December 16th, 2011

Kyle Martino & Kickette: ‘Special Branch’ Squad Selection

Former LA Galaxy and USMNT midfielder Kyle Martino may have had the purest of intentions when he posted this on Twitter, but we aren’t going to apologise for jumping in, nicking his idea and exploiting it for all it’s worth.

For those who can’t be bothered to click the link, Kyle tweeted the following challenge last night:

“One player from each position (GK, Defender, Midfielder, Forward) under the tree this year, who is it?”

Now, we know Kyle was probably thinking in terms of skill levels, stats and benefits for your team as a whole, and you’re more than welcome to use those parameters in your selection process. But we figure there’s a bunch of you out there for whom a pick-up game wouldn’t be the first impulse if you rocked down the stairs on December 25th and discovered four players wrapped up like turkeys under your tree.

So, using whatever criteria you want to apply, who would feature in your elite ‘special branch’ squad? Why? Who wouldn’t make your trimmed tree’s cut?

And most importantly, how would you all spend the day**?

** Try and be creative. The idea that is currently rolling around your head is something of a given. And in all likelihood, your Grandma will be in the room.

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94 Responses to “Kyle Martino & Kickette: ‘Special Branch’ Squad Selection”

  1. Erika says:

    Keeper: Iker Casillas
    Defender: Alvaro Arbleoa
    Midfielder: Xabi Alonso
    Forward: Fernando Torres

  2. Leya_S says:

    More proof that the Spanish National Team is too hot for words: an SNT player made (I think) EVERYone's list…just sayin'

  3. Agnes Wonka says:

    GK: Fernando Muslera
    D: Sergio Ramos :D
    M: Mesut Ozil (cool xmas!)
    F: CR7 xDDD

  4. Revsfan says:

    GK- Dan Kennedy. He's just so adorable.
    Defender- Chris Tierney. He sometimes plays defense, and anyways, I need to keep midfielder open for…
    Midfielder- Benny Feilhaber. Benny Blue Eyes.
    Foward- David Villa

    My Idea of a good day would be nursing David Villa back to health after that tibia break. Then a little Fifa 12 and beverages.

  5. Sara P says:

    OK….so I am NOT ashamed to admit that I have been thinking about this for a few hours now…or shall I say "dreaming" about my response.

    GK: I have decided to make a substitution on my list. In lieu of a regular gk, I have decided to go with "the Ramos" in the net, because there is NO WAY that he should be left off of anyone's list.
    Defender: no brainer….BOCA without a doubt. I've also spent a lot of time wondering how all of you ladies managed to miss this one on your list.
    Midfield: Stuart HOLDEN: duh and duh! Also wondered how he was missed off most lists….he is absolutely adorable!
    Forward: El Nino….another duh and duh!

    OK….I'm done now. Now back to the real world, although I will secretly be wishing for all four of these gentlemen under my Christmas tree this year. Come on Santa, I've been a really good girl!!! ;) NOoooooTTT!!

  6. eleanorrrr says:

    Iker or Pepe
    hmm.. maybe cesc? hard choice
    then obviously Fernando Torres

  7. Siv says:

    GK- Iker Casillas
    DF- Sergio Ramos
    MF- Javi Martinez OR Esteban Granero OR Yoann Gourcuff
    F- Pipita

    I will try to invite Una along so we can gawk at Iker's profile and everything about Javi. Somewhere along the way we'll go out for sushi and Javi will show me how to use chopsticks. Pirata and I will have a music listening party and I am DEFINITELY going to try putting make-up on Yoann. God knows he doesn't need it but can you imagine him being any more drop dead gorgeous?? I didn't forget Sergio or Pipita…those two are going to get more than just English lessons ;)

  8. Arsenalholic says:

    Keeper- Hart
    Defender- Vermaelen
    Midfielder- Ramsey
    Forward- Van Persie

  9. Blackwood says:

    GK: Hope Solo and Hilario Navarro (I don't want to pick only one)
    Defender: Simon Kjaer
    Midfielder: Mario Bolatti or Pastore
    Forward: Rooney or Abby Wambach
    …and we'd spend all day trying to understand each other, since the language might be an inconvenient.

  10. Ragduh says:

    GK: Iker, Most OBVIOUSLY.
    Defender: Vermaelen. Yes, those cheekbones get to me.
    Midfielder: Aaron Ramsey – NO COMPETITION. I want his babies.
    Forward: I'd be tempted with Robin Van Perise, as if my Arsenal obsession wasn't obvious enough. I'd go with Torres. Maybe he can score goals elsewhere. Wink wink wink!

  11. sarita says:

    Dear Santa this is my christmas list. Any one of these will do..
    GK: San Iker
    D: Ramos
    M: Kaka!!!
    F: Pipita

  12. Melissa says:

    GK: Iker
    Defender: Arbeloa and Ramos can wrestle for this one
    Striker: Pipita and Benzema can wrestle as well
    Midfielder: Ozil. Over and over and over and over.

    Considering my Christmas consists entirely of Team Pretty, I imagine after I've shagged them all stupid we'll sit around and do each others' hair. Except for Benz because he has none. He can just sit next to me and pout all pretty and French-like.

  13. FabregasPublicist says:

    GK: This is hard. I'm thinking of Thomas Sorensen or Kevin Trapp. But I'll go with Tommy.
    DF: Hmmm. Quite easy. BOCAMUFFIN! Hahaha! Captain America all the way!
    MF: This is the hardest. It's a tough choice between, of course, my Cescy and my baby boy Azza. Can I have them both? Anyway, Christmas is the season of giving, right?
    ST: Pipita! My BBBB (bubble-butt baby boy)!

    Honorable mentions are: JT (Yeah, I like older men. Hahaha!), Nicky B., Mario Goetze, Xabi Alonso, RVP, Gareth Bale and Stevie G.

  14. lilah says:

    Keeper – Iker
    Defender – Agger & Vida as stopers and mighty Ramos on right.
    Midfielder – Cescy
    Forward – Lisandro Lopez anyone?

  15. littlegreenpea says:

    Keeper: ANDERS LINDEGAARD (in his underwear, of course)
    Defender: GARETH BALE!! (I'm counting him as a defender so I can have Aaron Ramsey as well…) or Carlos Bocanegra.
    Midfielder: AARON RAMSEY
    Forward: It would be totally pedophilic if I chose Chicharito, so I'll go with….KAKA. because even though I love Barcelona, I love Kaka. possibly Van Persie as well.
    If possible, I'd like to add AVB as my manager.
    LOTS of mistletoe and present-giving will be involved.
    I'll also take them for Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and New Year's, if that's ok.

  16. Milanista says:

    GK – Marco Amelia
    D – Massimo Oddo
    M – Gennaro Gattuso
    A – Alessandro Del Piero

    Bench ;) – Sirigu, Nesta, Nocerino and Inzaghi

    All Italians, all the time…

  17. ali93 says:

    Wojciech Szczesny, Laurent Koscielny or Thomas Vermaelen, Aaron Ramsey aaaaand…
    This last position to choose is tough. Ok, Fernando Llorente :)

    My Arsenal bias shines through. I find few other men outside of Arsenal attractive.

  18. Nelca says:

    Casillas, Pique OR Ramos, Cesc OR Xabi Alonso OR CANALES, Navas ( i love his eyes) OR anyone at barca.

    P.S. Barca fans, please check out my blog

  19. Zahara says:

    Gk: ikeeeeer but of course :D
    Defender: Ramos/Oique/BOTH
    Midfielder: Sexxx Fabregas
    Forward: FERNANDO LLORENTE MY LOOOOVE and Dahveeed Villa :D

  20. Futbolfan says:

    GK: San Iker
    D: Ramos
    M: Kaka!!!
    F: Cristiano or Pipita

    Muahaah yes all Madrid boys!
    Ayayayai, can't even imagine what we'll do, but one things for certain: starte at Pipita's bootayy!

  21. Liz says:

    GK: Iker (obviously!!!!)
    D: Gerard Pique!
    M: Cesc FABregas
    F: Dahveeeed Villa

    I really don't have a game plan, but what would be amazing is to just spend the whole day with the first three men(on the couch and around town), then at home, prepare a lovely meal for the 5 of us with the help of the ones that can walk.. The night can be spent sitting on the couch, taking care of David and his poor leg, snuggling up between Cesc and Mr. Blue Eyes, having Iker show us what clothes he has that are actually nice, and either watching movies or playing game after game. Shakira, Sara, and Patricia can come collect their men waaaaay into the night while Cesc can just stay with me for the rest of the night. :)

  22. April says:

    Okay, so this took me some time to think about:

    GK: Iker
    D: Xabi Alonso (so, I know he isn't a defender, but as a deep lying playmaker in midfield, I am gonna pretend he fills this role)
    M: Benny Feilhaber/Juan Mata (they're both pocket-sized so I figure I get a 2-for-1 deal here)
    F: Nando

    A Christmas miracle happens and I suddenly look like Rachel McAdams. In the morning Nando is assigned to play Santa and I get to sit on his lap. Benny and Juan are clearly Santa's little helpers. Iker looks pretty while Google Translating everything the rest of us are saying. Xabi poses while dressed in a tux. We all drink mulled wine and are merry. Nando and I do things that aren't fit to print, and the others are there to sub-in in case he gets hurt. He gets a Christmas wish come true too, because he finally scores. And then we all drink some more and eat Christmas cookies.

    Cheesy? Sure… but it get's even better. Because Benny is Jewish, we all celebrate for 8 nights! Who needs New Year resolutions to get a workout?

    • April says:

      Oh! And sledding! How could I forget sledding?

      • Mrs. Q.Borri says:

        Your story is so awsome!! lmao! If only it can come true, ha?

        But it doesnt hurt to dream… right? :D

        • April says:

          Agreed! Although, I'd totally settle for a consolation prize of getting to witness Nando's and Xabi's families Christmas morning. Can you imagine the boatload of cute that must entail? If I saw that, I'd probably head straight to the adoption center or in vitro clinic, because my ovaries would be ready to bust.

          On that note, I did see a picture of Pepe Reina with his kids and Santa, and I almost died.

  23. Jen says:

    Oooh this is a difficult one Kickette!

    Midfield~Stevie G, Ozil, Xabi Alonso, Lashes—this was too tough

    Maybe I could just have my four midfielders instead??

  24. LizzyHS90 says:

    Keeper = Iker or Joe
    Defender = Adil Rami
    Midfielder = Lashes
    Forward = Borriello

    Spend the day unwrapping my pressies. Duh.

  25. LuvinBale says:

    All I want for Christmas is Gareth Bale!!!

    Wrap him up in a bow (just a bow) and put him under my Christmas tree.

    Maybe Fernando Torres as a stocking stuffer. ;-)

  26. Kristina says:

    Ooooh, this was a tough one! I want these for christmas:

    Goalie: Valdes. I'll count on him to keep things hot during the cold winter nights.
    Defender: Martin Caceres. There's just something about him.
    Midfielder: THIAGO!!!!! I'm gonna help him raise the christmas tree.
    Forward: this year I'm going for Dahveed. I can see him under warm blankets, leg up, bitchfacing in front of the fireplace.

    • Kristina says:

      On the bench I only have defenders: Puyi and Marc Bartra.

      I just want Marc to look at me with his beautiful eyes. He can also distract grandma. And Puyi can be my very own Santa with a special gift for me, when sweetheart Thiago has fallen asleep ;) .

  27. Doug says:

    Heh…..Kyle himself wouldn't be so bad….

    GK – I get the Thomas Sorenson thing and pick him too.
    Defender – Insua, who is now with Sporting Prtgl
    Midfielder – Gourcuff, but Scott Parker deserves mention
    Forward – Sergio Kun Aguero, hands down…..

  28. Mrs. Q.Borri says:

    This will be the BEST chritsmas gifts ever!!!

    GK: IKER…
    D: (obviously) ADIL RAMI
    F: (obviously) BORRI

    Bench: Neur, Boca,Becks & Gomez!
    Manager: AVB/ AVB

    With Iker just let him be him, talk about things literature, politics and stuff… With Adil Oh Adil! Just watch him fix my dead plants and my garden, Shirtless of course! With Marchissio let him talk to me in italian hot italian… and lastly Borri Im not even going to talk about Borri that is just… too much!

    At the end of the day screw all of this let me just have them all… including the bench guys! :-P

  29. eg4 says:

    GK: Casillas
    D: Ramos
    MF: Ozil
    F: Torres

    Almost all Madrid … but not quite. What would we do? First, I would cook us all breakfast in bed (all, of course, in one bed) and then I would open all of the ridiculous presents they got me. Then I would spend the rest of the day counting Nando's freckles, gazing into Mesut's eyes, stroking Iker's … profile, and doing some deep … conditioning with Sergio.

    • April says:

      Hmm, this sounds like a lovely day… please get back to me with the number of Nando's freckles, as I have been dying to know.

  30. xoWinnie says:

    GK- Joe Hart
    DF – Sexio Ramos
    MF – Fabregas
    F – Cristiano or Pipita!

  31. Nayet21 says:

    Keeper = Iker Casillas
    Defender = Thomas Vermaelen and/or Gareth Bale
    Midfielder = Bastian Schweinsteiger
    Forward = Gonzalo Higuain

    What would we do? Probably they would do the talking part because I would stare at them the whole Christmas!!!!

  32. Amber says:

    GK-Joe Hart
    As for what we would be doing. We would sit around the fire and drink hot chocolate and…….well, you have imaginations.

  33. nika says:

    Well, unlike you, i will be totally modest! I only want one man, that peace of male perfection, Yoann Gourcuff of course! I have billion things on my mind to do to him or with him and since Yoann is very shy, we don*t want any crowd!!! So dear Kickettes, you can totally take rest of the footballers, my Lashes is more than enough for me!

  34. Nayet21 says:

    Keeper = Iker Casillas
    Defender = Thomas Vermaelen and/or Gareth Bale
    Midfielder = Bastian Schweinsteiger
    Forward = Gonzalo Higuain



  36. backoffmyNando says:

    GK – Victor Valdez
    Defender – Marc Bartra
    Midfielder – Claudio Marchisio
    Forward – Fernando Torres

    Bench: Iker Casillas, Gerard Pique, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Canales/Lucas Piazon :)

  37. blitzenTO says:

    I like a challenge!

    GK – Victor Valdes, preferably wearing those leather pants and nothing else.
    Defender – Carles Puyol
    Midfielder – XAVI obviously
    Forward – Thierry Henry

    First Victor would serve me breakfast in bed and pose while I take some snaps of him. We would cuddle and watch cartoons and make each other laugh. Later we would all gather under the tree and open presents. Then Puyi would take me for a ride on his horse, Puyi. I would sit behind him and wrap my arms around his delicious bod so I don’t fall off. Then back to the house for Christmas lunch and a few glasses of wine. Afterwards Xavi and I would go for a long walk in the woods and look for mushrooms. We would bring some back so I could make mushroom omelettes for everyone the next morning. I imagine there would be a football game on by then. In the evening Titi would take me out dancing.

    Doesn’t that sound lovely?

    • blitzenTO says:

      I forgot! Of course we would have to have Santa (sic) Cazorla handing out the prezzies! It wouldn't be a party without him, and how much fun would he be to have around? :D

  38. Gigi says:

    Iker, Sergio, Becks, Borri. Done and done.

  39. FootyGirl says:

    GK: Pepe Reina
    Defender: Gerard Pique
    Midfielder: Xabi Alonso
    Forward: David Silva

    Bench: Iker Casillas, Daniel Agger, Xavi Hernandez, David Villa

    I just can't get enough of the Spanish!

  40. Kennedy says:

    Keeper – Neuer
    Defender – Lahm
    Midfield – Schweinsteiger
    Forward – Gomez

    What woud we do? We would celebrate Christmas by drinking a few beers and would sit around the fire as they told me stories of their greatest games. The would all be shirtless of course and lots of mistletoe

    Perfect Christmas…

  41. Love Sergi says:

    GK: Iker Casillas
    D: Sergio Ramos
    M: Xabi Alonso
    F: Cristiano Ronaldo

    *I also want me some Gareth Bale and Fernando Torres!

  42. IrishBlue says:

    GK: Thomas Sorensen (does anyone else get this?? Am I insane??)
    DF: Nemanja Vidic
    MF: Javi Martinez
    FW: Kevin Doyle (I'll take this one on his own if needs be….)

    Every group of players needs a manager and AVB is my obvious selection.

    It's snowing here already so I guess I would just have to spend the entire day inside keeping warm……with my 5 men….ahem.

  43. AiM says:

    I really just need Messi, that adorable little man…and for this reason:…. That's right, you know what immediately caught your attention. A number of activities are planned for the entire day, none of which involves Grandma…but she can hang around and watch if she doesn't mind..tee-hee!

    • rslkdl says:


    • eg4 says:

      Baahahaha my eye didn't even PRETEND to go anywhere else first.

    • Sarah, Madrid says:

      Oh wow Messi, but I am the only one who is not attracted to Messi?…..I always see him as teenage boy, although he is older than me…

      • xoWinnie says:

        no, you're definitely NOT the only one. i will admit, i do have a thing for tall guys, but i doubt i'd be attracted to him even if he were taller.

      • AiM says:

        He does have that 'please take good care of me…have you seen my mom?' look about him most of the time, and having his mother's face tattooed to his back doesn't help either, but I just can't help it…he's so freaking cute!! Or perhaps it's the maternal instinct in me kicking in every time I see those big brown puppy eyes of his….but am sure I can put those instincts aside for a couple of minutes now and then to have a better assessment of that bulge…mmm-hmmm…;)

  44. MsMe says:

    Ramos, Pique, Joe Hart and Victor Valdes. So two defenders and two goalkeepers…well who cares, it´s christmas and I´m not going to play football with them. There are better things to do.

  45. Sarah, Madrid says:

    No brainer: Iker, Ramos, Granero and Pipita

    Bench: would be the rest of my RM team

    I definitely go MIA for my family, I would literally stay home with them just home ;) . I have Pipita to joke around, Granero to discuss books and literature with, Ramos could stay there being Ramos sorry you are standing their half naked baby I will keep you the fire place to stay warm and no brainer me and iker will be cuddling.

  46. Lauren_BCN says:

    Dear Santa I was a good girl this year ;-) so basically …
    GK- Valdes
    DF- Marc Bartra
    MF- Yoann Gourcuff
    F- Borriello


    One more thing- I am going to cheat ! I am celebrating Catholic and Ortodox Christmas soooo- for 7th of January I want : Casillas , Pique, Claudio Marchiso and Theo Walcott…thx for your atention ;-)

    • MarisolC says:

      Marc Bartra all the way! Doesn't get a lot of recognition as he's a B-teamer, but he is glorious.

  47. thelovehater says:

    I also had other ideas in mind when he tweeted that and held back from letting go…I’m so glad you made this post though…and it’s like picking your favorites so could I just choose the entire USMNT? I’m an equal opportunity appreciator.


  48. rslkdl says:

    GK – Tim Howard
    D – Carlos Bocanegra
    M – Kyle Beckerman
    F – Marco Borriello

    Oh you know. We'd spend the day by the fire just talking about literature and stuff.

  49. Bri says:

    Valdes, the Ramos, Yoann, and Villa. Of course we will be spending all day under the mistletoe. Who needs a fire when you have these guys to keep you warm?

  50. Julia says:

    GK: Joe Hart
    D: Thiago Silva
    M: Jack Wilshere
    F: David Villa

    bench: Iker Casillas, John Arne Riis, Scott Parker, Kun Aguero

    There would obviously be food and drink involved. Then perhaps a game of croquet in the yard after several rounds of mimosas. There's also the part where this would make me really cool in the eyes of little cousins, so I would have to take advantage of the opportunity to be way more exciting than the rest of the adults.

  51. earidurt says:

    GK – IKER (obviously!) / Defender – Sergio Ramos / Midfielder – Xabi Alonso / Forward – Benzema….well would you look at that? Nothing but Madridistas on my list hahaha, no surprise there.

    Now, what would we doooo? Well in the morning I'd have breakfast in bed with Iker and then surprise him with all the new clothes I'd have bought him for xmas (Lord knows he needs it). After that Ramos could take me on a tour of his closet and then put on a private show for me modelling every single item he owns. In the afternoon Xabi and I could have a few glasses of wine and discuss politics, art and literature. And finally in the evening Benzema and I could go to a xmas party, go buckwild and dance till dawn.