I’m really enjoying these blogs and thought you’d like them to. THe links go back a few months because I had a delay in publishing this, but I’m still reading and enjoying them, so found some more recent stuff to share on that point.
First site: The Vipers’ Nest
If you’re a fan of the Red Bulls, Matt Conroy’s site covers them extensively, including games, players etc. They’re also generous with embedding videos, which is great :). Here are a couple of posts I enjoyed on the teams’ past seasons.
This post covers the start of the Red Bulls’ 2014 season, as the team and fans prepare for the home opener. After reviewing the team’s first game, a loss on the road to Vancouver, the author takes a look at lineup changes likely to improve its performance. The post finishes by offering a pair of other writers’ thoughts on the season to-date, as well as the author’s own enthusiastic prediction for a win in the Red Bulls’ first home game this season.
This post serves as a review of the Red Bulls’ 2013 season, focusing on individual performances. Three writers each give their picks for Team MVP, Best Newcomer, Biggest Surprise, Question Mark, and $#!+ List, highlighting the best – and worst – of the Red Bulls’ roster. The discussions on each of these selections provides an interesting diversity of opinion on many of the elements that contributed to the team’s Supporters’ Shield-winning 2013 campaign.
Related site I like: SeeingRedNY podcast on the Bulls.
FutFanatico is another great one. It’s written from the perspective of Elliott Turner, a parent/fan/footie journalist, and is a fresh look that is often missing from our focus on pro leagues. See e.g. his mockery of the repetitive journalism during the World Cup. It doesn’t hurt to have some humor:
“These patterns then help a coach to change his approach or a defender to smartly play a forward in key situations. Why did teams hack Shaq? Field goal percentage. Why do defenders flaunt their fleshy shoulders near the mouth of Luis Suarez? Devouring bite mark percentage.” Here are a few others I’ve liked:
Taking a break from providing commentary on the world of professional soccer, the author uses this post to explain why he will no longer be covering the athletic career of his seven year old son, Junito as he enters the early stages of youth soccer competition. The writer discusses his own mentality using some of the same analysis usually reserved for seasoned pros, mixed with the patient observation of a parent and the mild paranoia of a sports fan. This gives readers a refreshing and humorous look at one way the sport has come to have a very personal meaning, and one with which many readers can no doubt identify.
This post evaluates Spanish footballer Pedro Rodriguez by drawing a parallel between his play style and that of Steve Kerr, a professional basketball player on the championship teams of the 90s most closely associated with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Likewise, Rodriguez is not the star of his team, but the author asserts that he manages to make an important contribution, like Kerr, through a combination of positioning, timing, and luck, helping both role players put themselves in position to best leverage the presence of the bona fide star athletes playing alongside them. Video is provided to further support the idea that these two men, different in many ways, nonetheless share some fundamental and important similarities. The comparison is thought-provoking and underscores some of the athletic merits universal to success at the professional level, regardless of the specific sport being played.
Ashley Handelaar writes this international, entertaining blog. I especially liked this interview with former player Neil ‘Razor” Ruddock, as well as the following.
This post is part seven in a series on the rise and fall of previously top-rated soccer prospects. Unlike the typical article covering the current crop of rising stars, this post takes a look at the players who never fulfilled their potential, with this installment of the series focusing on Andy Van Der Meyde. His early career is covered, including his rise to professional competition, but the writing focuses on his continual inability to rise above mediocrity and become an integral part of his team. The post covers his eventual decline, both professionally and personally, referencing his 2012 biography, ending this in-depth look at a player few are likely to have given much thought to in many years.
The first post in this series on the status of professional soccer in the United States covers the most visible organization, Major League Soccer (MLS). With a focus on the future of the league, the author discusses changes in store for the league in 2014, including roster changes for Toronto FC, and the addition of two new teams for 2015. The piece ends with some deliberations on the future of league star Thierry Henry, and how the addition of a new franchise in New York may impact his career.