99 Friendship Episode 62: No Way San Jose

By Carolyn Duthie and Benjamin Massey · November 15th, 2017 · No comments

Live from San Francisco, and then edited down to a completely non-live version a couple of days thereafter, it’s 99 Friendship episode 62! This week’s show, as usual for episodes where Carolyn and I are in a room together, is even patchier than the grass in San Jose. It is, however, very, very podcast.

As you have probably inferred Carolyn and I recorded this together from our dingy hotel room in San Francisco, California, where we had retired to watch the Canadian women’s national team take on the United States in the second half of their doubleheader. Yes, the game was in San Jose, not San Francisco, but who wanted to spend three nights in San Jose? We spent half of one and that was bad enough. We had also both been in Vancouver for that game, now one of the three best #CanWNT – US rivalry moments without a doubt, and we have things to say.

On this week’s unusual episode:

  • I would like to point out that Carolyn and I had spent almost an entire week zipping around two cities, eating exotic meals, never drinking the same thing two days in a row, watching a heck of a lot of soccer, and generally having a glorious time. As a result “prepare adequately for our podcast” was very low down on the priority list. This will show up. We had a reasonable number of interesting things to say, whether you watched the games or missed them, but there’s no organization to how we say them. We are professionals.

    Also, as always for these, we share my microphone and the sound quality is worse than usual.

  • We begin by talking about the Road to the Roar curling tournament briefly hitting some broad strokes about the two games.

  • On Sunday, as Carolyn put it, “we weren’t as far behind, a bunch of high-schoolers playing the US national team, as you think we should look.”

  • The Lindsay Agnew Ex-spear-i-mint gives Carolyn and I conniptions. This is unfair of us, as we later learned that this happened to Aggers. Few defenders would handle Megan Rapinoe well if their sock was sloshing around in a pool of blood. But it’s on the record now, sorry Lindsay.

  • Players, including teenagers, are discussed.

  • Okay there’s some curling in the middle. It doesn’t last long, we remember soccer things to talk about eventually. It’s like an intermission! Go take a slash!

  • The stadium entertainment in San Jose was terrible. Alex Morgan was offside.

  • We discover the secret to a successful 99 Friendship is not having too much friendship.

Follow 99 Friendship on Twitter if this is the sort of nonsense you feel like adding a point to.

Raising the Middle

By Benjamin Massey · November 12th, 2017 · No comments

Bob Frid/Canadian Soccer Association

Canada’s women’s national soccer team drew a close-to-full-strength United States 1-1 at a very well-attended, if atmospherically indifferent, friendly in Vancouver last Thursday. This we’ve done before, twice in the John Herdman era. What’s unique is that we really, really deserved it!

The Americans were, as they have been for the past two years, mediocre. Shelina Zadorsky probably committed a penalty that went uncalled in the second half. And we would have lost anyway had Steph Labbé not made a miraculous kick save on a deflection. That said, Jordyn Huitema had a foul called against her late in the game for getting her head busted open in the penalty area, the American goal only happened because of a Labbé punching mistake, and we made a veteran-laden American team featuring Rapinoe, Lloyd, Morgan, and Press look incapable of retaining possession for, and I am being absolutely literal here, the first time in Canadian history.

Therefore, that game was automatically a Very Good Time. ESPN named tireless Jessie Fleming the woman of the match. Deanne Rose mauled Megan Rapinoe so severely that after Rose came off Pinoe broke up with her girlfriend by text. Huitema looked plainly inexperienced at this level but was a net contributor all the same and played great off Christine Sinclair. She survived her head wound, which contrary to what condescending writers would clickbait you into believing, is exactly what an elite athlete like her should do. Then she celebrated with a post-game ginger ale because she’s nine. Our wünderkinds were, by any fair standard, wunderful.

But everyone talks enough about them. We’re so enthusiastic that Huitema wearing a bandage becomes Jesus wearing a crown of thorns. That’s good, really; Fleming, Huitema, and Rose deserve support. The trouble is that we risk forgetting our solid but not headlining prospects. In a way, they should excite us more, because that indicates that something we once did wrong, we now do right. But I am damned if I can figure out what.

Even our worst youth teams, coached by mad Italians losing to Mexico and Costa Rica, have provided interesting players, but the leap from U-20 to senior soccer has been a long way. Even players who came into the senior team as useful pieces at a young age have tended to remain only useful. I am thinking particularly of Brittany Baxter (née Timko), Jonelle Filigno, even Sophie Schmidt. We would have been poorer without them, but they never seemed to make the leap they should have made. Their games did not evolve.

In the past few years, this has begun to change, a long, slow process whose fruits are only beginning to appear. If we exclude the obvious deities the best mortal on the pitch Thursday was Rebecca Quinn. Never as preternaturally gifted as her confrere Kadeisha Buchanan, Quinn has always gotten good reviews after coming into the national team at a young age. She recalled a young Emily Zurrer, the very archetype of the useful young player with a long way to go to become a star.

The difference is that Quinn keeps getting better. Born a centre back, she is now a safe starting option in defensive midfield and has an Olympic qualifying hat trick in her scrapbook. Boasting a new, 2015-Sophie Schmidt-like haircut, Rebecca looked like a new woman on Thursday… but in fact it was the same Quinny, only improved, facing threats as varied as Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, and Andi Sullivan with equanimity. She was better than her defensive partner, Shelina Zadorsky, who has a few seasons’ NWSL experience and has herself improved a bit the past couple years. And Quinn’s best position may be in defensive midfield, where she has, implausibly, surpassed Desiree Scott on many fans’ depth charts.

And Quinn’s not even the most impressive mid-lister. The gold medal for development goes to Adriana Leon, who at age 25 should surely not be classed as a prospect at all. In two years when most players’ destinies are fixed Leon has gone from an on-field liability and one-time Twitter malcontent to a magnificent opposition-bothering impact sub and scorer of two fine senior goals this year. I cannot explain how this possibly happened. After an indifferent NWSL career, not much for the senior WNT, and being changed for a better thing, she went to FC Zürich in 2016. With that underrated little club she showed well in Switzerland, had a three-goal-and-two-assists game in the Champions League, returned to both Canada and the NWSL, and was suddenly pretty good. Thursday’s goal-scoring turn against the Americans was only the most entertaining moment in seven months of good form.

A lot has changed since Adriana’s early days: she was the star striker on that U-20 team Carolina Morace got eliminated very early indeed. But John Herdman and company can’t take credit from a technical perspective: they didn’t see her for over a year. The person most responsible for Leon’s mid-career development spurt must be Adriana Leon. But the country did something right, insomuch as it remembered her and let her stay in the game, and brought her back when she was ready.

These things never used to go so well. For decades the classic Canadian role player was a physical specimen rather than a technically developed, versatile contributor. Changing this was a conscious goal of many coaches and administrators throughout the country. Now that it is happening, and the results are before our eyes, we are so blinded by Roses and Huitemae that we can’t see it. Leon, a hard-charging bull in a china shop, and Quinn, who is tall, would both in a different era relied upon their obvious physical powers too heavily. In November 2017 they look like soccer players.

We are not World Cup champions yet. Quinn has learned much of her trade at Duke, Leon picked up her magic boots in Europe; the path to long-term success requires a road through Canada. Nor has everybody been equally successful, because that never happens. But we’re going the right way. Leon scoring against the US because Quinn hit the crossbar bodes just as well for our program as Jessie Fleming descending from heaven.

99 Friendship Episode 61 COMPLETELY DEVOID OF CURLING CANWNT SPECIAL

By Carolyn Duthie and Benjamin Massey · November 6th, 2017 · No comments

On this week’s very special 61st episode of 99 Friendship:

  • NO CURLING

  • The reason we have no curling is not because we, like, like you or anything, dear listener. It’s because Canada has a friendly on Thursday against the United States in Vancouver, and a return engagement Sunday in San Jose. Late last week the Canadian Soccer Association put out its roster and it is replete with talking points, if not drinking companions.

  • What I call the “full Danny Worthington experience” is upon us once again as, nominally, Canada has basically no midfielders. It’s okay in this case because we also have basically no fullbacks and only two centrebacks. To play the United States. It makes sense, since Ashley Lawrence, Kadeisha Buchanan, and Shannon Woeller are busy drinking wine and looking at dirty postcards in Europe. But it’s alarming. When you’re playing. The United States. Twice.

  • Many of the players on this team are very young. Between us we have some knowledge of some of the youngsters, and we share it.

  • One of the players, Meagan Kelly, is American. Not the famous American Megan Kelly, the television personality. The less famous American Meagan Kelly, the Kansas City midfielder/fullback/forward??? nobody watches Kansas City games.

  • We predict results, because that’s the format. Carolyn goes insane.

  • Canada Soccer is also honouring Chelsea Stewart, Brittany Baxter, and Kelly Parker, 2012 Olympic bronze medalists, during the game. Our memories of these three players are not, um, inspiring, but we put them on the episode anyway. This leads to a lengthy digression about Baxter’s finest hour, the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championships.

  • Because we are following a bunch of teenage girls to California odds are episode 62 will come late. So, though not relevant to the show, let me take the chance to share Carolyn’s NCAA cansoc bracket now:

Big episode this week!

99 Friendship Episode 60

By Carolyn Duthie and Benjamin Massey · November 1st, 2017 · No comments

This week on a not-at-all-Halloween-special-because-we-don’t-mention-Halloween-once episode of 99 Friendship:

  • Carolyn is very excited about the curling. She is very excited, because Jennifer Jones had a seven-ender against world number one Anna Hasselborg. If you don’t speak curling, that’s a lot.

  • Canada’s women’s national soccer team has begun its training camp prior to playing the United States twice in a couple weeks. As of recording time, on Sunday evening, we did not know the roster. And as of blog posting time, on Wednesday morning, we still don’t know the roster! The US roster, of course, is out, so thank you Canada Soccer for not making our podcast obsolete prior to release.

  • The College Desk and the Foreign Desk return with, alas, some slow news. Sophie Schmidt scored a goal and Jessie Fleming deserved to. Actual Summer Olympic Bronze Medalist Deanne Rose, to the surprise of very few, has turned out to be an excellent freshman soccer player in the SEC. Victoria Pickett and Sarah Stratigakis are scooping honours as we head into tournament time, when Carolyn gets one of her trademark huge brackets all drawn up.

  • And then holy macaroni it is Curling O’Clock. Thomas Ulsrud wears pants, Kevin Koe destroys some loser, Brad Gushue and Jennifer Jones destroy all losers, and from that inspiring week of curling we take away “we are scared for Canada at the Olympics.”

  • My mouth always wants to say “Lethbridge” even when my brain knows it wants “Lloydminster.” This is how I work and there’s nothing I can do.

Next week will be a big exciting WNT-versus-USA preview! Unless we still don’t have a roster by next weekend! Which we might not, leaving us to make logical deductions from NCAA rosters and people’s Instagrams!

Soccer as Extended Warranties

By Benjamin Massey · October 30th, 2017 · No comments

Canada Soccer/Mexsport

The other half of 99 Friendship and I are visiting San Jose in a couple of weeks to watch the Canadian women’s national team lose to the United States. Canada’s senior team has not beaten the United States since a 3-0 win at the 2001 Algarve Cup. In our last ten attempts we have eight losses and two draws with a goal difference of -15. Canada Soccer has been promoting the Vancouver leg of this two-friendly series with a “#Top5 #CanWNT v #USWNT moments” featuring two meaningless draws and three heart-shattering losses.

Will we succeed where the best Canadian teams ever have failed? Diana Matheson is still injured. Due to European or NCAA commitments an enormous list of players is doubtful: Ashley Lawrence, Kadeisha Buchanan, Sophie Schmidt, Deanne Rose, Rebecca Quinn, Shannon Woeller, plus potential dark horses like Amy Pietrangelo, Jenna Hellstrom, Gabrielle Lambert, Genevieve Richard, and Emma Fletcher. We might get Erin McLeod back after a long injury layoff, partially because she no longer starts for her club in Sweden. The Americans are without the injured Mallory Pugh, but except for Crystal Dunn every man jack of their team plays in the NWSL and should have nothing better to do.

What I’m saying is,a we know what’s going to happen, we are spending a reasonably substantial amount of money for a virtual guarantee of unhappiness, and the only reason I can imagine is that Carolyn and I are degenerates. (Also that the game is in San Jose which is basically San Francisco and neither of us have been to San Francisco before.)

But by US Soccer standards we are apparently emblems of sanity. Earlier today US Soccer sent me an e-mail offering a chance to buy “upgrades” and “make [our] matchday even more memorable.” For $141.91, for example, I could own the 1’x8′ photoboard used in the pregame photos of the starting eleven that nobody ever looks at except the players who were in them. Should that seem too dear, $37.16 would win me “a photo of yourself in the goal after the match, taken by your own phone.” But for a more exclusive memento, an astonishingly reasonable $380.01 (why one cent?) buys an official match ball, with the combating teams emblazoned on it and everything, from this nothing November friendly. It goes without saying that no upgrades “include any interaction with the USWNT or Canada players,” so if I want Alex Morgan to autograph that ball I have to go to Epcot.

In the few hours since I got this e-mail, multiple upgrades have sold out. A chance to take two post-game penalty kicks, no goalkeeper, has gone for $46.68 a piece. I was too late to even price out “Pregame Field-Level Access,” where you can “watch from field-level as the USWNT warms up.” This once-in-a-lifetime chance to see Lindsey Horan passing the ball in a circle was lost to me in ten-odd minutes between my receiving the e-mail and opening the link. As of this writing the photoboard is still available but act fast.

US Soccer has mastered gouging their supporters. Every first world soccer association will sell you a t-shirt or a kit; the Americans will sell you a $2,850 US Soccer watch. Don’t worry, you can save money by buying a “US Soccer Federation membership.” Only $55, not only do you get 10% off swag but you earn elite status by buying more match tickets. It’s just like everybody’s favourite experience, commercial air travel. Spend the surplus on a US Soccer fantasy camp, for only a $3,995 “donation” (half tax-deductible, so your fantasy is subsidized by single moms working at 7-11s).

The commercial principles here are highly sound. American fans are second to very few in overall spending power. Soccer associations, especially in CONCACAF, go to even more than the usual efforts to accommodate visiting American fans. The American Outlaws, the major US supporters group, have even poached the Voyageurs’ (and the Vancouver Southsiders’) usual pre-game pub. When our city was overrun by US Soccer fans during the 2015 Women’s World Cup, their official fan party was at the Commodore, a club downtown. This “#FanHQ” featured separate queues for walk-up admission, people with tickets to the party, and “VIPs” on the guest list. The place, needless to say, was absolutely packed.

Some of the point of this post is to laugh at the vulgar, cash-obsessed Americans and their comical penny-ante greed. I am Canadian and as vulnerable to our sins as anybody. More important, however, is the cautionary tale. Canada echoes the United States in many trends, and like all echoes we are late and inferior.

Our soccer association is not a natural at profiteering. Until more recently than you think it was actually very difficult to buy a Canadian soccer kit in most of the country. Despite holding the pursestrings of the most popular participant sport in the country the Canadian Soccer Association was habitually short of money and endearingly awkward trying to make a commercial proposition out of just about anything. Even the famously successful 2002 Women’s U-19 World Championship was fueled by free tournament passes to the youth soccer players of the Edmonton area, though in the case of one attendee, at least, the CSA has more than recouped that investment.

But times are changing. A Canadian soccer friendly is no longer automatically a money-losing proposition; over 22,500 tickets have been sold for this Canada – US affair, guaranteeing us one of the ten best-attended home friendlies in Canadian history a week and a half before kickoff. Nearly every equally-successful friendly has been in the past six years. The Canadian Premier League is said to be coming, and for many fans and businessmen part of that should be a soccer marketing organization akin to the United States’ SUM, who have proven so adept at taking advantage of patriotism and partisanship. We aren’t where the Americans are today, but we are thoughtfully eying the same roads.

Saying “this is what happens when the games get big” is lazy excuse-making. I have been to sold-out Gold Cup and Women’s World Cup games, games much larger than any November friendly, where my pregame was drinks in the pub with like-minded supporters and “upgrades” meant splurging on merchandise at the stadium. Nobody would call FIFA or CONCACAF altruistic, but while there were opportunities for fans to spend those events stayed on the right side of “crass.” For their many sins they never fell into the trap of trying to upsell status symbols to supporters like some soccer version of Best Buy.

Canadian soccer will grow. This will—already has—cost those of us who have followed it for a long time some of the intimacy we have enjoyed. Too bad, but the advantages are worth it. What’s not worthwhile is turning supporters into columns in a SQL database, to be statistically analyzed for profit potential down to the penny, like any old business nobody could ever get on an airplane to cheer for. As an old fan this is not what I signed up for. If you’re a new fan I bet one photoboard this is not what you signed up for either.

May Canadian soccer resist the lures that have ensnared our American brothers and sisters.

99 Friendship Episode 59

By Carolyn Duthie and Benjamin Massey · October 25th, 2017 · No comments

Last week the Canada Soccer Twitter account entertained us by promoting the upcoming lady friendlies against the United States by reliving our top five CanWNT – USWNT memories. Now you may have thought “wait a minute, I don’t have five good CanWNT – USWNT memories.” You’re right, you don’t! The CSA’s glorious moments are really not what was advertised. Three of them are positively traumatic.

So on this week’s 99 Friendship, Carolyn and I spend twenty minutes triggering the hell out of each other with these horrible, horrible memories Canada Soccer thinks will somehow move tickets.

Don’t say I don’t love you, because I went onto YouTube and found video evidence for these moments. In some cases I had to be very careful not to actually watch them.

  • May 8, 2014: Canada manages to draw the United States 1-1 in Winnipeg. These are the US Soccer highlights so you can’t see the actual top rivalry moment, which was Kadeisha Buchanan making Abby Wambach retire. I forgot that Sydney Leroux scored the equalizer in this game, which you think would have automatically disqualified it from Least Triggering Memory. But it wouldn’t have.

  • September 17, 2011: Canada manages to draw the United States 1-1 in Kansas City. I have now seen video evidence and I’m still not convinced it ever happened. Totally awful penalty call, so you see why it blended in with every other USWNT game of the past decade. But do watch the highlights for the part where Lauren Sesselmann nutmegs Lauren Cheney.

  • September 1, 2002: in the only non-senior team moment on the CSA’s list, except this was basically the entire senior team while they were little babies, Lindsay Tarpley buries Canada in the final of the inaugural FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Edmonton. In the episode I reminisce about this tournament a bit, mostly fondly. But this game sucked. That’s the full match video, by the way, and it went to extra time, so pack a lunch.

  • August 15, 2008: Beijing Olympics. #tashakaiwasoffside. Only the extra time for you in this game, but I think Carolyn’s traumatized recap will give you 1% of an idea of what it was like live.

  • Christine Sinclair’s hatty game in London. I lied, I couldn’t bring myself to look for video of this.

Elsewhere in the episode Carolyn goes into the babycanwoso archives to find a suggestion that might have actually fit this list (for her, anyway). Then we talk briefly about women’s hockey, because Canada got itself triggered against the United States in that sport too and this episode wouldn’t have been quite long enough if we hadn’t.

Follow 99 Friendship on Twitter! Do you know when these episodes come out? You can’t because I don’t and I post them! Twitter will always have the scoop! (Or your favourite podcast aggregator, whatever.)

99 Friendship Episode 58

By Carolyn Duthie and Benjamin Massey · October 17th, 2017 · No comments

5 + 8 = 13! So episode 58 of 99 Friendship is very nearly a perfect tribute to the once and future NWSL champion captain, the immortal number 12, Christine Sinclair. It would have been better for everybody if the Portland Thorns won the NWSL championship last week, but that league doesn’t play by our rules or, indeed, the rules of any generally-recognized organizing body.

We recorded this on Saturday afternoon, after the NWSL final but before the party at Portland’s stadium, which among many other things featured Thorns fans and players chanting in honour of the Alex Morgan trade. We probably would have done a whole episode just on that. So it’s probably just as well we missed it, since actually many things happened this week!

On this week’s show:

  • Let’s face it, the main thing that happened was the NWSL championship. It featured an indisputably ugly trophy and what some people are calling an ugly game that I enjoyed very much. Agricultural soccer is sort of my thing, and there’s a wider soccer-political point that I probably could have got a thousand-word blog post out of but instead spend 15 seconds of podcast time on. But we discuss lots of things, and Carolyn (a true red Thorns fan) is very, very happy.

  • On the Foreign Desk, we bring bad news from Erin McLeod in Sweden, good news from Sophie Schmidt and Shannon Woeller in Germany, and questionable news from Jaclyn Sawicki in Japan.

  • On the College Desk, we bring Jessie Fleming highlights and a couple of lists. The Foreign Desk is undoubtedly better than the College Desk.

  • Swiss Olympic Women’s Curling Trials happened. And then, unreasonably quickly, they concluded. We take some time to boggle at this.

  • What I’m afraid Carolyn and I insist on continuing to call The Sexy Man Curling Calendar has just been released for 2018. I am very excited because St. Albert native Marc Kennedy takes the honoured position of Sexiest Man, which is only correct. You’d expect Carolyn to be excited because there are will be many shirtless studs, but alas, this year’s selection is decidedly… mixed. And not in the way that would have been exciting.

    The bright side is that, even if you aren’t sold on the sexiness, most of them are raising money for great charitable causes. And two of them are raising money to change the lightbulbs in their home curling rink. And you’ll never guess which two.

  • On a meta note, I also made, and cut, probably the two dirtiest jokes I have ever committed to a podcast recording. One was quite near the beginning and the other quite near the end. Let’s see if you can spot the lacunae!

99 Friendship Episode 57

By Carolyn Duthie and Benjamin Massey · October 12th, 2017 · No comments

Ben is both still sick and still harried, so once again you get a late podcast overtaken by events, accompanied by a totally mailed-in post summarizing all the action! At least the NWSL final hasn’t happened yet, and at least we’re still super witty and entertaining, so sit down and enjoy!

On this week’s stunning episode:

  • The NWSL semifinals took place last weekend and we spend the first half of the show breaking them down. And by “them,” I mean the Portland Thorns – Orlando Pride game. We are both feeling thorny, Carolyn because she is an actual legitimate Portland Thorns fan, and me because Portland is the only team left with a Canadian who actually plays. Said Canadian, a precocious young prospect by the name of Christine Sinclair, scored a goal having been left as pretty much the only person in her half of the stadium for a while. She also should have had another one earlier, way before garbage time, but she was incorrectly ruled out offside. So ha!

  • Sabrina D’Angelo’s North Carolina Courage also won, but they don’t play Sabrina D’Angelo anymore so does anybody actually care?

  • UCLA, with Jessie Fleming and occasionally now Kennedy Faulknor, failed to beat the Wildcats.

  • In curling news, uh, our analysis was made slightly obsolete by the fact that the bonspiels we’re talking about hadn’t ended when we recorded this. I drop a trademark Awkward Opening Line about Rachel Homan and you get to wait fifteen minutes for me to explain what it means, and then the actual explanation itself takes five more minutes. But Rachel won her tournament, so our uncomfortably non-ironic Rachel Homan fandom is intensifying. Having assured you that John Morris is going to win his title event, the DIRECT HORIZONTAL DRILLING FALL CLASSIC, the actual winner of the Golden Eggplant was Rui Liu, who I brushed past without comment, in a final against Kevin Koe, who I absolutely promised you was going to lose his quarter-final so he didn’t have to work Monday. But Brad Gushue won in Toronto so that’s okay then.

  • Also, Thomas Ulsrud’s curling pants.

99 Friendship Episode 56

By Carolyn Duthie and Benjamin Massey · October 4th, 2017 · No comments

Ben is feeling unwell so he hopes you will forgive an even-more-perfunctory than usual summary post for the latest episode of 99 Friendship.

This week!

  • We discuss all the continents in women’s soccer. Yes, all the continents. Yes, all the continents.
  • Apparently Canadians don’t play abroad much anymore, but we catch you up on what there is to catch you up on. Sophie Schmidt faced Amy Pietrangelo and Shannon Woeller in the Canadian German Derby on recording day, and we couldn’t watch it, but we do tell you about it!
  • Jaclyn Sawicki might not get relegated!
  • There are other types of drama!
  • Words pass our lips related to curling.

99 Friendship Episode 55

By Carolyn Duthie and Benjamin Massey · September 29th, 2017 · No comments

Yes it’s, um, Friday, and you know what that means: a brand new episode of 99 Friendship!

Sorry for the long delay. Last week I was inna woods and obviously unable to record. But this past week we recorded on time and I’ve been plain too busy to edit. As a result, your half-hour of Carolyn and Ben delight was unconscionably delayed. But episode 55 has arrived at last, just in time for Carolyn and I to get together and record episode 56.

On this week’s fast-obsolete show, we have a potpourri of potent sporting potables. Yes, it was a stretch where nothing much happened, the NWSL was on international break and then it was boring, but we get to catch up on some wider topics. The University of Nevada women’s soccer team was hilarious. FIFA’s announcement of THE BEST’s finalists was even more hilarious than that. One of the candidates for president of the United States Soccer Federation has some ideas that others consider hilarious but I am a little non-ironically into. Sarah Stratigakis scored a goal on which the defending was hilarious. And we shoot the breeze about Olympic curling, of course, which has the potential to not be hilarious at all.

Follow 99 Friendship on Twitter!

By the way, you should now be able to find 99 Friendship on the iTunes Podcasts list! iTunes fixed the issue which prevented me from adding the podcast previously, and in adding it I incidentally figured out why 99 Friendship culturally appropriated the Two Fat Bastards feeds when I consciously tried to make it not do that. Unfortunately I don’t think that’s something I can easily go back and fix…

Anyway, in addition to iTunes, 99 Friendship should be found in many fine podcast aggregators. I use CastBox for Android, and it looks lovely over there.