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Remembering Marinho -- who smiled so brilliantly on the sport of soccer

I find Jose Mourinho an irritant. Nothing more. His constant presence, his non-stop efforts to create headlines for himself, his not particularly interesting comments on world soccer -- always, it seems to me, carefully measured to make sure that he comes over as more important than Messi or Ronaldo or Suarez, to ensure that his name gets the spotlight. Mourinho ...
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World Cup Rosters: the injury curse, plus thoughts on Klinsmann's choice of passport-holders

So much for any thoughts of an intriguing afternoon watching World Cup teams play warm-up friendly games. Very quickly I'm watching an appalling challenge from Ireland's Alex Pearce on Italy's Riccardo Montolivo. After a delay for treatment, Montolivo departs on a stretcher. The Italian press is saying he has a fractured tibia. No World Cup for him.
» 20 Comments

Referees: Soccer's Secret Society (Part 3)

The Vice President of Competition at Major League Soccer is former national team player Jeff Agoos. One of his responsibilities is to oversee the formation and the functioning of the MLS Disciplinary Committee.
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Referees: Soccer's Secret Society (Part 2)

In 1981, I interviewed the aging Sir Stanley Rous, former FIFA president and a cardinal figure in the development of modern refereeing. I asked him if he thought a set of signals would be a good idea for referees.
» 12 Comments

Referees: Soccer's Secret Society (Part 1)

There is a decidedly non-vital, unimportant area of soccer about which we know far too much: the private lives of the players, their girlfriends, their hairstyles, their favorite television programs, foods, colors and much, much more of similar bilge.
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Brazen goalkeeper cheating helps Sevilla win Europa League

Is there any excuse for this? That the Europa League cup -- one of soccer's major trophies -- has just been won by Sevilla thanks to absolutely blatant cheating by its goalkeeper?
» 32 Comments

Goals (Part 2): A lively weekend when goals were what mattered

I was telling you about the weirdo in the Anthony Burgess novel who kept dreaming up absurd soccer scores -- Fulham 19 West Ham 3 indeed!
» 10 Comments

Goals (Part 1): Dreadful decision from EPL ref Dowd nixes Suarez's brilliant record-breaking goal

In Anthony Burgess' novel "The Doctor Is Sick," the doctor (not a medical doctor, but a linguist) is in a hospital ward where his neighbor talks aloud in his sleep. He intones soccer scores:
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The Soccer Tragedies -- Lest We Forget

Ernie was a massive Londoner who used to sell newspapers outside London's Tottenham Court Road subway station. The foghorn voice went with the job and every night I'd hear his cry of "Star, News, Standard" as I headed down the steps to the trains.
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On being unable to see the soccer for the koaches

It has been a sweet and sour week. Sweet because the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League have produced some remarkable games and some outstanding individual player performances. Sour because the coaches have been so much the focus of attention.
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Gerrard's tragic stumble puts Liverpool in trouble

You wonder about the role of fate. Well, I do. My pondering of the matter doesn't go too deep, and it never lasts too long. Because I'm not at all sure that I believe in fate anyway.
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The Great Diving Menace: Finally -- from England! -- some straight talk

At last, we have some honest down-to-earth talk about diving. From England -- which is important because it is the English who have created the Great Diving Menace, who have managed to stifle any attempt at a serious discussion by clothing the subject in an aura of religious rectitude. We are supposed to understand that we are dealing here with ...
» 16 Comments

Danger Ahead: Charging Goalkeepers

It seems likely to me that Portland Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts is the bulkiest, heaviest -- simply the largest -- player in MLS.
» 8 Comments

MLS Disciplinary Committee works in mysterious ways

The lack of transparency in the MLS disciplinary procedures continues to irritate me. I would have thought that it would also be a matter of some concern to MLS as well. But apparently not
» 5 Comments

Red Bulls falter badly with dysfunctional midfield

Whether Jerome de Bontin, the former Red Bull general manager, resigned or was fired early in March hardly matters when trying to assess the health of the franchise.
» 4 Comments




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