• Black Cat Tactics Explained
    The recent intrusion of a black cat into an MLS game did not, I think, receive the serious attention that it warranted. The surprise factor ruled out proper analysis. Next time I think the TV analysts, I mean the really clever ones, will try to take a more tactical look at things. Though they may meet with some skepticism. Over to our commentator Peter Podsnap along with his analyst Dingley Dell during the second half of their telecast ...
  • Seven MLS games; 30 goals; some real gems
    On the goalscoring front, the MLS weekend started off poorly, with Friday's tedious 0-0 tie between Philadelphia and Real Salt Lake. And it finished in not much better shape on Sunday with the Red Bulls and Kansas City staging a 1-1 tie, based on two almost comically ugly goals (what is it about the Red Bulls that seems to encourage scrappy soccer?). But if the opening and closing acts were bad, what went on between them was truly enjoyable
  • Why did MLS ignore Cahill's elbow?
    The highly active and annoyingly anonymous MLS Disciplinary Committee has just handed down another chapter in its ongoing pursuit of a cleaner game. Four players have been singled out for extra punishment -- three for violent play and "endangering the safety of an opponent," and one for making an "improper gesture."
  • The problem with Brit-style chatty refs
    Toward the end of the first half of the Olympic final there was an intriguing short episode featuring the English referee Mark Clattenburg and Marcelo, the Brazilian defender.
  • Two cheers for Jurgen Klinsmann!
    Klinsmann gets his first cheer for paying attention to what Mexico is doing. That really ought not to warrant praise, but given the way that Mexican soccer has been so shabbily treated by the USA in the past, it does mark a significant advance.
  • Why is MLS kowtowing to the Eurosnobs?
    It ought to be possible, from now on, to get a clear, undistorted view of what is happening in MLS. So far, the league's season has been pretty much of a mess, overshadowed one minute by the Olympic Games, almost blotted out the next by what I'll call "summer soccer."
  • Yet another utterly wrong diving call
    Brazil will have to play its Olympic quarterfinal against Honduras without Alex Sandro. The defender, who plays for FC Porto, has to sit this one out, thanks to a referee decision in the 76th minute of the game against New Zealand.
  • Cahill won't solve Red Bulls' style problem
    It surely cannot be too long before the attraction wears off these tedious and astonishingly over-priced summer exhibition games. I've just finished watching Tottenham beat the Red Bulls, 2-1, a thoroughly insipid game that was supposed to -- well, I'm not sure what it was supposed to do, apart from make money for the promoters.