• 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.
  • Scots wha hae! Thoughts on the sad and ominous decline of Scottish soccer
    I note, with considerable exasperation tempered by sadness, that Scottish soccer is experimenting with a marvelous new scheme for eliminating diving from their game.
  • Celebrity coaches -- who needs them?
    I am still finding it difficult to come to terms with the extraordinary way in which coaches have come to dominate our game. Have hijacked it, in fact.
  • 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.
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