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.
May 5, 2018
I’ve been reading a lot about the NASL, WUSA, and WPS - the three failed major soccer leagues in America. Right now, MLS is doing well and the NWSL has been more successful than any of its predecessors. But could they still fail?
(This is in the Star Tribune, where “Is MLS going to make it” is far more of a legitimate question than elsewhere.)
May 3, 2018
I’m writing Minnesota United columns every two weeks for the website of 1500 ESPN, a sports talk radio station in town. The first looks at Loons midfielder Ibson, whose skills are evident - but who may not be a match for what United needs right now.
Apr 28, 2018
Toronto lost the CONCACAF Champions League final this week, and there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth from Major League Soccer. Soccer Insider looks at how Mexico has become the MLS measuring stick, and why.
Apr 21, 2018
Arsene Wenger announced that he was stepping down at Arsenal after the season, one of those moves that suggests that he simply had been allowed to leave slowly, rather than being fired. Soccer Insider looked at his Arsenal tenure, and his status as the last capital-M Manager of a Premier League team.
Apr 14, 2018
The farther we get from Hillsborough the more impossible it seems to explain. The fans were in… pens surrounded by spiked metal fencing? They herded fans into them and didn’t bother to count how many people had gone into each one? How is that… possible?
This week’s Soccer Insider looks back at the darkest day of English soccer, which was also the last day of a bygone era.
Apr 7, 2018
If you are a soccer fan, reading this, you already know all about Zlatan Ibrahimovic. You know he’s one of the greatest target forwards ever; you know that his trophy case is stuffed to bursting; you know that he may or may not be a crazy person.
However, the Soccer Insider column really isn’t for people who already know about Zlatan. It’s for people like my dad, who don’t watch all that much soccer (and frankly what Dad watches is mostly so he can talk to me about it, which is very nice of him.)
Last weekend, as Zlatan put his immediate stamp on MLS after arriving in midweek to play for the Galaxy, my Dad was furiously texting me about him. Forgive me, but if Zlatan’s big enough that Dad is interested, then it’s time to try to explain Zlatan to the rest of the Star Tribune readership.
Mar 31, 2018
I keep coming back to one statistic from this week’s Soccer Insider column about the Portland Thorns. Take the Thorns out of the mix, and the NWSL draws about 3,600 fans per game league-wide. Meanwhile, the Thorns draw an average of 17,400.
There are other teams that play in soccer meccas, there are other teams that are owned by MLS teams, there are other NWSL teams that don’t have to compete with Major League Baseball in the summertime, but Portland’s the only place where the NWSL is taken seriously. The league’s goal is to figure out why.
(Side note: I really, really hope that one of those places ends up being St. Paul.)