Category Archives: Soccer

World Cup field almost decided


Irish soccer fans will be hoping to celebrate their team’s qualification for the World Cup Finals on Tuesday when they host Denmark for the final UEFA spot/The Irish Mirror

By Ray Hamill

The final four spots for next summer’s World Cup will be decided this week, and that means the countdown to the madness can officially get under way.

Thus far, 28 of the 32 teams have sealed their invite to the sports world’s most exclusive party, with four more joining them between now and Wednesday.

For some – the Germanys, Englands and Brazils of the world – it’s business as usual, and the real work won’t begin until June.

For others – the Panamas, Icelands and Moroccos of the world – just qualifying is a major achievement on its own, and no matter what happens when they get there, it’s already considered a successful campaign.

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Another Super Sunday in store for EPL


EPL leaders Manchester City have been red hot lately/The Guardian

By Ray Hamill

It’s going to be another Super Sunday in the English Premier League this weekend, with five of the big six in action, including a pair of mouthwatering matchups.

And that means an early start for U.S. fans, with the first of four games getting under way at 7 a.m. on the East Coast.

It will also be the last action for a couple of weeks with the final international break of the year scheduled for next weekend.

First up on Sunday, third-placed Tottenham will attempt to bounce back from last weekend’s loss to Manchester United, hosting a struggling Crystal Palace in an all-London affair.

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The problem for U.S. soccer can be seen on the streets


Children playing soccer on the streets is a common sight in many places around the world but not in the U.S./WSJ

By Ray Hamill

Good news for the rest of the world. FIFA has decided to go ahead anyway with the World Cup next summer, even without the U.S.

Apparently, they’re not going to miss us as much as we’re going to miss them.

First up, though, let’s deal with the obvious.

Missing out on qualification for the finals is an embarrassment for the U.S. men’s team. There is simply no other way to describe it.

Especially considering the resources the Americans boast, the far larger pool of players and coaches than most of our CONCACAF rivals that we can choose from, and the relative ease of our route to the finals. (Arguably, only the host nation, which qualifies automatically, has an easier route to the World Cup Finals than Mexico or the United States.)

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Another labor of love



By Ray Hamill

I’m delighted to announce the publication of my new book, Help, My Horse is Drowning!, available now on Amazon and any other book sites with suitable good taste (or who don’t know any better).

It’s a humorous look at the world of sports and how it impacts us on a daily basis, told through a series of anecdotes and observations from a lifetime association with sports.

From tales of the schoolyard and growing up in a sports-mad family back in Dublin City, to NFL Sundays in the bars of Northern California, Help, My Horse is Drowning! covers a wide gamut of stories, offering intriguing insights to the history of the sports we love and more than a few observations on the lovely madness of it all. Read more

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