• 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.
  • Toronto 0 Seattle 0 -- Another Forgettable Final
    Another decidedly non-memorable final. Maybe we get the finals we deserve. Scrappy, at times ill-tempered, incoherent -- all of which can be excused, will be excused by those who specialize in making excuses, as "competitive." That sounds good, now doesn't it?
  • Will fear of goalscoring affect MLS Cup 2016?
    Back in the 1970s I recall watching a soccer panel on English TV. They were discussing an important upcoming game -- maybe it was the FA Cup final. Both of the teams who would feature in that game had just had big wins and had scored a lot of goals. The moderator asked the two panel members -- both of them coaches --- what that meant for the upcoming final.
  • The Klinsmann Interlude (Part 3): Damage Repair -- Bruce Arena returns: Tab Ramos waits
    Bruce Arena never had any doubts about his own ability to move smoothly and successfully from the college game to the pros. I did. I thought the change was altogether too fundamental, too demanding. It looked to me like a change that, even supposing it could be made, would need time.
  • The Klinsmann Interlude (Part 2): Total Failure to Acknowledge Latino Presence
    For decades now, a very special and specific conundrum has been making its presence felt in American soccer. What to do about the growing presence of American-born Latino players? They can be seen as a welcome addition to the American talent pool. Or they can be seen as a damn nuisance because their style of play is rather different from the northern Europe style that has been traditionally favored in the USA.
  • The Klinsmann Interlude (Part 1): A Sorry Experience for American Soccer
    Sunil Gulati has done the difficult thing, fired his buddy Jurgen Klinsmann -- someone he had been relying on to open up a bright new era of winning soccer for the national team.
  • The Howard Years -- Remembering Keith Aqui (1945-2016)
    There comes a reminder -- a sad reminder, alas -- from the 1970s. The death of Keith Aqui brings flooding back memories of college soccer, and the exploits of Howard University.
  • Playoff refereeing: A tricky business
    Playoff time always brings with it much discussion of playoff soccer. Which is held to be, in some not fully explicable way, different from regular soccer. The theory behind this notion makes a good deal of sense.
  • Carlos Alberto: One of Soccer's Greatest (1944-2016)
    Carlos Alberto, one of the sport's true greats, dead at 72. Unexpected, almost unbelievable. For me, a personal loss, for I learned so much from Carlos, talking with him, watching him play during his years with the Cosmos.
  • The Mauro Diaz tragedy: MLS at fault
    So we've seen the last of Mauro Diaz for this season. He will not be part of the Dallas bid for the MLS title. A serious injury -- ruptured Achilles apparently -- will keep him sidelined for months.
  • Another over-hyped game turns into an unwatchable 0-0 bore-draw
    You will have been aware of the recent game between Liverpool and Manchester United. Won't you ever. The hype will have seen to that. Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp told us, "The whole world will be watching." Last time these two teams played, the global TV audience was estimated to be as high as 700 million. I'm not sure it gets much higher than that, unless you can persuade half the world's population to stay awake until the early hours.
  • The Maturing of Wayne Rooney
    Wayne Rooney's career is coming to a close. Which seems ridiculous, given that my memory informs me that it was only last week that he was being hailed as a 16-year-old prodigy with Everton. My, how time has raced by.
  • Big Sam's Big Fall
    Poor Sam Allardyce. Well, maybe. Depends how you see things. Not long ago, Allardyce was one of the few English coaches in the English Premier League ... he had a lowly job with a lowly team -- Sunderland, which he just managed to save from relegation last season. But that background -- really, nothing more than showing he's good at teaching a poor team how to play survival soccer -- was enough to get Allardyce his dream job
  • De Jong's barren MLS stint helps debunk the holding-midfielder myth
    Holding midfielder. Defensive midfielder. Are they the same animal? I'm not sure. And frankly, I don't care. Because I have a long-standing mistrust of English soccer terminology. As well as serious suspicions about the value of tactical talk.
  • Jordan Morris: ruthless enough to be a great goalscorer?
    The pitiful lack of clarity that infests English-language soccer terminology was intriguingly exposed in Taylor Twellman's recent interview with Jordan Morris.