Thursday, July 24, 2008

Soccer Condoms

If you don't want to buy fancy socks from mega companies like Adididas and Nike, you can always improvise. Like these folks in South Africa who are using condoms to hold up their socks.

As part of their pre-match kitting up, some Cape Town soccer players are slipping on condoms on their feet, so that their socks can stay up longer during matches. These creative sportsmen have discovered an innovative way of using condoms to secure and keep up their football socks, in the absence of expensive soccer socks, elastic or rubber bands. Condoms strewn on sportsfields in informal settlements have, of late, become a common sight. That they can be obtained free is an added bonus.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Just Say No To Ping Pong, Landon

Chris Courtney over at Letters From Vagabondia takes a quick look at Landon Donovan's overtures of making a move away from the MLS. He points out something that I don't hear enough these days, that the English Premiership plays a style that would be best called "ping pong". Alright, Chris is much more diplomatic about it. He eludes to how the style of play doesn't lend itself well to players like Michael Ballack and Andrei Shevchenko. I would add to that list players like Hernan Crespo, Juan Sebastian Veron, and others. It's a style that emphasizes closing down on the player with the ball at the expense of time on the ball and positioning. There are nice one touch passes out there but too often you'll find players scrambling to get a foot or head on the ball only for it to go to an opposing player scrambling to get a foot or head on the ball and then yet again an player on the other team scrambling to get a foot..... get the picture? Ping pong. Let's hope Landon lands someplace where they're more concerned about the beauty part of the game.

Monday, July 21, 2008

MLS Original Players (Updated)

A while ago I mention that Jaimie Moreno technically wasn't an MLS original. He joined DC United after the 1996 season was underway. With Tony Sanneh retiring from the game after his 2007 sting with the Colorado Rapids it appears that there are 5 players left that were with the league on it's first day. There are :

  • Diego Gutierrez - Chiacgo Fire
  • Jesse Marsch - Chivas USA
  • Steve Ralston - New England Revolution
  • Ante Razov - Chivas USA
  • Zach Thornton - New York Red Bulls

Of these only Steve Ralston and Jesse Marsch have played every year in the league. Diego Gutierrez was with Kansas City in 1997. Unfortunately he missed the entire season due to a knee injury. Zach Thorton was not in the MLS in 2004 having left on a free to Benefica. And Ante Razov wasn't around for much of the 2001 season having joined Spanish club Racing de Ferrol.

Diego Gutierrez mulled retirement after the 2007 ended. He came back for one more season. Given the age of these guys, enjoy seeing them play while you can. It's likely that 2008 will be the last season for a few other of these guys.