Things didn’t bode well Saturday. Traffic heading up the Beltway to Maryland was worse than usual. The SoccerPlex didn’t have its usual Ben & Jerry’s cart — Yom Kippur apparently kept the proprietor away. And Seattle’s Jess Fishlock, simultaneously one of the most inspirational and infuriating players in women’s soccer, started the game by clattering into Washington’s Mallory Pugh, the type of foul that does nothing other than send an early message. Then a funny thing happened. An actual soccer game broke out. Free-flowing. Long strings of passes. Good runs. For Spirit fans, it looked a bit like 2016 all … Continue reading Spirit, Reign play a legitimately entertaining soccer game
Flying solo on Ranting Soccer Dad this week and wondering whether there’s any way youth soccer can be a positive experience. Making an inherently zero-sum game (winners and losers) a good experience is a challenge, and from what I’ve seen, U.S. Soccer and today’s youth coaches aren’t up to it. Convince me otherwise. Continue reading Is youth soccer doomed to suck?
When Colin Kaepernick started kneeling for the national anthem last year and Megan Rapinoe followed suit, I was skeptical. In the circles in which I run, skepticism is a bad idea. Outside the women’s soccer community, of course, opinion was more polarized. I was stunned to see people I’ve considered sympathetic to the Kaepernick/Rapinoe cause object to their protest, quite angrily. I even saw people profess to become greater Washington Spirit fans when Bill Lynch pulled the anthem switcheroo to keep Rapinoe from kneeling on the field at the Maryland SoccerPlex. (One year later, I can’t recall seeing those people … Continue reading To kneel or not to kneel (revised)
Neither the Washington Spirit nor the Boston Breakers tanked Saturday night’s game to get the No. 1 draft pick. For once, my prediction was right. But it wasn’t pretty. I didn’t notice any Spirit Academy kids in the crowd, and … Continue reading No one injured in Spirit-Breakers game
Saturday night, the Washington Spirit will host the Boston Breakers. It should be a beautiful night at the Maryland SoccerPlex, and the team is celebrating a “Night of Kindness.” Also, both teams will have incentive to lose. Not that they’ll … Continue reading Promotion/relegation propaganda/reality, Part 4: Pros (positives)
U.S. Soccer has responded to the NASL’s antitrust lawsuit — not a full-scale rebuttal of the charges, but a complaint about the NASL’s desire to get to court as quickly as possible. The USSF response goes on to say: USSF was served with the NASL complaint two days ago. (They underline it in the complaint.) That complaint is really long — 71 pages, plus three declarations totaling 113 pages (Stefan Szymanski’s is 80) NASL asked for this schedule, the USSF response says: Oct. 4: USSF response to the suit Oct. 11: NASL response to the response Oct. 18: Hearing Before all … Continue reading NASL, U.S. Soccer cannot agree on court timeline
There’s no organization in the world quite like U.S. Soccer. That’s not a compliment. That’s not an insult. It just … is. U.S. Soccer is unique among major U.S. sports federations in that its mandate goes beyond organizing national teams … Continue reading Promotion/relegation propaganda/reality, Part 3: U.S. Soccer