Football

Why France Still "Won" World Cup 2019

Why France Still "Won" World Cup 2019

The aftermath was bitter. While only one team won yesterday’s quarter-final showdown on the field (that would be the USWNT), France and Les Bleues won this tournament in another way.

How Do They Make Les Bleues?

How Do They Make Les Bleues?

A lot has changed since the early 2000s when the first wave of female footballers emerged from Clairefontaine, among them legendary icons Laura Georges, Louisa Nécib (Cadamuro), Camille Abily, and Amandine Henry. So: what does the Pôle France Féminin du football look like today? 

Women’s World Cup Countdown

We’re finally here, one week before the FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off in France. And all eyes are on Les Bleues to see if they can continue the magical journey begun last summer by their male counterparts in Russia. 

Sport Diplomacy + Digital Diplomacy: Part I

Sport Diplomacy + Digital Diplomacy: Part I

A brief rundown of “Sports Diplomacy: A Vision for the Future” confab on what happens when the sports diplomacy world collides with the digital diplomacy one.

The World’s First Viral Soccer Moment

Rounding out my coverage of how our global sports world was significantly shaped by the First World War a century ago is this recent piece for The Athletic. Reporting on “How the Great War Made Soccer the World’s Most Popular Sport—and Led to Its First Viral moment,” I learned a lot more than I anticipated. As a sports specialist with a sub-specialty on the First World War (thanks to my work on the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Embassy France’s World War One Centennial project), I thought I knew the story’s key turning points. But as Jean Williams and Arnaud Waquet reminded me, there were many more.

Of particular interest to many is how the war era served as a golden age of women’s soccer, in Britain and elsewhere. Crowds of 10,000 paid to watch women play in 1917 and 1918, and a few years later, some 55,000 people crowded into Goodson Park to watch a women’s match. As Williams pointed out, makes you wonder why organizers of women’s professional soccer today don’t look to the ways that their predecessors shined 100 years ago in terms of getting the crowds out en masse with regularity...

Full pdf here.  

Blaise Matuidi, France’s Soldier in the Shadows.

It may seem strange, but in addition to the headliners such as Kylian Mbappé,  Paul Pogba,  and  N’Golo Kanté—one of France’s key players at this World Cup is a player who has only started in three of the six games the team has played through the semifinal.

Read more at The Athletic or full pdf (here). 

 

World Cup Kickoff: The Irony of Looking Backward to Celebrate the Future

World Cup Kickoff: The Irony of Looking Backward to Celebrate the Future

I’m back from a sports week in France ahead of the World Cup and am struck by the irony of nostalgia for the past—in this case, 1998—which very much celebrated the future.

What I'm Watching 2018

What I'm Watching 2018

Hello, and happy new year! May yours be merry and bright. I usually take the first week of the year to take stock of how the “best of” the past year puts greater focus into events of the coming one.Thus, here’s my watch list for the first half of the year. They’re less predictions and more things to take note of…though, if I’m honest, should things work out, I hope you give me some credit for my foresight!