• Violent Goalkeepers: Why Are MLS Refs Afraid to Eject Them?
    Seattle can consider itself hard done by. In the opening playoff game it came up on the short end of some decidedly poor decisions from referee Ricardo Salazar.
  • The Sad World of the Playoff Flops
    I would say that the American soccer community - that part of it that follows MLS, I mean -- has got the playoff contenders that it deserves.
  • Highs and lows of MLS's decisive weekend
    Based on my recent watching of quite a few games, I worked out a clever theory that all the important ones were decided by goals right at the end, quite frequently in stoppage time, even -- as happened in the ManU-ManCity derby -- a minute or so after stoppage time was supposed to have finished.
  • American soccer must build its own character
    One thing that never made any sense to me was all the criticism that MLS used to take about its playoff system. When the league had only 10 teams, and the playoffs needed eight teams, the air was repeatedly filled with whinings and moanings and bitchings about how stupid it all was to play a whole season just to eliminate two teams.
  • Chris Rolfe owed an apology
    I am not one of those who feel that the refereeing in MLS is inferior. We hear from time to time -- quite often, from Brit imports -- that MLS referees are incompetent and not in the same class as the English Premier League refs. What those critics forget -- or, more probably, haven't the wit to realize -- is that we have by now seen years and years of English Premier League games and we know quite a lot about the standard of English referees. It is good, certainly, but not perfect by any means.
  • Should Don Julio stick with Maradona?
    Possibly Diego Maradona's achievement in leading Argentina to a berth at the 2010 World Cup makes him a good coach. There have been plenty of doubts voiced on that topic ever since he was appointed national team coach nearly a year ago.
  • Saint Palermo makes Maradona look good in deja vu game
    While the USA and Mexico celebrate their qualification for next year's World Cup, Argentina can afford nothing more emphatic than a huge sigh of relief that it is still -- just -- alive in the fight for a berth in South Africa.
  • FIFA seeds discontent, raises qualifying questions
    So FIFA is killing soccer. That is the opinion of the Italian who now coaches the Republic of Ireland, Giovanni Trapattoni.
  • U.S. future brighter than U-20 showing suggests
    How to explain the performance of the American under-20s in Egypt? Not qualifying for the second round -- we've come to think of that as a given after past successes -- is just part of it. An equally baffling aspect is that remarkable 4-1 win over Cameroon sandwiched between the two woeful 0-3 defeats to Germany and South Korea.
  • FIFA doctor's views deserve more attention
    I feel pretty sure that I have never met a rights protection expert, and that I would not recognize one anyway. But I could be wrong. FIFA seems very eager to tell me, and everyone involved in soccer, just how important these guys (and presumably gals) are.