Outside the Box: Humble pie, marbles, and too much attention

Wow, what a week of soccer both here and abroad but let’s start with the world’s biggest club competition, the UEFA Champions League. This quick-fire one game stuff is great but let’s not focus on that Bayern v PSG final just yet.

Cast your mind back to that quarter final, Munich beating Barcelona 8-2 pretty much cementing the end of La Masia’s golden generation. While I may not like that as someone who loved watching a group of academy graduates beating the government-funded team in the Spanish capital, I did enjoy the sheer amount of crow Arturo Vidal is eating right now after saying this…

Isn’t It Your Bedtime?

Bayern’s fellow finalist PSG played Red Bull RasenBallsport Leipzig in the semis and something came up during the game. These are two very young soccer clubs.

Paris Saint-Germain is celebrating its 50th anniversary, while RB Leipzig has only been around for 11 years. So here’s some things about that.

At 59, Diego Maradona is older than both clubs, while 79-year-old Pele is older than both combined. Together they would be the same age as Inter Miami’s Lockhart Stadium, which originally opened in 1959 before being rebuilt a couple of times.

When you consider that the traditional big clubs like Bayern (1900), Barca (1899), Manchester United (1872) are age-old institutions, we’re in a strange position where two of the final four for the world’s biggest prize were teams that grew in most soccer fans’ lifetime.

Oh, and Neymar also had some fun, posting this image immediately after the game.

He’s a Kompany Man

Vincent Kompany brought an end to his illustrious career. Catching the world’s eye as a 17-year-old in Anderlecht’s Champions League games, Kompany really made his name at the heart of the Manchester City defense, picking up 12 medals with City and a bronze medal at the last World Cup.

We covered Kompany’s weird return to Anderlecht last year, taking over as player/captain/manager but then having to settle for joint manager since he was struggling with the day-to-day aspect of the job. Well now he’s retired so Anderlecht gave Vinnie the keys back! We’ll see how this pans out.

Robbo Reflection

From one Premier League-winning defender to another. Andrew Robertson’s gone from playing in the lowest tier is Scottish football for no pay, to making $3m a year on top of calling himself a current holder of both the Premier League and Champions League.

Flashback eight years as Robertson graduated from the youth team of then-amateur Queen’s Park in the Scottish Third Division.

Wynalda Out…Again

Eric Wynalda has a habit of not lasting long in jobs, and New Amsterdam FC was no exception. You didn’t know he was there? Well that’s forgivable since he was only with the new NISA outfit for 18 days.

Wynalda missed his first game, a 1-1 draw with the New York Cosmos and only took charge of one game, a 3-0 loss to Maryland Bobcats.

Remember when some people wanted the USMNT icon as US Soccer President?

You’ve Lost Your Marbles

Teams are in the process of unveiling their kits for the 2020/21 season, and Arsenal has a new away jersey inspired by the famous Marble Hall at their former home, Highbury.

In case you’re not aware of what that looks like, here’s a photo of Arsene Wenger in the Marble Hall for the opening of the project to turn Highbury into apartments with the art deco facades of the East and West Stands maintained as the front of the apartment buildings.

Embed from Getty Images

So it’s beige and grayish, like most marble right? What that doesn’t look like is a jersey with blood dripping diagonally like this.

Anyway, how do you make a jersey that looks like Dexter’s Kill Room even more ‘out there’? You make a video featuring a nude statue of David Seaman, a painting of Keiran Tierney as a viking warrior complete with his famous grocery bag, and a weird chess set.

Is Any Publicity Good Publicity?

Whoever said that any publicity is good publicity clearly wasn’t aware of FC Dallas. Our local MLS team doesn’t get a whole lot of mainstream media attention – and that’s partly their own fault – but I’m not sure they expected all the attention they’re currently getting.

CNN, BBC, ESPN, beIN SPORTS, and numerous other worldwide outlets have had their pick at FC Dallas for firstly becoming the first team in one of the major sports in the US to allow fans back. Of course at that game came the protest against systemic racism that drew a couple of boos and an impassioned critique by Reggie Cannon.

Now we’re not taking a stance on this website on anyone’s freedom of speech, or what’s acceptable to do during the national anthem. We write about soccer, and we have our own social media accounts for our personal views…although we can all agree the guy who threw the bottle on the field is a lot of naughty words that aren’t for this website, as well as anyone sending death threats to Reggie and his family.

Back to the point, any publicity isn’t good publicity if you can’t take advantage of it, and here’s what they were left with. Please take any social opinion out of it, I’m purely talking about what FCD can control as a positive for their own brand.

Luchi Gonzalez got a little aggrieved at the size of one of his Zoom press conferences after the team came home from Orlando. The usual crowd is myself, Buzz, and Nico from 3rd Degree, our two buddies at Dallas Soccer Show, an MLSsoccer.com editor, Angel from the Dallas Morning News, Kelly at Lifestyle Frisco, Al Dia, Telemundo, and Univision.

We were treated to over 30 people on that particular call with Luchi saying ‘I guess it takes a pandemic to get you to care about us’. Sure enough, the press conferences in the run up to the second Nashville game were full of random people too, with no-one interested in putting out who FC Dallas, its players and fans are. Myself and Nico, as well as Dustin and Jonathan from Dallas Soccer Show, had the audacity to ask soccer questions between their grilling on the anthem topic.

As much as we criticize FC Dallas’s marketing and marketability on here or on the pod, that’s not a winnable position for anyone.

What’s On

Europa League and Champions League Final, duh! FC Dallas has two games, North Texas SC is also in action – that is if you’re not ready to return to the stadium. The Women’s Champions League is getting to the latter stages, and a chance to see Little Elm’s Weston McKennie play against Dirk Nowitzki’s hometown team!

Thursday, August 20:
6:00pm – New York RB v NYCFC (MLS) – ESPN+

Friday, August 21:
11:00am – Atletico Madrid v Barcelona (Women’s Champs. League QF) – CBS All Access
2:00pm – Sevilla v Inter Milan (Europa League Final) – CBS All Access/TUDN/UniMas
7:00pm – Houston Dynamo v FC Dallas (MLS) – TXA21/ESPN+

Saturday, August 22:
9:00am – RB Salzburg v Ajax (Friendly) – ESPN3/ESPN Deportes
1:00pm – Lyon v Bayern Munich (Women’s Champs. League QF) – CBS All Access
5:00pm – LAFC v LA Galaxy (MLS) – FOX
8:00pm – San Antonio v FC Tulsa (USL-C) – ESPN+
9:00pm – America v Monterrey (Liga MX) – ESPN Deportes/TUDN/Univision

Sunday, August 23:
2:00pm – PSG v Bayern Munich (Champions League Final) – CBS All Access/TUDN/Univision
4:00pm – Forward Madison v Orlando City B (USL-1) – ESPN+
8:00pm – North Texas SC v Union Omaha (USL-1) – ESPN+
9:00pm Portland Timbers v Seattle Sounders (MLS) – FS1

Monday, August 24:
11:00am – Schalke v Wurzburger Kickers (Friendly) – ESPN3/ESPN Deportes
6:00pm – NYCFC v Columbus Crew (MLS) – ESPN+

Tuesday, August 25:
1:00pm – UEFA Women’s Champions League Semi-Final 1 – CBS All Access
6:30pm – Philadelphia Union v New York Red Bulls (MLS) – ESPN+
7:30pm – Sporting KC v Houston Dynamo (MLS) – ESPN+

Wednesday, August 26:
1:00pm – UEFA Women’s Champions League Semi-Final 2 – CBS All Access
7:30pm – FC Dallas v Colorado Rapids (MLS) – TXA21/ESPN+
9:30pm – LA Galaxy v Seattle Sounders (MLS) – ESPN+

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