General soccer

(Also see women’s soccer and youth soccer)

lrg15Long-Range Goals: The Success Story of Major League Soccer arrived in bookstores the same day the 2010 World Cup kicked off. I’d like to say I planned it that way, but that would be too perfect. Besides, I was going through a conventional publishing house (Potomac Books), and I doubt we could’ve arranged that.

The book is available at Amazon in hardcover and Kindle form, and at Barnes and Noble in hardcover and Nook.


Selected clips

Recent posts at Ranting Soccer Dad

  • Podcast: The introduction to “Why the U.S. Men Will Never Win the World Cup: A Historical and Cultural Reality Check”
    The podcast returns after a long absence with a brief autobiography to explain how I became a grumpy old man, I mean, how I arrived at the perspective I have. Then, 15 minutes into the podcast, I give a dramatic reading of the introductory chapter to the new book. Buy the book from your favorite … Continue reading Podcast: The introduction to “Why the U.S. Men Will Never Win the World Cup: A Historical and Cultural Reality Check”
  • Women’s soccer: How about equal spending in general, not just equal pay?
    Harvard Business Review had a piece on lessons to learn from the U.S. women’s soccer team’s “equal pay” push, which may be premature given that the lawsuit hasn’t proceeded yet (and, based solely on what’s going to end up presented in court, may not go well for the women). Here’s how I responded: I’ve covered … Continue reading Women’s soccer: How about equal spending in general, not just equal pay?
  • English pay and what it means for U.S. men’s soccer
    In yesterday’s Soccer America piece, I tried to give some perspective on the U.S. men’s soccer team’s collective bargaining negotiations (remember: they’re still playing under an expired deal) by taking a look at national team pay in other countries and other sports. I looked at several examples — English rugby (a considerable amount of money), … Continue reading English pay and what it means for U.S. men’s soccer
  • English clubs in danger of collapsing early in the season — why?
    I can’t claim to be an expert on the “winding-up” of soccer clubs. In my experience, every time it’s imminent, something magic happens to stop it. Something feels different this time for two clubs, in part because of the timing. We’re just a couple of weeks into the season. Could we really see League One … Continue reading English clubs in danger of collapsing early in the season — why?
  • Abolish the penalty kick?
    Ian Plenderleith raises the question at Soccer America: In the majority of cases … the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. Minor fouls or unintentional handballs are punished with an almost certain goal opportunity (and even more so now under the dissembling new handball rule ‘clarification’). Replacing the penalty kick with an indirect free-kick would benefit … Continue reading Abolish the penalty kick?
  • Equal-pay play: No friendly gap, narrowed Cup bonuses
    Now that the national team pay calculator is done (more or less), we can run some scenarios. Here’s one: Assumed results: Women win World Cup with 9 points in group stage, take Olympic bronze with 7 points in group stage. Men reach World Cup quarterfinals (7 points in group) one year and take 3 points … Continue reading Equal-pay play: No friendly gap, narrowed Cup bonuses
  • Why do I question women’s soccer narratives?
    I’m aggravated when people denigrate soccer because it’s my favorite sport — and because such sentiments are often rooted in a form of xenophobia in which generations have been expected to be culturally assimilated through our devotion to American sports like football, basketball and baseball. I’m aggravated when people denigrate women’s sports because such sentiments … Continue reading Why do I question women’s soccer narratives?
  • Freddy Adu’s next chapter will be worth reading
    Remember when U.S. men’s soccer was so full of hope? You don’t? Watch this … That ad is so much better than the ads we see for the U.S. women’s team today. The field-level ad isn’t bad, but so much of it is over-the-top hero worship. If we keep putting the women on pedestals and … Continue reading Freddy Adu’s next chapter will be worth reading
  • A quick guide to the U.S. women’s soccer pay dispute
    This World Cup is going to be quite competitive, today’s 13-0 rout notwithstanding. The bad news is that the USA’s chances of winning are less than 50-50, but the good news is that the reason is the growth of the game worldwide. No one who cares about women’s soccer would want the game in England, … Continue reading A quick guide to the U.S. women’s soccer pay dispute
  • Women’s World Cup predictions (collated)
    If you made predictions, feel free to share them. I’ll try to compile as best I can. GROUP STAGE Key: Third-place teams that qualify marked with asterisk. The predictors … BD: me 538: from their rankings AC: Avi Creditor, Sports Illustrated LL: Laken Litman, Sports Illustrated (you’ll have to click to see the picks from … Continue reading Women’s World Cup predictions (collated)

History

thumb-gesoBefore the book was published, I spent a decade at USA TODAY, where soccer was my most notable beat as a writer and online editor. For a few years, I wrote an online column called The Netminder, starting first by rounding up information that wasn’t readily available in the early Internet days, shining light on lesser-known competitions such as the U.S. Open Cup while offering analysis on controversial topics or giving a voice to MLS supporters and sometimes engaging in a bit of satire.

As the print and online sides converged at USA TODAY in the mid-2000s, I wrote much more for the paper. I caught up with Tim Howard at a crossroads at Manchester United, captured Cuban defector Maykel Galindo’s emotional decision to flee from his hotel, and did definitive stories on David Beckham and U.S. stars such as Brian McBride and Landon Donovan. I covered big games: Donovan silencing critics in 2006, several MLS Cups, and three qualification games for the 2010 World Cup — the quadrennial 2-0 win over Mexico in Columbus, a crucial rally past El Salvador in Utah, and the thrilling finale against Costa Rica. I occasionally covered soccer before that, including a high school thriller.

Since leaving USA TODAY, my focus has shifted to women’s soccer and youth soccer. But you’ll still occasionally see me write about MLS, the U.S. men, or the latest FIFA scandal — see my piece on the U.S. men being far beyond the point of being “fixed” with one simple solution.

Full clips by topic: soccer, mls