Suddenly, the sport itself rebels against low-scoring Scrooge soccer
Posted by Paul Gardner on Feb. 23, 2:44 p.m.
We haven't seen anything like this for quite a while. In fact it was beginning to look as though soccer had lost its identity, had shrunk from being the world's most exciting sport, and withered away to tedious 90-minute installments of scoreless running around
» 16 Comments
Pep snubs Kun -- modern soccer at its worst
Posted by Paul Gardner on Feb. 6, 2:10 p.m.
Back in 2005 the word from Argentina was that maybe -- of course maybe -- a new Maradona was appearing. Independiente had a precocious 16-year-old already playing for their first team, already scoring goals.
» 7 Comments
Where soccer fails, the NFL gets it right
Posted by Paul Gardner on Feb. 2, 12:57 p.m.
An impertinent book, this. The title and subtitle tell you succinctly what you are getting: "The Ugly Game -- How football lost its magic and what it could learn from the NFL."
» 18 Comments
More urgent than Van Basten's rule changes: soccer needs a total reversal of referees' negative mindset
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jan. 24, 2:25 p.m.
The problem is this. To praise Marco van Basten for speaking out on a topic that the soccer biggies never deign to address. Or to heap ridicule on him for making such a hash of his welcome declaration.
» 19 Comments
Clearance: an ugly play, a useless stat
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jan. 13, 3:08 a.m.
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.
» 17 Comments
Roberto Cabanas & the Beautiful Game
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jan. 12, 2:48 a.m.
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
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jan. 10, 3:14 p.m.
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
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jan. 8, 2:06 p.m.
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)
Posted by Paul Gardner on Dec. 12, 12:52 p.m.
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
Posted by Paul Gardner on Dec. 11, 1:41 p.m.
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?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Dec. 4, 10:59 p.m.
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
Posted by Paul Gardner on Dec. 2, 1:52 a.m.
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
Posted by Paul Gardner on Dec. 1, 2:07 p.m.
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
Posted by Paul Gardner on Nov. 30, 3:02 p.m.
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)
Posted by Paul Gardner on Nov. 17, 11:41 a.m.
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