Gordon Banks, RIP

Featured image Gordon Banks died yesterday at the age of 81. Banks was an English goalkeeper, considered the best England has ever produced. In fact, he makes any credible list of the world’s all-time top-10 keepers, usually in the top half. Banks was in goal for England when it won the 1966 World Cup. In the final, the only match I ever saw him play, West Germany put two goals past him. »

Rooney takes Wembley bow

Featured image Fifteen and a half years ago, Wayne Rooney, then 17, was called up to the England national team. His reaction to the call-up when told about it by a member of the Everton staff was to ask whether Tony Hibbert, a teammate of Rooney’s on the Everton youth squad, had also been selected. Rooney thought he had been selected to play for England’s under-19 team. Fifteen years on, Rooney has »

Rooney moves DC United to verge of playoffs

Featured image When Wayne Rooney joined DC United this summer, some folks wondered whether he would play hard or was just in it for the pay check. Others wondered whether he had enough left to make a difference even playing hard. These people hadn’t been paying attention. Anyone familiar with Rooney’s playing career knows what a fierce competitor he is. And, as I noted here, during the 2017-18 English Premier League season, »

2018 World Cup review

Featured image I haven’t written anything about the soccer played in Russia during the 2018 World Cup. This was my way of protesting against the Cup being held in Putin’s thugocracy. I did not want to promote the event, even in a very small way. However, several readers have asked me to comment on the tournament. Now that it’s over with, I see no harm in offering a few thoughts and naming »

The World Cup and racial politics

Featured image On Sunday, France defeated Croatia 4-2 to win the World Cup. I rooted for France, as I normally do once England and the U.S. are eliminated (if Brazil and France are both still playing, my allegiance varies based how much I like the particular players). This year, the U.S. failed to qualify and Brazil was eliminated before England. So rooting for France was an easy decision for me. Leftists and »

Mr. Rooney goes to Washington

Featured image Earlier this month, Wayne Rooney joined D.C. United in Major League Soccer (MLS), having been sold by Everton FC. of the English Premier League (EPL). Rooney is the all-time leading scorer for Manchester United and the English national team, and is second on the all-time Premier League scoring list. (The EPL commenced in 1992). Yesterday, Rooney debuted for D.C. United in the first game ever played at the club’s new »

Humor, liberal style

Featured image Russia went out of the World Cup today, losing in the quarterfinals to Croatia on penalty kicks after two hours of open play couldn’t separate the teams. I rooted for Croatia, just as I rooted for Spain, the team Russia upset on penalty kicks in the round of 16. Just as I would root for almost any opponent of Russia. I’m anti-Putin. That’s why I haven’t been reporting on the »

Netanyahu congratulates Iran’s soccer team

Featured image Iran’s national soccer team received a hero’s welcome on its return to Tehran from the World Cup. The team missed out on the Round 16, but only narrowly. It defeated a decent Moroccan team, drew with Portugal, the current European champs, and lost 0-1 to Spain, one of the tournament favorites. That defeat could easily have been a draw or even a victory. Benjamin Netanyahu, a soccer fan, praised the »

Time for the “Soscars”?

Featured image The Whirled Cup soccer tournament is under way over in Russia right now, which is why there’s a file open for Paul in the Missing Persons bureau of the local police. Anyway, while I am a fan of really awful b-movies like They Live, and, needless to say, all the Sharknado classics, as well as the neglected Birdemic, to appreciate truly awful acting you have to be a connoisseur of soccer. »

Watching soccer in Tehran

Featured image Did you know that, for the past 38 years, women in Iran haven’t been allowed to attend men’s soccer matches? I didn’t, though I wasn’t surprised to learn that this is the case. The ban was finally lifted yesterday, for Iran’s second World Cup match. At the last minute, the government decided to admit women to the Azadi Stadium in Tehran to watch a broadcast of the Iran-Spain match, played »

At last, evidence of collusion

Featured image From all that has been reported, Robert Mueller hasn’t found evidence of Russian collusion. However, I have. Not with Donald Trump but with FIFA, the hyper-corrupt body that runs world soccer. In the preliminary stage of the World Cup, host-nation Russia is grouped with Uruguay, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Following round-robin play, the top two teams in this group will advance to the Round of 16. FiveThirtyEight calls Russia’s group »

EPL all-stars, 2017-18

Featured image The World Cup kicks off in 12 days, but I don’t intend to cover it on Power Line (sorry, John). That’s my tiny way of protesting FIFA’s corruption and the related choice of Putin’s Russia as the venue for the competition. England’s FA isn’t plagued by corruption, so there is no reason not to write a brief recap of the English Premier League season and to select my EPL all-stars. »

Wayne Rooney to D.C.?

Featured image Reports from both sides of the Atlantic suggest that, more likely than not, English football legend Wayne Rooney will leave Everton this summer for D.C. United. Rooney is the all-time leading scorer for both the English national team and Manchester United. He’s the second all-time leading scorer in the Premier League. This season, he returned from Man U to Everton, the club he supported as a boy and debuted for »

Soccer will bring England to Russia [with correction]

Featured image Arsenal, that venerable London soccer team, has advanced to the quarterfinals of the Europa League championship. The Europa League is the second-tier European club competition, behind the Champions League. For almost two decades, Arsenal played in the Champions League every season. However, with the club in modest decline, this is its second consecutive season in Europa. [Correction, its first] Winning the Europa League would do more than add another trophy »

Hatred of Trump jeopardizes U.S. World Cup bid

Featured image There are two bidders to hold the 2026 World Cup. One is a small country, Morocco. The other is most of a large continent, North America, in the form of a joint bid by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. This should be no contest. The joint North American bidders have enormous advantages over Morocco in terms of population, stadium size, tourism infrastructure, enthusiasm for the sport (taking Mexico into account), »

Rooney goal thwarts Liverpool [UPDATED]

Featured image The Everton revival continued today as the Toffees managed a 1-1 draw against high-flying Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby. Rooney scored on a penalty kick after his fine pass set up the play that won the penalty. More on that in a moment. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp showed disrespect for Everton by fielding less than his best lineup. It will be interesting to see how that decision goes down this »

Rooney hauls Everton to safety, I hope

Featured image Coming off a season in which it had finished a strong seventh, Everton began this English Premier League campaign with reason for mild optimism. Sure, we had sold our star player, Romelu Lukaku, to Manchester United for a small fortune. And yes, we were going to have to play Thursday night football in Croatia, Italy, Cyrus, and France amidst the grind of the EPL season. But we used the Lukaku »