LACE UP SAVE LIVES

24 02 2010

Watch for me and the other NIKE guys (Findley, Beckerman, Rogers, Bornstein, Chad, Gaven, and Davis) to support the Lace Up Save Lives campaign as we take on El Salvador tonight in Tampa Bay. This is one of our last chances to make an impression on coach Bradley in preparation for the World Cup in South Africa.

With the spotlight firmly on the African nation, it’s more important than ever to harness the power the sport can provide. We’ll be wearing these RED laces, as will the players in the World Cup, to help raise awareness on the fight against AIDS in Africa.

Learn more about Lace Up Save Lives and join the must-win fight against AIDS in Africa.

Advertisements




TUESDAY IS MUSIC DAY

23 02 2010

Tuesday’s one of my favorite days of the week because NEW MUSIC comes out.

Usually during the season, I’ll get up with Jett, start the coffee and sort out some food, and then it’s straight to the computer to see whats HOT! I am an avid reader of Rolling Stone, Inked Magazine, and a handful of gossip magazines… so I’m pretty in tune with what’s coming out and what to listen for, and I definitely like to be my on judge when it comes to music.

The downloading begins when Jett takes his first bite of pannntake (pancake) or waffoooll (waffle)… then it’s synced straight to my ipod for the ride to the stadium.

This Tuesday’s a bit different as my kid(s) are in SLC. I can’t bring my computer to breakfast and there’s no rush to practice. I’m here relaxing at the Hyatt til we depart for training at 4:30. That means that I have a lot of time to listen to new music… and bad news for my itunes account.

Starting now, every Tuesday, I’m going to give you my choice of the day and what I’ll be downloading. Today, I’ll be downloading Alkaline Trio’s 7th album “This Addiction.” Not just because they had a cameo in “The Hills,” (one of my favorite shows) but because it’s their first album to come out on their own label, Heart and Skull.

Their new label is a joint venture with Epitaph Records, so you know they’re gonna bring after returning with Matt Allison, who produced the band’s first three landmark albums.  Skiba says in Inked Magazine, “We wrote our songs relatively quick back in the day, and that’s exactly what we did this time around.” Skiba went on to say, “We wanted to make a classic Alkaline Trio record that was fun to listen to hopefully has some depth to it.”  I’M SOLD.

As you heard before on one of my posts, I’m a huge fan of Phoenix, so you know I’m downloading the “iTunes Live from SoHo- EP.”  I’m also downloading the new single from Nas & Damian “JR. GONG” Marley antitled “As We Enter.” This song is FIRE!!!! It’s definitely going to be on my pre-game mix.

Happy Downloading!





USA CAMP UPDATE

23 02 2010

After the long trip, starting with a wake up at 6am and a short layover in Dallas, we arrived in Tampa to a warm reception from fans and TV crews.

It was a short trip to the hotel where we settled, got treatment, and watched the USA  hockey team put it on Canada. Monday, we resumed training at USF, got the flight out of our system and had a brief meeting about the lead up to EL Salvador. The weather here is beautiful and from the sound of it, there’s going to be a nice crowd on Wednesday.

Robbie, Kyle, and I are doing well and doing everything we can to continue this journey. We’ve enjoyed our time here but can’t wait to see the guys and get back to training with RSL. We miss our families and girlfriends very much but this is a time of year where they all understand we need to be away and put the work in.

We have one more training today at the stadium to prepare for the match, and then it’s a relaxing day at the hotel to focus and get the body ready for Wednesday night. We still don’t know the line up or roster for the game but keep your fingers crossed and thanks again for all of your support!





50 HIGHE$T PAID

21 02 2010

Check out the top 50 highest paid soccer players in the world. Make note that this is only for the season, and with no bonuses added in. Wow, what I’d do to change pay checks once with any of them. They definitely get rewarded when the play well!

50 highest paid players in world football

1 Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, £11.3million)
2 Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Barcelona, £10.4million)
3 Lionel Messi (Barcelona, £9.1million)
4 Samuel Eto’o (Internazionale, £9.1million)
5 Kaka (Real Madrid, £8.7million)
6 Emmanuel Adebayor (Manchester City, £7.4million)
7 Karim Benzema (Real Madrid, £7.4million)
8 Carlos Tevez (Manchester City, £7million)
9 John Terry (Chelsea, £6.5million)
10 Frank Lampard (Chelsea, £6.5million)

11 Thierry Henry (Barcelona, £6.5million)
12 Xavi (Barcelona, £6.5million)
13 Ronaldinho (AC Milan, £6.5million)
14 Steven Gerrard (Liverpool, £6.5million)
15 Daniel Alves (Barcelona, £6.1million)
16 Michael Ballack (Chelsea, £5.6million)
17 Raul (Real Madrid, £5.6million)
18 Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United, £5.6million)
19 Kolo Toure (Manchester City, £5.6million)
20 Wayne Rooney (Manchester United, £5.2million)

21 Robinho (Manchester City, £5.2million)
22 Iker Casillas (Real Madrid, £5.2million)
23 Victor Valdez (Barcelona, £5.2million)
24 Frederic Kanoute  (Sevilla, £5.2million)
25 Deco (Chelsea, £5.2million)
26 Didier Drogba (Chelsea, £4.8million)
27 Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus, £4.8million)
28 Francesco Totti (Roma, £4.8million)
29 Luca Toni (Roma, £4.8million)
30 David Villa (Valencia, £4.8million)

31 Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich, £4.8million)
32 Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich, £4.8million)
33 Ashley Cole (Chelsea, £4.8million)
34 Fernando Torres (Liverpool, £4.8million)
35 Gareth Barry (Manchester City,  £4.8million)
36 Patrick Vieira (Internazionale, £4.8million)
37 Charles Puyol (Barcelona, £4.3million)
38 Andres Iniesta (Barcelona, £4.3million)
39 Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid, £4.3million)
40 Andreas Pirlo (AC Milan, £4.3million)

41 Willy Sagnol (Bayern Munich, £4.3million)
42 Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich, £4.3million)
43 David Beckham (AC Milan, £4.3million)
44 Wayne Bridge (Manchester City, £4.3million)
45 Lassana Diarra (Real Madrid, £4.3million)
46 Dimitar Berbatov (Manchester United £4.1million)
47 Andrei Arshavin  (Arsenal, £4.1million)
48 Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea, £4.1million)
49 Ryan Giggs (Manchester United, £4.1million)
50 Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus, £4.1million)





SKULLCANDY & HARD ROCK TEAM UP

20 02 2010

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Skullcandy came together to put to final touches on the $750 million expansion to the Hotel.

The deal consists of Skullcandy having the official naming rights to the 3 Hard Rock main stages: The Joint, Wasted Pace, and Friday Night Live at the pool as well as the DJ booth at the well known Sunday Rehab pool party.

Look for Skullcandy to throw numerous events such as “Next,” a premiere summit showcase for sports, music, technology, and lifestyle industries.

Skullcandy will also create a signature playlist for the in-room music Sound Matters Sound Bar, an AMX 12″ Touch Pael music system with the ipod dock that will include over 2,000 HRH songs.

It’s cool to see two brands dedicated to music and sound collaborate to bring us the ultimate music experience. I saw Rancid & Rise Against there last year… this place really is top notch.





YOUR HOMEBOY Q&A

19 02 2010

What’s the strangest thing a fan has done to express appreciation? The strangest way a fan has expressed appreciation was asking me to sign their private areas… or taking a picture with me and telling me they’re going to send them out as their wedding invites.

Do you think the MLS should go to PK’s instead of draws? No, I don’t think the MLS should go straight to PKs. I think the MLS should do everything in its power to stay true to the game and play it how the rest of the world plays the game.

What is the best training drill you have done for improving your keeper skills? By far the best drill for anyone just starting or even experienced keepers, is to improve their footwork. I still to this day, here with the National Team or with RSL, do footwork everyday as well as any kind of handling. The more you catch the ball, the more you’ll feel comfortable with it. 

How Is “The Grounds” coming along? The Grounds is coming along. It’s taking longer than excepted but we don’t want to rush into anything. There’s a lot of details that we have to make sure are right before we really pull the trigger. Obviously, we want to make perfect training “Grounds” to play at, but also where kids have a great experience and want to come back. Plus, we’ve been kind of busy the last couple of months…

If I wear a Lakers jersey to the game, can I have your gloves too? Of course you’ll get my gloves if you wear a Lakers jersey to the game. I’ll have to see you, so you better represent it!

When are we going to another Harper concert? Whenever you see Ben is playing in the states and I’m free. Let’s go. I’ll take care of it.

How hard will it be for RSL to hold on to you, Kyle, and Robbie when your contracts are up and your stock is really high? I think all of us would love the stay in SLC for a while, if not forever. I personally really LOVE it here, but there are a lot of things to take in account. Contracts up or not, you want to be at a place that respects you, you’re happy playing for, and that rewards you for the things you do. Obviously, we brought a CUP back to SLC and I can say that all of us had a great deal to do with it, but at the same time, we ALL can be better during the reg-season. We have a CBA agreement that gives the players access to see what other players make around the league so that weighs a bit too. When you see someone in your position that hasn’t done half of what you done and isn’t as important to their club but still getting paid, that rings a bell. If you continue to grow and make things happen for your club, you get rewarded… that’s all we would want. At the end of the day, I think the 3 of us are very crucial to Real, but so is everyone else that plays a role on our team. We won the CUP because the TEAM was the STAR, and that really goes a long way. It still would be nice to WIN a couple more CUPS together. 

What are your feelings on RSL bringing in a DP? And if they did, what player would you like to see them sign? I think the DP position is something that needs to take lots of thought on. The DP is usually a high class player that comes from abroad, so you can’t just go get any name. You have to get someone who WANTS to be here and obviously needs to help the club in BIG ways… ON and OFF the field. If I were to choose a DP, I think it would be someone who can score goals at will… maybe someone like Raul, Del Piero, Rudd Van Nistelrooy, or even Donovan.

Loved the look on Donovan’s face when he missed the PK in the final. What was going through your head when he was ready to take the PK, and what did you think after he missed it? When Landon steps up, obviously there are some nerves because of the caliber of player he is, as well as PK’s he’s stuck before. At the same time, I have to be confident going up there and not to show any weakness. No, I don’t treat him any different. He’s like any other player going up to the penalty spot trying to put the ball in the back of the net. I know in the back of my mind that he’s made plenty of spot kicks in his life and been in much more pressure situations, so I just try to be calm and go with my instincts. I was relieved we he missed it! You could see my excitement after it went over the crossbar.  99% of the time he makes those shots. It’s that 1% that really helped us out.

Have you considered mentoring kids in competitive soccer? Kind of a big brother/one-on-one coaching mini-sessions… I think a lot of players on our team mentor kids on their time off. I know off hand that Kyle, Wingert, Tino, Reynish, and myself all train kids on our off-time.

If you were stranded on an island, would you rather be stranded with Nat Borchers or Mr. Beckham? I would have to choose Becks since that’s my roommate already and we know how each other work. Plus, it would be too hard to see Nat struggle without sun block.

Have you ever wanted to coach a little kids team? I’ve coach teams before in DC and loved it, but find it hard to fully commit to the little guys/girls since I can never make their games on the weekends. Plus, with kids now and a true believer in family time, it’s tough to juggle different schedules other then RSL and my family. I stick to doing individual trainings that are more on my time giving the kids a more one-on-one experience. 

What do you think your chances are of being called to the USMNT for the World Cup? That’s a tough question. You always believe and hope to make the squad, but the truth is that we come from a country that’s fantastic at the GK position. We have numbers of GK’s abroad and even some in the MLS that are truly great. You try not to think too much about it and just go out and play. Having said that, I think I can play at the international level and will do anything I can to make the team. I would say if there’s a PK World Cup, my chances would be better. LOL.

How did the “Nick Is My Homeboy” slogan get started Nick Is My Homeboy is an idea that came from my friend’s band having the same shirts and the banner that the fans have up at Rio Tinto. I started with 50 shirts to throw out for our last regular season game, just to give my support back to the fans. Then, people started calling the front office and team store to see how they could get their hands on one. There was only one thing to do;) I decided to make RED ones for the final, so if people wanted to represent the shirt they’ll also be wearing RSL colors. It worked out well, because we had seas of RED in Seattle.

Does Jett want to get together and play trains, trucks and dinos with my little guys? Jett is packed with play dates, ever since the final and being on TV, he’s the most famous toddler at his school and everyone wants a piece of him! Hahaha, just kidding! He does have school and lots of cousins in the area, but if a day comes around, he’s a great play buddy.

What helps you to keep everything in perspective? You have every right to be cocky yet you seem so down-to-earth. I think it has to be from the way I was raised. My parents and grandparents always made sure I never took anything for granted and preached to always treat people the way I wanted to be treated. I also think traveling a lot when I was younger and being in different environments taught me how to adapt and be social. I’m also a true believer in that the fans are what drives you. If it weren’t for you guys, we wouldn’t be on the field. I think I’m just a mellow, good guy that respects people who respect me, and being cocky just isn’t me.

Where can I buy your blue jersey…It would be an awesome one to have! Can’t buy those anywhere. Sorry, man. That jersey came from my UCLA peeps and is now hanging up at my house;) Next year when we go to the CUP, I’ll be sure to wear one that’s available to fans.





THE NEW ADIDAS JABULANI

18 02 2010

Word at camp, not only from Perkins and Thorton, is that these new Adidas Jabulani MLS balls MOVE! Its like a “beach ball” says one GK. Defenders even say the ball goes and judging them is pretty tough.

I remember when balls were true (Tango) when you kicked them… now they have tons of movement and when they’re wet they really dip and rise.

This could be fantastic for the offensive side of the game but trouble for the defensive, especially for the GK who normally gets blamed by the fan who has never played a lick of soccer.

Not having played with it yet, but knowing what BIG changes balls have year to year, I have a feeling there’s going to a HUGE jump in goals this year. This obviously is great for the spectator and excitement of the game, but terrible for the the players that work so hard to keep those balls out.

Guess that means lots of practice with Jabulani before the season starts. See you in Phoenix, Jabulani.