Jun 23, 2018
Near as I can tell, Mexican soccer and American soccer are the same. Same challenges, different languages. And so at Soccer Insider today, I wrote about how Mexico beat Germany - and how the United States might have the same in its future.
Jun 20, 2018
The World Cup is on right now, and two of Minnesota United’s players - one of whom I admit I forgot about - are playing in Russia. At 1500 ESPN, I wrote about what this tournament might mean for those players, and for Minnesota.
Jun 16, 2018
I remember being unsurprised, when the United States got out of its group at the 1994 World Cup. I knew very little about soccer, but I’d seen the Olympics, and I was pretty used to Americans winning at everything. Plus, it wasn’t like the rest of the tournament was filled with countries with huge soccer reputations. Bulgaria? Norway? The United States was in a group with Romania and Switzerland. Who even knew they had teams?
Since then, of course, I’ve learned a lot about the history of American soccer. How the team qualified for the 1990 World Cup, but only as an accident. About how the United States got hammered at that tournament. About how everyone expected them to get hammered again in 1994.
Into this stepped Eric Wynalda, who even then was brimming with confidence. His free kick goal against Switzerland, in the first game of the tournament, not only earned the United States a 1-1 draw - it was what launched everything that came after. That moment was the beginning of pro soccer in the USA.
Jun 12, 2018
Along with Minnesota United beat report Megan Ryan, I made my 2018 World Cup predictions in today’s Star Tribune.
Jun 9, 2018
I am not the first person to turn against instant replay, in soccer or anywhere else. A year or so ago, I was all in favor of using replay to help blunt the effect of refereeing mistakes on the outcome of games.
I was very wrong! It turns out that in soccer, just like every other sport with refereeing, introducing a video referee just doubled the number of chances refs had to screw up - all while also taking a huge part of the entertainment away from the game. Soccer needs to act fast, soccer needs to act now. Kill VAR before it kills soccer.
Jun 2, 2018
I recently turned in a draft of a book about soccer stadiums around the world, which needed to include an American stadium. I chose Providence Park in Portland, not because it’s the nicest soccer stadium in the United States, or the most comfortable, but it’s absolutely the best to watch soccer. This week’s Soccer Insider relates to my trip to Portland, and the goosebumps I got there.
May 26, 2018
How in the world did Liverpool make it back to the Champions League final? This week’s Soccer Insider looks at Jurgen Klopp, the wildly likeable and irrepressible coaching genius behind Liverpool.
May 19, 2018
Just about every big European soccer team has at least a few Minneapolis-St. Paul fans. The most popular team of all, though, might be Tottenham, which has more than 500 people in its local fan club. Soccer Insider looks at why Minnesotans might feel so connected to their North London bretheren.
May 17, 2018
Minnesota United is trying to create something good on the offensive end. You can see that desire from their signing of El Cientifico, Darwin Quintero - their first big-money deal, and a move that’s entirely about offense.
May 12, 2018
There was a time, not that long ago, when Major League Soccer thought that Americans probably would never watch soccer - not without some tweaks to the rules, at least. (Ties! The horror!)
Soccer Insider looks back at a bygone area of rules changes - a time that’s hopefully gone forever in American soccer.