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A Soccer Rarity -- A Triumph for Common Sense

There are three heroes in this story -- though heroes is really much too dramatic a word. Three good guys, then, who saw that something was wrong in soccer, did something about it, and got things put right.
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Soccer's Defensive Bias (Part 2): How to blunt your own team's attacking powers

I'll focus on one aspect of the defensive "duties" that all players are now required to assume. One that you'll hear repeatedly mouthed by the TV commentators. Tracking back. No matter how far upfield you are expected to play as a forward, you must be ready at all times to track back -- to chase an opponent, to harry him.
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Soccer's Defensive Bias (Part 1): Chile champion! But the soccer was a total disaster

Chile deserved its win over Argentina in the Copa America final. Well, just about. This was 120 minutes of parity, of total stalemate. So the grotesque mechanism of the shootout decided matters, and Chile was certainly the better team at that.
» 25 Comments

The Beautiful Game lights up Yankee Stadium

That the expected, hyped, awaited, delayed, announced and finally postponed debut of Frank Lampard with NYC FC didn't happen during Sunday's game against Toronto was no doubt a disappointment to many.
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MLS plays down the passion thing

Toward the end of last month, a decidedly curious press release sprang forth from MLS headquarters.
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Seattle's love affair with the Open Cup turns sour

The controversy surrounding Clint Dempsey and his trashing of referee Daniel Radford's notebook is quite ridiculous. Ridiculous because there should be no controversy. We know, we saw (and now we've seen it repeatedly) what Dempsey did. We know what U.S. Federation regulations say about that sort of thing -- it is clearly considered, as it should be, an assault on ...
» 16 Comments

Flying bat at Fenway Park should send warning to MLS

The recent horrendous "accident" at baseball's Fenway Park, where a fan suffered what was, at the time, called a "life-threatening injury" when she was struck by part of a splintered bat, should ring some alarm bells at MLS.
» 18 Comments

Mourinho defends counterattacking soccer, calls other coaches stupid

Jose Mourinho has raised, yet again, the old argument about the pluses and minuses of playing possession-based soccer -- a style that is often scornfully dismissed as "pretty" soccer.
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Clampdown on tactical fouls way overdue

My notes on the recent Seattle-Red Bulls game inform me that referee Jose Carlos Rivero called the Bulls for 17 fouls. Which is a lot for one team in one game. Actually, I had under-recorded the Bulls' fouling activities. The official MLS website records that they committed 19 fouls.
» 18 Comments

Lincoln Phillips provides perspective on black soccer in 1970s USA

As a goalkeeper, Lincoln Phillips should not feature among my most cherished soccer memories. I have little time for goalkeeping escapades. But there he is, the begetter of a wonderful moment that is as clear -- and every bit as delightful -- as it was when it happened 40 years ago.
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The remarkable Clive Toye -- who brought showmanship, excitement and color to American soccer

The debt owed by American soccer to Clive Toye is a vast one. It is not too much of an exaggeration to say, flatly, that without Toye's blind faith in the sport in the 1970s, pro soccer in the USA would have withered and died.
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The small guys -- from Jimmy Greaves to Lionel Messi -- are the ones who matter most

This week has brought home, in as dramatic a way as I ever recall, the joy and the sadness, the ecstasy and the agony, I suppose the smiles and the tears, that sports bring with them.
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Concussion dangers still not fully accepted

If ever proof were needed that the English style of refereeing is a bad model for American referees, it was provided in abundance this past weekend. Of course, I am of the opinion that no such added proof was needed anyway, so skewed is the English view of officiating.
» 7 Comments

The Greatest. Remembering Richie Benaud, 1930-2015

I'll need to switch sports for a moment here. But it's important. The greatest of television sports commentators died last week. Richie Benaud, the Australian cricket commentator.
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Stars? Bah, says Mourinho. The team -- meaning the coach, that is ME, is the one who matters

Coaches, of course, can be relied on to say something. Without doubt they are the most frequently quoted contingent in the sport of soccer. They can also be relied on to make themselves highly visible during games by frequently throwing histrionic fits -- it wouldn't amaze me to learn that we actually see more of the coaches during a telecast ...
» 7 Comments




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