Book Review: Eight World Cups by George Vecsey


Author: George Vecsey Title: Eight World Cups Publication Info: Times Books (May 13, 2014) ISBN: 9780805098488 Summary/Review: Vecsey, a sportswriter for The New York Times, writes a series of essays and memories of international soccer dating back to the 1982 World Cup in Spain, tying it in with his own love of the game back to his childhood….

World Cup of Reading


So, the FIFA World Cup ended over a month ago, but I still used this year’s tournament as inspiration to revive my ongoing Around the World for a Good Book project.  The basic gist is that I’m attempting to read a work of fiction (in English or English translation) from every country in the world….

Movie Review: 30 for 30: Soccer Stories


Title: 30 for 30: Soccer Stories Production Co:ESPN Films Country: United States Language: English (and other languages in interviews and archival footage) Genre: Documentary | Sports | History In preparation for this year’s World Cup tournament, I watched this series of ESPN films about football/futbol/soccer on Netflix. They all touch upon themes beyond sports and…

World Cup Round of 16 Rooting Interests and Predictions


After an exciting round of group play, the knock-out rounds for the 2014 World Cup begin today.  Below I’ve listed the teams I’m rooting for and the teams I expect to win (not always the same) for each game. 28 June 2014 Brazil vs. Chile This is a tough call.  I have a soft spot…

World Cup Qualifying – A World-Wide Approach?


The past week featured another round of qualifying games for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2014 to be held in Brazil.  Under the current rules, the six association football confederations (loosely representing the 6 continents inhabited by humans) each conduct a qualifying tournament to determine which teams will represent their confederation.  The number of places…

Soccer Spectating Report 7-26 June: Gold Cup Edition


The CONCACAF Gold Cup came and went with the US Men’s National Team’s uninspiring loss. The Boston Breakers are treading water and the New England Revolution are abysmal so things are pretty miserable in my soccer world. Luckily the Women’s World Cup is starting and hopefully that will lift my spirits. Canada 0:2 United States…

Soccer Spectating Report 16 May-6 June


With the Champions League final, the European season comes to the end. I watched a lot of teams and lot of games and determined that the clubs I like best are Everton of the English Premier League and Ajax of the Dutch Eredivisie. Next year I’m thinking I’ll try to watch as many games featuring…

Soccer Spectating Report 10-15 May


Palermo 2:1 AC Milan (10 May) It’s been a while since I checked in on Italian football so when I saw that my putative favorite Serie A side was hosting the home leg  of the Coppa Italia semi-final, I decided to check it out.  It was a fun game with some  exciting goals and Berlusconi’s…

Soccer Spectating Report 19 April-9 May


The European season is coming to an exciting conclusion while the MLS gets into full swing. Here’s three weeks of soccer highlights. New England Revolution 3:2 Sporting Kansas City (23 April) This game was the culmination of an exciting week – striker Rajko Levic’s first home game, the debut of midfielder Benny Feilhaber and the…

Soccer Spectating Report: Boston Breakers Home Opener


I only managed to watch one soccer game in the past week but I watched it live and in person at Harvard Stadium in Allston, MA. Boston Breakers 1:2 Western New York Flash (17 April) Western New York are a WPS expansion team but they have several good players (including some from defunct WPS champions…

Soccer Spectating Report 5-10 April


Barcelona 5:1 Shakhtar Donetsk (6 April) Barça made quick work of their Ukrainian opponents with half the starting squad scoring goals in this laugher at Camp Nou.  [Note:  I didn’t watch the second leg, but Barcelona won it as well 0-1 for a 6-1 aggregate victory and a secure spot in the Champions League semifinals)….

Soccer Spectating Report 31 March-4 April


England 1:2 United States (2 April) Bad news:  The US women’s team is clearly outplayed and loses to a much lower ranked England side.  Good news: It was just a friendly and the World Cup is still months away.  Bad news:  The US team lost to Mexico in the World Cup qualifying and should be…

Soccer Spectating Report 21-30 March


Ireland 2:1 FYROM (26 Mar) Ireland’s Euro 2012 qualifying campaign resumed with this succesful home match.  The Irish capitalized on errors by Macedonian keeper Edin Nuredinovski for goals by Aiden McGready and Robbie Keane.  Ireland were obviously the better side although they rested on their laurels enough to allow Ivan Trickovski to cut the lead…

Soccer Spectating Report 22 February – 20 March


Lots of catching up to do. USA 3:2 El Salvador (22 February) I managed to tune in to one match in the 2011 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship, this quarterfinal match.  It was odd to watch what looked like a high-school game (albeit highly-skilled) played in a mostly empty stadium in Jamaica.  It got to a rocking…

Soccer Spectating Report 15-20 Febuary


A slow week for me.  Lots of things to do and choppy streams that cut out mid-game. Arsenal 2:1 Barcelona (16 February) The Champions League match started off looking like it was just going to be Barcelona being awesome again with Lionel Messi feeding David Villa for a goal in the first half.  But then…

Soccer Spectating Report 24-31 January 2011


Well, the transfer period is over now.  This week I saw Luis Suarez leave one of my favorite clubs and move to the rival of one of my other favorite clubs.  Not much in positive news for the teams I follow. Ah well.  The games have been entertaining at least. Liverpool 1:0 Fulham (26 Jan)…

Movie Review: The Damned United


Title: The Damned United Release Date: 27 March 2009 Director: Tom Hooper Production Co:   Columbia Pictures Corporation Country:  United Kingdom Language: English Genre: Biopic / Sport Rating: ***1/2 Summary/Review: This movie is a highly-fictionalized account of the life of English football manager Brian Clough (Michael Sheen) who was able to lead clubs like Derby County…

Soccer Spectating Report 10-23 January 2011


Liverpool 2:2 Everton (16 January 2011) Everton traveled across town to Anfield for the second leg of the Merseyside Derby.  The Reds dominated the first half with Tim Howard rightly angry with his defenders.  Raul Meireles broke through in the 28th minute to put the home side up by 1.  The Blues came out strong…

Soccer Spectating Report 2-9 January


For the new year, I’m giving up coming up with a new, clever title each week for my soccer-blogging. With that said, let’s dive into the game reports: Fulham 3:0 West Bromwich Albion (4 January 2011) An entertaining match at Craven Cottage saw Fulham earn their first win at home since October and may be…

Soccer Holiday


I don’t have much to report on as in the past couple of weeks I’ve been distracted by holiday activities.  The European leagues have also been on holiday break and/or had games canceled by winter weather so I haven’t missed much.  Seeing the rash of snow and ice postponements makes me think that there’s actually…