The soul of soccer under threat
Posted by Paul Gardner on Nov. 21, 1:22 a.m.
Future historians -- say some 200 years hence -- researching the regression of soccer back into the brainless, bloody melees from which it sprang, will do well to study the 2012 statements of two Premier League coaches, Tony Pulis of Stoke City, and West Ham United's Sam Allardyce.
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Belief in playoff system again sorely tested
Posted by Paul Gardner on Nov. 17, 12:56 a.m.
It looks like a pretty good bet that, when this weekend is over, we shall find ourselves back where we were a year ago ... with an MLS Cup final between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo.
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Referee gaffe does Dynamo a big favor
Posted by Paul Gardner on Nov. 12, 3:27 a.m.
Way to go Alexi! For telling it like it is. "A botched call," said Alexi Lalas in tones that brooked no ifs or buts or maybes. He was speaking on ESPN and referring to referee Ricardo Salazar's decision right before halftime in the Houston-D.C. United playoff game.
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The Bittersweet Departure of Hans Backe
Posted by Paul Gardner on Nov. 11, 12:33 a.m.
I found Hans Backe's vision of soccer, and his teams, quite appalling. Under Backe, the Red Bulls were never particularly worth watching as they lumbered along, over-weighted with their cumbersome Scandinavians, under-skilled with their naive college-style Americans.
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MLS playoffs -- a good idea that needs more pizazz
Posted by Paul Gardner on Nov. 6, 1:03 a.m.
Again, yet again, we are being reminded from all sides that this is playoff time. Which means playoff soccer. Which means ... well, what the heck does it mean?
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The sad - and sadly predictable - death of a Task Force
Posted by Paul Gardner on Nov. 2, 1:17 a.m.
The demise of the FIFA Task Force Football 2014 is as sad as it was inevitable.
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It's time the Commish explained this one ...
Posted by Paul Gardner on Oct. 29, 12:44 a.m.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber and his right hand man Nelson Rodriguez, plus Peter Walton, the chief of the newly minted U.S. referee body, PRO, might be expected to issue an explanatory statement this week.
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The Undercover World League
Posted by Paul Gardner on Oct. 25, 8:30 p.m.
For a while there, it was called the European Cup, then the European Champions League, and now it's the UEFA Champions League, the UCL.
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Can we laugh off England's pill-popping in Poland?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Oct. 20, 1:34 a.m.
So England produced a lethargic performance against Poland last Wednesday because the players had been taking sleeping pills. Sounds quite possible -- after all, that's what sleeping pills are supposed to do. Make you sleepy.
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Excellent Salazar makes the case for American referees
Posted by Paul Gardner on Oct. 19, 3:04 a.m.
Wednesday night we got a spicy taste of what MLS playoff soccer should be. It wasn't exactly a playoff game, but Seattle vs. Real Salt Lake had plenty going for it in terms of gaining home-field advantage when the playoffs do start, and a growing and intense rivalry between the two teams.
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Hodgson and Garber suffer naivete attacks
Posted by Paul Gardner on Oct. 13, 12:37 a.m.
Two recent examples of important soccer guys doing things they shouldn't be doing -- guys who should certainly know better.
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England tangled up in diving witch hunt
Posted by Paul Gardner on Oct. 12, 2:04 a.m.
There is, evidently, to be no end to the sheer nonsense that the English witch hunt on diving continues to spew forth.
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Some like it rough: Tales from the birthplace of soccer
Posted by Paul Gardner on Oct. 4, 2:16 a.m.
LONDON -- Spending time among the English nowadays -- talking soccer, watching EPL games, reading the sports pages, listening to the army of TV experts, discussing the sport with fans -- always leaves me with the uneasy feeling that I have been mingling with people who really don't care that much about the sport.
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Sportsmanship makes fleeting appearance
Posted by Paul Gardner on Sep. 30, 1:11 p.m.
German striker Miroslav Klose has been much praised -- and rightly so -- for his recent act of sportsmanship.
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Coming Soon to MLS from England: The Thug's Charter
Posted by Paul Gardner on Sep. 24, 1:43 a.m.
Well, that didn't take long. A mere three days after Chelsea's young Brazilian Oscar was being lauded to the heavens by the English media for scoring a "wonder goal" against Juventus he finds himself being tarred as a cheat.
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