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The purpose of this article is to encourage recreational youth soccer leagues to ban slide tackling. The reasons are that there is too great a chance a player will get seriously hurt, young referees don’t know how to correctly interpret the rules regarding slide tackling, and players aren’t taught how to properly slide tackle.

Here are 2 examples of how dangerous it can be:

1. Years ago when I coached U12 recreational soccer a player slid straight into my son who was dribbling, went through the ball (contacted it but went on through it) and with cleats up hit my son in the shin guards and flipped him forward. It bruised his leg even through the shin guards and he could have been seriously hurt. The young ref thought it was OK because the tackler contacted the ball first. However, the FIFA rules say careless, reckless or dangerous play is a foul and “excessive force” is a Red Card.

2. I was watching a semi-pro game about 15 years ago and a defender tried a slide tackle, the dribbler jumped into the air and came down on his leg and broke both bones. The game was delayed for 30 minutes while we watched the player in agony and listened to him moaning in pain. Can you imagine how traumatic that would be for kids to see? Fortunately, my son wasn’t with me.

Honestly, I would have real concerns about allowing my child to play in a recreational soccer league that allows it. I will bet you that the adult recreational soccer leagues around your area don’t allow it, for obvious reasons. If a youth soccer league allowed it, I would talk to the opposing coach and ask if he would agree to tell his players not to slide tackle. If he wouldn’t agree, then I would tell him that I will have to tell my players to be watching for it and to jump into the air and don’t worry about coming down on the sliding player – the point being that if his players get hurt it is their coaches fault, because I have asked him to not allow it. I would also tell him that if there are any dangerous slide tackles I will pull my team off the field. I would print the page from the FIFA rules about “careless, reckless and dangerous play” and show it to the Referee and discuss what the Ref’s interpretation of the rules is. Specifically, a tackle can be “careless, reckless and dangerous” even if the ball is contacted – if the tackle is dangerous it should be a foul or even a Red Card if there is “excessive force”.

If your league needs another reason to not allow it, here are two:

1. Kids aren’t learning to play soccer when they are on the ground.

2. Can you imagine what would happen if a kid was seriously injured in a situation where the league allowed it knowing it could be dangerous (which we all know it can be) and didn’t require players to be taught how to properly slide tackle and how to avoid being injured? The lawsuit would be huge.

As a parent I would not allow my child to play in a recreational league that allowed slide tackling. Anybody who thinks it is a good idea needs to go out and be slide tackled a few times (once would probably be enough). Slide tackling is OK for great athletes, select soccer teams and professional soccer players, but not for recreational soccer players.

I was recently asked, “Coach Hardy, why are you coaching youth soccer teams

to play a flat back four zone defense?” The perception being that a sweeper/

stopper system is a ‘safer’ defense for younger teams. First of all, any defense

will have its strengths and weaknesses. A knowledgeable coach will know those

weaknesses and will encourage their team to break it down. All disclaimers

aside, the flat back four is the preferred system of most modern teams. A

youth soccer coach should emphasize the development of players within the

context of modern soccer.

When properly executed, a flat back four will provide excellent

defensive pressure, cover and balance. Young soccer players should be

developed to play at their highest potential level and nearly all higher level

teams play a flat four or three system. Coaching a flat back four defense gives

players a foundation for future success in soccer. Even a team as young as U11

team can successfully play a flat back four zone defense. A team may give up

‘break-away’ goals in the short term, while they learn the system, but in the

long run they will have the ability to confidently step into a modern defensive

system.

A team can successfully play a flat back four after just a few training

sessions and a handful of games. I use the pre-season practices, tournaments

and scrimmages as a time for a team to learn the player roles and team shape

of a flat back four zone defense.

To help players visually understand the team shape of the defense I

call it the ‘Swoosh’ defense. As the back four defenders shift left and right

across the field, the shape of the defense unit looks like the Nike “Swoosh”

logo. If the players drift out of shape I can just say “Swoosh” and immediately

the players know where to position themselves. As the players feel comfortable

with the system they will remind each other to “Swoosh”. Here are four basic

ideas to be aware of when coaching the Swoosh defense.

1. Swoosh Defense

The back four defensive shape will prevent the other team from having

‘break away chances’ by making sure the far-side outside defender and the

far-side central defender shift and cover diagonally behind the pressuring

near-side defenders. It sounds complicated but it’s actually pretty simple. The

defenders shift diagonally to the position of the ball.

With this correct positioning the ‘Swoosh’ defense is denying ball

penetration, the dangerous attacking players are marked and the covering

defenders will ‘sweep’ any ball that gets played through. If the ball is switched

to the far side of the field, the defending four players will shift the ‘Swoosh’

accordingly. I have found that young players can easily remember to ‘Swoosh!’

more that ‘Pressure, Cover, Balance’.

It is important for players to remember that the diagonal cover shape

is why the team doesn’t need a sweeper. The most common defensive mistake

is for the team to stand totally ‘flat’. This is especially common at the half-field

line when the team with the ball has been maintaining possession in the

opponent’s half of the field. Which explains why teams that are learning the

Swoosh defense will usually give up their goals from half-field breakaways.

If the defenders stand flat at half field then any ball played behind the

defense will result in a breakaway race without anyone to stop a goal but the

goalkeeper.

2. Marking A Man In Your Zone

In addition to the Swoosh shape, the four defenders need to become

aware of the attacking player in their area of responsibility. Young players

often focus all of their attention on the ball. This bad habit is called ‘ball

watching’. Young players will often ball watch until the ball comes near them

and only then will they try and get it. But getting the ball is only part of the job

of defending. The Swoosh defense requires that players be in a good defensive

position while marking the opponent ‘goal-side and ball-side’.

When defenders ‘ball-watch’, opponents will move into unmarked

positions. The basic rule for defenders is to mark the most dangerous player in

your zone and stay ball-side and goal-side of them.

The break-aways against the Swoosh defense usually happen when a

defender is “caught flat ” and doesn’t react to the open opponent in their zone

until it’s too late. If a defenders waits until after the pass is played forward to

move towards the mark in their zone then there is often a foot race to the goal.

90% of good defense is positioning away from the ball.

(Note: Another reason I use the “Swoosh” term is to because young players will

often stay “flat” if the defense is called a “flat back four”.)

Ball watching

is pretty normal behavior for young soccer players, however, a defender is a

very important position and that player must be alert and mature enough to

not ball watch. Learning to mark correctly is a skill that will come with

commitment to learning.

3. Line Of Restraint And Compactness During Transition

The basic principle of good defending is to create ‘compactness’. I

encourage the defense to create compactness when we transition to offense or

when the opponent passes the ball backwards. We do this because (a)

compacting the space that the other team has to work with creates pressure

and (b) we can catch them off-sides. I do not encourage a sophisticated off-

sides trap below U14, but moving up the field to create compactness will catch

unaware forwards off-sides.

If we are slow in our own transition to offense (for example, after we

just cleared the ball from the defensive third) and our defenders just stay deep

in our own half then we are giving the other team lots of room to move the ball

back towards our goal. The general rule I coach is if the ball goes up the field 5

yards then we move the defense up 5 yards – 20 yards up the field means we

move 20 yards up the field. This is true until we cross half field. At half field,

the back four step a few yards into the opponents half of the field.

If our defense stays back in our own half of the field then there is less

pressure and with less pressure the other team will spend the game in our half.

I believe it is a better idea to try and defend the half line than your goal.

The key to successfully compacting the space is that all of the

defenders must move up together. If just one defender stays back then the

other team will exploit that. The line of defenders moving up the field is called

our ‘Line of Restraint’. Our goal is to have our ‘Line of Restraint’ no more than

35 yards from our forwards until our defenders reach the half line.

Again, a secondary bonus of compacting the space during transition is

that the other team is often off-sides because their forwards are caught

standing around after the ball has been cleared.

4. Off-Sides And Referees

A common concern when playing the Swoosh defense is that referees

can make mistakes with the off0sides call and the other team will have easy

break-aways. As far as the referees missing offsides calls, well, that’s the

nature of the game. The key is to control the controllables. As coaches, we

can’t control the referee’s decisions but we can control the team’s ability to

have good positioning and marking. Furthermore, if a team plays good defense

and scores goals then they will not be in a position that will allow the referee to

determine the outcome of the game.

In summary, if we coach to have defenders compact in transition, get

in our proper ‘Swoosh’ shape, and mark their opponent goal-side and ball-

side, then I am confident that the flat back four zone defense can be successful

even with young teams.

Now that my current U11 team is comfortable with the

Swoosh defense, we have moved onto the role of the attacking outside

defender and their ability to move forward to join the attack.

Soccer video games are highly popular all around the world and many people wonder what the best soccer video game actually is. That is why I decided to gather some of the best soccer video games, each one in its one genre.

Management Games

Top Eleven 2015 – There is no doubt that Top Eleven 2015 is one of the greatest management games, and I dare to day it is the best soccer video game in the management genre. This game is brilliant on many levels – its graphics are beautiful and wonderfully detailed, it has intuitive and easy controls and the overall experience is just great. Top Eleven 2015 lets you play a football manager, and your mission is to bring your football team to greatness. You are responsible for every aspect of your team’s success – finances, public relations, your player’s health and fitness and much more. If you’re a soccer fan then you will probably like this game a lot.

Arcade

Active Soccer – I believe Active Soccer is the best soccer video game in the genre of arcade games, mostly because it provides players with a simple, casual and fun experience of soccer playing. It has a classic gameplay, nice graphics and a multiplayer option. You can practice free kicks and penalties, compete in the world cup and enjoy some very cool features that will keep you entertained and excited through the game. Active Soccer is a wonderful arcade game and you should definitely check it out.

Casual

Button Football – It was not easy to find the best soccer video game in the casual genre, but Button Football definitely deserves this title. This game is not sophisticated in any way, but it stimulates soccer in a very fun and casual way, and it is suitable even for younger children and for people who are not that much into soccer.

Are Soccer Video Games Suitable for Everyone?

Soccer video games are mostly suitable for people who like to either play or watch soccer, but not necessarily. Some of these games require knowledge of the rules of soccer and therefore are only suitable for soccer fans, but some of these games are casual and only require a basic understanding of soccer, which can be given to the player by a simple tutorial.

Whether you’re a soccer fan or not, there are many games out there that can be suitable for you, so just download and try them out!

His full name is Carlos Caetano Bledorn Verri, but generally well-known as Dunga. He who was born October 31, 1963 in Ijuí, Rio Grande do Sul is a Brazilian ex- soccer players who has position as midfielder in the field, beside Italian and German descent, and a World Champion for Brazil in the 1994 World Cup as well.

Currently Dunga is national coach of the Brazilian national squad. His nickname is Portuguese for “Dopey,” one of the Seven Dwarfs. The nickname provided by his uncle because he supposed that Dunga would never grow to a tall stature.

Dunga played on the club level for Internacional (1980-1984, 1999-2000), Corinthians (1984-1985), Santos (1986-1987), Vasco da Gama (1987), Pisa (1987-1988), Fiorentina (1988-1992), Pescara (1992-1993), VfB Stuttgart (1993-1995), and Jubilo Iwata (1994-1998). While in level of international, Dunga played 91 times for Brazil, scoring six goals. Other than the 1994 feat, he played in the 1990 and 1998 World Cup editions as well, and became captain of the ream in the 1998.

Dunga never had triumph taking part for his clubs in Europe, but he enjoyed his greatest moments participating for his countryside. He shined and won the World Cup of 1994 and 2 Copa Americas along with the likes of Ronaldo, Romario, Bebeto, Jorginho, Branco and also his fierce defensive midfield partner Mauro Silva.

Dunga was regarded as the least Brazillian of all. His tackling was physically powerful and frequently won every one on one competition. He decided splendidly in the defensive situations and served as the outlet pass man that set up the attack.

He let his convincing personality demonstrate in the 1998 world cup where he lashed out at his partner Bebeto on the playing field, as long as the match Brazil vs. Morrocco. There, Brazil beat the game 3-0, and went on to become the final runners up to the hosts France.

His nickname was “Swartzenegger” following the bodybuilder actor because of his stocky build and flat-top spikey hairstyle.

The next time you’re down the local boozer with your mates and there’s an uncomfortable lull in the conversation, consider striking up a discussion based on the following question – which is the best band never to have had a top forty hit? Now, obviously, this is a version of the hoary old chestnut that’s passed many a drunken hour for the sports fan down the ages – who is the best footballer never to have played in the World Cup? The answer to that is a rather obvious one, of course, George Best. The musical variation of this question may be more stimulating.

Whilst Robert Lloyd and the various re-incarnations of his Brummie post-punk combo, The Nightingales, would make any respectable critics’ short list, his guttural, sub-Beefheart squeal was aimed more squarely at the underground than at the mainstream. The same uncompromising mindset also rules out the likes of New York’s Suicide and David Thomas’ experimental avant-garage group, Pere Ubu.

Soon enough, however, somebody will alight upon the only truly acceptable answer, at least the only answer acceptable to me, and a good number of other men and women of a certain age, who are each the proud possessors of a pair of rose-tinted glasses. It simply has to be those doyens of guitar pop, The Go-Betweens. The inexplicable absence from the singles chart of these Australian Indie-pop pioneers remains a mystery to this day. Not once, during their illustrious lifetime 1978-2006 (allowing for a hiatus from 1989 to 2000) did their melodic epistles ever threaten to deliver them pop stardom here, or in America. Incredibly, they even failed to secure a top 40 hit in their native Australia. This, surely, constitutes the greatest miscarriage in the history of popular music since the time Al Jolson blacked up for The Jazz Singer, declared brazenly “you ain’t heard nothing yet” and shamefacedly went on to make his fortune.

Just how the Brisbane based guitar heroes, led by singer/songwriters Robert Forster and Grant McLennan failed to achieve even one solitary week in the top 75, despite crafting a plethora of heavenly pop songs that should have made them household names on both sides of the Atlantic, is a mystery that genuinely scrambles the brain. Indeed, it prompts the group’s long time fans to ask the age old question, the one that escapes our lips every time we drunkenly stumble upon a recording of Barry Manilow’s ‘Bermuda Triangle blaring out of a pub jukebox; ‘how could you let this happen, dear Lord, how?’

Consider some of the flotsam and jetsam that has (dis)graced the charts since the advent of Rock ‘n’ Roll. In no particular order, I give you Vanilla Ice, The Bay City Rollers, Duran Duran, Milli Vanilli, Arthur Mullard and Hilda Baker, Black Lace, MC Hammer and Sting. And, that’s just the tip of a very embarrassing iceberg!

Even more puzzling was the regular presence on the chart of bands that might best be described as second rate Go-Betweens. The very ordinary Deacon Blue springs to mind here, as well as the Trashcan Sinatras. And, how on earth do you explain the continued presence in the charts, throughout the eighties, of bands that made comparable music, both in terms of substance and style to The Go-Betweens themselves. Aztec Camera, for example, chalked up 12 hits and 74 weeks on the chart while Lloyd Cole, with or without his Commotions recorded 15 hits spread over 62 weeks.

After the band split up in 1989 Forster and McLennan each took a stab at solo stardom, in theory doubling their chances of a hit, but still the record buying public remained un-persuaded. McLennan in particular, penned a succession of gorgeous ballads throughout the nineties, the best of which, ‘Black Mule’ (1991) and ‘Hot Water’ (1994) are arguably the finest of all his compositions.

Even the French, not exactly renowned for having their finger on the pop pulse, have made The Go-Betweens something of a cause celebre. A 1996 issue of leading rock magazine Les Inrockuptibles pictured the band on its front cover with the strap-line ‘Le groupe le plus sous-estime de l’histoire du rock?’ Which, broadly translated as – The Go-Betweens the most underrated band in the history of rock? The magazine also ranked ’16 Lovers Lane’ in its list of the best albums of the period from 1976-1996.

Publié en novembre 1996.

1. The Smiths: The Queen Is Dead

2. Pixies: Doolittle

3. The Stone Roses: The Stone Roses

4. The Go-Betweens: 16 Lovers Lane

5. Portishead: Dummy

6. PJ Harvey: Dry

7. Tricky: Maxinquaye

8. Morrissey: Vauxhall & I

9. Massive Attack: Blue Lines

10. Beck: Mellow Gold

11. The Feelies: The Good Earth

12. REM: Automatic For The People

13. James: Stutter

14. The Divine Comedy: Liberation

15. The Smiths: Strangeways, Here We Come

16. My Bloody Valentine: Loveless

17. The La’s: The La’s

18. De La Soul: 3 Feet High And Rising

19. Bjork: Debut

20. Jeff Buckley: Grace

This re-appraisal of the band’s standing, together with an invitation to play at the magazine’s 10th Anniversary bash prompted Forster and McLennan to reform the group.

For a brief moment true devotees of the group allowed themselves to believe that a great wrong might be righted. Perhaps the band might strike lucky and have a song included on the soundtrack of some mega Hollywood Rom-Com. There was a precedent of sorts. The Triffids, their compatriots from Perth and themselves a seminal indie band of the eighties, nearly managed to fluke a hit when their classic song, ‘Bury Me Deep In Love’, was chosen to play over the cheesy wedding scenes of Harold and Marge on the popular daytime soap, Neighbours. The band, profile duly raised, punched home their advantage; their follow up single, “Trick Of The Light”, spent a glorious week in the charts, at no 73, in early 1988.

Sadly, despite recording a batch of very fine comeback albums, particularly 2005’s ‘Oceans Apart’, with its standout tracks ‘Here Comes A City’, ‘Born To A Family’ and ‘Darlinghurst Nights’, a familiar pattern soon re-emerged – critical acclaim on the one hand and commercial indifference on the other. The Australian media wasn’t averse to chastising the band for their perceived failure either. ABC’S current affairs show The 7:30 Report announced their return to the stage in the following manner –

“The Go-Betweens have been described as the quintessential critics’ band. They made an art form of commercial failure. But as Bernard Brown reports, they’re happy to have earned the industry’s respect, even if the dollars didn’t follow.”

Good old Bernard concluded his report with “But the band’s influence far outweighed its record sales and they wear the tag of commercial failures”.

Any hope that The Go-Betweens could somehow turn the tide disappeared once and for all with the unexpected passing of McLennan in May 2006 at the age of 48.

Any discussion of great song-writing partnerships in popular music would rightly begin with the likes of Lennon and McCartney, Bacharach and David, Leiber and Stoller, or Jagger and Richards. You shouldn’t, though, have to look too far down the list before coming across the names of Forster and McLennan, probably bracketed right alongside Difford and Tilbrook or Morrissey and Marr.

Both were capable of writing supremely catchy songs and both had the propensity to pen an eye-catching lyric. Grant McLennan’s ‘River Of Money’, from the ‘Springhill Fair’ album (Beggars Banquet, 1984) whilst rather atypical of his output (it’s more of a prose-poem than a pop song) is such a unique lyric that it demands to be quoted in full.

River Of Money

It is neither fair nor reasonable to expect sadness

to confine itself to its causes. Like a river in flood,

when it subsides and the drowned bodies of

animals have been deposited in the treetops, there is

another kind of damage that takes place beyond the torrent.

At first, it seemed as though she had only left

the room to go into the garden and had been delayed by stray

chickens in the corn. Then he had thought she might

have eloped with the rodeo-boy from the neighbouring

property but it wasn’t till one afternoon, when he

had heard guitar playing coming from her room and

had rushed upstairs to confront her and had seen

that it was only the wind in the curtains brushing

against the open strings, that he finally knew she

wasn’t coming back. He had dealt with the deluge alright

but the watermark of her leaving was still quite visible.

He had resorted to the compass then, thinking that

geography might rescue him but after one week in the

Victorian Alps he came back north, realising that snow which

he had never seen before, was only frozen water.

I’ll take you to Hollywood

I’ll take you to Mexico

I’ll take you anywhere the

River of Money flows.

I’ll take you to Hollywood

I’ll take you to Mexico

I’ll take you anywhere the

River of Money flows.

But was it really possible for him to cope with the

magnitude of her absence? The snow had failed him.

Bottles had almost emptied themselves without effect.

The television, a Samaritan during other tribulations, had

been repossessed. She had left her travelling clock

though thinking it incapable of functioning in

another time-zone; so the long vacant days of expensive sunlight

were filled with the sound of her minutes, with the measuring of

her hours.

Not the stuff of the three minute hero, I appreciate, but the pair were equally comfortable writing the standard verse, chorus, verse pop song that chimed in at a radio friendly 2.56 and wouldn’t have frightened the horses. From ‘Springhill Fair’ they released a trio of pristine singles. McLennan’s pop-by-numbers opener ‘Bachelor Kisses’ was the first to hit the shops (and stay there, in the bargain bin) followed by Forster’s heart-achingly sad confessional, ‘Part Company’;

“That’s her handwriting, that’s the way she writes

From the first letter I got to this her Bill of Rights”

‘Man O Sand To Girl O Sea’, the final single from the album, found Forster in a more self- assured frame of mind;

“Feel so sure of our love

I’ll write a song about us breaking up”.

This sequence of starry-eyed singles should have seen The Go-Betweens clasped lovingly to the bosom of the pop establishment. Instead, they remained exiled in the wilderness, otherwise known as the John Peel show.

Still, at the time it seemed only to be a matter of time, before their streak of bad luck would break and the Brisbane boys would be basking in the sun kissed glow of chart success. Two robust albums followed, ‘Liberty Belle And The Black Diamond Express’, (Beggars Banquet, 1986) and ‘Tallulah’, (Beggars Banquet, 1987) each spawned excellent singles in Forster’s ‘Spring Rain’, and ‘Head Full Of Pride’, as well as McLennan’s ‘Right Here’ and ‘Bye Bye Pride’.

The great British public, though, remained sceptical. Peel sessions, stadium tours in support of the band’s long time admirers, R.E.M, contractual tie-ins with a host of high profile record companies including Rough Trade, Postcard and Capitol, made not the slightest difference to the band’s outsider status. If a pop group can be described as persona non grata, then they were it! The frustration was beginning to tell, driving McLennan to comment that he’d;

“given up on the commercial success thing, which is very good for my state of mind”.

The reality was, though, that their most “commercial” album, indeed their masterpiece, was still to come but in attempting to break into the charts the band would succeed only in breaking itself apart. The omens were not good from the outset. First off, bass guitarist Robert Vickers, who had been with the group since 1983, handed in his notice. His replacement, John Willsteed, seemed an upgrade, though, and his playing certainly brought a clarity and polish to the band’s sound, in keeping with their new direction of travel. He is credited by some insiders as having played a number of the more intricate guitar parts on ’16 Lovers Lane’.

Unfortunately, Willsteed was also battling a massive drink problem and it didn’t take him long to make enemies of the rest of the band.

Furthermore, Amanda Brown, recruited after contributing violin to The Servants sublime second single ‘The Sun, A Small Star’ began a relationship with McLennan. Suddenly, word leaked out that Forster and Morrison had been in a relationship of sorts for years. Battle lines had been drawn.

At the exact same time as the Forster/McLennan friendship, begun long ago in the Drama department of the University of Queensland, was starting to disintegrate, the power-brokers at the group’s management company were trying to push McLennan into the limelight at the expense of Forster. Author David Nichols, in his book The Go-Betweens, is clear about the re-alignment that took place “every promotional video from ‘Right Here’ onwards shows Forster completely back-grounded”. Seen today the video for ‘Was There Anything I Could do’ makes a toe-curling Exhibit A, with McLennan and Brown cavorting centre stage while Forster is stationed well to the rear. Morrison was deeply unhappy, particularly about the decision to draft in producer Craig Leon. In an interview with Sydney’s ‘On The Street’ she was scathing about the shift in emphasis;

“He was chosen to make this single accessible to people, to get us to crawl out of our cult corner.”

Despite the recriminations that would inevitably follow, the next five Go-Betweens singles would all be McLennan compositions.

On a more positive note, Forster and McLennan were working on the songs for ’16 Lovers Lane’ together, rather than working individually. The spirit of collaboration instead of competition at least extended to the song-writing! Released in August 1988 (Beggars Banquet /Capitol) and produced by Mark Wallis, who’d worked with the likes of Marianne Faithful, Tom Jones and R.E.M, ’16 Lovers Lane’ was a sublime collection of glimmering guitar ballads and sugar-spun indie anthems so glossy and sun kissed that you had to wear dark glasses just to listen to it.

On the release of their debut single ‘Lee Remick’ back in 1978, Forster and McLennan had talked about capturing “that striped sunlight sound” which Forster later defined as being;

“A romantic phrase, but it is abstract. It could be the sun coming through blinds as you play a record. It’s the shimmer of a fender guitar. It’s harmonies and tough-minded pop songs. It’s lying on a bed beside a window reading a book in the afternoon. It’s the sun on a girl’s shoulder length hair. It’s Buddy Holly in the desert the day they recorded ‘Maybe Baby’. It’s t-shirts and jeans. It’s Creedence. It’s Bob. It’s Chuck Berry.”

On ’16 Lovers Lane’, made twenty years after they first articulated the concept, they came closest to perfecting its meaning.

Opening with the McLennan’s unashamedly summery ‘Love Goes On’;

“There’s a cat in the alleyway

Dreaming of birds that are blue

Sometimes girl when I’m lonely

This is how I think about you”

and ending with Forster’s majestically romantic ‘Dive For Your Memory’

“I’d dive for you

Like a bird I’d descend

Deep down I’m lonely

And I miss my friend

So when I hear you saying

That we stood no chance

I’ll dive for your memory

We stood that chance,”

’16 Lovers Lane’ (once voted 24th greatest album of the eighties, by none other than Rolling Stone magazine) could also boast another pair of McLennan classics in the ‘Streets Of Your Town’ – a song that should have occupied a place in the nation’s pop consciousness in the same way that The La’s ‘There She Goes’ or The Human League’s ‘Don’t You Want Me Baby’ have done, and the wistful, heart-breaking lament,’ Quiet Heart’.

“I tried to tell you

I can only say it when we’re apart

About this storm inside of me

And how I miss your quiet, quiet heart”

‘Streets Of Your Town’ was such an obvious choice for a single that they had two cracks with it, releasing it first in October 1988 and then, refusing to accept defeat, the following summer. Sandwiched in between the twin versions of this neglected classic were two more ‘easy on the ear’ contenders, ‘Was There Anything I Could Do’ (McLennan) and ‘Love Goes On’. Both met the same miserable fate – they were steadfastly ignored.

The failure to impact on the charts, with such an obviously radio-friendly song as ‘Streets Of Your Town’, must have come as a crushing blow to Forster and McLennan and was probably the final nail in The Go-Betweens’ coffin. Broke and broken-hearted they went their separate ways.

That The Go-Betweens had swallowed their pride and danced to the tune of their paymasters, there could be no doubt. They’d flattened out the kinks in their song structures, planed off the angular edges and streamlined their sound until, with each passing record, they began to sound less and less like The Velvet Underground and more and more like Abba. Not that there is anything wrong with Abba or ’16 Lovers Lane’ itself, indeed in parts it’s a breathtakingly beautiful record. It’s just that 3/5ths of the band didn’t really want to make that type of record anymore. The Go-Betweens sold their soul, but they still didn’t sell any records!

To make matters worse there wasn’t even the consolation of making their mark in the album charts, where more mature bands could be expected to have their egos massaged by a loyal fan base, successfully built up over a lengthy career. All The Go-Betweens could muster, though, was a week at no. 91 in June 1987 with ‘Tallulah’, and one week at no. 81 for ’16 Lovers Lane’ in September 1988.

The Go-Betweens, however, did make minor inroads upon the UK Independent Charts. Before signing for Beggars Banquet the band had recorded for Rough Trade and Situation 2, qualifying them for inclusion in the Indie charts. Between 83 and 86 they had three entries in the top 40. ‘Cattle and Cane’, an autobiographical McLennan song voted by the Australasian Performing Rights Association in 2001 as one of the country’s 30 greatest songs of all time, reached no. 4 in March 1983, while ‘Man O Sand To Girl O Sea’ charted at no. 24 toward the end of the same year. A 12 inch only release of ‘Lee Remick’ peaked at no. 7 in November 1986. And there the trail runs cold.

To speculate, now, on the spectacular failure of The Go-Betweens is to set oneself an impossible task. Maybe, it was simply because they never really established a British fan base, maybe Australians appeared less cool than Americans or the dynamic duo just lacked sex appeal. It could be argued that both Forster and McLennan were not distinctive enough as singers, even that they sounded too erudite at times, for daytime radio. Maybe it was Forster’s controversial decision to play a Capitol Records promotional launch of ’16 Lovers Lane’ in an olive green dress (the company scaled down the record’s promotional budget the very next day). Or, perhaps, it was just that fate was against them all along.

In September 1985 the band had signed with Elektra, hoping for better promotion and distribution of their work. Forster was in optimistic mood “We’ve gone with Elektra – start our LP in just over a week. Without any doubt the songs are our best, we are playing our best, and with ourselves producing this unknown masterpiece, it might be great.” Within weeks Elektra had gone belly up and the band was back to square one again, much to Forster’s chagrin;

“I do think we have a sense of anger – no one’s ever been able to present us to the British public in any sort of cohesive or intelligent way.”

One thing is for sure, they had a fistful of great songs and in Forster they had someone who gave the band personality. His art-rock background led him to pay particular attention to his stage performance, although we can only presume his tongue was firmly in his cheek with this analysis of his ‘dancing’;

“Bobby Womack himself once told me that I am a soul man, and that as far as modern music is concerned there are only three soul men left: himself, me and Prince. Prince came to Brisbane and took the colours, the moves, his whole act from me. It’s true! He’s seen my moves!”

Perhaps The Go-Betweens’ drummer Lindy Morrison, speaking in 1992 was nearer the truth than I, and others, would care to admit when she offered this overview;

“We might have been one of the most lauded bands in the country, but we sold bugger all records. That’s a shame. So let’s not go on about it being one of the most lauded bands in the country, cause who cares? We didn’t sell records, we weren’t a popular band, and I’m sick of hearing about the fact that we were so fabulous – because if we were so fabulous, why didn’t anyone buy our records?”

Forster managed a slightly more laconic response;

“It was quite freeing to realise, our group is so good, and we’re getting nowhere. After a while, the lack of recognition was so absurd it was funny”.

Following their initial break up, the compilation album ‘1978-1990’ was released and allowed the music press to pass their verdict on the life and times of The Go-Betweens. Melody Maker’s Dave Jennings could barely contain his anger; “The fact that The Go-Betweens never became massive is a disgusting injustice… take The Go-Betweens to your heart, where they belong.” In 1996, writing for Select magazine Andrew Male wrote that “The only problem with listening to The Go-Betweens now is that they can’t help remind you of how crap the eighties were. The Go-Betweens produced records of quiet brilliance and got nowhere. Sting sang about a sodding turtle and became a millionaire.”

Even now, though, there isn’t exactly a critical consensus. Simon Reynolds in his definitive account of the post-punk years 1978-1984, “Rip It Up And Start Again”, devotes only one sentence to our Antipodean protagonists; “The Go-Betweens, who hailed from Australia but had a spare, plangent sound similarly rooted in Television and early Talking Heads”. It should be noted, of course, that at this stage The Go- Betweens only had ‘Send Me A Lullaby’ and ‘Before Hollywood’ under their belt. Bob Stanley in his widely acclaimed book “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah: The Story Of Modern Pop” (2013) omits them entirely from his 800 page anthology.

Any discussion of Literate Pop, though, if you are inclined to concede that the genre actually exists, if you believe great pop can be thought through, rather than instinctively felt, be cerebral rather than corporeal, would have to take into account The Go-Betweens’ collective body of work. Their singular form of romanticism, their shimmering chorus’s, their quirky, idiosyncratic lyrics and their wry pop sensibility all combined to make them one of the great post-punk pop groups. They made two albums, ‘Springhill Fair’ and ’16 Lovers Lane’ that would lose nothing in comparison with Costello’s ‘King Of America’, Lloyd Cole’s ‘Rattlesnakes’, Scritti Politti’s ‘Songs To Remember’, Mickey Newbury’s ‘Look’s Like Rain’ or The Manic Street Preachers’ ‘Everything Must Go’. In this context, their work will be remembered long after their more commercially successful contemporaries have disappeared from the recorded history of popular music.

To end, though, at the beginning. In 1978, after the local success of their debut single, ‘Lee Remick’, Forster dreamt of setting sail for England. Given the tortuous fate that awaited them on these shores, his words seem remarkably poignant now.

“England, I think, has the greatest acceptance of new music, they’re more open-minded. They write it in the NME and people buy your records. Any country that can accept Jilted John, X-Ray Spex and The Only Ones… there’s a place for The Go-Betweens.”

If there is one common thread interwoven through all European cultures, it must be soccer, right? Perhaps in popular theory. But the conventional wisdom now hangs in the balance as the quest for the almighty buck – that is, the supreme euro – has eroded the very fabric of soccer (no insult to Pete Rozelle, but let's call it what it really is: football). As "European integration" becomes a buzz word for the 21st century, football will likely play an integral role in either facilitating or decelerating this cultural, political and economic merger of countries.

Football club owners have offered to help the cause by composing a framework for the future European SuperLeague, which would consist of the region's most elite franchises. Europe has already made a transformation in showcasing athleticism, whether its unbridled fans are willing, as investors assemble to protect their shares in despite the most anticipated "cash cow" in sports entertainment.

However, even top football officials have their doubts. FIFA president Sepp Blatter, arguably the most powerful man in football worldwide, has stated his strong opposition to a breakaway superleague.

Regardless, sports business experts insure that any successful venture in football integration would require the solidity of ownership policies and fan participation. True, the former condition is already growing at an explosive pace. Corporate investors have estimated the economic feasibility of supporting ESL franchises in various cities across Europe. Plans have already been proposed to compete with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) in forming the most marketable superleague. Media Partners International, a Milan-based consulting firm, has garnered over $ 1.2 billion investments from JP Morgan to sustain the ESL for the first three years. Judging from the success of professional sports in the United States, there is no telling of this league's untapped potential.

If any doubts of European football's growth still remain, then consider the burgeoning of players' salaries. Inter Milan recently acquired Italian striker Christian Vieri for an estimated $ 43 million, dwarfing the annual salary of most professional franchises. And the issue of whether Vieri deserved more or less than, say, Michael Jordan (excluding endorsements) is irrelevant. For now, football club owners can afford these superstars because consumers are compliant to rising ticket prices.

However, ESL owners must not discount the relationship between European fans and their revered teams. Football, for countless decades in each country, has provided a measurement of national identity. As Europeans, during the integration process, ponder the potential void of national traditions, football remains their sole source of patriotic autonomy.

If the ESL passes, then UEFA would be subject to drop one of its Cup competitions, particularly the Cup Winners Cup. More importantly, UEFA stands to sacrifice two underlining principles which have sustained the organization's existence – a commitment to divide Cup proceeds in an equitable manner for all clubs, and to televise all games free of charge to European subscribers.

The ESL would consist of Europe's top 32 (mostly large market) teams competing in a comprehensive tournament to determine the European football champion. If the league is supervised by UEFA, it will consist of little commercial influence – in which case, some officials suggest that a league without proper promotion or relegation will lose people's interest in less than three years. But the traditionalists insure that UEFA's policies, although diplomatic in nature, serve to protect the institution of football from an onslaught of manipulation by massive corporations.

Even if the ESL and its large market teams are successful in growing the sport of football to unpreceded financial and social levels, there will obviously be significant ramifications to the remaining franchises. Once again, the argument of revenue disparity between small and large market teams will assert center stage. Instead of George Steinbrenner clashing with Bud Selig, it will be two others bickering – without regard to the fans, any sport's key ingredient.

The decision of what ownership structure to emulate remains undetermined. The real challenge, at this point, is securing the support of the regional community. It is clear that the combined prowess of European cultures, not the individual national interests, will absolutely ensure the success of supranational football. Owners can not and will not force an unnatural medium of sports entertainment to their consumers. Most business leaders in the European Union have recognized that integration comes at a cost – a lesson that football club owners are about to discover.

After the European Commission's diplomatic efforts to balance competition with equal protection, the fussbudgets will continue to question the motives of not only owners but also everyone else involved.

The fruition of ESL may or may not advance European integration, but the fight to protect one of Europe's most treasured assets – football – will certainly accomplish the task.

[Originally Printed: Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal, 7/24/99]

© 2007 LineDrives.com , Michael Wissot ,

By 1970s, Queen had become popular, not only in UK but also in United States. Since the band ventured, into the world of music, the group has produced fifteen studio albums and more than three live albums.

The band was associated with different types of genres of music such as hard rock, progressive rock, dance, glam rock and psychedelic rock. Queen wrote songs, which were influenced by genres that were not linked with rock like folk, ragtime, gospel and opera. Another feature that featured in most songs of the band is sonic experimentation. The band vocal harmonies were composed by Taylor, May and Mercury. Roy Thomas Baker and Mike Stone helped in the development of the sound of the band. Apart from Vocal harmonies, the band was popularly recognized, for their multi tracking voices.

In 1975, the band started their first world tour. All members in the band made costumes and banks. They went to perform in United States, for the first time and later went to Canada to perform another show. During that time, the manager of Queen, Jim Beach helped the band to sign more contracts. One of the options, that the band was awarded was to sign, with Led Zeppelin. The manager of Led Zeppelin, Peter Grant wanted the band, to sign a record deal with, Swan Song Records. But, the band turned away this offer.

Mercury designed the band logo, which was also referred as the Queen Crest. He designed the logo, before the band released their first album. The logo had zodiac signs of all the four members of the group, two lions and two fairies. The band mostly used the logo in all the band album covers. What made this band different from the other rock bands is that, they were widely known, for inspiring genres like pop rock, arena rock and progressive rock. Queen also inspired, other popular artists, not only in U.K but also in America. Some of the bands, which were inspired by the band, include Green Day, Ben Folds, Metallica, Guns N Roses, Keane, Radio Head and Lady Gaga.

Since the band ventured into the world of music, the group has produced ten DVDs, eighteen albums and eighteen singles. This made the Queen, one of the best selling rock bands. By 2004, the group had sold more than, three hundred albums globally and thirty million units, in United States. In 2007, it was reported that, the band Greatest Hits 1 and 11 were, the most downloaded albums in America.

According to one of the managers, of the group official online site Nick Weymouth, the band was one of the most, bootlegged groups. A survey which was carried out in 2001, showed out of twelve thousand website, Queen was the most bootlegged bands. Bootleg has significantly, increased the band popularity, in various countries especially in countries, which censor western music like Iran. The band also contributed music to various movies like Flash Gordon in 1986. The director of this movie was known as Mike Hodges.

Amateur soccer moms are the number one diehard fans of the fast growing sport of amateur soccer. They are supporters of the amateur soccer. These moms are the new group of fans and they changed the way we watch sports.

These moms are opposite of men when it comes to being a supporter of soccer. They have their own way of supporting unlike men who use violence at times. As supporters, they demonstrate it in different manner.

During a game of soccer, they usually arrive in the soccer field in two groups. Some of these moms come in fleet of minivans. Whichever way, they came to the soccer field to support their kids in the battle for victory.

They usually park their vehicles on top of the hills which is overlooking the soccer field. They start unloading their food, water and walk in groups going to the field and sit together with other moms of the team.

These moms are now ready to cheer their kids. Soon as the game starts, screaming and chants start to burst in the battlefield. As they watch their kids in the game, you can hear them shout for excitements as their kid aim for the goal.

Basic understanding of soccer game is not important for soccer moms. For them, it is victory which is important and they insist their kids to aim for victory. Though their children only want to have fun, but soccer mom really is after victory. For them, victory must be achieved at all cost.

Land of Champions

Universally famous for its talented footballers, the South American republic of Uruguay will compete in the men’s Olympian soccer championship in the Briton capital of London in July and August 2012, after a 84-year absence in the Olympiad. Along with Brazil and the host country, it is one of the “heavy-favorites” to win the crown in the multi-sport event, an Olympic title won by Pedro Cea and his fellow Uruguayans in the 1920s (a couple of years prior to winning the Inaugural World Cup). Curiously enough Uruguay would have won more medals, but in the middle of the 1970s it refused to attend the Montreal Games and then an international boycott deprived the country of the opportunity of making an Olympian appearance in the former Soviet republic of Russia.

Olympic History

By mid-1924, the national side left Montevideo (country’s capital city) for Paris to attend the Games of the VIII Olympiad. There, with passion and discipline, Uruguay’s team made headline news across the world when it was the champion in the men’s football tournament, ahead of Switzerland ( silver) and Sweden (bronze). In the meantime, it also became the first non-European team to receive the global title. Uruguay’s roster included footballers such as Andres Mazali, Pedro Arispe, Jose Vidal, Santos Urdinaran, Pedro Petrone, Angel Romano, Umberto Tomasina, Alfredo Zibechi, Jose Nasazzi, Jose Leandro Andrade, Alfredo Ghierra, Hector Scarone, Pedro Cea, Jose Naya,Pedro Casella, Luis Chiappara, Pedro Etchegoyen, Zoilo Saldombide, Pascual Somma, Fermin Uriarte, Pedro Zingone, and Antonio Urdinaran.

In the wake of its triumph in Western Europe, they were received as national heroes in their homeland country, at that time one of the most prosperous nations in the Spanish-speaking world.Over the years that followed, the peaceful republic of Uruguay was able to defend successfully its global trophy, gaining the admiration and respect of the world.

In the pre-Olympic year 1927, the Football Continental Cup had been won by the Argentine side after their win over Uruguay. Nonetheless, shortly after, these results changed in the Summer Olympics in the Netherlands. In a South American duel, the Uruguayan squad came first in the Olympiad upon their historic victory over Argentina 2-1 in the gold-medal match. Prior to the finals, the host nation and Germany were eliminated by the Uruguayan side. In Amsterdam (Holland), the Olympian winners were Andres Mazali, Pedro Arispe, Lorenzo Fernandez, Antonio Campolo, Pedro Petrone, Santos Urdinaran, Hector Scarone, Juan Arremon, Roberto Figueroa, Jose Nasazzi, Jose Leandro Andrade, Alvaro Gestido, Pedro Cea, Hector Castro, Adhemar Canavesi, Juan Piriz, and, Juan Peregrino Anselmo, Venancio Bartibas, Fausto Batignani, Domingo Tejera, Angel Melogno, and Rene Borjas.

Without Olympic Medals

During the 1930s and 1950s, the country’s squad earned the FIFA Cup twice; the last time with a stunning win against the host nation in Rio de Janeiro. As well as being world champion and nine-time winner of the South American contest, they also earned five Intercontinental events, eight Libertadores cups, seven Junior Continental championships (1954-1981), and one gold medal in the 1983 Pan American Sports Games (by defeating Brazil in the semis). It was really interesting. Yet despite these global achievements, the country’s sportsmen could not compete for the Summer Olympic Games.

The Return of Uruguay

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, tiny Uruguay had been plagued by political violence, financial crisis (budget deficits), mismanagement, and other social problems. But Uruguay’s nightmares did not stop. Additionally, this former Spaniard colony, once called “the Switzerland of the Americas”, began a war against rebel groups. But these problems came to a head when the nation’s anti-Marxist Head of State Juan Maria Bordaberry was overthrown in a coup in the latter half of the 70s. Soon afterwards, a heavy-handed military rule was installed for a 11-year period. As a consequence of this atmosphere, sport was gradually losing its status. Over the next few years, thousands of soccer players had been forced to play outside Uruguay, mainly in Argentina and Western Europe. Meanwhile, the country’s teams also had hurdles to make trips abroad.

Uruguay’s football – often referred to as one of the world’s finest squads– apparently appeared to emerge from its crisis in 1976. In February of that year, after some early successes in the Continental Tournament on Brazil’s northern coast, the national side gained a berth at the Montreal Games following a 48-year period of decline. During these decades, astonishingly there were not Uruguayan squads in the Summer Games, being defeated by Argentina, Colombia, Brazil and Paraguay in the Continental Olympic Qualification tournaments.

Nevertheless, the 1976 team inexplicably declined to go to Quebec, Canada, losing an important chance to capture one of the three Olympian medals in the amateur event. Later that year, the men’s football team failed to qualify for the FIFA World Tournament for the first time. Over the following period, soccer continued to face many obstacles: Prior to participating in the 1980 U.S.-led boycott of the Moscow Olympics because of its complex relationship with the Soviet Bloc, the country’s sports officials refused to compete in the Pre-Olympic Cup in Colombia, which gave Olympian tickets to South America. During this same period, Uruguay’s participation in the VIII Pan American Sports Games was suspended despite being the winner of the 1979 Junior Continental event.

The authoritarian government was brought to a close in 1985 when Julio Maria Sanguinetti won the multi-party polls. During the decades that followed, Uruguay’s democratic society began a new period with good news in many aspects.

Traditionally, South America is the “big favorite” in the Olympic championships. By 1988, Brazil assembled a squad of top footballers such as Romario, Bebeto, and Tafarell, who were runners-up in the Olympiad in Korea, a medal that Brazil had won in 1984 in Southern California. In the second half of the 1990s, Argentina was second and Brazil, with its global star Ronaldo, third, respectively. In the following century, Ivan Zamorano — one of South America’s finest footballers– and his fellow sportsmen helped Chile to win its only medal in the Games in Oceania. Then, Argentina won two consecutive titles; by 2008 the Argentine side led Latin America to its fourth Olympic gold medal in Beijing. Aside from this, Paraguay’s football players earned the silver medal in the 2004 Modern Olympics in Greece’s capital city of Athens. At London 2012, South America is represented by Uruguay and Brazil.

The national squad won the right to attend the London 2012 Games after finishing second in the South American Youth Championship in early 2011 on Peruvian soil. During the regional tournament, Uruguay’s contingent made history when it defeated Argentina -twice Olympic gold medalist, 2004 & 2008 — 1-0. The Uruguayan Olympic Committee probably will send the following footballers to London 2012: Diego Polenta (who plays in Italy), Adrian Luna, Matias Vecino, Diego Forlan (the country’s best athlete in this century), Federico Rodriguez, Pablo Capellini, Matias Jones, Ramon Arias, Nicolas Prieto, Camilo Mayada, Leandro Cabrera (plays in Spain), Luis Machado, Luis Suarez ( one of the world’s top players), Alvaro Pereira, and Sebastian Gallegos (plays in Spain).

The Soccer Field size is composed of standard pitch measurements. There are pitches that vary with their sizes. The length and width of soccer fields vary depending on the age group that plays in the field. Do not be surprised if you play at different soccer fields and find them different from each other because there are corresponding sizes that best fits the age group or type of play or tournament that accordingly plays on it. One constant rule about all soccer fields though is that it must be rectangular.

Of course, there is a more concise and more specific size with regards to international tournaments. The dimensions of these fields conform to the rules and regulations composed by FIFA. FIFA is the governing body who controls and regulates all the international soccer tournaments especially the World Cup. The standard size of the FIFA soccer field is stated in the following sentence. The length of the field ranges from 100-110 meters of 110-120 yards and its width ranges from 64-75 meters or 70-80 yards.

For fields that host non-international games, its length may range from 91-120 meters or 100-130 yards and its width from 45-91 meters or 50-101 yards. It is important to note that the pitch must never be square in appearance. Soccer field size constituents one aspect of the challenge of the game. Its area creates the level of competitiveness and serves as the challenge for players participating in a match. The football pitch is the area where the game is exactly played and the main area for all the in-game activities. The usual surface of the field is made out of turf.