"A Swiss football match was thrown into chaos when the pitch was invaded by a small feisty mustelid who ran onto the field and bit one of the players." There is indeed video, which will no doubt come as a comfort to those of you who are all, "mustewhatnow?"
"Eventually, the players were escorted to the prison soccer field, which was lit for the night. Escobar came out in sweat pants and a soccer jersey, and played left midfielder, 'even though he was right-footed.' Pareja's teammate, Carlos Alvarez, had to guard him, a most delicate job. Guard him too lightly, and Escobar would feel disrespected. Guard him too closely, and Escobar would feel humiliated. Either way, it could mean his neck. 'Don't kick me,' Escobar told Alvarez with a grin, 'because (if you do) you will stay here with us.'" —Colorado Rapids coach Oscar Pareja tells ESPN's Rick Reilly about the time he was summoned to play [...]
Soccer players are stealing our profits!
This is the woeful cry of soccer-or, as they have it, "football"-club managers in the UK and Europe, according to the recent Financial Times story citing a just-released annual report from Deloitte's, one of the Big 4 (or is it 3 now? I don't remember. It used to be 8.) global bean-counting firms, on the financial side of football in Europe.
Frustrated by the fact that their country has never won a World Cup soccer championship, Japanese scientists have developed a robot that can kick a soccer ball over 200 kilometers an hour. (That's about 125 MPH in American.) Japan hopes to field a team of these motorized super-players in this year's tournament, which kicks off in South Africa in June. As demonstrated in the horrific video above, the potentially lethal machine can blast appendages off any defender foolhardy enough to try to defend the net. "Do not stand in the way of our soccer robot's power," warned Japan's Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Tatsuo [...]
IMF board member and former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's son is: 1. incredibly hot! 1B. named Merritt 2. very tall and into sports. 3. not so good at getting things done. He is occupied with trying to build a major league soccer stadium in Portland, Oregon. But now his precious Portland Beavers are in trouble though because of the economy and stuff. :(
Part of a month-long series on terrible trips, great journeys and getting lost.
When we were planning a trip to the 2006 World Cup—and, as you'll see, I use "planned" in the loosest sense of the word—I did not picture a friend and me sleeping in a ball pit at the base of a slide in a kid's play area on an overnight ferry steaming from northern Germany to southern Sweden. There were four, sometimes five, of us on the trip. We were a year out of college and more or less broke, so we decided to save money by not paying to sleep anywhere. I expected some strange [...]
On June 23, Landon Donovan paused America with his 91st minute goal against Algeria. The strike sent the United States national team into the second round of the 2010 World Cup, landed the midfielder on the back page of the New York Post, and spawned wild celebrations in bars across the nation. It launched the men's team into the spotlight.
Eleven years before there was Donovan, there was Brandi Chastain. And, yes, her sports bra.
When the ball skirted past England goalkeeper Robert Green for the game-tying goal against the United States on Saturday, I leaped from my chair, whooping. A few seconds later, I was stunned by a sensation I hadn't felt in nearly 30 years.
From 1981-1983, I was the single-worst goalie in the age group of my youth soccer league. I have no game logs to back this up. But I was the keeper on the least successful team in the league, four seasons running. Circumstantially, I have a strong case.
You know what? Be whatever level of stupid you are comfortable with. It's hot out and it's a Friday and it is essentially summer. These are penguins, dressed like soccer players, moving a ball around. I think that's pretty much all the explanation you need, right? Enjoy. Or don't. It is completely your call.
Here's some footage of the riots that broke out at east London's Upton Park last night between supporters of two rival soccer teams. One man was stabbed, because it's not a proper British riot without a little knife crime. If you want to find out which British team boasts the most violent supporters, check the league tables here.
"I hold my BlackBerry primed and ready, and as soon as I see something, I start typing." —Deaf German Twitter user Julia Probst explains the process by which she "reads the lips of both players and coaches" during soccer matches "and passes along their wisdom to her growing legion of followers."
Let's all take a moment to enjoy the majesty of Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, kneeing an opponent in the 'nads during a friendly soccer game. Life is certainly full of delightful surprises sometimes, isn't it! Okay, back to work.
It's not, generally speaking, a good idea to read too much into a Nike commercial. Maybe if you're Naomi Klein, seeking a way in to an examination of the dozens of interlocking injustices behind the brand's bleakly glib brand of vicious uplift, but almost definitely not if you're a sportswriter type trying to pin down why you feel weird on the first day of the largest sports event in the world. This isn't to say that Nike commercials don't have something (gross and weird) to say about sports on occasion, but relying on Nike's reliably grandiose advertisements for anything other than a reflection of what makes Nike so squeamy [...]
Here is a slice of a dispatch from today's ESPN presentation in New York City that confused me: "Coca-Cola is looking at aiming its World Cup advertising not only at Hispanic consumers, Mr. Tripodi said, who traditionally follow the World Cup closely, but also African-Americans and the general market, particularly 'soccer moms.'" Hold up — I understand the desire to expand marketing efforts, but I thought soccer moms were dubbed such because they spent a fair amount of time ferrying their children to activities like soccer, and not because they had a passion for the game? If the latter were true, certainly attendance at Major League Soccer events [...]
On my way to Saturday's Red Bulls soccer match at Giants Stadium (none of that was a typo), I was in line at Krispy Kreme for a little saturated fat. A bellowing ruckus erupted from whatever Paddy O'Hellhole McPub was there in the station. I, the dumb sports guy, had forgotten about the Preakness.