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Of boxing days made bearable by soccer

I watched bits and pieces of three or four English Premier League games played on Boxing Day (I don't know why I'm giving it capital letters, it's a pretty meaningless designation -- no one seems totally certain about what it means -- but, for sure, nothing to do with boxing). Right -- so I watched these Dec. 26 EPL games, ...
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I was wrong about Beckham

Soon after David Beckham descended upon us, trailing clouds of glory in January 2007, I wrote an article that was headlined: "Beckham in MLS: A Force Or A Farce?"


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Are Corner Kicks a Lost Art?

A lifetime of attending soccer practices has left me totally jaded about such activities. Well, that's something of an exaggeration, it's hardly been a lifetime. It just seems like it. Sheer tedium. So why bother? Maybe because there's a chance to chat with players or even -- holy of holies! -- the coach afterward.


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Static College Game A Worry for Expanding MLS

As an event that should be of compelling interest, the college final four has ceased to engage me for a number of years. Mainly because the soccer itself is not that brilliant. It would be unfair to blame this entirely on the college sport -- after all, when was the last time we had superb finals at any level of ...
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Believing in the Beautiful Game

Juande Ramos is a pretty lucky guy. Direct from being a colossal flop with Tottenham in London, he returns to Spain and walks straight into what is arguably the top job in club soccer anywhere in the world -- coach of Real Madrid.


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Beware of Brits Bearing Baloney

Barely a week goes by -- or so it seems -- without an announcement that a foreign club, usually English, has "entered into an agreement" with an American youth club.


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Cristiano by a Mile

We now know that Cristiano Ronaldo is the best soccer player in the world. The annual poll conducted by the esteemed French magazine France Football gave him victory by an almost insultingly large number of points -- 446 to 281 -- over his nearest challenger, Lionel Messi.


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Delusions of Grandeur at FIFA

Loyalty might seem to be an unarguably honorable trait, but like most examples of moral behavior, it turns out to be a relative concept. There is loyalty to good people and causes, and loyalty to bad people and causes. And it may not always be easy to work out which are the good guys, and which the bad. Actually, it's ...
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'New' MLS Coaches Not So New

There will be a few coaching changes in MLS before the 2009 season begins -- but nothing that will astound anyone, or will make any great difference to the teams involved. We know we're getting a new coach at the Colorado Rapids -- Gary Smith replacing Fernando Clavijo -- but Smith is not exactly new as we suffered through 11 ...
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Goals win championships!

MLS Commissioner Don Garber was looking rather pleased with himself. The 13th MLS Cup final had passed into history only a couple of hours ago, the Columbus Crew was the new champion and Garber declared that it had been "a satisfactory afternoon. A good afternoon for soccer in America."


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Is Defense Really All that Matters?

Oh dear. I came to praise Juan Carlos Osorio. I really want to say all sorts of nice things about the way he's taken the world's worst franchise, the hopeless, hapless Red Bulls, nee the MetroStars, a.k.a. the RotMasters, a team that has been for 12 years -- imagine that, 12 whole years! -- the very definition of futility and ...
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The Merlin of the Meadowlands

So the Amazins did it again. Don't ask me how, their last two games have been played as though the players are enchanted, as though they've created a magic spell around their goalmouth, a spell with the power to repel the ball, to make sure it just will not go into the goal.


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Rapids To Play Like Arsenal? Forget It

Here we go again, deja vu with knobs on one more time. The Colorado Rapids have gone for an English coach. They should take a look at their own history. Their very first coach, back in 1996, was a highly touted Englishman, Bob Houghton. A total flop who was fired after just that one season. Having brought with him his ...
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Making A Mockery of the Goal of the Year

I was as shocked and amused as anyone by Danny Cepero's 80-yard goalscoring feat for the Red Bulls against the Columbus Crew. The sort of crazy moment that lightens things up, that quickly becomes a conversation piece.
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The Amazin' New York Red Bulls

Now that's what I call an upset - safe to call it the biggest one in MLS playoff history, I think. Here comes Juan Carlos Osorio with the, let us say, undistinguished Red Bulls, a team rendered even weaker by drug suspensions and injuries, and they knock off the high-flying Houston Dynamo. I'm not going to say that they did ...
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