Category: Soccer in America

How I Fell In Love With Soccer, The Beautiful Game

I knew I was an addict when I was 14 years old. It was 1998. I had just returned to the United States from a month-long invitational soccer camp in St. Jean de Luz, France, run by former French national team manager Jean-Michel Larqué. Two days earlier, Zinedine Zidane’s France had beaten Ronaldo’s Brazil to win the World Cup – on their home soil. In the aftermath following the final whistle, the entire country went crazy. Businesses that should have been open were closed, throngs of people filled the streets bedecked with French flags, air horns and similar fanfare. Highways ... Read more

Is the EPL Americanizing the UK or Is the League Anglicizing the USA?

The Gaffer’s food column last week got me to thinking. Are we Americanizing the UK or are they Anglicizing the US? For myself, I’m none too sure. I mean, I’ve just spent a Sunday morning making a breakfast out of lovely Staffordshire oatcakes that I whipped up from scratch. What is that all about? My Stoke fandom gone wild? UK moles working their way into my consciousness? As a disclaimer, I should say that I’ve been to the UK twice. Mostly Scotland, with a shot down into northern England to see parts of Hadrian’s Wall. I suppose that has colored ... Read more

Could The Window Be Cracked For American Soccer?

From The Americano Mid-July 2011. What is the significance of this date? That’s when training camps for the 2011-12 NFL season would open. For the first time since 1987 however, the National Football League may experience a work stoppage due to the expiration of their Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL Players Association. There is always the chance that the sides may reach an agreement before training camps open, but at this point there are a lot of differences to be worked out, and there is a very real possibility of the owners locking out camps. Could there be a ... Read more

American Intrigue: Promotion/Relegation

I was listening to the EPLTalk Podcast Weekend Review this morning on the way to work (and it probably isn’t said enough, thank you to Richard, Laurence, Kartik, and the Gaffer for this valuable resource!). Richard and Kartik discussed an impact game this weekend in the nPower Championship between Queens Park Rangers and Cardiff City, which was taken by QPR 2-1. And with all of the controversy surrounding Major League Soccer’s struggles to find identity in a crowded American sports scene, this concept of reward/punishment becomes an enigma to the fan who newly embraces European soccer. In the process of ... Read more

What Are Your Earliest Childhood Memories of Soccer?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or, for we soccer supporters, which came first for you – playing soccer or watching it on television? Looking back to my childhood, I lived in a village of just a few hundred people in west Wales. My earliest memory of watching soccer on television was probably the FA Cup Final of 1976 or 1977. By then, I would have been six or seven years old. I fell in love with soccer by playing it at my local primary school. If I tried to count the number of hours I played soccer ... Read more

The U.S. Becomes a Soccer Nation, If Just For One Day

Walking up and down the streets of New York before the most highly anticipated U.S. soccer match in history, one could have mistaken this city for London, Berlin or Rio de Janeiro. Thousands of people clad in football jerseys, and not the variety of Manning, Brady, or Peterson, but those of Donovan, Altidore and Dempsey. If just for one day, the country stood still for the world’s game, and it was a truly fantastic site to behold. Having been in Europe for the 2006 World Cup, it was my first taste of just how much this game means to the ... Read more

Being A Football Fan Can Be A Fickle Old Folly

In Europe, following a football team can be a lot like gaining another sibling. You even see in places like Argentina, where money is scarce, people will come out to see their team and live every moment of their season no matter what. And that statement is never truer if you support a team in the lower leagues that may be seen as ‘unfashionable’, when comparing them to the likes of Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal. Yet because the team isn’t ‘successful’ in any way, that doesn’t mean passion is any less in quantity, and some would argue that ... Read more

Top 5 Lowlights of American Soccer in 2009

Plastic Carpet 2010 is upon us, which means that it’s the time of year when we journalists, pundits, analysts, and/or columnists take stock of the year that has passed and provide you with our lists of the past years highlights and lowlights. So, to start things of for me, here is my take on the lowlights of the year that was in American soccer, in no particular order: The Continued Presence of Plastic Pitches: Nothing irks me more than watching a professional sport that is being played on a plastic pitch or field. Astroturf, Field Turf, or whatever other product ... Read more