• The Barcelona Way -- Part 2
    The day before last Saturday's Champions League final between Barcelona and Manchester United, an irritating article appeared in the Wall Street Journal, which told us that we -- meaning, one gathers, almost everyone except the authors -- don't know what we're watching.
  • The Barcelona Way -- Part 1
    Barcelona 3 Manchester United 1. How can a game between the champions of England, the legendary ManU, and the champions of Spain, the equally esteemed Barca, possibly turn out to be a mismatch?
  • FIFA sinks deeper into corruption mire
    Sunday's meeting of the FIFA Ethics Committee will, evidently, be a unique one. Because for the first time that I'm aware of, it will be presented with solid proof of corruption. Or so we are told.
  • Will this be the final to give us - at last - the Beautiful Game?
    It was only some 10 months ago that we were getting ready for the World Cup final -- a game between Spain and the Netherlands that promised to give us everything that such a game should -- the very best of soccer.
  • Does It Matter Any More?
    Seven years ago the tiny state of Qatar (population: 1.7 million, about that of Philadelphia) jumped into the soccer headlines. A country that small -- especially one with no soccer tradition -- really doesn't stand a cat in hell's chance of developing a competitive national team. Not to worry -- the Qataris came up with a plan to help ensure that its national team qualified for the 2006 World Cup.
  • U.S. Soccer 'Special offer' -- A greed-inspired blunder
    The latest move by the United States Soccer Federation strikes me as being crass, cheap, tasteless, tacky and thoroughly reprehensible. In addition to which, and in answer to your next question, I don't like it.
  • Dutch and German boys serve up a thrilling final
    A word or two about the final. No, not that final, not the big one coming up, the great European club final between ManU and Barcelona. I've got another final in mind, one that was played this past weekend -- a rather different European final: The under-17 championship, the Netherlands against Germany.
  • The More Things Change ...
    OK, clamber into your Time Capsule -- we're swooshing back a few decades, back to Thursday May 6, 1976. Open up your New York Times on that day, turn to page 57 (in the early edition -- soccer stories soon got replaced in those days) -- and you'd find an article headed "Expert Looks at US Soccer and He Doesn't Like Brutality."
  • MLS touches the heights, but injuries mount too
    It was the best of weekends, it was the worst of weekends for MLS. On the bright side, the league gave us that rarity in pro sports these days, a much-hyped game that came close to living up to its billing. On the gloomy side, there was the sight of Real Salt Lake's Javier Morales -- certainly one of the best players in the league -- being stretchered off the field with a serious injury.
  • U.S. coaching changes should not stop with Rongen's exit
    The firing -- or the letting-go, or the-not-renewing-his-contract -- fate of Thomas Rongen was pretty much a foregone conclusion after his U-20 team failed to qualify for this year's World Cup -- eliminated after a loss to Guatemala.
  • The Beckham Saga, from Westminster Abbey to Pizza Hut Park
    Hello there! Today, I am assuming, for a few minutes, my new role as Soccer America's Royal Court correspondent, my beat being to cover the British royal family wedding. However, I have let it be known that I find the royals a rather boring lot, and I have therefore been excused from even noticing them, and will report only on the royal wedding so far as it related to soccer.