Closing Up Shop

By Kevin Koczwara

This day has been a long time coming, but I’ve been putting it off because I haven’t had the heart to shut down my baby, this blog. The Soccer Guys has been part of my daily routine since the summer of 2009. This was started by a few friends who graduated from college during the height of the “Great Recession” with possibly the worst degree at that time: Journalism. We needed something to do to keep up busy and keep our writing chops fresh. It started with an email and grew into a site.  There were plans to create a network of sports related sites with our other unemployed journalist friends, but it didn’t happen for one reason or another, mostly because people got jobs, moved away or just fell off the planet.

Since then, we’ve covered the U.S. Men’s National Team, Spain, been featured on the Guardian’s World Cup Coverage, visited bars, covered Real Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool and become regulars for the New England Revolution and Major League Soccer.  Now it’s time for me to close this thing up for good. I’m the last remaining member and have been for sometime, so I can do that.

It’s been a lot of fun. Look out for us in other places.

Here’s an update on where we are now:

Ryan has become a teacher, an Arsenal fan and is still in Grad school. He still lives in Western Mass and drives to Boston almost weekly.

Joe works at some company writing content that is SEO optimized. He moved to Brookline and still lives there without a license. He is now an editor for College Hockey News and writes about the Bruins for one website or another. He is still an Arsenal fan.

Mike wrote for us a few times. He does a lot of driving now. He also lives in Brookline where parking spots are a premium for residents. Don’t ask how he does it, we don’t know.

Brian did most of our design work when he found a few free minutes. Now he designs stuff for a company and does more Internet related things. He lives in Brighton and has plenty of spots in his driveway, which is great for visiting. He still loves Liverpool and has been known to lose days when playing Football Manager.

Melissa wrote for us a bunch and still works for a local television station as a web person for their news program. She now gets to play more soccer and loves that. She’s awesome.  Somehow Joe and Ryan converted her to Arsenal fandom.

Shannon is in grad school with the hopes that she will someday design pretty buildings. She still obsesses about the U.S. Women’s National Team. And is also an Arsenal fan. (See a theme here? Something happened along the way.)

Kevin still covers the New England Revolution. He writes for New England Soccer Today and has had his work featured on KCKRS.com, The Classical, MLSsoccer.com and edits LFC Boston’s blog the Red Letter with a crew of Liverpool fans. He is a news editor for a small newspaper in Massachusetts and writes for the alternative magazine Worcester Mag. He is not an Arsenal fan.

Don Garber hangs out with a punk at USMNT game

By Kevin Koczwara

The U.S. Men’s National Team had no other option to beat Jamaica in front of a sold-out crowd in Columbus on Tuesday night. The USMNT blew its chance to lock up the top-spot in its CONCACAF World Cup group on Friday when it lost, 2-1, to Jamaica in Kingston on Friday, and put itself on the verge of not qualifying for the next round if the team didn’t pick up the pieces it left on the floor.

Good new: Jurgen Klinsmann’s men did it in front of a riled up and prideful crowd on the day we will always remember as that day tragedy struck, 9/11. Thanks to a Herculez Gomez goal, the USMNT took back the top-spot in the group with a 1-0 win over Jamaica.

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Shalrie Joseph’s old team and new team didn’t do so well this weekend

By Kevin Koczwara

Last week the New England Revolution traded its captain Shalrie Joseph to Chivas USA. The midfielder hadn’t played for any other team since joining Major League Soccer and it was thought that he’d finish out his career in New England after signing a contract over the winter with the Revolution and became the team’s second Designated Player in team history. This of course was before the former captain’s relationship with the Revolution’s new coach Jay Heaps became “rocky”.

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Ribery and Benzema face new prostitution related charges in France

By Kevin Koczwara

It’s been a long time since we’ve heard anything about Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema’s alleged solicitation of a prostitute when she was just 16 years old. In 2010 the news broke ahead of the World Cup in South Africa that the two players — two very important players for the French National Team —  had both had sexual relations with Zahia Dehar, who was 16 at the time of the transgression — she was 18 when she told press and police. The two players apparently didn’t know her age and Dehar backed them up on this in the reports.

We all seemed to have forgotten this news, but like most things involving professional athletes, stories never die. Now this one won’t go away. It looks like Ribery and Benzema — two players who took part in Euro2012 for France — are likely to face new charges related to their solicitation of sex.

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U.S. Women’s National Team ready to take on New Zealand

By Shannon Hovan

The U.S. Women’s National Team should have no problem defeating New Zealand today in their quarterfinal match. With no intention of doing the Kiwi’s quality of soccer any injustice, I might rephrase my previous statement to say: New Zealand is a squad of great fight and great soccer, but the U.S. is a squad of greater fight and better soccer. Not to mention a confidence level in each player I have never seen before.

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The National is as impatient as me with Clint Dempsey’s possible transfer

By Kevin Koczwara

Can we all agree that Clint Dempsey, Fulham and whoever else is involved in transfer rumors end this long, over done, holy crap it should have happened already saga? There have been reports that he could go to Liverpool, and probably will, before the summer is over. But things aren’t progressing on any front outside of transfer price tags being tossed out there. More speculation was recently created because Dempsey decided to stay home with his dog and family instead of going with the rest of the team to preseason training in Switzerland.

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Summer Olympics: USWNT v. FRANCE Reaction

By Shannon Hovan

1.CAN’T COUNT US OUT

The U. S. Women’s National Team’s start to its opening match of their 2012 Olympic campaign against France was shaky.

The major question mark that has been lingering since Ali Krieger, the best right back in the world, tore her MCL and ACL in her right knee against the Dominican Republic in January during the Olympic qualifying tournament, has been what can be expected from the USWNT back line? The first 15 minutes of the match shook the the team to its core.

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Thierry Henry’s magic sinks the Chicago Fire

By Kevin Koczwara

There was never any doubt about Thierry Henry’s ability when he signed with the New York Red Bulls. There have been questions about his age, though. Henry seemed to be on the wrong side of 34 after he suffered an injury earlier this year while playing against the New England Revolution.

But the former Barcelona and Arsenal forward again proved he is worth the big money the Red Bulls offered to him. Today, in a midweek, mid-afternoon Major League Soccer game, Henry showed he still has magic in his boots.

Henry’s goal, the game winner in the Red Bulls 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire, showed the kind of touch and skill that Arsenal fans saw so many times during his legendary time at the club. Henry took the ball down with his chest, pushing it into space and ripping a shot across the goal and off the inside of the opposite post. Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson never had a chance.

Watch a clip of the video courtesy of MLSsoccer.com below.

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Watch: Andrea Pirlo’s Beautiful Penalty Against England in Euro Semifinals

By Kevin Koczwara

England and Italy played to a dull 0-0 draw, the first scoreless game in this year’s European Championship. The game went to penalties and naturally the English lost. Italy prevailed. And Andrea Pirlo, the player of the game and maybe the tournament, continued his magnificent display with this penalty kick.

England goalkeeper Joe Hart tried to everything he could to put off Italy’s penalty takers during the shootout, but it didn’t work against Pirlo, the long-haired Jedi Master of the soccer ball. Watch as he scrumptiously chips in his kick. It’s just beautiful.

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Talking with Tony Tchani: Crew Midfielder Needs to Continue to Improve

By Kevin Koczwara

Last week I wrote about the Columbus Crew’s effective game plan to shut down the New England Revolution through the middle of the midfield for New England Soccer Today. A major player in that stifling midfield was former New York Red Bull and Toronto FC midfielder Tony Tchani.

Tchani was traded twice last year. First he was shipped to New York as part of a package for Dwayne De Rosario and then the Reds sent him to Columbus for Andy Iro and other players. Tchani went to the Crew and quickly found himself shelved with a knee injury, limiting his playing time — Tchani only saw time in a Crew jersey in the team’s one playoff game, he played the full 90 minutes.

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