Author: Noah Davis

United States v Mexico - FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier

Matt Besler was the best United States player against Mexico


The Castrol Index is in for the United States-Mexico match and the results, not surprisingly, show the center of the defense dominated. The two center backs and the goalkeeper are the top three rated players.

What might surprised, however, is the order.

Would you say Matt Besler at No. 1, then Brad Guzan, then most people’s Man of the Match Omar Gonzalez? Yeah, we wouldn’t either, but numbers don’t like. (Or maybe they do; we really don’t understand how these things are calculated.) The Sporting Kansas City center back topped the chart at 1,020, followed by Guzan (986) and Gonzalez (917).

Graham Zusi, who should have gotten a million points for his 40-yard run to keep Angel Reyna from slamming the ball home, finished fourth with 721 points. Eddie Johnson managed to earn exactly zero points in 35 minutes of work. That’s impressive.

Here, because I love you all, are the rankings.

Goal-line technology ‘too expensive’ for Michel Platini

Soccer Uefa Goal Line TechnologyUEFA has called on FIFA's law-making panel to delay a decision on approving goal line technology

Michel Platini, man. Michel Platini. From Reuters:

“If we are going to use this goal-line technology in the Champions League and Europe League, then we would have to set it up in every single stadium where matches are played. If we wanted to use goal-line technology, we would have to install it in 280 stadiums and then remove it again for domestic matches. It would cost around 54 million euros ($69.26 million) over five years for this technology, so it’s quite expensive for the sort of mistake which happens once every 40 years. Honestly, I prefer to put more money into youth football and infrastructure than spend it on technology when there’s a goal in a blue moon that hasn’t been seen by a referee.”

Now look, I have no idea about the finances of this, although it does seem absurd that the plan would be to install and then remove the technology. (Why not just leave it in place and split the costs?) But dude, let’s not pretend that your five-man referee system works, okay? Don’t insult our intelligence. If you don’t want to install goal-line tech because of the cost or because you hate progress or because whatever, just say that: “I’m Platini, and I’m in charge.” It’s your right. You da boss.

Don’t tell us “practically no mistakes have been made and the referees see practically everything that happens on the pitch.” You know what sees everything? Goal-line tech cameras.

Lionel Messi scores 91 goals in art form

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Okay, I totally lied when I said that Francesco Totti learns English thing was my favorite video I’ve seen today.

It’s the video below, which consists entirely of simple artist renderings — more like symbols, actually — of the 91 goals Lionel Messi scored in the 2012 calendar year. It’s mesmerizing. (h/t)

(I realize I’m posting a lot of videos today, but it’s my last day around these parts and I’m feel like watching YouTube. You know you do, too.)

Proof that Landon Donovan has returned

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Sure, quotes are nice, especially when he’s saying all the right things, but what we really want is to see Landon Donovan on the field.

Without further ado: Viola!

There he is, that vacationing player himself. Welcome back, buddy. We — MLS, the U.S. fanbase, the American team you hope to return to — missed you.

Francesco Totti learns English. Hilarity ensues.

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Magical Roma footballer Francesco Totti is the best. He’s arrogant and unpredictable and wonderful, on and off the field.

And now he’s learning English, courtesy of Kick TV’s excellent new series “Forza Roma.”

I could tell you how amusing I found all this, or you could just watch the clip below. Totti man. Freakin’ Totti.