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World Cup Archives

Today’s The Day….

 Donovan gets a warm (beer, urine, whatever) reception at Azteca. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Editor's Note: This is our “get fired up” post for US international matches. We re-post it for every US match. Share it with your friends.

Today's the day the U.S. Men's National Team takes the field in a friendly to prepare for the road to Brazil 2014.

Today's the day they face Mexico, on their turf, in Estadio Azteca, in Mexico City.

Today's the day we take the win and move on to the next match.

Today's the day that Howard will shine, Landon will lead, goals will be scored, and timely tackles will be made.

Today's the day we sit down with friends and fellow soccer fans and cheer on the home team.

Today's the day we invite someone new to come along and experience the power of a soccer match.

Today's the day they'll get a free cold one to enjoy while watching the sport we so desperately love and the team we'd follow to the ends of the earth (or Brazil!).

Today's the day we ask a non-soccer fan to join our footballing family.

The Free Beer Movement is about spreading the love of American soccer to all corners of the nation and no day is better than today. Today, the pride and joy of our nation's game takes the field in order to continue its push towards the greatest sporting spectacle of all-time, the World Cup.

The past, present, and future of American soccer all take the field today to join in one cause, to win, and to move on to the next level.

It is days like this we, as American soccer fans embrace, as our national team fights for our country's continued respect on the international stage and to stake a claim as the best team in North and Central America.

Games like today are bigger than any game; bigger than any MLS game, and bigger than your son or daughter's kick around in the park.

Our local colors blend. There are no more yellow and black of the Columbus Crew or orange and white of the Houston Dynamo or the black and red of DC United; today there is only RED, WHITE, and BLUE.

These are the days that our nation's best and brightest shine on the field for 90 minutes. For themselves, for soccer, but mostly for you… the American fan and their country… the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

These are the days that you have to get up as a soccer fan in America.

So grab you friends, grab those soccer fans, grab those ones you want to become soccer fans, and most importantly grab some really cold beers because today's the day we support our National Team and our national game we love so much.

Tags: USMNT, World Cup

The Tuesday 10: World Cup 2014 Opening Ceremony Edition

By “The Other 87 Minutes / Senior Unemployed English Major Correspondents

If you were anywhere near a TV Friday afternoon/evening, then you likely already know that the World Cup is in danger of falling behind in the all-important opening ceremonies arms race. The Busby Berkeley song and dance numbers are nice, but now they’re competing with pyrotechnics, stunt and wirework and the complete history of Western Civilization (minus all the bad parts). It’s time for the World Cup to up its game. Here are ten suggestions for how to do that in 2014 and beyond.

1. Borrow from the Olympics and start the 2014 tournament by telling the history of association football. Build a replica of London’s Freemason’s Tavern, where the Laws were codified, then have half of the participants leave in a huff to walk the Earth in exile until they arrive in England in time for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

2. As the host nation, the arrival of the game in Brazil will get its own special segment. As soon as Charles Miller steps off the steamship, the whole stadium will explode into a recreation of Carnival.

3. After the dancers are gone, one-up them by bringing on 800 freestyle jugglers to perform at the same time. These should be relatively easy to find in any given block of Rio de Janeiro.

4. Have a group of flying Pep Guardiolas defeat a giant inflatable Sepp Blatter.

5. Like all FIFA sponsored events, there will be a nod to the youth: a giant soccer ball will be rolled onto the center of the pitch, and after a pause, the soccer ball will begin to move, and it will be revealed that it is actually 500 child gymnasts who had linked together to create the ball.

6. Play up the fact that your tournament is the world’s greatest sporting event with tasteful montages from World Cups past. Highlight the game’s wonderful moments, the skill (Zidane’s headbutt in 2006), the beauty (highlights from the 1990 final), and the poetic (juxtaposing moments such as when the West Germans had their goal denied in the 1966 final with Lampard’s non-goal in 2010.)

7. A group of French actors will recreate, step-by-step, the final of the 1970 Final. When Carlos Alberto scores that famous goal, the entire 1970 Brazilian team will emerge to celebrate the goal.

 

8. An Oscars-style remembrance montage, featuring every famous Brazilian player who has passed on. Fat Ronaldo will be mistakenly put onto the montage.

It's not a World Cup if there's no U2.

9. Performance by U2.

10. Pele obviously gets to light the World Cup torch for the tournament in Brazil. In 2018, he and Diego Maradona will (finally) fight to the death to see who gets to do it. I’m thinking Kalashnikov’s at ten paces, in tribute to the host nation.

About “The Other 87 Minutes”

What is this new site we're exposing you too? We'll let them explain:

“The Other 87 seeks to provide something that’s not instant analysis or eve of matchday previews. Think of us as the good bits of your favorite soccer coverage: the profiles that examine what makes a certain player tick, the historical background that sheds some light on how the sport has evolved to the present day, the silly features that are more than just tacking names on a list, but considering and explaining why each one deserves to be there.

O87 wants to be a home for soccer writing that makes you think, but that also treats the game as just that, a game. The greatest game, the one we obsess over and fixate on, to the point where we can’t read that gas costs 3.43 a gallon without thinking of Ajax’s 1995 Champions League winning team. But a game nonetheless.

“When you play a match, it is statistically proven that players actually have the ball three minutes on average. The best players – the Zidanes, Ronaldinhos, Gerrards – will have the ball maybe four minutes. Lesser players – defenders – probably two minutes. So, the most important thing is: what do you do those 87 minutes when you do not have the ball…. That is what determines whether you’re a good player or not.” –Johann Cruff

Tags: The Other 87 Minutes, Tuesday 10/XI, World Cup

Six-Pack Interview: LADUMA

LADUMA is now available for sale on DVD, BluRay, and HD Digital Download. Check out www.laduma-film.com to get a copy. Also, LADUMA will be screening in Columbus, Ohio on August 12th at the Arena Grande at 2pm. The event will be hosted by One Goal artist Dean Parham, who worked on the animation in the film and designs all of One Goal's posters.

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In 2010 the U.S. national team traveled to the World Cup with high hopes. Equally important was the historic decision to award South Africa the hosting rights, the African continent's first. LADUMA, the Zulu word for “goal” or “golazo” is an American documentary about the twin stories of the USMNT, its supporters, and the South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Free Beer Movement interviewed Ashwin Chaudhary (who along with Jon Korn filmed and produced their movie) about what LADUMA is all about, their experience in South Africa, and plans for Brazil in 2014.

————————————————————————–

Free Beer Movement: Why did you want to make this documentary despite the disappointments of both the film's main focuses (South Africa's first round elimination and the USMNT falling to Ghana)?

Ashwin Chaudhary: In the soccer sense, LADUMA is the Zulu word for “GOAL!” or “GOLAZO!”, and it's said with that same exuberance by South African soccer commentators when somebody scores. It literally translates to “it thunders,” and it has a connotation of achievement. We felt it was the perfect name for our documentary, because the film is about the great achievement of South Africa successfully hosting the World Cup, and the USMNT winning the group. It's about that one moment where everything comes together, the one moment you'll never forget. For South Africa, it was the Tshabalala goal against Mexico. For us, it was Donovan's group winning goal against Algeria.

FBM: Describe the gameday experience before, during, and after a World Cup match.

AC: Although the end result for both South Africa and USA was disappointing, that's not really what the World Cup is about. Once you're there, and meeting soccer fans from all over the world, you really that the World Cup is a a celebration of what we all have in common, no matter whether we're from Ghana, Chile, Japan, or Mexico. We wanted to show what the World Cup EXPERIENCE was like, regardless of what happened on the pitch.

FBM: Why was it important to tell South Africa's (the team and the nation) story as well in LADUMA?

AC: We wanted to include South Africa's story in the film because we were completely taken by the culture, the people, the music – everything. This was no “ordinary” World Cup – it was the 1st ever World Cup in the continent of Africa, and we felt the setting of this story was just as important as the story itself. Those people know how to party, but there's a humility and warmth to the way they celebrate. Also, in South Africa, soccer is the black man's game, whereas rugby is the white man's game. Hosting the World Cup was affirmation of this soccer culture which is such a big part of South African identity. There's really no way to describe it, but everybody needs to visit South Africa at some point in their life.

FBM: One of the coolest things about LADUMA was the fact that you used still photography (as certain parts of the pictures grew or came into focus) where others might have used film clips. Talk about the decision to go that route and how it affected the film.

AC: The decision to use photos in the game scenes as opposed to video was initially budget driven, since a second of FIFA footage pretty much costs more than the whole film's budget. But with the animated stills, we were able to create sort of an alternate, dream-like universe. You can always look up the actual highlights on YouTube, but the LADUMA experience is unique.

FBM: How was the beer in South Africa?

AC: Ah, the beer! As far as South African brews, we mostly drank Castle, which is pretty common over there. It's pretty hoppy and tasty. Also, sadly, lots and lots of Budweiser. We actually did some corporate video work for Budweiser at the World Cup which helped cover some of our travel costs. Plus, Bud was the only beer they sold at all the games, but at least we felt pretty patriotic while drinking it.

What are your plans for this next World Cup qualifying cycle? Will we see another documented journey through the Hexagonal? Perhaps one with American Outlaws in Brazil as well? Or are there other soccer-related projects you're brainstorming?

AC: For Brazil 2014, we're focused on the World Cup more so than qualifying. We want to raise money and get sponsors before the tournament, as opposed to after. With better preparation and preproduction, and (hopefully) a deep run by the Yanks, the Brazil film can be even better than LADUMA. But we'll still be traveling to Qualifiers and documenting the journey to the World Cup, so stay tuned to our website www.onegoalusa.com as we announce the games that we'll be at. We're planning on being in Jamaica later this year, and possibly Antigua. We're always looking to coordinate with new Outlaws and US Supporters, so email us – [email protected] to let us know what matches you'll be at!

LADUMA is now available for sale on DVD, BluRay, and HD Digital Download. Check out www.laduma-film.com to get a copy. Also, LADUMA will be screening in Columbus, Ohio on August 12th at the Arena Grande at 2pm. The event will be hosted by One Goal artist Dean Parham, who worked on the animation in the film and designs all of One Goal's posters.

Tags: Six-Pack Interview Series, USMNT, World Cup

Happy Independence Day! Celebrate with our USMNT 2010 “Soccer Independence” Gallery

Created for the 2010 World Cup “War of Soccer Independence Day” match against England these Photoshopped Revolutionary War paintings are still very timely. Perhaps, except the ones featuring Bob Bradley, but still pretty cool.

Enjoy!

“Yankee Doodle Landy and Teammates Vanquish Beckham”

“Howard and Rooney Face Off From the Spot”

“Bradley Crosses the Delaware”

“Bradley Accepts Capello's Surrender at Saratoga”

 

Tags: satire, USMNT, World Cup

Today’s The Day…

Photo Credit: AFP PHOTO/Johan ORDONEZJOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/GettyImages

Editor's Note: This is our “get fired up” post for US international matches. We re-post it for every US match. Share it with your friends.

Today's the day the U.S. Men's National Team takes the field in qualifying on the road to Brazil 2014.

Today's the day they face Guatemala, on their turf, in Guatemala City..

Today's the day we take the win and move on to the next match.

Today's the day that Howard will shine, Landon will lead, goals will be scored, and timely tackles will be made.

Today's the day we sit down with friends and fellow soccer fans and cheer on the home team.

Today's the day we invite someone new to come along and experience the power of a soccer match.

Today's the day they'll get a free cold one to enjoy while watching the sport we so desperately love and the team we'd follow to the ends of the earth (or Brazil!).

Today's the day we ask a non-soccer fan to join our footballing family.

The Free Beer Movement is about spreading the love of American soccer to all corners of the nation and no day is better than today. Today, the pride and joy of our nation's game takes the field in order to continue its push towards the greatest sporting spectacle of all-time, the World Cup.

The past, present, and future of American soccer all take the field today to join in one cause, to win, and to move on to the next level.

It is days like this we, as American soccer fans embrace, as our national team fights for our country's continued respect on the international stage and to stake a claim as the best team in North and Central America.

Games like today are bigger than any game; bigger than any MLS game, and bigger than your son or daughter's kick around in the park.

Our local colors blend. There are no more yellow and black of the Columbus Crew or orange and white of the Houston Dynamo or the black and red of DC United; today there is only RED, WHITE, and BLUE.

These are the days that our nation's best and brightest shine on the field for 90 minutes. For themselves, for soccer, but mostly for you… the American fan and their country… the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

These are the days that you have to get up as a soccer fan in America.

So grab you friends, grab those soccer fans, grab those ones you want to become soccer fans, and most importantly grab some really cold beers because today's the day we support our National Team and our national game we love so much.

Tags: USMNT, World Cup

Today’s the Day….

Of course you remember this goal.

Editor's Note: This is our “get fired up” post for US international matches. We re-post it for every US match. Share it with your friends.

Today's the day the U.S. Men's National Team takes the field in an international friendly to help prepare for the first round of World Cup qualifying.

Today's the day they face Brazil in our nation's capital, Washington, D.C.

Today's the day we take the win and move on to the next match.

Today's the day that Howard will shine, Landon will lead, goals will be scored, and timely tackles will be made.

Today's the day we sit down with friends and fellow soccer fans and cheer on the home team.

Today's the day we invite someone new to come along and experience the power of a soccer match.

Today's the day they'll get a free cold one to enjoy while watching the sport we so desperately love and the team we'd follow to the ends of the earth (or Brazil!).

Today's the day we ask a non-soccer fan to join our footballing family.

The Free Beer Movement is about spreading the love of American soccer to all corners of the nation and no day is better than today. Today, the pride and joy of our nation's game takes the field in order to continue its push towards the greatest sporting spectacle of all-time, the World Cup.

The past, present, and future of American soccer all take the field today to join in one cause, to win, and to move on to the next level.

It is days like this we, as American soccer fans embrace, as our national team fights for our country's continued respect on the international stage and to stake a claim as the best team in North and Central America.

Games like today are bigger than any game; bigger than any MLS game, and bigger than your son or daughter's kick around in the park.

Our local colors blend. There are no more yellow and black of the Columbus Crew or orange and white of the Houston Dynamo or the black and red of DC United; today there is only RED, WHITE, and BLUE.

These are the days that our nation's best and brightest shine on the field for 90 minutes. For themselves, for soccer, but mostly for you… the American fan and their country… the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

These are the days that you have to get up as a soccer fan in America.

So grab you friends, grab those soccer fans, grab those ones you want to become soccer fans, and most importantly grab some really cold beers because today's the day we support our National Team and our national game we love so much.

Tags: USMNT, World Cup

Today’s The Day…

Editor's Note: This is our “get fired up” post for US international matches. We re-post it for every US match. Share it with your friends.

Today's the day the U.S. Men's National Team takes the field in an international friendly to help prepare for the first round of World Cup qualifying.

Today's the day they face Scotland in Jacksonville, Florida

Today's the day we take the win and move on to the next match.

Today's the day that Howard will shine, Landon will lead, goals will be scored, and timely tackles will be made.

Today's the day we sit down with friends and fellow soccer fans and cheer on the home team.

Today's the day we invite someone new to come along and experience the power of a soccer match.

Today's the day they'll get a free cold one to enjoy while watching the sport we so desperately love and the team we'd follow to the ends of the earth (or Brazil!).

Today's the day we ask a non-soccer fan to join our footballing family.

The Free Beer Movement is about spreading the love of American soccer to all corners of the nation and no day is better than today. Today, the pride and joy of our nation's game takes the field in order to continue its push towards the greatest sporting spectacle of all-time, the World Cup.

The past, present, and future of American soccer all take the field today to join in one cause, to win, and to move on to the next level.

It is days like this we, as American soccer fans embrace, as our national team fights for our country's continued respect on the international stage and to stake a claim as the best team in North and Central America.

Games like today are bigger than any game; bigger than any MLS game, and bigger than your son or daughter's kick around in the park.

Our local colors blend. There are no more yellow and black of the Columbus Crew or orange and white of the Houston Dynamo or the black and red of DC United; today there is only RED, WHITE, and BLUE.

These are the days that our nation's best and brightest shine on the field for 90 minutes. For themselves, for soccer, but mostly for you… the American fan and their country… the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

These are the days that you have to get up as a soccer fan in America.

So grab you friends, grab those soccer fans, grab those ones you want to become soccer fans, and most importantly grab some really cold beers because today's the day we support our National Team and our national game we love so much.

Check out all the great FBM gear in our “Swag Store”.

Tags: American Outlaws, News, USMNT, USWNT, World Cup

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.

Less-Than-Serious-But-Just-As-Important-Questions


 

FBM: Do you ever give you brother, (MLSSoccer.com and Goal.com 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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