Category: Soccer

Lighthearted Saturday: Global MLS

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Ever wonder how many players in the MLS are actually American born. Or maybe how many foreign players have decided that the MLS is where they can go to make money playing the game they love especially when we all know that the European leagues are where the money and talent is truly at. This weeks graphic is a map of the world highlighting MLS player’s home countries. Check it out (you probably want to click through to the full size PDF version):

Map of MLS Players
Click through for full PDF image

iPad Sports Apps

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In honor of the Apple announcement of the iPad 3 or The New iPad or iPad: The Next Generation or whatever they’re calling it, I’m going to list some of my favorite iPad sports apps.

ESPN ScoreCenter XLFree – ScoreCenter is one of the many apps that can get you the latest scores and news, but what I like about this app is the favorite teams functionality. When you start the app, you get the days games and news/video front and center for your favorite teams. Other sports/teams news crawls the ticker at the bottom, and you can just touch that to open the full story. All in all, I think ScoreCenter does a pretty good job of getting me the info I want pretty easily.

ScoreCenter Screencap
Here you can see the main layout with a few favorite teams added

ESPN iScore$9.99 – Ever wish you local beer-league softball club had readily available stats? Want to show off to all your work buddies because your daughter’s OPS is better than their son’s? ESPN’s iScore apps does all this and more. At its heart it’s a scorekeeper so the basic functionality is to track players and the game. On top of that it adds statistical analysis, live game broadcasting (to twitter and/or to a GameCenter like web app), and even a website to publish all the results. It’s available for baseball, football, and basketball.

ESPN iScore Baseball Scorekeeper
A triple down the like for Test Test. Mr. Test is a beast in this league.

MLB AtBat 2012freemium – Major League Baseball’s app continues to stand out for giving fans a great product. This year they’ve combined the free and paid versions to a freemium version. That way you only have to buy it once for both your iPhone and iPad – or you can just hook it up to your subscription and your ready to watch games on the go. Free version has scores and some game tracking, but paying will get you game audio and video highlights.

MLS MatchDay 2012freemium – Similar to MLB’s app, Major League Soccer’s app offers live game stats, tracking and video. Alerts for your favorite team are nice. Also you can track MLS clubs in outside tournaments like the CONCACAF Champions League happening right now.

Pennant$4.99 – Pennant offers a pretty and fun way to traverse baseball data from every game from 1952 – 2010. All the play-by-play and data you don’t actually need to know is right there at your fingertips. Who was batting leadoff on the day (or closest day to when) you were born? For me in Boston it was Jerry Remy and Eckersly was on the mound. Thanks Pennant – $5 well spent.

Pennant Screen
A balk!? I didn't know those even existed in 1962!

That’s all for now. Let me know if I need to run out and pick up any cool sports apps that I’m missing.

Opa! Yon Pirate Ship Floating Again

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The victory in 2004 is among the biggest shocks in sport history.

In 2004, the Greece national football team won the championship of Europe. It’s science fact. The team was a roughly 125-1 longshot with bookmakers before the tournament, and in their opening match victory over host Portugal won their first ever match in international tournament competition. Greece, if you recall, has been around for a long time.

The Pirate Ship, as they are affectionately and bafflingly known, will attempt to board and assail Sweden in Salzburg today, the second UEFA Group D game in this 2008 EURO menagerie. Their title defense is garnering all the press and rockstar adulation as “Tree Falls in Forest; No One Around”. Bookmakers listed the Greeks, in a moment of generosity, as a pre-tournament 33-1 longshot, now at least acknowledged within the realm of possibility. ??????? ????? Other group foes in the Swedes and Russians have similar odds, and the favored Spaniards’ expected dominance is so grand that they might not even have to play until the semifinals, despite the red shirted titans’ Cubs-in-October level of championship history.

So why the hate on the Greeks? For one, they play anti-American football: it’s boring. The wunderkids stole Euro ’04 with only seven goals in six games, including three consecutive knockout stage 1-0 yawns. Plodding, violent defensive football harkens back to the abortion of World Cup 1990 more than the excitement and skill of say, the masterful Dutch second goal against the crippled Azzurri yesterday. Besides, 1-0 games are simply more random; if you don’t have the offense, you can’t play from behind. ???? ?????? (Spain, for its part, is proving this by currently thumping the Russians; Prime Minister Putin will be displeased, and yes I know what I just said.) More importantly, Greece is Joe Morgan’s nightmare too; inconsistent. Fresh off their stunning triumph the national team couldn’t even qualify for the 2006 World Cup, as manager Otto Rehhagel kept pretty much the same team for qualifying despite the age and retirement from league play by some of its members. ????? ?????? ????????

Set pieces are the key for the low scoring Greeks.

So long as Angelos Charisteas is still on the roster, they’ll have a good shot. The center forward is the team leader in international competition goals, notching the Euro final’s lone score against the hosts. It’s going to take either the same brutal midfield play to keep shots away from goal or some inventive maneuvering and luck on the set pieces, but as evidenced by the brutal play from Russia today and the vanilla Swedish international history, it’s not too hard to see the Greeks through to the next round. And then what?

Back on the ship, everyone.

Three Completely Unrelated Sports

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Airwolf FlyoverHey internets, remember me? I’m the webmaster for this site and I was writing on Wednesdays for a while. Well, I have been a bit busy. In my real life I switched jobs and that was stealing most of my free time. I am now a “web development engineer” as opposed to my previous job where I was a “software engineer.” For some of you I basically just said I went from being a “computer guy” to being a “computer guy,” but the truth is I went from being a “MS SQL guy” to an “ASP.NET guy.” Don’t worry, I’m not going to switch from WordPress to a C# software package, I still have to, at least, check out version 2.5 before making rash changes.

Enough of the computer/software talk, on to the sports. Since I’ve finally settled into my new routine, I was able to take in a full weekend (Saturday) of sports. ????? ???? ???? ?????

First event of the weekend was a Rolex Sports Car series race: GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead Miami Speedway (say that 3-times fast). Read More

A Hands-on Project With No Hands


Brazil 2014
(from left: Kaka, Dunga, Ronaldinho, Lucio)

Starbury’s a chump. That’s what I was thinking. To hell with him, Richard Jefferson, Lamar Odom, and all the other fakers and never-weres masquerading as a national basketball team. 10 of the real stars on the USA team that was supposed to restore dominance in hoops had opted out, and these jokers shifted up one step from bridesmaid. It was like putting six red shirted officers on an all-time Star Trek crew, or giving Franklin Pierce and William Henry Harrison control of the Former Presidents’ Council. In Athens our American sport took a beating on the grandest stage; an Olympic humiliation supposedly unthinkable since 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed and USA Basketball assembled the greatest team ever.

But even during those awful losses to Puerto Rico and Argentina, no one on the team came back Stateside to death threats or sport-induced recession.

Yes, all respect to the pituitary struggles and randomly lined court of international basketball, but Earthlings still only live and die with soccer. Read More

Catching Up With The Home Teams – Boston Edition


The Zakim BridgeI titled this post as “Boston edition,” but it’s not like there’s going to be another edition. I live in Boston and root for Boston teams. Then again, there is always the hope that someone else here will be a fan of another team and write a competing entry.

New England Patriots
Hey, the team is still undefeated. And peoples around the blogosahedron are waiting to watch the Patriots again when they are 16-0 (Deadspin, Bleacher Report, Blown Coverage, You Been Blinded, ArmchairGM). Now we can add Nerds on Sports to that list becaus: New England Patriots: 16-0 (18-0 if you count postseason).

So, it looks like the Patriots-Colts Pumped Soundgate Noisegate The Skipping Crowd Conspiracies Speakergate was just an issue with the broadcast. But, as a Patriots fan, I can’t believe that this is the truth until I get a bit more closure on the situation. I want a team of investigative reporters to sneak into the RCA Dome and set up some noise meters (like you would find at a terrible talent show to measure who the winner is) and record during games. If that doesn’t work, perhaps some sort of non-football competition between Manning and Brady. Maybe something involving being sexy and making shitloads of commercials. ???? ??????? My money is on Manning – Brady may out sexy him, but Peyton’s commercial making prowess is impressive. Read More

Is this what it’s like in Brazil?


Wednesday, September 11th Brazil and Mexico were having a friendly soccer match in Foxboro, MA. I had a friend who had a ticket with my name on it. This should be a great event even if I’m in the very highest back row, I can still hope to see Kaka or Ronaldinho. Well Foxboro is 16 miles from my house. There will be traffic, so I figure 7:00 is a good time to leave to get to an 8:30 game. Added to this is that the people with tickets are leaving at 6:30 from slightly further away.

Look at all the TrafficOf course, nothing goes to plan. ???? ????? My ride shows up a little later than expected, we don’t leave until 7:30. At 8:15 we’ve gone 3 miles (that’s an average speed of 4 MPH… about 1/15 of the speed limit) and give the ticket holders a call. “We’re running late. You can just put our tickets at the Will Call window. Oh, your still in traffic on route 1? Well, call me back when you park, we’ll tell you how close we are.” Yes, for an extra hour of driving, they were only 10 miles ahead of us, but at our speed that was an hour and a half away.

Using the powers of GPS navigation, we decided to forgo the interstate and travel lesser known back roads to our destination. With a little luck and a little magic, we were at foxboro at 9:30. One hour after the game was supposed to start. We call the holders of the tickets. “How the fuck did you get there before us! ??? ???? ????? ?? ???????? ? We’ve only gone about a mile or two in the hour and 15 since we last spoke. I see that stadium, and should be parking in about 15 minutes or so. I’ll meet you at the gates.” Read More

[Business Day One] A Wish List


I had a dream last night about the end of the world. No joke. I was at a dock in Florida, talking to some people I knew, when we started hearing the detonations of atomic bombs in the distance. A giant tidal wave slammed into the harbor where I was, destroying the boats in the water and homes on the hills. And, in that way you just know things in dreams, I knew this was happening all over the country. Waking up in a cold sweat this morning (or was that ocean water), I was thankful to be alive. ??? ???? ???????? I started going through the mental list of all the things that weren’t actually destroyed that I was happy about. Family, friends, hobbies, burritos and the sweet escape of sport.

Scared to go back to sleep right away, I kept my mind occupied by thinking about what I want to see happen in the world of sports, now that I had a new lease on life. I crafted a Wish List that I want to present here to the Gods of Sport, that they may hear and abide. So, mighty and just Gods of Sport, hear me, for I seek only what will make your purview stronger!

Please allow the Spurs to win in four games.

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