Featured

Explaining Soccer

Mike Dwyer asked us to explain the appeal of soccer. Here’s my attempt, using a goal the Netherlands’ Robin Van Persie scored today. First watch the video of the goal, then I’ll break it down to show how it happened. Beautiful, right? In fact that’s going to be one of the highlight goals of the…

Linky Friday #57

Burt Likko fills in for Will Truman for this week’s aggregation of dozens of links to themed web randomness!

Sports Media And (Incredibly Mild) Critique Is Making Me So Low

Hope Solo is angry. Although her team had won 3-0 today against an undersized Colombia, Brandi Chastain, an NBC commentator for the match, had criticized one of the team’s defenders. Solo, who counts on those defenders, wanted to make something clear: color commentators are there to approvingly praise American players. They are not to offer…

USA 2, Slovenia 2

To quote the immortal Joe Jacobs: “We wuz robbed.” A goal that should have capped off an epic comeback was inexplicably called back to allow the Slovenians to slink away with a draw. Time for another “peacekeeping” deployment in the Balkans, methinks.

Why I watch soccer

The weekend beckons, so I thought I’d write something about the World Cup. At his personal blog, Jonathan Last links to a pretty apt take-down of soccer evangelists he wrote in 2002, when Americans were in the grip of another pseudo-World Cup craze.* I say ‘pseudo’ because despite its best efforts, the media-industrial complex is…

Your 2010 World Cup Primer

From The Unlikely Fan, a great series on the history of the World Cup and an entertaining post comparing the history of each country’s national squad to professional American teams. For the highbrow set (read: liberals), TNR has kicked off (get it?) a group soccer blog with some good stuff on Maradona and Mexico.

The Roster Is Unveiled

Bob Bradley just announced the final cuts for the US’ World Cup squad.  I have to say that I’m pleasantly surprised that Bradley took the comparatively unheralded Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez over Brian Ching and Eddie Johnson.  Without Charlie Davies, Bradley’s options at striker were generally uninspiring, but I think he made a wise…

Defending Soccer

Alex Massie does a capable job of smacking down this nonsensical critique of soccer. I’d only add that the structure of European football is one of the most inegalitarian in sport (see here and here for details), with big clubs absolutely dominating their smaller competitors in terms of both talent acquisition and revenue. The triumph…

Eating Crow

It seems only a few days ago that Mark and I were taking shots at the U.S. national team’s playmaking ability (or lack thereof). But following a 2-0 beatdown of a Spanish national squad that looked downright impervious just a few days ago, you have to feel a lot better about the future of the…