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The FBM Blog

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

2014 FBM Holiday Gift Guide

The holiday season is upon us once again. Time to craft your lists for friends and family and make some polite suggestions so that you don't unwrap ties and underwear from your auntie.

Per usual we've divided our list into, you guessed it, beer, soccer.... and the combination of the two (pssssttttt... buy our stuff).

 

Soccer:

We'd first like to draw your attention to two of the finest purveyours of soccer clothing in the country. You can't go wrong with outfitting yourself in any of these threads.

Live Breathe Futbol Clothing

"Bumpy Pitch" Clothing

(Photo Credit: Sean Reid)

Love Thy Soccer by Sean Reid 

"Love Thy Soccer" is a unique work that provides an all-embracing view of American soccer from the perspective of its fans. Collected from five years of research, hundreds of interviews, and travel throughout the country, Reid presents a rich tapestry of the game woven through the stories of many who have spent their lives dedicated to the sport and its growth in the United States, from journalists, experts, and historians to the game’s professionals and the supporters who cheer them on.

"Love Thy Soccer" is the most comprehensive work on American soccer to date. Reid discusses every aspect of the game at its various levels, its impacts on the fans, and its awesome future."

(Photo Credit: New York Red Bulls)

Club Soccer 101 by Luke Dempsey

"Club Soccer 101 is the essential guide to 101 of the most storied soccer clubs in the world. The book covers the history of European powerhouses like Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, and Real Madrid; historic South American clubs like Boca Juniors, Corinthians, Penarol, and Santos; and rising clubs from Africa, Asia, and America, including such leading MLS clubs as LA Galaxy, New York Red Bulls, and Seattle Sounders. Writing with the passion and panache of a deeply knowledgeable and opinionated fan, Luke Dempsey explains what makes each club distinctive: their origins, fans, and style of play; their greatest (and most heartbreaking) seasons and historic victories and defeats; and their most famous players—from Pelé, Eusébio, and Maradona to Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney, and Ronaldo.

With club soccer exploding in popularity, Club Soccer 101 provides everything any fan needs to know."

Season Tickets for your local soccer team (Google 'em)

Whether it's MLS, NASL, USL PRO (that's us!) or otherwise... now's the time to make your commitment to supporting your local team in 2015. Why not buy two and bring a newbie each week!?!?

Beer: 

Synek Draft Beer System

Craft, draft beer in the comfort of your home. Need we say anymore? Fill your favorite beer in the Synek bag (straight from the brewery or your local fill bar) and enjoy quality beer for much longer that a growler can save it. Buuurrrp!

Society of Beer Travelers

Love beer? Love to travel? Then The Roaming Pint's Society of Beer Travelers is for you. Log your breweries and beers while you're on the road.

Spiegelau Tasting Kit Craft Beer Glass Kit

Your beer comes in all sorts of flavors so shouldn't your beer accomdate them? Sure you've accumilated all sorts of shaker (yes that's what they're called) pint glasses that your significant other stuffed in her purse for you, but it's time to drink beer like a grown up.. in proper glassware. 

 

Beer Belt

Unless, of course, you're not all grown up yet. Then the "beer belt" is just for you. This says, "I'm a drinker, not a fighter". Who needs a black belt when you have a beer belt?

Imagine how awesome it would be to distribute some delicious craft cans like a Mountain Dew adverstisement from this belt. 

Oh... and it can also be personalized. FTW.

(Photo Credit: CoolMaterial.com)

"We Make Beer" by Sean Lewis

"An eye-opening journey into craft beer–making in America, and what you can find in the quest to brew the perfect pint

Sean Lewis was living in Boston when he first set foot inside the Blue Hills Brewery.  He was writing for BeerAdvocate magazine about America's craft brewers, and the then-fledgling Blue Hills was his first assignment.  Lewis was immediately struck by the spirit of the brewers he met there.  That visit would lead him first to an intensive study of beer-brewing, and later to a nation-spanning journey into the heart—and the art—of American beer making.

What Lewis found along the way was a group of like-minded craftsmen—creators who weren't afraid to speak their minds, who saw their competitors as cherished friends.  A group who takes sheer joy in their work, and who seeks the same kind of balance in their lives as they do in the barrels they brew.  He shared pints with pioneering upstarts like Paul and Kim Kavulak of Nebraska Brewing Company, and talked shop with craft beer stalwarts like Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada and bombastic innovators like Greg Koch (the "Arrogant Bastard" behind Stone Brewing Co.). He found, in them and others, a community that put its soul into its work, who sees beer-making as an extension of themselves.

We Make Beer is not just a celebration of American brewing, but of the spirit that binds brewers together.  It's about what you can discover in yourself when you put your hands and your heart into crafting the perfect pint."

"Locally Brewed" by Anna Blessing

"Locally Brewed celebrates the Midwest's craft brewing movement with profiles of 20 of the area's brewmasters and their breweries. These are entertaining and inspiring stories of the individuals who have been essential in the exponential growth of this movement, as told through vivid interviews, beautiful photography, and dynamic artwork.

In just the past 20 years, beer has been transformed from a "low-class" drink to a pluralistic, populist drink with the same stylistic diversity and caring craftsmanship as wine. One of the strongest hotbeds of this cultural shift is in the Midwest, where independently owned craft brewers focus on the creative, artisanal elements of the beer-making process. Locally Brewed explores these trends and the fun, fascinating, and unique details of each brewery, including label art, hand-pull designs, and of course the brews themselves.

This is a book that can be enjoyed by the “beer geek” and the casual imbiber alike, as it emphasizes the people behind the beer as well as the beers they brew. Special sidebars and pullouts show what makes each brewery special, weaving together the story of the indie beer movement, relevant to both small-town Midwesterners and big-city beer lovers."

"Tasting Beer" by Randy Mosher

"For everyone who has known the pleasure of a pint, Randy Mosher explores and explains the tasting experience, guiding readers to a better understanding of how every batch of beer is affected by recipe formulation, brewhouse procedures, yeasts, fermentations, carbonation, filtration, packaging, and much more. Readers will learn to identify the scents, colors, flavors, and mouth-feel of all the major beer styles. There are also chapters on proper serving and storage conditions, and classic beer and food pairings. Finally, the book includes a style-by-style compendium of the different brews within major beer families, including American craft brews, British lagers, German ales, and Belgian Dubbels. For each style, Mosher includes historical and regional facts, taste and aroma characteristics, seasonal availability, food pairings, and a few terrific recommendations for readers to sample."

Anything beer-related from Pop Chart Lab... their designs are top notch. 

Soccer AND Beer:

NEW FBM T-shirt from Who Are Ya? Designs 

FBM Scarf

Tags: DrinkWear

Fourth Annual FREE BEER Night in Minneapolis

Stegman's Old Boys FC is at it again! On Saturday, September 6th, the Handsomest Soccer Club in the world will be hosting their biggest event of the year, the fourth annual "Free Beer Night".

Part of the club's mission of becoming a "proper" club means becoming a part of the community and over the past three years the best way we've found to accomplish this is by playing a match in front of people (always better when there are fans) and raise awareness for soccer-related charities. Over the past three years they've raised in excess of $1500 for charity and they expect a sizable haul again this year with all fundraising efforts going towards The Sanneh Foundation; a charitable foundation started by former USMNT and World Cup 2002 legend, Tony Sanneh. For this year's free beer exhibition match the SOBs will face off against a Minnesota Select XI featuring none other than Sanneh himself.

Summit Brewing Company, the state's oldest and largest purveyor of fine craft brews began taking notice of the club and decided to donate the beer and videographer for last year's event. The success of this partnership turned into a sponsorship of the club leading to the Summit brand gracing the SOB Away kit and a great working relationship that sees SOBs work alongside the Summiteers in philanthropic events both inside and outside the brewery walls. The Free Beer Night event caps off a summer that saw Summit and the SOBs host Free Beer World Cup viewing parties at The Local in addition to a 3v3 cage match in the brewery's backyard.

Aside from the excitement of free soccer and free beer, this year's charity raffle and silent auction will see some truly delicious items up for grabs including: a signed USMNT jersey by honorary SOB Jay Demerit, a sweaty hug from club captain Jon Bisswurm, SOB care packages, Free Beer Movement swag, and other great prizes.

After all is said and done the club and its many fans will head on over to the MN United - Tampa Bay Rowdies match because it wouldn't be a 'Free Beer Movement in action' event without getting more fans out to watch our local professional side. A team who won the spring season and currently sit atop the fall standings as well.

In case you missed it last year's event was bigger and better than previous ones and this one promises to be even better.

Stegman's Old Boys FC, their three teams and 70+ members, are the architects of American soccer and they, too, are doing it one beer at a time.

Tags: FBM In Action