• Big Sam -- the worst possible candidate for U.S. national team coach
    Steve Nicol's opinions as a soccer-panelist guru do not often coincide with mine. No matter -- I like listening to Nicol when he takes part in those TV soccer panels. Because he brings to the studio, to the frequently tedious and over-clever discussions, a genuine soccer voice that, it seems to me, has managed to remain uncorrupted by both the modern -- and often ludicrous -- soccer jargon, and by the much more pernicious nonsense and mendacious drivel of the marketing mob.
  • Attack-minded goalkeepers? Not Really.
    It is one of the persistent claims from the goalkeeping fraternity that, in addition to making saves and preventing goals, they also contribute to a team's attacking play.
  • Is it the ball? Or is it simply bull?
    The German soccer legend Uwe Seeler once told us: "The secret of soccer is the ball." It's pretty clear what he meant -- even though I think he got the wrong word. I'm not a believer in a soccer "secret" -- just one? -- that, once discovered, will presumably allow everyone to understand everything about the sport. Seems unlikely.
  • The USA's World Cup fiasco and the vain search for culprits
    Two individuals long prominent in American soccer have been hit hard by the USA's World Cup fiasco -- Bruce Arena and Sunil Gulati.
  • Clay Berling & Soccer America -- his inspired invention
    The death of Clay Berling stirs up memories of my first days in the USA. Way back in the early 1960s I used to sit around with little groups of soccer people in New York as we discussed the sport's problems. Not enough publicity, hardly any really, ignored by the national press and television ... soccer desperately needed someone of influence, preferably with money -- a multi-millionaire or a politician, someone with clout who could get publicity for the sport. That was how we thought.
  • From goalkeepers, from referees ... the sound of a scandalous silence
    The appalling story came from Germany, just 14 days ago. It was widely reported. And it was wisely reviewed by Mike Woitalla on this website, under the headline: "Will This Be the Wakeup Call?"
  • Rugby, not soccer, pursues promising concussion test
    I am being reluctantly forced to the opinion that official soccer's attitude to concussions entails the utmost cynicism.
  • Exposed! The shabbiness of the English anti-diving campaign
    It was totally right and proper that the farce of the English campaign against diving should be brutally exposed at Wembley, often called "the cathedral" of English soccer.
  • VAR: Howard Webb's skewed videos
    In no time at all we shall be getting, in MLS, the benefits of video replays to help referees make the right calls.
  • Chuck Blazer 1945-2017: The Fatally Flawed Friend
    The tragedy that was Chuck Blazer is now over. And tragedy it assuredly was, a good man destroyed by his own excesses, a man capable of wondrous warmth and humanity who ended up vilified as The Soccer Rat.
  • New medical study shows FIFA protocol is being ignored
    To laugh ... or to cry? There is no middle course here, no way of dodging the utter failure of soccer's response to the concussion crisis. No way to ignore the inadequacy of the protocol, no way to pretend you haven't noticed the pathetic hesitancy of referees when confronted with head injuries.
  • The Gnat's Eyebrow and other VAR stupidities
    The trial of video-assistance for referees currently under way at the Confederations Cup in Russia cannot be said to have cleared anything up. There remains a good deal of confusion.
  • That Goal
    It was Pele who started the "soccer is beauty" theme. He titled his autobiography -- one of them, anyway -- "My Life and the Beautiful Game."
  • Tab Ramos paints a rosy American future in the changing U-20 World Cup -- but a U-18 World Cup would make more sense
    Tab Ramos has been talking in glowing terms of his team and its adventures at the Under-20 World Cup in the Republic of Korea. Certainly, there is plenty that looks good. Winning its group, getting to the quarterfinal. Listen up: "We built a team with confident players who were there to win the tournament ..." Followed by "We could have won it."
  • What's this? A goalkeeper penalized for rough play?
    Meet Sorin Stoica. Maybe you've seen him in action during MLS games. Not a highly paid or widely acclaimed player, though. A referee. A rather unusual referee, it seems.
« Previous Entries Next Entries »