I thought I'd take "Soccer By The Numbers" literally for a change. How? For years, Google has been
busy digitizing books and printed materials, and they've been going back into historical archives.
So now, researchers (and, well, anyone with access to a computer, like me) can search for words or
phrases that have occurred in print over the past several hundred years, give or take.
The World Cup is almost upon us and there aren't many genuine football fans left who aren't
looking forward to the tournament more and more everyday. The World Cup is the most special of all
competitions. We can all remember where we were watching Zinedine Zidane headbutt Marco Materazzi
in 2006, or David Beckham's penalty against Argentina in 2002, and of course David Beckham's red
card against the same opposition in St Etienne in 1998.
Feeling as inspired as I do, here is a moment of inspiration courtesy of Saeed Al Owairan. He was
the player for Saudi Arabia who scored one of the best goals ever in the 1994 World Cup against
I was 10. I barely remembered 1990's World Cup (except for the fact that Argentina kicked Brazil
out). Brazil hadn't won any World Cup title since 1970 and all I could relate to were my
grandfather's stories of when he was in Mexico ans saw Pele, Rivellino, Jairizinho and Tostão put
on a show to win Brazil's third World Title.
United German Hungarians (UGH) have one of the longest histories of any soccer team in
Philadelphia. This weekend they celebrate their 100th anniversary by hosting the United States
Adult Soccer Association's National Cup final. UGH have won the competition twice, in 1965 and
1999, having played in the final five times.
We (ok, me ... ) here at Road to 2010 have been watching football for a mere 11 years as an avid
Call me a neophyte but it's been long enough to have seen some incredible European finals (my team
Valencia in 2000, the '05 classic in Istanbul between Liverpool and AC Milan), some wicked goals
(Zidane in 2002, David Bentley's smacker today), some awesome World Cup games (Italy-South Korea in
'02) and the ultimate - Spain winning Euro 2008.