Hey everyone, as always, thanks for reading! I wanted to take this time both to specifically thank the entire VillarrealUSA community for now over three years of camaraderie with each other and support for the soccer team we all care so much about. A lot has changed over those three years. From the early days, when I was lucky to get visitors to the site, to my days in partnership with my friend and regular reader and contributor Nick, to later adding Sidarth, and then Allen, all the while expanding our reach to literally the far corners of the world, the website has continued to grow. I believe that everyone that comes to this site and participates in the discussions has been part of developing a close relationship with Villarreal C.F. And in turn, Villarreal C.F. has gone out of its way to help make VillarrealUSA a part of its worldwide community. Seriously, I am willing to bet that you could count the number of top-tier sport teams or clubs in the world that would allow such a close and ongoing relationship with upstarts like us!
And in light of everything that has happened over the last three years, those of us handling the management of the site want to continue to develop and grow. With that in mind, we have formed a partnership with the blogging network SBNation, who will begin to host VillarrealUSA. This move to SBNation will include some changes, which I will discuss a bit below, but it will also bring about many new benefits to VillarrealUSA members and readers. Foremost among those benefits is a new level of interaction for our readers. Specifically, in addition to the typical discussions that occur through the comments, all readers will now have the opportunity to post FanPosts on the site (example @ Barcelona Blaugranas). These posts will be listed on their own page on the website, and will be linked from the main page - in effect allowing everyone to post the same types of material that Sidarth, Allen, and I post on a regular basis - i.e., longer, more in-depth analyses of the club's performances, injuries, transfers, and more.
Readers will also be able to post "FanShots", including links, pics, videos, and quotes. Now, when folks like Damipher want to post a pic like this:
he can actually post the picture on-site, adding to the discussion immediately and directly.
The new partnership with SBNation will also help us expand the VillarrealUSA (and, in turn, the Villarreal C.F.) community. SBNation is a powerful blog network with 300+ blogs for teams (of all sports) from all over the United States and Europe. SBNation is in the process of expanding their soccer coverage. Currently, they have bloggers covering Barcelona from La Liga (with a particular push right now to expand that coverage - hence, here we are), as well as 11 teams from England covered and all of MLS, and also some general soccer blogs. This wide-ranging coverage, as well as the fact that much of the coverage is directed at a United States audience, will help us expand readership here in the U.S. and around the world.
There will be some changes that I hope will be quick and painless for everyone. The biggest is that the website address is moving, from the current VillarrealUSA.ORG, to VillarrealUSA.COM. The .Org site will stick around and continue to host all of VillarrealUSA's archives (some of which are being transferred to the .Com site), but beginning March 28th, Sidarth, Allen, and I will be posting at VillarrealUSA.COM instead of the site you are currently reading. So, adjust your bookmarks!
The second big change, and I think the only other change that could cause some consternation for everyone, is that you will actually need to register with SBNation to comment and post. I admit, this is not my favorite aspect of the change. I would prefer to continue to allow everyone to post comments without that requirement, but this is part of the deal. There is good news on this point, though. If you have a Facebook account, a Yahoo! address, or an OpenID, you can use that to sign in to the site. If not, all you have to do is to sign up with a name and email address. My understanding is that you can continue to sign up with the username you use around here as your "name" (as I did), and that you can easily use a non-primary email address. I can say from personal experience that I have signed up and not received a single email from SBNation - which is good, because I hate junk mail. While I know this change might not be a favorite of everyone here, from a personal standpoint, I cannot express my appreciation for all of you who visit this site and comment regularly - and I hope this does not alter your habits when it comes to that.
I feel confident that these are changes all of us can get used to very quickly. I want to open up this forum to any questions you might have about the move - any at all - and I will try and answer them with everything I know. Just ask a question in the comment section below (I am in depositions all day today - oh the fun of real work), so I might not be able to respond immediately, but I will get to it shortly. On behalf of Sidarth, Allen, and myself, thank you again. And ENDAVANT VILLARREAL!