<a href='' target='_new' title='Van Der Vaart early strike' >Video: Van Der Vaart early strike</a>


Friday, July 31, 2009

Freestyle Friday: Concrete2Green

My first Freestyle Friday entry comes courtesy of Concrete2Green. I had the pleasure of visiting their futsal center in Eastland Mall and playing quite a few pickup games. Great courts. Talented players. Fabulous multi-level viewing. Check them out when you are in the area!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Refs Seeing Red

On Sunday, those of us who watched the AC Milan vs. InterMilan match witnessed a moment of confusion and comedy. During the course of play, international star Ronaldinho was flashed by the referee with a red card.

Fortunately, in a moment of card waving flare, the referee mistakenly showed the wrong color. A yellow card for the fancy footed showman and a laugh for all who watched.

However, Ze Carlos of the Brazilian club Cruzeiro did not receive an mercy from the referee on July 12th. His send off time--12 seconds. It was a Brazilian record but not an international one. That title belongs to David Pratt of Chippenham Town. His time was a swift 3 seconds!

Since we couldn't get a clip of David's, enjoy watching Ze Carlos' twelve seconds of fame!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dos Equis: My Match +1

Summer 2009 is full of live, international soccer matches in the United States. With the Gold Cup and the World Football Challenge are playing in cities across the nations, fans have the opportunity to witness the ball wizardry of Ronaldinho and Drogba. These are experiences that this “beautiful game” fanatic must share with a special someone.

Who could possibly fill the shoes of being my match +1?

The question had me stumped until I heard an unknown yet strikingly familiar voice. Over the background noise of a festive party, the person was advising all who would listen that “the afterparty is the one that you want attend and one should never use pickup lines”. I raised my head from my book to look into the eyes of “The Most Interesting Man in the World”.

Dos Equis claims that this man lives vicariously through himself and has a reputation that is expanding faster than the universe. Who else would choose to have an awkward moment just to see how it feels?

I was sold.

Can you imagine the pre-game analysis that he has in store for me? Are we not guaranteed to be swept off to a clandestine location to mingle with the football elite after the match? I know that I have struck a goldmine with my match +1. Can you say the same?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

World Cup 2010: Yes, I Can!

The call has been put out. The FIFA World Cup 2010 needs volunteers! Are you up for the challenge? If you can speak excellent English and one additional language, you can answer the call to action. Here’s an overview of the open call courtesy of Chad Thomas at African Soccer Renaissance. Make sure you check out his international radio show on SABC 2000.

“FIFA is looking for nearly four times as many volunteers as at last month’s FIFA Confederations Cup 2009.The Confed Cup required the services of 4 000 volunteers from approximately 40 000 applicants. For next year’s 2010 FIFA World Cup the total numbers required has been upgraded to a massive 15,000 people.The volunteer programme for the FIFA World Cup is a global initiative, as 70% of volunteers will come from South Africa, 20% from the rest of Africa and the remaining 10% from the rest of the world. Anyone who is 18 or older on 1 March 2010 and has a good command of the English language can apply to be a volunteer.

Volunteers will be required in virtually all sectors pertaining to the World Cup, namely: accreditation, administration, environmental services, welcome and information services, information technology and communication, language support, rights protection programme, logistic services, marketing, media volunteers, protocol services, spectator services, ticketing volunteers, transportation, hospitality and ushering services, and finally volunteer management.Those interested in volunteering for language support will need to have a solid command of English, as well as one of either: French, German, Portuguese, Spanish or an assortment of other languages.Applications will close on 31 August 2009.

Pre-selected, i.e. short-listed, candidates will be notified after November 2009 (but by no later than 31 January 2010) for interviews in the host city they have indicated a desire to work in. These interviews will be conducted during January and February 2010 in said host cities.The successful volunteers chosen from this interview process will then be taken through extensive training in March and April 2010 in all nine of the host cities of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

As is usual with volunteer programmes, the volunteers will not receive a salary for their work, but will however be given a stipend on the days they work to cover any possible expenses they may incur on the day. They will in turn also go home with the knowledge (and lifelong memories) that they were an essential part of the greatest sporting event not only in Africa, but the entire world.”

Volunteering has its perks. Believe me. I put it to the test with the World Football Challenge last night at the Georgia Dome…

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Guest +1: Street Soccer Cup 2009

Upon my return from a playing stint in Brazil last year, I came across a television program which detailed the journeys of several teams participating in the Homeless World Cup. It was an amazing testimony to the power of soccer and how these soccer programs are changing countless lives for many whom society counts out.

July 31st-August 2nd, the city of Washington, DC will serve as the host city for the Street Soccer USA Cup 2009. The teams provide homeless men, women and youth with an opportunity to score goals on the field while working to achieve their goals off the field. Players from across this weekend's tournament will be selected to represent the United States of America in the next Homeless World Cup in Milan, Italy.

To volunteer or attend the Street Soccer USA Cup 2009, go to

Monday, July 20, 2009

Good Samaritans Do Get Perks

In a time when society rewards those who rentlessly pursue self-serving goals, this Wednesday may prove to be a one-up for those who seek to help others in Atlanta, Georgia.

AC Milan is slated to to put forth their best showing against Club America. Ronaldinho, Oguchi Onyewu and Pavel Pardo will be in the building!

So where do the Good Samaritans fit into the equation? Project A.L.S. is the official charity for the World Football Challenge. If you volunteer to pass the collection boxes during the 2 intermissions, you will have the opportunity to watch the game for free. A free World Football Challenge t-shirt, free ticket to see international superstars go head to head and helping a wonderful cause. Now that is what I call a come-up!

Volunteer Contact:

Julianne Hoffenberg, Co-Founder

Project A.L.S.