How can we make the United States fall in love with soccer? Buy your friends a beer and watch as a lifelong love affair with the beautiful game begins. Learn more.

The FBM Blog

2014 FBM Holiday Gift Guide

The holiday season is upon us once again. Time to craft your lists for friends and family and make some polite suggestions so that you don't unwrap ties and underwear from your auntie.

Per usual we've divided our list into, you guessed it, beer, soccer.... and the combination of the two (pssssttttt... buy our stuff).

 

Soccer:

We'd first like to draw your attention to two of the finest purveyours of soccer clothing in the country. You can't go wrong with outfitting yourself in any of these threads.

Live Breathe Futbol Clothing

"Bumpy Pitch" Clothing

(Photo Credit: Sean Reid)

Love Thy Soccer by Sean Reid 

"Love Thy Soccer" is a unique work that provides an all-embracing view of American soccer from the perspective of its fans. Collected from five years of research, hundreds of interviews, and travel throughout the country, Reid presents a rich tapestry of the game woven through the stories of many who have spent their lives dedicated to the sport and its growth in the United States, from journalists, experts, and historians to the game’s professionals and the supporters who cheer them on.

"Love Thy Soccer" is the most comprehensive work on American soccer to date. Reid discusses every aspect of the game at its various levels, its impacts on the fans, and its awesome future."

(Photo Credit: New York Red Bulls)

Club Soccer 101 by Luke Dempsey

"Club Soccer 101 is the essential guide to 101 of the most storied soccer clubs in the world. The book covers the history of European powerhouses like Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, and Real Madrid; historic South American clubs like Boca Juniors, Corinthians, Penarol, and Santos; and rising clubs from Africa, Asia, and America, including such leading MLS clubs as LA Galaxy, New York Red Bulls, and Seattle Sounders. Writing with the passion and panache of a deeply knowledgeable and opinionated fan, Luke Dempsey explains what makes each club distinctive: their origins, fans, and style of play; their greatest (and most heartbreaking) seasons and historic victories and defeats; and their most famous players—from Pelé, Eusébio, and Maradona to Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney, and Ronaldo.

With club soccer exploding in popularity, Club Soccer 101 provides everything any fan needs to know."

Season Tickets for your local soccer team (Google 'em)

Whether it's MLS, NASL, USL PRO (that's us!) or otherwise... now's the time to make your commitment to supporting your local team in 2015. Why not buy two and bring a newbie each week!?!?

Beer: 

Synek Draft Beer System

Craft, draft beer in the comfort of your home. Need we say anymore? Fill your favorite beer in the Synek bag (straight from the brewery or your local fill bar) and enjoy quality beer for much longer that a growler can save it. Buuurrrp!

Society of Beer Travelers

Love beer? Love to travel? Then The Roaming Pint's Society of Beer Travelers is for you. Log your breweries and beers while you're on the road.

Spiegelau Tasting Kit Craft Beer Glass Kit

Your beer comes in all sorts of flavors so shouldn't your beer accomdate them? Sure you've accumilated all sorts of shaker (yes that's what they're called) pint glasses that your significant other stuffed in her purse for you, but it's time to drink beer like a grown up.. in proper glassware. 

 

Beer Belt

Unless, of course, you're not all grown up yet. Then the "beer belt" is just for you. This says, "I'm a drinker, not a fighter". Who needs a black belt when you have a beer belt?

Imagine how awesome it would be to distribute some delicious craft cans like a Mountain Dew adverstisement from this belt. 

Oh... and it can also be personalized. FTW.

(Photo Credit: CoolMaterial.com)

"We Make Beer" by Sean Lewis

"An eye-opening journey into craft beer–making in America, and what you can find in the quest to brew the perfect pint

Sean Lewis was living in Boston when he first set foot inside the Blue Hills Brewery.  He was writing for BeerAdvocate magazine about America's craft brewers, and the then-fledgling Blue Hills was his first assignment.  Lewis was immediately struck by the spirit of the brewers he met there.  That visit would lead him first to an intensive study of beer-brewing, and later to a nation-spanning journey into the heart—and the art—of American beer making.

What Lewis found along the way was a group of like-minded craftsmen—creators who weren't afraid to speak their minds, who saw their competitors as cherished friends.  A group who takes sheer joy in their work, and who seeks the same kind of balance in their lives as they do in the barrels they brew.  He shared pints with pioneering upstarts like Paul and Kim Kavulak of Nebraska Brewing Company, and talked shop with craft beer stalwarts like Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada and bombastic innovators like Greg Koch (the "Arrogant Bastard" behind Stone Brewing Co.). He found, in them and others, a community that put its soul into its work, who sees beer-making as an extension of themselves.

We Make Beer is not just a celebration of American brewing, but of the spirit that binds brewers together.  It's about what you can discover in yourself when you put your hands and your heart into crafting the perfect pint."

"Locally Brewed" by Anna Blessing

"Locally Brewed celebrates the Midwest's craft brewing movement with profiles of 20 of the area's brewmasters and their breweries. These are entertaining and inspiring stories of the individuals who have been essential in the exponential growth of this movement, as told through vivid interviews, beautiful photography, and dynamic artwork.

In just the past 20 years, beer has been transformed from a "low-class" drink to a pluralistic, populist drink with the same stylistic diversity and caring craftsmanship as wine. One of the strongest hotbeds of this cultural shift is in the Midwest, where independently owned craft brewers focus on the creative, artisanal elements of the beer-making process. Locally Brewed explores these trends and the fun, fascinating, and unique details of each brewery, including label art, hand-pull designs, and of course the brews themselves.

This is a book that can be enjoyed by the “beer geek” and the casual imbiber alike, as it emphasizes the people behind the beer as well as the beers they brew. Special sidebars and pullouts show what makes each brewery special, weaving together the story of the indie beer movement, relevant to both small-town Midwesterners and big-city beer lovers."

"Tasting Beer" by Randy Mosher

"For everyone who has known the pleasure of a pint, Randy Mosher explores and explains the tasting experience, guiding readers to a better understanding of how every batch of beer is affected by recipe formulation, brewhouse procedures, yeasts, fermentations, carbonation, filtration, packaging, and much more. Readers will learn to identify the scents, colors, flavors, and mouth-feel of all the major beer styles. There are also chapters on proper serving and storage conditions, and classic beer and food pairings. Finally, the book includes a style-by-style compendium of the different brews within major beer families, including American craft brews, British lagers, German ales, and Belgian Dubbels. For each style, Mosher includes historical and regional facts, taste and aroma characteristics, seasonal availability, food pairings, and a few terrific recommendations for readers to sample."

Anything beer-related from Pop Chart Lab... their designs are top notch. 

Soccer AND Beer:

NEW FBM T-shirt from Who Are Ya? Designs 

FBM Scarf

Tags: DrinkWear

Fourth Annual FREE BEER Night in Minneapolis

Stegman's Old Boys FC is at it again! On Saturday, September 6th, the Handsomest Soccer Club in the world will be hosting their biggest event of the year, the fourth annual "Free Beer Night".

Part of the club's mission of becoming a "proper" club means becoming a part of the community and over the past three years the best way we've found to accomplish this is by playing a match in front of people (always better when there are fans) and raise awareness for soccer-related charities. Over the past three years they've raised in excess of $1500 for charity and they expect a sizable haul again this year with all fundraising efforts going towards The Sanneh Foundation; a charitable foundation started by former USMNT and World Cup 2002 legend, Tony Sanneh. For this year's free beer exhibition match the SOBs will face off against a Minnesota Select XI featuring none other than Sanneh himself.

Summit Brewing Company, the state's oldest and largest purveyor of fine craft brews began taking notice of the club and decided to donate the beer and videographer for last year's event. The success of this partnership turned into a sponsorship of the club leading to the Summit brand gracing the SOB Away kit and a great working relationship that sees SOBs work alongside the Summiteers in philanthropic events both inside and outside the brewery walls. The Free Beer Night event caps off a summer that saw Summit and the SOBs host Free Beer World Cup viewing parties at The Local in addition to a 3v3 cage match in the brewery's backyard.

Aside from the excitement of free soccer and free beer, this year's charity raffle and silent auction will see some truly delicious items up for grabs including: a signed USMNT jersey by honorary SOB Jay Demerit, a sweaty hug from club captain Jon Bisswurm, SOB care packages, Free Beer Movement swag, and other great prizes.

After all is said and done the club and its many fans will head on over to the MN United - Tampa Bay Rowdies match because it wouldn't be a 'Free Beer Movement in action' event without getting more fans out to watch our local professional side. A team who won the spring season and currently sit atop the fall standings as well.

In case you missed it last year's event was bigger and better than previous ones and this one promises to be even better.

Stegman's Old Boys FC, their three teams and 70+ members, are the architects of American soccer and they, too, are doing it one beer at a time.

Tags: FBM In Action

The Tuesday Ten: MLS Goes to Hollywood

By Eric Betts / Senior List Making Correspondent

Like Hollywood executives and soccer front offices everywhere, we're firm believers here that you can never have too much of a good thing. So after the runaway success of the ingenious Mike Magee's Day Off last week, here are ten other movie classics KickTV should look into putting their own spin on.

1. The Wizards of Oz: There's no place like home for this Kansas-based cast. FCKC Rookie of the Year winner Erika Tymrak stars as Dorothy alongside SKC's Matt Besler (Scarecrow), Aurelien Collin (Tin Man) and Graham Zusi (Cowardly Lion). The Original Wizard, Preki, returns to plays the big man himself, while CJ Sapong and Benny Feilhaber fill in as the Good and Wicked witches.

2. The Philadelphia Story: Why bother with Rocky when you can have Amobi Okugo, Zac MacMath and Brian Carroll competing for the affections of lovely team owner Kelley O'Hara? No, you really want Rocky? Fine. Local-ish boy (Andrew Wenger) trained by ancient bruiser (Conor Casey) to fight charismatic champion (Dom Dwyer). Done.

3. The Sandlot: Since it was filmed on location in Salt Lake City, this one's easy:

Smalls - Luis GIl
Benny - Nick Rimando
Ya-Ya - Javier Morales
Ham - Nat Borchers
Squints - Sebastian Velasquez
Kenny - Ned Grabavoy
Timmy - Joao Plata
Tommy - Alvaro Saborio
Bertram - Devon Sandoval
The Beast - Kyle Beckerman
James Earl Jones - Chris Schuler

4. Clerks: Everyone's favorite New Jersey team stars in this quintessential New Jersey film. Tim Cahill and Dax McCarty play futsal on the roof as Dante and Randal, while Bradley Wright-Phillips and Thierry Henry costar as Jay and Silent Bob.

5. Fargo: North Dakota/Minnesota are basically America's Canada anyway, so our friends from the Great White North take the lead on this one. Christine Sinclair as Marge Gunderson. Jay DeMerit gets to play with his Upper Midwest inflections as Jerry Lundegaard, with Steve Nash filling in capably as overbearing father-in-law Wade Gustafson. Michael Bradley and Marco Di Vaio fit perfectly into the Peter Stromare and Steve Buscemi parts, eh?

6. Pulp Fiction: This L.A. classic gets a mostly L.A. cast: Robbie Rogers as Vincent; Gyasi Zardes as Jules, Carlos Bocanegra as Butch, Mauro Rosales as Lance, and the back of Bruce Arena's head as Marcellus Wallace, you know, during his tamer scenes. Omar rides his strong performance in the Magee video to a spot as the Wolf, where his skill at arriving at the last minute to put out fires comes in handy. Sprinkle in Kekuta Manneh as Marvin (sorry Kekuta) and Megan Rapinoe as Mia Wallace, and you're in for another classic. What do they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Leeds, Vincent?

7. The Rock: Experienced veteran stuck in a bad situation (Chris Wondolowski) helps unexperienced younger man (Tommy Thompson) break into heavily fortified Bay Area compound guarded by team of highly trained killers (Alan Gordon, Steven Lenhart, uhh, Clarence Goodson) and their leader (Victor Bernardez). Gratuitous late fireworks for everyone!

8. Dazed and Confused: Austin doesn't have an MLS team, so the Texas teams come together for this bit of Linklater genius. Young Kellyn Acosta spends much of the movie fleeing from Ben Affleck-impersonating bully Tally Hall. Matt Hedges gets top billing as Randall "Pink" Floyd, but we all know the real star is Brad Davis, who gets to feel the wind in his (fake) hair again as Wooderson, all right?

9. Boondock Saints: Lot of options for Boston, but who wants to see Kelyn Rowe as Will Hunting when you can have Andrew Farrell and Diego Fagundez in black trenchcoats terminating mobsters with extreme prejudice?

10. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: Alex Morgan sheds her America's Sweetheart image with a chilling turn as Nurse Ratched. Liam Ridgewell as the edgy outsider who shakes things up in the ward by reenacting a World Cup game the inmates are forbidden from watching. Featuring Donovan Ricketts as Chief Bromden, Diego Valeri as uptight Dale Harding, Darlington Nagbe as Charlie Cheswik, Will Johnson as the stuttering Billy Bibbit, and the Timbers Army as everyone else.

About Eric

Eric Betts is a freelancer writer who lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and his dog Lando (yup). While attending the Emory University he won "College Jeopardy". His pop culture references end somewhere around 2002.

Tags: Eric Betts, The Other 87 Minutes, Tuesday 10/XI

VIDEO: The History and Power of “I Believe” (ESPN)

2014 FIFA World Cup - "I Believe" - ESPN from Nick Aquilino on Vimeo.

It's evolved into American soccer's most iconic chant during this World Cup, but the origins of "I Believe" are incredibly humble. 

Our founder, Dan Wiersema, had the pleasure of speaking with ESPN about the power of positivity of this chant that the U.S. soccer supporters group, the American Outlaws has made a national rallyng cry. 

This originally aired on Monday, June 30th on "World Cup Tonight" and was also featured on SportsCenter.

Tags: American Outlaws, Supporters Groups, USMNT, Video, World Cup

An American in Brazil: Meet Teddy Goalevelt

Teddy conquering the Amazon in Manaus. 

Mild-mannered Chicago advertising man by day. Legendary former American President Teddy Roosevelt by game day.

Meet Mike D’Amico.

Since his first appearance with Jimmy Conrad and KICK TV post-Natal and then in millions of home around the world during the broadcast celebrating during the USMNT-Portugal match D’Amico is currently the “face of American soccer”.

What started out as just a silly idea to enjoy his time as a fan supporting the national team in Brazil has grown into a viral journey few, especially D’Amico, could imagine.

Below is the story, in his own words, of how one man took Brazil by storm and channeled his inner 26th President, Teddy Goalsevelt.

Idea

The first part is the boring and lame part. Since October I had been letting my beard grow. I had a beard that maybe came down to my chest. It was a massive beard. I knew that I was going to want that beard. It’s like a face scarf. It’s too hot for that.

That was so much work. Like nine months. There’s got to be something I can do with this. Can I dye it? Can I shave it into USA? Into a statue? Can I carve it?

I travel a lot for U.S. Soccer and I always love the guys that no matter the temperature or what the conditions are they’re always dressed up. There’s the guy in the colonial outfit; the tri-corner hat and the wig. There’s always the guy with the World War II general helmet with the pipe and the aviator sunglasses. Those guys get people psyched. It gets people excited.

If I’m going to Brazil, if I’m spending all of this money… why not try and do something like that?

So I started brainstorming. I had the facial hair thing in my head. I had Brazil on my mind.  It all of a sudden it came to me: Teddy Roosevelt.

Who better to be that than Teddy Roosevelt in Brazil, in the Amazon? The mustache and the Rough Riders.

With that much beard growth is was pretty easy to turn it into his mustache.  In fact I had to trim it a bit.

I mentioned it casually to a few people, just to test the waters and the were like, “YES!”

I started to put it together in like March or April. Looking around and piecing things together. Ironically almost the entire costume was assembled from Amazon.com.

Tapping a rich cultural history

I was talking to a bunch of fans at the hotel before the Natal match and this was the first dabble into American soccer culture. They were looking around and there was me and General (George S.) Patton, and Duff Man, people with the face paint and the wigs. All the different kinds of people dressed up.

So a U.S. soccer match is kind of like the Super Bowl meets ComicCon.

The cool thing about being an U.S. soccer fan is the breadth of culture that we have access to that can immediately represent America. Some other countries don’t have that.

There are so many cultural things. There’s so much history.

Teddy Roosevelt is like you took American culture, rung it out, and made a cartoon character of it. Like he’s not real. This is a guy who born and raised in New York, he was a cowboy, a Rough Rider, a politician, a President, and all of the expeditions. The story of this man is almost fictional.

I think that’s part of the reason everyone loves the costume so much.  There are lots of President that could claim to be the “most American President”, but I think you’d have a hard time making a better case  than you can for Teddy Roosevelt.

An Unexpected Reception

I thought I was just going to be another guy. “Ohh… look it’s a super hero that’s cool. Ohh… look it’s George Washington. Ohh… look it’s Teddy Roosevelt.”

But it’s been like, “Superhero. George Washington. TEDDY ROOSEVELT!”

Then there’s like a line to take photos and people want to sign songs. It’s just been over-the-top craziness since day one.

I had absolutely no idea that is had gotten so big back home. Buzzfeed. I was on the homepage of ESPN.com. They were talking about intense fans of the World Cup and that’s not something that’s been apart of our vernacular.

Will Teddy ride again after the World Cup?

That is a question that I don’t feel like I get to answer. I feel like everyone else has already made that choice for me. One of the first emails, after returning from Manaus, I got was from a co-worker was, “You’re wearing that on Monday to work, right?”

All of the guys back home at American Outlaws: Chicago were like, “I don’t care what it takes you’re wearing the ‘Teddy Goalsevelt’ costume to the first game back. It doesn’t matter how many free beers it takes… you’re doing it.”

I think Teddy will live on. I think he has to.

Perspective

The fact that this many people are sharing and tweeting and posting my stupid face just means all of those people were watching U.S. soccer.

Which is incredible. How big this has gotten… it couldn’t have happened if there wasn’t a critical mass of eyeballs on the match. So the fact that so many people were watching the ability to turn my dumb face with this hat, glasses, and mustache into a viral hit is fantastic.

Not for me, but for the game.

Tags: American Outlaws, Major League Soccer, USMNT, World Cup