It is Christmas in Africa. Except replace the snow with grass, replace Santa’s little helpers with 23-man rosters from 16 nations, replace Santa Claus with South African President Jacob Zuma and a dash of extra scandal, and remove all presents and replace them with the Africa Goblet of Nations. All of a sudden, just like I said, it is Christmas in Africa. Clean out your chimney, the fun starts now.
Latinos offer three unique ingredients: 1. Latino kids have superior ball skills and are more comfortable in tight spaces. That seems to be taken as gospel now by the soccer cognoscenti. 2. Latino kids “need” the game to bring them opportunity. 3. Those same kids often play — are even given no option but to play — “unstructured” soccer where they develop a confidence and style that elevates their game — much like African-American kids playing on inner-city blacktops changed basketball and the NBA.
The Latino skill and hunger combined with the athleticism and power of the traditional Anglo affiliated and college player blended by a special national team coach is the recipe we should be after.
– Brad Rothenberg on the value of Latino talent in the U.S. (via Soccer America)
If we assume that Rothenberg’s characterization of Latino players is correct, why are Latino kids blessed with superior ball skills and more comfortable in tight spaces? The broad diversity of hues and hairs within the Latino community suggests that it has nothing to do with DNA. So if nothing intrinsically makes a player great from birth, what is it about our method of development in the United States that supposedly creates definable skill sets compartmentalized by ethnicity or race?
Perhaps it has more to do with our regimented way of thinking than it has to do with ethnicity or race. Continue Reading »
Every now and again, you are rewarded for carrying around video recording capability.
Photographer and designer Paul Octavious was taking a stroll through the park. Unsurprisingly, there was a soccer game going on. So he decided to record. Turns out, he later found out that the team he was taping was the Ghanaian National Team. Continue Reading »
Ah, soccer short films. Can’t get enough of ‘em, right? Actually, yeah, I haven’t seen very many of them either. But have no fear, we have a wonderfully crafted soccer short about a referee, a red card, a yellow card, and a series of decisions. And it’s hilarious. Continue Reading »
The sun was setting as Joey Barton approached the outskirts of Cordoba. He had been pushing Pardew pretty hard over hundreds of kilometers of challenging terrain. Ten hours, he figured, was enough. And ten hours of relative isolation away from all that was familiar was becoming a greater challenge than he initially envisioned. It was time to get into some trouble. Continue Reading »
David Beckham, who you might remember from Manchester United, underwear, Real Madrid, adidas Predator commercials, Posh Spice, underwear, the LA Galaxy, Landon Donovan beef, The Beckham Experiment by Grant Wahl, cologne, tattoos, underwear, England’s 2018 World Cup bid, AC Milan, a close friendship with Gary Neville, various hairstyles, underwear, and, of course, the film Bend It Like Beckham (although he was never in it), is getting ready to give you something else to remember him by, in 1800 stores in 40 different countries. Continue Reading »