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College Soccer: Simply Unreal

As college finals go, Notre Dame's 2-1 win over Maryland was quite a good one. Good, that is, within the limitations of the college game. Whether those limitations are imposed by the NCAA or whether they represent the way that the Division I coaches want things to be, I am no longer certain. It doesn't matter anyway: The limitations are ...
» 35 Comments

Ref's failure to red-card Collin has major impact on MLS Cup

Writing before MLS Cup, I picked out either Real Salt Lake's Javier Morales or Kansas City's Aurelien Collin as MVP candidates.
» 26 Comments

MLS Cup: The KC Method vs. the RSL Style

Scanning the Kansas City and the Real Salt Lake rosters for a likely MVP in today's final, two names -- representing two very different aspects of soccer -- stand out: Aurelien Collin for KC, and Javier Morales for RSL.
» 5 Comments

The unofficial report on the State of the Commissioner

It is fair to say that there are two main events at the end of each MLS season: the MLS Cup final, and the address by Commissioner Don Garber on the State of the League.
» 5 Comments

What Soccer Can Learn from Genetics (Part 3: Genes and Sport)

In the last couple of columns, I've been looking into the genetic intricacies and mysteries revealed in David Epstein's book "The Sports Gene." He doesn't have much to say about soccer -- I counted 12 references to the sport, mostly brief mentions to bolster a point that Epstein is making about another sport. This should hardly be too surprising
» 4 Comments

Genes and Sport (Part 2): Jamaican sprinters, Kenyan distance runners, high-responders and Alaskan huskies

I left you last time with the vision of the virtually untrained high jumper Donald Thomas winning the world championship against Stefan Holm, who had spent the previous 25 years of his life training to perfect his jumping technique.
» 5 Comments

Complexity, Nature vs. Nurture, and the Holes in the 10,000-hour Theory (Genes and Sport, Part 1)

The study of genes -- where they are, what they are, and what they do has never been easy. We know they occur on the chromosomes, but even that ostensibly straightforward fact was complicated in the early days.
» 13 Comments

Bizarre decisions shine unflattering light on English refereeing

How can this happen? How can Phil Dowd -- one of the English Premier League's most experienced referees -- make a call as atrociously bad as the one he made at the 34th minute of Saturday's Everton-Liverpool game?
» 5 Comments

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 ...
» 8 Comments

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.
» 8 Comments

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.
» 14 Comments

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 ...
» 43 Comments

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.
» 17 Comments

'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.
» 6 Comments

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).
» 27 Comments




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