The Toronto FC saga -- amusing, bemusing ... and losing
Posted by Paul Gardner on May. 13, 12:07 a.m.
Highly intriguing and, to me anyway, rather entertaining are the goings-on up in Toronto.
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Hackworth & Porter take the easy path: blame the referee
Posted by Paul Gardner on May. 10, 1:53 a.m.
In Philadelphia's John Hackworth and Portland's Caleb Porter, MLS has two excellent young coaches. Both comparatively new to MLS -- Porter is in his first year -- but these guys have plenty of coaching experience.
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The MLS goalkeeper honeymoon continues
Posted by Paul Gardner on May. 6, 6:39 p.m.
What's this? An MLS goalkeeper ejected? Now there's something you don't see too often, so Chivas USA's Dan Kennedy can feel a bit hard done by ... really, all he did was trip Paulo Nagamura in the box. Sure, Nagamura was in scoring position, but referees are apt to give the penalty kick and then take pity on the keeper ...
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Refereeing without guesswork. Maybe.
Posted by Paul Gardner on May. 1, 12:05 a.m.
We now have PRO, the Professional Referees Organization, which is supposed to bring about significant improvements in the standard of MLS refereeing. We await developments on that front. In the meantime, PRO is giving us a spiffy website (www.proreferees.com) that includes a "Play of the Week" section that explains unusual or controversial calls from MLS games. Something I always find ...
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Pro-defense bias rears its ugly head on NBC telecast
Posted by Paul Gardner on Apr. 28, 11:40 p.m.
Goal line technology, GLT, received a well-deserved rebuff last week from MLS -- which has decided that it can do without GLT, at least for the moment. Much too expensive for a system that maybe gets used once a year.
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Soccer in shock as Germany wipes out Spain
Posted by Paul Gardner on Apr. 26, 2:51 p.m.
We are being asked to believe, it seems to me, that the whole Barcelona episode was an illusion, something not real. It was sleight of hand, or foot, that for the past few years has mesmerized its opponents into helpless servility.
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Do luxury stadiums squeeze out the real fans?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Apr. 24, 12:32 p.m.
A brief cameo from a recent English Premier League telecast -- one of those quick cutaways to the fans. Suddenly we see the selected fan -- it's a woman, nothing unusual about that, the TV directors seem quite determined to stress the attractiveness of the EPL's female fans. But maybe there is something slightly different here -- this is not ...
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Red Bulls' makeover underwhelms
Posted by Paul Gardner on Apr. 19, 1:39 a.m.
This simply doesn't seem possible. Yet, here we go again. How can the New Jersey Red Bulls (please, let's stop kidding ourselves with that "New York" tag), after yet another makeover, emerge as the same old Keystone Kops of soccer?
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Are England's World Cup chances stymied by EPL foreigners?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Apr. 15, 1:21 a.m.
The lament of Bobby Charlton -- Sir Bobby Charlton if you prefer that sort of thing -- is one that has been heard before. Charlton has assessed England's chances of winning the World Cup any time soon, and has decided -- correctly, it seems to me -- that those chances are pretty slim.
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2013: A chance for MLS to look beyond the marketing
Posted by Paul Gardner on Apr. 8, 1:36 a.m.
Comparisons being, we are told, odious, here is a small slice of odiousness to get things going. On Saturday, there were five games in Spain's premier division, La Liga. Five games in which 28 goals were scored. Average, 5.6 goals per game. Also on Saturday, there were five games in MLS. During which 11 goals were scored - average, 2.2 ...
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Reckless goalkeepers, and heedless referees
Posted by Paul Gardner on Apr. 5, 12:15 a.m.
A couple of recent referee calls that are worth studying because they raise issues that the rulebook does not seem to accommodate. These are the details -- I'm leaving out the scorelines, as we all know that they are not to be considered when referees make decisions.
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Soccer goes overboard with star-wars system
Posted by Paul Gardner on Mar. 30, 2:09 a.m.
We know that Michel Platini doesn't think much of goal line technology. He prefers his system of using extra assistant referees, one at each end, patrolling the goal line.
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Klinsmann the salesman prolongs problem
Posted by Soccer America on Mar. 27, 5:48 p.m.
First, the unworthy farce of the snow-job against Costa Rica. Well, OK, three points is three points. But it would be better, somehow nicer, if those three points were hauled in by playing soccer, don't you think?
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And elsewhere, some real soccer, on green grass ...
Posted by Paul Gardner on Mar. 23, 3:49 p.m.
For those of you who stumbled into the mess that was the USA-Costa Rica World Cup qualifier, let me assure you that the sport of soccer still lives, in something like its intended form. Elsewhere, on other TV channels on Friday, there were real games to be watched.
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Why an English ref boss doesn't suit U.S. soccer
Posted by Paul Gardner on Mar. 20, 2:04 a.m.
Peter Walton. A pleasant man, soft-spoken, quick to smile, alert and intelligent. A nice guy. But the wrong guy.
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