If you’ve watched any games from this year’s World Cup, you’ve probably heard the hum of vuvuzelas, the long plastic stadium horns favored by South African fans and visitors alike. For the past few weeks, a handful of alumni soccer fans have been contributing their own sort of buzz on the blog Yankee Vuvuzela, a creation of two former Princeton soccer players: occasional PAW contributor Giles Morris ’97 and classmate Jeff Plunkett ’97.
Morris and Plunkett played for U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley ’80 when Bradley was at Princeton, and they have recruited former teammates John Talbott ’94, Tyson Hom ’95, and Lee Topar ’95 to chip in thoughts about Bradley’s coaching style and the U.S. team’s World Cup run. Former Princeton basketball star Mitch Henderson ’98, an avid soccer fan, also is a contributor.
The blog’s authors provide opinions, analysis, and humor — some of it self-deprecating. Morris’ bio, for example, recounts how Bradley responded to a defensive misstep in a game against Seton Hall:
“After the game, Coach Bradley told Giles he lacked competitive maturity and benched him for the rest of the season. Giles did not let that affect their relationship, however, visiting Bradley’s open office hours frequently to contribute to the running philosophical discourse on the beautiful game with comments like, ‘Some players are better in games than in practice,’ and ‘I see myself in the mold of a Finidi George [the former Ajax midfielder].’ Needless to say Coach Bradley was not shaken from his own philosophical foundation and pressed Giles to obtain skills like tackling, shooting, and passing.”
(Photo courtesy PicApp.com)
Alumni of Princeton’s athletic teams are playing key roles in a trio of professional championships this month.
At the men’s soccer World Cup in South Africa, head coach BOB BRADLEY ’80 and assistant coach JESSE MARSCH ’96 will lead the U.S. national team, which opens play against England June 12. The team came to Princeton’s campus in late May for its final stateside training camp, choosing a venue that has multiple alumni connections. Princeton’s soccer facility — Myslik Field at Roberts Stadium — carries the names of two players Bradley coached during his time with the Tigers, Tom Roberts ’85 and the late Rob Myslik ’90.
With a 98-0 vote, the U.S. Senate confirmed Denny Chin ’75 as a justice on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit April 22. [New York Times]
Oregon State basketball coach Craig Robinson ’83, the brother of Michelle Obama ’85, discussed his new book, A Game of Character, with Stephen Colbert. [Colbert Report]
Jennifer Weiner ’91 is touring with fellow authors Amy Tan, Dave Barry, Mitch Albom, and others in a series of charity concerts by the Rock Bottom Remainders. [Wall Street Journal]
Former Princeton soccer coach Bob Bradley ’80 will be back on campus May 17-23 to coach the U.S. men’s national team as it trains for the 2010 World Cup. The practices, to be held at Roberts Stadium, will not be open to the public. [ESPN]
In soccer, national-team coaches ultimately are judged by how their teams perform at the World Cup, but just getting into the tournament can be a challenging process. This week, head coach Bob Bradley ’80 and the U.S. men’s national team earned its ticket to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, winning in Honduras Oct. 10 to improve to 6-1-2 in qualifying matches.
For Bradley and his players, the celebration was cut short Oct. 13 when Charlie Davies, a 23-year-old forward on the team, was seriously injured in an early-morning car crash that killed one passenger. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Charlie and his family, as well as the people in the car and the families of the others involved,” Bradley said in a press conference. “As a team, we are relying on each other in a moment that has for sure hit us all hard.”
Bradley, the U.S. coach since December 2006, was a successful player at Princeton and coached the Tigers from 1984 to 1995, leading his team to the NCAA Final Four in 1993. In professional soccer, he coached the Chicago Fire to the Major League Soccer championship in 1998.
(Photo courtesy Wikipedia)
Do you have a nominee for Tiger of the Week? Let us know. All alumni qualify. PAW’s Tiger of the Week is selected by our staff, with help from readers like you.