International Boredom; Lackluster Qualification Sends England’s Supporters Home Still Seething

onenil.gifWith great reluctance, England fans celebrated their 0-0 draw with Turkey, marking their automatic qualification into the UEFA Euro 2004 competition. I say reluctant because after losing two Leeds fans to hooligan violence at the hands of Galatasaray’s “Stay Up All Night” gang in 2000, England supporters wished for a more decidedly lethal result, ending a rivalry that has left a bitter taste in the mouths of England’s more passionate fans.
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A Balding Dovovan and Rookie Superstars Don’t Mix

onenil.gifIt’s a new game in the U.S. MLS looks great this year, the U.S. National Team, while losing to Brazil in Europe earlier this year, is going strong in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Unfortunately, they have to face Brazil again this Wednesday to advance and all hopes lie on the balding frat boy, Landon Donovan.
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MLS Competition, National Team Confusion

onenil.gifWhenever one season starts and before the other one begins, there is a time where the footie fan will have to turn their attention to other things. Gardening, for example, is a wonderful, albeit boring pursuit in the summer. Or even rebuilding a scooter, though you should really have that done by the time Niagara rolls around. For us here in the United States, we are somewhat lucky that we have MLS to keep us sane soccer fans until the next Premier League, Serie A, La Liga or Deutsche Bundesliga season.
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This is the end, my friend.

onenil.gifAfter losing top striker Luis Saha to the silverware-encrusted Manchester United, Fulham have embarrassed one of the leagues top teams for the third time this season, Saha not withstanding. Though Fulham’s 2-1 loss to the Red Devils wasn’t the preferred score line, it certainly is indicative of how badly Manchester United are carrying on.
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Rooney starts for England (and Owen tries to remember when he was that good.)

onenil.gif Wayne Rooney’s eyes darted around him like a nervous criminal before he took the pitch against Turkey this past Wednesday. He looked stiff and scared. At seventeen, he was among the youngest to ever start for the English National Team and in one day, he proved himself to the world.
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Rooney Signals for a Substitution in a Changing Premier League

onenil.gifIt’s not the Champions League or the FA Cup on the front pages of The Times, FourFourTwo, and Total Football, it’s Everton striker Wayne Rooney, the brilliant English 17 year-old that made Arsenal fans weep and Everton fans don “Roonaldinho” jerseys (in tribute to Brazil’s Ronaldinho). Rooney’s goal against Arsenal marked not only the first League loss this season for the Gunners and the belief that Arsenal keeper David Seaman is at the end of his days, it showed a footballing nation how beautiful a goal could be from the foot of a before-unknown, prodigious young talent.
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United 1, City 1? Derby day for Manchester showcases the failing top flight

onenil.gifOh, dear god. A draw? From Man United and Man City? Unbelieveable! Arsenal can pull ahead, the Premiership is ours! This past Sunday saw the Gunners take on third place Newcastle United at home and I was up early, coffee, scarf and video tape all ready to go. A foolish grin was on my face, knowing that we could pull ahead and regain a comfortable lead, but unfortunately, it was not to be.
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Hooliganism and Chaos During 2-0 Defeat for the Villains

onenil.gifThis past Monday suprisingly saw the return of hooligan-laden English football circa 1985. Hooligans, head-butts and pitch invaders all made for a completely bizarre and violent affair at Villa Park with fans running amok and hooligans covering their faces as missiles were readied to attack the visiting fans. The match died in the closing minutes, but the fans kept the game alive and viewers riveted to their televisions. Both Birmingham City and Aston Villa are facing relegation to Division One and this derby match was sure to see fireworks, but I don’t think anybody thought it would end quite like this.
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Honda UK’s “My First License”

In another example of how the British motorcycle industry kicks the American motorcycle industry’s ass, Honda UK is offering “license classesâ€? for 5-11-year olds at local bike shows. The licenses aren’t valid, of course, but the program delivers a message about safety and responsibility to british kids (along with Honda’s sales message) at an age when their American counterparts are riding dirt bikes without helmets on their uncle’s farm.