soccer

Today is big for Sunil Gulati, president of the U.S. Soccer Federation. At a two-day FIFA Executive Committee meeting that began Thursday, he looks likely to succeed at delaying a hasty vote on whether to move the 2022 World Cup Finals from their customary summer slot to the winter due to the climate of host country Qatar.

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Gus Johnson Won't Ruin Soccer

Americans aren't yet sold on the sport. The Fox broadcaster is just the salesman it needs.

Soccer fans call the sport, without irony, “The Beautiful Game.” Sportscaster Gus Johnson, by contrast, does not luxuriate in the beauty of any game. The 45-year-old Detroit native is known to American fans of football and basketball for catchphrases and ecstatic calls more befitting a fan than an announcer.

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The Alex Ferguson Era Won't End With His Retirement

His legacy is Manchester United itself

His legacy is Manchester United itself. 

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Tonight, the NFL Draft begins—in case you hadn’t heard. The cover of the most recent ESPN The Magazine is dedicated to it, and Sports Illustrated likely would have fronted it, too, had the Boston Marathon bombings not taken precedence.

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The Biggest Ego in Professional Sports

The amazing and infuriating career of Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho

The amazing and infuriating career of Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho.

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Why Pelé's Cosmos Were the Best and Worst Thing to Happen to American Soccer

The Brazilian star's shadow still looms over the MLS

The Brazilian star's shadow still looms over the MLS.

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The Geopolitics of Cheating

Soccer's fixing epidemic is a symptom of a much bigger problem.

Soccer's fixing epidemic is a symptom of a much bigger problem.

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Mali Burns, Malians Shrug

The fighting hits Timbuktu, but soccer's still on television.

The fighting hits Timbuktu, but soccer's still on television.

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Barca Lounging

In the run-up to the first goal in the recent game between Real Madrid and Barcelona—known around the world as El Classico—Lionel Messi, currently the best player in the world by a long shot, was fouled and knocked down, only to get up quickly, receive the ball, and pass it on to Xavi, who returned it with a sublime chip over the hapless heads of Real’s defense—and while Raul Albiol* thrashed around as though about to speak in tongues trying to stop him, Messi scored with a shot that simultaneously looked clumsy and exactly perfect.

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Kick Start

Turning off the main highway in Johannesburg, South Africa, our minibus taxi is stopped by a police officer at a roadblock. Our driver, a jaunty Zulu-speaking teen sporting a black baseball cap and an ancient plastic armband that might have been a “LiveStrong” bracelet from another geological era, pulls over to the side of the road and rolls down his window. The officer reaches inside, hooks his fingers through the bracelet, snatches the driver out of the minibus, and begins punching him. None of my fellow passengers twitch.

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