Archive for August, 2007

‘The feel of the game’ | On the streets, Charlotte participants experience football as sole force

Charlotte, North Carolina | Given the rigors of a night-shift job, Ron “Pop” Miller sometimes would sleep until the last possible moment before practices preceding the Homeless World Cup. Physical conditioning, fatigue and poor nutrition all posed obstacles for Miller’s participation in the fifth homeless tournament between Jul 29 and Aug 4 in Copenhagen. Further, Miller found himself learning a new game that some teammates from Central America had been playing much of their lives.

Cinema | Top-5 films do not feature soccer on the Sly

In choosing our five favorite football films we have limited ourselves to those available via DVD and to those we have actually seen, resisting the urge to include Le Ballon d’Or (The Golden Ball; France/Guinea, 1994) based on reputation alone.

Playing against boys | Professional league in waiting, competitive instincts still burn for U.S. women

Atlanta, Aug 24 | Nel Hayes, who competed during the Women’s United Soccer Association’s three seasons as Nel Fettig, can be said to have grown up in the “early phase” of the American women’s soccer boom.

Now with a four-month-old daughter, Lily, of her own, Hayes speaks in our Aug 21 podcast of the prescient tactical awareness of girls in the Atlanta Youth Soccer Association, of which she is executive director.

Historically black and proud | At Spelman, women’s soccer pushes beyond expectation

Atlanta, Aug 23 | As soccer tacticians do, Spelman College coach Philmore George speaks of building a team from the back, using combination play to instill belief in the collective.

It makes sense, therefore, that the co-captains in George’s fourth season, which begins Sept 1, are defenders: seniors Ashley Hamilton and Rabiah “Rabi” Jamar. Together they not only have led the Spelman Jaguars from the back but the spread of women’s soccer into new territories in America’s fragmented demographic.

Pride of lions | Iraqi Asian Cup victory reminds a civilization what ‘normal’ feels like

Baghdad, Aug 9 | A triumphant march through the Asian Cup tournament in July contributed to the resurgence of the Arabic phrase Assood al-Rafidain (Lions of Mesopotamia) to refer to the Iraqi national football team.

“It’s a way of labeling them with this unifying and historic cultural icon,” says Newsweek Baghdad correspondent Larry Kaplow, who appeared on our Aug 7 podcast. Rising above divisions by ethnicity and sect, the Iraqi team, which trains and plays matches in Jordan, defeated Saudi Arabia 1–0 on Jul 29 to lift the Asian Cup for the first time.

Winning with tolerance | Sydney lesbian club shows Australia it is bats for football

Sydney, Aug 8 | The Flying Bats’ fifth-division representative in the North West Sydney Women’s Soccer Association suffered its worst outing of the season on Aug 5: a 0–6 loss to Thornleigh.

The taste of humiliation still lingered the following morning for team member Danielle Warby, who called the experience both “embarrassing” and “painful.” But the community liaison for the Flying Bats Women’s Football Club, the longest-running lesbian soccer club in Australia’s capital, offers more fundamental reasons for the club’s existence.

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