August 12, 2016
The most devastating result in U.S. women's soccer history
Sooner or later, it was going to happen. Sooner or later, the United States women were going to slip and not reach the final four of a major FIFA tournament for the first time. Well, sooner happened Friday afternoon.
August 10, 2016
USA must hope for better performance from its GK in quarterfinals or it could feel so low
If you're an optimist, you will point out that that was only the group stage, that Hope Solo got a howler of a performance out of her system and that the United States women will start anew in the knockout round of the Rio Olympics.
July 15, 2016
Remembering some nice times in Nice and in Paris on Bastille Day during more innocent times
My heart, thoughts, sympathies and prayers go out to the victims of the latest tragedy that occurred in Nice, France Thursday night.
June 22, 2016
Why the USA is far away from being one of the world's elite
So much has been written about Argentina's 4-0 triumph over the United States Tuesday night that it could have broken the internet two or three times over. The USA reminded us how far it has to go before it can be an elite soccer country.
June 15, 2016
Dempsey defies father time, but eventually that will catch up to him; who will be his successor?
Clint Dempsey came through not once, but twice for the United States in the group stage of Copa America Centenario.
And the sun also rises.
June 5, 2016
Copa start can't get any worse
The host team goes down by two goals, a pair of scoreless draws, three goals in four games and too many empty seats.
Not exactly the best of starts for Copa America Centenario..
March 26, 2016
Klinsmann era has been a failure and it's time for him to go
The last time I looked, Jurgen Klinsmann still was head coach of the United States national team.
That's too bad, because he should have been replaced over the winter.
March 22, 2016
No more halfway measures on international playing dates for MLS
If Major League Soccer wants to become one of the great soccer leagues of the world, it must act like one.
Case in point:
International playing dates, when 12 CONCACAF teams are competing for berths in the 2018 World Cup on Friday and next Tuesday.
October 14, 2015
Like the USA attack, Klinsmann has no answers for what is ailing the national team
HARRISON, N.J. -- Like his team's lackluster attack, Jurgen Klinsmann is struggling to find answers and solutions.
October 11, 2015
Saturday, bloody, Saturday: one of the darkest days in USMNT history
Oct. 10, 2015. Mark my words. It will go down as one of the darkest days in U.S. men's national team history.
In just a matter of hours, two U.S. men's teams went down to defeat in major competitions with much on the line, a rare event in the U.S. Soccer universe.
June 20, 2015
Dempsey deserves a nice, long, stiff ban
I always thought that if Clint Dempsey was going to get into trouble again, it would be because of his elbows and not his hands.
Dempsey has a history of doing damage to the jaws of opponents in the past and as I have learned from covering sports all these years, old habits die hard.
May 14, 2015
Brad Friedel, an appreciation
For those of you who think history is something that happened five seconds ago, and nothing more or nothing less, I have a history lesson or two for you.
It's about goalkeeper Brad Friedel. Because he starred for the U.S. national team so long ago, some of you might not even know who he is and I'm not kidding.
May 8, 2015
Clive doesn't Toye around in his latest book, 'Anywhere In The World
Most of the soccer world knows and probably only knows Clive Toye as the Cosmos president who signed Pele to that historic contract in 1975.
That certainly is one historic accomplishment that we are still feeling the positive effects in 2015.
January 22, 2015
Which goalkeeper should replace Hope Solo if she can't play in the WWC? Barnhart, Harris or Naeher
OK, let's assume the worst case scenario.
Let's say Hope Solo bottoms out and doesn't backstop the United States at the Women's World Cup in Canada this June and July.
Just who will be her replacement?
January 21, 2015
Solo must make the most important save of her career -- herself
I have two words for U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo:
As in now, and not later.
October 26, 2014
USA women head and shoulders above CONCACAF foes, but they must rise to the occasion at WWC
CHESTER, Pa. -- If anyone had any doubts, the United States women reminded everyone that they were head and shoulders over any of their foes in CONCACAF Sunday night, literally and figuratively.
October 16, 2014
Garber, MLS might be angry, but Klinsmann has a point about Bradley, Dempsey
So, Don Garber is ticked off that U.S. national coach Jurgen Klinsmann had the nerve to say that Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey should have not have returned home to play in Major League Soccer.
July 2, 2014
DON'T BLAME IT ON RIO, DAY 21
Ready to take flight one more ime, looking forward to home, sweet, home
SAO PAULO, Brazil -- A very weary soul is writing this piece this morning.
July 1, 2014
DON'T BLAME IT ON RIO, DAY 20
The case of the broken door knob
SALAVADOR, Brazil -- The main topic of today's diary is a door knob. Yes a door knob.
June 30, 2014
DON'T BLAME IT ON RIO, DAY 19
Going from heaven to hell and back again
SALAVADOR, Brazil -- One thing that I have learned about the World Cup in general and the event being in Brazil in particular, is that you can go from heaven to hell and back to heaven again in an extremely short time.
June 29, 2014
DON'T BLAME IT ON RIO (DAY 18)
When eating (sleeping and exercising) is a luxury
SAO PAULO, Brazil -- When you have gone to enough World Cups as I have, you learn from experience, sometimes bad experiences. But you learn.
June 28, 2014
DON'T BLAME IT ON RIO (DAY 17)
Weary sportswriters are fraying at the edges
SAO PAULO, Brazil -- It is almost three weeks into this adventure for many of the American media and there is a certain amount of weariness that has crept into our bodies and souls.
June 27, 2014
DON'T BLAME IT ON RIO, DAY 16
The case of too many Michaels
SAO PAULO, Brazil -- I have nothing against the name Michael. After all, it has been my favorite name all my life.
June 25, 2014
DON'T BLAME IT ON RIO, DAY 14
No matter how bad you have it, someone else is worse off somewhere else
RECIFE, Brazil -- A couple of things that I learned in life:
June 24, 2014
DON'T BLAMNE IT ON RIO, DAY 13
Following a daily regimen, sort of
SAO PAULO, Brazil -- When you're traveling in the World Cup, you try to keep good habits.
June 23, 2014
DON'T BLAME IT ON RIO, DAY 12
How revered the Brazilian team really is
SAO PAULO, Brazil -- I sit here in the U.S. Soccer media center at our hotel with two televisions on at the same time
June 22, 2014
DON'T BLAME IT ON RIO (DAY 11) --
No, blame it on the Hotel Millenium and no or little internet
MANAUS, Brazil -- In the classic Airplane! 2 movie, there is a precious scene in which Julie Hagerty has to tell the passengers on the space shuttle that they are off course in their journey to the moon and that asteroids are hitting the space ship. The passengers are quite calm.
June 21, 2014
DON'T BLAME IT ON RIO (DAY 10)
Where patience is a virtue and then some
MANAUS, Brazil -- Sometimes I think we're in a reality show here at the World Cup, except we just don't know it.
June 20, 2014
DON'T BLAME IT ON RIO, DAY 9
The crisis of the missing noteboook
For someone who is so conscious of packing everything away, I made a mistake today.
June 19, 2014
DON'T BLAME IT ON RIO, DAY 8
Interviews in the morning, a game in the afternoon
SAO PAOLO, Brazil - You learn to pace yourself at the World Cup.
June 18, 2014
DON'T BLAME IT ON RIO, DAY 7
A rare day off from the daily grind, but not from work
SAO PAULO, Brazil - For the first time that I can remember in my eight World Cups, I actually had a day off on Wednesday.
June 17, 2014
DON'T BLAME IT ON RIO, DAY 6
Things they don't teach you in J-school
SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Some things that they don't teach you in journalism school:
June 16, 2014
DON'T BLAME IT RIO, DAYS, 4,5
No blame it on the bus driver in Natal
NATAL, Brazil -- For the first time since I arrived here Thursday, I did accomplished a first
June 16, 2014
U.S. World Cup wins are few and far bewteen for this writer
NATAL, Brazil - Psst!
June 14, 2014
DON'T BLAME IT ON RIO -- DAY 3
A dog day night at the local mall and flying into a city where it is raining cats and dogs
NATAL, Brazil -- All work and no play will make anyone a dull boy or girl. It also could drive a sportswriter insane.
June 13, 2014
DON'T BLAME IT ON RIO, DAY 2
Another day from hell in Sao Paulo
SAO PAULO, Brazil -- It's incredible what a good night's sleep, a hot shower and a breakfast will do for one's spirits.
June 12, 2014
DON'T BLAME IT ON RIO
Getting ready for a crazy eighth World Cup
SAO PAULO - How appropriate.
June 11, 2014
32 things that are bound to happen at a World Cup
There have been more than enough World Cups -- Brazil 2014 will be No. 19 -- to notice a number of trends and stuff repeating again and again -- the good, the bad and the ugly.
May 22, 2014
Donovan's exclusion is shocking and yet it isn't
So, Landon Donovan did not make the U.S. World Cup team.
How shocking. How stunning. How surprising -- given what he has done for U.S. Soccer since when he starred in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup team in 1999 through helping the Americans to a fourth-place finish.
April 7, 2014
DiCicco would make a good candidate to replace Sermanni
During his conference call with the media on Monday, U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said that he had a short list of candidates to replace the departed Tom Sermanni as U.S. women's national coach.
February 14, 2014
A special Valentine to the most beautiful game
With Friday being Valentine's Day, my thoughts obviously turn to love.
We have many loves in our lives, whether it be our significant other, family, pets, friends and even sports.
Let's face it. I love soccer. I love the beautiful game. It will be forever in my blood.
January 9, 2014
Bradley joining Toronto is good for MLS, but is it good for Bradley and USMNT?
So, Michael Bradley is heading to Toronto FC, huh?
Well, that's certainly good for Toronto FC and certainly good for Major League Soccer.
But how good is that for Michael Bradley as a soccer player and the U.S. National Team, particularly heading into a World Cup year?
January 5, 2014
Remembering the Black Panther
Eusebio, one of the greatest soccer players to run on and walk this planet, died on Sunday. He was 71.
December 4, 2013
Getting ready for my personal MLS Cup No. 18
If there is one thing that I have learned in my 18 years of covering Major League Soccer, if it's MLS Cup, there's a good chance it will be in southern California.
September 12, 2013
The Donovan factor: 'He's a guy that when he's on the field puts fear in the opponent'
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Three is little doubt that the U.S. National Team needs Landon Donovan and Landon Donovan needs the U.S. National Team.
Septmeber 4, 2013
Tico fans protest U.S. WCQ win when they should picket about Friday's game being at new stadium, not Saprissa
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- Man, talk about misdirected anger and wasted energy.
Tico soccer fans, still upset over the famous "Snow Bowl game" in Commerce City, Colo. In March, reportedly greeted the United States National Team's arrival at the airport at 6:15 CT with chants, jeers and some egg throwing at the team bus.
The fans chanted, "No Fair Play, USA."
June 17, 2013
Lessons learned from WCQ home losses
The last time the United States lost a home World Cup qualifier, 911 had only one connotation.
The time before that, the U.S. hadn't qualified for the World Cup since 1950.
June 11, 2013
Will playing on grass in Seattle back fire on U.S. Soccer?
Let me tell you about a game that happened almost 28 years ago about this country, let's call it the United States, which hosted a World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica.
June 10, 2013
CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying predictions
Even in June, it's starting to become crunch time in the CONCACAF hexagonal.
The final round of World Cup qualifying matches already has reached the halfway point for two teams -- Mexico and Jamaica -- and their four rivals will join them in yet another round on Tuesday night.
March 18, 2013
The weakest U.S. WCQ roster I can remember
I take a good look at the United States National Team roster and I am not impressed at all.
I have never been confused with Chicken Little, but I fear for the U.S. in its next two World Cup qualifiers -- against Costa Rica on Friday and at Mexico on Tuesday, March 26.
February 6, 2013
For openers, it was an utterly forgettable performance
Time to panic? No -- at least not yet.
Time to be worry? Perhaps.
Time to be concerned. Well, yes.
February 5, 2013
The good, bad and ugly of the CONCACAF hexagonal schedule
So, what is better, a favorable schedule at the start of World Cup qualifying, a smooth ride in the middle or a home cooking finish at home?
January 30, 2013
Two sides of the scoreless tie
After watching Tuesday night's disappointing scoreless draw between the United States and Canada, I have two streams of thought about the National Team: long range and short term.
January 21, 2013
The sad case of Freddy Adu
Over the past few decades, U.S. soccer (yes, that's a small s) has played out a familiar scenario whenever a young, promising male player emerges on the scene. More often than not, these players never meet our great hopes and expectations.
January 11, 2013
These scenarios would be a perfect and happy homecomings for U.S. women in NWSL
Who says you can't go home again?
There is some buzz going around the many members of the Olympic gold-medal winning team want to play in the fledling National Women's Soccer League close to their hometowns
December 31, 2012
Blatter doesn't get it; It's evolution, not revolution for MLS
Obviously, Sepp Blatter doesn't understand American sports.
Rome wasn't built in a day and neither were any of the professional sports leagues, whether it was baseball, football, basketball and even hockey.
November 29, 2012
Give Donovan some breathing space on his decision; he certainly has earned it
So, Landon Donovan is considering retirement and he doesn't know how long his decision will take.
Well, I say let the LA Galaxy player and U.S. international take his time to decide. He has earned it.
November 22, 2012
New Thanksgiving tradition: turkey, football and futbol
For as long as I know, Thanksgiving tradition has been about family, turkey and some football.
September 9, 2012
No time to panic, but we can be worry warts with the U.S. team
It's certainly no time to panic, at least not yet. But it is certainly time to be concerned and even to worry.
September 1, 2012
Sundhage meant more than just wins and titles
In a few weeks we're going to say goodbye to Pia Sundhage, who announced she will be leaving as U.S. Women's National Team coach.
July 24, 2012
USA, Spain will reign, earn the gold
GLASGOW -- The American women have plenty of motivation in the Olympic soccer tournament.
They still are smarting from last year's disappointing finish, losing to Japan in penalty kicks in the Women's World Cup final and they want to extend their streak of winning gold medals to three consecutive competitions, which would be the best for men or women.
June 19, 2012
Panagoulias coached U.S. team during a tough time in its history
Alketas (Alkis) Panagoulias died at the age of 78 on Monday.
Many soccer fans under the age of 30 probably never heard of the man or are not very familiar with his accomplishments.
June 17, 2012
Oduro doesn't deserve a yellow card, but soccer deserves goal-line technology
If Major League Soccer's Star Chamber -- its disciplinary committee -- has any sense of fair play, it will overturn Dominic Oduro's yellow card immediately.
May 30, 2012
A tribute to a Hall of Fame soccer writer
LANDOVER, Md. — Way back in the Stone Age in 1982, when the internet wasn’t even a glint in anyone’s eye, I found a novel way to follow what was playing out at the World Cup in Spain.
January 6, 2012
Gonzalez injury illustrates the perils of MLS loaning players
For all you fans who wanted to know why I did not want the Red Bulls to loan captain and striker Thierry Henry to Arsenal, I give you Exhibit A:
On his first day of training with FC Nuremberg in Germany, LA Galaxy central defender Omar Gonzalez tore the ACL of his left knee after he collided with fellow American Timmy Chandler in training. He is expected to be sidelined as long as nine months.
January 5, 2012
Unbalanced schedule won't work, unfair
I have two words for Major League Soccer.
No, it's not what you think. No profanity in this column.
December 16, 2011
An Everton loan isn't good enough for Donovan, but a permanent move is
When I heard that Landon Donovan was going to return to Everton, I got excited.
Finally, he was going to meet a greater challenge than Major League Soccer.
July 17, 2011
There's plenty of blame to go around
Give the U.S. National Team some credit.
The Americans won as a team in the Women's World Cup and they lost as one in the final to Japan in Frankfurt, Germany on Sunday.
July 16, 2011
Wambach gets it, Prinz doesn't
This column is all about Abby Wambach and Birgit Prinz.
But then again, Wambach will be the the first one to tell you, whether you ask or not, that it’s never about her, but rather about the team.
June 18, 2011
No middle ground in U.S. wedding case
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Regardless what transpires in the U.S.-Jamaica CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals on Sunday, the game will be forever known as the wedding break.
June 13, 2011
Time for doctor -- err, coach Bradley -- to find cure for U.S. slow starts
KANSAS CITY — The U.S. National Team is suffering from a well-known soccer malady called slow-start-itis.
February 23, 2011
MLS playoff expansion doesn't make sense
You would think that after all these years that MLS would finally get it when it comes down to the playoffs.
But instead of trying to improve the system, the powers that be in the league have made it worse.
February 11, 2011
Barcelona should be MLS all-stars' foes
The more I think of it, having Barcelona taking on the MLS all-stars in the league's annual all-star game at Red Bulls Arena certainly makes a lot of sense, even if it doesn't mean a lot of cents and dollars for the perennial Spanish powerhouse.
January 5, 2011
Beckham's Euro saga is tiresome
David Beckham is American soccer's version of Lindsay Lohan.
No, the (former?) English international doesn't have any substance abuse problems or any questions about going into rebab.
December 4, 2010
FIFA gets the blame for 2022
That a country such as Qatar can host the World Cup is incomprehensible, bewildering and embarrassing.
I mean, it has all of 1.7 million people (which is smaller than Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan) and not much of a rich soccer history. The oil-rich and natural gas-rich country has never qualified for a World Cup in one of the weaker confederations (Asia) in the world.
December 1, 2010
Clinton gets a little winded at the wrong time
ZURICH, Switzerland -- It should have been a send-off with a bang with one of the great orators of the past century. Instead, it ended with a whimper.
October 25, 2010
One writer's MLS conference realignment and playoff plan for 2011
While eight teams prepare for the MLS playoffs, yours truly will be looking ahead until next year for the next few minutes.
If I had my druthers, the league would have a single table, with the top eight teams reaching the MLS promised land. It would be simple and direct.
September 18, 2010
Giving Scurry her due
On Sunday, the greatest women's goalkeeper in history could walk off the field one last time.
If the Washington Freedoms lose their Women's Professional Soccer playoff game to the Philadelphia Independence on Sunday, Briana Scurry will be involved her final competitive match.
June 15, 2010
Gulati has a master plan for the U.S. to get 2018/2022 World Cup
JOHANNESBURG -- The USA Bid Committee announced last week that Morgan Freeman will join its board of directors in its quest to bring the World Cup to the United States in 2018 or 2022
May 12, 2010
Bradley made the decision for the team, not for Davies or the fans
When discussing his philosophy of selecting a 23-man roster for the World Cup with a select group of writers in New York two weeks ago, one quote by U.S. national coach Bob Bradley summed it up best.
"At the end of the day, decisions are made for the team," he said.
May 5, 2010
Dealing with soccer's physics, MLS style
Just call it soccer's laws of physics No. 24:
Two events cannot occupy the same space at the same time, so you will have to find room for the other one.
April 28, 2010
South Africa: Is the World Cup heading for a big fall or a big surprise?
NEW YORK -- As the sands trickle through to the bottom of the World Cup hour glass with the start of the anticipated kickoff match between host South Africa and Mexico some 44 days away on June 11, there is a question begging to be asked:
Is South Africa or the World Cup in trouble?
March 5, 2010
A red card to ESPN for banishing Dellacamera to the radio for the World Cup
Imagine tuning into the much anticipated encounter between United States and England at the World Cup on June 12 and hearing English accents, but nothing with an American accent. That's what ESPN has planned for the American soccer public on June 12.
November 10, 2009
It's crunch time for Cunningham, Johnson
Trust me, I'm not going to lose any sleep over Landon Donovan not playing for the U.S. National Team in a pair of international friendlies in Slovakia and Denmark next week.
October 15, 2009
U.S. can't keep pulling off comebacks in World Cup
On one hand, it is quite encouraging that the U.S. can keep coming back and accrue points during its CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches.
On the other hand, trying to put this type of strategy off in the World Cup itself on a consistent basis is next to impossible.
Aug. 16, 2008
Shakeup in the MLS East; Quakes close the gap out West
COLUMBUS, Ohio—MLS assist leader Guillermo Barros Schelotto set up two goals in a three-minute span of the second half to lead the Columbus Crew to a 2-1 comeback victory over FC Dallas Saturday in front of 17,647 at Columbus Crew Stadium.
May 1, 2006
Will the bubble burst for bubble players? Here's one writer's World Cup team selections
Tuesday is D-day for many players on the bubble who hope to make the U.S. World Cup team. U.S. coach Bruce Arena will unveil his 23-man roster on ESPN's SportsCenter at 6 p.m., the group that he plans to take to Germany in June. Here's one writer's take on who might make the roster.
April 14, 2006
U.S. coach Arena has some questions to answer before he names his World Cup roster on May 2
U.S. national coach Bruce Arena has given himself a self-imposed deadline of May 2 to name his 23-man roster for the World Cup. It wouldn't be surprising if Arena already had 20 players penciled in. The last three choices, which could include midfield, forward and the third goalkeeper, might take Arena the remaining 18 days to decide which ones to take.
December 10, 2005
Getting out of the first round will be difficult for the U.S., but certainly not impossible
Leipzig, Germany -- Well, it could have been worse. But it certainly was bad enough.
After all, he United States could have been placed with Brazil, the Netherlands and Ghana in the ultimate "Group of Death" for this World Cup.
December 7, 2005
FIFA drops ball; U.S. deserved better than to be placed with Asian teams for World Cup
Leipzig, Germany -- As disappointed as I was about the United States not being picked as one of the elite eight for Friday's World Cup draw on Tuesday, I certainly can live with the news.