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Arizona United Soccer Club signs Long Tan

PEORIA, Ariz. (Friday, July 11, 2014) – Arizona United Soccer Club is pleased to announce the signing of forward Long Tan, USL PRO and USSF approval. Tan will be part of the traveling squad for Arizona United SC’s match against Orange County Blues FC on Saturday that will be streamed on arizonaunited.com.

“We couldn’t be happier to have Long Tan join our organization,” Arizona United Soccer Club head coach Michael Dellorusso said. “He is a dynamic, attacking player, who has shown that he can score goals. He will fit in very well with the way we play and we look forward to him making an immediate impact.”

Tan, 26, joins Arizona United SC after appearing in seven matches for the Chinese Football Associations Super League’s Harbin Yiteng FC.

Born in Dalian, Liaoning, Tan played for the Shanghai United FC U-18′s before he made his professional debut for Pudong Zubon F.C. in 2007-08, where he made appeared in 16 matches and scored 6 goals. Tan moved to the United States and joined the Premier Development League’s Atlanta Blackhawks in 2009 and amassed seven goals in 12 matches.

Tan joined FC Tampa Bay of the USSF Division 2 Professional League in 2010. Tan played one season in Florida, and logged over 1,700 minutes, and 3 goals in 25 appearances. His rights were traded to Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps and he proceeded to make his MLS debut on March 26, 2011, becoming the first Chinese-born to play in an MLS match. In two seasons with the Vancouver Whitecaps, Tan appeared in 17 matches and notched one goal. Tan was traded to D.C. United midway through the 2012 MLS season and made six appearances before he joined USL PRO’s Oralndo City SC in 2013. In his lone season in Orlando, Tan appeared in 25 matches and scored six goals.

In a unique twist, Tan will be playing for the only professional soccer team in America owned 100% by a Chinese-American, Kyle Eng. Eng, whose father was born in China, commented “To be clear our first priority was to sign a high-caliber player to help our team make the playoffs, and Long Tan fits that bill. For that player be Long, and for him to be from China, is an added bonus of cultural pride for me.”

For more information regarding Arizona United SC or to purchase tickets go online at arizonaunited.com. Fans and media can also follow the team on Facebook facebook.com/ArizonaUnitedSoccer or Twitter @AZUnitedSC

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Eddie Johnson apologized to teammates today for comments that were quotes in an MLSSoccer.com article yesterday and a Washington Times piece today. OWFSS’ own Thomas Floyd and Pablo Maurer wrote both pieces.

Steven Goff writes:

“It was very important for me to take the guys aside this morning and tell them, ‘Look, the words were misperceived,’” he told the Insider. “I wasn’t trying to go at my teammates. It was more [about] adapting to this new style that I have to get used to. That is what has been challenging.”

In the spirit of making sure Eddie’s words are not misperceived, full audio of the interview is available above.

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Soccer: the world’s most popular sport.

Smokeless tobacco: the sporting man’s tobacco.

Shep Messing: an iconoclast in every sense of the word.

The combination of Shep Messing, smokeless tobacco, and soccer into one brilliant 30 second video? It’s enough to make us retroactively award the 1978 Long Tan Of The Year award to Shep Messing.

Here is our transcription of this epic script:

(SHEP, WEARING A JERSEY THAT READS “SHEP”, RUNS TOWARDS THE CAMERA AS 70’S FUNK PLAYS)

DEEP VOICE OVER: Shep Messing for smokeless tobacco.

(SHEP JUMP KICKS AN ERRANT BALL. A MONTAGE OF GOALKEEPING SAVES BEGINS.)

SHEP (VO): I love soccer. And I love tobacco! But I don’t light up. I get my tobacco pleasure the smokeless way, and so can you, with mild, easy to use Happy Days. It’s a smokeless tobacco with a great fresh mint flavor.

(SHEP TAKES A DIP AND SMILES)

SHEP: Just a little pinch between the cheek and gum is all it takes. The best part of going smokeless…

(SHEP MAKES A LIGHTNING FAST DIVING SAVE ON A SHOT THAT WAS TAKEN WHILE HE WAS TALKING)

SHEP: It’s really relaxing. Try some!

(SHEP ROLLS THE BALL TOWARDS THE CAMERA)

You are not going to see a better ad for anything soccer related than that.

So congrats, Shep. Your random kung fu kicks and unbridled enthusiasm for fresh mint flavors has earned you the retroactive title of 1978 Long Tan Of The Year, presented for excellence in the field of American soccer.

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Today is a big day for the Open Wide For Some Soccer team.

It gives us great pleasure to announce the inaugural class of the Open Wide For Some Soccer Hall of Fame (OWFSSHOF.) Before we induct our first three members, we’d like to give you a glimpse at our selection criteria. Read it carefully.

Criteria for selection: To be considered for induction into the Open Wide For Some Soccer Hall of Fame, a candidate must meet one of the two following criteria:

1) Candidate must make a donation to Open Wide For Some Soccer, in the form of alcohol, preferably scotch. The quantity of said scotch should be greater than or equal to 750ml; smaller quantities will be considered based on quality and cost. Other acceptable types of alcohol include, but are not limited to: any quality bourbon product, non-flavored vodka, gin, Jägermeister, Goldschläger. (ed. note, Thomas: Small quantities of cocaine will also be considered).

Beer will not be considered, but will be accepted in donation form.

2) Candidate must be Long Tan. Candidate must be named Long Tan. Alternatively, their name could be 谭龙. Candidate must be born in Dalian, Liaoning, China, and have DNA that precisely matches Long Tan’s DNA, a small sample of which we have on file in the Basement of Soccer.

So, without further Adu, let’s take a look at the inaugural 2014 class of the Open Wide For Some Soccer Hall of Fame. Other members will be added as needed.

Member: Michael D 

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Perhaps the most important member, because Michael D started the grand, and most-certain-to-be-repeated-dozens-of-times tradition of giving us whiskey. Yes, Michael D!!!! Does anyone ever call you Mike D, like from the Beastie Boys? I bet they do.

Whiskey: Dalwhinnie 15 year old. Pablo’s girlfriend works at a bar, and tells us that this was some good shit. We can’t really tell. Bravo.

Member: Amy Narron

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Amy has a special place in OWFSS’s collective heart, because she married Thomas Floyd’s U-8 soccer coach. But mostly because she gave us scotch. We’ll never forget that moment in front of the crepe truck in lot 8 where she handed us her donation, saying eloquently “this isn’t very good at all, but my kids got drunk as shit on it!”

Whiskey: Ron Burgundy blended scotch whiskey. Seriously, this is a real thing. According to Slate, “It’s…not terrible.” We’ll take it!

Amendment: If you don’t give us whiskey, there is only one other way to gain entry into the HOF: Be Long Tan.

Member: Long Tan

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Because Long Tan.

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For suffering the most creative injury we’ve seen in years, we award Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker the OWFSS Long Tan Of The Week, presented for excellence in the field of American soccer.

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Above: Chivas has a chance to move one step closer to Don Garber awarding himself the MLS Cup with an away trip to Dallas.

With just one game on national English television - the one you may have already watched in Week 1 - and only Houston sitting idle, allow the OWFSS team to poorly predict what will happen in this, the Third Weekend Of Major League Soccer Two Thousand Fourteen.

New England vs. Vancouver

(Saturday, 2:00 PM) Vancouver will be right at home on New England’s famed turf. All eyes will be to see if Jose Goncalves can overcome his rumored strained wallet that caused him to miss the Philly game last week.

Seth: 2–2 (Long Tan brace for Vancouver)
Pablo: 2–1
Thomas: 2–2
Dan: 0–0

Montreal vs. Seattle

(Saturday, 4:00 PM, Univision Deportes) Two big question marks for this one: will Dempsey’s hand-to-ball suspension be a difference maker? And will Montreal’s bad-weather fallback stadium need its own bad-weather fallback stadium?

Seth: 1–2
Pablo: 0–2
Thomas: 1–2
Dan: 1–1

Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy

(Saturday, 4:00 PM, NBCSN) Fresh off seeing their CCL dreams go up in smoke, the Galaxy head right back into the haze, taking on Kyle Beckerman in his Hydroponic Hideaway. And no, you’re not getting a contact high: they did just play each other during Week 1.

Seth: 1–2
Pablo: 2–2
Thomas: 3–1
Dan: 2–0

Toronto FC vs. DC United

(Saturday, 4:30 PM) What was once a battle of cellar dwellers is now a battle between a cellar dweller and the greatest team in the history of Major League Soccer.

Seth: 2 – 0
Pablo: 113 – -4
Thomas: 2 – 1
Dan: 8 – 1

Columbus vs. Philadelphia

(Saturday, 6:00 PM) Columbus welcomes the Union to Crew Stadium, which has been freshly re-touched in the off-season. Seats have been added, paint has been slathered, and word on the street is that their new scoreboard is actually non-explosive.

Seth: 1–2
Pablo: 1–2
Thomas: 0–1
Dan: 3–1

Colorado vs. Portland

(Saturday, 6:00 PM) Bad news for Portland fans: they only legalized weed in Colorado, not meth. Bad news for Colorado fans: the real refs are back, so there’s only a 60% chance of a blown penalty call in their favor for the home opener.

Seth: 420–0
Pablo: 2–0
Thomas: 1–1
Dan: 2–1

Dallas vs. Chivas

(Saturday, 8:30 PM) First-time owner Don Garber looks to take another step towards presenting himself with MLS Cup as Chivas takes on FC Dallas in a match already being described as “happening on Saturday night”.

Seth: 2–0
Pablo: 0–1
Thomas: 4–1
Dan: 0–2

Kansas City vs. San Jose

(Saturday, 8:30 PM) Sporting KC and San Jose face each other for the right to determine who shamed MLS the most in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Seth: “Moral victory for SJ, enduring CCL shame for SKC”
Pablo: 2–2
Thomas: 2–0
Dan: 1–1

Chicago vs. New York

(Sunday, 3:00 PM, UniMas) Mike Magee looks to take a break from terrorizing Charles Boehm on Twitter when the Fire open at home against New York.

Seth: 0–2
Pablo: 1–2
Thomas: 1–1
Dan: 2–2

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We’re starting to get worried that some of you may think we’re just the court jesters of MLS. So we wanted to remind everyone, in our serious voices, that we’re serious journalists too. (Even if there have been two articles about #ANGRYJOEWILLIS.)

As such, enjoy this roundup of things the four of us have written previously; we’ll be doing this weekly going forward.

Long Form

Players

Teams

League

Matches

Other

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As you all may know, our Seth Vertelney published an oral history of the 1994 USA World Cup team a couple weeks back. There were plenty of good anecdotes that didn’t quite make the cut for the story, so without further (Freddy) ado, here are a few of our favorites:

ALEXI AND THE OLD LADY ON THE PLANE

ALEXI LALAS: I tell this story all the time: Two weeks before I stepped on the field in front of a billion people with the U.S. in the World Cup, I got on a plane. I got my middle seat as we often did and a wonderful older woman sat down next to me and we proceeded to have a conversation. She asked me what I did and I said I played soccer and she said ‘Well isn’t that nice?’ and she said ‘So what do you do for money?’ This is two weeks before the World Cup. 

THE 22ND MAN

ALAN ROTHENBERG: While we were doing everything for 94, we were thinking ahead about Major League Soccer. The night before we had to put in our roster I met with Bora who I adored. The 22nd guy never plays on a 22-man roster so I had gotten word that Bora was going to put Fernando Clavijo on the roster who was the oldest player on the team and wasn’t going to go on to play in Major League Soccer. Why? Because Clavijo’s wife and Bora’s wife were friendly and so that way they were going to be able to travel together and so when Bora was gone for six weeks with the team, Maria would have a friend with her. So I sit down to dinner with Bora and I said ‘Look Bora, we’re trying to use this as a promotional vehicle for this new soccer league that we’re starting and there’s this good looking blonde hair kid from UCLA named Chris Henderson. Put him as your 22nd guy, the federation will pay for Clavijo’s wife to travel with Maria, but we want to be able to say that when Chris Henderson goes into Major League Soccer that he was on the World Cup team. And Bora says ‘Oh yes Mr. President’ and of course when he puts the roster in, he’s got Clavijo there and not Henderson. I don’t think people remember this, in the second half, he puts Clavijo in as a substitute. Colombia gets a breakaway, and Clavijo chases the guy down and tackles the ball away from him and saves the victory for us. I told Bora, ‘That’s the last time I tell you who to play.’

TAB AND LEONARDO

TAB RAMOS: He came and saw me at the hospital that night. He was crying, he really felt - even though now he’s going to get suspended and not play the rest of the World Cup – he was concerned about what he had done so he came to see me. We’ve been friends ever since really, because it seems like every World Cup since, there’s either a Brazilian show or an Italian show or an American show that has us both on together sort of remembering that moment and so we’ve become better acquaintances since. We played the Copa America in Uruguay in 1995, the year after the World Cup, and I was back on the U.S. team already and we exchanged jerseys after the game. I still have his jersey from that game. 

THE O.J. CHASE

The night before the U.S. began the World Cup against Switzerland, the world watched O.J. Simpson and Al Cowlings lead the LAPD on a slow-speed chase down the freeway

TONY MEOLA: Then of course the entire team had been up all night because the O.J. chase was the night before the game. You couldn’t turn the TV on anywhere and not see the O.J. chase. I was rooming with John Harkes. We talk about it all the time, we kept saying “We have to get to bed, we’re playing in a World Cup tomorrow” but we couldn’t turn the TV off. 

JOHN HARKES: His perspective was that he was very excited that O.J. was driving in his Bronco and was on TV and I kept stressing out thinking “Will you turn that TV off because we’ve got to prepare for the game!” But it was interesting the fact there was so much going on and all these other distractions that were there but I can remember that and a couple phone calls came to our hotel room too. I think maybe Colleen his wife had called and he was talking to her about it and eventually I was just like “We’ve got to shut this down Tony, we’ve got to go to bed.” There was a lot going on.

BORA BEING BORA

ERIC WYNALDA: Bora is the kind of guy where 10, 20 years after you’ve been coached by him, you’ll remember something and you’ll say “Oh shit, that’s what he meant! Ok now I get it. Now I know why he said that.” Because he had a very different way of saying things. Everything was a lesson and it was just nauseating at times that you had to go through it.

BORA MILUTINOVIC: My English is not so good, but I have excellent communication with my players

JOHN HARKES: Off the field, whenever we asked him hard questions in English he pretended he didn’t know English. He would get a translator or something and he would hesitate to answer us, but the easy questions he was always answering. It was the same in the media, he’s hilarious. He was definitely a character.  

WYNALDA’S ALLERGIC REACTION

Before the Switzerland game, Eric Wynalda had an allergic reaction to a sports drink.

PAUL CALIGIURI: Eric Wynalda, he actually drank Powerade, because Coca Cola was the sponsor of the World Cup and Powerade is one of their brands. He was allergic to like blue 40 or red 30 or one of those food colorings and he broke out in hives because he had to drink so much of it and he didn’t know he was allergic to it until after the fact.

SIGI SCHMID: It ended up being my job to make sure that Eric was focused. We had always had Gatorade all the way through and somehow the World Cup sponsor was Powerade. So it was something in the dye in the Powerade caused an allergic reaction with Eric so I remembered coming in and Eric was showing me like “Look at this!” Players are coming to me and saying “Hey you have to calm him down.” I go to Bora and he goes “Hey you have to keep Eric calm and focused so my job for the whole pregame – and it was a huge locker room because we were in the Silverdome, so it was the Detroit Lions locker room – I took him way in the back of the locker room and I was trying to keep him focused on the game, saying “Don’t worry you can play through this,” and everything else. We got Eric calmed down and he went out there and obviously scored the free kick goal. We came in at halftime and he (Bora) said “What do you think?” And I said ‘I think we can get about 15 more minutes out of him and he’s probably done.’ And so we put him out there for another 15 minutes in the second half and then we took him out.  

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You’ve probably heard that EA Sports is releasing a special mid-year FIFA game this year to coincide with the World Cup. You may have even heard that Men In Blazers spent time recording a commentary track for the game.

But they’re not the only podcasters making an appearance in the game. No, your favorite Basement Of Soccer dwellers (and Dan) will be making an appearance as well - as players.

In honor of TFloyd Tuesday (aka, “the day where we spend more time making fun of each other than writing about soccer”), we thought we’d share the player cards for our upcoming virtual selves.

(While we won’t actually be appearing in EA’s FIFA World Cup 2014, you can break the legs of virtual versions of us with two Creation Centre teams that represent the respective press boxes: Raccoon FC for DC United and Real Unpaid for RBNY.)