Letters: Soccer fans come to beautiful game’s defense

Every four years I get to play LA Times World Cup bingo, based on the letters page, which posts hot takes on how to popularize the world’s most popular sport. Goals are too small. Check. field too big. Check. Not enough goals. Bingo.

With television audiences for US games beating the NBA, MLB, and NHL, the Times sports editors might, just might, stumble upon a few letters in time for the next one from one of the millions of people excited about the beautiful game.

Karl Larson
port city


Really, are the only two letters you print about the World Cup negative comments from people who have no idea? What about the rest of us who make the effort to understand the game and have a wonderful time watching the tournament? We look forward to 2026 when we host the World Cup alongside Mexico and Canada.

Annette Williams
Hacienda Heights


Falling and flailing and rolling over
Major damage to the lower legs seems to abound
Except in a few cases when they are carried off the field
A miracle happens… the players are healed!

Paul Carey
La Canada


Midfielder Weston McKennie said the US soccer team’s mission is to change the way the world views American soccer. They only scored three goals in six hours of play. They joined Wales and then lost big to the Netherlands. The combined population of the two countries is 20 million people. I don’t think their mediocre play at the World Cup changed the world’s perception that much.

John C Borrego
Safety Harbor, Fla.


I disagree with Kevin Baxter’s description that Les Bleues aren’t “completely homemade”.

Although he discusses the racism that players of African descent have faced and continue to face in France, he contributes to the false narrative.

In fact, of the 26 on Les Bleues, only three were born outside of France. Two in Africa and one in Italy. The description by Kylian Mbappé and others as not “completely home-made” is precisely the kind of racism that led to Lady Susan Hussey being sacked from Buckingham Palace this week. She asked an English woman where she was “really” from, as if she wasn’t quite English because she was black.

Les Bleues are more local than the US men’s team. Five of the 26 Americans were foreign-born.

You owe Les Bleues, France and the French people an apology.

Nicole-Marie Bergeron
San Carlos

Amazing Mayfield

As Baker Mayfield, controlled and confident, trotted to the 2-yard line to start the Rams’ final drive, I wondered if he could make an unlikely win possible? And when he fired off the perfect touchdown pass, all I could do was yell, “I can’t believe what I saw!”

Jim Regan


Will Baker Mayfield get a key to SoFi now?

Chuck Hill

Full effect

Caleb Williams should not have been considered for the Heisman Trophy because what he had printed on his fingernails for the Utah game was disgusting and showed a complete lack of athleticism and class.

Jon Schmid
La Mirada


Has there ever been a college football player who has made a greater contribution to the success of a program than USC’s Caleb Williams? Maybe Jim Thorpe.

David Marshall
santa monica

No bowling?

So the “stars” of the UCLA soccer team are considering saving up to prepare for the NFL draft. I wonder if a CFP spot or other more glamorous bowl bids would evoke the same reaction? This also happens in other schools. Let’s be transparent. These “stars” would rather bask in the national spotlight than play in an under-league bracket. El Paso isn’t Pasadena or Atlanta, but it deserves the same respect as any other city. I salute the Bruins who will play and honor themselves and UCLA.

Felipe Hernandez

dodger boys

Once again, Dodger management is building a regular-season winner to rake in hundreds of millions in profit and team value — without spending the monies needed to go far beyond a few playoff games and certainly not the World Series.

You “won” a signature in Clayton Kershaw? Exactly how long has he been a Dodger, and how many regular-season World Series have the Dodgers won during that tenure?

And they’ve eliminated or passed on Justin Verlander twice now. He got two rings in the last five years.

The gullible Dodger loyalists will, of course, be spinning the turnstiles – far more important to ownership than winning the last game of the year.

Kip Dellinger
santa monica


Traditionally, the quality of a baseball team can be defined, at least in part, by its “strength in the middle.” With that being a benchmark, the Dodgers going into 2023 are severely lacking. Due to Andrew Friedman’s unwillingness to seriously pursue Trea Turner at shortstop, we now have no established player in that position. And the same goes for the midfield. If Dylan Hernández is correct in his theory that Los Angeles is cutting spending to secure Shohei Ohtani in a year, then good luck with that.

Bob Teigan
Santa Susanne


So far this winter, the Dodgers have failed to track arguably the best shortstop in his prime, Trea Turner, keeping Tyler Anderson, Cody Bellinger, Andrew Heaney, Chris Martin and Tommy Kahnle on a team that played 111 games last year won and failed to pick up high profile players. The only commitment they have made is to continue to express their confidence that they have the right manager in Dave Roberts, who admittedly failed to properly motivate last year’s team to win the playoffs. Can someone please explain to me what management’s plan is other than guaranteeing more years of frustration?

Chris Wrenn

Wow, humbug!

I loved Bill Dwyre’s grouch list! Maybe he can add the NIL and transfer portal to his next column; both are fueled by the almighty dollar and diminish the importance of “playing for school” rather than oneself.



Bill Dwyre’s grumpy list was the happiest thing I’ve read in a long time, and I couldn’t agree more. As a curmudgeon, I’d add: In basketball, after every free throw, taken or missed, the boys stop to touch every single teammate’s hand; and for baseball, decadent, lavish champagne celebrations for not-so-significant accomplishments, like winning a wildcard playoff berth.

Anthony Moretti


What a surprisingly pleasant gift for the early holiday season. An insightful article by Bill Dwyre on the latest trends in the world of sport. There just aren’t enough Bill Dwyres.

Kevin Minihan
los Angeles


Thank goodness for misers. Mix a little age with a dose of experience and perspective sets in. Mark Twain and Will Rogers provided it for the world of politics, Jim Murray and Bill Dwyre for the world of sports. Looking forward to your list for 2023, Bill.

David Sanderson
La Canada


The Los Angeles Times welcomes expressions of all views. Letters should be short and become property of The Times. They can be edited and republished in any format. Each must include a valid mailing address and phone number. Pseudonyms are not used.

E-mail: sports@latimes.com

https://www.latimes.com/sports/story/2022-12-10/la-times-sports-letters-world-cup-soccer-curmudgeon-list Letters: Soccer fans come to beautiful game’s defense

Emma Bowman

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