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The Red Bulls and System Soccer

You have to wonder -- is Dax McCarty looking to leave the Red Bulls? His postgame comments after the Bulls lost their playoff series to Columbus certainly invite that thought. He told the New York Post: "We just didn't play well the entire series. We were outplayed, out-hustled and out-coached."

The growth of the academies (Part 2): Is there any evidence that they are giving us better soccer?

Evidence from a survey by the Switzerland-based Football Observatory (see Part 1) indicates that the number of acceptably skilled academy graduates is declining.

The growth of the academies (Part 1): Institutes of Higher Learning for soccer -- is this really the way to go?

Soccer academies. What a great idea! Fully-funded centers for the development of young players, superior facilities, top coaching, all the latest scientific and professional knowledge ... and, we are told, with a caring staff who understands not only soccer, but have insight too into the real-life growing-up problems that beset teenagers.

Arsenal: Why so few Latinos? Why so many injuries?

Talk about predictable. Here they come again, Arsenal, going through a pretty good spell in the Premier League, playing the sort of skillful soccer that Arsene Wenger wants to see. So the crucial game against Bayern came at a good moment. A stern test for their new-found consistent form.

A classic non-call of a blatant penalty kick foul

Should Chelsea have had a penalty kick in the 86th minute of its game against Stoke City on Saturday? It didn't get the call, so the question can be asked. But it is an absolutely ridiculous question.

Did Jason Kreis Ever Have a Chance?

I shall, until I see convincing evidence to the contrary, regard Jason Kreis not as a failed coach, but as a convenient scapegoat.

Is soccer, thanks to GLT, becoming a game of millimeters?

Baseball, they say, is a game of inches. While soccer, of course, is a game of feet (there's a pun in that, for those who care about such matters). But soccer, too, is a matter of inches. In fact, with the relentless march of increasingly accurate methods of measuring, it would appear to be turning into a sport of microns.

Thank you Jurgen, and goodbye. Again.

That headline was used for a column of mine after World Cup 2014. When Klinsmann led the USA to absolutely nothing -- just another World Cup elimination. I've added the "Again."

Time is running out on violent goalkeeping

Employing former players as TV experts is now well established as the thing to do. Like it or not, that's what we're getting. Occasionally it works well -- which is surprising, because TV work is specialist work, and it's alarmingly clear that none of these guys has any training for the job.

Joe Morrone: Soccer's Determined Pioneer

Joe Morrone. I have quite a few memories of Joe, all of them pleasant and friendly. Which is quite surprising when you consider that he and I strongly disagreed on almost everything relating to soccer.

Should PRO have revealed, during the game, that the Red Bull trick play was illegal?

This really rather ridiculous business of the Red Bull corner-kick trickery continues to reverberate.

Trickery, incompetence and ignorance -- the tale of a Red Bulls corner kick

So the Red Bulls got away with one against Chicago last week -- their use of a ploy to catch the Chicago defenders off guard, led directly to Ronald Zubar's goal that tied the game at 2-2.

It's time for FIFA to move out of the Alps

It has occurred to me at regular intervals during the past decades that one of the problems that entangle FIFA is this: its location. Switzerland. Is that a good place to be for an organization in charge of a sport that can lay claim to being the most global activity that the world has ever known?

Beware the banalysts and the blight of banalysis

The usual tripe from the TV commentators this past weekend: "The more they can get the ball, the more they can create." Or how about "Both teams want to win"? There was plenty more such pathetic stuff -- but of course, you listen to a lot of it as you want to get some insight as to what's going on.

Soccer and Metrics (Part 2): A troubled partnership

OK then. The aim of metrics in soccer is to improve player performance. After that, the problems begin.