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.
Oct 7, 2017
It’s hard to do justice to an entire season in one short column, but that’s what I tried to do with my NWSL playoffs preview for the Star Tribune.
Sep 30, 2017
The U.S. Men’s National Team has a lot to play for this weekend. There’s a berth in the World Cup, sure, but it means more than that - it’s nothing less than the opportunity for several coaches and players to secure - or destroy - their legacies.
Sep 23, 2017
Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar, Kylian Mbappé, the World Cup its ownself - Qatar is using its oil riches to buy up the soccer world. Soccer needs to decide whether that cash is worth it.
Sep 16, 2017
The Champions League started this week, and Real Madrid has to be the favorite for the third straight year. We cannot talk about the Champions League without talking about Real; Soccer Insider is a recap of where they, and Europe, are at right now.
Sep 7, 2017
Soccer Insider today is about Atlanta United, yes, but also about what the future of MLS might look like. It’s going to involve more money and bigger stadiums and ambitious clubs - precisely what Atlanta looks like, and Seattle, and Orlando City and New York City and Toronto and Los Angeles FC and so on and so forth.
Sep 2, 2017
If you are a fan of a European soccer team, you’ve just survived Transfer Madness 2017, in which every player on every team could move to another team (Paris Saint-Germain or Manchester City, usually) for an impossible sum of money. It’s exhausting.
National teams don’t have that problem, which is why the USMNT - in some ways - is the best possible team to follow.