The MLS As A Field of Retirement

We’ve seen numerous football stars hang their cleats up and call it day, diversifying their careers into coaching or business owning when their time on the field is over. Stars like David Beckham and Thierry Henry refused to do this. Instead of hanging their cleats, they transferred over to the MLS and began what it seems to be the second chapter of their soccer careers. The MLS is becoming the league for retirees to dip their feet in the water, even just one more time. Perhaps the league might not be as challenging as the English FA or Bundesliga, it still provides an avenue to generate income still doing what they love.

This article by DailyMail UK explains how Beckham who once played for LA Galaxy is close to realizing his dream of owning his own football club- the Miami MLS. He hopes to have the team running by 2018, and though the name has not been picked yet, it seems that he is closer than he has ever been in realizing this opportunity. It hasn’t been easy for Beckham, he has encountered many challenges in developing this project. Some of these challenges r Beckham has enjoyed a successful 21 year career as a soccer player. His career began at Manchester United,

As more soccer stars diversify their careers, the world focuses on Cristiano Ronaldo who has now turned down long terms rumors of his joining the MLS as part of his own retirement plan. The retirement plan rhetoric which has followed stars like Didier Drogba, Thierry Henry and the legendary Kanu Nwankwo doesn’t seem to apply to Ronaldo who was quoted last week saying-

“I’m 30 now and I’d like to keep playing for another five or six years. I know that it gets harder with age, but I believe it’s possible. As I’ve said several times before, my dream is to end my career at Real Madrid.”

Ronaldo’s decision or hopes of retiring in Real Madrid will most likely not be as challenging as David Beckham’s plan to build his own club and stadium. Ronaldo is still ranked as the number one player in the world right after Lionel Messi, and I doubt Real Madrid would want to do away with such a valuable asset. We just have to wait this out and see.

Also, how about that own goal from Van Persie this weekend? Completely heartbreaking


Syracuse Football Having Success in the Recruiting Game

Ralph Cotran

Syracuse University Football

Syracuse University football offensive coordinator George McDonald and director of recruiting Eric White have been delivering to their Twitter fans. Exclamations such as “BOOM!” and “#BeBold” have been used to announce the a new a new verbal commitment from a prospect to play football at SU, the Post-Standard reports.

These exclamation are not unwarranted apparently. So far, Syracuse has earned itself commitments from 25 recruits – the highest at this point in the recruiting cycle since the statistic started being tracking 2002. The 2015 Syracuse recruiting class is ranked 28th currently by and 43rd by Scout.  McDonald has roots in Florida and has had a great deal of success so far with securing commitments from that area, with seven players thus far. The high school football programs in that state have been shown to be strong recruiting grounds and having success there could prove invaluable for SU this season.

This influx of recruits so early in the cycle should allow the SU coaching staff to start looking ahead at 2016 and developing a long game.

The coaching staff, under the direction of McDonald, has made targeting players that fit the team’s philosophy and approach to play a top priority, and this could explain much of this early success in in recruiting.

“I think having a lot of guys on board shows the commitment that we’ve made to recruiting and recruiting the right players, but it also shows from a university standpoint that we’re doing something right and we have a lot of excitement across the country,” McDonald said.

McDonald’s excitement here is also not unwarranted. By any fair metric, Syracuse’s 7-6 finish in 2013 was quite an accomplishment for the team’s first season in the ACC combined with the fact that they were being led by a first-year coaching staff. Head coach Scott Schaffer has said that he aims to win 8 this season, a number that would certainly validate the new recruits and give credence to McDonald’s strategies.

Read more at the Post-Standard.

New York City FC Collaborates with Alcohoot

Ralph CotranNew York City Football Club, is the newest sports team to join the legendary NY sports family, and play in Yankee stadium for the foreseeable future. The newest Major League franchise has taken US soccer by storm, and are expected to play at least three seasons. NYC FC’s roster has been stacked to the nines with well known players such David Villa, Andrew Jacobson and Sebastian Velasquez.  Along with others, these players will be competing with other Major League teams, making this the 21st addition to MLS. 

Not long after their arrival, NYC FC announced their collaboration with Alcohoot- a smartphone app that acts as a breathalyzer in order to help people check their blood alcohol content (BAC)  before driving or engaging in dangerous activities. During the FC matches, Alcohoot will be showcasing “last call” reminders to people in the stadium in order to promote responsible drinking and remind everyone to not drive if they have been consuming large amounts of alcohol. This initiative is meant to remind sports fans to act responsibly after a long day of drinking. NYC FC’s President, Tom Glick,  is proud of this partnership and believes that it will be a great way to reach out to large quantities of people at once, especially during a weak moment they might be experiencing. 

The collaboration between Alcohoot and NYC FC will go even further in setting up booths at soccer matches and remind fans to plan accordingly when getting home. Alcohoot success has also been recognized by the tech industry, and was the receiver of the 2014 Red Dot Award for Product Design. The device has been registered and approved by the FDA and will continue to improve its technology in order to promote safety through mobile devices. 

For more information visit:

Chelsea v PSG : An Agressive Match to Date

Ralph CotranJosé Mourinho, the manager for Chelsea, has announced that his team members will not be awarded a bonus during the Champions League playoffs unless they take home the Champions League trophy this upcoming June. After his return to Chelsea in 2013, Mourinho restructured his team’s salaries and the per match bonus give aways. Although these payouts are by no means on the low end scale, Chelsea’s manager wonders whether money is an adequate incentive to motivate his players to do better. 

Mourinho believes that unless the team comes out victorious in the finals, they are not deserving of team bonuses, given that they already get paid very well. In a recent interview regarding this matter he was quoted:  “If we take the club into quarter-finals, semi-finals, finals but we don’t win the competition, we are doing a very good job for the club financially but I don’t think we should get extra money if we don’t win the last prize. Every player at the high level has enough money in salaries and I think everyone plays to win.” Mourinho states that the pride and success that comes with each win should override the desire to incentivize players with large bonuses. The love and passion the players have for the game should be enough encouragement to try their hardest and win each match. 

The Champions League has been a time of reflection for the Chelsea coach and his team, and as they close on the first part of CL, Jose believes that Paris Saint-Germain is one of the most aggressive teams they have played thus far. On the game against PSG, Mourinho voiced a real disappointment stating that the game was more about foul calls and aggressive interaction among the players and much less about soccer. 

The war on artificial turf

Tweet From Basketball Star Kobe Bryant

Tweet From Basketball Star Kobe Bryant

Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant tweeted a gruesome picture, but it had nothing to do with any injury that he sustained. This was a picture of US Women’s National Team member Sydney Leroux’s legs after playing a game on artificial turf in Salt Lake City. This has been a huge concern for women’s soccer players because the field surface for the 2015 Women’s World Cup with be played on an artificial surface when the world cup is held in Canada. Kobe Bryant is one of the few non-soccer player celebrities that are supporting the worldwide campaign to have the world cup playing surface changed to a grass field for 2015.

As of today, all 6 stadiums that will be used to host the 2015 Women’s World Cup will be using the artificial turf field surfaces. There is a coalition of over 50 star women’s soccer players from across the globe, including USA superstars Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan, who have decided that they are going to retain legal counsel on the grounds of gender discrimination. Their argument is that not once has the men’s World Cup has never been played on any surface but natural grass and that it is unfair that they would have to play on the artificial surface. One of the demands that this group has is that the Canadian Soccer Association, CSA, lay temporary grass fields over the artificial turf surface.

But the CSA is not going down without a fight, as president Victor Montagliani called the charges of discrimination “nothing but misinformation and typical hyperbole.” He is also claiming that CSA’s $4 million annual budget for women’s soccer programs is almost double of their male counterparts. This isn’t the first time that the CSA has been in hot water with their women’s team, they almost went on strike before the 2011 World Cup because “ad-hoc compensation.” There has also been another Canadian Soccer Association official that has been on record saying that the Canadian Men’s team would never play a World Cup qualifier on field turf because “our coaching staff and players prefer grass.”

But what about the voices of the women’s players, who also stated, that they also prefer to play on a grass surface. It was found in a recent FIFA report which surveyed 190 female players during the 2013 Algarve Cup, that 77 percent agreed or strongly agreed that “all matches at a major tournament should be played on natural turf.” Yet it seems as though the women’s voices and concerns about the playing surfaces are falling on deaf ears.

Adnan Januzaj – Ralph Cotran’s Blog

This is an image of Adnan  Januzaj on Ralph Cotran's Hobbies and Interests website.

Adnan Januzaj

Welcome to Ralph Cotran’s Hobbies and Interests blog. One of Ralph Cotran’s favorite pastimes is Soccer. Soccer is a sport that is appreciated all across the world. Adnan Januzaj from Manchester United will be 19 this year. He is well known and respected player for Manchester United. He garnered 75% of the votes on a multilingual website related to selecting valuable players. He received money to be awarded to charity of his choice. Januzaj selected the organization, UNICEF. Other players chose to donate to UNICEF as well. Adnan has continued to be successful on and off the field. Manchester United fans chant his name when he appears and Adnan appreciates their singing. For more of a biographical look at Adnan, he was born in 1995 during the month of February. His birth places was Brussels. Like Ralph, Adnan Janujaz traveled many places around the world at a young age. He joined the Anderlecht club team when he was only ten years old. In 2011, Adnan started with Manchester United. He was only 16 years old. His number was 44 and stayed so during the ups and downs of his career thus far. One of his downs was that he encountered a bad injury that brought his 2011/2012 season to an end. Januzaj’s position on field is winger and he has had 27 appearances. Patrick Schaal believes Adnan Januzaj’s nomination for Player of the Month is deserved. Adnan thanks his fans and all of those who have supported him along the way. Like Adnan, Ralph has always appreciated soccer and used to play avidly. He used to talk the sport with his peers growing up. Ralf is still a very big fan and supporter of the sport. More details on Ralph Cotran’s experience with soccer can be found reading his Hobbies and Interests biography on the homepage of this site.