McGuire Cup: A Stale Bore
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jul. 28, 12:10 a.m.
I'm trying to retrieve my memories of past McGuire Cups. Sometime in the 1970s (I think) I saw a final -- inevitably it featured a team from St. Louis -- probably two teams from St. Louis. I think it was Imo's Pizza that won it.
Summer Tours: Less than Meets the Eye
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jul. 26, 2:01 a.m.
The temptation to stick it to the Eurosnobs -- again -- is bubbling within me. I shall resist it. Or I shall try, though I might as well point out that I have just finished watching the Kansas City Wizards beat Manchester United. The Wizards playing all the second half with 10 men, also needs mentioning.
Rafa Marquez a huge coup for MLS
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jul. 21, 1:33 a.m.
Rafa Marquez to the New York Red Bulls? A done deal, or a very nearly, as near as you can get, done deal, I am informed. A three- or four-year deal at $2.8 million a year.
Not a good week for anti-MLS snobbos
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jul. 19, 12:39 a.m.
The worst has happened, we are now deprived of World Cup soccer. The European leagues haven't started yet, and all we're going to get for the next few weeks is, basically, MLS.
Henry's arrival stirs memories -- but scarves in summer?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jul. 16, 1:41 a.m.
After the upheavals to personal lives and routines imposed by the World Cup, things are getting back to normal. What a relief that must be to those poor guys up at ESPN -- Chris Fowler, Mike Tirico and Bob Ley, the studio hosts who had to spend a whole month pretending they were English.
My World Cup: Dutch Depart with their Cleats Held High
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jul. 14, 11:00 p.m.
So the Dutch played anti-soccer in the World Cup final? That's the opinion of the greatest of all Dutch players, Johan Cruyff. Is he right?
My World Cup: Spain worthy winners! Dutch deserved losers
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jul. 11, 11:07 p.m.
Spain triumphant, worthy winners! The Netherlands dejected -- and deserved losers. This was terribly disappointing from the Dutch. In fact their play at times bordered on the disgraceful. Not what was to be expected in the grand final.
My World Cup: The Final - This Is What Ought to Happen
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jul. 11, 12:57 a.m.
There's plenty of reason to be hopeful about this final. Not least because it's probably the best final we could have hoped for. I'd thought Brazil-Spain was my ideal game, but Brazil was disappointing, and the Netherlands deservedly dumped it out of the tournament.
My World Cup: A record - or an asterisk - for Klose?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jul. 10, 1:04 a.m.
Today the World Cup will celebrate its third-place game -- though "celebrate" is hardly the word to describe the playing of what is also known as the consolation game, and, more cruelly, the losers' final.
My World Cup: The Failings of ESPN's Brit Experts
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jul. 8, 2:07 a.m.
Martin Tyler, the most experienced of ESPN's Brit announcers, is billed as the "lead play-by-play commentator" for the World Cup. That's sort of OK -- Tyler is the best of the bunch, but it would be nice if he did more of what his title proclaims, i.e. play-by-play.
My World Cup: ESPN's Brits Lack Respect for American Soccer
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jul. 7, 12:14 a.m.
It seemed to me likely that ESPN, having taken the decision to slap American soccer in the face by employing a virtually all-Brit army of commentators for its World Cup telecasts, would then soften the blow by having those guys make a concession or two to American sensibilities or American viewpoints, or, at the very least, to the American language.
My World Cup: The Best Ever? Or the Worst Ever?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jul. 6, 12:33 a.m.
It is to be expected that each World Cup will, from now until eternity -- or until television and the marketers and the sponsors and the hype-merchants bury the whole thing under the relentless flow of their infantile antics -- will be the best ever.
My World Cup: The final four
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jul. 5, 12:16 a.m.
So all that fuss about how the Latin American countries were dominating this World Cup has gone up in a puff of smoke. The notion was, of course, generated by statistics, and given life by our dear friends at ESPN, who seem to enjoy that sort of thing more than they enjoy the actual soccer.
My World Cup: More Referee - and Commentator - Problems
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jul. 3, 10:49 p.m.
In the end -- and certainly this was not an easy process -- Spain squeaked past Paraguay by the same minimal scoreline that it had managed against Portugal: 1-0.
My World Cup: Bravo Netherlands, No tears for Brazil
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jul. 2, 3:02 p.m.
Twenty-eight years ago, they were crying in the streets of Barcelona, Brazilian fans tearfully acknowledging their team's exit from the tournament, knocked out by Italy. I was there, in Barcelona -- not weeping, but I certainly felt the sadness. It felt as though the sunshine had gone from the tournament. We were left with a banal final between Italy and ...