MLS teams take full advantage of April Fools’ Day

imageThe Rapids announced a spectacular return to their roots Tuesday (Image: Colorado Rapids)

It’s April 1st, so we all know to take every breaking news item with a huge grain of salt, right?

We certainly hope so, or there’s a good chance you were that person that frantically forwarded the following MLS stories along to friends and colleagues, along with an oblivious, “OMG! Have you seen THIS?”

Up first: Orlando City SC, who re-branded themselves the “Manatees” today:

#GoSeaCows, indeed. Who needs another sports team nicknamed “The Lions” anyways? Booooring.

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Balotelli is at it again, trolls teammates in practice

It wasn’t too long ago when Mario Balotelli was pouting on Manchester City’s bench and causing trouble on and off the pitch — remember the practice dust-up between him and former Man City manager Roberto Mancini? Though Balotelli was generally regarded as the team’s official prankster,  once his standing within the team soured, so did his mood. By the time he left City, nobody was laughing at his shenanigans anymore.

But now that he is back in his beloved Italy, Balotelli has transformed from clubhouse cancer back to class clown. We’ve already seen him do this:


And this:

And this week, Balotelli was up to some more tricks, this time nutmegging Cristian Zapata and M’Baye Niang without them even realizing it:

Another successful stunt on the board! We can only guess who Super Mario’s next victims will be, but we do know this: when Balotelli’s happy, we’re happy.


Costa Ricans welcome El Tri with custom casket

Clearly, Costa Ricans love hosting World Cup qualifiers.

A month after welcoming the United States with a hostile reception at the airport, fans of Los Ticos gave Mexico a similarly friendly greeting.

Mocking El Tri for their grave position in World Cup qualifying with one match to go — if they are to lose to Costa Rica on Tuesday night coupled with a Panamia victory against the United States over two goals, Mexico will most likely be eliminated — a small group of fans rolled up to the airport with a coffin draped in Mexico’s colors propped up on a pickup truck. Inside the coffin: a skeleton wearing a Mexico kit.

The message is pretty easy to decipher: 


For more on Mexico’s do-or-die match against Costa Rica, read Kyle McCarthy’s preview and key points to the match.


Newly-wed Man United fan still the winner of the derby

Manchester United may have lost the derby against City on Sunday, but a United fan who recently married into a family of City supporters can still say he came out on top.

The fan — whose twitter alias is @aboycalledyoung — pulled an epic prank on his new in-laws while giving his wedding toast. Having lost his father the past year, he leads his in-laws into an emotional tribute to his old man before delivering the perfect punch line!

Later, the cheeky groom confirmed on twitter that this prank was indeed the best way he could think of to honor his father:

H/T 101GG


Beckham signs 1-year contract with Arsenal!

Nope! Not that one. Gotcha!

David Beckham’s 10-year-old son Romeo has signed with Arsenal on a 1-year youth contract, according to ITV. It’s not a surprise, either. Romeo  has long been identified as a Gooner, and was recently spotted running about in an Ox jersey:

Trying to follow in his father’s footsteps as a footballer, Romeo will now get his chance to develop the other half of his inherited skill set. Of course, he’s already gotten his feet wet in the modeling world, just like David:


Image - Burberry


Fenerbahce fans try to ruin Arsenal players’ sleep ahead of UCL match

Whenever big competition comes to Istanbul, the rabid local fan bases are almost certain to drum up a storm around the visiting teams’ hotels, looking to interrupt the players’ sleep the night ahead of the matches. To be fair this “tradition” extends to certain fan bases all over the world, but Istanbul can get especially rowdy. For that reason, many clubs usually book two different hotels to try and throw off the troublemakers.

Arsenal, of course, didn’t do that. So after word spread on social media that the Gunners had taken up quarters in Istanbul’s Wyndham Hotel Kalamış, a mob of Fenerbahce fans duly swarmed over there and went to work, shooting dozens of flares and firecrackers into the night.

Amazingly, no Arsenal players were injured.

Of course, the fans’ “support” could all be for nothing. Fenerbahce has been expelled from all UEFA competition this season and is awaiting a decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport today on their appeal. Should the suspension stand, Arsenal automatically goes through to the Champions League group stage.


Scottish fans take over London’s Trafalgar Square, fill fountain with soap


Photo via 101GG

In the build-up to Wednesday’s “friendly” match between longtime rivals England and Scotland — in fact, it is the oldest football rivalry in the world — the traveling Scottish fans took over one of London’s most famous downtown spots, Trafalgar Square.

Given that this was the first match between the two nations in 14 years, the Scots were particularly riled up for this one, with more than 25,000 reportedly traveling down the British Isles to, mainly, stir up trouble. And to make lots of bubbles.

Yes, the “Tartan Army”successfully turned Trafalgar Square into one giant bubble bath by squirting large quantities of dish soap into the famous fountains (and perhaps some other, non-cleaning liquid):



Photos by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images


Photo via 101GG

Not a bad prank to pull on the old enemy. We’re not sure how cheery the Scots were after this, though:

England won the match 3-2 on debutant Rickie Lambert’s winner in the second half.


Classic “Anchorman” prank!

An Australian news reporter was embarrassed by her colleagues while reading the highlights to Wednesday’s Europa League final. At the end of the highlight, her male colleague slyly changed the copy on the teleprompter to something completely non-soccer-related. Predictably, the reporter kept reading the script, sending the entire set into an uproar and reminding everyone of Veronica Corningstone’s prank on the legendary Ron Burgundy.

The lesson as always, don’t read everything you see on the teleprompter.


Stoke players organize “retirement gift” for Owen


Stoke City’s Michael Owen, who has announced his retirement at the end of the season, found his car egged by teammates after Sunday’s game against Tottenham.

Owen already came up with a list of primary suspects, to whom he tweeted out this warning:

At least Owen’s true home team came up with a more appropriate and touching retirement gift:



The two best April Fools’ jokes in soccer this year

First up: Ricky Lambert announcing his decision to play his international football for New Zealand.

Despite being the top English goal-scorer in the Premier League, Lambert has yet to receive an invite to the English national team, which has even triggered a “Lambert for England” social media campaign. Lambert’s grandfather is a Kiwi, but don’t worry England fans, it’s just a joke. “Lambert for England” is alive and well.

Lambert’s joke was good, but taking the cake this year is the popular “Football Manager” franchise announcing a special 125th anniversary edition of their game: “Football Manager 1888” with new features such as no substitutions, no offside rule and the added wrinkle that your players could be drafted into the Army mid-season!

From their Facebook page:


Which was your favorite April Fools joke this year?