The Science Behind the Beautiful Game

If it's not clear already, I can't get enough of the World Cup. I've been catching as much action as possible during lunch hour, I've installed a Firefox extension that instantly notifies me of any goals scored, I've been scouring YouTube for fun nuggets (like this amazing Tiger-esque clip of Ronaldinho showing off his crazy skills), and I wrote about Adidas's advanced new ball a few days back.

Today webmistress Megan pointed me to another trove of Cup-related goodness from our friends at NewScientist.com. They've assembled a number of soccer-related studies and papers produced by like-minded football-crazed scientists the world over. So check it out—and learn why we humans may never be able to accurately make offsides calls, why teams with red shirts (Spain, Iran, Switzerland) might be the teams to watch this year, advanced synthetic materials (previously covered by PopSci) making better goalie gloves and plenty of other interesting tidbits. As for me, if I'm going to do any uniform-based betting, my money's on the Netherlands's sweet orange crush. —John Mahoney