Zachary Roth's Best and Worst
July 08, 2010
Best goal: Van Bronckhorst’s, no question. Where the ball ended up was the only place it could have gone while still eluding the keeper. About as close to a perfect strike as I’ve ever seen. Watch him repeat it right-footed. Best player: David Villa. Forlan gets honorable mention, of course, but Villa somehow looks dangerous every time he gets the ball. Yes, he gets great service from the Spanish midfield, but with Torres slumping, he’s had to do it without a threatening attacking partner. Best goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer.
America’s Bad Calls
June 19, 2010
Like any true postmodern patriot, I not only want my country to do good, I want it to look good. I may be Taoist in much of my own self-conception, but not when it comes to soccer. Winning isn’t enough; I want the USA to be acclaimed. And yet, as we witnessed yesterday, one man can make a massive, damaging difference when it comes to our gaining acceptance into the highest ranks. That man is John Harkes. Now, to be fair, John Harkes is not the only sports announcer to resort to clichés, repeat those clichés, clumsily try to invent new clichés, etc.