Category Archives: soccer

Midweek Books: Fan-friendly World Cup guides

TweetOn Wednesday I highlight noteworthy new sports books, with links to reviews, interviews and other information about the subject and/or author.
This also continues a series of posts this week about the World Cup, which kicks off June 12 in Brazil. Previous posts are here and here.
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There are [...]

Soccer’s American television and media evolution

Tweet(This is the second in a series of posts this week about the World Cup, which kicks off June 12 in Brazil. Monday’s post was about FIFA dealing with match-fixing and corruption allegations.)
Twenty years ago this summer, the lead announcers for ESPN’s coverage of the World Cup in the United States were Roger Twibell and [...]

The World Cup and FIFA’s discontents

Tweet(This is the first in a series of posts this week about the World Cup, which kicks off June 12 in Brazil.)
FIFA, the international soccer governing body, is no stranger to facing serious allegations of corruption over bids, match-fixing and disorganization related to the World Cup.
But with a week and a half before the 20th [...]

Coming this week: The run-up to the World Cup

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The World Cup is only 12 days away.
I’ll be taking a closer look at the books above during the coming week, as I publish a series of posts delving into the literature, art, music and culture surrounding the world’s largest sporting event.
Most of these posts will be focused on the culture of soccer and its [...]

The enigmatic legacy of Landon Donovan

TweetA few days before the United States played Germany in the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals, some of us in the American press corps got to spend extended time with Landon Donovan.
After his dazzling goal against Mexico in the second round, Donovan was becoming the prodigal face of American 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 [...]