Spirit, Pride still works in progress

Marta is here. Alex Morgan is back. Mallory Pugh is here. Estefania Banini is back. But the chemistry isn’t quite there. And neither is the service from midfield. Yes, the Washington Spirit and Orlando Pride each scored twice in a 2-2 draw before a crowd of 5,200 that filled the seats, the hill and the concession lines Saturday at the Maryland SoccerPlex. And yes, we had a couple of moments like this: Some jogo bonito at the Plex courtesy of @ORLPride's @alexmorgan13 and Marta. #WASvORL #NWSLonLIFETIME pic.twitter.com/BReISnXEnp — NWSL (@NWSL) July 8, 2017 (Incidentally, I have no idea how I’m … Continue reading Spirit, Pride still works in progress

Meet the new site, not quite the old site

SportsMyriad had a weird, wonderful seven-year run. The last year was a bit half-hearted, honestly — a hacker attack sapped my energy, and I’ve been retrenching, work-wise. I’ve migrated my posts and pages over here, essentially combining my two sites. Simplify. Zen. All that Eastern philosophy stuff but with an English-language keyboard. And I’ll still blog on occasion, but this site will feature work I’m doing here, there and everywhere. That includes a new podcast on youth soccer and related topics (general soccer, parenting, philosophy, migrating to Mars), and I’m quite excited about it. Follow, tune in, enjoy. Continue reading Meet the new site, not quite the old site

On drug testing, MMA, the Diaz brothers, invasions of privacy, etc.

One thing I enjoy, perhaps more than I should, about my weird career path is the intersection of Olympic sports and MMA when it comes to the ever-entertaining world of drug testing. I did a lot of grunt work on the topic back in the day for USA TODAY, and I like finding a use for that otherwise useless knowledge: The BALCO timeline, where we learned athletes can be suspended for doping without failing a test. (This piece is cited in a surprising number of scholarly papers.) The Jerome Young case, a classic example of an athlete who had plausible … Continue reading On drug testing, MMA, the Diaz brothers, invasions of privacy, etc.

The definitive word on participation trophies …

From a Cracked piece responding to a rant about Millennials: Simon, let me tell you about my participation trophies. I got them for playing soccer, and they were handed out from a bag at the end of the year with all the ceremony of communist factory workers getting their lunch rations. My response was not “Well, clearly I’m going to be handed a six-figure job as an adult.” It was “Neat, a trophy! Now I’m going to go back to thinking about Pokemon or farts, because I am a child.” Later it was a nice reminder of time spent playing … Continue reading The definitive word on participation trophies …

Washington Spirit 0-1 FC Kansas City: History and repeating

Something new: Mallory Pugh became the first U.S. teenager in the NWSL and, as far as I know, the first U.S. teenager in a pro women’s soccer league. Something old: The Spirit couldn’t turn their chances into a goal, losing 1-0 for the third time in four home games. In most respects, though, both teams exceeded my expectations. Maybe I’m just getting old and pessimistic. But the Spirit’s oft-sputtering offense created some chances even without Tori Huster in the midfield to drive them forward. The defense had nowhere to go but up after conceding six in Seattle, but they went … Continue reading Washington Spirit 0-1 FC Kansas City: History and repeating

Survey: How many (too many) youth soccer leagues in your area?

Development Academy! ECNL, for girls AND boys! A different U.S. Club Soccer league! A traditional U.S. Youth Soccer league! Something else your local clubs set up and convinced you that you need to drive 300 miles for a league game! I’m doing a project on soccer leagues and whether we’re making families travel too much to play travel soccer. I’ve seen it quite clearly here in the D.C. metro area, but I’d like to hear how it is elsewhere. Is this a nationwide problem, or is it just in a few regions? So if you’re a coach, technical director or … Continue reading Survey: How many (too many) youth soccer leagues in your area?