• From the brilliant to the frightful: a look back at 2010
    Farewell 2010. A highly varied year for the soccer world. A World Cup year -- but it turned out to be a far from brilliant World Cup, one that, at the very end, was tarnished by a cynical and just plain dirty performance from the Dutch. They got what they deserved -- they lost -- and Spain, after promising so much for so many years -- was finally crowned world champion.
  • Ill-assorted signings signal more European blandness
    If MLS wants to make a place for itself among the world's top leagues -- and why shouldn't it? -- then it will have to start paying a lot more attention to the players that it signs.
  • Shootout tiebreaker even more absurd than previously thought
    Statistics and soccer are never a happy mix -- amusing, yes, they can be that (in the sense that they can be maneuvered into proving or disproving almost anything you wish). Therefore, they can be misleading, and therefore they are not to be trusted.
  • What next? A World Cup in Iceland?
    One of the oldest of the many idiocies that infest soccer is the one that says that if you work hard and everyone likes you, you should always be rewarded with the prize. There's this World Cup business, for a start.
  • New Red Bull is no Angel
    The Red Bulls will be without Juan Pablo Angel next season, which is a pity -- they're losing a hell of a player, a terrific goalscorer, and a class act, a real gentleman.
  • MLS in Search of Pizazz
    What the old North American Soccer League had, and what the new Major League Soccer does not have, was pizazz.
  • Will the Big Nations Take the World Cup Away from FIFA?
    The idea -- somewhat strange at first, admittedly -- of an air-conditioned World Cup held in a tiny little Middle East country which, you can be sure of this, most people would have difficulty locating with any certainty, begins to sink in. I mean ... Qatar?
  • FIFA Has Spoken. So Be It. USA Must Move On
    Of course Sunil Gulati is correct to indicate that politics - FIFA politics - are the key to understanding the voting that gave the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 version to Qatar - and left the USA out in the cold.
  • The Unknowledgeable In Pursuit of the Unknowable
    Yet again we find ourselves confronted with a massive soccer drama that, truth be told, has very little to do with the sport itself.
  • Si Senores, Esto Es Futbol!
    Perfection? You're looking for soccer perfection? Maybe we got as close as we're likely to get with Barcelona's win over Real Madrid on Monday. That scoreline, 5-0, is one you don't see too often in top class soccer these days, so it's worth noting that the team that was so mercilessly murdered by Barcelona, was Real Madrid ... one of the world's best teams, a team on which vast amounts of money have been spent, a team that was sitting on top of Spain's La Liga.
  • Berbatov and the Beautiful Art of Goalscoring
    We've seen quite an array of descriptions attached to Dimitar Berbatov of Manchester United. Not easy to pin down, this guy. Positionally, for a start: A forward? A playmaker? A midfielder? A goalscorer? Maybe, at times, A Waste of Space?
  • American soccer takes another slap in the face from ESPN
    If ... all the American television commentators for soccer were on strike ... If they all mysteriously lost their voices ... If they were all wickedly kidnapped by a foreign power ... If they all suddenly elected to become Trappist monks ... If Voldemort had cast an evil spell over them all ... then, yes, for any one of those reasons, I could just about find myself agreeing with ESPN's decision to import Brit commentators.
  • Soccer-Lite MLS Cup Saved by Spectacular Climax
    Quite a game. And there'll be plenty of differing opinions about exactly what sort of a game the MLS Cup was. Conor Casey, voted the game's MVP (presumably for scoring a goal while sitting on his ass) told us "it wasn't the prettiest game." Minutes later, an overheated Alexi Lalas said "for me, it was the most physical MLS Cup in history" - and he meant that as praise.
  • Doubt and suspicion cloud World Cup votes
    I've had my say on this topic of the allocating of World Cups before, several times. To repeat: I think it makes no sense, is in fact absolutely asking for trouble, to put the vote in the hands of a small group of people, most of whom have little or no direct knowledge of what is required to make a good bid, and thus no way of assessing a bid. Assessing a bid, that is, in the only way that it should be assessed, on its merits.
  • Don Garber hits the right notes, mostly
    On Tuesday, MLS Commissioner Don Garber gave us a 24-minute State of the League address -- sort of a pep talk, really, because almost everything he had to say was either positive, or was positively interpreted.
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