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Bringing a perfect pitch to Annapolis with The Stateside Cup soccer


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Our resident Highlandtown soccer lifer Mike Libber tells Nestor about the Stateside Cup and importing Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton to Annapolis for a friendly on the pitch July 31st.


soccer, games, annapolis, teams, baltimore, years, stadium, talking, play, world cup, friendlies, crystal palace, grew, baseball, people, big, orioles, football, premier league, epl


Mike Libber, Nestor J. Aparicio

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are W and S CI am 1570, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive we are positively into the summer months around here. We’ve got all sorts of promotions for doing the Maryland crabcake Tour presented by our friends at the Maryland lottery guests and lucky sevens later on this summer. We’re going to be a Costas on the 20th. Before the oral Yankees game, we’re going to be a Pappas on the 25th of June. Later on. We got all sorts of things happening summer long here. Fleet Week, Orioles home. Ravens getting ready for another season and soccer is happening around here. I saw that USA Colombia game the other day and the friendlies are all getting going I see Argentina is playing a little bit. I had friends of mine two weeks ago that took their child to see the great mess a play for the Miami team. The worst was pretty uniforms that I want one off and so I get a little bit of soccer on the brain around here and the ladies World Cup earlier and all that stuff. So we have soccer happening here so they call it stateside cop. Not sure that everybody knows this has happened on July 31, which is why I’m locally placed in source I have local people around here on the streets to educate me about things especially when I get some would say that I’m out of the loop of football and baseball certainly far removed and kicked out of soccer Mike Lippert joins us here. He runs a local company here and I know Mike by and by around town and lead promotions group and doing big events, soccer events, teams, that sort of thing. But the stateside cup isn’t just limited here to Annapolis with Crystal Palace and wolves on the 31st but really happening in other places down in Florida Jacksonville and Tampa likes Good to have you back on man welcome I would say home but you’re on the road right now but in all this together because summers a little downtime for some soccer people you sort of ramps up here these friendlies right.


Mike Libber  01:55

Yeah, absolutely. I’m currently down in Tampa with Crystal Palace. We’re going to be doing a site visit at the Raymond James Stadium later today. And then we actually get to treat him to work guest of the Tampa Bay Rays for the Orioles game later so that’s why I got my Orioles attire on and we’ll be we’ll be down there for the for the game. Watching the channel knows

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:18

Listen, there’s eight days a week it’s good to be wearing oil stuff right now. You know any of them. They you know, the beer is cold wherever you are if you’re an Orioles fan. I often talk about the Orioles and lacrosse getting in the way right like in a seasonal way of saying Does your kid play this or that? Soccer is a unique thing in that I grew up in East Baltimore. We played baseball. Even though I’m of South American descent, I was all Venezuelan and soccer or excuse me baseball. But Colombia was all soccer. A lot of communities or soccer. East Baltimore now last soccer going on as well. And you’re offering something that is stateside cup that I’m fascinated by Tommy Oh, this comes together for a guy in a real Jersey who hangs around here in Maryland, importing all these big shot European teams.

Mike Libber  03:03

Well, I’m an East Baltimore guy too. I grew up in hometown, so I well, they play. Yeah, I’m a big P cringy. Growing up, watching them playing coach and playing for him at UBC and coaching with them at UBC. But fortunate enough that we’re able to bring some English Premier League teams over the summer and have them play their preseason matches. We’re going to open up in Jacksonville on the 27th with Wolverhampton Wanderers against West Ham, and then they’re wolves are going to come up to Annapolis to play Crystal Palace on the 31st of July and then house will travel down to Tampa, and they’ll take one Westham at the Raymond James Stadium. So yeah, I’m really looking forward to it. Me too great, great locations for all three matches, specifically for Annapolis. I mean, being in a Maryland guy, I’m all Maryland. But it’s a very unique setting. And they they’re doing they’re killing it right now with their amateur team. They’re not Annapolis blues. I mean, they’re a bunch of college kids throwing 10 11,000 people to their game

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:17


was on my timeline all weekend. It literally made me because your show and Facebook knows things or whatever. But I’m telling me what that is. I’m unfamiliar. Yeah. Those never reached out to me to come on, right. Like I’ve just I’ve seen it all my time. I’ve seen a man they’re doing something that other people are coming none.

Mike Libber  04:35

And to be honest, it’s one of the reasons why we chose Navy Marine Corps stadium is because they’re having such success with the blues. I mean, their average fan base is dropping 8000 people for last weekend for a Friday night game. So it’s one of the reasons why we’ve kind of targeted the Naval Academy for for bringing the Premier League because they have that they’ve proved that they can they can support are amateurs at a high level now we’re bringing the most popular league in the world to Annapolis. So we’re really excited about the potential and the possibilities for this match to I mean, our goal was to get a sell out 35,000 people so that’s that’s the goal. Yeah, a lot of folks

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:17

have never been there. You know, and, well, here’s the cool part for me. I’ve only been there. I mean, I can count on my hands, right. Like I can tell you there was a Ravens practice down there a number of years ago that I made my way down. I covered Navy football in the 80s. Elliot Uzelac was the coach

Mike Libber  05:37

at the Baltimore stadium now in the 80s 9091.


Nestor J. Aparicio  05:41

i But I saw Brigham Young played I saw Ty Detmer throw the football down there. So, um, but my the only time I’ve been there, the century and I’m you know, it just means I’ve been here a long time. I’m old right. Dundalk High School, played the state championship Danner against marovo. Don’t tell the mayor this, but I was ish talking to Mayor at halftime because we were winning. And then we wound up losing the marovo. I never hear the end of it from Brandon Scott. So, but I went down for that. And to your point, I found sort of a different place. And I would say more than that when you’re playing these friendlies. And I know this from when Ted leonsis came up and chewed my ass about the ISP and shippi when he’s bringing Alex Ovechkin up here, a lot of these preseason games and I even wonder with baseball this weekend over in London, like getting a pitch ready, getting the facility ready. When you’re already playing soccer there. You have athletes running around, rocks, this that good sod, good, all of that stuff. You have a functioning facility down there. And to my way of thinking a couple of years ago going down there. I was kind of shocked at how nice it was. My wife had never been there. She’s like, Why have I never been here? I’m like, Well, maybe it’s four or five games a year. And we don’t go to lacrosse. So like, you know, how often are we gonna go there, but it’s a beautiful facilities. Great place to spend a summer night.

Mike Libber  07:04

Yeah, yeah. And what’s really unique about that venue, and I don’t think a lot of people realize it’s turf. So it’s artificial turf. We have to bring inside and lay sod over top of the turf for this match. So it’s, it’s a whole process because I know that see now you’re Yeah, the Premier League teams won’t play on turf. I mean, for reasons, right. I mean, they’re their million dollar athletes. But they’re not going to risk playing on artificial turf to get injured, and we’re seeing we’re seeing a lot of that with the NFL, right. They’re, they’re starting to kind of getting pushback from certain players, they want to play on grass and so the turf so it’s, it’s gonna be a process, it’s, they’ll start laying the sod on on Sunday evening. It’ll be ready the day of the match. And then as soon as the match is over, they pick up the snot and unfortunately it goes to the dump I mean it’s it’s a it’s a must Somebody want needs to field and they want to

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:08

somebody’s gonna go out there that needs some saw. It’s

Mike Libber  08:11


a different it’s a different type of song. Yeah, I mean, if we get it

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:15

I know about grass. I mean, you know, yeah, yeah,

Mike Libber  08:19

it’s a different type of side. So it’s a certain it’s not gonna be like a putting green sing out or anything like that. We actually get it from it’s a farm up in New Jersey Tuckahoe farms in New Jersey, back to the same side of the Ravens kid from for m&t limited financial users if that’s the same cyber Lincoln Financial, the whatever times field is now called up in Pittsburgh. They use the same same farm. So it’s a high quality grass, and it’s not cheap. It’s not cheap at all.

Nestor J. Aparicio  08:53

Well, to your point you’re bringing in. And we talked about a little bit this weekend about the Phillies going over and playing over London and trying to introduce things. This is this has been going on all century that teams have from Europe have wanted to come over and play famously. Well. Yeah, yeah. But I mean, it’s now everybody does it. I think it was a little bit tippy toe before but this is big business. But more than that. A great sales job for soccer for anybody who marvels at watching these games early in the morning on Saturday morning to touch these players reach out and touch these athletes. Right? And it has become ubiquitous during this century for a 55 year old guy that used to have to watch you know mera Dona on satellite when he came over here once in a while in the middle of the night to it’s very, very easy to be a West Ham fan. And matter of fact, you’re the second one I’ve had on this week. Thomas Dolby who’s on tour this summer as a West Ham fan, and was given all sorts of plugs to West Ham in the middle of this Is that you know, these teams, whether it’s Crystal Palace a wolferton. I always say wolves I’ll just say because I can’t say that name. Yeah.


Mike Libber  10:09

They’re fine with that. I’m not British. I have a

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:12

hard time in house in Houston and Boeing and Boeing and Towson and Towson, but but Crystal Palace these are, these are real outfits. This is like when the Phillies go and play baseball over London. Well,

Mike Libber  10:23

it’s compared to the NFL. So when the NFL goes over to London to play their games, I mean, the NFL needs to make sure that it’s a success because it’s their brand. So it goes the same way with the Premier League. The Premier League is the biggest league in the world. It’s bigger than La Liga it’s bigger than Syria. It’s you’re gonna get a bonus Liga. And it’s just because they have more teams that are happening. It’s not the same team. I mean, I know man City’s winning everything right now. But it’s a different team. Like you have the Chelsea’s you have Liverpool, you have the Arsenal’s you have the man United’s? When you go to the Bundesliga you usually Byron Leverkusen won this year, which is a rarity, but it used to be Bayern Munich that wins every single year for years in La Liga. In La Liga, you have Real Madrid and Barcelona. And then every once in awhile, you might get a somebody like an athletic Oh, Madrid or Valencia or somebody to come in and that’s via the winter League, but in the Premier League. I mean, yet Leicester City, won the league in 2014. And they had been in the championship which was the league below the Premier League Two years earlier earlier. So that doesn’t happen. Trying to relegate

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:42


me here for a long time. I will let them Mike you know Madrid to me. You know, I talk enough soccer here with Anthony and I mean, I’m gonna see Kurinji Saturday. You don’t know it yet. Jamie Costello’s got a party going away. Love you Jamie. And I look so Kurinji was on I’m like, Well, I know who I’m drinking with Saturday night. Yeah.

Mike Libber  12:03

Right now too. So he’s he’s good to go. Got nothing to

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:07

do but hang out with me. Eat crap, Ms rum and coke. He loves his rum and coke. Here’s a problem with Kurinji. I hadn’t do the show last year. And we did it down in Essex. And the Oriole game was on during the crap because we do it in the afternoon. And I picked the day when the game was on and I couldn’t even get his attention because all he’s doing is watching a baseball game because so Madrid. I saw a video this weekend like literally yesterday popped up that showed their training facility where they all have like these five star hotels with due to look like a four seasons that you could sleep at on the pitch for every one of these players. This has gotten outrageous. I went down to the Dallas Cowboys facility back in Arlington. When the Orioles were down there losing back in October and looking I walked around and looks like I’m in Owings Mills every day that looked like this and Owings Mills. The the soccer teams are what makes Jerry Jones want to chase whatever the largest that is Barcelona that is Madrid that is Munich that is any of these EPL teams. And you got a couple of them coming in here that you know Crystal Palace is named aptly.

Mike Libber  13:19

Yeah. Now it’s I mean all three of these clubs that we’re bringing in have a rich history and they have like like wolves and a lot of people don’t know this but they have a South Korean player on their team he chan that the South Korean community in the DVM DMV is huge we’re talking 300,000 People in between Virginia and Maryland. There we’re engaging with that community because we know that there’s going to be kids that are never going to have a chance to see him that are Korean at watch him from afar like in the in the World Cup or the watch him in the one on TV for the EPL


Nestor J. Aparicio  14:01

those guys play when they come you know that when I go to that Messi play for Argentina when they’re playing a friendly at MetLife state

Mike Libber  14:11

Yeah, but that’s that’s that’s the thing. I mean, we’re dealing with these teams that yes, they have national team players on their teams. Like Crystal Palace has Chris Richards who’s a US player, but we have they’re not the are gonna put this they’re not like the like last year Man United played in San Diego and they played they’re like under 20 ones. That’s not going to happen with these teams because they know they need to prepare for the EPL season. And they don’t have the luxury or the or the depth on their bench to have those other players play they need their first team players to play to get ready for the season because their their main goal is want to remain in the Premier League because we’re talking 10s of millions of dollars, that they would lose 100 For the millions of dollars they will lose if they get relegated so they need to prepare be prepared from don’t have to worry

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:05

about that you know what I mean Right?

Mike Libber  15:09


Like like Man City they have they have players that are on their bench like their their second 22 or second 11 their payroll was bigger than most EPL clubs First Tee so

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:23

get relegated they wouldn’t be doing what they’re doing you know that and that’s

Mike Libber  15:27

the problem I see with with Yeah, that’s the problem I see with the MLS and everything over here. It’s it’s, there’s no relegation. So there’s no I you know what, next year, there’s no there’s no accountability. There’s no accountability. So over there they can be prepared from day one these lower but not the big six. They call them the Big Six you got the Chelsea’s the Liverpool was the Arsenal’s demand season, man, United’s and then Tottenham, so those are the big six, though they have the luxury of having that depth where they have they can bring in another 100 million dollar player that’s won the reserve team type of thing. But palace and Westham and wolves, they’re in it. They don’t have that bank role, but these other clubs it’s like

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:14

the Orioles in the Yankees. You’re wearing Loreal Jersey mind.


Mike Libber  16:17

This. It is it is and and Crystal Palace is owned by the Washington commanders now. They got Josh Harris who owns the commander’s owns Crystal Palace.

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:30

So there’s a nice little crossover. There’s

Mike Libber  16:33

a nice crossover. There we were we were guests of the commanders this past week. For the USA Columbia match down at commander’s field and had great conversations with them. They’re they’re looking to bring matches like this next year. I’m surprised

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:49


you didn’t play a shift. Honestly, you know, for team USA. I mean, come on, man. That was a tough one. It’s a tough one.

Mike Libber  16:56

To get out there for one minute I get a red card and then I get off.

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:00

Like livers here he is promoting the stateside cup. It’s happening in late July, begins in Jacksonville on the 27th and August 3, they’ll be down in Tampa, but they’re here in the region, Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium where they have turf or they’re gonna put sod and we’re and all sorts of things are Crystal Palace in the walls to eight o’clock, you can learn all you need to learn at state side to hook up with those tickets. So Mike, it is fascinating. And I guess maybe the reason I brought this up and you would say that in the 80s and 90s that were friendlies here, and they started bringing back them over here and bringing people over here and, and obviously always trying to grow the game on the male side, let alone the female side before all that happened in the Rose Bowl. 30 years ago. These teams coming over playing friendlies, which friendlies was an ice cream shop for me when I was a kid I you know, I didn’t know anything about all this. So it’s such a it’s such a soccer term to say friendlies, but they’re what we would call exhibition games in baseball, preseason games and football, whatever it is. We’re now in America, exporting the real games begin the season in South Korea begin the game and Tokyo begin the season in Australia if you’re baseball Mexico City, wherever it is, played real games in London now, the NFL plays all of these real games, not just in London, my wife with a Germany, my wife was in Frankfurt with the guy that saved her life, seeing the Colts play the Patriots or whatever it was six months ago. So now we’re gonna play in Brazil, the Eagles are playing, they’re gonna take that animal act that Eagles fans down to Brazil. Some of them are gonna get arrested. I’m just saying I know, I know, Eagles fans. But these are the games that count and see that about Eagles fans. I used to buy season tickets for them. So these games that they bring over here, is there ever going to be a point where we other than the World Cup and we’re getting that we’ll get to that in a minute too, and how we should be adding World Cup games in here in Baltimore. But that’s another story. Yeah,


don’t get me. Don’t get pizza


Mike Libber  18:59

on the committee. I don’t get me started. I was on the committee. So well, I’d love to get

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:04

you started. That’s what beers for. Um, in regard to the friendlies, there’s always been something over here saying oh, you know, you’re sending your B games. And we send our a games. I mean, I’m quite frankly kind of shocked that they play major league baseball games in a circle field in London this weekend. I know they can make dough on it. I know nobody in London knows anything about baseball because I’ve been there and they’ve learned football. Football is really, they get the guy that saved my wife’s life in Germany. All of his friends watch the NFL. He’s 30 years old. They’ve been watching it their whole lives. But everybody here 30 has been watching the EPL and getting up early and watching your sport the sport that you played love all that the Highland town sport not the dog sport soccer. The friendly part of this has always been a little bit it’s just you know, there’s always been a little bit of that and that that socks from on that part of it from a soccer fan, we send our good things we’re exporting the real thing now football and basketball, the NBA playoff games the count all over the place. Soccer don’t do that yet just yet, right? Yeah. No, no. Yeah. I

Mike Libber  20:13

mean, we’re trying to change it a little bit with this stateside cup. So it’s a it’s an actual competition. So there’s a trophy for the winner. It’s not the Champions League trophy or something like that. But it’s still it’s silverware that these teams can bring home and and showcase to their fans like, hey, we beat to other EPL teams. So it’s a little bit of bragging rights that they have. So that’s that’s the whole kind of spin that we wanted to put on it because we want to make it competitive. We don’t want it to be the A they’re coming over here. It’s a little preseason vacation for them to kind of get their feet in the sand and can

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:51


we get to a point where it’s as attractive for Crystal Palace to play a real game MetLife Stadium Gillette diag you know, shot problem was placed together problem with

Mike Libber  21:02

it. It comes from FIFA. So FIFA won’t want sanction games, okay, outside of the like the out of the United Kingdom for the Premier League to play anywhere besides the United Kingdom. Well, I

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:18

know you can’t bribe FIFA. I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding. No, I, but I mean,

Mike Libber  21:24

that’ll never change. Unless FIFA changes it like you can play like the FA Cup. Good play in a different country if they wanted to. Right. Because that’s, that’s sanctioned by the Federation of each country, like France does it they have a French cup? I think they played in Dubai, either last year, the year before. They’re trying to actually tried to bring something over to the US, like a New Orleans or something to kind of like a French vibe, right? But with the Premier League, or La Liga, or Syria or anything like that, it’s FIFA is to kind of put a next one because there were some I believe it happen a couple years back, it was millonarios No, no, no. Yeah. millonarios against and actually now, Colombian clubs. They’re trying to play Miami. They’re trying to play a league game in Miami. And FIFA, put a Knicks on it.


Nestor J. Aparicio  22:22

So it costs them somehow that would have been a good idea.

Mike Libber  22:25

It’s a great it’s a great idea. The Colombian population.

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:29

A great idea. The Phillies went over to London and made money this weekend. And

Mike Libber  22:34


I mean, and I think the NFL and MLB. They see the the they see beyond all that stuff, but they don’t have a governing body that governs like the NFL doesn’t govern the entire world. So FIFA governs. It

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:48

gets involved in all of this to where there’s not as much of that going on and soccer, right?

Mike Libber  22:54

Yeah. Another buzzword for me here. My dad is a big union guy, my dad, the big union guy

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:01

worked at the point, same deal. You know what’s funny out just as a comedic aside, you would say, Well, dude, it’s it’s the Bundesliga. It’s a German League, the games have to be played in Germany stop. And I’m like, right? Well, it’s a National Football League, but they now play internationally. It’s the National Basketball Association, playing games.


Mike Libber  23:23

It’s a brand building. And that’s one of the reasons why these teams want to come to the US as well. They see the market and it’s the biggest market in the world. It and they want to expand their brand like so wolves in palace and, and West Ham, they’re all trying to expand their brand in the US. They’re going to be meeting with with grassroots clubs, they’re going to be meeting with fan groups. They’re gonna be meeting with potential sponsors.

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:48

It’s a good trip it really right. Yeah, it is it is.

Mike Libber  23:51

And they have a they have an agenda on what their marketing team has an agenda their, their finance team has an agenda. And then obviously, their their football department has an agenda. So we got to find them training facilities, we have to find them. We’re going to do open training for both for all the teams in all the cities. So people are going to have a chance to come out and actually trip it up close and personal. It’s all ticketed events. Not not necessarily paying to go but you have to get a ticket, some type of affiliation to get to get into watch them train because we just can’t have 20,000 people show up at UMBC if they’re going to be trained in their clinical, you know, I know anymore, so you gotta you gotta deal with Anthony so, so you still it’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  24:40


from island town, so I’m in I know

Mike Libber  24:42

he’s a thought that hey, we’re Anthony and I were in each other’s weddings. So I can we’ve known each other since we’ve probably been 10 but uh yeah it’s it’s it’s it we’re going to be have a lot of functions leading up to the match in Annapolis and in Baltimore. So I know there’s you have The soccer bars in Baltimore you have the colada you have this launcher. And Patrick

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:04

Russell on talking about soccer.

Mike Libber  25:09

Yeah. Patrick guy we actually I took Crystal Palace there on Friday on a Friday night. Yeah, Friday night. I took him down to Florida. We had a left Scala with with Nino put them to dinner there. And then we drove down to the luncheon had had a couple of drinks with them. Patrick wasn’t there. But yeah, I was texting back and forth to him. They’re trying they might be doing a function here. But they could also do a function something that colada with Michael Clark. So and he’s a curly boy like me. So I mean, we can there’s always that connection too. But then we’re going to do some stuff down in Annapolis. I mean, you got Randy ramshead Down there you have the waterfront, the mayor of Annapolis has been outstanding. We’re going to lined the streets with Crystal Palace and wolves flags, just to get a little buzz going. The teams love Annapolis, because it kind of gives them that English mantra or coastal town feel. It’s like a Bournemouth or Norwich or kind of Southampton type of feel that Annapolis had, it has that charm. So they were very comfortable like it they weren’t shocked when they got down there come


Nestor J. Aparicio  26:18

together in this because I mean, they just played some soccer Dan and FedEx when you know, we can’t talk about this area not getting the World Cup. I mean, just a champion. And the Ravens stadium is under construction right now. I mean, I know that from just a general sense that it’s not playable. Right yet. I mean, they’re trying to get it ready for football season. But like it is unique that you’re doing this at Annapolis. And I have to ask, yeah, why?

Mike Libber  26:43

It again, it the blues had a little bit to do with it, just seeing their success that they were able to do with an amateur team. But just the the English town feel. I thought it was really in as a state capitol. It’s close to DC, it kind of gives us and it’s the right size as well. Because, I mean, in Jacksonville Tampa, there’s 67 70,000 seat stadiums, we know we’re not going to have that many people for this count these two clubs that are playing there. So we’re just going to do the lower bowl which is about 40,000. So having a stadium that’s 35,000 at capacity. This gives it a better feel. And the MLS stadiums aren’t that big and to me like 19 to 185 So it’s there, they’re not big enough. So it’s it’s Annapolis. It’s that perfect 35,000 seat venue that it just at 20,000 kind of still seems cool. But a 35 Um You’re talking about a great atmosphere you got the grass grassy area that we’re gonna have a family section for you have the temps in the corner, where it’s kind of like that, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards the the right field standing room only kind of party Park party atmosphere for like the young professionals. And it’s not a bad seat in the house. It’s everything’s close. I mean, even the seats behind the I think it’s the South End, where it’s it’s in the endzone. Those seats are you think they’re the best seats, they’re there, they’re elevated or looking down on the field and you’re right on top of the field. So it’s a great, great setting plenty of parking. It’s it’s a it’s an eight o’clock game on a Wednesday, so we moved it back one because of the team conflict, the humidity and the heat a little bit, get the traffic flow kind of gone. Because usually around 630 It’s pretty good and it’s lit on a weekend so you don’t have to really worry about the beat traffic. So yeah, it’s just a in my opinion, it’s a perfect venue perfect setting. It’s halfway it’s what 35 minutes from DC 35 minutes for Baltimore. So it’s right smack in the middle and yet the teams when they were here for the say visit one on Thursday and Friday they were like this is this is great. Can’t do we can’t ask for a better venue than this. So they’re really excited. I can’t wait to see what it’s going to look like what the grass on it that’s gonna be it’s gonna be fun.

Nestor J. Aparicio  29:14

Stateside cup is next month. It’ll be July 31 and Navy Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis Crystal Palace in the woods take each other on, you find a sad state side Like liberals are besties with elite tournaments here locally, and all the East Side Highlandtown UMBC stuff. I’ll just say this and I’ll wrap with this just as a baseball guy. How old are you? You’re younger than me. I know that but how old are you?

Mike Libber  29:40



Nestor J. Aparicio  29:42

the generation behind me by the way, you can’t say curly and soccer. Spits I’m looking for you tell Stitz I’m looking for him. I’ve been looking for him for months. If I find him I gotta get him on the show. But on the show. He’s ducking me. slits his docking me like he’s been since a little leak he’s been talking me since we played. So I’ll just say this one

Mike Libber  30:04

came to man. I played eastward Red Sox. Well, Paris in high school.

Nestor J. Aparicio  30:08

Yeah, Joseph Lee fields of course so but lucar boozy by the grace of God. So the thing about me and Stitz growing up in the 70s and John Rolla when all these football colts fine, Orioles were everything as you sit here wearing an Oriole Jersey staring at me, you’re in Tampa going into the game, see the Orioles playing all that stuff in a blimp down there on a 90 degree day. The baseball thing and my Aparicio Jonas and me loving baseball and being a baseball guy. I’ve seen baseball, atrophy and be really not so good during my lifetime as far as getting young people getting people of color getting more people getting, you know, just growing the brand locally where I’ve seen for all the lacrosse stick heads around here. And all the old Lacroix I ran into Gary gate a couple of weeks ago people 30 years I’ve been here 32 years. So 32 years ago i Come on little nasty Nestor we’re talking Baseball, baseball, Orioles, Cal Ripken all that trying to get a football team back we got one they’re really good. But sport wise lacrosse. I’ve just seen it grow here with boys and girls and seeing it grow so much like Notre Dame’s good kids plan for my kids play. Okay, so from a soccer family, soccer was always The Little Engine That Could it was always ethnic, it was always a little bit of Colombia and the Desmon are strong types and a little bit of the Highland town types to do what they do and international Greek kids and Italian kids and whatever. But soccer and lacrosse in my lifetime in my 30 years. And don’t forget horse racing. And these things that have just boxing things that have just gone away that we don’t talk about anymore. Soccer has been the growth thing. It’s the thing you were in on when you were 10 years old. Now you’re turning 50 You can look at your lifetime and say, boys play girls play. Everybody’s playing it. We have games over here. We’re putting on exhibitions, you’re a part of this. You’ve been a part of this tradition thing at UMBC. That’s been this incredible growth thing that got a stadium built over there and all this. I’m just it must be something for being a soccer kid to have this lifelong love of it. To see golfers grown in America to see it grow. But like soccer, nothing like it for all of you. And I’ll throw Pete in begrudgingly who’ve grown it who’ve grown it here locally, who’ve seen it go from it’s on cable on the weekends at night overnight on satellite. What is the world you have to explain what the World Cup is? Explain who Mara Dona is at that time to Beckham, the women. The World Cup be in here. The run we had an OTU that led to this incredible disappointment that we didn’t get the World Cup here in Baltimore, Washington for all of you try, you know. Yeah. So


Mike Libber  33:03

I mean, like you hit the nail on the head. I mean, I’ve been playing this game. So I’ve been four years old. In the alleys on I grew up on eating South even street 700 block. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  33:14

and you got out of your neighborhood. Nobody played it.

Mike Libber  33:17

Yeah, I mean yeah, yeah. You guys said yeah, the guys in South bar. I mean, I grew up playing for Mr. Danny Woodward. I love my favorite coach in the world for St. Elizabeth’s. Then you go I go to Curley and play for pepper Ella. Oh, stop. Yeah, for me. Yeah, I played for Pepe and

Nestor J. Aparicio  33:41


that was one of my first sponsors you know right at that bro. Yeah, peppers,

Mike Libber  33:44

man. Peppers. You gotta eat it’s pet love them. awesome guy.

Nestor J. Aparicio  33:51

people I’ve ever met. I’m still chasing this chicken dish used to make I found his place in Harrisburg and a guy makes this cherry cream sauce chicken, man. I mean, you can’t sit to say PAP and have me just let that go. I

Mike Libber  34:05

don’t know. I mean, it’s, we got some


Nestor J. Aparicio  34:07

dudes together. You and me. Come on, set some Chase. And you tell him Yeah, no,

Mike Libber  34:12

no. And then I get to go play for Pete at UMBC. Right. So the the legend of of all Voluntown. I’m going to play for him. And then after that, I started coaching on coaching where somebody asked you so another legend legend, right. Absolutely. nother legend. So he I mean, he played for the diplomats when he was 16 years old. So I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s crazy. And then I start. I finished playing at UMBC. I started coaching at UMBC for a couple years and I start this tournament business. I was coaching for the Baltimore bays and I just saw a void and it’s well organized event start doing that. And then next thing and I’m on a World Cup committee to try to bring the World Cup to Baltimore for 26 got shafted by not getting away.

Nestor J. Aparicio  35:02

You know, I let me throw in because you know, I got a little soccer background grant wall. And yeah incredible a guy. Incredible thing that his wife talked about real courage Celine gounder. That if you haven’t seen the book and you haven’t seen it go out and Google it this week because it’s kind of fresh and new, what they’ve done to pay tribute to grant grants last act before he went over and passed away. Suddenly, grant came on the show with me, during the period of time where it felt like we were going to get the cop. So I have grant on literally the last act of, you know, my show that he spent with me, and we went at it for like, 45 minutes because we liked each other. And you know, he’s an old Swansea guy and his wife was here to spend time here. We’re talking about the most famous, you know, soccer writer that will ever probably have an art in America. He came on and he made me feel confident in some way when I got off that we were going to get the games, like you know,

Mike Libber  36:06


yeah, we were we were the viewing show that we had to m&t. We went into that thinking, okay, what are we doing this? This? I mean, FIFA basically told us that we had it but especially when we we joint ventures with with DC they said if you do this look, the World Cups never not been at the nation’s capital. Right. And during the during the show when they said Philadelphia, the first nation’s capitol, I looked at Terry, half the time I looked at my brother. I said we didn’t get it. As soon as they said that, and just by that one statement, and we didn’t get it. I think I think Boston was selected over us Foxborough, which is a shame because the stadium is in the middle of nowhere. It’s not close to Boston at all. And we’re one of the few we were one of the few venues that art Stadium was actually in the city center of the city. Like you can walk anywhere

Nestor J. Aparicio  37:05

from Fells Point grain from anywhere to the front door, even though we don’t think like that, because we’re not we

Mike Libber  37:11

have three airports, three airports within 45 minutes in the stadium. So everything looked like okay, this is a perfect venue and then all sudden we don’t get it so I can’t say why we didn’t get it. I mean, I think that certain relationships with the with with Feefo were stronger in in Boston than that Baltimore. I mean, the owner craft is really good friends with with the FIFA president so I’m sure that had something to do with it. But it’s a shame because we do some of the best soccer players in the in the nation.

Nestor J. Aparicio  37:52

Baltimore has such a rich soccer history, rich history.


Mike Libber  37:56

It’s a very rich history. And it just doesn’t stand for Baltimore. It’s grown to I live in Howard County now. Me. We sound Association Columbia has 7000 Kids 7000 Why you

Nestor J. Aparicio  38:09

go back to your sin and Armstrong and you know what, what we did 40 years ago, right? Yeah,

Mike Libber  38:15

I mean, you have not just what you have Dante Washington yet, yet. Within the Ryerson, they have Todd Haskins, you have in Baltimore you have I mean, we had the JJ Kramer’s we had Tino Yeah. Sam Tino we have you placed with Carolina right now. I’m having a brain fart here. But he played he went to Calvert Hall. And Bender was having a great he was one of the first ones drafted in the in the MLS draft a few years back. And he’s playing with Carolina had a great he was doing great. But still it’s it’s just a soccer rich city. And the fact that we don’t even have a professional team is sad. Like, I remember going to the Maryland beige when Pete was coaching in Columbia and we’re playing at Cedar Lane. And I’m 1011 years old and my comment goes games at the paper. Yeah, right. And Mike Kleiner who lives down the street from me, he’s he’s 16 1718 years old. He’s driving me to go watch Philip Chow. Yeah, Philip, Philip Zhao and Barger and and Ryerson and you’ve just incur and you just it’s, it’s just such a soccer rich community. And we want to I want to try to bring as many games as I can to do this to this area. I mean, my my partner with it is, is based out of based in London. His name’s Raymond Farley. So he and he worked for a Scottish, so he worked for Celtic and Rangers. He’s one With few people that work for, for both clubs because those clubs really do not like each other, and he worked for the Scottish FA and, and he has these connections with the clubs I have the connections with the stadiums across the country, in the sports commissions from doing all the events that we do. And we’re the small kids on the block here. So we’re going against like the age ease of the world and and the

Nestor J. Aparicio  40:26


putting on Argentina and

Mike Libber  40:29

billions of dollars and billions dollars incorporation. And I’m just a kid out of hometown just trying to kind of make things work right.

Nestor J. Aparicio  40:37

I’m a kid out of Dundalk trying to make radio work 30 years

Mike Libber  40:41

but we’re doing it we’re trying to do it for the right reasons and from the communities that it makes the most sense with instead of me, everybody their New York is gonna have a game every year right? They’re gonna they’re just gonna have la he’s gonna have a game every single year. Miami is gonna have a game every Orlando, but like Tampa and Jacksonville Annapolis, we’re trying to we’re trying to do stuff out in Phoenix, Arizona who that mean they do international games like Mexico and stuff, but they don’t get the the Premier League games. We’re trying to do stuff in Denver, we’re trying to do stuff in in Kansas in Cincinnati, things like that. It’s just like the the working class towns that that fit


Nestor J. Aparicio  41:25

these guys on TV on Saturday, once a year, we want to come out and be a part of it. Right? Correct.

Mike Libber  41:29

Correct. And that’s our main goal. I mean, obviously we’re in it to generate revenue, but we’re also in it to bring the game to these communities that don’t get it all the time. So that’s our main main goal here and I think just the the whole Annapolis I keep on stress. It’s so unique. It’s going to be such a great atmosphere. Everybody’s pumped about it. And yeah, I mean, it’s great. It’s fabulous. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  41:59

got some real soccer happening July 31 It’s a Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in hot Annapolis. It’ll be Crystal Palace and wolves at eight o’clock you can learn more at state side My guess is Mike liber he’s been around town east side. I guess we grew up into 21224 you know on East Side and let’s see, I’ll see Kurinji this week. His ears are burning right now. At some point of course Stitz is going to on Earth himself the way John Rollo and all of my little league marquel kowski and Mike Mani Otis all these guys from the east side come out, but I’ve been looking for states for like a year or two now somebody’s gonna text me his number at some point. So many buddies now these 15 minutes Yeah. All right, here we go. Oh, you currently fryer guys sticking together against us. Amen, guys. You can find all of Mike’s work at it. He’s also on Instagram as well as it Mike lives 15 He is at elite and the stateside cup with a big match is July 31. We got games between now and then Oriole games. He’s got his Oreo gear on hey, it’s good. crabcake good sometimes to do maybe maybe that Cooper’s are sloppy there. We’ll talk some soccer All right. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Are football as they call it on the other side. Little football. I am Nestor we are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore and we never stop talking Baltimore. Positive

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