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Reflections from FC Barcelona vs Los Angeles Galaxy Game

August 3rd, 2009 6 comments

I took my 8 & 5.5 year old sons and their 10 year old cousin who is visiting from Israel to watch the friendly game between LA Galaxy vs Barcelona at the Rose Bowl on Saterdauy. It was a fantastic night and a great memory for all of us, especially for Evyatar, my oldest son, who celebrated his 8th birthday that day.

Notes:

  • A packed Rose Bowl with all the pre-game activities outside the stadium provides an amazing atmosphere for a soccer game
  • There is such a huge potential to make soccer really big in the US as there is such a hunger by so many people to see the top players play locally. I am certain that if more European players will join the MLS, this league could be really successful. And if the MLS champion will start participating in the Champions league (similar to some discussions related to European basketball team(s) joining the NBA) that could be a real booster for success.
  • Barcelona is coming to this season well trained and prepared.It was amazing the see how 2-3 players of Barcelona put pressure on a Galaxy player the second he had the ball
  • I have a feeling Zlatan Ibrahimovic will score over 30 goals this season with Messi, Henry and Xavi feeding him with assists
  • Galaxy fans are still not over their David Beckham booing. But when he scored a fantastic goal from a free kick, he was god to them. Go figure…

I uploaded plenty of pictures and videos (including Barcelona’s first goal) to this Flickr set but here is a taste.

Jay Meydad Tackles David Backham

Getting Ready For The Game



When Los Angeles meets the Champions League

July 24th, 2009 No comments

We are in the midst of amazing two weeks for football (a.k.a soccer) fans:

  • Los Angeles Galaxy played AC Milan last Sunday at the Home Depot Center (what a great stadium, no matter where you sit you get to see all the action). That was David Beckham’s first game with the Galaxy after coming back from a load to…AC Milan. He was booed by the fans the entire first half but gave a great game. Regardless of what many fans think, without Becks, the Galaxy are two levels weaker. Here are some photos I took and a video clip of Galaxy’s first goal, an example of how a fast break should be executed. It ended 2:2 and everyone were happy.
  • Inter Milan played Chelsea on Sunday at the Rose bowl in front of 82K fans (who said football isn’t popular in the US?). Inter was weak (even with Zlatan), Chelsea was very strong and won rightly 2:0. Pictures here.
  • Next Sunday I will see the world’s best team, FC Barcelona, in a game against the Galaxy. Since Zlatan Ibrahimovic just signed for Barca I will have a chance to see him again. I hope he will play much better than his performance with Inter. I hear there are still some tickets on StubHub if you are interested.



New Owner = New Hopes

January 16th, 2008 1 comment

Maccabi Tel Aviv fansThe deal just got signed and it is time to thank our new owner, Alex Shnaider, Canada’s youngest billionaire, for brining some hope back to the millions of Maccabi Tel Aviv fans. Alex – good luck and thank you.

Loni – Thank you as well. It has been a great ride and everything you have done is greatly appreciated. Now, you have one less thing to worry about and could put more focus on your other businesses.

BTW, I really like what Avi Nimni is doing with regards to the young Jewish players he is bringing from US & France. It is a good strategy to overcome the lack of young Israeli talent. Zionism 2008.

Saturday’s game is going to be fun. I wish I could be there.

  

photo credit: ynet (by Eli Algert)



Soccer 2.0

October 14th, 2007 1 comment

I read today that Eyal Berkovitz, one of Isreal’s legendary football players, cursed the coach of his 10 years old son and threatened to “end the career” of the poor guy, because his son played only 25 minutes in a 60 minutes game.

I read this piece of news after I returned with my 6 years old son from his AYSO game where I volunteer as an assistant coach. The game was fun. It was full of action but no one cursed, shouted or got mad on the coaches. Parents hanged around the field and cheered for their kids (who played equal time slots).

I have a suggestion – perhaps the Israeli Football Association should take a look at AYSO, a wonderful program that teaches kids the game of soccer, and adopt the program’s principals. They are very easy to find since they appear on signs that are located on every field, to remind parents that Kids are #1, and that Fun – not winning – is everything.

AYSO Kids Zone Alert (photo taken during the AYSO76 league games at the La Cienaga Park, Beverly Hills)

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Nir Levine – Welcome Back

September 4th, 2007 No comments

Let’s hope we could enjoy & celebrate like in the good old days.

Good luck! 

Sheriff, Thank you for a great year.

August 25th, 2007 No comments

Like So Many Rabbit Heads  - JeffCam

It happened just as I thought, and as of Saturday night Eli Cohen is no longer our head coach.

Roni, Loni and Avi have a great part in the latest crises in our team. It is easy to blame the coach for the poor performance of the players, but when you tie his hands (cut players’s budget in half) and constantly criticize his work in the press (how can a coach motivate his players after they read he is not going to be the coach soon?) you create an environment where no one can succeed. Unless our multi-headed management will change her leadership & communication style, the future of the next coach is not going to be bright.

Speaking about the next coach…well, during the pre-Klinger era , in the years 2000-2002, the team played happy football and won two cups. Nir Levine was responsible for that and therefore he deserves the job. My 2 cents.

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“Like So Many Rabbit Heads” picture by: JeffCam

A Message of Support from the President

August 24th, 2007 No comments

I saw this message the other day on etrade.com home page. It was issued by their President & COO and his message was firm and clear:

I want to assure you that your accounts and your assets are safe with us, and that we put the utmost value on our relationship with you.”

As I read the message my football fan instincts immediately kicked in and I had to fight myself not to interpret it as:

I want to invite you to visit one of etrade branches in your area and cash out your assets. It was a pleasure working with you and we hope to serve you again in the future.”

 

I guess that’s the result of following closely Israeli football and it’s dynamics for more than 25 years. After all, in this fascinating game, when the president/chairman sends a message such as:

Our head coach can rest assured that he has my full support.”

everyone knows that he really means:

Our head coach has another game or two with us before he will have to look for a new job in a different team or as a TV commentator.”

Am I wrong, Mr. Cohen?

 

One liners…

August 2nd, 2007 No comments
  • The mighty Santa Colomo is behind us and we are looking forward to the next round. I saw the highlights on TV and what impressed me the most were our fans. 15,000 fans in a game like this is a true evidence to the power of this club. I wish I was there.
  • Bourne is back. I look forward for his Ultimatum.
  • Blog day, initiated by Nir Oren from BlogTV, is coming soon (Aug 31st). Now it’s the time prepare – find five new blogs that you have never read before and share your discoveries with your readers. This great initiative is done in order to give blog readers the opporunity to get to know new blogs they have never read before and to create new waves of traffic in the blogesphere. I prmoise to focus on finding non-webby blogs.

Only in L.A. (or how Eli tackled David Beckham’s son)

July 18th, 2007 3 comments

(inspired by true events)

On Saturday morning I took my 6 & 3.5 years old boys to Toys R’ Us to buy them new bicycles. As we approached the entrance we saw a crowd of paparazzi around a shinny black Bentley Continental GTC. It was easy enough to tell that a celeb was around, the question was who?

We walked into the large store and headed towards the bicycle area located at the far end. The inside of the store was suspiciously quiet and empty, but as we got closer to the rear we could hear the noise and feel the excitement. But still, we could not tell what was the reason for the hubbub.

We entered into the bike aisle and saw a lineup of 20 children bikes. A little boy was standing at the other side of the aisle examining the different models one by one. Eli, my 3.5 years old, was doing the same. Dora the Explorer, Spiderman and Dragon were some of the models Eli looked at. Then he got closer to the middle of the line and so did the little boy. They got closer and closer and approached the center where a blue and orange Diego bike parked. Eli grabbed them first and said “That’s the pair I want”. The other boy was shocked and with a sad look on his face turned around and walked back towards his dad. I wanted to stop him and say something, or even offer him the bike but the bodyguards stopped me from getting closer.

A minute later I saw the boy and his dad leaving with a scooter without giving me a chance to invite them for a play date…at least I had my iPhone with me to capture that moment.

David, welcome to La-La-Land. Just remember one thing. This is not Manchester. In this town, Liverpool fans rule!

Update: Eli has recently switched to a blue Razor A2 scooter, so the bike (video demo here) are for sale…

David Beckham and son shopping for Diego bike

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Wenger’s promise

June 22nd, 2007 No comments

May 21st: “Wenger has ‘guaranteed’ Arsenal captain Thierry Henry will not be sold this summer. “, premierleague news

June 22nd:  Henry is no longer a gunner.

Go figure…I thought that these type of promises and dynamics exist only the Israeli football league.