• Defense On Autopilot
    Four key Champions League games played this week have served up some pretty remarkable, and rather disturbing, stats.
  • Foul? What foul?
    After his Galaxy had lost a rather tedious Pan-Pacific final to the Koreans of Suwong Samsung, Bruce Arena gave his opinion of the red card given to Galaxy defender Sean Franklin. He was terse: "I didn't see the play, whether he showed studs or not or whatever ... I don't know."
  • From Marital Bliss to Hell of a Mess
    I suppose there is such a thing as Beckham-fatigue. I don't mean his fatigue -- though we got a demonstration of that yesterday, with poor David sitting disconsolately on the sideline in the San Siro, watching his beloved Milan lose to Inter, and looking, well, fatigued. As he should. After all the guy is 33 years old (yes, yes, I know -- his teammate Paolo Maldini is 41!).
  • Don Sets Doomsday for David
    With a great sense of drama and timing, MLS commissioner Don Garber has pronounced Doomsday for David. It will be tomorrow, Friday the 13th. Either Beckham and his clan (his army of advisers, lawyers, consultants, managers, assistants and hangers-on), and AC Milan with all their various experts, come to an agreement with the Los Angeles Galaxy (which means AEG and all their high-powered business guys) by tomorrow, or any deal selling the player to Milan is off, finito, and Beckham -- with great reluctance one imagines -- will return to California.
  • Referees and the Reputation Problem
    It's a puzzling thing to me that what I see as a major problem for referees is one that they always tell me is no problem at all. Call it the reputation problem. When a referee knows -- as he must know, he is after all intensely involved in the sport -- of the reputation of certain players as dirty or as divers, does that knowledge affect his calls? Would he, for instance, be more likely to card a known violent player than he would a player without such a reputation?
  • Soccer's Eternal Olympic Mess
    Yawn, yawn, YAWN!!. Here we go again, wrestling with soccer's eternal Olympic mess. The details are always the same -- which players should be permitted to play in the tournament? The overall question -- should the tournament be dropped from the Olympics? -- hovers always in the background.
  • A Global Role for Gulati?
    This morning U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati will officially inform FIFA that the United States is eager to stage a future World Cup - two World Cups, in fact, those of 2018 and 2022, though it knows it can only get one of them.