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DrinkWear - Here’s Some Pics of Players Wearing the New US Kits and their Souls Leaving their Bodies

Nike unveiled the long-rumored National Team kits.

(Insert your own over-used "Where's Waldo?"/ candy cane/ barber pole joke here.)

The surprise? Apparently both the men's and women's national teams will be sporting them this summer.

Also a surprise? They are soul-releasing shirts. All... "The Green Mile"-like.

That's something that's new.

Photo Credits: Nike Soccer and U.S. Soccer

Tags: DrinkWear, USMNT, USWNT

VIDEO - “Vince Lombardi on Clint Dempsey”

Starting your morning with this cool, fan-made video combining the powerful words of legendary football coach Vince Lombardi and the power play of legendary "football" Clint Dempsey.

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Tags: USMNT, Video

“Party in the USA”

I hopped off the plane at Genoa
With a dream and my jersey
Welcome to the land of pizza excess (Whoa)
Am I gonna win in?

Jumped in the cab
Here I am for the first time look to my right
And I see the stadium sign this is all so crazy
Everybody seems so famous

My tummy's turning and I'm feeling kinda home sick
Too much pressure and I'm nervous
That's when the  Klins-mann turned on the radio, and a Dempsey song was on
And the Dempsey song was on, and the Dempsey song was on

So Timmy puts his goalie hands up
They're playing my song
The shots knocked away
Nodding my head like Yeah
Moving my hips like Yeah

Timmy puts his goalie hands up
They're playing my song
I know I'm gonna score at Italy away
It's a party in the U.S.A.
It's a party in the U.S.A.

Get to the stadium in my team bus
Everybody's looking at me now
Like who's that Clint that's rocking kicks?
He's gotta be from out of town

So hard with my Outlaws not around me
It's definitely not a Nagadoches party
'Cause all I see are calcios
I guess I never got the starting line up

My tummy's turning and I'm feeling kinda home sick
Too much pressure and I'm nervous
That's when the D.J. dropped my favorite tune, and a Pia song was on
And the Pia song was on, and the Pia song was on

So I put my goalie hands up
They're playing my song
The shots knocked away
Nodding my head like Yeah
Moving my hips like Yeah

I got my goalie hands up
They're playing my song
I know I'm gonna score at Italy away
It's a party in the U.S.A.
It's a party in the U.S.A.

Feel like getting the ball (getting the ball)
Jozy back to the goal tonight (goal tonight)
Nothing stops me any time (any time)
The Jozy plays me the ball and I feel alright!

So I put my goal scoring hands up
They're playing my song
The shot in the back of the net
Nodding my head like Yeah
Moving my hips like Yeah 

I got my goal scoring hands up
They're playing my song
I know I'm gonna score at Italy away (scoring away)
It's a party in the U.S.A.
It's a party in the U.S.A.

So I put my  my goal scoring hands up
They're playing my song
The goals fly away (flying away)
Nodding my head like Yeah (nodding my head like Yeah)
Moving my hips like Yeah (moving my hips like Yeah)

I got my  my goal scoring hands up
They're playing my song
I know I'm gonna be ok (I'm gonna be okay)
Yeah-Eh-Yeah-Eh-Yeah-Eh (Yeah)
It's a party in the U.S.A.
Yeah-Eh-Yeah-Eh-Yeah-Eh (Ha-Ha-Ha)
It's a party in the U.S.A. (party in the U.S.A.)

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That’s On Point - USMNT vs. Italy Recap

"The catcher hits for .318 and catches every day// The pitcher puts religion first and rests on holidays." -- Piazza New York Catcher, Belle and Sebastian. 

Maybe it was business as usual inside the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa, Italy for the U.S./Italy Leap Day friendly.

On couches across America, things were slightly ... weird.

Call it the repeated airings of "Leap Dave Williams" on USA all day.

Was that Italy wearing ... white ... at home? The Azzurri?

Why was the U.S. looking, as my Internet amigo Erik pointed out, looking like they were doing their best scrappy college point guard impression with white undershirts under their navy kits? (Or as others pointed out, the Nazi kits in the 'Escape to Victory' movie, aside from the socks.)

And what the heck was Mike Piazza doing in the stands, sans mustache!

A strange day -- without Mario Balotelli in the mix, no less -- turned into a historic day for the U.S. notching its first victory over Italy in a history spanning back to 1934 thanks to, who else? Clint Dempsey.

Hard, as usual with friendlies, to get a true gauge on just exactly what this result means. Italy seemed to play the game at a snail's pace, context to let Andrea Pirlo try to thread in a pass here-or-there. It wasn't until the Azzurri went down 1-0 that they seemed to ratchet up the attack, which to that point could be summed up with Alessandro Matri being flagged offside.

The U.S. did, however, look organized and composed. More importantly, up a goal they didn't lose their cool and ground out a 1-0 result. Again, grinding out results against Antigua and Barbuda isn't exactly the goal at this point, but it's what the U.S. has facing it in the immediate future of marathon CONCACAF qualification.

The pragmatic (buzzword) 4-4-2-ish the the U.S. played against Italy might be boring and soccer's missionary position, but it seems to suit the team in the long term. You could even make the argument with fewer teams in Europe (or elsewhere) it might behoove the U.S. to stick with this, over the more in vogue 4-2-3-1 formations since teams aren't used to facing it any more.

Still, whichever way you want to look at it, Italy is still Italy and a team that didn't give up a goal at home in Euro 2012 qualification. Even for a friendly it's not worth diminishing the result. It's probably not worth trumpeting either from on high either.

That said, chances are we probably saw the high-water mark for the U.S. in 2012 and for the brief Jurgen Klinsmann era as a whole.

Random Thoughts: 

* Biggest talking point is going to be Michael Bradley and his commanding, box-to-box, performance. Not sure how much of this is because he's playing for Chievo Verona or since Jermaine Jones -- who gobbles up the ball a lot when he plays for the U.S. -- was out injured, but the No. 6 shirt was excellent throughout. Maurice Edu didn't do a ton, but he was a nice complement to Bradley otherwise.

* Jozy Altidore was the bad Jozy Altidore in the first half, meaning tumbling over at a sneeze from the Italian defenders. The second half he held his ground, won Fabian Johnson's cross and laid it off to Dempsey for the game-winner. He's still the best option the U.S. has at forward, but it wasn't a coincidence he looked more active when Dempsey pulled up closer to goal.

* We're all running out of words for Dempsey. Please stay healthy, Deuce.

* Nobody reading this cares too much about Italy, but the U.S. certainly did the Azzurri and Cesare Prandelli a favor today because there's no way he heads to the Euro without Balotelli or with the pint-sized Sebastian Giovinco has his No. 1 option. The way Italy played Wednesday went right into the U.S.'s hands. It almost felt a lot like the U.S. game in the Confederations Cup against Spain where they scored a goal and hung on, blocking a bunch of shots in the process, namely Jonathan Spector. Nothing exactly revolutionary via Klinsmann.

* Hard to muster up too much vitriole, despite the past, with Italy considering the Azzurri played with almost zero emotion until it was almost over.

* If there's going to be an issue for Klinsmann down the road in two years, but going to have to wait and see if old hands Steve Cherundolo and Carlos Bocanegra as still capable of starting at the international level.

* Fabian Johnson and Timmy Chandler (perhaps Eric Lichaj, too) could be a fun little battle at the black hole that is traditionally left back for the U.S.

* On a great night otherwise, Sacha Kljestan probably didn't win any brownie points in the eyes of Klinsmann in a brief 20 minute cameo.

* Is it wrong to think, with the bulk with a starting XI comprised solely of players playing professionally in Europe, that the intimidation factor for American players isn't what it once was.

And by same token, in a weird way it's probably tougher on these pros to go to a place like Guatemala in the sweltering heat of summer than a nice, quaint European ground against a disinterested Italian crowd?

* Took a swipe at Taylor Twellman yesterday, but credit is due for his solid performance on the mic for ESPN, as he didn't talk over the game. 

* How about that Clint Dempsey, huh? Should we mention him again?

Final thought:

Nice, no, great result. Overall a fairly forgettable match, as far as the actual game went, but it was a solid, professional and performance ... one that was revenge for Brian McBride's forehead.

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Tags: Jurgen Klinsmann, That's On Point, USMNT

Making The Case - On Rivalries And Race

Making The Case - On Rivalries And Race


It was a tough day to be an American soccer fan. Saturday's 4-2 loss to regional rivals Mexico after holding an early, 2-0 is one of those games that will hurt for awhile. Processing what went right, what went wrong, and what to do about it all is a question for the players, the coach, Sunil Gulati, and the Big Soccer message boards.

A loss to Mexico is always hard to take. As teams and fans we measure ourselves to the performances of our neighbor to the south. Of late things looked pretty good. Chants of "dos a cero", a reminder of eerily similar results the U.S. has racked up against El Tri in some crucial contests, a favorite of supporters.

Now it's Mexico's turn. Consecutive winners of the CONCACAF Gold Cup they now will be booking tickets to the Confederation's Cup as our regional representatives; a tournament the Americans made so magical a short time ago in South Africa.

Our concern today, though, is not the results that took place on the field, but the worrying actions that occurred beyond the edges of the field at the Rose Bowl. By now you've probably read the shocking allegations of American fan treatment in Pasadena (if you haven't it's important for context). The actions of these Mexican fans are nothing short of embarrassing.

In a stadium filled to capacity (93,420) fans of the U.S. National Team were easily outnumbered 90-10 by their continental counterparts. For anyone who's ever been apart of one it's easy to see how "mob mentality" took over many Mexican fans and fueled their actions. From verbal and physical harassment of American fans, to the tossing of various objects (bottles and the like) in a crowd that size and overwhelming numerical superiority, those guilty of such inappropriate behavior mostly likely thought they would get away with their actions. And they did.

It's unfortunately that these actions by individuals who retreated back into the crowd after their acts of cowardice are left to rule the day and fuel the frustrations of American fans already upset by the game's results. For any fan, of any nation, to be treated as such is a disgrace and only inflames the difficult relations between these fan groups.

No one is disputing the fact that the rivalry between the United States and Mexico isn't going to be heated. And certainly American fans aren't without fault. There was our share of off-color stupidity on our side of the fence as well. But rivalries should never disintegrate into racism or worse, violence.

For some the knee-jerk reaction is to respond with the same tired remarks about Mexico and Mexicans and to make an indictment of an entire people. But for every cringing story of abuse from the Rose Bowl came a counter-story of incident-free interactions with the fans of El Tri.

Unfortunately this latest edition of US versus Mexico played out on so many levels. Beyond the soccer pitch is the elephant in the room with the issue of immigration. In recent months several states have enacted (with many more states considering them) several tough measures regarding stemming the flow of undocumented immigrants into the United States and political candidates on both sides of the issue have continued to use the issue as a political football (whichever football you prefer). Frustrations from Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, and white Americans color the entire scene. As these tensions rise outside the lens of soccer it's not surprising that issues play out in the parking lots and stadiums of our two nations' matches.

What happened on Saturday shouldn't be forgotten, but it also shouldn't be used to justify retribution or continued racism. For those that suffered at the hands of some outrageous fan behavior they have every right to demand answers and changes before future match ups between these two teams.

Before the next edition of U.S. against Mexico whether it be in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, an international friendly, and/or World Cup qualifiers there needs to be a complete overhaul of how the venues of these matches are secured, policed, and rules enforced.

This time the blame for not adequately protecting the fans fell to CONCACAF and officials in charge of the Rose Bowl. Russel Jordan the author of the letter we linked to above wrote that he's already had conversations with the general manager of the stadium who admitted that they had the most security ever at the Rose Bowl it wasn't enough. National soccer columnist Steve Davis (Sports Illustrated) wrote on his own site that if the aging facility, while a huge money maker for CONCACAF, cannot be adequately policed then it shouldn't be used for matches.

U.S. Soccer, the Mexican Federation (FMF) Soccer United Marketing, which helps promote the Mexican National Team in the U.S. are now aware that if incidents like the ones making the rounds become more and more frequent it could put every future U.S.-Mexico fixture at risk. Even though Gold Cup Finals and World Cup qualifiers will remain on the docket, huge revenue streams like international friendlies between the two or further U.S. tours of by Mexico will be under the microscope. Most importantly the spirit of healthy competition between the region's two biggest teams will be lost.

Another concern for U.S. Soccer has to be how many fans or potential fans were lost on that sunny Saturday attending a match they were unprepared to experience. American soccer can ill-afford to alienate its small fan base with experiences and stories of dangerous game conditions and security problems.

Moving beyond Saturday's events common sense will have to be CONCACAF, U.S. Soccer, and the FMF, and any venue hosting these matches' guiding light. It was very clear that they will have to put profits behind protection of fans on either side. Dedicating a separate and/or secure section for U.S. fans (while bizarre as that may be fore a game INSIDE the U.S.) at the expensive of fulling filling it should be on the table. Just like some Major League Soccer teams are struggling in dealing with how to "handle" (for better or worse) soccer crowds security at these types of matches need to be in sufficient numbers and properly trained. Be in front of the problem not behind it.

And while not a solution one of the reasons the stadium was SO disproportionately one-sided was because one team's fans bought Finals tickets in good faith while the other team's fans' dilly-dallied. Support your National Team and have faith!

Lastly, despite these terrible incident alleged we, as American soccer fans, must remain above the fray. The American Outlaws have posted their "Act Above" Code of Conduct that asks its member to avoid similar behaviors that they might experience and we can all take a page from that. It might feel good initially to lash out with some choice words about our southern neighbors or to take matters in our own hands next time, but in the long term none of that pays out.

If there's any silver lining to this past weekend's difficulties it is that American soccer is growing and growing stronger. While outnumbered and out-cheered USMNT supporters were not alone in their struggles. Rather than fans roaming isolated into the crowds of red, white, and green many were together in the AO section or in decent sized groups. Each new fan we make is another stalwart against being singled out at matches and someone to march with us in solidarity again the terrible actions of an angry few bent on ruining our American soccer experience.

It can't and won't be that easy to deter our fandom. Soccer in America and American soccer rises as surely as the sun does and there are no terrible words or actions that can stop that.

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Tags: American Outlaws, Making The Case, USMNT

Making The Case: The Great Jersey Question. Buy American

At Saturday's shambolic U.S. National Team game the goal was the fill the stadium with red.

Nike had earlier debut their red national team strip and helped outfit the American's unofficial supporters group, the American Outlaws, with a cool Shepard Fairey designed "Indivisble" collaboration to add to the already red 2011 AO members shirt.

The result? A "Red All Over" supporters section to rival any other behind the goal.

The rest of the stadium, from crowd shots and close ups revealed a similar red wave, but fueled less U.S. fans, but the brighter red of the Spanish National Team and red and blue Spanish side Barcelona's jersey.

Sigh. Here we go again.

In the United States, a nation of immigrants and one of the most diverse countries in the world, American soccer fans are no longer surprised to be outnumbered within their own stadiums. Its one of the reasons the American Outlaws and the Free Beer Movement were founded; to grow the sport here and grow our presence each game day. It's readily conceded that for matches against teams like Mexico and other nearby Central American nations the visitors will turn out in force.

On Saturday, however, the USMNT was betrayed by its own. Americans in Spain jerseys. Americans with Messi's name splashed across the back. Americans in Manchester United jerseys!

Let's play a game. How many DIFFERENT jerseys can you spot?

For high profile matches this is also not uncommon. But it is infuriating. Americans who seem to go out of their way NOT to support their country of birth.

Were many of those people from Spain living in the United States? Yes. Completely acceptable.

Were many of those people of Spanish-decent honoring their heritage? Yes. Also totally fine.

Were many of those people Americans of little connection to Spain or Spanish teams sporting the colors of World Cup, European Cup, and Champion's League winners? Yes. Not OK.

The beauty of the Spanish National Team was on full display on Saturday and the dominance of Barcelona a week earlier at Wembley against Manchester United in the Champion's League Final and we can appreciate the fact that both of these teams are probably the best example of the greatest of soccer in our day and, for many, represent what has brought them to the sport of soccer and created their connect to it.

If this is what soccer IS for you... super. If this is what you want to treat people to for the Free Beer Movement... go for it.

But we just cannot condone wearing those teams to our National Team games.

It isn't something jingoistic or Tea Party-fueled nationalism, but a enduring and deep love for this nation and the desire to see AMERICAN soccer succeed so we don't replicate Saturday's result again and again.

We own loads of soccer jerseys. Many different clubs from around the world. Many different National Teams as well. One from Honduras where we once lived. Another from the Netherlands, our ethnic roots, and even one from Hong Kong where a sister once visited. They are worn with regularity, but NEVER on a U.S. game day.

We get it. America likes winners. Spain and Barca are winners. Here's Sporting News' Brian Straus, post-game in the media zone:

As someone said to us on Twitter, "That kid, if alive in 1980 would have worn a USSR hockey jersey at Lake Placid."

That's the mentality for many soccer fans in America, "Maybe if the U.S. wins a few more games."

Sure this Spain game was a set up, but what else does the National Team have to do for some people?

Isn't qualifying for six straight World Cups good enough?

Paul Caligiuri's 1989 "Shot Heard Round the World" (to qualify the U.S. for its first World Cup in 40 years) didn't get ya?

Didn't our magical run to the 2002 quarterfinals and oh-so-close knock out to eventual finalist Germany grab you?

What about Landon Donovan's stoppage time game winner against Algeria last summer? Really? That didn't do it?

What will do it? Maybe the goal posts (for lack of a better term) keep moving for some soccer fans in America.


What is comes down to is really a choice. A choice where, today, right now, we can make an investment in American soccer and not just soccer in America. We've got an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of building American soccer and soccer in America. To invest, to spread, to share, to love through ourselves and through others and to others.

It's not perfect, but it is ours. It still has a long way to go, but as the Preamble of the Constitution states, "In order to form a more perfect union". We're working on it.

Spain and Barcelona and Liverpool and AC Milan are going to be just fine, but Major League Soccer and the U.S. National Team need your support because if American soccer fails.... soccer in America fails.

No more high-profile international friendlies. No more World Football Challenge. No more World Cups in the United States. It all dies.

We're not being dramatic. If Americans can't prove they're hungry for soccer (and watching loads of English Premier League on Fox Soccer doesn't count) then the clubs take their business elsewhere. They chase the China yuan or friendlies in Qatar.

The Free Beer Movement wants everyone to become fans and everyone's path to becoming a soccer fan is different. In the end, though, we want you to become American soccer fans. Even for us our first experience with soccer was Michael Owen and Liverpool, but more crucial to our development was the 1998 Men's World Cup and the 1999 Women's World Cup. Locked. Us. In.

That the natural evolution we're going for. Get into soccer. Get into American soccer. (And, of yeah, do it with beer!)

When the United States National Teams rolls into your town, fold up your other jerseys, and put on the red, white, and blue.

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Tags: American Outlaws, Making The Case, USMNT

A 12-Pack With…. Alexi Lalas

Alexi Lalas is a former U.S. National Team defender (96 caps), appearing in two World Cups and was U.S. Soccer's Male Player of the Year in 1995. Lalas was the first American to play in Italy in the modern-era and then returned to the United States to be a part of the group of high profile American soccer players to launch Major League Soccer. He's now an on-air commentator for ESPN.

Needless to say he's got an impressive soccer résumé and today he's answering our questions as a part of our "12-Pack" Interview Series.

Free Beer Movement: You were the first American in the modern-era to play in Italy. It was a time when very few Americans played abroad. What was it like to live and play there?

Alexi Lalas: I became a better player and a better person through the experience. At the time, Serie A was the biggest league in the world which meant that every Sunday I was facing world-class strikers. Adapting to the language, culture and the fishbowl that is soccer over there was not always easy but it gave me a life experience that still pays dividends to this day.

From a soccer perspective, it was incredible to see the tactical detail that is part of the Italian soccer DNA. The way we trained and prepared, and especially the way we organized defensively, was something I had never seen before. It made me look at the game and my position in a different way. It’s too bad that more Americans haven’t had the opportunity to pay in Italy, but Serie A has changed a lot and it’s no longer the league it once was.

FBM: What is it like to suit up for the National Team; to wear your country's colors? Explain that to some who will never get to have that experience.

AL: It’s hard to explain without using clichés. I believe that the inherent patriotism of Americans is fundamental to who we are. It’s often ridiculed or misunderstood, especially from the outside. But I think it’s the one of the characteristics that helps define us and helps unite us.

So when you’re given the opportunity, even through sport, to represent your country, you’re also representing everything that it stands for. I always took pride in that honor and responsibility. From the jersey, to the anthem to the performance, for me, it was ultimately about being an American and soccer was simply the vehicle.

FBM: What's your best memory playing for the U.S. National Team?

AL: World Cup 1994 changed my life. I lived the power of what a World Cup can do to an individual. It gave me credibility, opened doors and enabled me to have a career in soccer.

The win over Colombia at the Rose Bowl in front of 100K people will always be special. It was one of those “moments” that I’ll never forget.

FBM: In 1996 you returned to the U.S. to play for the New England Revolution and help break ground for Major League Soccer. What was it like to be a part of the early days of the league and resurrected professional soccer in America?

AL: MLS in the early days was like the Wild West, on and off the field. We were often making it up as we went along. But I think we made many more good than bad decisions.

One of the proudest moments of my life is being a part of the start of MLS and I think it will remain a source of pride when I’m old and grey. I’ve said it before, MLS is like la Cosa Nostra, it’s our thing. It’s not perfect, but it means everything to me.

FBM: This summer's World Cup was a watershed moment for American soccer in terms of how it broke through into the mainstream, if just for a few days, following the Algeria match. Where does American soccer go from here? How do we build on that moment? Not only the National Team, but the domestic league as well?

AL: We just keep chuggin’ along. I know we’re all looking for that magic bullet, and a successful World Cup certainly helps. But the success of soccer in the U.S. is going to come from a series of moments, some bigger than others, from which we continually step up to another level.

Sometimes we kick ourselves for what we have yet to achieve, but we also have to pat ourselves on the back for how far we’ve come in a relatively short period of time. We’ve got a long way to go and there are many things we need to improve, but I don’t think that any other country could have grown the sport as fast as we have.

FBM: You're a quality, but colorful commentator for ESPN. How are you enjoying your time at the World Wide Leader in Sports?

AL: Love it. I recognize that I’m in the entertainment business and I make no bones about it. My job is to be informative and entertaining. Finding the proper balance is what makes you good and finding it consistently is what makes you great. I’m not there yet, but I think I’m getting better. I’m paid to have an opinion, people don’t always agree with me, but that’s part of what makes it interesting and why I watch sports. I try to be objective and fair without losing the passion and energy that I think is needed to do this job. Hopefully I can keep doing it for many years.

FBM: Continuing on the topic of ESPN. Your network has gotten a bad rap for its perceived hostility towards soccer in the past, but with stepped up coverage of the English Premier League and, obviously, their phenomenal coverage of the World Cup this summer. Is that criticism misplaced? What about their coverage of Major League Soccer, though?

AL: You should always expect more from ESPN, we’re the “world-wide leader in sports”. But it it’s also a business and I think we all understand that soccer doesn’t yet generate the revenue that the other sports do.

This summer, for the first time, we gave the American public a World Cup that wasn’t dumbed down or diluted. We were inclusive and respected the fact that many people were watching simply for the event, but we didn’t hold people’s hands. This actually gave the World Cup more relevancy and credibility even for the casual viewer because it mirrored the way that other major sports are broadcast.

MLS is a problem. I’ll be honest; the MLS rating need to improve. We have to find a way to translate the excitement that we see in many markets to viewership. I know the proverbial chicken and egg argument about marketing/promotion and it’s legitimate, but we can’t simply look to ESPN to solve the problem; MLS has to figure out a way to make the league, the games and the players more relevant to the general public.

FBM: You spoke at the first-ever American Outlaws Rally in Las Vegas in March. What role do fans like the Outlaws play in the support of the team and the growth of the game here?

AL: It’s not lip service when I say that supporter’s groups like The American Outlaws are as important, and in many cases more so, than any of us who ever kicked a ball. They have sustained and nourished our sport through the lean years and, thanks in large part to the new media explosion, are starting to be real influencers.

I often talk about the soccer army that has been amassing over the years and now has started to come above ground. The battle has only just begun, but I like our odds. The soccer culture is unique and it is enticing to a generation that sees soccer as a legitimate American sport and not just a niche activity. The supporter’s groups are a big reason why the sport has survived, and an even bigger reason why it will thrive.



FBM: Do you ever give you brother, ( and writer) Greg, a hard time for having a more successful soccer career than him?

AL: All the time. I routinely break him down until he’s a sniveling, broken shell of human being. Then I pump him back up and do it all over again…it’s really quite amusing. But I really do love him and he's 10 times the writer that I’ll ever be (but don’t tell him I said that).

FBM: You were famous for rocking some pretty epic facial hair during your playing career. What led to the decision to lose it? Too much for MLS boardrooms? Will it ever make a return, like a some sort-of band reunion tour?

AL: In 2000 I was in Sydney, Australia working the Olympics. On one of the last nights my girlfriend and I hit the town hard. We returned to the hotel and one thing led to another, I never back down from a dare from a beautiful woman. Now it should be noted that my then-girlfriend has since become my wife and mother to my children. Ah, the things we do for love.

As far a return of the goatee; maybe when we host another World Cup. It’ll be like when Cher recently sported her 1980’s era “Turn Back Time” outfit on the MTV Awards. I’m a sucker for nostalgia.

FBM: When you're not on camera what's your beer of choice?

AL: Guinness. Like a Porsche, there is no substitute.

FBM: 1994 U.S. World Cup jerseys.... ugliest shirts ever? What did you think back then?

AL: Yes, but also, I suppose, the most memorable. I think there was this notion that faux denim would be the next big fashion craze and that we would have been ahead of the curve…not so much.  The fact that we were able to succeed in spite of our horrendous attire is a testament to our team.

I’ll never forget the first time Bora (USMNT coach "Bora" Milutinović) saw the jersey, the man speaks 5 languages and he still couldn’t find the words to express his complete and utter disbelief. Of course it could have been worse; it could have actually been real denim!

Many thanks to Alexi for taking the time to answer our 12-pack of questions. We leave you all, dear readers, with Alexi's 1997 appearance on an ESPN SportsCenter commercial:


Tags: American Outlaws, Major League Soccer, Twelve-Pack Interview Series, USMNT, World Cup

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