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World Cup Soccer Tournament

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July 2, 2006 | Grahame L. Jones, Times Staff Writer
Walking fast and staring straight ahead, Wayne Rooney marched out of the locker room and onto the England team bus Saturday evening, pausing not even once to tell his side of the tale. Walking with a limp and with eyes red-rimmed from crying, David Beckham made the same march. There would be no comment, said Beckham's minders. News conference today. Then he'll talk. And so two of the principal reasons why England crashed out of the World Cup left the stadium.
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July 2, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Argentina defender Leandro Cufre faces a disciplinary panel and German players or officials could also be punished over the fracas that followed the host team's shootout win in the World Cup quarterfinals. FIFA communications director Markus Siegler said Saturday that the "legal procedure will be started as is normal in the case of a red card."
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July 1, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Spain Coach Luis Aragones said Friday he would remain in charge, despite a promise to quit if his team was eliminated early from the World Cup. Aragones said he would stay until the European Championship in 2008 after meeting with Spanish soccer federation officials. Until its 3-1 loss to France in the second round Tuesday, Spain had not lost in 26 games. Still, it has been an underachiever and Aragones promised he would quit if the team missed the semifinals.
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July 1, 2006 | Chuck Culpepper, Special to The Times
If you're an American like me, you might notice that our country sometimes seems to lack a certain, I don't know, cohesion. Maybe it's just too big. Maybe it's just filled with little nations, like West and East or red and blue or USC and UCLA. Maybe it just has too much talkradio.
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June 30, 2006 | Grahame L. Jones, Times Staff Writer
Somewhere among the four World Cup quarterfinal matches, a great moment surely awaits. But it is the Argentina-Germany quarterfinal clash in Berlin today that has everyone talking. Either the host nation will be knocked out, which would put a sizable damper on things, or the tournament will lose not only one of its most attractive teams but also the possibility of an unprecedented Argentina-Brazil final. "It's unfortunate that this matchup comes now," Germany assistant coach Joachim Loew said.
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June 30, 2006 | Reuters
A soccer fan refused to let the small matter of his house burning down disturb his enjoyment of Tuesday's World Cup match between France and Spain. A fire gutted the dwelling in the center of the Chinese capital at 3 a.m. local time Wednesday -- kickoff time in Hanover, Germany -- the Beijing Daily Messenger reported. "When the neighbors shouted fire, I took my little baby and ran out in my nightclothes," the man's wife told the paper.
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June 30, 2006 | From the Associated Press
English referee Graham Poll, who showed a Croatian player three yellow cards before sending him off in a World Cup match, is quitting international refereeing. The experienced Premier League referee told Britain's Sky Sports television Thursday that he had considered retiring from all soccer after his blunder, which meant a Croatian player stayed on the field three minutes longer than he should have in a group stage game against Australia.
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June 30, 2006 | Chuck Culpepper, Special to The Times
The England-versus-Portugal melodrama still sits one day off, yet already we have a winner. Rampaging and cunning, dreaded and loathed, able to puncture a defense like no force left in the World Cup, this winner is the astonishing British press, unbeaten for eons save for a tabloid lawsuit settlement here and there. Even Deco, the Portugese midfielder, noted the dynasty's ferocity.
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June 29, 2006 | Grahame L. Jones, Times Staff Writer
Derek Boateng might not realize just what a prize it was that he landed this week. Boateng, a midfielder for Ghana at the World Cup, played limited minutes off the bench, but he did play for the last half-hour against Brazil on Tuesday. And when the final whistle had sounded, when the Brazilians had accomplished their 3-0 victory, Boateng, in time-honored soccer tradition, exchanged jerseys with Cafu.
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June 29, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
FIFA President Sepp Blatter continued his criticism of the referees in the World Cup. On a day when two senior referees, Graham Poll of England and Valentin Ivanov of Russia, were not given any more assignments, Blatter said: "I've noted that instructions aren't being followed consistently from one match to another. When a coach complains to me that shirt-pulling earned his player a yellow card one night and nothing for his team's group rivals the next, how am I supposed to respond?
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