• Of boxing days made bearable by soccer
    I watched bits and pieces of three or four English Premier League games played on Boxing Day (I don't know why I'm giving it capital letters, it's a pretty meaningless designation -- no one seems totally certain about what it means -- but, for sure, nothing to do with boxing). Right -- so I watched these Dec. 26 EPL games, and found them rather dull. Which left me wondering. Could they have been as flat, as uninteresting as I found them? Or was it simply a wave of temps perdu from my boyhood that stirred suddenly to remind me ...
  • I was wrong about Beckham
    Soon after David Beckham descended upon us, trailing clouds of glory in January 2007, I wrote an article that was headlined: "Beckham in MLS: A Force Or A Farce?"
  • Are Corner Kicks a Lost Art?
    A lifetime of attending soccer practices has left me totally jaded about such activities. Well, that's something of an exaggeration, it's hardly been a lifetime. It just seems like it. Sheer tedium. So why bother? Maybe because there's a chance to chat with players or even -- holy of holies! -- the coach afterward.
  • Static College Game A Worry for Expanding MLS
    As an event that should be of compelling interest, the college final four has ceased to engage me for a number of years. Mainly because the soccer itself is not that brilliant. It would be unfair to blame this entirely on the college sport -- after all, when was the last time we had superb finals at any level of the sport, right up to the World Cup?
  • Believing in the Beautiful Game
    Juande Ramos is a pretty lucky guy. Direct from being a colossal flop with Tottenham in London, he returns to Spain and walks straight into what is arguably the top job in club soccer anywhere in the world -- coach of Real Madrid.
  • Beware of Brits Bearing Baloney
    Barely a week goes by -- or so it seems -- without an announcement that a foreign club, usually English, has "entered into an agreement" with an American youth club.
  • Cristiano by a Mile
    We now know that Cristiano Ronaldo is the best soccer player in the world. The annual poll conducted by the esteemed French magazine France Football gave him victory by an almost insultingly large number of points -- 446 to 281 -- over his nearest challenger, Lionel Messi.
  • Delusions of Grandeur at FIFA
    Loyalty might seem to be an unarguably honorable trait, but like most examples of moral behavior, it turns out to be a relative concept. There is loyalty to good people and causes, and loyalty to bad people and causes. And it may not always be easy to work out which are the good guys, and which the bad. Actually, it's never easy, because they're changing all the time.