“We Are Jogging to Brazil”: The Ultimate World Cup Soccer Jogging Mix Ever of All-Time

WeAreJoggingtoBrazil

OK, so the headline above might be an exaggeration, but it was written in the thinking that there probably aren’t all that many World Cup Soccer Jogging mixes out there. If any?

So now that I’ve explained the headline, I’m sure your first question is: Why create a World Cup Soccer Jogging mix in the first place? Well, some friends and I are headed down to Brazil for the World Cup and as part of our “training,” we decided that we’d hold a competition where everyone had to jog 100 miles in the three months before the WC, and for each mile you came in under 100 you had to buy that many drinks for the rest of the crew. Or something like that.

Now if you’re as out of shape as I am, 100 miles means about 900 minutes of running. (Getting old seriously sucks. No one told me your hamstrings became tighter than Arsene Wenger’s purse-strings once you eclipsed 40.) So I figured that the only way I could get through all of these miles was to create a soccer-music mix that reminded me why I was doing this in the first place. Hence, I created the “UWCSJMix”, 49 minutes of soccer-rocker goodness. And naturally, as an American, I called it, “We Are Jogging to Brazil!” Please do the right-click thing and download it here if you’d like:

:: “We Are Jogging to Brazil” (MP3) ::

I’ve also included a quick track-by-track description below but should give a shoutout to the always impressive Football and Music, who exposed to me to at least a handful of songs in the mix. Go check out their site for better mixes than the one posted above.

Though I don’t think they have any better World Cup Soccer Jogging mixes than my own effort. Just sayin’.

“WE ARE JOGGING TO BRAZIL”

(Would-be liner notes if you could do such things in iTunes. Why can’t you do such things in iTunes, by the way?)

Brian Clough, “Intro” … Arguably the greatest English manager to never manage the English national side offers up some words of wisdom. “Football’s a hard game.” Especially for the U.S. these days, but I digress.

Harry J and the All Stars, “Liquidator” … A classic. Normally played before Chelsea matches so the Arsenal chant is way out of line. But I’m American so I can get away with such things.

“Arsenal Til I Die” … The famed fan chant that can be applied to just about every club on the planet. Unless your local rivals happen to be Eye Dye FC.

Sensible Soccers, “Twin Turbo” … This soccer rocker was used to score cristiano Ronaldo’s official tribute video when he won the Ballon D’or this year. The band name is also ripped from a classic 90s video game, “Sensible Soccer”. Which makes sense as $occer stopped becoming sensible around the turn of the century.

Manchester City Supporters, “Mario Balotelli Chant” … One of my favorite fan chants of all time. The City fans are nothing if not creative. Google the lyrics when you get a sec (I’d do it for you but I’m flying right now).

Real Sounds of Africa, “Soccer Fan” … One of two true football-song highlights on this mix, this classic 90s ditty – used to intro the BBC’s excellent World Football Phone-In podcast – was actually produced by a fledgling Norman Cook, aka “Fatboy Slim”, aka “Massive Brighton Hove and Albion supporter”.

England Supporters Club, “Wayne Rooney Chant” … I just heart the tuba in this. And hope to hear this live in Brazil. Really do.

Sir Edmundo Ros, “Football, Football (Calypso)” … The other top, top, TOP, TOP!!! cut on this mix. Especially appropriate for the trip to Brazil. I hope to have exactly these sorts of discussions in Brazilian bars the country over while down there.

“Oh When the Spurs Go Marching In” … Can only think of Bale shredding Inter in the CL when I hear this. Not sure why. A classic either way.

Rogue Wave, “Harmonium” … The song used for Fox Soccer’s Vice-esque promo spot. I never thought FSC got enough credit for some of the promos they did, to be honest, this one chief among them.

Lightning Seeds, “Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home)” … Another classic. Often sung by opposing fans to ridicule English sides when they’re being beaten badly away from home. Seeds nailed this ditty, though.

Diego Maradona interview about the Hand of God … Absolutely cruel of me to position this right after the Lightning Seeds song. But I’m American so I can get away with that. More than anything I just love the way Maradona says Butcher. “BOOTCH-er”.

The Fall, “Theme From Sparta FC” … If England was ever going to lash out in anger at at the myriad ways the football gods have wronged them, then this track would be blasting as they stormed the pitch.

Manchester United, “Move, Move, Move (The Red Tribe)” … Second cheesiest song on the mix, but a guilty pleasure. Maybe it’s because a coworker who doubled as the biggest Roy Keane fanboy on the planet used to blast this in the newsroom we worked in whenever Man U wrapped up another trophy. I’d promptly warn him on IM (+15%!) each time the song played. Those were the days.

Liverpool FC, “Anfield Rap” … Horrible of me to place Scouser cheese after Red Devil cheese, but I’m American so I can do such things. The Macca Can/Shaka Kahn part is particularly good fun.

Rangers “Four Lads Had a Dream” Chant … I know that hearing any chant that uses the Sloop John B is considered passé, but hearing Rangers fans chant this the season after getting dropped down to the fourth tier in Scotland was pretty stirring. I like this. A lot.

Kasabian, “Fire” … Another FSC promo that worked quite well. This was the open to any of their PL programming, blaring over all 20 club crests.

George Best, Homeowner Interview … Bestie talks about his infamous custom home outside of Manchester. The architect who designed it is named Frazier Crane, which most Americans should get at least a chuckle out of.

Noel Gallagher, “AKA What a Life!” … Decent belter by the famous City fan that also doubled as the soundtrack of Vauxhall commercials for the English national team.

Ryan Morgan, “The Ballad of Clint Dempsey (Nacogdoches Blue)” … As an American, I felt I should end this mix with an American soccer song. Sadly, there aren’t that many, but this one isn’t half bad.

Roy Wegerle

The Denim Kit, both uniform and site, gets its due in a Slate.com article

If you have a sec, please go check out an impressively detailed piece on this site’s namesake at Slate.com. Entitled “The Horrifying True Story of the Ugliest Jerseys in U.S. Soccer History,” the piece has quotes from a vast array of real American heroes like Alexi Lalas, Tab Ramos and Eric Wynalda.

Bonus: we, this very dot-com, even got a mention in the piece:

In a 2011 interview with the wonderfully named blog the Denim Kit, Adidas’ Drew Gardner revealed that the company’s uniform imagineers pondered outfitting the team in tie-dye.

Thanks for the link-love, Slatesy. First beer in Brazil’s on us. Unless you’re rolling with an expense account down there.

My Balloon Door Rankings. Mine.

FIFA and the French government* has released the list of the 23 players chosen as candidates for the 2013 Ballon d’Or (French for “balloon door,” I believe) award. Below is how I’d rank the candidates on the list and, hence, how I’d vote. Had I vote to cast. Naturally, I don’t. But here’s how my faux (French for “awesome,” I believe) list would look regardless.

23. Eden Hazard (Belgium)
22. Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany)
21. Thiago Silva (Brazil)
20. Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast)
19. Neymar (Brazil)
18. Luis Suarez (Uruguay)
17. Xavi (Spain)
16. Mesut Ozil (Germany)
15. Edinson Cavani (Uruguay)
14. Arjen Robben (Netherlands)
13. Manuel Neuer (Germany)
12. Philipp Lahm (Germany)
11. Andres Iniesta (Spain)
10. Robin van Persie (Netherlands)
9. Gareth Bale (Wales)
8. Robert Lewandowski (Poland)
7. Andrea Pirlo (Italy)
6. Franck Ribery (France)
5. Thomas Muller (Germany)
4. Radamel Falcao (Colombia)
3. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
2. Lionel Messi (Argentina)
1. Zlatan Ibrahimovc (Sweden)

Before you cry foul at my rankings, remember that there really are no criteria for the voting. It’s simply a gut feeling as to who’s the top — or even top-top-top-top — player on the planet within a given year.

So throw your stats and your cups out the window and just go with your heart. In fact, if you’d like to make a balloon door pick yourself, just answer these three simple questions:

1. During the 2013 calendar year, did [Player X] stir strange, awkward feelings within your very innards?

2. Would you be embarrassed to walk into a soccer bar at this very moment and yell, “[Player X] is definitively, without a doubt, the top player on the planet right now! Forza [Player X]!”

3. Would you then have a pint glass whipped at your head for making such a statement?

If you answered yes to the first question and no to the second two, then that should basically be enough to justify your selection.

Meaning I have less than no problem telling you that if the powers that be don’t give Zlatan this year’s balloon door, it will be a grave injustice against all of football — hence, humanity — and I’ll be hella miffed.

(* – The French government wasn’t really involved in this year’s voting. Not so sure about the German government, though.)

Michael Bradley Scores Match-Winner For Roma At Udinese (Video)

Michael Bradley scored the match-winner for Roma at Udinese to keep the Giallorossi’s perfect start to the season — a remarkable nine wins from nine matches — intact.

The goal can be seen above; below is the Guardian’s description of the match-winner. Enjoy. Forza, General!

This was only the American’s third appearance of a frustrating season. Bradley has been out of action since injuring an ankle while warming up for a World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica in early September, and has since watched Roma excel without him.

Anxious observers in the US had already begun to ask what the player’s prospects would look like when he returned. A midfield trio of Pjanic, Daniele De Rossi and Kevin Strootman has arguably been the greatest strength of Garcia’s new-look Roma. Their success left no room for Bradley to force his way back into the starting XI – especially given the new manager’s reluctance to rotate.

Speculation began that the player might seek a January transfer. Such talk was entirely premature. Bradley has shown no interest in leaving, nor his club in selling. Both parties were entirely focused on getting the player fit and back in position to help Roma’s cause.

He did that on Sunday in dramatic fashion, scoring the game’s only goal with less than 10 minutes left to play. Roma had not done much attacking in the wake of Maicon’s sending off but after De Rossi picked out Strootman with a direct ball forwards from midfield, the Dutchman laid it off to Bradley on the edge of the D. From there, he stroked an immaculate first-time finish into the bottom corner of the net.

Messi Free-Kick Golazo Against Ajax (Video)

If Vladimir Weiss’ dribbling exhibition was my fave goal of the first round of CL group play, then I’d have to say Messi’s free-kick golazo off the post against Ajax was my second favorite. Precision, personified. Barca went on to win 4-0, and after the match there was a bit of debate on FOX Soccer as to whether Messi’s or Ronaldo’s Day 1 CL hat-trick was more impressive. To my thinking, it was Messi by a landslide.

Emile Heskey Suffers Brutal Knee Injury Against Melbourne Victory (Video)

England international Emile Heskey suffered a knee injury during a preseason match between his club, Newcastle Jets, and Melbourne Victory.

Skip to the 1:30 mark to see it, but be warned, Heskey’s scream is a bit blood-curdling.

Latest word is that Heskey will be out for six weeks with a grade two medial ligament strain. He’s lucky; looks as though it could’ve been worse.

Vladimir Weiss Scores Nutmeg Golazo Against PSG (Video)

This was my favorite goal of the opening round of CL play. The ex-Man City wunderkind nutmegs one PSG defender then shows some extremely deft footwork to beat a second, all super close to goal. The golazo doesn’t come as a huge surprise, he always showed a good bit of promise in friendlies for City. Despite Weiss’ nice finish, PSG would go on to win the match, 4-1.

Can US Qualify For World Cup Against Mexico?

Si, absolutely. But they still need a bit of help, even if they grab all three points.

If the US wins on Tuesday night in Ohio, then they qualify for the 2014 World Cup as long as Honduras gets a win or a draw at home on Tuesday against Panama. If Panama wins, however, then we have to put the official celebrations on hold for a few more weeks at least.

If the US draws against Mexico, then they clinch a World Cup spot with a win over Jamaica on Oct. 11 in Kansas City. Simple as that. (But there’s no scenario under which the US qualifies on Tuesday with a draw.)

But a loss to Mexico … opens up a whole slew of possibilities in terms of qualifying for Brazil or (wince) not making it to South America.

We’ll cross that bridge if we get there. Which, hopefully, we won’t.

Luis Suarez Scores 2 Goals Vs. Peru In 2-1 WCQ Win (Video)

Luis Suarez gave a vintage Luis Suarez performance in Uruguay’s 2-1 win over Peru on Friday. He dove, he slotted home PKs, he play-acted, he scored a screamer and, most importantly, he led his home nation to a key win over their South American rivals.

Uruguay now have 19 points through 13 matches and are in fifth place in CONMEBOL qualifying with five matches to play. The top four sides make it and the fifth gets a playoff against an Oceania rep. I think I have that right?

Alberto Gilardino Has Peppa Pig Tattoo (Photo)

Alberto-Gilardino-Peppa-Pig

Tattoos ain’t for kids. Unless you’re getting inked up to impress your own kids, it would seem.

Alberto Gilardino, of Genoa and Italian national team fame, apparently has a “Peppa Pig” tattoo on his left bicep, Peppa being a British children’s TV show. Gilardino has two daughters, so there’s every chance the tat is a tribute to his kids’ tastes in TV.

Nice tribute and all, but personally, I would’ve gone with Daddy Pig. Dude plays in a Sunday league on the show, after all.

USMNT-Costa Rica Highlights (Video)

The US dropped this one, 3-1. But then you probably knew that.

Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron will all be out for Tuesday’s match against Mexico due to accumulated yellows. But then you probably knew that too.

Something you might not have known: beIN Sport’s Phil Schoen is speculating that Sacha Kljestan, who’s apparently in the New York area already, could be called up for Tuesday’s match. Stay tuned.