Just finished reading “How Soccer Explains the World”…

8 07 2010

…and I feel enlightened. I was aware of a few of the things in the book, the sectarianism in Northern Ireland/Scotland, the racism and hooliganism of some fans in Europe (and other places for that matter) and the Berlusconi empire in Italy, thanks in part to my tour guide Ian during my trip there.

What a book. Made me even more of a soccer fan than I already have become. Made me wish I played harder for the West Hills (Ore.) junior league team I played on as a kid. Our shirts were orange and black and one morning, I woke up to find “J. Romero” on the back of my shirt. Thanks, Dad.

I’m more determined than ever now to visit the Camp Nou in Barcelona. Next spring is the goal. After reading about why the author of the book, Franklin Foer, is such a fan of Barca, it’s tough not to like them for the same reasons.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=camp+nou&iid=8874231″ src=”http://view2.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/8874231/barcelona-new-player-david/barcelona-new-player-david.jpg?size=500&imageId=8874231″ width=”234″ height=”123″ /]

And after reading the book and then realizing how big of a farce this whole LeBron James self-love fest tonight truly is, soccer is that much more appealing. And now I have a better sense of which teams to avoid liking.

Congrats to the Sounders on much-needed win last night, they are surprisingly (to me anyway) on track to defending their U.S. Open Cup title. Hmmm… can they play some regular-season games at Starfire instead 🙂

So, thoughts on Spain-Netherlands? Which do you like? Also, what soccer jerseys do you have and which are your favorites?

A photo display of my collection:









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2 responses

8 07 2010
Matt

I have the following jerseys:

-2009 Home L/S Rave Green Sounders
-2009 Away Blue Sounders
-2009 Home Red Chicago Fire
-2009 Home Red/Blue Barcelona FC
-2008/2009 Away White Mexican National Team
-2010/2011 Away Black Mexican National Team

Half of your collection but I am working on it. The oddball is the Chicago fire jersey. That jersey was a birthday gift because Blanco is one of my all time favorite players and Chicago was in town near my birthday and the goal was to get it personalized and signed by him at the game. Didn’t happen but I still have the Fire jersey. The Barcelona jersey was a gift from my sister who visited Barcelona and purchased it at Camp Nou. Man United is my favorite team but I will not be purchasing a jersey until AIG is dropped from the shirt and the new shirt which will have AEN is on the shelves. My favorite jersey has to be the new black Mexican national team.

My family has Spanish roots but I can’t help but cheer for the Netherlands. They are hands down the greatest team to never win the cup. Spain has been a dominant force in world football but they haven’t convinced me this tournament they are worthy of winning the big one. They haven’t wowed or dazzled me in any way. A few of Villa’s goals were not impressive and taken with poor form. Puyol’s effort however was worthy of praise. He flew from just outside the box and looked like Michael Jordan slamming a dunk from the free throw line. The dutch are poised to win and I feel it is their tournament to lose. With Torres having a horrible tournament and Villa with no help up top I do not think the spanish can handle the strike force that is Snijder, Kuyt, Van Persie, Robben. All are major threats with a knack for goal and are not afraid to take on defenders one v one which is what most opponents are failing to do against the spanish. They are given much more respect than they deserve. Jergen was correct in his statements on ESPN. Puyol and Pique showed vulnerabilities and weaknesses all throughout the Germany game and the Netherlands are plenty capable of exploiting them. This is not a youthful inexperienced squad. They have the perfect balance of youth and leadership in the older veterans.

Glad to see you are still following the Sounders, even if you do own a Timbers jersey. I think they have a very solid shot at defending their title. The Sounders have a very talented bench that can rival any bench squad around. Chivas shouldn’t be a problem for the super subs. Their league failures will hopefully be under control with the presence of our nucleus as Sigi was recently quoted as saying. The middle of our squad are all out. Hurtado, Alonso, Evans, Jaqua. Thats the heart of the team. Parke is doing a superb job but Hurtado is just so damn good. Alonso, in my opinion, is the best defensive midfielder in the league. Evans has the work rate and Jaqua has quickly proven he is very valuable to this team in his few games back with the Sounders. Their is a lot of talent on the Sounders roster they just need to start playing with purpose. Having our nucleus back wouldn’t hurt either.

10 07 2010
mividadeportiva

A very thoughtful and insightful post Matt, thank you! I applaud your standards with Man U. Part of the reason I have a Barcelona kit is that UNICEF is on the front. Gotta love that!

I too see the Sounders going to the Open Cup final, and if they host, well, it looks good for a repeat. You make a good point with the injuries up the middle, I know Sigi mentioned it. Parke doesn’t impress me much. It seems like coming to Seattle was like a consolation prize for him and that shows at times in his play.

Love the Blanco story…that’s a fine reason to own a fire jersey. I’m a bit of a t-shirt collector but refuse to spend big bucks on them, so if I find one at a bargain I get it. Hence, I have FC Dallas, Rapids and Toronto FC because I am big Dwayne DeRosario fan. It has his name on the back.
-Jose

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