Featured, November 2011, USMNT

Puck's Friday Happy Hour: MLS Cup, and If USMNT Players Were Cocktails Edition

The LA Galaxy and the on-fire Robbie Keane will be a big part of any soccer fans weekend.

By Puck Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome back into the Happy Hour. With my qualifying exams finished, I can finally enjoy a weekend full of Florida Football, PBR, and the MLS Cup Final. While the great majority of USMNT fans seem ready to proclaim Klinsy the greatest US National Team coach since Herb Brooks, I am still not convinced. It is going to take more than a sloppy 3-2 win against a team of players wearing Charlie Brown costumes to get me excited. Sure, the USMNT has looked a bit better going forward, but your favorite German has yet to address what continues to be our greatest liability, defense. Anyone who thinks I am just being contrarian should watch the second half of Tuesday’s match again. A 3-2 win easily turns into a 4-3 or even a 5-3 loss if Slovenia just puts away easy chances. What ultimately doomed Bradley’s reign as manager was sloppy defending which led to poor results, and I am not optimistic change will occur under this new regime. Speaking of my old pal Bob Bradley, his tenure as coach of the Egyptian National Side began with a 2-0 loss to Brazil in Qatar. This was clearly a difficult first test for Bradley, but I firmly believe that his tenure will do a great deal to increase the respect of American soccer players and coaches throughout the globe. African qualifiers are an extremely tricky thing– home points are more essential on that continent than anywhere– so I won’t make a bold “Egypt will qualify” claim. But they have the talent to do so. And Bob gets the most out of what he has.

Bob Bradley gets the most out of what he has-- and Egypt will be no different.

Now, Bradley is not the first American to coach a foreign National Side. The first was Mark Scott in 1930 when he led El Salvador, and the most recent was Steve Sampson leading Costa Rica. This job, however, is different because Egyptian soccer’s status in Africa. The Pharoahs have won the African Cup of Nations 7 times, and even won a Confederations Cup in 1999. If Bradley manages to lead Egypt to its first World Cup Finals in 20 years, they might erect a statue of him next to the pyramids. Alive, he already looks as stoic as most the Pharaoah statutes, so that would be fitting. This being the Happy Hour, we should move onto some more amusing conversation. As many of you know, the TYAC staff are big fans of getting together with friends and drinking a couple, or twelve beers. It’s rare to find any of us without a drinkin’ hand after 5pm on a Friday afternoon. That said, we think we are especially qualified for the following segment. At some point in your life, (most likely intoxicated) you undoubtedly had the conversation with your friends, “if you were an animal what would you be?” And please don’t say honey badger. That’s gross. We here at TYAC want to turn that idea on its head and bring you something a little more close to home with a segment we like to call, “Your favorite USMNT Player as a Cocktail.” Enjoy. Robbie Rogers-Cosmopolitan: Sure, it looks attractive and you will have a taste if your date absolutely insists, but never consider ordering it on your own. (Courtesy Garret Mcinnis) Steve Cherundolo-Bourbon: A well aged drink that gets the job done, either as a

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night cap, or for a solid 5 hours on the town. It has a sweetness to accompany the bite, even when it is abused. (Courtesy Garret Mcinnis) Clint Dempsey-Hurricane: A whimsical cocktail, especially great when you’re in a festive mood, the Hurricane carries with it quite the reputation and is clearly not a choice for anyone but the party animal. Just don’t be surprised tomorrow morning when you wake up with a killer headache and a black eye. (Courtesy Garret Mcinnis) Jon Bornstein- Tequila (out of a plastic bottle): It’s late, or maybe early morning, who knows at this point. There seem to be no other options in sight. For a brief moment it seems like a great idea. No salt? No limes? No problem! The plastic bottle is all you need. But as soon as it hits your lips the undeniable truth surfaces, “This was a horrible idea. What the Rossi was I thinking?”

A glass of this goes for 40 bones. Tim Howard is about that priceless.

Tim Howard – Scotch: The old reliable. You know exactly what you are getting into when you sit down with a glass of Johnny Walker. It’s a classic libation without being bourgeoisie. Juan Agudelo – Sparkling Cider: It gives you the impression that you’re drinking when you are too young and stupid to know any better. You honestly didn’t think I was going to encourage underage drinking right when the Best of US Soccer Nominations came out, did you? José Francisco Torres – Margarita: Not the bigger-than-your-head variety you can find at the local Tex-Mex Happy Hour. No, we are talking about the classic–on the rocks with a salted rim. When prepared by the proper hand, this drink can be considered the nectar of the Gods. Unfortunately, amateur types can butcher this Mexican delight with a sluggish pour. Jermaine Jones – Jagermeister: It’s black, German, and aggressive. Sometimes it’s just what you need after a long week, but too often it turns the evening into a bloody murder scene. Kyle Beckerman – Indian Pale Ale: Beer, the everyman drink. Suitable for any occasion, the crowd is not overly impressed by the selection, but no one will be looking down their nose at it either. Look to a Big Sky IPA to keep things classy. Jozy Altidore – Jack and Coke: A solid drink that really gets your night started in the right direction. Ordering a double Jack and Coke on a Friday night announces your presence to be bartender with authority. Occasionally, the Jack and Coke can wear you down quicker than you think. After only 60 to 65 minutes or so of drinking hard, it is often time to switch to another cocktail. DaMarcus Beasley – Irish Car Bomb: Too soon? A dangerous drink that should only be enjoyed on special occasions. Best used for a sneak attack from the flank on an unsuspecting friend ready to time-travel through the next few hours.  

England, Slovenia, Algeria. All ICED.

Robbie Findley — Smirnoff Ice. Boom, England, Slovenia and Algeria. You’ve been iced. Want to sneak up on a pal with a sleek and fast looking bev that ultimately will just embarrass your pals and yourself? Smirnoff Ice it is, friends. (courtesy of Neil W. Blackmon) Marcus Hahneman/Brad Guzan – Eggnog: A seasonal drink; you will not see anyone enjoying this beverage outside the holiday season. Sure, it has its time and place about once a year or so, but after the obligatory appearance, it’s time to put it back on the shelf where it belongs. Sacha Kljestan – Keystone Light: He’s always smooth, like Keith Stone. Moves the ball better than other player on the team, seemingly without any effort at all until facing tight marking, at which point our very own Keith Stone ceases to be smooth, like actual Keystone Light at the tail end of a bender. You might get brilliance, but you might have to sub this drink out before you find yourself with your head in toilet bowl. (Courtesy Jon “Lighting Cup” Levy) Landon Donovan

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Vodka: At its best, the good old fashioned voddy can be a sublime drink that will always get the job done. But, at its worst, it can ruin your evening and make you wish you weren’t alive. It also always gives you that slight feeling that it’s a drink whose only purpose is to please the girls, but hey, we shouldn’t judge landycakes—sorry, I mean, we shouldn’t judge vodka. (Sean McElroy)

A blue collar and outstanding beer for a blue collar and outstanding patriot.

Jay DeMerit – Iron City Beer. Lunch pal, working on the docks Pittsburgh microbrew. Here’s some Bruce Springsteen for your blue collar beer. By the way, Steelers fans swear by this stuff and they’ve won like twenty-eight billion Super Bowls. So there’s that. Oh- and go See “Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story.” Now. (Neil W. Blackmon) This list could literally go on forever, but I certainly don’t have the time to find the perfect cocktail for each of the USMNT players at Klinsy’s disposal. I leave the rest to you. PUCK’S FREE ADVICE: With the college football season firmly in the second half and NCAA basketball finally starting up again, there is one piece of advice that every sports fans needs to know. Unless your Alma mater is playing, it is NEVER acceptable to root against a National Service Academy. Sitting at the bar screaming “Navy blows!” or “Crush that stupid C-Ron” or “Rossi Air Force” makes you sound like the worst type of communist jackwagon. And the commies lost. I’m done with Qualifying Exams and have enough time on my hands to get rip roaring drunk for the MLS Cup Final. Things could get ugly. Damn the Man, Save The Empire. Sorry for partying… Puck is the Pop Culture Guy and a Senior Writer For The Yanks Are Coming. He has been called the “most authentic and perhaps important voice of the people in American soccer” by A FOOTBALL REPORT, and you can follow him on Twitter at @PuckLovesPBR.


  • Jon

    Omar Gonzalez – Gin & Ginger Ale

    Always overlooked in favor of the more popular gin & tonic and even gin & soda, the gin & ginger ale is actually a tastier drink with a slightly more complex mixture of flavors. It’s so overlooked that a lot of people have never even tried this simple cocktail, but they’re always pleasantly surprised when they do give it a shot.

    Now which American player has been criminally overlooked by “some people” and might be a pleasant surprise if “some (German-Californian) people” actually gave him a shot?

  • Amy

    Jon Spector: rum… Sure- itsversatile.. But so Is duct tape. Or rope. Problem is- what do you do with it ? And isn’t there always a slightly better mixer option, especially when the nightdemands you pick up the pace ?

    • Real nice. Except rum is at its most delicious on a warm, tropical island… and you know– Spector doesn’t excel against the teams from the hotter climates… but good “pace” argument…

  • Neil

    Timothy Chandler: Boddington’s. Bear with me. Remember when Guiness or Newcastle were your favorite British brews (sorry Ireland, I know you hate that whole “commonwealth” thing). Well- that was life without Timmy Chandler…or Boddington’s. That beer is a damn revelation. One that makes every bar that has it better– and every night with it that much more exciting.

  • David Beckham: Dirty Gin Martini.  Far too often mistaken for a pretty choice.  In reality, it’s refined, classy, and of a high quality.

  • Funny read, Puck. You forgot to put Neil W. Blackmon. He’s a Basil Hayden with ginger ale and lime in a highball glass with ice. Had one tonight. Delicious.

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  • Maxwell

    Brek Shea – Long Island Iced Tea. Right after turning 21, you encounter this magic 0-60 in 2.8 seconds, let’s make things happen, go HAM (fat chicks), I’m barely of the legal age to drink but don’t care beverage. It is a collage of delicious things like vodka (tall), gin (gritty edge), tequila (Rossi it, I’ll make things happen) and rum (I’m goin’ fast!). The triple sec and sour mix – youthful inexperience in a second-tier league – are forgivable for now. But until you make the leap to a real micro-brew or discover the finer tastes in whiskey, go HAM young man. Go HAM. 

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