soccer

Posted by Ellen

Back in June, the women working behind the counter at this ice cream place in Germany took a break to watch the German national team win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Next June, there will be another soccer World Cup competition, this time hosted by Canada and featuring women's national teams. Last month in Philadelphia, the U.S. women officially qualified for the 2015 tournament by beating Mexico 3-0 and then Costa Rica 6-0 to claim the regional CONCACAF Cup. A clear majority of the 12,000-plus spectators cheering them on were women and girls.

Posted by Ellen

This year, our own Joe Stein went virtual for his Halloween disguise. He joined the Mexican national team for a critical game against Panama, near the end of which he pulled off this flying bicycle kick to generate the winning goal that qualified Mexico for next year's World Cup.

Most spectators at the game October 12 thought it was Raul Jimenez who did the magical bicycle thing. Well, boo.

Posted by Ellen

Soccer is popular in Nepal, even if the fields are more dirt than grass, and this year the national team, known as the Ghorkalis, is on a roll. Last week, Nepal notched two victories, 2-0 and then 5-0, in 2014 World Cup qualifying matches against East Timor. The Ghorkalis have a new coach, Graham Roberts, an Englishman who played for Tottenham and Chelsea, mostly on defense, and won six caps for England.

Meanwhile, in league play, defending champions Nepal Police Club holds a comfortable lead in the Martyrs Memorial Red Bull Division A, though Yeti Air Himalayan Sherpas Club is not out of the running.

The field shown here is in the suburbs of Kathmandu, at the base of the hill topped by the Monkey Temple.

Posted by Ellen

Sarah Stack, age 8, shoots and scores to lead her team to the Nashville city championship. 

Posted by Ellen

The goalkeeper for Toronto FC, an MLS team, plays almost in the shadow of the city's CN Tower.
 

Posted by Ellen

 

The 2009 Mongol Rally is history; the adventurers have arrived in Ulaan Bataar (or not), and most have now scattered to the winds. The intensity of the experience may have changed some lives, but not so much Steve and Tom, of Team Mad Lady. Here is their final blog post:

"So we only went and bloody did it didn't we!!

"Arrival party was brilliant fun - our pink blazers re-emerged, a bit more dusty, yet still with that touch of class! The beards we have been cultivating were a welcome addition!

  "Was a great night, and a nice chilled day today is the perfect remedy for the nagging hangover! Looking forward to finding a pub to watch the Mighty Spurs this evening.

"So that is that. Final counts:

"-- Police stops - 7 (6 for driving offences - ST 3 TH 3 and one just for a police check)

"-- Bribes paid - not much. Couple of border controls we paid over the odds un-knowingly. Apart from that nothing. Great success!

"- -Tyre punctures/blow outs - 3 (ST 1 TH 2)

"-- Guages broken- 2 (Speedo for last 6/7,000 KM and fuel for last 1,000 KM)

"-- Cable ties used to hold Micra together! - about 15 as they ahd to be replaced a few times!

"-- Rivers crossed - 4 (and only got stuck in 1 - get ready for the video footage!)

"-- Keys locked in car - 1 (Well done Todster!). therefore break ins also 1!

"-- Wrong turns... Too many to count but reckon in the whole we were pretty well. Got a lot better when we realised the alternator interferred with the compass though!

"-- Packs of super noodles eaten - at least 8/10 each!

"-- Sweets distributed - 5kg!!! Toddy loved playing sugar daddy!

"Happy days!!, S&T"

Posted by Ellen

Last Saturday was the fourth annual Scott Fisher memorial soccer game, in which the Deering varsity soccer team plays Team Alumni as a fundraiser for the Vera Foundation, an organization devoted to teen suicide prevention. Scott Fisher was a Deering soccer player and honor student who died by suicide a few months after his graduation in 2005.

Players all wore wristbands with the number 8, Scott's number.

If Hank and Allen participate in this game again next year, they will both be playing on the alumni side. But this time they played against each other--Allen as an alumnus, Hank as a current Deering Ram. In this picture, that's Allen in white at the far left, and Hank in purple at the right. I failed to capture them both in action in a single frame, but at least here they are walking on the field at the same time. The game actually drew a good crowd; this view shows the visiting-side bleachers in the background, which were of course empty.

Usually, the alumni dominate these games. They are grown men, averaging at least 30 pounds heavier than the ever-hopeful teenage boys who challenge them. Also, there are dozens more alumni than there are current players, plenty of fresh legs. The young Rams do have a few advantages, however: they are in peak physical condition, their ball handling isn't rusty, and, unlike most of the alumni, they were wearing shin guards.

Alumni won the 2009 game, 4-1. That's not the score that matters domestically, however; what counts here at home is how the brothers scored against each other. This was a fine year in that regard; they tied, nil-nil.