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Mindless Midfields Usher Out Sounders and Red Bulls

Unthinkable is probably too strong a word, but the ignominious departure of the New York Red Bulls and the Seattle Sounders from the MLS playoffs certainly seemed to defy probability. Above all, the manner of their defeats, with the hammer-blow for each team coming via defeat in a climactic game in their home stadium jammed with their own frenetic, expectant ...

Should refs be hawks or doves at playoff time?

'Tis the season, or postseason anyway, of playoff soccer. Whatever that means. The phrase gets repeated and repeated -- the TV guys love it, of course, without giving us any clear explanation of what they mean.

Excusing the inexcusable: 'don't guess, don't allow the goal'

To his credit, PRO's Paul Rejer has not refused to deal with referee mistakes in his "Play of the Week" feature on PRO's website. They make up a minority of his cases -- for the simple reason that referees, by and large, get things right.

The Tab Ramos way must be the future for American soccer

A few weeks back, in this column, Tab Ramos laid out his thoughts on coaching. What he had to say should be of vital interest to anyone involved in coaching, and in the development of the sport in this country. Yes, I am partisan on this issue, so let's get that out of the way immediately. I stand by what ...

Ghost goal haunts Hoffenheim while Cosmos aim to be part-time champion

Great. No sooner do we move -- finally, after many a delay and much equivocation -- into the modern age with FIFA's approval of goal line technology (GLT, aka GDS or Goal Decision System) than we are plunged back into the dark ages with an utterly absurd decision over a disputed goal in Germany.

'Big' thinking Toronto continues to baffle

The situation in Toronto continues to fascinate me. They now have a new GM up there, Tim Bezbatchenko, who comes straight from the MLS administrative offices. He is the replacement for Kevin Payne, who got himself canned by the new CEO of owners Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.

Dempsey reminds us how few read the rulebook

I must say, for at least the 10,000th time, that it is a decided scandal that so few players are familiar with the rules of soccer. (I could add TV commentators to the culprits list, but most of those are ex-players, so their ignorance is to be expected).

New FA Chairman, same old stuck-in mentality

A couple of days after writing my previous column -- in which I expressed strong dislike of British attitudes to the nature of soccer and how it should be played -- I went along to the "Leaders in Football" conference at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge stadium.

Tab Ramos: The Making of a Coach (Part 2)

In my previous column I reported on a conversation with Tab Ramos in Q&A form. But the longer the conversation lasted, the clearer it became that my questions were not really adding much, and were merely getting in the way of Ramos' thought flow. So this time, Ramos does all the talking as he explains his methods in putting together ...

Tab Ramos: the Making of a Coach (Part 1)

The 2011 appointment of Tab Ramos as the coach of the U.S. U-20 national team seems to me the most important move that has ever been made within the musty and -- before this -- largely unimaginative coaching world of the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Brainless machismo still plagues British soccer

LONDON -- One of last weekend's big soccer stories here -- or so it would seem from press coverage -- had to do with the reading out of Saturday's English soccer scores. On the radio.

The nonsense of analyzing goals solely from the defensive angle

One of the dopier notions that circulate in soccer -- a sport that is certainly not short of inane ideas -- is the one that tells us Why Goals Are Scored.

Booze and Gambling: Soccer's Unsuitable Partners

I think it's safe to say that there is a general feeling that soccer, being a vigorous, healthy sporting activity in which millions of young people are involved, should pay attention to its image. Meaning that it should not be linked to products and activities that do not reflect that wholesome image.

Winter World Cup looms after FIFA's mistake

We can now take it as official that FIFA screwed up when it awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. We've heard it from the horse's mouth. Sepp Blatter himself has neighed in with the admission that it "may well be that we made a mistake" in naming Qatar.

Brave they are, but lose they will

Can't say I'm a great devotee of Northern Irish soccer. But they came up against Portugal in a weekend World Cup qualifier, so I watched -- because of Cristiano Ronaldo.