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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.
» 12 Comments

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.
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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 ...
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Hallelujah! A terrible diving call gets rescinded!

Regularly, at least once per season, I announce, with indignant protestations of disgust, that I have just witnessed the worst-ever diving call.
» 7 Comments

Lalas & Balboa agree -- breaking the rules is fine

We all remember Alexi Lalas and Marcelo Balboa, don't we. The stalwart double act at the heart of the U.S. defense in the 1994 World Cup. A rather rustic pair. That's right -- those two. That was over 20 years ago, and they've moved on, of course.
» 111 Comments

Brazil 1 Chile 0 -- a game shaped by refereeing

So who needs travel? My 9:30 am Sunday breakfast in New York was spent mostly watching a telecast from London ... featuring two of South America's top teams, Brazil and Chile.
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Why are England's clubs so barely English?

With the inglorious exit of Everton -- bounced out of the Europa League by a 5-2 mauling from Dynamo Kiev -- the participation of English clubs in this season's European competition has come to an abrupt and really rather shocking halt.
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Why are goalkeepers allowed to get away with this?

The picture below is from Saturday's Dallas-Kansas City game. It shows Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz in the process of punching the ball away.
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Kaka comes through; Villa not quite; Kelly not at all

The great Orlando-New York clash managed to do what so often doesn't get done ... it produced a wonderfully climactic finish and the right result.
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IFAB nearly gets one right, UEFA gets it all wrong

Well, well -- how about this? Had to happen some time, I suppose, so here we are: I find myself in agreement with an IFAB decision. At least, partially so.
» 16 Comments

Europe embraces Latino flair, how about the USA?

Ten minutes into Tuesday's Champions League game between Manchester City and Barcelona, TV commentator Martin Tyler told us "There are South Americans everywhere you look on the pitch here."
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In search of youth soccer ... and do we really want it anyway? Part 3: Street soccer -- to be crushed or cherished?

The purest form of youth soccer -- maybe it is really the only form -- is street soccer. With its own rules, invented by the boys, without coaches or referees, anarchic but functional, plenty of appalling language but not (as I recall) much rough play, chaotic but with its sudden surprising moments of joyful teamwork.
» 27 Comments




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