Liking Live Soccer TV a Little More

And that’s thanks to the one-stop newsletter they put out – every Friday by the look of it.  I have to say, that makes me feel a little better.  And the layout ain’t too shabby.

BONUS: Funny link I found through a list of the top 5 hottest female hockey players in the collegiate ranks.  Tell me if you notice something of a theme among the players (psst….look at their hair).  And the name of the site on which it’s posted, The Wicked Wrister….well, let’s just say that sounds different to hockey fans than it might to the layman.

Me being me, I ambled down to the comments where I noticed some dissent as to who belongs in the Top 5.  So, armed with Google, and the names of the colleges, I thought I’d check out the unhonored competition.  First was Emily Kranz, who plays for the University of Wisconsin.  The only image I found under that name wasn’t so flattering and, for all I know, that’s not even our Emily.  Wanting another look, I tried to find Ms. Franz on the U of Wiscahnsin women’s hockey site, but didn’t find so much as her name…and I checked down to the B-team and C-team.

Figuring Wiscahnsin Hockey wasn’t working, I thought I’d take my chances with finding Jenna Cowan from the University of Maine.  That went a little better – and, again, do note the hair color…the theme persists.

Totally side-tracked by now, I thought, “Hmm…what would happen if you typed some random person’s name into a Google image search with the filters off?”  Didn’t think it would take long to hit something NSFW…a suspicion that only seemed more plausible when Jenna Jameson’s name cropped up early in the search.  To my surprise, it took till the sixth page…and it wasn’t Jenna Jameson.

Anyway, that’s some dumb stuff I learned yesterday.  And now you know it too.

Random, Personal Gripe

So, today, I made my latest attempt to set a VCR.  The plan was to record Jamaica v. Costa Rica.  The plan has fallen through.

Of my past, oh, six attempts to program the VCR to record, five have failed.  I have left the cable box on the wrong channel.  I have forgotten to turn off the VCR.   I have set the wrong time – as happened today.  I have just flat-out forgotten to do anything at all.

When I was younger, I used to get such a kick out of watching high school teachers and, especially, college professors struggle to make their VCR work.  I have laughed with my friends about how, having mastered a tape recorder, these people should have no trouble with the VCR.  Oh, how we laughed.

Today, I am that teacher.  I am that college professor.  I am a freakin’ moron.  Or, just possibly, has it always been nothing more than a function of age?

And, yeah, I know the punchline to all this is, what the fuck am I doing still using a VCR?  And this one eats tapes like Kobayashi eats frickin’ hot dogs.

So, no Jamaica/Costa Rica game to view or pick apart.  On the upside, this should leave plenty of time to positively dissect U.S. v. Mexico.

Son of

Thanks to a comment left by led blimp, it’s possible the predecessor to is up and running.  Even this isn’t what came out of the purchase of the legendary Oliver Tse’s tv-following service, it looks a bit of all right.

It’s taking a little getting used to the layout, and it may not yet be fully operational (but, hey, the 3/4 completed Death Star was nothing to trifle with), but I’ll be giving it a chance.

Why One Must Watch Soccer Games and Closely

I happened across a quote today that sums up pretty nicely, to my eyes anyway, what makes soccer such an involving spectator sport.  It’s one of those things you wish you could show to all the soccer-bashers out there, to show them what makes this sport seem not so much unique as intense.  That’s significant because, of all aspects of the game, you get the feeling that the intensity of the game translates last to non-soccer people – e.g.,  it’s the thing they get last about the game.  Anyway, here’s the quote (it came out of this article, which happens to be about the U-Mass’ run toward the NCAA College Cup):

“‘I remember looking up at the clock, and I think there were 24 minutes left and it was still 0-0,’ [U-Mass coach Sam] Koch said. ‘Yes, we had the advantage on shots [21-9], we had the advantage on possession, but the game could quickly change. One breakaway and you could be down 1-0, no matter what you’ve been doing. The closer we got to the end of the game with a 0-0 score, the more anxiety I was feeling.'”

Even if “intensity” might not capture the concept perfectly, what “Coch” Koch describes does.  I know that a soccer-bashers, like, say, a cop writing you a speeding ticket, respond poorly to reasoned argument.  But the “nothing happens” sentiment bespeaks a kind of ignorance about the game.  Something is always happening.  And that “something” can prove pivotal in a flash.

And here’s another theory: the minute someone gets this, they become a fan.  Or at least a quiet by-stander.

Sweden 1-0 U.S. – Grudgingly Acknowledged

For the record, the U.S. Men’s team (Yanquis) lost to Sweden today…and….well, so what?

On one level, the general silence on this seems refreshing; that goes double with regard to “what-it-all-means” freak-outs.  What does this mean?  Not a lot.  We lost to a decent European team in Europe; that’s not new.  And had we won, even in a blowout, that wouldn’t have meant a lot either.  Put it this way: if the people that tuned into this game witnessed some kind of turning point in U.S. soccer history, would they know it?  England coming out of its shell to play the Magic Magyars this ain’t.

By posting previews this morning, I incurred the obligation of recording the results for posterity – at least that’s what my stupid brain is telling me.  So, here’s the best item I saw today:’s running commentary.  Even there, the problems they’re describing – problems with scoring, possession, building the attack, etc. – shouldn’t be news to the kind of person who found this site.  Something else they (whoops…Ian Plenderleith and J Hutcherson) touch on – finding the next generation of reliable defenders – strikes me as the biggest dilemma for the National Team program.  Or, put another way, that strikes me as not just the most immediate dilemma, but the one Bob Bradley or anyone else has a chance in hell of solving in the near-term; the stuff with scoring, tactics, etc. – that’s just part of the learning curve.

We’ll get there.  At least I think we will.  But I also doubt a friendly will serve as the occasion for telling us we made it.

Get yer U.S. v. Sweden Previews, he-ah!*

(*That’s supposed to be a phonetic representation of the peanut-guy at a baseball game shouting “here.” Yeah, I know, great choice of images.)

While I’m a little perversely proud of my decision to pass on the United States’ Men’s (Yanquis) game against Sweden, thereby missing my first U.S. friendly since God-knows-when, I’ll post as many previews for the game as I can find up to the 11:30 a.m. (PST) kick-off.

Luis Bueno – A heavy Bob Bradley/Yanquis struggles playing in Europe angle

Ives Galarcep – Another edition of Ives’ roster game

Jeff Carlisle – Does his own roster prediction schtick – Tactics, line-ups, players to watch, etc.

I’ll post more if I find ’em.

Leroy Lita hurts himself stretching…

Leroy LitaReading F.C. may be without forward Leroy Lita for the Premiership opener against Manchester United on Sunday.

He suffered a muscle injury while stretching in bed.

Boss Steve Coppell told the Evening Post: “Leroy is in a great deal of pain. He woke up and stretched while in bed and he has done something to his leg. It is not an injury that should be ridiculed or made light of.”


Telling bloggers not to ridicule stupid injuries is like telling a 3-year old to keep his hands out of the cookie jar.

Not gonna happen.

Lita will get no sympathy from me. He cheated participated in the U-21 Euro Cup when he was 22-years-old.

Karma, it seems, was a little late.

About (One of) the Author(s)

As noted earlier, I thought I’d throw out an introductory post to kind of set the tone for what I hope to do in the future for this space. I’ll begin with a little about me:

– I have no real credentials of which to speak. The highest official playing level I ever “achieved” was junior varsity on a fairly weak high school team (Pullman, Washington’s first-ever high school soccer team, for the record). The highlight of that experience was probably the own-goal I scored in what may or may not have been a tournament final of some sort; I celebrated the occasion by bowing to the home crowd…and how they cheered…

– I find players more interesting for what they do than who they are. I feel a little guilt about this, but don’t think I should. I mean, I’m sure they’re fine, interesting human beings – or, rather, I doubt a cross-section of soccer players is any more or less personable and witty than the population as a whole – but it’s not like I’m paying to see them give spoken word performances, right? I’ve got other professionals for that…

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MLS: The Week (18) That Was

Ah, my first post in the new digs…

I’ll explain myself in a post later today, but want to start with the goods – specifically, a grand, vague post on the just-completed Week 18 in Major League Soccer (MLS), one that encompasses and attempts to make sense of all the action. Those familiar with my previous work know by now that I’m a stickler for disclosure, which, in this case, requires a frank admission that I can’t say I watched a single game from first kick-to-whistle. Instead, I watched big chunks of two games and all of one; and each of those suffered frequent interruptions. I’ll acknowledge this in the text by noting “hiccups” brought on by family/chores with a “_____”, while the several mental omissions associated with watching a game after coming home from a party will be denoted with “$#*)@.”

One more thing: there’s some kind of science of first impressions, something about the fixity of initial impressions and their resistance to contrary information; I tend to bang out these week overviews in that spirit, writing about the games based on either first-hand observation and opinion or simple gut reactions to the scores and highlights. OK, that’s it, I think. Just thought I’d be open with everyone…
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Site Opens Monday

Thanks for coming to Center Holds It. The site will begin posting on Monday August 6th and will have a great preview of this years upcoming Premiership season as well as the latest on the MLS from this past weekend.

The next few days will give us a bit of time to get comfortable in our new home. Much like Leeds in the 3rd division.

Also check out our Premiership Fantasy League near the banner and sign up today to play.

See you all Monday.