Daily Archives: August 11, 2010

Is Pelé Underrated?

“I have a piece in Slate today about the Pelé-Maradona feud and how it’s the index of all meaning in soccer. The short version is that for all the old-mannish ego-nostalgia and general crappiness of its discourse, their rivalry is irresistible because the two players represent radically opposed imaginative possibilities…” (Run of Play)

Pelé and Maradona
“In the summer of 2000, FIFA, which does not understand computers, decided to celebrate the arrival of the millennium by hosting an online poll. Its object: to determine the best soccer player of the past 100 years, with the victor to be fêted at a gaudy banquet in Rome. The organizers of the vote assumed it would be won by Pelé, soccer’s silky ambassador, who’d been cheerfully ensconced in his Greatest of All Time sinecure for 40 years.” (Slate)


Sobering reality check for U.S. team

“So much for the post-World Cup celebration. OK, so the operative word following Brazil’s 2-0 win over the U.S. on Tuesday was ‘friendly.’ There was nothing at stake. Over half of the U.S. starting lineup was comprised of overseas players who looked like they hadn’t recovered from their preseason fitness regimens. And on a team that lacks creative guile in the best of times, the absence of a player like Clint Dempsey was always going to be keenly felt.” (ESPN)

Michael Bradley key to U.S.’s future
“He bulled his way into vacant spaces, barreled into opponents taking too much time on the ball and strode wherever his long legs would take him. ‘That No. 4 must be the heart and soul of this team,’ a fan observed. It became ever clearer Tuesday night against Brazil that No. 4, Michael Bradley, the U.S. national team’s breakout player of this summer’s World Cup, will be the core around which the rest of the side orbits for the foreseeable future.” (ESPN)

United States (USA) 0-2 Brazil – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – Friendly – 10 August 2010
“The United States hosted Brazil in an international friendly match on Tuesday, August 10, 2010. It would be the first match for both sides since the 2010 FIFA World Cup.” (The 90th Minute)

Chinese Investor Is Said to Be Bidding for English Soccer Club

“When reports began circulating last week that a Chinese investor was bidding to take over the Liverpool soccer club in the English Premier League, British tabloids quickly called him King Kenny. That little-known investor is Kenny Huang, 46, a globe-trotting sports enthusiast who has made marketing deals in China with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Yankees, and has entered into a business partnership with Leslie Alexander, the owner of the Houston Rockets.” (NYT)

2010-11 English Premier League Preview, Part III: EPL Talk Podcast

“Wednesday is here, and time for the EPL Talk team to tackle the strength of the league. No league in the world has the kind of depth the Premier League has four through eight. Today, Laurence McKenna, Kartik Krishnaiyer and myself talk about Aston Villa, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City, and Tottenham and pick which teams will miss-out on Europe and which team will go to Champions League.” (EPL Talk)

Football’s not the place for choreographed chanting

“One of the main complaints about the vuvuzela was that its ongoing monotone bleat failed to reflect the changes in the patterns of play. Perfect through pass – parp! Contortionist reflex save – parp! Studs-up attack on an opponent’s shin in the centre-circle – parp! The same could be said for choreographed chanting, which in many modern stadiums has become the preferred method of creating a decent atmosphere. But while it’s impressively co-ordinated and far more pleasing to the ear than the plastic horn of hell, this Germanic phenomenon lacks an ingredient crucial to football – spontaneity.” (WSC)

The Premier League Previews 2010/11, Part 14: Stoke City – Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

“It is a reflection of the financial rewards on offer in modern football that teams have to do what they have to do on the pitch in order to survive and that sometimes what they have to do isn’t that pretty. Stoke City’s promotion into the Premier League just over two years ago was something of surprise in itself and they were, accordingly, widely tipped – the point of unanimity – to drop straight back into the Football League. Two full seasons on, however, they are still there and without having to spend too much of that time worrying that much about getting relegated back. They’re not often that pretty to watch and there are plenty of purists that would like to see them crash and burn, but Stoke City are still in the Premier League, and it is likely that they still will be come the end of this season, too.” (twohundredpercent)

The Premier League Previews 2010/11, Part 15: Sunderland – An Unknown Quantity
“They spent four years bouncing between the Premier League and the Championship, the rubber ball that is Sunderland finally seems to be coming to rest. The question now facing Steve Bruce is how to make the next leap forward and take his team into the top half of the table. The jury, currently, is out on whether he will be able to manage it this season and, for Bruce, this might not be particularly good news. Sunderland’s average attendance crept over the 40,000 barrier last season, and how long the club’s supporters or owners will tolerate lower mid-table finishes is open to question. They have had three since they returned to the Premier League in 2007, and the concern is that stagnation or worse – a return to pitched battles against relegation – may follow if they don’t improve this year.” (twohundredpercent)