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Neymar signs for… Oregon State University? May 31, 2013

Posted by michaeltomlinson in Brazilian soccer, MLS, Spanish soccer.
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The Brazilian starlet was all but destined to be Barcelona’s next great South American star. Instead, Neymar has decided to take his talent South beac… Err Corvallis, Oregon! As pictured below the 21-year-old striker has closely monitored the progression of Portland Timbers GREAT Ryan Johnson and has decided to take on 4 years of eligibility, just like former OSU stand-out, Johnson. This of course makes a lot of sense due to a recent independent study which I just made up that says  U.S. soccer players have a 74% chance to be more successful in the pro ranks if they opt for the college route. A couple more interesting statistics, Neymar is now 69% more likely to puke immediately following a beer bong attempt gone wrong, but is also 93% less likely to contract gonorrhea after a transexual orgy… We all have our vices.

Pele was only good in World Cups? I think not. September 18, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in Brazilian soccer, English soccer.
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In a column (“Manchester United’s Rooney could yet stand comparison with Pele”) published yesterday on the Guardian’s website, Paul Wilson writes the following absurdity about Pele:

[T]he brilliant Brazilian’s fame was based almost exclusively on his World Cup performances. Every four years he would come round like a comet, then for the most part disappear from European view.

I suppose, if you consider that fame can only be “based” on the “European view,” that could be accurate. But that’s not really what fame is all about.

Of course we all remember Pele most for what he did in the 1958 and 1970 World Cups. Wilson’s drawing a comparison with Wayne Rooney, whose “career to date has been just the opposite,” he says. But in fact, I think the thing most people remember most about Rooney is his Euro 2004 performances. International performances are more memorable. The whole of England can appreciate it when Rooney scores goals for his country, but when he does it for Manchester United, it’s tainted by the fact that nobody but Manchester United fans really likes Manchester United.

And anyway, Pele gained more fame at club level than Rooney has. Rooney has won the Champions League once. Pele won the Copa Libertadores twice, and that was in the days when the tournament was open only to national champions, meaning that Pele only even got to play in the Libertadores five times, the last of which came in 1966. Pele won five national titles with Santos, all of them settled by straight knockout, rather than the league system. And he won ten state titles, the highest league system in Brazil at the time.

More than that, he toured the world with Santos, spreading his fame across the continents. It was a game featuring Pele’s Santos that is said to have stopped the Nigerian Civil War for two days. I doubt that’s an achievement Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United will equal any time soon.

USA v. Brazil thoughts August 11, 2010

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in Brazilian soccer, International soccer, U.S. soccer.
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Editor’s note: It has come to our attention that this article must contain the following phrases: “just a friendly,” “weakened opposition,” “work to do,” “won nothing yet.” Consider that obligation filled.

  • Pretty again: Even before Dunga’s reign, the Brazilian national team’s ideas have been predicated on the idea that you must play ugly to win. That idea is stupid. Spain, among other teams, has spent the last few years proving that wrong. If Barcelona can play four attacking midfielders, two overlapping fullbacks and a central striker and still win everything in sight, why can’t Brazil? In New Jersey Tuesday, Brazil showed it can still produce players who know how to pass the ball.
  • Meaningless, schmeaningless: I hear you saying it was just a preseason international friendly, that it’s a long road to 2014, that Neymar and Ganso haven’t proved anything yet, etc. You know what? Shut up. This game was about showing Brazilians the national team can be fun again and it achieved that.
  • Neymar: I’d never seen the Santos man in the flesh, but I’d been skeptical of him because Tim Vickery was skeptical of him, but he looks like he can certainly play a bit. He has something of his country’s 1970s and 80s greats with his infectious smile, jinking skills and haircut destined to look extremely dated. There’s something about him that makes you want him to succeed one way or the other.
  • Dodgy: Another throwback to the idealized image of Brazilian soccer was the truly dodgy Victor in goal.
  • Bradley out: Remember the last time a US coach stuck around after a successful World Cup? Not so great. And don’t give me this Jurgen Klinsmann garbage. We need an American coach to continue the development of soccer in this country.
  • Sacha Kljestan looked good: Every other American outfield player didn’t really.

Brazilian right backs guilty on first two goals of semi final, left back also under question. April 22, 2010

Posted by michaeltomlinson in Brazilian soccer, Champions League, European soccer, Italian soccer, Spanish soccer.
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As though Dani Alves was saying to Maicon, “I got chyu”. Alves promptly stood a good 7-10 yards out of position leaving Wesley Sneider wide open for a near post dribbler to past Valdes in goal. A bit earlier in what some might describe as an out of body experience Maicon let fellow Brazilian Maxwell mosey his way down the left side into the six yard box before crossing a ball which was put away by Pedro. It was as though he knew Cambiasso was beaten, but failed to recognize his part once it occurred. Dropping back into the box marking the always elusive “air” and “space” Maicon watched as the ball rolled passed his feet onto Pedro’s boot. So I ask you, in this triangle of Brazilian brotherhood was there something fishy going on? No, just coincidence but that’s no fun to write about.