9. submitted by
As they turned 16 years old, the cousins heard much from and about a new upstart in competition named Monty whose last name was Montalvo and from whom many foul rumors concerning the cousins had originated. Ana and her antics had alienated enough of their customer base that they sided with Monty and laughed as they shared the insulting falsehoods to each other about Juan and Ana.
Some said that Ana was, in fact, not attracted to men at all and was, indeed, a closet lesbian. This was, according to Monty and those who spread his gossip, the reason that she could never be found with any boy other than her cousin and why she had been so effective selling cocaine, for even her connection, according to the rumors, was a manly, shorthaired Mexican woman who worked for the cartels and from whom Ana enjoyed great favor as the stud woman’s much younger and beautiful lover.
There was hearsay, also from Monty, that contradicted this. It implied that the cousins’ relationship was more than familial. Versions of this varied depending on who told it. Some said that secretly they’d attempted to get married and made no mention of a child. Others never said anything about a marriage but proclaimed that when Juan and Ana were still 13 years old, they’d had a child together. And this child was taken from them by the state being the result of their incestuous love affair. Still, some versions of the bruit said that the child was never taken by the state at all. They said it was born a mangled mess of twisted limbs and a misshaped head, a result of the inbreeding, and had died the very night it was born. Some whispered that the infant’s remains were buried by Juan and Ana in the forest around Valle Escondido.
For Ana, the must grotesque and insufferable of all the lies coming from their competitor said that she only wore skirts to hide the fact that she’d been born with male genitalia. It was purported that she’d been born a hermaphrodite. And as if such vulgar conjecture weren’t horrible enough, there were multiple standing bets among Monty’s minions which speculated not only about the existence of such testicles, but their size and shape and even the odor they emanated.
Many of the cousins’ customers and cohorts knew better. For Taos is small, and there is no way that such things could be hidden among the native-born, but this Monty had only moved to town from Colorado Springs the summer before. His brother was a police officer named Jose Montalvo, and a week after Juan and Ana had someone call Monty to meet by the Old Blinking Light and the cousins shot up his car in the darkness, Officer J. Montalvo pulled the cousins over. They were at the northside Allsup’s getting some chimichangas. Juan’s orange soda had just exploded as he opened it when the red and blue lights flashed behind them.
They pulled over in the Kit Carson Trailer Park. It was lucky for them that they were not out doing business, so nothing could be found, no gun, no drugs, nothing. Monty’s older brother made it clear who he was and why he had stopped them.
“Next time, I’ll call the dogs. And next time, you’ll be in possession. My brother says hello.” He said, flashing his light in their eyes and laughing and leaving back to his car.
On a Sunday at 1 a.m. and the Monday night following at 11:52, gun shots blasted from the dirt driveway up to Cherry’s trailer. A bullet shattered Ana’s window and thudded in the wall above her head. Another put a hole in her bedroom door. Other of the projectiles deflated the tires of their trusty Pontiac and shattered its windows and busted the radiator.
Cherry kicked them out. They purchased another vehicle—a wood-paneled van—and holed up at a bed and breakfast owned by a white hippy lady in Sipapu. From their room, Ana made plans to thwart the territorial advances of Monty and the help he was getting from his brother. It was told her that Jose Montalvo drove a yellow Datsun and rented an apartment behind the northside Guadalajara Grille, so she prepackaged a sandwich bag full of smaller bagged increments of the powder and visited the Datsun under cover of a frozen night and stuffed the bags of drugs into the small, shelved space under the driver seat. After that, she and Juan drove to Santa Fe, where they found and rented a trailer on Cerrillos in an immigrant trailer park.
They would start anew in Santa Fe, and after a week of being there, Ana called her old relative—the detective Gilbert Sandoval—and told him over the payphone receiver that she was the worried older sister of a young boy who’d been caught up in the world of drugs. She said she knew that her little brother’s supplier sold cocaine and kept a cache of drugs hidden under the front seat of his yellow Datsun which he kept parked in front of a small, squatty apartment behind the northside Guadalajara Grille. Old Gilbert spoke sincerely saying that he would do his best to find out what was going on, and in another week, Ana and Juan heard from one of their old customers that drug dogs had been walked behind the vehicle and signaled and a warranted was executed on the vehicle. The news even showed up in the Santa Fe paper. It said the investigation was ongoing and other parties were expected to be involved in a drug ring.
As that January ended, Juan and Ana became desperate. Sales were way down, and except for a few faithful customers with whom they corresponded over their newly purchased Nokia cellphone and met in Pojoaque and at the Camel Rock Casino. Sometimes, Juan goaded Ana to suck it up and ask Michael or Antonia for help up in Chimayo, but she always responded the same.
“Juan, this only works the way it does, because it is this way. We can’t go sit on top of him and Antonia’s man’s business in Española, que no?”
“Yeah. You’re right. You’re right,” Juan responded, but both of them could not ignore the depleted income and struggle to feel good about their time in Santa Fe.
“We’ll get back to Taos, eventually. I promise. We just have to wait till things blow over, until our boy is arrested and put away. Then, we’ll return to get our glory, cousin. I promise.”
And so, they sat outside of bars in their van and solicited the young white and well-to-do artsy types downtown, standing in the snow and smoking cigarettes and pot in their leather shoes. Some of the men had twirly mustaches, and some of the women wore rings in their noses and had hair in their armpits. They reeked of patchouli and burnt sage.
Others, though, were richer and lived on their daddy’s money or trust funds. They were dropouts from universities in places like Tempe, Arizona or Boulder, Colorado. And it wasn’t long before a tall, black-haired girl with big blue eyes and an even bigger nose parked her car outside of their trailer and slept in Juan’s bed and lay around lazily all day. Sometimes, Tiffy—as she called herself and short for Tiffany—helped them sell their product, and other times, she used the money her father sent her to buy it herself. Other times, she earned her stash of cocaine from Juan with her strange white flesh. But still, times were hard. Sales were down.
A connection they’d made through Tiffy had connected them to another buyer who went by the name Scratch or Scratchy. He was reliably in need of an ounce or more toward the end of every work week when he came up from Albuquerque. In many ways, this guy seemed a godsend, but as they met him more and more, Ana became leery of him. She’d had a nightmare about him, and in her own mind, she silently called him ‘The Worm.’ There was something about him that scared her, though she couldn’t place it.
He had creases in his face and was short with wild looking eyes and strong teeth and hands. They met him at night in the snow on the side of the road in Bernalillo or in the afternoon in Dollar Store parking lots. He only talked to Juan, but long after they’d left him, his looks and stares would stay with Ana who kept her hand on a pistol in the front seat at every deal they did. On a few occasions, Juan relayed messages back to Ana from the man about how pretty she looked and that if she was ever hungry for an expensive dinner, he’d be happy to take her out.
One day, Juan jumped back into the front seat of their van, and Ana asked,
“Got the cash or what?”
“Got the feria right here, cousin!”
And shook her head and pulled her lip back in disgusted uncertainty, watching Scratch’s taillights pulling out of the parking lot and driving off into the sunset.
“What, Ana? Ain’t this cherry?”
“It’s cherry… but…”
“But… I don’t know about this guy.”
“Don’t know about him?”
“Yeah, Juan. Why’s he so splotchy? Huh? Why’s he look so crazy?”
“He’s a whiteboy, Ana. C’mon. You know that.”
“I see a lot of whiteboys. None of them look like him. He looks like a worm to me.”
“A la verga!” Juan drew the words out in exaggeration.
“You like the money or what?”
“Doesn’t matter if I like it. We need it.”
“What did he say?”
“What did he say? Oh cousin, I see what’s going on here.”
“You want to know what he said? A la verga! You’re a funny one, cousin.”
“Okay. So, he didn’t say anything.”
“Well, if you hate him so much, then what you wanna know what he says for?”
Ana shrugged, understanding that she was showing Juan a hand she didn’t know she held. Juan went on,
“He asked what kind of gun you were holding onto and said for you not to shoot him.”
Ana laughed loudly and asked,
“Well, what did you say?”
“I told him it was just a nine.”
“Funny,” she said and touched her lips for a moment. She looked through the window as they drove north to Santa Fe.
“Yeah, Ana. Better get a grip on yourself.”
“Pshh… whatever.” But what she had just revealed to Juan was also just revealed to her at that same moment. Ana didn’t know what her feelings were until Juan saw it. Then, she knew. Then, she understood what she was experiencing, and now, as they drove, she pressed her toes through her shoes and into the floorboard. Her knees bounced. Her cheeks pulled the corners of her mouth up into a smile that she couldn’t help, and in spite of all her giddiness, she said what she still thought, “Yeah, Juan. But I still think he’s gross. I still think he’s a worm.”
Everyone and their mother knows GTA 6 will be set in Vice City, but if they do change their minds and try to do another city, I would love for it to be set in Las Venturas. Las Venturas was always cooler to me than San Fierro in San Andreas because of its unique architecture and desert surrounding it. If they decide to make it this is how I would like the map to be. submitted by
Las Venturas: A city full of greed with casinos and fancy hotels.
Grand Canyon + hundreds of miles of open desert: A famous tourists locations and hundreds of miles of untouched desert where you can cook meth in or kill somebody without the rest of the world noticing.
An Albuquerque inspired city: A large city with a drug and gang problem, perfect for GTA. Also would be awesome if you are a breaking bad or better call saul fan.
Highway towns: Small towns with gas stations and motels dotted along the major highways.
Also another Idea: The map should not be an island instead if you drive too far a cut scene plays where you car breaks down and a towtruck tows it to the nearest Car shop.
TL;DR: Man with too much time on his hands goes deep down the rabbit hole on a concept this sub already didn’t seem that enthusiastic about. If you really want to skip ahead, CTRL+F “verdict” and it’ll get you there. submitted by
Two days ago, u/MrPhillyj2wns
made a post asking whether USL should launch a D1 league
in order to compete in Concacaf. From the top voted replies, it appears this made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
But I’ve been at home for eight weeks and I am terribly, terribly bored.
So, I present to you this overview of what the USL pyramid might look like if Jake Edwards got a head of steam and attempted to establish a USSF-sanctioned first division. This is by no means an endorsement of such a proposal or even a suggestion that USL SHOULD do such a thing. It is merely an examination of whether they COULD.
Welcome to the
First, there are some base-level assumptions we must make in this exercise, because it makes me feel more scientific and not like a guy who wrote this on Sunday while watching the Belarusian Premier League (Go BATE Borisov!).
(Known) USSF D1 league requirements:
- All D1 teams must comply with known USSF requirements for D1 leagues (more on that later).
- MLS, not liking this move, will immediately remove all directly-owned affiliate clubs from the USL structure (this does not include hybrid ownerships, like San Antonio FC – NYCFC). This removes all MLS2 teams but will not affect Colorado Springs, Reno, RGVFC and San Antonio.
- The USL will attempt to maintain both the USL Championship and USL League One, with an eventual mind toward creating the pro/rel paradise that is promised in Relegations 3:16.
- All of my research regarding facility size and ownership net worth is correct – this is probably the biggest leap of faith we have to make, since googling “NAME net worth” and “CITY richest people” doesn’t seem guaranteed to return accurate results.
- The most a club can increase its available seating capacity to meet D1 requirements in a current stadium is no more than 1,500 seats (10% of the required 15,000). If they need to add more, they’ll need a new facility.
- Let’s pretend that people are VERY willing to sell. It’s commonly acknowledged that the USL is a more financially feasible route to owning a soccer club than in MLS (c.f. MLS-Charlotte’s reported $325 million expansion fee) and the USSF has some very strict requirements for D1 sanctioning. It becomes pretty apparent when googling a lot of team’s owners that this requirement isn’t met, so let’s assume everyone that can’t sells to people who meet the requirements.
- League must have 12 teams to apply and 14 teams by year three
- Majority owner must have a net worth of $40 million, and the ownership group must have a total net worth of $70 million. The value of an owned stadium is not considered when calculating this value.
- Must have teams located in the Eastern, Central and Pacific time zones
- 75% of league’s teams must be based in markets with at a metro population of at least 1 million people.
- All league stadiums must have a capacity of at least 15,000
The ideal club candidate for the USL Premiership will meet the population and capacity requirements in its current ground, which will have a grass playing surface. Of the USL Championship’s 27 independent/hybrid affiliate clubs, I did not find one club that meets all these criteria as they currently stand.
Regarding turf fields, the USSF does not have a formal policy regarding the ideal playing surface but it is generally acknowledged that grass is superior to turf. 6 of 26 MLS stadiums utilize turf, or roughly 23% of stadiums. We’ll hold a similar restriction for our top flight, so 2-3 of our top flight clubs can have turf fields. Seem fair?
Capacity is going to be the biggest issue, since the disparity between current requirements for the second-tier (5,000) and the first tier (15,000) is a pretty massive gap. Nice club you have there, triple your capacity and you’re onto something. As a result, I have taken the liberty of relocating certain (read: nearly all) clubs to new grounds, trying my utmost to keep those clubs in their current markets and –importantly--, ensure they play on grass surfaces.
So, let’s do a case-by-case evaluation and see if we can put together 12-14 teams that meet the potential requirements, because what else do you have to do?
For each club’s breakdown, anything that represents a chance from what is currently true will be underlined. Candidate: Birmingham Legion FC
Location (Metro population): Birmingham, Ala. (1,151,801)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Legion Field (FieldTurf, 71,594)
Potential owner: Stephens Family (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Birmingham has a pretty strong candidacy. Having ditched the 5,000-seater BBVA Field for Legion Field, which sits 2.4 miles away, they’ve tapped into the city’s soccer history. Legion Field hosted portions of both the men’s and women’s tournaments at the 1996 Olympics, including a 3-1 U.S. loss to Argentina that saw 83,183 pack the house. The Harbert family seemed like strong ownership contenders, but since the death of matriarch Marguerite Harbert in 2015, it’s unclear where the wealth in the family is concentrated, so the Stephens seem like a better candidate. The only real knock that I can think of is that we really want to avoid having clubs play on turf, so I’d say they’re on the bubble of our platonic ideal USL Prem. Candidate: Charleston Battery
Location (Metro population): Charleston, S.C. (713,000)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Johnson Hagood Stadium (Grass, ~14,700)
Potential owner: Anita Zucker (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Charleston’s candidacy isn’t looking great. Already disadvantaged due to its undersized metro population, a move across the Cooper River to Johnson Hagood Stadium is cutting it close in terms of capacity. The stadium, home to The Citadel’s football team, used to seat 21,000, before 9,300 seats on the eastern grandstand were torn down in 2017 to deal with lead paint that had been used in their construction. Renovation plans include adding 3,000 seats back in, which could hit 15,000 if they bumped it to 3,300, but throw in a required sale by HCFC, LLC (led by content-creation platform founder Rob Salvatore) to chemical magnate Anita Zucker, and you’ll see there’s a lot of ifs and ands in this proposal. Candidate: Charlotte Independence
Location (Metro population): Charlotte, N.C. (2,569, 213)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Jerry Richardson Stadium (Turf, 15,314)
Potential owner: James Goodnight (reported net worth $9.1 billion)
Notes: Charlotte ticks a lot of the boxes. A move from the Sportsplex at Matthews to UNC-Charlotte’s Jerry Richardson stadium meets capacity requirements, but puts them on to the dreaded turf. Regrettably, nearby American Legion Memorial Stadium only seats 10,500, despite a grass playing surface. With a sizeable metro population (sixth-largest in the USL Championship) and a possible owner in software billionaire James Goodnight, you’ve got some options here. The biggest problem likely lies in direct competition for market share against a much better-funded MLS Charlotte side due to join the league in 2021. Candidate: Hartford Athletic
Location (Metro population): Hartford, Conn. (1,214,295)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Pratt & Whitney Stadium (Grass, 38,066)
Potential owner: Ray Dalio (reported net worth $18.4 billion)
Notes: Okay, I cheated a bit here, having to relocate Hartford to Pratt & Whitney Stadium, which is technically in East Hartford, Conn. I don’t know enough about the area to know if there’s some kind of massive beef between the two cities, but the club has history there, having played seven games in 2019 while Dillon Stadium underwent renovations. If the group of local businessmen that currently own the club manage to attract Dalio to the table, we’re on to something. Candidate: Indy Eleven
Location (Metro population): Indianapolis, Ind. (2,048,703)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lucas Oil Stadium (Turf, 62,421)
Potential owner: Jim Irsay (reported net worth of $3 billion)
Notes: Indy Eleven are a club that are SO CLOSE to being an ideal candidate – if it weren’t for Lucas Oil Stadium’s turf playing surface. Still, there’s a lot to like in this bid. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what current owner and founder Ersal Ozdemir is worth, but it seems like there might be cause for concern
. A sale to Irsay, who also owns the NFL Indianapolis (nee Baltimore) Colts, seems likely to keep the franchise there, rather than make a half-mile move to 14,230 capacity Victory Field where the AAA Indianapolis Indians play and expand from there. Candidate: Louisville City FC
Location (Metro population): Louisville, Ky. (1,297,310)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lynn Family Stadium (Grass, 14,000, possibly expandable to 20,000)
Potential owner: Wayne Hughes (reported net worth $2.8 billion)
Notes: I’m stretching things a bit here. Lynn Family stadium is currently listed as having 11,700 capacity that’s expandable to 14,000, but they’ve said that the ground could hold as many as 20,000 with additional construction, which might be enough to grant them a temporary waiver from USSF. If the stadium is a no-go, then there’s always Cardinal Stadium, home to the University of Louisville’s football team, which seats 65,000 but is turf. Either way, it seems like a sale to someone like Public Storage founder Wayne Hughes will be necessary to ensure the club has enough capital. Candidate: Memphis 901 FC
Location (Metro population): Memphis, Tenn. (1,348,260)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Liberty Bowl Stadium (Turf, 58,325)
Potential owner: Fred Smith (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Unfortunately for Memphis, AutoZone Park’s 10,000 seats won’t cut it at the D1 level. With its urban location, it would likely prove tough to renovate, as well. Liberty Bowl Stadium more than meets the need, but will involve the use of the dreaded turf. As far as an owner goes, FedEx founder Fred Smith seems like a good local option. Candidate: Miami FC, “The”
Location (Metro population): Miami, Fla. (6,158,824)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Riccardo Silva Stadium (FieldTurf, 20,000)
Potential owner: Riccardo Silva (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: Well, well, well, Silva might get his wish for top-flight soccer, after all. He’s got the money, he’s got the metro, and his ground has the capacity. There is the nagging issue of the turf, though. Hard Rock Stadium might present a solution, including a capacity of 64,767 and a grass playing surface. It is worth noting, however, that this is the first profile where I didn’t have to find a new potential owner for a club. Candidate: North Carolina FC
Location (Metro population): Durham, N.C. (1,214,516 in The Triangle)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Carter-Finley Stadium (Grass/Turf, 57,583)
Potential owner: Steve Malik (precise net worth unknown) / Dennis Gillings (reported net worth of $1.7 billion)
Notes: We have our first “relocation” in North Carolina FC, who were forced to trade Cary’s 10,000-seat WakeMed Soccer Park for Carter-Finley Stadium in Durham, home of the NC State Wolfpack and 57,583 of their closest friends. The move is a whopping 3.1 miles, thanks to the close-knit hub that exists between Cary, Durham and Raleigh. Carter-Finley might be my favorite of the stadium moves in this exercise. The field is grass, but the sidelines are artificial turf. Weird, right? Either way, it was good enough for Juventus to play a friendly against Chivas de Guadalajara there in 2011. Maybe the move would be pushed for by new owner and medical magnate Dennis Gillings, whose British roots might inspire him to get involved in the Beautiful Game. Straight up, though, I couldn’t find a net worth for current owner Steve Malik, though he did sell his company MedFusion for $91 million in 2010, then bought it back for an undisclosed amount and sold it again for $43 million last November. I don’t know if Malik has the juice to meet D1 requirements, but I suspect he’s close. Candidate: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Location (Metro population): Pittsburgh, Penn. (2,362,453)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Heinz Field (Grass, 64,450)
Potential owner: Henry Hillman (reported net worth $2.5 billion)
Notes: I don’t know a ton about the Riverhounds, but this move in particular feels like depriving a pretty blue-collar club from its roots. Highmark Stadium is a no-go from a seating perspective, but the Steelers’ home stadium at Heinz Field would more than meet the requirements and have a grass surface that was large enough to be sanctioned for a FIFA friendly between the U.S. WNT and Costa Rica in 2015. As for an owner, Tuffy Shallenberger (first ballot owner name HOF) doesn’t seem to fit the USSF bill, but legendary Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Hillman might. I’m sure you’re asking, why not the Rooney Family, if they’ll play at Heinz Field? I’ll tell you: I honestly can’t seem to pin down a value for the family. The Steelers are valued at a little over a billion and rumors persist that Dan Rooney is worth $500 million, but I’m not sure. I guess the Rooneys would work too, but it’s a definite departure from an owner in Shallenberger who was described by one journalist as a guy who “wears boots, jeans, a sweater and a trucker hat.” Candidate: Saint Louis FC
Location (Metro population): St. Louis, Mo. (2,807,338)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Busch Stadium (Grass, 45,494)
Potential owner: William DeWitt Jr. (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Saint Louis has some weirdness in making the jump to D1. Current CEO Jim Kavanaugh is an owner of the MLS side that will begin play in 2022. The club’s current ground at West Community Stadium isn’t big enough, but perhaps a timely sale to Cardinals owner William DeWitt Jr. could see the club playing games at Busch Stadium, which has a well established history of hosting other sports like hockey, college football and soccer (most recently a U.S. WNT friendly against New Zealand in 2019). The competition with another MLS franchise wouldn’t be ideal, like Charlotte, but with a big enough population and cross marketing from the Cardinals, maybe there’s a winner here. Wacko idea:
If Busch doesn’t pan out, send them to The Dome. Sure, it’s a 60k turf closed-in stadium, but we can go for that retro NASL feel and pay homage to our nation’s soccer history. Candidate: Tampa Bay Rowdies
Location (Metro population): Tampa, Fla. (3,068,511)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Raymond James Stadium (Grass, 65,518)
Potential owner: Edward DeBartolo Jr. (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: This one makes me sad. Despite having never been there, I see Al Lang Stadium as an iconic part of the Rowdies experience. Current owner Bill Edwards proposed an expansion to 18,000 seats in 2016, but the move seems to have stalled out. Frustrated with the city’s lack of action, Edwards sells to one-time San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., who uses his old NFL connections to secure a cushy lease at the home of the Buccaneers in Ray Jay, the site of a 3-1 thrashing of Antigua and Barbuda during the United States’ 2014 World Cup Qualifying campaign. Breather. Hey, we finished the Eastern Conference teams. Why are you still reading this? Why am I still writing it? Time is a meaningless construct in 2020 my friends, we are adrift in the void, fueled only by brief flashes of what once was and what may yet still be. Candidate: Austin Bold FC
Location (Metro population): Austin, Texas (2,168,316)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 95,594)
Potential owner: Michael Dell (reported net worth of $32.3 billion)
Notes: Anthony Precourt’s Austin FC has some unexpected competition and it comes in the form of tech magnate Michael Dell. Dell, were he to buy the club, would be one of the richest owners on our list and could flash his cash in the new first division. Would he have enough to convince Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (I’m not kidding, that’s its actual name) to go back to a grass surface, like it did from ’96-’08? That’s between Dell and nearly 100,000 UT football fans, but everything can be had for the right price. Candidate: Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Location (Metro population): Colorado Springs, Colo. (738,939)
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Falcon Stadium (FieldTurf, 46,692)
Potential owner: Charles Ergen (reported net worth $10.8 billion)
Notes: Welcome to Colorado Springs. We have hurdles. For the first time in 12 candidates, we’re back below the desired 1 million metro population mark. Colorado Springs actually plans to build a $35 million, 8,000 seat venue downtown that will be perfect for soccer, but in our timeline that’s 7,000 seats short. Enter Falcon Stadium, home of the Air Force Academy Falcons football team. Seems perfect except for the turf, right? Well, the tricky thing is that Falcon Stadium is technically on an active military base and is (I believe) government property. Challenges to getting in and out of the ground aside, the military tends to have a pretty grim view of government property being used by for-profit enterprises. Maybe Charles Ergen, founder and chairman of Dish Network, would be able to grease the right wheels, but you can go ahead and throw this into the “doubtful” category. It’s a shame, too. 6,035 feet of elevation is one hell of a home-field advantage. Candidate: El Paso Locomotive FC
Location: El Paso, Texas
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Sun Bowl (FieldTurf, 51,500)
Potential owner: Paul Foster (reported net worth $1.7 billion)
Notes: God bless Texas. When compiling this list, I found so many of the theoretical stadium replacements were nearly serviceable by high school football fields. That’s insane, right? Anyway, Locomotive don’t have to settle for one of those, they’ve got the Sun Bowl, which had its capacity reduced in 2001 to a paltry 51,500 (from 52,000) specifically to accommodate soccer. Sure, it’s a turf surface, but what does new owner Paul Foster (who is only the 1,477th wealthiest man in the world, per Forbes) care, he’s got a team in a top league. Side note:
Did you know that the Sun Bowl college football game is officially, through sponsorship, the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl? Why is it not the Frosted Flakes Sun Bowl? Why is the cereal mascot the promotional name of the football game? What are you doing, Kellogg’s? Candidate: Las Vegas Lights FC
Location: Las Vegas, Nev. (2,227,053)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Allegiant Stadium (Grass, 61,000)
Potential owner: Sheldon Adelson (reported net worth $37.7 billion)
Notes: Sin City. You had to know that the club that once signed Freddy Adu because “why not” was going to go all out in our flashy hypothetical proposal. Thanks to my narrative control of this whole thing, they have. Adelson is the second-richest owner in the league and has decided to do everything first class. That includes using the new Raiders stadium in nearby unincorporated Paradise, Nevada, and spending boatloads on high profile transfers. Zlatan is coming back to the U.S., confirmed. Candidate: New Mexico United
Location: Albuquerque, N.M.
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Isotopes Park – officially Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park (Grass, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Maloof Family (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: New Mexico from its inception went deep on the community vibe, and I’ve tried to replicate that in this bid. The home field of Rio Grande Cr---I’m not typing out the whole thing—Isotopes Park falls just within the expansion rules we set to make it to 15,000 (weird, right?) and they’ve found a great local ownership group in the Lebanese-American Maloof (formerly Maalouf) family from Las Vegas. The only thing to worry about would be the metro population, but overall, this could be one of the gems of USL Prem. Candidate: Oklahoma City Energy FC
Location: Oklahoma City, Okla. (1,396,445)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (Grass, 13,066)
Potential owner: Harold Hamm (reported net worth $14.2 billion)
Notes: There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow and it says it’s time to change stadiums and owners to make it to D1. A sale to oil magnate Harold Hamm would give the club the finances it needs, but Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (home of the OKC Dodgers) actually falls outside of the boundary of what would meet capacity if 1,500 seats were added. Could the club pull off a move to Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma – home of the Oklahoma Sooners? Maybe, but at 20 miles, this would be a reach. Candidate: Orange County SC
Location: Irvine, Calif. (3,176, 000 in Orange County)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Angels Stadium of Anaheim (Grass, 43,250)
Potential owner: Arte Moreno (reported net worth $3.3 billion)
Notes: You’ll never convince me that Rangers didn’t choose to partner with Orange County based primarily on its name. Either way, a sale to MLB Angels owner Arte Moreno produces a fruitful partnership, with the owner choosing to play his newest club out of the existing Angels stadium in OC. Another baseball conversion, sure, but with a metro population of over 3 million and the closest thing this hypothetical league has to an LA market, who’s complaining? Candidate: Phoenix Rising FC
Location: Phoenix, Ariz. (4,857,962)
Time zone: Arizona
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): State Farm Stadium (Grass, 63,400)
Potential owner: Ernest Garcia II (reported net worth $5.7 billion)
Notes: We’re keeping it local with new owner and used car guru Ernest Garcia II. His dad owned a liquor store and he dropped out of college, which is making me feel amazing about my life choices right now. Casino Arizona Field is great, but State Farm Stadium is a grass surface that hosted the 2019 Gold Cup semifinal, so it’s a clear winner. Throw in Phoenix’s massive metro population and this one looks like a lock. Candidate: Reno 1868 FC
Location: Reno, Nev. (425,417)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Mackay Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: Nancy Walton Laurie (reported net worth $7.1 billion)
Notes: The Biggest Little City on Earth has some serious barriers to overcome, thanks to its low metro population. A sale to Walmart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie and 1.6 mile-move to Mackay Stadium to split space with the University of Nevada, Reno makes this bid competitive, but the turf surface is another knock against it. Candidate: Rio Grande Valley FC
Location: Edinburg, Texas (900,304)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): McAllen Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Alice Louise Walton (reported net worth $45 billion)
Notes: Yes, I have a second straight Walmart heiress on the list. She was the first thing that popped up when I googled “McAllen Texas richest people.” The family rivalry has spurred Walton to buy a club as well, moving them 10 miles to McAllen Memorial Stadium which, as I alluded to earlier, is a straight up high school football stadium with a full color scoreboard. Toss in an additional 1,500 seats and you’ve met the minimum, despite the turf playing surface. Candidate: San Antonio FC
Location: San Antonio, Texas (2,550,960)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Alamodome (FieldTurf, 64,000)
Potential owner: Red McCombs (reported net worth $1.6 billion)
Notes: I wanted to keep SAFC in the Spurs family, since the franchise is valued at $1.8 billion. That said, I didn’t let the Rooneys own the Riverhounds based on the Steelers’ value and it felt wrong to change the rules, so bring on Clear Channel co-founder Red McCombs. Toyota Field isn’t viable in the first division, but for the Alamodome, which was built in 1993 in hopes of attracting an NFL franchise (and never did), San Antonio can finally claim having *a* national football league team in its town (contingent on your definition of football). Now if only we could do something about that turf… Candidate: San Diego Loyal SC
Location: San Diego, Calif. (3,317,749)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): SDCCU Stadium (formerly Qualcomm) (Grass, 70,561)
Potential owner: Phil Mickelson (reported net worth $91 million)
Notes: Yes, golf’s Phil Mickelson. The existing ownership group didn’t seem to have the wherewithal to meet requirements, and Phil seemed to slot right in. As an athlete himself, he might be interesting in the new challenges of a top flight soccer team. Toss in a move to the former home of the chargers and you might have a basis for tremendous community support. Candidate: FC Tulsa
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (991,561)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: George Kaiser ($10 billion)
Notes: I’m a fan of FC Tulsa’s rebrand, but if they want to make the first division, more changes are necessary. A sale to Tulsa native and one of the 100 richest men in the world George Kaiser means that funding is guaranteed. A move to Chapman Stadium would provide the necessary seats, despite the turf field. While the undersize population might be an issue at first glance, it’s hard to imagine U.S. Soccer not granting a waiver over a less than a 10k miss from the mark.
And that’s it! You made it. Those are all of the independent/hybrid affiliates in the USL Championship, which means that it’s time for our…
VERDICT: As an expert who has studied this issue for almost an entire day now, I am prepared to pronounce which USL Championships could be most ‘ready” for a jump to the USL Prem. A reminder that of the 27 clubs surveyed, 0 of them met our ideal criteria (proper ownership $, metro population, 15,000+ stadium with grass field).
Two of them, however, met almost all of those criteria: Indy Eleven and Miami FC. Those two clubs may use up two of our three available turf fields right from the outset, but the other factors they hit (particularly Silva’s ownership of Miami) makes them difficult, if not impossible to ignore for the top flight.
But who fill in the rest of the slots? Meet the entire 14-team USL Premier League: Hartford Athletic Indy Eleven Louisville City FC Miami FC North Carolina FC Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC Tampa Bay Rowdies Saint Louis FC San Antonio FC New Mexico United Phoenix Rising FC Las Vegas Lights FC Orange County SC San Diego Loyal SC
Now, I shall provide my expert rationale for each club’s inclusion/exclusion, which can be roughly broken down into four categories. Firm “yes” Hartford Athletic:
It’s a good market size with a solid stadium. With a decent investor and good community support, you’ve got potential here. Indy Eleven
: The turf at Lucas Oil Stadium is no reason to turn down a 62,421 venue and a metro population of over 2 million. Louisville City FC:
Why doesn’t the 2017 & 2018 USL Cup champion deserve a crack at the top flight? They have the market size, and with a bit of expansion have the stadium at their own SSS. LCFC, you’re in. Miami FC, “The”:
Our other blue-chip recruit on the basis of ownership value, market size and stadium capacity. Yes, that field is turf, but how could you snub Silva’s chance to claim victory as the first division 1 club soccer team to play in Miami? Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC:
Pittsburgh sacrificed a lot to be here (according to my arbitrary calculations). Their market size and the potential boon of soccer at Heinz Field is an important inclusion to the league. Saint Louis FC:
Willie hears your “Busch League” jokes, Willie don’t care. A huge market size, combined with the absence of an NFL franchise creates opportunity. Competition with the MLS side, sure, but St. Louis has serious soccer history and we’re willing to bet it can support two clubs. Tampa Bay Rowdies:
With a huge population and a massive stadium waiting nearby, Tampa Bay seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up for the USL Prem. Las Vegas Lights FC:
Ostentatious, massive and well-financed, Las Vegas Lights FC is everything that the USL Premier League would need to assert that it didn’t intend to play second fiddle to MLS. Players will need to be kept on a short leash, but this is a hard market to pass up on. Phoenix Rising FC:
Huge population, big grass field available nearby and a solid history of success in recent years. No brainer. San Diego Loyal SC:
New club? Yes, massive population in a market that recently lost an absolutely huge sports presence? Also yes. This could be the USL Prem’s Seattle. Cautious “yes” New Mexico United:
You have to take a chance on New Mexico United. The club set the league on fire with its social media presence and its weight in the community when it entered the league last season. The market may be slightly under USSF’s desired 1 million, but fervent support (and the ability to continue to use Isotopes Park) shouldn’t be discounted. North Carolina FC
: Carter-Finley’s mixed grass/turf surface is a barrier, to be sure, but the 57,000+ seats it offers (and being enough to offset other fully-turf offerings) is enough to put it in the black. Orange County SC:
It’s a top-tier club playing in a MLB stadium. I know it seems unlikely that USSF would approve something like that
, but believe me when I say “it could happen.”
Orange County is a massive market and California likely needs two clubs in the top flight. San Antonio FC:
Our third and only voluntary inclusion to the turf fields in the first division, we’re counting on San Antonio’s size and massive potential stadium to see it through. Cautious “no” Birmingham Legion FC:
The town has solid soccer history and a huge potential venue, but the turf playing surface puts it on the outside looking in. Memphis 901 FC:
Like Birmingham, not much to dislike here outside of the turf playing surface at the larger playing venue. Austin Bold FC:
See the other two above. FC Tulsa:
Everything’s just a little bit off with this one. Market’s slightly too small, stadium has turf. Just not enough to put it over the top. Firm “no” Charleston Battery:
Small metro and a small potential new stadium? It’s tough to say yes to the risk. Charlotte Independence:
A small new stadium and the possibility of having to compete with an organization that just paid over $300 million to join MLS means it’s best for this club to remain in the USL Championship. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC:
When a club’s best chance to meet a capacity requirement is to host games at a venue controlled by the military, that doesn’t speak well to a club’s chances. El Paso Locomotive FC:
An undersized market and a turf field that meets capacity requirements is the death knell for this one. Oklahoma City Energy FC:
Having to expand a baseball field to meet requirements is a bad start. Having to potentially play 20 miles away from your main market is even worse. Reno 1868 FC:
Population nearly a half-million short of the federation’s requirements AND a turf field at the hypothetical new stadium makes impossible to say yes to this bid. Rio Grande Valley FC:
All the seat expansions in the world can’t hide the fact that McAllen Memorial Stadium is a high school stadium through and through.
Here’s who’s left in the 11-team Championship: Birmingham Legion FC Charleston Battery Charlotte Independence Memphis 901 FC Austin Bold FC Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC El Paso Locomotive FC Oklahoma City Energy FC Reno 1868 FC Rio Grande Valley FC FC Tulsa
With MLS folding the six affiliates it has in USL League One, the league is a little bit thin (especially considering USSF’s requirements for 8 teams for lower level leagues), but seems definitely able to expand up to the necessary numbers with Edwards’ allusions to five new additions this year: Chattanooga Red Wolves SC Forward Madison FC Greenville Triumph SC Union Omaha Richmond Kickers South Georgia Tormenta FC Tucson Format of Assorted Leagues –
This (like everything in this post) is pure conjecture on my part, but here are my thoughts on how these leagues might function in a first year while waiting for additional expansion. USL Premier –
We’ll steal from the 12-team Scottish Premiership. Each club plays the other 11 clubs 3 times, with either one or two home matches against each side. When each club has played 33 matches, the top six and bottom six separate, with every club playing an additional five matches (against each other team in its group). The top club wins the league. The bottom club is automatically relegated. The second-bottom club will enter a two-legged playoff against someone (see below) from the championship playoffs. USL Championship --
11 clubs is a challenge to schedule for. How about every club plays everyone else three times (either one or two home matches against each side)? Top four clubs make the playoffs, which are decided by two-legged playoffs. The winner automatically goes up. I need feedback on the second part – is it better to have the runner-up from the playoffs face the second-bottom club from the Premiership, or should the winner of the third-place match-up get the chance to face them to keep drama going in both playoff series? As for relegation, we can clearly only send down the last place club while the third division is so small. USL League One –
While the league is so small, it doesn’t seem reasonable to have the clubs play as many matches as the higher divisions. Each club could play the other six clubs four times – twice at home and twice away – for a very equitable 24-match regular season, which would help restrict costs and still provide a chance to determine a clear winner. Whoever finishes top of the table goes up.
And there you have it, a hypothetical look at how the USL could build a D1 league right now. All it would take is a new stadium for almost the entire league and new owners for all but one of the 27 clubs, who wouldn’t feel that their property would be massively devalued if they got relegated.
Well that’s our show. I’m curious to see what you think of all of this, especially anything that you think I may have overlooked (I’m sure there’s plenty). Anyway, I hope you’re all staying safe and well.
These are the stories told to me by my two best friends of 20 years. I'm gonna preface this by saying these two are some of the most honest people I've ever known, and it took them years before they'd speak to me about this stuff. Once I was able to convince them to tell me about this, the older of the 2 brothers broke down into tears and abruptly left about halfway through the first story. It's just too traumatic for him to relive, I felt bad for that and haven't asked him to speak about it since that day. His younger brother that I'm closer with provided the detail, as well as their cousin who carries a religious title that's essentially an enforcement position designated to deal with the presence of Skinwalkers and related threats. This is a really long post so buckle up. submitted by
I was told that the Zuni's are a bit different compared to other reservations in NM, specifically because when the U.S. government sanctioned land to all the native tribes, the Zuni's didn't work with the government. Anybody who's traveled through NM knows there's a casino on almost every reservation, the Zuni's do not have a casino because they refused to work with the Govt and specifically refused to provide information about their heritage and the land they live on. My Buddy told me the tribal elders taught him that the Zuni's are in that specific area because they're protecting secrets of the land. I'm gonna add in A couple details that pertain to the story, and I'll expand on that later. Apparently, my friend the younger brother was born with a split tongue (like a lizard) and slits in his pupils instead of being round. You're probably making the face I made when I was first told that, but keep in mind all of this is religious to the Zuni's. They're very serious about all of it, they do not allow non tribal members this knowledge nor do they allow the presence of non-Zuni's. You can be visit if invited, but would not be allowed to stay during certain times.
I'll start with the first story they shared when we were around 13yrs old, and is the first experience of many that is too much for my friend to relive. He said he was very young, and was woken up abruptly in the night to glass breaking. When he opened his eyes his dad already in his sons room motioned to him to stay where he is and be quiet while pointing a large revolver toward the kitchen where the window was broken. Not long after, his dad fired multiple shots, he then heard a screech so loud it hurt his ears along with a scuffle in the next room and saw a shadow on the wall that he said did not look or move anything like a person. Apparently whatever was in the house immediately leapt out the same window that was broken to get in. He said the adults gathered and left to find it shortly after, but was never told what they found, just that it was definitely a Skinwalker. The day after he broke down into tears talking about it, I went and saw him and was apologizing and surprisingly he said the shadow and screeching he saw scarred him and is ultimately why they left the reservation. I never asked him about it again.
Another instance that the older brother told me, was one that left me particularly intrigued, though I'm not sure why compared to some of the other stories. He said they were having some sort of celebratory feast one night, and my friend saw what he described as a very small person stealing their food while the adults weren't looking. He said it was around 1-2 feet tall, and when he saw it he immediately shouted to his dad and ALL the adults dropped what they were doing and immediately started chasing it trying to corner it. This went on for a while and during the commotion they realized there were multiple tiny beings, two of which were able to escape into the gutters. He said he remembers everybody trying to reach into the gutters and block them from getting away, but one was caught and he distinctly remembers his uncle holding it up high by the leg and he watched it scream in terror, and it sounded like a tiny human. Then they immediately tied it up and stuffed him into a cloth pouch and burned him alive over a fire. He said the way it screamed while burning terrified him because he could hear how much pain it was in. But they are human like, by the way he explained them they seemed like something that looks like lawn gnomes, he doesn't know if they're necessarily evil but they kill every single one they come across. Not sure why but that one really creeps me out.
The next I I remember, the 2 brothers were together somewhere out in the wilderness hunting rabbits just outside the reservation. They were walking home because the sun had just went down, but came across a barely standing shack. Being dumb kids with a pellet gun, they went inside and shortly after a rock hit the wall of the shack. So they immediately go outside and within seconds notice commotion in the vegetation about 30 feet away. They had one flashlight so they point it toward the movement, and a human looking figure stood up, faced them with it's head tilted to the side, described it as very very pale with facial features that were not human. He said "I don't know how to explain it man it just didn't look like a person." So upon seeing that they immediately took off running back home and as soon as they did they see coyotes just sitting alongside the trail, standing off to the side, but all were just staring at them with no fear of their presence, and followed them all the way back. They said they were told by the elders they being warned off. And the commotion in the grass was the Skinwalker changing form. They said they never went back to that area again, and the younger brother said he'd never been so terrified. I'm glad the younger brother told me about that story instead of his older brother.
The younger brother still today is able to better deal with harsh realities. He told me that him and a couple friends would play around this mountain and knew where the entrance to a cave was. They tried to go into the cave but not far from in the entrance got too small for him to fit and even his 10yr old torso wouldn't squeeze through the narrow opening. He said they were off to the side of the entrance hiding from another friend walking toward them, and noticed something moving very very fast going in and out of the cave entrance. He and his friends said they went back everyday for over a week and would watch them for hours, but couldn't ever see what exactly they were, but were astounded at the speed they moved at, but didn't understand how they were getting in and out as they were much bigger than him. He was forbidden from ever going back after the adults found out what he and his friends were up to.
As for their cousin that carries the title given to those who are there to deal with skin walkers, I ended up getting pretty close with him too since his cousins are like family to me and I picked his brain one night. He said they consider them a manifestation of pure evil. They're ruthless, and they know they're not supposed to be around the Zuni people, they're fully aware of their actions. If they find out a Skinwalker is near, they immediately hunt it down, catch it, and string it upside down over a fire and burn it alive til there's nothing left, Bones and all. During that process he said the sounds they make is like nothing you'd hear anywhere else. He said you can't kill them with bullets, and there's different levels to their abilities. They can affect you in a variety of ways but always in a negative fashion such as leaving you sick, or dead. If I remember correctly, there's a time every year where everybody but him and others with his title stay inside and lock the doors and block the windows, and he will then walk the town in specific clothing and chant specific words then hunt skin walkers with his peers. I didn't really understand, but it was implied that Skinwalkers are expected to be present around this time. But he spoke about it like it's something completely normal. I think,it's like a holiday, and during this week or so there's a period where the Skinwalkers arrive and that's the main reason they designate enforcers, that are trained to deal with them, and apparently never look the SW's in the eyes.
One last story I'm gonna share is not from the Zuni reservation, this is a story my uncle told me and takes place in a reservation outside Bernallio. A small city which is about 20min away from Albuquerque, but I don't remember the name of the reservation. So my uncle was a sniper in the air force and saw combat in Panama. After leaving the military he was a firearm instructor for APD (Albuquerque Police) then for Bernallio PD. One day he gets a call about a drunk guy acting strange at the base of a mountain. So he shows up, but doesn't see anyone there. So he gets out and starts looking around and at the base of the mountain he finds clothes neatly folded. As he turns around he's surprised by what he calls the biggest wolf he's ever seen in his life, about 20 feet away walking straight toward him. He said it was around 5 feet tall, and staring right in his eyes, so he immediately puts his hand on his holstered gun, but doesn't draw and starts walking backward toward his car while the Wolf continues toward him. Once he reached his unit he gets inside as fast as possible and when he shut the door it was now an inch away from his window. He said he had to look up at it while seated in his unit. He then makes a "sorry I'm leaving" gesture and drove down the road where he met one of the reservation officers. She asked him what happened since he was pale and visibly shaken, all he was able to muster was "I dunno it's massive and I don't think I belong here I didn't... uh" and she immediately put her hand up and said "don't worry about it I gotcha. I've been wondering when this would happen again, go ahead and get outta here." Then she drove off she didn't go to the area but rather parked her car sideways blocking the entrance to that area and started making calls. He says by the way that thing was looking directly in his eyes, not to mention the absurd size and aggression/lack of fear also folded clothes, that he knew he was face to fave with a skin walker and he hopes he never comes across something like that again.
To end this, I'll talk about what the younger brother told me and shown me about their heritage. One day he took out a box and showed me the contents, saying that his father had given it to him, and had been passed down from father to son for over a thousand years. Inside was a couple different dry plants and various things, but most notably a rock carved by hand of a reptile like humanoid. It looked like a person but with armored scales and face with a protruding mouth and large teeth. I don't want anybody to think I'm a conspiracy theorist, cause I'm not but this thing looks exactly what I've heard explained reptilian aliens would probably look like. We were both pretty amazed, as he never really thought twice about what that would mean. Around this time we were getting stoned and entertaining ourselves with aliens and laughing about conspiracy theories. Keep in mind, this is the guy who was born with a split tongue and slits in his eyes. His mother confirmed that to me as well, he went on to tell me the Zuni's are protecting the secrets of the land and their reservation doesn't have a casino because they refused to sell out all their knowledge to the government. He said he was taught that beings came out from inside the earth and met with their people thousands of years ago. These beings lived somewhere inside the earth where it's warm, and eventually these reptilian beings went back to live under the surface. I don't remember if they went back into the earth after they had some feud, or war, or if it was because of outsiders arriving but after they met the ancient Zuni's for a short time they bred with each other. My buddy is apparently a descendant of those two species mixing and is why he was born with a split tongue and slits in his pupils.
Now I don't know what connection Skinwalkers have to this reptilian species that live inside the earth, or roasting tiny food thieves and celebrating while they scream through an agonizing death but I do find it very interesting that all of this is associated with native belief. I plan on going over all this with him too, as I'm going off of memory from 5-20 years ago. The younger brother is my closest friend so if anybody has questions I'll do my best to answer, or if there's something you'd like me to ask him I can do that as well.
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