Our occasional roundup of what’s worth reading on the interwebs about the occasionally beautiful game returns. This week: how one man learned to love the penalty shootout; MLS to Detroit?; and the UEFA Cup meets Lisa Simpson.
Pick of the Week
Brian Phillips of the Run of Play, guesting at Sports is a TV Show, sees the drip drip play of just league battle as occasionally inferior to the random, raw truth of the penalty shootout. Brian writes:
Now, I realize that if you were carried to a temple on a mountain and given the power to legislate all of football, you would have to side with justice, would have to love the league season in its massive impartiality. And most of the time, I do love it, or at least regard it with an appreciative terror. But at the moment, encased in prose, I care less about justice than about the prospect of escape. I like Paul Doyle’s argument that when 120 minutes of team play have failed to produce a winner, it makes sense to break the teams down and test their component parts; but my feeling isn’t anywhere near that sagacious. I just want a moment when the context and the act, the event and the meaning of the event, are simultaneously apparent.
- Steve McClaren’s resurrection at FC Twente this year, whom he led to second place in the league and to the Dutch Cup final, might be one of the surprises of the season. The Guardian’s excellent Dutch correspondent,
- An amazing story about FC Union Berlin fans building their own stadium.
- The Offside Rules noted some drama in Portland this week which will not go away as the team prepares for the MLS big(ger) time. One man’s complaint on an OregonLive piece about swearing by the Timbers Army led to their owner stepping in defense of the supporters. Meanwhile, the club’s stadium plans are under some serious scrutiny.
- The Big Soccer blogs are a real mixed bag, but there’s some good original stuff inside the business of MLS on there. There’s an interesting piece on the MLS expansion dreams of the owners of a PDL team in Detroit (good luck!), and the upcoming labor negotiations between MLS and the players union.
- A bit of a PR mess for Women’s Professional Soccer this week. Sky Blue FC indefinitely suspended General Manager and Head Coach Ian Sawyers because of “differences” between Sawyers and ownership. Meantime, according to Steven Goff, the Washington Freedom fired three front office staff this week. And AEG Chief Executive Time Leiweke’s poorly-phrased comments about their (lack of) future plans for owning the LA Sol left a lot to desire. The weakened rosters this weekend ahead of a USWNT friendly also drew some criticism for the league, though attendances were still pretty solid across the league at the weekend.