April 17, 2014
Can the New York Cosmos and Soccer’s Minor League Coexist?

newyorker:

image

Noah Davis on the Cosmos’ place in the North American Soccer League: http://nyr.kr/RpLy4Q

“For now, the Cosmos and the N.A.S.L. have a symbiotic relationship: the N.A.S.L. wants the legitimacy that the Cosmos brand brings, and the team needs the league because it needs competition.”

Above: Carlos Mendes is mobbed by teamates after scoring a goal in the thirty-eighth minute against the Atlanta Silverbacks; Hempstead, New York, April 13, 2014. Photograph by Mike Stobe/New York Cosmos/Getty.

(Source: newyorker.com)

April 17, 2014
If you missed Gareth Bale’s incredible run and goal in yesterday’s Copa Del Rey final, you can watch the video here. Real Madrid defeated Barcelona 2-1 in the match. 

If you missed Gareth Bale’s incredible run and goal in yesterday’s Copa Del Rey final, you can watch the video here. Real Madrid defeated Barcelona 2-1 in the match. 

April 16, 2014
The Gringo who saw What Gringos Shouldn’t See 15-04-2014

ourmaninbahia:

image

I’m reposting a translation of an article which has received a bit of attention in Brazil and a lot of attention in Denmark but which I haven’t seen published in English yet.

It’s a story by a Danish journalist who came out to Brazil in September 2013 to live his dream - to be a journalist covering the highs and lows of the World Cup in Brazil.

He returned home to Denmark yesterday, disgusted at what he had seen on his travels, and offering to give his France Ecuador Group E ticket to anyone who wanted it.

He says that the reason for his change of heart is that he discovered on a trip to Fortaleza that street children were being ‘disappeared’ as a way of ‘cleansing’ city streets and making the whole show more attractive for tourists.

I’ve translated his article from the Portuguese below which was published today (15 April) in the regional newspaper - Tribuna de Ceará.

The World Cup - A big illusion prepared for the gringos

Almost 2 and a half years ago I was dreaming about covering the World Cup in Brazil. The best sport in the world in a wonderful country. I made a plan and went to study in Brazil, I learnt Portuguese and I was ready to return.

I returned in September 2013. The dream would come true. But today, 2 months before the World Cup party, I decided that I wasn’t going to stay here. The dream had turned into a nightmare.

During 5 months here I documented the consequences of the World Cup. There were many: forced removals, the armed forces and military police in communities, corruption, social projects closing down. I discovered that all the projects and changes are only for people like me - a gringo - and the international press. I am being used to impress the world.

In March, I was in Fortaleza in order to get to know what is currently the most violent of the World Cup host cities. I spoke with some people who put me in contact with some street kids, and I started finding out that some of them are being ‘disappeared’. Many times, they are killed when they are sleeping at night in an area with lots of tourists. Why? In order to leave the city clean for gringos and for the international press? For me?

In Fortaleza I met with Allison, 13 years old, who lives on the streets. A guy with a very difficult life. He didn’t have anything - just a packet of peanuts. When we met he offered me all that he had, meaning, the peanuts. That guy, who had nothing to offer was offering me the only thing of value that he had to a gringo who was carrying filming equipment to value of US$4000 and a Master Card in his pocket. Unbelievable.

But his life is in danger because of people like me. He runs the risks of becoming the next victim of the cleansing that happens in the city of Fortaleza.

I cannot cover this event after finding out that the price of the World Cup isn’t only the most expensive in history in dollars - it also has a price that I am convinced includes the lives of young children.

Today I am returning to Denmark and I will not return to Brazil. My presence is only contributing to the unpleasant show in Brazil. A show that two and a half years ago I was dreaming of being a part of, but today I am going to do everything in my power in order to criticise and focus on the real price of the World Cup in Brazil.

Does anyone want two tickets for the France Ecuador match on the 25th June?

Mikkel Johnson - Independent journalist from Denmark.

You can read the original version in Portuguese on the following site:

http://tribunadoceara.uol.com.br/noticias/fortaleza/jornalista-dinamarques-se-decepciona-com-fortaleza-e-desiste-de-cobrir-copa/

Well worth your time this afternoon/evening.

April 16, 2014
Scarves from supporters of clubs from across the globe at Anfield yesterday in memorial for Hillsborough. 
Via our good friend Eric Beard from afootballreport. 

Scarves from supporters of clubs from across the globe at Anfield yesterday in memorial for Hillsborough. 

Via our good friend Eric Beard from afootballreport

April 16, 2014
stevenlebron:

Hillsborough


On April 15, 1989, a FA Cup semi-finals match was set to be played at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. Of course, anyone who is familiar with what happened that day knows the match itself was just a backdrop to one of the most tragic incidents in the history of soccer and sports in general. As portions of the stadium became so overcrowded, spectators were literally crushed to death. The final toll: 96 killed and another 766 injured. 
On the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough incident, ESPN released a 30 for 30 documentary that takes a deep dive into explaining the events leading up to the disaster and the understanding the aftermath of the incident, a still-continuing denouement that has spanned the last few decades and lingers on today.
The first half of the two-hour film explains the how, the sequence of events that led up to the overcrowding of the stadium, and an examination of how the authorities governing the match quickly lost control of the situation, and how unprepared — at times even paralyzing, especially as the scene at the stadium descended into chaos when people started to die on the pitch — the entire police department was to handle this emergency state. 
Even without prior knowledge to the specifics of the Hillsborough disaster, seeing the camera footage — a time lapse descent from seeing boisterous soccer crowd congregating for an important soccer match to just absolute fear and horror as the stadium continued to overcrowd — capture every step leading up to the disaster created this empty feeling of inevitability, a true stomach punch for the viewers, as we’re left to feel just powerless as those at the stadium.
But, even more disturbing than all of this, it is the second half of the film — an examination of the aftermath, and a shift in the narrative towards assigning blame and understanding who was responsible for the deaths of these fans — where the true terror of the Hillsborough story reveals itself.
In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, the emerging narrative was that drunken Liverpool fans forced themselves into the stadium (truth: the turnstiles where these “excess” fans entered through was ordered to be opened by police chief David Duckenfield himself) and essentially caused the pile-up and deaths that resulted from the human crush. The assigning of blame was aided by this front page cover from The Sun. 
Even more disturbing was the fact that the coroner overseeing the incident ordered the blood-alcohol level of the victims (note: some of these victims were children) to be tested, so, one assumes, to find another easier explanation to explaining their deaths. To confirm the existence of a cover-up, it was eventual discovered that the statements of police officers at the stadium were hand-written, then vetted and edited before being typed up and submitted as official statements. 
It would take until 2012 before an independent panel released a detailed report on Hillsborough, and as of several weeks ago, there were new inquests into understanding the full extent of what happened that day and its aftermath. 
The impact of Hillsborough remains 25 years later, from those who continue to mourn the loved ones that they lost so suddenly, to spectators who were there and survived but struggle to put aside the horror they saw, to the people who are still fighting today for closure and understanding of the truth, the lies and the cover-ups that occurred after the incident. 
There are, of course, various lessons to be learned from what happened at Hillsborough: on crowd control, on having contingency plans in case of emergency, on recognizing the limitations of stadium infrastructures and all the other takeaways that can surely be applied to not just sporting events, but any event where a congregation of people can become a danger.
But the more frightening thing — and perhaps scariest because it is not surprising at all — is how the incident revealed a failure in institutional control, and the growing mistrust between the civilian crowd and the higher-ups who were supposed to serve and protect them. Which, unfortunately, is a prevailing theme with a whole lot of things in society, then and now. 





The 30 for 30 is a must watch & will be on again, Sunday at 10 PM on ESPN2 & Monday at 9:00, same channel.

stevenlebron:

Hillsborough

On April 15, 1989, a FA Cup semi-finals match was set to be played at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. Of course, anyone who is familiar with what happened that day knows the match itself was just a backdrop to one of the most tragic incidents in the history of soccer and sports in general. As portions of the stadium became so overcrowded, spectators were literally crushed to death. The final toll: 96 killed and another 766 injured. 

On the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough incident, ESPN released a 30 for 30 documentary that takes a deep dive into explaining the events leading up to the disaster and the understanding the aftermath of the incident, a still-continuing denouement that has spanned the last few decades and lingers on today.

The first half of the two-hour film explains the how, the sequence of events that led up to the overcrowding of the stadium, and an examination of how the authorities governing the match quickly lost control of the situation, and how unprepared — at times even paralyzing, especially as the scene at the stadium descended into chaos when people started to die on the pitch — the entire police department was to handle this emergency state. 

Even without prior knowledge to the specifics of the Hillsborough disaster, seeing the camera footage — a time lapse descent from seeing boisterous soccer crowd congregating for an important soccer match to just absolute fear and horror as the stadium continued to overcrowd — capture every step leading up to the disaster created this empty feeling of inevitability, a true stomach punch for the viewers, as we’re left to feel just powerless as those at the stadium.

But, even more disturbing than all of this, it is the second half of the film — an examination of the aftermath, and a shift in the narrative towards assigning blame and understanding who was responsible for the deaths of these fans — where the true terror of the Hillsborough story reveals itself.

In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, the emerging narrative was that drunken Liverpool fans forced themselves into the stadium (truth: the turnstiles where these “excess” fans entered through was ordered to be opened by police chief David Duckenfield himself) and essentially caused the pile-up and deaths that resulted from the human crush. The assigning of blame was aided by this front page cover from The Sun

Even more disturbing was the fact that the coroner overseeing the incident ordered the blood-alcohol level of the victims (note: some of these victims were children) to be tested, so, one assumes, to find another easier explanation to explaining their deaths. To confirm the existence of a cover-up, it was eventual discovered that the statements of police officers at the stadium were hand-written, then vetted and edited before being typed up and submitted as official statements. 

It would take until 2012 before an independent panel released a detailed report on Hillsborough, and as of several weeks ago, there were new inquests into understanding the full extent of what happened that day and its aftermath. 

The impact of Hillsborough remains 25 years later, from those who continue to mourn the loved ones that they lost so suddenly, to spectators who were there and survived but struggle to put aside the horror they saw, to the people who are still fighting today for closure and understanding of the truth, the lies and the cover-ups that occurred after the incident. 

There are, of course, various lessons to be learned from what happened at Hillsborough: on crowd control, on having contingency plans in case of emergency, on recognizing the limitations of stadium infrastructures and all the other takeaways that can surely be applied to not just sporting events, but any event where a congregation of people can become a danger.

But the more frightening thing — and perhaps scariest because it is not surprising at all — is how the incident revealed a failure in institutional control, and the growing mistrust between the civilian crowd and the higher-ups who were supposed to serve and protect them. Which, unfortunately, is a prevailing theme with a whole lot of things in society, then and now. 

The 30 for 30 is a must watch & will be on again, Sunday at 10 PM on ESPN2 & Monday at 9:00, same channel.

April 14, 2014
Don Garber, commissioner of Major League Soccer in the United States, just tweeted out the announcement that he is suffering from prostate cancer.
Sending our best wishes to the Commissioner in his fight.

Don Garber, commissioner of Major League Soccer in the United States, just tweeted out the announcement that he is suffering from prostate cancer.

Sending our best wishes to the Commissioner in his fight.

April 11, 2014

UEFA Draw Results:

Champions League Semi-Finals:

Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich
Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea

Europa Cup Semi-Finals:

Valencia vs. Sevilla
Benfica vs. Juventus

April 10, 2014
Manchester City: Baby Turtles on Fire

runofplay:

New Grantland column about the possibly sort of glorious destiny of soccer’s most premium team.

An excellent article with perhaps one of the best (only?) analogy involving crabs and seagulls as they relate to football.

April 8, 2014

We don’t often feature amazing goals from Spain’s fourth division, but here’s Quique Cubas of Arosa making a 70 yard run to score against Cultural Areas. Arosa were victorious 2-1 in the match.

April 5, 2014
In response to the transfer ban imposed earlier this week by FIFA, Barcelona supporters unfurl a tifosi that translates to “Don’t mess with La Masia” (the name of Barcelona’s training academy). 

In response to the transfer ban imposed earlier this week by FIFA, Barcelona supporters unfurl a tifosi that translates to “Don’t mess with La Masia” (the name of Barcelona’s training academy). 

April 2, 2014
FC Barcelona banned from transfers for two consecutive transfer windows

Also from the statement:

The Disciplinary Committee underlined that FIFA takes the protection of minors in football very seriously. The protection of minors is one of the key principles included in the agreement concluded between FIFA, UEFA and the European Commission in 2001. The Disciplinary Committee acknowledged that young football players are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse in a foreign country without the proper controls. This particular fact makes the protection of minors in football by the sport’s governing bodies, especially by FIFA, even more important.

With regard to the case in question, FC Barcelona has been found to be in breach of art. 19 of the Regulations in the case of ten minor players and to have committed several other concurrent infringements in the context of other players, including under Annexe 2 of the Regulations.

The Disciplinary Committee regarded the infringements as serious and decided to sanction the club with a transfer ban at both national and international level for two complete and consecutive transfer periods, together with a fine of CHF 450,000. Additionally, the club was granted a period of 90 days in which to regularise the situation of all minor players concerned.

This is relatively massive news to start your day.

April 1, 2014
matt-t:

HAIM showing off the USA World Cup jerseys

Landon Donovan wishes he could look this cool in the new USMNT away shirt. 

matt-t:

HAIM showing off the USA World Cup jerseys

Landon Donovan wishes he could look this cool in the new USMNT away shirt. 

March 31, 2014
I’m not exactly sure how this Etsy shop is operating within known copyright laws, but I thought it might be of interest to our many many followers. 
That’s a good looking shirt.

I’m not exactly sure how this Etsy shop is operating within known copyright laws, but I thought it might be of interest to our many many followers. 

That’s a good looking shirt.

March 30, 2014

This is an incredible thing to watch.

During a Ukrainian league match between Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and Dynamo Kiev, Oleh Husev of Dynamo took a really nasty knee to the head from the Dnipro goalkeeper. Fearing that he might have swallowed his tongue, Dnipro’s Jaba Kankava reaches into his mouth and makes sure Husev’s tongue is not blocking his airway. You can see him immediately react and begin to breathe again. 

March 28, 2014
vanityfair:

Pelé Takes The Proust Questionnaire
What is your idea of perfect happiness? I like to spend time with my family, and also relax at my beach house or on my farm.
What is your greatest fear? My greatest fear is poverty and injustice. I pay a lot of attention to underprivileged children here in Brazil, and all over the world.
Which historical figure do you most identify with? Nelson Mandela. May his soul rest in peace.
What is your motto? “Keep the ball rolling.”
Read more here. 
Illustration by Risko. 

vanityfair:

Pelé Takes The Proust Questionnaire

What is your idea of perfect happiness? I like to spend time with my family, and also relax at my beach house or on my farm.

What is your greatest fear? My greatest fear is poverty and injustice. I pay a lot of attention to underprivileged children here in Brazil, and all over the world.

Which historical figure do you most identify with? Nelson Mandela. May his soul rest in peace.

What is your motto? “Keep the ball rolling.”

Read more here. 

Illustration by Risko.