Category: Regions

USA | Sarah Palin, ‘soccer mom’ at a new frontier

Oct 19 | Soccer moms have existed in North America at least since mixed-gender indigenous football games early in the 17th century. Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has stalked caribou but says we must look to the soccer sidelines to find the real America.

Brazil | Marta's story deserves to be told, but who deserves to tell it?

Brazil | Marta’s story deserves to be told, but who deserves to tell it?

A package of articles published Oct 5 on Brazilian Web portal Terra details the unique pressures facing Diego Graciano in promoting his biography of sensational 22-year-old Marta Vieira da Silva (see earlier articles, Sept 15 and 12 Sept 07). (Oct 13)

In Atlanta, spreading soccer contagion at parade rest

In Atlanta, spreading soccer contagion at parade rest

Ron Newman helped build the U.S. game, calling on carpentry skills to construct goalposts out of discarded building materials. In Atlanta in 1967, he jumped off a Memorial Day float and kicked a ball to youngsters. With podcast »

China | For Brazil, silence is golden at 5-a-side Paralympic final

Beijing | Brazil’s got a striker so good he can score blindfolded. Felipe Marcos‘s goal in the last minute broke a tie with China and gave Brazil Paralympic gold, 2–1, in five-a-side soccer, blind classification.

Books | Born in ‘invisible town,’ Marta gains life in visible ink

Diego Graciano makes clear in the title of his biography the nature of Marta’s struggle. Você é mulher, Marta! (You Are a Woman, Marta!) alludes to Marta’s mother’s reply when, as a girl, Marta asked her for a real ball.

Women’s football | ‘This book is dedicated to other Martas, barefoot and dirty’

Translation of the preface and prologue to Você é mulher, Marta (You Are a Woman, Marta!) (2008), the new biography of Marta Vieira da Silva by Diego Graciano. (Sept 15)

Islands | America’s internationalists have ‘a vague idea’ of Cuban life

Watching the Sept 6 World Cup qualifier between the United States and Cuba, at Pedro Marrero Stadium in Havana, offered a glimpse into the fierce inequities within the CONCACAF region. (Sept 7)

Cinema | A soccer player's escape from Argentina ... into philosophy

Cinema | A soccer player’s escape from Argentina … into philosophy

Claudio Tamburrini—philosophy professor and former goalkeeper—speaks about his Mar 1978 decision to “opt for life” and escape an Argentine prison. With podcast »

Visual arts | Defeating the forces of Babylon through love and soccer

Using red-clad players and supporters from local side Hapoel Tel Aviv as leitmotif, artist and autodidact Ido Shemi shows how benevolent objectives might be achieved through humor, creativity and football.

Women’s football | From Amish heartland, FC Indiana builds ‘multicultural vision’

FC Indiana in four years has become a force in women’s club soccer in the United States, winning two Women’s Premier Soccer League titles and one U.S. Open Cup. But despite origins within a Midwest Amish agricultural enclave, its influence extends worldwide.

Media | What’s that echo? Gary Smith, on the Fugees

Long-form Sports Illustrated writer Gary Smith again has applied his odd epistemology to soccer (“Alive and Kicking,” Jun 23). In 8,000 words, he writes passionately in his familiar mode of author-vacated all-knowing about the Fugees of Clarkston, Georgia—ground already well plowed by Warren St. John of the New York Times (see 25 Jan 07). (Jun 19)

Iran | In clothing meant to conceal, football becomes ‘a means of fighting’

Toward the end of a Jun 17 National Public Radio interview, Marlene Assmann of BSV Al-Dersimspor discloses that her multicultural Kreuzberg side from Berlin again will brave Islamic strictures for a second friendly match in Iran.

In 1937 appearance, Joyce joined Hungarians ‘in the middle’

Why has a 1937 alignment of literary stars not featured in Vienna in the European Championship’s cultural program? Vladimir Nabokov lectures in a Parisian literary salon and espies James Joyce “sitting, arms folded and glasses glinting, in the midst of the Hungarian football team.”

Canada | Far west of the Carpathians, Ukraine unites

Football universes exist in parallel. Such was the case in May 08 when Ukraine United and Shakhtar played a friendly, not in the motherland, but on an artificial pitch at Ontario Soccer Centre.

Grassroots | A big day for Haiti, a big day for little Haitians

Miami | Haiti past, present and future came together early in May on an urban oasis in Little Haiti. After 10 years of negotiation and bureaucratic delay, a rare inner-city, full-sized pitch opened on what was industrial ground north of downtown. With multimedia and podcast »

Ukraine | Near Chernobyl, the ‘football forest’ designed to radiate life

Twenty-two years ago, more than 1,000 buses commandeered from Kyiv rumbled north toward the company town of Pripyat to evacuate its 50,000 residents. By sunset on 27 Apr 1986, as Chernobyl reactor no. 4 burned, in one soldier’s recollection, like a “beautiful blue fire,” the town was empty.

Left behind in the silence: a newly built football stadium sitting just to the north of a bright yellow Ferris wheel, a gift from Soviet authorities in commemoration of the upcoming May Day holiday.

Cinema | In ‘Tiro libre,’ walls of separation and misunderstanding

A film conceived by Chileans about the aspirations of Palestine’s national team has stirred a Chicago film festival—at least judging by an 11-page torrent of comments that debates which filmmaker deserves credit for the idea and which has the more authoritative connections to justice struggles (Ed M. Koziarski, “Social Justice, with Soccer,” Chicago Reader, Apr 3).

Scotland | As foretold in scripture: ‘The queen of the South will rise up …’

Dumfries, Scotland, Apr 18 | “All our dreams are viable,” ventures songwriter Chris Belford, launching into the refrain of the Queen of the South anthem. “We’re the only team in the Bible.” The strength of the connection to Jesus’ prophecy about the “queen of the South” rising at judgment day (Matthew 12:42) is dubious, but Doonhamers’ supporters, following the side’s first berth in a Scottish Cup final, are convinced about the rest: “Something greater than Solomon is here!”

History | Were Paterson FC the first stateside association football club?

Which was the first American association football team? Some evidence points to Oneida Football Club of Boston, honored with an obelisk in Boston Common as “the first organized football club in the United States.” While Oneida played one of the football codes—perhaps a soccer-rugby hybrid—beginning in 1862, photographic evidence offered by a descendant of a Paterson FC captain suggests that the New Jersey side, formed in 1880, staked claim early to playing by the FA rules established in London in 1863.

Africa | Destroyers v. Rebuilders, a Zimbabwean allegory

According to an extended allegorical match account mailed to the Zimbabwe Standard (“Matchless Match,” Apr 12), the Destroyers—meaning the state apparatus of entrenched president Robert Mugabe—hold a 10–2 edge over political opponents, the Rebuilders. (Apr 15)

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