What it’s like to be a USMNT lightning rod for criticism: ‘It was overwhelming’

“It was midway through the first half of Sunday’s World Cup qualifier between the U.S. and Canadian men’s national teams when Gyasi Zardes charged forward toward goal. Canada had taken a 1-0 lead not long beforehand. An American equalizer would settle all of their nerves, maybe even quell the rising panic that a qualification disaster was happening to them again. This could’ve been Zardes’ moment, the play that would make him a hero whose goal put the team’s trajectory back on course for Qatar 2022. …”
The Athletic


The Cameroonians who don’t enjoy football

24 January 2022: Football fans watch the round-of-16 match between Cameroon and Comoros on television in Douala, Cameroon.
“The Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) buzz that has gripped Cameroon, which not even a stampede and eight people dying could damper, has yet to reach some parts of the country even as the tournament reaches its crescendo. In certain areas of the central African nation, watching football is a luxury. While most of Cameroon and the rest of the continent have been enjoying the football fiesta, fear and militarisation have gripped the English-speaking parts of the country. …”
New Frame

The End of the Transfer Fee

“The two transfers that drew all the oxygen from the summer of 2021 were both monuments to the past. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated their sport for a generation. That they are both, now, approaching their autumns did not matter; as soon as the chance to to sign them arose, neither Paris St.-Germain nor Manchester United paused for thought. Any doubt at all about what they might do, how they might fit, was assuaged by what they had done. …”
NY Times