Author: Andrew Puopolo

FA Cup: What are the odds of seeing a true Cinderella?

Editor’s note/warning: A version of this analysis will be published on Jan. 8 by the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective. Andrew has been kind enough to adapt his work for World Soccer Talk ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup matchups. Any precision lost in the editing of this post is unintentional and may not represent Andrew’s conclusions. This weekend marks the third round of England’s FA Cup – the culmination of a process that begins each August, when every club, professional or amateur, hopes to become one of the 20 teams from the third division or below to be alive come ... Read more

The FA Cup is in Tottenham’s DNA; the club needs to take the competition seriously

The third round of the FA Cup is fast approaching, and the usual argument of “forget it, play the second XI” is appearing on many internet threads. So this begs the question: Should Tottenham play weakened sides in the FA Cup to reduce fixture congestion and increase their chances of finishing higher in the Premier League? The answer to this question, in my opinion, is a resounding no. The FA Cup is an integral part of the history and tradition of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, and it would be a disgrace to disrespect the competition. Ask any Tottenham fan what ... Read more

First-hand account of US Open Cup derby between New York Red Bulls and New York Cosmos

It’s the magic of the cup. A second division side drawn to play away from home against their local rivals, a “proper cup tie” some might call it. It’s David against Goliath, a potential giant killing, a banana skin, as well as a local derby. It has all the storylines one would want. An expanded away following that typically comes with a glamor tie is on hand for these romantic cup ties is on hand and prepared to make their presence felt. This match has the potential to be a classic. Unfortunately, no one else seemed to get the message ... Read more

What the New York soccer derby was like for an American who spent time in England

After a year of living in London and attending quite a few matches, I came home to my native New York just in time for the biggest fixture on the New York soccer calendar, the Hudson River Derby between New York City Football Club (NYCFC) and New York Red Bulls. I attended six London derbies this year of varying intensity and hatred between the two sets of supporters. I attended three at White Hart Lane (against Crystal Palace, Chelsea and West Ham), two away derbies with Spurs (Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and Queen’s Park Rangers at Loftus Road), and one ... Read more

Review of ‘Soccer For Socrates’ from Day 2 of the Kicking and Screening Film Festival

Day 2 of the Kicking and Screening Soccer Film Festival in New York City provided the option of watching two films that were very different in style and content. The first option was a film called Soccer For Socrates, which was about how Northern Ireland’s appearance in the 1986 World Cup united the country that was still in the middle of The Troubles. The other, titled United We Fall, was a satirical film about five boys who “play for the same team David Beckham played for” and try to conquer the world and ultimately fail. It was supposed to be ... Read more

Review of ‘Jack To A King’ documentary that chronicles Swansea’s magical flight

This week, New York City is the home of the Kicking and Screening Soccer Film Festival, which launched Tuesday night and continues until Friday. The festival features seven films from seven different countries that mainly focus on the fan’s impact on the sport. The first three nights feature two films a night while Friday night features one. The festival is housed in the small Tribeca Cinemas, a very short walk from the A, C and 1 Canal Street subway stops. If you live in New York City, I strongly encourage you to come on at least one of the final three nights of this ... Read more

An American travels to Goodison Park to watch his beloved Spurs

In recent weeks I have written about trips to The Hive, Vicarage Road, Griffin Park and Allianz Park to write about experiences that are foreign to me as an American living in England. All of these experiences were extremely memorable and unique and created memories that I will keep with me for a long time. My final soccer experience of the year was something I have started to become very familiar with over the course of this year, the ritual of following my favorite team away from home. A trip to Goodison Park with Tottenham’s fantastic away support was too ... Read more

An American attends a rugby match in England and compares it to English soccer

After going to more than 30 soccer matches during my stay in England I decided to try a different English sporting experience a week and a half ago when I went to see a rugby match to see how the two atmospheres compare with each another. I found that, very surprisingly, the two experiences could not have been more different. The match I went to was between London Saracens (one of two London teams in the Rugby Premiership) and Exeter Chiefs. The match was very crucial to was very important in determining who would get the fourth and final playoff spot ... Read more