Luke Dempsey

I apologize in advance to all Manchester United fans, including, but not limited to, my brother, his son, Alex Ferguson, and the majority of the 79,005 people on the last day of July, 2003, who traipsed to the hateful Giants Stadium in Rutherford, New Jersey, to watch the Reds play Juventus in a pre-season friendly. I apologize because I’m about to state that the best player in this South African World Cup—and the best player by far—is none other than Diego Forlan. My hand doth shake to even type such a claim; I should probably drink deeply of some kind of poison, and thank god that’s not a da

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Second Touch

My brother’s favorite description of a technically poor soccer player is that “his second touch is a tackle.” I might add, “and he’s probably English.” There was a moment at the very start of the second half of today’s trouncing by Germany where the flaws of the very essence of English soccer were so clearly evidenced as to be borderline hilarious (if you DVR’d it—and why would you?—go to 45.45 and watch for a minute). 

 Here’s what happened: Schweinsteiger attempts a stupid over-the-shoulder pass, square at the half-way line, and Steven Gerrard picks it off, pings it to Rooney, who checks an

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At one point in the Italy-Slovakia game today, Peter Drury, ITV's commentator in the UK, said of Kamil Kopunek, who'd just scored Slovakia's third goal, "he need never kick a football again; he will bore his grandchildren forever!" It was a funny comment, but immediately I wondered if, in fact, Drury was not only referring to the goalscorer who had finally put paid to Italy's attempts to defend their crown, but also to that heinous, 32-year old midfield attack dog, Italy's excerable Genaro Gattuso. What a joy it will be to never see him in the World Cup ever again -- yes, please, go away and b

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A Few Verbals

“The Football Association has made a complaint to World Cup organisers Fifa after a fan breached security and entered the England dressing room. ... The intruder was escorted out shortly after a ‘few verbals.’”--bbc.co.uk Can I have everyone’s attention, please? Thank you very much. Mr. Capello, if you could just give me a couple of minutes, I’d appreciate it. OK.  Pleased to meet you all--my name is Alan Bartholomew. I don’t suppose any of you have ever  heard of me. I own a petrol station in Barnstaple, which for this last week I’ve left it in the capable hands of Mrs.

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A Poem by Martin Tyler and Ally McCoist -- as Commentated During the Brazil-North Korea Game (note: each of these phrases was said during the commentary in the order they appear in the poem, though not everything uttered by Tyler and McCoist is used)   The eye-catching Hong, if you can throw a coat over them, had a bit of bend and dip. He takes it into tight areas-- an absolute blinder, not pressing any panic buttons, they won't go route one, (clip it up high) pass the ball when the player wants to receive it-- in dangerous areas he's more than capable.   Maicon rolls him one, but doesn't have

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As promised in a previous blog entry, I vowed not to lay eyes upon England-USA owing to split loyalties, hearts and bones, all that. Many of my dearest confidantes (I mean you, David Hirshey), ignored my ponderings and asked me where I'd be watching the game. The answer is, even though I'm a Mets fan, I watched the Yankees-Astros game at 1.05pm on Saturday last at a watering hole called Canal Bar, in the Gowanus Plains section of Brooklyn. I moved to Gowanus a year ago, after my Long Island City apartment had been ransacked of its contents by a pair of thieves. Perhaps it was the manner of the

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The last time I deliberately didn’t watch a big soccer match was just over a quarter of a century ago—May 18, 1985. That day, in the living room of our house in England, Dad sat on the edge of his seat as Kevin Moran became the first player in the history of FA Cup finals to be sent off. Manchester United, his (and my) beloved team, were doomed, surely…. Then, in extra time, Norman Whiteside, a Wayne Rooney of his day who had just turned 20, scored a magnificent solo goal in extra time to give United the trophy. Me? I was in my bedroom, listening to “Hearts and Bones,” by Paul Simon.

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