To the Five Boroughs

June 21, 2015

“It was in the fourth minute of sudden death extra time at Robert F Kennedy Stadium in Washington DC when Lothar Matthäus registered his first assist in Major League Soccer. While playing for the impossibly named New York/New Jersey MetroStars in the first spring of the new millennium, the former European and World Footballer of the Year took a free kick that was headed in by his fellow defender Mike Petke for a 3-2 win at defending champions DC United. Under the league’s rules at that time, this meant that the MetroStars had won the game. I remember the moment as much for what happened next. As his team-mates mobbed Petke and buoyantly celebrated a rare away victory at their east coast rivals, Matthäus stayed well away from the melee, pointedly abstaining from joining the jubilation. The team captain and expensive marquee star was showing everyone just what he thought of a league that was not yet five years old. This is Mickey Mouse football. Two months ago I was still playing for Bayern Munich in the Champions League against Real Madrid. …” In Bed With Maradona: CONTRASTING APPLES: KAISER AND LOTHAR

To the Five Boroughs: IBWM Assignment #1 – New York

Toby Charles: The man who brought German football to the U.S.

June 16, 2015

“German football wasn’t too popular back in 2002 when I started writing for ESPN. There weren’t many places where you could regularly find English-language content about the game’s culture and history, or stories other than match reports and transfer news. Many readers of the site (Soccernet as it was back then) said they were craving information about German football because they had become hooked on it during the 1970s and 1980s thanks to a weekly programme on American television called ‘Soccer Made in Germany,’ hosted by a man called Toby Charles.” ESPN (Video)

Eight things we learned from the Internet about Copa América 2015

June 11, 2015

“For the next three weeks, the pulse of South American futbol beats from Chile, where the continent’s 10 national teams plus invitees Mexico and Jamaica will battle it out for a piece of international silverware that’s been contested for 99 years. This is the Copa América, a tournament renowned for its storied rivalries, vibrant fan support, politically-charged history, and incredible star power on the pitch; a competition which, for the past near-century, has ignited a continent. With just days left until the tournament kicks off, we turned to the world’s greatest source for information on the tournament — Wikipedia — and came back up with a few gems. The Copa América, it turns out, is a weird, weird tournament.” Fusion

Copa America preview roundtable: Games, players, stories to watch
“For a second straight summer, a massive international prize is on the line in South America, and even though it may not carry the weight of the World Cup, the 2015 Copa America features plenty of star power and a winner’s medal that includes a ticket to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. Days after winning the Champions League together, two-thirds of Barcelona’s record-setting front line–Lionel Messi and Neymar–will be on display as adversaries (the third member, Uruguay’s Luis Suárez, is still banned internationally for his World Cup bite of Giorgio Chiellini); Brazil puts its undefeated mark under Dunga (this time around, anyway) on the line in its first meaningful games since last summer’s disappointment on home soil; host Chile and Colombia aim to build on the success they enjoyed last summer; and a series of upstarts look to spring surprises in what promises to be an intense 12-team competition. Jonathan Wilson and James Young are on the ground in Chile, and here are some of their games, story lines and other items to watch over the next three-plus weeks…” SI – Jonathan Wilson

Resilient USA makes Klinsmann’s scheduling pay off in Germany upset

June 11, 2015

“The U.S. national team did it again on Wednesday, coming from behind to defeat a world power on home soil. Unheralded forward Bobby Wood, who plays in Germany for third-tier bound Erzgebirge Aue and whose continued call-ups baffled some observers Stateside, scored another late game-winner as the Americans shocked World Cup champion Germany, 2-1, in Cologne. It marked the first U.S. win over Die Mannschaft in Germany and only the second time it beat a reigning world champion. The other came back in 1998 with a CONCACAF Gold Cup upset of Brazil.” SI

What do we mean when we talk about style?

April 16, 2015

“… Much of the buzz around American soccer circles lately is about the U.S. men’s national team’s style, or lack thereof, and it’s made me do some thinking. Well, at first I nodded my head in frustrated passion, part of the disgruntled mob. But then Jesse Marsch mentioned the issue, and I calmed down a little. Marsch is a smart guy, so when he made his observation about style out loud to, it turned it from an angry plea to a rational assessment. We use this word all the time, and I’ve never really thought about it actually is. So I started to really think about what it means for a team to have a style, and why, or if, it matters.” Fuion

Book review – The Soccer Diaries by Michael J. Agovino

March 28, 2015

“Ever wish you’d chronicled your life as football fan, from that very first enlightening moment to whatever stage of infatuation, loathing or ambivalence you’re at now? Well, Michael Agovino has sort of done that – only in retrospect. The Soccer Diaries reads exactly as you’d expect given its title; it’s a journal – of sorts – taking us through his life as a soccer fan. In all probability, Agovino should never have written this book at all. Not because of a lack of quality, but because his background weighed heavily against him even knowing what soccer was.” Football Pink

Outplayed once again, Klinsmann’s USA sees repeated theme in Denmark

March 27, 2015

“The U.S. national team was outplayed comprehensively during Wednesday’s 3-2 loss in Denmark. But the fact that the Americans were so close to leaving NRGi Park in Aarhus with a win or tie would surprise only those who haven’t been watching coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s team over the past couple of years.” SI


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