• Wenger must stay -- even the stats agree
    Arsene Wenger should stay. That's what I think. And I think that way because I respect his unflinching devotion to skillful and entertaining soccer.
  • Violent Goalkeeping (Part 2): FIFA must radically rethink the goalkeeper's role
    Last time, I asked: "What action has soccer taken to at least reduce the incidence of head injuries in the sport?" Well, FIFA -- which should be the body making the moves -- has done nothing. Incredibly, nothing.
  • Violent Goalkeeping (Part 1): Players at risk as soccer ignores its own rules
    Goalkeepers, we are told, need protection. No doubt we all agree. Up to a point.
  • The triumphant return of Bruce Arena
    Well, take that Jurgen Klinsmann. Never at any time during his five years in charge of the USA did any of Klinsmann's teams put on a show like the 6-0 destruction of Honduras that marked the return of Bruce Arena.
  • MLS games compare well with EPL but referees in both leagues reluctant to call PKs
    During this past weekend, I watched -- on television, of course -- 15 games. Well, not really. I watched parts of 15 games. That's television for you, a magic carpet that started in Middlesbrough, England at 8 a.m. on Saturday and ended around 9 p.m. on Sunday in Seattle.
  • Of tattoos and voodoo and science ... and soccer
    My calendar says March 1. But, quite possibly, global warming has advanced things. The weather is spring-like and there is a hint of April 1 in the air. Or so it seems to me.
  • Suddenly, the sport itself rebels against low-scoring Scrooge soccer
    We haven't seen anything like this for quite a while. In fact it was beginning to look as though soccer had lost its identity, had shrunk from being the world's most exciting sport, and withered away to tedious 90-minute installments of scoreless running around
  • Pep snubs Kun -- modern soccer at its worst
    Back in 2005 the word from Argentina was that maybe -- of course maybe -- a new Maradona was appearing. Independiente had a precocious 16-year-old already playing for their first team, already scoring goals.
  • Where soccer fails, the NFL gets it right
    An impertinent book, this. The title and subtitle tell you succinctly what you are getting: "The Ugly Game -- How football lost its magic and what it could learn from the NFL."
  • More urgent than Van Basten's rule changes: soccer needs a total reversal of referees' negative mindset
    The problem is this. To praise Marco van Basten for speaking out on a topic that the soccer biggies never deign to address. Or to heap ridicule on him for making such a hash of his welcome declaration.
  • Clearance: an ugly play, a useless stat
    For some time now I have been wondering about the soccer term "clearance." A term, admittedly, that I have been hearing, and using for decades without giving it much thought.
  • Roberto Cabanas & the Beautiful Game
    From the happiest of thoughts and memories about Roberto Cabanas to total bewilderment and sadness ... all it took was a few days.
  • Soccer & Concussion (Part 2): What needs to be done -- before the lawyers move in
    The suspect nature of the enforcement of protocols is by no means the only barrier to any campaign that aims to reduce concussion injuries.
  • Soccer & Concussion (Part 1): A Disgraceful Lack of Action -- Protocols are not enough
    There is, it seems to me, one thing above all others that soccer totally failed to get right in 2016. And I can see little to suggest that things will be any better in 2017.
  • MLS Goal Award: A Modest Suggestion (again)
    I've been looking at the Goal of the Year winner. A wonderful free kick by Colorado's Shkelzen Gashi. A hell of a goal. A worthy winner, then? Well that depends.