Hallelujah! A terrible diving call gets rescinded!
Posted by Paul Gardner on Apr. 10, 11:56 p.m.
Regularly, at least once per season, I announce, with indignant protestations of disgust, that I have just witnessed the worst-ever diving call.
» 7 Comments
Lalas & Balboa agree -- breaking the rules is fine
Posted by Paul Gardner on Apr. 6, 6:02 p.m.
We all remember Alexi Lalas and Marcelo Balboa, don't we. The stalwart double act at the heart of the U.S. defense in the 1994 World Cup. A rather rustic pair. That's right -- those two. That was over 20 years ago, and they've moved on, of course.
» 111 Comments
Brazil 1 Chile 0 -- a game shaped by refereeing
Posted by Paul Gardner on Mar. 30, 1:17 a.m.
So who needs travel? My 9:30 am Sunday breakfast in New York was spent mostly watching a telecast from London ... featuring two of South America's top teams, Brazil and Chile.
» 6 Comments
Why are England's clubs so barely English?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Mar. 21, 2:12 a.m.
With the inglorious exit of Everton -- bounced out of the Europa League by a 5-2 mauling from Dynamo Kiev -- the participation of English clubs in this season's European competition has come to an abrupt and really rather shocking halt.
» 13 Comments
Why are goalkeepers allowed to get away with this?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Mar. 15, 12:03 p.m.
The picture below is from Saturday's Dallas-Kansas City game. It shows Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz in the process of punching the ball away.
» 20 Comments
Kaka comes through; Villa not quite; Kelly not at all
Posted by Paul Gardner on Mar. 9, 7:45 p.m.
The great Orlando-New York clash managed to do what so often doesn't get done ... it produced a wonderfully climactic finish and the right result.
» 18 Comments
IFAB nearly gets one right, UEFA gets it all wrong
Posted by Paul Gardner on Mar. 1, 6:20 p.m.
Well, well -- how about this? Had to happen some time, I suppose, so here we are: I find myself in agreement with an IFAB decision. At least, partially so.
» 16 Comments
Europe embraces Latino flair, how about the USA?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Feb. 26, 2:27 p.m.
Ten minutes into Tuesday's Champions League game between Manchester City and Barcelona, TV commentator Martin Tyler told us "There are South Americans everywhere you look on the pitch here."
» 35 Comments
In search of youth soccer ... and do we really want it anyway? Part 3: Street soccer -- to be crushed or cherished?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Feb. 22, 4:48 p.m.
The purest form of youth soccer -- maybe it is really the only form -- is street soccer. With its own rules, invented by the boys, without coaches or referees, anarchic but functional, plenty of appalling language but not (as I recall) much rough play, chaotic but with its sudden surprising moments of joyful teamwork.
» 27 Comments
In search of youth soccer ... and do we really want it anyway? Part 2: Correcting bad habits, or the intrusion of the adults
Posted by Paul Gardner on Feb. 20, 1:51 p.m.
Youth soccer is a manifestly imperfect sport. What else would one expect from kids, anyway? It is, we are told -- this is an ongoing criticism -- full of bad habits that have to be corrected. But from the youth-development point of view -- in other words, from the way adults see things -- the biggest negative of youth soccer ...
» 7 Comments
In search of youth soccer ... and do we really want it anyway? Part 1: The young naive mischief-makers ...
Posted by Paul Gardner on Feb. 18, 4:48 p.m.
Back in 1977 FIFA initiated an under-20 tournament and called it the FIFA World Youth Championship. With that title, the event sailed merrily along through 15 editions until 2007 when it suddenly became the FIFA U-20 World Cup
» 11 Comments
Argentina shines; Brazil not so much
Posted by Paul Gardner on Feb. 6, 11:12 a.m.
The way I look at it, Brazil owes us something. Us. Meaning the vast world soccer community that has -- with good reason -- treasured Brazilian soccer as the glittering truth of the sport, the Beautiful Game at its pinnacle.
» 1 Comments
Tab Ramos and the Soccer Speed Trap
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jan. 27, 5:19 p.m.
Comparing his very ordinary current under-20 team with the highly promising version he had two years ago, Coach Tab Ramos says that the new team is "more dynamic, and we have speed on this team."
» 32 Comments
'A flag on the play' -- something soccer could learn from football
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jan. 25, 8:33 p.m.
From Saturday's FA Cup game in England: Leicester's Andrej Kramaric gets clean through the Tottenham defense, ball at his feet, only goalkeeper Michel Vorm to beat. As Kramaric tries to dribble around him, Vorm makes a slide tackle. Something goalkeepers are not very good at (if you doubt that, take a look at the video of Manuel Neuer's recent attempt ...
» 11 Comments
A Look Back at 2014 and a Resolution for 2015
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jan. 2, 3:06 p.m.
I see we're being told that 2014 was a great year for soccer etc, etc, etc. Familiar news, no? Maybe there's always a tendency to look back and paint a rosy-tinted view of the past ... and why not? It seems a pretty spontaneous, natural, human thing to do, a weakness perhaps, but an understandable and an enjoyable one.
» 11 Comments