Topic: Soccer

February 19, 2013

Millions of people play FIFA on PS3 and Xbox. The author was very recently among the best one-tenth of one percent of those players. All of it is more complicated than you might think.

February 11, 2013

Jurgen Klinsmann was hired to overhaul the U.S. Men's National Team, and lay the foundation for the future of American soccer. But to finish the job, let alone be around to finish it, he'll have to survive the present.

January 18, 2013

While he had many other skills -- including a ferocious shot -- Brazilian legend Garrincha is best known for his prodigious dribbling skills. As we approach the 30th anniversary of his death at the age of 49, many of the stories of his greatness -- both on the pitch and at the bar -- told about him sound apocryphal. But that's what made him so great: he had to be seen to be believed. 

January 18, 2013

For those lucky enough to be  born into a family of United or City supporters, life is filled with the hopes and dreams of the Champions League or sitting atop the Premiership. For those who follow those teams in the lower divisions there is only one thing to hope for: (relative) success through avoiding (abject) failure. 

January 8, 2013

Most soccer rankings agree as to which national team is the best in the world. Paul Brown's signature ranking system doesn't. That he has North Korea making a claim to be the world's top team isn't even the strangest thing about his strangely reasonable-seeming rankings.

December 12, 2012

Call it soccer diplomacy if you like, but American coaches have slowly won over the hearts and minds—and won quite a few games, in the case of new Egyptian National Team head coach Bob Bradley—of soccer teams from the Netherlands to Iran.

December 10, 2012

Arsenal isn't just a soccer team, it's an expression of a philosophy about the sport. But Per Mertesacker, the quiet, constant and deceptively remarkable defender who is the team's best player, embodies a different and more practical philosophy simply by playing the way he does.

December 6, 2012

Luis Suarez is one of the best scorers in the Premier League, and on earth, right now. He's probably not one of the best people in or on either. So: which one matters more to you?

November 7, 2012

Something strange happened to the English League Cup last week. You could even say it was spooked. No, this isn't just a bad attempt to make an otherwise matter-of-fact teaser appear more intriguing by making altogether too much of the chance simultaneity of the recently-played fourth round of the competition and Halloween. How dare you. No, there were odd things going on, alright: goals. Lots and lots of goals.

October 4, 2012

Lance Armstrong and John Terry were both found not guilty by criminal courts, only to receive opposite verdicts from ruling bodies for their respective sports. Are sports tribunals better at investigations than police and prosecutors? Or is the idea of a sports justice system flawed at its core?