A funny thing happened recently at one of the local watering holes in our little Ecuadorian town. A bunch of Yanks gathered around the television to watch something other than basketball, baseball, or American football.
These days, a soccer World Cup is a multi-billion dollar project, with a number of financial "winners," such as FIFA, and many losers, given the development priorities that are sacrificed to build gleaming stadia. Does this also mean that one can explain a nation's success at the cup largely by money?
So much in American life these days doesn't work. But soccer does work -- magnificently. I am not looking forward to returning to dysfunction and snafu.
Iraqi soccer pitches have emerged as an alternative battleground in the struggle for control of Iraq between the Islamic State, the jihadist group that controls chunks of northern Iraq, and embattled Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
This is, of course, a false contrast as baseball is popular in much East Asia, the Caribbean and increasingly in a few other countries besides the US. Soccer, while the world's most popular sport has failed to catch on in many parts of South Asia and is one of several popular sports in Australia, parts of East Asia and North America.
The massacre by the Germans wasn't just a loss but the slow and painful withering of the national phallus right before our eyes. This defeat, which heralded the death of soccer as the go-to guarantor of the Brazilian heteromasculinity needed for the nation to make sense of itself, was particularly perverse.
I am convinced that parents must and can do better at examining evidence about what leads to effective parenting -- if they would only make the effort.
Germany's surge through the tournament -- undefeated in seven games with only a tie with Ghana marring its record -- wasn't a fluke, nor was it lucky. It was the result of 14-year rebuilding program that began in 2000 when soccer was at a low point in Germany's vaunted history.
Over the past 15 years, one thing has become very clear to me: As a country we have rarely tackled the causes of migration beyond border enforcement, which has been mildly successful. The current crisis lays bare the failings of this shortsighted policy.
When Landon Donovan lead the American Outlaws on their 2010 run in the World Cup people were paying attention but it was mainly just soccer enthusiasts watching. It appears now though, that the excitement of the 2010 World Cup set the framework for soccer to grow over the last four years.
The Final is here. And you know what that means. It's almost over. Forget who wins or loses. Who has won or lost. On July 14, the football lover in your life will fall into a state of deep depression.
To try to make sense of our complex world we are increasingly resorting to analytics and bringing in left-brain thinking. Economists are getting in the game, analyzing penalty kicks using game-theory and statistical analysis.
Moments after Germany's 1-0 World Cup victory over Argentina, the international mind control rays aimed at the United States were officially turned off, allowing millions of Americans to once again ignore soccer as usual.
A long-awaited Qatar Foundation report recommends a radical overhaul of the labor recruitment system in Asian labor exporting countries as well as the Gulf state that expects to host the 2022 World Cup. The report, however, stops short of calling for the abolition of Qatar's widely criticized kafala or sponsorship system.
Well, the World Cup has finally come to a close... and I can start focusing on work again. While many are rejoicing, many are also licking their wou...
Aside from finalists Germany and Argentina, the tournament also witnessed admirable performances from Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and the Netherlands.