Showing newest 15 of 16 posts from January 2010. Show older posts
Showing newest 15 of 16 posts from January 2010. Show older posts

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Found Free Beer Movement

From: Mark, The Shin Guardian

Date: January 23, 2010

Location: Home Depot Center following the USMNT game against Honduras. (Carson, CA)

Where’s yours? E-mail where your FBM sticker is to freebeermovement @ gmail (dot) com.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Photo Essay: Free Beer Match Day Five – The Movement Hits LA

The result of the US Men’s National Team clash against CONCACAF rivals Honduras was disappointing, a 3-1 loss to the Catrachos, but the despite disappointing showing by the Yanks it was a good night for beer.

Specifically, the Free Beer Movement, which hosted its Fifth Free Beer Match Day in Los Angeles in conjunction with the pre-game American Outlaws party. The FBM was on the hook for loads of beers, not only for Mrs. FBM, but some other friends, old and new.

The FBM met up with superstar soccer writers Matthew and Mark from The Shin Guardian and tasted some home brews from their friends at Die Hipster Brewing. We also got some serious face time with Justin Brunken, Vice President of AO and have a lot of exciting work to forge with the burgeoning USMNT Supporter’s Group.

Check out our photo gallery below and try and tell us that free beer doesn’t work!
Any good USMNT party has to start with the American Outlaws.

American Outlaws VP Justin Brunken.

Good crowd at the pre-game bar, Off Campus Pub.

Nice. But not our style.

FBM guests and soccer newbies Robin and Becca.

FBM Founder Dan (right) with Matthew and Mark of The Shin Guardian.

Matthew showing the Movement some back-love.

TSG’s soccer newbie guest, Chris. Sporting the FBM sticker and joined the American Outlaws by night’s end. Free beer works.

Dan enjoying some Die Hipster brews brought by TSG boys.

Matthew takes a swig. Mrs. Shin Guardian looks on in approval.

FBM guests: Landon, Robin, Becca, and Mrs. FBM.

Dan met up with the brains behind Constantly Offside.

After a failed attempt to light this Honduras squad poster on fire the CO guys doused the pic with Bud Light. Take that Catrachos!

Mrs. FBM seems to be enjoying herself.

Mr. and Mrs. FBM? Not quite yet.

Robin showing some FBM shoulder-love.

The American Outlaws entourage.

Mr. and Mrs FBM. Awww!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Who We’re Buying a Beer For…

We’re got an all-Major League Soccer line up this week for our brew list as we anxiously await the beginning of another domestic soccer season in America (especially since our Liverpool is dropping a big one in England). We’re looking to honor the passion and drive that the league and fans are driving to support soccer in America.

1) Houston Dynamo Fans

New stadiums are popping up all over the United States, but sadly not yet for the Dynamo of Houston. The fourth largest city in the country recently elected a new mayor and not the guy who favored building the two-time MLS champions their new casa.

Despite this obvious set back, Dynamo fans rallied last week to highlight their cause to move out of their college digs, Robertson Stadium. A bit of fan activism that shows that American soccer is trying to flex its collective muscle and add another soccer-specific-stadium to the league.

Playing soccer in a college (and probably a throw-ball) stadium is exactly like living in a college place. For a while it’s nice just to have a place to play/live; you don’t mind the fact that your roommates are slobs or their are football lines on the field and the sidelines look like a bulldozer ran down them. Sure, you really like the “quaint-ness” of sharing a bathroom with four other guys and, sometimes, their girlfriends or sharing with a NFL franchise that cares nothing for soccer (I’m looking at you Krafts and Patriots).

But its time to graduate and get a real place. Time to take down the Bob Marley posters and stop eating only Jack’s frozen pizzas for dinner. Time to stop sharing gate and concession revenue and have some space to put up your championship banners not hidden in a corner.

Time to take action. Here’s to the Texian Army and Houston Dynamo fans fighting the good fight!

2) Kansas City Wizards

And see what hard work will get ya? The Wiz broke ground for their new stadium this past week. Great news for the soccer-specific stadium movement in America. While the stadium won’t be completed until the 2012 season it just highlights how important for the sport to grow in the U.S. it is to have great facilities for our teams.

That can only happen if we, as soccer fans, invest our time and money in these local clubs. If you are an soccer fan in American you have an unique opportunity to be a “financial founding father” of this sport. Our hard-earned dollars, put to good use in American soccer clubs, proves to the powers-that-be that it is worth the time and money investment for them to build stadiums, develop quality players, and serve their fans as best that can.

Clubs like Toronto, Seattle, and this year’s expansion team, Philadelphia have proven that fan activism is THE key to successful club growth in American soccer.

3) Sons of Ben

The FBM just got done reading this month’s issue of Soccer America that featured an article about the new Major League Soccer franchise in Philly. With their inaugural season about to kick off this spring its important to think about just how important the supporter’s group, the “Sons of Ben” were to bringing soccer to the “City of Brotherly Love”.

The SOBs (nice abbreviation!) began in 2007 on the 301st anniversary of their namesake Benjamin Franklin’s birthday and quickly grew to be a supporter’s group numbering in the thousands despite the fact that Philadelphia had no MLS team. With a rumored franchise on the way the group formed a strong backbone to the city’s MLS bid creating a season ticker drive that in 2007 that netted 2,800 requests!

With their team’s first season on the horizon nearly 9,000 of the allotted 12,000 season tickets have already been snatched up by Union supporters. The SOBs efforts have allowed the league to post another public relations triumph even before kickoff of their 15th season.

Fan-led efforts are creating momentum for soccer all across the United States. While the Free Beer Movement is small-fries now this is the wave we’re trying to ride as well. When we’re in Philly we’ll be sure to stop by McGillin’s Old Ale House and buy them a round.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Radio Silence

We’re leaving the blog all alone this weekend as the Free Beer Movement takes off for the City of Angels.

When we get back we’ll publish out regular weekly features, including “Who We’re Buying a Beer For” and “A Season on the Brink – The Free Beer FC Story,” along with all of our tales and pictures from “Free Beer Match Day Five”.

If you’re curious to our comings and goings in Los Angeles check out our Facebook and Twitter pages where we will post regular updates.

It Might Just Be the Greatest Thing Ever Written on the Inter-Web-Blogo-Sphere


We’re taking the Plato’s Republic of the Internet, the Shakespeare’s Hamlet of the web, a blogger’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (solid MLK Jr. reference there, just for this week).

The Free Beer Movement was honored to lend its two cents to a great beer and soccer-related column over at one of the nation’s newest and best American soccer websites, The Shin Guardian.

We’ve mentioned them before and you might be thinking, “Best… come on!”

Would we lie to you? Maybe, but not today. TSG was recently honored by US as one of the finalists in their “Best Of…” series in the blog category and the site is ONLY six months old. Imagine what they could do with a whole year. Imagine!

We digress… today the brothers over at The Shin Guardian has assembled a panel of “experts” including themselves, two bar owners, the VP of the American Outlaws, and the FREE BEER MOVEMENT to recommend to you, loyal American soccer fans, beers for enjoying the game you enjoy as much as beer. Plus, some tasty brews if you’re to need to load up the soccer newbies with you as well.

You see that there? Expert. Yeah… they said it. We didn’t even tell them to write it. Ha! Now we’re got legitimacy. Big mistake.

Head on over to The Shin Guardian and check it out!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Free Beer Match Day Five: USA-Honduras International Friendly Edition

The U.S. National Team will face off against Honduras on January 23rd in Los Angeles and the Free Beer Movement will be there as well!

This is an OFFICIAL “Free Beer Match Day” (whatever actually classifies it as such we don’t know… but doesn’t that sound important?) as the FBM hosts its toughest potential conversion yet: Mrs. Free Beer Movement.

What you say… there’s no way the founder of the FBM isn’t a soccer fan!?!?! She has to be to for all this soccer watching and writing to be had. Well…. no quite. Mrs. FBM is very supportive… just not that into soccer.

Until this weekend.

Mrs. FBM has seen dozens of games on TV, but never a LIVE USMNT game. This weekend, we’re hoping this is a game-changer. It’s whatever the lovely lady wants and it’s on us!

The Free Beer Movement is following the American Outlaws agenda for game day so oyu can find us at:

Off Campus Pub (Across the Street from Home Depot Center)

18413 Avalon Boulevard
Carson, CA 90746

***Marching from Bar to Stadium, an hour before Kick off. (Because Home Depot Center doesn’t like people tailgating for some reason)

– Parking behind the Pub for a cost of $10 dollars and one free beer
– Drink Specials

The FBM will be milling about handing out FBM stickers so see if you can snag one! Look for Waldo (we’re serious).

Will you be there? Let us know in the comments section!

Also, scroll down to the previous post and sign our Frankie Hejduk petition!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Signing Our Frankie Hejduk for FBM Spokesperson Petition Is the Equivalent to Being a Signer to the Declaration of Independence

Dear FBM Members and Visitors,

When we launched (in some sense, re-launched) the Free Beer Movement in mid-2009 we wanted to use our website to promote the idea that free beer can help promote the sport of soccer in the United States. Having just crossed into 2010, we can easily say that the FBM is having a great impact on the American soccer landscape. We have received stories and photos from soccer supporters and new fans around the country talking about how free beer has been a tremendous ally and a unique way in recruiting new soccer fans.

Our site exists to promote this idea and have some beer-and-soccer-related fun in the process. At the top of our list of goals for 2010 is the continued desire to land the “Free Beer Captain,” Mr. Frankie Hejduk as the official spokesperson of the Free Beer Movement.

We’ve laid out our “Case for Frankie Hejduk” in a previous post, so we won’t re-hash that, but in 2010 we want to land more support and more signatures for our drive to “Recruit Frankie”. With Frankie’s international career possibly coming to a close (he was not included in coach Bob Bradley’s January MLS camp and future opportunities look slim) he’s going to need a new way to move American soccer forward.

In comes the Free Beer Movement with our offer.

We’re asking for your support in a number of ways to make this dream a possibility in 2010. We’ll do our part by penning a letter to Mr. Hejduk and his people, but we’d like to have hundreds of signatures on our online petition to deliver as well.

How can you help our drive to recruit Frankie Hejduk, he of beer-slamming fame, as the official Free Beer Movement spokesperson? There are three ways:

Easiest Way:

Sign the “Frankie Hejduk for FBM Spokesperson Petition”. Do it now… we’ll wait for you to come back.

Easy-Medium Way:

Join the Free Beer Movement’s “Recruit Frankie” Facebook page. And/or the “Free Beer Movement” Facebook page if you haven’t yet.

Medium Way:

Place the Free Beer Movement and/or “Recruit Frankie” crest/post on your site to show your support for our cause.

Hard Way:

Travel to Columbus, Ohio and await arrive of Mr. Hejduk at Crew Stadium. Camp out for months if necessary. Create massive posters declaring the FBM’s desire to have Hejduk as our spokesperson. Out-run security as the attempt to prevent you from loitering on private property. Meet Frankie. Don’t flub lines. Don’t accept rejection. Accept rejection. Hope that arrest doesn’t permanently stain record. Success!

Thank you for your efforts on behalf of the Free Beer Movement. Having Frankie Hejduk as the face of the FBM will only help in promoting our greatest cause, finding a legitimate excuse for why we get so drunk at soccer games.

The Free Beer Movement

Who We’re Buying a Beer For…

Editor’s Note: Each week the Free Beer Movement “honors” individuals and groups that help push, pull, or drag American soccer forward in this country. What better way to honor them then with a beer on us. Plus, its quite economical. We’re cheap!

1) Fox

It’s not often that you’ll hear us sing the praises of the corporation that birthed Fox News and such TV shows as “When Animals Attack” and “Joe Millionaire”, but the company has done itself right by announcing the creation of a second all-soccer channel in the United States, Fox Soccer Plus airing March 1st.

FS+ will carry the recently acquired Setanta USA’s programming whose sublicenses with Fox are expiring.This means US viewers will have more (legal) viewing opportunities for the English Premier League, European Champions League, FA Cup and the Italian Serie A.

There are also rumors that the new channel may swallow up the original Setanta which would include access to more European leagues.

This piggybacks on Fox’s earlier news that they will begin broadcasting their Fox Soccer Channel matches in high definition starting in February 2010. The same goes for the upcoming launch of FS+.

Any move that brings more soccer into America’s homes is the right move and rightly deserving of a frosty brew from us.

2) “Pint for a Pint” program at Cascade Regional Blood Services in Tacoma, Washington

Our weekly lists usually honors those who push (or drag) the American game forward, but we don’t think there’s anything wrong with honoring a unique way to promote drinking in our great nation as well (although it doesn’t really need all that much help).

A blood donation program in Washington state is trading coupons for a free beer. Since we love free beer there’s no sense in ignoring this great idea.

Watch the CNN report:

3) Preki and Thomas Dooley

Two great contributors to American soccer learned this week that their names would be enshrined in U.S. soccer history after it was announced the two were elected into the Soccer Hall of Fame.

Current Toronto FC coach Preki and former USMNTer Thomas Dooley topped the ballot list for 2010.

Hey give us the “dets” on the two HOFers. OK:

Preki was named the Major Indoor Soccer League MVP in 1989, the MVP of the Continental Indoor Soccer League in 1995 and then accomplished that feat not once, but twice, in Major League Ssoccer in 1997 and 2001 while scoring 79 goals and adding 112 assists in 242 matches for the Kansas City Wizards and Miami Fusion. At age 40 he led MLS in scoring and was a member of the 2000 MLS Cup Champion Wizards. He competed in the 1998 World Cup for the U.S..

Dooley, played for the Red, White and Blue at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups, performed for the Columbus Crew and MetroStars. He started his journey to soccer stardom in the German 11th division, playing on Saturday and Sunday nights before working his way up to the Bundesliga. He had secured a solid career with the likes of Hamburg SV, Kaiserslautern, Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke. 2010 was the last year Dooley was eligible for the HOF.

Preki and Dooley both distinguish themselves by doing the dirty work of playing American soccer before the sport was really on the general public’s radar. These sorts of players, the ones the Hall has been honoring recently former the foundation for the sports’ emerging popularity today. Fox Soccer’s Jamie Trecker adds:

Dooley’s significance may be lost on newbie fans who came to the US game during the 1994 World Cup or later.

The fact of the matter is that Dooley’s decision to play for the United States and to give up a successful career in Germany to train full time in California under Bora Milutinovic was a turning point in building a team that was able to carry the American flag beyond the first round of that 1994 tournament.

You have to remember that there were many who believed the United States should not host. The outspoken European media decried the idea of handing FIFA’s plum to a country with little or no interest in the game, to say nothing of lacking any type of quality professional players.

Dooley brought soccer smarts and stability to the American defense. We’ll never know how much his on-field command of the situation helped settle the nerves of his teammates. And Dooley’s reading of the game was special: he could launch major runs that supported the attack without sacrificing space at the back.

The FBM remembers proudly watching Preki and Dooley participate for the Nats in France 98 while sitting in a bar in Hungary and sneaking beers (we were 15). Standing up and singing the National Anthem in front a bunch of bewildered Hungarians before USA-Iran the likes of Preki, Dooley, and others inspired this youngster to double-down on soccer. Where would the FBM be today without that moment?

Just as we mused about the 1950 USMNT, the players that have been capped for the Nats form an admirable history for all American soccer fans to give thanks for their contributions to the growth of our sport.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Season on the Brink – The Free Beer FC Story

Free Beer Movement Original Entertainment Presents:

From the producers of “Frankie Hejduk: Greatest American Since George Washington” and the director of “BeerFest: No, not the one you really liked with those guys from ‘Super Troopers’, but a different one with the same name because the guys who made it are good film makers, but not very creative with move title stuff” comes a sports journey for the ages.

A big city, small time recreational soccer team with just one dream; a dream to not be totally sucky.

Actually… two dreams, but that one isn’t really soccer-related. It mostly centers around drinking, but that’s not important. Yet.

Watch as they rise and fall against the most mediocre that Minneapolis has to offer in adult co-recreational soccer. Follow their trials and tribulations, their triumphs and their heart breaks, but most importantly meet the people and the stories behind the most regular of all indoor soccer teams: Free Beer FC.

Week in and week out follow FBFC as they battle a gauntlet of Twin Cities opponents: church groups, bar flies, youth soccer parent teams, and, of course, dudes past their prime playing days just trying to get back a semblance of their former selves.

All questions answered in a gripping multi-part series:

* How many goals will they slot past a pastor playing keeper for the first time?

* Which FBFC midfielder uses his time off the field to tuck away some chew?

* Can the bonds of marriage survive one spouse’s inability to track back and play defense?

* Is a sweatband AND wrist bands really necessary? Really?

* Does this team of relative unknowns have what it takes to finish mid-table in their division?

Join ESPN commentator John Harkes as he chronicles the story of Free Beer FC, a team that you’ve never heard of and will probably not remember shortly after the series is over.

Coming soon to the Free Beer Movement site.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Free Beer Stories: Patrick from San Antonio

Editor’s Note: Here’s another part in our continuing series feature stories from Free Beer Movement members and soccer fans who’ve used free beer to convert people to the sport in America. Every person who send us their stories and pictures gets one of our FBM stickers to do with as they please. If you’d like to share your stories and pictures just shoot us an e-mail at: freebeermovement(at)gmail(dot)com.

Today, we feature Patrick from San Antonio, Texas. Read on:

I’ve been dying for some Free Beer Movement stickers to post around San Antonio and until recently I hadn’t remembered my very own Free Beer Movement story. Here goes…

It wasn’t till the Gold Cup in 2007 that I had truly embraced the beautiful game. That tournament and my new aquisation of Fox Soccer Channel meant a whole summer of soccer. Soon my enjoyment of the game grew into an obsession and I would wake up at sunrise the following summer to watch the USA U-23’s get knocked out of their group live on the interwebs. Eventually myself, my two dogs, and my girlfriend left the Texas border town of El Paso and headed for San Antonio because of my acceptance in to law school for 2008/09.

With the move came the meeting of many new friends and one in particular is my buddy Pablo from Puerto Rico. Great guy…huge baseball fan. After a whole year of my ranting and raving about random Major League Soccer games and the English Premier League season at hand he was eventualy forced to watch some World Cup qualifiers with me while our study group was mastering criminal law.

I digress…the heart of the story centers around the day that ye Yanks of the USA hammered away ‘El Nino’ and the rest of the Spaniards. The morning of the game I wandered into the law library to begin some last minute studying before our administrative law final. Summer school sucks…summer school in law school sucks harder.

I was still pretty excited because of the Egypt win and as I swung the doors open to the law library, the guy behind the counter asked me what the USA-Spain score would be (I was wearing the ‘Stars and Stripes home kit). I said, “Well, honestly 2-1 Spain. In my heart 1-1 and we win on PKs”. He laughed and said he hoped the USA crushed Spain.

Shit… I hoped too. The time came for the final and I was pretty energized and it wasn’t because of the three Red Bulls and the coffee, but because I knew I had to finish an hour early to make it to the pub across town. Pablo and I finshed at the same time and luckily for us the law school has a lounge with a huge flat screen tv that I had left on espn2. When we got out the game was 30 minutes away from starting….it was on.

We were a good 20 minutes from the pub and we were far from out cars. I promised him two Guinness (he’s a sucker for those). He was reluctant at first, but hell, we had just finished out last final of summer school and beer sounded real good.

We got there right at kick off and the crowd wasn’t huge, but modest. There was a group of Spaniards that were pretty loud and I was the only one with a jersey or US apparel on. Once the game started it was clear that the guys in suits were taking some time off work to come support the red white and blue.

Pablo, unlike most people that need the encouragement to watch soccer, had said he had seen a few Islanders games while in Puerto Rico so he was cool with “grabing lunch” while the game was on. Five or six Newcastles later and a USA win…

Now he has come with me to see the Nats every game at the local pub and is always asking me about players and info. He got FIFA10 a few days ago and we are planning on going to Houston or Dallas with some more non-soccer fans to see USA vs El Salvador if they come down February

Although he wasn’t totally an anti-soccer dude to begin with the beer ended up converting the guy to a fan is the USMNT. He recently told me after class that his favorite part of the BSC Championship Game were the World Cup commercials. Mine, too.

Patrick toasting to Charlie Davies at the Lion and Rose Pub in San Antonio, Texas

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Found Free Beer Movement

We got a few submissions to ye ol’ electronic mail this week about where FBM members are showing off their FBM stickers with pride.

From Independence Brewing Co., Austin, TX:

From Nick’s Refrigerator, Austin, Texas:

From Craig, Sign Satisfaction, Austin, Texas

Submit your “Found Free Beer Movement” to freebeermovement(at)gmail(dot)com.

Interested in obtaining a Free Beer Movement sticker?

Bring a soccer newbie to the next game you go and see in your home, at the bar, live in the stadium. Submit your stories and pictures and receive a FBM sticker as a reward for your great efforts to spread soccer in America through free beer.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Who We’re Buying a Beer For…

1) Clint Dempsey

No one has done more for American soccer this week than USMNT and Fulham FC midfielder Clint Dempsey has by launching what many are calling the “goal of the season” in
the English Premier League.

Funny enough, some intrepid writers have likened Dempsey’s strike to the first shots at Lexington and Concord (notice how we’re being accused of firing first… damn fish-and-chips-eaters!) and a warning to the English National Team. Add Landon Donovan’s impressive debut for Everton this week against Arsenal and the British newspapers are going to lose their shit real soon.

By now as a soccer fan you’ve probably seen the wonder-strike, but we’re sure you won’t mind watching it again. Take a took:

Around the world this clip has put American soccer on the map again. But, alas, for mainstream sports fan it was probably missed.

Mike Cardillo of the brilliant soccer blog (EPL and USMNT), That’s On Point, laments the big miss for ESPN to capitalize on Dempsey’s goal:

What’s actually a little more outrageous is the fact that Clint Dempsey’s absolute Gol-azo-azo-azo for Fulham vs. Stoke City on Tuesday was left out of the “Sportscenter” top 10 plays. Imagine if that goal came on Telemundo. Andres Cantor might have pulled a play out the Mick Shrimpton playbook.

You’d think, mind you think, the goal in-and-of itself would be worthy of inclusion — the next day a play from Sevilla/Barca made the list. But since it was an American, it seemed a slam dunk — no pun intended for the other clips on the list, especially since it’s on the short-list of Premier League “Goals of the Year.” (Maybe John Harkes, who won the award back in 1990 with Sheffield Wednesday blocked it.)

Alas, Dempsey’s strike will live on in the Inter-tubes, which isn’t all that bad.

Yet it holds to a bigger point, which I’ve made a million times in this space, so if you want to skip ahead no hard feelings.

In the year 2010, ESPN is sports in America. When it comes to soccer it continues to talk out of both sides of its mouth.

On the one hand it’s acquired some Premier League rights, the World Cup, USMNT games (mostly), etc. At the same time the Worldwide doesn’t have anchors that can get through a highlight with the correct names, or simply ignores the best goal by an American in Europe, perhaps, ever. (Obviously it wasn’t better than a pedestrian NCAA basketball dunk.)

You’d think that John Skipper would realize that, hey, we own the rights to these events. Shouldn’t we try to drum up interest through osmosis? Wouldn’t Dempsey’s great goal — by an AMERICAN — plant some seeds in the back of the casual fans minds for the World Cup in less than six months? Wouldn’t it help familiarize people with perhaps America’s most important or at least enigmatic player for the campaign in South Africa?

Look, the most ESPN I watch is on the machines at the gym. So do a lot of people, I’d assume. Wouldn’t a glimpse of Dempsey’s rainbowing volley subliminally help draw eyeballs to the set in June? Wouldn’t it help dispel the notion that Americans can’t play at a high level?

I won’t even mention MLS’s presence on ESPN. Sure it gets microscopic ratings, but wouldn’t some casual talk about the league or, gasp, HIGHLIGHTS, help increase interest. Treating MLS like the Pro Bowling and Pro Billiards leagues is an embarrassment. (Of course, the league’s rating are that, too.)

Maybe this is an overreaction. Maybe since the game was on Setanta in the midweek (more on that later) somebody missed it. It’s possible. The game was 3-1 at the time in the 85th minute, after all.

Again it’s goals like the one scored by Dempsey that capture the imagination and make people fall in love with the game. Nothing sends the imagination soaring more than a crack from distance. Half of YouTube and every other tube site is devoted to goal highlight compilations.

For the major sports force in the country to swing-and-miss on a the very definition of a highlight is part of the reason why the best American soccer player is filming ads for the Mexican lottery.
So like sands through the hour glass our ESPN vs. soccer community world continues to turn. Grab a beer and sit down because 2010 is going to be a wild ride.

2) Wayward former USMNTers Freddy Adu and Eddie Johnson

Remember those names? Currently answers to the fictional National Team game show question, “Which two Americans were expected to change the face of U.S. soccer in the mid-2000s, but failed miserably and we’re quickly dropped from consideration?” Adu and Johnson now find themselves as teammates on the Greek club Aris Thessaloniki FC.

Honestly, we find it pretty bizarre that they both happened to land on their feet at an obscure soccer team in Greece (at least obscure to us… apparently their the fifth best supported team in the league and regular participants in the Europa Cup. Thanks Wikipedia!). More bizarre:

Yes, that’s Adu being welcomed by Aris supporters at the airport, in droves, chanting his name.

Count the FBM as skeptical for the pairs’ career move, but if it works out the Nats and American soccer are better for it. As newspaper columnist George Will once said, “The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.”

So for us its either a 40 oz. for some dead homies OR celebratory drinks on us to their success.

3) Landon Donovan

The USMNT and LA Galaxy playmaker was on the list last week, too, but the on loan to Everton midfielder made his shock English Premier League debut this past weekend. LD didn’t just get a trot out to test the water wings in the British soccer pool, but was thrown to the lions by earner a start from manager David Moyes against top side Arsenal.

Donovan wasted no time is getting into the mix assisting on the Toffee’s opening goal and working tireless on the left flank of the Everton attack.

One commenter on The Shin Guardian said:

“I was amazed at how comfortable Donovan looked-almost as if he’d been playing all season for Everton. What a great day for Lando and US soccer.
With the continued success of Dempsey at Fulham, Tim Howard at Everton, Jay DeMerit at Watford, and Brad Friedel and Brad Guzan at Aston Villa, Donovan can add his name to successful American abroad to make up for the mixed performances other intrepid Americans that have plied their trade across the pond. Every successful American performance in England and Europe helps push the U.S. brand further into the hearts and mind of scouts and coaches.

Even the normally anti-American English soccer press was force to say nice things about LD (from Major League Soccer Talk):

“With Louis Saha’s clever runs and Tim Cahill’s waspish presence augmented extremely well by the expert dribbling of Landon Donovan on an eye-catching debut, Everton caused Arsenal serious concern from the off,” Amy Lawrence, The Guardian.

“With Arsene Wenger’s side missing Alexander Song, they struggled to impose themselves in midfield allowing Everton debutant Landon Donovan, in particular, to take advantage. The American gave Gunners left-back Armand Traore a torrid time throughout, and it was from his corner that Everton opened the scoring,” Ian Hughes, BBC Sport.

“With 25 minutes to go and the Emirates pitch turning white, Moyes turned to Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, a man more accustomed to the adverse conditions. He replaced Donovan who will have warmed his manager with an industrious first outing on English soil,” Everton FC match report.

“Donovan looked lively on his Blues debut, the American offering an outlet wide on the right as he came in for Diniyar Bilyaletdinov.The American will feel he could have done better on the equaliser however when he failed to clear the ball enabling Andriy Arshavin, back after a foot injury, to slip it inside to Eduardo who rolled a pass into Denilson’s path whose shot took a wicked deflection off the unfortunate Osman to wrong-foot Howard,” David Randles, Liverpool Daily Post.

“But Everton have improved dramatically since [the beginning of the season] and the introduction of MLS loan signing Landon Donovan for his debut gave [Everton] an extra creative edge,” The Sun.

And we couldn’t agree more. Which is why he’s getting another run out on this week’s beer shopping list.

Photo Credits: The Original Winger (Dempsey, Johnson, and Adu)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Coming Soon – An FBM Original Entertainment Event


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Free Beer Stories: MLS Cup in Seattle

From Shawn Wheeler, Seattle, WA:

Last summer, when I found out the MLS Cup would be in Seattle I started giving Matty Biggs from Constantly Offside a bunch of shit that he’d have to come up for the match, and that if he did I would buy our tickets. When he finally booked his flight a month before the match, I found us some pretty sweet seats on Stubhub and snatched them up.

Not being a big soccer fan, I wasn’t sure quite what I was getting myself in to but Biggs promised me a free beer and a sticker, so we headed downtown for the 5pm game about 11am. A quick apparel stop (scarves and sweatshirts galore) and we were ready to get started on some drinking. Within about 4 blocks of the stadium are some of the best bars in Seattle, so Biggs and I had our day lined up pretty quick. A shot of Patron at Elysian Fields (home of the Emerald City Supporters), a Smithwicks at Fado (home of Gorilla FC), Manny’s at Swannies (home of the North End Supporters), then I got serious and killed a few jack and cokes at FX McRory’s (please note, Biggs drinks water on game days and someone had to drink his share of the booze).

We marched to the stadium with the INSANE La Barra Real and we could only try to keep up with their enthusiasm.

Instead of entering the game, we turned around and marched back to FX McRory’s (Biggs wanted more water and I made up for it again) and saw the RSL drummers some more:

Finally head in to the stadium and the Galaxians are in the south end of the stadium, La Barra Real is in the north end and Sounders fans have packed the area between. Biggs and I went for a walk to compare the volumes, I’m not sure if my ear drums have fully recovered yet from this epic drum:

It’s finally game time, and Biggs and I make our way back to our seats and much to my surprise the SSFC fans are standing… for the entire game… when our team isn’t even playing. So Biggs and I excitedly took our spots and begin to hurl insults at Beckham and friends.

After a thrilling 90, then 120 minutes, Biggs and I had some of the best seats in the house for PKs:

After the game, sitting in Swannies with the remaining NES crew I come to the realization that this is infinitely more fun than any other sporting event we have in Seattle. Mariners baseball games are as boring as you’d think baseball would be, Seahawks suck and tickets are insanely expensive, and our Sonics have been shipped to Oklahoma. So that day, it was decided that the Sounders had a new fan.

I’ve got my season tickets reserved for next season, behind the south goal right next to the GFC and ECS. I went ahead and bought 2 tickets, planning to introduce as many friends as possible to the glory that is the SSFC, giving them a Free Beer and a game to enjoy. Hopefully their first experience with professional soccer is as impactful as mine was!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Who We’re Buying a Beer For…

1) Mark Wahlberg

If there’s one Hollywood superstar that needs to be converted (and we’re not talking about more Scientology weirdos) more than Mr. Wahlberg it’d be hard to convince us otherwise after his comments about David Beckham and soccer in the United States.

Marky Mark joined the soccer-haters club after he had this to say:

“Man, we don’t want your soccer. There’s no way Americans are going to buy the idea of 90 minutes of running around without much happening. Thanks for trying guys, but we’ll stick to baseball and basketball.”
Wahlberg dropped this bomb while complaining about the fact that ever since Beckham moved into his Beverly Hills neighborhood the paparazzi has ruined the quiet.

Now, frankly, we don’t care about the relative calmness of multi-million dollar mansion neighborhoods in California for Hollywood assholes, but we do care about bringing soccer-haters around.

Our proposal: We think that Mr. Wahlberg just hasn’t gotten to know Beckham and his sport. We’re charging Mr. Golden Balls to invite his neighbor to a Los Angeles Galaxy game when he gets back from Italy. We recommend putting him in one of those game suites, as we’re sure anything less would be unacceptable. Load that baby up with free beer.

Our guess? Mark Wahlberg will be drunk and singing with the LA Riot Squad before games end and attending the next Beckham-hosted dinner party in the neighborhood.

2) Frankie Hejduk

With the end of the year and the end of the ’00s upon us a number of soccer sites are putting together their “Best of the Decade” USMNTers. Our future FBM spokeperson is making several of these lists from across the Inter-tube-blogosphere including Major League Soccer Talk and our friend’s The Shin Guardian.

All the more reason to sign our “Recruit Frankie Hejduk for Free Beer Movement Spokesperson” petition.

Hejduk again, you complaing? Honestly, we could probably figure out some way to feature Frankie Hair Cut each and every week.

Don’t make us try….

3) Landon Donovan

The current and future star of American soccer is making his cross-Atlantic debut for English Premier League side Everton this week (we hope!). While the current US Soccer Player of the Year’s previous trips to Europe have been less-than-productive something tells us at the FBM that the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder will have a lot more success this time around.

The Liverpool-based club is having mixed results in the Prem league this season and some new, American blood might be just what the coach ordered. Donovan is coming off an electric year with the National Team and led his domestic side to the Major League Soccer finale, proving that he has finally arrived on the world stage.

Here’s to hoping that a local Liverpool pub serves up a tasty American brew just in case he gets a bit homesick. Either way… we’ll have one waiting for him when he returns from his three-month loan.

Any success that Donovan has aboard personal is only a step in the right direction for the great American version as well.