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Off the Post: Oddball Tales of the Soccer World

Refs have feelings, and middle fingers too
Swiss referee Massimo Busacca, who officiated the 2009 UEFA Champions League final, was banned for three games for flipping the bird at Young Boys fans who jeered him.

A clash and a crash
Universidad Chile striker Juan Manuel Olivera had to be taken away by ambulance after ...
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U-20 World Cup: USA Falls in Egypt

One good result (a 4-1 win over Cameroon) couldn't make up for two horrendous performances (3-0 losses to Germany and South Korea), and the USA exited the Under-20 World Cup in Egypt, marking the first time since 1987 that the Americans didn't make it out of the first round.

Players like Dilly Duka and Tony Taylor, not previously part ...
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U.S. Soccer: The Remarkable Rise of Jay DeMerit

DeMerit's extraordinary ascendancy in pro soccer has taken him into a prominent role with the national team.
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In The Game: Pioneer Gordon Jago Still Going Strong

Three years ago, Gordon Jago returned to his native England to meet Queen Elizabeth II at her palace.

He was given specific instructions for the encounter: When she extends her right hand, that's the signal it's over. Shake her hand, back off four paces, bow, turn to your right, go off.

Jago first came to the ...
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Youth Beat: A Nation Gone Tournament Mad

If you've been wondering why tournament play has become such a major part of the youth soccer experience, follow the money.
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MLS: Warzycha Keeps Crew Winning

A shaky start to the 2009 season under head coach Robert Warzycha caused some alarm among Crew fans, but a strong second half lifted Columbus atop the overall standings and into a prime position to repeat as league champion.
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U.S. Soccer: Qualifying is Just the Start

The team that qualifies for the World Cup isn't the same team that actually goes to the tournament, and there are slots to be filled and problems to be solved before the USA sets up camp in South Africa next year.
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