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

International soccer games are overrated

From the laboratory that is European soccer comes another idea to spice up the game, this time adding another international tournament on top of World Cup qualifying and European qualifying. The idea: Get rid of (most) friendlies and play even more endless round-robin tournaments, this time with promotion and relegation schemes like the Davis Cup. At Pro Soccer Talk, Nicholas Mendoza raises a few issues — fewer opportunities for the USA to play European countries, fewer chances for new blood to be tested in friendlies, etc. All worthy objections. I’ll add another: We don’t need more international soccer games. We … Continue reading International soccer games are overrated

NBA dumping divisions? Why not add promotion and relegation?

I’ve long figured the NBA was the U.S. pro sport best suited to a promotion/relegation system. It’s not hard to find a half-decent arena, the college system produces hundreds of noteworthy players who don’t make NBA rosters, several franchises sit in moribund mediocrity each year, and switching things up wouldn’t trample on history as it would in baseball, football or hockey. Today, the NBA is struggling with the imbalance in its regional divisions and conferences. The playoffs could easily have some rotten teams. The suggested solutions are creative. And all this is happening in a year in which teams are … Continue reading NBA dumping divisions? Why not add promotion and relegation?

World Cup qualifying: Is there another way?

Mexico is in the World Cup, and Egypt is not. And that seems unfair. It’s not that simple, of course. One incorrect meme making the rounds: Egypt won seven games and Mexico won only four. Actually, Mexico won 10, sweeping all six of their third-round games to get to the Hexagonal. Still, we can shake our heads at the notion that Mexico feasted on New Zealand in a winner-take-all playoff while Egypt’s reward for a perfect round-robin was a playoff with Ghana. Shouldn’t we give teams more of a fair shake? Sure. And we can also turn the last stage … Continue reading World Cup qualifying: Is there another way?

American Outlaws and old-school U.S. soccer collegiality

The controversy about the American Outlaws and the upcoming USA-Mexico game in USA-Mexicoville (also known as Columbus) has gone through three stages: 1. Multiple reports said Outlaws from Seattle had basically taken over planning crowd activities for the USA-Mexico game. Columbus fans, who take special pride in their quadrennial duties of welcoming Mexico to a stadium with a history of inglorious moments for the visitors, were miffed. Many other U.S. fans were miffed on their behalf. 2. The Outlaws, backed by U.S. Soccer, said it was all much ado about nothing. All incorrect. Internet rumor and hearsay. But before you … Continue reading American Outlaws and old-school U.S. soccer collegiality

American Professional Soccer: New league, new goals

Matt Driver is a Glaswegian, but he has seen all there is to see in American soccer. He played in the old APSL and has coached or operated teams in virtually every U.S. league — USL, NPSL, WPSL, WPS (original GM/coach for the Philadelphia Independence) and MLS (assistant coach for the New England Revolution). And he believes there’s room — in fact, a need — for another professional league in the USA. The league is American Professional Soccer, due to launch next spring. What is APS? Let’s start with what it’s not. It’s not some hare-brained scheme to compete with MLS or the … Continue reading American Professional Soccer: New league, new goals

Monday Myriad, May 6

// Storify by Beau Dure Mon, May 06 2013 18:15:51 Monday Myriad, May 6 Beach volleyball: First Grand Slam of the season goes to the USA … Gibb and Patterson win Gold in Shanghai – Universal Sports Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Linkedin Share by email universalsports · Sun, May 05 2013 16:00:12 Track and field: Tyson Gay ran real fast … Gay throws down gauntlet to Bolt US sprinter Tyson Gay laid down an impressive early-season marker on Saturday, winning the 100m at the Jamaica Invitational athletics mee… Share Share on Facebook … Continue reading Monday Myriad, May 6

The cutthroat world of youth soccer, part 3,489

Two big local soccer stories may be of interest to people beyond Northern Virginia: 1. The VCCL is now the CCL. The idea behind such leagues is that clubs can schedule games in all age groups against other clubs so that a greater sense of club identity is forged. In reality, when one club’s U15 team isn’t up to par with the other clubs’ U15 teams, they recruit heavily from elsewhere to level the playing field. Or they take an entire team from elsewhere. See the discussion at the generally vile Fairfax Underground (seriously, do NOT read the thread about the Muslim … Continue reading The cutthroat world of youth soccer, part 3,489

Monday Myriad, April 22: Tri this

// Storify by Beau Dure Mon, Apr 22 2013 19:22:56 Monday Myriad, April 22: Tri this I’m thinking of re-claiming something I used to do at USA TODAY that continued for a while after my departure but is now gone. It’s the Olympic Athlete of the Week award. If we had one this week, your winner would be Gwen Jorgensen, who became the first U.S. woman to win a World Triathlon Series event over the weekend. The Series is essentially a hybrid between a World Cup circuit and World Championships — it’s an eight-race series that determines each year’s world … Continue reading Monday Myriad, April 22: Tri this

Myriad most popular: 2012

These annual posts have been illuminating. This year, they tell me my audience is primarily two groups of people: 1. People who stopped by for Olympic medal projections. That alone accounted for 40.22% of my traffic. Then figure that the home page, which at the time was set so that you could often read whole posts without clicking through, got 38.27%. 2. The women’s soccer community. That’s 10.87% of my traffic. General soccer (men’s and women’s) took another 1.02%. Men’s soccer drew only 1.04% — partially the effect of covering less of it, but even the somewhat interesting posts drew squat. The MLS … Continue reading Myriad most popular: 2012