February 19, 2011 |
The final whistle has sounded. The last goal has been scored. The game is over. And so, in the aftermath of a truly dizzying, 18-year roller-coaster ride of a career, one that soared to unimaginable heights and plunged to staggeringly bizarre depths, what are we to make of Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima? What will we remember now that his playing days are done? Surely it will not be every one of those more than 600 games, although some stand out like pages torn from the scrapbook of the soccer gods.
January 22, 2011 |
It wasn't all that long ago when you could scour the professional soccer fields of Europe in vain looking for an American player. Those days are gone, but simply because there are now scores of U.S. players plying their trade at various levels all across the continent does not mean that all are thriving. In fact, the opposite is true. You need fewer than 10 fingers to count the Americans who are regarded as key figures on their respective European teams ? Tim Howard at Everton, Clint Dempsey at Fulham, Steve Cherundolo at Hannover 96, Maurice Edu at Rangers, Michael Bradley at Borussia Monchengladbach, Brad Friedel at Aston Villa, Stuart Holden at Bolton Wanderers, Michael Parkhurst at FC Nordsjaelland and Carlos Bocanegra at Saint-Etienne.
January 21, 2011 |
Eighteen days in the middle of the Major League Soccer off-season is hardly enough time to turn a group of virtual strangers into a team, much less one that can challenge the likes of Chile. But that's what U.S. national team Coach Bob Bradley and his assistants have been trying to accomplish for the past three weeks. On Saturday night in Carson, the U.S. team that they have pieced together will play the South Americans at the Home Depot Center. It is the opening game of 2011 for the U.S. in what should be a challenging year, dominated by this summer's Gold Cup. "I think they'll test us, because Chile comes out and presses," Bradley said.
December 31, 2010 |
The curtain that shrouds North Korean culture and daily life opened briefly this week with reports that state television in Pyongyang had broadcast the British soccer film "Bend It Like Beckham. " In one of the world's most reclusive nations, Western movies and TV fare are largely verboten, especially a film that deals with such racy subject matters as intercultural relationships, homosexuality and religion. But censors took care of that: The 2002 movie starring Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley as young soccer players and Jonathan Rhys Meyers as their coach was edited down to one hour, leaving little more than scenes of a sport that is beloved to most North Koreans.
November 10, 2010 |
When Sydney Leroux left her family and friends in Canada and moved by herself to Arizona at 15, she knew life would be hard. But the young soccer star had dreams of grandeur, and she thought they had a better chance of coming true in the land that produced such legends as Mia Hamm. Without the support of family, high school was tumultuous and her body soon became something of a personal journal. Now a junior at UCLA, Leroux survived and thrived, becoming the leading scorer for a soccer team that will play host to Brigham Young in the first round of the NCAA tournament Thursday at 5:30 p.m. A road map of her journey to success is etched across her body in the form of tattoos ?
October 29, 2010 |
They weren't related, but drug lord Pablo Escobar and soccer player Andres Escobar led intertwined lives of glory and infamy in Colombia, and the full-throttle documentary "The Two Escobars" dynamically chronicles their meshed fates. Using richly drawn interviews and a rhythmic punch to editing archival footage, Jeff and Michael Zimbalist ("Favela Rising") take a ravenous appetite to their biographical portraits while never losing sight of their real subject: the queasy intersection of sport and crime.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 9, 2010 |
Abandoned as a 3-year-old on the streets of Guatemala City, Marlon Alexander Lux Bal ate what he picked from trash cans and curled up each night on a concrete stoop. His friends, who also were orphans, never stuck around for long. Everyone seemed to want to steal what little he had. You can only trust yourself. That's what life seemed to say. Now, Alex, 18, is sitting around a dinner table at a Boyle Heights homeless shelter with six other young men, passing tortillas and tubs of butter on Easter night.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 13, 2010 |
One week after the shooting death of Guatemalan day laborer Manuel Jamines, MacArthur Park was jumping Sunday, but not with protesters. It echoed instead with the sound of soccer players, fruit vendors and mariachi bands. The shooting, which occurred just blocks from the park, sparked days of angry protests and sporadic violence. By week's end the mood had cooled, or at least that was the case Sunday night during the conclusion of a 50-show summer concert series. However, even as Mariachi Reynas de Los Angeles serenaded families on the grass from Levitt Pavilion in honor of Mexican Independence Day on Thursday, the shooting wasn't far from some people's minds.
July 8, 2010 |
Reporting from Durban, South Africa — Early in the second half of the Netherlands' World Cup quarterfinal with Brazil, Dutch forward Arjen Robben jumped high in the air, then fell to the ground violently as if he'd been shot. Never mind the fact that Brazilian defender Michel Bastos, the man closest to Robben, never touched him. Referee Yuichi Nishimura bought the act, awarded Holland a free kick that Wesley Sneijder turned into a goal, and half an hour later Brazil was on its way home.
June 28, 2010 |
— Now that Lakers star Kobe Bryant has a little free time, he has decided to spend it in South Africa, with the sport he grew up loving. On his first trip to Africa, Bryant took in the U.S. loss to Ghana on Saturday — former President Bill Clinton and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger were there too — then spent Sunday visiting young soccer players at a training center in Soweto, where he answered questions. His favorite player? Didier Drogba , the powerful forward of now-eliminated Ivory Coast.