Friday Round-Up: World Cup Edition

Any soccer fans out there?

Any (American) people who secretly wish they could call it football instead of soccer without sounding like a weenie?

Any weeneies out there who have more than one pair of Sambas in their closet, even though they haven’t played a game of soccer in 25 years?

Any parents who spend more time than they care to admit showing their daughter youtube clips of the “25 Trickiest Goals in History” (which, unfortunately, also means spending more time than they care to admit listening to the terrible Euro dance music that always seems to accompany these highlights) when you are supposed to be helping her study for a vocab test?

Any (other) grown person out there who has watched this video more than 50 times, and still can’t believe it’s real?

Any dads who have a crush on Neymar?

Any moms who don’t have a crush on Ronaldo?

Any mom, dad, son, or daughter who intends to spend an ungodly portion of the few weeks sitting on the couch and watching the World Cup?

If you answered yes to any of the above, we have a book giveaway that might interest you – or, even better, your kids. We have three signed copies of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s memoir, I Am Zlatan, to get you in the mood. We’re not usually athlete-bio types here at DALS, but this one is worthy (“The most compelling autobiography ever to appear under a footballer’s name,” said a reviewer at The Guardian, and reviewers at The Guardian ought to know, right?). We also happen to be big fans in this house (that’s Phoebe — and #1 Zlatan fan — above, in his jersey). The bad news is, Zlatan’s national team, Sweden, didn’t qualify for the World Cup this year. The good news is, this afforded Zlatan to impart yet another of his crucial lessons in humility: “The World Cup without Zlatan is nothing,” he said. But don’t despair. With this book, you can have both! Just comment below and we’ll pick three winners at random.*

And now, a little World Cup-themed round-up, to get you in the mood…

I can’t believe we wrote this healthy snack post for the last World Cup, four years ago. But the idea holds: If you’re gonna watch, eat wisely and well.

I can’t believe how seriously our 10-year-old is taking her FIFA sticker album.

If you’re going to park yourself on the coach for the next month, you’ll want a few dishes on the rotation: chicken wings, nachos, and Stromboli! (It’s literally impossible for me to write “stromboli!” without an exclamation point.)

A Call to Arms for Title IX moms: Get out there and coach!

For a very different take on the best player in the world, check out Jeff Himmelman’s “The Burden of Being Lionel Messi.”

And while we’re on the subject of Argentina, this piece by the ever-excellent Wright Thompson in ESPN, about the 1978 World Cup.

Argentina, Part 3: We will never stop linking to this clip.

Kids’ sports should be kid-sized. In more ways than one. This one made us think.

A classic fry-up for the morning after that England-Italy match.

I dare you to watch these videos showing reactions to Neymar’s goal yesterday and not a) get the chills b) proclaim your undying love of all sports everywhere.

Looking for a good coach? Three simple things great teachers do.

Handicapping every World Cup match by the most important metric: uniform aesthetics.

The World Cup of Sausage.

What better excuse than the largest sporting event in the world to make our favorite cake of all time?

May you get bed sores and back aches this weekend from watching so much soccer. Go USA (and Portugal, and England, and Argentina, and Brazil, and every other team our kids are randomly deciding to root for once the game starts)! See you next week.

— Andy & Jenny

(Sausage photo by Danny Kim for Bon Appetit.)

*Update: The winners have all been notified — congrats to Mollie, Greg, and Renee. Thanks to everyone who participated and GO USA!

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Woohoo! We are a BIG soccer family and will definitely be spending a really insane amount of time watching the games this weekend…and taping all of the ones that we miss…and watching the good parts over and over and over…and loving every minute of it!

YAY! This is our year to finally beat Ghana!!!


Thank goodness somebody out there likes soccer!! 🙂 (No one at work seems to appreciate the fact that IT’S THE WORLD CUP ahhhh!!!!) We’re having a huge watch party tomorrow and will be stealing some of your snack ideas – thanks! I grew up watching, playing, and coaching soccer and love what happens every four years.


YES! Yesterday, I told one of my friends to not even bother asking me what I am doing at any point over the next month, because my answer will always be “watching soccer.” This is the coolest giveaway I have seen on a blog in a long time:)

C.C. Strom

Love it! My 11 year old son happened to be wearing his Ibra jersey the day some Swedish educators visited his school. They were a bit surprised to meet an Ibra fan. If you’re looking for other crazy-good Swedish soccer player videos, check out Jakob and Josef El-Zein. They have incredible footskills. Soccer is, indeed, a beautiful game. (Go, England!)


pick me, pick me! My husband loves Zlatan and this might make him feel better about not being able to watch him in the world cup!!


My 16 year old soccer playing son has his life scheduled out for the next month based on the World Cup schedule. Thank goodness for school vacation and the DVR! Convincing him to read a book would make this Mom very happy!

Mary Peterson

Our children pulled us into the soccer world in MT
our daughter Meg asking for $10 insurance fee to try out for a traveling team “just for the experience”
Years later I was scheduling referees 20 hours a week and my husband coached many boys and girls teams and later high school soccer. We knew nothing about this addiction when it began.


Reading about a slice of someone’s life is always interesting. This book could help me with my never ending quest to turn my husband into a reader 🙂
Enjoy the games!


We’re huge football fans! Big cheers for a boss who’s also a fan and understands the need for random off-site “meetings” during the World Cup 🙂


My family is very fired about soccer and the world cup. After three years being TV free we even gave in so we could watch the World Cup.


I didn’t watch soccer until I met my husband. He’s from Peru and pretty crazy about it. Luckily, I found I really enjoy watching and learning about various teams and players. (We’re rooting for Messi and the Argentinian side.) My husband and his twin brother have a complex fantasy football (“real football” of course) competition both for champion’s league play and the world cup, and the research they put into it amazes me.


The FIFA sticker book is just about all my almost-10-year-old has talked about for the last month. Obsessed. And he’s not even a huge soccer fan!


We lived in the Czech Republic during the 2002 World Cup, and there is nothing like living somewhere football-mad during the World Cup. Our workplaces were abandoned as we all watched matches together as colleagues, and there were jumbotrons in the main squares… I really miss that.


Can’t help but laugh at the perhaps Freudian slip in the third round-up link, “park yourself on the coach for the next month.”

Don’t mind if I do?? Hahaha my husband is the coach for his daughter’s softball team.


I live in a part of the country where American football and basketball rule, and no one will give me control of the remote long enough to tune to the World Cup! If I don’t win this bio, thanks for telling us about it because I will likely get it on my own.


We love soccer and my husband lived in Sweden for a couple of years. We need to read this book. Thank you for all of your book recommendations!


I am definitely hoping I win the giveaway!! Would love a book to read to amp up the excitement.

My biggest regret about the summer is the fact that studying is cutting into my world cup time. I’ve had serious conversations with friends about how we wished we had started grad school a year later so we could have taken the bar after the world cup was over and gone.


World Cup fever has definitely hit our house too:) We used to live in Europe so we love watching the artistry-in-motion of the European teams — but our fingers are crossed for the USA!!


A few “football” lovers in the family and many many book lovers. 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway!!!

Kim Demopoulos

World Cup action and the Stanley Cup Final! And only two more weeks of school! Things are looking up.

Leah Harding

‘I believe that we will win!’ Our kids (ages 5,3) are totally into the Panini book. We’d love to add to the World Cup excitement in our house by winning this signed book!

Brittany C

Thanks for the roundup! My husband and I have been glued to the TV and definitely guilty of calling it “football” instead of soccer 🙂 We would love to win!


We are currently camped out on the couch in front of the Spain-Netherlands match, with a lot riding on it, since one child loves van Persie and the other cheers for Spain. BTW, my 12 year old just rode his bike to the soccer shop to swap out cards for the Panini FIFA sticker book. Panini= #marketinggeniu$


We love Zlatan!!!

My kids are nuts about the Panini soccer album too- classic!

Lots of fun coming up in the next few weeks. Enjoy it and may the best team win!


I guess you can brag like that when you’re as good as he is? Haha.

And I claim the right to call it football since I lived in England for a bit (or at least that’s my excuse!).


My son would love this book! My husband’s grandmother was a first generation American of Swedish parents. We still have extended family in Sweden, so Sweden has a special place in our heart! Thanks so much!

M payne

I love that you and your family are so into the World Cup!! Thanks for all the links, I love the one with all the videos of Brazil getting their first goal of the tournament! We’re England supporters at our house 🙂


LOL “any weeneies out there who have more than one pair of Sambas in their closet, even though they haven’t played a game of soccer in 25 years?” this whole post is AWESOME.


I love girls who play hard. We watch hockey shooting videos in lieu of studying for spelling. Thank goodness she’s a good speller. Zlatan’s name could be a challenge!

Greg Samuelson

I love Ibra and would love his book. Check out how crazy my family and I are about football by following the link to the website above. It is a World Cup game that I created back in ’98 and has 35 people playing this year. Also, Ibra changed his mind and is going to the World Cup because of a Brazilian twitter campaign #VEMIBRA –


Love this post. Thanks for all the great links. My 3 are also randomly & enthusiastically rooting for teams once the game, er, match, begins. So fun to watch! I’m off to get that sticker book for 8 year old samba wearing soccer player! And then make a lazy Saturday morning fry up. Yum.

Rachel A

We are watching and this is an awesome post! Of course USMNT is our team, but we each pick another nation to root for. We also support our BPL team’s players, too. I’m a Chelsea fan and there are lots of our Boys in Blue playing in this World Cup. Our dream is to travel as a family to a World Cup and take it all in.

Jennifer R

This would be so fun to win. I love watching my girls play soccer and try to up the enthusiasm for this event in my home whenever I can!

Anne A

Back in the day, before we got cable, we watched La Copa Mundial in spanish as we could get the station via antenna. We got the boys up at the crack of dawn to watch early morning dramas…those were the days! Enjoy with your girls, they grow up and away too soon.

Mollie E

Love the article about women/moms coaching. I have two boys and between me and my husband, I was the one most into sports growing up. Even though it can be uncomfortable and there is some pretty blatant sexism out there, I’ve made an effort to coach my son’s baseball team (he’s still in the tball/coachpitch age range). I want them to see that I am/women are capable of knowing sports, organizing a team, and cheering hard!!


I am so obsessed with world cup. I’ve been watching it at work and watching all weekend! I’m so nervous for the US games. 3rd time is a charm and we will beat Ghana!


My husband is a HUGE football fan! And I am a huge Ronaldo fan. 😉 Our girls love watching and playing too.

Great giveaway!


The answer is YES to all of the above. We are spending an inordinate amount on the couch watching the world cup with our 5 year old soccer player. And yes, we do call it football 🙂


Watching as many games as we can. Soccer practice cancelled Monday to watch USA beat Ghana!!


Can’t wait to go through these links with my two little ones. I’m a Messi mom myself 🙂 What a goal tonight against B&H – yes!


I’m currently living in Spain at the moment, which means: a.) every bar, restaurant and house you pass by has either the current match on or else the highlights on a loop, b.) every Spaniard is shaking their head over the match against the Netherlands on Friday and c.) I get to watch as much football as my little heart desires and there’s no one who thinks it’s a little weird. Still gutted that it had to be a choice between Ronaldo and Zlatan for the WC. I mean, really: is it the same without both? I’ve been meaning to get my hands on his autobiography for awhile, but it’s a bit tough to find in English around here. Also, if you’re looking for other footie related reads, check out: Soccernomics (probably my top recommendation of anything, ever.), The Ball is Round, La Roja: How Soccer Conquered Spain and How Spanish Soccer Conquered the World, Bloody Confused, How Soccer Explains the World and the ever classic Fever Pitch. There’s also some great football magazines out there, if your girls are interested: Howler, XI and 8by8 are good places to start.


Ah, I also forgot (silly me) She Kicks magazine in my recommendation. Definitely, definitely worth a look, even if it’s more European footballers than N. American. 🙂

Helen H

Soccer is pretty big in our family, mostly because of my dad who loved it, played it and coached it to each of us. He would die for a signed copy of the book. What a great belated father’s day gift!


I scrolled through the comments to see if anyone else had anything to say about the ESPN piece.
It was heartbreaking and riveting, and I hope at the very least they’ll do a 30 for 30 on it, but Jenny and Andy, you did not prepare me for it with your casual mention/link. That story is going to haunt me for some time.


I KNEW I could count on you for a World Cup post! I know what you mean about “football”. 🙂