soccer

Looking ahead at Euro 2020

Featured image Euro 2020 has reached the knock-out stages. They will begin in a few minutes with a match between Wales and Denmark. All of the eight teams we identified as the elite of the tournament have advanced. Denmark, a popular choice for “dark horse,” also made it. The Danes overcame the near death of their best player Christian Eriksen. Of the six teams we identified as “minnows,” only Wales has made »

England to play Germany at Wembley Stadium

Featured image The first soccer match I ever watched was the 1966 World Cup Final between England and West Germany. It was played at Wembley Stadium in London and broadcast by ABC’s Wide World of Sports (thank you Jim McKay). England won that match 4-2 after extra time. Since then, Germany has pretty consistently gotten the better of England in soccer. Of particular note are Germany’s two wins in major semifinal matches »

What’s in a song?

Featured image I’m a fan of soccer and of nationalism. Thus, I relish soccer tournaments that pit national teams against one another. Euro 2020 (being held a year late due to the pandemic) is such a tournament. Before the kickoff of matches in these tournaments, the starting players line up on the field and the national anthems of their countries are played. The camera pans on the players and microphones pick up »

Soccer star deals blow to Coca-Cola

Featured image Soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo made news in two ways on Tuesday — one soccer-related, one not. In soccer news, by scoring two goals against Hungary, Ronaldo became the all-time leading soccer in the history of the European Championship tournament. No player from any nation has scored as many goals in this major competition as Ronaldo. In other news, Ronaldo snubbed Coca-Cola. He removed two Coke bottles from the table at »

Finally—Some Real Excitement at a Soccer Match!

Featured image Power Line’s sports desk (Paul) is covering the Euro 2020 soccer tournament, but at the risk of annoying him with my soccer denialism, I want to bring to readers’ attention some real excitement yesterday in Munich, when a Greenpeace stuntman seriously injured two spectators, and ripped up the overhead “spidercam,” with a parachute jump into the stadium ostensibly intended as some kind of incoherent climate protest. The Daily Mail has a »

Euro 2020 so far

Featured image Euro 2020 was delayed a full year due to the pandemic. Was the wait worth it? The jury is still out after the first round of matches, as the teams round into shape. Six of the eight teams thought to make up the top tier won their opener. The exceptions were Spain, which, despite a strong first half, only managed a goalless draw with Sweden, and Germany, which lost 1-0 »

Euro 2020 kicks off

Featured image As I write this post, Euro 2020 is set to kick off. A year late. Today’s opening match features Italy and Turkey. It’s not a matchup to send one’s heart racing — both countries normally play a “pragmatic” style of football. Yet, on paper this is an above-average group stage contest. That’s because, with 24 teams, the tournament has been badly diluted. It was a great tourney when it featured »

2020-21 ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE ALL-STARS

Featured image The 2020-21 EPL season started out looking like a wide-open race for the title. At least half a dozen teams held the league lead at one time. Everton was among them. Heck, even Southampton was. However, around the turn of the year Manchester City went on a merciless run, and ended up winning the title in a rout. City also claimed the League Cup. The FA Cup went to Leicester »

English fans boo kneeling English footballers

Featured image For almost a year now, soccer players in England have been kneeling just before kickoff to show support for Black Lives Matter. During almost all of this period, English fans weren’t present for the matches. Thus, we had no sense of how they felt about this gesture. But now fans are back, albeit in limited numbers. And earlier this week, fans in Middlesbrough (in England’s northeast) had the chance to »

Southgate picks England’s Euro 2020 squad

Featured image England manager Gareth Southgate has picked his squad for the soon-to-commence Euro 2020 tournament (still named after the year in which it was supposed to be played). As expected, Everton’s Ben Godfrey didn’t make the final cut. He’s one for the future. Trent Alexander-Arnold made the team, as I argued he should. He’s one of four right backs in the squad. Even without Godfrey, two Everton players were selected — »

Yellow submarine sinks Man U kneelers

Featured image Today’s Europa League final featured two contrasting teams: Manchester United and Villareal. Man U, which represents the red half of a city of about half a million, has won everything there is to win in soccer, and most things multiple times. Villareal, known for some reason as the Yellow Submarine, represents a Spanish city of around 50,000. Until today, it had never won anything. This year, Man U finished second »

England names provisional Euro 2020 squad, three Everton players included

Featured image Gareth Southgate, manager of the England national football team, has selected 33 players for his provisional Euro 2020 team. The tournament is called Euro 2020 because it was supposed to be played last year. The provisional squad includes three Everton players — goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, defender Ben Godfrey, and forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Southgate will have to cut seven players before the tournament to get the team down to 26. Pickford »

Israel’s crisis spills into English Premier League

Featured image This week, the Arabic-language social media sites of two English Premier League football teams voiced support for Hamas in its latest confrontation with Israel. The two clubs are Wolverhampton Wanderers (Wolves) and West Ham United. The Wolves’ tweet stated, in Arabic: You don’t need to be Palestinian to speak, you just need to be human. Our hearts and prayers are behind Palestinians. God save the people of Jerusalem & Palestine. »

Rooney avoids relegation by the skin of his teeth

Featured image Wayne Rooney burst onto the soccer stage as a 16 year-old in 2002, the same year Power Line entered the blogosphere. I’ve been writing about Rooney ever since — his sensational performance at Euro 2004, his exit from Everton the same year, his champagne play at Manchester United for whom he is the all-time leading scorer (as he is for the English national team), his return to Everton, and his »

Manchester United fans riot in protest against American owner

Featured image In English football, it doesn’t get much bigger than Manchester United vs. Liverpool. Unfortunately, today’s match between these titans had to be postponed because a protest by Man U fans turned into a mini-riot. The fans were protesting against the Americans who own the club — the Glazer family. The protest wasn’t about the team’s performance. Arguably, United is having its best season since Sir Alex Ferguson retired as manager »

Poland’s national soccer team says no to the knee

Featured image Ever since shortly after the George Floyd’s death last May, soccer players in England have been “taking a knee” just before the kickoff of their matches. In my view, athletes should be free to take a knee (or not to) before a match. But why a Minneapolis cop’s excessive use of force, and the death it may or may not have caused, should prompt soccer players in Manchester to take »

Whiny narcissist meets empty suit

Featured image Today, Joe Biden allowed Megan Rapinoe, a female soccer player, to use the White House for two of her favorite purposes: (1) whining about not being paid enough and (2) calling attention to herself. Rapinoe, a radical feminist, is leading the crusade for “equal pay” for women soccer players. At the White House, she made it personal, declaring that, by being paid less than players on the men’s national soccer »