Postcard from France: Visiting the Louvre-Lens

Lens, a small town in northern France, boasts a football stadium with a capacity larger than its population, but doesn’t have a movie theater.  A former mining strong hold, its main touristic and cultural attractions used to be world war I cemeteries and Europe’s tallest slag heaps (known by their formal French name of base et terrils jumeaux du 11/19.) That all changed in 2012. That year, one of the world’s most famous museums, the Louvre, opened an outpost in Lens, attracting some 900,000 visitors its first year of operation. While that’s barely anything compared to the 8 million visitors that go through the Parisian museum each year, that’s still very impressive.

Lens is easily accessible from Belgium, the Netherlands and England. It’s also just an hour away from Paris by train, so during my last visit home, we hopped on the TGV to check it out. We rented a car to do a little more sight-seeing beyond the museum but you can also easily do without. Free shuttles bring visitors directly from the art deco train station to the Louvre-Lens and back. Starting in January, the shuttle will also stop boulevard Basly, the main commercial street in the city lined with a few art-deco reconstructed houses, on its way back from the museum.

Gare de Lens

Gare de Lens

Downtown Lens

Downtown Lens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But let’s get back to the main attraction: Louvre-Lens. The sleek, minimalist building, designed by Japanese architect firm Sanaa (they also designed the New Museum in New York City,) is a steel and glass structure on a 20 hectare wasteland that was originally used as a coal mine before the ’60s. On a clear day, visitors can spot the giant through the museum’s  floor to ceiling glass windows.

Can you spot the twin giant slag heaps at Loos-en-Gohelle?

Can you spot the twin giant slag heaps at Loos-en-Gohelle through the windows?

The Louvre-Lens creators have said they want the museum to be a Louvre in its own right, and not just an annex of the Parisian Museum. That being said, the Louvre-Lens doesn’t have its own collection and relies instead on long-term loans from the mother-ship. Since the Louvre has some 460,000 works of art in its collection but only has space to display 35,000 of them, this is actually a mutually beneficial relationship. The first 250 pieces that were loaned to Louvre-Lens have been curated in a rather novel way to give visitors a brand new perspective on some pretty classic art pieces and artifacts. While other museums, the Louvre-Paris included, typically separate artworks by style or era (Egyptian pieces together, renaissance painting separately,) the art at Louvre-Lens is displayed in chronological order in one long, light-filled gallery called the Galerie du Temps (time gallery.)

The "permanent" collection at Louvre-Lens is housed in the Galerie du temps

The “permanent” collection at Louvre-Lens is housed in the Galerie du Temps

We spent two hours going through the collection like we would have reading through an art book, starting with Egyptian antiquities (statues, sarcophagus, etc.,) a statue of Alexander the great, roman mosaics, greek vases and a celestial globe from Iran going all the way to a portrait of Louis XIV, a statue of Napoleon, a virgin and child by Botticelli and yes, a Goya and a Rembrandt too… While we were there, the museum was busy preparing for the opening of a new temporary exhibit, “Des animaux et des pharaons,” focusing on Egypt’s fascination with animals. Every year, the museum will offer 2 different temporary exhibits while changing up some of the pieces in the “permanent” collection, giving residents of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region plenty of reasons to keep going back to their new local attraction.

Chez Cathy, across from the Louvre-Lens

Chez Cathy, across from the Louvre-Lens

Le Centre Historique Minier Lewarde

Le Centre Historique Minier Lewarde

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether the museum will provide a long-term economic boost to the depressed town remains to be seen but it certainly cannot hurt. I was glad to visit. While we were in the area, we had some traditional northern-France food at nearby Chez Cathy (the museum also offers its own more elegant restaurant, l’Atelier de Marc Meurin,) visited the excellent Centre Historique Minier Lewarde before grabbing dinner at Aux Vieux de la Vieille, a traditional estraminet in Lille.There’s plenty more we could have done if we had opted to do an overnight trip instead of the day one, like visiting the historical town center in Arras or even going as far as Roubaix to visit Le Musee de La Piscine de Roubaix, a former art-deco swimming pool turned, you may have guessed it, museum. And I might have an opportunity to in the next few years, actually. In 2016, Lens will be one of the host cities for the Euro Cup, which will be held in France between June 10 and July 19, 2016 and which I am totally planning on attending! Its Stade Bollaert-Delelis, which previously hosted some world cup matches back in 1998, will see 3 group-stages matches and one round of 16 match (so if you’re planning on seeing a match there, maybe double down and see the museum too!). Before that, though, the Louvre will further spread its collection, going outside of France this time with the opening of the Louvre-Abu Dhabi scheduled for December 2015.

My Picks For Watching The World Cup In DC

I can’t believe this is going to be my third World Cup in Washington, D.C.! Well, technically, I was honeymooning in Peru during the 2006 tournament and I’ll be in Brazil for most of this one. Nonetheless. I’ve definitely noticed a rise in soccer fandom in the District since I’ve moved here. There are SO many options now when it comes to watching the games and you can read all about them in lots and lots of articles and blog post (like this one, and this one and this one.) Overall, the best places to watch soccer in the area will always be Lucky Bar, Fado and Summers. But the World Cup is about SO much more than soccer. It’s about countries. It’s about being together as you watch the match (or at least not surrounded by people who are cheering for the other team. Been there, done that for the finals in 2006. It’s not fun. And it can be hard to get together with like-minded fans when you’re let’s say from Australia, Belgium or France as opposed to American, Mexican, British or Italian. If I weren’t going to Brazil, here is where I’d be watching some of the games.

 

Watching the World Cup in DC

 

A CINDERELLA STORY ~ Brazil’s fairy tale princess could be Belgium. The Red Devils boast some of the best young players in Europe, most of them World Cup rookies. Nonetheless, several of them are rising stars of the English league and their goalie, Thibaut Courtois, helped lead Atlético Madrid to a shock Spanish title this year and a runner-up finish in the Champions League. They’re also in a pretty easy group and are definitely a team to watch! Their biggest fan in the city happens to be a knight who owns 2 restaurants… so take a long “lunch break” on the 17th and the 20th head to B Too to cheer them on!

Games to watch: Belgium-Algeria (June 17 at noon), Belgium-Russia (June 22 at noon), Belgium-South Korea (June 26 at 4PM.)

allez les bleusALLEZ LES BLEUS ~ Let’s start with the most important team, at least for me! Yes, there are plenty of French restaurants in the city, but supporters of Les Bleus will be getting together at Redline for every France game. Initially, it was the Swiss Embassy and the Swiss Club of DC who decided Redline would be their World Cup HQ (chef Fabrice Reymond is from Lausanne.) But since the French Embassy doesn’t get involved in these kind of things and we’re playing La Nati anyways, I thought it would be fun to go to Redline too. So now Redline is the World Cup HQ for all supporters of LES BLEUS and supporters of Switzerland are headed to City Tap House instead on the 15th and darlington House on the 25th (sorry). On the 20th, when France and Switzerland face off, we’ll all be at Redline though.

Games to watch: France-Honduras (Sunday June 15 at 3PM), France-Switzerland (Friday June 20 at 3PM), France-Ecuador (June 25 at 4PM.)

CAMPEONES! ~ There’s not shortage of great Spanish restaurants to cheer on the reigning World Cup and Euro Cup champions: Bodega, Jaleo, La Tasca, etc. THE game to watch is obviously Spain-Netherlands, a rematch of the 2010 World Cup finals. That’s June 13th at 3PM. I hear both the Dutch and the Spaniards are planning on taking over Elephant & the Castle on Pennsylvania Avenue, which should be really fun. Otherwise, if you’re into the Socceroos, you probably want to avoid anywhere remotely Spanish on June 23rd and head to Fado’s instead. It’s an awesome soccer bar and the Australians in Washington Association will be there, so there will be at least a few other people not cheering for Spain around you.

Games to watch: Spain-Netherlands (Friday, June 13 at 3PM), Spain-Chile (Wednesday June 18 at 3PM) and Spain-Australia (Monday June 23 at noon.)

World Cup at Biergarten Haus DCNATIONALMANNSCHAFT ~ Now I’m no fans of the Germans, but they put on a good show (both on the field and off.) I do feel bad for them this year because they’re a) in a really hard group b) playing the US and it’s never fun to cheer against the US in the US. Four years ago, BiergartenHaus opened its door on the first day of the World Cup and the H street bar is still an awesome spot to watch the games, especially if you want to be outside in the sun instead of inside a dark bar all day. and it’s especially fun to watch Germany play there since, you know, it’s a German beer garden and all. Also outdoors will be a return of Soccer in Circle Festival with a live screening of the USA-Germany game on big screen in Dupont Circle June 26th.

Games to watch: Portugal-Germany (Monday June 16 at noon), Germany-Ghana (Saturday June 21 at 3PM) and of course Germany-USA (Thursday June 26 at noon.)

U-S-A! U-S-A! ~ There’s obviously tons of options to cheer for the USMNT. Dupont Circle for the US-Germany game on the 26 should be really fun and D.C. United is sponsoring another outdoor screening, for the Portugal-USA game, in Reston Town Center (June 22 at 6PM.)

Games to watch: Ghana-USA (Monday June 16 at 6PM), Portugal-USA (Sunday June 22 at 6PM) and USA-Germany (Thursday June 26 at noon.)

 

Soccer in the City at Yankee Stadium

Now, I’m not actually a Paris-Saint-Germain fan. I’ve never been to any of their games. I don’t think I’ve even watched one on TV either. I couldn’t name a single one of the players currently on the roster. But I am from Paris and for all intents and purposes, PSG is my home team. If they cross the Atlantic to play an exhibition match a few hours away from where I live now, you bet I’ll be right there in a spanking PSG(ish)-branded shirt I had a really hard time finding here in the US 😉

Friends for 15 years now, we have the same taste in macaron flavours, but not in football teams
It was a night of firsts… My first time cheering for the Paris-Saint-Germain. My first time at Yankee Stadium. I’m pretty sure my first time in the Bronx too. It was also the new Yankee Stadium’s first time hosting a football match as Les Parisiens met European power house Chelsea FC on Sunday night.  Playing without newly acquired Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, Paris pulled a 1-1 draw against the 2012 Champions League winner (who even brought their trophy and Blues mascot Stamford the Lion along for the trip…). This all happened in front of a very honourable crowd of 38,202 soccer fans. If it hadn’t been for the covered up pitcher mound, the well-behaved crowd and the American accents around me, I could have thought I was at London’s Stamford Bridge. I’d estimate some 38,000 people were there to cheer for the British team 😉 Despite the large French community living in New York, barely anyone showed up to cheer for Paris. Perhaps they’re all OM fans. Or are too busy vacationing in the Riviera right now… There was notheless a small pocket of Paris fan behind one of the goal who were thrilled when Nene opened the score at the 30th minute. Paris dominated the first half of the game but Chelsea made some smart changes at half time and finished the game on a higher note, with Piazon equalizing at the 82nd minute. Oh well, no one wins, no one loses.
Yankee Stadium was turned into a soccer field for the occasion
What’s next for the two teams? The MLS World Challenge tournament continues and Chelsea is headed to Philadelphia to meet Frenchie Thierry Henry and Ben Olsen’s MLS All-Stars team. Paris on the other hand is spending a few days practicing its A Rod-like acquisition (who may or may not make his debut with the team here in the U.S.) at Princeton University before heading to…Washington, D.C. Of course, I bought my ticket and planned my whole excursion to New York BEFORE they announced that PSG would replace Juventus in the July 28th friendly against D.C. United at RFK…. Oh well, I guess that just means I get to cheer for Paris twice in one week! How do the commercials go again? Trip to New York: $75. Brand new PSG shirt: $20 (yes, I went cheap). Tickets to the game: $140. Cheering for Paris at Yankee Stadium with one of my oldest friend: priceless (even though she was cheering for Chelsea!) And the best part is I get to do it all over again this weekend!

Et un, et deux et trois (cuatro) zero!

The Euro Cup 2012 is over, I can finally resume a normal, soccer-free life. I don’t need to look back at the whole tournament, but here are a few of my thoughts following today’s championship game:

1. The Spaniards are good. Like really good. Bottom line.

2. Italy didn’t just lose. It was humiliated. I thought it would feel good see… I mean, I’ve been dreaming of a moment like this since the 2006 World Cup final. And yet, I felt kinda bad for the Azurri. Kinda…

3. The Spanish players have some adorable kids!

4. France is hosting the next Euro Cup in 2016 so Michel Platini got to hand Spain its trophy. Was Zidane too busy celebrating his 40th birthday to make it? Or did they think it was a bad idea to have him so close to the Italian team? Either way, it means at least one frenchman got close to the cup this year… and at least Les Bleus lost to the eventual winners right?

5. Europeans do not care about Canada Day. While I not so secretly hoped Spain would win it all, I was watching the match with friends from both countries so rather than pick side… Spain… Italy… I chose Canada and wore my best red roots Canada tank top (complete with maple leaf and everything) and white shorts. I mean, July 1st is Canada Day after all… the result: I had to justify over and over my choice of attire. Yes, I know Canada isn’t playing today!!

6. Some people like to drown their sorrow… others prefer to drown their joy! Just like they had two years ago when La Roja won the World Cup, Spaniards took to Dupont Circle. I mean, it’s over 100 degrees out there, I can’t blame them for going all Furia Roja on the fountain. The policemen in charge of the area, however, must have been Italy supporters… they told them to go party somewhere else 😉

Hope you enjoyed watching the Euro Cup as much as I did. I can’t wait ’til the World Cup in Brazil and  the the 2016 Euro tournament… which I will watch in France!

D.C. United vs Paris Saint Germain

Just announced: D.C. United will not face Italy’s Juventus Turin for an international friendly at R.F.K. Stadium on July 28. Instead the black and red will host the red and blue aka: Paris Saint Germain (PSG). Tickets range between $32.25 and $75.05. Individual tickets can be purchased on ticketmaster.

 

Obviously, I think that’s awesome. Though I think it would have been even more awesome if they could have announced this game before I bought my tickets to see the PSG face Chelsea in another international friendly the week before at Yankee Stadium in New York 😉

Oh well, looks like I’ll get to cheer for my home team twice in one week!

Allez Olé les Bleus!

 

It wasn’t the qualification match I had dreamed of… far from it. Instead of crowing proudly as leaders of Group D into a quarterfinals (and anticipated 2006 World Cup final rematch) against Italy, Les Bleus embarassed themselves (yet again, insert at least we got off the bus jokes here) against Sweden and crawled into runner up status. We made the quarterfinals… but barely. And now we face a difficult game against World Cup Champion Spain. Oh well, Cocorico tout de même. Olé les Bleus? 😉

Looking for a place to watch the France-Spain (allez les bleus!!) on Saturday or Italy-England (Go ENGLAND!!!) on Sunday? I’ve updated my round-up of Euro Cup friendly spots.

Ain’t no party like an S Club a poutine party!

Sometimes back in 2011, the Canadian Embassy figured out that I wasn’t actually Canadian. Initially I guess, my degree from McGill University got them confused and I somehow managed to get invited to a lot of great events, celebrating the Vancouver Olympics, Stanley Cup finals and Canada Day. But last year it all stopped. Le sigh. Where will I get my Molson fix now? 😉 Luckily, the Canadian Embassy is stepping up its game this year, and offering a lot of options for people who, like me, would like to celebrate our neighbours up north but aren’t quite special enough to get official invites. Starting with… drumroll… DC’s first-ever poutine party. Yes. Poutine party!!

I haven’t been to Rhino Bar and Pumphouse since I graduated from GWU. And I only used to go there because some of the people I was friends with at the time liked the place. But you can be sure you’ll find me there on Friday, June 29th when Wonky Promotions and the Embassy of Canada team up to host DC’s first ever Poutine Party in honour of Canada Day. For $25, you get all you can eat poutine AND an open bar (though shame on the organizers… there are NO Canadian beer options! Really!?!). Wow. It’s like they want me to relive my college days… which I gladly will. (door tickets are $35 so get yours now if you like the fries + cheese curds + gravy goodness that is Quebec’s unofficial national dish, event is from 7-10PM.)

Poutine with short ribs and cheddar, from Gilead’s Cafe in Toronto

The next day, cheer for the Montreal Impact as they take on D.C. United at RFK Stadium. The party will start early (4PM) at lot 8 with a special Canada Day Tailgate Party. On June 30th, a $26.25 ticket gets you  a ticket to the game and admission to the Embassy-hosted tailgate party with hot dogs, beer and soft drinks. Just enter “canada” when purchasing tickets (link: here.)

Finally on Sunday, give your brunch a FrenchCanadian twist with a Canada Day Gospel brunch with the Nathaniel Dett Chorale at The Hamilton. For more on The Hamilton’s gospel brunch, check out this review by the experts (ie. the bitches who brunch.) On Canada Day, there will be a special all-you-can-eat-buffet filled with breakfast classics and Southern dishes. Now The Hamilton does have poutine on their regular menu but no word on whether that will be available for brunch on the 1st… Tickets are $25 and available here.

Bonne fête du Canada everyone!! Oh, and happy Euro 2012 final too… let’s not forget that other big event that happens on July 1st. I’m keeping my fingers my bleus make it all the way!!

Soccer in the City ~ Euro 2012 Edition

Last week, the husband and I attended our very first international football match. European football match that is. This was my second time ever at FedEx Field and my second time there for soccer. Back in 2009, I saw D.C. United get trounced 3-0 by Real Madrid. Trounced is a good word to describe what happened on Wednesday. The U.S.-Brazil match was more of a Where’s Waldo vs. the Hulk than an even fight. But it was a great game. I loved seeing that at least 67,619 people in the D.C. area care enough about soccer to treck to Landover, MD. Of course, to put things into perspective, an average Redskins game draws in 75,000… but I digress… the game definitely put me in a soccer mood, which is good because from now until PSG-Chelsea at Yankee Stadium on July 22nd, I am all about the beautiful game.  Not only are there a bunch of international friendlies going on right now (those are great to warm up your rusty soccer trash talk) but it’s also time for the UEFA Euro 2012 Championship, aka EURO 2012. 

World Cup 2010 – spot the one Italian in this picture 😉 Hint: he’s being a good sport.

One of the greatest thing about international soccer tournaments, other than the excuse to brink beer and scream profanities for 90 minutes in the middle of the day, is the rivalries. Think Cowboys-Redskins animosity if the Texas team had tried to invade the District not once but twice and then on top of that is really good at the sport and controls all the financial power to bail you out of your current economic woes… I mean, yes, the Portugal-Spain rivalry is big (it typically is among neighbours), so is Italy-France (still not over that 2006 final…) but nothing beats everyone against Germany. Hollande-Germany. England-Germany. Turkey-Germany. France-Germany. Die Mannschaft just doesn’t have a lot of friends outside of Germany. But it’s all in good sports. Sort of. And that’s one of the many reason I love watching the World Cup, and the Euro Cup too. And I know it hasn’t been getting nearly as much attention as let’s say the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration, but the Euro Championship starts Friday, June 8th! This year, it is jointly hosted by Poland and Ukraine and will see 16 tributes teams fight until July 1st when only one will stand alive victorious.

Fado’s Irish Bar 
Of course, there’s all sorts of other sports that Americans seem to like more than soccer competing for precious TV and bar time… Stanley Cup final, baseball, basketball, even boxing and previews for the Olympics… it’s not easy finding a restaurant or watering hole that’s a) open at noon when most of the group stage games happen thanks to the time difference with Europe b) showing the matches. Luckily, I’ve got a little round-up for you:

The Chinatown Irish bar seems to be catering specifically to me by playing all of the matches live AND having a special Taste of Soccer menu (available June 8 to July 1st) that combine beer and food. So if you’re sneaking out of the office for a “long lunch break” and you have to make it back so you can’t really drink, you can at least have beer IN your food (Guinness BBQ Chicken Sandwich anyone?) Pair it with an actual Guinness and it only sets you back $13.95. Not bad...

Biergarten Haus
The H Street beer garden opened its door nearly two years ago for the World Cup and they’re still planning on showing every games. If you can make your way there Friday, June 22 for the 2:45PM Greece-Germany quarterfinal, it should be a great place to watch the match. If you don’t mind the heat we’ve been having these days, the giant screen outside is pretty awesome!

The Pug
Same part of town as Biergarten Haus, this favourite spot of rowdy D.C. United fans opens at noon for every Euro game and is making a special $3 “european” sausage (or at least that’s the name they’re giving their locally produced 13th St. meats co bratwurst) for the occasion that can be washed down with $4 Carlsberg.

The Queen Vic
The Royal Pub is screening all matches live and offering 10% discount on their entire tab to those showing their three lions pride during the England matches. I wouldn’t show up there in an Italian jersey on Sunday if I were you 😉

Goethe Institut
This is the German cultural center…so it makes sense that they’re only playing the German games. Germany is playing Greece in the quarterfinals Friday June 22nd at 2:45PM. Bring your own refreshments and your own jokes. My favourite: Germany is going to kick Greece out of the Euros before kicking it out of the euro. Ah ah.

Local 16
Would you like a side of football with your rooftop sunday brunch? That can be arranged. Local 16 is showing all weekend games live on their gorgeous covered rooftop.

Boundary Stone
Showing all the matches live which I think is awesome!

Duffy’s Irish Pub
Duffy’s will have all the weekend games on with sound and $3 Tall Boys of PBR. Their kitchen, however, will not be open until 5PM so you can actually bring your own food or order delivery from one of the many nearby spots. Potluck anyone?

Barcode
Duffy’s is only showing weekend games? Well, Barcode on the other hand is only showing the weekday matches… all live of course on ten 42in HD TVs and two 70in HD projectors.


Redline
Redline has a special $13 lunch menu with a French flair and is showing all the matches live on the 40 flat screen TVs and their huge 11 foot projection screen. At least I think 11 foot is huge, but really I have no idea… I still think in metric 😦

James Hoban’s Irish Restaurant and Bar
Showing the games live with $4 Heineken and $5 Guinness specials.

Buffalo Billiards DC
Showing all the games live with $3.50 Heineken Draughts & $3.50 Newcastle Drafts specials.

Ventnor Sports Cafe
While they ask patrons to kindly leave their vuvuzelas at home, Ventnor will be opening up early for lunch everyday to screen the Euro Cup matches.

Lucky Bar
Lucky Bar is always a great spot for soccer and it’s close to my office so I’ve been there quite a bit since the Euro Cup started. Taking many long soccer lunches there means I’ve had the opportunity to fully explore Lucky bar’s menu, which currently includes a special Euro 2012 menu, featuring beer and dishes from the hosts Poland and the Ukraine:  pierogies and kielbasa ($10.75 – pictured), 12oz bottles of Polish lager Okocim ($6.75), 16oz bottles of Ukrainian lager Obolom ($7.50) and Borscht ($10.75). If the game is really not going your way (trust me, I thought about on two occasions when we were playing Sweden last Friday) they’re also serving Stawski Bizonovka… a polish vodka infused with bison grass. You can have it chilled or on the rocks with apple juice.

If you can make up the stairs, Public Bar across the street will be a great spot to cheer for Italy. Very smart of them to attract the Azzuri fans with $3 peronis! Italy plays England (une fois n’est pas coutume: go England!) on Sunday, June 24th at 2:45PM.
Since neither Boqueria not Estadio is showing the matches (Boqueria doesn’t have televisions, Estadio is too good for the Euro Cup apparently…) Spanish fans can cheer on La Roja, while sipping sangria roja at Jaleo. All three locations will be showing the spanish matches. I normally love cheering for Spain, but since they’re playing France in the quarterfinals, I’m not a fan of the furia roja at least for a few days 😉
Of course, there are places in Virginia and Maryland that will show the games too, and it’s hard to have a list of soccer bars that doesn’t include Summer’s… but I’m sticking to the District for this post. I’ll also update it regularly as the tournament progresses. In the meantime, enjoy Euro 2012! And may the odds ever be in your France’s favour! Allez les bleus!
ps: if you can’t get out of the office (those 2:45PM games are a little trickier to pass as a late lunch or really long coffee break) ESPN is actually streaming all of the games live on its website. I never thought I’d say those words, but G-d bless ESPN 😉
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[this blog post was updated on 6/21/2012]

Soccer in the City: Et un, et deux, et trois (et quatre) ze-ro!

The big stories coming out of day 3 of World Cup are: 

(1) Germany is looking good! As a Frenchie, of course, I cannot possibly admit that Germany looks good at anything. So I’m going to spin this one a bit and say that the Socceroos suckeroos looked really bad. Ghana is probably pretty excited to have them as their next opponent.


(2) Yesterday, it wasn’t easy being Green. Today, it wasn’t easy being Faouzi! It seems when the teams are having a hard time scoring, goalkeepers can be a great help in opening the score. Following on Green’s footsteps, Algerian keeper Chaouchi Faouzi did his part to allow Slovenia to move up to the top of Group C. Let’s hope the Mexican goaltender takes note of that ahead of Thursday’s game 😉 


(3) According to the U.S. mainstream media, a 1-1 tie for with England equals a 1-1 win for the U.S. That’s definitely the story I’ve been hearing all day. As such, I am now choosing to look at the outcome of last Thursday’s game as a 0-0 win for France!! 


(4) Everyone hates vuvuzelas! The captain of the French team was overhead complaining that his players can’t sleep because of the constant buzzing from vuvuzelas. To which Ireland answered: actually, that’s not the vuvuzelas, it’s the sound of your conscience keeping you up at night (ta da dam!). But I think we can all agree the stadium horns are getting annoying.