Around the World of Soccer

Quote of the Week:

Fifty years ago, on April 15th, the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) debuted as the first fully professional soccer league in the United States and Canada.  Michael Lewis wrote an excellent piece about the start-up of the NPSL earlier this week in The Guardian.  In the piece, he quoted Clive Toye, the original General Manager of the NPSL Baltimore Bays, describing the state of soccer in the U.S. fifty years ago:

“There wasn’t too much to laugh about in 1967.  The knowledge of the game and what it looked like and how it was played was so strange and foreign to Americans in so many ways. What’s soccer? ‘It’s like kickball.’ No, it’s not like kickball. It’s different. That was the nice people. The nasty people called us communists and midgets. I remember one of the west coast newspapers called us commie midgets. So that went down well.”

Here is the link to this excellent article by Michael Lewis:

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/17/america-soccer-league-npsl?CMP=share_btn_fb

Best Article discovered from outside of The Republic this week:

http://thinwhitelinemagazine.com/2017/01/tasmania-to-secede-in-bold-attempt-to-qualify-for-2026-world-cup/

Given that conventional wisdom seems to think that the North American bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup is a lock, the bold bid from Tasmania described in this article was worrisome.  The Asia Confederation (which Australia is a member) is unable to bid for the 2026 World Cup. Might Tasmania join Oceania instead to get around this rule?  This quote from ESPN.com would seem to throw cold water on any plans Tasmania may harbor to join forces with the Pacific islands.

Oceania’s FIFA vice president, David Chung, said “it makes sense on a rotational basis” for the 2026 edition to return to North America for the first time since the U.S.-hosted 1994 tournament.

Crisis averted.  I did like the shot at England in the article though.

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