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Steve Nicol gets tangled up in the physical game

I see that the Revs' Steve Nicol is complaining about rough play. Specifically, he believes that his player, Sainey Nyassi, is being fouled way too much, and that referees are not punishing the offenders.

Clash of Coaching Egos Coming Up

Inter Milan vs. Bayern Munich was not the Champions League final that we thought we were going to get. Certainly not the one that many -- including me -- would have preferred. But there you are -- that's what we've got, and there's little to argue with in the semifinal results.

Ho hum, it's all the skillful player's fault

I can't say I think much of the uniforms that the Philadelphia Union sported at its game against the Red Bulls. Dreary, frankly, when they surely ought to be cheerful. From what I know of salesmanship, which may not be a great deal, I'd have thought the idea was to radiate brightness and optimism wherever it can be put on ...

World Cup Technobabble Explained

I don't really need a technical study, published in the South African Medical Journal, to tell me that those stupid vuvuzelas are a curse. But that's what we've got, and we now know, thanks to Dr. De Wet Swanepoel of the University of Pretoria's department of communication pathology, that vuvuzelas can damage your health -- your hearing, specifically.

Was it the Volcano? Or Jose Mourinho?

It could be that, as far as the soccer world is concerned, 2010 will be remembered as the Year of the Volcano. The year that a volcanic eruption in Iceland greatly disturbed air travel, and meant that Barcelona had to travel by road -- in luxury buses -- to Milan for their UEFA Champions League Game against Inter.

The rare talent of Red Bull rookie Tim Ream

The Red Bulls find themselves in unfamiliar territory, sitting on top the world. The world of the MLS Eastern Conference, I mean. Not that big a world, true, but the Red Bulls top-dog position is pretty impressive. As impressive as their new stadium. What has not been so impressive is the playing form of the team.

Will ESPN keep its eye on the ball?

Impressive is the word for the panoply of World Cup stuff that ESPN put on show -- briefly -- during a New York press conference earlier this week. We got clips of the promos, peeks at various documentaries, plus all sorts of news about just how seriously ESPN is taking this event. Certainly far more seriously, and far more expensively, ...

Referee Vaughn was right on Moreno goal

I'll confess to amazement when referee Terry Vaughn allowed Jaime Moreno's goal against Philadelphia last Saturday. Not that I saw anything wildly wrong with what Moreno did, anything that smacked of a foul, like crude body contact. Nothing like that at all. But we've become accustomed to the fact that goalkeepers are granted considerable privileges and seem at times to ...

Soccer success: the Barca way ... or the money way?

Is Barcelona simply too good? Too good to the point where our expectations of what it can achieve know no limits?

Claudio Reyna is the right man for the job, but ...

It is difficult to think of anyone involved in American soccer who is more fitted to a role in the game's organization than Claudio Reyna. The top player of his generation, American born and trained, with full experience of the youth club, high school and college scenes, followed by a sparkling pro career in Germany, Scotland and England.

The Blinding Magic of Messi

Let's see now, I think a few well-chosen words on the Barcelona vs. Arsenal game would be in order. Something like this:

FIFA's Feeble Case Against Technology

The April 2010 edition of FIFA World magazine features a significant document in which president Sepp Blatter makes the official FIFA "argument against technology."

The world's best refs are from ...

I can now answer a question that has been keeping you awake at night: Which country produces the best referees?

Injuries mar exciting Champions League

Delicately poised -- there's a nice soccer cliche for you, but one that certainly applies to the four Champions League quarterfinals. The return games next week are intriguing for a variety of reasons. Will Inter's thin 1-0 lead stand up on the plastic field in wintry Moscow? Can Manchester United, without the injured Wayne Rooney, get the goals it needs ...