• The Phantom Foul that injured Harry Kane exposes rulebook flaw
    Harry Kane is seen by English fans as a major reason for giving England a chance of showing well in this year's World Cup.
  • Referees' pro-defense bias: an unfounded, damaging tradition that must be abandoned
    Decidedly interesting comments from former England striker Michael Owen. He came clean on a dive that he took in England's game against Argentina during the 2002 World Cup. David Beckham scored from the penalty, the only goal of the game. England won and Argentina was out of the World Cup.
  • MLS refs, and VAR, follow English lead by going easy on physical fouls
    Both in the English Premier League and in MLS there were some pretty bad referee calls this past weekend.
  • The four-letter word that threatens to sabotage MLS moves against goalkeeper violence
    The news from Howard Webb and his PRO group of referees is good -- but not good enough.
  • Finding a way to make a meaningful vote
    I have been pondering how I shall vote in the U.S. Soccer presidential election. Of course, I do not actually, officially, have a vote. But who knows, maybe some zany chain of events will force U.S. Soccer to acknowledge my expertise in these matters, so I intend to be ready.
  • J'accuse!!
    I have an accusation to level at the sport of soccer. Against FIFA, IFAB, the international confederations, the national federations -- in fact all the governing bodies of the sport, everywhere in the world. Plus all referees.
  • Wenger and Guardiola on English refs -- too chatty and too focused on diving
    It's taken a while, but a top coach in England has had the nerve to criticize the Premier League's high-minded, not to mention seriously flawed, campaign against diving.
  • On replacing warm-ups with a pill
    NBC's coverage of EPL games regularly features occasions when we're transported early to the stadium, way before kickoff.
  • College Soccer: A game in search of definition
    Is college soccer ever going to wake up to the reality of the outside (soccer) world? The question poses itself acutely every year when the Division I final gives us an instructive look at what is happening on the college fields.
  • Pro-defense bias continues to mar English refereeing
    Watching a couple of EPL games on Sunday provided a telling insight into what, for me, is the major weakness of English refereeing.
  • Oh dear, Toronto vs Seattle again. Here's hoping for a real game this time.
    Coming up -- the MLS final between Toronto and Seattle. Well, we've had that before. That's the trouble here. We had Toronto-Seattle last year. And a pretty damn awful game it was.
  • 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.
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