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Off the Woodwork: DaMarcus Fights Racism, Germans Fight Pubic Hair

Welcome back to another edition of Off the Woodwork! We start things off with video highlights from Aston Villa & Liverpool. Really, the last 30 seconds of the video are the part worth watching. Steven Gerrard of Liverpool bends an incredible free kick into the back of the net in the 87th minute to give Liverpool a 2-1 win.

This week we will focus mostly on action from England and Scotland. In case you haven’t been able to tell so far, my interest in soccer is focused particularly on the English and Scottish leagues, as well as American soccer (MLS, the National Team and Yanks playing abroad). We won’t neglect other leagues, but with more and more Americans playing in the UK, we’ll be keeping up with how they are doing.

The two most American teams in the English Premiership (Reading and Fulham) both nearly pulled off incredible results this weekend, but in the end just one of them came away with any points. Reading traveled to Old Trafford to face defending champions Manchester United and managed to leave with a 0-0 draw, despite getting shot at more than Tupac & 50 Cent combined (yeah, lame joke). Thug baby Wayne Rooney also broke his foot in the match and is expected to be out for about 3 months, making the day even worse for Man United. American Marcus Hahnemann was stellar in goal for Reading.

Fulham, on the other hand, were not so lucky. They started great, with newcomer David Healy taking advantage of a miscue by the goalkeeper just 51 seconds into the match. From then until the 84th minute, it looked like Fulham would hold on, but a bad Carlos Bocanegra foul resulted in a penalty, then Arsenal scored the winner just minutes later.

Another American playing overseas had an eventful week. DaMarcus Beasley scored his first goal for Rangers on Tuesday night against FK Zeta in Montenegro as they moved on to the next stage of Champions League qualifying. However, his appearance was not without controversy, as some fans of the opposing side made “monkey chants” toward DeMarcus and another Rangers teammate, something that he has encountered before. After the match Beasley said:

I was aware of it last night again. I have no problems speaking about it. It has no place in the game, and it has to be wiped out. Of course it was good to score the goal and quieten those who were doing the monkey chants. It’s sad we still have that, and it’s something I had a bit in Holland, not so much in England, and certainly in Europe.

Racism indeed rampant in European soccer, particularly in Eastern Europe, though it can indeed be found in other places as well. FIFA & UEFA are undertaking campaigns to change this, but clearly there are still places where they have a long way to go. Until there are harsh penalties for teams that allow their fans to chant vile racist slogans in their stands, it will still exist. DaMarcus may be in for a rough time in some places, especially since next week Rangers travel to Belgrade to face Red Star, but he will serve as a strong voice to speak up about what is going on.

Finally, we close on a lighter note & a great recommendation for how you can support your favorite team. It appears that one player for German Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart felt he needed to do some “field” maintenance before the season began, in order to show how much he loves playing for the organization. And by “field” maintenance, I of course mean shaving the team logo into his pubic hair.

And on that note, enjoy your lunch and the rest of the week!

Sources: (Yahoo,, MSNBC, Deadspin)

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