Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chris Cohen Sings Me a Consolation Song

Distracted by "New York, New York" during ManCity's winner v my Arsenal, Chris Cohen composed a consolation song for me post-match.

Consolation Song

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Unscripted Drama, RvP's Hattrick at the Bridge (Live Reaction)

I was on Sports Tonight Live when Robin van Persie completed his hattrick during Arenal's 3-5 triumph yesterday at Stamford Bridge.  You can see my reaction here:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

FIFA Reformation: Soccer's Arab Spring?

Cynics quick to dismiss Sepp Blatter's initiation of four task forces aimed at bringing integrity and transparency to governance of the global game have history on their side.  But there's reason for optimism that positive change is indeed on its way.

Writers like Andrew Jennings and Bill Archer have been relentless of late, signs of a paradigm shift in sport coverage. The major media are all too often complicit with corruption, or too scared to shed light lest access be denied. But alternative media has allowed space for the kind of critical examination of sport governance that’s made so many of us aware of what’s happening.

It’s not like things are more crooked than ever. Far from. It’s that the crooks are getting old and the young may not have the same “opportunities” given ethical scrutiny.

The Beautiful Game is enjoying an Arab Spring of its own. You won’t find Blatter or Warner hiding in a hole. They’ll just resign and fade away.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Play the Game, Köln - Afterthoughts

Back from Köln and the beautiful campus of the German Sport University (Deutsche Sporthochschule) where the Play the Game 2011 conference was a source of inspiration and optimism that positive change is coming to the world of sport. A mix of academics, journalists, athletes and sports administrators, came together from around the world to discuss issues of governance, transparency and sport as a source of social change.

My paper, "Growing the Global Game at the Grassroots: Youth and Pro Soccer Partnerships in New York," offered a historical perspective on the tensions between lovers of the Beautiful Game and proponents of American exceptionalism by looking at efforts by the Cosmos to (re-)establish the game in NY and the US, the subsequent explosion of interest and participation in youth soccer programs, and efforts by the Red Bulls to cultivate talent and a fanbase in the Big Apple.  The unique aesthetic, ethical and ontological aspects of soccer bring cultural change as the global game becomes more and more local.

My fellow panelists in the "Professional Football, hopes and realities" session addressed youth player trafficking (Oluwafemi Eyitayo Ayoola Oladele), the migration patterns of women footballers (Nina Clara Tiesler), the need for accounting intervention in Saudi football (Fawaz Alhakami), the plight of Carlos Tevez (Marcela Mora y Araujo) and a report on supporters' opinions on UEFA's Financial Fair Play program (Joachim Lammert).

Much of the conference was concerned with corruption in sport, calling for transparency in sporting governance, and the composition of "The Cologne Consensus" brought the conference to a close with its call to the world's sport leaders, especially the International Olympic Committee, to establish guidelines to ensure the sport movement proceeds with integrity and a sense of fair play informs the action on and off the field.

Investigative journalists Jens Weinreich and Andrew Jennings shared the prestigious Play the Game Award for their efforts to uncover corruption and shed light on problems in the world of sport.

Before the farewell gala, I had the good fortune to join in some 5v5
fußball on one of the countless pitches in the shadow of Rhein Energie Stadion. A goal and two assists seemed a good night's work playing with and against a fine group of talented members of FC's Südtribüne.

The party featured flowing Gaffel Kölsch, friendships formed and networks forged. Having just seen a tweet from Grant Wohl, I had the honor of telling Andrew Jennings that Chuck Blazer resigned his CONCACAF position. The controversial journalist's smile betrayed a sense of vindication, that perhaps all that hard work pays off with positive change after all.

Now back in New York, I know the Play the Game experience will inspire my efforts and inform my perspective as I continue to play and promote the Beautiful Game.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Poetics and the Beautiful Game

My essay, "Poetics and the Beautiful Game," where I use Aristotle's "Poetics" to analyze the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final between the Netherlands and Spain, out now with the latest issue of Aethlon: The Journal of the Sport Literature Association (XXVII: 1).

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Talent, Transfers and the Blame Game

Sunday, August 14, 2011

BBC Sports World Have Your Say, Launch Show

Commenting on the premiere episode of Sports World Have Your Say on the BBC World News, wearing an Arsenal top at BBC's NY studio (W. 33rd).  Fun discussion of the Gervinho-Barton incident and the transfer crisis at the Arsenal.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Power of Silence

Which We are We?: Fantasy Friendlies

‎1. FC Köln v Arsenal. Great first half. My fantasy favourites tournament would feature Arsenal, NY Red Bulls, AS Roma and 1. FC Köln. Today's result was perfect but don't know what to expect or hope for next week when NY face the Gunners.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cup Exit (Again)

NY soccer fans haven't enjoyed a championship since 1982.  All the more reason to kick the closest object in disgust at yet another US Open Cup departure.  Out 4-0 in the Windy City is unacceptable.  Knowing now that Richmond beat KC and that we would have been home next match August 30th and a chance at the October 4th Final makes this infuriating.  The oldest domestic competition is worth our best players and for management not to understand this is bewildering and appalling.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Perhaps no other loss hurts me more than those at home v DC.  Tensions with someone close who is somewhat of a DC fan reaching a fever pitch through the week (his support of that club has since 1996 been a chasm between us, one he may never have understood), this match took on epic emotional proportions for me.  They couldn't beat us this time.  We altered family plans over our anniversary weekend to watch the Bulls stomp the Scum. DC couldn't win.  They just couldn't.  But they did, with DeRo barely out of his Bulls and barely into his Scum shirt, the way the ball hit the post and bounced in, just below me in the NorthBank, was gutting.  0-1 this year.  0-0 the last.  And the last match against them at the Swamp?  Wish I could forget that pain - I've repressed the scoreline but not the sense of despair over that loss. 

We may go on to win the MLS Cup this year.  We should.  We have the best player and the best team in the league.  But this Saturday's loss will linger.  "The wounds of Spirit heal and leave no scars behind."  I guess Hegel never kicked a ball.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Drama at the Women's World Cup

Today's USA-Brasil match has to be one of the most dramatic and remarkable matches in sport history! 
The remarkable displays of technical brilliance and stamina (mental and physical), the blown calls and blown non-calls, the shifts of momentum, the emergence of characterization (heroes and villains), the suspense, an energized and engaged audience affecting the action, the passionate excess of sporting intensity made this one of the greatest events I've ever witnessed.

Stomp the Scum

Stomp the Scum

Big Apple Derby Day (We Want the Cup)


Though many think soccer first arrived on the New York sports scene when Pelé joined the Cosmos in 1975, professional soccer players have been paid to represent New York since 1894. 

Here's a list of top-flight first-division New York soccer clubs:

American League of Professional Football (1894)
New York Giants, Brooklyn Bridegrooms
American Soccer League (1921-1933)
New York Giants, New York Yankees, New York Field Club, New York Soccer Club, New York Nationals, New York Americans, Brooklyn Dodgers, Brooklyn Wanderers, Brooklyn Hokoah, Hokoah All Stars
United Soccer Association (1967)
New York Skyliners
National Professional Soccer League & North American Soccer League (1967-8)
New York Generals
North American Soccer League (1971-85)
New York Cosmos
Major Indoor Soccer League (1978-85)
New York Arrows
New York Cosmos
Major League Soccer (1995[-2006]-present)
New York/New Jersey MetroStars- New York Red Bulls


Welcome to Soccer Off Broadway, a source for reflection on the Beautiful Game as drama, from a Big Apple perspective.