Dec 16, 2017
It’s not 2018 yet, but with MLS Cup over, it’s time for the league itself to make some changes - #SaveTheCrew, develop some youth, and change the schedule.
In the short takes: Jonathan González, USSF elections, and video replay.
Dec 9, 2017
Today’s MLS Cup Final is a rematch of Seattle’s penalty-shootout win in last year’s edition. Here’s three things to watch for in this year’s game, focused on two midfielders and the game’s X-factor.
Dec 2, 2017
MLS has winnowed its expansion possibilities down to four - Nashville, Detroit, Cincinnati, and Sacramento. I don’t know who the league will pick, but I know who I’m rooting for.
Nov 25, 2017
Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, John Brooks. They’re young, they’re playing in the Bundesliga, and they are the future of the U.S. Men’s National Team. Soccer Insider looks mostly at McKennie, the newest of the three to be anointed as one of American soccer’s building blocks, but the German league is still functioning as the big leagues for young American stars, and it’s nice to see several players flourishing there.
Nov 18, 2017
This week at Soccer Insider, it’s time to look at what’s going on in the MLS Conference Finals, both of which match a heavy favorite against a team that was a surprise to make it this far.
Nov 11, 2017
The UEFA Nations League is replacing meaningless friendlies, so I suppose I shouldn’t be too hard on it - but when it comes to CONCACAF, it’s going to be the latest in a long string of meaningless tournaments. I’m tired of meaningless tournaments. Less is more.
Nov 4, 2017
At the Star Tribune this week, I wrote about how the MLS playoffs need to be shorter, and that the best way to do this is get away from the two-legged conference semifinals and finals. Happily, the slot editor put an Animal Farm reference in the headline “Two legs aren’t better in the MLS playoffs.” I’m pleased with how that went.
Oct 28, 2017
MLS wanted to be different, when it came to its relationship with fans. It wanted to be special. But if it’s gonna be different and special, it can’t move teams like every other American league - which is precisely what it’s doing with the threats to move the Columbus Crew to Austin, TX.
Oct 21, 2017
We don’t have a focused youth soccer system in the USA. USYS, AYSO, US Club Soccer, the U.S. Soccer Development Academies, high school and college - so many teams, so many pathways, it’s all so very confusing. Other countries have more focused systems than this, cutthroat professionally-run youth academies that identify the best of the best and spit out the rest.
Oct 14, 2017
In the aftermath of the USA’s abject failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, almost every commentator said some version of the following:
- American soccer is broken.
- American soccer needs a better plan.
- Germany (sometimes Belgium was thrown in too) reinvented itself; we need something like that.
For Soccer Insider this week, I tried to address this; just copying Germany is too simple of an answer. The USA is starting from farther behind, and needs many more changes before it can start making German-style changes.