If you're a soccer fan (and even if you're not), I recommend Hal Phillips's two ESPN.com articles about the Americanization of Fulham FC, a soccer team in the English Premier League (here and here). Phillips, a writer from New Gloucester, describes Fulham's supporters and stadium so evocatively I yearn to be yet another Yankee (the good kind) wandering the streets of London looking for Craven Cottage. And his ironic observation that American soccer players are imported by foreign soccer clubs as cheap labor is spot-on. Alas, despite the articles' dated quality (they were published last spring), Fulham still finds itself battling for a spot in the Premier League, as they are currently in 19th place out of twenty teams, with four games remaing. The bottom three teams are relegated to a lesser league.
The good news, though, is that they've actually added a couple more Americans to the team since Phillips's travelogues, bringing the grand sum of Americans on Fulham to five (Keller, Bocanegra, Dempsey, Johnson, and McBride).
- John C.L. Morgan