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Subscribe to SoccerTalk with Paul Gardner

Don Garber is right -- MLS deserves more respect. But it doesn't help its own cause.

Commissioner Don Garber sounded off recently on the subject of respect, and how he feels that MLS doesn't get enough of it. Maybe "sounded off" is exaggerating Garber's position. He wasn't exactly ranting. It was more of a gentle nudge, suggesting to the American media that MLS "deserves more attention than we get."
»38 Comments

Jordan Morris lights up the college final

I'm suspicious. Playing the College Division I final on a gloomy damp Sunday afternoon in Kansas City sounds like an NCAA conspiracy -- a continued conspiracy, I might say -- to belittle the sport.
»25 Comments

Is Pochettino the man to make the English rethink their soccer?

I detect signs -- long-awaited signs -- that things are changing in English soccer. I mean real fundamental change. Not the glossy superficial marketing tripe that is constantly fed to us as evidence that something, anything, is new, and therefore must be an improvement. Usually it is just the packaging that is new, gaudily disguising the fact that the product ...
»19 Comments

MLS Cup 2015: Portland 2 Columbus 1

No, it wasn't a dream final -- these days we don't see many of them -- but it was a game with plenty of drama and enough good soccer to prevent it from ever lapsing into banality.
»17 Comments

The Red Bulls and System Soccer

You have to wonder -- is Dax McCarty looking to leave the Red Bulls? His postgame comments after the Bulls lost their playoff series to Columbus certainly invite that thought. He told the New York Post: "We just didn't play well the entire series. We were outplayed, out-hustled and out-coached."
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The growth of the academies (Part 2): Is there any evidence that they are giving us better soccer?

Evidence from a survey by the Switzerland-based Football Observatory (see Part 1) indicates that the number of acceptably skilled academy graduates is declining.
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The growth of the academies (Part 1): Institutes of Higher Learning for soccer -- is this really the way to go?

Soccer academies. What a great idea! Fully-funded centers for the development of young players, superior facilities, top coaching, all the latest scientific and professional knowledge ... and, we are told, with a caring staff who understands not only soccer, but have insight too into the real-life growing-up problems that beset teenagers.
»98 Comments

Arsenal: Why so few Latinos? Why so many injuries?

Talk about predictable. Here they come again, Arsenal, going through a pretty good spell in the Premier League, playing the sort of skillful soccer that Arsene Wenger wants to see. So the crucial game against Bayern came at a good moment. A stern test for their new-found consistent form.
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A classic non-call of a blatant penalty kick foul

Should Chelsea have had a penalty kick in the 86th minute of its game against Stoke City on Saturday? It didn't get the call, so the question can be asked. But it is an absolutely ridiculous question.
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Did Jason Kreis Ever Have a Chance?

I shall, until I see convincing evidence to the contrary, regard Jason Kreis not as a failed coach, but as a convenient scapegoat.
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Is soccer, thanks to GLT, becoming a game of millimeters?

Baseball, they say, is a game of inches. While soccer, of course, is a game of feet (there's a pun in that, for those who care about such matters). But soccer, too, is a matter of inches. In fact, with the relentless march of increasingly accurate methods of measuring, it would appear to be turning into a sport of microns.
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Thank you Jurgen, and goodbye. Again.

That headline was used for a column of mine after World Cup 2014. When Klinsmann led the USA to absolutely nothing -- just another World Cup elimination. I've added the "Again."
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Time is running out on violent goalkeeping

Employing former players as TV experts is now well established as the thing to do. Like it or not, that's what we're getting. Occasionally it works well -- which is surprising, because TV work is specialist work, and it's alarmingly clear that none of these guys has any training for the job.
»17 Comments

Joe Morrone: Soccer's Determined Pioneer

Joe Morrone. I have quite a few memories of Joe, all of them pleasant and friendly. Which is quite surprising when you consider that he and I strongly disagreed on almost everything relating to soccer.
»6 Comments

Should PRO have revealed, during the game, that the Red Bull trick play was illegal?

This really rather ridiculous business of the Red Bull corner-kick trickery continues to reverberate.
»12 Comments




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