MLS and single entity: I don’t think it means what you think it means

This post is going to start with an academic question and veer into the approaching collective bargaining abyss. Major League Soccer is a “single entity” league. So what does that mean? For lawyers, it’s an intriguing concept, and the lawsuit challenging it might come up in a local law school class. For the league’s detractors, it means MLS isn’t authentic competition. But does it mean the same thing today that it meant in 1996, when the league started and Sunil Gulati was parceling out players, or 2002, when the league was down to three owners? The original allocation of players … Continue reading MLS and single entity: I don’t think it means what you think it means

Monday Myriad, April 29: Spike and swim

(Delayed by urgent family business) Kerri Walsh Jennings? Michael Phelps? What is this — 2008? That’s the modern-day Olympic athlete for you. It ain’t over until they’re my age. Best team:  Congrats to the U18 @usahockey Team on winning Worlds. Way to bring home the gold boys! @usahockey — Seth Jones (@seth_jones3) April 27, 2014 Team USA was never outshot in any game at #U18Worlds and outshot opponents 291-121 in seven games total — USA Hockey (@usahockey) April 27, 2014 Best team visiting China: U.S. archers grabbed five medals at a World Cup stop in Shanghai. Best race: Wish I’d been … Continue reading Monday Myriad, April 29: Spike and swim

Goal-scoring stats from England

Flipped through the English standings today and thought League Two was curiously low-scoring. One spreadsheet later, here are the stats: Premier League 2.76 goals per game 48.8 goals per team (mean — fewer games than other leagues) 40.5 goals per team (median) 96 – highest goal total (Liverpool, 35 games) 28 – lowest goal total (Crystal Palace, 35 games) Championship 2.56 goals per game 57.5 goals per team (mean) 57.0 goals per team (median) 82 – highest goal total (Leicester and Derby, 45 games each) 35 – lowest goal total (Charlton, 44 games) League One 2.67 goals per game 59.8 … Continue reading Goal-scoring stats from England

English soccer: Everybody’s got problems

One of the joys of visiting England and taking in the soccer scene is that you realize how wonderful it is — and how different it is from the conventional wisdom of those who think the version in the USA and Canada can’t compare. // My trip to Reading’s Madejski Stadium and my happy purchase of When Saturday Comes at non-import prices reminded me of a few things … 1. English soccer doesn’t turn its back on kids. Reading had a small “family stand,” but honestly, the whole place is family-friendly. The ample concession stands had plenty of options for young ones, along … Continue reading English soccer: Everybody’s got problems

Monday Myriad, April 21: Meb’s marathon

This year’s Boston Marathon was full of inspirational stories. We knew that. We didn’t know one of them would be the first American man to win since 1983. // Meb Keflezighi wasn’t born in the USA, but through a long and distinguished career, he has always exuded love for the country that welcomed him and his family as they got out of Eritrea. And he has been quick to lend comfort and charity to those affected by last year’s bombing. Here he is: Other big U.S. performances in Boston: Shalane Flanagan led much of the way and finished seventh. .@ShalaneFlanagan's … Continue reading Monday Myriad, April 21: Meb’s marathon

Washington Spirit vs. FC Kansas City: Goal rush

What’s changed for the Washington Spirit this season? It’s pretty simple. Goals. Never before had the Spirit scored three goals in a half. Only once last season did they have three or more in a game. Tonight, they had three in the first half and held on to beat FC Kansas City 3-1. We can’t read too much into one game. Sometimes those shots go in, sometimes they don’t. The first goal was the result of a fortunate bounce toward Diana Matheson and a little deflection — exactly the sort of goal Mike Jorden often hoped for but never saw … Continue reading Washington Spirit vs. FC Kansas City: Goal rush

Prep for NWSL season 2 with NWSL season 1

With the second NWSL season starting this weekend, it’s time for a reminder about the book I wrote on the first season of the Washington Spirt. Enduring Spirit: Restoring Professional Women’s Soccer to Washington tells the story of a team keeping it together through a stressful season. They didn’t win a lot. They had plenty of injuries. People lost jobs. I went to a lot of their practices, went on one and a half road trips, and saw one team meeting. That gave me a chance to flesh out the team beyond the epic winless streak. I saw their sense of … Continue reading Prep for NWSL season 2 with NWSL season 1