Hands Free Football

Dave and Carol talk about MLS

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Ep. 103: Arguing in Bad Faith

Okay, let’s just stop pretending like we’re recording anything that isn’t a serious topic ever again. But dammit, we need to talk about this stuff. First, Dave and Carol talk about the ACTUAL FRIGGIN’ WHITE SUPREMACISTS who showed up at the Sounders match a couple weeks ago. And then we take a close look at the USWNT’s lawsuit against US Soccer, and discuss why US Soccer is hiring lobbying firms to argue against their own players. Look. We’re mad. It’s just how it is.

First, here’s the blog post Dave wrote for MLS Aces: https://www.mlsaces.com/blog/2019/8/7/white-supremacists-at-a-sounders-match-and-why-the-league-and-the-team-front-office-is-responsible

Here’s a breakdown of the lawsuit by CBS Sports: https://www.cbssports.com/soccer/news/uswnt-equal-pay-lawsuit-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-womens-world-cup-champions-legal-fight/

This is a piece from Big Think looking at the numbers of the pay gap: https://bigthink.com/politics-current-affairs/womens-soccer-pay?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1

And finally, an article from ESPN about the lobbyists US Soccer hired: https://www.espn.com/soccer/united-states/story/3915613/us-soccer-hires-lobbyists-in-equal-pay-dispute

Ep 102: Is This Political?

We’re back! Despite a long – and unexpected – hiatus, we’re here again with another episode! This week, Carol and Dave talk about why they were gone for so long, and their thoughts on the future of the show. Then, the take a look at a dispute between the Sounders front office and supporters groups over an anti-fascist symbol. And finally, some Women’s World Cup talk! Sorry again for the delay, and enjoy!

First of all, here’s some pictures of the Three Lions Pub in Charleston:

Secondly, here’s a bit on the history of the Iron Front logo: https://www.thevintagenews.com/2017/03/28/the-iron-front-was-a-german-anti-nazi-paramilitary-organization-whose-logo-was-designed-to-be-painted-over-swastikas/

This is the ECS press release including the full letter from the Sounders Front office: https://www.weareecs.com/multimedia/category-news/430-anti-fascism-in-the-brougham-end

Here’s a letter from the Editor published at Sounder at Heart about the situation: https://www.sounderatheart.com/2019/8/1/20746701/letter-from-the-editor-the-fight-over-the-iron-front-flag

Update: This is the Sounder’s response which came after we recorded: https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/sounders/sounders-apologize-to-fan-groups-for-banning-iron-front-flag-but-tension-persists/

And finally, here’s the full version of the Nike ad that gets to us so much:

Ep 101: Spotty Reception

Hey everybody! Got another heavy one for you guys, because apparently the theme for this year is that we hate fun. This week Carol and Dave tackle MLS’ sponsorship deal with Chick-Fil-A and what that means for the League’s “Soccer For All” campaign. Also, there’s some questions about how FloSports is handling the broadcasting rights in DC, and what it means for the league in the future.

First, here’s a great article from High Press Soccer about MLS’ history with the LGBTQ community: https://www.highpresssoccer.com/mls-and-the-lgbtq-community/

Here’s a brilliantly scathing satire article about MLS and Chick-Fil-A from The Nutmeg News: https://www.thenutmegnews.com/current/2019/5/18/mls-announces-chick-fil-a-as-soccer-for-all-campaign-sponsor

This is a look at Flo Sports handling of DC United’s broadcasts from The Athletic (behind a paywall): https://theathletic.com/1000851/2019/05/29/flo-sports-broadcasts-have-d-c-united-fans-seeing-red/

This is a really fun look at some alternative formats for the MLS All-Star Game from Sounder at Heart: https://www.sounderatheart.com/2019/5/30/18638956/improving-the-mls-all-star-game

Here’s Mike Petke’s interview on KSL Sports:

Here’s the Bleacher Report’s write-up of the Leagues Cup (including the impressively bland logo): https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2838555-mls-liga-mx-announce-creation-of-leagues-cup-tournament-beginning-in-july

And finally, Sounder at Heart’s announcement of Chad Marshall’s retirement: https://www.sounderatheart.com/2019/5/22/18627249/chad-marshall-retirement

Ep 100: Episode Freakin’ ONE HUNDRED with Alexi Lalas (no, really!)

Holy crap, guys! We made it to episode 100! And to help us celebrate this milestone, we got soccer legend Alexi Lalas to join us and talk about the Women’s World Cup. Plus, Carol and Dave reminisce on the history of the show, and our hopes for the future of it. Thanks for being with us for 100 episodes, and on!

Just one note today, here’s a piece on Megan Rapinoe’s spread in Sports Illustrated: https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/megan-rapinoe-first-out-lesbian-pose-sports-illustrated-swimsuit-issue-n1004331

Ep. 99: Around the League

Hey, maybe it’s about time we actually talked about what’s going on in this league that we ostensibly follow. This week, Dave and Carol talk about why MLS decided to comply with FIFA’s Solidarity Payment and Training Compensation rules. Also, Zlatan walked into another team’s locker room. Was that okay? Then they discuss what the table looks like one third the way through the season, and finally some wrap-up on the end of the transfer window. Here’s a jam packed one for you guys.

First, here’s an outstanding breakdown of the RSTP rules from Miki Turner over at Sounder At Heart:

https://www.sounderatheart.com/2019/4/19/18507561/analysis-mls-solidarity-payments-seattle-sounders-youth-development

Secondly, here’s Bobby Warshaw’s take on trash talk from MLS Soccer:

https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2019/04/30/warshaw-wheres-line-trash-talk

Here’s what the table looks like currently:

https://www.mlssoccer.com/standings

Ep 98: Abuse and Support

You know what? It’s not that we keep wanting to do very serious topics. It’s just that there’s too many very serious topics that need to be covered in soccer right now. This week, Carol and Dave talk about Kaku kicking a ball right at a fan, and why Dave thinks this might be the worst kind of interaction for the league. Then they talk about why the Southsiders and Cuerva Collective walked out for fifteen minutes of the Whitecaps match against LAFC. It’s gonna get heavy again guys.

First off, here’s an article by ESPN on Kaku getting sent off for kicking a ball into a fan:http://www.espn.com/soccer/new-york-red-bulls/story/3826327/new-york-red-bulls-kaku-sent-off-after-firing-ball-at-fans

Second, here’s a CBC article on the Southsiders and Cuerva Collective walkout: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/vancouver-whitecaps-southsiders-protest-1.5101770

This is Ciara McCormack’s original blog post about the abuse: https://ciaramccormack.com/2019/02/25/a-horrific-canadian-soccer-story-the-story-no-one-wants-to-listen-to-but-everyone-needs-to-hear/

This is an article from The 42 discussing McCormack’s post: https://www.the42.ie/ciara-mccormack-vancouver-whitecaps-canada-soccer-4596835-Apr2019/

This is a write-up from Ride of the Valkyries on the Reign FC vs Orlando Pride match, including film of Alanna Kennedy’s fantastic bicycle kick: https://www.sounderatheart.com/2019/4/22/18510352/reign-fc-orlando-pride-recap-draw-inaugural-match-cheney-stadium

And finally, here’s the tweet from the Royal Guard about the Puyallup Tribe:

Ep 97: Why Couldn’t This Have Been Episode 96?

Hey guys! Well, we’re on vacation, but the doesn’t mean you have to miss out on Hands Free Football! Instead, you get another show that’s a week out of date. Yay! Just before taking off for the week, Dave and Carol sat down to talk about a listener challenge from friends-of-the-show Karl and James who had some questions about how to get more people to go to New England Revolution games. This was a really fun discussion, and I hope you guys like the lighter fare this week after the heavy topics the past few. Aloha everyone!

More of some background research for this episode. Here’s an article about how important the push for downtown stadiums is: https://www.citylab.com/design/2014/11/why-the-future-of-major-league-soccer-is-downtown/382942/

Here’s one of the many articles in which Jonathan Kraft promises a downtown stadium for the Revs: https://www.prosoccerusa.com/mls/new-england-revolution/new-england-revolution-owner-jonathan-kraft-we-will-get-the-stadium-done/

Here’s a look at how attendance numbers in MLS are complicated: https://ussoccerplayers.com/2018/05/mls-attendance-is-still-complicated.html

And here’s a look at the new Valencia logo that DC is objecting to: https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/8695418/dc-comics-valencia-batman-logo-bison/

Ep 96: Oh God, Not Another Very Special F***ing Episode of Hand Free Football.

Hey guys! Been too long, I tell you. Apologize for the delay in release of this episode. We had some technical difficulties to overcome. Luckily, we didn’t lose the entire show which is what we first thought happened. And that’s a good thing because this week we were joined by Devon from 253 Defiance to talk about some pretty hefty subjects. First, we dig down into Tacoma Defiance, and the relationship the supporters group has with them. Then we tackle the complicated question of how we deal with Cristiano Ronaldo’s rape allegations while they’re still just allegations. And finally, we dig into some of the more controversial supports chants at games. It’s a rollercoaster of a ride, but we hope you enjoy.

First off, here’s the Leander Schaerlaeckens article that started our whole discussion: https://sports.yahoo.com/talk-cristiano-ronaldo-yes-024221871.html

Here’s an earlier Schaerlaeckens article with some more details: https://sports.yahoo.com/ronaldo-rape-accusation-potentially-biggest-soccer-story-years-hard-tell-things-will-play-103616122.html?soc_src=hl-viewer&soc_trk=tw

Here’s the story about cloning Lionel Messi: https://www.barcablaugranes.com/2019/3/20/18274434/a-barcelona-newspaper-just-wrote-a-story-about-cloning-messi-seriously

This is more on the gaming partnership between MLS and MGM Casinos: https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2019/03/19/mls-announces-multi-year-gaming-partnership-mgm-resorts-international

And finally, here’s the legitimately badass new Women’s World Cup kits: https://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2019/03/11/15/02/20190311-wnt-usa-world-cup-jersey-kit-launch

Ep 95: Esse Quam Videri

Correction: In the episode, Dave mistakenly attributed an article about the NYCFC situation to Jonathan Tannenwald. The article in question (which is linked below) was actually written by Leander Schaerlaeckens.

Hello again everybody! Now that the season’s started, we can get away from more controversial topics. So let’s talk about Nazis! This week, Carol and Dave look at the current situation of NYCFC fans with ties to white supremacist groups, and just what the league and team’s responsibility to act on it. Also, we talk about the SheBelieves Cup, and the reaction for the USWNT players putting inspirational women’s names on their jerseys. And also, there have been some rule changes to the game. All that and more this week!

Lots of notes this week. First is the David Wong article about how humans would really react to a zombie apocalypse: http://www.cracked.com/article_21928_4-things-the-walking-dead-gets-wrong-about-apocalypse.html

Next is the ref who pulled a Matrix-like move to avoid a ball: www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2017/04/28/it-was-just-instinct-soccer-referee-goes-viral-for-doing-matrix-level-splits-to-avoid-ball/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.74d0fdbc9dd5

Here’s the USWNT’s jersey names: http://www.sportingnews.com/us/soccer/news/uswnt-honors-groundbreaking-women-names-on-jerseys-shebelieves-cup/jdweg8xquhsu15bd199yjjta9

This is the Huffington Post article about white supremacists in New York: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/new-york-city-football-club-far-right-extremists_n_5c76d679e4b062b30eba721a?otq

Sam Dunn at 12Up did an opinion piece critical of Don Garber’s response to the situation in New York: https://www.12up.com/posts/6311555-don-garber-is-a-disgrace-and-mls-fans-deserve-better-one-and-dunn

And finally, here’s the article about how solving the situation is more complicated than people are making it out to be: https://sports.yahoo.com/while-the-presence-of-rightwing-extremist-fans-in-mls-is-obvious-rooting-out-the-problem-isnt-042404612.html

That last article is the one I mistakenly attributed to Jonathan Tannenwald in the episode. The article is actually by Leander Schaerlaeckens. I will be making a correction on the next episode.


Ep 94: Team of Theseus Redux

Hey all! We’re back! Hope you’ve all had a fantastic offseason. This week, Carol and Dave decided to go back to a concept we first talked about all the way back in Episode 1. The Team of Theseus. What are our feelings on the Sounders now that they’ve been in MLS for a decade, and have almost completely changed from the team that played in 2009? Also, what’s going on with the National Team. Finally, our newest way of closing each episode, a quick lightning round of news stories from around the league. It’s good to be back. Here’s to another great season!

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