• Rating Goals -- Not That Easy
    Deciding what is a great goal and what is merely a good goal -- even to the point of defining the greatest goal in the history of soccer -- is all part of being besotted with the sport. It leads to discussions, disagreements, heated arguments, maybe fisticuffs. And of course nothing is ever resolved because there is no objective way that the merits of a goal can be measured and -- more conclusively -- soccer people are not objective anyway.
  • Promising start in New York City, except for the FC
    It looks like the 20th MLS team will be Manchester City FC. The name will be changed, of course it will. MLS plus ManCity -- plenty of expensive brainpower involved in that discussion, one would think -- have decided that the new club is to be New York City FC. Which is fine. Except for one thing. You will not win any prizes for working out what's wrong with it, and I shall return to the matter later in this column.
  • Cahill's 'rough up' comment calls for response from MLS
    An interesting game -- I'm talking about this past weekend's Red Bulls-L.A. Galaxy game. A 1-0 win for the Bulls, a win they probably didn't deserve, but a win they snatched at the very last moment of the game, pouncing on a bad mistake by the Galaxy's 39-year-old, and very experienced, Italian goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini.
  • The Toronto FC saga -- amusing, bemusing ... and losing
    Highly intriguing and, to me anyway, rather entertaining are the goings-on up in Toronto.
  • Hackworth & Porter take the easy path: blame the referee
    In Philadelphia's John Hackworth and Portland's Caleb Porter, MLS has two excellent young coaches. Both comparatively new to MLS -- Porter is in his first year -- but these guys have plenty of coaching experience.
  • The MLS goalkeeper honeymoon continues
    What's this? An MLS goalkeeper ejected? Now there's something you don't see too often, so Chivas USA's Dan Kennedy can feel a bit hard done by ... really, all he did was trip Paulo Nagamura in the box. Sure, Nagamura was in scoring position, but referees are apt to give the penalty kick and then take pity on the keeper and give him only a yellow.
  • Refereeing without guesswork. Maybe.
    We now have PRO, the Professional Referees Organization, which is supposed to bring about significant improvements in the standard of MLS refereeing. We await developments on that front. In the meantime, PRO is giving us a spiffy website (www.proreferees.com) that includes a "Play of the Week" section that explains unusual or controversial calls from MLS games. Something I always find interesting -- if only because I don't think referees do nearly enough explaining.