Save the Date: May 3rd, Backpost Champions League Viewing Party

Hey, you there—slacking off work to read a soccer blog: Did you know a recent study found that surfing the Internet at work actually boosts productivity? Well, here’s a proposal guaranteed to curtail your workplace contributions on the afternoon of Tues., May 3, 2011.

If you live in the New York City area (or happen to be visiting), come on down to lower Manhattan that day for the first ever Backpost Champions League Viewing Party.

On the schedule: the fourth and possibly best meeting in four weeks between mighty Real Madrid and Barcelona. It’s the second leg of their Champions League semifinal and will send one of them to the final at Wembley on May 28.

Where: The Full Shilling, 160 Pearl St (btw Wall and Pine)

When: 2:45 PM.

We will have a table in the back in front of the big screen, and your first drink is on Backpost.

So come out and watch what should be a great game with a group of like-minded goons. You may get to hear Prison Mike explain how Real Madrid is an underdog worthy of your sympathy (after he scares you straight), or listen to the Ref Baiter recount the best dives of his career. It’s sure to be a good time.

Watch this space for confirmed details/reminders, and thanks for your support of BP.

Good things Come in … Fives: Weekend Trackback

Yeah, we fell down a hole over the Thanksgiving Day weekend. A combination of Pinot noir and tryptophan made us a little groggy, and we never saw it.

But we’ve climbed out, and we’re ready to play catch-up.

For our take on the busy first week of the MLS offseason, including the Expansion Draft, the multiple trades, and the massive occasion coming up on Thursday, check out our column at the league website, right here.

(It was up on the site Monday morning as usual but, like we said, we were in a predicament like this the past few days.)

We’re happy to announce that we’ll continue writing over there through the offseason, so please keep checking it, maybe Facebook-liking it, etc., etc.

All right, let’s jump back in, starting with a side trip out of our jurisdiction: Barcelona’s 5-0 demolition of mighty Real Madrid yesterday.

It’s probably not a stretch to say that this was a display of historic proportions. Barcelona scored their first goal after stringing more than 30 consecutive passes together, and their second following a 21-pass sequence. Against Real Madrid, the most expensive team in the world—not Malaga or Getafe, or Seattle Sounders FC. (No offense to those three, but…you get the point.)

Here are the highlights, but isolated replays—like words—do not do this game justice. You had to see the way Barcelona knocked it around for those stunningly long stretches to really appreciate this one. The phrase The Beautiful Game was coined for displays like yesterday’s:

There was another five-goal outburst produced in the past few days, by a single player—Manchester United’s Dimitar Berbatov.

The lanky Bulgarian joined Alan Shearer, Andy Cole, and Jermain Defoe as the only players ever to score five in a Premier League game, pulling off the feat in the Red Devils’s 7-1 romp over Blackburn on Saturday.

He struck his first just 72 seconds into the game, and found the net again in the 27th, 47th, 61st, and 69th minutes. He would’ve added a sixth if not for a great save by Blackburn keeper Paul Robinson.

The win put Man U in first place for the first time all season as Chelsea tied Newcastle 1-1 to fall off the pace, and continue a recent dip in form.

Arsenal thumped Brad Friedel and Aston Villa 4-2 to pull even with the Blues, two points behind Man U.

Back in MLS, DC United stripped the ‘interim’ tag from Ben Olsen’s job title, and made him the youngest head coach in league history at 33. The former Black and Red midfielder hopes to turn around the team with the worst record in the league in 2010.

Finally, former President Bill Clinton, the Honorary Chairman for the U.S. 2022 World Cup bid, lays out the case for bringing the tournament back to the States. Click here to read.

The 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting duties will be awarded on Thursday morning (Fox Soccer Channel, 9:30, EST).