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You'll never walk alone

It's incredibly tense in the English Premier League at the moment, with three teams fighting for the title. With Manchester United disintegrating and lucky to secure European football, the much anticipated Spurs title challenge fizzing out and Arsenal struggling to even reach their customary fourth place and access to the Champions League, it's up to Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool FC. The latter two met last Sunday in an emotional, stressfull match which saw Liverpool win 3-2, setting a giant step forwards to winning the title.
For Liverpool fans and many neutrals it would be wonderful for Liverpool to win it now, because it's been twentyfour years since their last one, because of Steve Gerrard who, a single childhood slipup aside, has always been loyal to Liverpool and who has won everything but the title with them, but mostly because it's been exactly twentyfive years since the Hillsborough Disaster and just weeks after a new inquest into the disaster and the coverup has started. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 15, 2014 - 24 comments

 

How Concussion Put Me On The Bench For Good

Soccer Broke My Brain [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 11, 2014 - 51 comments

Theatre of Nightmares

Who is to blame for Manchester United's Collapse? [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Apr 3, 2014 - 61 comments

This is cold war shit

Burn, Destroy, Wreck, Kill - SB Nation reports from the inside of the fan culture of the biggest rivalry in the MLS, the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers. The rivalry game between the two cities is on April 5th.
posted by Punkey on Mar 29, 2014 - 46 comments

MLS: Point and Counterpoint

POINT: Getting Ready For MLS? Allow Us To Convince You Otherwise COUNTERPOINT:Reading Deadspin? Allow A Former MLS Player To Convince You Otherwise
posted by josher71 on Mar 9, 2014 - 69 comments

Tom Finney (1922-2014)

Tom Finney, one of the all time greats of English football, has died at the age of 91. [more inside]
posted by dng on Feb 14, 2014 - 8 comments

What Planet Are You From?

How many of the 114,580 people in Estadio Azteca on June 22, 1986, missed one or both of Diego Maradona’s goals against England because they were in the bathroom or buying a Budweiser? The two legendary goals that decided the World Cup quarterfinal occurred in quick succession shortly after the start of the second half. In the 51st minute, the Hand of God beat the hand of Shilton. Only four minutes later, while the outrage of English fans and players was still raw, El Diego received the ball in his own half, facing his own net. It took him 11 touches and 10.6 seconds to beat six opponents—Beardsley, Reid, Butcher (twice), Fenwick, and the goalkeeper, Shilton—and bury what many consider to be the greatest goal of all time.

posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 12, 2014 - 14 comments

To take the public debate a step further

On Wednesday, after retiring in September, former Germany international Thomas Hitzlsperger announced he is gay in an interview with Die Zeit (excerpt, de) and a statement (PDF, en) on his website, followed by an interview with the Guardian. He discussed the decision and the aftermath of the announcement with Gary Lineker on Football Focus (1:00-4:15). [more inside]
posted by hoyland on Jan 12, 2014 - 16 comments

How To Treat Your Fans

After being thrashed 5-0 in the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest, West Ham United have offered one very sad young fan the chance to watch a home game from the directors box.
posted by marienbad on Jan 6, 2014 - 66 comments

Adeus, Pantera Negra.

The Portuguese footballer Eusébio, considered one of the greatest of all time, died today. The first great footballer to come out of Africa, Eusébio was above all an humble man who would congratulate a keeper who had just made a difficult save and for whom the greatest joy after winning the European Cup (now named UEFA Champions League) was in getting to trade jerseys with his idol, Real Madrid's star di Stéfano. (The goals of the final.) [more inside]
posted by khonostrov on Jan 5, 2014 - 13 comments

"I will not post any casualty reports for 24 hours as I am celebrating."

The Far Post is a journalism series by Roads and Kingdoms and Sports Illustrated on global soccer culture that will run every other week until the start of "the largest theater that has ever existed in human history," the World Cup. So far there are five articles: Brazil 2014 Starts Now by Laurent Dubois gives an overview of the history of the World Cup and what it means now. Messi in Kolkata by Kanishk Tharoor is about a visit by the Argentine national team to Kolkata and the state of the game in India. Afghanistan United By May Jeong is the story of the incredible triumph of the Afghan national team at the 2013 South Asian Championship. Soccer and the Street in Istanbul by Izzy Finkel reports on the links between soccer and politics in Turkey. The Long Revolution of the Ultras Ahlawy by Patrick Kingsley is the account of how hardcore soccerfans in Egypt, at the center of the 2011 revolution, have fared in the aftermath.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 21, 2013 - 14 comments

Football as football

Football as soccer …or should that be American Football as football?
posted by ShawnString on Nov 19, 2013 - 56 comments

Tifo

The Major League Soccer playoffs have begun and the MLS Cup is on the line. After beating Colorado this week, the Seattle Sounders will now face their fiercest rivals, the Portland Timbers, in a two leg Western Conference semi-final Cascadia derby. They'll have to beat both the Timbers and the Timbers Army, who will no doubt produce yet another incredible display of tifo.
posted by salishsea on Nov 1, 2013 - 23 comments

“You know what you are, you franchise bastards.”

When the announcement had been made that Wimbledon FC would be moved to Milton Keynes, to later be rebranded MK Dons, a meeting was called by Wimbledon fans. Toward the end of a charged meeting in the Wimbledon Community Centre, Kris Stewart, then chair of the Wimbledon Independent Supporters Club, realized that the fans had no chance of hanging on to their club and that no amount of protests would stop the franchise moving to Milton Keynes. In that moment Stewart made his walk through the crowd toward the microphone. “I’m tired of fighting,” he said before issuing a spontaneous rallying cry that has become legendary among fans of AFC Wimbledon. “I just want to watch football.” (SLTheMorningNews)
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Oct 24, 2013 - 9 comments

Wide World of Sports Beards

"This is Brett Keisel, a defensive end for the Pittsburgh Steelers who makes the usually frustrating identifying process of having to look for pictures of NFL players sans helmet an unexpected pleasure. Consider two things: i) Why in the name of all that's holy would anyone want to imprison this cascading, oddly backwoodsesque yet pleasingly groomed beauty behind visor, mask or grille? And: ii) Given that he has nonetheless to do so, how the hell does he cram it all in? I'm picturing, in a pleasing sort of reverie, some sort of monstrous snood." The Guardian presents the Greatest Beards in World Sports, parts one and two.
posted by oneirodynia on Oct 16, 2013 - 36 comments

Slaves for football

"The indispensable English footballer whose metatarsal will snap four weeks before the 2022 World Cup is currently 12 years old, but Fifa is already worrying stagily about the temperature in which he will perform disappointingly. As for the 12-year-old Nepalese boy whose family are unwittingly saving for the chance to send him off in a few years to die laying the foundations of a stadio-mall, or the 12-year-old Qatari boy wondering not when his people voted for this, but whether they'll ever vote for anything at all … well, it would be much easier if people did not concern themselves with them." The Guardian summarizes the current issues over the staging of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
posted by salishsea on Oct 4, 2013 - 23 comments

Prison, stardom and a terrible past

From prison to pro football (~soccer) but hampered by a dark past: how Ilombe Mboyo's rise destroyed the scheme that saved him. Can football help rehabilitate a criminal?
posted by bdz on Sep 25, 2013 - 20 comments

"...Japan does not have a vigorous tradition of satire."

France has made Japan angry again, this time with insensitive political cartoons about Fukushima. With radiation levels still spiking, and the government only reticently admitting to constant leaks, some are questioning the legitimacy of PM Abe's insistence that Tokyo is safe. With decisions not to prosecute anyone involved in the disaster, it seems that amakudari is, in Japan as in most other countries, still alive and well.
posted by GoingToShopping on Sep 13, 2013 - 43 comments

Raucous Scene Grips Afghan Capital

Soccer Euphoria The Olympic Stadium in Kabul has not seen this big a crowd since the Taliban used the place for public executions. No coercion was needed on Thursday to bring tens of thousands of delirious fans here to greet their national soccer team on its return from winning its first international championship. The underdog team stunned India, the defending South Asian champions, in a 2-0 victory in Katmandu, Nepal.
posted by Golden Eternity on Sep 12, 2013 - 12 comments

Dos a Cero

After (intentionally?) missing a last second penalty kick, the US Men's National Team beat Mexico in Columbus by a now famous final score. Following the game, the team watched Honduras hold on for a 2-2 draw against Panama which officially cemented the team's slot in the 2014 World Cup. An unassuming venue [autoplay video], Crew Stadium was the first purpose-built soccer facility in the US, and it has become the preferred location for the US to take on its most-powerful CONCACAF rival.
posted by Rock Steady on Sep 11, 2013 - 136 comments

Pack 'em into the Dripping Pan

You're Lewes F.C., a small semi-professional football club playing in the Isthmian League in London, six levels below the English Premier League. You want to get punters to come to your games, but don't have the budget to put out radio or tv ads. What do you do? Create some really great match day posters, like this one mimicking a WWII Russian propaganda poster or this Clash poster.
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 9, 2013 - 25 comments

Then like my dreams, they fade and die

The day Harry Redknapp brought a fan on to play for West Ham. According to one of football's most endearing fairytales, Harry Redknapp once pulled an abusive fan from the crowd and put him on the field for West Ham. This allegedly happened in 1994, but no video and scant evidence of the incident exist. Jeff Maysh chased this mystery for over a decade before finally catching up with the fan in question.
posted by Hartster on Sep 5, 2013 - 12 comments

Cuthbert Ottaway - Englands First Captain (Foot-Ball, Association Rules)

"Cuthbert Ottaway lifted the FA Cup as skipper of Oxford University, represented them at five different sports ranging from athletics to real tennis, and once shared a 150-run partnership with WG Grace in the highest level of cricket. His most notable achievement was captaining England in the first ever international football match though. About 4,000 spectators, including a "large number of ladies", gathered to watch the historic game against Scotland at the West of Scotland Cricket Club in Partick on 30 November 1872."
posted by marienbad on Aug 21, 2013 - 4 comments

Pablo Mastroeni impregnates a bench for some reason

It's amazing, isn't it? Just when you think this photo shoot has peaked — that Donovan's inert lower lip or Mathis's oddly bendy face have set an unsurpassable standard — it finds a way to top itself, in this case by dressing a hulking, be-dreadlocked defensive midfielder in Stormtrooper underleggings and a miniaturized I Love Lucy housedress and convincing him to make unhurried love to a set of stadium bleachers. If "The Boys of Soccer" were Maradona, this would be his England game. Grantland investigates the greatest sports photoshoot of all time.
posted by Ghostride The Whip on Aug 9, 2013 - 25 comments

"Ties. And no playoffs. Why do you even do this?"

With the English Premier League season less than two weeks away, there have already been a number of massive shakeups to the established order. Among the most shocking are the appointment of Jason Sudeikis Ted Lasso as head coach for the Tottenham Hotspurs, and Luis Suarez returning to a relatively normal office life in Uruguay.
posted by Errant on Aug 5, 2013 - 57 comments

Ping pong will never be the same

Dynamic target tracking camera system keeps its eye on the ball - motorized mirrors track a moving object of interest every thousandth of a second, reflecting its image into a camera
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 16, 2013 - 23 comments

Young Dutch boy leads PSV crowd in booming chant during pre-season match

"It's a shame we don't share the same courage in our convictions as this little 10-year-old Dutch lad, who - with a little help from his Dad when it came to the words (come on you boys in red, Eindhoven we love you), proudly led the PSV crowd in a chant during a recent pre-season friendly against FC Eindhoven..." (SL Youtube) [more inside]
posted by beisny on Jul 12, 2013 - 13 comments

When the Beautiful Game Isn't

"Italy is in crisis. I think that's safe to say. Something new is arising out of something old. I don't know whether it's a first breath or a last gasp. James Walston, the professor, thinks all the racial abuse is a sign that Italy has changed, and this is a defiant last stand before a multi-cultural society emerges. Maybe he's right. I don't know." Wright Thompson writes about soccer and racism in Italy.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates on Jun 5, 2013 - 30 comments

Bruised and Blattered: How Fifa's great survivor has stayed on top

"On Sunday, Joseph S Blatter attended a ceremony on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius to celebrate the renaming of the country's FA headquarters in his honour. The Fifa president would perhaps say it was a fitting tribute, given his promotion of African football and the amount of "development" money poured into the continent over recent decades. His critics would say it was typical of his egomania and note the importance of African votes in keeping him atop world football for 15 years." [more inside]
posted by marienbad on May 30, 2013 - 9 comments

A psychotic cattle auctioneer narrating a pornographic movie

From the innocents at the New York Times: how to attend a Premier League match.
posted by shothotbot on May 21, 2013 - 42 comments

Still curious about that slice of log he's holding.

Yesterday the Green Machine beat the Portland Timbers 10-9. What makes this unusual is that the Green Machine is a youth club, and the winning goal was scored by Atticus Lane-Dupre, an 8yd old with cancer. And that the match, organized by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, was attended by thousands of enthusiastic fans.
posted by troika on May 2, 2013 - 21 comments

Not quite retirement age yet

The Washington Spirit are a professional soccer team in the National Women's Soccer League. Like many of the lower earning professional sports, they have to be creative about costs, and often arrange host families for their players. Instead of host parents, Diana Matheson and Robyn Gayle got host grandparents. Several hundred of them.
posted by jacquilynne on Apr 22, 2013 - 7 comments

Back For Another Bite!

Liverpool's Luis Suarez bit Chelsea's Brankslave Ivanovic on the arm during Sunday's Liverpool-Chelsea football (soccer) game sending the media into a frenzy. But this is not the first time he's bitten another player. In 2010, while in the Dutch Eredivisie, he bit Otman Bakkal. He also was suspended for 8 games this year for racist comments. However, he has a new twitter follower: Mike Tyson who bit Evander Holyfield's ear in a prize fight in 1997.
posted by BillW on Apr 22, 2013 - 64 comments

Ronaldinho Flip Book

The Best Skills of Ronaldinho: a flip book. Previously.
posted by Rumple on Apr 21, 2013 - 7 comments

Real Madrid Fan's Good Luck

Grant Wahl tells the story of a devoted fan and José Mourinho, manager of Real Madrid. Abel Rodríguez, who works for the LA Metro system, has volunteered for Real Madrid soccer practices in Los Angeles. Last February, he traveled to see the Real Madrid-Barcelona Clásico, without a hotel reservation or even a ticket. The training facility's security guard wouldn't let him in, so he sat outside for 5 hours. What happened next sounds like a fairy tale.
posted by Ideefixe on Apr 18, 2013 - 9 comments

DENIED!

Goalie Cat is keeping you from scoring. [slyt]
posted by quin on Apr 1, 2013 - 14 comments

Reflecting on coming out

Last month, Robbie Rogers came out and announced he'd left football. In an interview with the Guardian, he reflects on coming out in professional football. [more inside]
posted by hoyland on Mar 29, 2013 - 15 comments

Snow!!!

The United States Men's National Soccer team played a very, very, snowy game last night against Costa Rica. Costa Rica is not happy. A live blog of the events.
posted by josher71 on Mar 23, 2013 - 49 comments

Transgender soccer player makes history

In November of 2011, Jaiyah Saelua, a center back for American Samoa, became the first transgendered individual to participate in a World Cup qualifier. [more inside]
posted by Bulgaroktonos on Mar 2, 2013 - 17 comments

Soccer match-fixing probe: 680 suspicious games worldwide ...

"Organized crime gangs have fixed or tried to fix hundreds of soccer matches around the world in recent years, including World Cup and European Championship qualifiers and two Champions League games, Europol announced Monday. The European Union's police agency said an 18-month review found 380 suspicious matches in Europe and another 300 questionable games outside the continent, mainly in Africa, Asia and South and Central America. It also found evidence that a Singapore-based crime syndicate was involved in some of the match-fixing."* [more inside]
posted by ericb on Feb 4, 2013 - 48 comments

Football in Afghanistan

"We're just trying to lead normal lives, doing what we want to do. Why shouldn't we?" The members [of Afghanistan women's national team], who range in age from 16 to 24, are up against widespread resentment from their relatives* and neighbors, and threats from men who disapprove of women playing sports. They managed to participate in an inclusive tournament in Berlin and they registered their first official win as they defeated Pakistan national women's team 4-0 and reached the semi-finals of the 2nd SAFF women's championship in 2012 improving on their past performance (rough 2010 SAFF footage). They're able to practice just three times a week for 90 minutes, occasionally at the stadium (2) or in its gym, but more often at a helicopter landing pad on a base for NATO troops, where practices are interrupted by takeoffs and landings. Players have some outside support from hummel, the sponsor of the women's and the men's team, and have had football clinics in Stuttgart and with Olympic U.S. player Lorrie Fair in Kabul. [more inside]
posted by ersatz on Jan 19, 2013 - 8 comments

Ground Bud

Two dogs join footballers at Galatasaray - Aalen. (Previously)
posted by griphus on Jan 17, 2013 - 22 comments

"Any sufficiently advanced juggling is indistinguishable from magic."

Street performer showing off some amazing skills with a soccer/ football.
posted by quin on Jan 7, 2013 - 12 comments

The Dowager Countess Will Never Walk Alone

Downton Abbey returns to American TV screens this Sunday. Since many Americans have become fascinated with the intricate social dances featured in the English drama/soap, Grantland feels there's an opportunity to provide them a lesson about the equally intricate plot machinations associated with the English Premier League. I give you the "English Premier League to Downton Abbey plot converter." [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Jan 4, 2013 - 29 comments

At home, there's no line for the bathroom, either

Some sports are better seen in person. Some are better seen on TV.
posted by Chrysostom on Dec 17, 2012 - 47 comments

Just rub some dirt in it.

MTB vs. Soccer
posted by unSane on Dec 14, 2012 - 44 comments

Palestinian Football

A soccer stadium in Palestine was destroyed recently and a number of European based footballers signed a letter condemning the act. Palestine has historically been a difficult place to be a footballer, up to and including being imprisoned, although Mahmous Sarsak has since been freed. Despite all of this, it looks like at least the Palestinian women’s game is on the up and up.
posted by josher71 on Dec 3, 2012 - 35 comments

An American Soccer Fan in Kettering Town

I could imagine a younger version of myself sitting down to a Non-League game, watching ten minutes, then leaning over to my friend and whispering “Hey, you know, like, these guys suck. And your country suffers from a serious deficiency of nachos.” -- An American learns to appreciate Non-League Football Day. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Nov 16, 2012 - 18 comments

Not quite sweaters for goalposts

Football's (soccer, that is) ultimate conquest of North America comes a step closer with the sale of English Premier League broadcasting rights to NBC for 250 million dollars. Unlike the Olympics, NBC has indicated that they'll broadcast the games live, to complement their NHL broadcasts. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Oct 29, 2012 - 65 comments

Simply the worst

In the first 11 matches of the 2010 season they scored 2 goals and conceded 227. Madron FC is the worst football team in Britain.
posted by jontyjago on Oct 16, 2012 - 28 comments

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