Pele Coming to Philadelphia for Soccer Convention

pete-940px

The greatest soccer star of all time is coming to Philadelphia next month.

The National Soccer Coaches Association of America announced Pele will attend the group’s annual convention in Philadelphia next month.

The NSCAA says Pele will be at several events at the convention, the world’s largest annual gathering of soccer coaches. He’ll also be shilling for G-Form, a Providence-based sports gear company that recently started selling shin guards.

Read more »

Philadelphia Union Reach U.S. Open Cup Final

The above tweet is not a typo. The Philadelphia Union are in the championship! “Already?” you might be asking. “It’s only August! Doesn’t the soccer season run into the fall?” Yes, it does. And the Union still sit in fifth place MLS’ Eastern Conference. But the team is also in the championship!

For the uninitiated, let’s explain: After the the game ended 1-1 in regulation and extra time, the Union defeated FC Dallas, 4-3, in a penalty shootout in the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup. C’mon! Even if you’re not that interested in soccer, as a Philadelphian you should always get excited for wins over teams from Dallas.

So, yeah, the U.S. Open Cup. Soccer is weird: Domestic soccer leagues run concurrently with a completely separate cup competition, which in the U.S. is a straight knockout competition. Yes, if you’re a soccer fan you get to look at brackets all year! It’s fun. Winning the U.S. Open Cup wouldn’t be as prestigious as qualifying for the playoffs and winning the MLS Cup, but it counts as an all-important “domestic trophy” nonetheless. (Yes, another cool thing about soccer is there are several chances to win championships in a season.)

Read more »

Photos: Philadelphians Gather to Watch World Cup Final

That was a fun month, wasn’t it? Whether you enjoy soccer or not, the World Cup is a great every-four-years excuse to leave work early and maybe pay attention to a game featuring players you probably haven’t heard of. And though the U.S. went out in the Round of 16, all in all it was a fun month of occasional day-drinking and semi-occasional goal-scoring.

Yesterday’s World Cup Final, which saw Germany eek out a 1-0 victory over Argentina with a goal in the second extra time actually drew pretty big crowds to public viewing parties in Philadelphia. And not just at The Canstatter Club in the Far Northeast!

Read more »

America’s World Cup Dream Is Dead. So What?

Where to Watch the World Cup ... By Country

No, America won’t be playing when the World Cup resumes this afternoon. But who cares?

I’m still watching the World Cup because I want to see Germany’s colossal back line pummel Brazilian strikers. I still tune in because I want to watch a disciplined Dutch team try to keep up with the creativity of Argentina. I’m still watching because I cannot wait to see who steps onto the pitch in Rio this Sunday to take home the title.

Like me, a record-breaking number of Americans have continued to watch matches after our team’s tragic loss — but look closely and you can call the bluff. Moments after our loss, I could hear American fans saying, “Does this mean I can stop pretending to care about soccer?”

Read more »

Kyle Beckerman’s Engagement Photos Make Me Ashamed to Be an American

USA midfielder Kyle Beckerman following the game against Portugal during the 2014 World Cup at Arena Amazonia. Photo |  Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

USA midfielder Kyle Beckerman following the game against Portugal during the 2014 World Cup at Arena Amazonia. Photo | Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I’m a big soccer fan. I was a big soccer fan even before this World Cup. I love watching soccer on TV. (I know — weird, right?) I get into arguments with my husband over Michael Bradley. I think Kyle Beckerman is the hottest thing since sliced bread.

Hold on. Make that “I thought” and “was.” Because I just saw Kyle Beckerman’s engagement photos, and I’ve changed my mind. Read more »

WATCH: Philadelphians React as U.S. Wins World Cup Thriller

In the team’s World Cup opener yesterday, the United States scored just 34 seconds into the match, then essentially stood around and watched for 80 minutes or so as Ghana controlled possession.

But Clint Dempsey’s first-minute goal held up for a while, despite recording 21 shots (though only 8 were on goal). But Andre Ayew — from what I know from soccer, Ghanians have great names — poked one past Tim Howard in the 82nd minute.

Read more »

Five Tips for Faking Your Way Through the “Dreaded Soccer Conversation”

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

Statistically speaking, if you live in America you are probably not a dedicated fan of soccer, aka “footy” or “The Beautiful Game,” as your one friend who studied abroad in London for a semester and came back wearing scarves all the time calls it. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s coming, to a Laundromat, elevator, coffee line or bar stool near you — the Dreaded Soccer Conversation (DSC).

A recurring challenge for casual observers, getting caught in a DSC is a near-sure thing. The major distinction here is that while boorish soccer haters welcome the chance to blather on about how prissy and phony they think the game is (“They don’t even have touchdowns, bro!”), noobs just want to get through it without looking like idiots. With the 2014 World Cup fully upon us, there’s simply no time to master the nuances of the sport and its culture beyond the most rudimentary observations (“They can’t use their hands, that’s crazy!”). That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to faking your way through a DSC as painlessly as possible.

Read more »

Where to Watch the World Cup … By Country

world-cup-2014-940

This Thursday, the 2014 World Cup will kick off in Brazil and on televisions worldwide. Though it may be a far ways away from Philadelphia, do not to fear, local bars are gearing up to celebrate with their teams right here. From England to Japan and various countries in between, we’ve come up with a list of places to watch each game by country.

Here’s what we came up with for » 

Union Fire Manager John Hackworth

The Philadelphia Union today fired manager John Hackworth. Philadelphia/Chester’s soccer team, which has only been to the playoffs once in its five seasons, is 3-7-6 this year. The Union average 0.94 points per game, third-worst in all of MLS.

Assistant Jim Curtin will take over for Hackworth. He’s a native of the Philly suburbs, having grown up in Oreland, and played for the Chicago Fire in the early 2000s. He also played soccer for Villanova. He won two MLS Cups as a player.

Read more »

« Older Posts