A stadium for Indiana … and the NASL?

If all goes well, Indy Eleven will play in a soccer stadium with a unique canopy that somewhere between the Bird’s Nest in Beijing and, appropriately for a town known for auto racing, a tire with a fancy tread. It’ll cost $82 million and will be paid off by a tax on tickets for the stadium. “If you don’t go, you don’t pay,” says the stadium site. The FAQ at that site answers a few good questions, but a couple haven’t been addressed. First, what happens if stadium ticket taxes DON’T cover the $82 million cost? The text of the … Continue reading A stadium for Indiana … and the NASL?

Single-Digit Soccer: The identity crisis of specialization

The brilliance of the TV show Friday Night Lights is that it’s not about football or Texas or even Taylor Kitsch’s abs. It’s about identity. Jason Street is the All-American QB with his college and pro future neatly laid out for him until an accident leaves him in a wheelchair. Matt Saracen is a quiet, nerdy guy who is thrust into the spotlight as the team’s QB. Lyla Garrity’s perfect life is shattered by boyfriend Jason’s injury and the gossip that pushes her away from cheerleading. Tami Taylor is tired of being “the coach’s wife” and nothing else. And Smash — he … Continue reading Single-Digit Soccer: The identity crisis of specialization

Single-Digit Soccer: Do players specialize in high school?

At national champion Ohio State, the answer is apparently not. One sport specialization? Colleges prefer well-rounded, versatile athletes. Be involved-help your school & yourself. pic.twitter.com/cR4ObYlmVy — Tuscola HS Athletics (@TuscolaAD) January 17, 2015 And this is in high school. In soccer, we’re asking whether our players should be specializing at age 8. From my research so far, the answer is surely not. A high school sports blog has a good list of benefits from playing multiple sports and quotes on playing several sports from luminaries like Wayne Gretzky, Larry Fitzgerald and the ubiquitous Alex Morgan. I’m not sure how to verify the … Continue reading Single-Digit Soccer: Do players specialize in high school?

Borislow lawsuits go on

The Palm Beach Post reports today, in a story behind a paywall that required three incredibly frustrating efforts to sign up, that Dan Borislow’s estate has not been settled because of several lawsuits and claims. The lawsuits and claims against him: $674,000 to Palm Beach Kennel Club, where he won $6.67 million and change on one race card in May but placed many more bets last year. Borislow’s wife has disputed the claim. $3.3 million to one Michael Ciprianni of Palm Beach Gardens. $6 million to the IRS. He and his wife challenged that claim in U.S. Tax Court in … Continue reading Borislow lawsuits go on

MLS and free agency: Fatal brinksmanship?

You can’t take public statements too seriously during a difficult negotiation. It’s posturing time. But the apparent stumbling block of real, honest-to-goodness free agency is a concern. And this quote from MLS president Mark Abbott, a tough negotiator and the architect of single entity, is a puzzler: “Because we function in an international market and the clubs that we are competing against for players are not subject to our salary budget, to have free agency within the league doesn’t provide us with the certainty that the union says it does,” Abbott explained. “When the union says they can offer cost … Continue reading MLS and free agency: Fatal brinksmanship?

Single-Digit Soccer: NSCAA convention presentation (abridged)

On Saturday, I had the honor of speaking at the NSCAA Convention, presenting what I’d put together toward my Single-Digit Soccer book, sharing ideas, and making bad jokes about my youth team being named Athens Applejacks. In case you couldn’t make it — or in case you weren’t writing things down — here’s a synopsis. It may even have some things I forgot to mention. U.S. Youth Soccer will also post slides later. About the book Single-Digit Soccer is an exploration of issues, a guidebook for parents, a collection of fun stories and so forth — all in the U-Little age groups (U10, … Continue reading Single-Digit Soccer: NSCAA convention presentation (abridged)

Hope Solo is unique because …

… there simply isn’t anyone like her. Obvious statement, isn’t it? It’s the very definition of the word “unique.” She’s an individual. But in her case, when she’s in the news, we always have a confluence of issues that make it difficult to compare her to any other athlete. And they’re coming up again now that she has been suspended in the wake of her husband’s DUI arrest and the complex situation around it. Read the ESPN story with Julie Foudy’s insider take on what led to the suspension. Elsewhere, I’ve heard the suspension compared to a “persistent infringement” yellow card … Continue reading Hope Solo is unique because …