Has Germany found its version of Messi?
BY ROB HUGHES
A new star is born in Stuttgart, where Germany beats Brazil for the first time in almost two decades.
A Japanese national team player who died too young is remembered with every goal that Japan scores against South Korea in Sapporo.
A new era opens in Philadelphia, where Jürgen Klinsmann starts his task as head coach of the United States with a 1-1 draw against a Mexico team that beat the Americans heavily just a few weeks ago.
All these games, and many, many more around the world, were played Wednesday. The sport could be enjoyed anywhere, it seems, barring England, where organized soccer first began.
Its national stadium at Wembley, in London, was closed and empty Wednesday. England had been scheduled to meet the Netherlands there. The teams were ready, the fans had bought their tickets, but, quite rightly, the police called off the game. The Premier League game Tottenham versus Everton, scheduled for Saturday, was also called off because Tottenham, where the riots started, remains a crime scene under police investigation. The remaining nine matches will be played.
London, where the Olympic Games are scheduled for next year, had suddenly become a capital city erupting with violence, arson and looting by its own citizens, and too dangerous a place to host a friendly sporting fixture.
Contrast that with Stuttgart, where the capacity home crowd ended the night crooning ''How Sweet It Is'' to their team, which was outplaying Brazil in every aspect of the sport.
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