In and around the world of great soccer writing as we head into an MLS weekend and the EPL heads toward the second third of its season—(one custodial note/apology, the open link w/a new tab function works better than clicking—wordpress won’t let us do that automatically):
First, Steve Stoehr remembers another retiring USMNT legend (seems there are just too many this year) in this fine piece “Remembering a Legend: The Top Five Memories of Taylor Twellman’s Career.” You may need a kleenex for that piece.
On a sidenote—it is truly a shame that one of the early marketable successes of Major League Soccer has to hang it up so young. Concussions are a bit under the radar in the game of soccer, overshadowed by their ominous presence in other sports, notably the NFL. Hopefully Twellman’s retirement draws attention to a serious and sad problem.
Second, be sure to check out Sid Lowe’s piece, an update on the never-ending Messi/Ronaldo best-in-the-universe discussion. Lowe seems to edge slightly towards Ronaldo, and after October, it is tough not to lean towards the pretentious one. After all, as Lowe writes, when the Spanish “newspaper El Mundo, not normally among the most delirious of cheerleaders,” describes you as a “21st Century Di Stefano”, well..you are doing something right. Good stuff from Sid.
Speaking of Alfredo Di Stefano—our third recommended piece comes from ESPN’s Graham Hunter, who explains the link between Di Stefano and Atletico that currently exists and will continue to exist so long as Sanchez Flores, the godson of the great Real Madrid legend is managing the Europa Champions. A fine read ahead of the derby this weekend.
Moving away from La Liga, our fourth piece focuses on Brazil 2014, where the Shin Guardian’s Christopher Gaffney explains the wide-circle of corruption, investment failures and infrastructure nightmares that have already “bastardized” the CONMEBOL nation’s efforts to prepare, and appear to be threatening to leave Brazil in billions of dollars of debt and a failed host as well. There’s time to right the ship, to be sure, but Gaffney’s piece is a must read on the host of questions that exist. Part II of that piece is found here, and looks at alternatives.
Finally, returning to Major League Soccer, the re-birth of the New York Cosmos is upon us and Jason Davis of Match Fit USA wrote a stunner to usher in what may be a new and yet familiar era of soccer in New York City. Despite a playoff push, designated players and a solid young core featuring talents like Tim Ream, Davis explores the manner that the Red Bulls will always exist within the Cosmos’ Universe. Writing that is truly “on the spot.”
Enjoy the playoffs, which begin anew tonight ya’ll.
Neil W. Blackmon is Co-Founder and Associate Editor of The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at email@example.com or you can find him on Twitter at @nwb_usmnt.