A soccer diary from across the pond

Monday, May 28, 2012

Social life vs soccer

So this weekend life got in the way of some great moments. Until 10pm Saturday night I didn't have any plans and was more than happy to stay at home and watch both the TFC-Union game and the USA-Scotland game. But then life got in the way. Some friends called my and asked if I wanted to go to a party and I went. Around midnight the MLS app on my phone then told me that TFC had finally won, and then it felt weird having not seen it. Luckily my departure from  the party and my return home coincided with the start of the US game and I start watching it. I think I watched like 5 minutes and then I fell asleep because I was tired and drunk. I wake to the news that they won 5-1. COME ON!

I don't regret going to the party, but those matches would've been sweet to watch. But those are the choices faced by a Danish fan of North American soccer. 6pm EDT games means midnight here. So earlier games often clash with social events (especially the Saturday games) and later games are in the middle of the freakin' night, where I run the risk of falling asleep during them. So while many MLS fans hate games kicked off at noon, I have an admission: I love them.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Toronto FC - Philadelphia Union preview

TFC won the Voyagers Cup, which is pretty awesome. But even more so, it confirmed my theory of the necessity of a trophy and a cup feel. 

Philly is visiting BMO tomorrow and we need a name for the cup. I don't want to be cruel, but we have to be honest and realize that we are talking about the bottom-two teams in the Eastern Conference (make that MLS), so I really can't find a more fitting name than the Suc(k)tion Cup.

I love TFC and at time the play has been promising, but its hard to argue against that both teams have sucked at getting results this season. And as TFC has tended to play better in cup play, me naming this game the Suc(k)tion Cup™ this is bound to spur on TFC to win. The winner gets to say that they don't suck that much.

TFC, Trophies and Some Canadian Guys

So this day turned out to be quite a roller coaster of a day. I woke this morning and lo and behold: TFC HAD WON THE FREAKIN' VOYAGERS CUP! Pretty good way to start the morning I'd say. The entire day was spent putting the last touches on my bachelor thesis along with my group (the topic btw is Financial Fair Play in the top-3 European Leagues - I'd might make a post about it, inspire of the non-eurocentric perspective of this blog) and this evening I go on Twitter and get some of the worst news in a very long time: Some Canadian Guys Talking About Soccer is going on an indefinite hiatus. This has been one of my favourite podcasts, I am going to miss it greatly and I count myself lucky to have met Daniel Squizzato, while I lived in Toronto last year. Great guy.

Back to Toronto. I'm going to repeat myself. Toronto wins if there is a cup on the line. Buy A LOT of trophies and name every game a cup. Boom. Plenty of victories.

Monday, May 21, 2012

something about average attendance

Some people complain about the attendance in MLS. And yes, it sucks seeing half empty stadiums in Denver or Dallas. But is average attendance really that bad in MLS? Its the soccer league in the world with the 9th best attendance. Pretty good, eh? And its probably the soccer league in the world that faces the fiercest competition from other sports in their country/countries.

Denmark and MLS Part 1: The Danes in MLS

Considering that MLS get minimum coverage here in Denmark, anytime something happens that connects the Danish Superliga, Canada, the US and MLS  it gets my attention.

Obviously the Danes of MLS get my attention. I think its awesome how Jimmy Nielsen has rebooted his career in KC. He needed that after getting relegated with Vejle.

Wow. How is that for a coincidence. Just as I am writing this post I hear the news linking Mads Junker to MLS. I'm looking forward to see if it pans out. And back to the original post:

I also quite like Christian Sivebæk in Seattle. He was known as a guy with plenty of talent, but a bit of an attitude problem in Denmark, and without knowing it I'm pretty sure that limited his options. Then Seattle came knocking, and tell me where you'd prefer to play. In front of 38.000 Sounders fans or 6 or 7.000 quite quiet fans in Denmark? While the strengths are different and its hard to compare leagues, in my opinion MLS is not a step down in any way.

I remember back in 2002 when I started following MLS, Ronnie Ekelund was playing for the Earthquakes and I though it was pretty cool to have a Dane, who had been under contract with Barcelona, was now winning MLS cups. I looked into the history it was also pretty cool to find Miklos Molnar who not only scored his way to a MLS cup with KC but also play for Denmark at EURO2000 while playing for an MLS side.

Brian Nielsen was just a bleep on the NYRB radar. I don't even think he has a team these days. Too bad, he could have amounted to more with a better attitude and less injuries.


Danish broadcaster DR links Danish striker Mads Junker to MLS. He has scored a lot of goals in the Dutch Eresdivie over the years (65 goals in 187 games since 2006) with 7 goals in 34 games this season. In spite of his goals he rarely got a chance for the Danish national team as Denmark coach Morten Olsen didn't think Junker would fit into the system. Junker is 31 years old and should be an improvement for a lot of MLS teams.

New favourite shirt! And something about foreign national teams

So last week I decided to buy the CSA centennial jersey. It looks sharp and it only costs $60. First hindrance appeared: They don't ship to Denmark. What does one do? Well tweet to Umbro Canada of course and after a short correspondence they added Denmark (and Sweden) to the list of countries they ship to. Second hurdle: $30 shipping. I decided that it wasn't a hurdle anyway. $90 for a limited edition jersey isn't that much and I've grown to have a special relationship with Canada.

So I'd like to thank Umbro for being flexible and FedEx for getting it here in 3 days.

Full disclosure:
I got into this whole MLS-US-Canadian soccer thing because of the US national team back in '02 (I still can't believe its been 10 years). I follow them closely and I still get passionate whenever they play. But I've decided I can also support Canada just as much. Also, Denmark being my home and all they are #1 and then after that I allow myself to support multiple other countries, with the knowledge I'll always support Denmark against them.
That means that while this shirt is #1 to me

as well as the new Canada jersey are both special to me.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, I also support Germany every now and then:

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Adrian Cann agrees with me. Sort of.

So. We lose again. This is getting ridiculous. Adrian says that the difference is that they wanted to win a cup on wednesday. I can only point to a previous post about that.

I've never been big on the whole tiki-taka-Dutch-Barca thing. Teams with plenty of possession and chances, who don't win pisses me off. It won't stop me from supporting the team, but its frustrating. So I can't agree more with Danny K.

Dear TFC please win the Voyageurs Cup, and after you do so, please buy those trophies as I suggested.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

something about how winning doesn't matter... that much

This might sound stupid, but I'd like to talk about how winning doesn't really matter all that much for me as a fan and I don't think it should for others as well.

For me supporting a team, is all about community, a sense of belonging and shared experiences. If winning was important I'd support Manchester United or Real Madrid (which I don't). For reasons I've presented earlier I support Toronto FC. But the tough part isn't the losing record. The tough part is not having anyone to share the downs and ups and downs with. This is why I love twitter. It allows me be part of a tormented community that shares my passion for TFC and for MLS. I don't mind being sad over a loss, but it would be harder if I was alone with it.

Tender by Blur describes how I feel about TFC. Love is great, no matter if its tough, and one day it will be better.

something about VAN-TOR


So, I only just watched the highlights. Watching games 4AM on a week night just can't be pulled off often. But judging from those and my twitter feed it seems like Johnson has just confirmed that he is a beast. So nice to watch him play. It was also pretty cool to see a line-up with 5 players eligible for the CMNT. I'm not sure where I stand on the quota debate and the discussion between many TFC and 'Caps fans on the amount of Canadians on the teams, but I take pleasure in seeing talented players getting playing time and experience, which they can transfer to the CMNT.

Also. I can't wrap my head around how well TFC plays, when its a cup match and how poorly they play when its a league match. My solution: Buy a trunk-load of trophies and make every single game "a cup". Heck, we'd win the league if the front office did that.

Oh yeah, that Hassli goal. It was good.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The CSA Centennial jersey is really cool

(source: Canada Soccer)

I gotta say, I like this jersey. Its look retro (which I guess a centennial jersey should be) and I like the idea of having a one time jersey just for the centennial games.

Now if they only shipped to Denmark.

I love gay right advocacy. Especially in sports

Awesome awesome to hear that MLS is partnering up with "You can play".
I remember learning about Brandon Burke in the fall when I did Sociology of Sport, when I studied at Ryerson University in Toronto in the fall and the story really touched me.

I am however also a business student and one of the first things we learn about communication and branding is that, if it is going to be successful you have to be consistent and not be perceived as sending mixed signals. And when an entity also has a partnership with the Boy Scouts of America, who have been critized for homophobia.

MLS should be applauded for supporting "You can play", but should be worried that it can come of as opportunist.

awesome soccer moments

Some of the awesome soccer stuff I've experienced:

  • First MLS game in Toronto in 07
  • MLS Cup 07 in DC
  • Getting quoted as a source for news on yanks abroad by Bruce on du nord
  • Meeting Shawn Francis outside the revealing of Klinsmann as US coach and him interviewing me for an article on MLSsoccer.com
  • Moving to Toronto for 5 months in 2011 and following TFC
  • Having the courage to walk up to Duane Rollins at pre-game beers and thank him for his hard work
  • Having been around U-Sector, both at BMO and for away games at the Duke
  • Getting published in a real freakin' news paper with an article on me and TFC
Late inclusion:

hey, is that JPA next to me at MLS Cup '07? I'm pretty sure it is

hey this is my first MLS game in Toronto back on '07!

mandatory first post

I'm gonna be honest with you guys. I actually don't know that much about soccer. That is. I know a lot of stuff about teams and players and leagues and stuff. But the actual game. I can hardly tell if a tackle is illegal or not. Big chock. The European soccer fans doesn't know soccer. But what I have is passion. At least thats what I think it is. It must be. Its 230AM here in Copenhagen and I can't fall asleep because I kept on thinking about how I've wanted to start blogging about soccer for a while and my head was full of ideas.

Full disclosure: I'm a TFC fan. But almost as much I'm a fan of MLS and the US and Canadian national teams. I'm passionate about the growth of the domestic game in the aforementioned countries. I dream of working in any kind of position in North American soccer where I can help it grow.

What you'll get from this blog won't be analysis. Just my thoughts and experiences of following the beautiful game across the pond (and of supporting a team on a losing streak).

For this first post I'll direct you to an article I wrote for a Danish daily called Politiken about my relationship with TFC, though I'm guessing you'll prefer the translated version at Canadian Soccer News.