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Soccer's new-look rulebook (Part 2): Making room for the Spirit the Game

Alongside the changes in the organization and wording that David Elleray and his team have brought to the revamped rule book go what I think of as "mood" changes -- the business of modernizing the rules, of making them "more accessible," etc. Tucked away in that category is a time-bomb of a phrase that makes its first appearance in Rule ...

Soccer's new-look rulebook (Part 1): Much improved but still a way to go

No doubt it was asking too much of ex-referee David Elleray and his colleagues to turn soccer's rulebook, almost overnight, into an easy-to-understand, organized, readable document.

Two badly botched PK calls -- but the MLS remedy is misguided

Well, not that brilliant a weekend for MLS refs. Specifically, a couple of dead-cert penalty kicks not called. If you assume -- which we always do, I think -- that a PK means a goal, then these were arguably game-defining calls, given that both games were won on one-goal margins by the team that profited from the miscalls.

Soccer, from the Heart

A small book, the classic "slim volume" if you like ... but Brian Glanville's "The Man Behind the Goal" weighs in as a massively important contribution to any telling of the phenomenon that is soccer.

How long for Nigel de Jong?

So the talk is now focused on what sort of punishment the MLS Disciplinary Committee will settle upon Nigel de Jong.

Fernando and Joe Hart share the blame for Man City fiasco

The recent tragic, disastrous and possibly hilarious screw up by Man City that allowed Zlatan Ibrahimovic to score a totally unexpected goal for PSG is worth scrutiny.

One Nation, One Team -- a tainted slogan for U.S. Soccer

I, like you, have to live with the daily insults to our intelligence provided by the public relations and marketing and advertising brotherhood. Their commercials, their advertisements, their slogans, their buzzwords. Above all, with their relentless stupidity.

Klinsmann's cronyism reaps its reward: A calamitous Olympic flop

Jurgen Klinsmann decided to give the U.S. Olympic team job to Andreas Herzog. Make that his friend Andreas Herzog. Herzog had absolutely no special soccer qualities that made him a candidate for the appointment. His previous coaching experience was hardly a recommendation, as my colleague Mike Woitalla has made clear. In fact, Herzog has one quality that should have ruled ...

Maybe we're asking ARs to do the impossible

We are still waiting for a look at the new -- rewritten, and greatly condensed -- rule book. The IFAB has been making a big deal of this. I'm not about to belittle it, it is a big deal, involving a lot of work.

R.I.P. #14

Johan Cruyff, dead at the far too early age of 68, will surely not be forgotten. He leaves the most wonderful memories of sublime soccer skill, of course. But not just memories -- Cruyff becomes one of the first of the soccer greats to leave a career-long record -- on film and tape and discs -- of his dazzling skills.

Soccer's protective pall is holding back what it needs -- more teenaged stars

Are teenage players getting a fair shake?

IFAB: one step forward, one step backward

I think it unlikely that there are many people around who would consider the International Football Association Board (IFAB) to be an up-to-date group. But, the IFAB is making an attempt, it seems. It has just approved a major rewriting of soccer's rules and David Elleray, the man in charge of the overhaul, says one of its aims is to ...

Straight from the coach's mouth -- well maybe not

I don't know about this. Someone -- one of the TV guys, I suppose -- is under the impression that, during MLS telecasts, we don't get enough of the coaches.

De Jong? Disgraceful

Not much point in mincing words over this one. In its 4-0 loss to Santos Laguna the LA Galaxy was frankly pathetic. Outplayed, out-thought, out-skilled, utterly humiliated. A night to forget for Bruce Arena and his players as the quicker, sharper Mexicans ran rings around them

So bad, all you can do is laugh

Manchester City's shootout victory over Liverpool in the Capital Cup was what we now almost expect from grand finals -- disappointing, short on good soccer, miserly on goals.