World Cup day 7, 2/2 ⚽️
– France 🇫🇷 2, Denmark 🇩🇰 1: Eriksen’s Danes give the French a scare but Mbappe takes care of le business
– Argentina 🇦🇷 2, Mexico 🇲🇽 0: Messi helps his team to an essential win over El Tri (& caps a day with no 0-0 draws! hey, no draws at all!)
Category: soccer Page 1 of 2
World Cup day 7, 2/2 ⚽️
World Cup day 7, 1/2 ⚽️
– Tunisia 🇹🇳 0, Australia 🇦🇺 1: Socceroos get one early & withstand the onslaught to keep their WC hopes alive
– Poland 🇵🇱 2, Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦 0: Lewandowski & Szczęsny keep the lid on the underdogs from a country that should never host
World Cup day 6, 2/2 ⚽️
– Netherlands 🇳🇱 1, Ecuador 🇪🇨 1: another unimpressive Dutch game; Ecuador looking scary. best part: this result knocked out Qatar
– England 🏴 0, USA 🇺🇸 0: Yanks held their own against a tough team, if not looking their best today, either
World Cup day 6, 1/2 ⚽️
– Wales 🏴 0, Iran 🇮🇷 2: Welsh overmatched even before their keeper got a straight red; Iranians score 2 after 98’
– Qatar 🇶🇦 1, Senegal 🇸🇳 3: Qatar get their first-ever (last ever?) WC goal but the home “fans” still all left early again
World Cup day 5, 2/2 ⚽️
– Portugal 🇵🇹 3, Ghana 🇬🇭 2: it was looking like another scoreless draw until Ronaldo’s PK opened the floodgates
– Brazil 🇧🇷 2, Serbia 🇷🇸 0: Serbians held firm until Richarlison gets a Thanksgiving brace, the second as sweet as pecan pie
World Cup day 5, 1/2 ⚽️
– Switzerland 🇨🇭 1, Cameroon 🇨🇲 0: subdued game, Africans always taking a touch too many, then Shaqiri’s team break the deadlock early in the 2nd half
– Uruguay 🇺🇾 0, South Korea 🇰🇷 0: the South Americans looked threatening… but weren’t, in the end
World Cup day 4, cont. ⚽️
– Spain 🇪🇸 7, Costa Rica 🇨🇷 0: as with France, this is how sharks should dispatch minnows
– Belgium 🇧🇪 1, Canada 🇨🇦 0: result doesn’t match which team played exciting, attacking ball & which looked flat (plus Canada should’ve had another PK)
World Cup day 4 ⚽️
– Morocco 🇲🇦 0, Croatia 🇭🇷 0: watching Morocco deadlock with Modrić‘s team not as worth getting up early for as the ARG upset
– Germany 🇩🇪 1, Japan 🇯🇵 2: speaking of upsets! Germans fail to score from open play, & the Japanese punish them for it
World Cup day 3, cont. ⚽️
– Mexico 🇲🇽 0, Poland 🇵🇱 0: another goalless draw, with a soft PK saved by Ochoa (ball don’t lie)
– France 🇫🇷 4, Australia 🇦🇺 1: this is how a dominant team dominates
World Cup day 3 ⚽️
– Argentina 🇦🇷 1, Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦 2 (!): 500 offside calls saved the Saudis, then a couple stolen goals made them giant-slayers
– Denmark 🇩🇰 0, Tunisia 🇹🇳 0: a red & white grudge match
World Cup day 2 ⚽️
– England 🏴 6, Iran 🇮🇷 2: underdog Iranians steal 2 but English dominate
– Senegal 🇸🇳 0, Netherlands 🇳🇱 2: Senegalese hold Dutch at bay until late
– USA 🇺🇸 1, Wales 🏴 1: Yanks get a narrow lead but not enough to get past Bale
World Cup day 1 ⚽️
– Qatar 🇶🇦 0, Ecuador 🇪🇨 2: the hosts wilted under the pressure of the opener, and reportedly many of their “fans” gave up & left at halftime. I hope they wash out, goalless
new post: Fuq Qatar, in which I rage briefly under a childish headline about the monsters hosting the pinnacle of the beautiful game ⚽️
The ink was barely dry on Qatar’s decision to ban alcohol from World Cup stadiums when an informed insider in Doha was asked why it was happening now, just 48 hours before the tournament’s big kick-off. His response was succinct. “It’s a deliberate fuck you to the west.”
Fuck us? No, Qatar. Fuck you.
First you stole the hosting rights with envelopes of cash, then you moved the tournament to November, then you screw up even the most rudimentary hosting requirements. (Hotel capacity? Really?) That’s not even to mention the human rights offenses or the brutal working conditions and high death toll on the people you’ve tricked into coming to build all the stadiums.
And why? Sportswashing, they say, but for what? Tourism? To make people think, hey Qatar, they’re okay, I guess? Well, congratulations, it’s completely backfiring. Now everyone knows how much your country sucks, and even rabid soccer fans are only coming to the tournament grudgingly. You might pay people (or not) to post nice things on Instagram, but nobody’s planning a trip to fucking Doha next year.
P.S. To hell with FIFA, too, for letting this happen.
Pregame beer: Austin Beerworks’ Peacemaker
A cold one before we head over to watch the first game ever played in Q2 Stadium: US women’s national team in a friendly against Nigeria (8pm CT on ESPN2 if you want to follow along at home). LFG 🍺⚽️
hi, this pregame picture of Chicago Red Stars and USWNT players Julie Ertz and Casey Short wrecked me, okay, good night.
(photo: NWSL) ⚽️
been writing on another blog, ⚽️ news in & around Austin. it was kinda micro.blogged for a while, but not really working that way, so I think I’ll post them here, too:
Austin Bold schedule, Austin FC ticket speculation, and USWNT coming to Texas – it’s 2020, and it’s Stoppage Time
Reading this FiveThirtyEight article on the advancement (or lack thereof) of the women’s game (written prior to last night’s US-Thailand match), this caught my eye:
For Thailand, South Africa or Argentina, a win in the group stage — or even a goal or two — can help raise the profile of women’s soccer back home.
People rightly celebrated Argentina getting their first-ever World Cup point from their 0-0 draw with Japan. Hopefully that does raise the profile of the Argentine side back home.
But it also occurs to me that Thailand getting absolutely, completely, record-breakingly demolished by the US could serve to raise their profile, too, if in a different way. I don’t mean to claim the US purposefully hammered them for this reason; it’s certainly a silver-lining point of view. But just imagine what the heads of the Thai football association must be saying to each other today. Or even the heads of FIFA itself, as they prop up their feet on stacks of money and sip cocktails garnished with hundred-euro notes.
Maybe it’s something like: Ouch. What can we do to help keep that from happening again?
love seeing The Guardian provide thorough coverage of this year’s Women’s World Cup. their “Experts’ Network” is a clever way to publish good info while boosting smaller outlets, journalists, & bloggers, like the good folks at The Equalizer. ⚽️
“I feel like it’s kind of defiance in and of itself to just be who I am and wear the jersey, and represent it,” she continues. “Because I’m as talented as I am, I get to be here, you don’t get to tell me if I can be here or not.
I don’t usually drink on Tuesday evenings, though then again I don’t usually start drinking at 2:30, even on weekends. But today was a special occasion – the official official announcement that Major League Soccer (MLS), the top soccer league in the country, is coming at last to my hometown of Austin, Texas. It’s been a long road, littered with the roadkill of multiple previous lower-league attempts (RIP, “Aztex”, a truly terrible name that we nevertheless supported wholeheartedly during its two brief incarnations). It was always clear that we wouldn’t get a top-flight team here until some rich person came to town and decided that’s what they wanted, and sure enough, here he is. It’s a couple more years until we’ll get to see them on the field, but that’s all right. I’ve been waiting, and I can keep waiting. I heard the league commissioner, the owner, and Austin’s mayor – plus gloriously ridiculous Alexi Lalas, as well – say this was going to happen, and though that doesn’t really seem like it could be real, it seems more like a dream or something I’d watch happen on a livestream from some other city, this swag on the table came from somewhere. I mean, someone was giving away Heineken (until thank god it ran out and they let us have non-MLS-sponsor but tastier beer, e.g., 512 Oatmeal Stout) all afternoon. So here’s to it actually, for real, can-you-believe-it happening. ? ⚽️
finally read through what this UEFA Nations League deal is all about, & it sounds pretty cool. makes this #FIN v #HUN match on ESPN+ a little more interesting, anyway ⚽️
in which I try to process my city (maybe) gaining a team while another city (maybe) loses theirs, and the range of emotions therewith: Relocation Grudges Past & Future ⚽️
interesting and level-headed analysis by Pete Reid on today’s historic council decision for #MLS2ATX:
“with that sort of settlement, Austin gets a team immediately, and the Crew would be #saved.”
may be reading too much into these statements by Garber, but the very notion that both #SaveTheCrew and #MLS2ATX could happen is genuinely blowing my mind ⚽️
six activists displayed the rainbow flag across Russia in a clever, creative way to avoid arrest: The Hidden Flag
nobody writes about soccer like Brian Phillips: Kylian Mbappé Bends Time & Space, Leads France Past Argentina
“the ball finds him & the lights in your head do the stretchy hyperspace thing that the stars outside the windows of the Millennium Falcon do.”
fascinating example of implicit bias in reporting on the #WorldCup teams from Africa:
“If you take away the words “pace” and “power” from writers and commentators, they would be utterly lost trying to describe black players.”
having fun writing spoiler-free coverage of #WorldCup games (and glad to be watching a good game after the two less-than-gripping ones earlier)
Nice story by Roger Bennett, of “Men In Blazers”: HELLO, WORLD – Soccer in the U.S. doesn’t need a team in the World Cup. It’s already here to stay:
So even without the Yanks in Russia, America will be watching. Yes, we will be deprived of giddy collective moments such as when Landon Donovan smote Algeria, but take it from me, an Englishman, whose team failed to qualify for two World Cups in my lifetime — in Argentina 1978 and in the United States in 1994 — that won’t ruin it at all. Those tournaments turned out to be the two most enjoyable World Cups of my youth. Being able to watch and savor without the impending failure of my team hanging over the whole thing was like being freed from a sporting Sword of Damocles.
This your permission note, then, to cut work for a month, America. Do what you do better than any nation in the world: Savor the circus. Slink out of your cubicles en masse. Day drink. Watch, revel and inhale the World Cup in its full glory. It is the world’s greatest telenovela, replete with Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar, heroes, villains, echoes of wars past, dodgy haircuts and Fortnite goal celebrations. And it will be on televisions across our nation. Even in the rural bars of Maine.
Way ahead of you, Rog, on the cutting work for a month, but just as excited. Let’s go.
I suppose there’s hardly a day that goes by lately where this couldn’t be said, but on this I cannot stay silent. Mr. Trump, sir, please shut the hell up before you ruin this for all of us.
book review: Under the Lights & in the Dark, by Gwendolyn Oxenham. I thought I’d like it, but I loved it. I recommend this compelling, inspiring (but not pollyannaish) collection of stories not just to soccer fans, or women’s soccer fans, but to anyone. fantastic. ?