The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.

We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.

Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.

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The Streets of Kiev Are Rivers of Champagne Tonight

I know about as much about the MLS as I do about Spanish basketball, but it looked like a nice scene in Washington today as the Houston Dynamo beat the New England Revolution 2-1 to win their second consecutive championship. The crowd seemed to be having fun. You didn’t get the sense that the match was hulking in the doorway of the private room in anyone’s mind, and while that may have restricted the scale of the drama compared to, say, Saturday at Hampden Park, sometimes it’s a relief to see the game as an object of enjoyment. I can’t say I was dazzled by the quality of play, but it was just about better than nothing. There were an amazing number of players on the pitch with beards—I’m assuming there’s a playoff beard tradition in the MLS, or is it just a grizzly league?—and quite possibly more openly bald athletes than I’ve ever seen under championship-game conditions. (Dad, why didn’t you tell me you were in goal for the Revolution?) It was heartening to see them running up and down the pitch like the fastest Ingmar Bergman fans of all time.

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The Streets of Kiev Are Rivers of Champagne Tonight

by Brian Phillips · November 18, 2007

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