Friday, June 3, 2011

Podcast: Byline 2 Backpost Episode 15

The latest podcast is up. In the first segment we discuss the stadium nearing completion and other news. In the second segment we breakdown the Open Cup qualifier win over New England, the draw in Colorado, the reserve team draw in Colorado and the upcoming Toronto game. In the third segment, Mike rants about the FIFA election and Thad comments on Jack Harry.

Get it from iTunes

or

Posterous


Thanks to The Vandon Arms, a great band out of Iowa. Their latest album is The Sent Off EP and contains several soccer related songs. You can hear their music here or check them out on their Facebook page.

Sporting KC Manager at practice in LIVESTRONG Sporting Park

Thursday, June 2, 2011

One week - LIVESTRONG Sporting Park will open

Can't wait.

On June 9th Sporting Kansas City will face the Chicago Fire in the first ever match at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park

Craig Rocastle interview 6/2/11

Talked with Craig Rocastle about LIVESTRONG Sporting Park and playing for Grenada in the Gold Cup


Craig Rocastle will play one more game for Kansas City before joining Grenada for the Gold Cup

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ryan Smith interview 5/31

Ryan Smith takes questions after practice...


Ryan Smith attempts to go around Collin while scrimmaging at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park

Peter Vermes interview 5/31

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes takes questions after practice at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park...



Vermes directing his players at practice...

Jack Harry talks smack

It finally dawned on one of our local sports reporters that Sporting Kansas City does not have an actual nickname. The name change was announced months ago and heavily discussed before and after that announcement by fans and media around the country. It's great that he is catching up to the news but you would think (or hope ) that he could do better than this.

Let's do a little fact check and analysis of "Jack Smack"...

Our soccer team worked out tonight for the first time in their brand new $200-million dollar complex at Village West in the Legends.
Actually they worked out a couple weeks ago in a closed session. No public attending is okay but with no media there it didn't happen Jack?

That’s a lot of money for a stadium, in a sport, still trying to find its niche in town.

It is a lot of money for a stadium but it will also be the best and most innovative (my opinion) stadium in the country when it opens officially. That is June 9th by the way Jack since I am guessing you haven't paid attention to that either. Perhaps the really cool and innovative stadium will help the team find their niche despite the best efforts of sports "reporters" such as yourself.

It might be the only professional franchise, in any sport, without a nickname.

The only professional franchise, in any sport, without a nickname? Are you serious? This is soccer, there are lots of teams without official nicknames. The most famous team in the world in any sport (and they visited Kansas City last summer) does not have an official nickname. Manchester United are not the "Uniteds". Closer to home (as in North America) there is DC United, FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake, Chivas USA and Toronto FC. Those teams are not called the Uniteds, the FC's, the Real's or the Chivas's.

It used to be the Wizards, before that - The Wiz.
I'm glad you remembered those names, at least you paid attention at some point.

The guys in our sports department, 
 The guys in your sports department? Both of you? That is more than I have in my "Sports Department" so you got me there. Unless I count my dog, that should even it up.

for a lack of a better name, call them, “The Sporties”

The Sporties? Very clever. At least when bloggers make up bad nicknames (and I hate this one) for the team it is a little more creative. 

A club official sent me an email asking that I refrain from using that name.

So a club official sent you an email asking that you refrain from calling them by an improper name and that set off this rant? Maybe a professional reporter should use the teams name? Hey, at least you are talking about soccer...

My reply, what the hell do you want us to call ‘em?
First of all, the team has won only one game in the first two months of the season.
The Sporties first 10 games are on the road while the club has been waiting for the new stadium to go up.

You threw me a curve here (baseball term so you would understand Jack), what the heck does the one win in the long road trip have to do with you coming up with a goofy nickname?

The price tag began at $140 million, but to add all the bells and whistles, it shot up to $200 million, making it the second most expensive stadium in the league. Only New York spent more.

Back to the price tag of the stadium? Short rant and you are already repetitive...

The team owners, the Cerner Corporation, do everything in a first class manner...

Cerner does not own the team. Some bigwigs who made money at Cerner and some who didn't own the team. That is pretty hard to double check?

...but for the life of me, where in the world did they come up with this European sounding name.

They came up with this "European" sounding name months ago. They posted the reasons behind the name on their very own web site. A little google action and I am sure you could find that info. Is the internet just a little too hard for you some days?

To me, Sporting Kansas City sounds like some sailing club at Lake Perry.
Go figure, a $200 million dollar state-of-the-art stadium and nobody knows what to call the team.
C'mon Sporties, you can do better than that.

C'mon Jack, YOU can do better than that!

That’s Jack’s Smack.

That's Jack something or other. Pretty sure I could come up with a colorful phrase here...

So Jack, were you saving this rant since last fall? Waiting on a slow news day or when you just couldn't bring yourself to talk about the Royals one more time?

I wish I could say this will make me watch his broadcast even less but it can't. Nothing is less than the zero times I have watched this year. I suppose I should be happy that he is noticing Sporting Kansas City at all but really Jack?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

LIVESTRONG Sporting Park looks great at night

James over at SportingTimes.Net shared some very nice panorama shots of the stadium taken by friend Brice. Check them out.

I enjoy doing panos as well. Check out the ones at the end of this post.

Hopefully I can get some updated pano shots soon but wanted to share this teaser of LIVESTRONG Sporting Park at night. The stadium looks great...

LIVESTRONG Sporting Park

In Memory of a Friend

A few days ago the world lost a great soccer fan and I lost a friend. His name was Osmond, most of us called him Oz.

He was a Manchester United fan. Oz came by it naturally and was a fan long before this current run of fantastic seasons. He lived long enough to see the Red Devils finish at the top of the table again but died before their 3-1 loss to Barcelona.

Oz was also a Sporting Kansas City fan. We were roommates back in the beginning of MLS and he attended most of the Wiz and Wizards games over the first few years with me. We saw the good and the bad. We saw Mo, Preki, Miklos, Meola and all the other great and not so great Kansas City players that made those first few years so interesting. We watched from the club level so we could best see the runs, the positioning, the defensive shape and analyze every bit of team strategy we could.

We cheered through some great games and endured some stinkers but we never gave up.

Oz was also an avid fan of many other sports; hockey, baseball, volleyball, football and just about any other sport he could play or watch. Men, women or kids sports, we didn't care as long as it was competitive. We rooted for and against some of the same teams but we also had rivals in many sports (baseball and hockey especially). His sports knowledge was incredible. If you needed to know where the fifth round draft pick went to college, you could go to the internet or you could ask Oz.

Oz was the greatest athlete I have known. He did not play in the Olympics or a World Cup or professionally in any sport but he was such a natural that he excelled at every sport. If he had focused on one he might have played at a high level in one or even two sports. Limiting himself to one sport was not going to happen though, he loved playing and watching all of them.

I met Oz in the Marine Corps. We were stationed in Okinawa together. A typical day included Marine fitness training and long hot and humid days. Oz would get back to the barracks after work and immediately head to the gym. He would play a few games of basketball, lift some weights and then head to play softball or volleyball for a base team or maybe a pickup soccer game. When he finally ran out of competition he would voraciously plow through a book or two a night.

All that reading gave Oz a great amount of knowledge in a wide variety of areas as well, not just sports.
Oz was as insightful about life (at least for others) as he was about sports. It would be rare that you talked to him and he did not cut straight to the heart of the issue and give some great observations.
Nobody that knew Oz was untouched by him in some way.

Oz was born in England to Jamaican parents (hence the natural Manchester United love) and moved to New York when relatively young. Being in the Marine Corps and living in various parts of the country evened his accent out quite a bit. When people asked about his accent, I used to tell the story that it varied with how much he drank. Initially you could not discern where the accent came from but after a couple drinks he sounded like a New Yorker. After a few more he sounded English (not sure which version). A few more and he definitely sounded Jamaican and after a few more drinks nobody could understand him anyway.
He became ill a couple months ago. With no family in town his friends took great care of him. With helping him, I often did not have time to blog the last couple months and when I did have the time, I was exhausted physically and mentally.

We got Oz home for about a week before he died. He passed away peacefully in front of the TV turned to a soccer channel. Probably near the top of the list of ways he would have wanted to die.

I knew him for over 25 years. He was my daughters god father and was in my wedding. Oz is the reason I am even in Kansas City. There are far too many stories to share about Oz.

Oz my friend, you will be missed.

You are missed...


I will now try to get back in the swing of regular blogging...