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Clearance: an ugly play, a useless stat

For some time now I have been wondering about the soccer term "clearance." A term, admittedly, that I have been hearing, and using for decades without giving it much thought.
» 18 Comments

Roberto Cabanas & the Beautiful Game

From the happiest of thoughts and memories about Roberto Cabanas to total bewilderment and sadness ... all it took was a few days.
» 5 Comments

Soccer & Concussion (Part 2): What needs to be done -- before the lawyers move in

The suspect nature of the enforcement of protocols is by no means the only barrier to any campaign that aims to reduce concussion injuries.
» 12 Comments

Soccer & Concussion (Part 1): A Disgraceful Lack of Action -- Protocols are not enough

There is, it seems to me, one thing above all others that soccer totally failed to get right in 2016. And I can see little to suggest that things will be any better in 2017.
» 28 Comments

MLS Goal Award: A Modest Suggestion (again)

I've been looking at the Goal of the Year winner. A wonderful free kick by Colorado's Shkelzen Gashi. A hell of a goal. A worthy winner, then? Well that depends.
» 11 Comments

Toronto 0 Seattle 0 -- Another Forgettable Final

Another decidedly non-memorable final. Maybe we get the finals we deserve. Scrappy, at times ill-tempered, incoherent -- all of which can be excused, will be excused by those who specialize in making excuses, as "competitive." That sounds good, now doesn't it?
» 40 Comments

Will fear of goalscoring affect MLS Cup 2016?

Back in the 1970s I recall watching a soccer panel on English TV. They were discussing an important upcoming game -- maybe it was the FA Cup final. Both of the teams who would feature in that game had just had big wins and had scored a lot of goals. The moderator asked the two panel members -- both of ...
» 7 Comments

The Klinsmann Interlude (Part 3): Damage Repair -- Bruce Arena returns: Tab Ramos waits

Bruce Arena never had any doubts about his own ability to move smoothly and successfully from the college game to the pros. I did. I thought the change was altogether too fundamental, too demanding. It looked to me like a change that, even supposing it could be made, would need time.
» 51 Comments

The Klinsmann Interlude (Part 2): Total Failure to Acknowledge Latino Presence

For decades now, a very special and specific conundrum has been making its presence felt in American soccer. What to do about the growing presence of American-born Latino players? They can be seen as a welcome addition to the American talent pool. Or they can be seen as a damn nuisance because their style of play is rather different from ...
» 51 Comments

The Klinsmann Interlude (Part 1): A Sorry Experience for American Soccer

Sunil Gulati has done the difficult thing, fired his buddy Jurgen Klinsmann -- someone he had been relying on to open up a bright new era of winning soccer for the national team.
» 43 Comments

The Howard Years -- Remembering Keith Aqui (1945-2016)

There comes a reminder -- a sad reminder, alas -- from the 1970s. The death of Keith Aqui brings flooding back memories of college soccer, and the exploits of Howard University.
» 6 Comments

Playoff refereeing: A tricky business

Playoff time always brings with it much discussion of playoff soccer. Which is held to be, in some not fully explicable way, different from regular soccer. The theory behind this notion makes a good deal of sense.
» 6 Comments

Carlos Alberto: One of Soccer's Greatest (1944-2016)

Carlos Alberto, one of the sport's true greats, dead at 72. Unexpected, almost unbelievable. For me, a personal loss, for I learned so much from Carlos, talking with him, watching him play during his years with the Cosmos.
» 6 Comments

The Mauro Diaz tragedy: MLS at fault

So we've seen the last of Mauro Diaz for this season. He will not be part of the Dallas bid for the MLS title. A serious injury -- ruptured Achilles apparently -- will keep him sidelined for months.
» 20 Comments

Another over-hyped game turns into an unwatchable 0-0 bore-draw

You will have been aware of the recent game between Liverpool and Manchester United. Won't you ever. The hype will have seen to that. Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp told us, "The whole world will be watching." Last time these two teams played, the global TV audience was estimated to be as high as 700 million. I'm not sure it gets ...
» 20 Comments




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