Written by Stephanie Younger
This week has been an endurance test for Boston. The entire city has run an emotional marathon of sorts – the initial horror and adrenaline of the finish line explosions; the uneasy groove we found during the middle days of the week as we waited for more information; then the long, tense hours of the immense manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after he and his brother held up a 7-11, murdered MIT police officer Sean Collier, carjacked someone, and generally wreaked havoc through Watertown. When the announcement came over the police scanner feeds that Tsarnaev was in custody there was a pause, trained into us by the constant misreporting of the past four days, and then the exhale of relief to end all exhales of relief when the Boston Police Department confirmed that they had him, he was alive, job well done by Boston’s finest.
Welcome to Cascadia
Can two teams have a rivalry if they’ve never played before? Ask any of the more than 16,000 fans who attended Sunday’s Portland Thorns match against the Seattle Reign, the NWSL’s first foray into the deep-rooted Cascadia soccer rivalry, and the answer would likely be a resounding yes.
While the United States regularly assembles one of the world’s more talented women’s national teams, success on the international stage has not led to a prosperous domestic league. From the WUSA to the WPS, and the WPSL to the nascent NWSL, women’s soccer in the United States has always struggled to find long-term sustainability.
But if the show of support in the Thorns’ home debut is any indication, there’s good reason to wager on the NWSL’s vision for the future.
Here’s to the Portland Thorns and Seattle Reign, for providing a good day for Cascadia, a good day for women’s soccer in the US, and a good day for the game overall. Oh, and here’s a full replay of the match available for all on YouTube. [Posted by Maxi]
Great scenes in Portland this weekend.
April 14, 2013 at 2:33pm
Sarah and I discuss the issues Real Madrid had in Istanbul, the accurateness of our predictions, who we would like to see in the final and Madrid’s plans for the summer, as well as what the hell Sergio Ramos has gone and done to his arm.
The magic of the man with golden feet and terrible teeth has been captured in flipbook form, and we’re still stunned by what Etoilec1 has created. Ronaldinho’s finest moments in all their aesthetic brilliance have been condensed to a few sheets of paper, but the final product only blows us away just as much as the original masterpieces. You can almost hear the “Olé” as the paper skips.
Turkey’s Women Lead a Regional Transition
“We’re focused on sports, not politics. We don’t deny that we are Kurds. But when we play, we never say, ‘We are Kurds and they are Turks.’” - Tahir Temel
Sitting in an especially tense region of Southern Turkey, Hakkari is a province trailed by hardships. From widespread unemployment to ongoing clashes between Kurdish and Turkish forces, life is precarious. More so, for women who reside in the region, one in which stories of forced marriages and honor killings are not unusual. And yet, despite these hurdles, a group of women have found empowerment through soccer. Since debuting in 2008, Hakkari Power, a team filled with local women, has sped through promotions, last season becoming the only team in the entirety of Turkey to finish their year without conceding a goal. More importantly, women have from the side have found opportunities through the club, one in which ethnicity and cultural background are insignificant, with several gaining roles in Turkey’s national youth team and more finding scholarships with local universities.
In this article from Time Magazine, Piotr Zalewski discusses the ways in which these women are leading a change not only for female soccer players, but for their region as a whole. [Posted by Maxi]
Usually we try our best to get the podcast to you as quickly after the match as we can, but this week we’re going to hold off. Why? No, it’s not because we’re still drunk—although you couldn’t blame us if we were! That one was a doozy!—it’s because the semi final draw is coming up this Friday and we want to give you a podcast bonus. So please check back soon. We’ll be recapping the madness in Istanbul, mourning with Malaga, discussing the currently unknown results of Barcelona vs PSG and Juventus vs Bayern Munich and giving our analysis of the draw. Until we have the podcast up, mix yourselves up the Drink of the Match (a very appropriate Turkish Delight Martini) and hope that the next round is as exciting as this one turned out to be.
-Sarah and Amielle
Turkish Delight Martini
1/2 lemon or lime
45 ml vodka
3 tsp white creme do cacao
3 tsp good-quality rose syrup
2-3 drops rosewater
Rub the rim of an chilled elegant martini glass with the lemon or lime, then dip into a saucer of drinking chocolate. Combine the vodka, crème de cacao and rose syrup in a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice. Stir well, then strain into the martini glas and finish with a few drops of rosewater.
April 5, 2013 at 2:45pm
Drink of the Match:
- 1 bottle Framboise lambic, chilled
- 2 bottles Hoegaarden white ale, chilled
- 6 ounces Lillet Blanc, chilled
- 6 ounces raspberries
- 1/2 medium orange, thinly sliced
Sarah and I discuss the first leg between Real Madrid and Galatasaray, including having all three strikers score, how refereeing inconsistencies hurt us all and sum up what happened in the other three matches.
The English Professional Footballers’ Association estimates that 10 to 20 per cent of ex-players go bankrupt. Many more run into big financial problems.
The Financial Times just published an article detailing the financial ruin that many former players face after retirement. Here’s how it typically breaks down: start as the sole breadwinner for a large extended family, add in a number of close associates, mix in expensive tastes, and finally, throw in corrupt financial planners, and you’ve got a dangerous cocktail once the paychecks stop rolling in. If anything, it’s a wonder that the percentage isn’t higher.
While it might be customary to groan about the exorbitant salaries footballers bring in, the reality is that very few have any sort of practical financial sense. Bred from a young age to be athletes, many young footballers live sheltered lives. So when that first large paycheck arrives in their late teens or early twenties, there’s no inclination to set anything aside for later. The PFA rate doesn’t come close to reaching those of American sports, which linger at about 78% of former players for the NFL, and 60% for the NBA, but still underlines the importance of educating young athletes.
As the ancient proverb goes, “mo money, mo problems.” [Posted by Maxi]
March 26, 2013 at 10:22am
Remembering a first: for the love of Rafa Benitez
Written by Gina Baldassarre
We’ve all got that one celebrity idol or hero that we’ll love and defend to the very end, through breakdowns, stints in rehab, and questionable relationships. My footballing version is, in spite of it all, Rafael Benitez – and perhaps I’m not alone.
Sarah and I get together for a bit of a drink (German Riesling, which is appropriate but should not be confused for support for the Germans) and discuss the quarter final draws from Friday. We discuss who we think has the best chance of moving on, which is not to be confused with who we would like to move on, as well as the last time PSG made it to the quarter finals, how Malaga and Dortmund could be more interesting than previously thought and how I really enjoy saying ‘Galatasaray’.