• Goalkeeper footwork needs some explaining
    Some rather random thoughts after watching three recent English Premier League games:
  • Who says defenders deserve the benefit of the doubt?
    In the 38th minute of Saturday's Manchester United-Queens Park Rangers game QPR thought it had scored a goal. It certainly looked like it ... but the assistant referee's flag had gone up quickly. Jamie Mackie, who thought he had scored with a header, was ruled offside. No goal.
  • The soul of soccer under threat
    Future historians -- say some 200 years hence -- researching the regression of soccer back into the brainless, bloody melees from which it sprang, will do well to study the 2012 statements of two Premier League coaches, Tony Pulis of Stoke City, and West Ham United's Sam Allardyce.
  • Belief in playoff system again sorely tested
    It looks like a pretty good bet that, when this weekend is over, we shall find ourselves back where we were a year ago ... with an MLS Cup final between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo.
  • Referee gaffe does Dynamo a big favor
    Way to go Alexi! For telling it like it is. "A botched call," said Alexi Lalas in tones that brooked no ifs or buts or maybes. He was speaking on ESPN and referring to referee Ricardo Salazar's decision right before halftime in the Houston-D.C. United playoff game.
  • The Bittersweet Departure of Hans Backe
    I found Hans Backe's vision of soccer, and his teams, quite appalling. Under Backe, the Red Bulls were never particularly worth watching as they lumbered along, over-weighted with their cumbersome Scandinavians, under-skilled with their naive college-style Americans.
  • MLS playoffs -- a good idea that needs more pizazz
    Again, yet again, we are being reminded from all sides that this is playoff time. Which means playoff soccer. Which means ... well, what the heck does it mean?
  • The sad - and sadly predictable - death of a Task Force
    The demise of the FIFA Task Force Football 2014 is as sad as it was inevitable.