• Rugby? In Red Bull Arena - the soccer super-stadium? Afraid so.
    It is greatly to be hoped that the gala opening of the Red Bull Arena next month does not get upstaged by the ongoing dispute between MLS and the players union.
  • To strike or not to strike: The players' no-win option
    The negotiations -- if that's what they are -- going on between MLS and the players union are, of course, a mess. I'm afraid that's the way it's always been with this owners-players confrontation in American soccer.
  • Working on your crosses? Don't bother
    When David Beckham was flying high with Manchester United 10 years ago, he presented his admirers with something of a problem. Even they could recognize that he was far from being the best player in the world, he wasn't that fast, his heading and tackling were nothing to write home about and he couldn't dribble worth a damn either.
  • Gulati on diversity, development and dollars
    In the second part of Paul Gardner's discussion with Sunil Gulati, the recently re-elected U.S. Soccer President, Gulati answers questions about key issues facing American soccer as he begins his second four-year term.
  • Gulati: 2010 very, very important for American soccer
    The election of Sunil Gulati as President of the United States Soccer Federation four years ago was unquestionably one of the most important events in the history of the sport in this country.
  • Rulemakers to give defenders another break?
    The annual meeting of the International Football Association Board -- IFAB, the group that makes and unmakes soccer's rules -- can hardly be called one of the sport's glamour occasions. But it is a highly important one, for the decisions made are quite likely to have a profound effect, for better or worse, on the game.
  • Can Nowak Repeat Success of Bradley and Schmid?
    When Bob Bradley led the Chicago Fire to the 1998 MLS championship he set down a marker for first-year expansion clubs in the league: they didn't have to be doormats.
  • Long-ball game short changes the sport
    The long-ball game -- banging the ball from the back as far forward as possible -- has long been associated with the English style. But I'd say it is less prevalent now than it used to be. The influx of a huge number of foreign players into the Premier League has altered the picture. The game in England (as distinct from the English game) is certainly much more skillful now. But the ghost of long-balls past still stalks energetically among the English stadiums.
  • U.S. Coach: No Experience Needed
    How interesting. Jesse Marsch is to go straight from being an MLS player to being an assistant coach on the national team.
  • John Terry captaincy debate defines the times
    The further that soccer moves into the celebrity area, the more distasteful things get. And already I'm in trouble. That word "distasteful" that seemed to me, moments ago, to be exactly the word I wanted, now suddenly looks old-fashioned and rather naive.
  • MLS player source not up to 'speed'
    This is the time of year when college soccer meets the pro game and we start to find out, all over again -- it is an annual occurrence -- what we've known for ages anyway.
  • The atrocious treatment of Togo
    Just over two weeks ago, writing about the decision of the Togo government to withdraw its team from the African Nations Cup (this after its bus had been shot up by insurgents), I had this to say: "Technically, it might be possible for FIFA or CAF to fine and suspend Togo for dropping out -- but would they dare?"