Monday, January 09, 2012

du Nord Looks Back at 2011

2011 was a pretty incredible years in a lot of ways. Here are a few of my impressions:


My beloved Minnesota Stars won the re-inaugural NASL championship! I know most of you don't follow the 2nd division of soccer in North America, but it was a great year for many of the teams. The play on the field was arguably the best ever, and when your team goes on one hell of run and eventually wins it all, there is nothing better!

The Championship series was unforgettable. That huge home win for the Stars was a thing of sheer beauty, and then nearly 90 nail-biting minutes with my fellow fanaticos in Ft Lauderdale to win it all was beyond amazing!

I just remember in the second leg when the clock hit about 82 minutes I just started leaping around like a little kid, shouting joyously, hugging everyone, knowing it was over. The Strikers had clearly given up on the field and that Cup was ours. Then I lost it when the final whistle blew. I love crying tears of happiness! That grin did not come off my face for weeks.

Thanks to all of you for making it a special season.


MLS had a spectacular year on and off the field.

The superstar led LA Galaxy won the MLS championship with the $12 Million goal - Beckham to Keane to Donovan. Victory!

Portland and Vancouver both took the league up another notch with great fan support, especially those fans in Portland who make me very jealous. And how about those Portland fans singing the national anthem on opening night!

The new stadium in Kansas City, Livestrong Sporting Park, proves that this game can do anything it sets its sights on in America! That place is the best soccer stadium in the country and a whole new standard for everyone else to shoot for. It will take a lot to top this place.

I also got to finally visit Red Bull Arena in Harrison NJ and what a grand palace of football that is!!! 4 Stars!


FC Barcelona won the UEFA Champions League by clobbering Manchester United again.


The USA Women made the World Cup pretty damn dramatic. It was a lot of fun, if heartbreaking in the end, to go along for the ride.


The USA fell hard in the Gold Cup final to Mexico. After taking a 2-0 lead they folded badly and lost 4-2.

Bob Bradley was replaced by Jurgen Klinsmann after a 5 year courtship.


Its probably not very karmic to cheer someone else's demise on a year end list, but I could not have have been happier to watch Slappy Jack Warner and his many imitators take a fall in FIFA this year. Let's hope the house cleaning continues in 2012, cuz there are hundreds more scum-bags out there.


When I stop and look back at this moment in time, its absolutely amazing where soccer has advanced to in America during my lifetime. From my first moments as a fan in the mid-70's to now is a light year away.


On a more personal note a of couple of pretty amazing people came into my life via soccer and really helped me turn around a big portion of my life in 2011. You know who you are, and you will always be in my heart.


Music made a big return to my life too, what a relief. The mixes on Spotify have been a blast.


Awards du Nord:

World Player of the Year: Lio Messi
USA Player of the Year: Clint Dempsey
MLS Player of the Year: Mauro Rosales
MLS Team of the Year: LA Galaxy
World Team of the Year: Barcelona
Podcast of the Year: Men In Blazers
Writer of the Year: Brian Sciaretta
Personality of the Year: Don Garber


Anonymous Anonymous said...

congrats again to the Minnesota Stars... what can we do to help the NASL survive and grow in 2012?

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Rich said...

Nice recap of 2011, and thanks for getting this plethora of info together on a daily basis.

8:09 PM  

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