#ProudToPlay



"Sport has the power to change the world…it has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers."
-- Nelson Mandela
YouTube and a host of sporting institutions and stars are joining together to promote equality on the occasion of LGBT Pride month and the World Cup. We are at an inflection point in LGBT awareness and rights, and it's good to see our soccer/football community taking the lead in normalizing sexuality and gender identity of all types.

Daniel Sturridge Goal England v. Peru

Getting Messi



... or, Just Higuain Around. A one-act play in three part.

Me: Thought this would be of interest to you:

http://www.theguardian.com/football/ng-interactive/2014/may/30/-sp-world-cup-kits

Co-worker: Argentina's away jersey this year is ugly.

Me: It looks better on paper. Much like their team in general.

... and, scene. Thank you.

Cardiff City sign Frederico Macheda


Not bad for someone who, as far as I know*, has only ever scored one goal. Albeit this one:



* I know. I know.

The Week Ahead, Part 1 - Schedule Analysis

As with everything blog-related, you can find this week's post at our new home over at www.NeverManageAlone.com (a part of SBNation.com).  We hope you'll join us there.

http://www.nevermanagealone.com/2011/10/12/2485570/the-week-ahead-part-1-the-schedule

Cheers - Neal

Barn Door Team - Week 8 Revised



Check out this post at our new blog home, Never Manage Alone.

The original is after the jump, but really you should check out the new version.

English teams watching Brek Shea



So this rumour has made it from Twitter to the larger web.

English eyes on US starlet | Sky Sports | Football | Transfer Centre | Speculation:
Skysports.com understands a host of Premier League clubs are tracking American hot-shot Brek Shea.

The FC Dallas ace is regarded as one of the best young talents in America and is already an established member of Jurgen Klinsmann's USA side.

The likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool have all been credited with an interest in the attacker who can play out wide or up front.

Liverpool and Manchester City are both believed to have watched Shea in action over the weekend as he created the only goal in the USA's 1-0 win over Honduras.

Shea is a really exciting player. He's a bit of a late bloomer and is just now finding his feet, so to speak. He was unplayable for the first half of the MLS season and looked an MVP candidate alongside Thierry Henry at the All-Star break. His performances have tailed off as the season has gone on, however.

For Neal's sake, I want him to go to Arsenal where he can play on the left of a front three. He would also give them some height up front, which would offer their attack a different dimension.

That being said, it wouldn't surprise me if he moved to Bolton or Fulham, teams that already have an American in place.

Wenger As England Manager?



Perhaps because it is an international week. Perhaps it is because reporters are tired of writing about Arsenal's demise on the pitch.  Perhaps they are tired of digging into the books and trying to figure out how many years it will be until the long-term, and now out-dated, deals made to pay for the new stadium will be keeping Arsenal's football revenues from growing at the same pace as their peers in the league.  Perhaps it is because the England team are having a fairly easy run of qualification and with Capello already known to be on his way out there isn't much else to write about this week.  Whatever the reason, there is a rumor making the rounds that Wenger might be the perfect blend of "foreigner, but not really" to lead the England team into Brazil 2014.

To which my reaction is "What?!?!?!??!?!?"