Jan 7, 2017
My Soccer Insider weekly column at the Star Tribune has been going since summer 2015 - time for one-and-a-half Premier League seasons. 2015-16 was unprecedented and unexpected, but 2016-17 has been back to normal - and at the midpoint, that’s the topic of this week’s column.
Thanks to space issues, my column ran online only this week. P.J. Fleck, this is your fault.
Dec 31, 2016
This week on Soccer Insider, I looked back on the biggest stories of 2016, what with it being New Years Eve and all.
Dec 24, 2016
As most of the Northern Hemisphere takes a winter break - England, take a bow, you’re about the only ones that play on - I revisited the topic of the MLS schedule. Many people have called for the league to adopt a autumn-spring calendar, to match up with most of the rest of the world. As I wrote, that’s not the real problem with the MLS schedule - it’s midweek games that are missing.
Really, I guess this could be summed up as let teams pay for charter flights -> midweek games are less of a problem -> schedule more midweek games -> cut down on the playoff rounds while you’re at it -> now you can quit playing games during summer tournaments and international breaks. But I couldn’t submit a flow chart as a column.
Dec 17, 2016
Instant replay is coming to soccer - in MLS, starting next season. I think it’s a good thing, but only if it’s done right, which it hasn’t quite been in any other sport so far.
Dec 10, 2016
This week’s Soccer Insider is a preview of a few things to watch for in tonight’s MLS Cup Final.
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.