MLSLIVE.tv Is Up!

Yippee! I feel like that guy! We can all subscribe to more online soccer programming than any of us should need! Divorce, ho!

To be honest, the motivation for this post has at least as much to do with advertising the wonderfully scatalogical post I composed on this below as the announcement itself. And to, once again, give props to the woman at MLS HQ who answered my call.

Ah, off to waste money so’s I can waste time…and to think I almost missed the Crew’s opener.

CCC08: DC v. Harbour View Talking Points (Some Pointed)

I laid down the big picture perspective on DC United’s 1-all draw with Jamaica’s Harbour View FC (HVFC) last night. Bottom line, DC did well enough for a two-legged game – especially one this early in the season and all that implies – but clearly faded down the stretch. And, to give commenter Longshoe his due (who writes over on Who Ate All the Cupcakes; worth checking out), United let up a little early, whether by fatigue or tactical adjustment.

Below are some bulleted talking points that come to me…um, in the absence of the notes I took last night. One last thing to note: the visual contrast between last night’s games.

– The Harbour View game looked and sounded like a United Soccer Leagues-1 game. The small, quiet, almost milling crowd, the crappy, bouncy pitch, even the camera-work: all spelled “minor league.” No offense intended to the good people of Jamaica…besides, your team played above the visuals.

– There’s a lot to love in the Jamaican player; even the defenders look comfortable and inventive on the ball – an oddly tentative second-half spell on defense notwithstanding. Even tactically, the Jamaicans moved the ball well, though only at their best outside DC’s attacking third. They switched the ball well and often and, particularly through Robert Scarlet on their right, found plenty of space down the flanks. Work on their crossing and they’d have something.

– Apart from Scarlet, “The Two Jermaines,” Jermaine Hue and Jermaine Taylor, showed pretty well, even if they too often received the ball in a swarm of black-and-red clad defenders; again, I blame the crossing. Continue reading

Praise for Peers. Oh, and the CONCACAF Champions Cup Schedule

I don’t have anything to say, at least at this time, about the schedule for the CONCACAF Champions Cup, which was released today…or thereabouts. No, I just want to thank Mike H from My Soccer Blog for visiting the official sites, reading the god-awful press releases, and posting them in a nice, easy-to-read, even eye-pleasing, format. So, thanks, Mike H.  Here’s to you (and ignore that lady in the front row…don’t know what’s wrong with her).

He even posted the TV times, as did Soccer Insider’s Steve Goff (though the link he provides comes out as pdf); choose the format that makes you happiest.

The TV thing is an issue – or at least a potential one.  Let’s just say I’m less concerned with who plays whom just now than I am with insuring that I have cable on March 11…stupid life….

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 Fark.com: 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.

Soccer on TV: How It’s Done and How Many Watch*

* OK, one game.  I’ll get to that below…no complaining; you see how I ordered these things in the title.

USSoccerplayers.com ran a nifty interview with a guy named Michael Cohen.  He’s the…let’s see…executive producer for Major League Soccer (MLS) and Soccer United Marketing (SUM) – basically, he coordinates what gets on the air soccer-wise.  Or something very much like that.

It’s an interesting piece, not least because it’s covers things that aren’t often noticed, but two items most interested me in that interview.  In no particular order…and these are both Cohen’s answers to questions:

“In a perfect situation, we’d have flexibility in our schedule.  Maybe that will come down the road when we have all the stadiums under our control.  Then, if we have something scheduled in September or October, then we can make that switch.”

Whew.  Thank god they’re thinking about that. Wasn’t always sure.  Hopefully, we get “down the road” fast; there’s nothing worse than watching two teams that have made the playoffs on the final weekend of the regular season when you know there’s another, hotter game being played.  Next: Continue reading

Labor Intensive Life After Soccertv.com + Once More Into the Breach?

As a lot of people seem to be finding out, soccertv.com went “ad” again yesterday (e.g. it looks like poop and tells the reader nothing, but where to buy stuff). That led quite a few people back to a couple old items I posted on soccertv.com’s future. Trouble is, neither post offered much information. The first was just me seizing up mentally at losing of the most reliable, one-stop listing of soccer broadcasts. The second pointed to a possible successorlivesoccer.tv – (and I was behind the curve on that; The Fullback Files beat me), but that site is 1) hard to navigate and 2) it doesn’t always seem current.

Loathe to give eager people so little information, I’m going to post the only ad hoc solution that occurs to me in the wake of soccertv.com’s apparent, hopefully temporary, demise. Fox Soccer Channel provides printable schedules on this page. Elsewhere, ESPN has a separate TV listings section that you navigate by clicking the relevant day. It requires a little more foreknowledge from the reader, but it is what it is. Bottom line, go to the multiple sources and hope they provide – and that it’s something coherent, easily navigable, etc.

Speaking of ESPN’s thing, it was the failure of livesoccer.tv to recognize the existence of ESPN Classic that compelled a deeper search of ESPN’s site. As we all know by now (and we do, right?), next week’s Pan-Pacific Challenge will air on ESPN Classic. Thanks be unto God, I get that channel. There’s something else I learned: the Pan-Pacific Challenge airs at the butt-crack of dawn Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)…assuming I’m reading the schedule correctly. So…what’s that mean for Pacific Standard Time (PST), my time-zone of choice? According to this time-zone converter, we’re eight hours behind GMT. That moves the 4:00 a.m. kick-off for LA Galaxy v. Gamba Osaka to…8:00 p.m. Wednesday night? Is that right? Is PST just two hours ahead of Hawaiian time (you’ll see from the “Pan-Pacific Challenge” link that LA v. Gamba kicks off at 6:00 p.m. local time).

Well, assuming I have this right, I won’t need to set the VCR. Thank god for that, in light of my recent struggles with outdated technology. But, if I’m wrong, and I do have to operate my tape-eating VCR once more, I’m not afraid. I’m a big boy. And I can do it.

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.