Spirit, Reign play a legitimately entertaining soccer game

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

To kneel or not to kneel (revised)

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)

Attendance check: Club over country?

Attendance at last five Atlanta United home games: July 4: 44,974 July 29: 45,006 Sept. 10: 45,314 (first game in new stadium) Sept. 13: 42,511 Sept. 16: 70,425 Attendance at last five Seattle Sounders home games: July 23: 43,528 Aug. 12: 43,350 Aug. 20: 40,312 Aug. 27: 51,796 Sept. 10: 44,697 Attendance at last five U.S. men’s national team home games: July 15: 27,934 (Gold Cup; Cleveland) July 19: 31,615 (Gold Cup quarterfinal; Philadelphia) July 22: 45,516 (Gold Cup semifinal; Arlington, Texas) July 26: 63,032 (Gold Cup final; Santa Clara, Calif.) Sept. 1: 26,500 (World Cup qualifier; Harrison, N.J. — … Continue reading Attendance check: Club over country?

Podcast, Ep. 9 — Girls’ Development Academy with Travis Clark, plus a soccerpolitical rant

The podcast starts this week with a bit of a political rant. The news on DACA is hard to ignore, and we’ve had some ongoing overheated arguments in the soccer community. The Travis Clark interview on the Development Academy starts around the 9:25 mark. A few landmarks: Will the NWSL affiliates dominate? (19:45) DA vs. high school (25:00) Can we tame the chaos and still have multiple development pathways? (30:30) A few clubs to watch in the DA (38:45) Continue reading Podcast, Ep. 9 — Girls’ Development Academy with Travis Clark, plus a soccerpolitical rant

Podcast, Ep. 8 — Youth development and women’s soccer with Kris Ward

Kris Ward has done a bit of everything in coaching at a relatively young age — high school, Development Academy, ODP, college, traditional clubs and NWSL. We talk about rec soccer, how the U.S. academy approach compares with other countries and what a curriculum really means. Around the 40:30 mark, get ready for a detailed breakdown of all that isn’t working in U.S. women’s soccer. Continue reading Podcast, Ep. 8 — Youth development and women’s soccer with Kris Ward

Spirit-Red Stars: A mad night at the SoccerPlex

There’s just a lot of anger in the world right now. Our president took a break from Twitter ranting to issue the most controversial presidential pardon since Gerald Ford fell on his sword for Richard Nixon, paving the way for a peanut farmer from Georgia to become president and then a truly outstanding ex-president. North Korea, apparently angry about being pushed off the front page by U.S. domestic shenanigans and a hurricane (and a preposterous fight), flung a few more missiles into the sea, which raises the question of how many North Koreans live in dangerous poverty while Kim Jong … Continue reading Spirit-Red Stars: A mad night at the SoccerPlex