Recommended Reading

SBI's Recommended Reading

Jose Mourinho (AP)


Happy Earth Day to all.  We'll keep things on the small side numbers-wise, but there are four really great (albeit relatively lengthy) reads, one Earth Day-related link, and one "Special" quote.

GreenLaces.org – For fans of the planet

Mourinho says Balotelli chants weren't racist [AP]

What Should A Soccer Agent Do Outside of Transfer Windows? [Sports Agent Blog]

Penalty Kicks… By The Numbers [Science of Soccer Online]

Is the box-to-box midfielder dead? [Guardian]

How football became the new rock 'n' roll [FourFourTwo]

Agree with The Special One?  Enjoy the unique perspective of the agent?  Would you like to introduce Dimitar Berbatov to the Science of Soccer Online?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Barry Jive and His Uptown Five

    Regarding the Guardian article, is Michael Bradley a box-to-box midfielder? What about Maurice Edu? If not, are they as close as we’ll get?


  • DC Josh

    Barry Jive – Definetely Bradley. Edu is a little more defensively minded, but that doesn’t mean he can’t put the ball in the back of the net.

    Mourinho can sugar-coat the insults towards Ballotelli all he wants, but they were racist insults. Lifetime ban from international football – as simple as that. It can’t be tolerated.


  • Supsam

    Morinho needs a dictionary so he can look up the definition of “racism”

    No matter how used and when used, racist remarks are….thats right, racist. The fact that Morihno says it happens all the time startles me even though i know racism still goes on in Euorpe.

    I agree with the punishment. Keep punishing clubs that dont curb their own fan’s behaviors. Eventually MOST supporters will learn so that the next time it happens, other supporters can police themselves which ended up happening more frequently in England….now if only Spain, Italy and the rest of Eastern Europe could pick that up


  • Larry

    Re keepers–Keepers can’t stop a decent PK hit within 3 ft of the post and 2-3 ft of the crossbar. All PKs should go there. However, they don’t. It’s been known for years (Dutch scientists did a study at least 15 yrs ago) that keepers save more PKs by not committing to one side, but rather by trying to react to the direction the ball is hit. That puts the burden back on the keeper’s skill and reaction time, rather than on his guessing ability. The Dutch studies are supported by these recent results.


  • Master of the Obvious

    Mourinho’s opinion on this makes about as much sense as Cheney’s position on torture.


  • outfield player

    How far can a keeper come off of his line while defending a PK? Because I’ve seen Lehmann and Dudek dancing their ways pretty far off. Can any keepers out there help me out with a little insight?


  • SeaOtter

    I know “This Is American Soccer” is part of the Designated Players, and by default recommended reading, but if any of you folks haven’t made it over to read the Devann Yao story yet……you should take the time.

    It’s a great read! Devann’s easy to root for. I hope the best for him.


  • fubar

    The Guardian article is excellent. Per chance you should send it to everyone at US Soccer headquarters, Bradley, Cabrera, Rongen et,al. They all seem to have no sense of history and how to manage tactics.

    If these are the players you have, put them in a position to succeed by playing formation(s) that maximize the talent at hand.

    Too often managers/trainers/whatever you want to call them, try to make the players play into their systems rather than mold the system to fit the players.

    And yes, Bradley is a box to box midfielder. So should we, or do we need to, have a defensive player behind him ala Gerrard? me thinks not. at least I think Dad Bradley has it right there…


  • timpramas

    The best strategy for a goalkeeper is to react to the shot rather than guessing which side the shooter is going to target. But, shooters often telegraph in the angle of their approach to the ball where they will be shooting. A goalkeeper can then time movement to the side where the keeper reads the shooter is going when the shooter’s plant foot hits the ground. Committing earlier than that allows the shooter to change the intended shot. Absent any good read, the keeper is best served trying to react to the shot and not guess.

    One important consideration about the penalty kick study is that it did not include analysis of shots that were wide or high of the net. Although it makes sense that a shot to the vertical upper third of the net is the most difficult for a keeper to stop, my experience is that many of the missed PKs were because the shooter got too far under the ball and skied it off or over the cross bar. If I were coacing PK shooters, I woudl have them practice hitting balls to the upper third of one side so that if they needed to take a PK during the game they know to avoid hitting it too high.


  • timpramas

    Mourniho contends the racially tinged chants are not because the fans doing the chants are bigots, but because they are hoping to upset an opposing player so he plays less effectively. Even if that is true (a big if), that does not make those chants any more acceptable nor should that mitigate against the perfectly appropriate punishment of requiring a team to play a home game in an empty stadium. If that does not solve the problem, teams should be docked points in the standings and not allowed to participate in European Cup competitions.


  • JakeO

    Speaking of Edu…Barry Ferguson is out for the season at Rangers, Maurice should see a lot more action during the remainder of the season.


  • Isaac

    How about this for England:






    There’s your holding player; Its not like Gerrard and Lampard are COMPLETELY incapable of dropping back. We should give them as much space as possible to create in my opinion.


  • soccerroo

    Outfield Player said

    How far can a keeper come off of his line while defending a PK?

    The rule states he can go side to side but not forward until the ball is played. But most officials allow a step or so forward as the kicker is moving toward the ball.


  • soccerroo

    On Bradley being the box-to-box midfielder that is not how he is normally used. Of the USA players I think he is the most capable of being that but to often he is set up behind a withdrawn striker or attacking midfielder like Donovan. He then ends up being one of two defensive minded mids.


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