right. What got me was the end of the season, in a playoff match were youth and speed was needed against New England, a team that was slowing down towards the latter stages of the game. Nowak pulled Adu from the game and gave no clear reason for it. You may play to win the game but at times like that it seemed like Nowak was just continuing what many feel as "keeping Freddy's full potential from showing".

I too believe Nowak is mostly to blame in this whole situation. Not D.C. or even the USSF for that matter. Freddy may be young but there is loads of star potential there. Nowak had his reasons the first season I can agree with. But the last two seasons, more importantly this past season, should have been a coming out party for the youngster. It was tough though to gain solid playing time or even play a desired position when the league's MVP,  Christain Gomez, is running the center of the midfield. That I can understand, but what I don't get is the lack of playing time as a whole with Freddy. Sure he was a dangerous sub to begin his career, I loved that coaching style from Nowak but that wasn't enough to gain full exposure to the kid's talent.

The trade has been set and I got to say for the two sides it was pretty fair. Adu gets to play with a coach that will play him, start him and use him in the best of ways. RSL's head coach has coached Freddy before in the youth national team systems. That's how the whole deal broke down, Freddy really wanted out of DC and away from Nowak and he was willing to go to a place that no one expected him to go, Salt Lake.

The deal for Real is a risky one but it also could pay out very nicely. Sure Adu may jump ship to Europe in the summer's transfer window like he has said many times that he would. But, I could see him sticking around since he will be playing for a coach that he knows and enjoys playing for. If that happens, RSL will prove to be the real winners in this deal. Also, with Adu comes attraction to the team. More fans in the stands, better chance to finalize that stadium deal and possibly a better chance of getting on TV more.

The Freddy in Mormon Country is at least a six month experiment, that much we do know. I just hope that for now in that time frame we truly see what all the hype around this kid was really about.