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Want to add a bit of flair to an otherwise pedestrian penalty kick? Throw in a backflip, FTW

April 8, 2011

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Amongst goals, scoring from the spot — despite the occasional accompaniment of circumstantially meaningful tension — is typically a somewhat drab display of the beautiful game’s most climactic event.

Thankfully, players sometimes try to spice things up a bit — at least when the stakes are relatively low. Many thanks to FC Baar’s Joonas Jokinen for one of the more creative penalty kicks we’ve seen in some time.

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Video: First goal of 2011 MLS season is a good one, courtesy of the Galaxy’s Juninho

March 15, 2011

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First goal of the 2011 season is a gem from the Galaxy's Juninho

Here’s your obligatory video of the first goal of the 2011 MLS season (after the jump). Lucky for us, it happens to be a damn good one.

The Seattle Sounders and 36,000-plus faithful played host to David Beckham, Landon Donovan and the rest of the L.A. Galaxy Tuesday night, kicking off the 2011 MLS season live on ESPN’s “MLS First Kick 2011″ special.

Unfortunately, it was a pretty drab match until the Galaxy’s 22-year old Brazilian midfielder, Juninho, blasted this screamer past Kasey Keller in the 58th minute to give L.A. a 1-0 lead. The goal would prove to be the difference in the match. Fairly nice start to the season, I’d say.

Curiously enough, Juninho actually claimed “Goal of the Week” honors last season at the Sounders’ expense, and it won’t be surprising if this strike garners the same attention.  Hopefully a sign of things to come for Major League Soccer this season and beyond.

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Panamanian soccer player receives death threats after kicking, killing Colombian club’s owl mascot

March 2, 2011

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It was just another match between Panamanian club Pereira and Columbia’s Atletico Juniors (Barranquilla) — that is until Pereira defender Luis Moreno decided to kick an injured, defenseless owl that had landed on the pitch.

After the owl was struck and apparently dazed by an attempted Pereira clearance, the referee stopped play to attend to the injured bird. Unfortunately, before help could arrive, the owl suffered the further misfortune of taking Moreno’s boot to the face — a horrific gesture that eventually led to the bird’s death.

Making matters worse, it turns out this owl just happened to be Barranquilla’s mascot of sorts, and even lived in the stadium. Not surprising, then, that Moreno was instantly jeered with taunts of “murderer, murderer!” from the home team’s supporters, and eventually had to be escorted out under police guard at the end of the match.

Judicial authorities in Colombia have hinted at the possibility that charges will be brought against Moreno, and current animal protection laws in the South American country could bring a jail sentence of one to three months and/or a fine between $2.60 and $26.00…

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Iya Traore brings you the best freestyle soccer skills you’ll ever see — while Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” plays softly in the background

December 18, 2010

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Seriously, I challenge the world to demonstrate — via video evidence — that the title of this post is anything other than an indisputable fact.

I considered adding conditions such as “In Paris,” “Outside the Sacre-Couer,” and/or “Amongst those able to scale a lamppost while a soccer ball spins on a stick in their mouth,” but then that just wouldn’t be reasonable, would it?

See more of Mr. Traore’s magic feet after the jump (with slightly more appropriate song selections)

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Norwegian prankster desperately tries to flash his junk on live television

December 1, 2010

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There’s trying to expose yourself before a television audience, and then there’s trying to expose yourself before a television audience in Norway. Outdoors. In the middle of winter.

As you see, our little exhibitionist friend really wants Norwegian soccer fans to see his viking longship, and a clever cock block or two isn’t going to dampen his spirits. You know, I bet if he had to jump up and down just to get his tallywacker on the tele he’d do it (he does).

Perhaps most bizarre, however, is the reaction — or lack thereof — of the presenter, field reporter, and camera guy. Pretty sure if this had gone down in the U-S of A, we’d of been greeted with a test pattern rather quickly. They’re much more chill about things like this in Norway, apparently.

Now, in Sweden, we’d of probably gotten a full-on, Sergio Leone-esque close-up shot of the goods, but that’s neither here nor there…

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Greatest own goal of all time?

November 10, 2010

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Or just the latest, valiant competitor in a long line of brilliant perils on the pitch?

Either way, whether it comes from a professional on the game’s biggest stage, or just some kid in your local youth league, there’s no denying that soccer’s dreaded own goal is one of the most embarrassing moments in sports. Lucky for us, it also often happens to be one of the most humorous (save one).

Make the jump for 9 more classics…

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How to Cop a Feel: The Peter Niemeyer Method

October 5, 2010

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Just as the days of male dominance in the world of sports have long since passed — both on and off the field — so, too, are the days in which a man could casually grope an unsuspecting female’s breasts without consequence.

Except in Germany. If you’re a soccer player.

Yes, yes — we know this wasn’t intentional on Niemeyer’s part. Doesn’t appear that way, at least, and the Hertha BSC player has since said the same.

That said, you gotta love referee Bibiana Steinhaus’ reaction here. She handled it well. And so did Niemeyer…

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How to blow a Vuvuzela

July 14, 2010

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The World Cup may be over, but, God bless it, whether perceived as aural ecstasy or a hellacious case of tinnitus, there’s no denying that the ubiquitous call of the now internationally infamous vuvuzela lives on in the minds and eardrums of millions.

Thankfully — though one would think that what’s essentially a roided up kazoo could be skillfully demonstrated sans operating manual — the world now has access to step-by-step instructions for bringing the vuvuzela’s inescapable awe and/or agitation to friends, family, and utter strangers alike. Enjoy..

Vuvuzela blowing instructions

If you’re having trouble reading that (you probably are), click here for a full size version. Thanks to Dbj for the tip.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Comes Out of the….I Mean, Becomes A Dad

July 8, 2010

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s World Cup with Portugal ended last week thanks to David Villa and Spain, however he is now embarking on a new chapter in his life. The Real Madrid star announced Saturday that he is going to be a proud papa! Just not the way you would’ve assumed.

Allegedly, his son was born via a surrogate in NYC. Via Ronaldo’s facebook, “As agreed with the baby’s mother, who prefers to have her identity kept confidential,” he writes, “my son will be under my exclusive guardianship.”

The baby’s mother wants to remain confidential??!?! Cristiano Ronaldo is arguably one of the biggest sports stars in the entire world and his baby’s mama doesn’t want anyone to know? Ok, I’ve already come to grips with the fact that he is the one that doesn’t want anyone to know, but why??

Let me preface this next point by saying, I understand people dress a bit differently in Western Europe. They never got the memo that bathing suits could be longer than 6 inches or that males don’t need to shave their entire body in order to be a man. I also admit, I don’t know much about the family values of the Portuguese. It may be that having children by the time you’re 25 is so important that tons of guys are trying to buy theirs without actually being in a relationship. With that being said, c’mon.

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So Long, Simão Sabrosa…

June 30, 2010

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So long Simao SabrosaWell, at least to your World Cup days (most likely). Yes, one of the most recognizable and prolific Portuguese players of his generation, Simão will be pushing 35 years of age by the time we reach Rio in 2014.  Now, that doesn’t mean a 3rd World Cup appearance — a 4th if not for an injury in 2002 — for the former Sporting, Barcelona, Benfica and current Atlético Madrid star is impossible, but it’s gonna be a rather steep uphill battle, especially given he plays primarily as a winger.

So, given Portugal’s elimination at the hands of their Iberian neighbors, Spain, yesterday, I figured now would be a perfect time to bid Simão’s days gracing soccer’s biggest stage, “adeus” — and in as grandiose a manner possible. I’m talking, of course, about Univision Fútbol play-by-play man extraordinaire Pablo Ramirez, and his apparent oral infatuation with Simão.

Seriously, whether we’re talking about having a foot in golazos; exquisite runs both on and off the ball; drawing fouls; or even just casually switching play across the pitch, if Simão is involved, you can bet your bottom peso that Ramirez is aroused, or something.  I mean, I guess it really does roll quite nicely off the tongue, right? Perhaps a bit too easily for Ramirez, but pretty dang exciting nonetheless.

Check out this fantastic compilation from the 2006 World Cup, and be on the look out for anything from 2010. There’s been several gems, I just can’t seem to find any clips…

Many thanks to The Hurricane for the video.

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How cool is that new Nike World Cup ad?

May 20, 2010

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Wowzers…just friggin fantastic. Nike is definitely good at soccer commercials.

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Dean Windass: Now Taking Broadcasting by the Balls

May 14, 2010

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Dean Windass: Taking broadcasting by the ballsDean Windass. Journeyman striker. Prolific goal scorer. Seemingly timeless, controversial English footballer. And now, indeed, on the cutting edge of broadcasting.

Yes, it’s true. Dean Windass played for 11 different clubs during a career that spanned nearly two decades (1990-2009).

Did Dean Windass make nearly 700 professional appearances? Yes.

Did Dean Windass score 230 professional goals? Yes.

Did Dean Windass once grab and squeeze the testicles of an opponent during a match? Yes. Yes, Dean Windass did.

Is Dean Windass now grabbing the proverbial balls of Sky Sports and the footballing world as a Soccer Saturday match reporter? You’re god d*mn right Dean Windass is…

Thanks to T-Rex for the video…

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U.S. Soccer Officially Announces 30-Man Preliminary Roster For World Cup 2010

May 11, 2010

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Bob Bradley announced 30-man preliminary roster for World Cup 2010

Sorry, kids, “The Bob” left out Freddy Adu.  No Santino Quaranta either — despite that lovely piece ESPN did on him last week during the D.C. United-Kansas City match — and, of course, sad as it is, Charlie Davies couldn’t quite get fit in time to make the trip to South Africa.

There’s still one final cut to go.  This list of 30 has to be trimmed to 23 on June 1st, and, though there’s probably only a handful of truly “open” spots, I’m sure nearly every player on here will have a chance to make an impression during USA’s World Cup warm-ups against the Czech Repulic (May 25th, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN) and Turkey (May 29th, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN 2).

We plan on taking a slightly more in depth look at the U.S. squad once the final roster is determined, but for now you can find the 30 players set for training camp after the jump…

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