The MLS PseudoDraft and other obstacles that Latino Americans face in American soccer
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jan. 13, 11:24 p.m.
Time for another MLS SuperDraft. It would be better called the MLS PseudoDraft. It might also be known as the Slim Pickings Draft. Most of those involved are college players, and the day has long since passed when a bumper crop, or even an ordinary crop, of pro-ready players might be expected from that source.
A new type of coach -- appointed by the sponsors
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jan. 5, 11:52 p.m.
Keeping up with the changes and additions to the English language -- I'm talking now about demotic usage, the every-day words that we speak and read -- is a topic of much fascination to me.
Good luck and bad luck for the Foxes
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jan. 3, 11:02 p.m.
You hear it often enough: a team should rest assured that, over the course of a season, luck will more or less even out. In particular, hostile (and therefore wrong) referee decisions will be compensated by favorable ones. The accompanying wry grin will wordlessly convey that some of those will be "acceptably dodgy."
Pawson's Pause gives the game away
Posted by Paul Gardner on Dec. 30, 11:32 p.m.
I continue not to understand the negativity that pervades -- though possibly less than it used to -- referee thinking.
Will Computer SAM kill off the soccer pundits?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Dec. 27, 9:28 p.m.
Mark Lawrenson was once a top defender. He played for the Republic of Ireland, even though he was born and grew up in England. And he had a seven-year stint with Liverpool. Which puts him up there among the stars, at least in British eyes
The English get a timely reminder from Jurgen Klopp
Posted by Paul Gardner on Dec. 26, 2:12 a.m.
I have a problem with Jurgen Klopp: I find it difficult to take anything he says seriously. His demented sideline antics have more or less forced me to view him as an overgrown child -- so why listen?
Don Garber is right -- MLS deserves more respect. But it doesn't help its own cause.
Posted by Paul Gardner on Dec. 24, 1:44 a.m.
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."
Jordan Morris lights up the college final
Posted by Paul Gardner on Dec. 13, 9:52 p.m.
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.
Is Pochettino the man to make the English rethink their soccer?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Dec. 11, 3:36 p.m.
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 ...
MLS Cup 2015: Portland 2 Columbus 1
Posted by Paul Gardner on Dec. 7, 6:06 p.m.
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.
The Red Bulls and System Soccer
Posted by Paul Gardner on Dec. 1, 12:06 a.m.
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."
The growth of the academies (Part 2): Is there any evidence that they are giving us better soccer?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Nov. 18, 2:17 a.m.
Evidence from a survey by the Switzerland-based Football Observatory (see Part 1) indicates that the number of acceptably skilled academy graduates is declining.
The growth of the academies (Part 1): Institutes of Higher Learning for soccer -- is this really the way to go?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Nov. 16, 7:07 p.m.
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.
Arsenal: Why so few Latinos? Why so many injuries?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Nov. 9, 1:18 a.m.
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.
A classic non-call of a blatant penalty kick foul
Posted by Paul Gardner on Nov. 8, 2:55 a.m.
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.