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The FBM Blog

The Morning Shot: Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Just a couple of things to give your morning that "kick" it needs.

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What if Nike had the MLS jersey contract?


 

These sorts of design concepts pop up every once-in-a-while, but this one might be the cleanest, sexist set of MLS kits we've ever seen. Not that adidas does a bad job, but sometimes forcing the "three stripes" into every jersey is a bit much. 

Best part of the whole concept? Sock game strong. 

Check out the whole collection.

The rise of John Strong, MLS announcer


Neat interview with Fox Sports' John Strong who rose from announcing high school football games on the Internet to the Portland Timbers to becoming the AMERICAN voice of soccer. 

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Union and Sporting advance to U.S. Open Cup Final. 


Philadelpha dispatched the Chicago Fire 1-0 while KC put on a clinic beating Real Salt Lake 3-1. The Union will host the Final for the second straight year on September 30th at PPL Park.  

Your coffee-spitting moment of the morning... Guinness factory's excess heat might help power local hospital.


Photo by Free Beer Movement

Breweries have a long history of upcycling their biproducts from spent grains going to local farmers or dog treats, but now a power source?

"A feasibility study is due to begin shortly on whether excess heat produced by St James's Gate could be recycled and used to heat the €650m hospital, helping to reduce costs, the Irish Independent has learned."

See ya tomorrow!

Tags: Morning Shot

The Morning Shot: Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Just a couple of things to give your morning that "kick" it needed. 

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American soccer's oldest tournament continues tonight with the U.S. Open Cup semifinals. 


Chicago Fire and Philadelphia Union face off at PPL Park at 7:30pm ET while the heated Sporting KC and Real Salt Lake rival resumes at 8:30pm ET from Kansas City, Kansas. 

The Final, which will be on September 30th, will be hosted by the Fire if they advance. RSL, the Union, and SKC, in that order, would host if the Fire lose.

Both can be watched on U.S. Soccer's YouTube page. 

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Dutch 'keeper scores one of the best goalie or non-goalie strikes of the year (already).


Apparently he was also a trialist for Orlando City SC last year. Whelp... you can't hold onto 'em all....

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Carli Lloyd is better at pitching (and soccer) than Giovanni Dos Santos. 


U.S. Soccer is trying to trademark the fan-created "Dos a Cero".


Not cool, bro. Not cool.

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How can craft beer continue to be successful and grow in the United States? Dogfish Head founder/owner Sam Calagione has an idea:

"The three legs any successful craft brewery has to be on today…is quality, consistency and being well-differentiated. To figure out a way to create beer you can tell a unique, exciting story around, the way you can enjoy your beer as compared to another beer. We have to be hopeful that craft brewers will be as committed to quality control as they are being creative…Twenty years ago, there was very little use of the Internet to connect beer lovers, so breweries could open and maybe be hitting on two of those cylinders. Now, there is such a great choice that expectations are way higher and the access to online beer communities and beer education is immediate and robust.”

“I realize I am beating a dead horse here, but that focus on quality and consistency, in addition to the passion for creating good beers. The reputation craft beer got in the late 1990s, when we had a sort of shakeup in the movement, was that some people were more passionate about making money than they were passionate about making quality beer.”

Read more from Sam on the Denver Post's beer blog "First Drafts".

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Your coffee spitting moment of the morning.... Wheaties is making their own beer. 


The Minneaspolis-based cereal company General Mills is partnering with local brewery Fulton to create the hefe-style beer. 

So where can you find HefeWheaties?

"For a limited time, beginning August 26, it will be available in the Twin Cities market in a 16oz. tallboy can. 4-packs will be sold at limited retailers in the area, while quantities last. HefeWheaties will not be available for shipment or purchase outside of Minnesota.

Also, the Fulton taproom in Minneapolis will host several events featuring HefeWheaties, with the first being held on August 26."

See ya tomorrow!

Tags: Morning Shot

The After Bar: USMNT 2 - Chile 3

Image Credit: Getty Images

Highlights:

 

Analysis from some of American soccer's best writers and sites: 

Grant Wahl (Sports Illustrated): "USMNT experiments, falls again in 2015-opening loss to Chile"

Yanks Are Coming: "Why, Klinsy, Why?"

Matt Doyle (MLSSoccer.com): "A new formation, but the same old rut for USMNT"

Brian Straus (Sports Illustrated): "Despite familiarity, loss to Chile leaves big questions for Klinsmann, U.S."

Kyle Bonn (NBC Sports): "3-5-2 system shows life, but plenty of work is needed"

Jeffery Carlisle (ESPN): "A porous U.S. defense allows Chile to rally in exhibition loss"

Player Ratings

Greg Seltzer (MLSSoccer.com)

Brian Sciaretta (New York Times)

American Soccer Now

Goal.com

Nicholas Mendola (NBC Sports)

Tags: The After Bar, USMNT

A Six-Pack With…. Teddy Goalsevelt (Again)

By Dan Wiersema / Founder, FBM

In June 2014, during the United States' match against Portugal in the World Cup, America's bars and living rooms were invaded like San Juan Hill with the visage of Mr. Teddy Goalsevelt. He immediately became an Internet and real-life sensation. In the month's afterwards Teddy faded into the background like so many memories of the Brazil. Mike D'Amico, who played the part of the 26th President, returned to a mostly normal world of an everyday soccer fan. 

In preparing for our Free Beer Movement 2014 Person of the Year piece on the American soccer fan (which included D'Amico's Goalsevelt) we caught up with the Chicago native on what he's life has been like post-WC.

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Free Beer Movement: I realized that when we last spoke I only asked about the story of "Teddy Goalsevelt" and not Mike D'Amico's story. 

Teddy Goalsevelt: I should also preface that story with the fact that I am a died-in-the-wool football guy. I played all the way through college; was All-American. So I was sort of brought up in the culture of soccer being dumb and for people who can't play football. Which fed into my never giving it a try.

I casually followed World Cup '06 and enjoyed it. Watched lots of the matches, but didn't understand what I was watching.

Kept an eye on US Soccer for the next few years, and really threw myself at World Cup '10 as a fan. What a ride. I loved it.

So I said to myself, maybe there's something here? Maybe this doesn't have to be a once every four years thing? So I devised a plan to become a soccer fan.

FBM: This was the "Soccer Boot Camp" you mentioned?

TG: Yeah. I realized that what was holding me back was knowledge. We all grow up and absorb our sports almost through osmosis. We all know the rules: why NY hates Boston, who the greats are/were, etc. It's innate. It's our culture.

Soccer isn't.

And so I figured that was the biggest hurdle, was building that foundation of knowledge. So that summer... I gave myself one month. All I was allowed to watch, read, or listen to was soccer-related media. I figured if I can't come out of this a soccer fan I never will.

And I did.

So I started following MLS and EPL closer. Went to more Fire matches. Found Tottenham Hotspur. Started traveling to see USMNT play. The rest is history.

FBM: How would you describe your fandom since returning from Brazil? Have you attended many matches or watched a lot of soccer since?

TG: I attended some Fire matches, including the Spurs v. Fire friendly, but haven't been able to make any U.S. matches since getting back. Unfortunately, real life has been getting in the way. But of course I watch all the time, and follow the EPL closely every week.

Having my best fantasy soccer season ever!

FBM: I never did get a chance to talk beer with ya.. what's your favorite beer? 

TG: Having a favorite beer is like having a favorite child. They're all different and I love them dearly.

But my go to is always a classic Guinness. I like Stouts generally. Porters, wits, most anything Belgian (I can say that safely now, right?), and a good lager are also frequent picks.

I do have to say, though... my palate does not agree with the current hoptacular trend. But I'm hanging in there.

FBM: Have you brought any newbies to any games lately?

TG: As far as introducing new people, a couple highlights there. A local radio personality had me on their show a few times as the World Cup was wrapping up, and as most mainstream sports guys do, they made fun of soccer. Which, I get, but wasn't going to put up with.

So I threw it down, "Have you ever actually BEEN to a soccer match?"

"Uhhhh... no... ?" they responded.

"Ok, then you don't get to make fun of soccer any more until you go with me to a Fire match."

And they did a couple weeks later. Blew. Their. Minds.

"Wait, soooooo these people stand and sing THE WHOLE TIME?!"

FBM: Has the getup made any appearances recently?

TG: None recently. But a couple weeks after the World Cup had ended, there was a huge party thrown by a production company here in Chicago. The Optimus Block Party; it's one of the biggest of the year in the ad industry in Chicago. They close down a street for it. And every year they have a secret/special/surprise guest.

This year, they were going to play it cool and just have this band they brought in. But at the last second they decided to bring me on board, too, so I got to join some elite company. Past guests include, Chocolate Rain Guy, Rod Blagojevich, the Old Spice "Hello, Ladies" Guy... and now me.
 

FBM: Elite company indeed. Plans to attend the World Cup in Russia in 2018?

TG: Oh fo sho. I'm trying to get everyone I know to do it.

FBM: I mean Teddy did win the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize negotiating peace in the Russo-Japanese war in 1904-05. Perhaps he can settle some nerves again in Russia. 

TG: Coincidence?

FBM: I think not.

Tags: Beer, Six-Pack Interview Series, USMNT

FBM’s Person of the Year 2014

 

By Dan Wiersema / Founder, FBM

2014 was massive year for soccer in America. Millions of newbies "believed" in a men's national team in Brazil, Men "blazed" a new trail to NBC Sports, and a "LegenD" ended his career in a winning fashion. Along the way Major League Soccer continued to grow to new heights (through attendance, ratings, and expansion bumps), the women's national team learned its path to more (hopefully) World Cup glory, and, well, Dom Dwyer and Sydney Leroux happened

So who do you get to represent all that is good in the American soccer world in 2014? What person or group represents a year where soccer surged ahead, again, to continue its meteoric rise worming its way into the American sporting landscape?

The American soccer fan. 

And who better to carry the banner for them?

Teddy in Manaus. Photo Credit: FBM

Teddy Goalsevelt.

Goalsevelt, aka Mike D'Amico of Chicago, rose to fame when his screaming Presidential mug appeared on ESPN's broadcast during the US-Portugal match. By the time the advertising agency man returned to his hotel room in Natal (and wifi) he had become the "face of American soccer". Between Manaus and Recife interviews piled up as did an invite from U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati to rally the crowd (alongside Will Ferrell) the night before the USMNT's final group match against Germany. 

Teddy and me in Recife

But what makes Teddy the Free Beer Movement's "Person of the Year" for 2014 is more than just a face; he represents the evolution of the American soccer fan. I interviewed Mr. Goalsevelt at the height of his 15 minutes of fame and what struck me was how friendly, articulate, and humble D'Amico was. He came to Brazil as just another of the 500-plus American Outlaws traveling en masse to support the national team. He wasn't the first to don a costume or even the first to represent one of our nation's Presidents; he wasn't looking for a patriotic frat party or place to be a jingoistic nationalist. 

D'Amico represents the American soccer fan at the peak of the team's and the sport's popularity this summer and that the love affair with soccer in this country isn't just a every-four-years thing. As Major League Soccer moves into its second decade and our national teams complete regularly on the global stage our fans too have evolved and garnered national and international respect. The outpouring of support for the national team this summer was larger than ever before, but not spontaneous as outsiders would like to imagine.

The foundation was being laid in the four years between our dismissal from South Africa by Ghana and Clint Dempsey's revenge inside Arena Das Dunas.

In stadiums and bars from coast to coast the American soccer fan grew in the last four years. The packed watch parties in parks and pubs were the results of supporters from all walks of life building American soccer for this summer's mainstream moment. 

A belief in this sport that everything has led to here where American soccer no longer has to answer the question "when will soccer make it in the U.S.?" to a confident statement, "soccer has made it".

Photo Credit: USA Today

The American soccer fan is no longer something for others to scoff at. They talk tactics. I'd put up our fans soccer smarts alongside any others' around the world. Their tifo game is on point. Places like Portland, Seattle, New England, Kansas City, and New York are looking more and more like Dortmund, Milan, Barcelona, and beyond. Most importantly is that the American soccer fan is more open, more gracious that their worldly counterparts. Rivals share a beer together rather than a beef. They honor each others fallen members. The only knife fights are the hilariously digital ones on Reddit/MLS' "TRASH TALK THREAD" before the weekend.

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From newbie to fan to fanatic D'Amico's journey isn't unique. Or at least it isn't that unique anymore. More and more often Teddy Goalsevelt's journey is becoming the standard for many. While Teddy stood out this summer he was surrounded by the like-minded passion of hundreds of other American Outlaws and thousands of fellow U.S. fans in Brazil and millions more back home. 

In June Goalsevelt told me, "The fact that this many people are sharing and tweeting and posting my stupid face just means all of those people were watching U.S. soccer.

Which is incredible. How big this has gotten… it couldn’t have happened if there wasn’t a critical mass of eyeballs on the match. So the fact that so many people were watching the ability to turn my dumb face with this hat, glasses, and mustache into a viral hit is fantastic.

Not for me, but for the game."

Even as the memories and the pain of Brazil 2014 fades the excitement for soccer in American has not. This year's MLS Cup saw a 91% jump on ESPN from last year, 83% increase on WatchESPN, and nearly doubles on Spanish-broadcast channels. It was the third highest MLS Cup TV ratings since the beginning of the league

And it doesn't have to stop there. What Goalsevelt and all of the fans that burst onto the scene this summer need to do is keep up the momentum. 

We're lucky that 2015 has plenty of opportunities to continue the soccer explosion on the American sporting scene from 2014. The 20th season of MLS, the Women's World Cup in Canada, and the men's Gold Cup (with a spot in the 2017 Confederations Cup up for grabs) are all on the docket. 

In 2014 there was "Teddy Goalsevelt", but in 2015 we can all be our own version of the 26th Presidential super fan: involved, passionate, and spreading good cheer. Maybe even with a beer.

American soccer needs you.

Tags: FBM In Action, USMNT, Who We're Buying A Beer For, World Cup