Dec 3, 2016
I’ve thought a lot about pro-rel. I think it’s a good thing, overall. But I don’t think it’s going to solve American soccer’s problems, vague reports from Deloitte aside.
Nov 26, 2016
Remember 2006? Remember when we all wanted Bruce Arena fired (myself included), and we were excited about how maybe Jurgen Klinsmann - so young! So successful with Germany! - could be the man to fix everything that ailed U.S. Soccer?
Well, he couldn’t. He tried. But, even if he’d been a great matchday coach, which he wasn’t, the entire system is broken in America; it’s crazy to think that one man could have done the job.
So, we’re back to Bruce Arena. We’re wiser now. We just want Arena to get U.S. Soccer to the World Cup, just like we always did. The painful change won’t be driven from the top down. Everybody’s going to have to accept some pain in this particular movement.
Nov 19, 2016
I do not have nearly enough space in print to put together a comprehensive guide to the MLS semifinals, but I did the best I could with the space I have, because the semifinals are when the MLS Cup chase really starts to get interesting.
Plus: one of the best soccer-watching weekends of all.
Nov 13, 2016
I covered Gopher soccer’s first-round NCAA Tournament loss against North Carolina. Disappointing night at Robbie Stadium, for sure.
Nov 12, 2016
The Hex started this weekend - the U.S., of course, lost to Mexico last night. This week is also the 27th anniversary of the “Shot Heard Round The World” - Paul Caligiuri’s goal in a deciding World Cup qualifier, at Trinidad and Tobago, in 1989. Soccer Insider this week reminisces about that game, and that goal, that altered the course of U.S. Soccer forever.
Nov 5, 2016
Minnesota United’s tenure in the NASL is over, and the team is off to the big time. The NASL might have problems, but they’re certainly not alone. Soccer Insider this week looks at the biggest problems that MLS has - mainly, that they focus on survival, not soccer.
Oct 29, 2016
Tonight is the last Minnesota Thunder / NSC Minnesota / NSC Minnesota Stars / Minnesota Stars FC / Minnesota United FC game at the National Sports Center. It’s been a heck of a run in Blaine. For the occasion, I couldn’t help but use Soccer Insider to say goodbye to the place that, for me, will always be the home of Minnesota pro soccer.
Oct 22, 2016
It’s a little hard for me to explain the genesis of this week’s Soccer Insider column. Basically, I started thinking about a Patrick Reusse column from December 2000, in which Mr. Reusse went to the Xcel Energy Center and started quizzing Wild patrons on their favorite Wild players. Memorably, most of them couldn’t name a single Wild player on the expansion team that season; the only one so named was Darby Hendrickson, a former Gopher standout and Minnesota Mr. Hockey. (Also there was a Czech lady who confidently named Lubomir Sekeras.)
Minnesota’s MLS roster next season will be about that anonymous, for new fans. The team isn’t likely to have a big star to hang its hat on. And so I looked at who might play the Hendrickson role in this week’s Soccer Insider. The column also kind of spilled over into the short takes. The weekend watch guide is here as well.
Oct 15, 2016
Minnesota United’s first real live actual MLS event is tomorrow, when it gets together with Atlanta and the two teams “draft” acquisition methods. What could be more MLS than a draft of drafts? Soccer Insider this week tries to explain just what the heck’s going on with the six acquisition methods.
Oct 8, 2016
This week in my Soccer Insider column, I looked briefly at the history and importance of Designated Players in MLS - and their importance on-field, not just in selling tickets.