The real controversies of U.S. Soccer in 2016

Eric Wynalda was not the most controversial speaker I saw at the NSCAA Convention this week. That honor goes to AYSO’s Scott Snyder. #AYSO Player Development Specialist Scott Snyder presenting at the @NSCAA Convention! #BmoreNSCAA — AYSO (@AYSO_Soccer) January 14, 2016 Snyder criticized the U.S. Soccer E and D license programs, saying they’re geared toward coaches on a professional track and don’t address the needs of parent coaches, who make up the majority of coaches that work with kids in their formative years under age 12. He pointed fingers at “superclubs” who have tryouts and cut 6-year-olds to fuel big … Continue reading The real controversies of U.S. Soccer in 2016

NWSL Draft: The spectacle and the reality

The first NWSL Draft was held in a private room in the Indianapolis Convention Center, with U.S. Soccer staff ferrying info to a neighboring room where a handful of reporters had gathered. The next two NWSL Drafts had many more people, all crammed into a small couple of rooms in Philadelphia. This year, it looks like this: Which is great. It’ll be a terrific experience for fans. Reporters won’t be dizzy from claustrophobia and heat exhaustion by the third round. But like the MLS Draft, held yesterday in the same room, there’s a bit of cold water to splash on … Continue reading NWSL Draft: The spectacle and the reality

Back in the podcasting game

The new SportsMyriad podcast features me ranting about the U.S. women’s soccer roster, curling, Rio 2016 prep, youth soccer getting too serious, and of course, the bizarre lawsuit filed against Ronda Rousey by a guy who apparently lives at White Castle. [spreaker type=standard width=100% autoplay=false episode_id=7519994] Please let me know what you think. Yes, it goes too long — future podcasts will either be shorter or will have an interview segment. Continue reading Back in the podcasting game

Curling at the crossroads

Here’s why you should be paying attention to curling right now: The Challenge Round, to fill out the field for the national championships, is underway. The national championships this year are in the unlikely venue of Jacksonville, Fla., a sure sign that someone is bullish on the idea of curling expanding beyond the states that border Canada. USA Curling, responding to a couple of lackluster performances in the Olympics, now has a “High Performance” program that dominates discussion at CurlingZone. The High Performance program is a major change in the way curling teams are formed. Curlers usually pick their own teammates, … Continue reading Curling at the crossroads

What happens when you search for Olympic sports

Yes, SportsMyriad will have medal projections in 2016, but we’re doing things a little differently. Note the “we.” Not “I.” I’m getting help. As preparation for the projections, I did a few searches on every Summer Olympic sport today. It’s difficult. So many summer sports are also recreational, and it’s hard to find coverage of the ISATWHATEVER World Cup amid all the stuff geared toward the practitioner, not the fan. Other sports are far more popular outside the Olympics. Here’s what you find for each sport: Archery: “I killed a bear. Check out these photos.” Badminton: China, China, China, hey, can we … Continue reading What happens when you search for Olympic sports

U.S. women’s soccer: The fight for 18 in 2016

You would think the shrinking of the national team roster from the Women’s World Cup (23 players) to the Olympics (18) means some veterans get left home and less experienced players have trouble breaking through. But a rash of retirements has changed all that. Jill Ellis is looking at new players among the 26 called into camp in January. She didn’t have much choice. That’s actually not unusual. Let’s look at the past first, then size up the competition for 2016: 1999-2000: The WWC roster was only 20 in those days. That opened the competition a bit, as did the change in coach, … Continue reading U.S. women’s soccer: The fight for 18 in 2016