• On the Road to Montreal
    Off The Post is currently driving through Northern New York state, somewhere north of Saratoga Springs, on his way toward the Women's World Cup semifinal between the USA and Germany in Montreal, which is tonight at 7:30 PM. The decision to head north from Coastal Connecticut was a last minute one, but being good patriots, your columnist and his spontaneously intrepid travel companion, Scooter (note: he is not a dog and that really is his nickname), who is driving and is usually up for anything, decided this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not to be missed.
  • Dunga Should Stay, Provided He Fixes a Few Things
    For the second time in two years, mighty Brazil crashed out of a major tournament earlier than expected. However, this time, it was attack, not defense, that was the Seleccao's main problem. For the second time in two years, Brazil was without its best player, Neymar, when it needed him most. However, this time, it was indiscipline, not injury, that kept him out. And for the second straight Copa America, Brazil bowed out at the hand of Paraguay, in the quarterfinals, on penalties.
  • U.S. Soccer Followed Protocol with Dempsey Ban
    The U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) is once again being put under the microscope following the actions of one of its stars. Just as the hoopla surrounding Hope Solo was starting to subside, U.S. men's national team captain and Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey was found guilty of referee abuse for slapping away Daniel Radford's notebook and then tearing it up during Seattle's 3-1 loss in the U.S. Open Cup against the Portland Timbers. Per MLS rules, "referee abuse" results in a suspension of three games, which is exactly what Dempsey received from the league, as opposed to "referee assault," which …
  • Is Sergio Ramos More Important to Real Than Ronaldo?
    Reports in England and Spain claim that Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has handed in a transfer request. According to the Guardian, Ramos met with Real CEO Jose Angel Sanchez on Wednesday morning and confirmed his intention to leave the club after 10 seasons. This is a huge blow to Los Blancos, because the Spain international is arguably the club's most important player after Cristiano Ronaldo. However, if you ask the club's fans, as the Real-leaning Spanish sports daily AS did, most would prefer to sell the reigning Ballon d'Or winner to Ramos: in separate polls, a whopping 75 percent …
  • Why (Non-American) Men Cheat at Soccer
    As we're in the middle of a two-day pause at the Women's World Cup in Canada, it makes sense that pubs like USA Today and The New York Daily News are trying to keep the tournament top-of-mind with thought-provoking pieces like "Why Women Don't Cheat at Soccer" and "U.S. Women's Team in Need of Ethnic, Racial Diversity." While the latter brings up a good point about soccer in the U.S. remaining a largely white, middle-class sport, the former observes that in the professional game, women don't try to con the referee as much as men do.
  • Italy's Match-Fixing Scandals are Adding Up
    Italian soccer is once again making headlines for all the wrong reasons, as Catania Calcio President Antonio Pulvirenti was arrested on Tuesday along with six others in what is, sadly, only the latest match-fixing scandal to hit the soccer-mad country. Pulvirenti is accused of having paid off certain opposition players to help his team win games and avoid relegation to Lega Pro, Italy's third division. Catania, for years a mainstay in Italy's top flight, was only relegated from Serie A to Serie B a little more than a year ago, but the Sicilian club spent much of last season struggling …
  • Neymar Needs to be Taught a Lesson
    If you watched the final round of group games at the 2015 Copa America this weekend, then you might have heard that CONMEBOL upped Brazil captain Neymar's suspension from one game to four after its disciplinary board met on Friday to discuss the player's punishment. As it turns out, in addition to the two yellow cards and one red card that the player received in two matches at the Copa, the disciplinary board also took into consideration Neymar's post-game behavior, including abusive comments the player made toward referee Enrique Osses in the tunnel after the game, as well as in …
  • Is Neymar Preoccupied with the Lawsuit Against Him?
    After a mesmerizing performance against Peru in Brazil's first game at the Copa Amrica, Fusion writer Nando Vila points out that Brazil captain Neymar "looked frustrated and nervous in the next match against Colombia," which was played just as news was breaking about a new investigation into his transfer from Santos to Barcelona in 2013. For anyone who watches the Barcelona star regularly, he certainly appeared more agitated than usual in the 1-0 loss to Colombia on Wednesday. Could it be that Neymar is sweating about the allegations both he and his father face?
  • Conmebol's Shameful Handling of the Neymar Ban
    At the moment, confusion reigns over the fate of Neymar at the 2015 Copa America after the Brazil captain received a straight red card for attempting to head-butt Colombia defender Jeison Murillo after referee Enrique Osses had blown the final whistle in Colombia's combative 1-0 win in Santiago. On Thursday, reports in the Brazilian media claimed that Neymar was looking at a minimum two-game suspension, thus ruling the Barcelona forward out until the semifinal, assuming Brazil gets that far. The Copa America disciplinary board later confirmed the Brazilian media reports, only to see Conmebol, the South American region's confederation, step …
  • Arturo Vidal's Copa America Should Be Over
    As you might have heard, Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal was involved in a serious car accident late Tuesday night. The 28-year-old, who is currently the leading scorer at the Copa America with three goals in two games, was returning from a casino just south of the Chilean capital Santiago with his wife when the incident occurred. Thankfully, both were unhurt. While Vidal maintains he did not cause the three-car accident, he was nevertheless arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. The next day (Wednesday), the Juventus midfielder was found guilty of driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of …
  • Could Real Fans Force a Ronaldo-PSG Transfer?
    Real Madrid-leaning Spanish sports daily AS on Tuesday published an astonishing survey which showed that nearly half (49.96 percent) of some 30,000 of its readers would like to see Real Madrid sell Cristiano Ronaldo this summer. This is astonishing because Ronaldo scored or assisted on 83 goals in just 52 appearances last season. The timing of the survey's release is particularly unfortunate because, according to the Daily Mail, the 30-year-old only just told the club that despite his issues with president Florentino Perez, he is ready to continue his career at Real following the appointment of Rafael Benitez as head …
  • Is Hope Solo the Victim of a Media Witch Hunt?
    On the eve of the USA's opener against Australia at the Women's World Cup in Canada last Monday, ESPN published a damning report that took a deeper look into USA goalkeeper Hope Solo's domestic violence case. Previously, the case had presumably been put to bed when a judge threw it out "procedural grounds", citing the failure of the complaining witnesses --Solo's half-sister Teresa Obert and her son -- to cooperate with attempts by the defense to interview them. But as the ESPN report noted, the case had been reopened after the prosecution filed an appeal, which will be heard in …
  • FIFA, Organizers Rig Women's World Cup
    In response to a series of questions from Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl, FIFA, soccer's world governing body, offers some tepid-to say the least-logic for the way it structured this year's Women's World Cup. As opposed to the men's tournament, in which everything from the placement of each team to the venue they play at, is determined during a gala draw event held six months before the first ball is kicked, the six women's seeds were placed into groups with their locations pre-determined.
  • Copa America: Host Could Surprise; Argentina the Favorite
    As you might have heard, the 2015 Copa America begins on Thursday night with an intriguing opener between host Chile and Ecuador. All eyes will be on Argentina, though. Despite Brazil's ten-game winning streak since last summer's World Cup humiliation, the Albiceleste had to be the favorite to win its first trophy in 22 years. Given the season that most of the players in its squad have had at club level, this tournament is Argentina's to lose-assuming that the pressure to end the country's trophy drought doesn't overwhelm coach Gerardo Martino & co.
  • The Serious Case of Hope Solo
    By now, just about anyone who is familiar with the U.S. Women's national team knows that Hope Solo has been involved in a domestic violence lawsuit. About a year ago, Solo was arrested following a dispute that turned violent at the house of her half-sister, Teresa Obert. While Solo alleges that she was the victim of violence on the part of her 17-year-old nephew, Obert's son whose name has not been disclosed, Obert and her son tell a very different story.
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