Single-Digit Soccer: Give U10 travel the boot

Tomorrow, I’ll coach my U8s for the last time. They’re a wonderful team, most of whom I’ve coached off and on for the past two years (four seasons). Next year, we move up from concurrent small-sided games of 4-on-4 to the bigger fields with 7-on-7. We’ll have goalkeepers and refs. What we won’t have will be a couple of our best players. They’re going to travel soccer. A few others have considered it or tried out, and the experience has been simply horrible. I feel like I’ve spent the last two weeks talking parents off ledges. Two years ago, when I saw … Continue reading Single-Digit Soccer: Give U10 travel the boot

Congratulations on your … oh … sorry

A few thoughts on the viral video of a reporter congratulating Nicolas Mahut, not realizing he had lost. 1. We’ve all had to go into interviews without realizing what happened. At one of the 2008 Olympic biathlon events, one with a staggered start and athletes racing against the clock, I was down in the mixed zone interviewing one American athlete. We finished, and then Jay Hakkinen came right up for his turn. No one had given the handful of reporters any results, and we couldn’t see the course from the mixed zone. The other reporters deferred to me. “So … … Continue reading Congratulations on your … oh … sorry

Washington Spirit vs. Houston Dash: Behind the goal

One of the neat features of the Maryland SoccerPlex stadium field is the hill behind the south goal, which the Spirit sells as general admission. I’ve seen games from “end zone” seating, but I had never been up close and personal with the goal. Until tonight. The kickoff was early enough (4 p.m.) to take one of my kids, and I couldn’t pass up that opportunity. And I figured we’d make it especially interesting. I wouldn’t want to watch every game from that vantage point. For one thing, you lose any credibility in terms of arguing offside calls. The action … Continue reading Washington Spirit vs. Houston Dash: Behind the goal

Monday Myriad, May 26: Relay the World …

Best and worst from myriad sports over the week … BEST EVENT World Relays. So simple, so wonderful. National teams in 4×100, 4×200, 4×400, 4×800 and 4×1,500, all in the track-crazed Bahamas. Alan Abrahamson was on the scene: Unlike, for instance, the first few days of last year’s world championships in Moscow, where Luzhniki Stadium was way too empty, here Robinson was alive and jamming. It was 79 years to the day that Jesse Owens had done his thing, tying or setting four world records in the space of 45 minutes at the Big Ten championships, and all of a … Continue reading Monday Myriad, May 26: Relay the World …

U.S. Open Cup: Top 14 teams and upset history

Through May 23, 2014, lower-division teams have beaten MLS teams 66 times. (MLS teams have won 160.) And based on a whole lot of spreadsheets, we can declare one particular lower-division team the most accomplished team in the Open Cup. The PDL is 38-87 against non-MLS pro leagues. But other amateur leagues are less successful against D2 and D3: 10-72. For purposes of these upset lists, I haven’t separated D2 from D3. To my surprise, D2 (A-League/USL-1/USSF D-2/NASL) is 38-12 against D3 (D3 Pro/USL-2/USL Pro) since 1997. But the difference today is debatable. The Cup gives us scant evidence: Since … Continue reading U.S. Open Cup: Top 14 teams and upset history

Not indoor soccer, not Bruce Arena — it’s ARENA soccer

Writers use Game of Thrones to explain everything these days. I don’t have HBO, so maybe someone can explain Game of Thrones to me in terms of indoor soccer history. Is the Stark family the equivalent of the MISL? Is “Lord Littlefinger” Tatu? When we last left the Indoor Soccer Wars, the MISL had a new plan for moving forward without any of the teams that played in it. The teams themselves were all going to play … somewhere. If you’re one of the diehards who checks the BigSoccer indoor soccer forum, you’ve watched as the rumors of a new league building on the … Continue reading Not indoor soccer, not Bruce Arena — it’s ARENA soccer

Monday Myriad, May 19: I win… oops …

Remember: Cross the finish line before you celebrate. Two people forgot that lesson this week. The first one, Spanish cyclist Eloy Teruel, had an excuse. The finish for this particular stage of the Tour of California had multiple laps, and he didn’t realize he had one more. And he maintained a sense of humor. Me pudieron las ganas de victoria ,menos mal que nadie lo ha visto jajajajajaja — Eloy Teruel (@EloyTeruel) May 17, 2014 Less excusable: Taoufik Makhloufi. It’s only 800 meters. Don’t raise your arms after 795. Which was the worse premature celebration — Tour of California on Saturday … Continue reading Monday Myriad, May 19: I win… oops …