The inconclusive no-goal call and other MLS controversies

In today’s MLS on NBCSN game (Philadelphia-Dallas), a potential equalizer from Blas Perez was cleared off the line. Or was it? The consensus among the Twitterati and the great commentary duo of Arlo White/Kyle Martino was that Perez was robbed. Actually, we don’t know. Here’s why. The ball was suspended in the air, so we can’t look for a telltale patch of green between the ball and the line, as we often see when the ball bounces down off the crossbar. What we saw was something like this (obviously, minus the batting tee): Now watch what happens when we put the … Continue reading The inconclusive no-goal call and other MLS controversies

Washington Spirit vs. Western NY Flash: Rock bottom

The bus ride was, by all accounts, pretty good for a change. Then the wheels came off. You could make the case that the Spirit played better in Rochester than they did in greater Kansas City, where FC Kansas City’s wasteful finishing kept the score to a respectable 2-0 margin. Washington showed a little more offensive creativity Friday than it did on Sunday, and the Flash wasted few good chances for a 4-0 final. But the defensive lapses that led to those chances were devastating. – A midfield giveaway, leaving Robyn Gayle with two players on the wing, then an … Continue reading Washington Spirit vs. Western NY Flash: Rock bottom

Things you didn’t know about Alex Morgan

I don’t see Grant Wahl’s story on Alex Morgan online yet, so you may need to rush out to grab last week’s Sports Illustrated before it disappears from newsstands. (The cover is “A Coach’s Courage,” referring to another worthwhile read inside.) Grant’s story is a good read for all levels of women’s soccer fan, from those vaguely aware of someone named Alex Morgan to those who regularly rant about the injustice of Portland getting her AND Christine Sinclair in the allocation process. That leads us to the first of several things we all learned from this piece: 1. Did the entire existence of … Continue reading Things you didn’t know about Alex Morgan

Up for the Cups, WoSo edition

Last year, I managed to dig up some info on the U.S. Women’s Open Cup, which has existed in obscurity for a couple of decades at least. The results affected my final power rankings, pushing WPSL Elite finalist Chicago over WPSL Elite champion Western New York. This year, things have changed a bit. The tournament are alternately called “USASA National Championships” or the “National Women’s Open Cup” and “National Women’s Amateur Cup.” One improvement: All of the details are in one place — even rosters! But it’s hard to tell whether we can truly call this “national.” According to a Kansas … Continue reading Up for the Cups, WoSo edition

Woly Award: Tyson Gay, again

This is only the sixth week of the Woly Award, the reincarnation of the U.S. Olympic Athlete of the Week honors I used to do for USA TODAY, and we already have our first repeat winner. Tyson Gay won it a couple of weeks ago for running a 10.02 time in the 100 meters with a headwind and rain while still easing up in the last 20 meters. This week, Gay and the rest of the U.S. track and field community was busy at the USA Track and Field Championships, which double as the trials for the World Championship team. … Continue reading Woly Award: Tyson Gay, again

Washington Spirit vs. Kansas City: Time to patch things up

On the surface, the Washington Spirit’s 2-0 loss at Kansas City doesn’t look horrible. Playing without five injured players, with one center back still adjusting to new teammates and a star forward barely getting time to meet the team, a loss on the road against one of the top NWSL teams doesn’t look too bad. Perhaps even one of the team’s many moral victories on the season. But a closer look at the game turns up a grimmer picture. Collectively, the team may had valid excuses. World-class midfielder Diana Matheson and utility midfielder-defender Tori Huster joined an injury list that … Continue reading Washington Spirit vs. Kansas City: Time to patch things up

Review: Bellator’s “Fight Master”

For those who don’t know, I’ve written a book on The Ultimate Fighter. It is not yet published. So with Bellator bringing “reality” MMA back to Spike, I simply had to check it out. The first word that sprang to mind: Awkward. It’s awkward in the sense that they’re trying so hard not to be The Ultimate Fighter. Bellator commentator Jimmy Smith welcomed the fighters to the cage with roughly the same speech Dana White always gives — two five-minute rounds, if we don’t have a winner, we go to sudden vic … I mean … overtime! Yeah! Overtime! It’s awkward in the sense … Continue reading Review: Bellator’s “Fight Master”