It’s Been Fun; Thanks for Reading

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This has been coming for several months now—as you could probably tell from the steep dropoff in posts here—and today it’s official: After three and a half years, 1,091 posts, and untold thousands of misplaced modifiers, wrongheaded opinions, and factual errors, we are shutting down the Backpost.

We launched this site in late 2009 with three purposes in mind. One was to get our writing out there, in hopes of landing a gig at a bigger site such as MLSSoccer. The others were to provide a forum for more irreverent stuff that wouldn’t necessarily fit in at a mainstream site, and to simply create an outlet for our ongoing soccer jones.

Well, we’ve checked off all three boxes, and since we’ve recently expanded our role at the day job while also taking on more freelance work, there’s just no room left for the Backpost.

But it’s been fun—we especially enjoyed doing this, this and this, among many others—and we send a sincere thanks to everyone who happened by, and a double dose of gratitude to those who made regular trips.

Your attention was much appreciated. Please keep reading our stuff over at the MLS site and follow us on Twitter at @JohnEM12.

Thanks again,

BP

Aaaannnnnddd—We’re Back!

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Didja miss us? We had to put the Backpost on the backburner (actually, it was off the stove entirely) for a few weeks due to a combination of vacation, expanded day-job duties, and some other projects to be named later.

As you can see, we’ve tweaked a few things (and that’s still a work in progress, so please bear with us), and we’ve got a couple new elements in store for 2013. Please check back.

We’ve also got some stats from 2012: The BP was viewed about 73,000 times in 2012, by people from 176 countries. (That’s 27 fewer than than the total pool of nations that began qualification for Brazil 2014 two years ago, so we’ve got work to do.) We averaged roughly one post per business day in 2012, and the most popular posts in site history were those involving—you’ll never believe it—preposterously sexy Paraguayan superfan Larissa Riquelme.

You remember her, right?

No?

Allow us to refresh your memory:

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She’s a live wire, that one. Paraguay needs to step it up in WC qualifying (they’re currently dead last in COMNEBOL; this is an emergency) just so the world gets to see her again at Brazil 2014.

Runners-up in the popular-post category involved Wayne Rooney, Oguchi Onyewu’s wife, and David Beckham’s MLS sojourn.

That’s all for now; we’ll be back shortly with a belated BP Fantasy League update, and then it’s onward with the semi-regularly scheduled programming.

Thanks for reading.

The 2012-13 BPFL Season Is Here

Ladies and gentlemen, the Backpost Fantasy League is back, courtesy of that rakish duo Our Man at the Valley and MGlo.

It’s the second annual edition of the BPFL, and our dashing co-commissioners have us locked and loaded at the Premier League’s fantasy site. So click here, register, create a team, and then join the league called “Backpost.”

And do it soon! The Premier League starts on Saturday.

You’ll need the following code to join: 1136183-283663.

We are limiting the number of entrants this year, so leave a heads-up in the comments below or email the site at Jbackpost12@gmail.com to let us know you’re in so you don’t get booted by the ruthless (though debonair) co-commissioners.

Thanks, and good luck.

Introducing: ‘Tracking Back,’ Our Spinoff Podcast

We’re not ready to quit our day jobs just yet, but we have launched a soccer podcast. It’s called Tracking Back, and the very first episode is up now. You can download and listen to it right here.

The debut edition features the Lifer, the Newbie, and the Omnivore discussing Landon Donovan and Thierry Henry, Brian Ching and Eddie Johnson, the plight of Glasgow Rangers, and the FA Cup.

Also: Leo Messi, automotive mishaps, and streakers.

The Lifer is a longtime soccer fan, player, and writer. The Newbie is new not only to soccer fandom, but also to sports in general, and the Omnivore is a voracious consumer of sports, both North American and international. And cake.

Please go give it a listen, and be gentle—it’s our first time out of the gate.

Hurricane Irene Forces MLS Schedule Changes

The DC United–Portland game scheduled for tomorrow evening was moved up from a 7:30 p.m. start to a 2:00 afternoon kickoff, and both of Sunday’s MLS matches, including the sold-out New York–Los Angeles match, were postponed to later dates as the league anticipated the arrival of Hurricane Irene along the Eastern seaboard.

Citing “general public safety concerns,” MLS made the following schedule changes (courtesy of MLSSoccer.com):

D.C. United vs. Portland Timbers (at RFK Stadium)
NOW: Saturday, Aug. 27 at 2:00 p.m. ET*
WAS: Saturday, Aug. 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET

*Major League Soccer, in collaboration with D.C. United and Portland Timbers, will continue to monitor the path of Hurricane Irene before making a final determination as to the status of the game between both clubs, originally scheduled for Saturday at 7:30pm ET at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

A further update on the status of this game will be provided by 12:00 p.m. ET tomorrow (Friday).

UPDATE: This game has now been postponed. Reschedule date is TBD.

Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution (at PPL Park)
NOW: Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 8:00 p.m. ET (Galavisión)
WAS: Sunday, Aug. 28 at 7:00 p.m. ET (Galavisión)

New York Red Bulls vs. LA Galaxy (at Red Bull Arena)
NOW: Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 8:00 p.m. ET (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes)
WAS: Sunday, Aug. 28 at 7:00 p.m. ET (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes)

Announcing: The First Annual Backpost Premier League Fantasy Competition

For the coming EPL season, Backpost, in conjunction with dashing readers OMATV and MGlo, has created a private league as part of the larger Barclays Premier League Fantasy Competition.

Each week you’ll have a head-to-head matchup against another league competitor. You get 3 points for a win, 1 for a tie. At the end of the season, the team with the most league points wins a prize to be named later and provided by Backpost.

We’ll explain scoring and strategy in future preseason posts, but for now, get registered and join the Backpost league!

The set-up is easy, user-friendly, and guaranteed to be a blast—unless you’re a Swansea City or Arsenal fan with anything but lowered expectations for your team this season.

Here’s what you do:

1. Go to the Premier League website, right here.

2. If you already have a team registered, log in and skip to Step 7.

3. If you aren’t already registered, see “Fantasy” tab and click on “not registered? Sign up” at lower right.

4. Provide the relevant registration information and click “Submit.” Then log in and create your team.

5. Fill out your roster with 15 players valued, in aggregate, at no more than £100 million; also, no more than 3 players from one team. The roster must contain 2 keepers, 5 defenders, 5 midfielders, and 3 forwards. Prior to August 13, you are allowed unlimited transfers, so don’t waste too much time on this now.

6. Once your roster is complete, select your team for Gameweek 1 (click “Enter Your Team”). This means choosing 11 players in some formation or other (but  you must have 1 keeper and at least 3 defenders) and naming a captain (who gets double points), and a vice captain (double points if captain doesn’t play). Again, you can change this as often as you want prior to August 13.

7. On the horizontal top menu bar, click on “Leagues.”

8. Click “Join a League.”

9. Click “Private League.”

10. Enter the League Code 453312-124770 and press “Join Private League.”

11. Wait about 15 minutes and click on “Leagues” on the horizontal menu bar to make sure that Backpost comes up as one of your private leagues (you’re allowed to join up to 15).

The deadline is August 13, so you have ten days to come up with a team Roman Abramovich would envy.

Any questions, just leave them in the comments and we’ll answer promptly.

H/T’s to OMATV and MGlo, the deadly Doe-Eyed Assassin.

Slow News Day? Take the Time to Get Prepped for Tomorrow’s BP Champions League Viewing Party

We’re kidding, obviously: today brought some pretty spectacular news. (We enjoyed the Mark Twain quote that’s been batted around Twitter all day: “I have never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.”)

And tomorrow is a brand new, bin-Laden-free day, with fresh pleasures in store—chief among them the second leg of the Champions League semifinal between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

So clear your schedule, grab your American flag, and come down to The Full Shilling at 160 Pearl Street in lower Manhattan (btw Wall and Pine) to watch the game with some fired-up fellow fans.

Kickoff is at 2:45, and your first drink is on us. We’ll be at a table in the back near the big screen.

Some of the topics up for discussion:

How much talent—in U.S. dollars—will Jose Mourinho leave on the Real Madrid bench for this leg?

How long will Dani Alves’s Oscar acceptance speech run?

What will the goals-to-referee complaints ratio look like?

What are the chances these squabbling Spanish siblings will cut the crap and play the soccer they are capable of playing?

We hope that last answer is “excellent,” and we hope to see you there.

Thanks for your support of Backpost.