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Klinsmann and Walton cast shadow over MLS Cup

As MLS bows gracefully (well, that's my hope) off the soccer scene for a short while, and the English Premier League prepares to dominate the TV screens over the holidays, it's the moment to sort out some loose ends, or at least raise them as talking points.

MLS Cup: Contrasting midfields and the importance of strict refereeing

I'm thinking that a Galaxy-Revs MLS final is the best matchup we could have expected from the four semifinalists. In truth, there was little to choose between three of them -- Red Bulls, Seattle and Revs. All three are hectic teams, somewhat short of brain-power, but with plenty of over-charged midfielders. A combination that can make for exciting games -- ...

TV ignores vital referee influence in playoff soccer

There ought to be an acceptable explanation of this ... though I cannot, at the moment, think of one. Why on earth should there be a failure to see that, when soccer comes down to the really big games -- I mean the knockout games, the stage which MLS has reached -- the referee takes on a new and considerably ...

Why is it OK for coaches to advocate cheating?

When this sort of thing happens -- and it keeps happening in soccer -- you're left to ponder whether there is ever anything really new for the sport to explore.

A sad, sad end for Steve Zakuani

There is one pretty obvious risk involved in playing soccer: That of a serious, career-ending injury. Pro players know that, they accept it. Fortunately, those serious injuries don't happen too often.

Latino Inclusion: U.S. Soccer Takes a Step Backward

Hugo Perez is known as someone with strong connections in the California Latino communities. He also has an exceptionally keen eye when it comes to recognizing young players of promise. Those two attributes ought, one might reasonably suppose, to be of considerable use to U.S. Soccer and its national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

New era in L.A. kicks off with same old FC B.S.

Try as I might, I cannot see the demise of Chivas USA and its replacement by a celebrity-conglomerate currently calling itself Los Angeles Football Club as a positive event for MLS.

Rip Van Wenger wakes up to the obvious

What ever is it with Arsene Wenger and the Latin Americans? Because, here we go again -- but this time it really does look as though Wenger is having us on.

FIFA's Scandalous Snub of Costa Rica

Should there be any lingering doubts about the total domination that Europe now has over the global game they have surely been put to flight by the announcement of the short list of candidates for the most prestigious individual awards in men's soccer in 2014: the Ballon d'Or (best player), and the FIFA World Coach of the Year.

A Tale of Two Clasicos: From Madrid to Seattle

It seemed like a good idea -- to compare and contrast Sunday's big games. Two clasicos really: From Spain, Real Madrid-Barcelona, and right here the Seattle Sounders-Los Angeles Galaxy. Maybe it's stretching things a bit to dub the MLS game a clasico, if only because clasicos surely need a history. The American rivalry dates back only to 2009, a feeble ...

How I referee Garber vs. Klinsmann

That MLS Commissioner Don Garber should be upset by Jurgen Klinsmann's thoughtless and really rather peevish comments on Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey is understandable. By coming back to the USA to play in MLS, Dempsey and Bradley are -- according to Klinsmann -- lowering their standards. Because MLS is an inferior league.

To Landon Donovan: Ave atque Vale!

So Landon Donovan has had his special day ... and I cannot think of anyone involved in soccer in this country who more deserves to be honored in this way.

The Need for a Holistic Approach to Soccer

One of the stranger things about soccer is that it is rarely, if ever, considered as a whole. There are, of course, endless discussions of its myriad details, from tactics to head dress, from simulation to offside calls ... but when was the last time you heard of a serious seminar on The State of the Game? The whole game, ...

England -- belatedly and hesitantly -- begins to accept Latin talent

LONDON -- Change -- important, fundamental change -- seems to be arriving at last in English soccer. Slowly and reluctantly, of course. I'm tempted to say this is going to take time, but that overlooks the fact that the change I'm talking about has already taken up an enormous amount of time. About a hundred years, roughly speaking.

Tactical fouls and studs-up tackles dangerously overshadowed by diving hysteria

LONDON -- This fatuous business of turning simulation, or diving, into the worst crime that a player can commit continues -- and continues to have ridiculous side effects.