World Cup Time!

Lynne Kiesling

An entire month of international football (ok, soccer) begins on Friday! Skip Sauer kindly provides the television schedule in the U.S., which I also went out of my way to find yesterday.

I’m not optimistic about Team USA this year, particularly given the group they’ve drawn. As usual, I’m cheering for England as well as USA (and weakly cheering for Spain because of Xabi Alonso, even though Liverpool isn’t one of my teams), and this year I may have a winner, or at least a finalist, on my hands. Even if Wayne Rooney’s foot doesn’t heal in time for him to play, Team England looks good to me. I don’t remember Michael Owen being as good (or as cute, for that matter!) as he’s been in the friendlies we’ve watched.

I’ve also been impressed with Owen Hargreaves, but wasn’t familiar with him because we watch lots of English Premiere League and FA Cup and little else. So I was interested in Brian Goff’s post on him at Sports Economist, referring to his being booed by English fans. Hargreaves is Canadian but is eligible for Team England due to his father being British, and he plays at Bayern Munich (a team chock full of talent). So why would the English fans boo him? Because he doesn’t play for an English team?

BTW, while you’re at Sports Economist, see also Skip’s interesting post on international differences in league governance, with lots of interesting information about league decision-making vs. team decision-making. There’s lots of fodder for an NIE/governance analysis there!


2 thoughts on “World Cup Time!

  1. Owen Hargreaves gets booed because he’s useless. It’s not because he plays overseas. Indeed, David Beckham’s popularity with England fans rose after he left ManYoo to play abroad.
    And what’s this about Xabi Alonso? I always thought he looked a little like Jeff Sachs – you never see them in a room together do you?
    If you want a really talented good-looking Spanish midfielder, look no further than Cesc Fabregas. I want to marry him, and I’m a bloke.

  2. No, he’s not useless! As the article said, he’s a utility guy, rather like the glue that holds together the play. Perhaps I am sympathetic to that kind of player because that’s what I’ve always been: never a big goal scorer or playmaker, but more of a connector. We utility midfielders have to stick together …

    As for Xabi Alonso vs. Cesc Fabregas: no way. Xabi’s totally, totally hot. Short (relatively speaking), thin, compact, clean-cut-preppy look, yum yum. Great smile, fantastic square jawline. Fabregas is not to my taste at all; too dark, eyes are too brooding.

    I’ve never noticed the Jeff Sachs similarity, but you are right … although I can’t say that I go out of my way to spend time looking at Sachs. But I do go out of my way to watch Liverpool just for a few chances to see Xabi in action. Yes, I have an incredibly patient husband, who thankfully is also a soccer fan!

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