July 21, 2003

Europe and Latin America conquer the US!: For the next two-plus weeks, premier Euro and Latin American clubs will be touring the US, playing exhibition matches to the delight of local and expatriate fans. Manchester Utd (England), Celtic (Scotland), Juventus, AC Milan (both Italy), Barcelona (Spain), Club America (Mexico's richest and most successful club) and Boca Juniors (Argentina, the club where Maradona gained his fame) will play in Boston, Cleveland, DC, East Rutherford, LA, Philly and Seattle. I'll be watching Juve v Barca and Man U v Club America at billsaysthis's house. (Yay!) How about you?

posted by worldcup2002 to soccer at 01:04 PM - 53 comments

I think, as billsaysthis has demonstrated, that these are opportunities for SpoFi gatherings (aka good noshing and drunkenness). Any SpoFites setting up get-togethers?

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:08 PM on July 21, 2003

I will be watching Blues V Newcastle in another meaningless tournament taking place in Malaysia. Will any of you Yanks be going to any games. I really think you should have posted this in Samsonov14's interview.

posted by Fat Buddha at 01:21 PM on July 21, 2003


posted by worldcup2002 at 01:43 PM on July 21, 2003

Why not?

posted by Fat Buddha at 01:49 PM on July 21, 2003

Great opportunity to expand the sporting horizons. Provided they're not asking for your first born male in equivalent ticket prices. Must say World Cup in the US was damn cool. the fervor that it generates is f**king insane.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:57 PM on July 21, 2003

Boston, Cleveland, DC, East Rutherford, LA, Philly and Seattle. And again they fuck the Midwest/MidSouth. Thanks a lot, Fifa or whoever's in charge of this. Wouldn't it have made sense to have Club America play in Texas (at least)? Sheesh.

posted by Ufez Jones at 01:58 PM on July 21, 2003

We're going to try to catch Man U. / Juventus game in NJ if anyone's interested.

posted by Samsonov14 at 02:14 PM on July 21, 2003

What channel will be televising these games? Any links for that? Also, if on, I will probably watch a few of them at the Brewhouse in Atlanta if anyone is interested.

posted by trox at 02:38 PM on July 21, 2003

I'll be watching them... I know they're on TV, i checked a few months ago, i don't know what station though...

posted by StarFucker at 03:01 PM on July 21, 2003

good matchcups but do the teams have anything to play for? just pride? hopefully the games will be worthy of the names on the marquee...

posted by gspm at 03:06 PM on July 21, 2003

One thing I've been thinking about since ManU's sale of Beckham: why do that before the tour of the US? Wouldn't it be like the Yankees trading Jeter and then touring Japan? (disclaimer that I don't know how futbol operates as a business in Europe. Are there rules or deadlines that forced the Beckham transaction to take place when it did?)

posted by msacheson at 03:53 PM on July 21, 2003

masacheson: There are transfer deadlines that end at the beginning of the season (and another month-long transfer "window" that opens up mid-season, but that's neither here nor there, and it's pretty stupid, according to the clubs). And Man U, I'm sure, were itching to get rid of Beckham, or rather: Man U were itching to get the revenue from a Beckham sale that would then finance a purchase (or two or three). In order for them to move on those other purchases in time for the deadline, they had to get the bankroll secured upfront.

posted by worldcup2002 at 03:58 PM on July 21, 2003

Ufez, I don't know, but there may be weather concerns. Even it's choosing the lesser of two evils - hot and humid in DC or hotter and humider (?!) in Atlanta/Dallas/St Louis.

posted by mbd1 at 03:59 PM on July 21, 2003

Real Madrid were also desparate for a quick purchase, given that they're set to embark upon a tour of SE Asia, where the boy David is a phenomenon. ITV2 has even bought the rights for Real vs Some Chinese League Team, since it's Becks' official debut. Sigh. What's remarkable about the summer tours of the US is that Manchester United v Barcelona will be the opener for the new Philadelphia Eagles stadium. That's quite a coup for real football over its American pretender.

posted by etagloh at 04:46 PM on July 21, 2003

http://soccertv.com/ has all the times and channels Ufez, There are usually a few of Mexican/South American club games played in Los Angeles , its quite an interesting atmosphere to be in. :-) I am going to the Team Americas game although there was no attempt at segregation so again interesting atmosphere. ( They appear to have sold 30,000 tickets and expect a 30,000 walk up crowd ; they had much the same for the original Galaxy games.Lots of walk up traffic )

posted by stuartmm at 05:19 PM on July 21, 2003

okay they did now they dont have them on soccertv.com. Sorry about that.

posted by stuartmm at 05:21 PM on July 21, 2003

Here's the totally lame site for ChampionsWorld (the name of the outfit running this tour). You can buy tickets here but, of course, if you wanna see if it's on TV, good luck to you. Looks like Man U v Juve and Man U v Barca are sold out. Here's TV listings from some UK site. More useful to US viewers would be ... Oh, look, it's right here on SoccerTV! (Thanks, almighty Google.)

posted by worldcup2002 at 05:48 PM on July 21, 2003

wc20002 and holgate, thanks for the answers. See, I was right! (about me not knowing the rules or business of European futbol/soccer).

posted by msacheson at 05:52 PM on July 21, 2003

The ChampionsWorld Tour games (like the ones we'll be watching here) are on Foxsportsworld, hopefully none of you need much help with that URL (but here's this week's schedule as a PDF). Any Bay Area SpoFites that want to come, just email me so I have enough burgers and chicken. Schedule Note: Looks like the schedule is not what I previously thought. Celtic v. Boca Juniors is at 9 am PST, FC Barcelona v. Juventus is at 1 pm PST (Will Ronaldhino be playing???), and Manchester Utd v. Club America is at 4 pm PST.

posted by billsaysthis at 07:15 PM on July 21, 2003

I would also note that we get a bunch of international matches here in the Bay Area, mainly at Spartan Stadium in San Jose (home of the MLS Earthquakes) and some at Pac Bell and Candlestick. Wednesday night, for instance, is a match between Lazio and a name Mexican club side at Spartan Stadium but I'll be at a C# user group meeting. We also just had a double header at Pac Bell a week or two ago with four Central American national teams.

posted by billsaysthis at 07:19 PM on July 21, 2003

Wasn't it at Candlestick? I doubt the Giants would let a buncha kickers tear up the field in the middle of baseball season (is it over yet?).

posted by worldcup2002 at 08:20 PM on July 21, 2003

FoxSportsWorld has ManU/Celtic tomorrow at 10pm Chicago time!!

posted by StarFucker at 10:18 PM on July 21, 2003

When I think about these games, why am I reminded of the old American Bowls (NFL pre-season games) at Wembley Stadium? A bunch of locals going completely over the top over a meaningless friendly. Why are you all so excited about it?

posted by salmacis at 07:28 AM on July 22, 2003

I'm going to Celtic/Boca Juniors in Cleveland. It's a bit disappointing that AC Milan pulled out, but hey.

posted by avogadro at 07:28 AM on July 22, 2003

salmacis: It's not about the result of the game. It's about seeing live the players that you've been watching on the telly all year or maybe several years. It's like you only get to watch baseball etc. on the telly, never having a chance to see the players live, and then you get to watch them in the arena after all those years watching them on the telly. Of course, I'll still be watching them on TV, but it's still fun because most of these teams never play each other except in the Euro champs or some Super Club match.

posted by worldcup2002 at 10:10 AM on July 22, 2003

The Seattle Times is making it sound as if its really going to be a good match...

posted by StarFucker at 11:46 AM on July 22, 2003

What do they say? I can't be bothered to sort through all their links about soccer to see what sort of excitement they are reporting. I read in the paper (the Scottish Sun, can't find the story online) that two previous matchups between Man U and Celtic were pretty good. A 1-0 Man U victory in Glasgow and then a 4-3 Celtic victory in Manchester. Apparently the games were pretty intense for friendlies. And Celtic likes to compare themselves with the Big Boys in the EPL so I am sure they will be up to make the most of their chance to prove themselves.

posted by gspm at 12:26 PM on July 22, 2003

Celtic and Rangers were actually trying to be one of the big boys in the EPL. But the Scots didn't quite like their teams playing in the English league, for some reason.

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:30 PM on July 22, 2003

Yeah, I recall the other 10 teams in the SPL quitting last summer. Ha.

posted by gspm at 03:31 PM on July 22, 2003

Hahahaha! That is bloody brilliant. Holy crap. What a bunch of dunderheads. If they actually had quit, Celtic and Rangers might be playing in the EPL this season.

posted by worldcup2002 at 03:36 PM on July 22, 2003

I can't wait for these matches. I'll be making a residence at Giants Stadium to watch Man U v. Juventus (my seats are waaaay up in the upper deck) and AC Milan v. Juventus (much better loge seating right on the 18). It's going to be interesting to see how they play on FieldTurf. A friend of mine alerted me about tix just after they went on sale and I just missed out on Man U v. Barcelona in Philly. I would've loved to have seen them in the new stadium, but them's the breaks.

posted by chules at 07:09 PM on July 22, 2003

FieldTurf. Hmph. I hope it's done away with the old bugaboos like twisted ankles and knees. And, of course, carpet burn. Otherwise, these teams will have some pretty expensive injury lists to bring home as souvenirs from this trip.

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:05 PM on July 22, 2003

Great, so none of the games are on any channel that I can actually get, even with digital cable. Great way to introduce the U.S. to world class soccer, guys.

posted by gyc at 12:09 AM on July 23, 2003

FieldTurf sounds like pretty good stuff if you believe the press. I'd like to check some out. Anybody have first hand (or first foot) experience with FieldTurf? Man U 4 - Celtic 0 (spank! go back ta Glasgow you... bunch of foreign players and a few Sctos that play in Glasgow)

posted by gspm at 01:12 AM on July 23, 2003

Sctos. Nice one.

posted by gspm at 01:13 AM on July 23, 2003

The tickets for the Man U games sold faster than those for Bruce, as a matter of interest.

posted by Fat Buddha at 02:49 AM on July 23, 2003

That IS very interesting Fatty... And gyc, why can't you get FSW with Digital Cable? What cable company do you have?

posted by StarFucker at 08:40 AM on July 23, 2003

I still can see Thompson missing that PK and thinking "What the fuck did he just do? Missed the fecking goal entirely!!! Baby Jebus!"

posted by billsaysthis at 10:44 AM on July 23, 2003

Yeah, the game would have been more interesting had he made it... Still, it WAS entertaining.

posted by StarFucker at 11:20 AM on July 23, 2003

billsaysthis: Thanks for the link to the Man U v Celtic game report. Classically inept American soccer reporting (from an AP writer, no less). Could he have made the goal descriptions any more boring:

... van Nistelrooy took a centering pass from Solskjaer, fought off defender Stanislav Varga and put the ball into the right corner off the hands of Celtic goalkeeper Magnus Hedman.
I didn't see the bloody game and I could have put more enthusiasm and grace into that description: "Van Nistelrooy, taking a center from Solskjaer, fended off Stanislav Varga before slotting the ball into the right corner off the despairing outstretched arms of goalkeeper Magnus Hedman." Bloody hell, let's look at this same scene as described in ESPN Soccernet:
"Scorer of 44 goals in all competitions last term, the flying Dutchman took just seven minutes to find the net in his opening warm-up game, holding off Stanislav Varga on the edge of the six-yard area after taking Solskjaer's pass with his back to goal, then swivelling to fire a shot which Magnus Hedman could not keep out."
It doesn't say who the writer is, but that, that is quality soccer writing, gentlemen.

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:32 PM on July 23, 2003

Also, the ESPN account was much more accurate. But blame gspm for the other link, not me! That way, you would be more accurate yourself.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:26 PM on July 23, 2003

I didn't search for a good one, just grabbed the first one I found on Google news that wasn't from ESPN or something. Obviously a San Francisco paper is a not a prime source for a recap of a soccer game in Seattle featuring two of the biggest teams in the UK. (I confess I didn't even read the whole match report that I linked to)

posted by gspm at 01:59 PM on July 23, 2003

gspm or bill: I wasn't ranting about you guys. It was just against the crappy soccer writing (and broadcasting) that you usu. see from American reporters. I appreciated the link, nonetheless. Poor Celtic. If they were in the EPL, they'd be playing in the 1st Div.

posted by worldcup2002 at 03:59 PM on July 23, 2003

I dunno about THAT. they did after all beat Liverpool (5th in EPL) at Anfield in the UEFA cup and swept Blackburn (6th) in an earlier round. While I can't imagine they would be in the top 6 or 8 I wouldn't imagine they would get relegated either. Surely they were a better team last season than West Ham, West Brom and Sunderland. (I'm not a distinct supporter of Celtic but I am not convinced they couldn't match up with the bottom end of the EPL).

posted by gspm at 04:22 PM on July 23, 2003

Hahaha. I was just kidding. Crap. He caught me on the Liverpool UEFA loss. Damn. Gotta watch out for that gspm. He's a sharp one.

posted by worldcup2002 at 08:07 PM on July 23, 2003

And gyc, why can't you get FSW with Digital Cable? What cable company do you have? Freakin' Comcast in Ann Arbor.

posted by gyc at 08:11 PM on July 23, 2003

I have Comcast in Chicago...are you sure its not offered? They are pretty stupid at Comcast...every time i call i hear something different...

posted by StarFucker at 10:16 PM on July 23, 2003

I have Comcast in SF. They're everywhere! Comcast and Clear Channel. The C's of hell!

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:17 PM on July 23, 2003

Comcast in Mountain View carries FSW, possibly you guys need to check some of the $1/month packages they offer to see if you can get it too.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:10 PM on July 24, 2003

F Comcast. Those f-ers f-ed up my f-ing cable for the past three f-ing days. Who do they f-ing think I am, f-ing Joe read-a-lot? (read, huh-huh)

posted by garfield at 05:16 PM on July 24, 2003

Comcast IS a nightmare...and the worst of it is, i don't have a choice... Yeah, the FCC deregulation was a GREAT fucking idea...

posted by StarFucker at 05:37 PM on July 24, 2003

billsays this, are you serious? Can I really do $1/mth for specific channels? Even if I just have the poor man's cable service (basic basic, no MTV, ESPN, etc.)? They don't seem to promote it very well. Can I just call'em and say, "Add FSW for $1/mth?" Whooo!

posted by worldcup2002 at 05:51 PM on July 24, 2003

No, I did not mean quite what you're saying WC. They offer several different packages which, when I signed up, cost an extra $1/month. One of the packages gave some sports channels like FSW. Of course, they may offer something different in SSF than MV or now compared to 18 months ago. YMMV. But the call would cost nothing but time.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:43 PM on July 24, 2003

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