Category Archives: soccer

Midweek books: Quantifying the beautiful game

TweetOn Wednesday I highlight noteworthy new sports books, with links to reviews, interviews and other information about the subject and/or author.
With the English Premier League starting this weekend and a fat new American television contract switching over to NBC, spectator soccer has never been in stronger shape on these shores.
The rise of that phenomenon is [...]

Sports History Files: Remembering an American soccer pioneer

Tweet“The rules of soccer are very simple, basically it is this: if it moves, kick it. If it doesn’t move, kick it until it does.” — Phil Woosnam

Like a lot of Americans raised on baseball, basketball and gridiron football, I didn’t really come around to soccer until the 1994 World Cup. As a thirtysomething, I [...]

Champagne on hold amid growing Brazilian protests

TweetTo illustrate how tone-deaf FIFA has truly become in the wake of general mass protests in Brazil, consider this:
The unveiling of a special label by Taittinger, the official bubbly provider of next summer’s World Cup, and of the just-completed Confederations Cup, took place as scheduled late last week.
While The Guardian noted that “it is not [...]

An American soccer historian, honored and remembered

TweetThe example of Dave Wangerin — an American Midwesterner who moved to the United Kingdom to get his soccer fix — continues the spirit of When Saturday Comes.
Wangerin, who died at the age of 50 last summer, was given space in the iconoclastic British soccer “webzine” to ramble on about American soccer history, an obscure [...]

The egregious Meestah Bladdah, answered

TweetBrian Phillips properly takes the Headmaster of FIFA to the woodshed for his ill-informed remarks about American soccer:
So, OK. What bugged MLS fans about this was pretty much what bugs everybody Blatter decides to distraction-troll; at 76, the dude simply plays with an impossibly well-crafted blend of cluelessness and malice. He’s the Johnnie Walker Blue [...]

90+ how many more in 2013?

(via @MessiStats)
Blogs a Blaugrana devotée, and it appears to be in translation:
Everyone knows that Barça have a very obvious, top-down, self-imposed style. This doesn’t happen a lot in football. Part of the bickering over the cantera in Madrid this season turns on their current lack of a ‘house style’. Castilla [sic] doesn’t play like the first [...]

Coming to the aid of Newtown

TweetThis morning Grant Wahl was sending around this link that Landon Donovan is the latest commitment for next Monday’s “Soccer Night in Newtown” benefit.
Among the other notables are Alexi Lalas, Cobi Jones, Mia Hamm and Kristine Lilly, who hails from nearby Wilton, Conn.
Also coming is Marcus Tracy of the San Jose Earthquakes, whose mother once [...]

The Winterpause that refreshes

TweetWhile the English gorge on Boxing Day matches today, the soccer stadiums of Germany are locked, the lights shut off and the stands empty.
The Bundesliga and the lower domestic leagues in Germany are novel among the top nations in Europe for not playing all the way through the holidays. It’s one of the many appealing [...]

The next frontier for women’s sports

TweetThe announcement Monday that the Women’s Professional Soccer league was suspending operations for the 2012 season didn’t surprise many in the American and women’s soccer community, for both the financial and legal issues that have plagued it.
Frankly, having covered WUSA, the WPS predecessor, I’m not that optimistic the league will return in 2013 or beyond. [...]

Follow the bouncing ball

TweetGoalkeepers rarely score goals. But the way that Everton’s Tim Howard, the U.S. national team starter, did this Wednesday against Bolton Wanderers is something to marvel.
In addition to a whopper of a kick — not a goal kick, but on a short back pass, mind you — Howard also got the best-ever bounce in the [...]