Written by Will Parchman

beckie

The 91st Minute is admittedly a little late on this one, but sometimes the best things simply need a little time to marinate. Or, in this case, develop some raging dreds, bra.

These are Kyle Beckerman’s engagement photos from October. They are everything you’d hope for from MLS’ No. 1 Rasta. He poses with soccer balls on the Rio Tinto turf. He languidly lounges, seeming to tousle his rock-hard dreds in one finger with a gaze toward his mate deeper than Keanu Reeves’ theology. Then he dons a strange, celestial round hat no doubt fabricated entirely out of his brain power, from the melding of Keats and a single thought of the curvature of our very planet. Kyle Beckerman is a very powerful man.

Also, he’s got this utility fishing vest on. Imagine Ms. Frizzle’s Magic School Bus, but put, like, adult things in it. That’s Kyle Beckerman’s fishing vest.

KatePappas-KyleBeckerman-river

 

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Written by Will Parchman

CAL Men's Soccer vs Maryland

MLS came out with its list of Generation adidas prospects on Thursday. The list itself wasn’t a total surprise, and the fact that MLS didn’t let Andre Blake leave North America for Europe was a tremendous get for the league. Blake is the undisputed gem of this class and could be the best keeper to emerge from the college ranks in some time.

For the most part, it was a safe if somewhat short list of names (Leo Stolz’s late decision to return to UCLA undoubtedly robbed MLS of a fifth).  The only one that looked a bit out of the box was Tshuma, who wasn’t good down the stretch this past season and will have to snap out of his sophomore slump from 2013 in a hurry. But zippy wingers are always in high demand in MLS, which clearly swayed his selection.

As always, though, there’s an intriguing clutch of players who are still waiting to hear their names called as MLS parses through the rest of their options. The league is expected to sign at least one or two more players to GA contracts in the coming days, which leaves a few players still on the block for MLS duty.

Who could those remaining players be? A few suggestions here.

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Written by The 91st

Who doesn’t love a good tifo? We at the 91st minute enjoy the lengths that fans go to salute their teams, whether it’s the fourth division or national team. This video montage takes a look at some of the best tifos 2013 had to offer.

 

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Written by Will Parchman

indy3d-640x360

America is brimming with lower-tier clubs willing to do things the sensible way. The tiered way. In our soccer terms anyway, the American way. Build from the bottom with promotional events, low-cost stadium rentals, minimized overheads, low risk signings. Do things within your means in hopes of someday earning the coveted gaze of MLS, the salve for the eternal American soccer wound: continual cash flow at the gates.

This is the way it’s always been on these shores, anyway. The U.S. is not a haven for billionaires looking to spend a chunk of their ill-begotten gains on a money-sump of a venture for the sheer thrill of soccer ownership. It wouldn’t make any sense. Soccer ownership is largely a losing venture anyway, even on the best of terms.

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Written by Will Parchman

calfc

You may remember Cal FC from such feature-length operatics as “The 2012 U.S. Open Cup,” and, “That time that amateur team beat the Portland Timbers in 2012.” Yes, that same Cal FC team is doing things again.

On Saturday, Cal FC scored a goal in the final minute of the second overtime to beat Manhattan Beach outfit Doxa Italia 3-2 in a U.S. Open Cup play-in game out of the U.S. Adult Soccer Association. That win-and-you’re-in game paved Cal FC’s way back into the tournament for the first time since the team’s magical run in 2012.

Cal FC’s 1-0 win over the Timbers in the third round of the ’12 USOC was undoubtedly the biggest upset in the event’s history in the MLS era. Plenty’s been written about that team, which was coached by Eric Wynalda, who’s since moved on to greener pastures. According to every document I can dredge up, the team is now coached by Nick Webster, the assistant to Wynalda in ’12 and a former Fox Soccer commentary man. Which follows, since his former British Fox Soccer buddy Keith Costigan only recently ended a stint as an academy coach in the Chivas USA system.

In any case, all this means is a former land mine is back in the field for 2014. Don’t worry, Timbers fans. Artur Aghasyan, the man who scored the game-winner in overtime in 2012, is now with the Ventura County Fusion. Rest easy. Or don’t. The latter is probably safer.

 

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Written by Will Parchman

zlatan-ibrahimovic-style

Zlatan Ibrahimovic hopped on a conference call with English-speaking, (mostly) American journalists on Friday to bob and weave through topics as only Zlatan can. It was everything you’ve come to expect from the oddest ball on the international pool table. In between copious references to himself in the third person and making the tie between his aging and a bottle of wine (yeah), he took the time to address some MLS-related topics.

Is MLS something he might be interested in, either now or a couple years down the road?

“I don’t know. Of course it can be interesting. I get the questions before that. I’m not nominated for the Golden Ball, so I don’t know, maybe in America nobody knows who I am there. So maybe I should come over and play some seasons so people get to know me.”

So what will it take to get a player of Zlatan’s stature to play in MLS going forward?

“I don’t know. It depends from the individual, from the person himself, what kind of interest he has in going to America and playing in the MLS. I mean, I don’t know. I can only speak for myself, and like I said before, it could be interesting to go over to America and try the football there. But today is not interesting. Let’s see what happens in the future. I still have another three years to play in Paris, and I will fulfill my contract. After that I will be 34 or 35. I mean, I want to play football, yes, but I want to give results if I can give. I don’t know if I’m 35 and can bring any results in MLS, maybe I will be too old or something. This, I don’t know about. For sure I want to enjoy football.”

 

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Written by Will Parchman

Don Garber wants to talk to you about some things. This will be a Q&A with The Don (Google Hangout) followed by the reveal of the league’s Best XI. Start time is 2 p.m. EST. Leggo.

 

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Written by Will Parchman

Jermain-Defoe-Hat-2658444

Yes, that’s an actual photo the Mirror ran with its piece Tuesday about Spurs forward Jermaine Defoe agreeing to an outrageously steep transfer to Toronto FC. Of course, it’s the Mirror, so put this rumor next to whatever other weird transfer du jour they’re pushing.

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Written by Will Parchman

rslol fukc

 

In advance of the Dec. 7 MLS Cup between Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake, we’ve got a full-blown T-shirt war on our hands. The FUKC t-shirt came first. In response, KC’s Brisket Bob mocked up a “RSLOL” shirt that poked fun at the common Mormon practice of wearing full-body underwear under their clothes at all times. THE UNDERPANTS GUYS.

So yeah. Let the games begin.

 

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Written by Will Parchman

Real Salt Lake applied the finishing touches to its two-part steamrolling of the Portland Timbers on Sunday night to set an MLS Cup final meeting with Sporting KC. The Timbers couldn’t muster much offense, and the CB pairing of Kah and Futty continued to be a train wreck against RSL.

So there are a lot of upset people in Portland these days. But probably none are more sad than this guy. Watching him try to get through this chant through his racking sobs… no words.

 

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