Ronald McDonald, Unlike the ESPN Clowns, Gets Women Are Part of the Game and the Cup

Thanks to the always brilliant Washington Post Soccer Insider a/ka/ Steven Goeff, who you should be reading every day, I discovered McDonald’s Trick Shot Ad.

And you know what was included.,. people carrying that extra “X” Chromosome.   Girls were doing tricks, playing pick-up matches and generally being part of the game.. YOU KNOW REPPING REALITY. They did not have to sacrifice their femininity for athleticism, nor did they need to be sexed up, silent accessories or invisible. Nope, they were right there at the heart of the game, like we should be..

Thanks McDonalds… Now I want some fries..

Advertisements

USMNT Open Training Yesterday… Photo heavy and Sunil Speaks

IMG_1582It was cold, it was fun… videos coming later

Sunil seemed to completely disregard my concerns about the lack of female apparel but did say that he would talk to Nike for me.  I said they weren’t the only ones ignoring fans.   He tried to write it off that next year for the women’s world cup there would be more stuff. He agreed when I pointed out that doesn’t help me support the men’s team this year. We’ll see.. oh and nothing will change

Seems Flickr and WordPress no longer play nice.. so here is the link to all my flickr based photo of the Open Training

Landon Donovan, Julian Green and the Cyclical Nature of Sports Stars

NOTE:  This started out as a look at Berti Vogts moving into the line of fire as his role of World Cup 2014 Sacrificial Lamb requires, but I found these articles on his relationship with Donovan and it led to this post instead.    That one is still coming

Capture
     The new look of USMNT, Jan 2014

Now that the Donovan bombshell has dropped and the media is spiraling into group-think drawn meltdown, realizing USSF is not taking Brazil as anything more than the best World Cup 2018 Prep-Camp, enter Berti Vogts into the consciousness of US Soccer fans.

There is much hand-wringing about the timing of the list’s release. Why not wait until at least after the Azerbaijan match?

I think the timing was planned very specifically because they wanted the initial bombshell to hit and the fact Vogts was Donovan’s coach at  Bayer Leverkusen, during LD’s first European misadventure, to percolate into a firestorm of misdirected rage. What’s a sacrificial lamb if not to be slaughtered to the mob of mass hysteria?

In researching  their relationship,  I found some intriguing quotes from the time and some rather interesting parallels.

An 18 year old Donovan on the Vogts appointment and what it meant for his career:

SoccerTimes: Have your chances for first team play changed under new Coach Berti Vogts?

Donovan: “Yes, I’m optimistic. Berti is a great coach and he has been giving a chance to some of the younger players. We’ve had three reserve players including two 19-year-olds dress with the first team in the past few weeks. If I did not get that red-card suspension I think I might have played or at least been a sub.”

Soccer Times, Dec. 13, 2000

Donovan was banned 6 matches when playing with their reserves for talking back to the Ref.   He claimed that he said one thing and the ref heard something else.  A review panel adjudicated him a six match ban.

“I’ve heard [Vogts] says he likes me a lot, wants to integrate me into his plans and whatnot, but I haven’t played, so I mean … I’d rather him hate me and I played every game.”  

Soccer America via CNNSI.com, Feb. 7, 2001.

 Bayer Leverkusen was not playing him and wanted him, at 18 years old, to play in the German 4th division… um stop when this sounds somewhat familiar.  18 year-old American in Germany, playing in the 4th Division, trying to get into the USMNT first team, kid has a lot of hype but not a lot of real experience.

.. no not familiar at all...

That same 18 year old, Donovan announced, “I think I should be on every roster,” he sa[id], quickly adding a “no, just kidding[,]” when asked if, although he was not regularly playing for his club, should he get a national team call-up to the U.S. v. Mexico WCQ in C-Bus (the first dos a cero).  He had played in a couple of friendlies and with the U-20s but this was to be his big breakthrough.  

USMNT coach, at the time, and current coach at the Galaxy, Bruce Arena gave him playing time at the senior national team without having been playing regularly with his club side and not at all with their first team. In the process he took the place of more established and successful players.  Still Not Sounding Familiar Correct? 

 The reality is 2014 is a watershed generational shift within the USMNT.  USSF has known it was necessary for a while but I believe they expected it to be a softer, longer transition that allowed for more graceful exits and  less brutally blunt.

 I think that was the plan until Dec. 6, 2013..  the Draw that Changed It All.

With US Soccer reeling from the disastrous draw, they decided to accelerate the transition.  If we cannot advance out of the group, then the next best thing is to allow it to be a training ground for the future of the program. Longterm health of the program is more vital than any player’s ego.

In all the media/fan melting down over Donovan’s exclusion, what has almost been completely ignored is that the young players included this time are getting the necessary experience to protect the future of the game in America.  Without it, the core of the future team would be World Cup virgins while in their prime in 2018.

Looking at the 23 Named Roster, their age in 2018 and their current WC experience:

  • Dempsey, Wondo – 35 [Dempsey has extensive WC exp]
  • Guzan – 34 [extensive WC experience, but zero game time experience]
  • Cameron – 33 [no WC exp]
  • Zusi – 32 [no WC exp]
  • Bradley, Besler, Bedoya, Johnson – 31 [only Bradley has WC experience]
  • Gonzalez – 30 [no WC exp]
  • Altidore – 29 [2010 WC exp]
  • Diskerud, Johannsson, Chandler – 28 [no WC exp]
  • Brooks, Yedlin – 25 [No WC exp]
  • Green – 23 [No WC exp]

Those are the players with a shot of heading to another Cup, now for the remainder of the squad.  All these players bring unique skill sets the younger kids can learn lessons, Klinnsman and clearly, USSF believe are important.  It is not necessarily technical skills but work ethics, commitment, dedication, perseverance, focus, basically all of the things Klinnsman talks about all the time. All those things that kept Donovan off the list.

Skipping the sense of entitlement and absurd notion that ANY player, “deserves” to be on the roster.  THIS IS NOT A TESTIMONIAL MATCH, THIS IS THE WORLD CUP. ONLY THOSE WHO EARN IT, DAY IN – DAY OUT, DESERVE IT.

I have never met Klinnsman for more than a 2 second, “hello, good luck” greeting. Even I know, he hates nothing more than spoiled, entitled, “stars” who half-ass their efforts.

This Cup is a huge opportunity for the young ones to learn and absorb the experience.  It means that they will not be as wide-eyed and awed the next time.

Additionally, it means that those guys who worked their asses off to prove how much they wanted to go are rewarded.  They get the professional chance of a lifetime. What he is doing is taking a team of kids and Rudys instead of a prima donna or two. There is an enormous amount for young players to learn from those Rudy players about never giving up, never giving in and always giving your all.

Thomas Rogan told his American Samoan team in Next Goal Wins, that he would, “cut off [his] own penis just to play in a Word Cup Qualifier.” Something tells me Beckerman, Davis, and Wondo agree.

As hard as it is to accept, it is transition time for US Soccer.   New blood, new talents, new challenges and new heights of success to reach (just not this year, presumably). Of course, they might shock us all.

For those mourning Donovan’s perfectly timely national team demise, “for,” Julian Green, ask yourselves this, “If Arena hadn’t moved the team on to Donovan from those more qualified, experienced, and, “deserving,” team members, where would this program be today?   It is Green’s time, Yedlin’s time.. it is time to move on…

My mantra in life comes from a tea bag, “THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO COPE WITH CHANGE, IS TO HELP CREATE IT.”  That is exactly what USSF is doing, coping with the inevitable change by forcing its creation.  It is the best and most realistic reaction to the worst WC draw in US World Cup history (that is not even hyperbole)

My advice, get on board with this changing of the guard, because it is happening with or without you…

That said, Congrats on Finally breaking the MLS Scoring Record Landon

#YesAllWomen – US Soccer FINALLY Licenses Female Fan Appeal Option FAILS HARDEST YET [also Hubris]

#YesAllWomen - US Soccer FINALLY Licenses Female Fan Appeal Option FAILS HARDEST YET [also Hubris]

Apparently, US Soccer has released a female fan appeal option at Forever 21.. I have seen it, tried it on and let me just say I will supply the matches for the metaphorical scorching of the US Soccer House covered Earth.

Also met Hubris and let’s just say, we cannot be friends. I got what I asked for, well not even a little bit. I asked for female fan apparel options that did not SEXUALIZE female fans.

Instead US Soccer doubled-down on misogyny and sexism in fan support and worst of all they aimed it at young girls.

They ONLY female fan option is a t-shirt style top, with arms and sides cut out down to the bottom which is midriff bearing. It exposes a female’s entire chest and back, breasts on display for days. You can see from the picture, it is basically just a bib.  Guys still get fully made shirt options (and they also get options, as in plural, MORE THAN ONE and none are sexualized)

So girls and women either wear this with a bra (sports one, more safely) and it being exposed or wear something under it like a tank. Yeah, it’s a bib. Because it is a heavy t-shirt fabric, it couldn’t even really be used as a bathing suit cover-up.

What is most disturbing is that this sexist, male fantasy non-sense is being marketed (badly admittedly) to younger girls.   They are being told if you want to be a fan of US Soccer, the team of Mia, Julie, Brandi, Kristine, Abby, HAO, Carli, Alex, Syd, Hope, and Tobin, etc, etc in addition to the boys, that you can only do it in an overly sexualized state.  

Yes these clothes and this marketing is about the World Cup which starts in days but they will not magically disappear like Cinderella’s slippers.. It will still be there in Oct when the women start their own World Cup Qualifying campaign.

There are some women and girls may very well like this, especially for a gym workout wear. It is not really wearing outside the gym appropriate. The fact that it is the ONLY option for female fans is insulting.

Yes, I know that there female jerseys this cycle and possibly some t-shirts from Nike but every single, one that I have ever tied has clearly been a mismarked XL youth or smaller male. They are not cut for female bodies.

Why is US Soccer continuing to teach girls that their only fandom options are as accessories to the men in their lives or sexualized fantasies for general male fans or as mom.

WHEN THE HELL ARE WE FEMALE FANS GOING TO BE TREATED AS INDEPENDENT FANS, WORTHY BRING TREATED AS FANS, JUST FANS?

How hard it is to come up with a non-sexualized, properly designed clothing items to sell to 40+% percent of your market? Seriously, YOU ARE DISMISSING AND DISRESPECTING OVER 40% of your customers.

SUNIL, sweetie, you are an economist… how does that usually go in business?

“Beating Ghana is Our Cup Final”

Umm.. yeah so I just found this from April 20..  OUR CUP FINAL IS OUR FIRST MATCH… OUR CUP FINAL IS OUR FIRST MATCH, SO SAYS OUR COACH, HIS BOSS CONCURS 

But so we are clear, me thinking that USSF has written off Brazil is crazy talk… [although now Jeff Carlslie is saying that USSF is being realistic about World Cup chances.

Again I will take a victory lap.. for being able to read the evidence clearly laid out in front of me

 

The Full Sunil interview

Oh Today… You Delivered on Every Level..

Today has been a great day for me.. My faith in humanity restored… No not Donovan’s dismissal from camp.

I lost my wallet the other day and I went to the bank today without any idea to get new cards.  They banker felt bad for me and agreed to help me by verifying my account in many other ways.  As he was doing whatever bankers do on their computers to hook me with new cards (I lose them A LOT), he noticed a not on my account saying that my wallet was found, went to the bank to let them know it was safe and he wanted leave a way for me to contact him to get it back.

I did..  It had all my cards and my cash still in it.  This man has re-instilled my faith that people are generally good.  Now I can head to Candlestick Park without card drama (I hope).

That brings me to my BOLD PREDICTION being well, correct and the drama it caused today.  My god boys, especially who are “soccer experts,” are all a little bitter and bratty about being so publicly wrong.  I pretty much spent the afternoon taking a victory lap around the internet.  After the namecalling, belittling, trolling that I got for saying he wasn’t going in the first place, I have earned a few hours of gloating, “I told you so.”  It is not like ANYONE else had it figured out until both Klinnsman and Donovan pretty much threw it down as fact over the last few days.  Even then, the level of shock is mind-boggling.

DID YOU ALL PAY ATTENTION AT ALL WHEN KLINNSMAN SPOKE AT ALL?  I MEAN EVEN A LITTLE?

The level of sheer stupid comments that I have heard today are staggering from both strangely sycophantic fanboys and from “professional media,” who quote cannot understand how this happens or who anyone could believe all team decisions are focused first on 2018.  FOR THE RECORD, IT IS BECAUSE THE EVIDENCE USSF IS DOING JUST THAT HAS BEEN CRYSTAL CLEAR FOR MONTHS.

Even funnier than the utter shock is those who flatout dismissed the idea of Donovan not going now ginning up new analysis like they did not just have their credibility publicly beatdown.  Give it a minute, dudes..

As for the final 23… Brad Evans won the world cup and didn’t even make the plane.  Well played BRAD Well played.

I am heartbroken that TBoyd will not make the first cut but I believe that he is the first call when anyone gets injured, even one of the GK. That’s the cut that hurt the most to me..  this whole, “well they will call in Donovan when someone gets injured” NO THEY WON’T.. They will call in TBoyd, THEY BETTER CALL IN TBOYD..

As for the absurd notion that somehow, USSF and Klinnsman will care that fans are pissed in laughable.  Sunil, Jurgen and the crew knew this was coming and have been actively severing the Donovan = US Soccer image.  They are prepared for a backlash.  They know fans will be furious but they are not walking away from the team.

This is the biggest sign of the growth of US SOCCER, cutting anchors to the past in favor of sailing into the future…

NOW if you could stop being sexist dumbasses that’d be great.. thanks