Annual Invasion of the Best European Clubs in LA… Man Utd Open Training (with Pics)

Every summer LA is invaded by the, “top,” European clubs in preseason training… It has now expanded well beyond LA too.

Currently Manchester United and Real Madrid are training here and the Rangers (Scotland) were here last week.    Last night Man Utd held an open training at the Rose Bowl, where they play the Galaxy tonight.

Tickets were $20 for general admission or $300 for front row and player access for autographs.  That looked like a disorganized, unmitigated mess.

This was either Louis van Gaal’s first or second training session with the team and lord is he lively.  At one point, he was either giving directions during the scrimmage session or working on his required cheer routine for his varsity try-outs.

Additionally, Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney are adorable together.. like toddle buddies at preschool.  Very sad that I missed getting a picture of them walking arms around either’s shoulder.  Also  the team goalies look like quads… all same size, shape, coloring.

You can tell it was early, early pre-season training.. everyone seemed rusty

Here are a few pics and the 250+ more can be found at my flickr page.

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Real Madrid Celebrates La Decima With Power Pink Away Kit..Sexist/Homophobic Bastards Go All Sexist and Homophobic

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“They only care about making money,” said Josep Maria Vazquez, treasurer of the Penya Joan Gamper supporters’ group in the Catalan capital. “It’s ugly and they are taking things too far with that colour.”

“It’s not very masculine,” added Sergi Soler, a bar owner in the city centre.

 Barca Fans on the New Pink Kit

Bet Ronaldo’s boyfriend loves it

Enjoy wearing your pink top, you little lady.”

Disgusting

i was wondering if the pink kit comes with a handbag?”

Pinks for girls

All hail the the 10 times Queens of Europe !”

 A not scientifically accurate sampling of the comments section at the Daily Mail article

And the there is twitter search “real madrid gay,” which will make you hate humanity.

 

THE BIGGEST, MOST SUCCESSFUL (pipe down Milan) AND RICHEST CLUB IN THE WORLD JUST MADE THEIR SECOND COLOR THIS YEAR, HOT PINK..  HOT PINK… LIKE NOT EVEN TRYING TO HIDE IT, BOLD AS HELL, HOT PINK..

Real Madrid and Adidas (I know; I am shocked too) are celebrating La Decima by painting Europe fuchsia … and it is FABULOUS.

I’m not even a Madrid fan but I am pretty certain that I will own one by the start of next season.  Also the traditional white kits are also trimmed in the same pink and look fantastic.

Predictably, as bold as the pink is, the open sexism and homophobia that already runs rampant in soccer, especially related to European based teams, has been even more embolden.

More disheartening was how simply generic and cliched the trolling was.  There was nothing original, creative, or unique about the insults, just the usual drudgery.  The tired and true, “girlie,” and, “gay,” slurs as though being either and/or both of those things are insults that should make the receiver feel shamed and inadequate.  Breaking News: I don’t feel either of those things.
I am proud to be female… and a female sports fan.   What I am ashamed of, is these fellow,” fans,” who supposedly share my love of this game but do so in such a vile, inhumane way, using it as a weapon to promote hate and divide people.

FEMALE AND/OR GAY =/= WEAK, PATHETIC, DEGRADING, SECOND RATE, CONTEMPTIBLE, HUMILIATED, OR WHATEVER OTHER NEGATIVE STEREOTYPE THESE LOSERS WANT TO HURL.  

I get wanting to best your rival team’s fans.  That is part of sports and part of the fun of sports.  What I do not get is going attacking and abusing anyone.   I stood next to a group of Mexican fans in Columbus last September.  We joked, ribbed, argued decisions, but we did it with mutual respect and a good-natured humor between us.   We hugged it out at the end and they wished us/US well in Brazil and I wished them luck in the play-offs.  We were/are rivals, NOT ENEMIES.
The tagline for the Madrid Campaign is, “LOVE IT OR FEAR IT.”  And I love that..  you can see the fear in these responses: Fear of being Female, fear of being Gay, but mainly fear of not being accepted by society.”  It hits the nail on the head..

There are theories that the pink is designed specifically to make to the female market.  As I have said several times before, if teams want to grow their market-share, they must target female fans as we are the last new revenue stream.  (ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION SUNIL?)  The Biggest team in the World gets that it needs female fans, even if just to promote females as equal, to continue to grow their profits and their fanbase.

They won me over and I am not even a fan.

Thanks Real Madrid for treating females as equal sports fans and worthy of equal marketing and merchandising.

 

US Soccer Licenses Collection at Forever 21.. Somehow manages to screw up potential Awesomeness

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When I got this  RTed from the AO Houston into my twitter TL,  I was literally GIDDY… bouncing off the walls GIDDY. The tweet said, “Ladies AND men– hit up your local . They have a huge section of World Cup shirts, hats, tanks, scarves, etc” and it had a pic of OFFICIALLY logo-ed US Soccer items.  My dream of cute US Soccer clothes for ladies was about to be a reality.

I very quickly walked my dogs, then drove over to the nearest location at Hollywood and Highland in record time.  I found the collection, right up front was instantly torn between excited that this existed and soul-crushing despair that US Soccer had once again screwed female fans.   I realized that only part of the collection was on display and the store was not sure if they would be getting the rest of the collection.  With that, I drove to not one, but two more stores.  Only one stocked the collection but the other one had almost the same exact items.

There are two licensed shirts… one tank and one football shirt… BOTH FOR GUYS..  SERIOUSLY THEY MADE A FLIPPING DEAL WITH FOREVER-FLIPPING-21 and IT’S FOR GUYS..  HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE??? 

Ladies gets hair bows..  SERIOUSLY LADIES GET HAIR BOWS, that’s it.  Scratch that those are generic US Flags not logoed items.    THERE IS NOTHING US SOCCER LOGOed FOR LADIES..  There are unisex scarves and hats however.   It is mindbogging that a chain where approximately 190000% of its sales are to females and USSF makes the licensing deal for the MEN’S line ONLY.  Sometimes WTF doesn’t quite cover it

I know; I KNOW, it is hard to find US Soccer logo items for guys. They only have the ENTIRE Nike US Soccer collection, including every item sold at matches.  Trust me.. I have more male US Soccer t-shirts than I can count.

Forever 21 also has 3 generic US Soccer t-shirts but not with USSF logo and not sure for which gender they are.. I only saw pictures online without item descriptions.  Only the generic tanktop for ladies was available in stores.

In addition to USSF, the collection as officially licensed items from Brazilian and French national teams as well as generic for those as well as Mexico, Spain, Italy, England and German items.

These are the pics of the collection I took last night and

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Contrast this with the Victoria’S secret MLB collection which is adorable, fashionable, and allows women to proudly show their support without forced sexy, male driven fantasy attire.

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Major League Baseball Gets It… WHY DOES MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER CONTINUE TO REFUSE..

Major League Baseball Gets It... WHY DOES MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER CONTINUE TO REFUSE..

This is a quote from the LA Times, from an article on MLB’s deal with maga nail polish maker OPI to produce baseball related colors for female fans.

They also today announced a deal with Victoria’s Secret PINK to produce and sell a line of MLB clothes for female fans that are very cute and relatively affordable (Though someone needs to be getting the Wash Nats items for sale.. A.S.A.P)

 

Buzzfeed.. .gifs up Female Fan Appeal Nonsense.. IS COMPLETELY CORRECT

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BUZZFEED’S LIST ON FEMALE FANS SHOPPING FOR FANWEAR

Buzzfeed turns its powers of .gifing real life toward women trying to be fans and wearing fan apparel.  They NAIL it.    It ignores MLS/soccer but it is all still true for our sport too

ALSO PAY ATTENTION TO THIS LIST… THE 2013 Fan DEMOGRAPHIC for all major sports… MLS included.  

I’m Officially a Real Betis Fan.. They Like Female Fans so I LIKE THEM

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Their match last weekend against Getafe fell on Saturday.. aka, “International Day of the Woman.” Unlike, that vast majority of other teams in every league in the world Betis went all out to celebrate ‘Dia de la Mujer Bética’ the Day of the Betis Woman.  [Note, they did it last year too]

When I say ALL OUT… I MEAN ALL OUT.  The female centered day included:

  • Each woman could by two tickets to sit ANYWHERE open in the stadium for € 5 EACH (YES, JUST €5 )
  • A pre-match ceremony highlighting women in  different sectors of Seville society
  • Players were allowed/encouraged to have on their PLAYING jersey’s # DíadelaMujerBética and then the name of a woman of importance in their life, like mom, wife, sister, kids, girlfriend
  • Chairman’s box was almost exclusively women
  • Highlight women in the stadium supporting the team via social media posts at # DíadelaMujerBética
  • Tribute to the trophy winning ladies Betis team before kick-off
  • And highlight women working for the team and in the stadium at all different levels.
  • Special keepsakes were distributed

Current Betis board of Directors Member, Isabel Simo Rodridguez, who’s father was with Betis for some 45 years:

“Formerly, we were few women and now anyone who comes every other Sunday at Estadio Benito Villamarín can we see the number of women who come to enjoy a football game. The presence of women in football has spread not only to the fact of people attending watch games but the woman has been monopolizing various areas within the infrastructure of the Club. Hopefully sometime I have some Council administration that has more women. “

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HUGE SHOUT-OUT TO BeInSport’s Kay Murray for Tweeting about this so I could pick my team

MLS Season Opener… STILL CONFLICTED and STILL UNHAPPY..

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One of the Reasons I LOVE MLS and DC UNITED..  FIX THE REF LOCK-OUT

I ended-up renewing my Galaxy season tickets, because spending the summer without my people is honestly unimaginable.  I love them all too much to not be with them this season.  It does not easy my conflict with supporting LA Galaxy or MLS, especially with the referee situation.

It should be noted that LA Galaxy staff spent over an hour one evening discussing my concerns for the club’s supporters groups and the front office’s reaction to them.  It was a interesting and informative discussion, but still waiting for the proposed changes offered.  No idea if they will make the changes or if it is was BS to get me re-up since many are not.    Only time will tell…

Actually I am considering getting a partial season ticket package to non-Chivas USA.  I can get like 7.5 matches for $60 or something ridiculous like that.  Now that there is some interest in developing the team, it might be fun to be a part of it.. unless it does become LA Gunners then hell no.

The LA Galaxy season opener starts in about 4 hours and I have no desire to go.. My grandparents each worked 40+ years as union members in a factory’s line.  It was a hard work but it allowed them to have 11 children between them and a happy retirement with good pension and the ability to live life at a level they earned.  My grandfather died several years but my grandmother’s pension is still supporting her.  I adore them more than anyone in the world and the idea of breaking the lockout line is breaking my heart.

It feel like a boldly disrespectful slap in the face to them and all that union membership has give to them and by extension my whole family.  We are simply a UNION FAMILY regardless of the fact that the vast majority of the grandkids including me are well educated and white-collar without union membership.

If the refs were on strike, it would be no question of me not going. I would be an automatic, “HELL NO,”  and right now it is leaning that way.  However, the ProRef organization has provided the scab refs while simultaneously having their members locked out.  THIS CONFUSES ME.

I am not certain of the proper response to a lock-out in this situation is. I have asked family members and social media as well researching the Union response to the NFL ref lock-out.  I learned NFL players are members of the AFL-CIO, but cannot find out about the refs. If the refs organization is still providing the referees does that mean that I my attendance would not be the equivalent of breaking a picket line?  I need an ask-a-union-member hotline and STAT.

I honestly do not know what to do.. but I know what MLS needs to do.. GET THEIR FLIPPING ASSES TGETHER AND GET THE DEAL DONE WITH THE REFS..