The Writer's Life: Film & Book Reviews, Observations, and Stories
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Swedish Defending

Swedish Defending

After being benched and released by Fulham, it’s nice to know that Carlos Bocanegra is playing well at left back for Stade Rennais in Ligue 1. He covers well, delivers pinpoint crosses, overlaps when it’s on, is in the box on set pieces, and is solid in back. I wonder why he sometimes looks out of place with the U.S. national team. Perhaps, as captain, he tries to do too much. In Stade Rennais, he plays alongside the Swedish defender, Petter Hansson, who lost his pants recently during the match with Lens. I’ve never seen that before, not even with the groups of gangly kids with XL shorts I used to coach. My dad, being a good Norwegian, would call it “Swedish defending.” In fairness to Petter, it’s quite possible that the number 22 had something to do with it.