• 'New' MLS Coaches Not So New
    There will be a few coaching changes in MLS before the 2009 season begins -- but nothing that will astound anyone, or will make any great difference to the teams involved. We know we're getting a new coach at the Colorado Rapids -- Gary Smith replacing Fernando Clavijo -- but Smith is not exactly new as we suffered through 11 of his "interim coach" games only a couple of months back.
  • Goals win championships!
    MLS Commissioner Don Garber was looking rather pleased with himself. The 13th MLS Cup final had passed into history only a couple of hours ago, the Columbus Crew was the new champion and Garber declared that it had been "a satisfactory afternoon. A good afternoon for soccer in America."
  • Is Defense Really All that Matters?
    Oh dear. I came to praise Juan Carlos Osorio. I really want to say all sorts of nice things about the way he's taken the world's worst franchise, the hopeless, hapless Red Bulls, nee the MetroStars, a.k.a. the RotMasters, a team that has been for 12 years -- imagine that, 12 whole years! -- the very definition of futility and stumblebum incompetence, almost state-of-the-art slapstick, and in the space of one season he's transformed them into MLS Cup finalists.
  • The Merlin of the Meadowlands
    So the Amazins did it again. Don't ask me how, their last two games have been played as though the players are enchanted, as though they've created a magic spell around their goalmouth, a spell with the power to repel the ball, to make sure it just will not go into the goal.
  • Rapids To Play Like Arsenal? Forget It
    Here we go again, deja vu with knobs on one more time. The Colorado Rapids have gone for an English coach. They should take a look at their own history. Their very first coach, back in 1996, was a highly touted Englishman, Bob Houghton. A total flop who was fired after just that one season. Having brought with him his English notions about soccer, having failed to realize that they're not good enough for the American scene.
  • Making A Mockery of the Goal of the Year
    I was as shocked and amused as anyone by Danny Cepero's 80-yard goalscoring feat for the Red Bulls against the Columbus Crew. The sort of crazy moment that lightens things up, that quickly becomes a conversation piece.
  • The Amazin' New York Red Bulls
    Now that's what I call an upset - safe to call it the biggest one in MLS playoff history, I think. Here comes Juan Carlos Osorio with the, let us say, undistinguished Red Bulls, a team rendered even weaker by drug suspensions and injuries, and they knock off the high-flying Houston Dynamo. I'm not going to say that they did it in style, that would hardly be accurate. But they did it in just about as convincing a way as possible -- by winning down there, in Houston, in the packed, hostile, stadium of the Dynamo. Winning? This was a …
  • When Coaches Speak
    Listening in as coaches accuse each other of dirty tactics is a fascinating, if ultimately frustrating, exercise. If only because you know that while Coach A may today be accusing Coach B of encouraging roughhouse play, it won't be long before Coach A will be accused of the same crime by Coach C, while Coach B will be finding the same fault with Coach D.
  • Playoff Soccer: More Pros than Cons
    The first good thing about the MLS playoffs was that the Colorado Rapids didn't qualify. I say that intending no disrespect for their players, but as a harsh criticism of the style and tactics adopted by their interim coach Gary Smith -- the dreaded survival soccer that I excoriated here a couple of weeks back.