21
Jul

Arsenal stars practice their New York accents before USA summer trip

This is just too good.

Ahead of Arsenal’s first pre-season game in the United States in 25 years, several of the Gunners worked on their New York City accents to amazing results.

Carl Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Flamini, and Serge Gnabry (two Brits, a Frenchman and a German) gave it their best effort, and that’s all you pretty much can say about it:

If you’re keeping score, Jenkinson wins by default.

H/T BleacherReport

21
Jul

Open champ and Man United fan Rory McIlroy booed by Liverpool locals

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Rory McIlroy dominated the Open Championship this past weekend, leading from start to finish en route to his third major golf championship of his career. But the 25-year-old did make one grave error: He took a moment during his acceptance speech to mention his allegiance to football club Manchester United.

The problem? The Open was held at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake. Whoops!

Needless to say, the Merseyside locals were none too pleased:

That’s a one-stroke penalty, Roy!

21
Jul

Monaco’s Dimitar Berbatov scores wonder volley in pre-season

For most players, the pre-season is a time to shake off the rust from the summer break, and to ease back into the everyday grind that is professional soccer. It’s not uncommon for our favorite stars to require a few weeks before they show their full fitness and ability again.

Dimitar Berbatov is not most players.

No, “The Continental” already looks to be in mid-season form with French side AS Monaco, scoring this breathtaking, acrobatic volley in a test against Colombian side Atletico Junior on Sunday:

Who needs James Rodriguez when you have Berba, right?

Image provide by Reuters.

20
Jul

Spanish club unveils unique new alternate kits

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Little-known Spanish club CD Lugo is turning heads with some truly one-of-a-kind soccer kits.

Making the most of their sponsorship with beer brand Estrella Galicia, CD Lugo are finally offering fans the chance to to drink a beer, while wearing a beer:

And because four kits isn’t enough for a second-division club, they added a fifth, somehow even stranger kit, featuring a large octopus tentacle. Yes.

Your move, La Hoya Lorca.

H/T SBNation

20
Jul

Whoops! World Cup trophy damaged at afterparty

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The German national team apparently celebrated their fourth World Cup title a bit too hard last weekend.

According to DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach, part of the World Cup trophy was damaged at the Rio afterparty!

"At one spot a small piece was chipped off, but don’t worry. We have specialists who can fix it," Niersbach told German news magazine Spiegel.

The culprit? A mystery. Niersbach joked that a thorough and persistent investigation was conducted, but proved inconclusive.

Good thing the damaged trophy wasn’t the original! Because no World Cup champion actually gets to keep the real deal, FIFA representatives had already taken the original version back for safekeeping before the team even left the Maracana.

20
Jul

David Beckham gets slimed at Nickelodeon Awards

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Pictures via: Getty and David Beckham/Facebook

David Beckham and his two youngest sons Cruz and Romeo were slimed at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Of course, it was gold-colored goo:

"Golden Balls" was being presented the Legend Award by his kids when the star received his customary slime shower. Despite being covered in goo, Beckham still managed a few words in his acceptance speech:

"When I was young, my dream was to be a professional soccer player," he said. If you have dreams and you believe in yourself, your dreams can come true. Thank you very much."

Video: Daily Mail

20
Jul

Swiss League opener yields best own goal you’ll see all year

While most leagues in Europe are just now getting back in the groove with preseason friendlies, over in Switzerland the 2014/15 season got already back underway on Saturday, and it didn’t take long for Milan Gajic of Young Boys Bern to score perhaps the goal of the season.

Unfortunately, he put it in his own net!

Gajic put St. Gallen ahead, 2-1, with this incredible half-volley from outside the box that thundered past his goalkeeper and into the top corner:

It might well be Gajic’s greatest goal he’ll ever score, but this is hardly the way he wanted to kick-start his season.

Young Boys did go on the equalize late in the game to at least secure a point in their opener.

H/T 101GG

19
Jul

Liga MX is back and already providing wacky entertainment

Anyone that watches Liga MX knows that crazy things happen all the time, and today’s match between Leon and America was no exception. The Apertura is barely underway, and Leon goalkeeper William Yarbrough has put himself in the running for blunder of the season with this one:

From the slip to holding the ball out to chucking it back over the line, this is golden material for a soccer blooper reel. 

The only question is why did he hold on? WHY? Put it over the bar, punch it out — anything but exactly what he did would’ve worked out just fine.

19
Jul

Seattle Sounders made Xander Bailey’s wish come true and it’s beautiful

Xander Bailey had his Make-A-Wish dream come true in a big way on Saturday — and on his birthday, no less. The 19-year-old from West Virginia has been dealing with cystic fibrosis since he was a baby while also playing soccer for most of his life.

His dream? Meet his favorite soccer player, Seattle Sounders star Clint Dempsey.

His reality? Not only did Xander meet Dempsey, but he signed a contract with the Sounders, trained with the team and even spoke with the media. The Sounders pulled out all the stops.

But it didn’t stop there. As Seattle geared up for a pre-season friendly against Tottenham Hotspur, Xander was named to their active roster and started against the English club.

Hey, Brad Friedel, maybe give the kid a break and let that one slip through?

Even the fans got involved, creating a banner for their club’s newest signing. 

What an unbelievable few days for Xander and his family. Bravo, Seattle. Bravo.

19
Jul

Clint Dempsey earns spot on FIFA 15 Cover

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Seattle forward Clint Dempsey returned from the World Cup to find out he had landed another honor: a place on the cover of FIFA 2015.

Dempsey is the first American player to land on the cover of the game since Landon Donovan in 2011. He will share the duties with Lionel Messi when the game hits the shelves in September.

"It’s crazy," Dempsey said in a phone interview on Friday. "It’s really cool. I was a fan of the game growing up, playing with my friends. Going from playing the game with my friends to being able to play with my own player in the game and now being on the cover, it’s something that’s pretty special. It’s an honor."

It is also a sign of Dempsey’s cultural relevance in a World Cup year and the increasing influence of MLS on the whole. The popularity of the game — and the presence of the U.S. captain on the cover of it — offers yet another entry point for emerging fans. If Dempsey’s presence prompts more players to opt for MLS sides instead of Barcelona or Real Madrid, then it is exactly the sort of development that can help the league moving forward.

Those broader concerns matter in the long term for a league still seeking to expand its foothold among the general population, but the cachet afforded by Dempsey’s place on the cover reaps immediate benefits, too.  

"I’m super excited that Clint’s on the cover," Seattle defender DeAndre Yedlin said. "I think the fans not only in Seattle, but throughout America will really like it and appreciate because Clint is such a familiar face in soccer, especially in America. I think everybody’s really going to like it. I’m excited to see the response."

Dempsey dons his Sounders FC alternate jersey on the XBox version of the cover (Seattle has the Xbox logo on the front of its kits) and wears his international jersey on the PS4 cover.

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Photos courtesy of EA Sports